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courtside tango

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Two different reactions immediately form in Jungkook’s mind as he blinks the sleep away from his eyes.

On his hand is his phone vibrating and ringing. 

Someone shouts at him to answer his phone already. It’s probably Yoongi. 

The first thought vanished quickly but it was along the lines of, Why is he calling?

The second one is, He’s calling late.

It’s already seven in the morning. Seokjin calls around five thirty or perhaps six, depending on when his ringtone manages to sneak inside his unconscious and shake him awake.

Without giving it much thought he answers the call, presses it to his ear, and falls back down the bed on his side, free arm dangling on the edge. 


He heard the sound of a hitching breath. 

With his eyes closed like this, Jungkook can easily picture Seokjin with hair on the precipice of drying (it must be dry already, it’s already seven after all), a mug of tea covering half his face, and wide eyes. 

“I wasn’t sure what time to wake you.”

Jungkook recalls his schedule for today. It’s Friday, which means that their first class starts at ten. He still has three hours left.

“You don’t have to wake me, Kim. I’m already back in school.”

If he wasn’t so sleepy, Jungkook would add something like, We had dinner last night with your roommate. I’m pretty sure you know I’m back.


Jungkook, despite his mental facilities working half than usual and the silence lulling him to a semblance of REM, speaks again. “You okay?”

He hears laughter, a defensive tone lacing it, and Seokjin hurriedly saying, “Yes! I’m sorry. I forgot.” 

Jungkook shifts around the bed. He blindly feels for his other pillow that must be somewhere near his feet. Deeming this a situation that needs his eyesight, he opens his eyes and finds the pillow about to fall on the floor. Sitting up, he takes it, hugs it to his chest, falls back down, and tells Seokjin, “I don’t mind. You can keep calling me up. I’m starting to like waking up early.”

It makes Seokjin laugh. Jungkook doesn’t know what’s funny about it but hearing Seokjin’s unique high-pitched giggles has him smiling too. 

“Next thing I know you’ll be asking for help with studying.”

Now that one Jungkook thinks isn’t happening anytime soon. He mumbles, “Not a chance.” 

“As I expected. By the way, I finished editing our video. I’ll send you the link so you can watch it before I submit.”

“It’s only Friday and you’re already done? I thought we’d film today too.”

Jungkook, for all intents and purposes, is a person who goes where life takes him. He has no explanation for it, doesn’t really want to think deeply about it, but filming their project whether it be through Facetime or in person is something he’s gotten used to. For the first time in a long time, there is nothing in his itinerary that needs him sticking to a schedule. 

Perhaps finding time out of his non-existent schedule to film with Seokjin has kept him grounded. 

“There’s no need to film anything. Besides, I have a lot of studying to do.”

“More studying? We’re in the same major but sometimes I feel like we’re learning different things.”

Once again there is silence. Jungkook’s about to prod Seokjin to speak up, but the next words from the other has him sitting up in bed and eyes blowing wide. 

“Jeon, you are aware our exams begin next week right?”

Jungkook doesn’t really study. He barely remembers their homework. He usually does it the day or literally hours before the deadline. This obliviousness toward academics has worked in his favor for three years straight, so his methods aren’t changing soon. 

Like every student, Jungkook still panics. He should be used to this by now, but it still takes him by surprise. 

Seokjin would give him those exasperated stares of his if he were here and Jungkook would say, This is actually the earliest I’ve remembered there are exams.

He’s a bit torn between celebrating the fact that he has three days left before the exams or outright panicking. 

Jungkook is at least self-aware that this will lead him to cramming. Those three days will pass and he’ll be facing an examination paper with zero knowledge on what is written.

“If you’re worried about the lessons you missed I sent you everything.” Seokjin’s voice snaps him back to reality. 

Maybe it’s time to build good habits.

Without giving it much thought, Jungkook blurts out, “Can we study together?”

“You literally just said a few minutes ago that there is no way you’ll ask for my help.”

“I said study together not help me study.”

“Hm, I guess you did.”

“So… are we?”

“Sure. You can join me and Jimin tomorrow in the library.”

A sigh of relief. Jungkook plops back down the bed. He’s not sleepy anymore thanks to the literal and metaphorical wake up call from Seokjin. 

The thought of studying stresses him more than the act itself, a dreadful feeling of having to eventually do it. 

There’s something about knowing he’ll study with Seokjin that puts him at ease. Seokjin emits such a dependable aura, and Jungkook would like to experience what it’s like basking in it, thank you very much. 

Feeling very satisfied with how quickly he turned the situation around, he says, “You know I’m glad you’re on my side.”

“And you’re kind of useless to me, actually.”

