For Jeongguk, there are two life changing moments in his life. The first one being his debut. He was young and naïve but was raised by caring young boys. He found himself in them. They experienced so much; grew, won and lost, and cried together.
The second life changing moment is when he sent that very first message to Jimin: ‘I honestly shouldn’t be doing this, but…I will anyways. Don’t freak out, but ur edits are AMAZING. Thanks for inflating my ego and being hella cute.’ That message was one of the best decisions Jeongguk’s made in his life because he met Jimin. The love of his life.
However, Jeongguk is about to make another life changing moment as he sits in the meeting room with the other members. Bang Si-hyuk sits at the middle of the table with a lax smile on his face and the members greet him with a bow before sitting around him. Si-hyuk asks them how their music is coming along and what not before addressing the elephant in the room.
“I’m sure you all know why you’re here.” Si-hyuk begins lightly.
Jeongguk clutches his hands together in his lap.
Si-hyuk cuts out the fluff and asks Jeongguk directly, “How do you want to go about handling this?”
Jeongguk looks up; he glances at the members before meeting Si-hyuk’s gaze.
“You all know there isn’t a dating ban,” Si-hyuk continues. “Never has been one and there never will be one. I don’t expect you all to act like robots—not date or fall in love—you’re young.”
Jeongguk remains silent.
“Young yet powerful and inspiring and even if you don’t want to, you must think about your actions because no matter what you do, no matter how small…it’ll be magnified times a thousand.” Si-hyuk finishes. “So, the question still stands…what do you want to do, Jeongguk?”
What do I want to do? I want to tell the truth; I want Army to know about Jimin and how special he is to me. Jeongguk’s leg taps anxiously beneath the table. But…my truth won’t affect only me. He looks around and his heart drops at the realization. This affects them too.
Jeongguk gnaws on his bottom lip before inquiring, “First…I want to know if the person who posted the photo has been found.”
Si-hyuk smiles, “Of course, that was the first thing we took care of moments after the story broke.”
Jeongguk relaxes a bit and wonders for a moment who it was that broke the story. Who could be capable of doing such a cruel thing? And like a light bulb flooding a room, his conversation with Jimin from the day before, floods his thoughts. Sungwoon?
“We’re doing everything possible to assure they aren’t able to do something like this again.” Si-hyuk adds.
This statement brings Jeongguk a little peace of mind, but it does nothing to quell his concern for Jimin.
“What about my…” he pauses. Thinking on it now, he’s never had this conversation with management or so formally with the members present. Jimin being his boyfriend has always remained unquestioned and comfortable—natural. “What about my boyfriend?”
Si-hyuk lifts a brow confusedly, “What about him?”
“I want to make sure he’s safe from the media, my fans or anyone who poses a threat to him.” Jeongguk replies.
“Ultimately, it’s up to him to make such a decision. Our primary concern is you and the group, Jeongguk.” Si-hyuk continues to calmly explain. “Caring for Jimin is…out of our control.”
Jeongguk releases a sigh and nods, “I understand.”
“We’ll give you some time to think about this.” Si-hyuk says, signaling an end to the meeting.
For Jeongguk there isn’t much to think about, he’s already made up his mind. To others, this meeting might’ve been meaningless, but Jeongguk’s glad he was given a chance to have his voice heard.
He takes a deep breath—slow and soothing before stating, “Wait.”
Si-hyuk and the other members pause just before rising from their seats. They turn to Jeongguk questionably, confusion and curiosity evident on their faces.
“What is it?” Hoseok calmly asks.
Jeongguk swallows, “I’ve…already thought about it.”
A tense silence abruptly fills the atmosphere. The other members exchange worried glances before redirecting their attention to Jeongguk.
“And that is…?” Si-hyuk tentatively questions.
“For twenty-three years of my life, I’ve hid and lied about who I am, but I found people who accepted me and loved me.” Jeongguk gestures to the members. “I want the same amount of love and acceptance for my relationship with Jimin.”
Jeongguk knows he sounds selfish; he knows the best thing for BTS would be to break things off with Jimin or to keep him hidden like a secret. But Jimin isn’t a secret. Jimin is joy, love and brightness in Jeongguk’s life. Jimin is a lot like music for Jeongguk—someone he cannot live without.
“I love him.” Jeongguk states. “Now, then, forever.”
Si-hyuk’s eyebrows furrow as he gazes at Jeongguk, “What are you saying, Jeongguk?” He pressures.
“I…” Jeongguk takes a deep breath, gathering all the strength and courage he has left. “I want to go public.”
