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monk fruit

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Seokjin meets his first love and ex-boyfriend Jungkook for the very first time in four years.

They say that as you get older, the lack of reaction to certain situations is because you have probably experienced it too many times that you just get used to it. The novelty of something new can only be experienced once in your life, and attachment to it usually causes hurt that follows you like a ghost.

Kim Seokjin was 19 when he met Jeon Jungkook, and it’s a year after that he got his heart broken for the very first time. Seokjin learns from it; survives, hardens, and becomes a better person. He dates many people, gets another boyfriend after three years, and breaks up with him after a year of being together. 

He hasn’t seen Jungkook in four years, never thought he would see him in a crowded bar that is a thousand miles away from where they met the very first time. In a sea of first year medical students mingling, he saw Jungkook outside the bar with a bottle of beer on one hand and a cigarette on the other. 

(When they were together, Jungkook was only 18. Younger than him but also a second year college student. They were under the same department but in different majors; Seokjin in biology and Jungkook in chemistry. They were in the same class for an entire semester and only spoke a week before it ended. Jungkook is friends with his friends, and they would spend the remaining finals week smoking outside of school and panicking about organic chemistry.

Jungkook stole Seokjin’s earphones from his bag, and their mutual friend Jinsang tells Seokjin that its just how Jungkook is. He obtains the thief’s number, his first ever message to Jungkook a string of curses telling him to give back his earphones. Jungkook says he will when they meet again in the new semester. Seokjin waits for it to roll around, cursing everyday that he let an 18 year old chemistry major with butter fingers take his precious earphones from him.

Jungkook would annoy him from time to time, and on a day wherein Seokjin was particularly bored, he actually made the effort to keep the conversation going only to be pleasantly surprised that despite his kleptomaniac tendencies, Jungkook had a good head on him. They liked the same shows, music, games, and even share the same ideologies. Political stances are everything for college kids like them, so when he adds a rainbow emoticon next to Jungkook’s name, and when he starts smiling stupidly to himself as they talk about Cloud Atlas, Seokjin knew he had a crush.

Seokjin returns a week early to his dormitory to fix his enrollment, and Jungkook agrees to meet with him. The earphones remain an excuse. They watched Oldboy on Seokjin’s brand new MacBook Air, and when Jungkook tells him he has not seen a single Bond film, Seokjin makes him sit through every single one that has Daniel Craig in it. By the time he converted the younger, it was already night time and Jungkook couldn’t leave due to the dorm curfews. They shared Seokjin’s tiny bed, and at around four in the morning, he realizes that Jungkook is still awake. Jungkook who probably had enough of the tension and simply kissed him.

Seokjin realizes what love meant two months after becoming official with Jungkook. Within six months of being high on emotion, Jungkook breaks up with him. Seokjin learns about heartbreak too. He learns what it is like going to class drunk or high or both when the hurt in his chest made itself known too loud. Two weeks after the break up, they sleep together one last time before Jungkook starts dating a girl that Seokjin knew was not just a classmate.)

He fail an entire year’s worth of classes, and Seokjin learns what it is like to be at the lowest point in life. He’s stopped cursing Jungkook at this point. If Jungkook did not break his heart, he wouldn’t have become stronger; wouldn’t have met the best friend of his life Min Yoongi who was a year below them. Jungkook graduates before him, and in his final year, Seokjin starts dating someone again. Not a hookup, not a fuck buddy, and not a one night stand; a real boyfriend. He was sure this time around it would be different. But Heesu is wildly immature, he never understood Seokjin’s references nor did he try to. He doesn’t know how to communicate, and depended on Seokjin more than he should. He would walk out when they fight, even when it’s in the middle of the cinema or the street. Seokjin breaks up with him a year later; that was two months ago. Seokjin walks the stage to get his degree, a paper plaque that represents his hard work. Not even a week passes and he’s already back to learning as a first year again, but this time in medical school. He and Yoongi applied to the same school; somewhere far, far away from everywhere else. They refused to leave each other alone, starting their new life as roommates in an apartment that cost thrice their old separate dorm rooms.

