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courtside tango

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The apartment Seokjin and Jungkook share has seen several changes. 

It supposedly has two bedrooms but one was later transformed into Jungkook’s studio. It has gone from barely furnished to a set-up of colorful geometric interiors. There was once a time they slept in a bed that couldn't fit the both of them with Chubbers either at the foot of said bed or between them. Now, the corgi has his own spot in the living room that matches the rest of the furniture.

It’s a Monday morning. 

Almost ten. 

The apartment is empty. 

After a few more minutes, Jungkook pushes the main door open with Chubbers in tow, his pristine grey sweater from this morning now covered in sweat. He takes it off and leaves it on the wood paneled floor, reminding himself to put it in the wash before Seokjin gets home or else he wouldn’t hear the end of it.

Jungkook plops down on the centerpiece of their living room, a tufted aqua blue velvet sofa that would have Seokjin shouting if he catches Jungkook there without taking a shower first. 

Chubbers stays on the floor, sitting on his hind legs. He’s staring at Jungkook who stares back and rolls his eyes.

“If you tell Kim, I won’t get you those gourmet cookies you like so much.” Jungkook threatens. “Come on, he won’t know, right buddy?” Chubbers takes one more moment of hesitancy before running up to Jungkook and jumping on the sofa. He lays down next to Jungkook, big head and bigger ears on Jungkook’s thigh.

Jungkook’s hand automatically goes to the corgi’s head, stroking behind the ears. He fishes his phone from the pocket of his gym shorts. His wallpaper, a photo of him and Seokjin with Chubbers during their college graduation, is barely seen due to the amount of notifications and reminders. His synced Google Calendar with Seokjin takes up more space compared to the work emails and reminders Jungkook has.

“Shit. We forgot to get milk.” Jungkook mutters, scrolling through the notifications without actually clicking on one. Chubbers stiffens and looks up at him, boba ball eyes wide. Jungkook’s hand goes to the corgi’s ears. “Oops. Sorry for cursing, baby.”

Rather than going to the nearest store or even getting groceries delivered, Jungkook Facetimes one of his top contacts. The line connects quickly, and the screen shows a deadpan Taehyung who greets him with, “I’m not your personal assistant.”

“Yes, but you’re Chubbers’ doctor.”

“Okay, and?” 

“It means if we have problems you must come to our rescue.”

Taehyung’s in the clinic, specifically the break room. Jungkook can see steam from Taehyung’s morning tea evaporating in the atmosphere. 

“Did he forget the milk?”

Jimin’s face joins the screen, pushing Taehyung away who gives up and hands the other veterinarian the phone.

“How did you know?” Jungkook asks, squinting at the screen.

“Seokjin said you would. Now, where’s my favorite dog in the world?”

Jungkook grumbles but he does relent, angling the phone downwards so Jimin can see Chubbers.

“Are you going to help or not?” Jungkook lets Chubbers paw at the screen, uncaring that he might end up scratching it. 

“Joon’s doing our groceries today. Seokjin already texted him. He’ll drop it off at your place.” Jimin pauses. “Are you sitting on the couch after your morning run?”

“No.” Jungkook says boredly, all while clearly sitting and leaning on the couch.

“...right.”

Jungkook let’s Jimin gush over Chubbers for a few more minutes before hanging up, nonchalantly replies with a, “Yeah, yeah,” when Jimin threatens him about telling on Jungkook to Seokjin about the couch. 

Right after, he lays down completely with Chubbers on his chest, the corgi dozing off like Jungkook when the buzzer rings. Jungkook laughs at how Chubbers’ ears perk up at the noise. 

“That never gets old, babe.” Jungkook snickers, brushing back the large ears. He gets up the couch, Chubbers jumping down on the floor and settling there while Jungkook goes to the hallway. He buzzes Namjoon up who arrives in exactly three minutes, carrying several canvas bags, no plastic in sight, and a baguette peeking out from the one on his shoulder.

Jungkook steps aside to let Namjoon in who says, “Jungkook if you say—,” the moment Jungkook exclaims, “You’re the best member of the wives club, Joon-hyung!”

“Don’t let Yoongi-hyung hear you say that.”

“So you agree that Yoongi-hyung is the house husband?”

“Didn’t you say the other day that you think it’s Taehyung?”

“I still think it’s Taehyung.”

