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Perennial Scent

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“it’s you, you’re my soulmate!” 

this unknown man hugs him, burying his face into jimin’s neck. he freezes instantaneously. who is this person?! 

“s-sorry, do i know you?” he doesn’t even take the initiative to mask his upfront surprise and horror, straight up freaking out as this unknown person nuzzles into his neck, and it tickles. he flies into panic- not only are they on campus, but also, why is this boy hugging him? who exactly is he? is he trying to pickpocket him or something? things like this have been promulgating through the news these days.

jimin hasn’t even gotten a proper look at his face, only remembers a taller figure and a mop of black hair whizzing towards him. it’s not that he minds skinship, but it’s strange to do something so physical with a person he has barely even met, and has no forms of identification for.

“ah, i’m- sorry, i- your smell. you smell like nothing i’ve ever smelt before, so i-”

as he bows in apology, the mysterious man’s bangs close in, showing a wavy center-parted hairstyle. it’s sexy. upon closer inspection, good lord, the boy before him is really so cute. oh no.

“my smell..? um. i sprayed perfume today, but...” was chanel no. 5 this effective? jimin checks his wrists- that are tingling, only to find out the three digits are glowing. jeongguk’s wrist mirrors his age, 23.

 

“wait. how are you 109?!”


the boy before him clad in all black- thereafter introducing himself as jeon jeongguk- barely looks 21, so how could he be anywhere remotely near an age like 109? was this an elaborate scam? like those charming serial killers from the 80s? or a candid camera, a prank video? there’s no way jeongguk is 109! he knows he can be too gullible at times, or captivated by pretty things, but the mere thought of something like this was… overwhelming, to say in the least. he’d often wondered about it till the wee hours of dawn when the digits first appeared- and soon he came to a conclusion: to expect a wrinkly old man on the brink of death waiting for him. or an old heiress. he’d always thought it must be one of the people in the hospice or nursing homes he volunteered at occasionally. or maybe an endearing ahjumma running a traditional rice cake shop. a sweet person running a vintage, retro toy shop filled with hidden gems. or a veteran of their dying trade. an expert master at his own passions after living for so long.

 

but the crux of the issue was always the same; he promised himself that whoever it is, regardless of gender or age or appearances, he’d love- or learn to love- wholeheartedly and irrevocably.


“jimin, can i ask you a serious question?” they’ve found a quiet corner to have their first conversation, and they’re both nervous.

“it’s gonna be hyung for you,” jimin frowns, “i don’t understand how on earth you can be 109 when i’m so tiny and 23 years-!”

“please answer the question then, hyung.” jeongguk’s big brown eyes are imploring him to give his genuine, innocent answer. there’s no way he could lie to such pure eyes. “do you believe in magic?”

“magic… i- why, yes- yes, i do.”

“oh,” is all jeongguk says, gingerly taking his hands, a big smile gradually forming, “that makes everything simpler! i’m lucky… there’s not many people that believe in magic anymore…”

“oh, so you’re made of magic?” jimin raptly pokes his cheek, pretty lips parted as jeongguk has captured all of his attention.

“no, i’m a vampire!” he grins to show jimin his tiny fangs poking out, “i’m baby! i’m a baby vampire, so i’m only 109,”

jimin’s mouth falls agape, before closing and parting his lips again as if to speak. jeongguk would use the idiomatic expression ‘fish out of water’, but jimin’s far prettier than that- so he would say ‘fairy just realising he can fly with his wings’. 

there’s no way jeongguk’s speaking the truth- and yet he says it so earnestly that he can’t possibly be lying; “i don’t- this- you’re-” he’s at a loss for words, brows knitted and nose scrunched, eyeing jeongguk suspiciously.

“so,” jimin composes himself with a few deep breaths, “what you’re telling me is, you hugged me because you like my smell, you’re my soulmate, and you… also happen to be a vampire.”

“yes! it’s a perennial scent...” he’s playing with the peach fuzz on his cheeks, embarrassed at such a silly sounding reply. “you smell very nice, like- like home. so, um. i apologise that my instinct was to hug you and scent you- you must’ve been so scared that i could smell some fear... i’m still really bad at controlling my urges despite the hyungs having taught me properly- it’s all my fault and i’m so sorry.”

jeongguk looks so much like a wounded puppy with lopped bunny ears that he feels his heart hurt. it’s an inherent trait on jimin’s end to feel too much, to look out for and care for, even if he goes out of his way at times. his heart clenches at jeongguk’s downcast body language.

“hey, don’t apologise, i was just taken aback- you make it sound like you almost killed me or something,” jimin offers a head pat, a timid smile. jeongguk’s eyes look watery, and jimin can sense the earnesty in his voice, laden with concern. “we’re good, relax.”

a silence creeps in between them, as the spring breeze cools off the initial tension. jeongguk’s staring at his cute hands, so eager to hold them again, but he’s trying his best to hold it in. he’s going to scare jimin off at this rate, but jimin smells so nice.

“maybe we could get to know each other first? and see how things go?”

“o-of course! i’ll give you my address-”

“address! isn’t a phone number enough? to text?” oh no, he made jimin tilt his head and scrunch his button nose again. the poor human must be so confused.

“s-sorry. my hyungs like keeping it traditional so we often write letters and- ah, this is so embarrassing. let me think, i have my number written down somewhere, i think i forgot it again…” 

as he looks at the young vampire fumble with the receipts and notepaper from his wallet, jimin’s gaze transitions from ambivalence to fondness. he saves jeongguk’s contact with a bunny emoji and paw prints.


“do you ever need to sleep?”

“not really… which means i have a lot of spare time to do whatever i want! but if we get lethargic or tired we do rest for a bit.”

