Namjoon doesn’t have a spontaneity problem. Seriously.
Sure, he’s had long talks with his therapist about how he could probably afford to worry a little less and embrace things as they come, quote, surrender to the uncertainties of life. It’s all about trust, his therapist says, trusting that whatever life throws at him, he’ll be able to MacGyver his way through or out of or whatever other direction the situation necessitates.
It’s just that he likes having a plan and knowing what’s gonna happen at any given time. It’s just the kind of thing that inevitably gets drilled into you, when you’ve been working in the capacity of a leader for almost eight years. The way stepping out of the car at the airport and making sure he’s counting six heads before they go anywhere is second nature, or the way he’d preferably like to know exactly who they’ll be talking to on the red carpet, and maybe even for how long and —
Maybe he has a small spontaneity problem.
But the important thing is that he’s working on it. In fact, he’s working on it so hard, that when his friend calls him in a panic, babbling about how him and his girlfriend have booked this cabin in Yongpyeong-myeon, but now there’s a family emergency and cancelling last-minute would cost almost more than the price of the stay, and how I think you mentioned you have a few days off, right, is there any way you could possibly take over the booking for us, please, you could do with a getaway, Namjoon doesn’t hesitate, before he says yes.
“You said what?”
“I said yes.”
Jimin stares at him, incredulous.
“I wanted to try and be more spontaneous.”
“You’re gonna hate me for this next one,” Jimin says, amusement seeping into his voice. “But do you have a plan?”
The plan is as follows: they have MAMA on the 6th and the TMAs on the 12th, which leaves them five days in-between that the management has cleared for a deserved few days of rest and relaxation, before all the Christmas buzz really starts up. Ideally, they’d leave on the 7th in the morning, but realistically, they’re only probably gonna head out some time in the afternoon, when they’ve finally managed to drag themselves out of bed, and then drive back on the 11th.
“It’s a good plan,” Jimin says, when Namjoon is done explaining. “I’m down.”
“Yeah,” Jimin agrees. “But wait — what would you have done if I wasn’t?”
“Would’ve taken Seokjin hyung instead. Really romanced him, and all.”
Jimin laughs, slapping him lightly on the chest.
“You’re really lucky I love you.”
There’s no heat behind it with the warmth in Jimin’s eyes as he says it, the gentle brush of his ankles against Namjoon’s as they sit on the couch, and Namjoon can’t help but smile, dopey, when he says —
“Yeah, I am.”
As expected, they only end up driving out in the late afternoon on the 7th.
It was supposed to be just the two of them, but then Namjoon mentioned the trip to his mom, who thankfully didn’t insert herself to their travel plans, but vehemently insisted that they take Monie with them. She’d been all oh, he’d really love running around the woods, don’t you think, the city must get so stressful for him and you’re home so little nowadays, he’s gonna forget what you look like soon, Namjoon-ah, but Namjoon knows that’s just a ploy for his mom to get a 5-day break from the little squirrel-chasing demon, and he can’t blame her.
Monie’s being surprisingly good for now, curiously peering out of the window of the car in the backseat, as the members make a big show of seeing them off — all of the fake tears and hugs and forehead kisses to go around, telling them to, quote, enjoy their honeymoon, lovebirds. They’re not taking much with them — there’s no need to pack for seventy outfit changes, when they’re not gonna be filmed — shoving their backpacks containing the bare necessities for five days in the trunk of the company car. Jimin climbs in the driver’s seat and Namjoon rides shotgun, trying to figure out the navigator, while Jimin humors Taehyung and Jeongguk in their only-semi-jokingly-tearful farewell, which is probably at least half actual tears, because they’re codependent like that. And then they’re off.
It’s not really that long of a drive, because there’s not that much of South Korea to begin with, only 2 hours and a handful of minutes on the highway. Namjoon flicks the radio on, the two of them riding in comfortable silence, watching as they leave Seoul behind, the high-rises and department stores whizzing by as they make their way to the Yeongdong Expressway.
“Your driving is better nowadays,” Namjoon says, teasingly, once they’re cruising on the highway.
“Compared to what?”
“The way you handled the speedbumps, when we were driving to Chuncheon in the summer,” Namjoon says, easily. “I didn’t forget, you know.”
Jimin rolls his eyes.
“How’s your driving again?”
Namjoon chuckles, and Jimin breaks into a smile, too.
“Working on it.”
“Uh-huh,” Jimin says. “For how long, now? Two years? Three? Seven?”
“One day,” Namjoon hums, looking out the window, before glancing over his shoulder to the backseat. Monie seems to have lost interest in what’s happening outside after they had to deny him the joy of sticking his head out the window. He’s been sulky since, curling up on himself in the backseat, instead. “You can drive me around until then.”
“Maybe I should stop,” Jimin muses, playful. “How’s that for incentive?”
“And stop looking this hot at the wheel?” Namjoon asks, teasing. “Shame.”
He slides his hand to Jimin’s thigh, settling just high enough for Jimin to squirm a little on the driver’s seat, swallowing thickly. Namjoon rubs his thumb along the fabric of Jimin’s pants, hiking higher, just testing the waters. Jimin’s eyes flick down and then at him, and Namjoon gives him a small smile, nodding in the direction of the road.
“Eyes on the road, Jimin-ah.”
Jimin seems to refocus, straightening up, hands tightening on the wheel.
“Hands to yourself, then.”
Namjoon laughs, pulling his hand away. Monie whines in the backseat, like he’s upset that he’s the only one, who doesn’t get to have fun. That, or maybe Namjoon’s laughter just woke him up.
“How long, still?”
“Aren’t you supposed to be the one on the GPS?”
Namjoon chuckles. They have a paper map somewhere, too, probably folded up in the glove compartment just to get them to their destination in one piece in case the GPS fails them, but Namjoon settles for poking his finger at the screen, squinting.
“It says fifty minutes.”
“Cool,” Jimin says. “We should probably stop by a store somewhere. Stock up.”
Namjoon hums in agreement. He pulls his phone out of his pocket and types in their destination. The GPS has been temperamental enough as it is, he doesn’t want to risk messing with it more and accidentally managing to, like, shut the car down completely in the middle of the highway or something.
“It says there’s a supermarket in the town, before the cabin.”
“That should work.”
Namjoon nods and makes a new note on his phone for the grocery list.
“Anything specific you want?”
Jimin makes a noise, like he's thinking about it.
“I’m really craving japchae.”
“There’s no food delivery in the woods,” Namjoon reminds him. “We’re gonna have to make it ourselves.”
The supermarket ends up being more of a corner store, one of the few buildings on a quiet street with a post office and a few independent vendors.
They have to leave their car a little further out, because there’s just no parking it in front. Monie perks up, when they open the car door and unbuckle his doggy seatbelt, letting him hop out of the car, sniffing the air curiously. Jimin crouches down to scratch behind the dog’s ears, before clasping the leash on him, much to Monie’s annoyance.
“We’re not in Seoul anymore, Monie.”
“Is that a Wizard of Oz reference?” Namjoon asks, putting on his mask.
“Come on, Dorothy, let’s go.”
The cashier pays them hardly any attention as they walk in Monie in tow. They walk around the store, filling their baskets with the things on the list: vegetables, meats, noodles, microwaveable rice, eggs, sauces, drinks, dog food for Monie and snacks, which they’ll definitely end up eating their way through in the first few days. It’s not a long way from here to the cabin to restock, but they probably end up getting a little carried away, anyway. It’s just that they’re so used to always shopping for seven, but also because they end up choosing lots of local specialties that they haven’t seen in grocery stores in Seoul to try out. They end up leaving the store with two and a half bagfuls of food, more than enough to feed them, probably enough to feed a small nation. They put the bags next to their backpacks in the trunk, a careful game of arranging to avoid the worst of any spills or crushed goods in preparation for all the turns ahead in the winding road to the cabin.