Jimin sits on the edge of his bed staring blankly at the wall. Nothing’s on his mind. No matter how hard he tries to think, he can’t think about anything. A few hours have passed since scandal broke or as Jimin likes to put it—when shit hit the fan. His phone hasn’t stopped ringing with calls from classmates, dance students and others who claim to be his “long-time friends.”
He just wants it to stop. He wants everything to drown in silence.
When his phone rings again, Jimin raises it to throw at his wall but stops short when he sees the familiar number on his screen. His heart drops and disgust clogs his throat.
“Wh-why is he calling…?” He stares at the daunting number as his phone continues to ring and ring and ring. It’s his ex that’s calling, the bastard that nearly made Jimin give up on love. He hasn’t talked to him in years. He hasn’t thought about him since forever ago.
Why is he calling me now? After all this fucking time?
Jimin let’s his phone ring until it goes to voicemail. The line beeps and then he hears his voice:
“Hey…it’s been a while, but I thought I should call since I saw you on the news. Are you okay? I told you something like this would happen.” His ex sighs. “That’s why we broke up, Jimin. You always learn these things the hard way.”
Jimin immediately deletes his number and makes a mental note to change his number. It’s something he needs to do, now that almost everyone has it. But what pisses Jimin off is the audacity his ex has in believing that Jimin still cares about his opinion. Jimin’s reached a place of acceptance. His relationship with his ex was far from healthy, but Jimin genuinely believed what they had was true love. He hasn’t told Jeongguk everything about his previous romantic relationships and wonders if he’ll ever get the chance to or if it’s too late.
Jimin jumps at Taehyung’s voice and spins around to face the doorway.
Taehyung’s standing there with a water bottle and a bag of chips in hand. “I brought snacks.” He waves them at Jimin with a crooked grin.
Jimin smiles sweetly. “Thanks, Tae.”
Taehyung bounces over and Jimin scoots over to make room for him on the bed. Once they’re settled, Taehyung hooks an arm around Jimin’s shoulders and pulls him close.
“Who called?” Taehyung asks tentatively as though he already knows.
Taehyung glares as he opens a bag of chips. “You can’t lie to me, Jimin.”
Jimin sucks hard on his bottom lip.
“Was it him?”
Jimin doesn’t hesitate to nod.
Taehyung angrily stuffs a handful of chips into his mouth. “Asshole.”
“I’m not…I’m not bothered by it though, I’m more upset by the fact that he still knows my number.” Jimin murmurs. “I don’t care about him anymore…”
Taehyung finishes chewing before he says, “Good.” He leans over so his head rests against Jimin’s shoulder. “I’m proud of you.”
Jimin laughs softly, “I’m proud of myself too.”
Jimin’s been through some shit—toxic relationships and self-doubt—he’s experienced it all. However, he finally has a chance to be happy with someone who makes him happy and wants the best for him. Jimin doesn’t want to lose that.
Sensing Jimin’s shift in attitude, Taehyung switches the subject of the conversation, “Have you heard from Jeongguk yet?”
Jimin shakes his head, “Not yet.”
“Don’t think the worst, Jimin…I know you.”
Jimin shoves a hand through his hair. “I just…you know how I feel, Tae.”
Taehyung does to a certain extent. He’s in love with the Jung Hoseok. If an article were to drop blasting his potential relationship with Hoseok…who knows how he’d react or what Hoseok would do or be forced to do.
“It’s only just started but I already want this shit to end.” Jimin grumbles, shoving his hand into Taehyung’s bag of chips and popping a handful into his mouth.
The remainder of the day progresses slowly like a dance routine Jimin can’t grasp. He eats lunch with Taehyung and they discuss everything that isn’t Jeongguk related. They laugh while watching Netflix and hold each other close. When they sit like this, it reminds Jimin of when they first moved in together. How excited, happy and eager they were to make the apartment their own. After meeting Jeongguk, Jimin wonders how long he and Taehyung will remain like this. They’ve often thought about moving in together and developing a domestic lifestyle. Now he wonders if that’ll ever happen.
The ringing of Jimin’s phone interrupts the silence. Taehyung flashes Jimin a reassuring smile before slipping to the bathroom, giving Jimin space when he realizes it’s Jeongguk who’s calling.
Jimin gathers himself before answering, “Hey...”
“Jimin,” Jeongguk exhales in relief. “I—I wanted to call you sooner, but—”
“You don’t need to explain,” Jimin says softly. “I understand.”
After a moment, Jeongguk begins to speak, “We…had a meeting,”
Jimin curls his legs beneath himself, a posture he takes when he’s trying to comfort himself or disappear.