Namjoon, who has laid down the bags on the dining table, pauses in the middle of looking for the milk. He stares at Jungkook, sighs, and resumes his search. “You’re a very good communicator.”

“Well, it would be embarrassing if I wasn’t seeing as I slaved over my degree for four years.”

Namjoon makes an Ah! sound and pulls out a carton with big blue letters written in front saying, Oat Milk. 

“Do you drink this?” Namjoon asks, already doubting the answer to his own question.

“Kim said it’s good for me.”

“...right.”

“You and Jimin-sshi suit each other perfectly.”

Namjoon doesn’t hang around much longer. He lives down the block in another apartment complex that features a larger space but with smaller windows. Seokjin refuses to live in a place where the sun doesn’t burn Jungkook’s eyelids in the morning while he’s in deep sleep. Namjoon says hello to Chubbers, using the dog’s full name of course, and bids Jungkook goodbye, ignoring Jungkook’s quip of, “I’ll see you at the house husband meeting next weekend!”

House husband jokes aside, Jungkook does have work. As a tenured video editor who mostly works at home (or in cafés), work hours are non-existent, an arrangement that works perfectly for him. 

And Seokjin. 

Or, their life. 

It has long been their life, and less of mine or yours. 

Their daily schedule revolves around Seokjin waking up at the crack of dawn, going to work at the law firm where he has been at for almost two years, Jungkook getting roused by the sun spilling through floor to ceiling windows, and getting breakfast at the nearby bakery after walking Chubbers or playing basketball in the park. Jungkook would have his laptop out working on whatever it is the people in the production company sent him, then around 4:30 in the afternoon, he’d run down their apartment complex with Chubbers, start up the car, and pick Seokjin up from work. The last one doesn’t always happen since for some strange reason Jungkook doesn’t understand, Seokjin likes riding the train back home. Yoongi and Taehyung tease him that it’s to get time away from him, but Jungkook let’s it pass from one ear to the next. 

This isn’t to say their relationship is without flaws. 

Seokjin is a perfectionist but he’s also realistic, and Jungkook is a couch daydreamer but even his head isn’t that far up the clouds. 

There are times when stubbornness or pride wins. Sometimes days can go and the brightly lit apartment feels dark, and yet they are still here.

Still the same person they come home to at the end of the day. Perhaps it’s because of stubbornness and pride too that they’re still together despite their differences; an unending drive to make it work, to prove that they are right for choosing each other.

Thinking deeply isn’t exactly something Jungkook can boast as his best trait. Jungkook can boil the years down to a very simple and surface-level statement: if he could go back in time and do it all over again, there is no one in the world he’d propose to in a grocery aisle with a bottle of ketchup except Seokjin.

Jungkook gets wrapped up editing a promotional video for a popular artist’s music comeback and doing chores or laying down on the floor after a shower playing fetch with Chubbers. At 4:30 in the afternoon, the alarms Jungkook set on his phone rang. 

Chubbers walks ahead towards the door, sitting down and waiting on Jungkook who grabs the car keys and a windbreaker. He attaches the retractable leash on Chubbers’ collar, slips on his running shoes, and exits the apartment. Jungkook’s phone rings again, and instead of it being one of his alarms, it’s a text from Seokjin saying, No need to pick me up today.

Jungkook pouts at the screen. 

“Chubbers-ah, do you think he’s cheating on us? Got another family or something? Blink twice if you think so.”

The corgi, who is really an unreliable source of predictions and judgment, blinks up twice at Jungkook who gasps.

“Come on, let’s wait for Kim downstairs.”

The two end up sitting outside the front steps of their apartment building, the other people who live in the complex saying hi to them, mostly Chubbers, and giving the dog many pets. 

Seokjin appears as soon as the sun begins to set, bathing the street in an orange light. He’s cool and casual in a light brown leather coat, his blue tie peeking at the collar. He’s nonchalantly walking, sipping on a drink that Jungkook knows is iced chamomile with honey syrup. He stops walking, and he stifles a laugh at the sight of Jungkook and Chubbers on the steps waiting for him.

“Why are you both here?” 

Jungkook lets Chubbers go, and the dog immediately runs up to Seokjin who easily swoops the dog up with one arm and to his chest. He joins Jungkook on the steps and lets Chubbers down, holding onto his leash and letting the corgi run around in circles, disturbing walkers who coo at him. 