Once they’re back in the car with Monie secured in the backseat, Jimin leans over the center console to press a kiss to Namjoon’s lips. Namjoon returns it with a confused little smile, eyebrows furrowing as Jimin pulls away.
“I don’t know,” Jimin says, shrugging, smile playing on his lips. “Felt like it.”
Namjoon’s smile widens, and he thinks he understands. There’s a pretty low chance of them getting recognized in this town with a population of 3000, mostly consisting of people well into their retirement. With that comes a certain freedom, being out of reach of the peering eyes of the public and the media in Seoul, the rush of it all. They’re able to breathe a little easier, enjoying each other’s company with a little less reservation than they would back home, even if that’s just trading kisses sat in their car in some secluded side-alley in a town they barely know. It’s new, but nice. So nice.
“You good?” Jimin asks. “Ready to go?”
Namjoon nods, smiling.
“Good as long as I got you.”
“You’re the worst,” Jimin says, fond, rolling his eyes, and starts up the car.
The sky is already a dark blue fading into a near black, when they park their car in front of the cabin. It feels a lot later than it is with the way the sun sets so early in the wintertime and the weariness in their bodies from staying up late last night.
Getting inside is less of an operation than Namjoon had thought. They first go to prop the cabin door open using one of the logs left in a pile on the porch, partly to make bringing things in from the car easier and partly to air out the cabin. Namjoon would have been content doing at least a couple runs to bring everything from the car inside — they literally parked right out to the side, just few paces from the steps of the cabin, for that exact reason — but Jimin seems to have other plans, pushing Namjoon aside gently, when they go open the trunk. He reaches for all three plastic bags at once.
“Sure you can handle it?” Namjoon asks, a little concerned, watching Jimin lift all three bags from the trunk, two in one hand and the third one in the other. The last thing they need is Jimin injuring himself pulling a muscle or something, while they’re out in the middle of nowhere. Namjoon tells him as much.
“Pulling a muscle, really?” Jimin asks. “What am I, seventy?”
“I’m just saying —”
“I can handle a few grocery bags, hyung,” Jimin assures, twisting his body, so that Namjoon has better access to his pant pockets. “Can you lock the car, when you’re done grabbing the rest?”
Namjoon nods, fishing the keys out of Jimin’s pocket. Jimin gives him a smile, making his way towards the door of the cabin, wobbling just a little on the porch steps. Namjoon gathers the rest of their belongings from the trunk, throwing one backpack over his shoulder and the other one over the other. With his hands free, he opens the rear door and makes quick work of unclasping Monie’s seatbelt, replacing it with the leash instead.
“Come on,” he says.
Monie eyes him suspiciously, and Namjoon wonders whether he’s ever going to stop feeling like he’s dognapping his own dog. He shivers a little in the cold.
“Mon, come on.”
Namjoon nods towards the ground, and Monie just tilts his head. Why wasn’t this so difficult earlier?
“Oh my god,” Namjoon sighs, gathering the dog in his arms, barely managing to close the rear door and lock the doors with his hands full. “You’re such a baby, you know.”
Monie whines in protest and keeps squirming in his arms all the way from the car to the cabin entrance, where Namjoon finally lets him go. He quickly scutters away, the leash dragging behind him, as he disappears inside. Namjoon pulls the door closed behind him. The last thing they need is Monie changing his mind and deciding to take off on an adventure in the Korean wilderness. He leans down to take his shoes off.
“You look like a tortoise with the backpacks.”
Namjoon chuckles, looking up to find Jimin standing by the entrance to the living room area. He stands up, drops the bags by the door and follows Jimin inside. He can come back for them later.
“I cranked up the heating,” Jimin says, turning to Namjoon. “Joon, when you said cabin, I thought you meant, like, a cottage.”
Namjoon takes in the space with an open kitchen on one side, leading to a sofa, a carpet, a coffee table and a fireplace all next to the big window on the opposite wall. There’s a room directly across from him and the entrance, which he assumes is the bathroom, and a staircase on his left, leading up to the loft with the bed.
“I thought so, too.”
“This is a house,” Jimin says, a hint of wonder to his voice. “We could live here.”
It’s not a huge space — definitely not big enough to house, say, all of the members without feeling like they’re piled on top of each other — but it is modern and cozy with Christmas lights strewn around, slowly warming up with the heating. It’s just the perfect size for the two of them and Monie, currently far too preoccupied with rolling on his back on the carpet to notice them staring.
“Is he supposed to be doing that?” Jimin asks, and Namjoon grimaces.
“Technically, the agreement said no pets.”
Jimin gasps, theatrical, rushing to Monie, who suddenly seems very interested in company, rolling back on his paws and rushing to meet Jimin halfway.
“We’re hiding a trespasser,” he says. “You’re a little criminal, Monie —”
“Please don’t call him that —”
“Yes, you are,” Jimin coos, unfazed, sinking down to his knees to accept Monie’s doggy kisses all over his face. “Don’t worry, precious baby, we won’t tell anyone. Your secret’s safe with us.”
Namjoon rolls his eyes, stepping into the kitchen, washing his hands in the sink using the dish soap (soap’s soap, alright). Jimin seems to have gotten halfway through unpacking, groceries spread around the countertop, and the rest in the fridge, as Namjoon finds, when he peeks in. He goes around opening the different cupboards, finding a few sets of cutlery and basic kitchen necessities, which he’s suddenly really thankful for, because buying any had completely slipped his mind at the store.
Jimin joins him in the kitchen eventually, having left a very smug-looking Monie behind on the couch, cuddled up next to the cushions. Namjoon already knows that it’ll be a headache to make sure they leave no dog hairs behind, but he allows that thought drift to the back of his mind, letting himself be walked back against the counter by Jimin.
“This is nice,” Jimin says. Namjoon lets his arms settle around him, resting at the small of his back.
“This,” Namjoon asks, gesturing between them. “Or the cabin?”
Namjoon chuckles, leaning down to capture Jimin’s lips in a kiss. Between the two of them, Jimin has always been the affectionate one, that much is a given, but Namjoon’s gotten better at not overthinking, and instead, showing affection, when he feels like it. He pulls Jimin a little tighter to himself, cherishing the feeling of Jimin’s body against his, the curve of his lips, as he smiles into the kiss. They kiss slowly for a while, before Namjoon pulls away.
“Any plans for dinner?”
“You’re kissing me, and you’re thinking about dinner?”
Namjoon grins, slotting his thigh between Jimin’s legs, just the slightest bit of friction.
“Actually, I’m thinking about dessert,” he says, tracking his eyes across Jimin’s face, the slightest surprise that flicks across. “But need to get through dinner first. Wouldn’t wanna spoil your appetite.”
Jimin hums, considering. Something Namjoon has always loved about Jimin is how easily he plays along, the way his eyes begin to sparkle, when he realizes what Namjoon is trying to do.
“Can think of a few ways to work up an appetite, you know.”
“I’m sure,” Namjoon says, forcing himself to pull away to not get carried away. “We still need to eat, though.”
Jimin turns to glance over his shoulder. He looks a little conflicted, eyebrows furrowing, as he takes stock of everything that’s out on display, and Namjoon catches on quickly.
“Just cup noodles for tonight?”
Jimin laughs, nodding.
“You got it.”
They start their first full day at the cabin slow, waking up well past noon and settling for just lazing around in the living room, agreeing that thinking about actual food — beyond just eating gummies and chips for breakfast — is a problem for later. They settle into an easy silence, Namjoon reading his book and Jimin doing this and that, sometimes scrolling on his phone, other times playing with Monie or just laying down at the floor, staring up at the ceiling, near constant movement in the corner of Namjoon’s eye. Not that he minds, never does.