“I said…” Jeongguk takes another deep breath. “I said I wanted to go public with our relationship.”
Jimin’s heart stops for a second and the world closes in around him. Go…public. He clutches the front of his shirt and takes several deep breaths to calm himself.
“S-sorry, uhm.” Jimin releases a shaky breath.
“Angel?” Concern seeps into Jeongguk’s voice and he immediately regrets having said those words. “I’m sorry, I wanted to tell you in person, but the company advised that we don’t see each other this week.”
Jeongguk sounds slightly panicked, worried by the fact that he’s not beside Jimin. I should be with him. We should be together. He gnaws anxiously on his bottom lip while tightly gripping his phone.
“Jeongguk…I need a moment.” Jimin cards his fingers through his hair. “Give me a moment, baby.”
Jimin turns his phone onto speaker before placing it on the sofa arm. He rises to his feet and begins pacing with his arms crossed. Pacing always helps when he needs to gather his thoughts. Usually Taehyung would talk him through the crises in his life, comforting and reassuring him, but Jimin knows this is something he needs to confront on his own.
On Jeongguk’s end, he can hear Jimin’s feet shuffling back and forth and his heart aches because he wants to be with him. He recalls the numerous times he couldn’t be there for Jimin because of his schedule. How Jimin would call with worries about his future and how Jeongguk would have to excuse himself to record something for BTS’ album. He vividly remembers the texts he’d receive from Taehyung: ‘I’m here, don’t worry. I’ll take care of him.’ But Jeongguk wanted to be there for Jimin as his boyfriend and partner. Jeongguk yearned to be beside him.
“Jimin,” Jeongguk tentatively calls.
“Give me a second, I’m trying…” Jimin pauses to take a breath. “I’m trying not to freak out.”
Jeongguk can hear it in his voice, the anxiety creeping into his tone. “I’m here.” Jeongguk says softly and he uses the tone he uses in the early mornings when Jimin’s asleep in his arms. The tone solely for Jimin’s ears.
“I’ll always be here, angel.” Jeongguk assures.
Jimin falls into the couch with a loud thump and hastily replies, “I’m scared.”
Jeongguk’s heart aches, “Me too. I’m fucking terrified.” He laughs shakily and hopes that Jimin’s smiling now.
After a pause that feels like forever, Jimin whispers, “I love my life as it is.” His voice sounds so small; vulnerable and fragile.
Jeongguk’s heart sinks, but he can’t say he wasn’t expecting this.
“I love the quiet mornings and late nights.” Jimin rambles. “I love teaching at the dance studio, going to cafes to study for an exam and above all, I love my privacy.”
All these things are things Jeongguk loves to see Jimin doing because they’re things that Jimin loves. And Jeongguk loves everything about him. Who am I take that from him because of my selfishness?
“I love going on walks with Tae and complaining about the weather, but…” Jimin closes his eyes and memories with Jeongguk dance behind his lids. “I love you more.”
Jeongguk’s heart skips a beat and it feels like he might cry.
“I love you so much, Jeongguk and going public scares the shit out of me, but…” Jimin opens his eyes, staring blankly up at the ceiling. “If I’m with you…I…I know I’ll be fine.”
Jeongguk’s rendered speechless as his emotions overwhelm him. They well up in his throat and fill his stomach with butterflies.
“We’ll be fine together.” Jimin says this part more to himself, thinking about what this means for his life and ultimately how it’ll effect Jeongguk’s career. “I just,” he continues.
Sensing the hesitation in his voice, Jeongguk tenderly urges him on. “Go on.”
“I just hate that you were given this ultimatum—me or your career.” Jimin mumbles.
“There was never a choice for me, Jimin.” Jeongguk doesn’t hesitate to respond. “It’s possible for me to have both; idols have done so before.”
“But you’re—we’re different, Jeongguk.” Jimin’s eyebrows furrow.
“Because we’re both men?”
Jimin sighs, “And because the entire world is looking at you and everything you do, and I know you care even if you put up a front of nonchalance. I know you.”
Jeongguk doesn’t try to fight Jimin’s words because he knows, Jimin knows him. Two years together can do that to a person—a relationship. Jimin knows Jeongguk’s stressors, how he handles criticism and mistakes. Jimin understands him the best.
“It’s…going to be difficult.” Jeongguk carefully replies. “I’m aware of that.”
“What are we going to do, Jeongguk? What happens tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow…” Jeongguk echoes. “I’ll call again.”
“You better.” Jimin teases.
