“I’m thinking of going to Paris.”
Jungkook is working on his computer when Jimin announces that. Jimin has been talking about something for a while, and as much as Jungkook wants to listen, the song he is working on truly captured his attention more than his boyfriend—which is rare—but work is work and it has to be done. Except that comment does steal his attention, and after taking one headphone out, he turns to Jimin who lies on Jungkook’s bed, eyes glued to his phone as he scrolls through the screen.
“You’re thinking of what?” Jungkook asks.
“Going to Paris.” Jimin answers, lifting his head so their eyes can meet, “At the end of August.”
Jimin nods, a proud expression spreading on his face. “I’ve always wanted to do some solo traveling, sight-see on my own and I thought now would be a good time to do it.”
Jungkook smiles at the older, fondness filling his chest. Jimin has always been a free soul, unable to be tied down in one place for too long, always longing to go out and see more and experience more. Jungkook is the exact opposite, preferring to stay in one place if he can help it, a bit of a homebody, but he’s happy that Jimin is using their break time to do what he wants. He deserves one after all the hard work he’s been giving, and it still amazes Jungkook that they can do things like this. Take vacations in other countries whenever they want, a dream that seemed impossible only a few years ago, and yet here they are.
“Well that should be fun. For how long?”
Jimin purses his lips for a moment, contemplating his next words like he always does. “I’m not sure. Maybe a week?”
A pit begins to grow in his stomach; if Jimin stays for too long, he might miss his birthday. Of course Jungkook wants Jimin to go and enjoy himself as much as he wants, and birthdays aren’t the biggest deal in the world, but he at least wants to spend it with his boyfriend. He almost asks him if he plans to come back on time, but when he looks in Jimin’s eyes and sees them twinkling in excitement, he buries it down instead. Not wanting to ruin Jimin’s plans or worry him, Jimin always puts others before himself, and he wants Jimin to focus on himself for once.
“Bring me back some croissants then.” He says instead, turning back to the computer on his desk.
Jimin breathes an airy laugh. “I can’t bring food through customs.”
“You’re not even willing to try, hyung?”
He can see from the corner of his eye, Jimin tossing his head back and laughing again. He loves making Jimin laugh, it makes him feel on top of the world. Soon enough, he feels arms wrap around his shoulders, and Jimin resting his chin on top of his head.
“I’ll miss you.” Jimin says softly, kissing his hair.
Jungkook lifts his head, looking back at the older. “You’re leaving me already?”
“Not yet,” Jimin corrects, “But when I do, I’ll miss you. I always do.”
Jungkook can’t help but snort. “You’re so cheesy. No wonder fans think we’re dating.”
Jimin scrutinizes him with his eyes, but he smiles nonetheless. “I think you’re the one giving us away—and we are dating.”
Warmth floods his cheeks, it’s been years but Jungkook feels like he will never be used to realizing he’s with Jimin—it’s just too good to be true. He hides a shy smile, the words I’ll miss you too lying on the tip of his tongue, but he finds himself saying instead, “I know.”
Jimin gazes back at him with nothing but love and adoration, and then he dives in to catch his lips in a kiss. Jungkook kisses his back sweetly, savoring every moment that Jimin is his and he is Jimin’s.
Sometimes people find love in the most unlikely of places. In all of his years of fantasizing about his perfect partner, Jungkook never imagined it would be with his bandmate two years his senior; someone who has seen him at his best, seen him at his worst, and who has been through every storm with him long enough to see the sun waiting on the other side. Although it took years of pining and misunderstandings and struggling, Jungkook never imagined he’d be able to call Jimin his one day, and yet here they are. He couldn’t ask for a better love story even if he tried.
♡ ♡ ♡
Times flies by and before Jungkook knows it, Jimin is boarding a plane to Paris and heads for adventure. Jimin seemed so excited before leaving for his trip, Jungkook was so happy to see him like that, already eager to hear his stories for when he returns. But that nagging, ugly feeling still lay in the pit of his stomach, the one reminding him that Jimin left a lot later in August than he expected, and he most definitely wouldn’t make it back on time for his birthday. He has to remind himself that it won’t matter once Jimin comes back and they can celebrate then, but the feeling remains.
He's such a shitty boyfriend sometimes.
“Hey, look Jiminie sent us a picture!” Hoseok calls out from the main room while Jungkook cooks himself ramen in the kitchen.
