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daydreamin' 'bout how i rock it

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Jimin notices on a Saturday. A Saturday, because it’s his day off from work, meaning he’s home when Namjoon walks into their apartment, a towel slung across his shoulders and wearing shorts . Spandex shorts, black with blue lines up the sides, that cling to his thighs like they’re a second fucking skin. He toes off his sneakers at the door, mumbling a pant-heavy greeting, before crossing the living room to the hallway leading to their rooms. It’s then, that Jimin Notices—

Kim Namjoon has an ass. An ass that’s currently eating the material of his shorts, but an ass nonetheless.

Sitting at the kitchen table, chopsticks full of rice frozen halfway to his mouth, Jimin watches Namjoon, eyes practically bulging out of his head as they trace the distinct shape of asscheeks encased in black and blue. When Namjoon disappears down the hall, Jimin remains frozen in place up until he hears the sound of Namjoon’s door opening then closing. He sticks the helping of rice in his mouth, slamming down his chopsticks as he chews, mind running at lightning speed as he tries to process.

Kim Namjoon.

Kim Namjoon.

Has an ass.

The sentence feels so foreign and bizarre to him that he slaps himself on the cheek a few times as if that will wake him up from whatever dream reality he’s found himself in. As he does so, shutting his eyes for added measure, the image of it— Kim Namjoon’s ass —remains printed on the inside of his eyelids, burned there. He opens his eyes with a gasp, gripping the edges of the kitchen table as he finds himself still here, still sitting and trying his damndest to organize his thoughts against the onslaught that is memories of Namjoon’s asscheeks switching ever so slightly as he walks.

Fuck ,” Jimin whispers.

Down the hallway, a door—to Namjoon’s room, most likely—opens, followed by the bathroom door with its telltale loud squeaking hinges. When the bathroom door shuts, Jimin Realizes—

Namjoon is about to shower. Namjoon is about to be naked in their shower, might have crossed the hallway without a towel as he tends to do, newfound ass out and about in the air of their apartment.

Jimin sits back in his seat, reaching for his phone.

 

From: jamjam the man-man

seokjin

From: suckgin

that’s hyung to you

From: jamjam the man-man

this is important

From: suckgin

????

From: jamjam the man-man

joon has an ass now

Dinner that night is an interesting affair. They order delivery, both too lazy to try pulling out the pots and pans they’d received as housewarming gifts or even attempt cooking. When the doorbell rings, Jimin watches Namjoon go to the door, dressed in loose sweatpants and a ratty SNU University t-shirt. In sweats, his ass isn’t as pronounced, but Jimin is able to find the outline eventually when he narrows his eyes, staring hard after him as if squinting to read off the back of a pill bottle.

When Namjoon turns back from the door, Jimin quickly looks away, returning to his job of selecting the movie they watch for the night. Namjoon returns with their dinner—japchae with bulgogi for Jimin, jjajangmyeon with samgyeopsal for Namjoon—and a smile on his face as he sets everything down on the coffee table. Jimin continues flicking through movie options, not really reading or paying much attention to anything on the screen. How can he, when Namjoon is leaning across the arm of the couch to grab something off the side table, upper body twisting enough that his ass points towards Jimin like some accusatory finger?

“Found anything good yet?” Namjoon asks, returning to sit fully on his side of the couch, stretching out a handful of napkins.

Jimin catches himself, looking up to meet Namjoon’s eyes with a too-loud and very awkward honk of a laugh.

“Hah! Uh , not—Not yet.” He looks back to the TV, stopping on some American film. “I’ve heard good things about this.” He’s lying. He’s never even heard of this film.

“Hm, you sure? It’s probably in English,” Namjoon says, voice teasing as he reaches out to grab his takeout box of food. While he’s reaching, standing up somewhat to grab a pair of chopsticks from the bag as well, Jimin allows himself the opportunity to take one more long gaze at his ass before shooting Namjoon a glare. It’s something of a game between the two of them—Namjoon, being fluent in English in addition to a fucking English Lit and Education major, will joke about Jimin’s less-than-average-proficiency in the language, which then leads to Jimin spitefully attempting to prove himself by gritting through as much of the movie without subtitles as he can before eventually relenting, whining for Namjoon to translate. 

And so, because he recognizes the start of their game, Jimin proceeds to hit play on the film as he grabs his own takeout box.

“You make it sound like I can’t understand English at all,” Jimin pouts, pulling his legs up to cross them while relaxing back into the couch with his food, mouth-watering when he opens the top. He’s just shoved a helping of noodles in his mouth when he adds, “ Ah’ve ben’ practihing .”

“Oh, have you?” Namjoon says, stirring his noodles as he settles back himself, long legs stretched to rest on the coffee table.

In front of them, the movie starts up, and Jimin proudly reads out the title onscreen, smiling triumphantly when Namjoon responds with a low whistle and slapping on his chest by way of clapping.

The movie itself is pretty simple—the story isn’t too difficult to follow even without subtitles, and Jimin recognizes a few American actors whose names he doesn’t remember. At every instance when he understands a word or full sentence, he parrots it back, then shoots Namjoon a devilish proud grin, one that’s always returned with an amused, “ Woah ,” from Namjoon. As the film goes on, Jimin finds himself struggling to keep up with the story and the scenes and trying to listen for words he recognizes. He casts a nervous sidelong glance over to Namjoon, who’s entirely enraptured, legs removed from the table, sitting forward, dinner long since finished and box deposited on the table.  Jimin bites his lip, hoping that a moment will open up for him to get Namjoon’s attention.

During an action scene—a scene that feels entirely out of nowhere to Jimin considering he’s spent the last twenty minutes with barely any understanding of the context—Jimin leans over.

Joonie-ah ,” he whispers.

Yeah? ” Namjoon whispers back, appearing still so engrossed in the movie that he doesn’t chastise for the nickname.

Can you —” Jimin flattens his mouth into a hard line when Namjoon turns his head, a knowing smile growing on his face. “ Can you translate for me?

But I thought you’d been practicing ,” he whispers. Jimin doesn’t know why they’re both still whispering when they’re alone in their apartment, not at an actual movie theater. More than that, rather than be annoyed at Namjoon’s teasing, Jimin becomes aware of just how close they are now. Jimin’s leaned all the way over into Namjoon’s space on the opposite end of the couch because that’s what he always does, but Namjoon doesn’t seem bothered by it one bit.

Jimin swallows. “ Y-Yeah, well —” He clears his throat, then speaks at a regular volume as he sits back in his spot. “My lessons didn’t include this movie, so…”

Ahh , right, right,” Namjoon says. He scooches over, much to Jimin’s horror, until they’re nearly thigh to thigh because that’s how the game always goes. Jimin’s spine goes ramrod straight as Namjoon leans in and begins translating directly into his ear as the film continues playing out in front of them. Jimin barely registers Namjoon’s words, too hyper-aware of all the near-contact points between their bodies. If Namjoon leaned even a fraction of an inch closer, his lips would touch Jimin’s ear. If he shifted his body at all, their legs would touch. Jimin’s entire body seems to radiate heat, emanating most violently from his face. And oh God , Namjoon can probably see how red his cheeks are from the light of the TV, he can probably tell that Jimin’s only barely containing himself, shifting in place as something stirs low in his abdomen.

Nam—” Jimin says, turning his head as a reflex. In doing so, he feels the ghost of Namjoon’s chapped lips against his cheek and finds himself eye-to-eye with Namjoon in a way that suddenly feels...too close. Too close because he can see the ring of lighter brown around Namjoon’s pupil, too close because he can see faint smatterings of moles on his forehead, too close because when Jimin’s eyes briefly flick down he can see the way Namjoon’s lips are parted.

That something in his abdomen stirs again, distinct this time.

Too close .

“I, uh—” Jimin says, wrenching away in a flash, standing on trembling legs. The movie is still going, he hasn’t finished his dinner, sat abandoned on the side table, and Namjoon is looking up at him with confusion and concern. Jimin flounders for a moment then wheezes, “ Bathroom.