Jeongguk smiles, “I really want to hug you right now and look you in the eyes and thank you for walking into the fire with me.” he gushes.
He knows Jimin’s decision was not the easiest one for him to make given the circumstances and how quickly his information and YouTube account were discovered. There are no words to express Jeongguk’s appreciation and love.
“Don’t get your hopes up, I may change my mind tomorrow.” Jimin replies. “Or the day after.”
“I’ll wait.” Jeongguk says easily. “Doesn’t matter how long. I’ll wait for you.”
Jimin can’t help the smile that stretches his lips.
“I love you, Jimin and I want to spend the rest of my life loving you.”
“You sound so cheesy.” Jimin snorts.
Jeongguk uses a hand to cup one of his ears, “I know, my ears are burning.”
“Your ears turn red when you speak from the heart.” Jimin murmurs. “It’s cute.”
Jeongguk chuckles, “Which explains why my ears are always on fire when I’m with you.”
“Okay, chill out, I can only handle so much cheesiness in one day.” Jimin jokingly warns.
They laugh together. Comfortable and warm and it’s a lot like the hug Jeongguk would’ve given Jimin.
Tomorrow comes and new doubts arrive with it. Jimin spent the night awake, contemplating if he made the right decision. He wondered if the little arguments with Jeongguk over the years were worth it.
After all those meaningless fights, you finally made up your mind.
He’s seated on the floor in the dance studio, legs stretched out in front of him. He’s here earlier than when he’s scheduled to be because it helps him think when he’s sitting in the silence. On his mind are thoughts of his relationship with Jeongguk. Maybe none of this would’ve happened if he had agreed to go public sooner.
Jimin sighs as he bends forward to touch his toes and a memory resurfaces, one that feels like it happened ages ago.
Jimin presses his palms to Jeongguk’s back, forcing his boyfriend to bend forward.
“You’re so stiff, my god.” Jimin clicks his tongue at Jeongguk. “Too busy building up your body mass that you’ve forgotten the most important part.”
Jeongguk purses his lips and decides not to say anything because Jimin’s right. He’s been focused on bulking up lately because of the comeback and maybe because of the one-time Jimin said another idol had a nice body.
Jeongguk gets a little jealous when it comes to Jimin.
“It’s because of the comeback, huh?” Jimin’s tone softens and he stops to hug Jeongguk from behind. “Please remember to take care of yourself, baby.”
Jeongguk melts. “I will.”
“You know there’s only one of you in the world.” Jimin continues in that same soft tone.
“I know.” Jeongguk turns around to face Jimin and he smiles. “You love me a lot, don’t you?”
Jimin makes a face. “Of course, I do, what kind of question is that?”
Jeongguk laughs before stealing a kiss. He kisses Jimin once, twice and a third time until Jimin nudges him away.
“We’re stretching today, not making out.” Jimin points a warning finger at Jeongguk. “Don’t test me.”
“Okay, okay, fine.” Jeongguk returns to stretching, but turns to Jimin one last time. “Can we make out later?”
Jimin rolls his eyes, mumbling a yes as he grips the back of Jeongguk’s head, turning his face away.
Jimin smiles to himself as he thinks back to that day and the many days he’s shared with Jeongguk. They were happy yet anxious, in love yet worried about every move they made. Their love was constantly shrouded in the shadows of discovery.
The door to the studio suddenly creaks open and Taemin steps inside, duffle bag in hand. His eyes widen when they land on Jimin. “Oh! You’re here early.”
Jimin jumps to his feet, “Yeah…” he greets Taemin with a small smile.
“You look like a ghost sitting in the dark.” Taemin flicks on the light, dosing the studio in bright white.
Jimin laughs soullessly. “It didn’t bother me.” I’m used to being in the dark.
Taemin pauses to stare at Jimin. He crosses his arms and his eyebrows furrow. “You okay?”
Jimin grimaces, looking away from Taemin’s penetrative gaze.
“You don’t have to tell me, but…I’m sorry that happened to you.” Taemin murmurs. “Having your personal life blasted like that? Must feel like shit—like there’s nothing you can do.”
Jimin stares down at the floor and the helplessness he was feeling last night wraps around him like a cold embrace from his ex. He shivers and wonders how easy it’d be to run away, to leave all this behind and start anew. But…Jeongguk. His sweet, goofy and kind—Jeongguk. He doesn’t want to leave him behind.
“There…is something I can do.” Jimin says softly and a flutter builds in his chest.
Taemin looks towards him, eyebrows raised inquiringly. “And what might that be?”
“Embrace it. Stop running away.” Jimin says as he gathers his coat.