“so… you hang upside down or something?”

jeongguk bursts into laughter at jimin’s piqued curiosity, excited that his soulmate is eager to know more about his kind. he’s so lucky.  

“no, but we do rest in coffins, like the myths say!”

“coffins, huh.” jimin’s typing short notes into his phone, as a little reminder. he’ll probably compile them properly into a pretty journal later. “uh, we also have beds!” he thinks it’s adorable how jeongguk’s trying his best to tell him the truth (that sounds bizarre and questionable at times) but at the same time is remaining mindful of his feelings.

“bed sounds nice,” jimin mumbles back, “do you guys need to eat?”

“we mainly drink blood, but according to namjoon hyung, due to the evolution of homosapiens and darwinian theory, we have adapted, so we can live on a liquid diet- yoongi hyung runs on coffee and blood and he’s doing okay! also we can try food now, although the taste is muted, but over time we are evolving to incorporate ourselves better into the human world!”

“oh my god,” jeongguk catches jimin mumbling to himself, rubbing his eyes as he wraps his fuzzy red coat tight around his black turtleneck in the chilly evening, “i’m really about to live the bella and edward fantasy,”

jeongguk clears his throat to get his attention, cheeks pinkening- it’s the weather, of course. hopefully, jimin will appreciate his sense of increasingly lame humour, accumulated throughout the years. “i believe the proper millennial reply to this would be ‘still a better love story than twilight’ ,”

he starts to panic as the seconds tick by, chewing on his bottom lip when the only reaction he’s been getting is jimin staring up at him through non-prescription tinted glasses (a pretty outfit needs pretty accessories) and blinking. his eyes are so pretty behind the lens, but that’s besides the point. jimin has always had very pretty eyes. everything about jimin is pretty, and his hyungs back at the mansion have been chiding for not bringing jimin home already, despite yapping away about him every dinner.

“n-not funny?” he awkwardly coughs into his hand, hoping to hide the mild disappointment, the slight downturn of his mouth. man, maybe it’d still be difficult for a vampire-human soulmate bond even after all these years of adaptation and revamping. (get it? re-vamping?)

he gets the privilege of watching jimin’s eyes twitch into little crescents, watch his cheeks bunch up into rosy pink blooms. looks on with wonder as giggles spill out like sparkles and iridescent bubbles from his rosebud lips. god, his soulmate is absolutely gorgeous.

“sorry, i’m a little slow since i haven’t had my coffee today.” jimin is such a bundle of joy, an absolute sunshine- the closest, perhaps, he can get to sunlight without getting blisters. 

“you’re so cute, jeonggukie.”

“y-you think so?” he gets shy as jimin showers him with loving praise, flings to the nearest vampire (him) as he tumbles into sprinkles of laughter. you’re cuter, he’s tempted to refute, but he doesn’t want jimin moving out of his lap, so he doesn’t add to that.


they’ve started spending their free pockets of time together.

“so, i did some research, and- um. do you hunt animals? for like, their- you know,” jimin can’t bear the thought of jeongguk killing something as precious as an animal, but the rational side of him does understand that it might be a staple to their kind. or at least, according to legends, naver, google and some other scholarly references.

jeongguk tells him sadly that he hunts rabbits because they’re the most accessible, and drinks fresh blood to satiate vampiric needs when the time comes- but not to the point where the animals die. “we take the… like the shakes humans drink, like those big bottle packet stuff… and mix it...”

“you mean protein shakes?”

“yes! that!”

“seokjin hyung calls them love shots, and he adds sweet stuff for me. joonie hyung says they’re usually red because of haemoglobin! taehyung hyung will decorate them for me when i’m being picky,”

jimin looks down at his notes, “so far, we have a namjoon hyung, a yoongi hyung, a seokjin hyung and a taehyung hyung..?” does jeongguk’s brothers know he’s a vampire? are they all vampires? 

“we’re like family, a coven, you could say. blood brothers.”

“i see. only five of you?”

“there’s also hoseok hyung!”

“okay… let’s type that in… so the six of you-”

“no, it’s seven!” jeongguk holds jimin’s wrist to pause his typing, turning shy at such impulses, as jimin’s pulse rate thrums beneath the pads of his fingers. how delightful. “i-it’s seven, because… b-because jimin hyung is also counted now…”

jimin swears that the universe must’ve moved for them, and aligned just in time for them to have met.


“jeongguk, what happened to your nails?” hoseok’s pointing at his fingers as he munches on cereal, a disapproving glint in his eyes. jeongguk immediately retracts his hands from his banana milk flavoured bloodshake, hiding them under his long baggy sleeves. nobody was supposed to have seen that. “was this done by that park jimin?”

“n-no! he didn’t- jimin hyung didn’t- he didn’t… jimin didn’t say my hands were pretty and that he bought us a bottle of glittery black nail polish so we could try painting them together,” jeongguk gulps as he falters towards the end of his sentence, face getting warmer at hoseok’s intense gaze, him sauntering over. he doesn’t even notice he’s said we or us instead of him and i. “j-jimin’s nails look very pretty in baby pink too, so-”

“the audacity!” hoseok dramatically fires back, making jeongguk grimace at the possibility of a scolding, “the audacity of not bringing him home for me to meet!”

“huh? i thought-”

“ggukie, who was it that brought home rainbow nail polish 52 years ago, wanting to try them on you and taehyung? and who was it that said it was kiddy? too girly?” hoseok’s pouting, shoving his cereal in large spoonfuls, looking as scary as a squirrel hiding acorns in its cheeks.