“Hey! I’m trying to be nice! And I’m not useless! I brought you dinner, didn’t I?”

A snort. “You brought me dinner when I missed it in the first place because of you.”

Jungkook pouts. “You said you accepted my apology. And that you understood…” He trails off purposely. 

This specific back-and-forth reminds Jungkook of something he doesn’t want to acknowledge.


“Nine on the dot tomorrow in the library. Bye.”

Except the call doesn't end. Jungkook checks the screen and presses it back against his ear. “Bye?”

“Okay. Bye.”

Seokjin remains on the call. 

“Why are you not hanging up?”

“Because I said bye! You hang up.” Seokjin grumbles at him.

The logic of it is lost in Jungkook so instead of hanging up he says, “No, you hang up.”

“What the hell? Just hang up or I will.”

“That’s exactly what I want you to do.”

“Jeon, why are you making hanging up on the phone so difficult?”

Jungkook cackles. He settles more comfortably in bed, arms behind his head and fingers mindlessly running through his hair. “I’m not hanging up.”

“And why not?”

“Because I don’t want to.”

Victory sounds like Seokjin cursing at him. “This conversation has lasted long enough. Goodbye.”

Seokjin doesn’t hang up. He likes that Seokjin doesn’t disappoint. 

“Just hang up already!” The whining is starting to make its way into Seokjin’s voice. It’s a rare reaction.

Jungkook finally relents. He immediately ends the call, and when his mind pulls up a crystal clear image of how Seokjin looks when he’s dumbfounded, he chortles so loudly a pillow coming from Taehyung’s direction hits him square in the face.

The thing about having a roommate, especially one who you have been with for three years, is whether they are a spontaneous or structured person, you will still become familiar with how they move that when something is up, changes are noticeable. 

Having Seokjin as a roommate, changes are very prominent and distinguishable. He never fails to wake up at 5:30 AM during weekdays and 6:00 AM on weekends. No matter if it’s a holiday, a storm outside coaxing people to stay in bed or an all-nighter, he follows this to a T. 

He does it religiously and without fail, so much that Jimin’s own consciousness has adjusted to it. When they were still freshmen, he would wake up in a daze at the early hours to Seokjin moving around the room doing his morning ritual: meditate, shower, and eat breakfast (toast and tea; coffee later when two hours pass). 

Jimin woke up this morning at 5:45 AM.

There are three odd things about this.

One, it’s a weekend.

Two, Seokjin wakes up at six on weekends.

Three, Seokjin is already awake and showered and rummaging through his closet, throwing clothes on his bed and separating them into different combinations.

He lets it go. It was still too early. 

When Jimin wakes up again, this time with no bleariness and confusion and the sun at least up in the sky already, he passes by Seokjin’s bed where he’s sitting and arranging his bag. 

Jimin bends down to wrap his arms around the other’s neck for a hug, mumbles a “Good morning,” and jumps in the shower. 

After picking out his clothes for their study out in the library, nothing impressive and can even double as sleepwear, it’s when Seokjin is standing in wait for him while he throws in his laptop, printed powerpoints, and worksheets inside his bag, that he finally notices it.

From the casual but new sneakers, dark slacks, green turtleneck, and the obnoxiously fancy black and white patterned pea coat, Seokjin resembles an actor in a dark academia film set in university.

“Woah.” Jimin whistles out. “You don’t need to impress me too much, you know? We go to the library every weekend.”

Seokjin’s reaction confuses him more. Instead of riding with the joke, his face turns red and he’s mumbling, “Is it too much?”

Jimin is quick to shoo Seokjin’s self-consciousness away by walking up to him and encircling an arm around his waist. “No, no! I love it. You look so handsome! I’ll feel super smug walking around campus with you.”

The smugness and pride dies down when they enter the library and make their way toward their usual table where someone is already seated.

The person in question, whose back is on them, turns around just in time as they approach. He stands up and smiles at them warmly. 

Jimin hears Seokjin and the guy greet each other but the initial shock he is experiencing rises every second.

Realization one: the stranger’s clothes suspiciously match with Seokjin except for the different colors and patterns. Still, it meshes well together.

Realization two: the stranger and Seokjin are bickering (something about recording?) but their eyes are both traveling up and down each other’s body in obvious appreciation.

Realization three: the stranger is Jeon Jungkook.

“I can show you our texts! You never said anything about recording you as soon as you enter!” Jungkook complains. 

Or, Jimin thinks that’s what the athlete believes he is doing. To Jimin it sounds like he’s being annoying on purpose. The heart eyes he is shooting Seokjin while his words take on a different tone is not very convincing.

