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Walking Through a World Gone Blind

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There were a lot of unspoken social rules at universities in America, and Jeon Jeongguk had spent almost four years learning them all in backhanded and bizarre ways. For example, going alone to a bar at age twenty-two as a senior was basically admitting to the world that he was socially awkward or predatory, maybe both. But it was early April, final exams were circling like a vulture, constant graduation checks with his advisor were burying him alive, law school was knocking on his door, and he had just turned in his final paper for his international relations course, so he needed a fucking drink. Drinks, plural. He needed several drinks. Unspoken rules be damned—he was ready to risk it all.

Jeongguk was at a point in his life where his friends, most of them older, were too busy to join him. Namjoon was studying for his bar examination as if he didn’t have months upon months before he took the test. Taehyung, who was a year older but not as fast-tracked as Jeongguk was, had to take the LSAT on the weekend and was hours deep into studying with Seokjin, who was already a lawyer and was probably ripping poor Tae to pieces while laughing. For Jeongguk, it was nice to have friends who could relate to him on almost every level—academically, culturally, socially. He had casually rocked up to the university’s “club” for Korean natives a few years ago with nothing to lose, and the rest was history. He had gotten three best friends out of it.

But Jeongguk found himself walking into Hamilton Social on a Friday night all alone, feeling tiredly triumphant with his final paper out of his hands, ready to have a drink. On the rare occasions he visited a bar alone, he typically made friends rather fast. Nine times out of ten, he found a beautiful man to chat up and bring back to his apartment for a quick fuck, because what kind of pre-law (almost 1L) student had time for serious relationships? Jeongguk could seduce any hot college boy who only spoke English very easily—he spoke a few words of Korean in a sensual voice to make them shiver. He whispered in their ear that he was pre-law. And that was it. It never took much.

“Old-fashioned,” he said to the bartender when the girl came around, and she nodded with a smile and turned to open up Jeongguk’s tab on her screen before getting to work. Jeongguk scooted until he was sitting fully on the barstool, and then he checked his phone one more time to make sure Taehyung didn’t need anything. As he locked his phone, the bartender slid his drink across to him with two fingers, and Jeongguk bowed his head a little in thanks. He took his first sip.

“Ah, it’s refreshing,” he muttered to himself in Korean, and then he heard his phone vibrate, so he checked. Spam email. He really needed to learn to unsubscribe from all of these lists, because his inbox was weeping.

“You might be the first person I’ve heard say that an old-fashioned is refreshing.”

Jeongguk jerked his head up and spun his stool to the left, surprised when he heard his native tongue in such a gentle but sensual voice. Sitting in the stool on his left was a young man who was surely a university student. His bag was on the bar top and he had a drink that looked like maybe vodka mixed with soda in one hand. When he shifted his chair a little to turn and face Jeongguk, Jeongguk’s witty retort died in his throat. The man had the smooth, porcelain skin of an angel. He had high cheekbones and soft facial features that contrasted his overall presence. His thick brown hair was swept back to one side to reveal his forehead, kind of looked like he had just run his fingers through it a few times and called it a day. He was wearing black jeans and a white V-neck t-shirt that dipped a little lower when he shifted his positioning, though the small pendant necklace he wore took care of covering (though not really) the smooth expanse of his chest. He tapped his fingers against his glass a few times, rings clinking against it, and then he cocked is head to the side a little.

“I like whiskey,” Jeongguk said, but then he mentally slapped himself for how dumb, how lame he sounded. Jesus Christ, what kind of response was that? That was no way to speak to the most beautiful man he had ever laid eyes upon. But then man’s eyes nearly disappeared as his entire face crinkled into a smile.

“I bet you do,” he replied. “Here with friends?”

“Here alone,” Jeongguk confirmed, hoping that he looked attractive even though he had barely put any effort into his outfit or his hair. He suddenly wished he had done more, especially since he had literally just admitted to flying solo. Jesus, he was making a mess out of this already. “Just turned in a final paper for one of my courses.”

“Ah, a student,” the man breathed, still smiling. “Undergraduate?”

“One more month.”

“You coming to join the big boys in graduate school?” the man asked, leaning one elbow on the bar now and crossing his legs at the knee while blinking at Jeongguk in interest. His eyes kept flicking from one side to the other, though, which made Jeongguk feel a little self-conscious.

“I am. Law school, actually,” Jeongguk replied, hoping he sounded like a true big boy. The man raised both eyebrows.

“Law school, huh? So a smart big boy who speaks Korean,” the man replied. They hadn’t spoken a word of English to one another since the conversation started, anyways. It set Jeongguk’s body on fire, having such a flirty conversation that didn’t involve his second language. He couldn’t remember the last time he had hit on a guy in Korean. He was rusty. “Sounds like my kind of man. What made you want to study law?”

“I like making sure everyone gets fair treatment,” Jeongguk evenly replied. “I’m… Well, I’m trying to be a very specific kind of lawyer.”

“Which is?”

“Civil rights. LGBTQ discrimination,” Jeongguk replied, taking a larger swig of his drink than he intended but swallowing it without choking, an impressive feat.

“Goddamn,” the man breathed, sounding enamored. “Smart and compassionate. Tell me something terrible about yourself so I know you’re human.”

“That would shatter the illusion,” Jeongguk teased. “Um, I’m Jeon Jeongguk.”

“It’s very nice to meet you, Jeon Jeongguk.” The man extended a hand. “I’m Park Jimin.”

His hands were smaller but his skin was soft to the touch, his grip firm in the handshake. He was a walking contradiction, especially because he didn’t really looked like he was focusing much on Jeongguk. He was but he… wasn’t. It was hard to describe. His dark brown eyes seem to have something more to them.

“What do you do, Park Jimin?” Jeongguk asked.

“That’s ‘hyung’ to you,” Jimin teased, and his foot swung forward a little to kick Jeongguk’s chair. “I’m in graduate school.”

“I figured as much. For what?”

“I have a Bachelor’s in psychology,” Jimin responded. “I’m working on a Master’s in school counseling. Might fuck around and get a doctorate degree if I’m feeling bored so I can open my own practice one day. What do you think, Jeon Jeongguk? Should I be a professional student?”

“If you’re into that kind of thing,” Jeongguk said, leaning in a little towards Jimin. “What do you do for work now?”

“Right now? I’m a music teacher to children.”

“Wow. Really?”

“Mhm. Not in a school. I don’t have those kinds of qualifications,” Jimin said, sounding like he wanted to laugh. “I teach privately.”

“What do you teach?”

“Piano. Violin. Guitar.”

“Three instruments? Jesus, I feel like an untalented loser,” Jeongguk sighed, shaking his head. “That’s incredible. Bet the kids love you.”

“They don’t mind me,” Jimin said, but his delighted grin said otherwise. He was proud, and it made Jeongguk smile. This conversation was not really going the way that he had planned. It was far more intimate and personal, filled with details, much different from the usual “ASL?” and “what’s your major?” and more. Jeongguk was used to going through the motions, both parties cruising through the formalities before one of them asked the “my place or yours?” question, and then it was all over an hour or two later. This seemed to be going in an entirely different direction, and it had only been ten minutes. Jeongguk took another sip of his drink.

“It’s not often that I meet other Koreans here,” Jeongguk said carefully. “I have two other friends who came here for school, another who moved here when he was a teenager. What’s your story? How did you end up on the lovely west coast?”

“Ah, I don’t think you’d care much to hear why,” Jimin said with a sad little smile, and he grabbed his drink and tossed back the little that remained. Right on cue, the bartender strolled by, and she immediately backtracked and asked if Jimin wanted a refill. He agreed.

“Understandable. I have a reason for being in this country instead of back in South Korea, too. But I doubt either one of us is into this enough to share something like that,” Jeongguk agreed good-naturedly.

“Thank you,” Jimin said to the bartender when his drink hit the bar top with a thud. Jeongguk watched as Jimin’s fingers crawled along the surface until they touched his drink, because he was still staring at Jeongguk. “May I take a guess as to why you’re here, then? If it wouldn’t offend you.”

“Are you using your degree in psychology on me right now?” Jeongguk asked, and Jimin let out a little giggle. A giggle, face scrunched and everything. Jeongguk was used to men sitting beside him and using that low, guttural, casual chuckle in hopes that it would sound seductive. Not Jimin.

“No, but I can pretend that I am. I’m just using good listening skills.” Jimin took a sip of his fresh drink. “May I?”

“Please.”

“I believe that you’re here studying because you weren’t accepted back home. Perhaps because of your sexual orientation, perhaps because of the specific career path you’re taking. Maybe both.”

“Mm.” Jeongguk traced the rim of his glass with his pointer finger. “Bet that Master’s degree will look good hanging on your bedroom wall.”

“You can come see it when it’s there, “Jimin said teasingly, and Jeongguk’s heart plummeted into his stomach, soaring back up as a weird tinge of arousal began to simmer in his gut. “Was I right?”

“You were fairly accurate,” Jeongguk commended. “On both accounts. Is that why you’re here, too?”

“No.” Jimin’s lips twitched in another smile. “Well, my sexual orientation was just an added bonus. I left because of many other factors. Mostly because I was ousted by my family and my entire community. I’m sure it would be immediately obvious as to why if I decided to tell you.”

“You just met me. You don’t have to tell me anything,” Jeongguk pointed out.

“You’re right. Thank you,” Jimin said with gratitude. “What do you like to do for fun, Jeongguk?”

“Don’t laugh at me.”

“I would never.” There was sincerity in his voice.

“I like yoga. A lot of yoga. I practice almost every day.”

“Smart, compassionate, and flexible,” Jimin listed, adding on the last adjective with a grin. “Where have you been hiding, hmm?”

“In my apartment buried under a million textbooks,” Jeongguk smoothly replied, even though his palms were sweating now. “There’s a yoga mat in there somewhere, don’t worry.”

“Yoga’s always seemed fun,” Jimin commented. “I’d like to try it one day. I’m not sure how great my balance would be, but it would be a good thing for my body to experience.”

“It’s not always about your body, though it does help with any pain or tightness in joints and muscles,” Jeongguk answered. “It helps you center, understand yourself better, talk a little bit to your soul. Sorry,” he added apologetically, cringing at himself. “I’m sorry.”

“Why are you apologizing?” Jimin uncrossed his legs, and then he crossed the other one on top. “Never apologize for being passionate about something. If someone doesn’t want to hear it or seems bored hearing it, then they don’t deserve to listen to you.”

“Are you bored?”

“Not even a little.” Jimin smiled warmly. “I like you, Jeongguk. You seem like a hidden gem. I’m just waiting for you to tell me something shocking or horrible about yourself so that I can say, ‘ah, I knew he was too good to be true.’”

“Stop,” Jeongguk said with a short laugh, shaking his head. He couldn’t believe what was happening to him. Jimin had not once made any mention of his looks. Hadn’t complimented his hair like most men (even women) did, hadn’t talked about his arm muscles or his body, hadn’t told him he was hot or even cute. He was complimenting other things, and it was jarring.

“Tell me stories about you teaching music,” Jeongguk blurted out. “I—I want to know.”

Jimin didn’t question it, and when he started speaking, Jeongguk didn’t regret asking such a blunt question. Jimin’s entire being lit up when he talked about the kids that he taught, when he explained the musical selections he was instructing, when he giggled over the mistakes some of the students made or the questions they asked. His stories were full of wonderment and happiness, sometimes frustration. He told one story, then two, then five, and then eight. Jeongguk kept asking for more, kept pleading to hear more, even when Jimin asked if Jeongguk was sure he wasn’t talking too much.

“I like listening to you talk. Tell me another.”

Nine o’clock passed, and then ten o’clock. The bar was jam-packed, but nobody existed to Jeongguk except Park Jimin. He was ethereally beautiful with a glowing kind of aura that drew Jeongguk in like a moth to a flame. The unexplainable pull had awoken something long dormant in Jeongguk, something he wasn’t sure existed until now. It was a type of deep desire that felt magnetic in nature, simultaneously scary because of how quick Jeongguk was to acknowledge that Jimin was not like other men. Jimin radiated with affection but with a type of guardedness that told Jeongguk he had been hurt before. It was amazing what an hour or two of conversation could do, amazing how much Jeongguk could determine within sixty minutes.

“You know,” Jeongguk started, gesturing vaguely with a small laugh, “I usually come to bars and have five or six drinks in the span of an hour so that I can get drunk and chat someone up. Take them home. Rinse and repeat, study, pass tests. Like a routine.”

“As far as I can tell, you’ve only had two drinks in the past hour,” Jimin said observantly.

“And I’m not drunk. Or chatting you up,” Jeongguk pointed out.

“You’re not? That’s a shame,” Jimin sighed, and he used his empty glass to trace nonsensical patterns on the bar top, leaving condensation in the cup’s wake. “I was kind of hoping that you were.”

“I can if you want,” Jeongguk said softly, and he watched as Jimin slowly licked his lips, eyes focused downward. Jeongguk then watched in awe as Jimin slid off his barstool, grabbed Jeongguk’s knees in both hands, and parted his legs so he could fit in between. His confidence, the bold move made Jeongguk swallow heavily, feeling his heart begin to race.

“Go ahead, then,” Jimin breathed. “Chat me up, Jeongguk-ah. Show me how you do it.”

“No.”

“No?” Jimin asked, his fingers crawling up towards Jeongguk’s thighs as Jeongguk shivered. Holy shit. Holy shit, he wasn’t going to make it. Jimin’s hands were like fire, and he was desperate to tear his jeans off so he could feel those hands against his bare skin. The most attractive man he had ever met in his fucking life was standing between his legs, dangerously close, asking Jeongguk to flirt with him.

“No. Not with you,” Jeongguk whispered. “I can’t chat you up like the others.”

“Why not?” Jimin’s lower lip jutted out in a pout.

“Because you’re different,” Jeongguk said quietly. “I didn’t hunt you down for a quick fuck.”

Jimin immediately stopped pouting and drew in a little breath, tilting his head backwards just a little. Jeongguk watched in awe, and then he felt a rush of heat through his entire body when Jimin’s eyes closed, his lips parted just a little, and he quickly jerked his head back to the left until his neck cracked. Fuck, he was so gorgeous. Jimin let out a little sigh and leaned in closer to Jeongguk.

“Can I touch you?” Jimin whispered. Jeongguk held his breath and nodded quietly. “Jeongguk-ah?”

“What? Yes. Yes, you can touch me,” he choked out, wondering why Jimin wanted verbal confirmation but appreciating it regardless. Then Jimin’s hands began to wander. They ran up Jeongguk’s thighs to his hips, ran up his sides to his ribs, floated to his chest until they were on his shoulders, flitted down his arms until he joined their hands together. Jimin tugged, and Jeongguk scooted to the edge of his barstool, sucking in a breath. Now they were even closer, their hips bumping together, close enough that Jeongguk could see all of the flaws that Jimin did not have on his skin. He was fucking beautiful. And he needed to know it.

“Hyung,” Jeongguk whispered, and then he finally reached up with trembling hands to touch back. He slipped his left arm around Jimin’s waist and ran his fingers through Jimin’s hair with his other hand. Jimin immediately arched towards him like it was second nature, like he was programmed to respond to Jeongguk’s touch. “You’re so beautiful.”

“Yeah?” Jimin’s eyes slowly opened, but he was kind of focusing on Jeongguk’s nose instead of his eyes. “You think so? What about me? What about—what about me as a person?”

“Are you asking me to compliment your inner beauty and not just your outer beauty?” Jeongguk asked with a grin, and Jimin let out a quiet giggle, leaning in more towards Jeongguk.

“I’m just wondering.”

“You’re too good to be true,” Jeongguk told him. “Too kind. Too… everything. And you want me to chat you up? You’re out of your goddamn mind.”

“Maybe I am.” Jimin’s hands slipped up to rest behind Jeongguk’s neck, and Jeongguk almost fell off the barstool. He couldn’t believe how dumb he became in an instant under this man’s attention. It was fucking unbelievable, something he had never experienced in his life before. It was thrilling, absolutely fucking exhilarating.

“Wanna take you home with me,” Jeongguk whispered, leaning in until his forehead was against Jimin’s. “Please. Please let me.”

“You should probably kiss me first,” Jimin whispered back. Jeongguk was not one to protest. He pulled Jimin closer and brought their lips together. It wasn’t a bruising or crushing kind of kiss. It was firm with a lot of intention behind it, though, and Jeongguk immediately dug his fingertips into Jimin’s hips as they kissed. His lips were so soft and he was so pliant, so willing to follow Jeongguk’s lead as they explored each other. Jimin licked into Jeongguk’s mouth, and Jeongguk let him, whimpering when their tongues met, knees weakening when Jimin fisted a handful of his hair. Though hot and heavy, the kiss was still controlled for the public eye at half past ten o’clock on a Friday night. But Jeongguk wanted more, needed more. He was so aroused, already half hard in his jeans, moaning into Jimin’s mouth when Jimin rocked his hips forward to create friction.

“H-Hyung,” Jeongguk gasped as Jimin pulled away and kissed down his jawline, pulling his hair to expose his neck so he could litter it with kisses. “Hyung, please. Please. Want more. Let me take you home with me.”

Jimin brought their lips together for several consecutive kisses, each one making Jeongguk yearn for more. He was so goddamn good at kissing. Jeongguk could hardly even imagine what else he was good at, or maybe that was just his dick talking. But then Jimin let out a small laugh against Jeongguk’s mouth, a laugh that had no warmth to it at all, and Jeongguk immediately pulled away from the kiss.

“I don’t think you want to take me home with you,” he whispered.

“You’re wrong,” Jeongguk said immediately.

“No. I know I’m right,” Jimin said with a detachment to his voice that Jeongguk hadn’t heard before. “You won’t want to.”

“Why?”

“You just won’t. No one ever does,” he said bitterly. “It’s only a matter of time.”

“I’ll prove you wrong.”

“You won’t. You’ll be like everyone else,” Jimin whispered, and then he planted several ghost kisses onto Jeongguk’s lips, their foreheads together again.

“No. I won’t. Let me.” Jeongguk didn’t want to sound desperate, but fuck, he couldn’t help it. It wasn’t even about getting laid. He could walk away from Jimin, chat up another man, and be back at his apartment fucking the guy in an hour tops. But he wanted Jimin. Wanted to fuck him, God yes, but wanted something more from him that he couldn’t quite explain.

“Yeah?” Jimin pressed his lips to Jeongguk’s once more, his hands cupping the younger’s face in an intimate gesture that had Jeongguk’s head spinning. It felt like a kiss goodbye. Jeongguk didn’t like it. “Okay.”

Jeongguk watched in a daze as Jimin scooted back, pivoted, and grabbed his bag from the bar top. Then he opened it up and pulled something out. Jeongguk then stared unblinkingly as Jimin tugged an elastic string and then shook out whatever was in his hands until it pieced together on its own.

It was a cane. A white cane with a black grip and holographic, reflective red from the bottom to about a fourth of the way up. And Jeongguk stared at Jimin rested one palm on top of it, and then the other. It came up to his chest, right at heart level, and it meant so much. First and foremost, though, it meant that Jimin was blind. He was… holy shit. He was blind. He was blind somehow, some way, and though he couldn’t figure out just how, Jeongguk realized he had spent an hour talking to Jimin without knowing a goddamn thing.

“Still want to take me home?” Jimin asked, cocking his head to the side with a little smile that told a thousand stories. Stories of immediate rejection, stories of men running for the hills, stories of pain and bitter laughter and predicting the future before it even happened, stories of sequential lame excuses, stories of loneliness. And it all hit Jeongguk like an epic novel to the head. He wanted to feel everything all at once—sympathy. Guilt. Embarrassment. Nerves. But then he saw Jimin’s grip tighten around his cane until his knuckles were white. That was when Jeongguk remembered the past hour, how easily the conversation had flowed, how Jimin laughed with his entire body, how beautiful he was telling stories about his life. How kissing him felt.

“Yeah,” Jeongguk breathed. “Do you—Do you want to walk out with me, or…?”

Jimin slowly licked his lips as Jeongguk watched, unable to believe that he might soon have the chance to feel those lips on his again.

“I don’t want your pity,” Jimin whispered, but Jeongguk was close enough to hear it.

“You only get pity if you want it,” Jeongguk said quietly, his heart throbbing in his chest. “Do you want it?”

“No.” Jimin shifted his cane into his right hand, and then he cleared his throat. “Give me your right arm. You can guide me out. Run me into something and you don’t get me in your bed.”

Jeongguk tentatively offered his right arm to Jimin, getting close enough so Jimin could feel it. Jimin’s hand easily and instantly grabbed hold at the back of his arm, right above his elbow, and he situated himself accordingly.

“After you, then,” he said, leaning in to whisper in Jeongguk’s ear. Jeongguk shivered inwardly, but he led the way out of the bar, being careful not to run Jimin into any of the tables or chairs or other patrons on his way out, his mind racing. There was suddenly no skirting around the fact that Jimin couldn’t see him. He couldn’t judge Jeongguk based on a first look, couldn’t use visual attraction to decide whether Jeongguk was worth fucking, couldn’t eye Jeongguk up and down to determine what he liked and what he didn’t like. He was quite literally letting Jeongguk take him home based on a good conversation and a feeling. No fucking wonder he had asked Jeongguk to evaluate his inner beauty. No wonder he hadn’t made a single comment about Jeongguk’s physical appearance. Suddenly, it all made sense.

“I’m getting an Uber,” Jeongguk said once they were outside, pulling out his phone. It was difficult to arrange a ride, though, because the entire time he put the information into the app, Jimin wrapped his arms around Jeongguk’s waist sideways and nuzzled into his neck, leaving hot kisses along his skin, behind his ear, down his jawline, in the dip of his shoulder. The moment the app told Jeongguk they had a ride, Jeongguk shoved his phone back into his pocket, grabbed Jimin around the waist, and pulled him in for a fierce, bruising kiss. Jimin gasped into it, letting his cane slide on the diagonal a little as he lost himself in the feeling, and Jeongguk savored it.

“Ride’s here,” Jeongguk gasped when the car pulled up. Jimin whined a little, but Jeongguk just gripped his hand and pulled him towards the car. He got in first, and then Jimin slid in after him, folding up his cane at the same time. The moment the door was closed, Jimin slid in close to Jeongguk, and Jeongguk immediately twisted his upper body towards Jimin for another kiss. Before his lips got the chance, Jimin moved his head away, his breath quickening.

“You have very little patience,” he whispered in Jeongguk’s ear. “Has anyone ever told you that? Is that part of being a lawyer?”

“No. I have patience,” Jeongguk whispered back, grabbing Jimin’s hair to tilt his head back and to the side to expose his neck. “Apparently just not with you.” Then he leaned in and latched his lips onto Jimin’s neck, desperate to leave a mark that Jimin could feel, that he didn’t need to see to understand that he was Jeongguk’s, if only for the night. Jimin inhaled sharply and whimpered, fisting the front of Jeongguk’s shirt while the Uber driver just hummed along to the song on the radio, following directions to Jeongguk’s apartment without complaining about the debauchery in the backseat. He had probably seen far worse on a Friday night in a college town.

Jeongguk wasn’t quite sure how they made it up into his apartment without destroying anything. Jimin kept his cane folded up and dangling from his wrist so that he could keep his lips on Jeongguk’s the entire time they walked into the apartment building, the entire time they rode the elevator to the sixth floor, the entire walk down the hallway. They pinballed off the hallway walls, giggling into each other’s mouths, hands all over. The moment Jeongguk’s hands dared to dip below the waist and grab Jimin’s ass, he let out an audible moan, throwing his head back against the wall with a dull thud. Jeongguk pinned him to it momentarily, relishing in how Jimin’s back arched towards him, how his hands were underneath Jeongguk’s shirt, trailing paths of fire along the younger’s skin.

Still making out like two teenagers, Jeongguk fumbled with his key until they stumbled messily into his apartment. When the door shut, Jimin unceremoniously dropped his bag and his cane on the ground, and Jeongguk let him. They kicked out of their shoes at the same time, lips still on each other’s, unconcerned with where anything landed once it left their bodies. When Jeongguk saw that Jimin’s shoes were off, he bent his knees and grabbed Jimin by the backs of his thighs right underneath his ass, and then he lifted. Jimin got the hint and took a little jump until his legs were wrapped around Jeongguk’s waist, ankles crossed, arms around Jeongguk’s neck.

“Smart, compassionate, flexible, and strong,” Jimin whispered against Jeongguk’s lips, adding to the list. “Fuck you, Jeon Jeongguk. Fuck you for being so perfect.”

Jeongguk laughed right into the kiss, and then he effortlessly carried Jimin straight into his bedroom. His room was a bit of a mess, clothes on the floor by his desk, his bed unmade, but he figured it didn’t matter much. If Jimin couldn’t see it and if Jimin was as turned on as Jeongguk was, a bit of a mess wasn’t a big deal, right?

Jeongguk gently set Jimin onto his bed and crawled on top of him as Jimin scooted back towards the pillows. The kissing started out innocent yet heavy, but then Jimin rutted up and grabbed Jeongguk’s hips with both hands, and Jeongguk almost growled.

“Shit, what?” he breathed. “What do you want? Tell me.”

“J-Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin said breathlessly, pressing his heels into the bed and pushing his hips upward again. “Fuck me. I want you to fuck me. God, please, please fuck me.”

“Yeah. Shit, yeah. Okay,” Jeongguk croaked out, feeling himself get harder and harder the more Jimin’s hands roamed his body underneath his shirt. “Fuck, I will. I’ll make you feel so good, hyung. Make you feel so good.”

“Please,” Jimin whispered. So Jeongguk, realizing that his condoms and lube were in the bathroom, jumped off the bed and hurried into the bathroom. He threw open the cabinet, gritting his teeth and reaching down to palm himself through his jeans a few times in an attempt to relieve some of the pressure. And that was when Jimin panicked, launching forward to the edge of the bed.

“Wh-Where are you? Jeongguk-ah, where are you?” he asked in a breathy panic, shooting upright. Jeongguk immediately abandoned his attempt to look for condoms and lube and stumbled over his own feet to Jimin. He hastily knelt down on the floor, gripping Jimin’s knees.

“I’m right here. I’m sorry,” Jeongguk apologized.

“Where exactly are we?” Jimin demanded to know, his voice slightly strangled.

“We’re in my bedroom. I’m sorry. I should have told you,” Jeongguk whispered, standing up.

“It’s fine,” Jimin breathed. “It’s fine, just—just tell me what’s happening, please. I—I’m not normally this skittish, I swear. It’s just—I’m—I don’t do this kind of thing. It never gets this far.”

“It’s okay.” Jeongguk took his chances. He slipped his arms around Jimin’s lower waist, hands under his thighs again, and then he lifted the man up off the bed with a little grunt, spinning them so that he was sitting on the bed and Jimin was seated in his lap. It was instantaneous, the way that Jimin melted right into him. His legs straddled Jeongguk’s lap instinctively, arms circling around his neck. “You don’t have to explain yourself. I… this is new to me, too. But—But I want you. I want you so badly.” He leaned in and buried his face into Jimin’s neck, pulling the elder closer to his chest.

“Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin whimpered, pressing his chest to Jeongguk’s, rolling his hips gently. It was enough friction to have Jeongguk gasping already, hating that he was still wearing all of his clothing. “Undress me.”

Jeongguk did not need to be told twice. He reached down, grabbed the hem of Jimin’s shirt, and tugged upward until the shirt was on the floor. Immediately, his hands began to explore Jimin’s taut body, skin warm under his fingers, goosebumps rising on Jimin’s skin the more Jeongguk felt, the more he began to dig his fingertips in and truly feel. He ran his hands down Jimin’s arms, along his shoulders to the dip of his collarbone, down the smooth curve of his back.

“Not enough,” Jimin whispered. “You too.”

Jeongguk immediately tore his own shirt off, and then he gently set Jimin onto his feet, reaching forward and grabbing Jimin’s belt without going any further. He quietly cocked his head to the side, heart racing, and then he watched as Jimin took in a sharp breath, eyes fluttering closed.

“Go ahead,” he whispered, giving permission. Jeongguk wasted no time in undressing Jimin down to just his boxer briefs, his mouth dry yet watering at the sight of the man nearly naked. The curves of his body were so goddamn beautiful. He had a small waist and strong thighs and the ass of a god that Jeongguk wanted to appreciate for the rest of his life. He was too good to be true, visibly half hard and standing before Jeongguk with very little shame.

“Come here,” Jeongguk whispered, and then he pulled Jimin down onto his lap and crashed their lips together in another fierce kiss. Jimin whimpered into his mouth and grabbed fistfuls of his hair, tugging as Jeongguk gasped, grabbing at skin. He rolled the two of them until Jimin was on his back, Jeongguk hovering. He swept his tongue into Jimin’s mouth, the kiss deep and so fucking hot, better than any kiss Jeongguk had ever received in years, maybe ever. It was the kind of kiss that made him tremble from the inside out, that made him feel like he was at four times his normal speed, needy and desperate.

“You’re so beautiful,” Jeongguk breathed, and then he began to kiss down Jimin’s body, straight down his chest as Jimin’s breath stuttered, his back arching off the bed to get closer to Jeongguk’s lips. “So fucking beautiful. Can’t believe you let me take you home with me.”

“Yeah?” Jimin let out a breathy laugh, and Jeongguk could hear he was trying to bring himself back into the moment, trying not to lose control. “Then for fuck’s sake, undress yourself, too. I’m not doing it for you.”

Jeongguk chuckled, and then he rose up on his knees, undid his own jeans, and shimmied out of them, his skin thrumming with anticipation. Then he crawled back onto the bed and straddled Jimin, one hand on either side of his head right above his shoulders.

“Just tell me if I do something you don’t want,” he whispered. Jimin responded by grabbing Jeongguk at the base of his neck and pulling him down for another kiss. Jeongguk was the one who pulled away, and then he watched as Jimin propped himself up on his elbows. Jeongguk’s breath caught in his throat as he admired the view beneath him. Jimin was toned and lithe with muscle in all the right places, and he was panting and licking his lips, blinking rapidly, a few strands of hair falling into his left eye. Jeongguk couldn’t help but wonder what, if anything, he could see. Maybe it was worth asking.

“What can you see?” he whispered, pressing his forehead to Jimin’s. “Tell me what you can see.”

“Not much of anything,” Jimin whispered back. “Especially not at night or in the dark. That okay with you? Still want to fuck me?”

“You think I’m that much of an asshole?” Jeongguk asked rhetorically, and then he watched in admiration as Jimin’s face quietly split into a genuine smile. Jeongguk decided they were done talking for the time being. He scooted and sat on Jimin’s hips, and then he began to slowly, deliciously grind against him. Jimin moaned, hard like Jeongguk, and Jeongguk immediately felt far less embarrassed about how his cock was aching for relief already. Jimin’s hands splayed across Jeongguk’s back and he dug his fingernails in, head tilted back. Jeongguk watched carefully as he rolled his hips, his head spinning at the feeling of their warm bodies so close, feeling pre-cum leaking from his cock just at the realization of how fucking hot it was rocking their hips together, nothing but thin underwear fabric separating them. He could have cum just like that, from rutting against the elder like a horny teenager, but he didn’t have time to feel mortified at the thought. Jeongguk grabbed Jimin’s arms and pinned them above his head by the wrists. His hands were big enough that he only had to use one to keep both of Jimin’s arms above his head.

“Is this okay?”

“Yes,” Jimin breathed. “Fuck, yes. It’s good. So good.”

“Wanna fuck you,” Jeongguk breathed, still kissing down Jimin’s body. “Tell me how you want it, hyung.”

“Wanna ride you,” Jimin said almost instantly. “Wanna—wanna just—ah. Fuck, fuck. Oh my God.” He then lost all ability to speak when Jeongguk’s free hand slipped beneath his underwear to finally grab his cock, thumbing across the slit to gather the pre-cum. Jimin blew out a breath, his head lolling to the side, hips immediately attempting to thrust into Jeongguk’s hand for more. Jeongguk flicked his wrist deftly on the upstroke, and Jimin gasped. He circled his thumb at the head of his cock, and more pre-cum spilled onto his fingers as Jimin moaned. He was so responsive to every touch from Jeongguk, and it was setting Jeongguk’s entire body on fire.

“You sure about that?” Jeongguk said in a teasing tone, making sure Jimin was wet enough to jerk off comfortably.

“Don’t know. You—ah—you still haven’t undressed me properly,” Jimin said breathlessly. Jeongguk smirked, and then he promptly removed Jimin’s underwear with a tug and peeled off his own, leaving them both completely naked.

“There,” Jeongguk whispered. “Now we’re both naked.”

“Fuck, can I—can I touch you?” Jimin gasped.

“Please.”

Jimin sat up as much as he could as Jeongguk sat back on his heels, and his breath hitched in his throat when Jimin crawled a bit towards him. His fingers flitted across Jeongguk’s skin in a far more intimate fashion than Jeongguk was used to, probably because Jeongguk wasn’t used to bedding a man who couldn’t see him, who only went by touch. Jimin’s hands slipped behind Jeongguk’s back to grab his bare ass, and Jeongguk let out a cross between a moan and a sigh, arching in towards Jimin. The smirk on Jimin’s face was so fucking hot.

“Holy shit, I can’t believe I got to take you home with me,” Jeongguk said, and Jimin chuckled, leaning in to press kisses along Jeongguk’s bare shoulder, his hands on Jeongguk’s hips.

“You keep saying that.”

“Do you know yourself?” Jeongguk breathed. “You—oh.” He threw his head back and let out strangled whimper when Jimin’s hand finally grabbed his cock, his thumb sweeping over the slit just the same. He wasn’t an amateur, that much was immediately obvious. His grip was firm, and he stroked Jeongguk like he had done it a thousand times before. Jeongguk instantly fell apart under his touch, both hands in Jimin’s hair, stuttering and begging.

“Don’t know. Do you know yourself? See how big your cock is? Now shut up,” Jimin said. He turned the two of them and shoved Jeongguk onto his back, and then he grabbed Jeongguk’s hips and took a deep breath. Before Jeongguk could say a word, Jimin lowered his head and took Jeongguk’s cock into his mouth. Jeongguk let out a strangled moan, grabbing Jimin’s hair with his right hand, his left hand on Jimin’s shoulder. He let out a steady stream of curse words, the warm, velvety feeling of Jimin’s mouth almost too much. Jimin tightened his lips and ran his tongue around the tip in response.

“Fuck, you’re incredible,” Jeongguk gasped. “Your mouth feels so good. Fuck, hyung, I—I can’t, you feel amazing. More, more, more.”

He was a begging, stuttering mess just from a blowjob, something he’d gotten dozens of times before, yet had never felt like this. Jimin grabbed the back of Jeongguk’s thighs to pull him closer, and Jeongguk gently pushed Jimin’s head towards his hips, sending his cock further down Jimin’s throat. Jimin only choked for a moment, but then he relaxed his throat and took it all without a single complaint, without pulling off or telling Jeongguk to stop. Jeongguk had never felt so fucking turned on in his life, feeling Jimin suck and swirl his tongue around his cock like it was his job, teeth lightly grazing on the sensitive skin. It was as if he was taking Jeongguk’s moans, interpreting them, and doing exactly what the younger wanted.

“I—hyung, stop, stop. Stop, I’m gonna—I’m gonna cum just from this, y-you have to—Jimin,” he said, dropping all honorifics as Jimin obeyed and removed his mouth, licking his lips and wiping away the spit and pre-cum casually. Jeongguk damn near tackled Jimin into the next kiss, pinning him to the bed. The kiss was ferocious and territorial as he attempted to claim Jimin for his own.

“Gonna mark you the fuck up," he cursed into Jimin’s mouth. “Make sure everyone knows you got fucked well.”

“Y-You haven’t even fucked me yet,” Jimin gasped. “Mark me up i-if I decide you fuck me best.”

But Jeongguk could tell by Jimin’s voice that they both already knew they were about to have the best sex of their life. Jeongguk’s cock barely fit into Jimin’s mouth. Jimin’s hands were fucking magic. Jeongguk had magnificent stamina. Jimin kissed like Jeongguk’s lips were his last meal. They didn’t need to talk each other up at all.

“Need to get lube and a condom,” he whispered in Jimin’s ear. “I’m just going into the bathroom. Don’t move.”

Jimin obediently stayed put, and Jeongguk rocketed off the bed and grabbed what he needed from the cabinet, his heart pounding erratically. Then he leapt back onto the bed and quietly began to situate Jimin until the elder was up against the pillows. Jeongguk tapped until both of Jimin’s knees were bent, and then he uncapped the lube.

“You okay if I prep you? Or did you want to do it yourself?” he quietly asked.

“You,” Jimin breathed. “Please.”

“Touch me while I do,” Jeongguk whispered, warming up the lube in his finger before he tested it out against Jimin’s skin, teasing his rim. Jimin sucked in a breath and whimpered, and then he reached up his right hand and wrapped it around Jeongguk’s cock. “Y-You don’t have to do much. Just—Just touch me. Let me open you up, make you feel good, hyung.”

“Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin panted, and the Jeongguk carefully slipped in his middle finger just up to his knuckle. Jimin was tight as a vice, fighting against the intrusion immediately, so Jeongguk leaned in and kissed him deeply. Jimin sighed into it, and Jeongguk felt him physical relax as his finger slipped in further. He still frowned against Jeongguk’s lips, but then he took a breath through his nose, resolute. Jeongguk carefully pumped one finger in and out, watching Jimin’s face to see his reaction, to make sure that he was okay. When his grimaces turned into whimpers of pleasure, Jeongguk teased a second finger, and then he added it.

“Fuck,” Jimin gasped, throwing his head back as his grip subconsciously tightened on Jeongguk’s cock. Jeongguk rutted his hips forward into it immediately, his head spinning. He had never in his life been equally turned on with a partner in bed before. Typically, it was Jeongguk who was over the edge or it was the virtual stranger in his bed who was a horny mess. This time, they both wanted it just the same, and it made everything that much more incredible.

“A-Another. Add another. Want it. Need it,” Jimin whined, and he began to fuck himself down on Jeongguk’s fingers. His skin was glistening in the dim lighting, but he was glowing, and Jeongguk had never been so enamored in his life. He added a third finger and began to twist carefully, Jimin’s moans music to his ears. Then he curled one finger and found Jimin’s prostate, and that was nearly the end of Jimin. He let out a cross between a yelp and a moan, maybe close to a sob.

“Yes, yes, yes, yes,” was all he said at first. “Right there, right there. Holy shit. Oh my God, Jeongguk. More, oh my God.”

“Shh,” Jeongguk said with a chuckle, only touching that sensitive spot a few more times as he leaned down and kissed Jimin’s forehead, cheeks, jaw, and lips. “Shh, don’t worry. I promised I’d make you feel good, baby. But you want to ride me, don’t you? Have to make sure you’re ready for me. You feel good? You ready to fuck yourself on my cock? Ready to show me how incredible you are?”

“Y-Yes, yes,” Jimin gasped. “Yes, let me ride you. Please, please, please.”

Jeongguk quietly maneuvered the two of them until he was lying on his back and Jimin was kneeling above him, idly stroking his cock with his head tilted to one side, catching his breath as Jeongguk stared, unable to believe this man was about to ride his cock.

“Gonna put the condom on?” Jimin asked.

“Yeah. Fuck, yeah, sorry,” Jeongguk apologized, and he hastily tore the wrapper with his teeth and rolled the condom on. “You like it wet or not?”

“Wet,” Jimin confirmed. “Want it messy.”

Jeongguk squeezed a little more lube than normal onto his cock, and then he stroked himself, sucking in a breath between his teeth at how sensitive he was. There was no goddamn way he was going to last long once he saw Jimin riding his cock. He was so fucked.

“I’m ready for you,” he said. “Ride me, hyung. Show me what you can do.”

Jimin scooted forward, and Jeongguk helped to align his cock, teasing Jimin for a few moments as Jimin gathered himself and took a deep breath. Then they both let out stuttered breaths and gasps as Jimin slowly sank down. It took several minutes of silent curses for him to bottom out, but when he did, he let out a cry, his fingernails digging into Jeongguk’s chest enough that Jeongguk was sure he was going to draw blood.

“Shit, shit, shit,” Jimin said with a dry sob, his head falling forward as his arms trembled, in danger of collapsing. “J-Jeongguk-ah, I—I…”

“I know,” Jeongguk interrupted, barely able to see straight. “I know, baby, I know, me too. Me too. It’s okay.”

Jimin was tight and hot and so fucking beautiful like this. Jeongguk was panting, his heart slamming against his ribcage, in real danger of losing control. He could cum just from this, just from seeing Jimin glistening with sweat, hair falling in his face, Jeongguk’s cock buried deep in him. It was heavenly. They stayed still for a solid two to three minutes, trying to catch their breath, trying to collect themselves.

“I’m good,” Jimin whispered. “J-Jeongguk-ah, I’m—I’m gonna move. Gonna move now.”

“Okay,” Jeongguk said. “Fuck, please. Please move. Wanna see you fuck yourself on my cock. Show me how good you can be.”

Jimin let out a stuttered breath, and then he began to roll his hips experimentally. The feeling was so incredible that Jeongguk threw an arm out and fisted the sheets, his thighs trembling already. Then, as Jimin began to find a good rhythm, a good pace, Jeongguk brought his hands up. He grabbed Jimin’s thighs and gripped encouragingly.

“Talk to me,” Jimin gasped. “T-Talk, Jeonggukie. Tell me how I’m doing. W-Wanna know how I’m d-doing. Tell me I’m good. T-Tell me I’m good, please.”

“Good? Shit, you’re so perfect,” Jeongguk answered immediately, breathless. “Look so beautiful like this, hyung. Look so fucking beautiful riding my cock. Such a good boy, taking it like this. Fuck, you feel amazing. Doing so well, so well.”

“Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin whined in pleasure, head tilted back as he rode Jeongguk, eyes closed, hands splayed on Jeongguk’s chest, looking like an absolute god. “More. More, say more.”

Somewhere in the throes of passion, Jeongguk realized in the back of his head that Jimin wanted to hear praise, to hear dirty talk, probably anything because he couldn’t see the way Jeongguk was reacting. He wanted confirmation, clarification, anything. And Jeongguk was going to fucking give it to him.

“Fucking gorgeous like this, baby boy. You look amazing on my cock. Could let you ride me every night, fuck. Shit, let me just—let me fuck you. Let me make you feel good, too. Shit, hyung, you’re taking me so well. C’mon, baby. C’mon, let me fuck you like you deserve. Tell me how you want me to fuck you. Please let me.”

“Want you to fuck me so I can’t walk in the morning,” Jimin said breathlessly, still maintaining a steady rhythm. “Want you to fuck me s-so that every step I take tomorrow, I feel you. W-Want you to fuck me so that I never want another cock but yours again. Please, please—”

Jeongguk let out a strangled growl, grabbed Jimin around the waist, and flipped them over. He grabbed Jimin’s knees and shoved them towards his chest, and then his buried his cock deep into Jimin again.

“Don’t you hold back, baby,” Jeongguk hissed as he began to earnestly fuck into the elder, the lewd wet sound filling the room. “Don’t you fucking dare. Wanna hear you. Nice and loud, okay? Don’t be quiet, you understand? Tell me how it feels.”

He pushed Jimin’s knees up further, marveling at how flexible the elder was, the heat in the pit of his stomach growing each time he watched his cock disappear into Jimin’s hole, sweat trickling down his back as he fucked Jimin harder than he had ever fucked anyone in his life. Jimin took it all, and he was loud, just like requested. He moaned and cried out and cursed, but most of all, he said Jeongguk’s name in a way that made Jeongguk snap his hips forward frantically and uncontrollably, chasing his orgasm, because it wasn’t far off. He was fucking Jimin so hard that the entire bed was shaking, and Jimin was nearly up against the headboard, his entire body trembling as he tried to grab Jeongguk anywhere he could reach.

“You feel so fucking good,” Jeongguk said through gritted teeth. “Fuck, you feel amazing. Fucking love that you like it wet, love how well you take my cock. Could fuck you every day if you let me.”

“Jeongguk,” Jimin groaned. “Jeongguk-ah, Jeongguk, please. Wanna cum so badly. W-Wanna cum, please—”

“Touch yourself, baby boy. Show me how you touch yourself. Want you to cum,” Jeongguk panted, his vision blurring. The orgasm that was building up was unlike anything he had ever felt before in his life. He watched as Jimin’s hand flew down to his cock, and he began to desperately jerk himself off, moaning and thrashing his head back and forth, head thrown back. It was an invitation. Jeongguk fucked deep into Jimin and launched forward, grabbing the skin of Jimin’s neck with his teeth. Jimin let out a dry sob and a few curses, egging Jeongguk on as Jeongguk sucked and bit until the skin was red and bruising. He licked it gently when he was satisfied, and then he picked a spot on Jimin’s collarbone, creating another obvious mark as Jimin’s legs began to shake underneath him.

