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Ace of Hearts

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Seokjin takes him out shopping for clothes.

Before they leave, Jimin argues that because his stay here is temporary, that there won't be any use for the clothes when he's gone. Seokjin just shrugs it off. He says that even if he's only here for a few more days, at least he'll be wearing things that fit instead of drowning in Seokjin's clothes.

Jimin likes drowning in Seokjin's clothes, but the thought of having clothing of his own intrigues him, so he eventually goes along with it.

He finds that he likes comfortable clothes. He likes things that are soft and easy to move in but still make him look good, with low necklines that are big enough for an exposed shoulder to peek through. He likes hats and he likes sunglasses and he likes jewellery, especially necklaces and clip-on earrings that have strings of jewels dangling down. He wonders if he would be able to get his ears pierced before he goes home.

He doesn't let Seokjin buy everything that he likes, but he nevertheless has a few outfits by the time they’re finished. He's excited, buzzing with energy at being able to walk around in clothes that he picked himself and not just because it's what he has to wear or because it's what Seokjin has lying around.

There aren't really things that are just Jimin's. These clothes, even if they're inevitably going to be left with Seokjin once he leaves- he tries to not think about it and it seems that Seokjin does the same- are his, and he loves it.

Arms weighed down with bags, they settle down in a coffee shop. Jimin discovers that coffee is nothing like anything he has ever consumed before, and he hates it. It's too bitter and it makes him gag. He didn't know he even had the ability to gag.

Seokjin's eyes squint as he laughs, patting Jimin on the back. "I guess demons don't like coffee," he says, pushing a thick, flaky pastry towards him. "Try that, instead. It's sweet."

The pastry appeals much more to Jimin’s taste buds, and he nibbles meekly on it as Seokjin drinks the coffee for him. He doesn't know how he can swallow such a disgusting beverage. Mortals are clearly much stronger than Jimin had thought.

He zones out, staring at Seokjin's Adam's apple as it bobs with every swallow and quickly averting his eyes when he notices what he’s doing. If Seokjin notices, he doesn't comment on it.

Something he notices, though, is that when he finds himself staring at Seokjin, it isn't always in a sexual way. In fact, when he thinks about it, it isn't like that at all. He isn’t sure if it’s always been this way and he just never noticed because admiring people has always been a prerequisite for sex, or if he’s learning to perceive things differently. Either way, he’s glad that he's just looking because Seokjin is nice to look at. Jimin isn't sure how or why, but it seems like the better he gets to know Seokjin, the nicer he is to look at.

It's as if his personality shines out of his skin. As if when Jimin's eyes catch on his broad shoulders, they're also catching on his kindness and generosity.

He laughs under his breath, because that doesn’t make any sense at all.

Seokjin raises his eyebrows at him questioningly.

"Nothing," Jimin mumbles, shaking his head. "I just thought of something."

"Care to share with the class?"

Jimin isn't sure what he means by 'share with the class', but he doesn't question it. Mortals use a lot of words and phrases that don't make sense, like one great big inside joke that Jimin isn't a part of.

He wants to be brave and say what he was thinking. He wants to tell Seokjin that he thinks that he looks like he was sculpted out of marble by angels, and that he’s a wonderful person. He wants to compliment him in the same way that Seokjin has complimented him, like it's the easiest thing to do.

It isn’t easy, though. It's too hard to make his mouth form the words, so Jimin shakes his head again, giving a small apologetic smile.

Seokjin doesn't push further. It's as if he knows that Jimin would tell him if he could, and he's perfectly fine with waiting until he can. He's so patient. Jimin likes him so much.

Liking him feels nice. It's nice to accept that he really really likes somebody, even if he doesn't know what it means or what he's meant to do about it, even if there are so many things that make it complicated.

Jimin finishes his pastry and brushes all of the little flakes off of his new clothes. Food is really messy, sometimes.

When they are finished in the cafe, they walk around aimlessly for a while. Seokjin takes Jimin on a stroll through a park and shows him all the quiet areas that most people don't know about. When their feet hurt and the weight of the bags make their arms ache, they go home.

Jimin thinks that he wants to spend time with Seokjin like this every day. He wants to go to different places with him and experience new things like coffee and pastries with him. If he ever buys clothes again, he wants to do that with Seokjin, too.

For a moment, he allows him to imagine something impossible. He wishes that he could take Seokjin with him when he goes back home. He wishes that he could return to the life that he's used to with a new outlook on the world and with his new favourite person by his side.

It would never happen, he knows that. He can't take mortals back with him and, besides, just because Seokjin is okay with being around one incubus doesn't mean that he would be comfortable being surrounded by them.

They're from two separate worlds. Jimin has always known this, and the knowledge is bittersweet.

When the day ends, he climbs into bed with Seokjin. He doesn't sleep on the couch anymore. The bed is big enough for the both of them, and he likes the warmth of being with another person- the warmth of being with Seokjin.

-

"You should tell me when you're going out," Seokjin says mildly.

Jimin's head darts up. "Huh?"

Seokjin continues, without looking up from the vegetables that he chops with expert precision. "I know what you're doing when you go out on your own. At least, I think I do." He stops to take in Jimin's expression. "Judging by the way you're looking at me, I think I'm right."