He doesn’t run, that would be too suspicious, but he does power-walk faster than he ever has in his life. He makes it to the hallway and into the bathroom in record time, back pressing to the door to hold it closed. His heart is pounding, and now that he’s no longer sitting, he can clearly feel the way his dick presses hard into the material of his sleep shorts. From his hoodie pocket, he pulls his phone free.

 

From: jamjam the man-man

SEOKJIN

S E O K J I N

SEOKJIN HYUNG

From: suckgin

WHAT

From: jamjam the man-man

I THINK I AM ATTRACTED TO NAMJOON

When Monday arrives, Jimin does the important emotional heavy-lifting of apologizing. They hadn’t seen each other at all on Sunday—Namjoon had been on campus helping a friend plan lessons for their undergrads, and Jimin had worked a regular shift at the gym before working a shift picked up for Hoseok—so when they briefly pass each other in the hallway Monday morning, Jimin gently calls, “Hyung.”

Namjoon stops, halfway into the bathroom, and looks back over his shoulder.

Jimin, standing in the doorway of his room, wrings the edge of his shirt. “About...About Saturday, and leaving you halfway through the movie...and just generally acting weird, I, um…” 

But Namjoon, ever-perceptive, simply smiles, showing his left dimple—the deeper one that Jimin always pokes whenever they’re drunk together—and reaches out to gently take Jimin’s wrist. “I’m not mad.”

“No, it’s not cause—not because I think you’re mad at me,” Jimin rushes to say. “I just wanted to say sorry cause...I dunno, you’re my friend, don’t want you to be worried I was tweaking or something.”

Namjoon laughs out loud, even clutches his stomach, as he re-shoulders his face towel. The hand holding Jimin’s wrist squeezes reassuringly. “Don’t worry, I didn’t think you were ‘tweaking or something’,” he says.

Jimin returns Namjoon’s smile, then grabs the hand holding his wrist. Namjoon seems to know what’s coming, as all his fingers save for his pinkie close into a fist, mimicking Jimin’s. They interlock pinkies, then bring their thumbs in to press against each other for a moment.

Satisfied, Jimin releases Namjoon’s wrist, then shoos him towards the bathroom. Namjoon, amused, turns, and—

Jimin had almost forgotten. His sudden bane, the cause of his agony, the reason for Saturday night’s frantic and desperate bathroom jerk-off.

Kim Namjoon’s ass. In shorts. Again.

That was this morning, and now, Jimin sits at a study table at the library, running a hand down his face with a loud groan. Across from him, Seokjin glances up from his laptop.

“I hear frustration,” Seokjin says, eyes flicking back down to his laptop as he continues working. “What begets the reasoning for Park Jimin’s whining today?”

Jimin frowns and leans forward until his elbows rest on the table, head cradled in his hands. “My roommate’s ass.”

Seokjin makes a noise of understanding. “I thought that was a fluke.”

Jimin splutters for a moment, leveling an evil glare to his friend across the table. “Seokjin-hyung, I would never— never joke about something of this magnitude,” he says, deathly serious. “This is Namjoon , my roommate of two years, friend of six, a man whose backside used to essentially be concave , whose jeans were left with a perpetually sag at the back, who fell into my lap once and gave me a bruise with how bony it was back there—”

“You know for someone supposedly attracted to said man, you’re clowning said man very hard,” Seokjin says with a chuckle.

“I’m just saying!” Jimin says, louder than he’d originally intended, earning a few stink-eyes from nearby patrons. He shrinks in on himself, then grumbles, “He went from assless to...to ass ful in what seems like overnight.

“Oh please, you’re exaggerating.”

Jimin groans, letting his head fall face-first into his textbook. “ I’m not.

Seokjin sighs, though it sounds more amused than annoyed. “You said he had a towel when he came home Saturday, right? And he was wearing spandex?” he asks, followed by the soft click of his laptop closing.

Jimin nods, not lifting his head. At the memory—ass cheeks in stretched taut black and blue—Jimin has to actively resist pressing a heel against his crotch.

“He’s probably just been going to the gym then,” Seokjin says, gently, as if talking to a startled animal. “I know we were all bugging him about working out more.”

Jimin stops listening about halfway through Seokjin’s explanation, sitting up suddenly as realization strikes. He looks Seokjin dead in the eye.

“Pilates.”

Seokjin’s eyebrows come together. “What about—?”

“I told—” Jimin starts. He sits back “I told him to try...Pilates...weeks ago... months ago, maybe.” Though had previously put the moment out of his head, it suddenly comes back to him in a vivid rush.

It had been after the infamous Hookup Debacle, two or three months ago. Namjoon, having been out of the Meeting People and Hooking Up game since sophomore year of undergrad, had finally been bold enough to bring someone back to his and Jimin’s apartment, a fact that made Jimin’s heart ache with pride. Jimin had been quick about sneaking out, planning to head over to a friend’s apartment to spend the night.

Not even thirty minutes later, while in the car on the way to Hoseok and Taehyung’s place, Jimin’s phone had buzzed with a call from an unknown number. An unknown number that had turned out to be the hospital, calling to let him know that his roommate had been taken to the ER with a thrown out back caused by a sudden and violent muscle spasm.

When the shock and terror of it all had later subsided, Jimin standing above the bed of a recently awoken Namjoon moaning with pain, Jimin had broken down in laughter so fierce it had cause genuine stomach pain. When they recounted the story for their friends, a week after Namjoon’s discharge, Namjoon had been red in the face as he’d mumbled, “It’s not funny. Stuff happens during hookups all the time.” Jungkook, of all people, had been the one to point out that people didn’t typically throw out their back while having sex.

It was then that Jimin had mentioned, entirely offhandedly, that he could try Pilates.

“Pilates?” Namjoon had said, eyebrows furrowing.

Jimin, drunk by this point, had pointed to himself. “At my gym. We got classes, all kinds of classes, ones that’d be good for you.” Then, he’d reached back and lightly patted Namjoon’s then-flat ass. “Might help you out back here too.”

Now, Jimin wants to both hug and strangle his past self for being the cause of his present reality. Because Namjoon, clearly had gone through with Jimin’s suggestion and started taking Pilates classes. Which explained the Sudden Inexplicable Ass.

Judging by the look on Seokjin’s face, he’s overreacting to some degree. But at the same time—

“I did this,” Jimin says gravely, holding his head in his hands.

“You sound like you’re talking about murder, not suggesting Pilates to a chronically out of shape friend,” Seokjin deadpans, opening his laptop. “You don’t even sound happy for him.”

“I am—happy ,” Jimin says. “But...he’s my roommate . You’re not supposed to lust after your roommates, sudden ass or otherwise.”

Seokjin rolls his eyes. “Clearly you live in some reality where you’ve never read any fiction ever .”

“I’m just saying,” Jimin says, crossing his arms over his chest. “I need to nip this in the bud. ASAP. Before something actually bad happens.”

“Bad like what? You two hooking up?” Seokjin supplies, voice casual.

Jimin‘s brain fixates on those words, and he finally does press the heel of his palm down against his boner, biting down on his tongue to suppress his hiss. “Very funny,” he says, hoping his face hasn’t turned red as he tries to maintain his cool.

Seokjin shrugs, muttering, “ Idiots, both of them ,” under his breath as Jimin continues pondering how exactly he means to put an end to this sudden... lust (because it’s not a crush , it couldn’t be a crush ). Trying, all the while, to keep from fantasizing about Namjoon’s ass.

Working at the gym is one of the few highlights to Jimin’s week, along with tutoring the elementary school children that visit campus and enjoying Friday night dinners with his friends. On Thursdays, he only teaches yoga, typically three or four classes depending on the class size for the week. During his break between classes, he heads for the employee break area, prepared to sit down and enjoy his lunch. As he’s sitting down, his co-worker Hoseok enters, heading straight for his locker.