“Shit, shit, shit. I’m gonna—I’m gonna cum,” Jimin warned. “Oh my God, oh my God.”

“Cum for me, baby,” Jeongguk said breathlessly. Jimin didn’t have to be told twice. He flicked his wrist a few more times, and then his entire back arched off the bed, the crown of his head hitting the pillow for a moment as he came hard, spilling onto his abdomen and chest, crying out the entire time as Jeongguk fucked him right through the orgasm. When Jimin collapsed and started to whimper, Jeongguk thought to pull out, sensing that Jimin was over-stimulated and too sensitive, but Jimin stopped him.

“N-No,” he gasped. “No, want you to fuck me until you cum. Want you to cum inside me.”

It only took Jeongguk about a dozen more thrusts before he was spilling into the condom, seeing stars in his vision, nearly collapsing from the intensity of the orgasm. He came harder than he had ever in his life, explosions of pleasure washing over his body.

It took Jeongguk a minute to calm down, and when he did, he grabbed his cock at the base and gently pulled out of Jimin, listening as Jimin quietly whimpered at the sensation. They were both sweating, and Jimin still had cum on his abdomen, his breathing a bit irregular. Feeling the immediate need to take care of him, Jeongguk rolled off the bed, legs shaking, and stumbled to the bathroom to toss the condom and find something to clean them both up. He quietly pawed through his belongings until he found a washcloth he thought he could use.

“J-Jeongguk?”

Jeongguk hummed quietly, running the washcloth under the water.

“Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin repeated with more urgency, and when Jeongguk emerged from the bathroom, he leapt towards the bed. Jimin was slowly starting to curl up into a fetal position, panic seeping into his voice. Jeongguk rolled Jimin onto his back, resting one hand on his cheek.

“I’m right here. I’m sorry, I keep leaving without telling you,” he whispered, tracing lines on Jimin’s face soothingly. “I’m so sorry. I’ll do better. Let me clean you off, okay?”

Jimin exhaled shakily, and then he nodded with a small sniff. Jeongguk pressed the warm washcloth to the elder’s skin, and then he wiped off the cum and sweat from Jimin’s body with great care, watching as Jimin visibly began to sink further into the mattress, relaxing under Jeongguk’s touch.

“Thank you,” he whispered, and then he sat up slowly. “I—I’ll just—can you grab my clothes?”

“What?” Jeongguk dropped the washcloth on his nightstand carelessly. “You’re leaving? Why? Don’t leave. Why?”

Jimin stopped dead in his tracks, and then he turned his head in Jeongguk’s direction.

“You want me to stay?” he asked in a small voice.

“I mean—well—at least for a little,” Jeongguk said pleadingly, feeling like a teenager. “Please?”

“Thought you’d want me to go,” Jimin whispered, and Jeongguk chuckled.

“You just gave me the best fuck of my entire life. You think you’re getting away that easily? Get over here and cuddle me, you loser.”

Jimin giggled, and then he shimmied and scooted back onto the bed, hands falling onto Jeongguk as he situated himself carefully. Jeongguk rested on his pillows, and Jimin immediately curled up into his arms, lying on his side with one leg slung over Jeongguk’s, one hand on his chest. Jeongguk instinctively reached up and stroked Jimin’s thick hair that was damp with sweat, his fingers twitching.

“I probably should’ve given you a tour of the place,” Jeongguk whispered. “I’m really sorry, hyung. I didn’t realize how scary that would be for you. I can show you around, if you want. Tell you where everything is.”

“It’s okay,” Jimin murmured. “It’s not that scary, I promise. I know where the bathroom is. That’s the only important thing right now. Don’t worry about it.”

“You sure?”

“I’m sure. I’m really not that edgy and panicky. Not helpless. I think I was just too caught up in the moment. Too much adrenaline.”

“Hyung, I…”

“You have a lot of questions,” Jimin guessed, his hand curling into a fist on Jeongguk’s chest. Jeongguk brought his left hand up overtop the fist, and Jimin flattened it until his palm was on top of Jeongguk’s heart.

“Only if you want to answer them,” Jeongguk said. “I won’t ask you a damn thing if you don’t feel like answering.”

“No. I get it. It’s okay. A few questions won’t hurt,” Jimin agreed. “Starting with the most important one.”

“You already know?”

“Mhm. You’re going to ask if I’m actually blind.”

“Well… well, yeah.”

“The answer is yes. I’m almost totally blind.”

“Why?”

“I was born with it,” Jimin whispered. “It’s called retinitis pigmentosa. Rare disorder. Affects the rods and cones of my eyes. I could see a fair bit when I was younger. I just had no peripheral vision, and my night vision was horrible. That was the rods, they went first. And then when I was about thirteen, the cones started to go. I lost my color vision, and then my central vision. A lot of people who have RP aren’t totally blind, or they aren’t until they’re in their forties. I wasn’t as lucky. Mine progressed quickly and severely. I was totally blind by the time I turned fifteen.”

“That’s… that’s a lot,” Jeongguk admitted.

“I know.”

“So you’re totally blind.”

“Mhm.”

“Can you see anything? Or is it all just darkness?”

“No.” Jimin let out a weak little giggle. “Sighted people are so funny. Always think that being blind means being in total darkness. Can you see out the back of your head, Jeongguk-ah?”

“What? No.”

“Right. So blindness is like that a lot of times. It’s just a total absence of input. It’s like what you can see out the back of your head if you’re looking forward. There’s just nothing there. No perception of anything, does that make sense?”

“Yeah. Kind of a mind fuck, though.”

“It is. I’m a little different. I have what’s called light perception. I can see lights and shadows.”

“Really?”

“Mhm. That’s about it, though.”

“So you… you can’t see me.”

“No.”

“You don’t know what I look like.”

“No.”

“So I could be ugly as fucking sin and you’d still be okay with it.”

Jimin snorted with laughter and snuggled into Jeongguk further.

“I don’t care.”

“So what’s the cane for? That helps you get around, right? Why don’t you have a dog? Don’t some people who are blind have dogs?”

“Some have seeing eye dogs, yes. A dog would be nice, but I’m okay with a white cane,” Jimin replied quietly. “It’s what I’ve used for a majority of my life. Well, that’s not quite true. My parents let me run into things and trip and injure myself a thousand times instead of letting me have a cane. I didn’t get one until I moved here when I was eighteen.”

“You… You said your family ousted you,” Jeongguk whispered.

“Mhm. You sure you wanna hear about something that heavy right now?” Jimin asked with a breathy laugh. “Seems like a bit much after we just had sex.”

“You’re right. Sorry.” Jeongguk turned his head slightly and kissed the crown of Jimin’s head. Then he smiled into Jimin’s hair, his eyes falling closed. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“Letting me take you home. I feel really lucky.”

Jimin was quiet for a moment, and then he shifted until his right elbow was on Jeongguk’s chest, and he was lifting his head up a little. Jeongguk reached up his left hand and gently ran his fingertips along Jimin’s smooth skin from his forehead to his chin, watching Jimin’s lips part as he sighed in contentment.

“You wanna know something?”

“Yeah.”

“I’ve gone home with men before,” Jimin began, and Jeongguk felt an immediate and alarming pang of jealousy. “And it’s always been the same. They manhandle me, bring me to their bed, fuck me quick, and then call me an Uber.”

“Mm.”

“And you’re lying here saying that you’re the lucky one,” Jimin whispered. “When no one’s ever taken care of me like this before. Never let me have any kind of control before. It was… it was incredible. I know it’s lame to lie here and tell you that the sex was great, because you don’t… you know. You don’t need to hear that. You know it was. And you barely even know me. But I’m the one who’s lucky.”

“You’re a sap,” Jeongguk teased, and then he grabbed Jimin and pulled until Jimin was lying on top of him, still completely naked, their skin immediately sticking together from residual sweat. It didn’t matter. “Gonna let me have your number?”

“I don’t know. That might be a little clingy,” Jimin teased back. “But I guess you can have my number, yeah.”

“Gonna sleep over?”

“That’s the most outlandish request I’ve ever heard,” Jimin said theatrically, and Jeongguk reached down and smacked his bare ass playfully. Jimin let out a yelp and then a sigh that sounded an awful lot like pleasure as he wiggled a little. Arousal stirred in the pit of Jeongguk’s stomach again.

“Wait, you like that?” he asked curiously.

“Mm.” Jimin nuzzled into his neck. “Fucking twenty-four years old and never got to experiment much with sex. But I love it all. Want it all.”

“Yeah? Like what?”

“You gonna get turned on if I tell you?”

“Probably.”

“Spanking. Gagging. Edging. Bondage. Those kinds of things,” Jimin listed casually.

“Fucking hell, hyung.”

“Why? You gonna let me experiment with you, Jeongguk-ah?” Jimin whispered, rolling his hips sensually against Jeongguk’s. “Mm, not tonight. Maybe we’ll have to see each other again. You want to?”

“What? See you again after tonight? Of course I do,” Jeongguk muttered, gripping Jimin tighter.

“Mm… shame that I won’t see you again.”

“What? You won’t?” Jeongguk asked, mildly hurt.

“No. That’s what happens when you’re blind. You don’t really see people.”

“Oh, you asshole,” Jeongguk said, smacking Jimin’s ass again as Jimin dissolved into giggles, dropping his head onto Jeongguk’s right shoulder and burying himself happily. “Please stay. Stay the night with me. You can leave in the morning if you need to. Just… please stay.”

“Okay. I’ll stay. As long as you give me a toothbrush.”

Jeongguk agreed to that much.

 

***

 

When Jeongguk woke up the next morning, he immediately recognized that he was by himself, and that the bed on the other side was cold. His eyes shot open and he rocketed to an upright position, but then he let out a sigh of relief. The covers were folded back on one side, and Jimin’s clothes were still on the floor from last night. But one of Jeongguk’s dresser drawers was open, and then he heard a cabinet shutting from out in the kitchen.

Jeongguk rolled out of bed, slipped on some underwear and a pair of sweatpants, and then he quickly brushed his teeth, noticing that his toothpaste had been recently used. Then he shuffled out of his bedroom.

What he saw completely took his breath away. Jimin was roaming around his kitchen, hands running along the countertops, curiously opening cabinets to silently explore. He was wearing one of Jeongguk’s t-shirts, but it was too big on him, falling to mid-thigh, and when he scooted around the countertop with a little hum, Jeongguk nearly exploded with fondness. Holy shit, he had actually had sex with this man. He was even more beautiful in the morning with the sunlight from the window hitting his porcelain skin and making him glow.

“Hyung.”

“What? I wasn’t doing anything,” Jimin said immediately, and Jeongguk snorted with laughter. He walked up and slipped his arms around Jimin’s waist, pulling him in close.

“Good morning,” he whispered, and then he leaned down and gently kissed Jimin. “Were you looking for something to eat?”

“Uh… yes,” Jimin lied, and Jeongguk snickered. “Sorry. I woke up before you did, and you were sleeping really well, so I just… thought I’d give myself a tour.”

“Yeah? Figured out the whole apartment yourself?”

“Mhm. But if you fed me, I wouldn’t mind,” Jimin said with a sleepy smile. It was so fucking cute that Jeongguk hoisted him up onto the kitchen countertop in one smooth motion, stood between his legs, and kissed him again. It started out lazy, but then Jimin slid forward until their hips were flushed against one another, only for Jeongguk to figure out that he was wearing only underwear beneath the shirt, and he was already half hard. They kissed and kissed until Jeongguk was ready to bend Jimin over the countertop and take him from behind. He had half a mind to ask, but then he pulled away breathlessly, staring at Jimin. His lips were pink and swollen, his eyes were still sleepy, his hair was a mess from Jeongguk’s hands, and he already looked fucked out. It was too goddamn early for this, holy shit.

“Still want me after last night?” Jimin whispered. He tried to sound confident, but Jeongguk could hear the hint of apprehension in his voice, like he was afraid Jeongguk was going to change his mind and run off.

“Want you even more,” Jeongguk whispered. “Would bend you over this countertop right now if I wasn’t so hungry.”

Jimin let out a soft moan. “It’s fine, just eat me instead.”

“You little shit,” Jeongguk muttered against Jimin’s mouth, and they exchanged a few more lazy kisses. “Let me take you out to breakfast.”

“Actually, I really shouldn’t,” Jimin sighed. “My roommate called me fifteen times last night before he sent me a million texts saying that I better be getting laid and not be dead in a ditch.”

“Did you answer him?”

“Yeah. Told him I got laid.”

“And?”

“What, you want me to tell him that you were a god in bed or something?” Jimin teased, his legs still wrapped around Jeongguk’s waist, hands in the younger’s hair. “Don’t worry. I told him it was well worth the scolding he gave me for not answering.”

“Mm.” Jeongguk pressed a few more kisses against Jimin’s lips, and then he backed away. “Wanna shower?”

“Together?”

“You said it, not me,” Jeongguk said with a grin as Jimin hopped off the countertop.

“Carry me there.”

“Yes, Your Majesty.” Jeongguk swept Jimin up bridal style as Jimin threw his head back and laughed, and Jeongguk carried him back into the bedroom and into the bathroom. He stripped off his own t-shirt from Jimin’s body, whispering how sexy it was that the elder was wearing his clothes, and then he cranked the water nice and hot, promising an innocent shower.

It started off innocent. Jeongguk squeezed shampoo into Jimin’s palm and Jimin gently scrubbed Jeongguk’s lower back for him. But then Jimin turned and pressed Jeongguk up against the tiles, and the making out started. When Jeongguk dropped to his knees and took Jimin’s cock in his mouth, that was the end of the innocent shower. He sucked Jimin dry, and then he let Jimin jerk him off until he came with a moan, the water starting to run cold. They had to rinse off again before getting out to dry off.

Jimin asked Jeongguk for his clothes, but Jeongguk just kissed his gently and offer his own clothes. Jimin’s face flushed pink a little, but he quietly nodded and agreed to wear Jeongguk’s clothes. Jeongguk gifted him a pair of jeans that Jimin had to cuff twice and a Champion sweatshirt that drowned him, but he looked perfect regardless. Then he gathered up Jimin’s clothes from last night and folded them haphazardly, handing them over once they were together in the entryway of the apartment.

“You sure you can’t do breakfast?” Jeongguk asked quietly once more.

“I can’t,” Jimin sighed, throwing his bag onto one shoulder and shoving the clothes inside. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine. At least let me call you an Uber,” Jeongguk offered. Jimin opened his mouth to weakly protest, but Jeongguk just made a few sputtering noises and grabbed his phone to arrange the ride. The Uber was only two minutes around the corner, and Jeongguk internally cursed the driver for being so efficient. Then he walked Jimin down to the main floor.

“Hey.” Jimin planted his cane firmly on the sidewalk, and then he reached out and grabbed for Jeongguk’s arm. Jeongguk immediately wrapped the elder in his arms, feeling weird about seeing him go. Shit, were these what feelings were like? How awful. “Thank you, Jeongguk-ah. For… everything.”

“Tell me I get to see you again,” Jeongguk whispered. “Like, tell me I’m not just being clingy and you want to see me, too. I don’t normally do shit like this, hyung. I never let anyone sleep over.”

“You’re not being clingy. I have your number.” Jimin’s smile was so warm and gentle that it made Jeongguk internally melt. “I’ll be waiting.”

And then he got into the Uber and disappeared.

Chapter Text

“I know that face.”

“You know nothing.” Eyes still on his laptop, Jeongguk reached over and swatted at Kim Taehyung’s silver-haired head. Taehyung leaned far to the right to avoid the incoming hand, nearly falling into Kim Namjoon’s lap but recovering with a breathy laugh.

“No, that’s the face of a man who got laid,” he said with a grin.

“Don’t you see that face all the time on him?” Namjoon asked, still mixing his instant noodles with his chopsticks, trying to get the ice to melt. Then he pulled the chopsticks out and pointed them directly in Kim Seokjin’s face, and Seokjin sputtered in disbelief, slumping back into the couch and throwing an elbow on the armrest, giving up his right to get the first bite.

“You non-lawyers are fucking boring,” he complained jokingly.

“Sorry, we don’t all have corner offices because one of the partners in the firm wants to fuck you ten ways to Tuesday,” Taehyung retorted. Namjoon snorted with laughter and tugged some noodles upward, and Seokjin just shrugged.

“At least I have someone who wants to stick his dick in me,” he said casually. “Until he finds out that I don’t bottom. That’s a conversation I’m not really willing to have with such a panic gay.”

“But did you actually get laid?” Taehyung asked Jeongguk as Namjoon smacked Seokjin on the thigh, trying not to laugh. Jeongguk flipped his laptop lid shut, kicked his legs up onto Namjoon’s coffee table while simultaneously daring the elder to say something about it, and rested his head on Taehyung’s shoulder.

“Yeah, I did.”

“Was he any good? Wanna share him?” Taehyung joked.

“Not on your life. He was the best fuck I’ve had maybe ever.”

“Woah, hang on.” Namjoon lurched forward, shoving his cup of noodles into Seokjin’s hands and whipping his head to look at Jeongguk. He immediately regretted the decision and snatched the noodles back when Seokjin went to take a massive bite, and then he hugged them protectively to his chest and stared Jeongguk down. “The best fuck of your life? That’s big talk, Jeongguk-ah.”

“It’s complicated,” Jeongguk said, but then he rolled his eyes at himself. “Actually, it’s not. It’s just a lot to explain.”

“We obviously have time,” Taehyung said. “Where’d you meet him?”

“Hamilton Social.”

“Figures. Was he hot?”

“Fucking beautiful.”

“Is he a student here? Does he work? What’s his deal?”

“He’s in grad school. Wants to be a school counselor. He’s a private music teacher right now. Plays three different instruments.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“So I took him home with me, and—yeah. But he’s not exactly like the other guys I’ve taken home,” Jeongguk carefully said, listening to Namjoon slurp noodles quietly as Seokjin shifted a little to be more a part of the conversation. “He, um… he’s just different.”

“How?” Seokjin asked.

“Uh… he’s blind.”

“HE’S WHAT?” all three of them yelped at the same time. Namjoon nearly threw the entire cup of noodles to the ground, and Taehyung almost gave Jeongguk a concussion when he sat up straight and inadvertently jerked Jeongguk off his shoulder. Seokjin rocketed to his feet and threw hands up in the air like he was warning the masses.

“There’s been a plot twist, gentlemen!” he announced, grinning.

“Will you just—sit the fuck down, hyung, are you kidding me?” Jeongguk hissed as Namjoon blew out a breath and Taehyung grabbed Jeongguk’s arm firmly. Seokjin obediently sat.

“Wait, wait, wait. He’s blind? Like, actually can’t see? How’d you know? Did he tell you? Holy shit, is that sensory deprivation? Is that a kink? What even happened?” Taehyung asked wildly, and Jeongguk cracked a small smile.

“He was born that way. But his eyes look totally normal, which is weird. I didn’t know he was blind until we went to leave. He has a cane. You know, the white canes that some people who are blind use to get around. And he thought that would turn me off.”

“Clearly it didn’t,” Namjoon said.

“No, because I kind of liked him enough already,” Jeongguk admitted. “So I just took him home, and we had sex. Really fucking great sex. Didn’t even matter that he was blind. He’s… I don’t know. Like, if I want to be an asshole about it, he was a great lay. Ten out of ten would fuck him again. But I also kind of… I don’t know. I kind of like him.”

“So you’re out here catching feelings in the last month of the goddamn semester?” Taehyung asked, trying not to laugh.

“I never said I caught feelings, you asshole. I’m just saying that he’s… I don’t know. He’s clearly intelligent. And he was really sweet and he listened to what I said. He stayed the night when I asked him to. He just—like, he has this thing.”

“What kind of thing?” Seokjin prompted.

“I can’t really explain it. He’s just…” Jeongguk trailed off, words failing him.

“So are you going to see him again? For more than sex?” Taehyung asked.

“I’m not sure. He gave me his phone number. Said he’d be waiting to hear from me. But I don’t know. It makes me kind of nervous,” Jeongguk confessed.

“I have so many fucking questions,” Taehyung said loudly, and Namjoon pinched the younger’s ear before leaning his elbows on his knees to look at Jeongguk, handing the last of the noodles to Seokjin. As he talked, Jeongguk heard Taehyung whisper to Seokjin, “How does he use a phone? Does he text? That’s a thing, right?”

“Why does it make you nervous?” Namjoon asked.

“I mean, that’s a pretty obvious question,” Seokjin pointed out.

“Well, yeah, but if they hit it off and got along, then I don’t really see why being nervous would be a thing,” Namjoon reasoned. “He’s obviously well-educated and has his shit together, so why not give it a shot? Blind or not. Do you care, Gukkie?”

“Honestly, I thought I would,” Jeongguk admitted. “But no. I kind of don’t.”

“There’s your answer. Text him,” Namjoon decided.

“Make your case more compelling, hyung, he looks like he’s going to throw up,” Taehyung said as Jeongguk slouched further into the couch, dragging his hands down his face anxiously. “Be a decent lawyer, come on.”

“Yeah? You want me to compile evidence and go through the whole process?” Namjoon asked sweetly, batting his eyelashes as Seokjin snickered.

“You people take relationships too seriously,” he said.

“Sorry, did you want to talk about the two of you being fuck buddies whenever convenient, or is now not a good time?” Taehyung shot back, wiggling a finger between Seokjin and Namjoon. The two oldest immediately began to whack Taehyung with throw pillows and shout profanities, so Jeongguk rolled off the couch and grabbed his phone from the coffee table, settling into the floor on his back with his knees bent. It had been three days. That was long enough, right?

“Wait, he has his phone. Are you texting him?” Taehyung called out.

“No, I’m playing a game,” Jeongguk lied.

“Bullshit,” Seokjin said in a huff. “I’m making more noodles, since some asshole chose not to share.”

“You’re capable of making your own,” Namjoon said lightly, now scrolling through his phone.

“I can’t believe we all hang out together,” Taehyung complained. “You people give me a constant headache.”

While the Kims bickered, Jeongguk quietly found Jimin’s contact information, his heart throbbing in his chest. What was he even going to say? What kind of text message could possibly convey the way that Jeongguk has been thinking of Park Jimin and only Park Jimin for three days now? Just saying “hi” wasn’t going to cut it, nor was “hey, remember me?” or anything amateur like that. He somehow had to let Jimin know that he was all Jeongguk had thought about, that he had made an impact. A text wasn’t going to cut it.

So he immediately went to the Internet and started a search, chewing his lower lip incessantly as his eyes flew across the screen. There were several places in the immediate vicinity that offered private music lessons, but did any of them have a teacher named Park Jimin?

Jackpot.

Noteworthy School of Music boasted the prowess of one very popular man with a mile-long waitlist of students eager to learn under him. The biography called Park Jimin a young prodigy with music in his veins and a kind heart. That seemed just about right.

So maybe what Jeongguk wanted to do was pushing it. Maybe it was too much. Maybe it was a little over the top for a man he’d had sex with just a few days ago. But Jimin was, in Jeongguk’s mind, extraordinary. He had somehow imprinted himself onto Jeongguk in just one night, and there was only one way to find out if Jimin had felt even an ounce of what Jeongguk was feeling.

Tomorrow, he would make his move.

 

***

 

It took Jeongguk a solid hour of panicking and contemplation to pick out the flowers that he wanted. There were so many options, and all of them screamed, “PARK JIMIN!” The roses were delicate but strong. The lilies were gorgeous like the very man himself. But it was the sunflowers that really drew his eye the most, and after endless minutes circling the display and getting his hands wet from touching so many bouquets of flowers, he finally settled on the radiant sunflowers.

“I’m fucking losing it,” he whispered to himself as he walked back to his car. “Fuck.”

Jeongguk had been alive for twenty-two years, and in all twenty-two of those years, he had never gone out on such a limb. He enjoyed sex—loved it, actually, actively sought it out at least two or three times per week with different partners, didn’t have much of a thing for repeats. He wasn’t really a romantic, mostly because he admitted to being generally oblivious when it came to understanding feelings. But flowers were usually a good icebreaker, right? Did men like receiving flowers? Did Jimin like receiving flowers?

Jeongguk sat in the car out front of Noteworthy for ten minutes, giving himself a pep talk. He watched young kids walk in and out of the building, listened to a few cars honking on the busy road behind where he had parked, checked to make sure the sunflowers weren’t wilting, contemplated just giving up and texting Jimin something dumb. But then he somehow plucked up the courage and got out of the car.

“Shit,” he said to himself once he shut the door, thinking that maybe he should just make a run for it. He pressed a palm into the door, and then he took a deep breath. Just do it, he scolded himself. Don’t be an idiot.

With the sunflowers tucked behind his back, Jeongguk used his shoulder to push open the door of the music school, and he sidled in shyly. There was classical music playing overhead, and the young secretary glanced away from the computer when he walked in.

“Hi, can I help you?” she asked sweetly.

“Yes, I was actually, um… does Park Jimin work here?” Jeongguk asked in English, wanting a hole to open up on the floor and swallow him into the abyss.

“He does, I think he’s just wrapping up with a student now. Did you—oh! There’s the student. I think he might be free,” the girl said kindly. A teenage girl carrying a violin case waved, hitching her schoolbag further up onto her shoulder as she ducked out of the school, a smile on her face.

“Great, thank you,” Jeongguk managed to get out.

“Mr. Park? There’s a gentleman here to see you,” the secretary called out cheerfully, pushing her rolling chair to the side a little to peek down the hallway. There were footsteps, and Jeongguk held his breath as Jimin appeared in the lobby.

“Oh?” Jimin turned in the general direction of the door, and then he spoke English as a precaution. “Yes, sir? Can I help you?”

“Well, I’m here for you, so yes, I think you can,” Jeongguk said in Korean, praising the gods that his voice came out even and strong, not trembling and weak. Because Jesus Christ, he was so weak for this man. Jimin was wearing black jeans and a grey and white striped V-neck t-shirt, but the simplicity of it just emphasized how naturally beautiful he was. His full lips, his high cheekbones, his smooth skin. He was a vision.

“Oh, are you?” Jimin asked in a singsong tone, back to his native tongue as he crossed his arms with a smile that lit up his entire face. It was immediately obvious that he recognized Jeongguk’s voice. “Would you like to come back into the practice room?”

“Sure.” Jeongguk turned and bowed quietly to the secretary, and then he followed Jimin through the doorway, watching the elder graze his fingers against the wall until he found an open door. He stepped in first, and Jeongguk followed. This particular practice room was soundproof, but it was large and had a grand piano, a music stand, and some shelves for practice books. Several of the books looked impossibly thick with spiral binding. There was a metronome still ticking softly, so Jimin reached over and crawled his fingers until he found it to turn it off.

“How can I help you?” he asked Jeongguk, still maintaining professionalism because the door was open and probably would stay that way.

“I was going to text you, but I didn’t think that was enough. I wanted to see you,” Jeongguk said firmly, because there was no point in being shy. “And bring you these.”

“Bring me what?”

Jeongguk gently reached out and took hold of Jimin’s wrist, lifting his arm up a bit. Then he nudged the sunflowers into his hands. Jimin grabbed them immediately, his fingers fluttering across the petals of the flower. The smile on his face could have ended war and famine, especially when his cheeks flushed pink a little.

“You brought me sunflowers?” he asked softly.

“Yeah. I hope that’s okay.”

“It’s—These are my favorite flower,” Jimin said, and Jeongguk raised his eyebrows, impressed with himself.

“Wait, really? I only got them because they reminded me of you,” Jeongguk confessed. Jimin let out a surprised little giggle, still touching the flowers. Then he held out his free hand, which Jeongguk took as his cue to make a move. He stepped into Jimin’s space and took the elder’s hand. Jimin lowered the flowers a little, so Jeongguk initiated and leaned down carefully to kiss him. It was a soft, pure, gentle kiss that had way more intention to it than Jeongguk had been expecting.

“You’re wonderful,” Jimin whispered, and Jeongguk shivered. “Thank you, Jeongguk-ah. You just made my day.”

“You don’t mind that I came to see you at work?”

“No. Not at all. I was actually feeling kind of sad because I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to text you first,” Jimin admitted, and he sat down on the piano bench after scooting one foot backwards to find it. He hugged the flowers closer to his body. “No one’s ever brought me flowers.”

“What? No one?” Jeongguk asked, aghast. “What kind of assholes do you surround yourself with?”

“The kind who don’t buy me flowers.”

“If I hold your flowers, will you play for me?” Jeongguk asked hopefully. “Anything. You could play ‘Chopsticks’ and I would be impressed.”

“Sure. Come sit.” Jimin scooted a bit so that Jeongguk could perch on the edge of the piano bench, and Jeongguk carefully took the flowers back for the time being. Jimin cracked his knuckles several times, and then he set his fingers on the keys and plunked a few notes. Jeongguk saw him roll his shoulders back, and then he started to play.

It was beautiful. It wasn’t anything flashy like a grand concerto, but it most certainly wasn’t “Chopsticks.” It was soothing and heavenly, the notes blending together in a lovely melody that reminded Jeongguk of a walk through a forest that had a stream running through it. The calm, the serenity, the peace… it was mesmerizing.

“Hyung, that was so beautiful,” Jeongguk said when Jimin finally removed his fingers from the keys. “That was just—can I kiss you? Please?”

Jimin didn’t say a word. He just turned his head put his hand on Jeongguk’s thigh, and Jeongguk closed the gap, pressing their lips together. He kissed Jimin like he thought the elder deserved to be kissed, gentle but strong, slipping one hand to the side of Jimin’s face with his fingers curling around the back of his neck to draw him closer. Jimin’s entire body arched towards him responsively, so Jeongguk acted fast. He slipped one hand underneath Jimin’s thighs and pulled them across his lap, still kissing him, and Jimin’s elbow landed on the keys of the piano to create a dissonance of mixed notes. Then the kiss lost its innocence. Jimin’s tongue somehow found its way into Jeongguk’s mouth, Jeongguk’s free hand slipped between Jimin’s thighs, Jimin started quietly moaning and rutting his hips forward, Jeongguk nearly dropped the sunflowers, and Jimin bit into Jeongguk’s lower lip so hard he swore it was going to draw blood.

“Hyung,” Jeongguk gasped, pulling away with a breathless laugh. Panting, Jimin licked his lips, and then he giggled as well.

“Right, yeah. I’m at work. I have another student in, like, ten minutes. Right, right, right. Good. You know anything to say to help me get rid of this hard-on?” Jimin asked, and Jeongguk snorted with laughter.

“I’d give you a visual, but…”

“Thanks, asshole. I’ll just start naming all the dots of each letter of the Braille alphabet,” Jimin decided. “As long as you’re not touching me. Now back off. A—dot one. B—dots one and two. C—dots one and four.”

“You sound like a robot.”

“D—dots one, four, and five,” Jimin said a little louder, and then he giggled and slid off the bench when Jeongguk tried to give him another kiss. So Jeongguk followed, stopping Jimin from leaving the room too soon.

“I want to take you on a date,” he said boldly. “Please.”

“Me?” Jimin questioned as if there was another beautiful man in the room worthy of dating.

“Yeah, you. Will you let me take you on a date?”

“…I don’t know,” Jimin whispered, and it was clear that he heard Jeongguk rustle the sunflowers, because he reached a hand forward and grabbed air a few times before Jeongguk gave him back the sunflowers. “I’m not much of a dating person, Jeongguk-ah.”

“Why not?”

“Most people like dinner and a movie,” Jimin said with a wry smile. “I tried a real date one time. Went out to dinner. They don’t have menus in Braille. Servers at restaurants get weird around me. I don’t always eat like the average sighted human. And movies mean nothing to me without descriptions.”

“Well, maybe I don’t want to do dinner and a movie,” Jeongguk retorted, even though his ego was panicking. No dinner and a movie? Shit, what options were left? What could he drum up on short notice? He should have thought this through. “That’s the most tired idea ever, hyung, come on. I may not date, but I know that much.”

“You don’t date?”

“No. I don’t really have time.”

“But you have time to take me on a date?” Jimin asked, his voice soft.

“Even if I didn’t, I’d make time,” Jeongguk said fiercely, because he suddenly felt like he needed to give Jimin the entire fucking world. He couldn’t believe this man wasn’t already snatched up, couldn’t believe his luck.

“Um… are you free on Friday?” Jimin asked tentatively. “I don’t have class, and I only work in the mornings. I’m off by noon.”

“Yeah. Can I take you out then?”

“Sure,” Jimin agreed, pulling at his own fingers in a nervous gesture. “Um… how should I dress? What kind of date is this?”

“Dress however you want. It won’t be fancy,” Jeongguk decided on the spot, his heart suddenly a professional acrobat. He wanted to place his hand overtop his chest to try to quiet down the thumping, but he knew it was no use. “I can come pick you up whenever. Afternoon? Evening?”

“Whatever you’d like. Are you sure you don’t want me to drive?”

“What? No, it’s fine, I’m the one who asked you out.”

“I’m a pretty good driver if you just tell me where to go,” Jimin said casually. Jeongguk opened his mouth to reply, but then he made a noise of frustration, and Jimin burst out laughing, finally loosening up a little as he held up the sunflowers to cover his face. It was so fucking adorable that Jeongguk lunged forward, grabbed the elder around the waist, and kissed him firmly.

“Are you telling me I’m going to have to get used to your jokes?” Jeongguk asked.

“I don’t know. You having time to get used to them means we have to see each other more often,” Jimin pointed out. Then his Apple Watch began to sound, signaling that he had his next student. Jimin lifted his wrist, and Jeongguk heard the watch speak the time out loud. Jimin nodded to himself. “I have a student.”

“Okay. Text me your address. I’ll pick you up,” Jeongguk said, slowly backing out of the practice room. Jimin gently set the flowers on the top of the piano after feeling around momentarily, and then he smiled in Jeongguk’s direction.

“I will. You gonna ask me how I can text?” Jimin teased.

“No, but my friend wants to.”

“Your friends know about me?”

“What? No, of course not. I—you know what? I should go, you have another student,” Jeongguk said hastily, his face burning as Jimin’s face split into an amused grin.

“I’ll text you,” he promised as Jeongguk stepped into the hallway. Just in time, because an elementary-aged girl peeked down the hallway, clutching a few books to her chest. Jimin cleared his throat and switched to English. “Willa? Is that you, honey? You can come on back.”

“Bye, Dad,” the girl said swiftly over her shoulder. “I’m coming, Mr. Park! Wait, Mr. Park, guess what?”

“What?”

“I practiced my scales an extra thirty minutes yesterday.”

“Did you? And you did your theory homework?”

“I did it when I got home from my last lesson,” Willa said proudly as she scooted past Jeongguk. “I bet I got it all correct.”

“Mm, we’ll see if our answers match,” Jimin said with a smile, holding the door open as Willa hurried in. Jeongguk saw him lean a little into the hallway, like he was trying to sense if the younger was still around or watching, but Jeongguk didn’t want to interrupt. His heart fit to burst, he ducked out of Noteworthy, saying goodbye to the secretary and hoping dearly that Willa got all of her theory homework correct just to give Jimin a run for his money.

 

***

 

“Have you ever taken Namjoon hyung on a date?”

“Yah, who do you think you are, punk?” Seokjin fired back immediately. “I drag my tired ass here after a long day at the office to buy you dinner and that’s the kind of question you ask before the main course comes out?”

“Hyung.”

“I’ve spent hard-earned paychecks to keep you fed, you brat.”

“That’s the biggest lie I’ve ever heard,” Jeongguk laughed.

“True, but the more dramatically I say it, the more accurate it sounds,” Seokjin said. “Why are you asking me such a dumb question?”

“It’s not a dumb question.”

“Are you asking me because you want to take that guy you fucked out on a date?”

“He’s not just a guy I fucked,” Jeongguk said, and then he saw the elderly Korean couple to their left turn and eye him, so he cleared his throat and lowered his voice as Seokjin laughed into his glass of wine. “He’s not. Hyung, I’m so screwed. I found where he worked and I brought him flowers.”

“Oh no,” Seokjin said melodramatically, going bug-eyed on purpose. “Not the flowers. Anything but the flowers, Jeongguk-ah. You’ve as good as brought out the old ball-and-chain. You’re in this shit for life now. When’s the funeral for the former bachelor?”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk whined, going as far as to drop one of his heels heavily on the ground to hint at a tantrum. “I need your help. Have you gone on a date recently or not?”

“With Namjoon-ah, no. We don’t go on dates,” Seokjin said, the ghost of a wicked grin on his face suggesting something else entirely. “But I’ve gone on a fair few in my lifetime. Dinner and a movie, my friend. The classic.”

“He’s blind, you idiot.”

“Ah. Right. You know what? I didn’t really think that one through,” Seokjin admitted casually, taking another sip of his wine. “Okay, let’s brainstorm. What can you do that doesn’t involve eyesight? Or, maybe it does, but it can be modified?”

“Um… well, dinner. But maybe not dinner like this. He said he doesn’t eat like the average sighted human, and I don’t know what that means, so I don’t want to push it. Maybe street food?” Jeongguk thought, and Seokjin nodded.

“Yeah, something that would make him comfortable. No fancy cutlery just yet. I bet he’s a professional five-star diner and he just isn’t telling you. But maybe do something simple to take the pressure off.”

“Okay. So that’s covered,” Jeongguk said, nodding slowly. “But what else could I do? Sightseeing doesn’t work. Fuck, what a word. Imagine if I said we were going sightseeing. Um… I don’t know, hyung. I feel like everything in California involves using your eyes.”

“Mm. Think it’s warm enough for the beach?” Seokjin asked.

“Almost, but I don’t think the beach is a good start. Maybe if I get to take him on another date towards the summer, we can do the beach. I want to do something more… creative,” Jeongguk decided, and then he groaned and threw his elbows onto the table, grabbing his hair with both hands. “Do you hear me right now, hyung? Who even am I?”

“A lovesick puppy,” Seokjin teased. “Was the dick really that good?”

“I fucking told you, this isn’t even about getting good dick,” Jeongguk snapped, and that was the moment the server chose to arrive with their array of food to put on the grill. Seokjin and Jeongguk both bowed profusely as the food was set on the table (Seokjin was almost crying laughing at that point), and the server gave Jeongguk a curious look before turning away to get Jeongguk a refill of his Coke. He was too fidgety to drink alcohol right now, needed to think clearly.

“Then what’s it about? You actually want to do the good old courting game with this guy?” Seokjin asked when he calmed down, laying the pork belly onto the grill with a pleased smile at the sizzling sound. “Wine and dine him, invite him to your apartment to cuddle and not fuck? Shit, I thought I picked up Jeon Jeongguk for dinner. Did I get the wrong person?”

“I don’t even know how to date,” Jeongguk said in frustration. “I had a girlfriend in sixth grade and decided I liked boys. I made out with every gay or questioning idiot in my high school just to get off. When have I ever said to you, since we met, ‘hey, hyung, I’m going on a date with this guy’?”

“Never.”

“So help me,” Jeongguk pleaded.

“Look, I’m going to be cheesy for a second here—yah, don’t steal my piece!” Seokjin slapped Jeongguk’s hand, and then he returned to flipping pieces of meat. “Let me be cheesy here and say that if you both like each other enough, then the quality of the date won’t matter. What will matter more is that you’re spending time together. Just don’t be awkward.”

“I don’t think I’m awkward.”

“Your intern ass laughed in court when a defendant got charged for jacking off while driving and ran a stop sign.”

“Okay, that was one time, and how the hell could you not laugh at that?”

“Jeongguk-ah.”

“He was covered in his own cum and had his dick sticking out of his pants when he got pulled over, hyung. The police officer had to fucking describe the scene. That’s worth laughing at.”

“The point is,” Seokjin said as Jeongguk started laughing at the retelling, eating a bite of rice and kimchi together, “that you need to just relax and be yourself.”

“Right. Myself. Am I interesting?” Jeongguk asked, suddenly insecure. “Am I interesting enough to date?”

“You need a yoga class.”

“I went this morning and it only helped settle me for a few hours,” Jeongguk complained.

“Yes, you idiot, you’re interesting. Now eat before I decide to feed you.”

Jeongguk ate politely, but the rest of the dinner, all he could think about was what he could possibly to do hold Jimin’s interest. It was Thursday night, for Christ’s sake, and he didn’t have a plan yet. The night only became worse when he received a text once he was home.

 

PARK JIMIN [10:03:28PM]
Hi, this is Park Jimin! Is this Jeongguk? I hope I have the right number.

JEONGGUK [10:04:02PM]
You do! Hi, hyung. Send me your address???

 

Jimin texted his address, and as it turned out, he only lived a few blocks from Jeongguk. Jeongguk nodded to himself, thinking that was it, but then Jimin texted again.

 

PARK JIMIN [10:06:34PM]
I should play it cool, but I’m so excited for tomorrow!

PARK JIMIN [10:07:10PM]
Also, I put your sunflowers in a vase. My roommate thinks you like me ;)

 

Holy shit. This man was trying to end him. Jeongguk whimpered to himself as he tried desperately to think of something creative for their date tomorrow, but he came up empty once again. Frustrated, he just texted back with as much confidence as he could muster.

 

JEONGGUK [10:08:45PM]
Your roommate knows about me?

PARK JIMIN [10:09:51PM]
LOL touché. You got me there.

JEONGGUK [10:10:39PM]
I’m excited for tomorrow too, hyung. I hope it lives up to your expectations.

PARK JIMIN [10:11:34PM]
We could go to a bar and I’d be happy. I just want to go on a date with you. I didn’t know how much I wanted to until after you left Noteworthy.

JEONGGUK [10:12:28PM]
You’re trying to kill me, aren’t you?

PARK JIMIN [10:13:02PM]
LOL no, but I’ll stop. See you tomorrow. What time?

 

And that was when an idea struck Jeongguk like a rare bolt of lightning. He actually gasped in shock, something he didn’t think happened in real life, and then he lunged for his laptop and started a quick Google search. It only took him two minutes to find exactly what he wanted. Holy shit. This was it. He had an idea.

 

JEONGGUK [10:16:07PM]
Is 2pm a good time?

PARK JIMIN [10:17:18PM]
That’s perfect! I’ll be ready!

 

***

When Jeongguk pulled up to Jimin’s apartment complex, he wrote out a text to let the elder know he was here, but then he backspaced and tossed his phone into the cup holder. No, he needed to make an effort and be a fucking gentleman. So he hopped out of the car, smoothed his shirt free of wrinkles from sitting, and then he walked into the apartment building and took the elevator to the third floor. He marched down the hall until he found apartment 316, and he knocked three times loudly.

“Who is it?” Jimin’s voice asked loudly from the other side of the door. Right, the peephole was kind of useless for him.

“It’s me, hyung. It’s Jeongguk.”

“Oh! I didn’t think you’d—okay, just—hold on!”

Jeongguk smiled slightly, and then he waited with his hands in his pockets as he heard Jimin run around inside his apartment. He even heard a small “ow” followed by the sound of a chair toppling, and he tried not to laugh. Then a slightly flustered Jimin threw open the door.

“I’m sorry,” he apologized immediately, but Jeongguk had trouble answering at first. Jimin was wearing light-washed jeans with rips in them and a white, thin, long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up, the collar wide so that his shoulders were showing a little. He wasn’t much for fancy attire, but it made him that much more attractive to Jeongguk. He couldn’t believe Jimin could wear something so simple and look so heavenly. He had a fucking glowing aura around him. Was he even real?

“What? Don’t be sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you,” Jeongguk said, embarrassed.

“Most people just send a text message.” Jimin reached over and snatched his cane off a hook that was right by the door, propping the tip on the ground. “I’m glad you came to the door, though.”

“I almost sent a text,” Jeongguk admitted, and Jimin giggled. “Ready to go?”

“Very ready.”

“Um, do you want me to guide you, or…?”

“Nah, I’m good. Thank you, though. Do you look good?”

“Huh?”

“I mean, this is a first date, and I tried my best, but my roommate wasn’t home to help me out, so I had to wing it. But do you look good? Super handsome? Are people going to be jealous that I have a really hot date?”

“Highly unlikely.”

“Bet you’re lying,” Jimin said gleefully as they stepped into the elevator. Jeongguk went to reach for the ground floor button, but Jimin’s fingers just flitted across the Braille on beside the keys, and he pressed the button for the ground floor with no problem. “Bet you’re really hot and you just don’t want to admit it. I’ve seen you naked, you know.”

“Uh.”

“Felt you naked,” Jimin corrected himself with a mischievous grin, and Jeongguk was glad that Jimin couldn’t see how red his face was. “You have abs and muscle everywhere. Don’t lie to me, Jeongguk-ah. Okay, now you can guide me.”

Jeongguk let out a breathy laugh and offered his elbow, and Jimin grabbed it from the back and set his cane in front of him as a second guide as they began to cross the parking lot. Jeongguk then took a deep breath, gathered all his courage, and decided to make a small move.