“I wanna write a Christmas song.”
Namjoon looks up from his book. Jimin is now stood by the window, staring outside with his nose pressed up against the glass, fogging it up. Namjoon knows he’ll end up squirming in due time, when Jimin inevitably gets bored of what he’s doing and comes climbing onto the couch, nuzzling his cold nose against Namjoon’s warm neck. The thought makes him shiver (for many reasons, honestly), but he doesn’t mention it. Instead —
“A Christmas song?”
Jimin hums in agreement. He doesn’t turn around just yet, still peering outside. There must be something really good happening, because he’s getting on his tiptoes to get a better view, and Namjoon wonders what’s so interesting (hopefully a deer or some other woodland creature, and not, like, Jimin having a staring competition with an axe murderer stood outside, or something). He traces the lines of Jimin’s body against the window, the shape of his hands splayed against the class (definitely leaving behind fingerprints they need to take care of later) and the pink of the backs of his knees. He chuckles a little, and Jimin’s head whips around.
Jimin eyes him suspiciously for a moment, before turning back to the window. Whatever it was, that was happening outside, must be over, because Jimin’s shoulder sag and he turns back around pretty quickly after that. Namjoon sets his book aside on the coffee table, and makes grabby hands at his boyfriend. Jimin comes easily, crossing the few paces between them, plopping down straight on top of Namjoon on the couch, ignoring his grunt of protest like a giggly, human-shaped steamroller. Monie looks up from he’s curled up by the fireplace, trying to figure out what’s the sudden commotion.
“Christmas song,” Jimin says, again, cheek pressed onto Namjoon’s shirt. “Wanna write one.”
“I think you mentioned it.”
Jimin snorts, shaking his head, disbelieving.
“This is like 2016 all over again.”
Namjoon makes a questioning noise, eyebrows furrowing in conclusion, and Jimin uses that as his chance to place his knees on both sides of Namjoon’s hips, boosting himself up until he’s straddling him, the martial arts trained, stupidly acrobatic menace.
“I’m dropping all these hints —,” Jimin says, pointedly. “— and you’re just not getting it. Like 2016.”
Namjoon laughs out, despite himself, just teasing at this point.
“Spell it out for me, baby.”
“I want us to write a Christmas song,” Jimin says. “You and me.”
Namjoon makes a face, somewhere between amusement and doubt.
“Isn’t that kind of sappy?”
“Yeah,” Jimin says, grinning. “That’s kind of the point. I’m sappy, you’re sappy, we’re a match made in sappy heaven —”
“Sappy doesn’t sound like a word anymore.”
Jimin huffs, reaching down to cup Namjoon’s face with cold hands, holding tight and pressing kisses all over his face, making sure to nose at his face in the process, really getting in there just to spite him. Namjoon squirms underneath him, trying to get away.
“Get off, oh my god —”
“I did,” Jimin says, victorious, when he pulls away. “Last night.”
“Give me one reason to not push you down.”
Jimin tightens the hold of his thighs on Namjoon’s hips, just in case.
“You love me, next question.”
Namjoon sighs, closing his eyes, and Jimin leans down to press a quick kiss to his lips, and Namjoon lets him. Namjoon knows that’s when Jimin realizes he’s won.
“Anyway, Christmas song,” Jimin says, brightly. “What do you say?”
“Yeah, okay,” Namjoon agrees, relaxing. “Let’s write a Christmas song.”
The members make their presence known in the evening.
They’d pulled the curtains closed a long time ago, notebooks with half-finished lyrics and incomplete melodies cast aside in favor of making out on the couch. Not necessarily with the intention of it going anywhere, honestly (although with the way Jimin is rolling his hips, grinding down deliciously slow, Namjoon wouldn’t be opposed). More just enjoying being able to do this so languidly, tracing the familiar curves of each other’s bodies with busy hands over clothing, and sometimes, slipping underneath, touching warm skin. They both startle a little, when Namjoon’s phone starts vibrating on the coffee table. Namjoon blinks a little dumbly, when Jimin reaches out to check the caller ID.
“We have to pick up,” he says. “They’re gonna think we’re, like, stranded somewhere otherwise.”
Jimin spares one last wistful glance at Namjoon’s lips, before he nods. Sometimes, sacrifices must be made. They rearrange themselves on the couch, sitting down next to each other with their knees pulled up, trying to look as casual as possible, before taking the call. It takes a moment to connect, because there’s only so much the promised extra fast Wi-Fi can deliver in the middle of the forest. Finally, Taehyung’s face pops up on the screen, a little pixelated.
“Hi,” Jimin offers, and it comes out sounding like a question.
Taehyung just stares for a moment, before he speaks.
“You’re not subtle at all.”
For someone, who was sucking a hickey into Namjoon’s neck not more than two minutes ago, Jimin is suddenly very bashful, flushing bright pink. He shoves the phone in Namjoon’s hand and disappears out of frame, faceplanting into a decorative cushion. Namjoon is faring only slightly better, clearing his throat, before he speaks.
“What do you mean?”
“Hyung, are you seriously trying to convince me that you were just sitting a meter apart on that couch, before I called?”
Jimin makes a noise into the cushion, somewhere between a wail and a groan. Pretty impressive, really, conveys nicely how Namjoon feels inside.
“Is it… not working?”
Taehyung makes a noise to confirm.
“Better luck next time,” he says. “Anyway, the obvious lies aside — how’s it going?”
“It’s going really — “
A shout comes from the background, and Namjoon stops. Taehyung turns his head, peering over his shoulder for a moment, and then his face is back on the screen again.
“Jeongguk wants to know if you got eaten by a bear.”
“I don’t think there are bears around here.”
There’s movement behind Taehyung, and then Jeongguk’s face comes up on the screen behind him, leaning over his shoulder, not bothering with a greeting. Instead, he has the nerve to sound disappointed, when he says —
“Don’t get your hopes up, Jeonggukie,” Taehyung says, snorting, reaching to pat at Jeongguk’s head. “The bear could be in their living room, and they wouldn’t notice.”
Jimin makes another pained sound into the cushion. It sounds like make it stop.
“It’s not like we’re here for a wildlife safari,” Namjoon says, defensive, frowning.
“I mean, you’ve definitely been doing something like they do it on the Discovery Channel —”
“Oh, come on —”
“No, seriously, good for you —"
Their banter is interrupted, when Jeongguk stands up, unexpected. Taehyung turns around to look and Jeongguk’s eyes widen, eyes scanning Taehyung’s face, squirming a little under the sudden weight of his gaze. Namjoon rolls his eyes internally, wondering how long until Taehyung catches on to that one.
“Where are you going?”
“Things to do, places to go,” Jeongguk says, vaguely gesturing behind him, which is probably just code for hours of falling down the YouTube rabbit hole. He turns quickly to look at the screen instead. “Hyung, send me bear pics, if you see any.”
Namjoon nods, and Jimin mumbles something into the cushion, which Namjoon can’t quite make out. Jeongguk walks away in the background and Taehyung watches him go, before turning back to the screen with a fond smile, all warm and dopey, and Namjoon thinks, yeah, okay, any time now. Taehyung seems to have gotten enough of the teasing, adjusting his position on the familiar couch back home, before he speaks again.
“How’s the countryside treating you?”
“It’s really good,” he says, and Jimin seems to have gathered enough courage to get up, reappearing in the frame with his hair sticking up a little. Namjoon reaches out to pat it down.
“Cool,” Taehyung says, smiling at Jimin. “Nice of you to join us, Jimin-ah.”