“Done for the day?” Jimin asks, unpacking his lunch bag.

Hoseok, sweaty and exhausted from leading hip hop class, nods, pressing his forehead against the cold plastic of the locker. “I think I went too hard today.”

Jimin giggles, opening his container of rice and vegetables. “I could’ve told you that. You don’t schedule back-to-back dance classes, especially not hip hop, you masochist.”

“Well excuse me for having over-confidence in myself,” Hoseok whines, lifting his arms to pull his hoodie and gym bag from his locker. He stands up away from the locker door, shutting it then turning to press his sweat-drenched back against it. He moans in satisfaction as Jimin starts eating. Jimin’s lifting broccoli to his mouth when Hoseok suddenly says, “I’ve been meaning to tell you, I keep seeing Namjoonie around on the weekends.”

Jimin freezes. He looks up to see Hoseok tugging on his hoodie, red hair poking through the top.

“That so?” Jimin says, hoping his voice doesn’t tremble as much as he feels it does.

Hoseok wrenches his head through the top of his hoodie, situating it on his body as he says, “Yeah, just around. Saw him coming out of Sungwoonie’s pilates class the last couple Saturdays, and then a few times on Fridays using the elliptical.”

Jimin grips his chopsticks so hard he’s surprised they don’t snap. Sungwoon. He’s the one to blame. Jimin makes a note to send him a strongly worded text about Why Friends Don’t Help Friends’ Roommates’ Asses Become Thick and Pronounced.

“Uh huh,” Jimin says.

“Sounds like he’s finally taking your advice about exercise, huh,” says Hoseok, smiling tiredly as he yawns and shoulders his bag. “Didn’t that whole thrown out back thing happen, like...two months ago?” At that, Hoseok laughs around another yawn. Jimin, meanwhile, is thinking through what the actual fuck he’s supposed to do now that he knows Namjoon’s not only been attending Pilates but at the gym where he works . Meaning, if Jimin’s not careful, he could easily run the risk of running into a post-Pilates Namjoon —glistening with sweat, shorts riding up the sheer expanse of his glorious golden thighs, mopping his forehead and pushing back his hair—

“Uh, Jimin?”

Jimin snaps out of his fantasies to see Hoseok watching him, eyebrows furrowed in concern. Jimin looks down to his hand and startles to find, in his lust-induced daydreaming, he’d been pressing the tips of his chopsticks so hard into the soft material of the table that they’re currently sticking straight up, stuck there. It’d be comical if he weren’t so horribly embarrassed at being caught fantasizing over his roommate.

“Oh…” Jimin trails off. He wordlessly pulls the chopsticks from the table, then sets them down beside his half-eaten lunch. “Guess I’m sorta swole.”

At that, Hoseok laughs, face breaking into a sunny smile. “I’ll leave you to your break then,” Hoseok says, saluting then turning to head for the door. When Jimin’s just begun returning to his lunch, Hoseok suddenly snaps and whips back around. “Oh! Right, I wanted to double-check if you’re still good for Friday dinner at my and Tae’s tomorrow?”

Jimin nods. “We’re in charge of drinks, right?”

Hoseok beams. “Bless your sexy memory.” With that, he blows a kiss, then waves on his way out.

Jimin finishes the rest of his lunch without much fanfare or interruption—the occasional co-worker stops in to check their bags—and packs up with thirty minutes till he has to lead his next class. He heads out, prepared to go sit in the yoga studio while he waits for his stomach to settle, meaning he has to take a shortcut that crosses through the weight machines part of the gym.

He’s a fool for assuming he would be able to receive peace. Hoseok had mentioned that he’d seen Namjoon on Saturdays and Fridays and Jimin, being the utter buffoon he is, had assumed that meant Namjoon came to the gym on those days only .

Clearly not. Clearly not since, across the gym, Jimin can see him , Kim Namjoon, running on one of the treadmills. Running in shorts and, to Jimin’s aroused mortification, a tank top.

Jimin’s frozen in place, as if remaining still will keep Namjoon from seeing him. He’s too far away and wearing headphones, but the irrational part of Jimin’s brain has always been a bit more persuasive when it comes to his decision-making.

His only option is to finish crossing the machine area while trying to look as casual as possible. He resumes walking, keeping his head down.

He won’t see me, he won’t see me, he won’t see—

Jimin runs directly into another one of his co-workers—Jungkook, he notices with some relief—but doesn’t stop to even say hello. He makes it to the yoga studio hallway, panting slightly from the way he’d essentially run at top speed. He bends over to catch his breath, stomach twinging with the beginnings of a cramp. Anyone who’d seen him literally running for his life, essentially the other gym staff and any gym patrons, will likely be confused, but Jimin knows they’ll forget soon enough. Jungkook though...he’s more observant than most. More likely to notice Jimin’s weirdness without him saying anything, especially considering their closeness as friends already.

Jimin checks the time on his phone. Twenty-five minutes till his next class. He can figure out how to deal with Jungkook later after he knows Namjoon’s left and he won’t have to hole up in the yoga studio.

From: jamjam the man-man

done with work! i can pick up dinner if you’re home now :o

From: nya:3mjoon

please, just got home and me big hungy :(

From: jamjam the man-man

-___- your aegyo is terrifying but effective

 

Jimin breathes a heavy sigh of relief, standing up from where he’d been sitting leaned against the mirror of the yoga studio. Because he’s the only yoga instructor at the gym, the studio is effectively his, meaning he’s able to hang around way past the end of his last class, which has wrapped almost forty-five minutes ago, waiting for just the right time to text Namjoon and check if he’d left. He knows, logically, it won’t make a difference—they’re roommates , meaning they’re bound to run into each other some way or another. But for Jimin, he’d rather it be in the privacy of his own, away from prying eyes, with the option of running to his room to jerk off readily available.

He chews on his thumb as he exits the studio, flicking off the lights and locking the door behind him. He heads to the break area, tossing his work keys in his backpack and pulling out his hoodie and car-keys.

After clocking out and climbing into his car, he heads over to their favorite restaurant, ordering takeaway.

The drive home is near silent, Jimin’s hands flexing on the wheel as he mentally preps himself for the potential sight at home. It’s not likely that Namjoon would still be in his workout clothes, meaning he’s likely to have changed into his sweats and a t-shirt to start studying. That calms him somewhat. He shouldn’t be hit with an onslaught of ass, thigh, and biceps in his own home, at the very least.

Pulling into his parking spot, he shuts off the car, then grabs their dinner in his arms. During the elevator ride up to their floor, his gnaws lightly on his lip, breathing deeply.

It’s just your roommate, he tells himself, stepping onto their floor and heading for their apartment door. Get it together.

As the keypad beeps, he hits the handle with his elbow, pushing open the door.

Standing in the middle of their living room is Namjoon. Naked .

Jimin nearly drops the bags of food as he stumbles backward, hitting the door with a thud.

What’re you— ” he screeches.

Namjoon finally seems to notice Jimin in the apartment, his hands going to cover his crotch as he shouts, “ You didn’t text that you were on your way home!

When did we establish that we’re supposed to text when we’re on our way home? ” shouts back Jimin, somehow so horrified that he can’t shut his eyes, staring wide-eyed at Namjoon as he begins inching back towards their rooms.

Well, it’s—it’s basic decency.

I’m not the naked one here, Namjoon !”

And that’s how the mini-shouting match ends, with Namjoon turning and making a break for his room.

As his breathing gradually relaxes, Jimin slumps against the door. He stands up, going to deposit their dinner on the kitchen table when the door to Namjoon’s room open. Jimin looks back in time to see Namjoon stepping into the living room, dressed now, head down. Somehow, Jimin just knows his cheeks are flaming red from embarrassment.