“It’s not me,” he said. “That people would be staring at. It’s definitely you. You look really beautiful. I keep thinking that every time I see you.”

Jimin immediately lifted his right hand up to cover his face in embarrassment, though it was more of a fist because his cane still in his grip, just kind of hanging in midair. Jeongguk chuckled and nudged him, and then he carefully guided Jimin to the car and took him straight to the passenger side. Then he ran to the other side so he could start the car.

“What kind of car is this?” Jimin asked as Jeongguk backed out of the parking space.

“Hyundai Sonata.”

“A true Korean. So, where are we going?” Jimin asked, and then he held up both palms and pretended to press his face and hands to the window. Jeongguk stifled a laugh and slowed down at the traffic light.

“You’ll see. I mean,” Jeongguk hastily added, wanting to smack himself and possibly find a black hole that would suck him up. Jimin, however, just burst out laughing, leaning back into the seat.

“Oh my God, you’re so cute,” he teased. “You don’t have to get all weird about using ‘seeing’ words. They’re figures of speech. It doesn’t offend me, I swear.”

“Yeah, but it’s just painfully obvious when I use them,” Jeongguk complained. “I feel like an asshole.”

“You’re not. But if it makes you feel any better, I’ll keep an eye on you to make sure you’re okay,” Jimin said with a grin. Jeongguk blew out a breath, and Jimin let out a giggle. “You’ll get used to it. I promise you, it’s not a big deal. Now tell me where we’re going.”

“No.”

“Jeon Jeongguk,” Jimin said firmly. “My entire life is a fucking surprise and you won’t tell me where you’re taking me for our first date?”

“Where would the fun in that be?” Jeongguk said, trying not to laugh. “We’re not far away. I thought I was the impatient one, hyung. You might be worse.”

Jimin grumbled something under his breath and crossed his arms, but he had a visible, close-lipped grin on his face. Jeongguk continued to drive, listening to Jimin make little breaths every now and again to voice his displeasure. He did it so many time that Jeongguk laughed.

“Okay, calm down, we’re here,” Jeongguk said as he pulled into the parking lot, heart leaping into his throat. “Come on, unbuckle. Let’s go.”

Jimin hopped out of the passenger seat and shook his folded cane until it pieced together, and Jeongguk jogged around to meet him. Jimin instantly crawled his fingers until he was holding the back of Jeongguk’s arm above the elbow, and then he gripped tighter.

“Where are we?” he whispered.

“We…” Jeongguk turned and looked at the sign, taking a deep breath. “…Are at the California Science Center.”

“The…” Jimin trailed off.

“Yeah. The California Science Center. You ever been here before?”

“No.”

“Did you know that you can touch, like, a ton of the stuff here? You can build shit and move things and learn about the human body and—like, there’s just a lot of cool stuff, hyung, I think you’ll like it,” Jeongguk tried to explain. When he glanced to his right, Jimin’s face had changed from confusion to calm contentment, and then to a scrunch-faced smile.

“Like those magical middle school field trips my students always talk about that I’ve never gotten to experience?”

“Exactly like that,” Jeongguk confirmed with confidence that didn’t match his pounding heart. But then Jimin momentarily rested his head on Jeongguk’s shoulder.

“I knew I could trust you. Take me exploring.”

So Jeongguk took Jimin into the Center, paying for entry for the both of them and making a beeline for Creative World. There was a good mix of patrons there, a lot of kids and a slew of adults together, all roaming around freely. But the one thing that Jeongguk noticed immediately was that almost everyone who passed by took a few extra seconds to stare at Jimin, and their eyes almost always flicked to Jeongguk. And sometimes, maddeningly enough, Jeongguk saw pity. The same kind of pity that Jimin said he didn’t want.

“Do you want to just hold my hand instead?” Jeongguk asked right before they made it to the exhibit. Jimin paused, and then he planted his cane tip firmly into the ground and turned to face Jeongguk, holding his elbows.

“Are you asking to hold my hand because people are looking at me?” he asked with a small smile that looked a bit sad. “I’m used to it, Jeongguk-ah, believe me. If it makes you uncomfortable, we can just… we can go. Or you can take me home.”

“Hyung, no. I—I’m not uncomfortable with it. With you. Not at all. Please don’t think that, okay? It’s not about you. It’s not,” Jeongguk insisted. “It’s not. I just—I don’t like the way they’re looking at you. Like the way you didn’t want me to.”

“Which was what?”

“Pity. They’re looking at you like they should feel sorry,” Jeongguk said, feeling oddly angry. “What am I supposed to do with that?”

“You’re supposed to ignore it,” Jimin said calmly. “That’s what I always do. You know what’s really great about it, too?”

“What?”

“I can’t see them,” Jimin hissed, and Jeongguk snorted with laughter, leaning his forehead against Jimin’s and taking a deep breath. Amateur mistake. That’s what this was—an amateur mistake that came with going on a first date with Park Jimin. There were a lot of things he would have to get used to, he assumed, if this going-on-dates thing was going to become a regular occurrence.

“Okay. You’re right. I’m really sorry. I’m not trying to look like a rookie,” Jeongguk said, voicing his internal concerns. “I just—you know. I have a lot to learn, if you’re…. I don’t know. If you’re willing to be patient with me.”

“What magical planet did you come from, Jeon Jeongguk?” Jimin whispered with another smile. “Now, are we gonna go build some shit or not? I’ve been waiting for this since I was twelve.”

They went and built a lot of shit. They put together structures to see if what they built could withstand an earthquake. They got to feel the effects of an actual earthquake. They went through the Energy Factory, and Jeongguk explained anything that Jimin couldn’t touch with so much excitement that he was afraid he was going to explode. Jimin found a space right between all of the kids to feel sea stars and sea urchins in a touch tank. And Jeongguk made damn sure that they visited every single exhibit in the Center, no matter if Jimin could put his hands on it or not. More than once, Jeongguk told Jimin he could touch something that he very clearly was not supposed to touch.

“How many rules did we break? Ballpark estimate,” Jimin asked as Jeongguk tugged his hand on their way out around dinnertime. Jeongguk stifled a laugh and saluted one of the employees, making sure to watch carefully so that he didn’t trip over Jimin’s cane, which was still out in front of him as he casually held Jeongguk’s arm for a guide.

“None, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jeongguk said innocently. “Are you hungry?”

“Starving.”

So Jeongguk took Jimin straight into Koreatown with the windows rolled down as they drove, listening happily as Jimin told stories about work at Jeongguk’s request. Jeongguk was a distracted driver, watching Jimin wave a hand slowly like an imaginary rollercoaster against the wind out the window, head tilted back against the headrest happily, chatting without a care in the world. Jeongguk asked question after question on the twenty-minute drive because he refused to let Jimin stop talking. He was utterly enraptured. He couldn’t believe that this man was his for just the day, that Park Jimin was his date. He had the kind of radiant beauty that most everyone had to fake, that came along only once in a lifetime to just a few souls. And here he was, riding shotgun in Jeongguk’s car, talking about a left-handed guitar player.

“Okay, you have to tell me something about yourself now,” Jimin requested just as Jeongguk began to circle to find a parking space. “I’ve spent the entire drive answering your questions.”

“I like listening to you talk.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Mhm.” Jeongguk suppressed a smile as he slowed down to allow another car to take a free space, not even bothered in the slightest by it. “I like your voice. You sound happy when you talk about your job.”

“It’s not that I’m happy about my job,” Jimin said, drumming his fingers on the windowsill casually. “I mean, I love my job, but I sound happy because I’m with you.”

“Phew.” Jeongguk used a single palm to take a slow right turn. “Want me to measure that on the meter?”

“The meter of what? Excruciatingly lame first date comments?” Jimin asked with a grin, rolling his head to look at Jeongguk.

“Solid ten out of ten, but does deliver a warm, fuzzy feeling inside,” Jeongguk said, and Jimin stifled a laugh. Jeongguk then decided to be a bit kinder, even though Jimin was taking well to his joke. “Seriously, though.” He reached a gentle hand over and massaged Jimin’s knee a few times. “Thank you. I’m glad you’re happy being with me.”

“…Did you just parallel park this car with one hand?” Jimin asked when he realized that the car wasn’t moving anymore.

“Yeah.”

“Well, in that case, I guess we have few options.” Jimin shifted a bit in his seat. “I could eat Korean food, or I could eat you. Your choice.”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk almost gasped, and Jimin let out a delighted laugh, throwing his head back against the headrest again with a playful grin.

“I’m only twenty-five percent kidding. No one gave you permission to be that sexy. Chill out. Now, what’s for dinner?” Jimin asked innocently, opening the car door. Jeongguk fumbled with his keys and his own door to mask the sound of his small whimper of arousal, and he stepped out of the car.

“Depends. I was going for more of a street food approach than a sit-down-and-eat approach,” Jeongguk said, because what did he lose by being honest? “You sounded kind of like regular restaurant eating wasn’t your favorite.”

“I’ve had past traumatic experiences with it,” Jimin admitted freely. “Including the date I went on. But I’m willing to try again if it’s with you.”

“Maybe not today. How do you feel about street food, then?” Jeongguk asked as the heat in his stomach began to cool, and Jimin let his cane piece together. He paused, tilted his head, and circled himself slowly as Jeongguk just stood by, staring.

“Are we parked on West Sixth Street?” Jimin asked.

“Yeah. How’d you know that?”

“I’ve been here enough times. It sounds familiar. Feels familiar. Can’t explain it,” Jimin said with a shrug. “I just know where we are. Like, exactly where. Street corner and all.”

“You’re amazing.”

“If that excites you, you should see me a cross a street without assistance,” Jimin teased with a grin. “Now, what exactly are we going to be eating?”

“We’re getting spicy tteokbokki and fishcakes with as much cheese as possible,” Jeongguk said. “The old-fashioned way of eating. None of this fancy new-age Korean shit. We’re going late-night-snack, hungry-after-school, convenience store shit. You in?”

“I love when you talk dirty to me,” Jimin sighed dreamily, and then he laughed and pressed his palms into the top of his cane, leaning as his eyes sparkled happily. “I think I know just the place, too. Can I lead the way?”

“Oh. Um—yeah?”

“Oh, poor baby. He thinks I’m going to get run over by a car,” Jimin said loudly, turning to his left to address absolutely no one as if Jeongguk wasn’t standing by in a state of deep concern. “Should I just scare him?”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk all but whined, and Jimin’s lips twitched in a hint of a wicked grin.

“Just walk next to me. I won’t play in traffic today, I promise. We’ll save that for our second date,” Jimin joked. “You coming?”

“Yeah, I’m coming.”

Jimin took off at a rather alarming pace, and Jeongguk had to physically bite down on his tongue to keep from calling out directions or trying to steer Jimin the right way. It only took him about fifteen seconds to realize that he didn’t have to. Jimin was a goddamn expert. He smoothly swung the cane back and forth in front of him in a visible 180-degree arc, covering all the space in front of him as he walked. He even paused and waited for Jeongguk to catch up, and then he continued walked as Jeongguk locked his car from a short distance.

“A word of advice.” Jimin stopped just short of the crosswalk as Jeongguk stared in wide-eyed amazement. How the hell was it possible for him to know that there was an intersection right there without seeing it? And without missing a beat, either. Jeongguk supposed Jimin might’ve felt the slight dip in the sidewalk where the truncated dome was, just before the actual crosswalk itself. That had to be it.

“Uh, no. A question first. How’d you do that?”

“Do what?”

“That,” Jeongguk said firmly. “Stop at the crosswalk. Without becoming roadkill.”

“Cute,” Jimin said with a pleased smile. “I just listened to the traffic. Also felt the sidewalk change. But mostly the traffic.”

“That’s fucking impressive.”

“Not to most people,” Jimin replied with a chuckle. “But if you think that’s impressive, watch me cross a street. Oh, hang on.” He unceremoniously swung his cane out grandly to the left until it whacked right into the post that contained the button to trigger the crosswalk signal, making a horrible metal clanging noise. Jeongguk snorted with laughter, and even Jimin grinned. “Sorry. My instructor would be weeping right now, but honestly, I know it’s there, so why play the guessing game?”

“You have a point,” Jeongguk encouraged, and Jimin lunged and smacked the button for the crosswalk several times.

“She taught me the proper way to travel,” Jimin said. “I found all the shortcuts.”

“As you do.”

“Now, listen here—my advice. No cheating. Don’t tell me when to cross,” Jimin said in a scolding tone.

“Yes, sir.”

So Jeongguk stood by, clutching one hand in the other, eyes glued to the red hand across the way telling them not to cross. He kept watching the cars whizzing by, some turning, some hurtling straight through, not one of the driver’s paying close attention to the pedestrians. Right? There was no way they were giving Jimin a lick of attention. Crossing streets wasn’t supposed to be dangerous, but suddenly, Jeongguk could think of seventy different ways Jimin could die by crossing this street without any assistance—

“Hey!”

“You’re too slow!” Jimin called out, because he had already stepped off the sidewalk and into the street. Jeongguk blinked and realized that the red hand was gone, replaced with the blindingly white figure. He jogged to catch up, watching Jimin walk a perfectly straight line, marveling at all the cars that weren’t hitting him at all, amazed when his cane hit the curb of the sidewalk and he casually stepped up.

“Eh, I was a little off, but I’m alive,” Jimin said. “Another thing that would make my instructor cry. Don’t tell her anything. Alright, let’s go.”

“Okay, no. Wait.”

Jeongguk grabbed Jimin by the arm and gently but firmly pulled him off to the side as a few other patrons walked by. Jimin was laughing, but Jeongguk was too riled up.

“No, you don’t just get to show off like that and casually walk off like it’s no big deal. You know there were a million ways that that could’ve gone wrong? And you just let me watch you do it? That’s—That’s cruel and unusual punishment. I went through about seven different death scenarios in my mind.”

“It’s a semi-business intersection.”

“It’s traffic!”

“Did you die?” Jimin asked in a singsong voice, grinning. “Blind people can get around without your help, you know. We’re pretty good at it. You sighted folk just like to drag us around like we’re dolls. But look at me, I’m mobile.”

“I—Okay, well, I know that, but I haven’t met a lot of people like you, so I don’t have a baseline of knowledge,” Jeongguk argued. “So if I tell you that watching you cross a street turned me the hell on, would you believe me?”

“One hundred percent.”

“Would you let me kiss you for it?”

“We’ve been on this date for three fucking hours and you haven’t kissed me once, so I’d think so,” Jimin teased. Jeongguk huffed, but then he wrapped both arms around Jimin’s slim waist, picked his feet up off the ground, and kissed him as he laughed. Once his feet were touching sidewalk again, he slipped the strap of his cane onto his wrist and snaked his arms around Jeongguk’s neck, letting the cane dangle down Jeongguk’s back as they kissed. No tongue, even though Jeongguk wanted it, but the kiss itself was needy, more than he had anticipated. Jimin was whimpering into his mouth by the time Jeongguk thought the better of it and pulled away.

“If that’s what turns you on, we’re going to have a lot of fun,” Jimin said, licking his lips with a mischievous grin.

“Dinner,” Jeongguk replied firmly, slightly breathless.

“Already eating,” Jimin said, brushing his nose against Jeongguk’s. “Come here and let me finish.”

“That’s twice you’ve said you wanted to eat me now. Should I be concerned?” Jeongguk whispered. “Or should I just eat you out later as revenge?”

“Jeongguk-ah—”

“Dinner!” Jeongguk exclaimed louder, pulling away from Jimin with a little skip in his step, grinning. Jimin threw his head back with a groan, but then he situated his cane and fell right into step alongside Jeongguk, still hell-bent on leading the way.

He found the exact place that Jeongguk had planned for, and they ordered double of the tteokbokki and fishcakes with extra cheese, a side of kimchi, and another side of steamed rice. Jeongguk paid for it all. Once the food was all neatly packaged, they took the short walk to Lafayette Park and settled on a bench to eat together.

Seokjin had been right—Jimin was not an amateur. He broke apart his chopsticks with one hand like a professional, even though he also had a spoon held between the fingers of his left hand, which was holding the container of tteokbokki he was about to devour. He seemed to have some kind of system, which Jeongguk appreciated.

“You said you wanted to ask me questions,” Jeongguk said, plunging his skewer of fishcake into the spicy tteokbokki sauce and pulling up some cheese before blowing on it a few times to quell the heat. “What do you want to know?”

“I don’t know.” Jimin stirred his food thoughtfully. “Your birthday. Your family. Your biggest pet peeve. What makes you feel sad. The basics.”

“September first. My friends are my family. My biggest pet peeve is, um… I guess it’s being made an option when I make someone or something a priority. I feel sad when people ignore me.”

“Yeah? Ignore you how?”

“Like when I want to talk about something I love and they don’t seem interested,” Jeongguk explained, twirling some cheese around his chopsticks. “Or when they don’t care about me in that moment.”

“Mm. Your friends are your family, huh? What about your biological family?”

“I lived with my friend for my last two years of high school after my parents found me making out with another guy,” Jeongguk said, trying to ignore the heaviness of the memories as they came flooding back. “My little sister is the pride and joy of the family, but she’s not the oldest son. We were close, but I haven’t talked to her in almost a decade. My parents won’t let me. They’ve all but forgotten that I was born, so I just… you know. Go about my business.”

“I’m so sorry, Guk,” Jimin said softly, the nickname slipping out.

“I can’t hold onto it,” Jeongguk said with a shrug. “Doesn’t do me any good, you know? Better to just live my life as it happens.”

“Sounds about right,” Jimin agreed, subsequently yanking the last bit of the fishcake off the skewer with his teeth. “Guess that’s why you chose to be a civil rights lawyer, huh?”

“Partially. I just can’t stand discrimination. Makes my skin crawl.”

“A man after my own heart,” Jimin said with a fond smile.

“What about you, then?” Jeongguk pressed. “You said your family ousted you.”

“Honestly, I don’t know if I’m ready to talk about it right now,” Jimin said, rubbing his lips together nervously. Jeongguk noticed immediately, and he reached out and rubbed Jimin’s back soothingly.

“It’s fine. I’m not demanding answers. You don’t have to tell me anything.”

“I’ll tell you one day. I promise,” Jimin softly said.

“I know you will. But don’t worry about it,” Jeongguk said, and then he nudged Jimin with his elbow. “You ate faster than I did. I thought I was the human vacuum, but I guess you were hungry, too. Does building shit make you famished?”

“Apparently,” Jimin giggled. “September first, huh? Where were you born?”

“Busan.”

“I beat you to it,” Jimin said with a grin. “Busan. October thirteenth.”

“Yeah, two years earlier, so you didn’t even give me a chance. This shit isn’t even a fight,” Jeongguk argued, and Jimin hopped off the bench with a laugh, holding all his trash. “You beat me to it by default.”

“Oh, please.”

“As a matter of fact, I have another question.”

“Sure.”

“Do you actually have dreams?” Jeongguk asked, grabbing Jimin’s trash and tossing everything into the trashcan. “Like, actual dreams when you sleep. Do you see things in your dreams like I do?”

“Yeah, but some of it is a little distorted,” Jimin replied. “For me, anyways. My dreams are based on what I used to see of the world when I was younger. But for someone who was born totally blind and never got that sensory input, they typically dream in voices.”

“Holy shit.”

“Is that a mind fuck, too?”

“So they see a void and they dream in voices. My entire life is a lie,” Jeongguk breathed.

“Nah, only parts of it.” Jimin didn’t have to feel around much before he grabbed Jeongguk’s hand, still smiling. He hadn’t really stopped smiling since the date began, and Jeongguk felt a fond sense of pride blooming in his chest. That smile was because of him. “We going back to the car?”

“Yeah. Wanna just walk with me?”

“Please.”

So Jeongguk walked hand-in-hand with Jimin, gripping him tightly, making sure that he was just walking alongside the elder and not dragging him along, which Jimin seemed to appreciate, even though he didn’t verbally acknowledge it. He kept inching closer to Jeongguk as they walked back towards the car, though, which made Jeongguk’s entire body heat up at a gradual, painstaking pace.

“Jeongguk-ah?”

“Yeah?”

“Are you busy tonight?”

“Obviously not,” Jeongguk said, curious. Jimin tugged a little to stop their walking, and Jeongguk instinctively turned to face the elder. Jimin slipped his arms around Jeongguk’s neck to pull their bodies closer together, tilting his chin up just a little.

“Take me home with you,” he said softly.

“Take you home with me?” Jeongguk repeated with a small smile, even though the electricity coursing through his veins was overwhelming, and the very idea of having Jimin naked in his bed again made his face flush. “I don’t know, hyung. I don’t put out on the first date.”

“Understandable,” Jimin said seriously, and Jeongguk stifled a laugh, seeing the sparkle in the elder’s eyes. “But there are still a few things I wanted to do with you.”

“Like what?” Jeongguk asked dizzily, and Jimin leaned in closer, stealing Jeongguk’s breath.

“Want you naked on top of me again. Want you to fuck me again. Roughly. Want you to tie me up so I can’t touch you, want you to make me cry from how helpless I’ll feel and how well you fuck me. Want you to spank me, because I’m not feeling very cooperative today. Want—”

“Holy shit, stop,” Jeongguk gasped against Jimin’s mouth, pulling him in for a bruising kiss. He was going to give this man whatever the fuck he wanted. He was so weak, so powerless when it came to Park Jimin, and time and time again, he realized it when it was too late. “You’re seriously trying to kill me.”

“No.” Jimin laughed against Jeongguk’s lips. “Just trying to get you to fuck me again.”

“Why?” Jeongguk whispered.

“What do you mean, ‘why’? Because the first time was heaven and I still think about it when I get off by myself. Because this was the best date of my entire life. Because I feel something for you. Do you want any other reasons?” Jimin asked with little to no filter. His head heavy and spinning, Jeongguk ran his fingers through Jimin’s hair, tugged gently, and exposed Jimin’s neck so he could trail kisses from the elder’s jawline to his exposed shoulder.

“No, but if you have them, I’ll listen,” Jeongguk whispered, brushing his lips against Jimin’s smooth, warm, porcelain skin and feeling the elder shiver slightly. “Wanna mark you up again. Last one faded already.”

“Then take me home with you,” Jimin breathed. “Please.”

“Only if you behave in the car.”

“I will. I’ll be good.”

Jeongguk thought it wouldn’t be a big deal, but the moment he pulled out of the parking spot and began to drive back to his apartment, he found himself gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles, trying to reason with himself. Jimin was blissfully oblivious, humming along to the song on the radio that was playing on a low volume, tapping his knuckles against the window casually. When Jeongguk realized they were only ten minutes away, though, he snapped.

“I need you to explain to me exactly what you’re looking for.”

“With what, sex? Surprise me,” Jimin replied.

“No, hyung. You don’t get it. You want to be spanked? I can try, but I’m not hurting you. You want to be tied up? I’m—I don’t—I’m not using handcuffs or ropes. I don’t even have that stuff. I can’t do it. I won’t.”

“Fine with me,” Jimin said lightly, cocking his head the side as he listened. Jeongguk adjusted his one-hand grip on the steering wheel, fretfully glancing sideways at Jimin several times as he talked. Rambled.

“You want to be gagged? I—hyung, I don’t even know how I’d fucking do that. I’m not buying a fancy gag for you, those—like, those ball bags or the other ones that places sell, it’s not—I just can’t.”

“Guk, it’s fine,” Jimin said calmly, and he reached over to rest a hand on Jeongguk’s knee, his knuckles hitting the gearshift before he made contact. His fingers massaged gently, but Jeongguk was still in a mild panic.

“I—I can’t do hardcore BDSM. I’m too soft.”

“Guk, it’s okay,” Jimin emphasized, and now he had a small smile on his face.

‘No, it’s really not. I just want this to be good for you, all of this. I don’t want to fuck it up. You don’t deserve that. I don’t want to ruin it for you, or—or—”

“Stop the car.”

“What?”

“I said, stop the car.”

“Wh—Right now?”

“Yeah, right now. Pull over.”

Jeongguk was close enough to home that he was able to pull off to the side of the road in front of a few houses, and when he put the car in park and removed his hands from the steering wheel, he realized they were shaking. Jimin cleared his throat, unbuckled his seatbelt, and shifted in the passenger seat until his upper body was twisted to face Jeongguk.

“Lean in towards me.”

Jeongguk didn’t question why. He just leaned in, and Jimin lifted both of his hands slowly, gently, questioningly. Then he rested his fingertips onto Jeongguk’s face, mostly by his cheeks and mouth, thumbs tucked. He kept his right hand there and brought his left hand up to Jeongguk’s forehead, feeling the wrinkle of concern. He used a single finger and ran it across Jeongguk’s forehead until it was smooth again, and Jeongguk’s shoulders drooped. The left hand moved back into place by his mouth.

“You need to understand,” Jimin said softly, his voice sending a shiver down Jeongguk’s spine, “that there’s a very short list of ways you could fuck this up. You’re the first man who’s ever given me the time of day, let alone even fucking dare to let me make sexual requests. Honestly, Jeongguk-ah, I don’t need any of it. I’m interested, but I don’t need it. I just want you.”

When Jeongguk smiled, he suddenly realized why Jimin’s fingers were where they were. He could immediately feel Jeongguk’s reaction, and his face brightened considerably in response. He leaned his forehead against Jeongguk’s, and both of them just breathed for a moment in the quiet car.

“I want to try, though,” Jeongguk whispered. “Because I don’t even know if I like it. Maybe I will.”

“Then do what makes you feel good.”

“So do you.”

“Oh! Jeongguk-ah! So nice of you to join us,” Jimin teased, pulling away but keeping his hands where they were as Jeongguk grinned, and Jimin’s middle finger slipped into the one dimple he had. “Too soft, huh? My smart hot shot lawyer with a big cock thinks he’s soft?”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk groaned, reaching across and whacking Jimin’s thigh playfully. “Shut up. Come on, I’m clear to graduate and my social life is over come August. Let me live.”

“August? Then we have no time to lose. Better start the car.”

Jeongguk drove faster than he should have, nearly arriving on two wheels as he pulled into his parking spot out front of his complex. He leapt out of the car as Jimin stepped out slowly, and he made to unfold his cane, but Jeongguk stopped him.

“Don’t need it unless you want it,” he whispered, pressing Jimin up against the car.

“Fuck, just get me upstairs,” Jimin breathed. “I’ve been thinking about you fucking me for days.”

Somehow, even in the short amount of time they had known each other, Jeongguk had become used to feel Jimin’s cane hitting his body, folded up or not. It was as if the cane was just an extension of Jimin, just a part of him, so when Jimin kept it on his wrist as Jeongguk tugged him inside, it didn’t matter. Jeongguk still kissed every inch of Jimin’s face, especially his lips, letting Jimin’s hands roam his body freely, inhaling sharply as he tried to unlock his front door without detaching himself from the elder.

There wasn’t much talking after Jeongguk locked the door. He wanted Jimin out of his clothes and he wanted it fucking now. They didn’t even make it to the bedroom before Jeongguk had Jimin’s shirt inside out on the floor, along with his belt and then his pants, leaving a trail of clothing in their wake. He was so quick that Jimin didn’t even have a fighting chance at getting Jeongguk out of his clothes.

“Listen to me,” Jeongguk whispered against Jimin’s lips. Jimin obediently pulled away, but he brushed his lips in a purposeful line down Jeongguk’s jaw, and Jeongguk’s hands slipped onto Jimin’s abdomen and around to the dip of his back, warm hands on warm, smooth skin. “I’m not a professional dom. I don’t know exactly what to do. I’ve—Like, I’ve only ever role-played like this a handful of times, and with strangers.”

“I’m not asking you to be a professional,” Jimin murmured, and when their lips met again, Jeongguk felt himself sinking slowly into a peaceful abyss. Though he exceled in everything else, goddamn, Jimin could kiss. No single kiss was ever the same. Soft lips, tongues meeting, bodies pressed together. “I want you. But don’t go easy on me, baby. I like being told what to do just as much as I like disobeying,” he added in nothing more than whisper in Jeongguk’s ear, and Jeongguk shivered. Fuck, this man was giving Jeongguk permission to do whatever he wanted, and Jeongguk wasn’t even sure he’d live through it all.

“Then tell me how you want this,” Jeongguk whispered, wanting desperately to just spend the night worshiping Jimin the way that he deserved. Jimin pressed his body to Jeongguk’s heatedly, harder, fingers woven into the younger’s hair.

“Wanna experiment,” he requested. “Please. If you’ll let me. I want to try things with you. Only with you. Don’t feel safe with anyone else. Only you.”

“Whatever you want,” Jeongguk agreed dazedly, massaging Jimin’s lower back. “I’ll take good care of you, hyung. Tell me what you want to do. Tell me your limits, tell me everything.”

Jeongguk then pulled Jimin by the hands and walked backwards until he was sitting on the bed, and Jimin was situated straddled in his lap, knees on the bed. Slowly, with his arms hanging around Jeongguk’s neck, Jimin began to rock his hips in a steady rhythm, whimpering quietly. Jeongguk’s breath hitched in his throat as he clung tightly to Jimin, letting the elder rut against his thigh for about a minute to spike the arousal, unable to believe that the most gorgeous man alive was getting off on his lap.

“Hyung,” Jeongguk whispered, peppering hot, open-mouthed kisses on Jimin’s neck and shoulder, listening to Jimin let out several needy sighs. “Baby, tell me what you want.”

“Want to be so good for you,” Jimin whispered in his ear breathlessly. “B-But it’s all new to me, and—and I’m so excited that I don’t know if I can.”

That was the invitation. Jimin was inviting Jeongguk into the headspace, inviting him to be dominant so he could be submissive. Jeongguk wasn’t one to decline. Instead, despite his pounding heart, he decided to try it out.

“No? You feeling naughty today, baby boy? Do I need to tie you up?”

“Yes,” Jimin breathed, eyes fluttering closed. “Fuck, y-yes, you do. P-Please. Please, I need it.”

Jeongguk picked Jimin up in one smooth motion and lowered him onto his back, and then he leaned in and hovered over the elder. Jimin immediately lifted his head for the kiss he thought was coming, but Jeongguk smirked.

“No, no, no,” he said softly, and Jimin let out a huff of disappointment, head falling back onto the mattress. “I didn’t say you could kiss me. Now stay still so I can tie you up. Don’t move, or I’ll punish you.”

“Yes, daddy, I’ll be good. I’ll—I’ll stay here,” Jimin breathed in a daze. Jeongguk stumbled over his own feet and choked. With shaking hands, he opened up his drawers to find a few of the silk scarves that he sometimes wore around his neck when he was feeling fancy, and when he pivoted, Jimin’s head was turned towards him. “Is that okay?”

“Is what okay?” Jeongguk whispered, kneeling on the bed.

“Calling you that,” Jimin whispered back. “I was testing it out. I like it. Do you?”

“Yeah. I love it, baby, you can use it,” Jeongguk said, realizing that they were setting limits, but also realizing how hearing such a name made his entire body react in a way he never imagined. Other men he’d fucked throughout his years had attempted to call him “daddy,” and Jeongguk had just laughed and refused it, thinking it was embarrassing or cringe-worthy. But coming from Jimin’s mouth, it was an undeniable turn-on. So when Jeongguk agreed to it, Jimin didn’t say a word. Jeongguk just watched his face relax in a state of bliss, anticipating whatever was about to happen next. Jeongguk took both of Jimin’s wrists in one of his hands and pinned them above his head, and then he wrapped a silk scarf around them and tied it tightly, but not too tight.

“Test it,” Jeongguk insisted. Jimin tried to separate his wrists, but nothing happened. “Good boy. Keep your arms up there. If you don’t, I’ll be really upset. Can you do that for me, love? Keep your hands up there?”

“Yes,” Jimin said obediently.

“Perfect. Now be an angel and don’t touch.”

“Wh-What are you gonna—oh. Oh, o-oh, oh my God,” Jimin moaned breathlessly the moment Jeongguk began to kiss down his torso, reaching up with both hands to pinch at his nipples. Apparently he was sensitive, and not being able to touch was already difficult. “Oh-h-h-h, feels so good. J-J-Jeongguk-ah…”

Jeongguk absolutely littered Jimin’s upper body with as many kisses as possible, and then he grabbed the elder’s hips with purpose and scooted down. He bent at the neck and began to trail featherlike kisses on the insides of his thighs, feeling Jimin’s entire body tremble with need as he whimpered helplessly, legs twitching. Jeongguk couldn’t believe how hard he was just from being in control, from having Jimin so readily submissive to him. His jeans were started to feel like restraints now, his cock already dripping in his briefs as he worked. When Jeongguk kissed a particularly sensitive spot on the inner thigh, Jimin’s left leg jerked, and his heel kicked Jeongguk in the side, a reflexive reaction. Jeongguk immediately backed off and sat on his heels, suddenly finding enjoyment out of the roles they were playing.

“You didn’t mean to do that, right?” he asked sweetly, but in a detached voice unlike how he usually addressed Jimin.

“No. N-No, I’m so sorry,” Jimin whispered, lower lip trembling as he wiggled his hips, his back arching a little as he sought praise instead of a lecture. “I didn’t mean to, I’m sorry.”

“That’s okay, angel.” Jeongguk rubbed his thumbs in circles on Jimin’s hips, reinstating affection. “I figured you didn’t mean it. I know you want to be good for me. Is that right?”

“Yes. I want to be good. The best. Your favorite, I—I want—am I being good?” Jimin asked in a small voice, almost curling in on himself.

“So good,” Jeongguk whispered. “So perfect. Now be my good boy and stay just like this.”

Jeongguk bent and started to leave more bruising kissing on the insides of Jimin’s thighs, sucking at the skin as Jimin’s back arched off the bed again, beautiful strings of moans leaving his pretty mouth, his cock visibly hard and desperate to be freed from his briefs. Jeongguk chose instead to tease, mouthing at the fabric as Jimin instinctively bucked his hips upward, trying to find relief. The moment he did, Jeongguk grabbed his hips and roughly pinned him down to the bed, and Jimin inhaled sharply.

“Stop fucking moving. Unless there’s something you need to tell me. Am I not doing enough for you? Am I not enough to satisfy you?” Jeongguk asked coolly.

“No, no, no, you are. You are, you’re perfect, so good, I just—I need more. Need more,” Jimin whined, tilted his head backward with a pout.

“I don’t know.” Jeongguk grabbed Jimin’s thighs and gripped tightly, making sure to press his fingers hard into the bruises he had left. Jimin immediately moaned in a mixture of pleasure and pain. “Seems like you’re just desperate to get off. Don’t really care who does it to you.”

“No, I want you. You, you, please. Please, I’ll be good. I promise, I promise,” Jimin gasped. “I’ll do anything for you. Anything, anything, anything.”

He truly meant anything. Jeongguk grabbed the lube and a condom from his desk drawer (he was a fast learner), and he immediately flipped Jimin onto his stomach as Jimin helplessly flopped, arms still above his head, though his hands were now clasped together like he was begging for something more. Jeongguk grabbed him by the hips and hoisted him up, and then he manhandled the elder until Jimin’s chest was pressed against the headboard of the bed, and he was on his knees. Jeongguk hastily untied his wrists, but then he grabbed Jimin’s arms and quickly tied them behind his back. As he did, he pressed kisses down the side of Jimin’s neck as Jimin rolled his head to the side, undoubtedly compliant, asking for whatever Jeongguk was giving.

It didn’t take long for Jimin to figure out what was going on. He let Jeongguk take off his underwear. Whined when he realized Jeongguk still had a shirt on and had only kicked out of his jeans. Let out a yelp and a dry sob when Jeongguk wrapped one arm around the elder’s chest, promptly draped him over said arm, and spanked him hard once for complaining.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Jimin slurred. Jeongguk wanted to do more, but he suddenly realized that he hadn’t even checked in. He leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to Jimin’s spine.

“You wanna use a color system?” he murmured. “Tell me how you feel? Don’t have to see the colors, just know what they mean. Green for go, yellow for slow down and talk about it, red for hard stop. What’s your color, baby?”

“Green. Green, green, green,” Jimin stammered. “P-Please.”

So Jeongguk told Jimin to count ten total, and he brought his hand down each time that Jimin said a number, delighting in the way the elder responded so eagerly, the way his entire body reacted to each spanking, the way he went limp in Jeongguk’s arms, the way he pushed his ass back for more even after number ten, wiggling disobediently and sniffling. Jeongguk yanked Jimin up to his knees again and put him back against the headboard.

“Good boy. So good for me,” he whispered, and Jimin let out a little breath, chin lifted, swelling at the sound of the praise. “Now stay still and let me use you, baby boy. Gonna fuck your thighs.”

Jimin didn’t seem to like that at all. He babbled incoherently a few times but let Jeongguk slick his thighs with lube, and he leaned his forehead against the wall and let out a few moans of discontent when Jeongguk covered his own hard cock with lube and gave himself a few quick strokes, sighing in pleasure. Then he swatted Jimin’s thighs.

“Nice and tight for me, angel,” he whispered, and Jimin obeyed with a little gasp, squeezing his legs together. God, he was a fucking vision. Sweat trickling down his bare back, ass still red from being spanked, lube all over his thighs, cock fully hard against his stomach and leaking, eyes bloodshot with tears, red lips parted slightly as he tried to catch his breath. Park Jimin was beautiful. So goddamn beautiful. How could Jeongguk have ever missed such a man?

The way that Jimin held his thighs tight but moaned the entire time he had Jeongguk between his legs was dizzying. He kept leaning forward onto the wall, desperately trying to arch, crying because he just wanted to rut against something but had nothing. Jeongguk held the elder by the hips and thrusted in a smooth rhythm, already feeling what was going to be an intense orgasm building in the pit of his stomach. Even just his thighs felt good, and all Jeongguk could think about as he fucked them was how tight Jimin would feel once he had his cock inside. The thought was enough for him to stop.

“Shh, shh, shh,” Jeongguk coaxed as Jimin dryly sobbed, falling backwards into Jeongguk’s arms when the younger pulled away. “My poor, needy baby. Daddy’s not being very nice, is he? Not letting you cum, not even letting you touch. Shh.” He reached around and wiped the tears from Jimin’s cheeks, following up with several kisses. “You did so well, baby. Made me feel so good.”

“I—” Jimin let out a little hiccup, his voice small. “I did? Made you feel good?”

“So good, beautiful. Your thighs are amazing. Did so well not touching just like I asked. And good boys get rewards, right?”

Jimin couldn’t even form a cohesive sentence. Jeongguk gently turned Jimin around, his hands still tied, and then he gathered up some of the lube from the elder’s thighs and brought it up to his cock. Jimin let out a breathy, almost obscene moan, nearly toppling over the moment Jeongguk wrapped a hand around him. He worked deftly, thumbing the wet head and applying just the right amount of pressure to have Jimin reeling. His other hand had a grip on Jimin’s waist, his thumb massaging circles into the hipbone as he flicked his wrist, feeling the pre-cum dribbling onto his hand. It got to a point where Jeongguk could see Jimin physically fighting the restraints, so he made a mental list. Jimin had said he wanted to try bondage, spanking, gagging, and edging. Jeongguk didn’t have the heart to gag him tonight. But he could edge him.

“Oh, God,” Jimin moaned. “O-Oh, feels amazing. I’m—Jeongguk-ah, I can’t—I’m gonna—I—”

“Stop.”

Jeongguk removed his hands abruptly, and Jimin fell back onto his heels, gasping. He writhed back and forth roughly jerking at the scarf holding his wrists behind his back, and when nothing happened, he let out a choked up sob.

“No, no, no, no,” he slurred. “N-No, I was so close. No.”

“Sweet boy,” Jeongguk whispered affectionately, and then he gently helped Jimin lie on his back. He untied the scarf and brushed it against Jimin’s face, and Jimin immediately wiggled his hands free from behind his back and tried to reach. Jeongguk smacked him away, and Jimin recoiled. “Still being naughty?”

“I—I didn’t—”

“Yes you did. You did mean it, don’t lie to me,” Jeongguk said coolly, and he grabbed Jimin’s wrists with one hand and pinned them back up above his head, tying them with the scarf. Then he finally shucked his t-shirt and gave himself a few lazy strokes. “You can hold out for me, right? Let me use you first. You’re not allowed to cum until I say so. I’ll edge you multiple times, and you need to control yourself. If you cum, I’ll punish you again.”

“M-Multiple times?” Jimin whispered, shivering.

“Yes, angel, multiple times. We’ll try three. If you can control yourself those three times, then I’ll let you cum.” Jeongguk then reached for the condom, because he couldn’t contain his arousal any longer. He needed to fuck this man, and he needed to fuck him now. “And it’ll feel so fucking amazing when you do, such a good reward.”

“Okay, I’ll—I’ll be so good for you,” Jimin whispered. “U-Use me, please.” And then he silently opened his legs, bent his knees, and presented. Jeongguk almost cried from how perfect the man naked before him was as he slowly slipped finger inside to open him up. Jimin moaned in pleasure, arms still above his head, and Jeongguk inserted a second finger. By the time he was three fingers deep, Jimin had leaked more pre-cum all over his abdomen messily, and Jeongguk had already edged the poor man a second time, massaging his prostate and stroking him at the same time until he was shuddering and then abruptly pulling back, yanking his fingers out.

“No,” Jimin sobbed, kicking his heels on the mattress like a child throwing a tantrum. “No, no, no. I can’t. I can’t, I—I need to cum. So empty, so empty. Daddy, please. Please don’t, I—I need it.”

“Two more times, love,” Jeongguk whispered. “Now stay just like that, let me fill you up.”

Jeongguk caged Jimin in and pushed slowly into his wet hole, and Jimin gasped and arched off the bed, sighing in contentment at finally being full. He didn’t take it easy or take it slow. He bottomed out almost immediately, gritting his teeth.

“Fuck,” he cursed. “So fucking tight still. Holy shit. You feel amazing.” He took a deep, shaking breath. “What’s your color, baby?”

“Green,” Jimin said immediately. “Green, fuck me like you mean it.”

Shit.

Jeongguk didn’t hold back. He started to fuck into Jimin so intensely that Jimin’s entire body was nearly lifted off the bed, and Jeongguk had to hold him down because he couldn’t use his arms for control. The orgasm began to build from somewhere deep once again, and Jeongguk was dripping with sweat now, lost in the lust of it all, watching Jimin fall apart underneath him. One more time. He had promised one more time, so he slowed his thrusts and reached a hand down to wrap around Jimin’s cock once again. The response was instantaneous. Jimin began to fuck up into his hand, and Jeongguk should have stopped him, but he could barely concentrate with all that was going on around him. Besides, Jimin thrusting upward meant more attention for Jeongguk’s cock, still painfully hard inside the elder. So he just let Jimin thrust his hips upward, seeking relief, desperate to cum, and when his thrusts started to become sloppy, Jeongguk pulled out and removed his hand. The moment he did, Jimin promptly burst into tears, absolute full-body sobs, and his arms began to fall in front of him as he reached out in search of Jeongguk.

“Shh, I’m here. I’m here, baby, just listen to my voice. I know. I know you want to cum, love. You’re doing so well,” Jeongguk whispered, pulling Jimin into his lap and stroking his hair repetitively with his clean hand. “Shh, I’m here. I’m here, hyung. Focus. Come back to me. You’re okay.”

Jimin’s sobs reduced the more that Jeongguk talked, the more Jeongguk brought him back down to earth, and he stopped trembling so violently. Jeongguk immediately pressed his lips to Jimin’s, kiss after kiss, lips catching every tear that fell.

“My beautiful baby, doing so well for me,” he murmured. “So fucking perfect. That was three times, sweetheart. You can cum now. Tell me how you want it, and it’s yours.”

“W-Wanna… Want—Want you inside me,” Jimin hiccupped, but he batted his tear-soaked eyelashes, and Jeongguk felt a surge of strong emotion rush through his aroused body. “Want your cock inside me. Want you to touch me until I cum. Please. Please.”

“Whatever you want,” Jeongguk whispered. “Want to sit in daddy’s lap?”

“Fuck, yes. Please, please, please,” Jimin slurred, and then he lifted his wrists, arms shaking, carefully in front of Jeongguk, narrowly avoiding his chin. Jeongguk quietly removed the scarf and tossed it to the side, and Jimin wrapped his arms around Jeongguk’s neck like a koala, still breathless. Jeongguk held on and then maneuvered until he was propped up against the pillows and the headboard, and then he sat Jimin in his lap, ass on his cock. Jimin clung to Jeongguk and began to circle his hips, eyes closed, mildly delirious. He worked Jeongguk back to full hardness in less than a minute, his own cock still flushed red against his stomach, and Jeongguk knew he couldn’t deny the man any longer. He lifted Jimin up just slightly and lowered him straight onto his cock.

“Oh,” Jimin gasped the moment Jeongguk bottomed out again. “S-So full.”