The cup of iced chamomile is offered to Jungkook before he could even ask. He leans down, sipping the liquid through the green straw, eyes still on Chubbers who is now fascinated over a blue butterfly flying overhead.

“How was your day?” Seokjin asks. 

The simple question reminds Jungkook of how domestic they are.

“Went to the park. Did work. You?”

Seokjin shrugs. “Work.” He whistles and Chubbers comes running, sitting obediently in front of the two. Seokjin’s hand goes up the corgi’s head, scratching the back of his ears.

“Did you embarrass Daddy at the park today?” Seokjin snickers at the immediate groan it gets out of Jungkook.

“I told him to sit and he wouldn’t. The neighborhood kids I play ball with laughed at my face.”

"That's because you need to say his full name."

Jungkook wraps his arm around Seokjin, his hand dangling over the other’s shoulder. They continue watching Chubbers play around, entertaining himself with the world, big brown eyes fascinated over every little thing.

“You’re heavy,” Seokjin grumbles. He heaves his shoulders up, making Jungkook’s arm move with it. 

Jungkook pinches him lightly. “I’m your boyfriend.”

Seokjin snorts. He removes Jungkook’s arm, earning him loud complaints. He links their arms together, the side of his head resting on Jungkook’s shoulder, his hair tickling Jungkook’s neck.

“I’m hungry.”

“I’m your boyfriend, not your maid.”

“You forgot to cook dinner, didn’t you?”

“...yes.” 

Seokjin sighs and angles his head up to look at Jungkook who is already looking back at him. “And you also forgot the milk.”

“Yes. Sorry.” 

The sheepish tone makes Seokjin laugh. He checks his watch, a plain one with a black leather strap. “Food delivery is coming in fifteen minutes.”

“You already ordered?”

“I knew you would forget. That new project you’re working on must be taxing.”

The smile on Jungkook’s face comes up instantly. 

Intensity is overrated anyway. 

Domesticity is better.

“How long do you think I would survive without you?” Jungkook wonders.

“A week.”

“You think so little of me!”

“A week and three days.”

“That’s exactly what I think.”

Seokjin laughs loudly, hitting Jungkook’s arm. “You’ll do fine without me.”

“Fine is lame.”

“It is.”

“It’s better with you around.”

“You’re not too bad yourself, Jeon.”

They wait for takeout to arrive: sushi, sake, and three slices of blueberry cheesecake. They go back up to their apartment; Chubbers in Seokjin’s arms while Jungkook’s own hands carry the plastic bags of food. 

Another person joins them in the elevator ride, a woman dressed in office attire who stands at the side and presses the button to the floor above theirs. Seokjin silently stands still while Jungkook is bent down to be eye level with Chubbers, talking nonsense to the dog, grinning and his nose scrunching, giggles coming out of him at their dog’s reaction to his actions.

Seokjin catches the woman smiling at the sight. They meet eyes, and she nods smally at him. He smiles back. He wonders what she’s thinking about. 

Do they look as happy as he feels to other people?

He hopes so.

They eat the sushi in the living room while a cheesy chick flick movie from Netflix (he’s still sharing an account with Jimin) plays in the background. Jungkook asks Seokjin if Chubbers can eat sushi, in which he gets slapped over the head for. 

Jungkook searches it on Google and excitedly exclaims, “Dogs can eat sushi!”

“Just because they can doesn’t mean they should.”

Seokjin sits on the couch sipping his sake while Jungkook is on the floor painstakingly removing anything that might be bad for Chubbers from his maki roll. He offers it to the corgi who takes one sniff and immediately turns away. Seokjin watches them from the corner of his eyes, holding back his laughter as Jungkook pouts.

“Baby,” Jungkook says in exasperation. “I had such a hard time removing all the cucumbers.” He offers it again to Chubbers who extends his paw and basically slaps Jungkook on the wrist. 

Jungkook lays down on his stomach. He keeps trying to feed the sushi to Chubbers who plainly ignores him. Sighing, Jungkook ends up eating it himself. After he swallows, Chubbers’s ears perk up in interest, now moving closer to Jungkook. 

“Oh, so now you want it?” Jungkook grumbles. He sits up again, picks the dog up, and settles him on his lap. He grabs another maki roll and resumes the process of picking the cucumbers away. He feeds it to Chubbers who doesn’t put up a fight. Jungkook looks up at Seokjin in triumph, the toothy grin on his face contagious enough that Seokjin’s eyeroll is accompanied with a smile on his lips. 