“hyung... now i think it's cute... i-i’ll let you do my nails next time-”

“fantastic!” jeongguk feels a kiss pressed to his temple, all signs of cloudiness and impending thunder and rain gone. the sun is shining and the birds are singing. (from experience, hoseok hyung’s wrath is not one to be incurred.) “make sure to bring him back soon! i  need to know what kind of boy has stolen my cute jeonggukie’s heart like that!”

“hyung i’m not i’m not in love with him or anything!” jeongguk hollers as hoseok skips off to tend to his new luxury clothes order. “i’m really… not…”


“why must i call you hyung? i’m older than you, you know.”

“jeongguk hyung, don’t be mean.” jimin fondly rolls his eyes, punching his arm, “eh, i honestly don’t mind, but i just don’t want outsiders thinking you’re rude to your sunbaes. you know how particular korean culture is, with banmal and honorifics and all that jazz.”

“but i’m a good boy! the hyungs say i am!”

“jeongguk…”

“fine,” he’s sulking, and jimin’s heart rate picks up at once at the pout. this is so unhealthy, how cute jeongguk is. “then, is my dear okay? or sweetheart? my honey?”

all he gets in response is a sigh of sweet surrender, followed by an exasperated grin. jimin’s front teeth are so adorable. “that’s so- that’s so cute, my mom and dad used to call each other ‘my dear’ all the time, but that’s a little… old-fashioned these days? how should i put it… nowadays, people just say babe or baby?”

“but! but seokjin hyung and namjoon hyung said we have to be polite and gentlemanly when you’re courting someone! they taught me that in etiquette class!”

“oh no,” jimin pulls him into a hug, “i guess my baby can call me anything he wants, then. i’d still fall for you anyway.”

“if you say things like that then how am i going to bring you home? my hyungs are gonna like you too, and then-”

“jeongguk-ah,” jimin boops his nose, “i’m going to have a heart attack if you keep being so cute.”

they spend the next few idyllic hours knowing each other more, exploring the creases of the palms, the spaces between their fingers; the taste of jimin’s lips, the smell of jeongguk’s hair. the little constellations on jimin’s cheeks, the galaxies in jeongguk’s eyes.


by popular and unwavering demand, jimin is taken to their huge mansion for dinner. it gets a little overwhelming at the start, with five unfamiliar faces flocking to him, fussing for him to sit pretty and wait as dinner is prepared for him. while seokjin decides to whip up a dish made for human-suited cuisine, the other four elders in the coven decide to cover the bare necessities- almost like a formal interview. and then, they arrive at the q&a section. 

“um, do you guys glitter in the sunlight like in twilight?” jimin offers timidly, unsure as to how to break the awkward silence, as he glances at jeongguk nervously throughout the conversation.

“no, sweetheart. we burn.”

“y-yoongi hyung that’s not fair, only i can call jimin that-!”

“life never is,” yoongi smiles wistfully at him, raising his wrists in faux surrender, tinged with amusement. jimin notes that the numbers- they’re smudged. “he’s not mine, so you don’t have to worry, brat.” his words seem terse, but there’s a surprising amount of depth in his succinctness.

“but you’re glowing,” jimin states another observation, sensing some tension and trying to steer the conversation adroitly. for a human, as far as some of the human friends they’ve once brought home, he’s settling exceptionally well into this warm little coven. “you’re a sharp boy, aren’t you?” it’s almost as if with his maturity, yoongi can read minds. after all, he is 903 years old. “also, i think jin hyung bought some golden fizzy bath things and some shiny glowy lotion, thought i’d try some.”

“yah, yoongi-ah!” seokjin comes out of the kitchen, serving jimin a piping hot home cooked meal, a meal that smelt heavenly and comprised of balanced portions of meat and vegetables. “it's a bath bomb and that’s called body luminizer! use your own spf 5000 sunscreen instead, you little-”

as the rest of them start taking sides and bickering, jimin finds through bites of chicken and chews of roasted potatoes that he settles in nicely.


as taehyung takes him on a tour through the gargantuan mansion, hoseok and seokjin are busy getting a room ready for him. they’d perked up when they heard that jimin’s parents were no longer around, which explained why he lives alone in their apartment near his university. the mansion, he realises, is a little off the way, but was sold to them cheaply due to rumours of bat infestation. seokjin had laughed it off and bought it with a lump sum cheque, landlord more than willing to flee from the eerie looking house. yoongi played a huge role in the architecture and remodelling of the place, while namjoon set up a magical barrier from the harmful uv rays, combined with a bulletproof coating such that they could actually can exit the house and rest well without the worries of vampire hunters.

taehyung was in charge of decor (hence many collector paintings along the hallways and sculptures by the staircases) and hoseok in charge of timetables and schedules.

jeongguk… was just in charge of being teachable. the hyungs doted on him very much, encouraging him to bring jimin back more often, even shifting his resting coffin next to jimin’s bed in one of the many extensive rooms. they don't need to sleep, but resting occasionally was nice.

he likes carrying jimin on his back, so when he turns he can get a whiff of jimin as well as kiss him. jimin likes kissing his nose because jeongguk’s reaction is just as cute.

the people of the mansion (with an exception of hoseok and taehyung) always wear black and prefers the indoors, due to the blistering sun outside. with accumulated wealth from seokjin’s 1204 years of age, the mansion was sufficiently funded. indoor pools, rooftop bars, one entire floor renovated to cater for gymming needs; jimin could take months just to explore every single nook and cranny, which any member of the coven would gladly indulge.

they even have special curtains, jimin comes to find, made of a curious myriad of textiles to allow the viewer to see the outside still, but prevent the sun from coming in. the finished product reminds him of a veil, and he puts it over his head to make jeongguk laugh.

“look, this looks like it could be part of a headpiece, like a victorian fascinator! do i look like someone of that era?”