Jimin stares back at him, eyes wide. He feels like a dog that has been caught chewing on a pair of expensive shoes. He knows that there's nothing wrong with going out and fucking people because he needs to do it and Seokjin knows that, but at the same time, well, he's going out and fucking people. Strangers, no less.

("This may be a strange question," Seokjin says once, putting on his best unbothered expression despite clearly feeling a little awkward. "But, is it safe? Having sex with so many different people?"

Jimin doesn't understand why he would ask that for a moment. He has to remember that things are very different to mortals than they are to people like him. "Are you talking about diseases?"

"Yeah."

"Ah, we don't get those. They aren't compatible with our bodies, so there's no chance of us catching or transmitting anything."

Seokjin nods slowly. "Alright. Cool. Well, I'm glad you're safe.")

Even if Seokjin knows that he can't catch any sexually transmitted diseases, it doesn't change the fact that the fact that Jimin keeps going out to have sex with random people is probably weird to him.

"I was just thinking," Seokjin says, suddenly looking more nervous as he fiddles with the collar on his shirt, inadvertently drawing Jimin's attention to his collarbones. He's still in his work clothes and his work shirts all have very stiff collars. "The next time you go out, you should tell me in advance so that I can cook myself a nice meal. You know how I said that I think the closest thing I get to being turned on is wanting to eat food. It'll be like we're both having a good time but in different ways." He looks at Jimin, flashing a cheeky smile.

Jimin laughs. Despite how much he's gotten used to Seokjin saying unpredictable things, he still manages to catch him off guard sometimes. "If you really want to," he giggles. He pauses for a moment, suddenly shy again. "I'm probably going to go out again tonight. I'm feeling kinda drained."

"Cool," Seokjin says brightly, "I hope you have fun! I'll get my cookbook out before you go. Do you want me to help dress you up? I have some nice stuff you could wear."

Jimin is stunned. He knew that Seokjin would be nice about it, supportive even, but he didn't think he'd be willing to be personally involved. He blinks a few times. "Sure?" It would be nice to wear something other than comfortable everyday clothes. When they went shopping, Jimin had been so excited about sweaters that he had forgotten to buy anything sexier.

Seokjin claps his hands together, looking pleased. Excited, even. He puts the knife down and runs into his room without another word.

There are some ruffling sounds. After a few minutes, Seokjin makes a noise of excitement. "Would you wear makeup?" He asks from his room.

Jimin has not worn makeup before, but he has seen it on a lot of mortals- women, mostly- and it makes them look very pretty. The thought of Seokjin owning makeup brings a warm feeling in his belly. Images flash through his mind of Seokjin with dark eyeliner and shiny, glossed lips.

He pushes his knuckles into his eyes to try to banish the thought. "Probably," he responds, a few seconds too late.

"I don’t wear it much because it’s too much hassle, but I have some stuff that I used to wear when I went clubbing," Seokjin tells him casually, as if this information isn't rewriting Jimin's perception of the entire world as they speak. "I thought you'd look nice in it."

"Would I?" Jimin asks feebly.

"Yeah, you would."

After Seokjin returns to finish cooking, a noticeable spring in his step as he does, he lets Jimin into his room so he can see the stuff that he's picked out for him. He has little piles of clothes arranged on his bed, complete with footwear.

Jimin encounters a problem when trying to pick out an outfit for himself. As he looks at the clothes, he isn't thinking about himself wearing them- he's thinking about Seokjin wearing them. The fact that they're his clothes means that he's almost definitely worn all of them at least once before. Maybe multiple times. Maybe he has a favourite outfit that he knows makes him look extra good.

Seokjin also shows him his little collection of makeup. Jimin doesn't know what each product is supposed to do, but Seokjin says that he'll put it on for him so that he doesn't have to worry about learning to apply things properly.

"You're going to be so hot, I'm making sure of it," Seokjin says confidently. "Not that you aren't already- ah, you know what I mean." Jimin gets what he means. "Everyone's going to be stumbling over each other to get to you."

Jimin doesn't doubt that, but it makes him feel flustered all the same. There's something about Seokjin saying it to him, Seokjin having faith that he's hot enough to have people all over him, that feels really good.

He hasn't been worried about what he looks like for a while, now. Sure, he would definitely prefer to look like somebody else because that's how he feels most comfortable, but he feels good looking like himself, too.

This may have all been one big mistake, but he can't deny that it's done wonders for his self esteem. He should have gotten stuck in the mortal world without any glamour years ago (although, now he thinks about it, he doesn't think that it would have worked so well if it weren't Seokjin that he was with.)

He puts on the outfit that he picked out- a glittery black ensemble that must be tight on Seokjin’s shoulders but fits loosely on Jimin- and sits down for Seokjin to put makeup on him. He can't see himself in the mirror from where he's at, so he has no idea what he looks like, but he trusts Seokjin to make him look good.

The process of putting makeup is weird and kind of uncomfortable. The application feels like something cold and sometimes wet being applied to his face with tiny brushes, and once it's on it feels like there's an unfamiliar extra layer of skin on his face. Seokjin says that he will get used to it and probably won't even notice it in a few hours.

Despite how weird it feels, it's relaxing to sit obediently and do nothing except what Seokjin tells him to. He closes his eyes when Seokjin tells him to and pursues his lips when Seokjin tells him to and he has no idea why he needs to do those things, but he doesn't question it.