“And what do you want me to do? Go outside and enter the library again? It’s a long walk!” Seokjin shots back.

It is not a long walk. And being Seokjin’s best friend of three years, Jimin knows firsthand that Seokjin has done more burdensome things for people compared to walking out the library and re-entering. 

Standing between them, in his grey sweatpants and grey sweater with their school’s logo proudly stitched on the front, Jimin has never felt so single.

And I have a boyfriend…

Taking it upon himself to quiet them down before the librarian does, he says, “Didn’t expect you at the library this early!” He lilts the end of his sentence for some much needed friendliness since the two seems adamant on pretending they would rather not be here.

Jungkook pauses. He scratches the back of his head and smiles sheepishly at Jimin. “Oh. He didn't tell you? Sorry for intruding.”

See, Jungkook is nice. Jimin is now a hundred percent sure everything is an act. 

Time to get this rolling if I want to win a certain bet.

Grinning, he lays the cheeriness thickly to hide the mischief Jimin knows Seokjin can see through. “He did, no worries. Seokjin is very excited to have you with us today. He even woke up earlier than usual.”

Jungkook blushes. For a second there, Jimin expected him to tease Seokjin about it. He would’ve believed them to still hate each other if he did do that. 

Next to Jungkook, Seokjin resembles a bug with how wide his eyes are and his eyebrows pretty much disappearing up his forehead.

Jimin places his bag on the other side of the table and suggests, “I can record you two entering if you want. It’ll look better.”

Jungkook perks up at the suggestion. “Yes, please. I’m editing this time and I already have a vision in my head.”

Jimin notes that Jungkook brought zero belongings related to studying except for a camera. He hands it to Jimin and tells him to, “Just press that button to record.” He drags Seokjin by the arm and as they walk away, Seokjin turns around and shoots Jimin a look that screams, What the hell?

They saunter back in. This time, all animosity is gone and they resemble two casual friends walking and talking jovially. 

“It doesn’t look real to me.” Jungkook remarks as the three of them rewatch it. He does a good job furrowing his brows and keeping a critical tone. 

Seokjin waits for him to continue explaining. He voiced out earlier how it looks nice and was getting ready to sit down and proceed into what they came in the library for.

“This is our third vlog already. We still act the same way we do as the first one. Others would’ve been more comfortable at this point, you know? I’m just saying that if we’re going for natural, we missed the benchmark completely.” Jungkook explains. 

It makes a lot of sense. People who weren’t close before the project would definitely be more friendly and comfortable shooting now after all the time spent together. Seokjin agrees, and Jimin can see the psychology behind it. 

“I think I should put my arm around you while walking.”

Jimin blinks slowly at Jungkook whose face is blank and professional. Seokjin considers it. Then, he nods. Like that statement was not suspicious at all. 

“Okay, sure. I can act. Jimin, sorry for the trouble.” 

Just like that, they walk away talking between themselves. 

Through the camera screen, Jimin watches them walk in again. 

Except this time around, Jungkook oh-so-casually drapes his arm around Seokjin’s neck, his hand stopping just by Seokjin’s collarbone. Within earshot, you can hear them talking nonsense. To compensate, they move their hands around to give off the idea that an animated conversation is happening. Seokjin takes hold off Jungkook’s hand and pushes it off, the picture perfect scenario of an argument between old friends.

Jimin is at the same time amazed and in disbelief with how obvious and oblivious they are.

Jungkook approves of the shot and they all finally sit down their table.

He really used his authority as director to put his arm around him… I lowkey respect him for that.

Their study session goes better than expected. Jimin honestly thinks Seokjin is having fun with Jungkook around and teaching him. Since he and Seokjin’s concentrations are leagues different, they usually stay quiet and do their own thing. 

There’s a different scene every time Jimin looks away from his own work and at them. 

Jungkook playing games on his phone.

Jungkook watching Seokjin write. Sometimes he would annoy Seokjin by tugging on his sleeve. 

The latest one is Jungkook leaning on Seokjin, arms crossed over his chest, listening intently to what Seokjin is pointing at. He makes eye contact with Jungkook to emphasize a point, and Jungkook looks back, nods, and like clockwork, his gaze would drop down Seokjin’s mouth before going back up.

It’s not like Jimin is judging.

Seokjin snaps his fingers right in front of Jungkook’s face to get his attention. “Do you understand?”

Jungkook wraps his hand around Seokjin’s fingers and holds it tightly. “You’re so rude.”

Okay, Jimin is judging them. He’s very tempted to ask them if he should just leave. 

At the same time, he’s going to have a lot of things to hold against Seokjin when he finally realizes what is going on.