“no, you look like my bride.” the way jeongguk says it so deadpan and seriously makes jimin blush furiously. how can he say such things with a straight face?!

maybe both of them don’t want him to take it off.


“jimin hyung can we… can we please do it,”

jeongguk blushes when asking, and on the first time, past midnight, jimin is confused. 

“ah… you wanna, uh. how should i say this… uh, put it in me?” so, vampires do have needs too?

“no!” he waves his arms frantically, eyes comically wide. he looks like the epitome of puppy eyes. “i like it when you play with my hair, and when you wash my hair and let me hug you so i can smell you,” jimin can see the little pout and it pains him. how could he ever say no to his puppy prince? he enjoys helping  jeongguk to comb his hair, braid them prettily, or tie them into buns. recently, they've gotten cute cartoon hair clips that jeongguk proudly parades around the house.

“jeongguk-ah, come here,” jeongguk is like an overgrown puppy as he leaps into jimin’s arms, holding him tight. he’s so happy to have jimin by his side, so happy that they hug and speak and call and see each other everyday. at this rate, it’s almost as good as jimin integrating himself into their household. 


it’s become an endearing sight, of a teeny human jimin that loves making memories chasing after the aged beings and taking polaroids- but after trial and experiment, vampires won’t turn up with flash; so he has to be careful with no flash all the time, instead choosing to try experimenting with vintage film cameras or normal phone cameras, going round taking his daily candid pictures. when they develop or get printed, he starts framing them to decorate the house, which becomes a lot lovelier and homely with jimin here.


“taehyung-ah, how old are you exactly?” they’ve hit off with a lots of chemistry bouncing off each other, especially since jimin realises his human form is of the same age. with every year, they needed to change their documents in case of a spot check with regulars or locals they interacted- for instance hospital staff, schoolmates, frequently visited shop owners.

“uhhhhh, something kinda went wrong, and according to joon hyung, i’ve apparently been living multiple lives- the soulmate numbers keep changing, and my lives keep morphing. it’s complicated, but i would say i’m around 95 years young at the moment.”

every now and then, on a rotation basis, one of them would secure an occupation related to the hospital, regardless of distance, so as to gain access to the blood bank. emergency supplies had to be kept for every blood moon, or when a ‘heat’-like period would strike, causing them to crave pure blood, undiluted into foodstuffs or from animals. plainly put, blood-thirst at it's peak. over the years, they’ve accumulated an arsenal of accolades, inclusive of surgery, cooking, scientific research, archaeology, history and more thrown into the mix. it’s really interesting, to have all these variations in pools of knowledge submerged into a house he’d now call his own.


he gets additional help with homework and projects, of course, with all of them besides jeongguk having worked as a professor, teacher’s assistant, lecturer, or holding academia related posts at some point in time. however, as times have changed, jimin does start to drown in more assignments with every passing day of the semester.

having pulled an all nighter to submit a graded assignment, jeongguk has to wake him up for morning class at 8am. “hyungie, jimin hyungie… wake up…”

“‘m sleepy,” jimin mumbles back, face puffy and lips jutted out, eyes squinting in the faux natural sunlight of the ceiling lamp. “ten minutes…”

“jimin-ah… you need to go for class! i don’t care about mine but i know you value your classes.”

with a sigh, jimin rolls into his embrace, pulling him down for a forehead kiss. jeongguk’s so sweet it hurts. “wha’ time’s it?” he mumbles groggily, heading to the bathroom to wash up with jeongguk shoo-ing him along like a puppy. “it’s three quarters past seven!” jeongguk tells him brightly, which makes jimin jolt awake immediately, straightening up. “oh dear. it takes at least 45 minutes to reach the science block-”

“i’ll take you there, no worries!” jeongguk’s all ready, eyes so bright as jimin reaches for his yellow chick mug and blue toothbrush with haste. “huh, vampires can fly?”

“no, i’ll show you later.”

jimin rushes through everything on 1.75x speed, putting on one of jeongguk’s oversized shirts by accident (nobody’s going to correct that, they both secretly like it) and landing at the foyer with his feet in first position, a habit inbuilt from ballet dancing since a tender age. “are you driving, jungoo?” jimin asks when jeongguk bounces down the stairs to join him, but there’s no sign of keys. jimin is the epitome of lovely intangible college boyfriend in everything he wears. he’s so beautiful and charming that jeongguk swoons at the thought of their scents mixing, jimin wearing his shirts. jimin is just god-sent.

he crouches down, arm out to carry jimin’s backpack for him, a bid to be chivalrous. the hyungs told him to ensure that he was being a gentleman particularly to jimin, because jimin was a good boy- and they also liked him very much.

“get on!”

“what.” is all jimin manages to say, as he apprehensively boards onto his mode of transport. “jeongguk-ah,” he says, cheek squashed against the nape of his carrier's neck, “i appreciate you wanting to carry me everywhere and i like it too, but it’s already 7:59am… don’t you think a car would-”

he sees jeongguk grin as he tightens his grip on jimin’s thighs, gearing up in alpha piggyback position. “hyung, i think you’re forgetting the fact that i’ve been working out for about 80 odd years now.”

“yes, but how-”

“hold on tight, my darling.”

jimin feels an intense breeze sweeping past him with every stride and jog, making him cling onto jeongguk tighter, eyes shut in pure faith.

he reaches class safely at 8:02am.


“are you going home, puppy? the lecture theatre is here, we’ve arrived.” they’ve been dilly dallying, unwilling to let go of each other’s hands. even at five minutes past eight, jimin’s considerably early or just on time. “are you out of breath? i can’t believe you ran all the way like that-!”

“i’m all good!” jeongguk beams at him, making jimin melt as he takes out a packet of tissues from his denim jacket pocket. 