Taemin gawks back at him, watching as Jimin fumbles for his belongings.
“I’m sorry but I won’t be able to teach today.” Jimin apologizes before rushing out the front door.
The sun shines bright in the sky—hopeful—and Jimin realizes summer has never felt so sweet. His heart races with adrenaline as he runs down the sidewalk towards his car.
The studio that’s usually bursting with energy and brightness, feels empty as Jeongguk sits on a bench against the wall. He has his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands. He doesn’t want to look up, practice or do anything. All he wants to do is go see Jimin, hug him tightly and reassure him that everything will be alright.
Footsteps shuffle into the studio, but Jeongguk doesn’t bother to look up. He figures it’s their manager waltzing inside to tell him to practice and he will…eventually.
“Jeongguk?” But instead of hearing his manager, it’s Hoseok’s voice that calls out to him.
“Hey…” Hoseok plops down beside him and places a comforting hand to his shoulder. “This might be a stupid question to ask, but as someone who cares about you, I’m obligated to do so.”
This statement causes the corners of Jeongguk’s lips to slightly quirk up, “Ask away.”
“How are you? Have you spoken to Jimin at all?”
“I’m okay, I guess. It’s not like I didn’t want this. Maybe another way, but eventually I wanted to come out.” Jeongguk replies. “I know Jimin wanted this to happen differently and I hate that it happened this way.”
Hoseok squeezes his shoulder.
“I spoke to him yesterday after the meeting.” Jeongguk closes his eyes as he recalls Jimin’s voice. “He sounded so scared, hyung.”
“It almost felt as if he was terrified of me.”
“You know that’s not the case.”
Jeongguk opens his eyes with a heavy breath, “I know…I know.”
Hoseok can’t help but think about his relationship with Taehyung; if they’ll get to this point or end it before it has a chance to begin. Hoseok really likes him and he’s beginning to see Taehyung as the special someone he’s mentioned to his fans.
“I want be special to someone.”
That someone is Taehyung.
The door to the studio swings open again and Namjoon bursts inside with a panicked look on his face. Hoseok and Jeongguk immediately jump to their feet.
“Ji—Jimin,” Namjoon huffs.
Jeongguk breaks away from Hoseok and rushes up to Namjoon. “What? What is it?” Searching Namjoon’s eyes, Jeongguk doesn’t like what he sees. Did something happen to Jimin? Is he okay?
“He’s here.” Namjoon exhales.
Jeongguk’s eyes widen and his heart flips.
“In the lobby,” Namjoon continues breathlessly. “I don’t know, Jeongguk. I don’t know why he’s here. You sho—”
But Jeongguk’s already out the door. He runs down the hall and skips the elevator, heading straight for the stairs. He takes them two at a time and his heart beats erratically with each step he takes. He can’t help but think that maybe Jimin’s here to end things. He’s never showed up at the office like this—he was always hesitant in showing up at any of Jeongguk’s workplaces.
“It’s too risky.”
“I’m sorry, baby, but I can’t do that.”
Jeongguk bursts through the stairwell doors, startling a few employees, but he pays them no mind as he turns down the hall.
Is this the end for us?
Jeongguk slows down to a brisk walk and clenches his fists at his sides. He breezes down the hall which seems like an endless nightmare before finally reaching the lobby.
It can’t be…please.
Jeongguk’s head swivels from left to right, searching for Jimin until finally…finally he finds him. Jimin’s sitting with his back to Jeongguk, head down and hands clenched together. Jeongguk takes a shaky step towards him and his heart thrums loudly in his ears. It feels like forever until he reaches Jimin. He lightly touches him on the shoulder and Jimin spins around with wide eyes.
“Hey,” Jeongguk timidly greets.
Jimin jumps to his feet and hesitates before stepping towards Jeongguk. “Hey…”
An awkward silence falls between them and Jeongguk notices how Jimin’s nervously chewing at his bottom lip.
“Is…is something wrong?” Jeongguk asks.
Jimin shakes his head and says, “I was thinking.”
“Okay,” Jeongguk searches his eyes.
“I was thinking about us—you—our future and your fans. I was thinking so much.”
Jeongguk struggles to follow Jimin’s train of thought, his heart racing as he watches Jimin.
“I want to do this with you.” Jimin finalizes.
Jeongguk blinks because he isn’t following—he doesn’t understand.
“I want to,” Jimin takes a deep breath and shakes the nerves out of his hands. “I want to stop running.”