They’re both silent as Namjoon crosses to the table, taking a seat across from Jimin, who’s still standing. More silence, punctuated only by the soft whirring of the AC. Jimin tries to not focus on the fact Namjoon’s wearing a t-shirt tight enough to reveal the outline of his developing pecs, but his inherent unsubtly and homosexuality makes it remarkably difficult.

“So,” Namjoon says finally, lifting his head just as Jimin finally tears his eyes away from the near brazen ogling of his roommate’s chest. Namjoon clears his throat, nodding as an invitation for Jimin to finally sit. When he does, Namjoon continues. “You walked in on me in a state of…somewhat undress.”

“Somewhat,” Jimin repeats.

Namjoon presses on. “And for that, I’m...God, I’m so sorry.” The feigned professionalism immediately melts away as Namjoon sags forward, shoulders hunching. “I didn’t—Like, God , I’m so embarrassed and I can’t even imagine how you must feel—”

“Namjoon, we’ve shared an apartment for two years,” Jimin says, voice reassuringly and steady despite the pounding of his heart that would worry him in any other situation. “I’ve seen you naked before.”

Namjoon lifts his head, lips pursed. “ Yeah , but not—not in the fucking living room ,” Namjoon grumbles.

Jimin opens his mouth to contend, then shuts it. “Why... were you naked in the middle of the living room? Since that seems to be the core root of the issue.”

Namjoon face turns so red Jimin fears he’d somehow ruptured a vein under the skin of his cheeks. “ Uh. ” He shifts in his seat, lacing and unlacing his fingers on the table before finally sighing. “I was...trying out a new stretch I learned. But I’d just gotten undressed and figured you...you wouldn’t be home for a little while longer, so I—”

Namjoon cuts himself off when he notices Jimin’s shoulders shaking with the effort. Jimin bites down hard on his bottom lip, shaking his head and then struggling to say, “N-No, no, keep going, I wanna hear the end of this.”

The redness in Namjoon’s face grows deeper as he realizes that Jimin is laughing at him. “Asshole,” he mutters, wadding up a stray receipt on the table and lobbing it at the other man. At that, Jimin fully busts out into laughter, falling back against his chair. He laughs so hard he has to wipe his eyes, covering his mouth in an attempt to quiet his near-cackling.

When he can finally take in enough air to breathe, he says, “Namjoon-ah, you’re my friend, but God , you do some of the stupidest shit.”

“Don’t act like you don’t do stupid shit either,” Namjoon says, struggling to maintain his scowl as Jimin sits up and pushes one of the takeaway bags towards him.

“Oh, I know I do stupid shit,” Jimin says. “But that’s why we’re friends, and more importantly, that’s why we’re roommates.” Jimin knows Namjoon can sense the sincerity in his voice going by the way his scowl falls away in favor of a small amused smile.

He takes his bag, tearing the side to get his meal. “So...you’re not mad at me?”

Jimin’s already pulled his own meal out, splitting a pair of chopsticks. “ God no. If anything, this is just another story I’m definitely gonna end up telling the rest of the guys.”

Namjoon groans, but ultimately yields, muttering, “ Fair ,” as he splits his own chopsticks.

Jimin watches Namjoon open the top of his takeout box, then slithers his hand along the table until he can reach of Namjoon’s. He links their pinkies together, offering a heartfelt smile as Namjoon completes the motion, pressing his thumb every so lightly against Jimin’s.

As they eat, no longer holding hands, Jimin remains in a state of pleasant embarrassment. Because, in Namjoon’s turning and running early, Jimin had been given a full uncensored shot of Namjoon’s ass. Meaning now, he’d been given enough material for the spank bank to last a lifetime .

Jimin decides the next morning as he’s brushing his teeth:

He will confront Namjoon about his recent exercising and, by proxy, his budding backside. 

As he bends over to spit out frothy toothpaste, he runs through possible times of the day when he could Do The Deed. He and Namjoon will catch the bus to campus, meaning they’ll be surrounded by strangers. Won’t do , he decides, setting his toothbrush aside after a quick rinse. Their class schedules for the day are too separated, not even allowing them the chance to meet for lunch like they can every other day of the week. The next time they’ll see each other is on the bus ride back to the apartment, where they’ll immediately have to get ready for dinner at Hoseok and Tae’s. Jimin frowns harder, swishing a mouthful of water to clear any lingering toothpaste. He doesn’t want to bring it up before dinner either—if Namjoon ends up becoming self-conscious, their friends will notice immediately. And even more so, considering the fact Jimin had run into Jungkook while effectively running away from Namjoon yesterday, he’ll be the first to pipe up and ask what’s wrong. Jimin grimaces, spitting out the water and straightening his back.

That settles it then . He stares at his reflection, running a hand through his bedridden faded purple hair as he nods, determined.

He’ll confront Namjoon. After Friday night dinner.

A staunch atheist, Jimin proceeds to curse every deity above and below when Namjoon steps out of his room dressed in skinny jeans and a button-up shirt tucked into his waistband. Like this, his legs look miles long, and when he passes Jimin, who’s sitting on the couch also fully dressed, his ass is so pronounced Jimin momentarily considers reclaiming his Christian upbringing if only for the satisfaction of denouncing it in order to worship Namjoon’s ass like a fucking false idol.

“You look good,” Jimin calls, throat dry. Namjoon looks back, smiling as he rifles through the fridge, pulling out the bottles of soju and cans of beer they’d purchased on Wednesday. He shuts the door with a kick of his foot, arms laden with alcohol as he waddles to set everything down on the coffee table.

“Thanks,” he says. “Alright, ready for the bag now.”

Jimin almost doesn’t hear him. He’d been staring at Namjoon’s thighs, the size of overgrown watermelons, encased in black denim. He looks up as Namjoon begins arranging everything on the table, face warm for fear of being caught. He scoots forward on the couch, his smile charming as he holds open the bag for the drinks. Namjoon flashes a quick smile then starts lifting the bottles and cans into the bag. In the meantime, while Namjoon works to load the bag with focus like when he plays Tetris, Jimin runs over the night’s game plan for a tenth time.

Step one: enjoy a lovely dinner at Hoseok’s and Taehyung’s that’ll ultimately end with at least one of them (probably Jungkook) drunk off their ass.

Step two: come back home, hopefully still with enough sober wherewithal to collect his thoughts.

Step three: (somehow) find the courage to finally accost Namjoon about his working out. 

About his ass , which is currently facing but walking away from Jimin. 

Jimin snaps out of his head, noticing only then that Namjoon’s finished filling the bag and now stands at the front door, shoes on, keys in hand, and an amused grin on his face.

“Anytime now,” he says, giving the keys a quick shake in Jimin’s direction.

Jimin’s sure that, if he weren’t in the midst of the worst gay panic of his life, he’d be a bit more annoyed. As it stands, he scrambles off the couch, heading to the front door as he shoots Namjoon a one-eyed glare.

“You just let me sit there staring off at nothing?” Jimin says accusingly, squatting to stuff his feet in his boots and zip up the sides.

Namjoon’s grin stretches wider, his cheeks bunching up under his eyes so his dimples show like holes in dough, and Jimin’s heart stutters. “To be fair, you were really cute,” Namjoon admits, offering a hand to help Jimin up. Now standing—now close to Namjoon, now effectively holding hands with Namjoon—Jimin shoulders the bag of drinks and huffs, puffing out his cheeks in hopes it’ll hide the flushing of his face.

You were really cute . You were really cute. You were really cute .

Though Namjoon’s told him exactly that more times than either of them can count—casually because of their friendship and mostly to give Jimin an opportunity to preen under the praise—something about this time has a different weight to it. As they make their way down, riding the elevator to the lobby, and heading outside to the parking lot, Jimin finds himself smiling to himself as he thinks, He said you were cute.

Because Jimin intends to get partially drunk while Namjoon doesn’t—likely because of his pilates the following day, Jimin realizes with a panicked suppressed whimper—they climb into Namjoon’s car. Jimin reaches for the radio, switching over to the aux as Namjoon backs out of his parking spot. Within the time it takes them to get out onto the road, Jimin’s turned on Namjoon’s specially curated driving playlist, just barely blasting the latest song from their favorite girl group.