“Shut up,” Jimin grumbles, but he’s smiling back, resting his cheek on Namjoon’s shoulder.
“How’s everything over there?”
“We’re good. Seokjin and Hobi took Yoongi somewhere for dinner, so it’s just me and Jeonggukie tonight.”
Namjoon nods, and Jimin snuggles a little closer. There’s a beat of silence, until Taehyung speaks again.
“How long until you think you’re gonna start missing Seoul again?”
“Give it a few days, probably,” Namjoon says, chuckling, and Jimin agrees. “The quiet definitely takes some getting used to.”
“Missing us already?”
“I’m just saying,” Taehyung says, dodging the question with a teasing glint in his eyes. “If you wanna embrace the full-time hermit lifestyle, I’m totally down to take over your part of the whole rap thing for a while.”
Taehyung nods, unfazed.
“I’ve got some ideas, already,” he says. “So, just — don’t feel like you have to rush back. Take your time. Embrace the wilderness. Rejoice in the love of the dick. All that.”
It’s Namjoon’s turn to groan, now.
“Please never say that again.”
“Rejoice in the love of the dick?”
Apparently, Jimin has recovered enough to start finding the whole thing funny, giggling into Namjoon’s shoulder. It’s infectious, quickly making Namjoon and Taehyung laugh, too, the kind of unbridled laughter that builds up until they’re all bordering on hysterical, doubling over with tears in their eyes and gasping a little for breath, not even really knowing what they’re laughing at anymore. Blame it on the cabin fever.
“Anyway,” Taehyung says, once he’s caught his breath, finally able to complete a sentence without bursting into giggles. “I just wanted to check that you’re still alive.”
“I’ll let you get back to staring at the wall,” Taehyung says, knowingly, still a little breathless, gesturing with his eyes between them on the couch. “Remember to keep the distance. That’s the important part.”
“No less than one meter.”
“And don’t forget the bear pics.”
Namjoon glances to his side, where Jimin is already browsing Naver Image Search for a suitable picture to use, scrolling through pictures of bears, trying to find something that looks even remotely like Korean wilderness. What’s a bit of bending the rules to make Jeongguk happy?
Namjoon leans his head back over the back of the couch, stretching his arms high above his head, groaning. Jimin chuckles in agreement, knocking their knees together. There are probably some qualms to be had with getting right back to making out after finishing a phone call with one of your best friends, but before Namjoon gets to entertain that idea, his stomach grumbles loudly, and Jimin makes sympathetic noise. It’s been hours, since they’ve eaten anything of actual nutritional value and that’s starting to show.
“I mean, I could eat,” Namjoon says, smiling sheepishly. “I wouldn’t refuse food.”
“Same,” Jimin says. “I’m still thinking about the japchae, honestly.”
“You’re still craving that?”
“We bought everything we need, right?” Jimin says. “It can’t be that hard, just noodles, meat and vegetables. I think we should try to make it.”
“I’m pretty sure I last ate a vegetable, like, two days ago.”
“Oh, we’re definitely doing this, then,” Jimin says, standing up and grabbing Namjoon’s hand. “Vitamins and nutrients, good for you. Let’s go.”
Namjoon laughs, letting himself be pulled up from the couch, because for someone pretty small (at least by comparison to him), Jimin sure is strong.
As it turns out, they don’t have everything they need, and when Jimin starts pouting, there’s no amount of light teasing and corny jokes (“I mean, I got everything I need, as long as I got you.”) to save it. Namjoon chuckles a little, wrapping his arms around his boyfriend from behind, hooking his chin over his shoulder. Monie is circling at their feet like a little, fluffy shark, waiting for any bait that they might drop on the floor by accident.
“It’s fine, Jimin.”
“How could we forget?” Jimin insists, staring sadly at the ingredients they’ve laid out on the counter. “We had a list and everything.”
“It happens. It’s not a big deal. We can just use a pack of the regular noodles instead.”
“It’s not gonna be japchae without the glass noodles, though.”
“It’s not gonna be that different, baby. We can make it our own.”
“I guess,” Jimin says, shoulders sagging. “Sorry, I know this is not a big deal —”
Namjoon shakes his head, quickly, turning Jimin around with gentle hands on his hips, grabbing his chin to capture his lips in a kiss.
“Don’t apologize. Ours is gonna be better. We’re gonna make it better.”
Jimin eyes him hesitantly, trying to suppress the small smile tugging on the corners of his lips.
“Say it, Jimin.”
“I just — pretty big talk for someone, who had to have Seokjin hyung show him how to cut carrots the last time he cooked japchae.”
Namjoon makes an indignant noise and teasingly pushing his boyfriend away. Playing it up for the dramatics is well worth it, when Jimin starts giggling.
“It’s fine, Joonie, I still love you, even if —”
“Don’t play the love card, now —”
“You told me to say it!”
“What’s that?” Namjoon asks, grabbing the bag of carrots and stalking to the sink. “Can’t hear you over the sound of preparing these carrots.”
“If you’re on vegetable chopping duty, I’m just gonna drive back Seoul and get us something to eat from home,” Jimin says, playful. “That’s faster.”
Namjoon tries hard to suppress his laughter by focusing on getting a few carrots from the bag and rinsing them under running water. Monie skitters across the kitchen floor between then, wagging his tail.
“I don’t see you helping.”
“I will, I will.”
“You can start with those,” Namjoon says, nodding towards the onions and mushrooms. “This is a team effort, Jimin-ah.”
“More like 80-20, but okay.”
“The insults just keep coming.”
Jimin is still laughing, when he reaches for the mushrooms.
“It’s the truth.”
“New rule,” Namjoon announces, loudly, setting up his chopping board and grabbing a knife from the rack by the sink. “We’re gonna chop in silence. No talking until we’re done.”
It’s about ten seconds of silence, before Jimin starts laughing, singing New Rules by Dua Lipa under his breath, naturally resulting in some painfully vivid flashbacks to American red carpet appearances, and then they just have to put the song on, trying to outsing each other, while focusing on keeping all of their fingers intact.
Everything ends up on the pan, eventually, Jimin taking over the frying, while Namjoon handles the music, queuing all the songs to induce their Cringiest American Memories, just for the way Jimin shudders at each one, bouncing a little on his feet in dramatic anguish, only to one-up him in the next breath.
(“Hyung, remember when —”
“Nope, sorry, can’t remember —”
“You don’t even —"
“My memory is fading —”
“You don’t even know what I’m gonna say.”
“I’ve actually never even been to America,” Namjoon counters, loudly. “It’s nice, though, I’ve heard. Warm. Friendly people. That’s what they say.”
“You’re so dumb.”)
The sauce doesn’t coat the regular noodles as nicely as it does to the glass noodles, sticking together in this weird sort of clump that they try their best to separate. The spinach in their version has shriveled up to these sad, green ribbons that get buried away underneath everything else, and the whole thing tastes a little too much like ginger, not that it matters. By the time they’re done, they’re ravenous enough to start eating straight from the pan, before stopping themselves and plating their food into actual bowls like adults. They even make use of the placemats they find in one of the drawers and settle down to eat, slurping their noodles.
It’s far from a peaceful mealtime with the way Jimin keeps stealing pieces of meat and vegetables from Namjoon’s plate, some ending up in his mouth and the rest snuck underneath the table for Monie.
“Stop stealing my food,” Namjoon says, frowning, but he still pushes the bowl closer to Jimin for better access, when Jimin drops a piece of bell pepper between them.
“Yours tastes nicer.”
“It’s literally all from the same pan. The pan that’s right there, by the way. Help yourself.”
Jimin giggles, shaking his head and stealing a piece of undercooked carrot from Namjoon’s plate to make a point, and Namjoon sighs.
