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“I swear, I’m not trying to turn this stream into an ASMR mukbang or anything,” Jungkook says, setting down the portion of noodles and leaning back in his chair. “It’s just that this cup noodle thing is pretty much the only thing that I’ve eaten today.” He pauses and wipes his mouth with a napkin. “Well, the only thing that qualifies as food, because the protein bar I got from my friend in class tasted like it was artificially made. From rocks.” He flashes a grin at the camera. “But now that I’m done slurping down these so I won’t pass out on camera, we can get back to business. You guys ready?”

It’s still awkward as hell to be essentially talking to himself as he streams, but he’s getting more used to it. It helps that there are a few people commenting through the chat box, so it doesn’t feel like he’s talking to the walls. A few comments immediately slide in.

sb103x: ready

sb103x: let’s get it

hyuka0002: lezgediiit

Jungkook smiles. “Exactly,” he says. “Let’s get it.” His regulars have picked up on his common phrases and started using them, and it makes him feel way cooler than he probably is.

He’s just about to start when a notification alerts him about a tip. He perks up. Nice. He’s not a big name by any measures—he doesn’t usually get tips on his streams, so it’s always exciting when someone drops him some money.

Jungkook looks at the tip as the AI voice reads the attached comment out loud, and he can feel his eyes widen and his eyebrows escape up to the stratosphere.

“Oh wow.”

He sometimes receives the usual suggested tip of ₩3,000 that just about gets him a cup of cheap mocha at the campus coffee shop, but this tip reads ₩100,000. 

A hundred thousand. Someone just dropped him a tip of a hundred thousand?

He re-reads the comment that came with the tip.

ksj___0: Buy yourself some food that’s more nutritious than noodles.

Jungkook can’t help the little giggling laugh that escapes him. “Looks like someone wants me to buy some beef. Damn, thanks, that’s gonna cover a lot of groceries.” He taps his chin thoughtfully and then grins. “Or maybe I’ll just buy a few wholesale pallets of ramen. A hundred thousand packs of ramen. Ramen for a whole year.”

hyuka0002: bathtub full of ramen lezgediiit

sb103x: swim in ramen

ksj___0: Please no.

Jungkook laughs. “Okay, I promise to buy something more nutritious than ramen or artificial-tasting protein bars. Thank you so much.” He bows his head at the camera, then taps the keyboard. The start screen of the game that was sitting frozen while he was slurping noodles comes back to life. “Now, after this pathetic excuse for a mukbang, let’s get to the thing that you’re all here for. Because no one is here to watch me eat.”

As the game loads, another comment appears in the chat box.

ksj___0: Are you sure about that?

Jungkook snorts. “Well, either way, we’re playing some games now. And then afterwards I’m going grocery shopping for something that’s not ramen. Send me suggestions on what I should buy.”

sb103x: energy drinks, play for a week without sleep

hyuka0002: ice cream

hyuka0002: ice cream and energy drinks

ksj___0: How about some actual food…

“Actual food, you got it, boss.” Jungkook winks at the camera. “Let’s get it.”

He plays for a couple of hours and then spends a few moments chatting with the small crowd of people who are watching. He recognizes the regulars by their screen names as they flash by in the chat, but it looks like the person who dropped him the huge tip isn’t watching anymore, or if they are, they’re not announcing their presence. Jungkook thanks his audience, promising to come back soon, and then shuts down the stream, sighing and dropping his headphones to hang around his neck.



-



“What, are you suddenly rich or something?” Taehyung asks when Jungkook drops a few packages of beef in the grocery basket, along with some fresh fruit and vegetables.

Jungkook grins. “I was eating plain noodles during last night’s stream and someone tipped me 100k, told me to buy some real food.”

Taehyung laughs. “Oh, nice.” He holds up his stack of cup noodles and raises his eyebrows. “Does that mean you’re treating your hyung today, hm?”’

Jungkook rolls his eyes and generously raises his basket. “Toss them in.”

“Sweet.” Taehyung grins and drops his noodles in. “Will you buy me some kimchi as well? Maybe some cookies too?” He bats his lashes.

“In your dreams.”

“Mean.” Taehyung shoves him in the shoulder, then pouts when Jungkook refuses to budge.

“Maybe some kimchi,” Jungkook amends, grinning.

“Sweet,” Taehyung says again. “Thanks, Kook-ah.”

The following day as Jungkook settles down at his computer, he’s got a portion of food in front of him: a stir fry of vegetables and beef with sesame seeds artfully sprinkled on top, very nutritious-looking. He spent perhaps too much time arranging the plate before logging onto the streaming site, but hey, might as well show his benefactor that their money didn’t go to waste.

“I know I started a bit earlier today than I said I would, but I just wanted to show you guys something,” Jungkook says when he sees viewers appearing to watch. “Look! Real food!” 

hyuka0002: so no bathtub full of ramen? boo

Jungkook laughs. “Unfortunately, no.”

thyun_dt: u could get so many views if u streamed urself in that

Jungkook ducks his head and laughs again. “Uh. Not the kind of stream I want to do, honestly?”

hyuka0002: boring

sb103x: lol i mean we’re already getting mukbangs

sb103x: this is one step away from becoming an onlyfans page

Jungkook chokes on thin air. “Yeah, we’re not going there.”

More replies immediately pop up. Some of them tell him they’d absolutely want to see him bathe in ramen, while a few comments encourage Jungkook to create an onlyfans page. His ears feel a bit warm as he promptly ignores those comments and starts digging into his food. He eats while scanning the chat to see if the person who dropped him that huge tip makes an appearance, but so far there’s no indication of them being present. Perhaps them showing up in his stream was a one-time thing. An angel passing through, leaving a trail of gifts in its wake.

Jungkook finishes his food and starts the game, and it turns out like one of his usual nights of streaming, if a bit more crowded. He’s started gaining more of an audience during the recent streams, but he still doesn’t expect to make it big or make a living out of this. He’s studying and working a bit on the side, and his streaming schedule is very irregular at times. He’s doing all of this for fun and to wind down; and if someone else enjoys watching him slaughter a horde of bad guys, that’s just a bonus. 

After he’s done with the game he notices a few private messages flashing at the bottom of the site. He’s thought about turning off the possibility to send him a direct message, but so far the number of messages has been tolerable and the contents mostly positive, so he’s allowed it.

Which is good because among the other messages, he finds one from the person who sent him a shit-ton of money.

ksj___0: Glad to see you actually got some food. enjoy ^^

Jungkook stares at the message. It’s timestamped immediately after he ended the game, meaning the person who bought his dinner also stayed around to watch him goof off in the game for almost two hours. Huh.

thanks so much, he sends back. the beef was really good.

There’s no reply, and when Jungkook navigates to the user profile, he finds it blank, along with a mention that the user is not online right now.



-



“No, no mukbang this time,” Jungkook replies to a comment appearing in the chat. “I didn’t have time to make anything between my shift and coming here, so I’ll eat something after this. I do have some banana milk, so I won’t starve to death.” He takes a sip from the bottle and then wipes his mouth. “So, where were we?” He glances at the chat, where a few of his regular viewers are dropping comments. “Yeah, I work part time at a corner store. Lugging boxes and stuff.” He shrugs. “It pays most of my bills. I’ve had to take some extra shifts lately because there’s this stupidly expensive course book I need to buy next month.”

sb103x: the library is a thing

Jungkook rolls his eyes. “Yeah, I do know about the existence of libraries, and the campus library even has several copies of the book. I’m currently number 104 on their reservation list for a copy, so I doubt I’ll get it in time.” He tosses back the rest of his banana milk. “So I’ll have to either stream less or forgo sleep for the next few weeks to save up for the book. Fun.”

thyun_dt: which book is it

Jungkook focuses his eyes on the ceiling. “What’s the name again? I can’t remember. Something something economics or other. But it’s like ₩180,000. Because of course it is.” He loads the game on his screen. “Now really, where were we?” 

He glances at the chat to find a string of replies, but one of them gives him pause.

ksj___0: You study business?

Jungkook freezes as he recognizes the username, then blinks at the comment. “Uh, yeah,” he says, a bit belatedly as the comment has already scrolled way up in the chat. “I study business as a major. And film studies as a minor. The major is for my parents, the minor is for me.” He shrugs, grinning a bit bashfully. “You know how it is.”

ksj___0: I do know how it is. Happy studying  

A tip appears.

“What the f—” Jungkook cuts himself off just in time. “Holy sh—Wow. Thank you. Um. Wow.” He blinks at the screen, then bows his head so it almost bashes into his keyboard. “Thank you.”

The tip vanishes from the screen, but it’s branded in Jungkook’s retinas. One hundred and eighty thousand won. 

He spares one last glance at the chat before diving into the game. It’s a mistake, because then he has to start the game with his ears burning red.

sb103x: so this really is becoming an onlyfans huh

hyuka0002: jungkook sugar baby era

hyuka0002: remember us when u live in a mansion with ur sugar daddy ok



-



Odd as it is, someone tipping him a ridiculous amount of money once or twice could be written off as a weird coincidence or a glitch in the matrix—but it happens again, and Jungkook can’t help but wonder who the person behind the huge-ass tips is.

A man, a woman? Young, old? Obviously rich or well-off, but who are they? What do they do with their life, aside from lurking on Jungkook’s game streams and dropping him big lumps of money like it’s pocket change?

And since there’s no such thing as a free lunch: what do they want in return?

“I think I may have accidentally acquired a sugar daddy,” Jungkook tells Jimin and Taehyung during lunch one day, causing Jimin to inhale his soda. 

“How does one ‘accidentally’ acquire a sugar daddy??” Jimin asks as soon as he’s stopped coughing, meaning the soda has probably found its way down the right pipe.

“Or I guess it could be a sugar mama, I don’t know.” Jungkook shrugs. “Either way. This person first dropped me a hundred thousand and told me to buy food—”

“Ohh, I remember that,” Taehyung interrupts. “I got some free ramen out of that.”

“Yeah, and then when I mentioned I need to work extra hours to get that stupidly expensive economics course book so I might not be able to stream for a bit, they just—dropped the exact price of the book in my tips.”

“What the fuck?” Jimin asks, eyes wide. “Dude, teach me your ways. I wouldn’t mind someone paying for my shit as well.”