Jimin giggles to himself. He’ll realize it soon. Any day now!

Jimin has no particular opinion regarding grocery shopping. Grocery shopping for the pantry restock in the dorm? He has zero feeling or care about it too. Seokjin on the other hand is someone he cares about a lot. 

Seokjin enjoys the pantry restock a little too much; from inspecting the pantry and writing down trends on what he notices is left or immediately consumed, making the list, budgeting, and the buying process itself; the pantry restock is Seokjin’s little heaven.

Therefore, by extension, it is safe to infer that Jimin has some care about it. 

Ever since Seokjin was made head of the student residences committee, the two of them have been doing the grocery shopping for the pantry together. Three years straight in fact.

“It’s okay, Jiminie. Didn’t you mention you have that big histology exam you need to study for?”

Three years of aching muscles from the number of food, drinks, and other items they needed to buy. They’ve seen the grocery they shop at change from plastic bags to a strictly no plastic policy. The number of items he carried is not a joke. Not to be dramatic but they’ve experienced hell and highwater during certain days.

“But you shouldn’t go alone! Come on, reschedule it. Let the other students starve for a while.”

Jimin returned to the dorms from his first exam of the day, the second one will happen in four hours, ready for an hour long nap and the other three to cram a prelim’s worth of knowledge. 

He didn’t give Seokjin any mind when he first saw him. His roommate was rummaging around his desk, taking this and that. It was only when Jimin saw him shoving items in a brown canvas bag that he asked what Seokjin is up to. 

Seokjin answered. It wasn’t shocking. Jimin is very familiar with that bag. It’s the one Seokjin uses when they do the aforementioned grocery shopping. 

His first reaction was to say he cannot go today with Seokjin who only smiled and said it’s no trouble. 

“Oh. Is that what you’re worried about?” Seokjin is already standing by the door. “Jeon’s coming with me.”

The statement is said so nonchalantly. It sounded like he’s been doing grocery shopping with Jeon Jungkook this entire time and not with Jimin. He’s a bit offended and feeling possessive of his best friend. It doesn’t stop the Oh! moment in his head. 

Seokjin continues standing by the door blinking at him innocently and the corner of his lips upturned in a confused smile. 

Jimin schools his expression and beams. “Be careful, okay? Make him carry everything.” 

It makes Seokjin crack up. “That’s the plan.”

The screen of Jungkook’s phone shows Seokjin's deadpan face up close. It zooms to Seokjin’s right eye, then down his lips just in time for Seokjin to say, “Cut the cameras, Jeon.” 

“Come on, it’s meant to be funny!” Jungkook exclaims. He does stop recording, laughing loudly while he watches the video.

Seokjin was in the middle of talking about grocery and market trends when Jungkook innocently grabs something from the grocery shelf. Seokjin paused and just stood there glaring at him.

“If I catch you one more time putting something unnecessary in the cart I’m leaving you at the checkout counter to pay for everything.”

The toothy grin on Jungkook’s face does not go away, nor does it stop him from placing down the biscuits he was holding atop the packs of honey butter almond. 

A sigh of eternal patience comes out of Seokjin while massaging his temples.

“What, you didn't catch me.” Jungkook argues. “I showed you what I was doing; there’s a difference.”

“Put. It. Back.”

Jungkook ignores him, turning around and walking ahead the aisle of snacks with an increased speed in his steps.

Glaring at the broad back stretched over the pink sweater Jungkook is wearing, Seokjin takes the biscuits and places it back where Jungkook took it from the shelves. 

Seokjin pushes the cart and bears with his companion. 

They weren’t even supposed to be here, in Snack Aisle Two, but Jungkook insisted they go through every single aisle of the grocery store in case they miss anything on the list. 

Seokjin already mentioned twice he knows where to find what he needs and has been shopping here for so long the manager never forgets to give him a special discount every holiday season. 

Jungkook waits for him at the end of the corner and peeks at the cart.

“See you didn't have to get mad. You placed it back anyway.”

Scoffing at the illogical statement, Seokjin pushes the cart past Jungkook and ignores the other's whining when he passes by Snack Aisle Three and Four in favor of going to the freezer section. 

“Go wait outside if you’re going to keep being difficult.” Seokjin snaps at him. He regrets the venom in his voice the moment it slips out. 

Jungkook’s amusement isn’t dettered, and the feeling vanishes as quickly as it manifested. He slows down walking and purposely bumps shoulders with Seokjin, pushing the other and wrapping both his fingers around the handles of the cart.

“Let me be of help.”

Seokjin levels a deadpan look on Jungkook, stopping in front of a backdrop of different types of pancake syrup and crossing his arms in front of his chest. “Your job in the first place was to push the cart.” 