Jungkook takes out his phone from his back pocket and checks the Bangtan group chat. He finds that Jimin did indeed send him a picture of himself sight-seeing in Paris, and he smiles at the photo—Jimin looks too cute. The group chat gets flooded by messages from Taehyung and Hoseok commenting on it and Jimin responding quickly, but Jungkook messages Jimin privately.
Jungkook: you look good
Jimin: Thank you Kookie!
Jungkook: Have fun. Be safe.
Jimin: Of course I will <3
Jimin: I love you
Jungkook: I love you too
Feeling more assured that Jimin is well on his vacation, Jungkook puts his phone away, and retreats back to the living room to join Hoseok with his cup of ramen.
Hoseok smiles at him, “He looks like he’s having fun.” Jungkook nods, sitting down and beginning to slurp up his noodles like they’ll run away from him. But Hoseok continues, “You know who else should be having fun?”
Jungkook wipes the back of his mouth, chewing the food in his mouth and contemplating exactly who his hyung is referring to. Hoseok stares at him expectantly, a faint smile on his lips. “You know…someone who’s going to celebrate his 23rd birthday soon…?”
Oh. “Hyung, I already have plans with my family.”
“Yeah, but aren’t you doing something with them during the day? What about nighttime, huh?”
The younger practically rolls his eyes, but a smile is still plastered on his face. “What are you thinking?”
Hoseok leans in, the excitement leaping off of him and becoming contagious. “Why don’t we go out? Get some drinks, have some fun!” He winks at him, “It’s not everyday someone celebrates twenty-three.”
“No, you know I’m not good with things like that. Neither are you, by the way, you can’t even handle a shot of soju.”
“Well that may be true, but at least I didn’t get drunk on a vlive for millions of our fans to see.”
“I was not drunk, I was tipsy!” Jungkook insists, feeling a blush already reach his cheeks. He feels like he’s never going to be able to live down that night, the boys tease him relentlessly for it, even the fans. But it did make for great memes.
His defense makes Hoseok laugh, but really, almost anything could make him laugh so Jungkook goes back to stuffing his face with ramen. “Okay, okay, so no going out. But what about a small get together here, Jungkookie? Wouldn’t that be fun too?”
A small get together of friends would be nice. Jungkook knows the other Bangtan boys will probably be busy, but he could invite his other friends, and they could hang out and have some drinks and celebrate a fun night of Jungkook being twenty-three. It sounds amazing, but that feeling returns to his stomach, the one that craves to see a certain hyung with pretty eyes and a prettier smile.
He shakes it off, trying to get rid of that selfish part of him. They don’t always need to be together. Jimin is doing perfectly fine on his trip and Jungkook will enjoy himself on his birthday even if Jimin isn’t there. It’s the most he can do.
♡ ♡ ♡
If he thought the next few days would go smoothly, Jungkook was dead wrong. He’s awakened one particular morning to find his phone blown up with messages about videos and pictures spreading of Jimin on his trip, invading his privacy. No one should even know where he is and yet videos and pictures are being spread of him, and it makes Jungkook sick.
He knows the time difference is huge between the countries, but Jungkook keeps calling Jimin until he picks up, wanting to hear that he is truly alright.
It takes a few tries, but eventually Jimin picks up, “Kookie?”
“Hyung, are you alright? I saw—I saw the stuff people are putting online.”
Jimin sighs, but his voice sounds alright. “Yes, I’m fine. Sorry to worry, it’s just…I wasn’t careful enough—”
“You shouldn’t have to be careful. These people should leave you alone, not following you around all day.” Jungkook insists, feeling frustrated that he can’t help Jimin being so far away, but he’s not sure he would be able to help even if he was there.
“I know…But besides that, I’ve been having a really good time. I got to see a lot of things I haven’t been able to see while we were here on tour. I got to even hang out with locals and do some really fun things.” Jimin explains, a smile evident in his voice and it calms Jungkook’s heart. As long as Jimin is still enjoying himself, then that is all that matters.
Jungkook tells him, “I’m glad, Jimin. Just keep enjoying yourself, okay?”
“I will! And oh, Jungkookie, I know it’s only just been a little, but I miss you already.” His sweet voice says, and it’s enough to swell Jungkook’s heart to twice its size.
He wants to tell him he misses him too and wants to ask when he’ll back, but it brings back that unsettling feeling inside him, and he decides to ignore it. “It’s barely been any time at all, focus on your vacation, hyung.” He teases.
Jimin snorts on the other line, but he hears his smile when he replies, “Well I do anyway. Listen, I have to go, but I’ll talk to you later. Bye, Kookie.”
“Take care, Jiminie.”