“And then—”

“There’s more?” Taehyung’s mouth drops open.

“Yeah,” Jungkook says, scratching the side of his neck. A prickle of heat is creeping up to his cheeks. “Then I mentioned I needed new shoes and I may have been drooling over a pair of pretty expensive ones. I said something like, ok so I’ll never be able to afford these, but a man can dream, right, hahaha, and the next moment—poof—a tip comes in.” He pauses for a second.

“No,” Jimin says, looking like he’s swallowed acid. “No fucking way.”

“The exact price of those shoes. So I ordered them.” Jungkook takes a sip of his soda. “I should get the package in the mail tomorrow.” He may or may not feel a bit smug when Jimin and Taehyung exchange disbelieving glances and then start discussing the possible benefits of becoming streamers. 

“But you don’t even game,” Jungkook points out, interrupting their scheming.

“No,” Taehyung admits. “But we’re pretty. And do you really think it’s just your gaming skills that got this glucose guardian to shower you with money, huh? Dude, look in the mirror.” He makes a point of looking up and down Jungkook’s body with his brows raised. “Your gaming skills might be top notch but I’m betting you anything it’s not your skills paying for your shoes.” 

Jungkook sputters. “Fuck off.”

Taehyung bats his lashes. “Ooh, touchy.”

Jungkook picks up a napkin and balls it up, tossing it at Taehyung who dodges easily and laughs at the pathetic attempt. 

“But in all seriousness though, isn’t it kind of weird that someone would just… give you money to buy stuff, and not want anything in return?” Jimin purses his lips.

“Um, yeah?” Jungkook gives him an incredulous look. “I know it’s weird. My subscribers know it’s weird. A couple of my regulars have started calling this my ‘sugar baby era’.” He scrunches his nose. “So fucking weird.”

“So you don’t know anything about this person?” Taehyung puts in. “Like, they could be an eighty-year-old creepy guy, or a rich housewife with a midlife crisis.”

Jungkook shrugs. “Pretty much. All I know is their username. Their profile on the site is just blank, no information, no followers.”

“That’s a bit sus,” Jimin says. He then points a finger at Jungkook. “If they want to meet up face-to-face, you tell them to send proof that they’re legit, or to scram.”

“Yes, mother.” Jungkook pokes his tongue out, then laughs when Jimin snaps his teeth at him across the table.



-



Seokjin glances across the desk at Yoongi as they eat their late lunch delivered to the office. Well, time-wise perhaps at this point it’s closer to dinner than lunch, but whatever. At least they’re not having dinner at midnight like the other day, when Seokjin was trying to get everything done before the deadline that was coming up the next morning.

Yoongi is munching on his food with an absent look in his eyes as he scrolls on his phone that’s sitting on the desk in front of him.

Seokjin licks his lips and sets his chopsticks aside, reaching for a bottle of mineral water. He unscrews the cap and takes a sip, swallows slowly and then says, “So. I think I may have accidentally acquired a sugar baby.”

Yoongi chokes on a lump of rice and coughs for nearly ten seconds. He drops his chopsticks on the desk and one of them rolls off the edge. “How on earth do you ‘accidentally’ acquire a sugar baby?” he then asks, wheezing and wiping his watering eyes with his napkin.

Seokjin puts the bottle away and rummages around inside the takeaway bag, handing a fresh pair of chopsticks across the desk. “Well, uh.” His eyes wander over the sleek furniture in the office. “I was just goofing off on this streaming site.”

Yoongi takes the offered utensils while his eyebrows rise and disappear under his fringe. “Uh-huh.”

“Not that kind of streaming site.” Seokjin huffs indignantly. “For gamers. A game streaming site.”

“Uh-huh,” Yoongi says again. “Sure.”

“And this kid pops up in my recommended. Just a few hundred followers and like thirty people watching his stream.” Seokjin stares at the window pane that at this point mostly just reflects the brightly-lit office back at him, dotted with the city lights beyond. “I don’t know what made me click on the stream but I did.”

“Someone’s besotted,” Yoongi comments under his breath.

Seokjin ignores him. “And so I clicked, and there he is, scarfing down some plain ramen before his gaming session, talking about how that’s the only thing he’s eaten all day. I simply wanted to get him something better to eat than plain ramen—so I may have tipped him a bit of money for groceries.”

“A bit, huh? You sure he didn’t just buy weed with it?” Yoongi asks in monotone.

“No!” Seokjin says immediately. “Because he was back the next day with beef and vegetables.” And it was cute how enthusiastic he was about it, too, he doesn’t continue.

“Right.” Yoongi nods, finally cracking apart his new set of chopsticks.

“Sometime later, he mentioned having to work extra hours so he could afford a book for an economics course—”

“He’s a college kid?” Yoongi interrupts. 

Seokjin nods, then realizes what Yoongi means. “He’s twenty-three!” he adds quickly. “It says so on his profile.”

“Sure, old man,” Yoongi mutters.

“Yah, just because you were born the following year doesn’t mean that you’re that much younger,” Seokjin says, pointing a finger at Yoongi’s nose. “Three months, Yoongi-yah. Three.”

“Yeah, but unlike you, I’ve fully accepted my old-man status.” Yoongi uses his free hand to adjust his tie with a grin. “Although I don’t creep on young gamers online.”

“I’m not creeping!”

“No, but you’re giving him money to buy food and study books and—”

“Shoes,” Seokjin adds, then realizes it doesn’t make the situation look much better for him, creep-wise.

“You bought the kid shoes?” Yoongi laughs, but his eyes flash with a calculating look. “Yeah, we’re definitely getting into sugar baby territory here.”

“But I didn’t mean it like that! He just—” Seokjin pauses. “He gets so flustered every time I give him a tiny bit of money—”

“A tiny bit?” Yoongi’s eyebrows vanish beneath his hair again as if to say he doesn’t believe this for one second.

“It’s close to a tiny bit, for me anyway,” Seokjin defends. “But he looks like I just bought him the entire world. His eyes go all wide and starry, and he bows and thanks me, and—” He stops talking when Yoongi aims an unimpressed stare at him. “What?”

“So you’re just—what, showering this kid with money because he’s cute when flustered, and because he has been taught basic manners, like saying ‘thank you’ when someone does something nice for him?”

“No,” Seokjin sputters. “That’s not—I mean, yeah. Pretty much.”

“And this wasn’t an onlyfans page or anything?” Yoongi asks. “You just randomly started throwing money at this college gamer kid.”

Seokjin doesn’t know if he should shrug, grimace or nod his head, so he kind of does all of it at once. “Yeah. Hence the ‘accidentally’ part of this all.”

“Kim Seokjin, I’m pretty sure only you could manage to accidentally acquire a sugar baby,” Yoongi says. “I’m almost impressed.” He pauses. “Does he know who you are?”

Seokjin scoffs. “Obviously not.”

“Well, that’s good. I’m sure your father would be thrilled if he knew about this,” Yoongi states.

“Oh yeah. Ecstatic.” Seokjin rolls his eyes at Yoongi’s disapproving frown. “I don’t pay you to judge me.”

“Technically, you don’t pay me. Your father does.” Yoongi raises an eyebrow. “Besides, I thought this was a conversation between friends, or do you talk about your sugar daddy endeavors with all your father’s employees?”

Seokjin glares at him. Too bad Yoongi knows him too well for it to have any effect.

“Well, let’s see it, then,” Yoongi sets the chopsticks aside and makes a summoning motion with his hand.

“See what?”

“This gamer kid, hyung. I know you have pictures of him.”

“I don’t,” Seokjin denies.

“Screenshots?” Yoongi guesses.

“Fuck off.”

Yoongi laughs. “I’ll take that as a yes. C’mon, then, show me.”

Seokjin puts his chopsticks down, pulling his phone closer and tapping the screen to unlock it. He navigates to a hidden folder and brings up a screenshot. Round starry eyes, an excited grin, slightly bunny-like front teeth, the glint of a silver ring near the right corner of his mouth—all topped off with an unruly mop of wavy hair. Paused in the exact moment of realization that he can now afford the shoes he wanted to buy.

Seokjin wonders if this Jungkook guy would look at him the same way if they were face to face.

He sighs and wordlessly slides the phone across the desk.

Yoongi takes the phone and examines the photo. “Yeah. I’m not surprised.”

“What?” Seokjin asks, slightly defensive.

Yoongi slides the phone back. “He’s like a thousand percent your type.”

“It’s not even like that,” Seokjin whines, casting one last glance at the screenshotted image and then tapping the phone to make the photo disappear as the screen dims. “It’s just—” He closes his eyes for a moment. “Do you remember that feeling? When all of a sudden you get something you’ve wanted? That surge of excitement?”

There’s a pause. “I guess.”

Seokjin opens his eyes. “Well, I don’t. But I guess he—” He motions at his phone screen where the image of Jungkook is just a finger’s tap away. “He makes me remember. The unbridled joy in his eyes reminds me of that feeling, of longing for something and then finally getting it. I haven’t felt that in a long time.” He sees the look in Yoongi’s eyes. “It’s weird, isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Yoongi says with a nod. “Definitely. But when have you ever been anything but weird?”

“Thanks.” Seokjin snorts and shakes his head, rolling his eyes.

They both reach for their chopsticks and continue eating in silence.

“So,” Yoongi says at length. “What are you going to do about this—accidental sugar baby situation?”



-



Jungkook stares at the string of private messages that popped up during his latest stream; rows upon rows of messages forming a reply that completely ignores the previous thank-you message concerning his grocery purchases. 

ksj___0: I’m sorry if this has been weird for you

ksj___0: Me giving you money to buy stuff, I mean

ksj___0: I just wanted you to know I’m not a creep

ksj___0: (That’s a thing a creep would say, isn’t it? Dammit)

ksj___0: Either way, I wanted to say that I don’t expect anything from you in return

ksj___0: It’s just given me some happiness to see you get so excited about something so… trivial as some beef or a pair of shoes.

ksj___0: (I love the shoes by the way. Really nice.)

ksj___0: And watching you play is entertaining. You’ve got this energy. Great vibes. 

ksj___0: You’re really good, you know? 

ksj___0: Aish, I’m rambling. But anyway, I just wanted to clear this up a bit, since it came to my attention that my approach could perhaps be viewed as slightly creepy

Jungkook blinks. It’s a bit of a whiplash, because some of the messages give him the impression that this person is no older than he is, while others have a vibe that’s decidedly more middle-aged. But it seems this is a guy, maybe—given the way they’re referring to being a creep.

how old are you?? he types, then backspaces. It seems rude to ask. 

are you a guy? he tries, but that doesn’t seem right either.