Perhaps the most stressful part of it is how close Seokjin's face is to his. It depends on what part of his face Seokjin is working on, but usually he's only a few inches away at most. Jimin can feel the warm puffs of Seokjin's breath on his face, and it makes him feel dizzy.

He wants to stare into Seokjin's eyes, but he can't because every time they make eye contact his heart races and he has to look away. He wants to lean forward and press his lips against Seokjin's but he can't. He just can't do that.

After a few minutes of Jimin being both very relaxed and very tense at the same time, Seokjin leans back, squints at Jimin's face for a few seconds, and announces that they're done.

When Jimin looks at himself in the mirror, he feels hot as hell. And, perhaps more importantly, he feels beautiful.

-

The next time that Jimin and Seokjin go out together, there's an interruption.

They're on the way to a park, a different one to last time, when Jimin stops in his tracks, immediately recognising the scent of one of his own. His breath quickens. He's been given a second chance. This is his second chance to get home, and he knows that if he’s going to take it, then he has to take it now.

Seokjin, now a few feet ahead of him, turns around. "Jimin-ah? Are you okay?"

"I have to go. Right now," Jimin says, but his legs aren't moving.

Seokjin looks confused for a moment, staring at Jimin's face for answers. He seems to be able to tell from something in Jimin's expression what is going on, because his shoulders slump in acceptance. "Someone's here?" He asks, visibly deflated.

Jimin nods silently, still frozen in place.

"Will you be coming back?" Seokjin doesn't want Jimin to go. He's never said it outright, but Jimin knows, and Seokjin knows that he knows.

"Probably," Jimin says, breathing quickly with building adrenaline. Even if he does find someone, that doesn't mean that he's going to be able to go home immediately. There will be things to sort out. He's probably going to still be here for a while, no matter what happens.

Seokjin smiles at him and it's like a goodbye, but not. It's a smile that could be a goodbye, but could also be a 'see you later'. Neither of them know.

The frustrating thing about living amongst mortals is that the longer he's here, the less he wants to go back. It's not that he doesn't want to be home, it's just that he will miss it here. He'll even miss the streets and the buses and the shops. He'll miss the food. He'll miss Seokjin.

"Go," Seokjin quietly urges him, and that's what puts his body into action.

He takes off running after the scent. It isn't as far away as it was last time, and he's only running for a few minutes before he finds the building that it's coming from.

He sweet talks somebody into letting him in and sprints up the stairs to the fourth floor.

It's just behind the door. He can smell it; he can hear it.

He knocks, and hopes very hard that the mortal behind the door is polite enough to answer him even in the middle of some undoubtedly excellent intercourse.

At first, he doesn't hear anything. They probably aren't going to answer. He notices that he's chewing on his lip again and tries to stop. It works for about ten seconds before his teeth instinctively clamp back down on the flesh.

Some mumbling can be heard from behind the door. It opens just slightly, revealing a pair of eyes and a glimpse of a bruise covered neck, but not much else.

"Hello, sorry, I'm quite busy right now-" The mortal cuts himself off. His eyes scroll up and down, taking Jimin in, before widening in awe. "Wowzers! I get two?"

The mortal opens the door fully, shamelessly exposing his nude body, littered with scratches and bite marks. It would appear that he likes it rough. He ushers Jimin in without even asking for an explanation, clearly having come to his own conclusion, and closes the door behind them.

There's somebody else here, standing a few feet away in a similar state of undress. Jimin quickly recognises his colleague, Hoseok. This is good, he knows Hoseok- he’s actually exchanged a few conversations with Hoseok and that’s the most that he can say for most of his coworkers.

Hoseok stares at Jimin, mouth open. Jimin stares back.

“No, sweetheart, that’s not how it works,” Hoseok murmurs to the mortal, before his voice raises in volume and pitch when addressing Jimin. “What- why- where have you been? What are you doing here?”

Before Jimin has a chance to open his mouth, the mortal speaks again. “What if I ask nicely?” His eyes widen even more, which Jimin did not think would have been possible, staring pleadingly at him as if he could convince Hoseok to let him join in.

It has been a long time since he’s had a threesome, and Hoseok is hot because, well, of course he is, and this mortal isn’t too bad himself, and both of their cocks are still hard- he’s getting distracted.

Pointedly ignoring the client’s silent pleas for a threesome, Jimin responds to Hoseok. “I had a client who I couldn’t fulfil the contract with, so now I’m stuck here.”

“Couldn’t fulfil the contract?” Hoseok asks, sounding just as baffled as Jimin had been at first.

Jimin leans against the wall somewhat awkwardly, not quite knowing what to do with himself. It’s not exactly heard of to walk in on each other mid-job. Jimin had never done it before and now that he has, it feels quite rude. If it weren’t for the fact that he needed to catch someone in the middle of the deed in order to get to them before they leave, he would have politely excused himself and waited outside.

“I found out the hard way that not all mortals are into sex. He must have been put on the register by mistake, he doesn’t experience sexual attraction or anything," Jimin explains.

“My friend is asexual,” the mortal chirps, seemingly having decided that if he’s not going to get a threesome then he’s at least going to insert himself into this conversation. He shows Jimin into the living room and they all sit down. He pulls Hoseok onto his lap, and Jimin can't tell if he's always this shameless or if it's just because he could tell that Jimin is an incubus too.