“I’ve got you,” Jeongguk whispered. He secured his left hand on Jimin’s thigh, and then he grabbed Jimin’s cock with the other hand and began to jerk him off expertly. The more he did the more Jimin rocked his hips, and Jeongguk gritted his teeth, already dizzy. There was no way he was going to last much longer than Jimin was, no way—

Jimin let out what could have passed as a scream, but was strangled and drenched in pleasure. His entire body practically convulsed, head thrown back, arms giving way as he came so hard that he stopped breathing for a split second. Jeongguk watched as wave after wave of pleasure coursed over the man sitting on his cock, amazed at how long the orgasm was lasting, nearly dying at the way that Jimin clenched around him the more he came.

That was what did it. As Jimin gasped and came down from his high, Jeongguk let out a cry and thrusted up once, twice, a third time, spilling inside the condom with his eyes closed, breath staccato, body trembling from head to toe.

When Jeongguk came to, he realized that Jimin was crying on his shoulder, still in his lap, still with Jeongguk inside of him. Dripping sweat and catching his breath, Jeongguk immediately hugged Jimin closed to his chest and gently rocked him a few times, pressing hot kisses into his neck.

“I’m here, baby, I’m here,” he whispered. “Tell me what you need. I’ll take care of you.”

“J-Just you,” Jimin whispered shakily. “You, you, you.”

Jeongguk lifted Jimin only a little so he could pull out, and Jimin winced and cried out quietly, but he let Jeongguk take the condom off and toss it aside. The moment he did, Jeongguk wrapped Jimin up in his arms and fell back onto the pillows, his grip tight, lips in Jimin’s hair as he continued to cover him in kisses.

“How do you feel?” Jeongguk whispered.

“Light,” Jimin whispered back. “Floaty. So fucking good. So good, Guk, just—so exhausted.”

“I didn’t hurt you, baby, did I?”

“No. B-But… But I want to shower with you,” Jimin whispered hopefully.

“Whatever you want. Up in three. One, two, three.”

Jeongguk rolled and took Jimin with him, effortlessly picking him up bridal style as Jimin giggled sleepily and wrapped his arms around Jeongguk’s neck, nuzzling into his shoulder. Jeongguk gently deposited him onto the bathroom floor on his feet and made sure to crank the shower water nice and warm. He traced patterns on Jimin’s back until he felt goosebumps and kissed his neck until the water heated up, and then he tugged Jimin in.

Jimin barely lifted a finger. Jeongguk washed his hair and massaged his scalp at the same time. He massaged the elder’s shoulders thoroughly until Jimin was nearly asleep, held him carefully and worked his fingers down the smooth expanse of his spine. He scrubbed Jimin from head to toe, silly about it until Jimin was a giggling mess with his back to the tiles. Then he wrapped Jimin in his fluffiest towel and carried him back to the bed. He dressed Jimin in an oversized t-shirt and gave him a pair of clean underwear, put on his own underwear and a shirt, and then buried the two of them under the covers.

“You better not be leaving,” Jeongguk whispered with Jimin curled up in his arms again.

“Is this going to become a habit? Me sleeping over?”

“I hope so.” Jeongguk turned his head and kissed Jimin’s forehead. “What made you want to experiment like that, baby? With a submissive headspace.”

“I don’t know,” Jimin whispered. “I guess… I guess sometimes I just need to go down. I don’t know how to explain it. Sometimes it’s exhausting, living my life and always having to be alert and ready for whatever. I like the idea of being dominated, being told what to do. I don’t get it very often. At least, not in the way you think.”

“You get asshole-pulling-you-across-the-street-against-your-will kind of dominated.”

“Exactly. But this…” Jimin nuzzled into Jeongguk a bit further. “This was wonderful. You were perfect. I…I really didn’t need much. And I don’t need the whole dominant-submissive vibe all the time. I just… I appreciate it. You were amazing.”

“I’m glad I could help,” Jeongguk muttered, kissing Jimin’s hair as pride bubbled in his chest. Jimin tilted his head upward and blinked a few times, and then he sighed heavily. Jeongguk reached up a free hand and carded his fingers through Jimin’s hair with all the affection in the world. “What is it?”

“Nothing.” One blink. Two blinks. “I just wish I could see you.”

“You don’t need to,” Jeongguk whispered. “Just feel.” He took Jimin’s free hand and placed it right over his heart. “Feel that? Feel my heart?”

“Yes.”

“Feel it as often as you want,” Jeongguk whispered. “Especially when we kiss. Or when we’re close, when we’re touching. It beats so fast. That’s all you need to feel. Forget about seeing. It’s a luxury anyways.”

“Jeon Jeongguk,” Jimin whispered, his hand still on Jeongguk’s heart as he pressed up just slightly. “Where have you been all my life?”

Chapter Text

Dating was a momentous occasion in apartment 316, and it was almost always because of Jung Hoseok, one of two residing in the space. Jimin lived for the nights (often mornings) that Hoseok would come home, make drinks for the two of them, and curl up on the couch to discuss the elder’s escapades. Jimin would listen and laugh in all the right places, nudging Hoseok’s leg with his foot whenever Hoseok started describing something a little more scandalous. But that was their dynamic.

When Jimin first moved to the United States and landed in California, the world had not been kind to him. The government had been very kind, of course, seeing as he was considered blind. Bleeding hearts, most of them, but misplaced sympathy. Jimin had applied for tenancy in many apartment buildings, only to be denied swiftly and told there were no vacancies. Lies. The complexes just didn’t want the liability of a blind teenage tenant. Jimin wasn’t an idiot. It didn’t matter that he was a fully functioning adult with steady (albeit low) income and the ability to receive a higher education. He couldn’t see, and that was enough to shun him.

So instead of applying for his own apartment, he had gone straight to the ads, looking for people who needed another roommate. And that was when he had stumbled upon what was, to this day, his favorite ad of all-time:

 

20-year-old Korean male seeking new roommate for (hopefully) long-term lease in LA. Don’t fuck with me, either. I’ve gone through a shit-ton of roommates and a bitch is tired, so don’t apply for the second room in my apartment if you’re not going to stick around. I’m incredibly single and incredibly gay and I have no patience for bullshit, so apply at your own risk. If you’re a straight guy, you’re very welcomed to apply. I promise you I have literally zero interest in sticking my dick into you. ZERO. Girls can apply, too. I make a great wingman. If you do apply, please know that I’m actually a very happy ball of sunshine and I tell great stories, and I’m pretty easy to live with. Just apply only if you’re serious.

 

So Jimin had responded immediately with:

 

Hi, I’m Park Jimin. I’m almost 19 and I just came here from South Korea, and I’ve been rejected from pretty much every place I’ve applied for tenancy. Pretty sure it’s because I’m legally blind, but what’s a guy to do, am I right? You put the rent at $950 per month. Lower it to $850 and I’ll clean the bathrooms, or whatever makes you happiest. Honestly, I just need a place to crash, because this bitch is tired, too. Cheap motels are gross, and it’s been two months. Also, I myself am incredibly gay and would like to hear your stories.

 

Needless to say, Hoseok had contacted him only twenty minutes after Jimin’s response, and Jimin had moved in the next day. They were going on five years as the roommate dream team, and Jimin had supported Hoseok through every single one-night stand ever while Hoseok had encouraged Jimin to get himself out there and find a good lay. Jimin had even refused to move out when Min Yoongi, his best fucking friend (all emphasis intended), had relocated from South Korea a few months later just to support Jimin and pursue his own career in film. But Yoongi hadn’t had a problem finding a roommate, shacking up in a four-bedroom apartment with three other lively Koreans. He was easily adaptable. Jimin had gotten a new best friend out of the deal.

Then he’d made the mistake of introducing Hoseok to Yoongi, and they had formed the worst kind of best friend team. They were the obnoxious friends who ganged up on Jimin and pinched his cheeks to annoy him while simultaneously looking out for his best interests. Yoongi called it a win because he had someone else to look out for his childhood best friend (Eight-year-old cool kid Yoongi had saved six-year-old awkward kid Jimin from getting hit by a car outside of school—begin friendship). Hoseok called it a win because he could complain about Jimin’s bad habits to someone else. Jimin was the only loser (though not really).

“Okay, tell me his username.”

Now they were smothering Jimin like two helicopter parents, and for once, Jimin didn’t mind. They were both on the couch together as Jimin shuffled out of the kitchen towards them.

“I don’t know.”

“You idiot, you got it from him for a reason. Let us do the necessary recon,” Yoongi insisted. “We have to vet him properly.”

“How are we supposed to decide if he’s any good for you?” Hoseok said. “I mean, you’ve fucked him twice already. You let him tie you up. He took you on a date, Jiminie. It’s time for us to intervene.”

“Right, right, okay,” Jimin sighed, and then he recited Jeongguk’s Instagram username from memory, clutching his phone in one hand and holding his breath like it was going to help his cause. Before he had left Jeongguk’s apartment after that blissfully beautiful day and equally wonderful night (and the lazy morning sex after they’d slept a good ten hours), Jimin had shyly asked if Jeongguk had social media. So poor Jeongguk, completely unaware of the two fiendish demons Jimin housed in apartment 316, had given him his username.

He heard Yoongi and Hoseok shifting around, probably so Hoseok could look over Yoongi’s shoulder. There was dead silence, and then—

“Holy shit. Are you sure this is him? Jeon Jeongguk? Does he do fucking yoga?”

“Yeah,” Jimin said to Hoseok, smiling as his shoulders dropped considerably.

“Fucking hell, his most recent photo,” Yoongi said. “He’s literally in a handstand.”

“Yeah?”

“Oh a yoga mat.”

“Mhm.”

“On his balcony.”

“Yup.”

“Just hanging upside down without a shirt on.”

“Oh?”

Hoseok burst out laughing and whistled.

“Jesus Christ, Jiminie, he’s ripped. That’s a body if I’ve ever seen one, are you kidding me? You got to sit on that dick? Unreal.”

“Okay, but what about—you know. What about his face?”

“Ooh, he posts photos with friends a lot, which one should—oh. Oh no. Oh God, oh God, oh shit. Oh no, fuck!” Hoseok exclaimed immediately, and Jimin rocketed to his knees in alarm, even though he could hear the laughter in Hoseok’s voice.

“What? What is it?”

“He’s cute,” Hoseok emphasized like it was a dirty word, and Yoongi snorted with laughter. “He took a selfie at some yoga studio and he’s fucking cute as hell. But then—look at this one. Holy shit, look at this one. Is he in a suit? At a courthouse? Is he a lawyer?”

“Pre-law,” Jimin said proudly. “Finished all his finals. Graduating in a week. Going to law school in the fall.”

“Oh my God, it’s a double whammy,” Hoseok groaned.

“He’s cute and sexy as hell,” Yoongi clarified.

“Oh my God,” Jimin said, and he leapt off the couch and hit his leg on the coffee table before finding some space on the loveseat with Yoongi and Hoseok. “Tell me what he looks like. Describe his face. I need to know.”

“Okay, well, he has black hair. Kind of fluffy, bit longer,” Hoseok said, and Jimin felt him grab Yoongi’s hand to probably see the screen better. “Super cute face. Round, symmetrical. How do you describe a face? He’s fucking adorable, I don’t know. Definitely grew into his nose, judging from the photos from multiple years ago, will you slow the fuck down, hyung?”

“Sorry,” Yoongi apologized. Jimin could hear his short fingernail against the screen as he rapidly scrolled. “I’ll go back up.”

“Shit, you were in freshman year photos, chill out. Okay, he’s… He has a cute smile. Kind of scrunchy, kind of like a bunny. I think it’s his teeth. He has dimple in one cheek when he’s smiling hard enough, like this photo. But he’s adorable. Except in these photos where he’s wearing a suit, and then he’s sexy as sin. Holy shit, what a man.”

“So he’s good-looking.”

“Uh, he’s a fucking catch and a half,” Yoongi said. “Good-looking is putting it mildly. He’s—woah, woah, woah, stop for a second. Go to that picture.”

“Why? Oh, I see why. Holy shit, those are his friends?” Hoseok said. “Mother of fucking God, are they all models? Can we just take our pick?”

“No, find a picture of Jeongguk with just that guy,” Yoongi said quietly, and Jimin could hear the shift in the elder’s voice. Holy shit, he was interested. Jimin hopped up onto his knees, delighted, eager to text Jeongguk everything that his friends were about to say. “That guy, he’s… what’s his name?”

“Uh… This is Kim Taehyung.”

“That’s his best friend,” Jimin said to Yoongi, trying to recall the quiet conversations he had had with Jeongguk that morning while they were lying in bed, Jeongguk’s fingers threading through his hair as they chatted about their lives. “He’s my age.”

“Mm,” Yoongi hummed, but it said far more than that. There was a profound silence that followed.

“…Okay, you take him. I want the other two, and at the same time. They definitely look like they’ve fucked before. There’s an energy. And if they have, do you think they’ll take me in for a threesome? I’m asking seriously. Not for a friend, for myself,” Hoseok interjected, and Jimin snorted with laughter.

“I have no idea. I can always find out. They’re all lawyers.”

“What?”

“Mhm. Taehyung is going to school to do family law. Like, adoptions and stuff. Namjoon-ssi works with immigration law. And Seokjin-ssi, he’s the oldest. He does criminal law. Gets the bad guys.”

“I’ve been really bad,” Hoseok declared.

“Okay, enough stalking.” Yoongi locked the phone. “Jiminie. We need to talk about this.”

“About what?”

“About this guy,” Yoongi said, kicking his feet up on the coffee table a he reached for his iced Americano. Not the smartest drink choice in the evening, but Yoongi was a notorious insomniac. “Your first date was, what, last week? And you’ve been blowing up each other’s phones every day since then. You’ve been smiling like a moron for seven days straight. What’s the deal? What is he to you?”

“Do I have to define it right this second?” Jimin asked, and then he felt around momentarily before cuddling right up into Yoongi, legs draped over the elder’s lap. Yoongi loathed cuddling almost more than he hated the Lakers, but he always made an exception for Jimin. He ruffled his brassy blonde hair and slipped his arm around Jimin’s shoulder.

“If you were anyone else, no. But I’ll be blunt, kid—you need to make sure he’s not just using you for his life’s good deed.”

Jimin didn’t respond right away, though Hoseok hummed in agreement. Yoongi liked to vet all the people who came into Jimin’s life, because more often than Jimin wanted to admit, people tried to befriend him just to say they were friends with a blind guy. They liked to use it as their safety net, their buffer, their license to be an asshole if the time called for it. Yoongi had sniffed out more idiots trying to weasel their way into Jimin’s life than an overprotective mother.

“I really don’t think he is,” Jimin quietly said.

“You can’t blame us for being too careful,” Hoseok said. “Last thing we need is a kid who’s about to become a lawyer thinking he can use you as his mascot to boost his career.”

“He—hyung,” Jimin said in a scolding tone. “He wouldn’t do that.”

“Don’t defend him so blindly just because you’ve been sleeping with him,” Yoongi said. “Pun fully intended. The bottom line is that you need to be fucking careful. Better yet, invite him over so we can meet him.”

“I’m not ready to torture him like that.”

Yoongi and Hoseok both sputtered, and Jimin snickered weakly, holding out a hand. Yoongi took the hint and handed over his iced Americano so Jimin could take a sip.

“I kind of did want to invite him over, though,” Jimin admitted in a small voice. “I… I wanted to cook him dinner. He bought me flowers. He took me on date, paid for everything, let me stay at his apartment twice. He took care of me, but not out of pity. Because he wanted to. Because I think he might actually like me. So I just… thought that I should do something for him.”

“So invite him over,” Hoseok said with a shrug. “I can leave for a few hours. Yoongi can stay away, too. But just promise that you’ll keep both of us in the loop, honey. We’re not trying to be annoying or overbearing, but… I don’t know. Help me out, hyung.”

“This one’s different,” Yoongi supplied. “He is. You like him. There’re feelings involved. So we’ll see ourselves out whenever you decide to invite him over.”

Jimin didn’t waste any time. He leaned forward and called out, “Hey, Siri!” And when he heard his phone ding at him in response, he got up and headed back towards the kitchen, remembering that he had left it over the countertop in his haste to join the fun. He glided his hand along the counter, grabbed his phone, and unlocked it. Then he swiped his finger until he heard “Messages” and double tapped the screen, listening to Hoseok and Yoongi whisper to one another. He found his text thread with Jeongguk, smiling almost instantly, and then he opened it up and reached into his pocket for his AirPods. Once they were secure in his ears, he leaned his back against the countertop and began to text, sliding his fingers along the screen and rapidly double-tapping to form words, listening to the auditory feedback as he did. He normally verbalized his text messages, but this was one that his friends didn’t need to hear.

 

JIMIN [08:35:23PM]
What did the flower say to the bee?

JEONGGUKIE [08:36:28PM]
Oh no. *braces self* I don’t know. What?

JIMIN [08:38:04PM]
Wasa-bee?

JEONGGUKIE [08:38:56PM]
LOL oh my God. Ridiculous. Hi, hyung. I miss you. Been thinking of you all day.

 

“Look at him, he’s blushing,” Hoseok said loudly as Jimin tapped and listened to Jeongguk’s text message again.

“Shut up,” Jimin snapped, turning and protecting his phone like Hoseok could see the screen or hear. Truthfully, Jimin could darken the screen as much as he wanted just to spite his friends, but he wasn’t that much of an asshole. Instead, he rounded the countertop into the kitchen, his heart cartwheeling, his fingers sliding across the keyboard and double tapping as fast as humanly possible.

 

JIMIN [08:41:12PM]
I miss you a lot. Was wondering if you were free on Friday night.

JEONGGUKIE [08:42:31PM]
Ah, hyung :( My graduation is Friday afternoon, and my friends want to take me out after.

JIMIN [08:44:15PM]
You didn’t tell me it was this Friday!

JEONGGUKIE [08:45:34PM]
I’m sorry. I tried to get out of it, but my oldest hyung wants pictures. He’s impossible.

JIMIN [08:47:45PM]
Then what about Saturday night? Busy then?

JEONGGUKIE [08:48:15PM]
No, so please tell me we can see each other then. 7pm? When and where? Just tell me and I’ll show up. I can’t stand that I haven’t seen you for a week.

JIMIN [08:50:56PM]
You’re trying to kill me. 7pm at my apartment. Come hungry ;)

JEONGGUKIE [08:51:45PM]
To eat food, or to eat you? I’m OK with both.

 

***

 

On Thursday night, Jimin was lying in bed with his knees bent, a book propped on his thighs as he read before bed. He wasn’t necessarily the fastest Braille reader in the world, but he was competent and was also a perfectionist who practiced incessantly, so he always read before bed each night. It was when he flipped the page that the idea came to him. It hit him so hard that he gasped.

“HYU-U-U-U-UNG!”

Years ago, Hoseok would have sprinted to Jimin’s room, stumbling and breathless, thinking Jimin was being murdered. Now, when Jimin yelled, it took a solid thirty seconds for his bedroom door to open. Hoseok took his sweet time nowadays, even shuffled his feet to prove a point.

“What’s up?”

“I need your help,” Jimin said, throwing his bookmark into his heavy, spiral-bound volume of the book and tossing it aside carelessly. “I need to get in touch with Jeongguk’s friends. You can do that through Instagram, right? Fuck, I really should make an account. Can’t be bothered, though. Can you do it?”

“Yeah, you can direct message them if they’re not on private, and if it’s available.” The bed dipped, and Hoseok rolled until he was situated near Jimin. “Want me to message one of them?”

“Yeah. Message… Message Taehyung. Kim Taehyung. I need you to ask him if I can go to Jeongguk’s graduation tomorrow afternoon.”

“Cute,” Hoseok muttered with a little laugh, scrolling through Jeongguk’s Instagram until he found Taehyung’s page. “Okay, what do you want me to say?”

“Just say that you’re my roommate and that I want to come to Jeongguk’s graduation.”

“Oh, he’s online now. Hold on, I’ll be fast.” Hoseok’s fingers flew across the screen, and then he leaned back into the pillows with a satisfied sigh. “…Okay, he read it. Now he’s typing. He said… oh. Okay, that’s a keyboard smash. Hold, please.”

Jimin stifled a laugh and scooted until he could link elbows with Hoseok. Hoseok also wasn’t much of a cuddling person either, but he, too, made exceptions for Jimin.

“He said that he doesn’t have an extra ticket, but that if you came to dinner with them, Jeongguk would pass out. His words, not mine. Oh, here are all the details. Goddamn, this guy’s fast. I’ll text you the restaurant. He said their reservation is at seven o’clock. Oh.” Hoseok snickered. “He asked if you want him to call you when Jeongguk’s getting ready to walk across the stage.”

“No, no, it’s okay. Maybe just get a video so I can listen to it after,” Jimin said, grabbing an extra pillow to hug, wishing it were Jeongguk. “Tell him thank you.”

“And now he’s saying that he won’t tell Jeongguk so that you can be a surprise.”

“Tell him I’ll be there,” Jimin said happily.

“And… That’s another keyboard smash. We sure he’s in his twenties?” Hoseok joked. “I can’t believe Yoongi hyung stalks this guy on Instagram.”

“Wait, he stalks him? Seriously?”

“Goodnight, my sweet little brother,” Hoseok sang, skipping out of Jimin’s room as Jimin flopped against his pillows with a frustrated sigh, waving his right hand around until he knocked his book, and he dragged it back onto his lap like it weighed ten thousand pounds.

 

***

 

Jimin normally didn’t go out of his way to make sure that he looked good, but on Friday evening, he tore apart his closet like a madman, muttering to himself. Hoseok kept strolling by while eating chips and salsa (Jimin didn’t ask questions) and laughing.

“I just don’t know what the vibe is!” Jimin called out, hands tangled in his hair. And then he blew out a breath and reached up to his hangers again, grabbing at the cardstock tags hanging around the necks. Black/white stripes LS, he read in Braille, and he ran his hand down the long sleeve of the shirt and bypassed it. Sweater, emerald green, he read a few hangers later, and he pursed his lips and considered. It wasn’t cold outside, but it wasn’t summertime weather yet, so he could still get away with a sweater. He was already wearing his favorite black skinny jeans, so maybe a sweater would help. Yoongi always said this particular color was a good one on Jimin, so he settled on it.

“Okay, I think I’m ready,” Jimin said after pulling it over his head and loosening the collar a little to make himself comfortable. “HYUNG!”

“…Oh, good choice,” Hoseok said, appearing in the doorway. “Love that color on you.”

“How does my hair look?” Jimin asked nervously.

“Soft. Like your hot boyfriend could run his fingers through it,” Hoseok declared, and Jimin stifled a laugh. When they had first become roommates, Jimin had had to teach Hoseok how to describe the world better, especially describing things that involved the way Jimin looked. So now, instead of “looks good,” he got something more abstract.

“He’s not my boyfriend,” Jimin said like he was an actor in a K-drama, but the smile that crept onto his face afterward said a different story. Hoseok made a noise of fake disgust.

“Are you taking an Uber?” Hoseok asked. Five years ago, he would have insisted on driving Jimin everywhere like a chauffeur, but after Yoongi had laughed at him, he had loosened up considerably.

“Yeah, and I’m gonna be late, so I have to hurry,” Jimin said breathlessly after pressing his watch and hearing that it was half past six already, and then another text that announced the arrival of his Uber, which he had ordered in his outfit crisis in hopes it would encourage him to make a fast decision. “Shit, hyung, I need to go.”

Jimin turned his folded cane over and over in his hands as the Uber careened through the city, chewing the inside of his lower lip so much that he feared he was about to chew off skin. Why was he so nervous? His first date with Jeongguk had been an absolute dream come true. It was the date that he had hoped for since he was a teenager, wishing that some wonderful boy would finally see him as more than just the blind kid. Jeongguk was so wonderful that it made Jimin choke up sometimes when he thought about it, but was he over-exaggerating? Was he taking it too far? Did he have feelings when Jeongguk didn’t? This was only the fourth time they were seeing one another in person. The first time at the bar, the day Jeongguk had come to Noteworthy, their first date, and now this. But Jimin had been falling asleep every night with a smile on his face because of Jeongguk’s text messages. Two nights ago he had called Jimin just to say goodnight. So was Jimin crazy, or was something more going on?

Jimin’s felt a vibration on his wrist, so he held up his wrist a little to listen to the text: “Hi, this is Jimin, right? This is Kim Taehyung. Your roommate gave me your number! Can you call me super fast?”

Jimin pulled out his iPhone from his pocket, located the text message, and called the number. It rang only once.

“Hi,” a slightly flustered baritone voice said. “Hi, this is Jimin, right?”

“Yeah, hi,” Jimin said with a small smile. “Is everything okay?”

“Everything’s great. Hi, I’m Taehyung. Um, can you let me know when you’re getting closer? We just got here early and I said that I had to take an important phone call,” Taehyung said. “And it was a bitch trying to convince all of them to show up ten minutes early.”

“Oh. Hold on, let me ask—excuse me? Um, how close are we to the restaurant?” Jimin asked the driver.

“Three minutes,” she answered cheerfully.

“Three minutes,” Jimin repeated. “Is that okay?”

“Uh, it’ll just be a really long phone call,” Taehyung decided, sounding pleased. “Jeonggukie has no clue. One of our hyungs asked him about you and he just kept talking about a date you have tomorrow night.”

“Oh.” Jimin blushed in the dark car. “Yeah, yeah, we—um, we have something tomorrow.”

“Gee, I never would’ve known,” Taehyung said airily, and Jimin stifled a laugh. “Hey, I think I see an Uber. Is that you? Shit, never mind, I’ll just be hanging around.”

Jimin giggled to himself when Taehyung just hung up, and the Uber pulled into a parking lot. Jimin profusely thanked the driver, unfolded his cane, shook it out, and hopped out of the car. As the Uber pulled away, he stood still for a brief moment to take an auditory survey of his surroundings to figure out where the entrance of the restaurant was. But he didn’t have long to gather information.

“Jimin! Park Jimin!” The voice drew closer. “Hi. Hey, I’m Kim Taehyung.”

“Nice to meet you,” Jimin said, extending a hand. Taehyung shook it enthusiastically.

“I’m really glad you could come,” Taehyung said happily. “Jeonggukie won’t know what hit him. He’s like—I don’t know what he’s like. Every time someone even mentions your name, he hears it from seventy miles away and comes running to talk about you.”

“Oh my God,” Jimin said with a small laugh, covering his face his phone, which was still in his hand.

“So I put his back to the door and told Namjoon hyung and Seokjin hyung to pretend they didn’t see me when I walk back in. I told them you’re coming. Um, Jeongguk said he guides you places sometimes. Should I…?”

“Oh—yeah. Thanks. It’d be a lot easier if I’m trying to sneak up on him,” Jimin reasoned, and Taehyung snickered.

“Understandable.”

“Just, um, walk like normal, and I’ll hold the back of your arm. Like this,” Jimin said, and he situated Taehyung in front of him and gripped right above his elbow. “And if you don’t want me to run into something or you want me to follow directly behind you, just move your arm behind your back. I’ll get the hint.”

“Good. Okay. I can do this,” Taehyung said as a pep talk, and Jimin chuckled. He folded up his cane quickly and shoved it into his back pocket. He did it so often that his jeans were all used to it, having a large folded up white cane in them. Then he gripped Taehyung’s arm and let him lead the way into the restaurant.

“Okay, just be super quiet,” Taehyung hissed. “He’s not looking. He’s talking to Namjoon hyung. We’re gonna cover his eyes. Can I help you?”

“Yeah, go ahead,” Jimin whispered, grinning. In one swift motion, the pair came to a halt, and Taehyung put his hands over top of Jimin’s and then swiftly guided them to cover Jeongguk’s eyes. Jimin then stood behind Jeongguk with his right hand covering both the younger’s eyes, the left hand over it to keep blocking his vision.

“Guess who?” Taehyung sang out.

“Quit it, hyung,” Jeongguk said with a little laugh, dropping his wrist onto the table with his chopsticks still in hand.

“Quit? Yeah, okay,” Taehyung said, and he sighed and sat down in his seat. “Not sure what I’m supposed to stop doing. Now guess.”

“I hate guessing.”

“Don’t be such a pessimist, you have a college degree now.”

“Well, it’s definitely not my parents or my sister,” Jeongguk said, and Namjoon snorted with laughter. Jimin wiggled excitedly with a grin. “Um… fuck, I don’t know. Seokjin hyung? If it’s you, I’m not taking any pictures.”

“I was literally just talking to you, you dumbass. You’re right to hate guessing, you suck at it,” Seokjin commented casually. Jimin couldn’t stand it any longer. He removed just his left hand, right hand still covering Jeongguk’s eyes, and then leaned down and kissed Jeongguk’s cheek.

“Jimin hyung?” Jeongguk immediately breathed, trying to shove his chair back. It was astounding how quickly he managed to guess correctly with just one little kiss. Jimin let out a small laugh and stepped away, removing his hand as Jeongguk leapt up, turned, and tackled Jimin in a hug, sweeping him off his feet. He was hugging Jimin like they had been apart for years, his head buried in the elder’s neck like he wanted to make a home there.

“Hi,” Jimin whispered. “Happy graduation.”

“Hi, how’d you—?” Jeongguk cut himself off by pressing his lips to Jimin’s in a searing kiss, and Jimin blushed furiously, though he did kiss Jeongguk back. In front of all his friends. Who were (mostly) older and didn’t know Jimin at all. “How’d you get here?” One, two, three more kisses, and then Jeongguk pressed his forehead to Jimin’s.

“M-My roommate messaged Taehyung on Instagram,” Jimin admitted with a smile, realizing that Jeongguk’s hands covered the entire small of his back, that his arms could probably wrap around his waist two times. He reached up one hand to touch Jeongguk’s face, his heart leaping into his throat when he felt Jeongguk’s smile.

“Are you my graduation present?” Jeongguk teased, nuzzling Jimin’s cheek happily. His openness to public affection was dizzying.

“Are you two finished being gross? Seriously,” Seokjin called out, but there was a happy and teasing tone to his voice.

“Leave them alone, asshole, Jeongguk’s actually happy,” Namjoon scolded.

“Sit, sit, sit,” Jeongguk insisted, tugging Jimin and pulling out a chair for him. “Are you here for dinner? For the whole night?”

“Well, I kind of hoped so,” Jimin said, sitting down beside Jeongguk. “Want to tell me about graduation? Was it exhilarating?”

“Thrilling,” Jeongguk confirmed, and the other three snorted with laughter. “I was shaking in anticipation for hours while hundreds of other people had their names called, and then I took great pleasure in being called ‘Jun-kook John’ in front of a crowd of English-speaking academics before receiving a degree that means next to nothing until I start law school.”

Seokjin almost spit out his drink as Namjoon groaned and Taehyung burst into laughter. Jimin stifled a laugh as Jeongguk’s hand slipped onto his knee and squeezed.

“But yes, it was very exciting,” he said jokingly. “Taehyung said he filmed my walk, so feel free to listen to these morons yell some really questionable things in Korean because they knew no one would understand them.”

“Probably not a good idea to play said video in a restaurant filled with Koreans,” Taehyung noted. “Jiminie, do you want some of the japchae? Hyung, pass that to him.”

Suddenly, Jimin had a plate full of food, and meat was brought out and thrown onto the grill. Seokjin insisted on doing all the cooking because he was “surrounded by brainless amateur chefs,” but then Jimin raised a finger.

“Can I do some?” he asked.

“Yes,” Jeongguk said firmly as Jimin heard Seokjin open his mouth to protest. “What do you want?”

“Just the pork belly,” Jimin said happily, and Jeongguk grabbed the plate of uncooked meat. “Can you get me a few pieces?”

“Yeah. Want me to put them on the grill, or just give you the plate?” Jeongguk asked.

“Just the plate.”

Jimin suddenly felt four sets of eyes burning holes into him, but he was used to it. He was also used to Korean dining, so he accepted the plate from Jeongguk, used the tongs to pick up a piece, and then moved forward toward the grill. He bent the tongs at an angle so that the middle of them would hit the grill first instead of the raw meat. Once he made contact, he lifted the tongs a little and set the pork belly onto the grill, satisfied when he heard the sizzle.

“Holy shit, I would burn the entire restaurant down if I tried to do that without seeing,” Taehyung said without a filter.

“Tae,” Namjoon sighed, but Jimin just grinned.

“It’s fine. Most people don’t think I can do anything myself,” Jimin replied. Over the years, he had discovered that his very existence involved educating people on what he was capable of doing, so instead of seeing it as a burden, he used it as an opportunity. “So I like to prove them wrong.”

“I can’t even lie to you, I thought this was going to end in disaster and maybe a chance encounter with some hot firefighters,” Seokjin commented, and Jeongguk groaned.

“Sorry, Jimin-ah,” Namjoon apologized. “We can’t take them out in public too often. It offends the locals.”

“I offend the locals, too, don’t worry,” Jimin said airily, and Jeongguk groaned again as Taehyung snickered. “No, really. People get up in arms when they see a blind guy navigating the world without asking for help. They can’t believe that they’re not allowed to offer assistance, even more offended if I reject it.”

“Oh, they like to use you for good deeds,” Seokjin said. “You’re their ticket to heaven.”

“Hyung, are you fucking serious?” Namjoon said, but Jimin burst out laughing, and the tension dissipated.

Jimin was an active listener almost the entirety of the dinner, but he kissed Jeongguk at least three times to promise that he didn’t mind. He wanted to learn as much as he could about Jeongguk’s friends, and Jeongguk kept scooting his chair closer and closer the better the conversation became, especially when Taehyung declared that he and Jimin were “meant to be best friends.” But if Jimin was going to continue spending time with Jeongguk, he had to learn.

As it turned out, Taehyung, Namjoon, and Seokjin were all very different lawyers. Taehyung was desperately hoping to practice family law, even if it included the ugly parts such as divorce or child custody and visitation rights. He wanted to practice family law for the beautiful aspects of it like adoption. Namjoon was focused solely on immigration and already had a practice in the city that was interested in snatching him up, because he was steadily impressing the firm for which he was interning. Seokjin was the hard-ass who wanted to prosecute criminals, and therefore worked for the state and was in court more than he was in the office.

However, Jimin discovered through conversation that the way that they practiced law fit their personalities. Apparently Taehyung spent most of his nights on FaceTime with his family back in South Korea and cooed over seeing babies at the supermarket, then lamenting over gossip columns talking about celebrities breaking up or divorcing. Namjoon recounted briefly how had gone through hell getting a student visa and obtaining residency, so he wanted to fight for those who were in similar positions, and he was smart as hell and knew how to play the system. Seokjin, unsurprisingly, liked to crack bad dad jokes and laughed at the stupidity of the criminal population, taking great joy in ensuring that the guilty did their time. But he also had a soft spot for the wrongfully prosecuted, so he was quietly careful with the cases he took so that there was no chance of putting the wrong person behind bars if necessary.

And then there was Jeongguk, Jeongguk, who wore his heart on his sleeve and told anyone who would listen that he was going to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ+ population and use his law degree for the good of basic human rights.

“I dealt with enough shit in high school,” Jeongguk said quietly as the rest of the table listened, and Jimin kept his grip on Jeongguk’s hand. “Too much of my father being ashamed of me, and my mom fucking cowering in fear of him even though she supported me. Left me to fend for myself. She doesn’t even get in touch. Keeps Chaerin from talking to me. That’s my little sister.”

“That’s awful, Guk, I’m so sorry,” Jimin said, resting his head on Jeongguk’s shoulder. They were well past dessert now, all their chairs pushed closer together as they finished their fifth, sixth, maybe seventh drinks and cuddled. Taehyung had his legs on Jeongguk’s lap, which Jimin could feel, and Namjoon kept quietly trying to swat Seokjin away, but he was too weak to fight the hand massaging his shoulder.

“Just means he’s going to fight his entire life to help as many people as he can so they never experience what he did,” Taehyung said, sounding proud. “That’s our Jeonggukie. Sorry, I mean—” He cleared his throat. “That’s your Jeonggukie.”

“Jesus Christ, Tae,” Namjoon said with a small laugh. “Let’s go, we’ve already paid the check. Come on, come on, let’s go.”

“You coming with me?” Seokjin asked casually as they walked out, but Jimin physically felt Jeongguk turn to stare down his friends. Taehyung muttered something high-pitched under his breath, mocking Seokjin, and Jimin giggled.

“Yeah, that’s fine. Tae, how’re you getting home?” Namjoon asked, trying to sound just as casual but failing per usual.

“Uh, not with you two,” Taehyung said. “I’ve walked in on you morons fucking each other five too many times. I’ll take my own Uber, thanks. Jeonggukie, are you coming with me?”

“Um,” Jeongguk said, but he hesitated.

“Oh, okay. Bye, go home and suck each other’s dicks,” Taehyung said dismissively to Seokjin and Namjoon, who were still lingering. They both made noises of protests, but then Jimin giggled and listened to their voices fade off into the distance, both of them hollering their goodbyes to Jimin. “Okay, now that they’re gone. Cookie Monster.” He turned back to Jeongguk. “You want me to hang off to the side for a minute?”

“Yeah, could you?” Jeongguk asked quietly. Taehyung didn’t answer, but Jimin figured he had nodded. Then Jeongguk’s hand fell into his, and Jimin fought the urge to side hug him as they stepped off to the side.

“Thank you,” Jeongguk said softly, and then Jimin smiled as they kissed. “Thank you so much for coming, for surprising me. I thought about you the entire ceremony.”

“Naughty.”

“It was pretty boring, in my defense,” Jeongguk said as Jimin’s hands wandered freely. He grinned.

“Are you wearing something nice?” he asked, his heart skipping. Then he grabbed the tie Jeongguk’s was wearing a tugged gently. “A tie, huh? Do you look like a million bucks? Is that what I’m missing?”

“You’re not missing much, I promise,” Jeongguk muttered, pressing his lips to Jimin’s again. “I already untucked the shirt and I’m about to throw this tie onto the highway. But if it makes you feel better, I’ll dress up just like this for you one night.”

“And let me undress you?”

“One hundred percent.” Jeongguk took Jimin’s face in his large hands and kissed him so perfectly that Jimin almost forgot that they were just standing outside a busy restaurant in the middle of L.A. with Taehyung standing by.

“Are you leaving with Taehyungie?” Jimin whispered, lips still against Jeongguk’s.

“Well. As much as I’d like to take you home with me,” Jeongguk started, and then he brushed Jimin’s cheeks with his thumbs before planting a tiny little kiss on his nose that made Jimin giggle. “We have a date tomorrow. Do you want to wait until then?”

“I don’t know if I can,” Jimin whispered. “You make it hard to wait.”

Jeongguk connected their lips, and Jimin sighed straight into it, subconsciously slipping his hands underneath Jeongguk’s shirt from the bottom and running his palms along smooth skin until he was at Jeongguk’s mid-back. Jeongguk whined, actually whined, and pulled Jimin closer to his chest, deepening the kiss, licking into the elder’s mouth eagerly, one hand buried in his hair. Jimin nipped at Jeongguk’s bottom lip and gripped the skin and muscle on his back with purpose, eyes fluttering closed again when Jeongguk started trailing hot kisses down his jaw to his neck.

“You in this damn sweater,” he almost growled. “Look fucking edible.” And then he latched into a spot in the crook on Jimin’s neck, grabbing skin and sucking as Jimin gasped, fingernails digging into warm skin, his head lolling back. The pain was the gateway to pleasure, and Jimin’s knees went weak when Jeongguk pulled away, satisfied, and kissed the mark he had made gently.

“M-My roommate says it looks good on me,” Jimin whispered in a state of mild stupor. Jeongguk chuckled and took Jimin face in his hands again.

“You look good in anything. Green sweater, white shirt, stark naked. All good looks.”

“You little—” Jimin laughed against Jeongguk’s lips when he got another kiss. “Thank you.”

“You’re beautiful. Absolutely beautiful,” Jeongguk breathed, kissing Jimin again and again and again until Jimin was a giggling mess, clinging to Jeongguk tightly. “Shit, I still can’t believe you let me take you home with me that night.”

“Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin moaned, dragging out the last symbol in embarrassment as he buried his face in Jeongguk’s shoulder. He took a deep breath and nearly fainted from how good the younger smelled—clean, like soap, and so distinctly him. Jimin could have drowned in it.

“We’ll wait for our date,” Jeongguk said. “If that’s okay with you. I want to enjoy tomorrow as much as possible.”

“Fine. But I’m not happy about it,” Jimin said with a dramatic pout, and Jeongguk snorted with laughter.

“Goodnight, hyung.” Another kiss, and Jimin melted even more into a hopeless puddle. “I’ll be there tomorrow at seven o’clock sharp. Not a minute before or after.”

“Mm, punctuality turns me on,” Jimin muttered, and Jeongguk chuckled. “Goodnight.”

“ARE YOU TWO FINISHED?”

“Have we ever chatted in depth about Kim Taehyung?” Jeongguk asked, and Jimin giggled. “About how he just needs an older man to calm him the fuck down? YEAH, WE’RE DONE. Hey, do you want to just share the Uber? We’ll drop you off first.”

 

***

 

Jeongguk felt like an absolute moron trying to decide what to wear for their date. It was only half past five and he was fretting over something that barely even mattered. Jimin had made it clear several times that he didn’t care what Jeongguk looked like, had hinted that he preferred Jeongguk without clothes on anyways. But Jeongguk still had to make careful selections, because he didn’t want to feel like a mess.

After pulling on some clothes and shrugging at his hair in the mirror, he grabbed his keys and rushed out, because he had two things to get before he showed up to Jimin’s apartment. He refused to arrive empty-handed, and against Seokjin’s advice, he was going to be a sap. Jeongguk didn’t fucking know how to date anyone, let along Park Jimin. Trust him to decide that the first man he chose to seriously date was a blind prodigy. All Jeongguk wanted to do was ravish and spoil the hell out of Jimin until he could barely stand it anymore.

His first stop was the little flower shop where he had gotten those fateful sunflowers. He made a beeline for them and chose just a single sunflower, the size of his entire hand, and had it wrapped in crinkly paper to keep the stem safe. Checking the time, he then stopped as his favorite liquor store and picked up a bottle of pinot noir, because a good red was typically a winner. He had no idea what Jimin planned to cook, but red wine went with a lot of foods, especially meat.

At two minutes until seven o’clock, Jeongguk pulled into a visitor space at Jimin’s apartment complex. He then decided to take the stairs two at a time, because he had promised punctuality. Breathless, he paced in a small radius outside the front door, his phone in hand to check the time. The moment it flicked to seven o’clock, he reached forward and knocked on the door.

“…Jeongguk?”

“Yeah, it’s me,” Jeongguk called out when he heard Jimin’s voice on the other side of the door.

“You weren’t kidding about being on time.” The door unlocked.

“Hi,” Jeongguk breathed, nearly falling backwards into the opposite wall when Jimin opened the door. He was wearing black ripped jeans and a baby blue sweater that was far too big, down to his thighs and falling off one shoulder entirely. Only his fingertips were visible because the sleeves were too long. “Jesus, you look beautiful.”

“What?” Jimin giggled. “I’m just cooking.”

“Still.”

“Um, come in,” Jimin said shyly, standing back to let Jeongguk in. “You can leave your shoes at the front door, or anywhere, as long as I don’t trip over them. I’m almost done dinner, actually. I started early. It takes me kind of a long time to cook.”

“I don’t mind,” Jeongguk said, toeing his shoes off. “It smells amazing.”

“It’s literally just spicy seafood pasta. But it’s not actually pasta, it’s Chinese wide glass noodles,” Jimin explained. “Um, it has shrimp and scallops and some abalone that I got from that one market, you know the one I’m talking about?”

“No, but I bet whatever you cooked will be the best thing I’ve ever eaten,” Jeongguk decided, shifting the wine and the flower in his hands. Jimin came to a screeching halt halfway to the kitchen and pivoted, hearing the crinkle of the flower wrapping.

“Did you bring something?” he asked, ever perceptive.

“Oh—yeah. Um, I brought some wine,” Jeongguk said, watching the smile creep onto Jimin’s face. “And this. For you.” He gently pushed the single large sunflower into Jimin’s hands, and he watched as Jimin’s fingers carefully explored. Then he watched as the elder blushed, biting his lower lip.

“You’re spoiling me,” he said softly. “Is this the rule? Only you can bring me flowers?”

“Your apartment should have flowers in it all the time,” Jeongguk said with conviction. “And they should be given to you. By me.”

“Deal.” Jimin hugged the flower to his chest, and then, knowing where Jeongguk was, he leapt forward and threw his arms around the younger’s neck. Jeongguk nearly threw the bottle of wine onto the countertop, and then he hoisted Jimin up in one smooth motion into his arms. Jimin wrapped his legs around Jeongguk’s waist and crossed his ankles, elbows resting on Jeongguk’s shoulders, hands tangled in the younger’s hair, sunflower on the countertop.

“You’re so wonderful,” he whispered, and then he surged forward and kissed Jeongguk with intent. Jeongguk kissed him back fiercely, wondering why he ever had to go more than a minute without Jimin’s lips on his. Seemed unfair. “Shit, I can’t believe I get to date you.”