And besides, why would it be any of his business who this person is? All they did was send him some money that was a tremendous help for him. Not like they owe him anything. On the contrary, he feels like he owes them something, even though they said they don’t want anything in return.

jungk00k1: i want to sincerely thank you, you have no idea how much you helped me out. and i haven’t gotten creep vibes so don’t even worry about it.

Jungkook stares at the message. That seems appropriate. He presses send, then pauses to think.

jungk00k1: also, i mean this with the least amount of disrespect, but the way you type is like a weird mixture between an 18th century vampire and the frat guy who lives two doors down the hall. so which one is it?

Okay, he’s fucking curious, so sue him.

Jungkook can see the indicator that the user is still online, so he waits.

ksj___0: kekekeke

ksj___0: As much as I’d like to claim immortality, sadly I’m only 27

jungk00k1: and a guy? did i guess that right?

ksj___0: Is this an ASL type of thing or

ksj___0: I’m joking. But yeah, I’m a guy. Is that a problem?

jungk00k1: not at all, i’m just curious about who’s been giving me money to buy stuff. not that you owe me information. but. you know. curious.

He stares at the chat box.

ksj___0: Understandable.

Well. That’s not much to go on. Jungkook wants to ask so much more, but this guy seems reluctant to give him anything. At least now he has an age and some pronouns he can use to refer to his… well. Sugar daddy? Not that this guy is his sugar daddy. That’s not what’s going on.

Jungkook doesn’t think he’s lying about his age, so at least he’s not 80 years old or something. But what 27-year-old just has so much money that they can throw it away like this guy has been doing? 

jungk00k1: anyway. thank you so much again. i really appreciate the support. it means a lot.

ksj___0: It’s no problem. Glad I could help.

Jungkook’s fingers move over the keyboard before he can stop himself.

jungk00k1: can you at least give me a name or a nickname? i can’t refer to you as ksj, it looks like a sneeze or a hiccup

ksj___0: Just call me… Achoo?

jungk00k1:

ksj___0: Or Jin. That works too.

A smile sneaks up on Jungkook and tugs at the corners of his mouth. 

Jin.

ksj___0: Oh, one more thing. 

Jungkook almost subconsciously leans closer to his screen as he waits for Jin to continue.



-



“So, I may have gone to his stream and chatted with him for a while,” Seokjin says. 

Yoongi does an exaggerated kind of a facepalming gesture. “And?”

“And what?”

Yoongi drags his hand down his face very slowly and gives Seokjin a look. “You wouldn’t be telling me this unless there were some further fuckups involved.”

“I may have ended up giving him my KaTalk.”

“Hyung.” Yoongi facepalms again. 

“Still don’t pay you to judge me.”

“You still don’t pay me, hyung.”

“We can change that if I order a hit on my father and usurp his corporate throne.” Seokjin aims a scheming look at the ceiling, where said corporate throne sits three floors above them.

Yoongi snorts. “Yeah, because that’s exactly what you want to do in life. Dethrone your father and take over his empire.”

Seokjin tugs on his tie. “Ugh. The mere thought of that makes this thing feel like it’s tightening around my neck. A corporate noose.” He lets go of the offending piece of clothing.

Yoongi gives him a look that’s slightly pitying, but in a kind way. Then he purses his lips. “So has the kid started asking for more money on KaTalk?”

Seokjin tries to hold his pout but some of it bleeds through anyway. “No. He actually hasn’t messaged me at all yet.” His voice might be a bit whiny. “I told him to message me if he wanted to, and it’s been two days.” He glances at his wristwatch. “Two days in like five hours I mean.”

“I should do a background check on him,” Yoongi mutters under his breath.

Seokjin gives him a disbelieving glance. “You mean you haven’t already?”

Yoongi at least has the decency to look a bit guilty. “Well. Now that you mention it.”

“Impressive,” Seokjin deadpans. “How did you even find him? I never mentioned his name, or his channel name for that matter. All you had to go off of was one screenshot and a few details from his streams.” 

“What kind of head of personal security would I be if I was stumped by that?” Yoongi asks. “And anyway, it wasn’t me who found him. I just gave Namjoon those details and had him find the kid. It only took a few hours of browsing to find the streaming channel, and from that it was easy to ID him.”

“Ah.” Seokjin nods. “Of course.” He pauses. “And did you—find anything?” He hates that he has to ask, but he has to ask.

Yoongi breaks into a smile, one of those rare ones that show all his teeth and some gum on the side. “Absolutely nothing. Your sugar baby is as clean as a whistle.”

“He’s not—” Seokjin starts. “It’s not like that.”

Still, it’s a relief to know Jungkook doesn’t have any skeletons in his closet. For whatever reason.



-



“It’s a guy, and he’s 27 years old,” Jungkook announces when he finds Taehyung and Jimin in the campus cafeteria the following day.

“What?” Taehyung distractedly looks up from his laptop, clearly trying to multitask by writing an essay while he’s eating.

“The—” Jungkook pauses. He can’t call Jin his sugar daddy. That’s just wrong. He sits down and glances around, lowering his voice. “The guy who’s been giving me money on my streams.”

Jimin’s eyes snap up from his phone. He sighs and drops the phone beside his tray, running his hand through his hair. “What you mean to say is that he claims he’s 27 years old.” He smiles sweetly. “In reality it’s like a 60-year-old guy who’s two messages away from asking for feet pics.”

“Well, I mean, he’s already seen the shoes he indirectly bought,” Jungkook says, dropping his backpack on the floor next to his chair.

Taehyung’s head whips up. “Please don’t tell me you’re sending him feet pics. Jungkook. Your toes are worth so much more.”

Jungkook laughs. “No, I showed the shoes I bought in my stream last night. He said they looked nice.”

“Jungkook-ah.” Jimin’s tone is worried. “Don’t go building up any daydreams about this dude. You don’t know anything about him.”

“I’m not!” Jungkook says. He sees the glance Taehyung and Jimin exchange.  “I’m not.”

“We know you.” Taehyung’s tone is playful, if a bit worried.

“I know me too. Better than you guys do.” Jungkook rolls his eyes. “Anyway. He, um. He gave me his KaTalk.”

Two pairs of eyes lock onto him. “And?” Jimin asks after a pause.

“And nothing.” Jungkook shrugs. “I haven’t—messaged him yet. What would I even say? ‘Hi, it’s the dude whose groceries and shoes and economics book you paid for, how’s it going?’”

“You could ask him if there’s anything you can do in return for his generosity,” Jimin starts.

“He already said he doesn’t expect anything in return,” Jungkook interjects.

“And then wait for the request to send him nudes,” Jimin finishes like Jungkook never said anything at all.

“Do you always believe the worst of people?” Jungkook asks.

“Only when they’re anonymous internet people who suddenly want to give away money.” Jimin shrugs. “Ask him to send a photo of himself? He’s seen your face in your streams, it’s only fair.”

Jungkook squirms. “He doesn’t owe me anything. He’s already paid for so much of my shit this month.”

“Well, send him a selca? Just an innocent one, like ‘hi so here I am, what’s up’ kind of thing.” Taehyung looks up from his laptop. “Then you can sneakily ask for a picture of him.”

“He won’t send one.” Jimin sounds sure. “And if he does, you are going to reverse image search that shit so hard, okay?”

“Of course Jungkookie will,” Taehyung says. “He’s not stupid.”

“Well, at least one of you thinks I’m not,” Jungkook mutters. 

“I don’t think you’re stupid,” Jimin reaches to ruffle Jungkook’s hair. “I just think you’re too good for this world and there are always people seeking to take advantage of that.”

“You’re so sappy.” Jungkook ducks away from the touch and tries to fluff his hair back into its original shape. 

Later that day, he spends a considerable amount of time in front of the bathroom mirror, fixing his hair and applying some lip balm, before relocating to his desk chair. He briefly considers taking a selca on his bed, but that might send the wrong kind of message.

Is there even the wrong kind of message in this situation? Or the right kind, for that matter?

In the end he takes a photo where he scrunches his nose and shows a peace sign with his free hand. It’s cute but not suggestive.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being suggestive, but that’s not the vibe he wants to give when he has no idea who’s on the receiving end. He doesn’t believe Jin to be 60 years old, but Jimin is right: he doesn’t know anything about this person. So Jin will get a selca that’s nothing more scandalous than what he could see during one of Jungkook’s streams. Simple as that.

He sends the photo to Jin’s KaTalk, along with the peace sign emoji as a caption.

He then spends a few agonizing minutes waiting for a response, but after about ten minutes he eventually gives up. He goes to dig his study books from his backpack, but even as he’s studying, he keeps glancing at his phone every minute or so in case there’s a reply.

It finally comes through after about thirty minutes.

Jin: Oh, hey. That’s a nice photo ^^ 

Jin: Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, I was in a meeting.

JK: business meeting?

Jin: Yes. Corporate hell. Truly soul-sucking.

JK: a suit and tie meeting?

Jin: Why do you ask?

JK: still curious. and suits are hot tbh

The next message is a photo. The face has been cropped out, but it’s a waist-up mirror selca of a man in a smart-looking, extremely well-fitting gray suit. Wide shoulders, narrow waist, his body shape accentuated by the crisp lines of his garment. His free hand is on the knot of his tie, and Jungkook immediately zooms in as close as he can. 

Yeah, that’s no sixty-year-old hand. Not even close. 

And that body?

Wow.

Jungkook scrolls back up to the beginning of their chat, pursing his lips. His peace-sign-and-hoodie selca now seems silly and childish in comparison.

Another photo comes in, and Jungkook grins, immediately feeling better about his own picture, because he receives another mirror selca, but the suit has been swapped out for an obnoxious hot-pink hoodie and purple pajama pants with—Jungkook squints and zooms in—cartoon llamas on them?