Jungkook ignores him and carries on. He starts going back in the direction of Snack Aisle Four. Seokjin grabs his arm and with a show of strength that surprises Jungkook, starts pulling him the other way. 

“Stop it!” Seokjin hisses at him. He doesn’t let go of Jungkook’s arm even when they are already standing in front of the freezer section. 

Seokjin uses his free hand to open the freezer door, pausing to find where what he’s looking for is. 

Jungkook shakes his head at the concentration Seokjin has, and when he looks up, catches sight of their reflection against the foggy fridge door.

Seokjin’s hand still around his arm while he bends down and reads the labels, Jungkook with his own on the cart rails, and a stupid grin on his face.

There’s an old couple passing by in the same position. Their arms are linked together, the grandfather pushing the cart while the grandmother giggles at them. 

The grandmother doesn't bother lowering her voice when she exclaims, “Young people these days are so affectionate in public.”

“Why is your face so red?” Seokjin asks humorously. He’s standing up again, hand still around Jungkook’s bicep. He moves some items in the cart, making room for the number of Samanco he drops on the tray reserved for freezer goods. “There’s your ice cream. Hopefully this stops you from acting like an overgrown puppy.”

Jungkook nods quietly, which in turn has Seokjin staring at him weirdly. “Well, I have everything on the list. We can film now.”

“Okay.” Jungkook takes his phone and presses the record button.

They remain rooted in the same position.

“Are you okay?”

Seokjin’s fingers digging on his skin to punctuate the question was the last straw.

“Fuck, can you let go?!”

Jungkook’s outburst surprises the both of them. 

Seokjin’s first reaction is to look around and check if anyone is around. Thankfully, they are mostly alone. He does let go of Jungkook and plays off the sudden tense air with a chuckle. 

“Okay, sorry.” The sheepiness in Seokjin’s tone is accompanied with a scratch behind his head. He walks past Jungkook to stand in front of the cart, back on the other and looking far away into the vegetable section.

Jungkook realizes what he has done and is already walking up to Seokjin with apologies on the tip of his tongue. “Hey, sorry, I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to shout.” He takes hold of Seokjin’s wrist, pulling on him so they can face each other. “Here, uh, you can keep holding on to me let’s go.” 

Seokjin’s eyes are narrowed and studying Jungkook silently. Jungkook keeps a hopeful and apologetic demeanor. He tugs on Seokjin again who is standing his ground and refusing to move.

Jungkook turns up the charm and holds his arm out. “Come on, please?” 

The response he gets is predictable and well-deserved, which is Seokjin rolling his eyes and ignoring him. He walks past Jungkook again and starts pushing the cart, mumbling under his breath, “You are so weird.”

“If you don’t link arms with me…” Jungkook trails off in a threatening voice. 

The corners of Seokjin’s mouth lift up at Jungkook’s absurdity. 

Given he still refuses to acknowledge Jungkook’s presence, attention remaining on pushing the cart and making his way to the checkout counter, he doesn't really seem mad.

“I’m going to link arms with you instead.” Jungkook finishes off lamely.

Seokjin stops. Jungkook does as well.

There is something about the too-bright grocery store lighting enhancing Seokjin’s brown eyes, Jungkook thinks, that when the other turns to face him, his irises sparkle. 

A mixture of a scoff and a laugh exit Seokjin’s mouth. “What is wrong with you?”

Jungkook breathes deeply through his nose. Exhaling, he sincerely answers, “I want to walk down this aisle,” He holds his arm up again and pats it with his other hand, “With our arms linked together.”

“You do know your words can be taken in another context?”

The tips of Jungkook’s ears burn. He swallows the embarrassment down. “Yes.”

Seokjin doesn’t hide his reaction anymore and laughs right at Jungkook’s face. “Look, you didn't hurt my feelings. It’s really fine.” 

“Don’t make me get down on one knee here in the condiments aisle.” Jungkook mutters, trying to look serious despite the blush on his cheeks. 

“You wouldn’t.”

“I would.”

“You will?”

The retort catches Jungkook off guard. There is no challenge in Seokjin’s tone but he takes it as such. 

“No, Jeon, stop it—”

The hisses from Seokjin fall on deaf ears as Jungkook walks in front of the cart and stands several inches away from Seokjin. 

Compared to the freezer section, there are some people loitering around the condiment aisle. Middle-aged women, the elderly, and some young adults are starting to get interested in the commotion Jungkook is causing.

Jungkook clears his throat and takes a look around. One would think he is starting to become conscious about his theatrics until he is grabbing a bottle of ketchup and getting down on one knee.