“Mm, you know what I can’t believe?” Jeongguk kept Jimin in his arms and trailed featherlike kisses across his cheeks, his jaw, by his ear, his neck. He couldn’t fucking stop, couldn’t keep his lips off this man. He deserved to be absolutely smothered, covered in kisses, drowned in affection at all times. He hadn’t for what seemed like awhile, so Jeongguk now had to make up for lost time. “I can’t believe we both lived in L.A. all these years, went to the same school, and never met.”

“We met at the right time,” Jimin whispered, finally releasing his ankles. Jeongguk took the hint and set the elder back on his feet. “We met when I wasn’t looking for you.”

“When… oh. That makes sense. Were you looking for someone before?” Jeongguk asked.

“Yeah. For years. I never liked being alone. But then I had a long talk with my two hyungs back in March, and they said I should stop searching. That it would just break my heart over and over. So I stopped. And a month later, you showed up at Hamilton Social,” Jimin explained, sounding increasingly nervous the further he got into his story. But Jeongguk was a goner, so he squeezed Jimin tighter, encouraging him to continue. “You showed up and… and—you’re just you. You’re…”

Everything I’ve been searching for my entire life.

Jeongguk could have filled in the blank, but he just kissed Jimin softly, reverently.

“I know what you mean,” he whispered. “You’re the first man I’ve ever really dated, so I get it.”

“Wait, what? Seriously?”

“Seriously. I was a one-night stand guy. I don’t even know how to date, hyung. I’m just winging it,” Jeongguk admitted with a short laugh. “I have no fucking clue. I can’t believe you still want to hang out with me, that’s how inexperienced I am with dating.”

“You’d never know,” Jimin whispered, and he kissed Jeongguk firmly and then let go. “Okay, I need to put in the noodles. You can open the wine, though. I want to try it. Is it red?”

“It’s a pinot noir.”

“Perfect,” Jimin said happily, and he scooted back into the kitchen. Jeongguk watched in relative amazement as he paused in front of a pot of water that was boiling, leaning in slightly. “Ah, boiling,” he murmured to himself, hearing the frantic bubbles. He slid to the left and grabbed the bag of glass noodles, tore it open with his teeth, and dropped the bundles into the water. He then yelled out to Siri to set a timer for ten minutes, and she complied. Then he slid his hand along the way until he found a drawer, yanking it open. He moved his fingers like he was playing the piano until he plucked up a clean spoon, and then he tucked his hand and used a wrist to search. His wrist bumped gently into the handle of the pan where the spicy seafood medley and sauce was steaming. Jeongguk watched, fixated, as Jimin gripped the handle with one hand and dipped the spoon into the pan once. He lifted it up, blew on it a little, and then tasted the sauce.

“It’s good. You wanna try it?” he offered, reaching into the drawer for another clean spoon. Jeongguk couldn’t refuse. He hopped into the kitchen and slipped his arms around Jimin’s waist, planting a kiss against that damn exposed shoulder and collarbone, and then he nodded, knowing Jimin could feel it. Jimin put a clean spoon into the sauce, and then he wiggled a little in Jeongguk’s arms and crossed the spoon over his left shoulder with a proud grin. Jeongguk closed his mouth around the spoon and ate all the sauce, and then he hummed.

“Delicious,” he agreed. “Perfect amount of gochujang.”

“Oh, good,” Jimin sighed, sounding relieved. “I like spicier foods, so I was nervous—Jeongguk-ah,” he added with a little giggle when Jeongguk snatched the spoon and put it back into the pan with an obvious sound, taking more sauce to eat it because he was hungry. “That’s double dipping, you weirdo.”

“Like we haven’t swapped spit before,” Jeongguk said. “I’m hungry, hyung, let me live.”

“I’ll feed you, you big baby,” Jimin teased.

He did. Jeongguk poured wine for the two of them and helped set the little table with Jimin’s guidance, and Jimin mixed the noodles and sauce and asked Jeongguk if everything looked incorporated. He was pleased to have a set of eyes to tell if his food looked edible, because apparently his roommate was happy to eat literally anything Jimin cooked no matter how it looked.

Jeongguk set his bowl full of food down on the placemat, and Jimin held out his bowl in Jeongguk’s direction, already trying to go back into the kitchen for something. It took Jeongguk a moment to figure out what to do, but he just quietly accepted the bowl and set it on Jimin’s placemat. When he did, he saw a pleased little smile spread across Jimin’s face, watched him roll his shoulders back as he ran the top of his hand along the cabinets until he found the one with all the utensils.

“Chopsticks,” he said happily. “Forgot them. You want a pair?”

“Please.”

Jimin grabbed two pairs, and then he came back to the table, bumping his hip into the chair before he plopped down and crawled his fingers to find his bowl. He picked it up, held it carefully in one hand, and used it chopsticks to start stirring his food. Jeongguk propped one elbow on the table and set his chopsticks in his own food, watching Jimin curiously, fondly. Jimin grabbed an absolutely monstrous bite of food, mostly noodles, blew on it a few times, and then shoved it into his mouth, folding the noodles with his chopsticks as he chewed, slurping them in. He was a regular professional, looked neater doing it than Jeongguk did.

“Impressive,” Jeongguk commented, and Jimin, with a mouthful of food, stifled a laugh. He tapped the knuckles of his fist against one cheek a few times, and Jeongguk grinned. “Look like a little chipmunk. Cute chipmunk, though, don’t worry.”

“Okay, but—” Jimin slid his hand flat until it hit the base of his wine glass, and he picked it up by the stem and took a large gulp. Jeongguk realized that Jimin was very methodical about most everything he did. He had a system set in place for cooking, for finding chopsticks, for not spilling drinks, for literally his entire life. It was impressive and a weird kind of turn-on. Jeongguk could only think about how if he were blind, he would spend most of his days curled up in a ball, wanting to die. Not Jimin. “Is it good? The food?”

“It’s delicious,” Jeongguk said. “The seafood’s cooked perfectly. You did so well, baby, I love it.”

“Thanks,” Jimin said, his ears turning red at the sound of the pet name. Jeongguk froze with his food halfway to his mouth, realizing that he had never called Jimin sweet things outside of the bedroom. Given his reaction, perhaps he should do it more often.

“Do you have cookbooks? In Braille?” Jeongguk asked as they ate.

“I have a few, but they’re really bulky and come in, like, three volumes,” Jimin said. “I have some recipes on pieces of cardstock in braille. I have a binder full of them in one of the cabinets. But most of the time, if there’s something I want to cook, I just refer to the Internet. My phone or iPad can do a lot.”

“Can your phone or iPad read the recipes to you?”

“It reads the screen, yeah,” Jimin said. “So it can be a little tiresome sometimes, because it likes to read the entire screen. It’s not like when you read a recipe and you can scroll and pick and choose what to read. I mean, I can, but it just takes a little more time.”

“What about measuring ingredients? Turning on an oven? All this stuff kind of feels like it requires eyesight,” Jeongguk asked, brow furrowed.

“My measuring cups and spoons have tactile stickers on them,” Jimin explained. “So that I can feel which spoon is which, or figure out how much a cup is. But, you know, when it’s liquid, sometimes I just have to stick my finger in as a measurement gauge. It can get messy, but it’s efficient.”

“What about the oven? Or the stovetop?”

“If you go over there and look, there are stickers all over it,” Jimin said proud, stabbing a scallop with one chopstick and then popping it into his mouth. After he finished chewing, he added, “There’s a way to do everything. Sometimes I have to ask my roommate for help, but for the most part, I can do it myself.”

“That’s amazing. I’d probably just cry and give up,” Jeongguk admitted. “You have a lot of willpower.”

“Or maybe I just don’t have a choice,” Jimin pointed out with a little smile.

“True,” Jeongguk tentatively agreed. “But you chose to do something about it and live a decent life, not give up. That’s more than a lot of—what’d you call us?—sighted people. That’s more than a lot of us sighted people can say.”

“I don’t really know much different,” Jimin replied with a shrug. “My vision was shit since the day I was born. I knew I was going to go blind when I was, like, nine or ten. So I just mentally prepared myself for it. My family was no help, so I turned to friends. Yoongi hyung took me in. His family was very kind to me, very supportive. Hyung didn’t really give me a chance to give up.”

“Good friend.”

“The best,” Jimin said firmly with a smile. He paused, and then he quietly extended a hand. Jeongguk thought to take it, but then he did one better. He hooked the top of his foot on the leg of Jimin’s chair, dragged it towards him, and then pulled Jimin right into his lap.

“You want something?” he asked with a smile. Jimin grinned and brought his hands casually up to Jeongguk’s face, something that seemed to be a forming habit.

“Just you,” he said softly. “I know we don’t see each other every day or anything like that, but…I don’t know, Jeongguk-ah. I don’t know how to describe you. What to call you when people ask.”

“What do you want to call me?”

Jimin blushed furiously and instantly buried his head in Jeongguk’s neck, and Jeongguk let out a breathy laugh, his heart leaping. Here he was with an entire summer ahead of him before he succumbed to the tortures of law school, and he was about to ask if Jimin wanted to… holy shit. If he…

“I don’t know,” Jimin whispered, but it was a lie, and Jeongguk could tell. “When I do, I’ll tell you.”

“Deal. Can I ask you another question?”

“Sure.”

“You said you play three instruments, right? I don’t see a piano anywhere.”

“I have an electric piano in my room,” Jimin replied. “My guitar and my violin are in there, too. Wanna see?”

“Of course. Can I clean up for you first?”

“What? No, it’s fine, just leave the dishes,” Jimin insisted, but Jeongguk shook his head.

“No, I’m not going to leave a mess for you to clean up. Can I get you another glass of wine? You sit and I’ll clean up. I might just have to ask where to put things.”

“You’re a fucking wet dream, Jeon Jeongguk,” Jimin replied, grabbing for his wine glass. “Seriously.”

So Jeongguk filled Jimin’s glass up halfway, and then he took a large swig straight from the bottle, since there was only a little bit left, licking the little drop that ran down the neck of the bottle. Then he started grabbing pots, pans, and bowls to clean. He scrubbed everything, filled up the dishwasher, asked where the cleaning supplies were so he could wipe down the countertops and stovetop, and blushed when Jimin asked if he wanted to just clean the countertop well enough so they could have sex. He was teasing, but Jeongguk scrubbed the countertop a bit extra just in case.

When the kitchen was sparkling, Jimin led Jeongguk straight into his room, and Jeongguk surveyed it carefully. It was one hundred percent Jimin. Nothing hanging on the walls, no pictures anywhere, but full of personality. His bedside table was piled high with heavy volumes of braille books and binders full of paper with braille all over it. His desk was massive, complete with a MacBook Air, fancy headphones, an iPad that was charging, a printer, and some weird typewriter-looking thing in the top left corner. Jeongguk paused and looked down at some weird black device that had only seven buttons and a display row at the bottom that looked like maybe it could show Braille. There was a TV across from the queen-sized bed, which had a mess of white sheets, a comforter, and a bunch of mismatched throw pillows. There was an electric piano against one wall, and propped next to it was an acoustic guitar. Next to that, in a stand, were a violin and a bow. There was also a little table with what looked like equipment to make music.

“What’s this thing?” Jeongguk asked, still fixated on the desk.

“Which thing?”

“The typewriter.”

“It’s a braillewriter, goof,” Jimin teased. “I feed paper into it and I can type out my own Braille.”

“And the other thing? The—this thing,” Jeongguk said, his hand touching the device the same time Jimin did.

“It’s called a BrailleNote Touch. I can take notes on it. It’s like a mini computer for Braille. I carry it around a lot. Sometimes I use it in class to take quick notes in Braille. I can plug it into a printer, and it’ll print out a regular copy for my teachers or classmates in regular print. It’s pretty cool,” Jimin said. “And expensive, so don’t touch.”

“Yes, sir,” Jeongguk said with a grin. Then he turned to all the musical instruments. “Will you play something for me?” he asked. “I hate asking because I feel selfish, but…”

“It’s not selfish,” Jimin said, crossing the room with one hand out in front of him slightly. His wrist bumped the electric piano, so he scooted and then bent down, picking up the violin and the bow. “I want to play for you. Any requests?”

“‘Devil Went Down to Georgia.’”

“Uh,” Jimin said loudly, and Jeongguk burst out laughing, plopping down onto Jimin’s bed.

“No requests, love. Just surprise me,” he said fondly, and then he almost slapped a hand over his mouth. Shit, the pet name had just slipped out again. He didn’t usually go that deep, but when he looked at Jimin’s face, he relaxed considerably. Jimin was blushing as he lifted the violin and set it under his chin. Then he tucked the bow in his hand and plucked a few of
the strings, listening to see if the violin was tuned properly.

“Do they have music in Braille?” Jeongguk questioned.

“Yup. That’s not how I learned, though,” Jimin said, violin still under his chin, bow hanging nearly to the ground. “My mother and father refused to give me Braille. Said it made me look too blind, so I had to stop reading books and music when I was about twelve. People just read things for me.”

“That’s fucking awful.”

“It’s a long story,” Jimin sighed. “But my best friend, Yoongi hyung, he was like my personal reader. He learned how to read music specifically so he could help me. He used to sit with me for hours and help me memorize pieces on the piano or violin, sometimes the guitar. Just gave up part of his life to help me.”

“And you’re not a professional?” Jeongguk asked, amazed.

“No. I’m very passionate about music, but I’m more passionate about helping others,” Jimin replied, lifting the bow. “And plus, look at me now. I have the best of both worlds. Ready?”

“Ready.”

The piece that Jimin played was in a major chord, quick and bright and happy. He kept his eyes closed almost the entire time he played, his body swaying to his own music, like the bow was pulling him back and forth like the ebb and flow of an ocean. Jeongguk suddenly realized about two minutes in that he wasn’t watching Jimin play music. He was watching the music pour out of Jimin like a waterfall. It was just a part of him that he was willing to share.

“…Hi,” Jimin whispered as he slowly removed the bow from the violin, sensing that Jeongguk was close. Jeongguk had gotten up and was now standing behind Jimin, hovering, waiting. Jeongguk smiled and slipped his arms around Jimin’s waist, ducking his head and kissing the exposed shoulder thanks to the sweater. Jimin let out a pleased little breath and let his head drop back a little, lowering his violin and bow.

“That was beautiful,” Jeongguk murmured in Jimin’s ear. “You’re unreal. Can’t believe how talented you are. I could listen to you play for hours.”

“You’re just saying that,” Jimin said.

“You really think I would ever just say things like that to you?” Jeongguk asked quietly, slipping his hands underneath Jimin’s sweater to rest on the elder’s smooth stomach and kissing his neck. “I mean it. You’re full of magic, hyung. Swear.”

Jimin set the violin down, spun in Jeongguk’s arms, and reached up to touch the younger’s face. Jeongguk just let him explore, let his fingers feel the lines and curves of his face. Finally, Jimin’s eyes lost their accusatory narrowed look, and he ran his thumb across Jeongguk’s bottom lip. His thumb still at the corner of Jeongguk’s mouth, he leaned in and kissed the younger softly.

“I think I’m done playing music for you for tonight,” he whispered, and Jeongguk wholeheartedly agreed. He wrapped Jimin in his arms and kissed him over and over again, hands still underneath the sweater, feeling every curve, every soft patch of Jimin’s skin. Jimin’s hands wandered in the same way, fingertips prodding, like he was trying to find Braille on Jeongguk’s skin to read the younger’s life story.

“Will you sleep over tonight?” Jimin whispered. “Please?”

“Whatever you want, baby,” Jeongguk whispered back. “You know I’d do anything for you.”

Suddenly, everything about the moment became more intimate. The way Jimin began to undress was what started it. He used his fingertips to push Jeongguk onto the bed, and Jeongguk just sat there with Jimin standing above him, the elder’s thighs against his knees, and stared. Jimin slowly kicked out of his pants first, and then he hooked his thumbs into the hem of his underwear and cocked his head to the side, staring at Jeongguk even though he wasn’t seeing anything.

“Are you looking at me?” he whispered.

“Yeah,” Jeongguk choked out. “Y-Yeah, I am.”

“Good.” Jimin reached one hand into his briefs and touched himself, letting out a little sigh and dropping his head back, exposing his neck as Jeongguk fidgeted, suddenly feeling like his clothing was suffocating him. He was already hard. Not even halfway—fully fucking hard, painfully so, imagining all the ways he could ravish this man with that goddamn sweater on. He almost drooled at the thought, wondering if that’s where Jimin was going with this.

“Will you watch me, daddy?” Jimin asked in a small voice, sounding shy. Jeongguk audibly choked on his next breath, and he pressed his sweating palms into his thighs.

“Shit, yes,” he breathed. “Yes, I’ll watch you, baby. Go ahead. You want me to touch you?”

“No touching yet,” Jimin teased, and then he added quietly, “Please.”

“Whatever you want, angel. Go on.”

Jimin put on a goddamn show that had Jeongguk panting. He started by just tugging and playing with the hem of his briefs, and then he pulled them just a little lower and left them there. When he grabbed the hem of his sweater and just stretched, angling his body in heavenly ways, Jeongguk almost had to sit on his hands to keep from touching. He could see the taut muscles on Jimin’s soft skin, the lines of his hips, his hard cock sticking out of the top of his briefs, the dim light from his lamp hitting him at just the right angle. With the sweater still on, Jimin started running his hands all along his hips, his torso, his chest as Jeongguk inwardly whined, desperate to touch the man of his goddamn dreams. Was there anyone better than Park Jimin alive in the world? Impossible.

Jimin quietly tugged his underwear down and kicked it off with one foot, and then he moved and sat right in Jeongguk’s lap, knees on either side of the younger’s thighs. He perched himself on Jeongguk’s knees and wrapped his arms around Jeongguk’s neck, sweater still on and covering his body down to his thighs.

“You make me feel so beautiful,” he whispered to Jeongguk, and Jeongguk almost burst into tears, ruining the moment. “Want you so badly, Guk. What do you want to do to me? Tell me.”

“Wanna fuck you with this sweater on,” Jeongguk said without hesitation, still not touching even though his fingers were twitching. “Make you cum first, fucking worship your whole body, make you feel so good. It’s all I can think about, I—hyung,” he half-sighed, half-moaned when Jimin used a gentle hand to push Jeongguk on the chest. Jeongguk fell onto his back, and then he watched in awe as Jimin pulled up the front hem of the sweater and held it between his teeth, wrapping his right hand around his cock, gathering all the pre-cum, his eyes fluttering closed again as he touched himself.

“Wanna eat you out,” Jeongguk added, and Jimin moaned, scooting up until he was sitting right on Jeongguk’s cock, grinding down as he kept touching himself, the sweater still between his teeth. “Fuck, wanna touch you so badly right now. Can I, baby boy? Can I touch you?”

“Not until you’re naked,” Jimin said, dropping the sweater.

“Off, off, off,” Jeongguk chanted, and Jimin giggled, sliding off Jeongguk’s lap so Jeongguk could undress. He tossed his jeans and underwear aside, practically ripped his shirt off and threw it onto the ground. Then he touched. He grabbed Jimin around the waist and maneuvered until Jimin was lying on his back, and Jeongguk hovered, pinning Jimin’s wrists above his head with both hands. He then lowered and started to grind down on the elder, panting as Jimin writhed underneath him, rutting upward.

“W-Wish I could see you,” Jimin moaned. “See your face, see you watching me.”

“You don’t need to,” Jeongguk breathed assuredly. “Fuck, you never need to. You know what you do to me. You feel it. You fucking know.”

“Wh-What do I do?” Jimin whispered, his eyes closed.

“You destroy me, that’s what,” Jeongguk said, and then he leaned down and kissed Jimin firmly, swallowing Jimin’s moan, biting his lower lip until he whimpered, exploring his mouth with his tongue. The longer his lips were on Jimin’s, the more Jeongguk forgot about any other man he had ever kissed. It was like every kiss with Jimin erased the memories of being with other men.

Once Jeongguk’s entire body was on fire, he flipped Jimin onto his stomach and then yanked his hips up, running his hands along easily the best ass he’d had the pleasure of touching. Jimin huffed and wiggled a little as Jeongguk grabbed the lube from the bedside table drawer, making sure it was close by for near future use.

“No touching,” Jeongguk said. “Don’t touch yourself while I do this, you understand?”

“No touching,” Jimin whispered in confirmation. “N-No touching—oh-h-h, fuck, baby, oh my God.”

Jeongguk was not shy when it came to eating someone out. He took pride in his ability to make any man beg for it just by using his tongue. But Jimin was different. He wanted to ruin Park Jimin but also give him whatever the hell he wanted. So he used his hands to spread the elder wide, delved his tongue deep, curled his tongue and listened to Jimin’s response.

“F-Fuck, Jeongguk-ah, yes,” Jimin panted. “Oh my God. Fuck, you’re so good at this. “Guk, a-ah! Shit, your fucking tongue, oh my God. Jeongguk-ah.”

Jeongguk gripped tighter and hummed happily, tongue circling Jimin’s hole before he set his lips and sucked expertly. He knew that if he dedicated enough time to it, he could make Jimin cum easily just from rimming him, and he knew it would be a damn good orgasm. But he wanted way more than that tonight. He just wanted to hear Jimin’s response, wanted to savor it.

“Fuck, you’re so good,” Jimin moaned, unable to catch his breath, his hands still above his head as he pushed his hips back, sending Jeongguk’s tongue deeper inside. “C-Could let you do this for hours, feels so good. Shit, baby, you’re amazing—oh my God.” Jimin’s fist hit the mattress when Jeongguk slipped a finger in beside his tongue, fucking in and out of the elder with both as Jimin let out cross between a cry and a pleasured gasp.

When Jeongguk was thoroughly satisfied with him rim job, he grabbed the lube and inserted a second finger, taking his tongue away. Jimin moaned and pushed back, quietly begging for a third finger because he didn’t want to wait any longer. Jeongguk added a third, watching in almost a stupor as Jimin clutched handfuls of his own hair to keep from touching himself, babbling incoherent nothings, begging Jeongguk to fuck him.

“Fuck, just get inside me,” he gasped. “I’m tired of waiting. Please, please, please.”

“No patience,” Jeongguk whispered with a grin, although he, too, had no patience. He cocked his head to the side, fingers still inside Jimin, trying to decide how he wanted it. In a split second, he made his choice and jumped further onto the bed, pulling his fingers out. Jimin whined at the loss, and then he listened acutely as Jeongguk moved around. He immediately twisted his body and waved an arm, whacking Jeongguk in the leg.

“Where do you think you’re going?” he asked accusingly, and Jeongguk grinned.

“Get over here so I can fuck you,” he said in a low voice. He saw Jimin physically shiver, but then he sat back on his heels.

“No.”

“No?” Jeongguk raised one eyebrow. “No, you don’t want me to fuck you?”

“Don’t want to come over to you,” Jimin said stubbornly.

“Mm, says the man who was begging me to fuck him a minute ago.”

“Until you moved and took your fingers with you,” Jimin said, and then he tilted his head a bit to the side and started to stroke himself. Jeongguk’s jaw clenched.

“Thought we said no touching,” he pointed out. Jimin sighed, thumb running over his slit, and then he shrugged. “You little shit.” Jeongguk lurched forward and grabbed Jimin around the waist, and Jimin let out a loud yelp followed by a giggle. A giggle, the audacity of this man. Jeongguk fell back against the headboard with Jimin in his lap, the elder’s back pressed to his chest. He grabbed Jimin’s left arm with his left hand, and then he pulled it behind his back. Jimin let out a little breath as Jeongguk threaded his own arm underneath, across Jimin’s back, and then grabbed Jimin’s right arm and held tight, effectively locking Jimin’s arm’s behind his back against Jeongguk’s chest.

“Can’t touch yourself now, can you?” he whispered in Jimin’s ear.

“N-No,” Jimin breathed.

“Mm. Interesting.” Jeongguk reached his right hand around and circled his fingers around Jimin’s wet hole, teasing as Jimin sucked in a breath, his head falling back on Jeongguk’s shoulder. He let out a stream of breathy, whispered pleas, and Jeongguk crawled his fingers up and wrapped his hand around Jimin’s cock.

“Please,” Jimin gasped, unable to move his arms, licking his lips with his head still back on Jeongguk’s shoulder. “Please fuck me.”

“Mm, I don’t know. Have you been good?”

“No,” Jimin whined, wiggling in Jeongguk’s lap. “N-No, I haven’t.”

“But you’re so beautiful,” Jeongguk whispered, his lips against the soft skin of Jimin’s neck. “So fucking beautiful. How am I supposed to resist you? Tell me how.”

“No. I don’t want you to,” Jimin breathed. As he spoke, Jeongguk grabbed the condom and ripped the foil with his teeth. “I don’t want you to resist me. Want you so badly, baby, please. Please just fuck me.”

“Naughty,” Jeongguk whispered as he slipped the condom on and used his lube-covered hand to stroke himself, reaching between his body and Jimin’s to do so. “But so fucking hot. You’re right. I can’t resist you at all.”

Then he grabbed Jimin by the hips, lifted him up and aligned the two of them, and then he watched as Jimin sank down fully onto his cock, letting out a loud, obscene moan, his head falling back onto Jeongguk’s shoulder again. Jeongguk grabbed the inside of Jimin’s left thigh with his left hand and wrapped his right arm around Jimin’s waist, trying to breathe properly, trying to blink the stars out of his eyes. He had to wonder if there would ever come a day when fucking this man wouldn’t feel like pure ecstasy, but for now, he welcomed the feeling with open arms.

“You in this sweater,” Jeongguk growled, and then he pushed his hips upward. Jimin stuttered and panted, grabbing Jeongguk’s thighs with both hands, his arms shaking. “Fuck, you’re so goddamn beautiful, it’s a sin.”

Jimin let out a breath of delight at the compliment, rolling his hips and grinded down in Jeongguk’s lap. And then Jeongguk got to work. He planted his heels firmly into the mattress and started to fuck up into Jimin, pushing Jimin down onto him with each thrust, listening to the elder’s soft cries and stuttering moans. So vocal only minutes ago, Jimin could now barely get out a proper sentence, mostly because Jeongguk kept finding just the right spot with each thrust, turning him into a crying mess.

“J-Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin gasped.

“What, baby boy, what is it?” Jeongguk panted, his right hand splayed across Jimin’s chest underneath the sweater. “Tell me.”

“N-Never…” Jimin said, still meeting Jeongguk’s thrusts eagerly. “Baby, oh, God. N-Never want anyone else.”

“No? Why’s that?”

“B-Because—fuck, oh my God—because y-you—oh,” he gasped, fingertips digging into Jeongguk’s thighs. “Because you fuck me s-so well. How—shit—how could I ever w-want anyone else?”

“You know why I fuck you so well? Because I fucking dream about this all the time,” Jeongguk said breathlessly. “Always dream about the ways I could make you feel good. Can’t stop thinking about being inside you, about kissing you, about touching you, about you, God damn it, hyung. I can’t stop. I can’t. Fuck, fuck, fuck.”

“Guk,” Jimin whined, letting out a whimpered breath after. “Oh my God, oh my God. I’m s-so close. I—baby, let me cum. Please, please. Let me. G-Gonna cum untouched.”

“Yeah? You gonna do that for me?” Jeongguk asked, amazed.

“Yes, y-yes. Don’t stop, don’t fucking stop,” Jimin pleaded. “Harder, harder, harder.”

Jeongguk was on the edge of his own orgasm, but if Jimin could cum untouched, how could he deny him such a thing? He had said he wanted to make Jimin cum first, and he wasn’t one to back out on his promises. He grabbed Jimin by the hips, kissed his exposed neck, and increased the power of his thrusts, angling just right. Jimin let out a strangled cry that had Jeongguk moaning and panting.

“Baby, baby, oh my God,” Jimin panted. “I’m—oh my God, I’m—oh, oh, oh, I’m—I’m cumming, I’m cumming, oh my God, fuck.

Jeongguk instantly reached around and grabbed Jimin’s sweater, holding it up high. Two seconds later, Jimin came hard all over himself, sloppily riding Jeongguk the entire way through, head thrown back in pure pleasure, never having touched himself. He wasn’t even finished before Jeongguk, still holding the sweater up, wrapped his other arm tightly around Jimin’s waist and felt Jimin clench around him. That was it. He had never cum in such a state before in his life. It started slow and then hit him hard, his vision blurring, barely able to breathe as he filled the condom.

“…Thanks for keeping my sweater clean,” Jimin finally whispered breathlessly with a blissed out giggle. Jeongguk dropped his forehead on Jimin’s shoulder with a dazed laugh, feeling a trickle of sweat down his back, his entire body humming happily. He lifted his head just a little, used a few fingers to push down the collar of Jimin’s sweat, and planted soft kisses on his shoulder.

“This is now my favorite thing that you wear,” he murmured. “Do you wanna take a shower together?”

“Do I get to take off the sweater?” Jimin asked, swallowing heavily and then smiling with his eyes closed, perfectly content still in Jeongguk’s lap with Jeongguk still inside him.

“I’ll think about it.”

Jeongguk pulled out carefully, tossed the condom, and then swept Jimin up bridal style as Jimin laughed, clinging tightly and swinging his legs with a happy little hum. They hopped in the shower together, and Jeongguk spent a majority of the time poking at Jimin until he squirmed and laughed, using the other small margin of time to massage a few knots out of the elder’s back.

“Shit, what did I ever do before I met you?” Jimin sighed as Jeongguk dug his thumb into a larger knot. “Jeonggukie.”

“Yeah, love?” Jeongguk whispered.

“You promised you’d stay the night. You still will, right?”

“Of course I will.”

Jimin loaned Jeongguk a t-shirt and a clean pair of underwear, and the two of them changed the sheets together and then crawled into bed. Jeongguk yawned and stretched, rolling onto his side for a moment, and Jimin immediately rolled and spooned him from behind, despite being shorter and smaller. Jeongguk curled up in a ball and pulled Jimin’s arm around him tighter, his eyes falling closed. Jeongguk sighed into it, knowing he could very much get used to Jimin holding him like this. He always had to big the big spoon whenever he slept with someone worth cuddling, but he secretly liked being held. Jimin just did it without questioning.

“Jeongguk-ah?”

“Mm.”

“I want to tell you about my family.”

Jeongguk’s eyes shot open, and he instantly broke their spooning and rolled to face Jimin, reaching a hand up to run his fingers through that gorgeous head of thick, dark hair. He could feel the concerned look on his own face.

“I’m listening.”

“I told you…” Jimin took a deep breath. “That they ousted me.”

“Yeah.”

“Did you also know that I’m a twin?”

“Wait, what? You are?”

“Mhm. Fraternal. My brother, Jihyun, he’s… he’s ten minutes older than me. Born first. Born perfect,” Jimin added with a bit of disdain. “And then I was born and I weighed less and had to be put on oxygen. My parents, they were—well, they were unhappy about it. Then they found out I had retinitis pigmentosa, and that was—you know. I mean, they just wrote me off right away.”

“How could they write off a little baby?” Jeongguk whispered.

“Well, they thought they hit the jackpot with twin sons,” Jimin said. “And then I had a disability, so you can imagine how annoyed they were about that.”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk breathed, wanting to take all the hurt out of Jimin’s voice, but Jimin was resolute. He drew in a deep breath through his nose and kept going.

“So I went through it all growing up,” Jimin said softly. “The doctors labeled me as ‘failure to thrive’ when I was a baby. I never got anything that I needed because my parents were ashamed of me. They never told anyone I had a vision impairment, so I had to compensate for everything. My teachers in school always wondered why I had trouble seeing the board, why I always made weird mistakes, why I couldn’t tell apart my colors in first grade. I told them I couldn’t see any of it, so then they would conference with my parents. And then my dad would punish me for telling the truth.”

“Did he hit you?” Jeongguk whispered. When Jimin didn’t immediately say anything, Jeongguk’s hands curled into fists. “Did he hit you, hyung?”

“Can I finish my story?” Jimin asked timidly, so Jeongguk surged forward and kissed him firmly.

“Yes. Yeah, I’m sorry. Go ahead, love.”

“Um… so things just started happening the worse my eyesight got. My parents wouldn’t let me use a magnifying glass or anything to read, so I had a tough time doing schoolwork. I told them I was running into things and tripping, but they wouldn’t get me a cane. Whenever we went out in public, they made me wear sunglasses. It wasn’t even because my eyes looked weird. It was because I squinted in bright light, and they didn’t want people asking questions. I mean, the sunglasses helped because light hurt my eyes, but they weren’t doing it for my benefit. And then I was, like… I think I was six at the time, so really young. And I had just left school and I was getting ready to cross the street, and a car almost hit me.”

“Did you get hurt?”

“No. Yoongi hyung, my best friend? He saw it happen. He grabbed me. Saved me from being hit. But I was pretty shaken up, so he took me home with him. His dad had a magnifying glass lying around, so he gave it to me to hide at school. But my vision just kept getting worse. Hyung, though, he helped me a lot, even when I woke up one morning and told my parents I couldn’t see anything anymore. My mom cried. Said she was ashamed to have a son like me. My father threw things all around the house. My brother—I mean, he never really talked to me. We never had a relationship. We were never in the same class at school, so he had an excuse to pretend he didn’t know me. Yoongi hyung helped me after that. Started reading things for me, started guiding me everywhere because I didn’t have a white cane. I moved in with him when I was sixteen.”

“Why? You’d had enough?”

“No. Because I went home one day, packed up a bag, and yelled out to my parents that I was gay.”

Jeongguk laughed quietly, legs tangled with Jimin’s, repetitively running his fingers through the elder’s hair.

“My dad tried to chase after me. Tried to keep me home. But Yoongi hyung could drive by then, so he drove me right away from there. Except my parents threatened that he was kidnapping me, so I had to go home once a week to prove that I still lived with them.”

“That’s terrible.”

“Yeah, it wasn’t the greatest. I used to push my dresser up against my bedroom door when I had to stay the night at my own parents’ house because I was scared my dad would come and—anyways,” Jimin interrupted, blowing out a breath. “When I turned eighteen, my father told me that he never wanted to see me again. My mother said she only wanted one son. They told me that if I ever came back, they wouldn’t accept me. They told everyone in the neighborhood, all their friends, that I was gay and that I slept around like a whore. Just spread rumors and lies about me. So I left. Came to America for university. Yoongi hyung followed a few months later. And that’s… I mean, that’s it. That’s why I have no family.”

“Okay. Baby, listen to me. Come here.” Jeongguk grabbed Jimin by the waist and dragged him until the elder was lying on top of him. “Listen. I hope you know that you never deserved any of that. Right? You know that?”

“Mm. I used to find it hard to believe when I was younger. Still have trouble with it,” Jimin admitted freely.

“No. You’re—how could anyone ever do that to do? You should’ve been the pride and joy of your entire fucking family. They should’ve given you the world. They should’ve given you everything, hyung, and they didn’t. They failed you, and I—you’re lucky we’re in America. I’d be at their doorstep in a heartbeat.”

“I would go through experimental surgeries just to be able to see that,” Jimin joked weakly, and Jeongguk let out a breathy laugh, scooting closer.

“Hyung, you’re amazing. You’re intelligent—and kind and—so beautiful and—you work so hard and—when you smile I just—I want to die because you’re so—everything,” Jeongguk said, kissing Jimin every few words as Jimin’s pout slowly morphed into a smile, and then a happy laugh. “If your parents can’t see that, if your brother can’t see that, if people can’t see that, then they’re the blind ones.”

“You know what I told them?” Jimin whispered, lifting his head up a little. “Before I left? I told them that if I ever came back, I wouldn’t be a Park.”

“Meaning what?”

“Meaning I told them that I’d go to America, get myself a decent education, and marry a decent man and take his name. You know how Koreans don’t really do that? People do that here. They share the same last name. So I told them that I didn’t want to be a Park anymore, that’s I’d change my name to spite them.”

“Yeah?” Jeongguk squeezed Jimin tighter, his heart skipping. “What do you think about Jeon? Seems like a pretty sturdy last name.”

“Jeon Jeongguk,” Jimin breathed with a little laugh, his lips still against Jeongguk’s, his smile nearly lighting up the dark room as Jeongguk’s heart grew seven sizes. “Jesus Christ, what did I do to deserve you? In this life, in my past lives, in parallel universes?”

“You deserve the world,” Jeongguk said. “And if I’m the one who gets to give it to you…”

“I’d be honored,” Jimin whispered.

“Thank you,” Jeongguk whispered back, softly kissing the top of Jimin’s head. “For trusting me enough to tell me that.”

“You needed to know,” Jimin murmured, snuggling tighter into Jeongguk. “It’s not even… I don’t know. It’s always been hard for me to trust anyone, especially the men I choose to sleep with. But I never really had a choice,” Jimin softly explained. “It’s literally blind trust.”

“What about me?” Jeongguk whispered. “Am I doing a good job?”

“Of what?”

“Earning your trust.”

“Guk,” Jimin whispered, and then he giggled tiredly. “Baby, I trust you so much. I have since you came to the door to pick me up for our first date. You’ve never given me a reason not to. You’ve always been so… perfect.”

“Will you let me take you on another date soon?” Jeongguk asked.

“I’ll let you take me out on dates whenever you want,” Jimin said. “If I’m not working, or studying, I’m yours.”

“Yeah? Mine?”

“Yours. Now kiss me.”

Jeongguk didn’t argue.

Chapter Text

Jeongguk woke up feeling strangely out of place, confused about his surroundings. He blinked heavily, rubbing his eyes with a fist to get rid of the sleep, and then he let out a long, happy sigh. Jimin was curled up in a ball, lying on his side facing Jeongguk. His head was falling slightly off the pillow, and some of his hair was hanging in his eyes as he slept peacefully. His lower lip jutted out in a little pout, and his hands were curled into fists by his chin. Jeongguk stared, and when he took a deep breath, he felt a strong surge of emotion. It was so heavy that he had to roll away and sit up, giving his head a little shake.

…Marry a decent man and take his name.

Jeongguk shivered and ran his hands down his face, hearing Jimin’s gentle voice in his head. Holy shit, what was he even thinking? He’d known Jimin for a little over month, and he had as a good as suggested marrying him last night by offering up his own family name. Was he losing his mind?

Jeongguk slipped into the bathroom and brushed his teeth quietly, and then he checked on Jimin, who was still sound asleep. Maybe he could make the elder breakfast. That would be a nice gesture, right? As long as he had eggs in the fridge, that was enough—

“Oh-ho! Well, good morning to you.”

“…Um.” Jeongguk immediately felt his face flush red as he reached up and ruffled his hair awkwardly. There were two young guys sprawled out on the couch, both of them eying Jeongguk with shit-eating grins. One of them had brassy blonde hair, and he was wearing grey sweatpants and a white oversized t-shirt and black-framed glasses, a cup of coffee in one hand. The other was taking up the entire loveseat, his head on one armrest and his feet on the other, and he lowered his phone when Jeongguk tiptoed into the kitchen. He had messy honey brown hair, and he was in black FILA gear.

“You must be Jeongguk,” the guy in glasses said.

“Must be,” the other guy said, his grin widening. “Please excuse us. I live here. He sleeps in mine or Jimin’s bed, like, three nights a week. I’m Jung Hoseok, Jimin’s roommate. This is Min Yoongi hyung.”

“Nice to meet you,” Jeongguk said, suddenly feeling like he was being held under a magnifying glass in the blazing sun.

“Oh, it’s very nice to meet you, too,” Hoseok said. “Did you spend the night?”

“Um…”

“Obviously, dumbass,” Yoongi mumbled, still slumped against the pillows.

“Where’s our Jiminie?” Hoseok asked.

“He’s still sleeping,” Jeongguk said, his heart pounding. These were the friends. That was fucking Min Yoongi, the guy who had saved little Jimin from being hit by a car. “Um, I—I woke up first, and I figured… I don’t know. That I would make breakfast for him.”

“Cute,” Yoongi croaked.

“Um, do either of you want breakfast? I can make extra,” Jeongguk offered.

“Hyung, listen to that,” Hoseok said with a grin. “Jiminie’s boyfriend is offering to make us breakfast. What a catch.”

“Oh, I’m not—um, I’m not his boyfriend,” Jeongguk corrected the elder, feeling his ears burn as he gripped the handle of the fridge. Hoseok immediately burst out laughing, a contagious kind of laugh, and Yoongi even snickered.

“Ah-h-h, hyung, he says he’s not Jimin’s boyfriend,” Hoseok said, pretending to wipe tears as he waved his arm at Yoongi. “Ah, that’s funny. No, Jeonggukie, we’re good. I already ate breakfast, and hyung thinks that coffee is one of the main food groups. But thank you.”

Jeongguk nodded awkwardly, and then he licked his lips and turned back to the fridge.

“Are you being nice to him?”

Jeongguk turned back around and stared at Yoongi.

“Me? Am I being nice to Jimin hyung? Of course I am,” Jeongguk said with a bit of a bite to his voice, feeling offended that Yoongi would even ask. Was he not doing a good job of dating Jimin? Was he not being nice? Why would he ask such a question? Was Jeongguk doing something wrong?

“You sure?”

“I’m sure.”

“Mm. That’s good. Your stories match,” Yoongi said, and Hoseok snickered, “Because he thinks that you move heaven and Earth just by fucking breathing, so at least you agree that you’re being nice.”

“Oh.” Jeongguk leaned his elbows on the kitchen counter, averting his eyes. “That’s… okay. Wow.”

“He’s hopelessly smitten,” Hoseok said, amused. “I’d say it’s disgusting, but now that I’ve met you, I can see why. By all means, please make breakfast. Hyung and I can get out of your way. Hyung? Let’s go to my room.”

“I’m not giving you a blowjob to get rid of your morning wood,” Yoongi grumbled, eyes closed, coffee dangling from one hand still.

“Wow,” Hoseok said loudly as Jeongguk stifled a laugh, opening up the fridge and taking out some eggs and then grabbing a bowl from where he had put dishes away last night. “Wow, okay. Three things, asshole. Number one, that’s not why I said to come to my room. Number two, it was a great fucking blowjob and you’re selling yourself short. Number three, get your ass up, he’s trying to woo our Jiminie with breakfast and you’re trying to spy on them.”

“Ugh,” Yoongi groaned, long and drawn out as he shifted to get up and Hoseok took his legs off the armrest of the couch. They didn’t make it very far.

“JEONGGUK-AH?”

The way that Jeongguk’s name echoed throughout the apartment was terrifying. Jeongguk quite literally dropped everything in his hands when he heard Jimin’s panicked, hurting cry, nearly falling over as he sprinted down the narrow, short hallway and threw open the door of the bedroom. The moment he did, he almost collapsed to the floor. Jimin was sitting up in bed, clutching the covers with white knuckles, and it looked like he had been thrashing around, trying to find Jeongguk.

“Hyung,” Jeongguk gasped, and the moment Jimin heard his voice, he burst into tears. Shocked, Jeongguk leapt onto the bed, grabbed Jimin, and pulled the sobbing elder into his lap. Jimin wrapped his legs around Jeongguk’s waist, and Jeongguk cradled Jimin’s head in one hand, the other clutching his shirt. Jimin was trembling from head to toe, crying, trying to say something. Jeongguk buried his head in the elder’s neck for a moment, and then he pulled away and began to absolutely ravage Jimin’s entire face with kisses, whispering, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry” and “I’m here, baby, I’m right here” and “shh, it’s okay, it’s okay.”

“Jeongguk-ah, Jeongguk, Jeongguk,” Jimin slurred through his tears, holding so tightly to Jeongguk that Jeongguk was certain he was going to snap in half.

“Oh my God, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. You woke up and I wasn’t here,” Jeongguk whispered, his heart so heavy that he felt like he could barely sit up because of the weight. “I’m so sorry, baby. I should’ve woken you up, but you looked so peaceful sleeping, I—fuck, I’m so sorry.”

That had to be it. That had to be the reason Jimin was hysterical. Jeongguk couldn’t think of another reason besides maybe a nightmare. Jimin’s trembling reduced, and he sniffed, eyes bloodshot as he pulled away only a little. He turned his head and rubbed his eyes into his shoulder roughly.

“I’m sorry,” he croaked. “F-For—I’m sorry for crying like this. I—shit, I’m sorry. I’m not—it’s just that you weren’t—I woke up, and…”

“I wasn’t here. You thought I left you,” Jeongguk whispered, kissing Jimin’s cheeks several times as Jimin nodded.

“I’m sorry I thought that,” he said, voice quivering.

“No, no, no. You don’t have to apologize. I should’ve stayed. I only got up to make you breakfast,” Jeongguk said with a short laugh, feeling stupid. “Shit, hyung, I’m so sorry. You trusted me to tell me all these things about your life last night, and you thought I just left in the morning.”