Hoseok’s brows are furrowed in confusion. He looks like he’s never heard the word ‘asexual’ in his life, which is very possible. “But, then… How are you meant to get home?”

“That’s why I’m here. Sorry, by the way." Hoseok exhales through his nose with amusement. The mortal shrugs as if he hadn’t interrupted anything important, even though Jimin can see his still hard cock grazing Hoseok’s hip. “When you go back, could you tell people what happened to me so that they can take me back without fulfilling the contract?”

“Ah.” Hoseok leans back against the mortal’s chest, pursing his lips in thought. “I can try, but the boss isn’t going to like that.”

The mortal looks offended on Jimin’s behalf. “If you can’t do your thing, that isn’t your fault! You should be able to go home!”

Hoseok turns his head to look at him, brushing one of his messy strands of hair out of his face and smiling with amusement. “That would be nice,” he says, kissing softly up his neck. Jimin thinks that if he doesn’t stop doing that then the threesome thing is going to become a reality. “But we’re really into our contracts.”

That's true. Jimin has only heard of very few demons who failed to comply with the rules of the contracts and, well, those who did were never heard of again. He doesn't have to imagine very hard what happened to them.

He can taste blood; he's biting his lip again. This habit is a lot harder to stop than he had thought.

"I'll try," Hoseok says when Jimin doesn't say anything else. "I can't promise anything, but I'll ask around and see what can be done. In the meantime, where have you been staying? How have you been?"

Jimin wouldn’t have expected Hoseok to ask him how he’s been, but he’s trying to just accept things as they are instead of trying to make sense out of them, so he forces himself to not think too hard about it. “The mortal I was sent to- he’s been really lovely and accommodating, so I’ve been staying with him for the time being. I’ve been doing well. It’s been very weird, but I’ve been doing well.”

Hoseok nods in understanding. Jimin suddenly remembers that Hoseok has also once lived among humans for much longer than expected. He will know what Jimin means by things being weird, because he has experienced it himself.

Suddenly, Jimin wants to ask him a barrage of questions. 'Did you start to doubt who you were, too? Did you discover that there’s more to you than you thought there was, too? Did you feel things that you didn’t know were physically possible for someone like you, too?'

Alternatively, Hoseok could be thinking of a different kind of weird. Weird like buses and trains. The kind of weird that doesn't require much thinking.

After all, he was only here for a week because his assigned mortal had self esteem issues and wasn’t ready to put out due to fear of embarrassment. Seokjin just doesn’t want to have sex altogether. Hoseok’s experience probably wouldn’t have made him doubt himself like Jimin’s has because his wasn’t about accepting life without sex, it was just waiting for it.

To be safe, Jimin doesn’t ask any questions that would suggest the kind of revelations and feelings that he has been going through recently. Instead, he just nods with Hoseok. It feels awkward. Maybe they should have a threesome to make things less awkward.

Jimin knows that it's a bad idea to talk about things like this in front of mortals, but this one seems about as harmless as they come. This is probably because one of the first words Jimin heard him say was 'wowzers'. He wasn't aware that ‘wowzers’ was a word that people actually said in real life.

Now that he thinks about it, it seems like a fun word to say. Maybe he should start saying wowzers. For a second, he considers asking the human if he has any other fun words in his vocabulary, but before he opens his mouth he realises that it would not only be going off topic but would also be rather inappropriate.

The mortal actually seems to be the only person who doesn't find this situation awkward, not looking the slightest bit bothered by Jimin's rude interruption of what was probably the best sex of his life. On the contrary, he looks rather pleased, smiling with all of his teeth visible. "I think that your asexual friend should meet my asexual friend."

Jimin isn't sure if Seokjin knows any other asexuals personally, but if he has then he hasn't mentioned it before. It would be nice for him to meet other people that are like him.

He could even meet someone like him who he really likes. Jimin remembers how Seokjin had told him on his second night here that he struggles with romantic relationships because people expect things from him that he can't give. That problem would be solved if he dated another asexual, right?

Despite how much he wants Seokjin to be happy, the thought of that leaves a sour taste in Jimin's throat. "That would be nice," he says anyway.

The mortal taps Hoseok on the shoulder. "I think that you would like him, too. I should take you to meet him."

"Hmh," Hoseok says noncommittally, because once incubi have done what they have come to do then they have no reason to interact with their clients again. He won't be hanging around to meet anyone's friends, he'll be moving on to his next job.

Either oblivious or incredibly determined, the mortal keeps talking about his friend. "He's really cool. Really smart and funny. He's a great guy. I'm really glad to have him in my life. You'd like him a lot."

Hoseok lifts an eyebrow, twisting his body to look sceptically at the mortal. "What, are you in love with him or something?" He asks, voice carefully level.

When a client is pining over someone, it makes things very complicated and annoying. They tend to get upset, thinking that they're cheating on someone that they aren't actually dating. Jimin usually avoids asking people about their personal lives for this reason- the less the victim has a chance to think about someone else, the better.

"Nah," the mortal says cheerily. "I'm just in a particularly good mood because I'm getting laid."

That's valid. Jimin understands.