Seokjin and Yoongi’s new classmates decided to go to the infamous bars nearby so that they can all warm up to each other; their first week in medical school is over after all. Everyone will learn sooner or later that drinking is a pastime for people like them. Yoongi told him before they arrived that the others probably just want to get him drunk seeing as Seokjin is the prettiest one in their class, no contest. He’s usually narcissistic, but compared to their alma mater that was situated closer to the countryside, their new classmates are mostly city kids. 

“Shut the fuck up, hyung. We’re from the city too, we just studied in the boondocks. Now we’re city kids actually studying in the city again, and you’re the fairest one of all, be proud because I’ am.” Yoongi’s pep talks calm him down similar as to when he has a Marlboro menthol between his lips. 

Yoongi was right when he said that they were interested in him; so interested that the attention starts making him anxious and he ended up having to excuse himself for a smoke outside the bar. Yoongi has completely left him alone on their table to flirt with someone sitting by the stools. From the looks of it, Seokjin might have to find another place to sleep at tonight. It‘s fine with him since that’s just how Yoongi is. He takes someone home at the start of a semester and never does it again until the new one rolls around the corner. Seokjin can take dozing off at a 24 hour convenience store for one night because that is what bros do.

He exits the bar, feeling a bit conscious at how people’s eyes follow him. That's usually how it is for fresh meat like him. It's like the adult version of when the school organizations bombard freshmen to join them. Seokjin has already considered leaving after a smoke, but one of his classmates ordered another plate of pork barbecue, and that is something Seokjin can get behind staying for. 

He pushes through the crowd, only letting out a breathe of relief when he’s somewhere on the side of the establishment with other people smoking. He places the cigarette stick between his lips, fumbles for Yoongi’s lighter that he uses as a tool for picking up girls and guys alike, and lights up.

The lighter says, “Return to me using your left hand if you want to make out.” Seokjin’s amazed by how many people Yoongi pulled with that trick. He calls it his ‘night out lighters,’ always engraving it to a new lighter when the gas runs outs. He handed it to Seokjin earlier before making his way to his conquest of the night, telling him to use it wisely. Seokjin pulls his phone out to look busy, mindlessly scrolling through his gallery with the brightness on low. 

When the nicotine calms him enough, that’s when Seokjin sees him.

He will recognize those eyes anywhere. He could be on his deathbed with a faulty memory and he’s a hundred percent sure he will know those eyes. 

The very first pair of eyes that looked at Seokjin with love, and the same ones that stared at him blankly while telling him that their relationship was over. The same eyes that roamed all over his body a week after breaking up with him just for one last time. 

Jeon Jungkook is someone you do not forget. 

When they were much younger, Jungkook was on the cusp of filling out his features. He leaned on the side of skinny with short hair always cut sharp and contrasting with his face that was still getting rid of the baby fat. 

The Jungkook standing on the other side of the bar might as well be a stranger to Seokjin because this is not the same person that he thinks of when he is reminiscing and turning their memories over his head. 

This Jungkook has a defined jaw with long hair framing his cheekbones. The tips curl at the end, softening the sharpness of his bone structure. This Jungkook is wearing a charcoal gray shirt, a bottle of beer on his hand and a cigarette on the other, while surrounded by so many people all looking at him. He’s got so many ear piercings; something he always said he wanted to do. Seokjin turns around so fast he gets whiplash. The cigarette between his fingers suddenly felt heavy, and he catches himself trembling. 

Seokjin has not felt a new emotion in five years. He thought seeing ex lovers is bittersweet nostalgia, the feeling he gets whenever he watches Gwen Stefani’s music video for the iconic song Cool. But nostalgia for Seokjin felt like getting hit by a brick over the head and having to remain standing. 