“Y-You weren’t here, and I just thought…” Jimin swallowed heavily. “I-I said a lot last night. And I… I made myself really vulnerable. I don’t do that kind of thing, Jeongguk-ah. I just…”

“You did. You said so much and you trusted me, and I feel so lucky,” Jeongguk said, nuzzling in the crook of Jimin’s neck and taking a deep breath. “You did make yourself vulnerable for me, and I’m honored. I would never take advantage of that, hyung. Ever.”

“I—I’m sorry,” Jimin whispered. “It s-scared me. I swear I’m not usually like this. I don’t f-freak out this often. I’m not this emotional and clingy about… a-about…”

“It’s fine.” Jeongguk kissed Jimin firmly on the lips. “It’s fine, it’s my fault. I’m so sorry, sweetheart. I’m sorry.”

“…Sweetheart?”

Jimin’s tears suddenly ceased as he froze in Jeongguk’s lap. Jeongguk swallowed the lump in his throat, his heart clenching.

“Oh. I… um, sorry,” Jeongguk apologized, face burning. “I—I don’t know why I called you that. I just thought…”

“I like it,” Jimin said shyly with a teary smile. “No one’s ever called me ‘sweetheart’ before.”

“Seriously?” Jeongguk raised his eyebrows. “No one’s ever brought you flowers, no one’s ever called you—Jesus, hyung, what kind of people do you put in your life? Honestly.”

“Not anyone like you,” Jimin whispered, so Jeongguk kissed him again and wiped his tears as the elder took a deep, shaky breath. “Okay. I’m sorry. That was—that was a lot. I’ll get up now.”

“You know I don’t mind. It’s okay. I’m still making your breakfast,” Jeongguk declared, still wiping tears with a fond smile. “I offered it to your friends, too.”

“Friends?” Jimin was now on high alert.

“Yeah. Hoseok hyung and Yoongi hyung. They’re in the living room.”

“Oh, fuck,” Jimin moaned. “They’re evil. They’re fucking menaces, did I tell you that? Don’t listen to anything they say.”

“No, no. They’re nice. Very protective of you. A little scary at first, but they’re good,” Jeongguk swore. “They love you a lot, I can tell.”

“Why are they even here?” Jimin complained as he stood up and stretched, scratching his lower back as he padded to the bathroom.

“Well, one of them kind of lives here,” Jeongguk pointed out with a smile.

“They said they’d stay away,” Jimin sighed. “Damn them. But I guess they didn’t think you’d sleep over. I might’ve left that part out.”

“I was attacked,” Jeongguk said with a grin, and Jimin rolled his eyes, crawling his fingers until he found his own toothbrush and toothpaste. “I’ll go back out there and start breakfast. Come out when you’re ready.”

Jeongguk gripped Jimin’s hips firmly and kissed his cheek, and then he slipped out of the bedroom and back into the kitchen. Yoongi and Hoseok were still hanging around, but now they were on the same couch.

“Was he being murdered?” Hoseok asked calmly.

“No. He got spooked because he woke up and I wasn’t there,” Jeongguk explained. “It was my fault.”

“Yah, this kid literally dropped a carton of eggs to go get our Jimin,” Yoongi pointed out, nudging Hoseok. “We can keep him, he’s good.”

“A good egg. HA!” Hoseok laughed, and then he actually burst into laughter and fell into Yoongi’s lap with a happy sigh. “Okay, okay, okay.” He straightened up. “We’ll get out of your hair.”

“Yah, do you two know how to behave?”

“Jiminie, your boyfriend offered to make us breakfast,” Hoseok said when Jimin shuffled into the shared living room, unamused.

“Yeah, well, he’s a lot nicer than me, because neither one of you deserves breakfast,” Jimin fired back.

“Do you hear that, Jeongguk-ah? He didn’t deny that you’re his boyfriend. Smart kid,” Hoseok said. Yoongi scoffed and stood up, grabbing Hoseok by the ear, and tugged. “Ow, ow, ow, ow, okay, let go! I’m coming, I’m coming.”

“Leave them alone,” Yoongi said, and Hoseok made a noise of disbelief.

“Me? You’re the one who was happy to watch them be all domestic—good morning, my love,” Hoseok said, interrupting himself to lean in and kiss Jimin on the cheek. Jimin grumbled and roughly wiped his cheek, but Jeongguk could see the smile on his face. Yoongi continued to drag Hoseok down the hallway, and then the door shut.

Jeongguk made Jimin breakfast. He made Jimin breakfast three times in total that week, all in Jimin’s own apartment. He made Jimin breakfast another day that week at his place after picking Jimin up from Noteworthy. He couldn’t seem to stop making Jimin breakfast. Suddenly, they were at each other’s apartments nearly every night of the week, and sometimes, they didn’t even ask each other. One night Jimin called and said he was outside Jeongguk’s apartment. Another night Jeongguk knocked on Jimin’s door and held up takeaway cartons of fried chicken. And every single time, they ended up in each other’s bed. What made Jeongguk’s head hurt was that sometimes, they didn’t even have sex or fool around. Sometimes, they just ate and cuddled and went to bed together.

“Hi, welcome to—oh! Hi, Mr. Jeon,” Kate, the secretary at Noteworthy, said as she looked away from her computer. Jeongguk bowed politely, something that Kate had gotten used to recently. Jeongguk didn’t frequent Noteworthy to intrude on Jimin’s work, just showed up in the lobby to take the man home a lot of nights. So Kate was accustomed to seeing him hanging around now.

“One day you’ll just called me Jeongguk,” Jeongguk said to her in English with a small smile. “Hey, Kate.”

“Mr. Park is with his last student right now, but she’s a regular,” Kate said, kicking back in her chair. “Her recital is next week, so she’s been here a lot. You can probably go on back. They should be finished. It’s past closing time.”

“Thanks,” Jeongguk said with a little nod of his head, and he put his hands in the pockets of his shorts and shuffled down the hallway. The practice room door was ajar, and he could hear a violin playing a melody that sounded weirdly familiar. Major chord, bright and happy, but with a piano accompaniment.

“…Tempo on that last bit,” Jeongguk could hear Jimin saying in Korean as the violin and piano both stopped. “Don’t get so excited to be nearly finished that you speed up, okay? Your pianist knows the tempo. Trust him with it, okay?”

“That’s because it’s you,” the girl sighed, sounding frustrated. Jeongguk leaned his back against the wall opposite of the room and glanced in. Jimin was sitting at the piano without a stitch of music in sight, his back to the keys as he addressed the teenage girl with the violin in her hands. She was Korean, her hair dyed blonde and pulled up into a messy bun, wearing round wire-rimmed glasses as a fashion accessory to go with her white t-shirt and overalls.

“Right, and I can compensate, but I shouldn’t have to,” Jimin pointed out gently. “The mark of a true professional, Yuna, is deeply understanding the musicality and tempo of each piece that you play. I know you have the musicality. It’s right there in you. Now get out of your head.”

“Easy for you to say. I’ve been practicing two hours every day.”

“Ah, then you’re over-practicing,” Jimin scolded with a grin. “Too much practice makes you overthink, Yuna. Knock it back to maybe an hour, but add an extra five minutes for my sake.”

“Why?”

“To just sit with yourself and picture the recital,” Jimin said. “I want you to take five extra minutes to just hold your violin, close your eyes, and set the scene in your head, okay? Meditate on it. You’re letting nerves get the better of you, honey. We’ve done three recitals together. We can do a fourth without crashing and burning.”

“But this is my last one before Juilliard,” Yuna sighed. “I’m just nervous because I want to leave a good impression.”

“You’re already accepted, you dummy,” Jimin teased.

“Doesn’t matter!” Yuna exclaimed, finally relaxing with a small smile. Then she glanced up and saw Jeongguk, and her small smile turned into an elated grin. “Hey, Jimin-nim?”

“Yeah?”

“Remember how you told me that you played my violin piece for the cute guy you’re dating?”

“Yes,” Jimin said, and Jeongguk raised his eyebrows, flattered and embarrassed at the same time.

“Okay, well, there’s a guy standing in the hallway, and I think he’s here for you,” Yuna said, delighted.

“She really just blew my cover,” Jeongguk joked, and Jimin shifted on the piano bench with a radiant smile, turning to the door. “Sorry to interrupt. I’m just here to get you.”

“It’s past seven o’clock,” Yuna pointed out as she reached for her case. “I’m late.” Then she added in a very loud voice while pretending she was being quiet, “He’s really cute, oh my God.”

“Okay, thank you, Yuna,” Jimin said loudly, and Yuna giggled, gathering up a bag and her violin case. “Please practice the way that I said, okay?”

“Yes, sir, I will. Thank you,” Yuna said, bowing even though Jimin couldn’t see. He clearly felt it, though, because he stood up and bowed back. Yuna turned and strolled into the hallway, and then he bowed to Jeongguk with a grin. “He’s my favorite teacher. Be nice to him.”

“Shin Yuna.”

“Sorry! I’m going!” Yuna hollered over her shoulder, running off into the lobby. Jeongguk watched her leave, and then he turned back to Jimin, smiling.

“Sorry about her. She was one of my first students when I started working here,” Jimin said, sounding rather fond. “Young prodigy. Sixteen and going to Juilliard. We have a good bond. Her parents like me, too.”

“She’s sweet. Hi,” Jeongguk added, snaking one arm around Jimin’s waist and kissing him gently. “I love watching you teach. You’re an angel.”

“Oh, please,” Jimin muttered, trying not to smile. “How was the shopping trip?”

“It was hardly a shopping trip,” Jeongguk complained. “But I got everything we needed. Flash drives and a new binder for you, all that stuff.”

“Yeah? That’s awesome. Thanks for doing that for me. One week,” Jimin sighed. “Can’t believe we have to deal with a new semester.”

“Uh, you’re dealing with just a new semester. I have to start fucking law school,” Jeongguk pointed out crankily. “My bank account is already crying.”

“Oh, please,” Jimin said. “You’ve been doing well.”

“Hardly,” Jeongguk sighed. He had always earned his money by doing virtual assistant work online and teaching classes at the yoga studio, but it was all going to become increasingly harder when the semester began. “By the way, you still haven’t come to a class with me.”

“What, a yoga class? I’m nervous,” Jimin said with a pout. “I don’t know all the vocabulary. How am I supposed to keep up?”

“Uh, hello. Guy you’re sleeping with is a certified yoga instructor,” Jeongguk said, and Jimin giggled.

“Maybe I need a few private lessons first,” he said coyly, grabbing his bag off the top of the piano. “I’m ready.”

“Yeah, I bet you’d like that,” Jeongguk grumbled, and then he started down the hallway, hearing Jimin’s cane as it pieced together. They both waved goodbye to Kate, and then Jeongguk held the door open as Jimin stepped out. He took the stairs without Jeongguk’s help, per usual, which Jeongguk was now used to. The first time he’d been about to bear witness to Jimin navigating a long staircase, he had damn near had a heart attack. Jimin had almost collapsed in a fit of laughter before demonstrating his, of course, perfect ability to walk down the stairs using his cane without falling or stumbling. Once down the stairs in front of Noteworthy, Jimin then took Jeongguk’s arm to be guided to the car.

Guy you’re sleeping with.

Jeongguk still couldn’t quite figure out what he was to Jimin, or what Jimin was to him. They weren’t just friends, nor were they fuck buddies or friends with benefits. They spent three or four nights per week sleeping in the same bed. Jeongguk learned all about Hoseok (a professional dancer who was famous on YouTube) and Yoongi (a talented animator who could make magic with a computer), and Jimin spent time picking Taehyung, Namjoon, and Seokjin’s brains whenever he could. They went to the beach together three times during the summer. They had easily the best sex Jeongguk had ever had in his life. It was so incredible that he couldn’t believe that he used to sleep around. How could he have ever looked at another man when he had Jimin the way he did? He thought about it a lot when Jimin was tied to the headboard of his bed, or when he draped Jimin over his lap to spank him like he wanted, or when they fucked in the shower because Jimin couldn’t keep his hands off. The sex was mind-blowing, but Jeongguk was starting to get the feeling that there was more to it than just good sex. They could fuck each other’s minds out and then each instant noodles in bed naked while chatting about some K-drama they were binging together. It was bizarre but so comfortable. They were now at almost four solid months of… whatever it was they were doing. Yet neither of them had yet bothered to define much of anything.

“Back to my place or yours?” Jeongguk asked.

“Uh, mine,” Jimin decided. “We can order pizza or something.”

“Oh, I’ll just order it now,” Jeongguk said before he started driving, and he reached into his pocket for his phone. It wasn’t there. “Um… shit, I think I forgot my phone.”

“We can stop back at your place and get it,” Jimin offered.

“No, it’s fine. It’s not at my place. Can you call Taehyung and tell him to bring it to me? He’s literally just lying on the couch having a One Piece marathon extravaganza,” Jeongguk said, and Jimin snickered, pulling out his phone.

“Call Taehyung,” he requested, and Siri cooperated. The phone rang once. Twice. A third time—

“Are you calling because dumbass left his phone on my coffee table?”

“Hi to you, too,” Jimin said, and he heard pages rustling as Taehyung probably sat up from his prostrate position on the couch.

“Hi. Am I supposed to bring him his phone?”

“Yes, please!” Jeongguk called out as he backed out of the parking space.

“You know what, Cookie Monster? You’re lucky I love you to bits, or I’d never take my ass off this couch to do something as petty as bring you your phone,” Taehyung sighed. “Alright, give me an address. I’ll be there soon.”

“Just tell my phone to take you to Jimin hyung’s place,” Jeongguk said as he pulled out of the parking lot, and Jimin shivered happily. “See you soon!”

Jeongguk and Jimin made it back to apartment 316 far before Taehyung. They found that they were very much not alone, though.

“Hey, hyung,” Jimin said when he walked in, before Jeongguk could even acknowledge Yoongi’s presence. Yoongi hadn’t said a single word, but Jimin had somehow been able to sense that he was not alone.

“Hey, Minnie Mouse,” Yoongi said absentmindedly, and then he saw that Jeongguk was with Jimin. “I mean—uh, hi.”

“He’s called me that since we were little,” Jimin said fondly, even though Yoongi seemed mildly embarrassed. “Hey, hyung, we’re ordering pizza. You want some?”

“Sure.”

“Where’s Hoseok hyung?”

“No clue. Probably at Millennium taking class like usual.”

Jeongguk had found out over the summer that Yoongi spent more time at Hoseok and Jimin’s two-bedroom apartment than his own. He brought half of his groceries to their place, had his own pillow and toothbrush and set-up in the shower, had a spare key, the works. When he wasn’t over at 20th Century Fox Animation wowing all the veterans with his skills, he was usually in apartment 316.

“Okay,” Jimin sighed after Jeongguk said he’d ordered the pizza. “It’s time to crash on the couch and refuse to get up. Oh, wait—drink first.”

With soju in-hand, Jimin and Jeongguk fell onto the couch together, since Yoongi was occupying the loveseat. Jimin sat with his legs sideways thrown over Jeongguk’s lap, and Jeongguk started to ask him questions about the recital and if he often accompanied his students. Not even ten minutes later, there was a loud knock on the door.

“That’s not the pizza already,” Jimin said, brow furrowed.

“Can’t be,” Jeongguk murmured. Then he realized that he was without a phone, and that it had to be Taehyung.

“It’s cool, I’ll get it,” Yoongi said, hoisting himself up and shuffling over to the door. Jimin just smiled fondly, like he knew something that no one else knew, but Jeongguk decided that maybe he should try to provide some of warning.

“Uh, hyung, that’s actually for me, it’s—”

But Yoongi ignored him and opened the door.

“Shit!” he shouted hoarsely, and he immediately slammed the door shut and leapt away from it like it was on fire. Jimin snorted with laughter, and Jeongguk whacked the elder’s thigh to silence him, though he was biting the inside of his mouth to keep from laughing as well. Yoongi braced himself on the countertop, looking mortified, and he looked up at Jeongguk with wide eyes.

“I told you it was for me, but since you’re there,” Jeongguk began, waving Yoongi on. Yoongi blinked once, twice, a third time in shock. Then he licked his lips nervously and opened the door, his head lowered just a little.

“I’m sorry,” he muttered.

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” Taehyung said from the other side of the door, and Jeongguk leaned so he could see his best friend’s face. But Taehyung’s sharp eyes were fixated solely on Yoongi. “This is the first time a hot guy has slammed a door in my face. I’m honored.”

“Yeah, well, I’ve never slammed the door in a hot guy’s face before, so,” Yoongi mumbled, sounding humiliated. But Taehyung’s smiled widened as he eyed Yoongi up and down shamelessly.

“Is the universal rule of apartment 316 that only hot Korean men can step over the threshold?” he asked. “You’re beautiful.”

“Um.”

“He says thank you!” Jimin called out, and Jeongguk promptly smacked Jimin on the shoulder in a playful but reprimanding fashion. Jimin curled up in a ball and rested against Jeongguk’s shoulder, giggling.

“I came to bring Jeonggukie his phone,” Taehyung said, and Jeongguk could see his iPhone in his friend’s hands. “But honestly, doesn’t seem that important right now. What’s your name?”

“Yoongi. Min Yoongi. Sorry, I—yeah. You’re his best friend,” Yoongi said, finally recovering as he gripped the doorframe with white knuckles. “Kim Taehyung.”

“It’s nice to meet you,” Taehyung said sincerely. “You’re the friend who works in film. Animation, right? I’ve seen your animated short about kimchi. Jeonggukie showed it to me. It was amazing. I watched it twice in a row. You’re very talented.”

“Thank you,” Yoongi said shyly, and Jimin let out a muffled little squeal. “That’s—thank you so much.”

“You really are beautiful,” Taehyung said. He was, if nothing else, the most forward of all Jeongguk’s friends. He didn’t mince words, didn’t see the point, and usually got what he wanted because he never quite understood why people skirted around the truth or held out on what they desired most. “I realize I just met you two minutes ago when you shut the door in my face, but I’d love to take you on a date.”

“Wh—Are you serious?” Yoongi stammered, and Taehyung grinned.

“Yeah, I’m serious. Gorgeous, talented man like you with a good heart to match? Why the hell wouldn’t I want to take you on a date? I’ll take my chances. You’re single, right? Tell me you are. My heart won’t be able to take it if you’re not.”

“Um, I-I am.”

“Excellent. Are you free this Friday? What do you like to do most?” Taehyung asked, leaning one shoulder against the doorframe as he stepped closer to Yoongi. Now Yoongi was finding his confidence. He straightened up.

“If you take me to dinner and a movie, I’ll call off the date,” he threatened calmly.

“Wouldn’t dream of it. Man like you deserves something better than being wined and dined. You like nature? Like astronomy? Like history?”

“All three.”

“Griffith Observatory it is,” Taehyung decided. “Ever been there?”

“Once.”

“Perfect. I’ll woo you with the stars,” Taehyung said with a smooth wink.

“Surprised you’re going for a date first,” Yoongi replied, testing the waters. Taehyung smirked.

“I mean, if you’d prefer me to just take you home, that’s fine. I’ve already brainstormed three different ways you could fuck me just standing here. But I’d prefer to do this the proper way, even if I don’t get to see you naked afterwards. I’m a patient man.”

“No he’s not,” Jeongguk whispered to Jimin, and Jimin dissolved into giggles again.

“Oh, right! The reason I’m actually here. Your phone, dumbass,” Taehyung said, and Yoongi stepped aside so Taehyung could come in to hand off Jeongguk’s phone. “But honestly, thank you for forgetting it.”

“Why, because you just got a date out of it?”

“Obviously,” Taehyung said. “Have you seen him? Holy shit, Guk.”

“He’s right there,” Jeongguk said with a grin, seeing how red Yoongi’s face was as the elder sat back down on the couch, busying himself with his phone.

“Yeah, I know. Gorgeous just existing. Sorry,” Taehyung apologized, and then he went and sat on the armrest of the loveseat near Yoongi. “Yoongi-ssi? Sorry if I’m being too forward. You don’t have to go on a date with me.”

“Hyung,” Yoongi corrected him, and Taehyung beamed. “Um, no, it’s—it’s fine. I want to.”

“He stalks you on Instagram,” Jimin threw out casually, and Jeongguk smacked him on the arm as Yoongi groaned, grabbed a throw pillow and covered his face with it. Taehyung, however, looked flattered and amused.

“You do? You stalk my Instagram and I had no idea you existed in the flesh until right now? Not fair,” he said, nudging Yoongi’s leg with his foot. Yoongi blew out a loud breath and threw the pillow to the side.

“In my defense, I was stalking Jeongguk first for Jimin’s sake,” Yoongi said, and Jeongguk and Jimin both burst into stifled laughter. Taehyung raised his eyebrows, and then he pointed to Yoongi’s lap.

“Is this seat taken? May I?”

“No—wait, what? Oh.” Yoongi was normally pretty pale, but he flushed bright pink as Taehyung slid boldly into his lap, bringing his arms around Yoongi’s neck.

“Jesus Christ, you’re so pretty. You can stalk my Instagram whenever you want,” Taehyung teased, lifting a hand and gently gliding his fingers across Yoongi’s soft hair. “So, Friday? You don’t live here, do you?”

“N-No.”

“Then I guess I’ll need your number to pick you up.”

“No, you give me your address,” Yoongi managed to say without stuttering. “And I’ll pick you up.”

“Ooh.” Taehyung grinned. “I’d like that. I have to go now, but I’ll get your number from Jiminie. And you know, you can text me any time before Friday. I wouldn’t mind a few selfies.” He hopped off Yoongi’s lap, and then he saluted Jeongguk. “See you later, friends. Yoongi hyung, I’ll see you on Friday.”

“Y-Yeah, Friday,” Yoongi said with a fast nod. Taehyung winked, and then he saw himself out, closing the door loudly on his way out. The moment he was gone, Jeongguk and Jimin burst out laughing, both rolling around on the couch and kicking their feet excitedly. Yoongi groaned and fall onto his back on the couch, covering his face with his hands.

“Oh my God, I’m in love,” he said, and Jimin clutched Jeongguk tightly. “Holy shit.”

“So then we won’t be seeing you Friday night after the date, will we?” Jimin teased. “Way to go, hyung. You got a date just by existing.”

“Yeah, well, he called me pretty, you asshole, so you can fuck off,” Yoongi said, exchanging his typically quiet and shyer demeanor for something Jeongguk hadn’t seen before. He was almost… was he giddy? He was practically glowing with excitement.

“Should’ve told him to stay for the pizza,” Jimin hissed to Jeongguk, and they both fell into each other, laughing.

 

***

 

“I’m going to die.”

“It can’t possibly be that bad, Guk. It’s only the first week.”

“Four courses and I’m already one foot in the grave.”

“Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin said with a light laugh, stirring the ice into his instant noodles to cool them down. It was a Friday night, and Jimin had somehow remembered that he had met Jeongguk exactly four months ago to the day. So, naturally, Jeongguk had invited him over after class and work for a makeshift celebration of sorts. He had even planned a surprise for Jimin, but he figured he could only go through with it if the mood was right.

“Okay, it’s—well, I have civil procedure, contracts, and torts.”

“Torts? Sounds like some awful disease."

“It’s not,” Jeongguk sighed. “We learned this acronym for it in English—FITTED CAB.”

“Fitted cab?”

“Yeah. False Imprisonment, Trespassing, Trespassing but a different kind, Emotional Distress, Conversion, Assault, and Battery. WOO, look at me!” Jeongguk exclaimed, pumping a fist in the air triumphantly as he switched back to Korean. “Can’t believe my poor brain remembered that.”

“Impressive.”

“Yeah, well, I also have to take a written and oral advocacy course, so fuck me, right?”

“I mean, I’d prefer if you fucked me, but sure,” Jimin teased.

“How was your first week of classes?” Jeongguk asked, wrapped his ankle around Jimin’s as they both stirred their noodles.

“Same old,” Jimin said. “Except now I have this really hot guy who drives me to campus.”

“Damn. And here I was thinking I could make a move,” Jeongguk sighed, and Jimin giggled.

“Seriously, though. Thank you. You drive me around a lot, and you don’t have to.”

“Okay, three things. First of all, it saves you time and money. Second of all, it’s convenient because we go to the same places. And third, it gives me an excuse to be around you more,” Jeongguk listed.

“Okay, fine. I accept. Also, did you know there’s a third date happening?”

“A third date? Like the first two weren’t good enough?” Jeongguk laughed.

“Yeah, apparently this one is a day trip to the beach,” Jimin said, amused. “The first two were nighttime dates that ended with a lot of sex. I guess this one is supposed to be more serious. Yoongi hyung said it was Tae’s idea.”

“Never would’ve pictured my Taehyung taking something seriously,” Jeongguk said with a grin.

“Guk, this is the happiest I’ve ever seen Yoongi hyung in his life. What the hell is happening?” Jimin laughed. “Here we are spending the past four months together, and now we hooked our friends up by mistake.”

“Four months, huh? Not that you’re counting,” Jeongguk said. “But since you are…” He leaned in and kissed the soft skin on Jimin’s neck, nuzzling his nose briefly. “I have a surprise for you later tonight.”

“Mm, later tonight means you want me in your bed,” Jimin said softly, turning to rest his forehead against Jeongguk’s temple.

“When do I not?”

Jeongguk had never seen Jimin eat instant noodles so fast. He slurped them down, chugged his drink, ran face first into the wall by Jeongguk’s bedroom in an attempt to go brush his teeth as Jeongguk stifled a laugh, finishing off his own noodles. When he strolled into his bedroom, Jimin was already sprawled on the bed, wrapped in Jeongguk’s throw blanket, waiting. Jeongguk snickered and whacked Jimin’s blanket-covered ass, and Jimin let out a yelp, throwing the blanket to the side.

“I swear to God, Jeon Jeongguk, if you don’t get in here and fuck me right this instant—ah!”

“So bossy,” Jeongguk breathed jokingly, tackling Jimin onto the bed. He grabbed the bottom hem of Jimin’s shirt, and Jimin lifted his arm obediently. He threw his own shirt aside, and then he made quick work of both their pants. Jimin couldn’t keep his lips off Jeongguk’s, kissing him hot and needy the entire time, sending Jeongguk into a damn near tailspin. Finally, when they were both down to just underwear, Jeongguk pulled Jimin into his lap, and Jimin wrapped his arms around Jeongguk’s neck, both of them immediately gasping and rutting forward to feel one another.

“Can I ask you something?” Jimin said, fingers in Jeongguk’s hair.

“Anything.”

“I don’t want to use a condom anymore,” Jimin whispered. “I want to actually feel you.”

“Are you sure?” Jeongguk said breathily. “Last time I got tested was back in May. I’m clean. And I haven’t been with anyone but you since then.”

“I haven’t been with anyone else, either,” Jimin whispered, gripping Jeongguk harder the moment he heard that he was the only one the younger was sleeping with. “Can we?”

“Yeah. Fuck, yeah, of course we can,” Jeongguk agreed, running his hands down Jimin’s smooth back.

“So then what’s the surprise?” Jimin breathed, and Jeongguk clung to him tightly, body electrified by the way they were rocking their hips together in perfect sync, using each other to quietly get off, fingernails digging into skin, breath ragged. It was so dizzying that he had to lick his lips and open and shut his mouth a few times like he was trying to catch the words to say.

“It’s… I…sweetheart, hold on,” Jeongguk whispered with a blissed out smile and a small chuckle that contrasted the need to rip Jimin apart. Jimin stopped grinding down harder in Jeongguk’s lap and obediently stilled, fingernails still scratching Jeongguk’s neck right where his hair was starting to grow. He leaned back just a little, one arm still draped around Jeongguk’s neck, the other hand casually gripping his hardened length beneath his briefs, which were slightly damp. Fuck, he was trying to end Jeongguk.

“Can’t hold on for long,” Jimin said in a low voice. Jeongguk held tight to Jimin, and then he reached around and pulled out the black silk scarf from underneath his pillow where he had left it earlier in the afternoon in hopes of using it. Then he removed his hands from Jimin’s body, heart pounding, and leaned back so he could cover his eyes with it. He made sure the scarf was folded in half so that he couldn’t cheat and see through the material, and even though the immediate sensory deprivation made his breath hitch anxiously, he finished tying it at the back of his head and swallowed heavily.

“Okay,” he whispered, glad Jimin was still in his lap. “The surprise is on me. Find it.”

Jimin’s hands flew immediately to his chest, and Jeongguk tried not to flinch. Gentle fingers perused his body, and then his jaw and cheeks. The hands froze the moment that Jimin’s fingers touched the black silk of the blindfold, but then they searched frantically.

“Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin breathed, nearly gasped. “Are you…?”

“You said once that it’s hard to trust the men you sleep with, but that you don’t really have a choice,” Jeongguk whispered. “I trust you, hyung. With my life.”

“A-Are you sure?” Jimin asked, his voice wobbling and betraying him. “I…” But then his fingers laced into Jeongguk’s hair, and he buried his face into the younger’s neck and took a deep breath. “Jeongguk, Jeongguk-ah, Jeongguk. My Jeongguk. My baby, I—this is—I…”

His. His, his, his. Jeongguk pulled Jimin closer if it was even possible, wanting to touch, feel, smell, taste, everything. He was Jimin’s, and even though Jimin preferred submissiveness in the bedroom, Jeongguk was shamelessly ready to submit to this man to the public world, because he couldn’t fucking imagine not belonging to Park Jimin.

“I trust you,” Jeongguk whispered again, and Jimin nodded in his shoulder as Jeongguk’s skin tingled. “I trust you” felt scarily similar to another three words, three words that Jeongguk wasn’t sure he was ready to say, but was secretly sure he felt.

There was a final quick flurry of undressing—first Jimin’s underwear, then Jeongguk’s. Jeongguk had half a mind to keep Jimin’s on, but he was blindfolded and frantic, and he wanted to feel Jimin naked against him as fast as humanly possible.

“When’s the last time someone ate you out?” Jimin whispered in Jeongguk’s ear, and Jeongguk almost choked on his own breath. Jimin chuckled. “Have you ever been rimmed?”

“Once or twice,” Jeongguk whispered, dizzy, trying to make sense of up and down with Jimin underneath him, hands all over. Jimin let out another low laugh, and Jeongguk knew he was absolutely fucked.

“On your hands and knees for me, then, beautiful,” Jimin whispered. “You say you trust me. Let’s see how much.”

Jeongguk had never gotten on his hands and knees faster, and he heard Jimin let out a small hum of approval. Not being able to see what was going on was utterly infuriating and a fucking turn-on at the same time. He could feel pre-cum dripping from his cock onto the sheets, which was a phenomenal feat, seeing as it usually just stuck to him. But Jimin’s hands just ran along his spine, to his hips, and right to his ass, and he just kept leaking. It was immediate.

“Don’t hold your breath,” Jimin whispered, and then he got to work. The moment Jeongguk felt Jimin’s tongue lick a long, wet stripe over his hole, he gasped and fisted the sheets. When Jimin’s mouth latched right onto his rim and he sucked hard, Jeongguk almost chewed a hole right through his lip, muffling his moans. Then he realized he was a goddamn fool for thinking he could keep quiet, and as he balanced himself, Jimin spread his apart and pushed his tongue in.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Jeongguk gasped, hardly able to hold himself up, knowing he’d be seeing double vision were it not for the blindfold. He clenched right around Jimin, feeling the pleasure burst like a dam in his stomach, Jimin’s tongue fucking in and out of him. He arched his back desperately, the tingling sensation growing more and more, the pressure building. He was so painfully hard, and all he wanted was to touch himself, but he also wanted to be patient, difficult as it was—

“Hyung,” Jeongguk moaned when he felt Jimin insert a finger alongside his tongue. Now his limbs were shaking violently, in danger of failing him. It had been years, easily, since he’d been treated like this, since he’d felt such unadulterated pleasure. “Oh-h-h-h, fuck, fuck, fuck. Baby, y-you have to—shit, oh my God. You have to stop or I’ll cum. I—hyung, I can’t, I can’t hold it, I—”

Jimin gave one final lick and then blew gently, sending a shiver down Jeongguk’s spine. Then he drew back, and Jeongguk launched into action. He rolled and sat up, still trembling, and then he fumbled and grabbed until he had Jimin seated in his lap. The moment he was situated, Jeongguk could feel Jimin’s hard cock standing proud against his stomach, could feel how warm his skin was. He smelled amazing, even though he was already slightly sweaty to the touch. Smelled like some kind of cucumber and lavender mix, and it was intoxicating. Jeongguk could have happily drowned in it. Still clinging tightly, he reached under his pillow again to grab the lube, and he left the condom, remembering Jimin’s request. Without a word, he slicked his fingers up, reached around, and teased Jimin’s rim.

“Baby, please,” Jimin whispered, pushing into Jeongguk’s hands. “Need your fingers. So ready for you to fuck me.”

Jeongguk didn’t waste time. He inserted the first finger to loosen Jimin up, and he quickly added a second. He couldn’t see anything that was happening, but he could picture it. Jimin was rolling and circling his hips, fucking himself on Jeongguk’s fingers, his quiet moans the only sound in the room alongside the lewd wet sound of the lube as Jeongguk fingered him open. Three fingers, and then half of an experimental fourth finger. Jimin was panting and letting out breathy little noises that were meant to be words, but he kept failing. Each time he did, Jeongguk fell further and further. His entire body felt electrified as he slicked up his cock next, and Jimin lifted himself just slightly. And then, in a joint effort, Jimin sank down onto Jeongguk’s length, arms around Jeongguk’s neck until he was completely full.

Maybe Jeongguk had spent months denying it, because he was not much of a dating person. He wasn’t a long-term kind of person, couldn’t fathom it. But now, with Jimin securely in his lap, he knew. He fucking knew, and each time the realization hit him, he rocked his hips upward, soaking up each breathy moan that Jimin emitted with every thrust, his fingers trailing fire down the elder’s spine. Jimin rolled his hips in time with Jeongguk, meeting him thrust for thrust, lifting up and sinking down when Jeongguk wasn’t giving him enough, but it was overpowering. Jeongguk was overwhelmed. Jimin was overwhelmed. Neither one of them was breathing properly. Jeongguk could feel every fucking inch of Jimin’s skin, could practically feel Jimin’s breath inside his own body, felt like Jimin’s heart was beating inside his own chest. He knew that having heightened senses was just a temporary defense for being blindfolded, but now he could understand why people willingly suppressed their sight during sex. But Jimin couldn’t take off a blindfold. He was in it for life.

And Jeongguk was so fucking in love.

He loved Park Jimin. Loved him ferociously, every little piece of him. Jeongguk had never been in love before, not once in his life. Lust was a common emotion, but love, this kind of deep-rooted love that consumed his entire body? This was new. Here, while buried deep inside Jimin, hearing his beautiful whimpers and whispers, Jeongguk could feel a new galaxy practically exploding inside of his chest, and every star was blindingly bright because of Park Jimin. He may have never been in love, but he knew. He knew it was love. It couldn’t possibly be anything else. It was warm, blooming in his chest like spring flowers and sunshine, flooding his entire body. And pure. It was so pure.

“Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin whispered, and Jeongguk’s entire body broke out into goosebumps, hearing his name fall off the lips of the man he loved. “J-Jeongguk.”

“I’ve got you, baby,” Jeongguk whispered. “I’ve got you. I always will.”

Jimin let out a soft cry at those words, yanking on Jeongguk’s neck. Jeongguk obeyed and let Jimin fall onto his back, pulling Jeongguk to hover over top. He wanted nothing more than to see Jimin’s face while he fucked him like this. This, this was one of Jeongguk’s favorite positions because he loved watching Jimin’s eyes roll to the back of his head, loved watching him whimper and pant, loved watching him cum. Instead, he would just have to feel.

Jeongguk had to fumble a few times before he finally sank back into Jimin, and Jimin took in a sharp breath, sighing in content when Jeongguk’s hips met his ass, wiggling and lifting up a little. Jeongguk pulled out almost all the way before thrusting back in, and Jimin moaned, trembling.

“God, you fuck me so well,” Jimin panted. “C’mon, baby. Fuck me like you need me.”

Jimin bent his knees and wrapped them around Jeongguk’s waist, and Jeongguk leaned forward, propping one elbow by Jimin’s head. He fumbled around with the other hand until he found Jimin’s, lacing their fingers together on the mattress on the other side of Jimin’s head. And then he followed directions. He snapped his hips a few times as Jimin stammered, and then he found a steady, brutal rhythm, white knuckles as he gripped Jimin’s hand tightly, his entire body on fire as he listened to Jimin’s feedback.

“Shit, shit, shit. So good, so good,” Jimin moaned, panting. “F-Fuck, babe, that’s it. R-Right—Jeongguk-ah, oh my God, right there. Right there, right there. Fuck, fuck, yes. Yes, yes, yes, oh my God, don’t stop. Don’t stop, please don’t—oh. Shit, I’m close, I’m so close. Baby, you’re—fuck, you’re amazing. J-Jeongguk-ah…”

“Yours,” Jeongguk growled. “I’m yours. Tell me I’m yours. Tell me.”

“Fuck, you’re mine. All mine. Mine, mine, mine,” Jimin chanted with each deep thrust, his entire body trembling still. “My Jeongguk. N-Nobody else’s. Mine, you fucking hear me? You’re mine.”

Jeongguk couldn’t even control the noise that came out of his. It was a mix of a shout, a cry, and a gasp. The thrust was deep and bruising as he came inside Jimin, his limbs shaking, toes curling, heart exploding. He came for what felt like an eternity, the corresponding moan long and drawn out, tears soaking the silk scarf from the intensity of the orgasm.

But he wasn’t done, nor was he interested in pulling out. Jimin was whimpering beneath him, so Jeongguk made sure his half-hard cock was still buried deep as he reached down and stroked Jimin a few times.

“Please, please,” Jimin begged. “Need to cum. Please.”

“Gonna get me hard all over again,” Jeongguk muttered in a haze, using all of the pre-cum Jimin had leaked to make the glide smooth as he deftly worked his hand around Jimin’s cock.

“Fuck, I’m so full,” Jimin gasped. “S-So full, baby, please, please, make me cum.”

“Gonna let you cum inside me one day soon if you’re not careful,” Jeongguk said breathlessly. “Shit, I bet you’d fuck me so well. You say you’re a sub, but I bet you’ve got a dom streak. Bet you could destroy me.”

“Baby,” Jimin moaned, reaching up to grab at Jeongguk as Jeongguk gave an experimental rock of his hips, unable to believe that he was already growing hard again. And he knew Jimin could feel it. “Baby, fuck me again. F-Fuck me until I cum.”

Jeongguk was so fucking exhausted and so tired of being blindfolded, but he couldn’t stand the thought of pulling out. He let his dick do the talking instead. Plus, the man he loved needed to cum. That was more than enough incentive.

Jeongguk didn’t fuck him too hard. He focused more on Jimin’s cock than his own, heart leaping when Jimin let out a string of curse words and clenched around his cock, bucking his hips to fuck into Jeongguk’s fist. Jeongguk whispered a few encouraging words, mostly telling Jimin to imagine all his cum leaking out of Jeongguk one day. That was the comment that did it. Jimin’s moan started low and quiet and escalated as he clenched again around Jeongguk and came all across his abdomen.

Jeongguk thought it was over after that, but he was so fucking wrong. He had barely caught his breath when Jimin pulled away, and Jeongguk could feel the cum dripping out of him before he disappeared. He was gone for all of five seconds. Moments later, he pounced on Jeongguk.

“What are—fuck, hyung, oh my God,” Jeongguk cursed, flinching and gasping as Jimin’s mouth wrapped around his cock. His tongue lapped up all the cum first, and then he began to suck with eagerness, knowing Jeongguk was sensitive but also knowing Jeongguk had the stamina of a god. The second orgasm built up slowly, deliciously, and hit him hard. He barely came, if at all, but it had his entire body nearly convulsing.

Jeongguk ripped the blindfold off, grabbed Jimin roughly, and threw him onto the pillows, their lips meeting in a bruising kiss. Jeongguk could taste every bit of himself on Jimin as they kissed, and he loved it. It was a weird turn-on, knowing the man he was kissing had had his tongue all around Jeongguk’s body.

“That was incredible,” Jimin breathed as Jeongguk kissed down his jaw and onto his neck. “Fuck, baby, that was—that was amazing.”

“Good surprise?” Jeongguk murmured.

“The greatest surprise. God, that was the best sex I’ve ever had,” Jimin sighed, and Jeongguk grinned.

“Best, huh? Shit, now I’ll need to live up to that every time after.”

“Yeah.” Jimin rolled off the bed. “I planned that. Gives me a great sex life.”

“Oh no,” Jeongguk groaned jokingly. “You’re sure you have a great sex life? I have to keep this up, don’t I?”

“What makes you think you get to fuck me more after this?” Jimin teased, and then he casually wrapped his legs around Jeongguk’s waist. “We gonna shower together before bed? You know that’s my favorite.”

“Wouldn’t deny my favorite person his favorite thing,” Jeongguk whispered.

“Favorite person, huh? I’ll use that you my advantage, Jimin decided with a grin and a squirm. Jeongguk immediately dropped down and blew a raspberry on Jimin’s stomach, and he contracted all his muscles and recoiled with a loud yelping laugh that came out more as a squeak first. He rolled to try to get away, but Jeongguk just smacked his bare ass, and Jimin let out another laugh, wiggling and trying to get to the edge of the bed. Jeongguk hopped off the bed, swept Jimin up into his arms in one smooth motion, and carried him towards the bathroom.

“You really like manhandling me, don’t you? My big, strong lawyer,” Jimin said with a teasing smile.

“You make it easy,” Jeongguk said. “Now get in.”

The two of them showered together, refraining from fooling around even though Jimin kept “accidentally” brushing up against Jeongguk and then recoiling in giggles when Jeongguk threatened him with the shampoo to behave himself. Each time he saw Jimin’s beautiful face crinkled into a smile, though, he had to give himself the same scolding. All he wanted to do was put Jimin up against the tiled wall and kiss him silly, and then confess how in love he was. But tonight wasn’t the night. Jeongguk had to exhibit some self-control.

Once they were in bed together, Jeongguk reached over and turned off the light, and Jimin immediately rolled them both the same way and spooned the younger. Jeongguk had whispered his confession to him in embarrassment one night that he liked being the little spoon, but Jimin hadn’t even teased. He had just pinky promised Jeongguk that he would be the big spoon as often as possible.

“Remember when I made you dinner and said I didn’t know what I wanted you to be in my life?” Jimin whispered.

“Mhm.”

“I know what I want.”

Jeongguk carefully rolled over and broke out of their spooning session so he could face Jimin. He tangled their legs together and draped his arm over Jimin’s hip, scooting his head to kiss the elder’s nose.

‘What do you want?”

“I want you to be my boyfriend.”

“Yeah?” Jeongguk whispered, stunned even though he had fully been expecting such a request. “That’s what you want?”

“Yes.”

“Right now?”

“Yes.”

“To be my boyfriend?”

“Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin giggled, weakly punching Jeongguk wherever he could. “I’m already embarrassed enough asking. Just a yes or no answer would suffice.”

“You really think I’d say no?” Jeongguk asked, and Jimin let out another tired giggle. “Jesus Christ, I’ve been trying to think of a way to ask you for weeks. I kept chickening out.”

“You should’ve told me,” Jimin whispered, nudging the younger. “But will you? Seriously?”

“I’d love nothing more,” Jeongguk said, his heart fit to burst. “Best almost-birthday present ever.”

“Oh, don’t you worry,” Jimin said in a teasing tone. “I’ve already got that planned.”

“Wait, what? What? You—hyung. What are you—? Hey!” Jeongguk hissed as Jimin hummed happily and rolled away on purpose. “Hey, boyfriend of mine. Get back here and explain yourself.” Jeongguk shoved himself up onto one elbow and dragged Jimin back to him using one arm as Jimin giggled.

“It’s a surprise,” Jimin breathed, wiggling in Jeongguk’s arms. “Now go to sleep.”

“How can I sleep when you’ve promised birthday surprises?”

“You’ll think of something.” Jimin touched his hand to Jeongguk’s face, fingers near his mouth, before leaning in for a kiss. Jeongguk had figured out weeks ago that the fingers were Jimin’s way of quickly searching for Jeongguk’s mouth so his kiss didn’t miss his lips. It was something else Jeongguk could add to the (secret) list of reasons he loved Park Jimin.

Except now he had to wait for a birthday surprise, and he wasn’t quite sure he had the patience for it.

Chapter Text

Jimin hadn’t been lying to Jeongguk when he had said “birthday surprises.” The entire first day of September was an absolute dream. Jimin had insisted on sleeping over the night before, and he had woken up before Jeongguk. Jeongguk had rolled out of bed only to find Jimin in his kitchen making a mess, wearing only his underwear and one of Jeongguk’s t-shirts as he hummed some happy little song. Even though there were pancakes to be made, Jeongguk had hoisted Jimin right onto the countertop for the first of many sexual escapades that day.