And with that, they hang up, and although Jungkook feels more at peace knowing that Jimin is okay, that same nagging feeling remains, and he’s just about had it.
He busies himself for the next few days in working on music, hanging with friends, and enjoying his free time. His birthday rolls up sooner than later, and before he realizes it, it’s midnight of September 1st, and his phone is now blowing up with birthday messages.
Of course, Seokjin claims he beat everyone by wishing Jungkook a happy birthday three days before in case he “forgot,” but he still posted on Twitter just a little before midnight, remembering his birthday perfectly. It’s soon followed by Namjoon’s birthday tweet, then Yoongi’s, and even two birthday tweets from Hoseok. Their tweets on top of countless of birthday messages from his fans, so much love and celebration from the millions of armys, and he wishes he could drown in their love all day. They just always make his birthdays extra special.
He uses this chance to make a long thank you message to them, trying to express how grateful and happy he feels, but he’s afraid his words will never be enough. That’s why he shares with them a snippet of the song he is working on, hoping they will be just as excited as he is, and if by the sign of their explosive tweets mean anything, then he knows that they are too.
Jungkook goes to sleep easily that night. His heart fluttering from all the love he’s received during the night, and the rest of his birthday is still waiting ahead of him, it’s almost overwhelming, but he welcomes it. When morning comes, Jungkook wakes up to more birthday messages from his friends, families, and even Taehyung’s birthday tweet. But there is one message that really catches his attention, a certain tweet from his favorite hyung.
“Jungkook-ssi, happy birthday! Sincerely wish you a happy birthday and eat a lot of yummy food and live a long healthy life…let’s get a drink later!” Jimin says in the video, smiling beautifully and glowing under the Paris sun. The video immediately spreads a smile on his lips; Jimin is just too sweet, he could have sent a message or written a text like everyone else, but he really made a video to wish him a happy birthday. Jungkook feels like the luckiest man in the world. But then it hits him.
It was clearly the daytime in that video, so Jimin is still in France and really will miss his birthday. The ugly feeling returns, but this time it just makes him sad. He is happy that Jimin is having a good time, he just can’t shake that piece of him that wants Jimin here on his birthday. Now more than ever, he misses Jimin. He really does.
♡ ♡ ♡
Even if he feels down about Jimin, he spends the rest of his day with his family who are finally able to celebrate his birthday with him. They make him forget about his worries as they happily celebrate their youngest son, all gathering together for a meal at a nice restaurant.
His mother fusses about Jungkook’s long hair and how he should cut it, but Jungkook likes the current length, having no intention of cutting it anytime soon. It’s in the middle of the meal that his father asks, “So how are the other boys doing?”
Jungkook answers, “The others seem to be doing well. It looks like they’ve been going home and some have even gone on trips. Taehyung-hyung went on vacation with his actor friends and Namjoon-hyung is even in Europe.”
“And Jimin?” His father asks, a knowing look in his eye and Jungkook has to suppress a smile.
“Jimin-hyung is in Paris right now.”
“Oh well how nice!” His mother comments. But he doesn’t miss the sly smile that grows on his brother’s face, “Don’t tell me you miss him already.”
Jungkook looks back at the food on his plate, pushing it around with his chop sticks. “I mean…maybe a little.”
He’s met with a chorus of snickers from his family and he groans. His brother just says, “Don’t you see him basically every day? I’m sure you’ll survive a few days.”
“I know, it’s just that…today’s my birthday. So I’m just missing him a little extra is all.” Jungkook explains, but that was the thing about Jimin and all of the boys. Even if he sees them every day, he’s never tired of them because they’re a part of him. It feels so normal and right to have them by his side. And especially on a day like this, he misses them and Jimin most of all. He misses Jimin’s sweet voice and the way he always knows how to make him laugh and smile, he misses the euphoric feeling Jimin always gives him, making him feel happier than he ever thought he could be.
His mother rubs his hand reassuringly and his father smiles at him, “I’m sure he’s missing you too and will celebrate plenty with you when he comes back.”
Jungkook nods, knowing his father is right. And soon enough, the servers bring out a cake that his family requested, and they’re wishing him a happy birthday once again as he stares at the lit candle before him. His mother tells him to make a wish and he thinks for a moment, he wants so many things. He wants things to continue going well for BTS and for all of his hyungs, for his fans, for his friends and family, but there’s that small part rising inside of him again. A relentless flower that grows even in the cracks of rocks, one that blooms and yearns for the man he loves so much. And even though it may be selfish, it’s his birthday and he figure he’s allowed to be selfish on today of all days.