He feels uncomfortable now, very aware that he's third wheeling and getting in the way of Hoseok doing what he's gotta do. He puts his hands in his pockets (he's very glad to have discovered pockets!) and stands up. "I'll be going. Thank you, Hoseok-ssi. Enjoy yourselves."

"Wait!" The mortal jumps up and runs out of the room.

There's a beat of silence. "Sorry," Jimin mutters.

Hoseok shrugs, grinning. "Don't worry about it. I'm glad to see that you're alright."

"Yeah. I'm alright."

The mortal returns, flapping around a half torn sheet of paper and a pen. He does a kind of lunge, using his own thigh to support the paper as he quickly scribbles something. He hands the paper to Jimin, looking very pleased with himself. "Here you do! It's my friend, for your friend."

Jimin looks at the paper. It's a username of some sort. crabguy94. "Thank you," he says, because he doesn't know what else to say.

He looks at the paper again when he's standing outside of the building. Does he really give this to Seokjin? Isn't it weird that a random person gave him the username of another random person to give to Seokjin? Who even is crabguy94?

He exhales slowly, crumpling up the sheet of paper and putting it in his pocket. He'll think about it later. For now, he's free to go home.

To Seokjin's, he means. Not home home. But also kind of home, in a way.

-

Seokjin looks so happy to see him. He opens his arms slightly and then stops, as if he's about to initiate a hug but then decides against it. He does that quite a lot, as if he isn't sure how touchy-feely he should be with Jimin.

Since being here, Jimin has decided that he really likes physical contact, even the non-sexual kind, so he encases himself in Seokjin's arms anyway. He leans his face against Seokjin's shoulder, closing his eyes and taking deep breaths of his cologne. Jimin probably smells like shit in comparison, after all the running he's been doing, but Seokjin doesn't seem to mind.

"What's the plan, then?" Seokjin asks, a few seconds into the embrace. Neither of them move away.

Talking requires more effort than Jimin is willing to put into anything right now, but he responds anyway. "Not sure. Somebody is going to get in contact with me to tell me what can be done. It'll probably be over the next few days."

"How are they going to contact you?"

Jimin opens his eyes, suddenly aware of the fact that he has no idea. "I am not sure. They might just show up. If a mysterious person appears at your door, you might want to get me. And then run."

Seokjin laughs, and Jimin can feel the vibration of it in his chest. "I'm sure that as long as they don't try to do something to me, I'll be fine."

Jimin knows what kind of 'do something' that he means. The kind that Jimin was supposed to do when he first showed up. "They won't try to do something to you," Jimin says, before pulling back slightly to look up at Seokjin's face. "But if they did, I wouldn't let them."

Seokjin barks out a laugh. "Thank you, my saviour."

Jimin pouts at him. "They can be really scary when they want to be! Standing up to them would be really brave of me," he says indignantly.

"I know," Seokjin says, even though he doesn't know because Jimin is the only demon that he has ever met. He ruffles the hair on the back of Jimin's head and they finally break apart.

Jimin misses the warmth of Seokjin's body already, but he knows that Seokjin needs his own space. He's an introvert, and Jimin doesn't know much about what an introvert is or what an extrovert is or whatever the hell an ambivert is, but he knows that Seokjin being one means that he needs his alone time. That's probably why he plays video games in his room so much.

They quietly spend the rest of the evening together, neither of them saying much. Jimin sits on the bed and watches Seokjin play MapleStory for at least an hour, having no idea what he's seeing on the screen, no matter how many times Seokjin has tried to explain to him how it works. He understands some of the other video games, but he does not understand MapleStory and he does not understand why Seokjin is spending money on it.

It seems to make him happy, though, and that's all that matters. Jimin is happy if Seokjin is happy.

-

Jimin can feel the paper in his pocket. He hasn't taken it out of his pocket because he doesn't know where else he could put it- it isn't like doesn't have a room of his own that he could put things in. He can't help but keep reaching in to check that it's still there, as if there's any chance that it would have somehow disappeared. It hasn't.

He still doesn't know whether or not he should give it to Seokjin. He doesn't know how he'd even bring it up if he were going to.

Still not sure if he should give Seokjin this person's username, he decides to start a similar conversation and see how it goes. "Do you know any other asexual people?"

"Not that I know of," Seokjin says offhandedly. "I'm not particularly close with anyone from work, so maybe I do and I don’t know about it yet. It's not exactly the kind of thing to talk about during your coffee break." Jimin has not personally experienced a coffee break due to a lack of human employment, but he understands in theory. "Why do you ask?"

Jimin feels like he's been caught red handed somehow, even though he's sure that not only has he done nothing wrong, but Seokjin doesn't even know about the paper in his pocket. Yet. "Would you like to?"

"It would be nice to know somebody personally who understands, but there are lots of people on the internet who I can talk to who understand, as well." Seokjin seems to think for a moment, and then shrugs. "I wish there was somebody there when I was younger, though."

"What about," Jimin doesn't want to ask, doesn't want to know the answer, but he can't help himself. "For a romantic partner? Wouldn't it be nice if you could date someone who wouldn't expect anything from you?"

Seokjin's eyes look wistful. "It would be nice." Jimin's stomach drops. "But it isn't something that I need." He's definitely caught onto the fact that Jimin's asking about it for a reason, now. "Really, why are you asking? Have you ran into somebody or something?"