Jin: I much prefer this outfit. Wish we could have casual Fridays and wear this to the office tbh

JK: it’s Thursday

Jin: Wish we could have casual workdays every day and never wear ties again.

JK: fair enough. I think the last time I had a tie on was at my cousin’s wedding like a year ago.

Jin: Lucky.

JK: your parents made you go into business? i don’t mean to pry, it’s just what you said when you got me the economics book (which by the way, thank you, that book’s a lifesaver right about now)

Jin: Yeah, it’s a long story… Anyway, I’m glad the book is helpful. So when do you graduate?

JK: not for another year 

Jin: Aww.

In a way, that single word makes Jungkook feel like a preschooler receiving a pinch on the cheek or a pat on the head—but it’s coming from some guy who’s currently dressed in pajama pants topped with a hot-pink hoodie, but who also wears tailored suits to the office and has enough money to throw a few hundred thousand won at someone he doesn’t even know without giving it much thought.

It’s like one whiplash after another—and now Jungkook is chatting on KaTalk with him. What the hell has his life come to?

Over the course of the next few days, they continue talking on and off—about the general scope of their lives without going into too many personal details, about their favorite movies and music and foods, and there’s even a heated argument about the best types of superpowers. Well, as heated as a text-based argument can get. There are a lot of exclamation points and reaction gifs, and at some point Jungkook sends a selca of him glaring angrily at the camera—but for some reason it only seems to dissolve the argument because Jin immediately reverts to pleading face emojis and sends back a photo of his hand showing a finger heart.

Jungkook perhaps feels a bit more flustered about that than he should.



-



Someone rings the buzzer and Seokjin taps the screen of his phone to hide the photo of Jungkook that he may or may not have been staring at for the past few minutes, zoned-out. He presses the green button to indicate it’s okay to enter, and the door slides open.

Seokjin stands up, bowing as his father strides in with his assistant in tow, followed immediately by Yoongi, who stations himself right by the door.

Seokjin’s father may be the one who pays Yoongi’s salary, but Seokjin is the one he’s paid to protect, so without a direct order to leave, Yoongi will once again be present during the lecture Seokjin is about to receive.

He knows it’s going to be a lecture. That’s pretty much the only reason his father ever decides to grace this floor with his presence. The topic of the sermon may vary slightly, but it mostly stays within the same realms: Seokjin needs to grow up and take responsibility, he needs to either find a spouse or accept one his parents find for him, he needs to behave in a way that doesn’t bring dishonor to the family.

He’s heard it all so many times already that by now he could just have his father give him the topic on a flashcard and do the rest of the lecture himself.

“Father,” Seokjin says politely. Then, “What’s up? Besides the ceiling?”

His father scoffs at the choice of words. “Be serious for a moment.”

“What can I do for you?” Seokjin asks mildly, resisting the urge to further annoy his father. He paces around his desk and pauses within a respectful distance, waiting for his father to continue.

“I need your help.”

Seokjin blinks. “What?” That is unexpected.

His father sighs. “Your mother’s birthday is coming up.”

“Ah.” Seokjin nods. “What about it?”

“Two things: the birthday party, and her present.”

Seokjin frowns. “But isn’t Misun handling the party arrangements?” He glances over his father’s shoulder at his assistant.

His father nods. “She is. What I wanted to know is who you’ll bring as your date.”

Ah, shit.

“Yoongi?” Seokjin suggests. “I mean, he usually follows me everywhere anyway…”

By the door, Yoongi stands stock still and doesn’t look directly at them, but Seokjin can see how the corners of his mouth curve up in amusement.

“As I recall, I asked you to be serious for a minute.” His father’s voice is like ice.

Seokjin exhales slowly. “Sorry. I just—do I need a date?”

In response, he gets the usual lecture on what is expected of him and how people will soon start talking if he doesn’t up his dating game.

“Talking about what?” Seokjin asks. He doesn’t want to play dumb, but he absolutely does want to play dumb, mostly because it makes his father look like his skin is crawling with ants, and that’s a small consolation prize in a lose-lose situation such as this. 

His father gives him a stern glare. “About your—preferences.”

He always says ‘preferences’ instead of using accurate terminology, which is his way of circling around the inconvenient truth—like perhaps if he doesn’t acknowledge it, it goes away or doesn’t exist. Seokjin supposes it’s better than his father outright hating him for liking guys.

“Let them talk,” Seokjin says. “What about the present?”

His father’s eyes narrow for a few seconds, but thankfully he drops the subject of dates and preferences. Perhaps he doesn’t want a repetition of the time when he asked Seokjin to bring a date to an event and Seokjin sweetly suggested bringing his then-boyfriend. Seokjin didn’t in fact end up bringing his boyfriend, but watching his father sweat waiting for the possible scandal to happen was amusing.

“I’ve compiled a list of gift options—”

Misun has compiled a list of gift options, Seokjin translates in his head. “Yeah?”

“I’d like your input on it.” His father glances over his shoulder, and Misun hurries to hand Seokjin a printed list consisting of three pages.

Seokjin takes the list and glances at the first page, then flips it over to look at the next. As expected, it’s the same recycled ideas from previous years. Jewelry, bags, clothes, luxury goods—boring and predictable. Seokjin knows his mother already has all the jewelry and bags and clothes she wants. And what she doesn’t have, she can buy anytime.

“If you want to get her something she really likes,” Seokjin says. “Then none of this.” He looks up and meets his father’s eyes.

“What do you mean?”

“She already has, like, all of this.” Seokjin waves the list in his hand. “Give her something she doesn’t usually get from you.”

“Like what?” His father seems confused.

“Time.” Seokjin spreads his hands. “Take her to Jeju and walk across the beach barefoot with her, or rent a house in the mountains and take her for a hike in the forest. Or just—stay at home, turn off your phone and do something with her. Go to an art gallery.”

His father looks hesitant. “She’d like that?”

“Dad, shouldn’t you know? You’re the one who married her.” Not by choice, but Seokjin is thankful his parents at least seem to have affection for one another. It’s more than he can say about some of his friends’ parents.

His father scoffs at the disrespect of the words, but overall he seems to be done lecturing Seokjin for now. Small mercies. 

“I’ll think about it. Thank you for your input.”

“Anytime, Dad.”

“And the party… you can come alone.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

Seokjin waits for his father to leave with his assistant at his heel, and when the door closes after them he circles behind his desk and slumps down in his chair with a sigh. He buries his face in his hands, breathing in and out a few times. Talking with his father is always such an ordeal, and yet Seokjin can’t even hate him because he knows that deep down, his father just wants what’s best for him. It’s just that they don’t generally seem to agree on what exactly would qualify as ‘best for him’.

From beside the door, Yoongi speaks up. “So I’ll be your date, then?”

Seokjin looks up. “Yeah. It would seem so.”

Yoongi grins. “Do I at least get roses?”

“Fuck off.” 

Yoongi chuckles, while Seokjin picks up his phone and spots the notification light flashing. He taps the screen and smiles as he sees a new text from Jungkook, who is blissfully unaware of how much his messages are helping Seokjin to stay sane in this madhouse of a corporation.

JK: what’s your stance on feeding ducks in the park?

Jin: What??

JK: we’re having a debate: is it good because that way they get food and it helps them to survive, or is it bad because it teaches them to be reliant on humans instead of surviving on their own?

What Seokjin wants to say is, thank you for redirecting my thoughts to something so trivial, or perhaps, you’re damn adorable, please can we meet up so I can witness your existence in person, or maybe even, please go out with me so I can kiss your stupidly gorgeous mouth?

Instead, he smiles fondly at their chat while he writes absolutely none of those things.

Jin: That’s a good question. Let me think about it for a moment.

Jin: But what I do know is that you shouldn’t feed them bread.



-



“Okay,” Jungkook says, dropping his headphones to hang around his neck and rubbing his ears that are sore from being covered for several hours. He tilts his head from side to side, cracking his neck. “Ouch. That took a bit longer to grind through than I expected, but it was fun, right?” He checks the chat and the number of viewers, blinking for a few seconds as his brain catches up to reality. “Oh, wow. There’s a lot more of you than I’m used to.” Heat rushes to his cheeks. Hopefully he hasn’t said anything too embarrassing during the stream, because the number of viewers has more than doubled since he last glanced at it and is now higher than during any of his streams before. The comments in the chat flash by, almost too fast to read. 

A few tips come in—just the usual 3k that’s required to get the AI voice to read the attached comment out loud. Nothing grand like the ones Jin dropped on him. Jungkook thanks the tippers distractedly, because his thoughts suddenly latch onto Jin. His eyes focus on his phone lying on the desk next to his computer screen, the notification light blinking slowly as an indication of new messages.

He wonders if Jin is watching.

Jungkook taps his phone screen to life outside the camera frame and checks his new notifications.

Jin: I guess I really am getting old because I cannot fathom doing about eight million keystrokes per second like you do. Just thinking about it almost gives me carpal tunnel syndrome.

Jungkook grins. So he is watching.

JK: I thought you said you were 27, not 87?

Jin: I lied. My ancient bones hurt.

Jin: Also, you should smile for the camera and not at your phone. ;)

Oh, shit, the stream. Jungkook looks up to see the comments still flashing by.

hyuka0002: who r u texting

jisoo_smile: do u have a gf?

sb103x: from mukbangs to watching him txt someone, onlyfans here we come

sb103x: but gg anyway

hyuka0002: is it ur sugar daddy, when’s the mansion tour

iu_b48: what sugar daddy

iu_b48: im new here pls help, WHAT SUGAR DADDY

Jungkook sputters, dropping his phone next to his keyboard. “Just texting a friend. Anyway, thank you all so much, tonight was fun. I might be back over the weekend, if I get this one essay done in time.” He pauses, grimacing. “I probably won’t. University is hard, you guys.”

His phone buzzes on the desk, and Jungkook’s eyes snap to it before he can stop himself. He doesn’t pick it up, but instead forces himself to focus on replying to some comments and then bidding his audience goodnight before ending the stream.

As soon as the camera is off, Jungkook reaches for his phone again.

Jin: I’m your friend?

Jin: Nice.

JK: I mean, yeah? Even though I’ve never seen your face and you’ve watched me do all kinds of weird shit on camera, so we’re kind of uneven on that front

There’s a momentary pause in the messages, but then a reply comes in.