Music out of the way, Jimin settles back into his seat, the bag of drinks sat in his lap. He’s grateful for it, primarily because it hides the steady boner he’d been rocking the moment he’s seen Namjoon step out of his room.

Speaking of…

Jimin can’t help glancing out the corner of his eye towards Namjoon, taking a moment to really... examine his roommate. For the party, he’s styled his hair so that his bangs, which normally hang down nearly into his eyes, are pushed up and back, exposing his forehead. This close— almost too close—Jimin’s eyes can trace Namjoon’s profile, the curve of his Adam's apple, the slope his nose, the length of his neck. As he drives, Namjoon props an arm up by his window, steering with one-handed, making the veins and muscles of his exposed tricep more pronounced. Namjoon looks... older. More his age. Less soft around the edges “Joonie-ah” who whines when he can’t have syrup on his pancakes. More intimidatingly hot grad student Kim Namjoon who carries a Hydro Flask and does Pilates .

Jimin’s eyes flick down, and it’s then that he notices the design of blue cartoon whales on Namjoon’s shirt, lit up by the streetlights from outside as they pass underneath them.

Jimin gulps and looks away, suddenly overwhelmed by the frankly ridiculous combination of sheer sex appeal and adorable allure that radiates from Kim Namjoon like he’s a fucking furnace.  

They pull up to their friends’ apartment soon enough, exiting the car and heading straight for the building. When they walk, their hands swing between them, and Jimin fights the impulse to reach out and playfully interlock fingers. Namjoon wouldn’t think anything of it, but Jimin wouldn’t be able to control—or explain—the flush of his face.

“You feeling okay?” Namjoon asks once they’re on the elevator up, having been silent the entire drive and walk to the building.

Jimin looks up suddenly, eyes wide. “Yeah, just, uh —” It’s there on the tip of his tongue, the urge to just forgo his ridiculous plan and confront Namjoon right then and there. But, Jimin bites the inside of his cheek instead, waving a hand dismissively. “Just a lot on my mind. School, mostly.”

Namjoon’s eyebrows come together for a moment, but he doesn’t press further. He instead wordlessly reaches out to gently interlock their pinkies, dropping them just as the doors to the elevator open up on the right floor. Jimin steps out first, rushing ahead with an only mild fear of tripping over his own two feet.

Too close .

When he arrives at Taehyung and Hoseok’s apartment door, he doesn’t even bother knocking, entering the code he’s long since memorized. As the lock beeps and disengages, Jimin feels Namjoon’s presence behind him. He pushes down the handle, ignoring the full body trembling, and swings open the door.

Baby has arrived! ” he screeches, stepping into the apartment. The scent of cooking food greets him, along with a raucous cheer from the living room. They’re the last to have arrived, everyone else splayed out in various spots around the apartment. Seokjin and Jungkook are on the couch, elbowing each other as they play some racing game. Yoongi and Taehyung are in the kitchen, each with their arms laden with plates and cups to set out on the island. Hoseok, meanwhile, is bounding up, launching himself at Jimin before he’d even noticed him.

“You’re both late,” Hoseok says, looping an arm around Jimin’s neck and turning them both to face Namjoon. He’s entered the apartment now, looking around in amusement as he slips off his shoes.

“Traffic,” Namjoon says simply with a shrug.

Hoseok glares. “Well, traffic made us hold off until you both got here, so I’m fucking starving .” With that, he practically leaps away, leaving Jimin standing, facing Namjoon, clutching the bag of drinks. Namjoon holds out his arms and Jimin thankfully passes it off, dropping to unzip his shoes. When Namjoon steps past him, heading for the kitchen with the drinks, Jimin finally lets himself release the breath he’d been holding.

Barefoot now, Jimin enters the apartment, heading straight for the couch. He plops between Seokjin and Jungkook, who barely pay him any mind as they continue their game. Jimin knows it vaguely—knows he’s bad at it vividly—and he watches their character race around the track until one of them crosses the finish line first.

Seokjin throws down his controller with an aggravated cry as Jungkook leans back, arms wide and smile proud, basking in his win.

“That’s not fair! I’m older than you, you’re supposed to let me win!” Seokjin yells, glaring at Jungkook.

“Get better at the game and I won’t have to let you do anything,” says Jungkook, sticking out his tongue as he exits the victory screen.

Seokjin looks close to leaping over Jimin to strangle the other man but holds off instead to simply stand up from the couch, mumbling about getting a beer as he stomps to the kitchen.

“Stop acting like a kid, hyung!” Jimin calls after him, a laugh bubbling up in his chest as Seokjin whips around to shoot him the stink-eye now.

“No respect around here,” Seokjin whines, falling dramatically against the fridge. Yoongi passes by him, checking him with his hip and cackling when Seokjin splutters in shock. “And now my own boyfriend?

“If you’re all done yelling,” Taehyung says, his smile giddy. “Dinner’s ready!” He punctuates his announcement with a dramatic popping of the cork on a bottle of champagne, just like Jimin had taught him.

Like the hoard of college students they are, they all descend on the kitchen, letting Seokjin fill his plate first to quiet his begrudging whining. Once they’ve all served themselves, they return to the living room, taking their respective spots—Seokjin and Yoongi take the coffee table, Hoseok and Taehyung squeeze themselves to sit in the armchair near the kitchen, and Jungkook plops down on the opposite side of the couch from Namjoon, leaving the space between them the only place left for Jimin to sit.

Still in the kitchen, clutching his plate and a wine glass of peach soju, Jimin decides that if there is a God, she’s full of spite and utter pettiness.

He slowly makes his way over, sitting between Jungkook and Namjoon as Taehyung works to get the TV changed for the watching of a movie. Because of the size of the couch, Jimin’s thigh is flush with Namjoon’s, his nerves seemingly extra sensitive to the brush of denim against denim. While he eats, he feels every shift and adjustment either of them makes to get more comfortable. On any previous night, Jimin would just move to sit in Namjoon’s lap, entirely unbothered because it’s just Namjoon , especially as the night stretched on and everyone became drunker.

Now, though, just Namjoon is offering to refill Jimin’s glass— when had he even finished it? he wonders with a start—and smiling at him in that stupid perfect Namjoon-way, eyes twinkling and his slightly deeper left dimple just begging to be poked.

Jimin swallows hard, nodding as he hands Namjoon his glass.

As Namjoon heads to the kitchen, Jimin’s body sags, releasing all of the previously held tension as he sinks further into the couch. The soju is already taking effect, his arms feeling loser and heavier as he lifts his hands to his head, running his fingers through his hair.

Jiminie-hyung .” Jungkook leans over, voice a loud whisper.

Jimin frowns. “You know you don’t have to whisper.”

“I meant to ask about work yesterday,” Jungkook says. Suddenly, Jimin’s fingers go icy numb. He glances towards the kitchen. Namjoon’s still occupied with refilling, and everyone else around them is engrossed with the start of the movie.

“What about it?” Jimin asks quickly but still cautiously.

“Well, you sorta...ran off before I got the chance to say hi,” Jungkook grumbles, voice taking on a whiny slurred tone. Jimin finally looks towards him, unsurprised to see his cheeks flushed a dusty red and eyes half-lidded. Of course, he’s already drunk , Jimin thinks, amused. “Were you running from an ex or something?”

Jimin opens his mouth, mind racing. He glances out of the corner of his eye, and his heart leaps to his throat when he sees Namjoon approaching from the kitchen. He looks back to Jungkook. “Remember that one guy I dated last year? The fucker who dumped me on New Years?” he says, beyond relieved to hear that his voice remains steady.

Jungkook blinks owlishly, then nods. Jimin, figuring he’s managed to spin the lie well enough to convince the lightweight, then smiles in that way he knows never fails to charm the other man speechless. “Saw him using one of the ellipticals,” he says then with a simple shrug, sinking further into the couch.