It clicks. The puzzle pieces fall into place and Jeongguk’s eyes fill with tears because there’s too many emotions pulsing through his body. Those words paired with Jimin’s earnest eyes, cause Jeongguk to silently wrap his arms around Jimin and pull him into a hug. He doesn’t know what to say—is bad at expressing himself when he’s shocked, so he hugs Jimin even tighter.
Jimin returns the embrace, “Baby?”
“Okay,” Jeongguk’s voice is shaking when he speaks. “Let’s stop running.”
They stand in the lobby with their arms wrapped around each other. Neither of them want to let go. The running has finally ended, but a new beginning awaits them. Jeongguk doesn’t know what that’s going to look like, but imagines it’ll be everything he’s wanted if Jimin’s there.
Once their emotions have settled and their heartbeats return to normal, they separate to look at each other. Jimin’s eyes are wet and Jeongguk’s cheeks are damp.
Jimin laughs, using his shirt sleeve to wipe at Jeongguk’s face. “Oh, Jeongguk.” he sighs sweetly.
Jeongguk laughs, shoulders bobbing up and eyes closing. “Sorry, they just started rolling and—”
“I know,” Jimin says softly. “Baby, I know.”
Namjoon and Hoseok come rushing out of the elevator, followed by Seokjin and Yoongi who are equally as confused as them. They stumble to a stop in front of Jeongguk and Jimin and look confusedly between the two.
“Jeongguk, what…” Namjoon begins, struggling to catch his breath.
As if he were expecting them, Jimin bows deeply. “I’m sorry.”
Namjoon swallows and Hoseok awkwardly places a hand to his nape. Seokjin’s busy assuring the staff and others in the lobby that things are alright. He gestures for them to leave and they slowly back away.
“Why’re you apologizing?” Yoongi’s low voice cuts the tension. “You have nothing to apologize for.”
Jimin lifts his head and gawks back at him.
“It’s not your fault. None of this is your fault.” Yoongi continues in his same easy-going yet wise tone.
His words and the way he says them make it seem like everything will be alright.
“We should meet upstairs where it’s more private.” Namjoon advises, already ushering them towards the elevator.
“Actually,” Jimin begin.
They all halt in front the elevator and immediately whip around to peer at Jimin.
He nervously clutches his hands behind his back. “I was hoping I could speak to Bang PD?”
Jeongguk blinks and Seokjin does a double take. If there were a car, Hoseok’s pretty sure he would ask the driver to run him over. Too much is happening already and it hasn’t even been a week. He can only hope for the best for Jimin and Jeongguk.
“You…you want to speak to Bang?” Namjoon chokes.
“I can’t?” Jimin asks.
Namjoon shakes his head and signals to Seokjin to help him out. Together they explain that he’s in a meeting and will be busy all day, but Jimin needs to meet him now before he loses confidence.
“Why do you want to meet him?” Seokjin asks.
“Jeongguk and I are ready to go public, but it’s not something we can decide on our own.” Jimin calmly explains.
No words are needed because they all understand.
BTS. Army and Jeongguk’s entire life as an idol. It’s not as easy as posting a photo to Twitter or Instagram and being done with it. They need to be careful, considerate and patient, but Jeongguk’s tired of waiting around.
“I’ll talk to him.” Jeongguk says. “I planned on doing so anyways. I’ll let him know Jimin’s decision and we’ll go from there.”
“Sounds easy enough.” Hoseok comments lightly, eyes flicking between them.
Namjoon nods slowly, eyebrows knit as he thinks about the numerous outcomes. After a moment of contemplation, he replies, “Alright…”
Jeongguk lights up.
“Once you talk to him, he’ll probably call us back in for another meeting.” Namjoon reasons. “We’re in this together.”
Seokjin suddenly turns to Hoseok, “Don’t tell us we’re going to have to do this again with you and Taehyung.”
Hoseok smiles sheepishly, but he doesn’t know how to respond to that given his and Taehyung’s ambiguous relationship. They haven’t talked in a while; Hoseok wants to see him and confess. Maybe? Well, maybe not just yet.
The next day, Jimin waits for Jeongguk’s call. He promised to call after the meeting, so Jimin’s seated in the living room with his phone beside him. Taehyung’s leaning by his feet; eyes all round as he waits with Jimin. The clock ticks in the distance and Jimin can’t seem to look away from it.
“I feel like vomiting.” Jimin deadpans.
“If you do, aim for the table please.” Taehyung replies.
Jimin nudges him with his foot, “Nah, I’ll aim for your head. Hope Hoseok likes your new hairstyle.”