Seokjin is too shocked to move or react.

“Kim Seokjin.”

A squeal and a shout from somewhere near them is heard. “Someone’s proposing in Aisle 29!”

“Will you please stop being stubborn and rely on me from time to time?”

Cheers and more screaming. It didn't even matter that Jungkook is holding out a ketchup bottle to Seokjin whose face rivals the color of said condiment. 

“Say yes or I will!” 

There are phones up in the air recording the moment. Employees are squealing and Seokjin recognizes the manager of the store in the crowd who gasps before sending him two thumbs up in the air.

“Say yes!” The crowd chants. 

“Oh, what the hell— okay, fine. You win Jeon.” Seokjin exclaims. 

Everyone waits with bated breath.


The crowd goes wild and echoes his agreement. Seokjin walks over a triumphant Jungkook whose smile rivals the sun and grabs the proffered ketchup bottle.

“You are going to pay for this.” Seokjin mutters to Jungkook while keeping on a happy smile for their audience who wouldn’t stop clapping and howling. 

Jungkook gets up from the floor and immediately slots their arms together. “You should’ve just agreed in the first place.”

Seokjin rolls his eyes. “Stop being funny.”

The situation is funny though. It reflects on Seokjin whose cheeks are already hurting from holding back doubling over in laughter. 

Jungkook winks at him, high on euphoria and the jostling crowd who has no idea what really is going on. “I like making you laugh, Kim.” 

“You said you were only gonna get groceries, not come back married.” 

Seokjin continues brushing his teeth and frowns at Jimin who is sitting cross-legged on his bed with a mountain of printed lecture notes in front of him.

After demanding Jungkook to carry and arrange all groceries in every dorms’ pantry as punishment for the grocery fiasco, Seokjin comes back to his dorm room and finds Jimin waiting. He relays what has transpired to his roommate while walking all over the room. Seokjin has showered, dressed in his sleeping clothes, and is brushing his teeth while Jimin watches him pace around with judgment in his eyes.

“I want to be the best man!” Jimin shouts after Seokjin disappears in the bathroom again. 

When Seokjin comes back, no more toothbrush and toothpaste hindering him from clapping back, Jimin giggles at the exasperated expression on Seokjin’s face.

“Were you listening when I said he held out a ketchup bottle and the entire store cheered?”

“Yes, and the manager gave you a 29% discount on checkout since it happened in Aisle 29.” 

Seokjin continues standing in the middle of the room with his arms crossed over his chest. “All because I wouldn’t link arms with him, Jimin!”

“Well, now.” Jimin pushes his papers to the side and sprawls on his front, the palms of his hand cradling his chin, bent legs swinging back and forth in the air. “Imagine what he would do if you deny him a kiss. Sell his soul to the devil perhaps?”

Seokjin ignores everything Jimin said and plops down his bed copying Jimin’s stance. “He’s ridiculous.”

“I think someone ridiculous matches you well. If we recall your dating track record, you’ve always been into the boring and studious ones.”

Seokjin is miffed and feels a bit offended. “You liked Hoseok!”

Jimin’s teasing swiftly shifts into cheekiness. “Ah, so you are considering him? Jungkook I mean?”

“I’m not having this conversation with you, Jiminnie. You of all people know how much we dislike each other.”

“I think you’re in a one-sided rivalry with him for all the wrong reasons.”

“Jimin. Please. What you said doesn’t even make sense.”

Sighing, Jimin shrugs his shoulders and takes the stapled paper at the top of the pile next to him. “Alright, alright. What are you going to do for the rest of the night? It’s only seven.”

“I’m waiting for Jeon to finish arranging the groceries, then we’ll meet up in the study area and edit.” 

“And we’re back to talking about Jungkook!”

A pillow hitting Jimin’s face doesn’t silence the cackles coming out of him. 

The study area, as per usual, is empty, so when Seokjin hears footsteps echoing from outside he instantly knows it could be no one else but Jungkook. He tears his eyes away from his laptop where the powerpoint lectures for tomorrow’s exam are opened and toward the door.

Jungkook enters the room carrying a black laptop bag and his phone on one hand.

Seokjin straightens up from where he is sitting on the floor pillow and opens his mouth to ask Jungkook if he made sure to arrange everything properly when the other cuts him off.

The laptop bag is unceremoniously dumped on the wooden study table. Jungkook kicks his shoes to the side and huddles up next to Seokjin, shoving his phone to Seokjin’s face. 

“You need to see this.”

Without leaving room for questions, the video plays and Seokjin recognizes the two people on the screen.