He remembers the first line of the song the way he knows there are four blood groups: “It’s hard to remember how it felt before now I’ve found the love of my life.” Seokjin did not get the memo that bittersweet nostalgia can only be experienced when you have found love again, but when he realized that Heesu was not that for him, the emotion just bounced around in his mind palace not knowing where to go. Seokjin remembers it clearly so suddenly, as if someone is putting a side by side cut of his memories with Heesu and Jungkook. Jungkook who wanted to get a matching astrology tattoo with him, and Heesu who can’t remember that Seokjin is a sagittarius. Jungkook who would not get a reference that he makes only to tell him a few days later, “I binged watch all available seasons of Sherlock, hyung. When I say vatican cameos, you stay put and I’ll kiss you, yeah?” 

He gets too lost in his thoughts that Seokjin doesn’t notice the stranger approaching him until they speak. “Can I borrow a lighter?” 

Seokjin mentally smacks his self, and he hands the stranger Yoongi’s lighter without much thought. Seokjin offers the stranger a small smile, just a quirk of the corner of his lips for a semblance of politeness. He suddenly feels too aware of his lips: the line of his lips that is (was?) Jungkook’s favorite part of him. 

Christ, the kid got hot.

The stranger lights up his cigarette, and Seokjin feels compelled to take out another from his box of menthols to accompany the stranger and soothe his fraying nerves. The stranger lights his cigarette for him, using Yoongi’s lighter, and Seokjin would roll his eyes if he wasn’t suddenly so aware of the environment around him. He hands the lighter back to Seokjin who pockets it inside his jeans. Thank god he wore normal skinny jeans and not the ones that showed off his thighs like Yoongi suggested. Seokjin likes having pockets thank you very much. Besides, his white t-shirt, black jeans, and white chucks get-up still got him free shots and food. Shit, food. Seokjin wants to stuff his mouth full of barbecue and not think about other things. Things like maybe, just maybe, Jungkook is now the hot ex and Seokjin the mess. He really did not need this when he’s a bit tipsy from those Jägerbombs he got after Yoongi left him to fend for himself. 

“Your place or mine?”

It takes Seokjin a few seconds to realize that the question is coming from the lighter borrowing stranger who is looking at him with a raised brow. 


“Isn’t this the part where we are supposed to make out?” He’s smiling, not arrogant but simply amused. Adults attending graduate school doing undergraduate freshman things sure are a different type of breed. 

“I don’t know you..?” Seokjin trails off, but he isn’t drowning in alcohol unlike other times so it instantly clicks. Oh, my god. He’s going to kill Yoongi for this. “No, oh my god, ew-, I mean not you, shit, I’m sorry, but no. Fuck, sorry.” It makes the stranger laugh, his mouth forming into a shape that reminds Seokjin of a box. He is handsome, now that he is looking at him instead of just staring right through him. 

“Hey, it’s okay. For a good minute there I was almost worried you’d just kiss me the moment I return it to you with my left hand.” 

“Right..” Memories of Yoongi doing exactly that flash through his mind. 

“So.. are we both freshmen in medical school or did I just bother a senior?” 

“The former.” Seokjin instantly feels lighter, the conversation providing a good distraction from his subconscious that just won’t let him rest. “Is this the part where I ask if we’re block-mates?” He throws the phrase back at his companion. 

“We’re not. I would definitely remember someone like you if we are,” A puff and a huff makes the guy pause, “I’m Kim Taehyung.”

“Kim Seokjin.” They smoke in silence, the atmosphere between them better than earlier. 

When they finish, they stub out the cigarette on their foot, nothing now to distract them from looking at each other. “Well, I got to go now. I was about to head home.” Taehyung’s tone almost sounds like a question. 

Seokjin doesn’t waste time and says, “I got food waiting for me inside. Nice meeting you, Taehyung.” 

“Pleasure is mine.” With a nod of his head, Taehyung turns around and Seokjin is left alone again. Feeling a bit better, he turns as well and sees that the crowd gathered around Jungkook has dispersed. He lets out a sigh of relief; from what he doesn’t know. 