After the pancakes, Jimin had shyly asked if Jeongguk could drive them to the beach. Jeongguk had agreed, and Jimin had loaded the car with bags full of who the hell knew. Jeongguk had driven to the beach, and there, Jimin had set up a blanket and had pulled out a chilled bottle of rosé and two packed lunches, shyly saying that he had gotten up at three o’clock in the morning to make them in secret. It had taken all of Jeongguk’s restraint not to have sexual escapade number two right there on a public beach.

After driving back into the city, Jimin had insisted on going to Griffith Park so that they could just walk around together, and Jeongguk made it point to describe every bit of scenery he could, holding tightly to Jimin’s hand as they walked. At first, he had questioned as to why even while holding hands Jimin insisted on using his cane, but then Jimin explained it in two sentences.

“If I took away your eyesight right now, would you feel comfortable just holding a hand? Besides, you can’t be both of our eyes.”

He had a point. It was such a good point that Jeongguk stopped their walk in an instant, wrapped his arms around Jimin’s waist, and kissed him with purpose. Kissed his boyfriend, his actual boyfriend. The man of his fucking dreams, who was one year away from having a Master’s degree, who had kids clambering to take music lessons with him, who was the independent badass that everyone else wished they could be.

“I wanted to write you a card and all that,” Jimin said. “But honestly, I’m much better with my words.”

Jeongguk was sitting at the kitchen table, and Jimin had just impressed the hell out of him by managing to light the birthday candles with ease. He watched the flames flicker, his heart ready to explode, and Jimin leaned forward onto the table with his elbows.

“Make a wish,” he said softly.

“Sing to me first,” Jeongguk whispered. Jimin quietly got out of his chair and sat right in Jeongguk’s lap, and then he sang “Happy Birthday” in Korean while running his fingers through Jeongguk’s hair lovingly. The moment the song finished, Jeongguk blew out the candles, stuck his finger into the icing, and put a dab on Jimin’s nose.

“Better lick it off,” Jimin teased, so Jeongguk kissed it off and then kissed Jimin full on the lips as Jimin nearly melted into his lap. It took all of Jeongguk’s willpower not to utter those three words as he held Jimin in his arms, rubbing the elder’s back with his eyes closed. He was so fucking in love. Him, in love, and out of nowhere. No one was more surprised than Jeongguk himself. He was celebrating his birthday with the man he loved more than anyone in the world, and all he could think about was whether or not he would get more birthdays with Jimin.

Jimin’s birthday was next month. Jeongguk was determined to make it a dream.

 

***

 

Jimin woke up with a moan on Thursday morning when his phone started ringing loudly on the bedside table.

“Call from Jeongguk,” his phone told him, still vibrating. He sighed groggily, though now he was interested, so he rolled and fumbled until he grabbed his phone. He answered it with some taps on the screen.

“Hello?”

“Good morning, sunshine,” Jeongguk’s voice rang out loud and clear, and Jimin flopped back onto his pillows with a happy smile. Boyfriend. Jeongguk was his boyfriend. Jimin actually had one of those now. Despite all the odds, even though he never dreamed he would ever meet anyone who would want him for more than a one-night stand, he was dating someone. And not just anyone.

“Good morning. Sleep well?”

“Not without you, sweetheart. I wanted to ask you something,” Jeongguk said, because he had a habit of casually dropping sentences or phrases that were dripping with sweetness and affection without even thinking twice, always leaving Jimin reeling.

“I’m listening.”

“Remember last week when I said there was a guy in my torts class who was looking for an extra player for their six-versus-six intramural soccer team?”

“Yup.”

“Uh, I kind of got dragged into it,” Jeongguk said sheepishly. “I tried to say no, I seriously did. I have so much fucking homework, you know? But apparently the winners of the game gets prime parking spots on campus for a month, so, uh, I’m their sixth man now.”

“Priorities.”

“Yeah, well, it would be nice to not have to leave my apartment seventy-five years earlier than our classes start to park,” Jeongguk said with a chuckle, but all Jimin could think of was the word “our” and how easily Jeongguk used it. “So, um, I’m playing. The game is tonight.”

“Ah, yes. My strong, smart boyfriend handling balls. Are you any good?” Jimin teased.

“You would know, wouldn’t you?” Jeongguk fired back before adding, “I mean, I’m not horrendous. But I invited my friends. The usual three. Seokjin hyung is using it as an excuse to get off work early and everything.”

“So it’s kind of like you’re their child and they’re going to watch you play your first soccer game,” Jimin said with a laugh.

“Yeah, yeah,” Jeongguk said, though Jimin could hear the smile in his voice. “We do this shit for each other all the time. Taehyungie hyung was in a student art exhibit last year and we all showed up like his proud parents. Namjoon made us help clean up the beach with him and a bunch of other treehuggers back in March. We just kind of do it.”

“Those are the best kind of friends. Are you telling me this because you’re inviting me?”

“Of course I am. Wanna come?”

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Jimin said with a smile. “What time?”

“Seven o’clock tonight. I have to be there early to practice, but I’ll tell Taehyungie hyung to come pick you up. Is that okay?”

“Yeah, of course it’s okay,” Jimin said, and then his bedroom door creaked open. “I have to go, but I’ll see you tonight, okay?”

“Okay. Can’t wait. Bye, hyung.”

“Bye,” Jimin said breathlessly, and then he hung up and let his phone drop into his blanket-covered lap. Someone crawled onto his bed without a word, but Jimin could tell just by the presence alone that it was Yoongi. “Hi, hyung.”

“Hey.” Yoongi flopped onto Jimin’s other pillow. “What’s this about Taehyung?”

“Eavesdropper.”

“I’m just asking.”

“Your boyfriend is picking me up tonight so I can go to my boyfriend’s soccer game,” Jimin said with a grin. Yoongi nudged his knee, but he rolled over onto his side, and Jimin snuggled back under his blankets. They used to lie in bed together back when Jimin was barely sixteen and Yoongi was eighteen, whispering what they wanted to do with their lives and talking about silly ways they could get revenge on Jimin’s parents or ruin Jihyun’s life. Things were so different now.

“He’s not my boyfriend,” Yoongi murmured.

“That’s what I said about Jeongguk, you know,” Jimin pointed out. “Do you really like him, hyung?”

“He’s…” Yoongi sighed, but it was light and happy. “Fuck, I’m not good at this. You know that.”

“Try.”

“He’s incredible. He’s smart and funny and attentive and caring and—I don’t know. I’ve only ever been intimate with a computer screen,” Yoongi said with his usual dry humor, and Jimin snickered. “I mean, not really, but you know what I mean. He—Jiminie, he said last week that he’s falling in love with me. Just came right out and said it to my face.”

“Do you love him back?”

“I… I feel a lot for him,” Yoongi said tentatively. “It’s happening so fucking fast, Minnie, I—I don’t know. I just know that he’s the second best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I’m the one who slammed a door in his face.”

“I understand the feeling.”

“Yeah, but this is the first time I’ve ever felt anything like this,” Yoongi whispered.

“Yeah. Me too.” Jimin then abruptly pushed up onto one elbow. “Second best thing?”

“Well, yeah. There’s this blind little brat with a mouth on him and a temper, and he comes first.”

“Hyung,” Jimin moaned, but then he threw himself right on top of Yoongi sloppily, grinning like a fool and snuggling into his best friend, who flinched at the cuddles but accepted them regardless.

Later that night, when Taehyung showed up at half past six to pick Jimin up, he was a lot less shy about everything than Yoongi was. It didn’t take much for him to open up.

“So, how’s everything going with Yoongi hyung?” Jimin asked. That was all it took.

“Really well,” Taehyung said. “I feel like I found my soulmate, Jiminie. Seriously. He’s a fucking legend. He’s really pretty and really smart and I just fucking like him, you know? Like, I’m falling in love with him. I told him that, too.”

“I know. He told me.”

“Did he? Did I scare him off?” Taehyung asked, but he didn’t sound even a little bit worried.

“Nope. He likes you just as much.”

“I’m gonna be his date to the Oscars when he goes one day,” Taehyung declared proudly. “He swears he’s gonna make it there, and I’ll be the one he kisses onscreen to a nationwide audience when he wins.”

“I don’t doubt it for a single second,” Jimin said, grinning.

“Also, don’t mention your roommate to my friends.”

“Wait, what?” Jimin whipped his head to the left to listen more attentively as Taehyung snickered.

“Hoseok hyung. Don’t mention him to Seokjin hyung and Namjoon hyung,” he clarified. “Hoseok hyung got in touch with both of them on social media and that was the end of that. Namjoon hyung is fucking whipped for the man and Seokjin hyung is already trying to brainstorm ways to make it work, and I can’t listen to any more of their threesome conversations.”

“WHAT?”

Taehyung and Jimin both burst out laughing at the same time, Jimin throwing his head back against the headrest with pure joy coursing through his veins. Holy shit, all of their friends were merging into one weird fucking orgy. It was too much.

“Okay, on a more serious note,” Taehyung said with laughter still coloring his sigh. “How’re things with Jeonggukie?”

“Perfect.”

“Yeah? That’s it? That’s the word?”

“He’s never dated anyone seriously, has he?” Jimin asked gently.

“Nope. He’s always dated his schoolwork and his yoga studio,” Taehyung said. “So you can fucking imagine the shit that I have to listen to from him about how to be a good boyfriend. I hope you’re not interested in letting go of him anytime soon, because if you think Namjoon hyung is whipped, you haven’t met your own boyfriend.”

“Oh, Christ,” Jimin sighed, covering his face with an uncontrollable smile as warmth spread from the center of his heart throughout his entire body. Taehyung reached over and nudged him.

“Okay, enough of the sappy shit. Have you ever been to these intramural games?”

“No.”

“It might as well be a professional fucking event. They use the school soccer field. People get really into it, and it’s only six-versus-six. Shouldn’t be that serious, but I guess it gets people off. So just prepare yourself for a lot of unnecessary cheering and bullshit.”

The car suddenly took a sharp turn and then came to a stop, so Jimin figured that Taehyung had parked the car. Jimin got out of the car, pulled the elastic strap off his folded cane, and it shook it out as he shut the car door behind him.

“Uh, it’s probably easier for me to guide you. There’s too fucking much going on,” Taehyung said with a sigh. “Are you cool with that?”

“Yeah. Guide away,” Jimin said casually. He didn’t say out loud that he felt warm and fuzzy about Jeongguk’s friends willingly and unthinkingly offering to guide him, and the fact that they did it the proper way without dragging him. But damn it, he was feeling the warm fuzzies that came with someone genuinely caring about him.

“HE-E-E-E-EY, JIMINIE!”

“Lord help us all,” Taehyung sighed in English, and Jimin snickered, hearing Seokjin and Namjoon call out at the same time. Taehyung led Jimin up the wide concrete stairs and to the row where the other two were waiting.

“Glad you could make it,” Namjoon said happily as Jimin slid along the bleacher seat and folded his cane.

“Miss my boyfriend showing off his athletic talents? Wouldn’t miss it,” Jimin joked.

“Okay, but these intramural games are intense,” Seokjin warned just like Taehyung. “Once upon a time, many moons ago, when I was in school, I used to—”

“You literally graduated six years ago.”

“I used to play intramural Frisbee with some of the other L2s,” Seokjin continued over Namjoon’s flat interruption. “And people would literally place bets on the game.”

“Any of you place bets on this?”

“God, no,” Taehyung said, sitting down next to Jimin so that Jimin was situated on the end of the row for easy access as needed. “We’re broke as fuck lawyers-in-training. I don’t make enough as a law firm receptionist to bet on a petty soccer game.”

“Shame. Should’ve told me how to place a bet on Jeongguk-ah. He’s worth it. Think it through next time,” Jimin casually said, and Seokjin snorted with laughter.

“Oh, wait, he saw us. Hey,” Taehyung said in a regular voice, but Jimin felt his friend lift an arm. “Jiminie, wave. Jeongguk’s looking.”

Jimin tentatively lifted a hand and waved, feeling a bit dumb, but then Taehyung nudged him.

“Oh, Lord, he’s gonna trip over his own feet playing this game if he keeps looking at you,” he said, and Jimin stifled a laugh, feeling his ears burn. “Seriously, he’s that much of a sap. Hyung.”

“What?” Namjoon and Seokjin both said at the same time.”

“Which one of you raised Jeongguk to be a hopeless romantic?”

“Definitely not me,” Seokjin declared.

“Uh, I’m not really great at romance,” Namjoon said.

“…Ah, fuck, then it was me,” Taehyung sighed in realization, and Jimin burst out laughing. “Big mistake. Oh well. He’s doing okay for himself. First serious boyfriend and he’s out here cheesing up the place. Oh, the game’s starting, it’s starting.”

“They literally recruited him five seconds ago and they made him captain? Jesus Christ,” Seokjin said with a short laugh, impressed.

“He’s really zen from all the yoga, he’ll just mindfuck the rest of the players,” Taehyung said.

Jimin kept his folded cane in his lap, and then he heard a whistle and some cheering. He applauded quietly only when he heard Taehyung do the same and Seokjin holler something in support. The whistle blew again to signal the start of the game.

Jimin leaned forward, trying to listen to what was going on. About two minutes in, he thought to turn and ask Taehyung what was happening, but then he stopped himself and bit the inside of his mouth.

“HE FUCKING HAD THAT.”

“If he slide tackles him, that’s the game. He’s done for.”

“Oh shit, did you see that?”

“DOWN THE FIELD, GUK!”

“FOUL! THAT’S IN THE BOX, ASSHOLE REF.”

“Shit, he’s marked. Look at what he’s doing.”

Seokjin, Namjoon, and Taehyung were all so immersed in the game that Jimin couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Taehyung kept leaping to his feet and then sitting back down. Seokjin kept shouting profanities in Korean that had Namjoon rolling with laughter despite his best intentions, especially because no one else around understood. And Jimin just sat quietly in his seat, trying to listen to the conversation, trying desperately to follow along from a distance, trying to figure out where the hell Jeongguk was and what he was doing. Did he have the ball? Did he ever have the ball? How was he supposed to—?

“WOO!” Taehyung cheered, leaping to his feet again. “WAY TO GO, GUK!”

“Hell yeah, that’s a one-nothing lead,” Namjoon said excitedly. Jimin, not wanting to appear lost, applauded loudly and then added a bit of whistling just for show. Maybe Jeongguk was looking up into the stands. Jimin had no idea. He only knew that he wanted to appear engaged and interested in a game that had him completely lost.

“Oh, fuck,” Seokjin cursed when gameplay resumed.

“Holy shit, that was dangerous—wait, are you kidding?” Taehyung interrupted himself, sounding stunned. “HEY! FOUL! THAT’S A FOUL!”

“GIVE JEONGGUK THE PENALTY,” Seokjin shouted. The stands in support of whatever team Jeongguk was on seemed to be in uproar. A lot of strangers were shouting, and Jimin heard it all.

“How the hell did the ref not see that?”

“That was a fucking foul, holy shit.”

“He could’ve killed him, damn.”

“HEY, REF, ARE YOU FUCKING BLIND OR SOMETHING?”

Jimin choked on his own breath, and it all came crashing down on him at once. The entire first half of the game was almost over and he knew nothing. Absolutely fucking nothing. The ref wasn’t blind, just stupid. But Jimin was, Jimin was blind, and he couldn’t change it.

“Hey, where are you—Jimin? Jiminie!”

Jimin nearly ran down the bleacher stairs, cane out in front of him doing all the work. He could feel his feet just barely catching each stair, which meant that he was being reckless and was very much in danger of wiping out and looking like the token blind guy, but he was too emotional to care. He stumbled a bit when he made it to the bottom and his cane scraped concrete, but then he squared his shoulders and tried to reverse the way that Taehyung had brought him in. He had heard toilets flushing—perks of being hyperaware of his surroundings. He took a right turn, his cane repetitively whacking the metal bleachers.

“Yo, watch it, man!” some college kid hollered only a moment after Jimin’s shoulder made contact.

“I’M FUCKING BLIND, YOU ASSHOLE,” Jimin yelled, pivoting sharply and waving his cane low in a brash show of disability.

“Oh, Jesus, sorry,” the guy said, and then Jimin heard some laughter as they walked of. Jimin clenched his jaw, feeling his eyes burn, and then he turned back around and swung his cane out in front of him. He heard someone in the front row of the bleachers utter a little cry, probably from nearly being whacked, but Jimin didn’t fucking care. He marched down the paved narrow path until he heard the toilets flushing again. He swung his cane to the right to find the opening, and then he walked into he hit a wall. Then he threw up his left hand and started crawling his fingers along the wall like a spider until he found a sign. WOMEN HANDICAPPED. Wrong bathroom. He scooted to the right and confirmed then next sign: MEN HANDICAPPED. He stumbled in and found the first stall, and then he slammed it shut and leaned against the locked door.

There really was no fucking getting around it, was there? There was no getting around being blind. He couldn’t fix it. Couldn’t change it. Jeongguk could play a dozen intramural soccer games, and Jimin would never see a single moment. Jimin had spent a majority of his teenage and early adult life accepting who he was, accepting his disability. He had put long hours into his self-care, into understanding that being blind didn’t define who he was as a person, that he had a personality outside of having absolutely no visual input. But Jeongguk was upheaving his entire world, showing him things that he never expected to experience—acceptance and empathy and love, so much love, even though neither one of them dared to say a damn thing. But dating Jeongguk, feeling the way Jimin did, also brought heartache and isolation and fear. All unwanted and very unfamiliar feelings.

This stupid soccer game, this one petty little thing, was just a burning reminder that Jimin was never going to be exactly like Jeongguk and all his other friends. It was the first time Jimin had ever felt it, like a ton of bricks to the head, and it hurt like hell.

“Jimin? Jimin, I know you’re here, I—hey, get out, I have shit to do,” Taehyung’s voice said as he switched from Korean to English to get rid of the two guys who were also in the bathroom. “Get out, get out, get out. Jimin? Jiminie!”

A few of the doors to the bathroom stalls flew open, and then Taehyung pulled on the handle of the stall Jimin was in, recognizing it was locked.

“Jiminie, please,” Taehyung said softly. “Please open. Come on, I even waited five minutes to come get you.”

“No, Tae.”

“Jimin,” Taehyung sighed quietly. Jimin heard him lean against the outside door of the stall. “Please. Honey, please come out and talk to me.”

Jimin passed his folded cane back and forth between his hands numbly, his eyes closed, his back to the wall of the stall. He never talked to people about his “blind” feelings. But Taehyung… Taehyung knew Jeongguk pretty well. And if Jimin was going to be with Jeongguk, then surely he needed to confide in Jeongguk’s friends.

Jimin quietly unlocked the stall, and Taehyung did even ask him to come out. He just held open the door and let Jimin stay in the stall, slumped against the wall.

“Why’d you run off?” he asked.

“A lot of reasons, Tae,” Jimin muttered, and then he sighed and rubbed his eyes tiredly. “A whole fucking half of the game just flew by and I have no clue what happened. All the yelling and shouting and cheering, and for what? I barely knew if Jeongguk was the one with the ball. It was…”

“Isolating.”

“Yes,” Jimin emphasized, throwing one hand up and slouching further into the wall in a state of semi-relief. “Yes, that’s—yeah. Even though I was there and surrounded by people and my boyfriend was on the field, I didn’t… I didn’t know a thing. And before you even say it, it’s not your fault. You shouldn’t feel guilty.”

“I mean, it’s hard not to the way that you ran off,” Taehyung said honestly. “Namjoon hyung and Seokjin already feel bad. And it’s not—you know, it’s not your fault that we feel that way, either. Shit like that just kind of happens. If you come back to the game, I know that we’ll do better.”

“What do you mean?”

“We’ll give you descriptions of the game,” Taehyung replied. “You’ll have to forgive us. We’re not used to it, you know? It’s just a learning curve.”

“Feels like it’s out of pity, though. Because I stormed off and made a scene,” Jimin pointed out.

“It wouldn’t be out of pity. You storming off was just a wake-up call. That’s literally it,” Taehyung explained. “Just… tell me what you’re thinking.”

“I’m thinking…” Jimin blew out a breath. “I’m thinking a lot, Tae. I’m thinking that I have a perfectly functioning and sighted boyfriend who does very normal things and wants me to come along and be involved, and I can’t even… I mean, I can’t see what he’s doing. I can’t see enough to be proud of him. And this is only one thing. Do you know how many other things in life are gonna end up just like this? Almost everything.”

“Do you know Jeonggukie? Like, at all?”

“Yes,” Jimin sighed. “Yeah, I know. He’s the one person in my life who’s never given a fuck about me being blind. He forgets ninety-five percent of the time. But that doesn’t mean that one day he won’t look at our relationship and think, ‘damn, wonder what my life would be like without dating this blind guy.’”

“Have you ever thought that maybe he’s not dating you for the whole blind thing?” Taehyung said in a teasing tone. Jimin reached out and nudged Taehyung, managing to get part of his arm. “Look, I can’t even—I don’t even know where to fucking start when it comes to understand what you go through on a daily basis. I mean, if I forget my glasses I throw a fit. So I can’t say I can relate. I can barely even empathize. But I know Jeongguk. He won’t care that you didn’t see any of the game. He won’t care that you didn’t know what happened. He’ll care that you were here.”

“…Yeah,’ Jimin whispered. “I don’t know, Tae. It’s a hard pill to swallow. I’ve never had to deal with this kind of thing.”

“What, fucking a sighted guy and liking it?” Taehyung joked, and Jimin finally cracked a smile. “Please come back to the game. Give us a chance, Min. We won’t do it out of pity. We’ll tell you what’s happening in the game because you’re dating our friend and we like you, too.”

“I… Yeah. Yeah, okay,” Jimin agreed reluctantly. He would have much rather stayed hidden in the bathroom, but Taehyung was already grabbing for his hand. He gave it a tight squeeze.

“Thanks for understanding.”

Taehyung expertly guided Jimin out of the bathroom and back up to the bleachers as a pop music played in the background. He shoved Jimin down the row first, and Jimin sat down right beside Namjoon with Taehyung on his other side.

“Hey, we’re sorry,” Namjoon apologized immediately. “We got too caught up in the game.”

“Yeah, we kind of forgot that you’re blind and can’t see what’s going on,” Seokjin said in his usual tactless yet endearing fashion. “We fucked up. Sorry. We’ll do a better job the second half.”

“It’s not your fault. Don’t feel bad. I’m being dramatic,” Jimin said with a little laugh.

“Uh, no, you’re not being dramatic enough,” Seokjin said. “I’d be throwing a damn fit if I were you. Jeongguk might kill us.”

“Would he?”

“Not if you don’t tell him,” Seokjin said, and Namjoon snorted with laughter. “Yah, he might be five years younger than me, but he’s terrifying! He could snap me in half! I like my body in one piece!”

“Okay, shut up, it’s starting. Jiminie.” Taehyung took Jimin’s right hand. “Jeongguk’s team is defending the goal on the left side of the field. Guk’s right forward.”

“Okay,” Jimin whispered, gripping Taehyung’s hand tightly.

“Also, I stand up a lot. I might yank you with me.”

“I can take it.”

“I love this guy,” Taehyung said to no one in particular, and then the whistle blew. And he wasn’t fucking kidding when he had said to Jimin that he would do better. He was like a radio host. “Ball to Guk. Passed it back. Defender gave it back to Guk. He’s taking it down the field—ah, fuck, he got double teamed. Ball’s going to their side, now. Guk’s waiting for it—oh, left forward has it. Guk’s following him up the field—crossover—oh, out-of-bounds. Other team touched it, Guk’s throwing it in. He… Okay, he threw it to the defender. Defender gave it back to him. He’s going up the field, Jiminie, he just blew past the defender—PASS IT, GUK!”

There was a moment where Jimin held his breath, and then Taehyung threw their entwined hands up in the air.

“YES! Okay, left forward has it—battle in the corner. Oh, fuck, how’d he get out of that? Passed it to the center—no, Jeonggukie has it! Him and the goalie, that’s it, he’s gonna—GOAL!”

“ALRIGHT, JEONGGUKIE!” Jimin shouted, jumping up to his feet with Taehyung just like everyone else. The crowd celebrated, and this time, Jimin felt involved enough to join in. He reached across and held up his hand, and Seokjin high-fived him happily.

Namjoon gave Jimin a play-by-play after the kickoff, with Seokjin adding some color commentary every now and again. By the time the game finished, Jeongguk’s team had won two to nothing, both goals courtesy of Jeongguk. Now they had the coveted parking spaces on campus, and Jimin had managed to figure out that Jeongguk had a talent for soccer.

“This hopeless little shit, is he really running up here?” Seokjin asked, sounding annoyed but fond. Jimin heard footsteps pounding up the stairs of the bleachers even over the music that was playing.

“Hey!”

Jimin’s entire body responded the moment he heard Jeongguk’s voice. It was automatic, a total relaxed reflexive answer to hearing his boyfriend’s voice so close.

“Hey, show-off,” Taehyung said as Jeongguk immediately slipped his arm around Jimin’s waist. He was sweaty, but Jimin could feel the pride and happiness radiating off him. He shifted until Jeongguk got the hint and leaned down to kiss him firmly.

“Hey, love,” he said. “I’m so happy you came. You were my good luck charm.”

“Yeah? That why you scored both goals? Didn’t leave anything for anyone else?” Jimin teased.

“Well, yeah, I had to show off to you,” Jeongguk joked. “Did it work?”

“A little."

Jeongguk took Jimin’s face gently between his hands and kissed him again, and Jimin almost melted into the touch, all frustration momentarily forgotten. Later tonight, when he was lying in bed, it would probably hit him in tumultuous waves. You’re holding him back. You know you are and you don’t want to admit it. But for now, all he wanted was Jeongguk kissing him, holding him, calling him “love” or any other term of endearment. He wanted nothing else in the world, and maybe it was selfish. But Jimin planned to hold onto it as long as he could without the guilt eating him alive.

 

***

 

“I’m gonna lose my fucking mind.”

“Is it really that difficult?” Taehyung, still eating a Fruit Roll-Up without using his hands, let half of it dangle from his mouth as he peered over to take a look at what was going on. Jeongguk had a piece of paper on the coffee table in front of him. On the paper, he had drawn six rectangles standing up (three on each side) and one rectangle lying on its side in the middle as the space bar. He had labeled each rectangle—1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, SPACE. He had a cheat sheet in front of him, too, one that the lady at the Braille Institute had given him.

“It’s fucking with my head,” Jeongguk sighed.

“So why not just have that lady do it for you?”

“No. I’m doing it myself,” Jeongguk said stubbornly. Then he cheated by glancing at the paper off to the side to figure out which keys made the letter “M,” and he set his fingers on the correct rectangles—1, 3, and 4. He recalled months ago when Jimin had been rattling off “dots” for the braille alphabet. Now Jeongguk was suffering through it by choice.

After the best birthday of his life, Jeongguk had decided that he needed to do something for Jimin that had meaning. He planned to cook dinner and play cards (Jimin had once mentioned that he hated going out places on his birthday because it stressed him out), and then he wanted to give Jimin a gift. The first part of the gift was a handwritten card. Jeongguk had spent an entire day searching for the right birthday card, and he had been interrupting his entire life to stop by the Los Angeles Braille Institute for an hour every day in secret. Jimin talked a lot about how the Braille Institute had helped him out when he had first arrived in Los Angeles. In fact, when Jeongguk had walked in and mentioned Jimin’s name, people had gushed about him, how wonderful and polite he was. But then Jeongguk had asked to learn how to write something in braille.

“It’s for his birthday,” he had explained. “Um… I’m his boyfriend. And I wanted—like, to write my own card.”

A lot of cooing had ensued, but then Jeongguk had been assigned a very happy and willing employee to help him use a braillewriter. She had volunteered to just talk him through it in one day, but Jeongguk had scoffed at the very idea, demanding (nicely) that she teach him more. He was now in his second week straight of casual lessons, trying to learn the alphabet and these things called contractions (just writing “td” apparently meant “today,” who would’ve thought?) to write a decent birthday sentiment in a card.

By the time October 13th came around, Jeongguk was constantly sweating bullets around Jimin, barely able to focus on his own homework. The last thing he wanted to do was fuck up his grandiose plan for the perfect birthday. Even when they finished having sex a few days before his actual birthday, Jimin asked if Jeongguk was feeling okay. Jeongguk’s excuse had been the stress of his civil procedure course—a half-truth. Jimin was buried deep in psychology courses, so he enjoyed poking fun at Jeongguk in attempts to lighten the atmosphere.

“I’m almost twenty-five, you know. Are you a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty kind of guy? Either I’m halfway to thirty or I’m halfway past twenty.”

The jokes didn’t help.

The day they were meant to celebrate together, Jeongguk picked Jimin up from his apartment bright and early in the morning, and he offered Jimin a hot cup of coffee and his favorite pastry. Jimin smiled the entire time he ate in the passenger seat, so much that Jeongguk barely saw his eyes because the elder was so happy. He did, though, talk Jeongguk’s ear off about anything and everything, and Jeongguk listened intently.

He needed to listen, after all. Taehyung hadn’t kept it to himself that Jimin had had a quiet meltdown the day of the intramural soccer game. Jeongguk hadn’t mentioned it at all to Jimin, knowing that it would just make Jimin feel guilty or small. So now he just kept the information tucked away in the back of his brain, now aware that sometimes Jimin had feelings that were specific to someone who was blind, and that Jeongguk couldn’t always understand. He just had to quietly offer support.

“Okay, you said games,” Jeongguk said, glancing at the clock as they stepped into his little apartment. It was almost eleven o’clock in the morning. The windows were wide open, the sky was bright blue, and birds were chirping happily. He figured the world was celebrating Park Jimin being born. “So I, um… I found a game.”

“I’m usually pretty good at board games if you help me out a little,” Jimin said airily, hanging his cane up on a hook by the door. Jeongguk had gotten one of those 3M peel-and-stick hooks that didn’t leave marks in the wall, and when he had shown it to Jimin, Jimin had cried for about two minutes before dragging Jeongguk straight into the bedroom.

“Oh. Um, it’s not a board game,” Jeongguk said. His heart racing, he reached down on the coffee table, picked up the little box, and handed it over to Jimin. “Read.”

“Read? What am I—oh,” Jimin breathed, realizing there was Braille on the front of the small, rectangular box. “It’s… Oh my God, is this UNO? This is UNO. In Braille? That’s a thing? Holy shit! Where’d you find this?”

“The internet,” Jeongguk said proudly when he saw Jimin’s face light up.

“I—Guk,” Jimin said with a short laugh. “You know when I was little, before I lost my sight, I used to try to play UNO with friends at school. And I always failed. You know why?”

“Colorblind.”

“Fucking colorblind,” Jimin laughed. “But this is—I mean, is the whole thing in Braille?”

“Every card.”

“Holy shit,” Jimin said, thrilled. “I’m about to whoop your ass, Jeon Jeongguk.”

“Bullshit, you know I’m competitive. I’ll slaughter you.”

Jeongguk had spent a good half hour thinking through how to set up the game. Obviously the cards were readable, but Jimin had to have a place to set them all down and keep them organized. So Jeongguk had gotten two coasters that he normally set drinks on—one for the draw pile and one for the playing pile. He explained his setup to Jimin, and Jimin beamed.

“That’s clever. Okay, let’s play. Deal the cards.”

Jeongguk shuffled the new deck of cards, and then he dealt seven to Jimin and seven to himself. Jimin fanned the cards expertly, and Jeongguk watched in awe as the elder held the cards in his left hand and ran his pointer finger along the top of the fanned cards to read what he had.

“What does it say?” Jeongguk asked, even though he was secretly trying to interpret the Braille on his own cards.

“It tells me the color and the number,” Jimin said happily. “For example, if it’s a red seven, it says R and then the number seven. So don’t tell me what the card is that’s in play, okay? I—I wanna do it myself.”

“Yeah, of course,” Jeongguk agreed. In the sixth months he had known Jimin, Jeongguk had discovered that although it sometimes presented as stubbornness, Jimin was fiercely independent and didn’t like anyone doing the work for him. So Jeongguk had quickly learned patience. In this version of Uno, there were special rules. Players could call out the cards they played, and Jimin could touch all the cards in the discard pile and also ask for a “Card Check” to see how many cards Jeongguk had in his hand. But it seemed he didn’t really want any of that. He just wanted to play.

Jimin hadn’t been kidding. Jeongguk was usually pretty good at games, but Jimin was fast and stealthy. He didn’t let Jeongguk say a word, and he always kept his hand hovering over the play pile so he could read the card and choose one from his own hand to play. He laughed when he used a reverse card, mainly because they had established a rule that using reverse with two players meant that they could play twice in a row.

“UNO!” Jimin shouted victoriously, falling onto his back on the carpet happily and kicking his feet up, waving his card in celebration. Jeongguk huffed, because he had seven fucking cards in his hand thanks to a draw four Jimin had played at the right moment. He sighed heavily and threw down a card, and Jimin rocketed upright and nearly knocked over the entire pile to read it.

“Ah, shit,” he complained, reaching for the draw pile. He read the card— “Ooh, never mind. Uno!” he declared again, placing down the blue card. At least he didn’t have blue. Jeongguk narrowed his eyes and played another card. Jimin drew again—another blue. Jeongguk looked in his hand and realized that his only play was to change the pile from that blue five to his red five. Pained, he slowly set down the card, flicking it with his fingernail as he let go. Jimin whacked his hand out of the way to read it.

“Damn it, Guk,” he sighed.

“Thank fuck,” Jeongguk sighed, but then Jimin grinned and threw his last card down—a red card. “YOU LIAR.”

“I WIN,” Jimin declared victoriously, sounding so delighted that Jeongguk couldn’t even be mad at losing. “Holy shit, I won! And you even played fair and square.”

“Hey. Babe.”

“Yeah?” Jimin asked, glowing the moment Jeongguk addressed him so affectionately.

“It’s yours to keep.”

“…What?”

“The game. I bought it for us to play, but you can keep it,” Jeongguk offered. He hadn’t originally intended to give it away, but seeing Jimin so happy made it easy. Seeing Jimin’s radiant smile now made it even better. “Happy birthday.”

“Are you serious? I can—Guk,” Jimin said, and he crawled around to the other side of the coffee table to climb into Jeongguk’s lap. “I can really keep it?”

“Yeah, of course you can. Anything for you, sweetheart,” Jeongguk said softly, reaching up and running his fingers through Jimin’s beautiful, thick, soft brown hair. “You hungry? Gonna make some sandwiches for lunch.”

“Yes, please,” Jimin whispered, and then he set his thumb on the corner of Jeongguk’s mouth before leaning in to kiss him. Jeongguk hummed happily, gave Jimin a quick series of pecks, and then set the elder gently onto the floor and padded into the kitchen.

“Wanna play again after we eat?” he asked.

“You’re on.”

They played not one, not two, but three more rounds after eating their sandwiches, and Jimin won every fucking round. Jeongguk even growled that he wasn’t fucking around and that he was going to win, but he never did. Jimin was in tears from laughing so hard by the end of the last round, pleased with himself but also giddy about how he could play a game without any accommodations and still kick Jeongguk’s ass.

“Okay, time to bake the cake.”

“Wait, what?”

Jeongguk dragged Jimin into the kitchen, and then he got to work. He first picked Jimin up in one fell swoop and set him onto the countertop, and then he grabbed Jimin’s phone.

“I’m gonna text you the website. Read me the recipe and help me out,” Jeongguk said. He took one look at Jimin and thought the elder was going to keel over in excitement.

“You wanna know something?” he said, lowering the volume as his phone rapidly rattled off a shit ton of text through VoiceOver. “You’re the first person in my entire life who’s actually made half an effort to include me in stuff.”

“That’s… kind of sad.”

“I mean, it’s sad, but it’s also amazing,” Jimin said. “Yoongi hyung does a great job. Hoseok hyung does, too. But you’re on another level. I can’t remember anyone ever relying on my blind ass to read a baking recipe correctly.”

“I mean, are you gonna fuck up your own birthday cake?” Jeongguk asked with a grin.

“I don’t know. Let’s find out.”

Jeongguk made the cake entirely from scratch with Jimin’s verbal directions, measuring flour and eggs and all the necessary ingredients. He paused after two steps to stand between Jimin’s legs and make out with him, because how was he supposed to resist? By the time he was grabbing for the cake pans, he was horny as hell, watching Jimin lick the batter from the spoon out the corner of his eye. He poured even amounts into the two pans, tapped them against the countertop gently, and put them in the oven.

“Okay, that’s enough.”

“What—” Jimin giggled as Jeongguk swooped in and kissed him. He dropped the spoon unceremoniously onto the countertop and wrapped his legs around Jeongguk’s waist, eagerly scooting forward, his hands buried in Jeongguk’s hair in a heartbeat. Jeongguk’s heart leapt into his throat, and he trailed hot kisses down Jimin’s jaw and neck.

“Cake takes over an hour to bake, you know,” Jimin breathed. “But you could tie me up and have your way with me at least twice before then.”

“Fuck,” Jeongguk cursed, picking Jimin up and carrying him straight into the bedroom.

Jeongguk did tie Jimin to the headboard by his wrists. He absolutely did ravish his birthday boyfriend by kissing up and down his entire body, damn near worshiping him like he deserved while Jimin practically mewled at the praise. He did flip Jimin over and rim him until he was sobbing. He did take Jimin from behind and deny him any touching of any kind, and Jimin moaned and cried his way through his first orgasm. Then Jeongguk cradled him and kissed him until Jimin was in a daze before stroking him back to full hardness and promising the birthday boy that he could have anything he wanted now that he had been so good. So Jimin demanded to ride Jeongguk, and Jeongguk fucking let him. He let Jimin have his way, and he thoroughly enjoyed the view the entire time, unable to believe that he’d had the pleasure (in every single way) of bedding this man for six months now, that he had the honor of being so stupidly in love with such an enigmatic but perfect human being.

The timer for the cake went off right when Jimin hopped into the shower, so Jeongguk threw on his underwear and took the cakes out to cool. Then he hopped into the shower and massaged Jimin’s entire body, even gently stroking him to a third body-shaking orgasm. Jimin was positively radiant by the time they stepped out of the shower and went to decorate the cake.

Once the cake was full of frosting, Jeongguk decided it was time for his present. The card… the card was first.

“Okay, presents,” he said, his voice quivering. Shit, could Jimin tell he was nervous?

“Presents before dinner and cake? My kind of man,” Jimin said with a grin, seated on the couch. Jeongguk plopped down beside him, trembling head to toe.

“This is for you.” Jeongguk had to hold back from thrusting the card into Jimin’s hands, instead biting the inside of his mouth and then carefully putting it into Jimin’s outstretched palm. Jimin accepted the card, and at first, Jeongguk could see the small smile on his face. He could see that Jimin wanted to thank him for it and then make a comment about how cards didn’t mean much to him. But then he used his other hand to run his fingers across the pop-up flower design on the front, and the smile changed into something warmer.

“Are these sunflowers?” he asked quietly.

“Yeah. Um, I went to, like, four different stores with greeting cards to find one like that. I thought sunflowers would be more common,” Jeongguk rambled, shrugging. Jimin stifled a laugh, and then he opened the card. Jeongguk knew he was opening it just as a formality, because he didn’t do anything but hold it in his hands.

“R-Read it,” Jeongguk managed to say. Jimin tilted his head curiously, so Jeongguk added, “Read it, hyung.”

There was a momentary pause, and then Jeongguk watched in a panicked daze as Jimin used his fingertips to search the inside of the card. The moment he felt the Braille, he inhaled sharply. Then he hastily propped the card onto his thigh and set his fingers in the upper left corner to begin reading.

“I—um, I-I wrote it myself,” Jeongguk said before Jimin’s fingers could start moving, his tongue feeling like it was swollen in his mouth, his heart pounding so loudly in his ears that he could barely hear his own voice. “Um… yeah. Yeah, I—yeah.”

And then Jimin started to read. His fingers flew across the page, top to bottom, left to right, reading the sentiment inside the card:

 

Hyung,

Today is your birthday, and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of being celebrated than you. Meeting you has changed my life. You have given me so much perspective. I see everything so clearly, all the things that I couldn’t before. You’ve taught me so much about how to live, so much about patience and tolerance and compassion. I’m so scared to lose you, but I think that means that I’ve found something good. You mean everything to me, Jimin hyung. I can’t imagine my life without you in it. Thank you for bringing me so much happiness. I hope your birthday is everything you wish it to be, and I hope that I can celebrate more birthdays in the future with you.

Jeongguk

 

The moment Jimin’s fingers hit Jeongguk’s name, they flew back up to the top left of the card. He started to read it again, this time faster, and then he inhaled, but it sounded like a muffled sob. Jeongguk watched as tears trickled down Jimin’s cheeks while he read the card again.

“Y-You wrote this?” Jimin whispered once he finished reading.

“Yeah,” Jeongguk whispered back. “With that weird machine and everything. The braillewriter.”

“How…?”

“Um, I went to the Braille Institute. You said you used to go there when you first moved to California, so… so I went. I said that I knew you, and they remembered you really well. And then I found someone to help teach me how to write that,” Jeongguk explained nervously.

“You wrote—?” Jimin choked on the other words, tears still streaming down his face.

“Yeah, yeah, I wrote it myself. I—I had to practice it a couple times before I wrote it in the card. I was fucking awful at it. So slow. I made so many mistakes,” Jeongguk admitted, frustrated. “But I wanted to get it right, so—so I just kept going back. I went every single afternoon until I had it perfect.”

Jimin let out another small sob, closing the card and pressing it directly to his heart. Jeongguk desperately hoped that they were happy tears, because the last thing he wanted was for what he did to have offended Jimin. So he held his breath, mind racing, wondering what else he could say, what else he could do. But Jimin sniffed, swallowing the next sob, and then he gently set the card aside. He wiped a few tears away, and then he smoothly swung his leg over and climb right into Jeongguk’s lap, arms around the younger’s neck. Jeongguk instinctively wrapped his arms around Jimin’s waist, looking up at the elder in awestruck admiration. What else could he say about this man, what could he possibly say? How was he ever going to convey how he felt without stumbling over his words like an amateur?

“Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin whispered, fingers tangled in Jeongguk’s hair, eyes closed, a radiant smile on his face despite the tears.

“What is it, baby?” Jeongguk softly asked, massaging Jimin’s lower back as he held tight to the birthday boy, never wanting to let go.

“It’s nothing. I’m just so in love with you,” Jimin confessed breathily with the same smile. “So in love.”

“That’s really good news,” Jeongguk whispered, goosebumps covering his arms, breath caught in his throat. “Because I’m in love with you, too. Should have put that in the card.”

“Jeongguk-ah, I love you.”

“Yeah. I love you too, hyung. So much. So fucking much, you have no idea. I’m crazy in love with you. It’s ridiculous,” Jeongguk said with a small laugh that Jimin matched. Then Jimin laced his fingers at the base of Jeongguk’s neck and kissed him. It was a kiss that set off a multitude of fireworks in Jeongguk’s world, a spark that was so different from whenever they had kissed before. Love, so much love it was almost overwhelming. Jeongguk pulled Jimin even closer and deepened the kiss, savoring the way that their lips seemed to match perfectly, the way that they understood each other’s bodies, what the other wanted and needed. Jeongguk never wanted or needed to kiss anyone else again. He had always found monogamy to be boring and rather dreary, suffocating and confining, but not now. He couldn’t imagine even laying a finger on another man, couldn’t ever imagine feeling like this about anyone else, couldn’t imagine a life without Park Jimin being his to love forever.

He had a lot of Braille to learn if he was going to write sentiments of love in a Christmas card.

Chapter Text

“You know what? That wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be.”

“Well, you got a private lesson before class, so.”

“I think I lost half my body weight in sweat, but it’s pretty obvious to me.”

“What is?”

“That I’m a yoga genius and that you’re just an amateur in comparison.”

“You little—” Jeongguk whacked Jimin’s arm, and Jimin flinched with a laugh, still wiping some sweat from the back of his neck. Before class, he had dedicated a solid hour to walking Jimin through every pose and every sequence he planned to teach during his intermediate level hot yoga class, and Jimin had managed to remember nearly every pose. Jeongguk had noticed only a few times when he had forgotten, mostly because he’d just hung out in downward facing dog like he was taking a little rest.

“Ow, okay, okay,” Jimin said as Jeongguk grabbed the folded up cane from the changing room shelf. He pulled off the elastic cord and shook it out until it pieced together, and then he handed it to Jimin. It was completely natural now, the way that he understood what to do.

“Yoongi hyung said he was ordering Thai food for dinner,” Jimin said as they headed out of the yoga studio to Jeongguk’s car. He had one AirPod in his ear, and he was clearly listening to his text messages. “Uh… Oh, because Tae is there studying for his exam, apparently. Did you know that he has a toothbrush in our bathroom now? Yoongi hyung doesn’t even live with us and Tae has a toothbrush in our apartment bathroom. What the hell is happening?”