“bend down.” jeongguk obediently does so, allowing jimin to help dab the perspiration off his face. “sorry i made you sweat so much, make sure to drink something with more nutrients later, okay? add the vitamin c solubles into your bloo- i mean, the drink, and-”

“hyung…” jeongguk’s gotten him locked down into a back hug, relishing in his slight spray of cologne and his natural scent. he smells so heavenly. “don’t wanna go home… wanna stay with you…”

“baby…” jeongguk’s getting greedy with every growing day, and a part of jimin’s heart leaps at the thought of that sharp glint in his eyes when he senses a rival or a ‘threat’, so to speak. jeongguk even gets grouchy when he hugs the other members of his coven- but he's okay as long as he gets more hugs than them. (unless jimin tickles him, then he's coming for blood.) but jimin doesn’t mind it at all, and on the contrary finds it particularly adorable. “d’you wanna sit in? it’s a little boring about alcohols and aldehydes but-”

“yes! i wanna sit with you!” jeongguk’s eyes are sparkling as he starts pulling jimin along into the lecture hall, “can we- can we hold hands? in a lecture?”

“jeongguk-ah, if you keep this up i’m really going to fall for you forever.”

“then you do just that! you’re mine! i’m not going to let anyone have you!”

jimin gives him a little kiss on the nose when nobody’s looking.


before he knows it, all of jimin’s things have been moved permanently into his new room in the multi storey mansion. jeongguk likes watching as he works, a sentinel as he goes to bed.

“jimin? jiminnie?” he leans over to poke the sleeping figure’s soft mochi-like cheeks, internally marveling at how tender and cute his soulmate is. “jimin-ah?” should he wake jimin? the poor dear’s been terribly overworked and exhausted these days, but it’s always good to ask for permission first. “jimin-ah, i love you,” he tugs gently at jimin’s shoulder, careful not to touch the sore parts that he’d massaged with lavender essential oils before jimin fell asleep a couple of hours ago.

“mhn?” jimin’s desperately trying to crack open his eyes, but to no avail. “c-can we kiss?”

it’s not his pretty eyes, but his pretty lips that break into a smile. “my sweet baby,” jimin mumbles, nodding. “come and plant all your kisses.” he pokes every corner of his dewy skin, as jeongguk proceeds to ravish and claim every bit of it, pampering him with pecks and occasionally blowing raspberries to make him laugh and fall back asleep with a smile on his face.

being with jeongguk almost seems like a dream sometimes, too good to be true.


“does he still go to school?”

“well, our jeongguk was homeschooled since he didn’t like the first three trials of college in three separate locations.” seokjin explains that they’ve had to move a lot to get an ideal house for the coven to settle, evading some pesky vampire hunters along the way. ever since he’d been saved from some of those illegal poachers, he's tagged along and subsequently been raised by them, up till now.

“we have different eye colours due to our age, the glitter from jeongguk’s eyes are only starting to fade since he’s a late bloomer. we wear natural coloured contact lenses so we don’t go around scaring anyone!” seokjin goes on to show him his post-millenium pink eyes. yoongi has grey-silver eyes, and namjoon has dual eye colour due to an experiment gone wrong in the hospital labs. toggling between 129 and 912 years of age, he had gold and grey eyes. hoseok was seemingly much younger at 218 years and bright emerald eyes. taehyung’s were a special kind, a sort of holographic sparkle attached to his vivid gaze.

“baby vampires often have sparkly eyes, as bright as diamonds for the first hundred days, as the body gets adjusted to our vampiric instinct.” he goes on to show jimin how to make an array of drinks and bloodshots for jeongguk in case he gets hungry. "then they'll start turning gold after some time."

“seokjin hyung, how can a human become a vampire?”

seokjin halts the dicing of strawberries and bananas, turns to jimin with a countenance of confusion. “why would you want to know that?”

“j-just curious, it’s not like i thought of spending an eternity with all of you and jeongguk…” his voice wavers, trailing off towards the end of his statement, cheeks turning the shade of cherries; as if he’d realised how silly and impractical it was whilst making his thought process vocal. “nevermind, it’s just an embarrassing ques-”

“you and jeongguk are exactly the same,” seokjin beams, ruffling jimin’s floofy hair, “apart from certain complications such as masked venom mutation that manifests for a period after post-bite, in most cases when humans are injected with our fangs and the aphrodisiac enters the bloodstream, the human will either die from congealed or loss of blood, or the body will adapt slowly, such that-”

“jin hyung, i don’t really, um-”

“sorry, too technical, right? let's try this- under normal circumstances, the human essentially dies or lives on as a vampire.”

“...i see,” jimin ruminates over his words, garnishing their teatime love shots, his strawberry milkshake. “then, can i also ask what do i smell like? why does… jeonggukie love my smell so much?”

“we can only smell our soulmate’s scent deeply,” seokjin tells him warmly, “jeongguk says you smell like home.”

“oh,” is all jimin can muster in response, already knowing this statement, but now that there’s more context, it makes it so much more significant. “then the rest of you-”

“our coven’s a tad special, jimin-ah, we can smell each other’s pure scent- it’s more of a nurture rather than nature loophole. and also, we’ve had a few grey area incidents after fate paid us multiple visits over the hundreds of years.”


jimin discovers, with more unravelling, that jeongguk has been a well brought up boy. he sees the glimpsers of each of his hyungs that brought him up: seokjin teaches him EQ, emotional quotient- how to feel and manage his emotions, to separate business and pleasure. yoongi imparts to him AQ, adversity quotient- to respond to changes and challenges, to adapt across time. namjoon guides him with IQ, intelligence quotient- his build up of trivia and big words that he proudly tells jimin (remember haemoglobin? yoongi has also taught him pachycephalosaurus- in a cheeky insult to someone older- but jimin loves dinosaurs, so everything worked out just fine. jimin was wowed! and yoongi also taught him 'temporomandibular disorder'- another fun fact that knowledge hungry jimin loves.)

taehyung teaches him creativity, how to express himself in intrapersonal forms. taehyung teaches him about culture and the arts, how to paint and draw and take pictures. hoseok teaches him the art of communication and interpersonal relations, something that taehyung has contributed to greatly as well. they’re both social butterflies, whereas jeongguk is shy.