Maybe it’s just weird for Seokjin that the person who knows him best, besides Yoongi, is someone who he has not talked to in years. 

Walking back inside the bar earns him more stares. He pays them no mind. Barbecue is the goal and after that, well.. maybe he should’ve taken up Taehyung’s offer. He could've crash a bit in wherever they would go then leave before anything happens.

He is instantly spotted by Yoosung, one of his block-mates. “Hey, Seokjin! Food is here!” 

For the second time that night, Seokjin sees him. This time though, Jungkook is looking back. 

It’s through pure willpower that he manages to move his gaze to Yoosung, a smile gracing his lips. He feels a piercing stare on his back as he circles around their table. Why is Jungkook sitting with them? What business does he have with a bunch of freshmen? Seokjin has cut off his ex-boyfriend on social media, but he is aware that Jungkook proceeded to medical school. He just didn’t know that its the same as his and Yoongi’s. It’s just his luck that his spot is right across Jungkook. 

He’s got another guy with him whose eyes also attach to Seokjin, “Yoosung-ah, you have a really handsome classmate right here!” So that’s why. Jungkook leans back on the wooden chair, gulps down beer from the bottle placed in front of him, and Seokjin takes this as a chance to greet the other guy. “Hello, I’m Kim Seokjin. I’m a freshman too.”

“Wow, the freshmen are all so good-looking and polite! I’m Nam Yonghwa, you can count on me when you need anything.” 

The girls on their table ignore Yonghwa and him, all eyes focused on Jungkook. Seokjin takes a stick of barbecue and starts eating because what else is he supposed to do? 

Jungkook places the bottle down, hands circled around his chest. Yonghwa turns to him, “This brat.. aren’t you going to introduce yourself?”



“Jeon Jungkook.”  

For the sake of keeping up appearances, Seokjin nods at him and says, “Nice to meet you.” 

Conversation flows around their table. Seokjin just keeps on eating so that they won’t try talking to him. Jungkook is giving the others clipped responses, earning him worrying glances from Yonghwa. This cold and aloof Jungkook is different from the one he is used to.

“Jungkook-sunbae, our Seokjin actually attended the same university as you during undergrad. Did you know him?” Yoosung asks excitedly. Jungkook tells him that he doesn’t, and Seokjin is thankful but annoyed at the same time. Seokjin lifts his gaze away from the table to the stools and doesn’t see Yoongi or the girl he was chatting up earlier. He’s ate three sticks of barbecue already.

“I’ll just go outside for a smoke break. Ate too much.” Seokjin announces. He could just leave already but he will not. He’ll bury the uncomfortable and awkward feeling until it is Jungkook who leaves. They tell him to go ahead and be careful; Seokjin nods and tries his best to not seem super excited to get away from them. 

Seokjin's back to the spot he was at earlier. He didn’t actually want to smoke, taking out his phone this time to pester Yoongi:


Please hear my pleas.

This is the first and last time I will do this.

I’m going home tonight please do not let me see things I do not want to see.



The owner of said voice is standing right beside him with his hands inside grey joggers. People around them didn’t even try hiding how they ogle.

“Hey.” What else is he supposed to say? Seokjin didn’t want his voice to sound so soft, but it comes out like that. He turns off his phone and puts his hand down. On second thought, maybe he does need a smoke. 

Jungkook’s already lighting one stick up, and Seokjin doesn’t mean to take notice of such a minor detail, but he still smokes the same pack of Marlboro lights that Seokjin used to hate. When they were dating, he would always make Jungkook buy menthols so they could share. He thinks of what Jungkook’s reaction would be like if he finds out that Seokjin can smoke lights now too, courtesy of Yoongi refusing to baby him and buy menthols so they could share that instead. 