He's been caught. "Not exactly." He pauses. Looks like he has no choice now. "You know how I said that I found another incubus and he was in the middle of doing his thing."

Seokjin laughs a little. When Jimin initially told him, he laughed a lot. He said that he thought it was funny to imagine Jimin walking in on some people having sex and asking for help. Jimin supposes that it is kind of funny. It's a good job that neither of them seemed mad.

"The mortal- the client- he was listening to our conversation and he brought up that he has an asexual friend. And then he gave me this." He retrieves the crumpled sheet of paper from his pocket and shyly holds it out. "He told me to give it to you so that you could be friends with his friend."

Seokjin's face goes from confusion to surprise to... Recognition? He blinks at the username in that heavy way that he blinks when he’s thinking. "I know him," he says.

"Huh?"

"Yeah," Seokjin gets his phone out, presumably to verify his suspicion. He types something, looks at the screen, and nods to himself. "This is Namjoon from the dog shelter. I used to do volunteer work over there when I went through a rough patch and needed to do something with myself."

Jimin's stomach sinks. This guy works in a dog shelter? He looks after dogs? Jimin could never compete with that. Not that he plans on competing or anything. But if he were to, in theory, go after something with Seokjin maybe, he could not compete with somebody who works in a dog shelter. Who would Seokjin pick, the guy who looks after animals or the demon who fucks people and doesn't do much else?

Instead of saying any of that, Jimin says, "Maybe he should be called dogguy97 instead."

Seokjin laughs at his bad joke, which makes Jimin feel better. "He should. I'm sure that if crab shelters were a thing then he would work in one of those, instead." He looks thoughtfully at his phone. "Maybe I should talk to him. I don't know. We got along well when we worked together, but it would be weird, don't you think? For me to just say that a random person gave me his username and told him that we're both ace?"

It would be a bit weird. This mortal clearly did not think things through. "If he's a nice person, he should be understanding," Jimin offers.

"Yeah. It should be fine. It would be nice to catch up, there are a few babies that I've missed seeing." Jimin assumes that babies means dogs. Even so, he isn't sure that he likes the idea of Seokjin and this Namjoon person having babies together. "Thank you." Jimin realises that Seokjin is addressing him.

"Oh, it's no problem," he mumbles.

Seokjin looks like he's going to say something else, but then he doesn't. Instead, he puts his phone back in his pocket and mutters something about sending a message later.

Jimin wonders if Seokjin knows what he's thinking. He hopes that he doesn't.

He's happy for Seokjin, he really is. He wants him to meet other people who are like him- or are more like him than Jimin is, anyway- and if it turns into something more then so be it. He just can't help but compare himself to this stranger.

He knows nothing about this Namjoon person except that apparently he's a great person and he looks after dogs. He and Seokjin would be a perfect match because Seokjin is a great person and he looks after Jimin.

That thought makes him pause. He probably shouldn't be thinking of himself like Seokjin's pet, even if he kind of feels like it.

He's been trying to feel good about himself and accept himself for who he is, but for some reason this is setting all of his progress back. He had no idea that jealousy was so irrational and sucked this bad. He thinks that he understands why mortals get jealous over the most ridiculous of things now.

If it was anything else, he would talk to Seokjin about it, but he can't. He doesn't have any other friends around here, though. Should he make friends? He doesn't know how to make friends, especially considering the fact that he could leave any day now and never come back.

"Are you okay?" His head tilts up, and he sees Seokjin looking at him, brows furrowed slightly.

Jimin's mouth falls open. He didn't know that his thoughts were showing on his face. He's not very good at hiding emotions when he isn't purposefully putting on an act. "Oh. Yeah. I was just thinking."

"Thinking?"

"Yeah. About things. Things that are going on." His voice trails away pathetically.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

Probably. "No, it's okay."

Seokjin stares at him searchingly for a moment. "Alright, but I'm here if you need me, okay?"

Feeling like he doesn't really deserve Seokjin's care when he's being all jealous for no reason, Jimin nods.

-

It becomes a normal thing for Seokjin to help Jimin get ready before he goes out. He tells him which clubs are the best ones and which bars are right next to conveniently dark alleyways. He asks what time he'll be home by and makes sure to prepare a meal for him before he gets back.

On one hand, it's incredibly helpful, but on the other hand, Jimin finds that he stops wanting to leave in the first place. Every time he sits down for half an hour while Seokjin applies mysterious substances to his face, he thinks that he would much rather spend the rest of the night like this than mingle with drunken humans and crowds of their gyrating, sweaty bodies.

One night, he forgets that he needs to go.

He has such a fun time with Seokjin picking out outfits and putting on makeup- he's started to do some of it by himself, and even though his eyeliner skills are atrocious, he likes swiping glittery powder on his cheekbones and watching them shimmer- that he finds himself putting off leaving. He offers to help Seokjin out with cooking, and he helps out for so long that he's still there when the meal is finished. Naturally, he tries some. And then he eats it all.

And then he doesn't want to move because he's just eaten a hearty meal and wants to be horizontal for a while. Though he's perfectly capable of consuming and digesting food, the presence of it still feels weird in his body.

He decides that he's going to stay home tonight and go out tomorrow, instead. It's gotten to a point where he can't be bothered going out when he could just go straight to bed.