The movie ends. 

Jungkook and Chubbers are both asleep, the fluff ball in Jungkook’s arms while the other has his head thrown back on the edge of the couch, mouth open. 

Seokjin chuckles softly at the sight. He gets up and starts cleaning up, segregating the trash because he’s a good resident, and washing their glass cups by hand. He walks back and forth from the bedroom and bathroom, laying his pajamas out and grabbing a towel. He quickly showers and brushes his teeth. He stares at his reflection in the mirror, his skin pink from the hot water and hair rubbed dry. 

Silence is something Seokjin is intimately familiar with. 

In silence, whether it be in the mornings when he wakes up before the sun is up in the sky or when he’s commuting in a cramped train, he gets to be thankful. He gets to think about his life and how everything led to this, how silence is a placeholder until he’s back to living in the moment. 

Exiting the bathroom, Seokjin walks back to the living room where his phone that was left on the coffee table lights up. Chubbers wakes up and easily jumps away from Jungkook. Seokjin’s hand runs through his fur while the dog passes by him to go to his doggy bed. 

Picking up his phone, he sees that it’s a text from Hoseok.

My calendar alerted me for tomorrow! Happy anniversary to you and Jungkook, Seokjin-ah!

Seokjin types back a thank you. He sends a photo of himself and throws in a peace sign. Hoseok reacts quickly to it with a heart and tells Seokjin he’s excited to meet him next week for their biweekly brunch. 

An anniversary.

Their anniversary.

His and Jungkook’s.

Seokjin places his phone down and stares at his boyfriend of seven years snoozing on the floor. He’ll wake Jungkook up in a few. If he keeps sleeping on the floor like that, he’ll wake up with a stiff neck and Seokjin would never hear the end of his complaints. 

Reaching his hand out, Seokjin runs his hand through Jungkook’s hair. He’s a heavy sleeper so it induces no action from him. Seokjin thinks he grew into his features really well. Tracing his pointer finger down Jungkook’s sharp and humanly impossible jawline, Seokjin couldn’t help but giggle.

The other day, Jungkook fell asleep on the couch with his laptop in front of him. He forgot to eat dinner but made sure Chubbers did. Seokjin was crouching down like this too, watching him snore softly, tired from work and catching up on deadlines. 

It’s safe to say this is the life he always wanted. 

He shakes Jungkook awake with his hand on the other’s shoulder. 

Jungkook’s eyes open, sleep-addled and taking in his surroundings.

“Go take a shower,” Seokjin tells him. “Then come to bed.”

Jungkook lets out a sound between a groan and an affirmation. Seokjin helps him stand up, and he sighs when instead of going to the bathroom, Jungkook sits down on the couch and goes right back to sleep. 

Seokjin clicks his tongue and raises his legs from the ground. He digs his feet on Jungkook’s stomach who whines at the pressure, his wrist wrapping around Seokjin’s ankle and holding it in place on his lap.

“I said go shower.”

Jungkook mumbles something unintelligible. 

Living with Jungkook for six years allows Seokjin to decipher the string of sounds he let out: "Later."

“Are you going to keep sleeping here?”

“Mm.”

“Jungkook, it’s our anniversary in two hours.”

Seokjin squeaks when the hold on his leg tightens and he finds himself laying on his back and staring at the ceiling. Air is knocked out of him as Jungkook drapes himself all over Seokjin; arms around his waist, Jungkook’s head on his chest, and legs holding him down. 

“You’re keeping count?” Jungkook asks.

“Yes, so that when we break up, I know how much I’m suing you for.”

“That’s only for married people.”

Seokjin keeps quiet and doesn’t reply. 

Jungkook turns to face him, chin digging on Seokjin’s sternum. 

“You wanna marry me, Kim?”

Seokjin hopes Jungkook doesn’t hear how his heart starts beating louder against his chest. He moves around until one of his hands are free, allowing him to push back Jungkook’s hair away from his forehead. He wishes he can see what it’s like long, but he’s also the first to bark at Jungkook to get a haircut.

“We can’t get married. There can’t be two Kims in this house. Or Jeons.”

“Or Kim-Jeon. Jeon-Kim?”

“I will punch you in the face if you say that again.”

Jungkook sighs dramatically. “What are we supposed to do?”