Jungkook snorts, because it’s a photo—an extremely blurry closeup of a nose, barely recognizable as such.

Jin: Well, now you have seen a part of my face.

JK: dunno if that counts but okay kekeke

Jin: If I showed you my entire face then I’d have to kill you, you know

JK: funny

Jin: I’m serious

Jin: :D :D

Jungkook laughs, getting up from his chair and wandering to his pathetic excuse for a kitchen, which is really just a portable stovetop and a microwave perched on top of a small fridge crammed near his bed. Dorm room luxury.

JK: anyway, I have to eat something and then go to sleep

Jin: What are you eating?

JK: noodles :D

Jin: Do I need to send you to the grocery store again?

Jungkook rolls his eyes. 

JK: no, it’s fine, I have some pork here too. i’m good.

Jin: If you’re sure

JK: i’m sure. really. 

He feels a bit weird accepting money from Jin now that they’re actually talking with each other on a daily basis—because even though the brand new shoes by the door and the expensive textbook in his backpack are nice to have, he doesn’t actually want Jin to buy him shit all the time. 

Which might also be weird, considering Jin buying him shit is how they ended up talking in the first place.

Everything is weird right now, so Jungkook pushes the thoughts of weirdness aside and makes some noodles and pork for supper.



-



“He doesn’t want my money,” Seokjin wails pathetically.

From the depths of the big leather armchair in the corner, Yoongi snorts. “You say it like it’s a bad thing that you actually managed to find that one person on the internet who’s not latching onto your credit card every chance they get.”

“But I wanna buy him stuff. Cute gifts. Food. All that.” Seokjin pouts as he marches around his desk in a dramatic manner, causing Yoongi to roll his eyes.

“Hyung. What are you doing with him anyway?”

Seokjin stops pacing. “We’re friends… ish?”

“Uh-huh.” Only Yoongi can manage to load so much sarcasm in an utterance that short. “So I repeat: what exactly are you doing here? Like, where is this going?”

“What, are you my therapist now too?”

“I’m gonna start charging for therapy sessions any day now, just you wait.” Yoongi gives him a look. “Also, you’re dodging the question.”

Seokjin sighs. “Maybe because I don’t have an answer.” 

“I trust you don’t need a lecture on discretion,” Yoongi simply says.

“It’s not like—” Seokjin sighs. “Or you know what? Maybe it is like that. Or maybe I wish it was like that.”

Yoongi nods slowly. “So what are you going to do about it?”

Seokjin shrugs. “I guess I need to come clean. Meet him in person, if he wants to.”

“You sure about this?”

Seokjin nods slowly.

Yoongi mirrors the nod. “I’ll clear my schedule.”

Seokjin gives him a suffering look. “So no unchaperoned meetings?”

Yoongi shakes his head. “Not the first time at least.”

“Awesome.” Seokjin rolls his eyes and pulls his phone closer. “I guess I’ll put in a tentative inquiry, see if he’s even willing to meet up.”



-



Jungkook is surprised when Jin suggests they meet up. 

Sure, they have been texting back and forth for some time now, but Jin has seemed quite elusive and he’s carefully avoided sending any pictures with his face in them. Jimin speculates that maybe he’s a celebrity. Taehyung suggests that maybe he’s just hideous. Jungkook doesn’t know if he believes either of these assumptions. But either way, Jin asks if they could meet, and after deliberating it with the council—Jimin and Taehyung—Jungkook nervously agrees.

Jin: You go to SNU, right? I think you mentioned it in a stream once.

JK: yeah why?

Jin: Well, I was thinking we can meet somewhere near the campus. Like, public but not too public.

Jungkook wonders what he means by that.

JK: okay? how about outside the library, i pretty much live in there these days anyways. me and the economics book.

Jin: :D

Jin: Outside the library works. Thursday at six?

JK: sure

Thursday comes, and Jungkook spends hours in the library trying and failing to concentrate on finishing his essay.

He’s jittery and nervous, and not just because he’s about to meet Jin face to face. 

Is this a date? Or what?

Because they’ve been texting each other some things that lean close or possibly even slightly stumble over into the realm of flirtatious, even if it’s hard to flirt with someone whose face Jungkook hasn’t seen. But then again, he’s seen the shoulders and that’s kind of a lot in and of itself. 

Then there’s also the ongoing sugar daddy joke that gets referenced every so often, even if these days it’s mostly just Jungkook deflecting Jin’s attempts at buying him more stuff.

Anyway, overall the situation is weird, but perhaps no weirder than meeting someone on a dating app.

Okay, it’s a lot weirder, starting from the fact that he hasn’t seen Jin’s face and the thing that started this all was him basically showering Jungkook with money.

But boiled down to the bare bones of it, no weirder than randomly meeting someone on a dating app.

Which again brings back the panicky thought of: oh, fuck, is this a date??

Jungkook slips out of the library at three minutes to six and hops down the stairs. He glances around warily, adjusting the strap of his backpack on his shoulder. There are other students walking by, but there’s no sign of Jin anywhere—no broad-shouldered lone man who seems to be waiting for someone—so he pulls out his phone.

JK: i’m outside the library, where are you?

Jin: Walk down the hill for a bit, and look for a yellow porsche.

JK: you have a YELLOW PORSCHE??

JK: WTF??

Jin: …Yeah. I’ll be waiting in the car.

Jungkook walks down the street, and after the first bend of the road, he spots a flash of yellow among the parked cars. As he walks closer, it becomes obvious that Jin wasn’t lying.

It’s a fucking Porsche. A yellow Porsche, parked on the side of the street between an old Hyundai and a brand-new Kia. 

Jungkook hesitates, then steps closer. The car windows are all tinted dark, so he cautiously leans in to squint through the passenger side window.

It slides down about five centimeters, startling him.

“Hi, Jungkook-ah,” says a voice from inside. “You want to come in?”

Jimin’s worried voice pipes up at the back of Jungkook’s mind, telling him not to get into a car with a stranger. He hesitates for a second, biting his lip. In the end curiosity wins—and he doesn’t really think anyone who wants to inconspicuously lure a person into a car would drive a car as loud and noticeable as this one.

Jungkook steps back to pull the door open and then slides inside. The car is so low that it feels like he has to sink to the ground before his ass hits the seat.

As soon as he’s in and the door is shut, he whips around to look at the person in the driver’s seat. Jin. He’s dressed in a baby pink hoodie and some light-wash jeans, nearly half of his face covered in large, blue-rimmed sunglasses. Jungkook quickly scans over the details of him. Dark tousled hair, extremely pretty lips.

Jin pushes the sunglasses up his forehead and smiles. “Hi,” he says again.

Jungkook swallows. Wow. He’s handsome. Like really, really handsome, especially with his hair pushed off his face by his sunglasses.

Jungkook then frowns, his brows furrowing, because the face in front of him looks oddly familiar, like he’s seen it before. But where? Slowly, from somewhere in the mists of his memory, a mental image surfaces—of his cousin, talking about some random chaebol heir Jungkook has never heard of before, showing Jungkook pictures of him, sighing how he’s one of the most eligible bachelors in the entire country, look Jungkook-oppa, eeehhhh, how handsome—!

“Oh, shit,” Jungkook says, slapping his hand on his mouth in surprise. “You’re Kim Seokjin.”

There’s something that might be classified as a pout on Seokjin’s face as he scrunches his nose and lets the sunglasses drop down again. “Ah. So much for you not knowing who I am.”

“No, I just—my cousin, she was obsessed with—I don’t know, rich chaebol heirs at one point. I know next to nothing about you lot, but she showed me enough pictures for me to recognize…” Jungkook grimaces. “I swear, that’s it.”

Seokjin seems amused by the rambling explanation. “I see. But yeah, Kim Seokjin. Nice to meet you.” He sighs, then points a thumb over his shoulder. “And this here is Yoongi. Also known as the reason I wasn’t allowed to leave the car and meet you outside.”

Jungkook doesn’t know what he expects—perhaps a dog?—but when he glances behind him, he jumps a bit when he finds a black-haired man dressed in a black suit instead. The man is kind of half-sitting, half-lying sideways across the backseat, probably because this model of car isn’t exactly known for its backseat legroom.

“Hello, Jungkook-ssi,” says the man—Yoongi?—without looking up from where he’s scrolling on his phone.

“Hi,” Jungkook replies weakly, his eyes darting between Yoongi and Seokjin. “So this is—”

“The head of my personal security,” Seokjin says with a slightly peeved expression.

“As in—”

“My bodyguard.”

Jungkook spares another glance toward the backseat, and this time he finds Yoongi’s sharp eyes on him, watching him over the edge of the phone.

“Don’t let my stature fool you,” Yoongi says evenly. “I will take you down if I have to.”

Seokjin lets out a long, exasperated exhale and rubs his temples. “Yoongi-yah, we talked about this.”

“Just doing my job, hyung.” Yoongi sounds amused.

“Well, can you be a bit less— you about it?”

Yoongi scoffs. “I’m being nice—I haven’t even asked him to sign an NDA yet.”

Jungkook follows the exchange with wide eyes. Bodyguard or no, the banter seems to indicate something closer to a friendship than a strictly working relationship. “Um,” he says.

Seokjin immediately turns to him. “Sorry about that,” he says. “I’m sure this isn’t exactly the kind of first date—uh, meeting—that you expected.”

Jungkook blinks, mouth cracking open at the word ‘date’. So it is a—

“So, about that NDA,” Yoongi says quickly, startling him.

Seokjin pushes his sunglasses up and turns to glare at him. “I told you—”

“My job, hyung. Just doing it.”

Jungkook slumps deeper into his seat. “If I sign the NDA, does that mean he’ll stop pestering you?” he asks, glancing at Seokjin from the corner of his eye.

“He’s not pestering—” Seokjin pauses. “Okay, he’s pestering me, but I’m used to it.” He gives Yoongi a meaningful look.

“You should still sign it.” A folded piece of paper and a pen appear from the backseat.

Jungkook takes the paper that states he’s not allowed to talk about anything pertaining to Seokjin to anyone or publish any details of their encounter, all written in perfectly illegible legal jargon. Luckily most of it is familiar from his business law classes, so Jungkook can decipher it with relative ease. He signs his name on the dotted line and hands it back.