"I'm sorry for wasting your time, hyung," Jimin says meekly when he tells Seokjin that he's going to stay in for the night. "I really appreciate that you help me out."

Seokjin brushes it off. "It's not a waste of time. I like helping you, and getting ready is the best part about going out. Helping someone pick out clothes and do their makeup without having to go out myself is, like, the ideal situation."

Even so, Jimin refuses to let Seokin wash the dishes as a way to repay him for his time.

He feels quite good about staying in tonight. He should be making the most of the nights he has with Seokjin, anyway. He may be feeling slightly drained already, but he can last another day, it'll be fine.

-

It's not fine.

Jimin is jerked awake by a wave of nausea. He realises that he's shivering. He's cold, so cold. His body can't heat itself up properly, it needs the warmth of someone else.

He could run outside and find someone as soon as he can, but he doesn't feel capable of doing that. He feels so weak, and his body is shaking too hard to consider getting on his feet.

He realises that he's tightly grasping Seokjin's arm with both hands. The skin under his fingertips feels warm, not quite the warmth that he needs but it's better than nothing. Before he can think of how weird of him it is, he grasps Seokjin's arm tightly and curls his body around it.

He hasn't ever let it get like this before. Considering the fact that it's literally his job to fuck people, he's never been without it for very long. He hasn't even personally met anyone who has gone so long without it, all he knew about withdrawal was that it feels like shit.

And it does feel like shit. He feels he's dying, limbs too weak and mind too foggy to get what he needs anymore, only just enough energy to cling desperately to the best comfort he can find.

That comfort is Seokjin, a living person who is starting to stir awake because of how tightly Jimin's clinging onto him.

Distantly, Jimin thinks about how inappropriate it is for him to attach himself so tightly to Seokjin, even if they've held each other multiple times before. It's not the physical contact that feels inappropriate, it's the desperation, the vulnerability.

Jimin still doesn't like being vulnerable, even in front of Seokjin. It feels like he's breaking some unspoken rule by being seen like this, but he doesn't have any other choice anymore.

"Jimin-ah?" Seokjin mumbles, eyes slowly flickering open. He languidly turns his head in Jimin's direction, squinting at him in the low light. "'Sup?"

Jimin tries to respond with words, but it comes out as a shaky whine. He takes a breath and tries again. "Cold. Really cold."

The desperation in Jimin's voice seems to shake Seokjin awake, because he sits up sharply, blinking his eyes wider. "Jimin? What's going on?" He seems to sniff the air, face scrunched up in disoriented confusion. "You smell different."

That will be his body's defence mechanism. His pheromones are probably so powerful right now in a desperate attempt to attract a victim and replenish his energy. He wonder how it feels to Seokjin.

Jimin's breath rattles in his throat when he breathes in too deep. Instinctively, he throws himself back onto Seokjin's arm, savouring the bare skin. He pushes his face into Seokjin's arm, inhaling deeply. He isn't sure how or why, but it helps.

He realises that he needs to respond. He doesn't know how long it's been since Seokjin spoke, it could have been anywhere between a few seconds and a minute. "Cold," he whispers again. "I think it's because-" he's interrupted by a sharp shiver running through him, "because I didn't go out tonight."

Seokjin looks like he has no idea what to do, and Jimin can't blame him because he doesn't know what he would do in his place, either. He's staring at his arm that has been taken into Jimin's hold. "Can I help?" He asks tonelessly, though the discomfort is evident on his face.

Jimin’s mind is moving slower than usual, and it takes him a moment to piece together what Seokjin had suggested. When he does, he’s so shocked that he moves back. "No! No, you don't have to do anything, I'm sorry." He considers offering to sleep on the sofa for the night, but if he did then he would have to ask Seokjin to carry him over. He doesn't want to ask anything of Seokjin right now.

He wants so badly to reach out and touch him. Not even in the way that he would normally reach out and touch people, either. As much as he desperately needs that right now, he could never even consider touching Seokjin in that way, not after knowing his boundaries. He just wants to be held, to feel bare skin against his own and be warmed by the heat of Seokjin's body.

"Jimin-ah," Seokjin says wearily, "you look like you're in pain. I can't leave you like that."

Jimin feels a tear slide down his cheek, and his hand shakes as he wipes it away. "I don't want you to do... That... You won't like it."

"I can't just leave you like this," Seokjin repeats. Despite seemingly having decided that he has no other choice but to help Jimin sexually, he hasn't made any move towards him. There's a foot between them, but it feels like miles.

Jimin shakes his head jerkily. "Can you just... Hold me? Nothing else, just," he reaches feebly for Seokjin's arm again. "Need to feel you."

Seokjin hums under his breath, extending his arms as Jimin scrambles into his embrace. Immediately, it feels better. He's still cold and weak and his brain isn't working quite right, but the physical contact helps. It feels less unbearable.

With shamelessness that he would never have on a normal day, Jimin mewls quietly against Seokjin’s bicep. The physical contact all over is good, but it's the bare skin that's really helping him feel grounded.

Seokjin seems to pick up on this, because he stiffens for a moment before taking his shirt off and gently pushing Jimin into his now bare chest.

It's so much warmer now. There's a chill remaining deep in his bones, but he isn't shivering like he was before. His thoughts are becoming clearer by the second.