“what have i ever taught you?” jimin’s mumbling to himself as he lies awake in jeongguk’s arms, wondering where he started going wrong. these days, they’re just as clingy to one another as per usual, but lately, jeongguk’s been rejecting his advances in subtle but straightforward forms;

whenever jimin chases his lips for a small peck, jeongguk will retract, until they both land in a heap- he’ll avoid eye contact and tell jimin to kiss him somewhere else. jeongguk never kisses back, despite showering him with an immense load of attention and affection.

“you taught me love,” jeongguk murmurs back, stroking jimin’s flushed cheeks, his fanned out hair just like a splayed halo. his oversized shirt allows his clavicles to show, making him look utterly delicious, and jeongguk is ready to devour. “you taught me to appreciate the little things,” he takes a moment to lean in and press a tiny kiss to jimin’s eyelids, his temple, his forehead, make their noses touch. “and that’s why i appreciate you too, you're my little love.”


as a suggestion, they watch a movie in yoongi’s designed film room, a little hidden area with faux grass and flowers, laden with pillows, beanbags and blankets. jimin brings some popcorn, while jeongguk enters with a red slushie from their kitchen’s blood bank (that’s a freezer, in human terms). it’s a cozy, lovely little place, one that budding architect yoongi had specifically requested and designed, to watch his film noir silently.

jimin calls him his baby as he makes sure he’s comfy on the floor. they share some pillows and a yellow blanket, and the projector starts to play the notebook, one of jimin’s favourite films. they’ve already watched titanic and did the famous pose for so many days the hyungs have been exasperatedly chiding them and their honeymoon phase. jeongguk’s been nervously sneaking glances at jimin, who’s transfixed on the screen. would it be impolite to hold his hands? to snuggle closer? to kiss his sweet cheeks? he struggles, until he gets absorbed into the movie, and feels something plop against his shoulder.

ah, jimin’s fallen asleep, like the romance novels would have it.

“oh dear,” jeongguk softly murmurs, lowering the volume of the movie, “i must’ve tired you out, my little human.” gently, he lifts jimin into his lap, only for the smaller boy to cling closer. after making sure he hasn’t woken up, jeongguk swoops him into a bridal carry, using his feet to turn the projector off.

he makes sure the air conditioning is on as he gingerly puts jimin down on his non-coffin bed, careful not to wake him while swaddling him in blankets. he feels some heat rising to his face when he hesitantly puts an arm over jimin’s waist, engaging in what the humans would’ve called ‘spooning’. jimin fits just lovely in his hold, and smells very comforting as well. it’s a perennial scent, as everlasting as the most beauteous and sweet smelling of blooms.

jeongguk enjoys watching as he breathes, his cute cheeks squished against the pillows, his baby elfin hands balled into fists as he rests. he stirs after a round of observation, tosses, turns, before landing into jeongguk’s embrace, hugging him akin to a bolster or a soft toy.

“my little love,” jeongguk tenderly announces, caressing his pretty doll-like face, unwittingly smiling. he almost giggles when jimin rolls right into his hold, purring contentedly when jeongguk holds his hand. “i’m so happy to have you.”

perhaps the hundred years of waiting have been well worth it.


“yoongi hyung, what happened to your wrists?” 

“oh, the numbers?”

jimin nods as he helps yoongi to sort through and classify his collection of aged piano scores, complete with orchestral versions. sometimes, they gather on saturday afternoons to play their own music or classical pieces that have been written by late lauded musicians. yoongi will play the piano, while seokjin takes the flute or harp, taehyung the saxophone or double bass. jeongguk takes the percussions for modern or 21st century pieces, predominantly violin. hoseok takes the viola, and namjoon the cello or clarinet. (jimin will soon realise he is to help sing the arias, since they’ve grown restless and tired of each other’s voices. it’s a very coincidental bonus that he has an alluring and mellifluous singing voice.)

yoongi takes his music seriously, having won prestigious awards in his pupilege with past professionals. “we used to go stargazing, my lover and i- i’d presume you’ve seen that my little theatre has a glass ceiling and a telescope there. he liked taking pictures of me, so i would pretend not to look,” his hands thumb over a score of passacaglia for the organ , looking at jimin with melancholic eyes. “we used to watch silent films together, but these days, it’s just me and my film noir.”

“does he even know-” jimin’s hands reach out to comfort his, having an inkling who his soulmate must be. “he shouldn’t- the numbers on his wrist now match another three digits in this household.”


it’s november 11th when jimin comes home from classes to six mops of varying shades of peach and pink. then, it dawns on him- it's korean valentine’s day, and they’ve all dyed their hair pink for the occasion. it's these small, momentous yet insignificant things that make their bond so special. “since you’re part of the family now, we insist you dye your hair pink too.”

when jimin retreats to the master bathroom to rinse off the dye, he sees that jeongguk’s run him a warm bath, complete with scented candles and flower petals, and even a glass of wine by the tub.