The moment he places the cigarette between his lips, Jungkook’s already moving closer to him and lighting Seokjin’s stick. Jungkook sucks on the cigarette perched between his thin lips, and Seokjin hates the way he knows how Jungkook breathes in the nicotine to his lungs. A huff and a puff, a hand through his hair, and a smile directed at Seokjin. Funny how things like this exist in the corners of his mind, waiting to be re-awakened, to remind him of how Jungkook did the same thing at 18. 

“Hope that was okay.” Jungkook says.

“It is. Thanks.”

Seokjin thinks of synergy as the measurement unit of how he close he and another person is. How when he tells Yoongi to meet him for a smoke break after class and there is no need to tell Yoongi a second time; he’s just there with Seokjin’s stick of menthols and his favorite lemon mint candy. Yoongi’s infallibility on knowing what to do when Seokjin is either too drunk or too high to function. Seokjin can reach out a hand during dinner time at a restaurant, whether it be their usual or a new one, and Yoongi knows what condiment to hand him. 

He’s never had that kind of wavelength with Heesu. Seokjin has to tell him things twice, or better yet he will just get ignored over what he says. Seokjin could tell Heesu that one plus one is two and Heesu would say the answer is three just to spite him.

Jungkook is a bit different though. 19 year old Seokjin used to look at Jungkook and sees himself reflected back. Jungkook doesn’t understand him the way Yoongi does because he does not have to; he and Seokjin thought exactly the same way. It wasn’t a connection born out of getting used to each other, but an understanding that only onsets when you and another person are mirror images of one another. They loved each other, beamed the other so brightly they ended up staring right into the sun. When the seeds of hatred and insecurity and doubt blooms, the veins that were wrapped around their necks suffocating their relationship are mirrored too. What the other is they intensify, because that is what happens when you mix what is alike. Jungkook and Seokjin’s inner turmoil swallowed their relationship whole, and it took Seokjin two years before he realized that Jungkook left him because they couldn’t save each other when it is their own hands pulling the other down.

“You want to go home, don’t you?” Jungkook says, breaking their silence. It’s always him who does. 

“Yeah, but my roommate won’t respond. He’s got someone over and I’m supposed to stay out of the way. You know how it is.”

“A roommate? You? Never thought you would get one.”

“Me too. But Yoongi is my best friend, so I tolerate him. He’s as bad as me when it comes to personal boundaries.”  That makes Jungkook chuckle. Oh, he knows how bad it is. Seokjin would start timing him when he was nearing the 24 hour mark allowable to staying in his dorm, giving Jungkook the stink eye and saying with no subtlety that he should leave him alone soon. 

The cigarette on his mouth seems to burn faster than what he’s used to. Seokjin needs to hold on to something to ground himself, and he knows he’ll pass away quicker than most because of his bad habits, but he would grit his teeth through the awkwardness than smoke another. At this point, he really just wants to go back to his bed that he isn’t used too yet, and read shitty poetry he’s got saved on his phone to at least make use of all the misplaced energy tonight has given him.

“I’ll see you around.” Seokjin gives himself a pat on the back because he managed to not make that sound like a question. 

“Where are you gonna go?” Jungkook on the other hand doesn’t read the room. It annoys Seokjin a bit; they both know Jungkook absolutely understands what Seokjin means between the lines, but here he is with his hands in his pockets flexing muscles 18 year old Jungkook did not have and making conversation with a Seokjin who looks exactly the same.

Seokjin lets out a breathy laugh, the one he does when what he actually wants to do is stare off into the distance like there is a hidden camera and say, ‘Are you guys seeing this?’

“I’m not really sure. Probably wait it out by the 7Eleven downstairs the condominium building.”

“Wait, is that where you dorm? The one just across school?”

Seokjin should have known. It's the nicest place in the block; just right across the college and hospital with a 7Eleven, Starbucks, and a few restaurants at the first and second floor lobby. Rent is super expensive for him and Yoongi, so they had to share a room together. “You live there too don’t you?”

Jungkook laughs, and Seokjin notices how he doesn’t cover his mouth when he does anymore. 