Seokjin snorts. “Not get married, obviously.”

A raised brow is what Jungkook gives him. A challenge. Jungkook gets like this about everything; they both do. Two competitive idiots for all the wrong reasons. Or, that’s what Yoongi and Jimin like to say.

“You’re not getting out of taking a shower.” Seokjin tells him instead. “Get up and go to the bathroom.”

Jungkook lets out a drawn-out defeated sigh and finally gets up. Seokjin misses his warmth already. Because he can, Seokjin drags him back down the couch. Jungkook laughs loudly and allows Seokjin to hug him, this time burying his head on Jungkook’s chest and throwing his leg over Jungkook. 

“Kim,” The love he hears in Jungkook’s voice is practically dripping that Seokjin would've barfed if it wasn’t directed to him. “You’re clingy lately.”

Ignoring the observation, Seokjin digs his face deeper into Jungkook’s shirt. “You’re taking a shower.”

“I am. I will. But you’re not exactly letting me.”

“Five minutes.”

“Okay.”

There are kisses being pressed on Seokjin’s forehead. Jungkook is making it harder for Seokjin to let go. Soft, gentle, and really, really, full of love. 

Seokjin wants to pack his bags and go to a weekend spa to let himself remember what it’s like to not adore a person this much. 

With Jungkook on speed dial.

Because he needs to make sure Chubbers is okay.

Jungkook cups his face, a silly smile on his lips, and kisses Seokjin’s nose. His fingers are cold against Seokjin’s warm face because of the air conditioner on full blast.

He absolutely needs to get away. 

Away from moles under bottom lips, sparkly eyes, and his pretty boyfriend who he’s absolutely and positively in love with. 

On the other hand, being away from Jungkook to have a spa trip with Jimin and Hoseok means he’ll come back more in love.

Definitely.

But then he’d have to deal with Hoseok enchanting service crews and flirting with everyone around him while Jimin obsessively checks on his phone to make sure Namjoon hasn’t set their apartment on fire. Taehyung would be upset he wasn’t invited, and when they do invite him, that means he’ll bring Yoongi along. Jimin would get jealous and demand he bring Namjoon too, and Seokjin would be left with no choice but to add Jungkook to the list. 

There’s no escaping each other even in daydreams, it seems. 

“What are you thinking about?”

“We should go on vacation with the rest of the gang.”

“Sounds fun.”

It is. 

Seokjin loves not just Jungkook but all his friends. Their friends, to be exact. His little world has gotten so much bigger without him noticing.

“I’m sleepy, Jeon.”

“I’ll shower after you fall asleep.”

Seokjin pretends to not like that idea. 


Their seventh anniversary falling on a weekend is a blessing. 

Years of being together does bring monotony. They spent their fifth anniversary apart because it was in the middle of Seokjin’s bar exam review. Last year, they booked an AirBnB an hour away from the city and left Chubbers in Jimin and Namjoon’s care. Nothing extravagant, but not that tasteless that they don’t do anything anymore.

Seokjin sleeps in until eleven. He did wake up when Jungkook jumped out of bed, was greeted with, “Happy anniversary, Seokjin,” and a kiss. Seokjin says it back, or he thinks he did, it’s probably unintelligible mumbling that Jungkook heard instead.

He fully gets his bearings at eleven though. He gets out of bed and leaves it be, citing his and Jungkook’s anniversary as an excuse to not clean up obsessively after himself. 

Exiting the bedroom, he comes to find it… clean. Not that it wasn’t before, but living in the same place for years with someone like Jungkook, one can instantly tell the difference. He’s the only one in the apartment. No weekend or special occasion can stop Jungkook from jogging in the park with Chubbers and playing basketball with the neighborhood kids. 

Seokjin makes himself coffee. It’s a machine that only he uses. 

Coffee now, tea later.

A lot of things haven’t changed.

While waiting for the coffee machine to finish preparing his drink, Jungkook comes back. He’s sweaty. Chubbers is walking behind him in tow. 

“What did you do?” Seokjin asks. He’s already moving around and opening cupboards to fill Chubbers’ food bowl.

Jungkook shows off the canvas bag he’s carrying.

“Got you breakfast.”

They end up on the dining table, Seokjin’s steaming coffee mug in front of him while Jungkook peels back the paper wrapping and pushes the croissant to Seokjin. 

“What are we doing today?” Seokjin asks in between bites.