“jungoo-”

“i heard jimin likes flowers a lot.” he hands over a bouquet of roses, packaged to resemble the shape of a coffin in black crepe paper. jimin smells like blush peonies and fairy floss. and a little magic, too.


when jimin realises jeongguk is an ardent animated film enthusiast, he makes effort to take note of them, as if a subject- it’s just that this subject in mind isn’t film or mass media, but rather, jeongguk himself. one of the baby vampire’s all time favourites happens to be a film that encompasses the theme of ‘hearing the sound of bells when you cross paths with your soulmate’. jimin thinks that's lovely.

jimin subsequently buys a choker necklace with a golden bell, running around jeongguk in circles with little giggles accompanying the tinkle of the bell. 

“jimin-ah, my dearest, this is too much-”

needless to say, his heart was in complete shambles. he had to pick jimin up and carry him for the rest of the day in case he’d continue going around and poking his heart like a cat playing with a squeaky toy. how beguiling was that?


sometimes, jimin smells like baby powder and soft clean laundry. sometimes he smells like dianthus and frostproof gardenia. sometimes it’s phlox and daffodils. on other occasions, like freshly baked apple crumble, like a warm cup of creamy latte. sometimes like cherries and peaches and strawberries. 

other times, it’s not that pleasing, more primal and raw. towards a full moon, he smells like pheromones, like sex on legs. his natural scent with a mild sheen of sweat smells like cloyingly sweet, saccharine drops of honey laced with venom. on rare occasions, like now- to put it extremely crassly and distastefully, jimin smells like omega slick.

although purely on jeongguk’s end with alpha-male vampiric instincts activated and kicking in, he’s definitely enthralled; just a whiff of jimin’s bewitching and spellbinding scent is driving him feral, bloodthirst kicking in.

“jimin- jiminnie, please- can i just have one bite- please-” his long hair’s matted to the sides of his face, glossy with perspiration from a heat within. there’s no more blood left in their reserves for now, save the ‘break wall if it’s an emergency’ safe. the other five have gone out to hunt for fresh supplies, leaving jimin- who’s now a pro at making jeongguk’s meals- to deal with jeongguk. his condition has usually been adequately stable, but tonight, unbeknownst to their calculations, it’s a blood moon that rises above them. jeongguk is rendered fully vulnerable to his primal instinct despite his conscious mind making a futile attempt at fending it.

“please- jimin, my lovely-” he can see jeongguk’s eyes turning red, fangs glinting beneath crimson moonshine, out and ready to latch onto supple flesh once permission was granted. he’s already started drooling at the sides of his mouth, fists clenched so hard his arm veins are bulging. frankly, jimin’s never seen anything like this in all the time they’ve ever been together, through the flirting and the arguments and every moment they’ve shared.

jimin sees his eyes turn glassy, can feel how hard jeongguk’s exerting self-control, having such a miserable time fighting himself. jimin smells positively delectable, and he’s terribly famished- he can hear the rush of jimin’s blood in tandem to his heartbeat picking up in an erratic rhythm.

jimin’s close to tears seeing jeongguk struggle, no longer heeding one of their golden rules of no feeding directly in the event of a fatal consequence, the worst case scenario. 

“come here, my puppy prince,” jimin taps against his neck, tilting his head to the side and allowing him gantry to his jugular vein. “go ahead, you must be-”

he feels lightheaded as the blood rises, only remembers he felt jeongguk’s teeth plunge desperately to draw blood, his tears drip against his scent glands as jeongguk hugged his waist.

you must be starving.


when he wakes up, he’s greeted by seokjin, whos’s been monitoring his condition all day- in all his glorious years he's gotten a few lauded certifications pertaining to the medicine field, and even surgery. jimin’s been out for three days. mozart plays softly in the background, with a number of containers full of nourishing food surrounding the tables beside the heart rate monitor. the hyungs are taking turns to keep watch and keep him company.

“jeongguk? where’s jeonggukie?” his lips are chapped, his mind foggy, insides in turmoil after throwing up a few times, but that’s the first thing that he comes to realise.

after that night, jeongguk refuses to come anywhere close to see jimin, staying away from the ward-like room as if it were garlic or silver. vivid images of his actions had kept him high on alert, physically exhausted but mentally wide awake in relation to going berserk. he keeps beating himself up about it- he’s had this under control for a hundred years and counting, and yet, it was almost as if he had gone delirious and he could’ve killed jimin. his best all-nighter friend. his lovely little one. his honey, his baby fairy. his movie companion, his bed and blanket sharer.

his first love.

it must be the soulmate connection, jimin muses, when he feels lonely and doesn’t speak much, loses weight unconsciously. it’s funny not having jeongguk around when they’ve been inseperable for months. “i miss him, can you please get him to see me?”

“you know, our jeongguk can be quite headstrong when he makes up his mind about something,” yoongi pats his shoulder, before namjoon offers a bright smile. “but don’t worry, i’ll make sure he comes running over. he’s utterly weak if we’re talking about you.”

true enough, jeongguk worriedly comes bolting in moments after the elders had exited. 

“jimin! are you feeling okay? hyung said- that you feel u-unwell and keep vomiting? did you eat? h-have you been resting-” even in the way he’s speaking, he’s stuttering with his gaze flickering, unable to focus but not because he’s out of breath or anything. 

he’s guilty, and it’s been eating him inside out.

the first thing jimin does is cup his face in his small hands, his whole world, before pressing a wistful kiss to his nose. “i missed you, sweetheart. why have you been avoiding me, jeongguk-ah?”

he chooses to use such an endearment largely because he’s fond of the nickname, and also because he knows jeongguk likes it a lot, too. while he surveys jeongguk for any signs of physical distress, his eyes graze over the many spots of raw, red puncture marks on jeongguk’s hands, and it dawns upon him- jeongguk’s been biting himself so he won’t have to bite jimin ever again.