"You can take yours off, too, if you want," Seokjin says quietly.

"Are you sure?" Jimin breathes.

"Yeah."

Jimin takes his shirt off in one quick movement and lays back against Seokjin's chest and, fuck, that's so much better. The skin on skin is exactly what he needs. He feels like a cold blooded reptile lounging on a warm rock in the sun, if the warm rock were another lizard and they were both feeling shy.

Seokjin's heart is beating so fast. He's scared, just a little bit. Jimin doesn't like that. He knows that he scared Seokjin there, knows that for a moment Seokjin thought that he didn't have a choice.

He always has a choice. Always should be able to say no and should always be able to say yes if he ever happened to change his mind- not that he ever has to.

"I'd never make you do anything like that," Jimin murmurs, lips brushing against Seokjin's collarbone.

"I know," Seokjin says. His voice is flat.

Jimin shuffles around so that he can lift his head up and look straight into Seokjin's eyes. "I'm serious."

"I know," Seokjin says again.

They lay together in silence for a while. It's comfortable, considering what an unfamiliar situation it is. The fear in Seokjin's scent gradually fades away until it's not there at all. He relaxes under Jimin's weight, tightening his arms around his waist. Jimin thinks that he could finally get back to sleep but also, selfishly, wants to stay awake just so that he can experience being held like this.

Seokjin speaks before he can decide whether or not to try to sleep. "Can I tell you something?"

"Yeah."

Seokjin pauses for a moment, body stiffening again. "Something happened to me when I was younger. Sexually." He spits out the last word like it tastes bad in his mouth.

Jimin doesn't say anything. He doesn't know what he could possibly say. He had wondered, a few times, if something traumatic had happened to Seokjin before, but he hadn't thought about it too much. The thought of it made him feel sick and, besides, he has no right to speculate about things like that.

He strokes Seokjin's torso gently with his thumb, hoping that it conveys that he's listening and willing to hear any more that he'd like to share.

Seokjin seems to get it. He swallows, voice sounding very weak all of a sudden. "I was a teenager. Fifteen or something. I had my first real girlfriend, and she wanted to, you know, progress things. I didn't really want to. I didn't have any interest in sex, and I told her that, but she said that all boys wanted to have sex and I just didn't know what I was missing."

There's a moment of silence. "Ah," Jimin says softly, barely audible. He feels cold again, but not the kind of cold that he felt before. He knows what's coming, and as much as he can't stand to hear it, he knows that he'll still listen.

"So we did it," Seokjin says. "Or, really she did it. I didn't do anything, I just sat there and let her do what she wanted to do. It was weird because it felt good, like, physically, but mentally it hurt a lot. I felt like I wasn't present in my body, like it was somehow happening to someone else." Another short pause. "I broke up with her a month later and then she told everyone that I was bad in bed."

"That's awful. She's fucking awful." Jimin wants to cry, but that's not right. If anyone should be crying, it's Seokjin, but he seems relatively put together. The only thing giving away the fact that telling the story is difficult for him is the weakness in his voice, but that's it.

"Yeah, she was," Seokjin agreed, adjusting his position slightly. "Once I realised that what happened wasn't right, I got help for it, so I'm okay now. Or, as okay as I can be. Stuff like that doesn't ever really leave you, you know?"

Jimin nods.

"I just wonder, sometimes." Seokjin leaves it at that for a moment, absentmindedly running his fingers over the curve of Jimin's back. "I'm comfortable identifying as asexual now, and if I had known of the label I probably would have used it back then, but I was just a kid. Things could have changed. I don't know if I'm naturally like this or if it's because of trauma. I know that it doesn't matter because I am how I am and the way I came to be like this doesn't matter but, fuck, I hate not knowing for sure."

Jimin really wishes that he could provide some advice, but he knows nothing. He knows nothing about asexuality other than what Seokjin has told him, and he couldn't possibly fully grasp how trauma affects humans because it's so complicated. Humans in general are so complex, so different from each other and yet all the same at the same time. Jimin knows how to tell what they want in a matter of seconds, but he couldn't begin to figure out how their minds work.

He doesn't have any advice or anecdotes or anything else, so he just presses his face between Seokjin's collarbones and mumbles, "Thank you for telling me."

Ironically, this is the part that Seokjin seems the most uncomfortable. "Yeah. It's fine. You're welcome. I think."

"Is there anything else you'd like to talk about?" Jimin asks.

"I don't think so."

"Do you want me to act like you never told me anything?"

Seokjin hums quietly. "Nah. It's been a long time and I've made peace with it years ago. It's just..."

It's still a thing that's on his mind sometimes. Jimin can understand that. "Do you want to go back to sleep?" He asks.

"Yeah."

It's silent after that, the only sounds being Seokjin's breaths and his heart thrumming rhythmically in his chest. Jimin hears as Seokjin's breathing slows down as he falls back asleep. He falls asleep surprisingly fast, considering the weight on his chest. Jimin thought that he would have had to move away at some point.

He's glad that he doesn't have to move away. He likes this, curled up on top of Seokjin, he likes it a lot.

It seems like so many little things have happened that brought him to this moment, and even though most of them were mistakes, he's glad to have made mistakes. He closes his eyes, still a little cold but warm enough to be comfortable, and lets himself drift back to sleep.