As soon as the paper is back in Yoongi’s possession, Seokjin pushes the driver’s side door open. “That’s it. Out.”

“Huh?” Jungkook blinks.

“Oh, not you. Him.” Seokjin folds himself out of the car and then tips the seat forward so Yoongi has room to get out. “I will not have you breathing down our necks the entire time and you know it.”

Yoongi gives Jungkook one last look that says ‘I’m watching you’ and then climbs out of the car, stretching as soon as he straightens up. “I’ll be over there by that fence.” He points at a spot some five meters away from the car. “Don’t even think about driving away.”

Jungkook can’t see Seokjin’s face, but whatever the look on it is, Yoongi seems amused by it.

“I’m so sorry about that,” Seokjin says as soon as he’s back in the car and the door is closed. “He’s just—”

“Doing his job,” Jungkook finishes with a slightly wavering smile. “We established that.”

“I didn’t mean to drop this all on you.” Seokjin looks apologetic. “It’s not the way I like to do things at all. But it’s—ah, kind of necessary, unfortunately.”

Jungkook’s head is spinning. Of course he knew to expect something out of the ordinary, what with all the secrecy concerning his benefactor’s identity and the money casually thrown at him, but the fact that he’s currently sitting in the passenger seat of a yellow Porsche belonging to the heir of one of the wealthiest families in the country—well, it’s a lot.

“Jimin guessed you’re a celebrity,” Jungkook blurts.

Seokjin looks confused.

“My friend,” Jungkook clarifies. “We were discussing why you were so secretive, and Jimin thought you were someone famous.” He pauses. “My other friend Taehyung suggested you’re just—” He pauses, glancing at Seokjin. It seems stupid to even say it, considering the level of handsome he’s currently in the car with. “Well, ugly.”

Seokjin’s confusion melts into a grin and then morphs into a high-pitched burst of laughter. “I see. And what do you think?”

“Uh, well.” Jungkook ventures a smile. “Definitely not the latter.” He pauses. “Does this mean I can’t talk to them about any of this?”

Seokjin sighs and shakes his head. “I mean, I guess you can say one of them was correct.”

Jungkook snorts. “Okay.” He turns and finally takes a moment to actually look at Seokjin, not simply glancing at him and then quickly averting his gaze. He tilts his head, assessing what he sees. It’s a little bit overwhelming to be honest. Not just who his internet acquaintance Jin turned out to be, but also how good-looking he is up close like this.

Seokjin stands the scrutiny for about five seconds, but then he starts squirming, and his ears turn an unhealthy shade of red. “What?”

“I’m just—looking.” 

“At me?” Seokjin asks, like he doesn’t know how good he looks.

“No, at the seat belt mechanism by your shoulder,” Jungkook deadpans, trying to cover how overwhelmed by absolutely everything he is right now. “Fascinating technology. Saves many lives annually.”

Seokjin rolls his eyes and laughs, but his ears remain red, clashing with the soft pink of his hoodie.

Jungkook reaches out without thinking, fingers brushing the sleeve of the garment. “You like pink.”

Seokjin startles at the touch, but then laughs again. “And you, I’m guessing, detest colors.” He motions at Jungkook’s ensemble of black combat boots, black cargo pants, a black hoodie and a black backpack on the floor peeking from between his knees.

“That’s not true,” Jungkook says, smiling. “I sometimes wear gray.”

“Gray is a slightly lighter shade of black, that doesn’t count.” Seokjin is smiling too, so then they just kind of—stare at each other, smiling, for a little bit.

When Jungkook finally dips out of the eye contact, feeling slightly flustered, he turns to face the windshield.

A few meters away from the car, Yoongi leans on the fence, scrolling on his phone as groups of students walk past him. He stands out from his surroundings like a sore thumb in his black suit.

“Is he always like—” Jungkook makes a motion at Yoongi, as if that explains anything.

“Like what? Protective?” Seokjin’s voice is fond. “I mean, I guess, yeah. And not only because of his job. He’s been with me for almost four years now—by now he’s more a friend than a security guy in a suit. But he’s usually around.”

“That'll take some time to get used to,” Jungkook muses under his breath.

Seokjin chuckles. “Oh. Um. Does that mean you’re going to stick around?”

Heat rushes to Jungkook’s cheeks. “I mean—yeah. On one condition.”

Seokjin’s eyebrows rise. “Which is?”

“You show me how fast this Porsche goes.”

“Ah. I guess we can negotiate about that.” Seokjin clearly tries to keep a serious face, but his smile breaks through after a few seconds. “But first: do you want to see how fast Yoongi will run to the car if I turn on the engine? Or should I have mercy and invite him over before doing that?”



-



After driving around in a yellow Porsche, talking and listening to weird music—“It’s not weird!” Seokjin exclaims while a quiet chuckle carries over from the backseat—Jungkook gets dropped off near the dorm complex. He walks back to his room flustered and overwhelmed and wholly unprepared for the third-degree interrogation waiting for him when he checks his group chat with Jimin and Taehyung.

TaeBear: JK~

TaeBear: are you home yet?

TaeBear: is he hideous?

JiMi: has he murdered you?

JiMi: he has totally murdered you. this is all our fault. we have failed to protect our precious Jungkookie

TaeBear: is it too early to press f in the chat?

JiMi: TAE

TaeBear: at least give him a chance to respond before you start yelling

JiMi: how can he respond when he’s been murdered?

JK: hi

JK: kekeke i’m back now, not murdered

JiMi: JK! you’re alive!

TaeBear: so was he ugly?

JK: no

JiMi: someone famous?

JK: …no comment

TaeBear: fuck, he actually snatched someone famous as his sugar daddy

TaeBear: Jimin we need to start streaming online asap

JiMi: JK-ah who is it?

JK: he’s NOT my sugar daddy, shut up Tae

JK: and i’m not allowed to talk about it, i had to sign an NDA

TaeBear: WTF

TaeBear: HOW famous is he??

Jungkook sighs, dropping his phone on the bed, where it continues to buzz with new messages in the chat. 

After a moment, he retrieves the phone to find rows upon rows of speculation. He leaves them on read.

The following morning Jimin and Taehyung ambush him as he’s trying to get to class. One moment Jungkook is walking, bleary-eyed and with his too-heavy backpack hanging off one shoulder, and the next moment there’s an arm slung around him and two pairs of footsteps falling in pace with his.

“Hi,” Jungkook says meekly.

Clearly they have planned this, because Taehyung hangs off his shoulder and starts interrogating him verbally while Jimin walks next to him, showing him a collage of celebrity photos and asking him to blink twice if his sugar daddy is included in the list of suspects. When Jungkook says nothing, Jimin is quick to add that he’s violating the sacred friendship code if he doesn’t give them anything.

“There’s something about sugar daddies in the friendship code?” Jungkook asks flatly. 

Not that Seokjin is his sugar daddy.

Jimin shoves another collection of photos in his face, and Jungkook looks at it with polite disinterest, giving Jimin absolutely nothing. Thankfully, Jimin’s idea of celebrities mostly consists of pop idols and actors, so there’s nothing to reveal. 

“So, when’s the next date?” Taehyung asks.

Jungkook tries to keep his face as neutral as he possibly can. “Well. He did ask me to come to his place this weekend, just to casually hang out and play video games or something.”

“He invited you to his place?” Jimin asks. 

“Yeah.”

“I’m betting it’s not just video games he has in mind,” Taehyung teases.

“Just video games isn’t what I have in mind either,” Jungkook says. Not because he actually expects anything to happen—although he wouldn’t be against it at all—but simply because it silences Jimin and Taehyung for a good few seconds.

“Where does he live?” Jimin then asks, clearly not done with his detective work.

“I don’t know,” Jungkook says. “He’s sending a car to pick me up.” A hot flush travels up his neck at the look Taehyung gives him.

Jimin looks green with envy. “Damn, Kook-ah. You really know how to woo them, huh?”

Jungkook scratches the side of his neck, shaking Taehyung off from where he’s still hanging off his shoulder. “No, I don’t. I was just playing a game online and somehow this happened.”

“Playing games online and now playing games at your sugar daddy’s penthouse apartment?” Jimin nudges him.

“Playing games or ‘playing games’,” Taehyung interjects.

“Not my sugar daddy,” Jungkook protests. “We’re just going to—hang out.”

And maybe something else. Maybe.

A man can dream.



-



Two days later, Jungkook discovers that Seokjin’s idea of casually hanging out and playing video games actually means casually hanging out and playing video games. It’s just that the setting for it is slightly more luxurious than Jungkook’s usual ‘sitting on the floor with a game controller’ setup.

Obviously it’s to be expected that Seokjin’s entire apartment would be more lavish than anything Jungkook is accustomed to, but even after being led through an impeccably designed hallway, introduced to a modern kitchen and a lounge fit for cocktail parties for the rich, Jungkook still blinks in surprise when they reach their destination within the apartment.

“You have a gaming room?” Jungkook asks when Seokjin opens the door with a flourish, revealing a room hosting a large flatscreen with several game consoles on the shelves beneath it. There’s a massive couch along with two armchairs that Jungkook estimates could easily fit three of him each, and a really expensive-looking gaming computer system in the corner.

“Not really,” Seokjin says. “I also watch movies here, when I’m too tired to go downstairs to the movie den.”

Jungkook gives him a look.

Seokjin laughs. “Yeah, I guess you could say I have a gaming room.”

“Cool.” Jungkook swallows. He looks around. “So, is Yoongi hiding behind the couch or something?”

Seokjin laughs again. “No. No one’s hiding anywhere.” There’s a slight pause. “It’s just us.”

Jungkook’s heart does a weird bouncy thing in his chest. He nods. “Cool.”

“Cool.” Seokjin nods back. “So, um, do you want a soda or something?” He motions toward the corner of the room where a glass-door fridge sits, stocked full of beverages.

“Sure.” 

They settle down on the couch with their sodas, and as Seokjin crosses his legs, Jungkook stares at the massive TV screen coming to life and thinks about how he’s sitting mere centimeters away from Kim Seokjin, and how did he end up here, and what does it all mean, if anything, and his brain is perhaps doing a panicky kind of thing and screeching at him to get a grip and act smooth.