Jungkook’s on his phone typing something out. Seokjin peeks and sees it’s an e-mail. Of course, Jungkook responds to work emails through his phone. Seokjin knows he leaves those Sent from my iPhone placeholders and doesn’t delete them. That’s just how he is. 

“I got tickets to an art exhibit from work.”

Jungkook says it very casually. He’s still on his phone. Seokjin studies him for a while and couldn’t help but let out a chuckle. Jungkook finally looks up, eyebrows raised in question.

“You don’t wanna go?”

“I do. It’s just… we used to go to arcades. Not museums.” Seokjin sips his coffee and places the mug down, the collision between marble and wood releasing a thumping sound in the air. “A lot has changed.”

Jungkook considers it and ends up shrugging. “We can still go to the arcade.”

“I know that,” Seokjin purse his lips and sighs. “You hate museums.”

“You like museums,” Jungkook plainly states. He absentmindedly reaches across the table to hold Seokjin’s hand, slotting his fingers through the spaces between Seokjin’s own. “So we’re going.”

Humans are made to love, Seokjin thinks. 

His independence and self-sufficiency is something he's proud of, but humans are made to love each other.

If they aren’t, then holding hands shouldn’t feel this right. 

“Jungkook.”

 At the mention of his name, Jungkook, who went back to typing on his phone with one hand, gives Seokjin his full attention. 

“Happy anniversary.”

The smile Jungkook gives him is nothing new.

Bright, shows his front teeth, crinkles his eyes and nose.

Depicts everything they feel with one look.

Humans are made to love each other, simply because they are brimming with it. 


The art exhibit is thankfully portraiture and not abstract. The latter is something Seokjin avoids and Jungkook simply doesn’t understand. They leave Chubbers in Jimin and Namjoon’s care on the way to the gallery. 

Jungkook is dressed in a colorful windbreaker and sweats along with expensive sneakers, his camera hanging around his neck. The casualty reminds Seokjin that some things do remain the same. On the other hand, he’s in a brown turtleneck and a billowing softer brown coat. The difference between their styles has him stifling a laugh. They are definitely an open book.

Jungkook focuses on taking photos here and there while Seokjin exerts the effort to read the description written on the side of each art piece catching his interest.

Seokjin automatically smiles every time Jungkook snaps his fingers in his direction. He would look up to the camera directed on him, the shutter goes off, and he would go back to reading. He loosens up enough to link arms with Jungkook, reenacting cliches as they slowly walk through the hallways.

“I never cared about the appeal of pop art,” Seokjin says.

“It’s nice, I guess,” is Jungkook’s nonchalant reply. “Surface level enough for me to get it.”

Younger Seokjin would be appalled that the man he’s walking arm in arm with would say such things. Present him only laughs and even voices out his agreement.

They notice another couple in the museum. One is in all black and leather, head covered by a cap, a facemask obscuring half his face. The other is in all white and shiny black shoes. The white blazer is buttoned halfway, v-line dipping to reveal a black mesh shirt. The one in white is talking to someone who has a staff ID hanging on their neck. They have men in suits surrounding them, complete with in-ears and stern postures. They seem important and high-profile. 

Passing by, they hear talks about buying certain pieces and a private showing. They hear the guy in leather tell the other in white to get whatever his heart desires, prompting Jungkook and Seokjin to pinch each other as a signal.

Once they’re in a significant distance, Jungkook nudges him and says, “Wow.”

“Rich people are built different,” Seokjin plainly states, earning a laugh from Jungkook.

“Imagine going to the supermarket though. Put in the cart whatever you want, darling. My credit card is limitless.” Jungkook says, imitating the stranger's drawl from earlier.

Seokjin laughs loudly, earning him several looks. He apologizes and covers his mouth with his hand, and it only serves to have Jungkook laughing just as loudly.

Clearing his throat, Seokjin takes on a haughty tone. “It doesn’t matter, love. I own the supermarket. Have all the mustards you like.”

They continue their charade, giggling to themselves and ignoring the art pieces on the wall. 

The gallery has an open bar, bottles of wine spotted on every table where people are seated.

They ignore it and head straight to the exit.

There’s a corndog truck at the other end of the street with a flurry of good reviews on Yelp. Sitting under a red and white umbrella on plastic chairs and their corndogs on top of a plastic table is how they find themselves. 