“That entire building is occupied by the students of our school. 80% of the time someone is from there, even the professors.”

Seokjin can tell what is coming next, and it’s a sweet gesture really, but what will happen to him when Yoongi hears about it? A scolding, that’s what. Or maybe not, Yoongi encourages him to always make mistakes after all. Something about learning best when life kicks you in the balls for all your wrong decisions. 

“I’ll see you around?” Seokjin repeats it but ends up phrasing it as a question. 

“Is it okay if I join you? I’ve been wanting to leave too.” 

There’s no reason to say no. It’s just Jungkook. Jungkook who was the very first to take Seokjin to bed, the one who would bring him food from home when Seokjin spends his money on something at the start of the week and has to live off noodles for the rest because he’s broke, and god, just it being Jungkook should be enough for him to turn him down.

A voice in his head says, “That was the Jungkook of the past. Why are you acting virginal? You literally had a hoe phase for two years and cried over many other guys. You fell in love again even though it was with an ass named Heesu, and most importantly, the one you love the most is Kim Seokjin. Now, say yes and let him walk you home because we are too pretty to die in these dirty streets.” 

“Okay, sure.”

“Just let me say bye to Yonghwa. Wait for me, please. I promise I’ll be back.” Jungkook’s walking back inside the bar, and Seokjin scowls at his retreating figure. He almost has better shoulders now. Almost. A petty part of him wanted to argue and say, “You told me that before, asshole. Next thing I knew you were dating that Jieun girl you told me not to worry about.” 

Seokjin checks his phone. Still no response from Yoongi. 




Yoongi I’m about to walk home with my ex-boyfriend and maybe sit with him in a too bright convenience store!!!!! Do you know how that sounds???? Like the bad indie movies we put on as background noise Yoongi!!!!!!! 


Of course there is no response. He shouldn’t blame Yoongi for leaving him alone tonight, but it was the other who dragged him here. 

Seokjin’s trying to not count down the time of when Jungkook would come back and they would go home together. They will walk together, talk some more, and quite possibly bring up the question Seokjin wouldn’t know how to answer. He shoos it off his mind. The clock tells him that it’s 2:16 am, five minutes has passed since Jungkook told him to wait. What if he lied? What if he’s not coming back and Seokjin is going to look like the fool who got asked to wait twice by the same person who never came back? God, he will kill Jungkook. He should have. But Jungkook’s not like that. He’s an ass and a bit of a bully but never to Seokjin. Jungkook was that sappy 'mean to everyone but a baby to his baby'  type of boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend. Seokjin needs a smoke, and at this point, not nicotine. 

A honk startles him from his thoughts. There is a black Jeep Wrangler in the middle of the road. People are looking, not at the car, but to see who will step in it. Seokjin doesn’t move from his spot, also curious. His eyes appreciate the car despite not knowing shit about them. He thinks to himself that city kids really are different. Then he sees it. 


A supercut plays in his mind of all the times he accompanied Jungkook to a PC Bang, playing the entire night away while Seokjin watches Buzzfeed Unsolved on the computer next to his. Most of the time he would bring homework with him or his lecture notes to study because unlike Jungkook, Seokjin actually needs to exert effort on his academics.

GCF, ranked Challenger in the League of Legends Korean server

GCF, ranked Grandmaster in Overwatch

GCF, ranked Immortal in DOTA2 

Call of Duty, Fortnite, PUBG, CSGO, Rainbow Siege 6, and more. At one point, Jungkook was one of the top players in Candy Crush on a global leaderboard. He excels in everything, especially games, and Jungkook always use the same in-game name: GCF. 

He feels light-headed as he walk towards the looming car. Everyone’s going to see him get in Jungkook’s chariot of darkness and be whisked away for the night, can already hear the churning of the rumor mill. ‘First year Kim Seokjin and golden boy Jeon Jungkook leaves the bar together in a rush, do they know each other?’ 