“Hyung, I could—”

“Jungkook,” Jimin rushes to say as Namjoon takes a seat on the other side of him. “It’s okay. Drop it, yeah?” For added measure, he gently pats Jungkook’s cheek, a move that literally anyone but Jungkook would find condescending, to encourage him to turn his head and refocus on the movie.

“I miss much?” Namjoon asks, drawing Jimin’s attention back to him. He’s returned with their refilled glasses and the half-empty bottle of soju, stretching forward to set them out on the table beside everyone’s abandoned plates. When Namjoon leans back to hand Jimin his glass, their fingers brush and Jimin’s spine threatens to shoot straight out of the top of his head like a geyser.

Is this what having a crush feels like? Jimin thinks, frowning down into his drink. He proceeds to throw back half of it in one gulp, grimacing against the almost sickly sweet taste before immediately tipping his glass to swallow the rest. Fucking limbic brain.

The next few moments of the night pass in a peach-flavored blur. The movie they’re watching is in English, so Jimin tunes most of it out in favor of drinking steadily, refilling his glass the moment it empties. At some point, Jungkook slumps to fall against Jimin’s shoulder, out cold and shifting with gentle snores. In doing so, Jimin realizes belatedly that he’s somewhat trapped in place until at least the end of the movie.

This is fine , Jimin tells himself. Connecting coherent thoughts to his noodly limbs has grown difficult due to the sheer amount of soju he’s had, but he knows that at the very least, this means he’s less fixated on the press of Namjoon’s thigh against his or the way Namjoon’s profile looks just as good—if not better—as it had in the car or how Namjoon’s tongue occasionally flicks out to wet his lips where they sit full and lush and fucking—fucking generous yet somehow unkissed. This is fine, I’m fine, I’ve got this.

That is, until, at about halfway through the movie, Namjoon suddenly leans over.

“You’re not even watching,” he whispers, tone teasing.

Though Jimin’s body freezes, his mouth, pointedly, does not.

“‘Cause ‘s in English,” Jimin whispers back, only mildly startled by how severely he’s slurring his words.

“Want me to translate?” Namjoon asks, lips and breath tickling the shell of Jimin’s ear.

It’s just their game. That’s all. Namjoon’s not serious, that hint of flirting in his tone isn’t serious because that’s the game , this is fine, this is fine—

Jimin’s dick— the traitorous fucker —presses hard against the inside of his jeans. He shifts in place, unable to get up because of Jungkook sleeping on his shoulder and the knowledge that standing up absolutely will draw attention to his Namjoon-induced boner.

So he remains sitting, turns his head to look Namjoon in the eye, and attempts a combative smirk as he nods.

In hindsight, Jimin realizes he’s doomed himself. As the movie trudges on (and by God , does it trudge), Namjoon’s voice only seems to grow deeper, translating the occasional snippet of dialogue so close that he has to fight off the sudden intrusive compulsion to stick his ear in Namjoon’s mouth. With every translated phrase, Jimin somehow grows harder in his jeans, reaching the point of near pain, and internally curses the now embarrassing responsiveness of his body to literally anything Namjoon does.

By now, he’s finished the bottle of soju Namjoon had brought—the bottle, he notices, only he had had anything to drink from—and he’s more than buzzed enough to repeatedly forget the presence of the rest of their friends in the room if it weren’t for the occasional shift of Jungkook on his shoulder. For just the briefest of moments, he lets his eyes fall shut, lets his body finally fully relax, lets himself imagine that it is just them—back at their apartment, curled up on the couch, leaning into one another, so close, too close yet somehow not close enough.

His head falls to lean on Namjoon’s shoulder. He hears the way Namjoon’s voice catches for a moment, before resuming, gentler and smooth like a lullaby.

When the movie ends, someone claps loudly, jolting Jimin out of the sleep he’d fallen into. He sits up, his head muddy as Hoseok stands up from his chair with an exaggerated sigh.

“Tae I love you, but someone else has to be in charge of picking the movie for next week,” he says, raising his arms above his head to stretch. Still sitting down, Taehyung lands a hearty slap right on his boyfriend’s bony ass. Hoseok yelps face betrayed as he whips around, shrieking, “Like half of us fell asleep!”

On the ground by the coffee table, Seokjin twists around to face the couch, mouth curled up in a mischievous grin. “Not all of us,” he says, giving Jimin a presumptive eyebrow raise. Jimin still hasn’t fully detached himself from Namjoon, not even if Jungkook now sitting up and rubbing at his eyes. On one hand, he needs to move because while they’re close, he and Namjoon have never really been “one-half drunkenly cuddling in what looks non-platonic while on our best friend’s couch” close.

On the other...

World, cold and hard . Jimin thinks, snuggling closer to Namjoon with a barely suppressed petulant whine. Namjoon, warm and soft .

“He’s drunk, leave him be,” Yoongi says, standing up next. He picks up the empty bottle of soju. “He managed to finish off one whole bottle himself.”

“Namjoon-ah, you feeling okay? You look a little pale,” Taehyung says suddenly, effectively halting their lighthearted teasing.

Jimin lifts his head enough to peer up at Namjoon’s face. He’s staring ahead, jaw clenched so hard that a vein pops from his neck.

“Namjoo—” Jimin starts.

Bathroom ,” Namjoon says, voice tight. He’s gentle as he pushes Jimin back to sit upright but practically explodes out of his seat as he makes a break for the bathroom.

Somehow— somehow —it’s just the push Jimin needs.

He mumbles under his breath about wanting to be sure he’s okay, then stands and wobble-sprints after his roommate. He manages to stay upright using the wall as support, making his way down the absurdly long hallway of the apartment to catch up with Namjoon. 

When he sees him, standing just outside the bathroom, Jimin speeds up. His head is spinning by the time he reaches Namjoon, who appears frozen in place. When Jimin grabs his arm, he looks up, eyes wide and round. They hold eye-contact for a beat, a tense beat, then before Jimin can let rational thought rear its head, he’s dragging Namjoon away from the bathroom door and towards the open door to a bedroom.

He unceremoniously shoves Namjoon inside, shutting the door behind him and flicking the lock. This way, no one can interrupt them. This way, they have all the time in the world.

Now inside the room—the guest room, Jimin notices, going by the properly made sheets on the bed—something in the tension suddenly snaps.

“Jimin, I really—”

“Namjoon, it’s—”

They speak at the same time, cutting each other off and throwing the room back into silence.

Namjoon nods towards Jimin. “You first.”

Jimin shakes his head.

Namjoon looks ready to oppose but ultimately doesn’t, sighing as he begins wringing his hands.

“I didn’t—I didn’t mean to...run like that,” Namjoon starts. He sighs. “God, it feels like all we’ve been doing the past week is apologize to each other over shit.” He’s avoiding Jimin’s eyes, staring at his feet, his hands, the wall, at anything but Jimin. “I feel like I keep...pushing myself on you? Like, flirting and stuff which isn’t fair to you ‘cause we’re—I mean, we’re roommates , and it’s not that it’s weird , it’s just that you have a life outside of our friendship and it’s kinda shitty of me to think that means I can just—” He gestures with wild, vague flailing. “—just take advantage of that—”

“You’re not taking advantage of me,” Jimin says, his voice steady and clear.

Namjoon’s mouth snaps shut as he looks at Jimin incredulously. “Jimin, are you kidding? From last Saturday to today —”

“But you’re not,” Jimin says, doubling down, feeling as close to sober as when he’d first entered the apartment. “You’re not.”