Jungkook silently points out to his brain that he’s never been smooth a second in his life.

Well, smoother than usual then, his brain shoots back.

Jungkook doesn’t act smooth. Instead he sits awkwardly while they select a game and Seokjin hands him a controller.

Playing a video game turns out to be a fairly decent way to make Jungkook forget where he is and who he’s with, so after a moment he relaxes and just lets his fingers do their thing on the buttons of the controller. It’s easy, familiar.

He also learns pretty quickly that Seokjin likes to play dirty, and he’s not above trying to sabotage Jungkook’s gameplay by nudging him with his elbow or distracting him so he looks away from the screen.

“That’s not fair,” Jungkook says while he waits for his character to respawn after Seokjin’s latest trick.

“I never claimed I play fair,” Seokjin says with a laugh. 

Jungkook notes that his laugh is really cute, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a horrible person who is using all the tricks in the book to sabotage Jungkook’s attempts at winning.

After said sabotage happens for the third time, Jungkook tosses his controller aside to grab Seokjin’s wrist. He tries to wrestle the controller from his grip to retaliate, while Seokjin laughs in that high-pitched way of his, continuing to press the buttons with his thumbs until his character meets its untimely death, and his hands holding the controller go lax.

For a moment, just the sounds of the game fill the room, as Seokjin stops laughing and turns to Jungkook, amusement twinkling in his eyes. “If you wanted to hold my hand, all you had to do was ask.”

Jungkook glances down where his fingers are still circling Seokjin’s wrist. He lets go and pulls his hand away, heat creeping up his neck. “Oh, I—”

Seokjin’s hand chases his, snatching it back to his lap, entwining their fingers in a loose grasp.

Jungkook is pretty sure hand-holding shouldn’t make him blush all the way to his hairline, but concluding from how hot his face currently is, that’s definitely happening. He looks from their hands to Seokjin’s face and then back again. “Oh,” he whispers, quieter this time, and he doesn’t remove his hand.

Well, at least he’s not alone with his bewilderment, because Seokjin’s ears are definitely slowly turning crimson as they both reach for their sodas and drink from them without letting go of each other.

This is like elementary school level shit, Jungkook thinks, his gaze wandering around the room. He should not feel like a teenager who’s holding hands with his crush, but he absolutely does. Then he glances at Seokjin, their eyes meet, and they both start laughing at the same time. 

“Rematch?” Seokjin asks after the laughter dies down.

Jungkook nods. “Rematch, absolutely.”



-



“I feel like he’s hesitant to initiate—anything.” Seokjin sighs and looks up from his laptop. “And I’m also hesitant, because—well, because.” Because he’s been burned before, by people he thought were decent but ended up being in it for the money or status or whatever. Jungkook doesn’t seem like that, but it’s too early to tell, really. “So anyway, then it’s just a big old hesitation fest all over.”

Yoongi lowers his phone. “I’m definitely sending you a bill for therapy sessions in the mail.”

Seokjin rolls his eyes. “Well, as long as you don’t expect to be paid for your bad jokes because you’re not exactly a comedian.”

Yoongi’s mouth curves up to a smile. “You’re full of shit, hyung.” He shakes his head. “But in all seriousness, I get what you mean.”

“But how does this thing advance? Like, what should I do? How do I make sure he’s—you know—” Seokjin makes a vague gesture.

Yoongi raises his eyebrows, eyes on his phone. “You’re asking me what to do to make sure your sugar baby isn’t just after your money?”

“He’s not—” Seokjin cuts himself off and sighs. “Yes. Yes, that’s what I’m asking. So far he’s been a bit pensive about accepting gifts. Grateful, but not exactly thrilled? But still, it’s too early to tell—” He sighs.

“Well, you could always buy him more shit and see how he reacts,” Yoongi suggests in an airy tone that says he also remembers a few other cases where people seemed legit, only to turn out to be gold-digging assholes in the end. 

“As in… sprinkle some more sugar on that baby?” Seokjin asks, deadpan.

Yoongi snorts. “And my jokes are bad?”

“I never claimed mine were any better,” Seokjin points out.

“Fair enough. But either way, now that you’re seeing each other face to face, it would seem more natural to buy stuff than it would be to send him money on a streaming site. And you get to see live reactions—like is he delighted, uncomfortable, wanting more?”

Seokjin nods slowly. “I guess I could give it a try. What do I have to lose?”

Yoongi shrugs. “Some money, along with your dignity and self-respect. Oh, and your precious sugar baby if he turns out to be a jerk after all.”

Seokjin balls up a piece of paper and throws it. Yoongi deflects easily by raising one hand to block the clumsy projectile while still scrolling on his phone. “Mature.”

“I have to be mature like 98% of the time when I’m with my family,” Seokjin says. “So I’m glad I don’t have to keep that up with you.”

Yoongi looks up from his phone then, and his eyes betray softness he doesn’t generally let other people see. “Yeah. Me too.”

Seokjin smiles. “Okay, I guess that’s enough sap for one day. Back to work.”

“I am working.”

“That was a pep talk for me,” Seokjin says. “So I can finally finish this stupid spreadsheet.”

“Ah.”



-



“He just… keeps buying me things.” Jungkook spreads his hands in a helpless gesture. “Like. All the time.” 

One time it was noise-canceling headphones, because Jungkook mentioned he sometimes has trouble concentrating on his study books if there are distracting noises in his environment. And they’re fucking expensive headphones, too, he checked. Then it was a gift card to the bookstore near the campus. Useful things, kind of hard to deny. 

It’s since then shifted from useful to something else. Today it was several hoodies and t-shirts that are not quite luxury brand level but not very far off from it either. Thought these would look good on you, Seokjin said, smiling, and Jungkook squirmed, not really knowing how to deflect the continued attempts to shower him with stuff.

“Like, so many things,” Jungkook says weakly. “I think I have a small fortune’s worth of hoodies piled up on my bed right now.”

His campus cafeteria audience seems wildly unimpressed by his declaration.

“And?” Jimin asks after a brief moment of staring. “I fail to see an issue. He gets rid of some money. You get free shit. As far as I’m concerned, that’s just distributing wealth in a more equal manner in a very unequal society.”

Taehyung snorts and nudges Jungkook’s shoulder. “Jimin takes one ‘socio-political implications of capitalism’ course and this is the outcome.”

“Oh, shush.” Jimin rolls his eyes and pouts. “I’m serious. The only thing I’m mad about is that no one is falling on their knees and begging to buy me stuff.”

“But like, I don’t—” Jungkook sighs, burying his face in his hands. “Aish, forget about it.” 

There’s a brief silence. Then Taehyung speaks, and his voice is more serious than it was before. “Jungkook-ah, what’s up?”

Jungkook sighs again, lifting his head. “What if he just sees me as this—object, or toy, or whatever—a fun little plaything that he can buy things for, and then toss aside once he grows bored?”

Another silence.

Then Jimin sighs. “Uh-oh.”

Taehyung nods. “It’s happened.”

“Nothing’s happened,” Jungkook claims, knowing full well where this is going.

“He’s caught feelings.”

“For his celebrity sugar daddy.”

“This can only end badly.”

“Well, good for his wallet if he just keeps getting free shit, because then he can always sell those online and make bank.”

“Yeah, there’s always that.”

“Can you guys shut up?” Jungkook asks.

To their credit, they stop teasing him.

“Has something—you know—happened between you guys?” Jimin asks, tilting his head as if he’s assessing Jungkook’s body language.

“Not really?” Jungkook sighs. “We’ve held hands. He seems a bit—reserved? And I don’t really know how to—you know.”

“Aww,” Taehyung coos.

Jimin elbows him in the side without shifting his gaze from Jungkook. “Well, at least he’s not asking for sexual favors in return for the shit he buys you. I mean, that’s good. Right?”

At this point, Jungkook wouldn’t mind a few sexual favors. He says as much out loud, causing Taehyung to snicker. 

“Well, if you start adding blow jobs into the mix now, it’s definitely more of a sugar daddy situation than it was before.” Taehyung wiggles his eyebrows.

Jungkook scowls at him.

“Let the man breathe, Tae,” Jimin scolds. “I mean, from what he’s told us, I completely understand why JK wants to get on this dude’s dick and ride it to the sunset. Rich, hot, famous. I’d be on that dick too, given the chance.”

Jungkook scowls at him too.

Jimin laughs. “Chill, I’m not about to steal your man. I’m just saying, clearly you want something more than the current situation, so maybe you should talk to him about it? See what he thinks about it?”

Jungkook looks at the ceiling and heaves out a sigh. He’s obviously thought about it, but he doesn’t know how to approach the topic. Say, hey hyung, so I know we’ve been kind of flirting and holding hands but I actually really want to kiss you and fuck you but you don’t really give many indications about what you want and I don’t know if you’re just toying with me?

There’s a possibility it will all go horribly wrong.

But then again… There’s also the possibility that it could go just fine. After all, he doesn’t know what Seokjin thinks. Not without asking.

The more he thinks about it, the more obvious it becomes that he’s going to suffer more if he stays quiet.

Then again, Jungkook doesn’t think he’s ever been that good with words, especially when it comes to expressing his emotions. But perhaps he could show Seokjin instead. Actions speak louder than words, or something along those lines.

Go big or go home?



-



Several days later Jungkook meets Seokjin at a predesignated spot in the campus parking lot. The yellow Porsche is just as loud and obnoxious in appearance as it was the first time, and Seokjin’s clothing is no less noticeable. 

“For someone who has to dodge photographers for trashy tabloids on a daily basis, you sure dress in bright colors,” Jungkook says, his hand automatically reaching to brush the sleeve of Seokjin’s sky-blue sweater. “You and your car.”

Seokjin laughs. “I guess it’s some deep-rooted psychological need to distance myself from the office-wear as much as possible?” He pauses. “And possibly because wearing pink and baby blue makes my father’s eye twitch in a pretty funny way.”

Jungkook side-glances at him.

Seokjin snorts. “There’s no need to psychoanalyze me.” He drums his fingers against the steering wheel. “Some people would call it daddy issues, I call it a form of rebellion. Sounds way cooler.” He snickers. “So, what do you want to do today?”