Jungkook reaches over to open the door for him, and Seokjin is grateful because he took one look at the handle and knew he would make a fool of himself trying to figure out how to open the damn door. He tries his best to enter the car as gracefully as possible, the steps higher than what he is used to in regular cars. Seokjin and Yoongi both have licenses, and Yoongi is even permitted to drive motorcycles and trucks and whatnot, but neither of them own a car. Five years ago Jungkook didn’t have one too, not even a license. They used to talk about how someday Jungkook will learn to drive and he and Seokjin can go to all the places they wanted to see. 

“Congrats on the car. And getting your license.” Seokjin says. Jungkook looks surprised for a second, only to smile. 

“Thank you,” Jungkook turns on his seat to reach behind Seokjin’s head for the seat belt, “There we go.” And then the car starts moving and Seokjin wonders if it’s too late to say no and go back inside the bar, maybe eat more barbecue. He pulled the move on Seokjin, the move that Seokjin squeals about when he’s reading shoujo manga. The Jungkook in his memories never even bought him flowers, always food or something practical like highlighters. 

The condominium complex isn’t that far away from the bar, it was a ten minute walk at best, so they arrive at their destination in less than five minutes. No words were exchanged between them, Jungkook’s eyes on the empty road and Seokjin’s outside the window. Jungkook parks at the basement, the place packed with cars except for one empty spot. Seokjin heard that beside the expensive rent, the parking space cost top dollar as well. The guard on duty doesn’t even stop them, obviously knowing who Jungkook is. 

Jungkook moves the gear shift to reverse, and without saying anything else, puts his arm behind Seokjin’s seat to start parking. Seokjin keeps his eyes on Jungkook’s left hand on the steering wheel because he’s sure that if he looks at Jungkook right now, he will lose it. Call him a simple man, but when guys reverse park and puts their arm behind the seat, Seokjin just wants to give it all up. When he’s done, Jungkook takes a moment to put the gear shift back to drive before shutting the engine off.

“Sorry about that,” Jungkook ruffles Seokjin’s hair, “Too dark to see from the mirrors.” It was a simple thing, a thing even Yoongi does when he’s sheepish or feels overly fond over Seokjin, but this is just unfair. 

“Why are you apologizing? It’s your car.” He mumbles, unbuckling his seat belt. “Yeah, but I might have made you uncomfortable, I don’t know.” 

Seokjin throws caution out the window to stare incredulously at the other. “You’re telling me that after touching my hair?”

“Ah, sorry, hyung. I thought I still have hair touching privilege.” Jungkook looks amused and obviously not sorry at all. This is Jungkook’s charm at full force; something that only he possessed. He gives you a big grin, eyes crinkling into crescents, and you are compelled to let him get away with things. Seokjin is well aware of it, he was a victim to it after all. Who in their right mind would date someone whose first impression was stealing your earphones? 

“You don’t. Only Yoongi can touch my hair now.” Seokjin opens the door, the inside interior at least more normal than the alien handle on the exterior. He waits for Jungkook to exit the car, still grinning to himself. He runs his hands through his hair, the strands still falling stubbornly over his forehead. Seokjin wants to tell him to leave his hair alone, but the voice in his head mocks him about it. Leave his hair alone because it’s annoying how good it looks?

Seokjin’s never been to the parking lot. When he and Yoongi moved in, the moving truck was upstairs and people watched them struggle with their furniture bringing it up to the 14th floor. Seokjin took up the role of apologizing for the inconvenience since Yoongi doesn’t care about stuff like that

“Is Yoongi someone you’re dating?” Jungkook asks him when they get into the elevator. The door closes, and Jungkook presses the button to the roof deck. “Why are we going to the roof deck?” Seokjin ignores the question and presses the button to his floor. 

“Thought you said you can’t go back there right now.”

“Oh. Right. I told you already, Yoongi’s my best friend, we’re not like that. My best friend who is getting his dick wet and has locked me out of the apartment. I was agreeable to it but now I just want to lay down somewhere soft.”  