Taehyung and Jimin share a laugh and once their giggles tapper off, silence once again fills the room. Dread bubbles in Jimin’s chest, along with another emotion he can’t quite place. He shifts on the couch and rises and sits several times, until his phone finally rings.
Jimin fumbles for it and Taehyung jumps to his feet. Jimin takes a deep breath before answering, willing his heart to calm down. The line clicks and Jeongguk answers.
“H-hey…” Jimin swallows. “How’d it go?”
“Well. It went well.” A pause and then he says, “We’re going to do it our way.”
Jimin blinks as confusion twists his features, “Our way? What if our way is wrong?” he asks. “What if we fuck up, Jeongguk?”
Jeongguk’s response is immediate, “Trust us.”
Jimin relaxes a bit as he listens to the soothing lull of Jeongguk’s voice.
“Trust what we’ve been through. We can do this.”
After speaking with various parts of management, the company decided that it’d be best to release a press release stating that Jimin and Jeongguk are together, but to leave Jimin’s name out of it. They don’t want to further involve him, but at this point, it’s too late. He’s known by millions and even fans of his YouTube channel are saying that “Bighit would do better to blatantly explain everything.”
So, here they are now, deciding to do it their way.
“I suggested we do a stream on your YouTube channel.” Jeongguk clarifies. “He said we can go live whenever we choose to.”
“You’re insane for this.”
Jeongguk’s laughter crackles to life on the other end, “Maybe but I’m ready to do this with you.”
I’ve always been ready.
Jimin sits in front of his camera and he fiddles with the set-up. He tilts it upward, then downwards before settling on a single angle. He looks at himself on his laptop screen and adjusts his hair.
“You look fine,” Jeongguk says from the doorway. “gorgeous as always.”
Jimin makes a face, “I’m so nervous.”
“I’ll be right here with you.”
“We should’ve just done the press release.” Jimin mutters. “Would’ve been way easier.”
Jeongguk laughs lightly, walking over and sitting beside Jimin on the bed. He slides an arm around Jimin’s shoulders and pulls him close. “We’ll be okay.”
In the week leading up to this stream, Jimin met numerous times with the other members of BTS, checking and double-checking that this would be okay. They encouraged him to schedule it and said they would be rooting for them. Jimin wonders if they’re watching.
He melts into Jeongguk’s touch and allows himself to be held for a moment before urging Jeongguk away. “I need to do this quickly before chickening out.”
Jeongguk hurries out of the camera frame and watches Jimin from the doorway.
“When it’s time for you to join, I’ll just signal, I guess.” Jimin flashes Jeongguk a thin smile.
Jimin doesn’t waste anymore time and presses GO LIVE. Gradually, people join and the chat comes to life with emojis and words Jimin chooses not to read. He doesn’t want to know what’s being said about him, he just wants to do this and set himself free. He clenches and unclenches his fists and gazes into the camera.
“I don’t know how to begin this. I don’t know what to say or how to say it, but I’m sure you all saw the articles speculating my relationship with Jeongguk.” Jimin’s voice shakes a bit as he speaks, but he calms himself before continuing. “So many words were tossed around: hook-up, best-friend, mistake, another member’s whatever. A lot of people refrained from saying boyfriend. I wondered why and then I realized that the idea of Jeongguk being gay, scared and freaked out a lot of people.”
Jeongguk shifts against the doorframe, arms wrapped tightly around his torso.
“Well, I’m here to talk about that. To talk about everything.” Jimin adds. “Jeongguk and I are dating. We’ve been dating Jeongguk for two years now, going on three.” He smiles to himself because it makes him happy to picture a future with Jeongguk. “We fought a lot about going public or continuing to meet in secret, but…here we are.” He gestures widely with his arms.
Comments fly through the chat and Jimin can no longer ignore them as they scream out at him.
‘what song is this?’
‘are u going to stop uploading videos?’
‘WHERE’S JUNGKOOK YOU LIAR?!? WE NEED TO GET OUR OPPA AWAY FROM YOU.’
Jimin swallows, glances at Jeongguk who smiles back at him and Jimin pushes on, “The company offered to release a statement, but we chose to do it this way because it’s how it all began.”
That fateful livestream and Jeongguk’s boldness.
“I ugh,” Jimin rubs his palms along his thighs. “I haven’t been alone throughout all this. While being scared and uncertain, a certain someone has been beside me.”
Catching his cue, Jeongguk pushes off the doorframe and settles beside Jimin. He doesn’t hesitate to slide his arm around Jimin’s shoulders and the chat goes crazy. Jimin’s never seen words blur by so fast before. The live viewers tick up into the millions, but Jimin looks away before he decides this was all a bad idea.