“Jimin—”

“God, Namjoon, you’re so—you’re so smart but so fucking... dumb too.” Jimin finally comes away from the door, taking slow and careful steps forward in contrast to the rising heat in his voice. “How are you so fucking dense to not notice how I’ve been practically salivating over you for the entire fucking week? That apology on Monday about last Saturday? When I went to the bathroom while watching that one fucking movie? I went to jerk off because I was so fucking—fucking turned on by you in my ear translating, which is fucking bonkers because we do that all the time, and it’s not even like you were saying sexy shit, it was just fucking shitty American dialogue and yet now I get—” Jimin stops himself from going any further down that tangent, before continuing. “And Thursday, when I got home from work? Like yeah, I seemed angry at you about being naked in our living room, but it was just to—to hide the fact I’d felt a rush of confused aroused excitement so vivid that I’m positive I’ll never feel it ever again in my fucking life.” Despite the clarity of his words, Jimin knows he’s still very much drunk by his uncontrollable rambling. He’s now nearly chest to chest with Namjoon, able to reach out and jab a finger against Namjoon’s sternum with how close— but not close enough —they are. “ You and your perfect fucking Pilates body have been waging a war on my very existence ever since last Saturday, and it’s fucking shameful that you graduated with a minor in psychology yet have been completely oblivious to my obvious pining.” With that, Jimin finishes with another pointed, hard accusatory jab at Namjoon’s chest.

Namjoon stares down at Jimin, stunned. “So...you’re mad at me?” he asks, voice thin.

A noise like an enraged snarl builds in Jimin’s throat, exploding out as he yells, “ No, you idiot, I like you!

Silence, louder than any of Jimin’s rant, overtakes the room.

“...What?” Namjoon gapes.

Jimin blinks, taken aback as the reality of what he’d said sets in.

I like you.

I like you.

I like you. I like you. I like—

Oh... ” Jimin says slowly, the truth of the matter fully ingraining itself, digging like claws deep into his chest. He looks up, blinking in surprise, any and all frustration induced anger evaporating in an instant. “I like you, Joonie-ah.” Saying it again makes it more real, less shocking, more obvious from the get-go.

“Jimin,” Namjoon says, voice panicked. “Jimin, you’re—you’re just drunk—”

“I mean, if I’m being really honest with myself, I think I’ve liked you... wow , for three years now?” Jimin continues, the drunken slurring returning to his voice. He frowns. Now that the anger from earlier has passed, his brain returns to its previous state of muddled, making his tongue loose and the effort to focus on a specific moment in his memory difficult. “I dunno, I guess I thought it was just me liking you, you know, like a friend ‘cause we’re so close and then we became roommates and you’re not supposed to crush on your roommate, but now that like...you’re hot and stuff and I’ve been freaking about it all week like I said, I’m realizing waaiiit , I liked you the whole time!”

With the full admission out of the way, Jimin collapses forward, directly into Namjoon’s chest. Immediately, like a reflex, Namjoon’s arms come up to catch him, holding him up as Jimin realizes that he’s face-first in Namjoon’s chest . If he didn’t feel close to puking, he’d revel in that fact more.

The silence stretches on, Namjoon apparently rendered speechless. His arms around Jimin shift, allowing his hands to reach and start gently rubbing Jimin’s back. The action is familiar, comforting, immediately calming Jimin enough to relax, sagging forward even more.

Finally, Namjoon sucks in a breath.

“...So this all started because I threw out my back during that one hookup?”

Jimin feels his body shaking before he registers his own laughter. His arms, which had been hanging loose at his sides, come up to wrap around Namjoon’s middle, hugging him tight. He shoves his face harder against Namjoon’s chest, muffling himself when he says, “Yeah. Your bad back is the reason I like you.”

“That’s…” Namjoon starts, eventually trailing off. Namjoon’s hands continue their gentle stroking, lulling Jimin.

“Do you...Do you wanna lie down and sleep some?” Namjoon says after some time. Jimin blinks slowly, yawning at the mere mention of sleep. He looks over Namjoon’s shoulder toward the bed.

“Like…” Jimin mutters, looking back to Namjoon’s face, “together, or—?”

“No! N— ah , no I meant, you sleep, er , by yourself,” Namjoon stammers, holding Jimin away at an arm's length. His hands are tense on Jimin’s shoulders, but he eventually relaxes with a heavy sigh. “So you can rest and sober up a little before we head out, I mean.”

Jimin wants to protest, but a second yawn cuts him off, his eyelids suddenly heavier as sleep threatens to pull him under. He meets Namjoon’s eyes with a small tired nod. And, because he’s drunk and he’s riding the high of confessing to one of his friends, he raises his arms and quietly asks, “Carry me?”

The way Namjoon’s face even further relaxes with a smile makes something in Jimin’s chest kick at his ribcage. Namjoon proceeds to scoop Jimin up —effortlessly , Jimin notices with flutter of his heart and throb of his dick—and princess-carry him over to the edge of the bed. He sets Jimin down, then gets to work pulling the covers over him. The entire time, Jimin stares up at Namjoon, starry-eyed, tracing the features of his face, noting the swell of his biceps, noticing so much all at once because like this they’re close— so close —and, Jimin decides , not close enough in the slightest.

“There,” says Namjoon, stepping back to examine his work with a satisfied smile. “Comfy?”

Jimin, blanket up to his chin, shifts until he’s lying flat on his back. Now that he’s lying down, it’s become exponentially more difficult to fight off sleep, his eyelids struggling to even remain open as he looks to Namjoon and nods.

“I’ll come back in a little bit with some water for when you wake up,” Namjoon says, already turning to leave. And as he does, Jimin’s hand reaches out, snagging his wrist.

“Joonie.”

Namjoon looks back, not startled, just questioning, eyebrows raised.

“Do you like me?” Jimin says, after a moment of racking his brain, floundering for something...something better , more poetic, less straightforward and desperate, before settling on that simplistic phrase.

Do you like me?

Namjoon doesn’t hesitate—his body language doesn’t speak to hesitation, but more consideration as his eyes and face both soften. Slowly, carefully, he uses his free hand to tug Jimin’s hand from his wrist, before interlocking their pinkies. He does the final step of bringing their thumbs together, holding for a beat, then another, then another before leaning down to press a chaste kiss to Jimin’s forehead.

If the room hadn’t been silent, Jimin’s sure he would have missed the soft, “ so, so much ,” Namjoon whispers against his skin, punctuating it with a second shorter kiss.

I like you.

So, so much.

This time, when Namjoon walks into their apartment Saturday morning, towel slung across his shoulders and ass encased in those ridiculous tiny shorts, Jimin’s sat on the couch, scrolling through an article on his phone. He looks up right when Namjoon passes him by, muttering a tired, " hey ," as he makes his way to the hallway. From this height and angle, Jimin is perfectly positioned to casually reach out and pinch one of Namjoon’s ass cheeks.

Namjoon doesn't jump. He looks over his shoulder, shooting Jimin an amused, maliceless glare, as he mumbles, “I’m getting you back for that later.” Jimin snickers to himself, returning to his phone as the door to Namjoon’s room shuts.

The previous night, after leaving Friday night dinner, they'd returned to their apartment only for Jimin to throw up in their kitchen sink and then immediately pass out for the night in his room. When he'd woken up that morning, blissful and without a hangover, he'd reached for his phone, startled to see message after message from Namjoon.

 

From: nya:3mjoon

we're okay, right? after what happened at dinner

i hope u sleep well <3

hey, hope u slept well

i have pilates this morning again…

alright, headin' out, i made pancakes and left some for u in the fridge.  see u in a bit <3

 

Jimin had rubbed at one of his eyes, a small smile on his face as he'd typed back his reply.

 

From: jamjam the man-man

yeah, joonie, we're okay. also thank u for pancakes c;

 

And so they're now settling into... this . The new Them. The “Post Drunken-Rant/Confession-on-Behalf-of-Park-Jimin” Them. And it's been easy thus far. When Namjoon comes out of his room later, freshly showered and bangs flopped over his forehead, Jimin scooches over to make room for him to lie beside him without a word. When Jimin eventually sets aside his phone in favor of looping arms around Namjoon, he allows himself to stick his face in the top of Namjoon's hair, taking in a deep sniff of damp watermelon scent from his scalp. When Namjoon, finally , gains the courage to reach out, wrapping his arms around Jimin's waist so they can cuddle just like that, something warm blooms inside Jimin's chest.