The video is tastefully edited, eye-catching and the type of thing you pause to watch while scrolling through social media. The people on screen are in an amusement park and wearing matching animal ear headbands. The music is cheery and fits the atmosphere. Their clothes match too, fitting the color grading tones used for the post-processing. They go through several rides while eating every typical food one can find in an amusement park: milkshakes, cotton candy, fries, and caramel apples. The video ends showcasing the city skyline at the top of a ferris wheel while the two wish the viewers a good week.

They finish watching the video, all fifteen minutes of it, and when the screen turns dark, their scrunched-up faces reflect on the screen of Jungkook’s phone.

“What was that?” Seokjin turns to Jungkook in question and would probably grab him by the collar to shake him if he wasn’t in too much shock.

Jungkook closes his phone, lays it down the table, and stares back at Seokjin with an uncharacteristic serious expression on his face. “That is what one of our classmates submitted for the vlog project. Some of them are uploading it on YouTube.”

Seokjin guessed as much, although it doesn't lessen his surprise. “People are taking the project seriously?”

“Not just seriously. Everyone seems to be making real effort with their vlogs. I asked around and some are even planning on taking an out-of-town trip.”

Seokjin groans and his posture falls. He didn’t plan on slacking off with the project, but he admittedly was banking on his fellow classmates to laze around and submit low-quality content, not this grand production of a vlog that makes it appear they are getting paid for it.

Elbowing Jungkook to get his attention, Seokjin asks with a strain in his voice, “Do you have any ideas then?”

“I don’t know.” Jungkook grips his hair in panic. “Wanna go to Japan?”

Seokjin stifles his laughter because, what the fuck, maybe they should go to Japan. “We’ll figure it out, let’s not worry too much. The week is only beginning.”

“We don’t have a choice, Kim. We need to add that video in the vlog.”

“What video?”

“Me proposing to you in the grocery store.”

Seokjin chokes on his spit and is once again too stunned to respond. 

“I forgot to stop recording so I have a video and it’s in a weird angle but I’m sure we can make it work.”

“Are you hearing yourself, Jeon?”

“No, listen. It’s an airtight plan. We can think of it as a storyboard, yeah? We ended up dating because of how much time we spent on the vlogs, we sway the hearts of our professors and they give us good grades, then by the end of it, we break up and our professors will pity us and give us good grades.”

Jungkook’s monologue has Seokjin thinking. 

It does sound like a good plan. 

No, it’s actually brilliant. 

But then again, if he is starting to agree with Jungkook’s crazy schemes, he must really be losing touch with his creative side.

And reality.

“I’m not reenacting an enemies to lovers cliché with you, Jeon!”

“We’ll only be pretending to date!”

“Well, that’s just the icing on the cake, isn’t it?!”

Jungkook sighs and places both his hands down the table. He takes a deep breath in and directs his eyes on Seokjin.

Reminded of what happened in the grocery store, Seokjin is already shaking his head. “You are about to say something stupid and my answer is no.”

“Then it won’t be fake.”


The air conditioner whirs. 

The glare of Seokjin’s open laptop is suddenly blinding.

“What the fuck?” Seokjin croaks out in a whisper.

Jungkook is listing down each of his ideas with his fingers as he speaks. “We can go on a real date. We can watch a movie, eat at a fancy restaurant with pasta, no garlic and potatoes for you, and I don’t know, the arcade? I can try breaking the record on the basketball machine and you can cheer or whatever.” 


“Or an escape room. I went to one with Tae and Yoongi but we only fell asleep. I’m sure you’ll solve it though. What do you think?” 

Seokjin blinks rapidly and repeatedly opens and closes his mouth, unsure of what to say. He thinks those are good ideas, something he would actually enjoy doing even if it wasn’t for the vlog.

Jungkook waits for him to say something.

In all honesty, Seokjin is still processing the part where Jungkook said it doesn’t have to be fake.

“Can we backtrack for a second here? What do you mean not fake?”

Jungkook grumbles. “Not fake, Kim. As in, we’re going on a date?”

“What does that mean?!” Seokjin hates how his voice lilts at the end but there are more important matters at hand. “Are you saying we are going on a date?!”

“Yeah?” It’s Jungkook’s turn to be confused. “Are we on the same page?”

“I don’t think so? All I’m getting here,” Seokjin gestures with his pointer finger going back and forth between him and Jungkook, “Is that you want us to go on a date. For the vlog.”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying? Why are you so confused?” Jungkook catches the offending finger around his hand. “And stop pointing. I swear, you’re so rude.”

“Wait. Pause. I’m serious. I’ll be asking the questions and you are answering.” Seokjin pulls his hand back and scowls at Jungkook who ruffles his own hair in frustration at Seokjin’s continuous interrogation. 