“Hey,” Jeongguk does a small wave at the camera. “I’ll try not to be so awkward since I’m with my boyfriend.”
The word drops so easily and naturally from his lips. Saying it, doesn’t even faze Jeongguk.
“I’ve been wanting to say that for forever.” Jeongguk laughs airily. “Sounds nice, right? My boyfriend.”
Jimin doesn’t know what to say as he’s swept away by Jeongguk’s actions, “Jeongguk….”
“Jimin is my boyfriend.” He says in a more serious tone. “Nothing’s going to change that.”
It’s like his words are tinged with a warning: Know your boundaries. Respect our space and our privacy.
“I’m not sure what happens after this, I might lose a lot of you in the process, but…” Jeongguk smiles sadly at the camera. “That’s how it is sometimes and I’m not alone. Jimin has me and I have him.”
Jimin places his hand over Jeongguk’s hand on his shoulder.
“Also,” Jeongguk leans towards the camera like he’s divulging a secret. He even drops his voice to a whisper. “I’ve been planning to release something.”
“Why’re you whispering like that?”
“Secret.” Jeongguk leans back and kisses Jimin’s forehead. “You’ll see later.”
Jimin squints, “What is it?”
“I’ll give you a hint,” Jeongguk kisses Jimin’s nose this time. “It has something to do with all those videos I recorded of you.”
Jimin’s eyes bug, but before he has a chance to say anything, Jeongguk’s addressing the viewers again.
“I think we should wrap it up here.” Jeongguk flashes Jimin a tender look. “Who knows? Maybe we’ll go live in the future.”
Jimin sternly shakes his head and Jeongguk laughs. They don’t bother to read the comments as they continuously fly through on the screen. A few words jump out at Jeongguk: unstanning, disgusting, leave the group, disband, break up. They send chills down his spine, but he tightens his grip on Jimin, grounding himself.
“I guess we’ll end it then.” Jimin murmurs. “Thanks for watching?” he smiles nervously, leaning forward to click away at his laptop. He stares into the camera one last time before clicking END STREAM. Silence envelopes the room and they turn slowly to look at each other.
“Holy shit,” Jungkook exhales in shock.
“Holy shit.” Jimin echoes.
And in unison they say, “Holy fucking shit.”
Jimin slams his laptop shut and places a hand to his chest. “My heart's racing like crazy. I could die. Oh my god.” He takes another breath before gasping out, “Are we seriously public?”
Jungkook nods with a warm smile, “Yep.”
“Hooooly shit.” Jimin whispers. “I'm going to die.”
“No, you're not.”
“Your fans are going to murder me. All twenty-seven million of them."
“Like...everyone has a crush on you.” Jimin blubbers. “They want to marry you. Have your kids. Holy fuck.”
“Seriously though, Jeongguk, three million people were watching that stream.”
With a sigh, Jeongguk pulls Jimin close and kisses him on the lips. “They're not going to murder you.” He says tenderly, remaining close to Jimin. “They’d have to get through me first.”
“Pretty sure you wouldn’t make it because it’s you versus three million peo—”
“Hush, my angel and let me have my moment, please.” Jeongguk interrupts with a grin.
Jimin snorts, peering at Jeongguk with a goofy smile and he presses their lips together. They kiss deeply like when they first met two years ago and Jeongguk gently pushes Jimin onto his back. Jimin falls softly against the mattress and stares up at Jeongguk with slightly hooded eyes. Jeongguk leans in and kisses him again, their tongues entangle and Jimin moans softly.
“I’m so happy,” Jeongguk whispers against Jimin’s lips. “my heart's happy, but so is my dick.” He cracks.
Jimin gives him a half-hearted glare as he punches him in the chest. “Gross. Get off me.” He grumbles.
“I’m serious, can I…” Jeongguk leans down and whispers his wishes into Jimin’s ears, detailing how badly he’s missed holding him like this.
Jimin blushes, but he doesn’t fight the hand snaking up his shirt or Jeongguk’s warm lips against his neck. He wants this, he’s always wanted this.
His Golden Maknae.
His Jeon Jeongguk and Jungkook, and the many praises he’ll never get tired of hearing.
“I love you.” Jimin murmurs as he wraps his arms around Jeongguk’s broad shoulders.
Jeongguk leans back, gazing warmly at Jimin and his eyes speak before he does, “I love you too.” They say.
What happens tomorrow and the many days after will be hard, but they'll get through it.
Who knows, maybe years from now they'll go live again to announce their engagement.
At least that's what Jeongguk hopes; he's already making plans for it.