Frankly, there aren’t a whole lot of possibilities when being seen together in public is not really an option, so Jungkook shrugs. “We could go to your place. I mean, I’d ask you to come over to my place, but my dorm room is hardly luxurious, and there’s like a million percent chance of someone recognizing you in the hallway.”

Seokjin sucks in a slow breath. “Yeah. Have you eaten?”

Jungkook’s stomach is probably minutes away from making loud disgruntled noises due to lack of nutrition, but the last time he said he was hungry, Seokjin ordered enough takeaway food to feed approximately ten people, so he nods. “Yeah, I have.” 

Seokjin gives him a look. “When?”

There’s a brief silence, during which Jungkook squirms under the scrutiny. “...At lunch.”

“Which was, what, five hours ago?”

Jungkook sighs. “Six.”

“We’re getting food.” Seokjin pushes the power button and the car engine rumbles to life. “What are you in the mood for?”

“Is there any possibility you’d let me pay for food?” Jungkook asks instead of answering the question.

“None whatsoever,” Seokjin replies in a bright tone. He hands Jungkook his phone with a delivery app opened on the screen. “Order whatever you want.”

Jungkook knows arguing is futile, so he takes the phone. At least this way he can control the number of dishes and the general amount of food they’re ordering. He browses the options for several takeaway places as Seokjin reverses out of the parking spot, clears the parking lot and starts down the street. He eventually settles on a place that has a fusion style selection of Korean and Japanese dishes. “I picked this place. What are you having?” Jungkook asks, showing the screen to Seokjin while they’re waiting at a red light.

Seokjin glances at the selection and quickly rattles his order. “The app should have my details so you can just order once you’re done,” he says, pushing the gas pedal down as the light turns green.

Jungkook briefly considers changing the payment info to put the order on his own card, but he can’t remember his credit card number by heart and digging it out of his wallet would surely draw Seokjin’s attention—so in the end he just presses the button to order, and gets a confirmation that the order has been received, paid for, and will be delivered to the chosen address shortly. “Thank you,” he mutters, closing the app and slipping the phone in an empty cup holder in the center console. “Again.”

Seokjin glances at him. “It’s no big deal, don’t even worry about it.”

“Yeah, but you’re always buying me stuff, and I—” Jungkook shakes his head. “I can’t give you anything in return.”

“You don’t have to give me anything in return,” Seokjin immediately says. “I told you that from the beginning, remember?”

Jungkook nods, pursing his lips, eyes directed at the road ahead. “Still.”

“Besides, this is just food. I wouldn’t want you to starve.” Seokjin pauses. “You’re much more fun to be around when you’re alive.”

Jungkook sputters. “Okay, that just gives me some creepy serial killer vibes.”

“I just told you I prefer you alive, how’s that giving you serial killer vibes?” Seokjin’s voice is incredulous.

“Serial aliver vibes?” Jungkook muses thoughtfully.

Seokjin lets out a laugh. “What the hell is a serial aliver?”

“I don’t know, but I’m guessing it’s someone who insists on buying food for people.”

“Uh-huh. Sounds like a really scary movie villain, that one.” Seokjin sounds thoroughly amused. “Alright, here we are.”

The car momentarily plunges into darkness as Seokjin drives down into the underground garage beneath the apartment building.

Jungkook doesn’t think he’ll ever get used to going into an apartment building that has three layers of security before getting into the elevators. So far he’s always arrived with Seokjin, so it hasn’t been that bad, but he dreads the idea of coming here alone. He’s been cleared with the security, they even took a mugshot and all, but nodding at the garage security guard by the elevators still gives him an uncanny sensation of not belonging.

In the elevator, Seokjin leans his back against the wall and looks at Jungkook. “So, food, maybe some video games, perhaps a movie?”

Jungkook merely nods with a faint smile. “You’re not bored of playing games with me yet?”

You’re not bored of me yet? is what he wants to ask but can’t.

Seokjin shakes his head, smiling. “I feel like right now you’re the only person in my life not driving me up the walls on a regular basis.” He rolls his eyes toward the ceiling. “Make of that what you will.”

“So I guess you still prefer me alive, that’s good.” Jungkook nods seriously, eyeing the numbers on the screen flashing by as they ascend.

He’s rewarded with a high-pitched laugh. “Yeah, definitely.” 

When Jungkook looks away from the screen above the elevator door, Seokjin’s eyes are on him, and they stare at each other for the rest of the ride. There’s something soft in Seokjin’s eyes, but also something that looks like he’s trying to solve a puzzle. Like he doesn’t quite know what to think.

When they arrive at the penthouse and walk into the kitchen, there are bags of takeaway food already waiting on the kitchen island. Jungkook’s stomach makes a rumbly noise at the sight, and Seokjin chuckles, going to open the bags.

“Hyung, stop.” Jungkook swats Seokjin’s hand away. “You paid for this, the least I can do is unpack it and set the table.”

Seokjin raises his hands. “Fine.”

Jungkook opens the bags and starts pulling out containers. The food smells incredible, and despite him trying to order as little as possible, there still seems to be enough for half a football team at least.

“Just so you know, I really don’t mind paying for things,” Seokjin says from where he’s getting plates and glasses out of the cupboard.

“I know,” Jungkook says. “Doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

“You don’t like the things I bought for you?” Seokjin steps next to Jungkook and lowers some plates and bowls on the island.

“No,” Jungkook says. “I mean, yes, the things are nice, but I don’t—” He heaves out a sigh. “You don’t need to buy me shit.”

“What if I want to?”

“Don’t.” Jungkook knows he sounds like a petulant child, but he’s getting upset about the issue again. He’s been upset about it for some time now, but this is the first time he’s bringing it up in Seokjin’s presence.

“You don’t want me to buy you stuff?” Seokjin asks.

Jungkook looks up from the food containers. Their eyes lock for a second, and he whispers, “I don’t want your money.” He looks down again.

“No?” There’s something like disbelief in Seokjin’s tone.

Jungkook shakes his head angrily, not looking up. “No.” 

In his peripheral vision, Seokjin seems to hesitate. “What do you want, then? Tell me.”

Jungkook drops the lid of the container on the countertop and turns to face Seokjin. “I just want—this.” He makes a vague motion between them.

“This?”

“Yeah. This.”

“You’re really going to have to be a bit more specific.” Seokjin’s voice is tender.

Jungkook looks up and meets Seokjin’s eyes. Serious eyes, with a gleam of playfulness always hiding in them, and Jungkook wants all the things but doesn’t know how to put that into words.

Actions speak louder than words, right? Jungkook takes a small step, then another. He moves into Seokjin’s personal space, so close that Seokjin is forced to step back in order to not lose his balance. Jungkook then keeps going, walking them away from the kitchen island, until Seokjin’s back hits the wall and their noses are almost touching and Seokjin’s eyes are wide with surprise and there’s absolutely nowhere for Jungkook to go. 

Nowhere to go but here, to this moment in time when he leans in and kisses Seokjin. 

The first second of their lips colliding is almost angry, rough, their mouths smashed together with zero grace, but after Jungkook gets that out of his system it mellows down. The one that follows next is gentler, their mouths slotting together while Seokjin’s fingers tangle in his hair, and his hands find Seokjin’s waist through that baby-blue sweater and settle there, curling around the hip bone on each side.

“Don’t give a fuck about the money, I just—want you, want—” Jungkook manages somewhere in between. “This. Us.”

“Okay, that’s good,” Seokjin breathes. “I—I want it too.” The curve of his smile is tangible in the kiss.

Jungkook smiles back. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“Awesome.”

There’s some more kissing, which then gets interrupted by Seokjin whispering, “The food is getting cold.”

“Don’t care,” Jungkook mutters against the corner of his mouth.

“I do care. Cold ramen offends my palate.”

Jungkook snorts, pulling back a few centimeters, smiling. “Alright.”

Seokjin is smiling as well. “And I’m still gonna buy you things, you know.”

“Hyung, no.”

“All the things. You will be the most spoiled boyfriend in the world.”

Jungkook sputters. “I regret everything.”

Seokjin kisses him again, then grins. “Even this?” Another kiss.

“Yes.”

Seokjin pulls back enough to give Jungkook a mock-stern glare. “Liar.” 

“Okay, maybe not this.” Jungkook pauses. “Not the boyfriend part either.”

“Knew it.” Seokjin smooths Jungkook’s hair back gently.

“Shut up and kiss me again.”

“I can hear your stomach growling.”

Jungkook scrunches his nose. “So?”

“So, food first. I still prefer you alive, you know.”



-



Yoongi’s personal phone dings where it’s sitting on the armrest of his couch, and he reaches to grab it, pausing the show he’s watching.

Seokjin-hyung: He basically told me to shove my money and then kissed me, so I guess that answers my question.

Yoongi smiles at the screen. Finally those two idiots got their shit together.

YG: Congrats. When’s the wedding?

Seokjin-hyung: I don’t know about a wedding, but the next suit-and-tie event would be my mother’s birthday. I’d love to see JK in a suit, but I don’t think my father would exactly approve of my choice for a date… you think you could sneak him in as an extra security guy? ;)

YG: Absolutely not.

Seokjin-hyung: Awesome, thanks. <3

Yoongi snorts. It seems they both already know he’s going to do it.

Not because he’s a pushover who can’t say no to Seokjin when it’s necessary, but because no one has made Seokjin smile the way Jungkook does in a long, long time. 

And that alone is worth the hassle of tasking Namjoon with creating a fake staff ID and sneaking Jungkook past the security protocols at the party. Way worth it.



-



“So, Kim Seokjin, huh?” Taehyung nods from where he’s sitting on Jungkook’s bed. “That’s cool.”

Jungkook grins. Yeah, Taehyung clearly has no idea who Seokjin is.

On the floor, Jimin shifts and looks up from his phone screen. Jungkook can see he’s searching for photos of Seokjin. 

“Damn, nice. Handsome and filthy rich.” Jimin looks calculating.

Jungkook raises his eyebrows. Wait for it. Wait for it—

Jimin bats his lashes. “Does he have any friends who are urgently trying to get rid of their fortune? Because I’m totally available for gifts and penthouse visits and luxury vacations. Just saying.”