“You want us to go on a date.”


“Watching movies, eating pasta—”

“Yes, no potatoes and garlic for you.”

Warmth rises in Seokjin’s chest every time Jungkook notes to himself Seokjin’s allergies. 

“Going to the arcade and perhaps an escape room.”

“You’re just throwing my words back at me, but yes.”

“It’s for the vlog.”


“Okay.” Seokjin braces himself for what has been giving him a headache in the first place. “Only for the vlog, right? It’s a fake date.”

Jungkook’s brows narrow and he’s raising his hands up in the air and slamming it down the table. “Yes and no! How can it be fake if we do go on a date? Why are you so all up— oh.”

Understanding, whatever that may be, dawns on Jungkook’s face and he is back to toothily grinning at Seokjin. “You thought I meant forealsies?”

Seokjin’s irritation explodes to the point that he couldn't keep it to himself. He hits Jungkook on the arm who has the gall to only laugh. “You are not allowed to laugh! I’ve been asking that since the beginning!”

“You’re the one who was acting like you short-circuited! What else am I supposed to call it?”

“How am I supposed to know the difference?! You should’ve phrased it as a date for the vlog and not you asking me out!”

Seokjin’s still scowling and Jungkook continues bursting into giggles. Deciding to ignore Jungkook, Seokjin turns his body away from the other and back on his laptop. 

To his annoyance, Jungkook leans closer. His hand rests on the floor and behind Seokjin, flat and supporting his weight as he hovers over Seokjin’s side. 

Jungkook rests his chin on Seokjin’s shoulder and despite the two of them being the only occupants in the room, whispers, “Believe me Kim, if I was asking you out, you’d know.” Jungkook chuckles, soft and fleeting, and before he moves away, adds, “And I mean the forealsies kind.”

Seokjin’s ear burns. He stomps on the feeling and his reaction by raising his leg and kicking Jungkook away who kicks him back. 

“Why do you suddenly care about the project anyway?” Seokjin mumbles.

Jungkook hums while he sets his laptop up, unraveling the intricacies of his charger. Compared to Seokjin’s MacBook, Jungkook’s laptop has a pure white keyboard and a black rimmed screen. He obviously uses it more for leisure and entertainment than for school purposes.

“It’s more fun than I thought.”

Seokjin sees it as an opportunity to get back at Jungkook for the... weird teasing he’s been doing. 

“So you agree? I’m fun to be with?”

Jungkook’s bottom lip juts out in thought. He’s still busy entangling the mess that is his charger. “Sure.”

Thinking it’s the end of it and they can go back to doing their work, Seokjin fixes his posture and starts booting up the videos he already transferred from his phone on his laptop.

“If I don’t enjoy spending time with you I wouldn’t be here.” 

Seokjin’s heart drops to his stomach at the simple statement. He glances over at Jungkook who has finished plugging in his charger. His staring must be obvious because Jungkook looks back and raises his brow in question. Jungkook’s lips are pursed, giving Seokjin a view of the mole under his lip that he never noticed. 

“What? What will you complain about this time?” 

Seokjin’s only response is to kick Jungkook under the table again.

If the ceiling of Jimin and Seokjin’s room had a mirror, Seokjin imagines it would show him laying flat on his back with earphones plugged and covering his ears, hands flat on his stomach, and his face blank and stripped of emotions. 

Inwardly, Seokjin is going through emotional turmoil.

Jimin’s still awake, his lampshade open and studying. 

Seokjin has been listening to the same song on loop ever since he went to bed. 

Oh, if it was only an attraction. How come nobody ever felt this way? 

The volume is around 30%, so when Jimin suddenly says, “Stop thinking so hard. You’re distracting me,” Seokjin hears it loud and clear.

Seokjin pauses the music but doesn’t move from his position. 



“I think you’re right.”

“I’m right about a lot of things.” Jimin pushes his glasses up his nose. The sound of papers being turned are coming from his direction along with the tapping of fingers against a laptop keyboard. “Be specific.”

Seokjin glowers at the ceiling. Maybe if he glares enough it would crumble and fall over, burying him along with what he is about to admit.

“I think I like Jeon.”

Jimin tuts at him. “What are you going to do about it?”


“Is he doing anything about it?”

“I don’t think he knows he’s flirting with me.”

Jimin laughs, the sound louder in the semi-dark room compared to when it’s broad daylight. “Will you let him know?”


“Talk to me again when the both of you decide to stop being idiots.”

“Okay. Goodnight, Jimin.”

“Goodnight, Seokjin.”


Kim Seokjin is listening to Felt This Way by Carly Rae JepsenSPOTIFY