“You’re worse than Monie.”
“Monie eats from the floor, Joon.”
“You’re almost worse than Monie.”
As if on cue, Monie peeks his head from underneath the table, probably in response to hearing his name. Jimin coos and sets his chopsticks down to pet the dog, before grabbing the last piece of beef on his plate and feeding it to him.
“You spoil him too much.”
“He’s just a baby.”
“A spoiled baby.”
“I think we don’t spoil him enough,” Jimin corrects, making kissy faces at Monie.
“He literally slept on the couch for, like, three hours yesterday,” Namjoon points out. “He wouldn’t touch the dog food, because he knows he's having whatever you're having.”
Jimin laughs, and Monie seems to realize that there’s no more food on offer, just their playful bantering, which is not nearly as interesting.
“You’re just jealous you’re not his favorite, anymore.”
“I don’t think I ever was, honestly.”
“My favorite,” Jimin clarifies, smiling, poking his foot at Namjoon’s calf. “My everything else, too.”
Namjoon has always admired the way Jimin comes out with things with such ease, casually dropping into conversation things that Namjoon has to psych himself up for days to say. There’s so much he wants to say now, remarking on the fact that Jimin said everything like everything doesn’t mean, well, everything. It leaves him a little dizzy, thinking about all the things they are. More than that, the fact that being Jimin’s everything is probably the type of catch-all to cover all the things they have yet to be. The kinds of warm future realities Namjoon finds himself thinking about more these days, where there’s a ring on Jimin’s finger and a matching one on his. His tone is soft, when he says —
“You’re mine, too.”
In this reality, Jimin smiles at him sweetly and leans over the table to kiss him, and that’s perfect, too.
Another pause followed by the rustling of sheets.
“Oh, good,” Jimin says, voice drifting into Namjoon’s barely conscious brain. “I thought you’re dead.”
“What the fuck.”
Namjoon groans, throwing an arm across his face. He counts down from ten, allowing his brain to catch up to the unfortunate fact that he’s now awake, probably well before he would have considered getting up, at least if the heaviness of his limbs and the pressure building behind his eyes is anything to go by. When he finally cracks his eyes open, he’s squinting at Jimin.
“Did you stare at me the whole time I slept?”
Jimin grins instead of a reply, reaching out to brush a piece of hair away from Namjoon’s face (the one he didn’t realize was kind of poking him in the eye, but that’s actually a lot better, now). Jimin presses a quick kiss onto the corner of his lips.
“It tends to do that in the winter, Jimin-ah.”
“Snow, Joonie!” Jimin says, gesturing wildly at the window. It’s still dark outside.
“Is there — is the snow, like, getting inside or something?”
He really means is there some kind of emergency that requires me to be awake right now, and if so, can we delegate taking care of it to Yoongi, until he realizes that Yoongi is not here. They’re in a cabin in the middle of the woods.
“What?” Jimin asks, confused. “What, no. The snow is outside. There’s a lot.”
Namjoon stretches, still in that pleasant state of being only sort of awake, where everything is warm and fuzzy around the egdes. He could just surrender to the feeling and let himself be lulled into the sweet embrace of at least a few more hours of sleep. Jimin’s expression softens.
“You’re not very awake, are you?”
Jimin brushes a hand across his cheek and down his jaw and neck, gentle fingers lingering at the hairs at his nape.
“Do you wanna sleep more?”
“Will you mind?”
Jimin shakes his head.
“The snow will be there when I wake up,” Namjoon offers. “I promise, we can go outside and build a snowman —”
“Just promise me, oh, oh.”
Jimin chuckles at his croaky voice.
“Sounds familiar. Wonder, who wrote that song.”
Namjoon laughs, tired, sticking his hand out from the pile of pillows and blankets (he’s pretty sure they’d emptied all of the linen closets making the bed, but comfort), searching until he finds Jimin’s. It’s an awkward angle, but he manages to lock their pinkies together with a smile. The mattress dents as Jimin stands up, letting go only to lean back down to press a kiss onto Namjoon’s forehead. Namjoon welcomes it sleepily, eyes already falling shut.
He doesn’t need to be told twice.
The loft is flooded with significantly more light, when he actually wakes up later, blinking his eyes to find the walls and the floor painted bright with the winter sunlight pouring in.
Waking up to a cold bed is always a disorienting experience, especially since Namjoon is so used to waking up wrapped up in the warmth of his boyfriend (sometimes, Jimin is so insistent about spooning to, quote, share body heat that Namjoon wonders whether he’s aware that their luxury apartment does in fact come with central heating).
It all comes to him slowly, Jimin hovering above him a few hours ago and —
Oh, right. The snow.
He untangles himself from the sheets, throwing his legs over the edge of the bed, sitting up. He searches the floor with his foot for a pair of sweatpants — and maybe a shirt if he’s lucky — that they left lying there last night. He lucks out with both — a sweater and a pair of pants — tugging them on. He wills himself to focus, as he gets to the top of the stairs, blinking his eyes to full focus and grabbing the railing, because the last thing they need is a twisted ankle or broken bones, because he decided to try and make it down the stairs with his eyes only half-open.
It’s eerily quiet downstairs in the living area, the kind where Namjoon wonders, whether Jimin is playing some elaborate practical joke on him, the kind he can tell the a radio host someday, how he left Namjoon sleeping at a cabin in the middle of the forest in Yongpyeong-myeon, while he drove back to Seoul. He’s a little more relieved than he likes to admit, when he hears Monie barking outside, followed by the sound of Jimin’s laughter. There are logs in the fireplace, but the fire seems to have been put out some time ago.
He grabs his coat thrown over the back of the couch and pulls on a beanie by the door, before slipping out to the porch. The cold air hits him like a wall of ice, shivering a little with the sudden change in temperature. His feet feel a little too cold compared to the rest of his body. He tries wiggling his toes in an effort to warm up, looking down to realize that he’s still only wearing socks with his house slippers. He’s definitely not awake enough for this.
Namjoon stands on the porch, blinking at the snow-covered ground and trees, frost covering the windows of the cabin. It’s more snow than he’s seen in years — it never snows like this in Seoul. He smiles, when he spots Jimin a little further out, caught up in a game of fetch with Monie, who doesn’t really seem to be getting the point, more concerned with trying to climb all over Jimin, instead. It’s when Jimin turns to scoop a handful of snow, saying how he’s going to show Monie how to make snowballs and oh, you’re gonna love these, that he spots Namjoon standing by the porch, breaking into a beaming smile.
Jimin jogs across the yard quickly, climbing the porch steps two steps at a time, and Namjoon barely has time to react, before Jimin is jumping into his arms, crashing into him with enough force to knock them back a little. Jimin moves quickly, unwrapping his scarf to throw it around Namjoon’s neck, using it to tug him into a kiss, sweet and a little clumsy with the way they’re still trying to find their footing on the icy porch.
“Good afternoon,” Jimin corrects, pointedly.
It’s now that Namjoon gets a good look at his boyfriend. Jimin looks disheveled with his coat open and snowflakes in his hair, cheeks bright red from the cold. Still, Namjoon suddenly feels a little silly, stood in front of Jimin in his mismatched everything.
“Did you wrestle the Yeti or something?”
Jimin laughs, loud.
“I was showing Monie the snow,” he says. “He’s like a little polar bear. He loves it.”
Namjoon glances over Jimin’s shoulder, watching as Monie chases after the snow sprinkling down from the surrounding trees, trying to catch snowflakes in his mouth. When he looks back, Jimin is grinning at him, bright.
“Nice choice with the shoes,” he says, eyes sparkling. “Socks and sandals.”