He leans in, blowing out the candle and wishing that he can see Jimin soon. Home just doesn’t feel like home without him.
Spending his birthday with his family was like a dream come true, and Jungkook returns to his apartment with a smile on his face and warmth in his chest. Once he opens the door, he finds an unexpected sight of his friends and Hoseok decorating his apartment with balloons and decorations. Hoseok turns around, in the middle of hanging a birthday banner, but drops it as he walks closer to Jungkook, a wide smile already on his face.
“Jungkookie, you’re back!” Hoseok says cheerfully, engulfing him into a big hug. “Happy birthday, my little bro!”
Jungkook laughs as he hugs Hoseok back. The rest of his friends come over too, greeting him with hugs and birthday wishes. Almost nothing could wipe the smile off of his face, being surrounded by loved ones feels so good, but he can’t help but wonder. “Wait hyung, how did all of you get inside my apartment?”
“Oh, I let them use my spare key.”
A soft voice fills his ears and Jungkook swears his heart almost stops. Looking past the rest of the boys, Jimin walks into the main room with that same sweet smile from the video. He holds bags of gifts in his hands and a champagne bottle, staying true to his word about that drink later.
His heart has never felt so full before. “You came back?”
Jimin smiles, “I wouldn’t miss your birthday for anything in the world.”
In just seconds Jungkook is halfway across the room and pulling Jimin into a hug, burying his face into Jimin’s neck, and mumbling softly. “I missed you too.”
Jimin wraps his arms around him, sighing contently. “I know.”
The rest of the night unfolds into one of the best birthdays Jungkook has ever had. Filled with laughter from all the boys, loud music from Hoseok’s playlist, endless champagne glasses from Jimin’s heavy pouring, and perhaps one too many gifts from his boyfriend. Jimin insists he wears one of the shirts he bought for him in France, and when Jungkook goes to his room to change, he pulls Jimin with him.
Jungkook quickly closes the door behind, hearing Jimin ask, “Why did you drag me in here, I was about to prepare the cake—” He doesn’t get to finish when Jungkook presses his lips against him, pulling him into a searing kiss.
He holds Jimin tight against him, feeling Jimin fist his shirt and kissing him back just as eagerly. It’s when he feels Jimin smile against his lips that he pulls back, finding the sight of Jimin’s beautiful smile. “Now that’s a greeting.”
The younger grins, leaning his forehead against his. “I’m just really happy you’re back. I really didn’t think you would, I mean you were away only for a few days.”
“Well it was a good few days, I got to see a lot of things and have a lot of fun…but I wanted to be here for you. It’s my Kookie’s birthday after all, it’s a special day.” Jimin says, voice soft and eyes softer.
Jungkook kisses his forehead and Jimin giggles, a blush reaching his cheeks. “Thank you for coming back. Thank you for making today just like you.”
The older tilts his head in confusion. “Like me how?”
“Amazing, like you.”
This time Jimin snorts. “Look who’s being cheesy now…Now try the shirt on, I want to see how it looks on you and I’m going to prepare the cake.”
Jimin is heading for the door when Jungkook calls out, “Jimin-ssi!” The older turns around, eyes wide in anticipation and Jungkook can only smile at him, “I love you.”
The smile first reaches his eyes and then spreads to the rest of his face until Jimin is beaming back at him like a beacon of light. “I love you too.”
With that he leaves and Jungkook changes into the white tank top, feeling fondness and love spread to every bone in his body. It shouldn’t be possible to be this happy, and yet here they are.
Afterwards, Jungkook goes back out to find the cake ready and everyone insisting he stand behind the table for pictures. He poses for what feels like a real photo shoot as everyone takes pictures, some of the boys jumping into frame, a few claiming they need videos, and Jungkook just wants to eat the cake already. Jimin keeps giggling over a filter he’s using and Jungkook has a bad feeling he is going to see it on Twitter later.
But eventually they light the candle, telling him to make a wish. Jungkook takes a look around him, they’re all gathered here today to celebrate his birthday, a day that doesn’t come often, but when it does, it sure does feel special. If being surrounded by some of his best friends, being celebrated by his family and hyungs, by the millions of fans out there, and by his boyfriend who flew over oceans just to see him on this day, then it must be pretty special. He doesn’t know what he did in a past life to receive such an amazing life filled with so much love and happiness, and even with all the hard times he’s faced and the harder times to come, everything just feels worth it when Jimin gazes back at him with all the love in the world.
Jungkook blows out the candle, but he doesn’t make a wish. Everything he wants has already come true.