“i’m so, so incredibly sorry, jimin. i lost control that day and i’m so ashamed of it- this is truly a nightmare before the beginning of christmas and i completely cannot excuse myself for-”

“jeongguk-ah,” jimin starts, taking his hands, but the latter refuses to stop apologising profusely, silencing him before he can console.

“to think i wanted to bring you to see the snow, and if i ever lose control again, you’re going to die! and what will i do-! there’s still so many things- that i- that we-!”

“jeongguk, love- hush, my dear.” jimin quietly wipes away his tears, quells his fears manifesting in tiny triplet hiccups, kissing his face to calm him down. “what did you call this?”

“incompetency.”

“goodness,” jimin laughs, shakes his head like a pixie sprinkling fairy dust. “no, don’t say that, my darling. what did you call this, something before christmas? time really flies when i’m with you, you know?” his blissful words fall on deaf ears. “jeongguk-ah… i know you didn’t mean it-”

“a n-nightmare before christmas, since tomorrow is christmas eve, and i know you love christmas, and i wanted- i just wanted to-” with every syllable, jeongguk grips his hands tighter, biting his lip so hard it bleeds. “i want to love you properly, but at this rate, i’m going to-”

“is this why you’re so afraid of kissing me back?” jimin prods, leaning into his personal space, the bubble he had wedged between them as of late. jeongguk flushes as he hides his embarrassed gaze behind long curly bangs, head lowered in shame. 

“y-yes,” he only sobs louder when jimin coos and hushes him with gentle, forgiving words, plentiful and lavish and he’s horribly undeserving. “jimin is- you’re too pretty and i will eat you up completely-”

“please, my baby…” 

“it’s true! i will go crazy- and if jiminnie smells nice, then- then i will go absolutely mad, and eat all of you, and then-”

“my honeybun sugarplum, look here- i allowed you to bite me, don’t cry… in this case, i should be liable! how am i so lucky? so have a soulmate as caring and adorable and handsome as you?” jeongguk hates how fondly jimin looks at him, eyes glazed with adoration and warmth, of undying love and understanding.

“you’re unlucky! you like polaroids but you can’t take them with me, we can’t kiss, we can’t eat nice fancy meals together, you can’t wear your rings anymore, you can’t-” as jeongguk’s list goes on, inexhaustible, jimin sees frazzled eyes, sees fear. “i like you a lot, jimin hyung.” jeongguk tells him ever so quietly, “i- i love you so- but i also want you to be happy and live a normal life-”

“don’t say that, jeongguk… i want to live this life with you- if anything, i apologise for not being able to live a whole century with you.” he feels his eyes start to water, in spite of the long way they have to go. the thought of losing each other one day is just too much to even speak or think of. the fact that one day, jeongguk might be holding him in his arms as he breathes his last; he knows it’ll be a sigh of relief that he’s met and lived and loved jeongguk.

“jimin-ah, dear- are you cryi- oh no, please! d-don’t cry!”

jeongguk leaves it as that, presses unsaid apologies in the form of kisses against the crown of jimin’s head, grabs him tissues as they collapse into a meld of bittersweet tears, wry smiles juxtaposed against teary eyes, the gloominess of a future between vampire and human. some things just failed to be feasible in the long run.

if i could i’d safeguard you and live through as many centuries as we could, together.


“do you remember what you called today,” jimin muses, setting up the cassette tape it isn’t as old as the types of films yoongi watches, but for the modern human, a film in 1993 could be considered ‘old’. jeongguk sees the halloween-y font blaring nightmare before christmas, and comes to learn that the film was released on jimin’s birthday. the glass rooftop shows that it’s the beginning of winter, tiny snowflakes about to coat it in pure white anytime soon.

“jeongguk?” how did he never notice that jimin had hidden a large bouquet up in here? there’s many fairy lights put up in a bid to be festive and cheery, illuminating the cosiness of the little theatre. jeongguk’s blood shake today is blended to resemble a peppermint candy cane. jimin drinks a self-concocted jack skellington coffee- a pumpkin spice frappuccino with a shot of chai and whipped cream. 

“99 roses means everlasting love,” jimin beams, pink flush high on his apple cheeks, his pretty moon-like eyes a substitute for the night sky. kissing jeongguk’s nose, he watches jeongguk’s smile growing shyly, “and that i will love you till i die.”

“jimin-ah,” he whines, burying his face close to jimin’s neck, arms draped around his lithe form. jack is meeting sally for the first time in the background. zero is absolutely adorable. “you just wait, next year i’m going to buy 1013 roses home for your birthday!”

jimin’s laugh is like snowflakes, dainty beautiful things that melt when they touch something warm. “is that so?”

“i’ll buy you flowers everyday if they make you so happy,”

“but if jeonggukie makes me happy can i have him for the rest of my life?”

jeongguk answers in sputters and blushes. and vehement nods. and a pinky promise.


it’s been a year or so. they’ve even bought baby shoes at the sight of how cute they were. jeongguk’s back from a hunt, confused as to why all the hyungs are crowding around jimin. was there an occasion he’d forgotten about?

when they sense his arrival, the circle around jimin disperses, ambivalent emotions displayed by five older individuals. they’re hovering around, as if gauging jeongguk’s reaction.

“you’re back, beloved.”

something doesn’t look right.

“jimin, my love? i know you have the world’s prettiest eyes, but- why are they sparkling? did you eat something-”

“you would’ve thought by now he would’ve caught on,” yoongi nudges namjoon, as taehyung holds out coloured contacts for jimin. “he’s lived 109 years… but let him live, i guess.” hoseok’s busy making a small portion of a love shot, while seokjin sighs at jeongguk for the umpteenth time, waving a camera.

“jimin, smile!”

 

if anything, the polaroid never fully develops.

jimin also looks really, really pretty, even with baby fangs peeking through his plush lips.