“No judgement,” Jimin says, quickly, pulling Namjoon a little closer to himself. “When did you wake up?”
“Like, seven minutes ago. Maybe.”
Jimin hums in acknowledgement, reaching up to pat at Namjoon’s head, and that’s when Namjoon realizes he didn’t even take a look in the mirror, before stepping out.
“You’re still all sleepy, hmm?” Jimin asks, softly, running the pad of his thumb across Namjoon’s stick. “You still have a pillow-crease here.”
“Did you eat something, yet?”
Namjoon shakes his head.
“I came straight out.”
Jimin smiles, pulling Namjoon in for another kiss, sweet and just a little bit hungry, something akin to an unspoken promise to tire Namjoon out all over again later. Namjoon steadies himself with his hands on Jimin’s waist, slipping underneath his jacket, seeking warmth. Jimin squirms, ticklish, pulling away.
“You should probably go put on, like, adult shoes.”
“And eat something, too.”
Namjoon nods, and Jimin steps away, leaving his scarf to hang around Namjoon’s neck.
“Come back quickly, though,” he says. “We gotta teach Monie how to make snowballs.”
“He’s not gonna get it.”
“Not with that attitude.”
“Bet you 15,000 won that he won’t.”
“Game on,” Jimin says, grinning, sending him away with a playful pat on his ass.
He breaks into giggles afterwards, a twinkling sound as he walks back down the porch steps, throwing Namjoon a smile over his shoulder and nodding towards the door as if to say come on, go, and Namjoon knows that’s the easiest melody that’s ever come to him.
Monie doesn’t get it.
“No, Mon, you should roll, see like this, use your snout — no, don’t eat the snow —"
“Pay up, Jimin,” Namjoon says, sitting on the porch steps. “He’s not gonna get it.”
Jimin shoots him an offended glance. If looks could kill, he'd be long gone.
“Have some faith. He’s trying.”
“You’ve been trying for over an hour, baby.”
Jimin huffs, crossing his arms and sinking down to Monie’s level, using his mittens to brush off the snowflakes gathered at the top of Monie’s head. It’s a useless effort with the way Monie flops onto his back instead, wiggling expectantly for Jimin’s belly rubs, which he receives soon enough. Namjoon watches Jimin coo at Monie, shivering a little. Everything feels cold and soaked with the way the snow is melting into their clothing and hair. The air is getting colder, too, with the afternoon already stretching into the evening.
“Do you wanna go inside?” Namjoon asks. “We could run a bath.”
Jimin turns up to look at him and then at Monie. He seems to be debating, and Namjoon knows this isn’t about the money (15,000 won is nothing), but pride. Jimin’s even worse than he is, all wet from rolling around in the snow, and he seems to realize it, too.
Once inside, they make quick work of shedding themselves from the cold and wet clothes, most of them left in heaps on the floor between the entryway and the bathroom door, stripped down only to their boxer briefs. They close themselves in the bathroom, but not before checking on Monie, who seems unbothered enough, flopping down onto the floor in front of the fireplace, enjoying whatever warmth remains from when they’d had the fire going, earlier.
Jimin sits on the edge of the bathtub, while Namjoon turns on the tap. He motions for Namjoon to come closer, pulling Namjoon to himself with a hand around his wrist, and Namjoon goes willingly, fitting himself in the space between Jimin’s thighs. Jimin smiles up at him.
“Are you still cold?” he asks, running his hand down Namjoon’s arms, leaving a trail of goosebumps in his wake, the hairs on his arms standing up.
“A little,” Namjoon admits. “Excited for the tub.”
His toes are still on ice, honestly, shifting his weight from one foot to another gingerly, but he should be okay to get in the tub by the time it has filled without feeling like they’re gonna burn off.
“Me, too,” Jimin says. “Never have time to do this at home.”
They have a bathtub at home in Seoul, too, but rarely the luxury of spending time just soaking, usually opting for a quick shower in the morning or an even quicker one in the evening, bone-deep tiredness wearing them out to the point of almost falling asleep leaning on the cold tile.
“Yeah,” Namjoon agrees, softly, and they both know he’s not just talking about the tub.
Jimin pulls him down, pressing their foreheads together, before puckering his lips. Namjoon chuckles, pressing a kiss onto his boyfriend’s awaiting lips. When he pulls away and stands, Jimin’s eyes are warm, scanning up and down his body. Even after all these years — the close proximity of shared spaces and the rush of the backstage turned to hours spent exploring each other’s bodies under the covers with purpose — Namjoon feels a little shy under Jimin’s gaze, shifting. Jimin reaches out to run a hand down his stomach, fingers trailing down his skin, all the way to the faintest trail of hair leading down from under his bellybutton and disappearing underneath the waistband of his briefs.
“You’d think we’re filming the sequel to 50 Shades of Grey, here,” Namjoon says, amused.
“Didn’t they already do a sequel?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.”
Jimin hums in agreement, fingers still trailing down his sides and over the skin of his stomach, tracing in shapes that only Jimin can see in his mind, aimlessly wandering. The muscles of Namjoon’s abdomen quiver in response to a particularly sensitive touch.
“You’re gorgeous, Joon,” Jimin says, low and appreciative, almost drowned out noise of the water filling the tub. “I’m so lucky, really.”
Namjoon smiles, reaching to brush a piece of hair away from Jimin’s face, running his thumb down Jimin's cheek, lingering on his lips just for a moment.
“I’m the lucky one.”
Jimin chuckles, shaking his head.
“No way,” he says. “That’s me.”
“Did you just say ‘no way’?”
“I just mean, between us, I’m definitely the lucky —”
“You did,” Namjoon interrupts, faux scandalized, and Jimin giggles. “You said ‘no way’.”
Jimin grins, straightening up, challenge in his eyes.
“What are you gonna do about it?”
Namjoon cups Jimin’s face, squishing cheeks until his lips pucker out again.
“I’m the lucky one, because I get to kiss these lips,” Namjoon says, pressing a kiss onto Jimin’s lips, “— and this forehead.”
He presses a kiss onto Jimin’s forehead.
“And these cheeks — and this nose — and these lips, again — “
He punctuates each sentence with a kiss, clumsy and maybe a little too wet, and Jimin squirms, gripping onto Namjoon’s biceps for dear life.
“Stop, Joon, I’m gonna fall in the tub.”
“Isn’t that the point?”
“Not while I’m still dressed, it's not.”
“I can take care of that,” Namjoon offers, grinning.
“Turn off the tap and then we’ll talk,” Jimin says, poking Namjoon with his toes. “Don’t wanna end up flooding his place on accident.”
Namjoon laughs in agreement, reaching to turn the tap off. The mirror starts fogging up with the heat, steam rising from the water and swirling around them. Namjoon sticks is hand in the water, carefully testing the temperature, before stepping to the bathroom counter.
“We want bubbles, right?”
Jimin laughs out, bright.
“Yeah,” he says. “But wasn’t that supposed to go in before we started filling the tub?”
“We’ll make it work,” Namjoon says, shrugging, rummaging through the toiletries in the small basket laid out on the bathroom counter. “Any preference?”
“We have options?”
“Why do you think this place was so expensive?” he asks. “We have — Rose Garden and — Sunshine Zest, Forest Experience — and Sweet Surrender. Oh, and Heart of Provence.”
“Sweet Surrender sounds nice.”
“A bubble bath with wholesome almonds and honey,” Namjoon reads. “Sound good?”
“Sweet Surrender it is.”
Namjoon pours the contents of the sampler bottle into bath, swishing the water around to get the suds going, before the two of them step out of their boxers. Jimin slaps his ass lightly, when they climb into the tub, sitting down on opposite sides, knocking ankles and knees, as they settle.