“A disruption of the order,” Jeongguk joked, and Jimin snickered, his cane hitting the bottom of Jeongguk’s car. He threw open the door and collapsed into the passenger seat, and Jeongguk hopped into the driver’s seat.

With the holidays fast approaching and the pressures of school weighing down on both of them, Jeongguk found himself spending more time at Jimin’s apartment than ever, and more than half the time, Taehyung was there, too. They studied together and spam-called Namjoon to get all the answers, but mostly, they tried to distract themselves using Jimin and Yoongi.

Jimin, though, had his own method of studying when he needed to. He had two sets of AirPods, and he wore one AirPod from one set in each ear for a different device. The right ear was for his phone. The left ear was for his laptop. He would listen to the lectures from his classes he recorded on his phone in his right ear, and then he would take notes or complete his assignments on his laptop using the AirPod in his left ear so he could hear the feedback from his computer.

“Since he’s the one ordering, I’m assuming he’s paying,” Jeongguk said with a grin as they climbed the stairs to apartment 316.

“I don’t ever ask that kind of thing,” Jimin said honestly. “Because then he asks if I want to financially contribute. So be a good boy and keep your mouth shut and just wait for the food to show up.”

When they walked into the apartment, Jimin hung up his coat and his cane while kicking his shoes off, and Jeongguk just stared at the scene before him. Yoongi was sprawled on the couch with his laptop on his thighs, clearly working on something, wearing a red beanie and a tired expression. Taehyung was sitting on the opposite end of the couch, his legs thrown over Yoongi’s, a textbook in his lap, wearing his glasses while he munched on some pretzels.

“Hey, hyung. Hey, Tae,” Jimin said, shuffling over to the kitchen to the fridge to get some water. “How’s the studying?”

“I’m dying,” Taehyung said casually. “How was yoga?”

“I’m dying,” Jimin replied just the same, grabbing a glass from the cabinet and setting it on the counter. Months ago, Jeongguk would have lunged to help hold the glass still or would have offered to pour the drink. Now he just leaned against the countertop and watched as Jimin held the glass and stuck his pointer finger over the rim into it, and then he set the spout of the water jug against the rim and began to slowly pour. Once he felt the water touch his finger, he stopped.

“Food’s on its way,” Yoongi said distractedly, eyes still glued to his laptop. Then he nudged Taehyung with his foot and turned his laptop around. “Is it better now?”

“…Yeah, the legs look more natural,” Taehyung said, and Yoongi nodded, turning the screen back around. Jeongguk peered over his shoulder to see Yoongi working on animating a dog, and he shook his head, fascinated.

“Okay, I’m gross.” Jimin set down his empty glass of water on the counter. “I’m gonna rinse off in the nice shower.”

“Uh, you might not want to—” Taehyung loudly began, scrambling, but Jimin didn’t get the warning in time. He opened the bathroom door, and Jeongguk jumped a mile when he heard a series of shouts that definitely didn’t belong to Jimin. Then he heard Hoseok’s loud laugh, so he marched down the hallway to see what the hell was going on.

“What’s going—oh, for fuck’s sake, seriously?!” he exclaimed. Hoseok was in near tears from laughing so hard, slumped against the bathroom countertop wearing only a pair of gym shorts, his hair damp. Namjoon was standing on the bathmat wrapped in just a towel, fresh from the shower, and Jeongguk was just about ready to bang his head against the wall.

“So, apparently I can’t take a shower right now,” Jimin casually said, arms folded, grin on his face.

“Wait a fucking minute,” Jeongguk said, and then he lunged out of the bathroom and headed straight for Hoseok’s room. He heard Namjoon shouting in protest and Hoseok’s laughter getting louder, so he threw open the bedroom door. “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?”

“…Oh. Hey,” Seokjin said, glancing up from his phone with all the nonchalance in the world, leaning against the pillows with a sheet draped over his clearly naked body.

“THEY WERE LIKE THAT WHEN WE GOT HERE,” Taehyung hollered from the living room.

“WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN THIS APARTMENT?” Jeongguk hollered. “WHY ARE YOU ALL HERE? WHY IS EVERYONE FUCKING EACH OTHER? WHO GAVE ANY OF YOU PERMISSION?”

“Thanks, Dad, but you started it,” Seokjin said, and Jeongguk rounded on him with a pointer finger raised. Seokjin recoiled, always terrified of his younger friend’s reactions, but then he started laughing, slouching against the pillows.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Jeongguk cursed, trying not to laugh now as he dropped his hand. Jimin seemed highly amused by it all, and Jeongguk just considered his boyfriend lucky that he didn’t have to see such a visually scarring scene. “I hope the dick was worth it, you idiots.”

“It was a dream, thanks for your concern,” Seokjin said airily.

“And don’t you tell me I started it, I happened to find an actual boyfriend, you raging asshole,” Jeongguk said, and Seokjin burst out laughing as the younger grabbed a pair of pants from the floor and threw them at Seokjin’s face. “Should I even fucking ask if you’re staying for dinner?”

“WE ORDERED THEIR FOOD FOR THEM,” Yoongi shouted.

“My life is a fucking shit show,” Jeongguk muttered to himself, shaking his head as he stepped back into the hallway and peeked into the bathroom. Namjoon at least had some pants on now, and he looked sheepish but not ashamed at all. Hoseok was already in the living room looking for a drink like he hadn’t just initiated a threesome with Jeongguk’s best friends.

“You started it.”

“Did not,” Jeongguk sighed as Jimin wrapped his arms around the younger’s waist. Jeongguk leaned down and kissed Jimin’s forehead affectionately, and then he wrinkled his nose with a smile. “You smell. We both smell. Shower?”

“Yeah, I was gonna use the nice big shower, but apparently, I’ll have to use my tiny little one in my room,” Jimin complained jokingly, and Namjoon stifled a laugh.

“No, no, it’s fine. You can use this one,” he insisted. “Sorry.”

“Oh, you hear that, babe? We can use the big shower,” Jeongguk said. Namjoon nudged Jeongguk on his way out, pulling his shirt on overhead, and then he slipped into the living room.

After showering together, the food arrived. Jeongguk sat by while Yoongi divided it all up evenly, and the seven of them sat on the floor around the coffee table, passing around chopsticks and takeaway containers, arguing over who ordered what, demanding that someone get beer for the entire group. Jeongguk had never assumed that his friendship group would expand beyond Namjoon, Seokjin, and Taehyung. Now he had Jimin sitting in his lap, Hoseok on his right, and Yoongi across the table next to Taehyung. It was the last thing he ever expected to happen. Then again, Jimin had completely blindsided him, so Jeongguk figured he should start to normalize such surprises.

But being in such a domestic situation only made him think about where his life was going. He rubbed Jimin’s back as he ate with one hand, and he let his mind wander to all the what-ifs. Seven months later and he was sickeningly in love with Park Jimin, and who could blame him? Jeongguk had a boyfriend who talked him through all his homework, gave him advice on life, chatted with him about fake scenario legal cases, cooked him dinner if he was running late, played the violin for him while he was studying because he could.

So then what if he had that all the time?

What if Jeongguk came home from school or from the yoga studio and Jimin was just… there? What if they could sleep in the same bed not just after having sex, but all the time? What if they had a schedule to share with each other? What if they just lived together?

Jeongguk decided to pop the question to Jimin like it was a marriage proposal after his second intramural soccer game. Jimin was caught up at work and couldn’t attend the game, but since Taehyung attended, Jimin received a whole slew of text messages about how well Jeongguk did and how he got another free month of prime parking on campus for helping his team win the game. Post-game, Jeongguk swung right by Noteworthy, where Jimin was sitting outside on the stairs with his cane folded in his lap, his headphones in, texting away on his phone as he waited.

“HYUNG!”

Jeongguk had learned not to beep the horn to alert Jimin of his presence (it scared him), so he rolled down the window to call for his boyfriend. Jimin whipped his head up, grinned, and shoved his phone in his jacket pocket. Then he hopped to his feet, shook his cane out so it pieced together, and then hurried down the stairs, listening for the sound of the running car to guide him. He bumped into the hood of the car a little before making his way around, but Jeongguk said nothing. Jimin hated people commenting on any bouts of blindness-induced clumsiness on his part, so Jeongguk had learned to just accept it for what it was and sometimes found it endearing.

“Are you just taking me home, or are we going back to your place?” Jimin asked.

“Back to mine, if that’s okay,” Jeongguk said. Mine, but it could be “ours” if you wanted it to be, he thought, his heart leaping into his throat. “Thought I’d make dinner.”

“That’d be great,” Jimin sighed. “I’m fucking exhausted. I have a term paper due tomorrow, you know the one I’ve been talking about? Can you read it over tonight for me?”

“Yeah, of course I can.”

“You’re an angel.”

“Yeah, well, I love you,” Jeongguk said, and even though it was a lame response, Jimin lit up and rolled his head over to look at Jeongguk.

“I love you, too. Thanks for helping me out.”

“Yeah. Always.”

Jeongguk ended up making a stew where he threw whatever he had in the fridge right in, including rice cakes and fishcakes and kimchi and some wide glass noodles—everything but the kitchen sink, so to speak. Jimin barely had time to breathe in between bites because he was so hungry, and Jeongguk smiled to himself. Park Jimin sitting at his kitchen table in Jeongguk’s clothes, barefaced and scarfing down dinner. What the hell could be better than that?

After dinner, Jimin pull his laptop out of his bag and handed it over to Jeongguk so Jeongguk could read the ten-page term paper for the millionth time. Every page Jimin had added, Jeongguk had read. Jimin seemed pleased, mostly because he said that Hoseok never cared much to read his work or provide feedback, and Yoongi was always at work. Having Jeongguk, Jimin said, was the best thing to happen to him academically.

“Do you like it here?” Jeongguk quietly asked as he handed Jimin’s laptop back. Jimin hopped up to put it back in his bag, so Jeongguk hopped up as well, standing awkwardly with a racing heart.

“Here? In California? Yeah.”

“No. I mean, here,” Jeongguk said, swallowing the lump in his throat. “My apartment.”

“Yeah, of course I do,” Jimin said casually, pivoting. “That’s a weird question.”

“What if you just came here all the time?”

“Don’t I already do that?” Jimin scooted forward and wrapped his arms around Jeongguk’s neck, and Jeongguk slipped his arms around Jimin’s waist.

“What if all your stuff was here?”

“Can you please start making sense?” Jimin teased with a smile, so Jeongguk swallowed down his fear and took a deep breath.

“I want you to move in with me.”

“…Seriously?” Jimin breathed after holding his breath for a moment. Jeongguk grinned.

“Yeah. Seriously. I love you. I hate being apart from you. I want you to move in with me, babe. I want all the stupid stuff like—I don’t know, waking up with you every morning and complaining about the mess you make in the bathroom and fighting over where to put our shoes.”

“On a rack at the front door.”

“Debatable.”

“You really want me to—I mean, you’re really okay with—I’m not really—Guk,” Jimin stammered, laughing and dropping his forehead onto Jeongguk’s shoulder, his arms still around the younger’s neck. Jeongguk turned his head and kissed Jimin’s neck affectionately, and then he held the love of his life close, hoping desperately that his laughter meant “yes.”

“…Baby?” He pulled away when the silence was too long, but Jimin didn’t budge. “Sweetheart, are you—do you want to?”

But he still wouldn’t take his head off Jeongguk’s shoulder. Jeongguk playfully tried to poke at him, tried to peel him off, but Jimin refused. Curious, Jeongguk quietly scooted over until they were near the couch, and he gently lowered the two of them onto it. Jimin instantly broke away and rested his elbows on his knees, face buried in his hands. Jeongguk just sat there and stared, trying to make sense of the sudden rollercoaster of emotions. Fuck, was it too soon? Had he made a mistake in asking?

“What’s wrong?” Jeongguk quietly asked. “D-Do you not want to live together?”

“No.”

“No you don’t want to live together, or no that’s not it?”

“That’s not it,” Jimin whispered into his hands.

“Then what is it? I don’t understand.”

“No, you don’t. You don’t understand. At all.”

“What do you mean? What don’t I understand? Make me understand,” Jeongguk insisted, shifting so that his left knee bumped Jimin’s right. “Make me, hyung. I don’t… tell me.”

“You don’t understand the kind of life you’re asking for,” Jimin whispered, and that was when Jeongguk heard it. The hardened tone of his voice, the lack of warmth. Jimin was slowly building up his defenses, quietly pushing Jeongguk an arm’s length away to keep him at bay, to protect himself. But from what, and why? From being hurt? Jeongguk would never.

“I’m just asking you to move in with me. I’m asking for a life with you,” Jeongguk said simply. “What’s hard to understand about that?”

“Because it seems nice now,” Jimin said. “But you don’t know what you’re getting into, Guk.”

“So tell me.”

“It’s—at the risk of sounding like an idiot, Jeongguk-ah, I’m blind. I’m legally blind, and I don’t know if you really get that,” Jimin said in a strangled voice. Jeongguk wanted to reply, but he suddenly got the feeling that he needed to just listen, so he sat quietly, biting his tongue. “You know it, you’ve seen it, but I—I don’t think you’ve fully grasped the concept.”

“…What’s not to grasp?” Jeongguk asked when there was a pause.

“That my life, my entire life from now until I die, is going to be completely different,” Jimin continued, voice still strained. “I can’t sit and watch TV the way sighted people do. I can’t look at your phone when something’s funny. Can’t see all the memes you laugh at. I can’t see your face first thing in the morning when you wake up, can’t tell if you’re upset or smiling. Can’t see your face when we have sex. Can’t see your expression when you walk through the door from work, can’t tell if you’ve had a bad day or not just by looking at you.”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk said quietly, but Jimin was on a roll, and he was becoming increasingly emotional, sitting fully upright, his eyes shining.

“And what happens in the future, Guk?” he asked, blinking rapidly. “Humor me for a second. Pretend that we actually have a chance. What happens the day we get married? I can’t see the man I love standing in front of me to say vows.” Now tears were leaking from his eyes, but he kept pressing on, sounding angrier the more he talked. “I can’t look at our wedding day pictures five years later. If you tell me you want kids, then what? I can’t fucking see them. Can’t see the artwork they’ll bring home from school, can’t help them with their homework. Can’t drive them to piano recitals or swimming lessons or whatever the fuck they want to do. Everything takes me twice as long, Guk, and I wish you would just stop this bullshit and realize what you’re doing to yourself.”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk whispered, because now Jimin was close to sobbing, but he wasn’t finished.

“I wish that you’d come to your senses and just leave me,” he snapped with a small cough, choking on his own tears. “This isn’t the life you want, Jeongguk-ah. You’re only limiting yourself. I’m not good enough for you and we both know it. The only thing I can give you long-term is misery, do you get that? You can do so much better than me. I’m so fucking sorry. I’m so sorry that I entertained this stupid fucking fantasy for so long, I—” That was it. The words died in his throat, and he let out a horrible, heartbreaking sob as he collapsed forward, elbows on his knees again, head in his hands, shoulders shaking as he cried. Jeongguk just sat there, tears steadily but quietly trickling down his face, wondering why.

Why?

What had Jeongguk done, or not done, to make Jimin feel like this, feel so worthless? Had Jeongguk not tried hard enough? Had he not consistently proven and shown Jimin that he was worthy of love and near worship, that he was the most beautiful soul Jeongguk had ever met? Had Jeongguk not loved him fiercely enough? The very thought of his possible shortcomings made Jeongguk’s chest ache. Was it him? Had he done this?

“H-Hyung,” Jeongguk finally said, and Jimin, his sobs having mildly subsided, lifted his head, eyes bloodshot and swollen from crying, shoulders slightly slumped. “I need you to listen to me.”

“Jeongguk-ah, I—”

“No, listen. I need you to listen,” Jeongguk said, his voice cracking. “How fucking dare you?”

“Wh-What?” Jimin sounded stunned.

“How fucking dare you talk about yourself like that?” Jeongguk snapped hoarsely. “How could you?”

“I-I didn’t—Jeongguk-ah, don’t—”

“No, I said listen,” Jeongguk insisted. “I don’t need to watch TV when you’re around, or look at my stupid phone. I do it too fucking much anyways and you know that. You’ve never seen my face first thing in the morning, but when the hell has it ever mattered? You always touch my face to see if I’m smiling. Hell, you don’t even do that as much. You just feel it, because you fucking know me, hyung. And when was seeing my face during sex ever important? Blindfold me more, for all I care. I’d rather feel you, are you kidding me?”

“Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin whispered tearfully, and then he reached up with trembling hands, cautious. Jeongguk immediately lurched forward and let Jimin’s fingertips fall onto his face, mostly by his mouth and cheeks. So familiar.

“You know how I feel without seeing me,” Jeongguk said quietly, still crying. “You always have. You always will. You never judge me, either, hyung. Do you know how rare that is? Do you know how incredible you are?” His tears leaked onto Jimin’s fingers, and Jimin immediately took in a sharp little breath, using his thumbs to brush away the tears from Jeongguk’s face. It didn’t matter. More just fell. Jimin wasn’t much better off, still crying himself.

“I’ll tell you with my words if I had a bad day at work,” Jeongguk continued. “Why do you need to see my face? What if you were wrong? What if I had a great day and you thought I didn’t? That’s the kind of shit I’ll tell you, baby, why would you ever think you had to see me for that?”

“Guk,” Jimin choked out, and that was when Jeongguk, despite his tears, smiled. He smiled and Jimin felt it, and suddenly, they were both laughing, whether out of wretched misery or confusion or happiness or all three. Jeongguk couldn’t pinpoint it.

“You make me so fucking happy,” Jeongguk said, and Jimin let out a cross between a small sob and another laugh, now holding Jeongguk’s face between his hands, still feeling for smiles or frowns. “You wanna marry me one day? Let’s get fucking married. Let’s blindfold all the guests, fuck all of them. I don’t need you to see me when I tell you how much I love you, when I commit my entire fucking life and heart and soul to you. What part of that requires eyesight?”

Jimin was openly sobbing over Jeongguk’s words, but Jeongguk knew he was listening. So he pressed on.

“We don’t need a photographer. We’ll take video so you can listen to it whenever you want. And if we had kids, hyung, you’d be the best dad, I can’t even fucking believe you’d think otherwise. Jesus Christ, they would love you so much. Playing games with you and learning music from you, fighting with you over shotgun because I’ll drive you everywhere you need to go. Fucking great that everything takes twice as long, you know why? Because then I can actually fucking live in the moment instead of rushing through my entire goddamn life. I know exactly what the hell I’m doing to myself, hyung. I’m falling in love with you more every day. You got a problem with that?”

Jimin then threw himself fully onto Jeongguk, and Jeongguk let him. He let Jimin crawl into his lap and straddle him, let Jimin’s arms wrap around his neck, let Jimin’s tears fall on his shoulder. He hugged Jimin to his chest so tightly that he clenched his jaw, because how could he make this man understand how much he was loved?

“You want me to leave you? Good fucking luck. This is your fault, hyung, making me fall for you in a bar. All your fault for being so—fuck, so goddamn perfect all the time. We’re like a walking, talking dad joke, you know that? This is literally a two-men-walk-into-a-bar joke. The blind guy and the lawyer. Are we kidding?"

“Fucking awful joke,” Jimin whispered tearfully into his shirt, but Jeongguk could physically feel the smile against his shoulder.

“I’m not limiting myself. I know what I want. I want you. I want you every single day of my life until you get sick of me. You’re good enough for me, hyung, and I’m good enough for you. You can give me the whole fucking world and then some. This wasn’t a stupid fantasy for either one of us. I don’t pity you. I don’t feel sorry for you. I fucking love you, Park Jimin. Love you as in, I want to kiss you all the time and have as much sex with you as possible and cook dinner for you and marry the fuck out of you one day. Do you even hear me right now? I never even wanted to get married, you asshole. Look what you’ve done to me.”

Jimin burst out laughing, eyes still red-rimmed from his tears. But he threw his head back, and Jeongguk finally stopped crying. Jimin didn’t look despondent anymore. He looked fucking radiant, glowing, so beautiful. He looked like a man who was loved, like a man who understood that he was loved. Like a man who finally grasped that Jeongguk wasn’t here to fuck around with his feelings.

“If I ever hear any of this ‘I’m not worthy’ bullshit come out of your mouth again, I’ll be so mad at you,” Jeongguk said, his forehead against Jimin’s. “So mad, hyung. Say you’re sorry.”

“I’m sorry, baby.”

“Not to me. Say sorry to yourself for thinking so little of you. Say it.”

“I’m sorry, Jimin,” Jimin said quietly, and then he let out a little giggle and a hiccup.

“Say it again.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Put your hand on your heart and say it like you mean it.”

“Guk,” Jimin sighed, but then he squirmed on Jeongguk’s lap and smiled, placing his hand over his heart. He took a deep breath, and then he said, “I’m sorry.”

“That’s better,” Jeongguk whispered. “Now kiss me, you fool.”

Jimin stifled a laugh, and then he captured Jeongguk’s lips in a kiss. Jeongguk grabbed Jimin’s hips and pulled him as close as he could, desperate to feel the elder’s heartbeat against his, savoring the way their tongues met, how their lips just kind of fit together like a dream. They kissed and kissed, hot and heavy but so pure and with so much love. Jimin had a grip on Jeongguk’s hair, slowly circling his hips for some kind of friction, just because he wanted to feel Jeongguk as much as Jeongguk wanted to feel him.

“I love you, Jeon Jeongguk,” Jimin whispered against Jeongguk’s lips.

“I love you too, baby. So much.”

“Want you to fuck me,” he murmured, still leaving kisses on Jeongguk’s skin. Then Jeongguk felt him smile. “Was gonna ask you to make love to me, but it sounded cringey in my head.”

“Yeah? I’ll do it anyways.”

Jeongguk stood up with Jimin’s legs wrapped around his waist, the two of them kissing like it was second nature. Jeongguk could already feel the hard line of Jimin’s cock pressed against his abdomen, and he nearly stumbled with the love of his life in his arms, but he controlled himself and made it to the bedroom. He lowered Jimin onto the bed slowly, reverently, and then he kneeled on the mattress, hovering.

“Undress me,” Jimin whispered, and who was Jeongguk to deny such a simple request? He shifted until he was kneeling behind Jimin, and then he grabbed the hem of his t-shirt. Every inch he lifted the t-shirt, he covered in kisses, bending at the waist as Jimin sighed, head lolling back. He silently lifted his arms up like a child, and Jeongguk removed the shirt, tossing it aside and littering Jimin’s back and shoulders and spine with kisses, wanting to just nuzzle and bury himself in the smoothness of the skin beneath his fingers and lips. He didn’t want to leave a single inch of this beautiful man’s body untouched. He wanted to map out roads, constellations, secret passageways on Jimin’s skin with directions that only he had access to when he wanted it.

“You still gonna move in with me?” Jeongguk whispered after he threw Jimin’s pants onto the floor, trailing kisses from Jimin’s ankle up the inside of his leg, closing his eyes as he tried to commit every second to memory.

“Of course I’ll move in with you,” Jimin breathed. “Can’t believe you thought I’d say no.”

“I love you—so fucking much,” Jeongguk muttered, kissing up the other leg as Jimin squirmed and arched his back again, eyes closed.

“I love you, too.”

It was second nature now, being intimate. Jeongguk ravished Jimin’s entire body head to toe in kisses, and Jimin sighed happily, whispering his praises to Jeongguk and pleading quietly for more. Jeongguk undressed and climbed onto the bed again, watching with baited breath as Jimin scooted back up against the pillows and fell back. It would never cease to amaze Jeongguk how radiantly and effortlessly beautiful Jimin was. His hair fanned softly on the pillow, his brown eyes sparkled with excitement, and he was propped up on his elbows, waiting for Jeongguk.

“You know how easy it is to be with you?” Jeongguk whispered, leaning down and kissed Jimin’s exposed neck. “Thought it from the first night I had you like this.”

“God, I love you. Just fuck me already,” Jimin breathed, reaching up for Jeongguk. Jeongguk grabbed for the lube and coated his fingers, and as he slipped the first one in, he watched intently. Watched Jimin’s lips part, watched his head loll back, watched the pure pleasure on his face. A second finger, a third finger, and suddenly Jimin was quietly moaning, fucking down onto Jeongguk’s fingers and gripping the sheets with white knuckles, licking his lips in anticipation. Jeongguk kept his fingers inside and grabbed Jimin’s cock with his other hand, and with his first stroke, he curled his fingers inside Jimin.

“Oh-h-h my God,” Jimin moaned breathlessly. “F-Fuck, oh my God. Keep going, keep going.”

Jeongguk cocked his to the side and watched as Jimin’s breathing became more erratic, as his head fell back even further, as his elbows started to slip. When Jimin’s whimpers started to become louder, Jeongguk knew he was close. He had half a mind to cease all stimulation, but he couldn’t help himself. He chased Jimin’s moans eagerly until Jimin was coming undone, falling onto his back as the first orgasm ripped through his body, and he came all over his stomach and on Jeongguk’s hand, his rim clenching around Jeongguk’s fingers.

“You gonna cum twice for me?” Jeongguk whispered, trailing kisses along Jimin’s neck, glistening with sweat already.

“Y-Yeah, if you clean me up,” Jimin whispered, still panting. Jeongguk dove down and used his mouth to get rid of all the cum that was on Jimin’s abdomen, and Jimin threaded his fingers through the younger’s hair as he worked. Once Jimin was relatively clean, Jeongguk knelt over him, stroking himself eagerly.

“W-Wanna sit on you,” Jimin said, scrambling upright. “Wanna sit on your cock. Wanna ride you. Can I? Can I, baby?”

“Yeah. You can have whatever the fuck you want,” Jeongguk breathed, grabbing the lube to slick himself up. He was painfully hard, and Jimin was already aroused again. Jeongguk pulled Jimin towards him and kissed him gently at first, but it escalated fast. Jimin buried his hands in Jeongguk’s hair, and Jeongguk’s tongue ended up in Jimin’s mouth as he tried to swallow the elder’s moans and whimpers. Jimin started rocking his hips subconsciously, seeking relief already, happily letting Jeongguk suck new marks on his neck, fingernails digging into the younger’s back.

“Fuck me already,” he whispered in Jeongguk’s ear.

Jeongguk meant to fuck him. He did. But it wasn’t just fucking. He lifted Jimin up effortlessly, and Jimin sank right down onto Jeongguk’s length, sitting in his lap, taking it like a champion as always until he was completely full. He wrapped his legs around Jeongguk’s waist and leaned back, his hands on Jeongguk’s knees, and circled his hips a few times, searching for the perfect spot as Jeongguk watched, enraptured. This was the goddamn love of his life, the man of his dreams, glistening with sweat, skin flushed with arousal, naked and fucking himself on Jeongguk’s cock. Holy shit.

“G-Guk,” Jimin whimpered, and Jeongguk almost started crying. He was too young to be feeling all of these emotions at once.

“I’ve got you, beautiful,” Jeongguk said breathlessly, and then he threaded his fingers through Jimin’s hair at the back of his neck, snaking his other arm around the elder’s waist. “You feel good, baby?”

“S-So good,” Jimin breathed. “You feel amazing. Fuck, I love you.”

Jeongguk pulled Jimin in closer, their chests pressed together, and Jimin lifted himself up and lowered back down as Jeongguk smoothly thrusted upward. They found a steady rhythm that suited both of them, neither one saying a word, because they didn’t have to. The only sounds in the room were the sounds of heavy breathing and skin on skin, maybe an occasional moan or breathless curse word. They weren’t just having sex now. They were full on making love just like Jimin had wanted. It was blissfully intimate in a way Jeongguk had never experienced before, and he and Jimin had fucked countless times in the past months. This was so different.

“G-Gonna cum,” Jimin stuttered out, still rolling his hips steadily and using Jeongguk’s cock to find his own prostate again and again. “Fuck, I’m gonna cum. D-Don’t touch, don’t touch, don’t touch. Oh my God, I’m gonna—Jeongguk-ah.”

Jeongguk snapped his hips upward once, and Jimin let out a strangled cry, his entire body shuddering and then stilling as he came, splattering all up his abdomen and onto Jeongguk as well, his whimpers becoming increasingly louder as his orgasm washed over him. Most of the time Jeongguk needed to do more to cum himself, but seeing Jimin’s face when he came—his flushed cheeks, his sweaty hair caught in his long eyelashes, his closed eyes, his mouth slightly parted, his brow a bit furrowed, his head falling back—was enough. Jeongguk dug his fingernails into Jimin’s skin and grabbed Jimin’s shoulder with his teeth, and he thrusted harder and deeper as he came, filling Jimin up to the brim, gasping as he came down from the high.

“…Made a mess.”

“Don’t we always?” Jeongguk panted with a short laugh, picking his head up off Jimin’s shoulder. Perfectly content still sitting on Jeongguk’s cock, Jimin lifted his trembling hands and touched Jeongguk’s face, an exhausted, fucked out, blissful smile on his lips.

“I love you so fucking much.”

“I know.” Jeongguk pressed his lips to Jimin’s. “I love you, too.”

“Just—Just kiss me.”

Jeongguk obeyed, wrapped his arms around Jimin and kissing him silly. There was sweat and cum and a mess of sheets, but neither of them paid any mind to it. Still kissing him, Jeongguk lifted Jimin off the bed, still inside him, and carried him straight to the bathroom, feeling Jimin laugh against his mouth at all the cum dripping down his thighs.

“You really want me to move in with you?” Jimin whispered as Jeongguk set him in the shower.

“More than anything in the world.” Jeongguk kissed him again and then cranked on the water for the tub, letting it run hot before turning on the shower. Jimin wiggled around under the water stream, running his fingers through his hair, and Jeongguk stepped in and pulled the curtain closed.

“Positive?”

“Don’t second guess me,” Jeongguk teased, grabbed washcloth and wetting it, and then wiping Jimin down gently. He reached for some body wash after that, but Jimin stopped him. They stood under the warm stream of water wrapped in each other’s arms, and Jeongguk just closed his eyes and dropped his forehead on Jimin’s shoulder. Jimin inhaled deeply, burying his face in Jeongguk’s neck bodies pressed together, water running in rivers down their naked bodies.

“I can’t believe I found you,” he whispered to Jeongguk. “I’ve never felt anything like this before, Jeongguk-ah. Ever.”

“Mm.” Jeongguk pressed a wet kiss to Jimin’s smooth skin, licking water droplets off his lips afterwards.

“I’m serious,” Jimin softly said. “No one’s… no one’s ever treated me the way you do. I’ve never been… loved this much, you know? It’s changed my entire life.”

“Good.” Jeongguk nuzzled into his neck and breathed deeply. “Good, I hope it has. I hope you never have to go a single fucking day without knowing how much I love you.”

“You mean it?”

“Always. I’m done fucking around, hyung.” Jeongguk lifted his head just a little and pressed a few soft kisses to Jimin’s neck and jawline. “I’m done. I don’t want to play the field anymore. I’m done looking. I want to be with you as long as you’ll have me.”

“Yeah?” Jimin voice cracked a little, betraying his confidence stance in Jeongguk’s arms. “And what if I want you forever? Until I die?”

“That’s fine.”

“And what if… what if you want me forever?”

“Also fine.”

“And what if I want you to suck me off because I’m really horny thinking about being with you for the rest of my life?”

“Baby—” Jeongguk pulled away, pushed his wet hair off his face, and grinned. Jimin’s face split into the same grin, because he could feeling the cheekiness radiating off Jeongguk, especially when the younger dropped to his knees. “I can’t believe you even thought you had to ask.”

Jimin laughed, but it turned into a little breathy moan when Jeongguk took his half-hard cock into his mouth. Jeongguk did as he was told and sucked Jimin off, and it only took about two minutes. Jimin came in his mouth, though not as much as usual because he’d already been through two previous orgasms. Jeongguk was surprised there was even anything left. He then figured maybe it was time to wash off properly, but Jimin just slathered Jeongguk with body wash and “accidentally” paid special attention to his cock. He ended up jerking Jeongguk off hard and fast, casually leaning against the shower wall.

“So when I move in with you, we can do this all the time?” Jimin asked, rinsing the cum off his hand as Jeongguk caught his breath.

“Uh, maybe not all the time,” Jeongguk laughed. “I’m trying to pass law school, you know. Can’t have shower escapades every night.”

“Ah, damn. Okay, I’ll take what I can get,” Jimin joked. “As long as we get to sleep in the same bed.”

“No, you sleep on the couch—ow.” Jeongguk snickered and flinched when Jimin’s hand smacked his wet skin.

“You’ll help me move, right?”

“Of course.”

“And you’ll help me tell Hoseok hyung, right?”

“Right. Although I’m pretty sure Yoongi hyung will just move himself right into your room.”

“That’s what I was thinking. Glad we’re on the same brainwave.”

“Aren’t we usually?”

“At this point, yeah.” Jimin rose up just a little on his toes, fingers to the corner of Jeongguk’s mouth, and kissed him with a smile. Jeongguk nearly melted. He could easily get used to this being a daily occurrence. He kissed Jimin back, never wanting the day to come when he had to give up any of what they had. He gave Jimin one last little kiss, and then he pulled away, a question on tip of his tongue.

“Sweetheart?”

“Yeah?”

“Why… are all of our friends fucking each other?”

 

***

 

FOUR YEARS LATER

 

The applause echoed throughout the hall in a symphony that made Jimin swell with pride as he gripped the edges of the podium with a radiant smile. When he heard a few whistles, he stepped back, then scooted to the side and bowed deeply, filled with gratitude. He bowed again, and then a third final time before he reached over to the podium and grabbed his BrailleNote, the device from which he had been reading his speech.

“Absolutely beautiful,” Shin Hana, the wonderfully kind CEO of the South Korean Federation for the Blind, commended as she took Jimin’s place. “Please, everyone, show your thanks and support once again to our lovely keynote speaker.”

More applause. Jimin took another bow, and a hand touched his arm to hand off his cane. Jimin put the strap of his BrailleNote on his left shoulder and gripped his cane in his right hand, and then he began to make his way down from the stage.

“Tonight’s gala celebrates SKFB providing fifty years of service to South Korea. How lovely to remember that a loss of sight is never a loss of vision,” Hana said, taking a quote directly from Jimin’s speech just moments ago. “A wonderful sentiment. We are so grateful to have heard from such a successful and kind man who had proven to the world that a vision impairment is a magnificent gift and never a setback. Thank you again!”

Jimin hopped down the four stairs, and immediately, patrons of SKFB swarmed, shaking his hand and congratulating him. Jimin bowed profusely, blushing at the praise, pleased with how well his speech had gone. He had practiced it the entire flight from Los Angeles to Seoul, had barely gotten a lick of sleep in his first class seat. Thanks to his tireless preparations, though, his keynote had gone off without a hitch.

But of course, he had also read through the program of events, including the list of donors.

“Won’t you come meet some of our top donors?”

“Ah, well, some of those donors aren’t genuine,” Jimin sighed sadly. “Many donate to put on good appearances. I would be happy to meet with the donors who give with a genuine heart, please. I trust you know the difference.”

“Yes, sir,” the gentleman said, and then he led Jimin straight to an elderly couple where the husband was blind thanks to macular degeneration, and Jimin gave a full ninety-degree bow and thanked them for their monthly donations and constant support. He then worked the room, letting a guide introduce him to several genuine patrons at Jimin’s request. He accepted a bottle of water, thanked everyone who complimented his keynote speech, talked happily about the current state of his life in America.

“Excuse me. Jimin?”

Jimin turned away just slightly from his current conversation when he heard his name without a single honorific attached to it. Perplexed, he excused himself from the happy couple he was chatting with and turned to the voice.

“Yes, may I help you?”

“…Jimin. I-It’s me.”

“I apologize, but a lot of people refer to themselves as ‘me,’ so you’ll need to clarify,” Jimin said lightly, jokingly, maintaining a smile. The man cleared his throat.

“It’s—It’s me. Jihyun. Your… your brother.”

Jimin was suddenly grateful that he had read through the list of patrons ahead of time. Thank fuck he had read his mother and father’s name on the list of top donors, or his twin brother’s presence would have been enough to knock him unconscious to the floor. It was still shocking, but Jimin had enough presence of mind to not show it on his face or to give away that he was mildly (severely) alarmed.

“Right. Hello.” Jimin cleared his throat, and then he bowed just slightly in a show of cold-shoulder respect. “Good to see you again, Jihyun-ssi. What brings you to this charity event?”

“I—Why are you calling me—it’s—I mean, our parents are here,” Jihyun managed to get out. Jimin straightened up, his shoulders relaxing. All of those conversations with Yoongi years ago had been so therapeutic, brainstorming different ways to ruin Jihyun’s perfect life. Now Jimin was calm in the face of a raging storm. “You know they like charity galas.”

“Quite frankly, I know nothing about them. But wonderful of them to participate, I guess,” Jimin said coolly. “And you just chose to tag along?”

“I—well, yeah. Dad’s handing the company over to me when I’m thirty, so of course I’m here,” Jihyun said, still sounding confused and a bit shocked. “I didn’t think you were the keynote speaker.”

“I tend to surprise people.”

“By using a fake name? I saw Jeon Jimin on the program as the keynote speaker and didn’t even think it was you.”

“It’s not a fake name,” Jimin said evenly. “It’s my husband’s family name.”

“Husband’s?” Now Jihyun sounded stunned.

“Yeah. I’m married.” Jimin held up his left hand to show off his ring, wiggling his fingers weakly before dropping the hand. “People in America tend to do that, take their partner’s family name as their own. So I took his.”

“How… How long have you…?”

“Two years.” The happiest two years of my life, after the three years of dating, Jimin thought giddily to himself. “Married for two years now.”

“Oh. Wow. That’s… Wow.”

“What about you? Wife? Husband? Girlfriend? Boyfriend?”

“No,” Jihyun said curtly, and Jimin just shrugged.

“Shame.”

“Yeah, well, I’ve been pretty busy,” Jihyun said, sounding slightly panicked. It had to be like salt in the wound. Here Jimin was with a loving husband and successful relationship, a high-paying job that he enjoyed, and an invitation to be a keynote speaker in his home country in front of people who once shunned him. And what did Jihyun have?

“Still living at home?”

“Yeah, because I’m taking over the company," Jihyun said snappishly. “You didn’t get asked to do it. I did.”

“Damn, I was really hoping I’d get my chance,” Jimin sighed facetiously. “But no, I’m good. I’m a top-rated school counselor and director of a music school, and I’m halfway through my doctorate in psychology. I have a kickass lawyer for a husband and a three-bedroom house in California near the beach. We’re this close to finding a surrogate to have our first child. How about you, Jihyun? You didn’t get ousted and disowned by our parents and left to rot. Surely you have success stories to share with me.”

Jimin had never meant to rub it all in his brother’s face. He had always assumed that he would be able to remain humble in the face of his family. But now, faced with the actual situation, he couldn’t help himself. He couldn’t remain modest. He needed Jihyun to go home with his tail between his legs and tell their mother and father how happy and successful their forgotten son was.

“Why did you change your name?” Jihyun asked in a strained voice, ignoring Jimin’s rambling but letting the way it affected him seem into his tone.

“Because I want nothing to do with my own blood family,” Jimin replied. “Is that so hard to understand? You saw what happened growing up. Or maybe you didn’t. You liked to pretend that I didn’t exist.”

“Yeah, well, you were weird, “Jihyun mumbled. Such a comment would have stung years ago, but now, Jimin was unaffected.

“How weird am I now?”

“Look, do you want to say hi to Mom and Dad or not?” Jihyun asked in exasperation.

“Oh, God, no,” Jimin said with a laugh. “Absolutely not. Give them my best, though. Make sure you tell them about all my achievements.”

“Well, you could just…” Jihyun trailed off, and then he cleared his throat. “Hello. Who are you?”

Jimin felt the strong, sturdy arm around his waist before he heard the voice, and his entire heart swelled.

“I’m his husband. Who are you? Although the way you look, I could probably guess,” Jeongguk said disdainfully.

“Park Jihyun,” Jihyun introduced stiffly, politely.

“Jeon Jeongguk. Can’t say that it’s nice to meet you, but if it’s all the same,” Jeongguk said, and Jimin nudged him. “I suppose your mother and father support the South Korean Federation for the Blind? Kind of them. Do they support because of their son? I can’t imagine they’d do something so nice.”

“They’re patrons of a lot of organizations,” Jihyun said coolly. “Please excuse me. Good to see you again, Jimin.”

“Mm, have a good night,” Jimin said airily, and then he felt Jihyun walk away. The moment he was out of earshot, Jeongguk pounced.

“You’re welcome.”

“What?”

“I came over here with the intent to strangle him with my bare hands. You’re welcome for not committing a crime,” Jeongguk said, and Jimin stifled a laugh. Jeongguk took both of his hands, and then he leaned in and kissed Jimin’s forehead. “He’s nothing like you.”

“We look alike.”

“Not at all. Well, I mean, your face, maybe. But he’s put on a lot more weight than you. Scary amount. Pale, too. Don’t think he sees much sunlight. He looked miserable.”

“Yeah, well, he’s taking over my father’s company when he turns thirty.”

“Thank fuck your family shunned you.”

“Thank fuck yours did, too,” Jimin said with a smile, tilting his chin up as a signal. Jeongguk responded immediately with a kiss. “You know my parents are here.”

“Don’t tell me that.”

“So we should go get some more champagne and you should just guide me around and make sure we don’t talk to any boring adults.”

“Aren’t we adults?”

“I mean the adults who are more adult,” Jimin emphasized, and Jeongguk snickered.

“I can’t believe I married such a dweeb.”

“You’re the one who proposed.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Jeongguk gripped tightly to Jimin’s hand, and Jimin swooned. It had been difficult to persuade Jeongguk into getting on a plane to South Korea, but he had managed, and he didn’t regret it one bit. Being with Jeongguk while he marched around Seoul in his oversized clothes and hat with a camera in his hand to capture all the memories was the greatest gift ever. “I’m taking videos to show to our kids,” he had told Jimin. “So that they know how cool their dad is.”

Jimin let out a heavy sigh as they got their champagne, and Jeongguk noticed.

“Everything okay?”

“Yeah.” Jimin took a sip. “It’s just… weird. Being here.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s not home anymore. I know it’s Seoul and that if I were in Busan I might think differently, but… I don’t know. South Korea just doesn’t feel like home anymore.”

“That’s because we’ve built a life in California,” Jeongguk pointed out gently. “All your happy memories are overseas.”

“You know, if I wanted to be really lame,” Jimin began, taking another sip of champagne, “I could just say that home is wherever you are.”

“Lame, yes. Motivation to have my way with you late tonight? Also yes,” Jeongguk quietly said, and Jimin stifled a laugh. “How long do you have to stay here and mingle? We have a hotel on the top floor. Can’t waste that.”

“Maybe another hour or so,” Jimin said. “Be patient.”

Jeongguk was not. He stuck by Jimin’s side and purposely, but smoothly and kindly, shortened every conversation that Jimin had. In between conversations, he would pull Jimin’s arm and steer clear of any adult male-woman couples that he feared looked like Jimin’s parents, and he had Jimin in stitches from laughing so hard by the time it was nearly ten o’clock.They ducked out together and took a taxi straight to their hotel, Jeongguk’s hands all over Jimin’s legs the entire drive there. They ignored the people in the lobby as they hurried to the elevator, and Jeongguk pushed Jimin up against the wall the entire ride up to the top floor, kissing him like it was the last time they would ever be together.

It took only five minutes for their formal clothes to cover the floor. Jeongguk kept the curtains wide open as moonlight poured into the room, saying he wanted to make sure the entire city of Seoul knew that his husband got fucked well. Jimin could barely make sense of it all, delirious the entire time they had sex, doing nothing to quiet his moans and cries, tripping over his words, trying to comprehend how so many years had gone by and it still felt like the first time every time with Jeongguk.

“Fuck, you were so sexy up there giving that speech. Wanted to just rip your clothes off the entire time you were talking,” Jeongguk growled. Jimin only responded with a moan. “Can’t believe I got to marry you. Fuck, look at you.”

“Jeongguk,” Jimin gasped, his entire body on fire.

“God, I fucking love you,” Jeongguk panted, pressing his body to Jimin’s, their foreheads together. Jimin could feel Jeongguk’s heart pounding, could practically taste the adrenaline on his tongue. If Jimin could have nothing else in his lifetime, he at least wanted to have Jeongguk like this until the day he died. Nothing in the world could possibly ever compare to the way that Jeongguk loved him.

“I love you,” Jimin breathed, eyes falling shut, body thrumming. Like most nights, he thanked the universe that he had made a split decision to walk into Hamilton Social that April night. Fate. Fate had brought Jeongguk to him, and now his life was worth living. Jeongguk covered Jimin’s entire face in kisses, and then found his lips.

“Tell me I’m not the luckiest man alive,” he whispered.

He wasn’t.

Jimin was.