Jungkook only hums, the unspoken reply materializing in Seokjin’s brain. Jungkook was his best friend once, and they were like that.

The elevator stops at the 14th floor, opening and closing. Feeling awkward about it, Seokjin speaks up, “Where’s your floor at?”

“The 28th.”

The elevator buttons stop at the 27th, and Seokjin realizes that Jungkook meant the penthouse floor because of course, that’s where he will be. 

The roof deck isn’t empty. It's an open-air space with a bunch of plants smack dab in the middle fenced with a granite marble slab forming a rectangle that serves as benches. People are sitting on the slab smoking, some seems to be studying, and there are some leaning through the glass fence separating them from free-falling through the air. 

The two newcomers decide to sit on the farthest end of the slab where it’s just them. It’s where the night lamps are brightest, deterring couples from arguably the best spot in the roof deck. 

Seokjin takes out his cigarette box, fiddling with it. He always smoke too much when he drinks, but the cold air and the nice view would be a good background when he feels the mint on his throat.

“You wanna hit my pen with me?” 

The offer from Jungkook surprises him, but he nods instantly. It hasn’t been a long time since he smoked the good stuff; he woke up yesterday with a fresh bowl on his rose quartz pipe courtesy of Yoongi. Smoking with Jungkook was his first foray into it. One day, he brings a plastic container with space cakes to Seokjin’s dorm and asks the older if he trusts him. Seokjin was 19, young and game for everything. After an hour and a half, he and Jungkook were slow dancing off-beat to Bed Peace as if it was the most romantic song that ever existed, just giggling to each other. That day, Jungkook took so many of his firsts. First time to get high, his first time, becoming Seokjin’s first boyfriend, and hearing the words “I love you” and actually believing it. 

Jungkook fishes the pen from his pocket. It looks just like Yoongi’s, except it's matte black and Yoongi’s is a plain metal one. 

“Do you just carry this with you?” Seokjin asks, taking the pen from Jungkook and hitting it several times before giving it back. Jungkook watches him, his eyelids a bit heavy. “I don’t like drinking heavily anymore.” Jungkook says. Seokjin grumbles a, “True that,” and straightens his back. He has his hands on the slab, stretching his back and neck. He feels the delicious curl of THC in his bloodstream going straight to his brain, and Jungkook is hitting the pen beside him, blowing smoke rings that Seokjin sees disappear into the starless night sky. 

Seokjin closes his eyes to enjoy the quiet both in his brain and surroundings. Jungkook seems to have other ideas.

“I’ll just come out with it,” His voice is so low that Seokjin would not have heard him if it wasn’t for the indica strain helping his mind to focus, “It’s a pleasure to see you again, Seokjin-hyung.” 

He doesn’t say anything, but he struggles to keep himself upright. His legs are starting to feel like jelly, and Seokjin wants.. music. Just so happens that Jungkook has the nicest voice he’s ever heard. It’s unfair really, how he excels in everything. 

Seokjin’s moved on from him so long ago that he only feels nostalgic toward the experiences they shared. The loving, the hurting, and the storm that rained on him for a year. He's been clean of Jungkook for so long. Hell, he's still dealing with his break-up with Heesu who keeps trying to contact him with the most creative ways since he blocked him everywhere on social media. 

Seokjin opens his eyes, and Jungkook’s right there looking at him. Just waiting. He looks at this person, the catalyst for Seokjin to change his life. Jungkook loved him. He loved Seokjin so much that sometimes it drives him to tears  knowing that a person has loved him so much that it hurt. Seokjin is thankful that at least once in his life, even for just a while, he was loved. It was the one thing he was sure about, a hundred percent, even after the break-up: he was loved. And because of that, Seokjin was able to recognize that the love he needed to be unbreakable had to come from himself. 

Without hard feelings, he says, “It’s good to see you too, Jungkookie.”