They're not dating, Jimin thinks. They hadn't been able to discuss anything even related to that the previous night or in the morning, and for some reason, Jimin can't think of any real good time to bring up the elephant in the room. They're not dating, but they could be, they might as well be, and—if Jimin's honest with himself—he desperately wants to be.

The rest of the day leading up to movie night is just as casual. They eventually get up from the couch—Namjoon to head to campus to grade papers and Jimin to pick up a shift at the gym teaching hip hop—but stay hugging for a long moment even after they stand just because they can. Just because they want to.

So close.

Not close enough .

When movie night does roll around, Jimin having returned from work exhausted and his body loose from running the hot yoga class, Namjoon offers to organize everything like the fucking gentleman he is. Jimin sleeps while Namjoon orders their dinner, and by the time he's awake, Namjoon's set everything out on the coffee table and is in the process of picking out a movie. Jimin pads out into the living room, yawning as he waves with a hand completely swallowed by the sleeve of his—aka Namjoon's —sweatshirt.

"Remind me to never pick up a shift after Friday night dinner," Jimin groans, plopping unceremoniously onto his side of the couch, legs curled underneath him.

"Thought you never wake up hungover," Namjoon teases, still flicking through titles.

Jimin rubs at his temples. "I don't but that doesn't mean I was ready for fifty minutes of sitting in downward dog in a literal sauna."

“Oh you poor baby,” Namjoon snorts, glancing at Jimin as he reaches for a wine glass and the bottle of Moscato. "What're you feeling like watching tonight, then?"

Jimin tops off his glass, setting the bottle back on the table then sitting back with his drink, eyes scanning the movie options. " Hmm... that one." He stretches out a leg, pointing with his big toe to a movie with a striking display poster.

" Pretty sure that one's in English," Namjoon says when he moves to highlight the movie.

Jimin moves his leg to gently kick Namjoon. "Don't you remember. I've been practicing. "

Namjoon exhales a chuckle, selecting the movie without another word and reaching to grab his food.

Jimin makes it all of ten minutes before he leans over.

" Joonie-ah ."

" Hmm? "

When Namjoon turns his head to look Jimin in the eye, Jimin suddenly finds it hard to breathe.

Close.

" Um... " Jimin mutters.

He knows it’s obvious when his eyes flick down to look at Namjoon's lips. Namjoon’s full lips. Soft. Generous. Currently unkissed. When he looks back to Namjoon's eyes, they've grown dilated to the point of being wholly black.

"Jimin, can I—"

Jimin doesn't bother letting Namjoon finish. He surges forward, canting his head slightly to one side as he presses their lips together in a quick, chaste, but heated kiss. Every inch of his skin lights up like he's on fire, and Jimin's eyes fly open with a start when he does pull back, mouth open around heavy pants.

"Sorry, I—"

Before Jimin realizes what's happening, one of Namjoon's arms is around his waist, tugging him forward to crawl into Namjoon's lap. Out of habit, Jimin resituates himself to sit straddling Namjoon's legs, his arms coming up for his hands to grasp the back of the couch as Namjoon tilts his head down and tugs him into another kiss.

This one is frantic, deeper, desperation from both of them feeding into the kiss to send a shudder straight down Jimin's spine. He's never—never been kissed like this , like both of them want nothing more than to melt under the heat until they can mix into one.

One of Jimin's hands lifts off the couch to latch on Namjoon's hair, pushing his head forward so when their mouths part against each other, Jimin's tongue slips inside with ease. He feels dizzy, lightheaded, and Namjoon's mouth tastes like the strawberry wine they’d been drinking.

"N-Nam—" Jimin gasps when they pull back for the barest of moments to catch their breaths. Namjoon takes the opportunity to press sloppy open-mouthed kisses against the column of Jimin's throat, the underside of his jaw, the exposed jut of his collarbones, anywhere he can reach.

"Is this—Can I—?" Namjoon asks, all of his half-formed questions that get caught in his mouth as he presses kiss after kiss to Jimin's skin. His hands, which had been resting comfortably on Jimin's waist, slip as Jimin repositions himself, slip down to ever-so-gently caress Jimin's ass. " Jimin , please , can—?"

"Yeah, yeah." Jimin feels a whine edge out of him, using his grip on Namjoon's hair to drag him into another kiss. In between quick kisses, Jimin begs, " Please, please, Namjoon. "

Namjoon’s hands are gentle when they begin kneading Jimin’s ass, in complete contrast to the way he kisses. Jimin arches up, lets their chest press against one another, then yelps when Namjoon mercilessly spanks his ass. Hard .

So this is what kissing Kim Namjoon is like.

Jimin’s fully aware of how hard he is, but equally aware of the fact that they won’t hook up tonight as much as both of them want to. That’s not how either of them is, not when they’re still trying to figure out the new status of their relationship to one another as it is. Roommates, obviously. Friends, definitely. No strings attached fuckmates, possibly. Boyfriends—

The mere thought makes Jimin’s chest tighten, with dread or excitement he doesn’t know.

“Do you—?” Namjoon asks, pulling Jimin out of his head. “D-D’you wanna stop?”

“Huh?”

Jimin hadn’t even noticed that he’d practically stopped kissing Namjoon, allowing the other man to resume pressing kisses to every part of Jimin he can reach. He’s stopped now too, watching Jimin with a worried expression despite how flushed his face is and bruised his lips are.

“We can stop,” Namjoon says firmly. “We— uh , I don’t wanna keep going if you don’t—”

“No, it’s okay, just…” Jimin trails off. Namjoon’s still watching him, hands returned to rest on Jimin’s waist while he struggles to formulate his thoughts. It’s not fair, Jimin decides, how perfect Namjoon is. If he’s not careful, Jimin knows he’s riled up enough to start crying.

Jimin finally sighs, leaning forward to simply hug Namjoon. “I like you a lot,” he says simply, dumbly.

Namjoon relaxes beneath him, thumbs rubbing circles at his exposed hips. “I like you too.”

“We should talk about... us in a few days, I think.”

“That sounds good.”

“‘Cause I don’t want our friendship to get messed up, but also, I really wanna date you.”

Namjoon chuckles, a hearty noise that jostles Jimin ever so slightly where he’s hugging Namjoon’s chest. “If it’s any consolation to you, I also really wanna date you.”

Shhh , we’re supposed to talk about this later,” Jimin mumbles.

“Oh, right, right,” Namjoon says, his voice just as gentle, just as quiet.

In the background, the movie continues playing. Jimin’s nose twitches, picking up the smell of their still untouched dinner on the coffee table. If he’s honest with himself, he’d like to finish the bottle of wine, and then turn in early so he can enjoy his day off tomorrow.

Jimin sits back, leveling a soft look at Namjoon. His roommate looks up at him with a reverence Jimin knows he doesn’t deserve, his eyes still dilated, his lips ridiculously bruised, his face still tinged the faintest shade of pink. All because of Jimin.

Silently, Jimin leans in, cupping Namjoon’s face gently as he tilts the other man’s head back to fit their mouths together in a slow, deep kiss. When they break apart, Jimin leans their foreheads together.

“We’ll talk about it,” Jimin says, his eyes squeezed shut as he sighs, releasing a week’s worth of tension all at once.

Namjoon nods. One of his hands lifts off Jimin’s hip, moving up to gently curl around the back of Jimin’s hand. He pulls Jimin’s hand from his face, detaching slowly, finger by finger. He interlocks their pinkies. Jimin brings their thumbs together.

“We’ll talk about it,” Namjoon repeats.

It’s only, finally , then that Jimin Notices—

We’ll talk about it , they both agree, locking together their pinkies.

I promise.