“I’m glad we aren’t like that,” Jungkook suddenly says in the middle of covering his corndog with mustard.

“You’re glad we’re poor?” 

They laugh again, unmindful of their noise that blends in with the rest of the customers. The paper cup filled with vanilla cola and ice that Seokjin was sipping on wetting his palm and fingers. 

Instead of sitting on the chair across Jungkook, Seokjin drags it and settles right next to the other, body leaning closer to his boyfriend than he usually does whenever they're out in public like this.

“Not exactly that.” Jungkook licks his thumb clean of the excess mustard before continuing with his train of thoughts. “I like doing the groceries and walking Chubbers in the park, you know?”

The sun shines brightly in the sky despite the cool weather. Seokjin squints a bit because of it as he stares at Jungkook who this time is intent on dumping the entire bottle of ketchup on his corndog.

Softly, Seokjin tells him, “I like it when you pick me up from work. Even when we have to speed up because the tank is close to empty because you forgot to get it filled again.”

Jungkook grins sheepishly and cozies up closer to Seokjin.

“I hate washing the dishes.”

Seokjin snorts. “I know.”

“But it’s fine if I’m washing your plates. You’re always forgetting to eat, especially when work is giving you hell, so it means you didn’t forget and you ate on time.”

Seokjin bites the paper straw of his drink. A thought comes up in his mind of something he never realized and wouldn’t notice due to how normalized it has become.

“It gets on my nerves when you use up all the hot water at night.” 

Jungkook shrugs, unapologetic. He finally takes a bite of his corndog. Unsurprisingly, ketchup and mustard catch on the entire outline of his upper lip. Seokjin takes the tissues on the table and dabs it away while Jungkook chews and swallows. 

“I stay inside the shower with you until you get used to it!” Jungkook exclaims before taking another bite of his corndog.

Seokjin blushes and shushes him. The people in the corndog stand really don't need to hear about that part.

“Besides, we have a shower heater now.” 

They do. Jungkook bought it after receiving his first salary. Thinking back on it, Seokjin remembers how weird he felt that he was in school while Jungkook was earning money. He was the one in charge of paying things around the house, insisting Seokjin focus on law school and that he could pay him back after he gets that big-time lawyer money. 

It’s not exactly that sweet, now that Seokjin is really thinking about it. Jungkook explicitly told him to just repay him with his body, and even though it was a joke, he ended up kicking Jungkook out of their apartment. Jungkook ended up sleeping at Taehyung and Yoongi’s that night. 

Their first year of living together definitely had its up and downs.

Here they are now, eating corndogs on the sidewalk for their seventh anniversary. 

The truck that has been blaring pop music before they arrived does not disappoint. The beginnings of Felt This Way has Jungkook putting his corndog down and hitting Seokjin’s arm with the back of his hand.

“Yeah, yeah, it’s our song.”

Jungkook shakes his head, brows furrowed in disagreement. “No, our song is Best I Ever Had by Drake.”

Seokjin shoots Jungkook a look of disbelief. “I can’t believe you just said that. And if it’s our song, then I should have a say in it.”

“And?”

“And what? I’m not letting you say our song is a Drake song.”

“But it can be a Carly song?”

“Yes, Jeon. It can be.”

Jungkook picks up his corndog again and resumes eating. Seokjin believes it’s the end of the conversation. Hopes. Of course, it’s not. Jungkook leans closer to him and asks with his manipulative wide eyes, “Deja vu?”

“Just because it’s a J. Cole song doesn’t make it better. That’s not even a love song!”

Jungkook grins and bumps his shoulder with Seokjin. “You know the artist though.”

“I’m familiar with your workout playlist. And not by choice.”

They return home all too quickly. 

It’s no bother.

Down to its barest, an anniversary is simply any other day. Nothing different except marking that they’re still together, growing older together; still irritating each other like no one can. 

“Should we pick up Cashmoney Chubbers?” Seokjin asks while removing his coat and hanging it over the couch. 

Jungkook’s already jumping down on said couch and gesturing for Seokjin to join him. Seokjin slaps his hands away but walks around it and sits right on Jungkook’s stomach who only lets out an oof. 

Wrapping his arms around Seokjin’s waist, Jungkook manhandles Seokjin down with him, getting some of Seokjin’s hair in his mouth in the process. Seokjin laughs at him. He gives up under Jungkook’s unrelenting affection, hugging Jungkook back and encircling his arms around Jungkook’s neck.