“That’s the second time you’ve slapped my ass today.”
“What can I say,” Jimin says, sinking down to his shoulders, the movement forming suds that stick to his skin. “It’s a great ass. Peachy.”
“That’s what I said.”
“Bubble butt,” Namjoon says, gathering a handful of bubbles, that he throws in Jimin’s direction, staying afloat on top of the water, and Jimin laughs. “Get it?”
“That’s so lame.”
“Isn’t that kind of our brand?”
“Lame and sappy.”
“Lame, sappy and kind of hot,” Jimin corrects, playful. “Pretty privilege is real, Joonie.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, we can get into how the construction of attractiveness as a form of currency in society is problematic —”
“— but I’m just saying, you can also get away with being lame and sappy a lot easier, if you have a pretty face to go with. Or a big dick.”
Namjoon lifts his eyebrows, smiling teasingly.
“Which one do I have?”
Jimin snorts, flicking bubbles at him.
“Wouldn’t you like to know.”
Namjoon laughs, flicking some bubbles back at him, resulting in a fierce battle of suds flying back and forth for a moment, both of them laughing.
“Come on, tell me.”
“Quit fishing for compliments.”
“I don’t think I was fishing for compliments, when you were saying it last —”
Jimin’s eyes widen momentarily and Namjoon can’t tell whether he’s blushing down his neck or whether that’s just the flush caused by the warmth.
“You wanna go there? Because we can definitely talk about that time, I almost made you cry, and my mouth wasn’t even —”
“Okay,” Namjoon says, loudly, conceding, dick twitching in interest, despite himself. “Okay. Ceasefire, tie, whatever.”
“That’s what I thought.”
Of course, that’s not the end of it, because that would be far too easy. Namjoon isn’t surprised, when Jimin scoots closer with a smug smile playing on his lips, hand reaching down to trail along Namjoon’s thigh, carefully inching closer to where Namjoon needs it the most, dick already chubbing up against his thigh. Jimin’s eyes are still warm, but there’s a darkness to them that wasn’t there before, and Namjoon barely has time to brace himself for the challenge, before it comes.
“I can say it,” Jimin says, low. “But you gotta earn it.”
If this was anyone else, Namjoon would probably laugh at the challenge, the sultriness of it all, a bad habit of bursting into awkward giggles at any sort of bedroom talk, especially out of the bedroom. It’s different with Jimin, though. He’s persuasive like that.
“Yeah, Joon, be creative.”
Being creative ends up being eating Jimin out over the edge of the bathtub until he’s a squirming mess, crying into the crook of his elbow, about how I’m actually breaking up with you, if you don’t get your dick in me, Joon, I swear to god. Jimin clings for purchase on the slippery surface of the tub, when Namjoon finally slides into him, burying himself to the hilt with one thrust. He presses light kisses on the nape of Jimin’s neck, letting him adjust.
“Fuck, give a warning, next time.”
“Only did it, ‘cause I know you can take it,” Namjoon says, the kind of praise he knows Jimin is a sucker for. “So good for me.”
Jimin whimpers in response, and he can’t be too mad with the way he starts fucking himself back on Namjoon’s cock with shaky legs on the bath rug and a little less finesse than usual, still nothing short of stunning with the way his back arches in pleasure and his earrings dangle with the motion. Namjoon fucks him deep and slow, eventually building to a pace that leaves Jimin white-knuckling the edge of the tub. He’s babbling mindless praise about Namjoon’s dick, as promised, and Namjoon would be lying if he said that’s not a confidence boost. Jimin finishes with Namjoon’s hand around his cock, stroking him through it, before pulling out and painting the delicate arch of Jimin’s lower back in ropes of translucent white.
“You got me all dirty again,” Jimin whines, once they catch their breaths, and Namjoon leans down to press an apologetic kiss onto the side of his face.
“The water’s probably still warm enough,” he says, teasing, nodding at the tub, and Jimin makes a grossed out noise.
“It’s gonna be jizz water, if we get back in. Wanna shower.”
They drain the tub and clean themselves up in the shower, limiting themselves to only a few minutes, because they’re responsible adults, who care about the impact of excessive water consumption on the environment. It’s easier said than done, forcing themselves to not get carried away kissing, feeling a little floaty with the post-orgasm come (hah) down.
When they finally step out of the shower with towels around their hips, sated and cheeks still flushed red from the warmth, Monie gives them an unimpressed, blank look and pads off to the kitchen to sleep instead.
“Joonie, I have a question.”
Namjoon looks up from his computer to where Jimin is sat across from him, on the carpet. While working, Jimin has a habit of starting sentences before he’s actually committed to finishing them. His eyebrows are furrowed and he’s typing something on his phone, one headphone in, and Namjoon wonders whether he was just hearing things.
“Sorry, hold on.”
Namjoon chuckles. Work in their profession never stops completely for this exact reason. Inspiration is a fickle thing, and although neither of them have yet reached Yoongi’s level of dragging all their equipment with them to the middle of nowhere, Namjoon knows that when a melody or lyric makes itself known at the forefront of your mind, there’s only a limited window for giving it some sort of form somewhere, before it is gone forever.
Namjoon goes back to his computer for the time being. It’s the first time he has gotten it out of his backpack during the entire trip, and Jimin had poked fun at him for it over breakfast for only getting his work done on the last day, poking a piece of melon at his lips, trying to get him to open up. Jimin had also teased him for sounding like a loner poet for the whole inspiration thing, but he’d also left him working with a kiss on the top of his head, a my hardworking baby mumbled into his hair.
“Okay, sorry, ready now,” Jimin says, taking out his headphone, pausing the music on his phone. “I have a question about these lyrics.”
“Is this the Christmas song?”
“I’ve basically got everything else, but the start. That’s what I wanted to ask about.”
Namjoon nods, motioning for Jimin to go on and Jimin smiles.
“I think I wanna start in English,” he says. “I’ve got ‘Christmas, I love you’ and I kind of want the next lyric to the ‘you’re the one’ but I’m just — I don’t know. I’m just wondering whether that’s too much, I guess.”
Jimin thinks for a little, fiddling with his headphones.
“Like, what would it mean — to say that ‘you’re the one’?”
“Are you asking what it means?”
Jimin chuckles, nervous. This is the most nervous Namjoon has seen him all trip, tugging at the strings of the carpet and squirming a little. Namjoon pats at the spot next to him on the couch and Jimin climbs on, sitting cross-legged next to him, trying to think of the words to convey what exactly it is that he wants to say. Eventually, Jimin straightens his back, seeming to have found the right words and the confidence to say them.
“Sort of,” he begins, carefully. “But I guess what it means for you, more specifically. I’m just thinking about, like, the tone of the song and what I want to convey — I just want to know what kind of, like, emotion that evokes in you, as a listener.”
“’You’re the one’?”
Jimin nods, and Namjoon stops to think about it.
He’s used to translating English words into Korean for the members, although they do bulk of the work themselves, pouring over English textbooks and one online dictionary after another in search of the exact word that conveys what they want to say. Sometimes, there isn’t one and they come to him looking for a substitute. In other times, like this, there’s a word that they’ve taken a particular liking to, coming to him to confirm, whether the weight of it is appropriate for the what they’re trying to say or the tone they’re trying to convey. It never fails to make a warm ember of pride swell in Namjoon’s chest.
“It’s not the same as being number one, I know that,” Jimin adds, and Namjoon smiles.
“It could be, in a way.”
Jimin nods, curious.
“Because, if you’re saying someone’s ‘number one’ — you mean that they’re the best, right? Placing first. It’s kind of like that for ‘the one’, but bigger.”