“Let our baby be.” Jungkook mumbles against Seokjin’s sweater. “We’ll pick him up tomorrow.”

The warm hands going underneath his sweater and settling on the bare skin of his back is too familiar an action that Seokjin is completely unfazed by it. He looks down the top of Jungkook’s head, blowing down the strands that just wouldn’t lay flat.

“Jeon.”

“Kim.”

“I want another dog.”

Jungkook looks up at Seokjin from under him. “Is this the equivalent of straight people asking for another child?”

“I think so?”

Jungkook hums and tightens his hold on Seokjin. “I want a big dog. Like a husky. An athletic one. Chubbers is too listless like you. Sometimes he just watches while I run around the park.”

Seokjin knows that. He goes with them during the weekends. He’d have a book on one hand and Chubbers’ leash on the other while they sit on a park bench and wait for Jungkook to burn off the energy he never seems to run out of.

“What about a golden retriever?”

“Perfect. It’s settled. I want a golden retriever.”

Seokjin’s petting of Jungkook’s hair shifts to pulling on his ear endearingly. He trails off, mumbling to himself, “Another golden baby…”

“Just like me?” 

Seokjin smiles widely. 

What a mundane and stupid conversation they’re having. 

He won’t have it any other way.

“Yeah. Just like you.”

An unrelated thought pops up in Seokjin’s mind. He wants a remote-controlled bluetooth speaker. Moments like these deserve a cheesy pop song playing in the background. He can order one later online and pretend it’s his anniversary gift to Jungkook, just like how Jungkook pretended the year before that the protein shake subscription was for Seokjin. 

“Seokjin.”

His name. It’s still weird hearing it from Jungkook despite being together for so long. It’s one of the things that never fails to give him sparks of love. A reminder that there is a clear line between Jungkook and other people, that Jungkook is his and he’s special. 

Saying each other’s names has such a weighty meaning for them. It’s grounding and exudes security. 

Many people call him by his name, but no one says it like Jungkook does and vice versa. 

He is Jungkook’s Seokjin.

The hold Jungkook has on him impossibly tightens. 

“I love you very much.”

Jungkook is noisy about every little thing. He shouts at the television screen whenever his favorite basketball team loses, and he screams along with Seokjin while they watch horror movies. He’s not embarrassed to talk about how he feels, whether Seokjin would like to hear about them or not. He leaves no stone unturned. He’s a very good and effective communicator. It’s an enviable skill. 

Yet, he rarely tells Seokjin he loves him.

And he doesn’t really need to because Seokjin knows he does.

He says I love you and it’s as if he turned on the lights when Seokjin didn’t even know it was dark.

Jungkook saying his name and telling him he loves him is a knockout. Monotony and domesticity has nothing against it. 

Seokjin finds it hard to say it back every time Jungkook does. Which is weird, considering he’s usually the one telling Jungkook he loves him. In passing, before he falls asleep after a tired day, when Jungkook hands him a towel in the bathroom because he forgot, or something as simple as throwing away the trash. 

So what does Seokjin do? He does what he does best: one up Jungkook.

“I’m glad we’re still together, Jungkook.” Seokjin moves down the couch until they're at eye level. He leans closer and kisses Jungkook with a smile on his lips. “There’s no one I’d rather put up with for the rest of my life.”

The sun goes down, bathing them and the apartment in its orange glow; the most beautiful time of the day.

Seokjin doesn’t know how long they lay there, hands cupping each other’s faces and kissing like the first time they moved in and couldn’t keep their hands off each other. A realization that it’s just them now, and it will be them forward, and it will keep being that way through the best and the worst.

“Do you wanna watch our old vlogs while eating ice cream?” Jungkook asks in the middle of rubbing his nose against Seokjin’s, his eyes closed. 

The sunset is painted right against Jungkook’s eyelids. Seokjin has never seen a prettier sight. He’s glad he has his back from the window so he gets to see this. 

“Okay.”

“Let’s watch my versions.”

Seokjin instinctively scoffs. “You mean your edits with all the rap music?”

“I’m telling you! It’s so much better than your music choice. The transitions hit perfectly.”

No one grates on Seokjin’s nerves more than Jungkook does.

And there is definitely no other person in the world Seokjin is willing to put up with except Jungkook.







—the tango continues, even outside the court