“Usually, people use it to mean the person you’re gonna marry,” he says. “Or not necessarily marry, not everyone gets married, but kind of — you’ve found them, that’s your person. The best thing for you. ‘The one’.”
Jimin nods, and Namjoon’s throat feels a little tight suddenly. It feels like standing somewhere high up — on a diving quarry, looking down in the water, deciding whether to jump and take the fall. There’s a moment of silence, before Namjoon speaks again, and he knows Jimin has probably already gotten the point, that there’s no longer need for these illustrative examples, but his mouth works faster than the reserved part of his brain makes him stop.
“It’s like — if you think about a couple, like us,” he says, gesturing between him and Jimin. “I could say you’re the one.”
Jimin nods, and scoots closer, placing his hand on Namjoon’s knee, running his thumb in calming circles. They sit in silence for a while, one that feels a little too weighty for a casual conversation about lyrics. Namjoon thinks they’re far past that, heading towards another conversation entirely, past the point of no return.
“Joonie,” Jimin says, quietly. “Why do you look so scared?”
“Yeah,” Jimin says. His eyes are so sincere that Namjoon could cry, might actually. “You don’t need to be. I don't want you to be.”
“I know you were just giving an example for the lyrics,” Jimin says, carefully. “But — if you wanna say it, for real, you can. If that’s what you want. I’d love that. I love you.”
“It’s kind of a big deal, though.”
“We’re kind of a big deal, don’t you think,” Jimin says, gently. “If it helps, I can say it, too.”
“You don’t have to —”
“I want to,” Jimin insists. “You said it means the person you wanna marry, right?”
Namjoon nods, hesitant.
“That, and then some.”
“Then, I want to say it,” Jimin says. “And I don’t need to say it right now, because you look like you’re gonna pass out —”
Namjoon chuckles finally, despite himself, shaking his head quickly in denial.
“— but I want you to know that I’m thinking it, have been for a long time, and whenever you want me to say it, I’ll say it. And you can say it to me, whenever, too.”
Namjoon feels himself tear up, finally, blinking furiously to keep the tears from falling, to no avail. He reaches out with the sleeve of his sweater, quickly brushing the first few tears away. Jimin handles the rest, while Namjoon sniffs and clears his throat, before speaking.
“Why does it sound like you’re proposing?”
“I’m not,” he says, a little breathless. “But only because I don’t have a ring, right now, and also I think you’d actually pass out.”
“I think I would, too.”
They both chuckle, and Jimin reaches out to dry the rest of the tears on Namjoon’s cheeks, before leaning in to kiss the soft skin underneath his eyes, the softest press of lips on both sides. Namjoon straightens up, taking a shaky breath.
“Anyway,” he says, pointedly, and Jimin laughs. “The lyrics.”
“Maybe I should think of something else,” Jimin says, reaching for his phone, flicking open the document he was writing on.
Namjoon’s eyebrows furrow in confusion.
“Namjoon, you said you’re gonna help me produce this thing,” Jimin says. “The ‘you’re the one’ part is there, like, at least three times so far. I’m gonna have to come to the studio and hold your hand, if you’re gonna be like this every time you hear it.”
“Oh my god, I’m not,” Namjoon says. “But you can come to the studio and hold my hand, anyway.”
“Is that an invitation?”
“You literally have the door code. Just walk in whenever.”
“I do that already.”
Namjoon nods in agreement. Jimin fits into his studio like he does in every other part of Namjoon’s life, making his presence known in all the corners and nooks and crannies that he didn’t even realize needed filling until Jimin was occupying the space within them.
“Yeah,” he says. “And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
They do their best to savor their last night at the cabin.
They start the evening by making the world’s most questionable sauce for dinner out of all the ingredients they have left, containing at least two meats and a mix of vegetables, most of them already wilted or otherwise sad-looking. Jimin ends up sprinkling some of his spicy chili chips on top of his rice, crunching away, while Namjoon looks on in horror.
They end up finishing what they started the other day, make-out session turned lazy sex, not even bothering to strip out of all of their clothes for the occasion. Namjoon never thought having sex in a hoodie and a pair of woolly socks could be sexy, but then Jimin clenches around him, moaning and grasping his hands into the back of said hoodie, tugging him into a kiss, all hungry, and Namjoon is very quickly proven wrong.
Once they’re cleaned up, they go back to grab Monie from downstairs, before climbing back to the loft, turning the lights off as they go. They settle into bed with just the bedside lamp on, casting a warm glow over the walls. Monie is the first one to fall asleep, because of course he is, making himself comfortable snuggled up between their legs on top of the blanket, out like light in a few minutes.
“Do you think he finally knows, who you are?” Jimin asks, quiet, watching as Monie’s legs twitch with whatever doggy dreams he’s having.
Namjoon chuckles, quietly.
“I think he’s known the whole time,” he says. “He just pretends that he doesn’t.”
“I’m gonna miss having him around.”
“You can ask my mom to adopt him. She’d love that.”
“No, she wouldn’t.”
“I don’t know,” Namjoon muses. “Maybe she’d be a little sad, but at least seeing Monie would give her an excuse to see you. She asks about you more than she asks about me.”
“Seriously,” Namjoon says. “It’s always remember to say hi to Jimin from me, make sure he's eating and staying warm, never congrats on the Grammy nomination, Namjoon.”
Jimin giggles, adjusting his head against the pillow until he’s comfortable. They end up falling asleep like that, facing each other, because they don’t want to risk moving around and waking Monie. Jimin slides his hand into Namjoon’s once they’ve turned off the bedside lamp, interlocking their fingers and squeezing. Namjoon squeezes right back and falls asleep with a smile on his lips.
“Have we got everything?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, baby, I checked like a million times.”
Namjoon shakes his head fondly, standing by the rear door, trying to get Monie to stay still long enough to get him in the seatbelt. He watches as Jimin lingers on the porch steps, taking pictures of the view. He runs his hands along the wooden railing, as he comes down, getting a bit of distance between himself and the cabin, before taking his phone out again. Most of the snow from a few days ago has already melted, revealing patches of the forest floor underneath, dark greens and browns with patches of white. It will make a pretty picture.
“We can come back the next time we have some time off,” Namjoon offers, and Jimin rolls his eyes, smiling.
“Better start checking for bookings in 2025, then.”
“BTS remains booked and busy.”
“Isn’t that from that one article?” Jimin asks, squinting at him. “Are you seriously quoting an article that somebody wrote about us?”
“Probably,” Namjoon says, shrugging. “Saw it online, somewhere. It works.”
He climbs into the passenger’s seat, having finally gotten Monie settled, while Jimin takes his place at the wheel, glancing one last time in the direction of the cabin.
“We’ve got everything, right?”
“Jimin, baby, I double, triple, quadruple checked. We have everything.”
“Quadruple,” Jimin repeats. “That’s hot.”
“I can’t believe you, sometimes.”
“Can’t believe how lucky you are to have me drive you home?”
“Can’t believe how lucky I am, full stop.”
“You just keep on getting sappier.”
“You love it.”
“I do,” Jimin says, pressing a quick kiss to his lips. “Ready?”
Namjoon leans in for another self-indulgent kiss, because he can, before Jimin starts the car, gravel crunching under the tires, as they begin to move. Monie is wagging his tail in the backseat, and Namjoon can’t wait for the sulk fest that’ll ensue, once they have to break it to him that he’s not gonna be allowed to stick his head out the window on the drive back, either. Jimin seems to be thinking the same thing, because they share a knowing smile, as Namjoon reaches to turn on the radio and the GPS (in that order, because priorities).
(And if they have to make a semi-reckless mid-block U-turn on the highway, because Namjoon left his computer charging cable at the cabin then, well. That’s just more time spent together.)