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ringa linga

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It’ll only take a second, they’d said.

They’ll remember you immediately, they’d said.

They’ll just hand you the rings and you’ll leave, they’d said.

Right, Yoongi thought. Of course. All he had to do was pick up the wedding rings, bring them back to the happy couple, and ensure the smooth operation of the wedding of his two best friends to each other.

Piece of cake.

&&

“Picking up rings for Kim, Seokjin and Namjoon,” Yoongi says to the sales clerk when he reaches the counter.

“Kim, Seokin and Namjoon,” the clerk repeats, turning around and typing something into the computer behind the counter.

“Wedding rings?” she asks after more typing. “Engraved?”

“Right.” Yoongi tries not to fidget; he’s already itching to escape the stuffy atmosphere of the jewelry store.

The clerk retrieves a box from a cabinet under the counter: deep blue, velvet, just big enough to fit two rings side by side. She does something at the computer for a second, and then returns and opens the box and checks the rings.

Then, she looks up and gives Yoongi a skeptical once-over. She makes a face like she doesn’t like what she sees.

Yoongi hates when people do that.

“Are you one of the people getting married?” she asks, suspicious, and Yoongi knows immediately from the way she says it that his answer can’t be no.

So:

“Yes,” he lies, looking right at the clerk.

It’s a waste of his breath, because she automatically, obviously doesn’t believe him.

“And which person are you?”

Yoongi lets out an awkward laugh, then tries to cover it up as a cough.”Uh,” he attempts, “uh, Kim Namjoon.” Well, they’re both rappers, so it’s not that far off.

Swing and a miss. The clerk smiles patronizingly. “Do you have some form of ID on you?”

“Noooo,” Yoongi draws the word out, knowing the Min Yoongi on his license is not going to get him anywhere. How come picking up the rings is his task and not the other best man’s? What’s that other guy even doing, picking flowers? Tasting cake? Yoongi wants one of those jobs. “Don’t you remember me? I was here when the rings were picked out.”

“I must’ve forgotten,” the clerk says flatly.

Yoongi curses the woman in his head. They rings are right there, right there.

“I’m sorry, sir,”’ the clerk says, sounding not sorry at all, “but I can’t let you leave with these rings unless I see some sort of proof that you’re the one who ordered them.”

And look, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal usually, Yoongi would’ve called Seokjin and come back another day, but--

But the wedding is tomorrow. If Yoongi goes to see his friends this evening empty-handed, hell set in motion a panic attack for Seokjin, a wave of general confusion for Namjoon, and probably a frenzied last-minute cancellation of the entire wedding. So those rings needed to be with Namjoon and Seokjin tonight. Tonight. Yoongi is not leaving without them.

At that moment, a rush of air hits Yoongi’s back, and he turns to see where from.

It turns out to be someone opening the door to enter the store: a guy, dressed stylishly, close to Yoongi’s stature. With his bright eyes and round face, Yoongi would’ve been sure that the guy was way younger than him-- but his smoky eye makeup, brightly dyed hair, and sense of assurance as he walked in says otherwise.

A terrible, wonderful idea occurs to Yoongi.

“There’s my fiancé now!” Yoongi blurts, and then turns and almost slides across the floor in his haste to intercept the guy.

“Hey,” Yoongi rushes out quietly, blocking the other from reaching the rest of the store, and the guy’s attention snaps to him. “Pretend to be my fiancé over there at that counter for four minutes and I’ll pay you three hundred thousand won.”

The guy flinches back at Yoongi’s proximity; there’s slight alarm on his face.

“Why,” the guy asks skeptically, eyes narrowed. At least he keeps his voice low-- he recognizes that Yoongi’s in a situation.

“Wedding rings, for my friends,” Yoongi explains, and as he says it, he realizes how absolutely absurd it sounds. He prays the guy believes him, or at least takes pity. “I’m picking them up for the ceremony tomorrow, but the woman over there won’t let me take them unless I’m one of the people getting married. If you pretend to be my fiancé right now, she might buy it.”

The guy’s mouth quirks downwards. “How do I know you’re not stealing the rings?”

“Because,” Yoongi answers immediately, “if I was going to steal something from this fucking store, it wouldn’t be the engraved wedding rings of the most boring couple I know.” He casts a glance around the store. “It would be--“ he spots a sparkly tiara in a display case-- “that.” He turns back to the guy. “For personal use, obviously.”

To Yoongi’s surprise, the guy snorts.

Yoongi sees his opening. “Four hundred thousand. Please,” he pleads, “I need these rings, or the whole wedding’s going down.”

The guy looks like he’s trying not to smile. “Fine,” he says. “Four hundred thousand won. Let’s go.”

Yoongi exhales as not-loudly as he can, and then tries to put an arm around the guy to lead him back to the counter. The guy subtly bats the arm away, hooking his own hand around Yoongi’s bicep, and then he leads them back towards the clerk.

“By the way,” he whispers as they walk, “I’m Jimin.”

“Yoongi,” Yoongi says back. “But today-- tomorrow, technically-- we’re the Kims.”

Jimin nods, and when they reach the counter, Yoongi breaks into the most genuine smile he can. “Here he is! Groom number two.”

“Sorry I’m late,” Jimin jumps in, a polite smile on his face.

The clerk looks between them several times.

“This is your fiancé?” she asks Yoongi, obviously disbelieving.

Jimin absorbs the clerk’s expression, then slowly turns to Yoongi, looking incredulous.

Oh no, Yoongi thinks. It’s not worth it, he’s cutting out.

“Honey,” the guy chirps, jarring Yoongi out of his resignation, “what nonsense did you say to this poor woman before I got here?” He looks at Yoongi with wide eyes. “She looks traumatized!”

And oh, yes yes yes, Yoongi realizes, this is exactly right. Completely believable. Jimin shakes his head, his face a perfect balance of exasperation and affection, and Yoongi thanks his lucky stars.

The sales clerk looks stunned.

It’s not hard for Yoongi to look sheepish in order to play along. Jimin clicks his tongue in disappointment, then leans in toward the clerk conspiratorally.

“I’m sorry about him,” he stage-whispers. “Sort of has a rude streak, you know. I swear he’s actually a sweetheart.” Now that Yoongi is really listening, he can hear that Jimin’s voice is light and soft, almost sweet.

“Babe,” Yoongi cuts in, pretending to be embarassed.

“I’m not talking to you,” Jimin tells Yoongi primly, and he shoots a smile at the clerk. She looks absolutely fucking charmed.

“I just wanted to get the rings before you got here,” Yoongi mutters to the floor, to seal the deal. “To make sure they looked the way you wanted them to.”

Jimin assesses Yoongi, then seems to decide that he’s worth forgiving. “Oh, alright,” he says warmly. He leans in and pecks Yoongi on the cheek.

Yoongi feels his cheeks go hot. He wraps an arm around Jimin.

“What a stud!” Jimin sings, poking at Yoongi’s flushed cheek. “Embarassed by PDA. Honey, we’re getting married!”

Yoongi looks to the heavens. “You don’t gotta tell me.”

Jimin sways into Yoongi’s hold, right up to Yoongi’s side. “He’s just being a good fiancé,” Jimin explains. “ I’ll admit, I am a little anxious about the rings looking right.” Yoongi tightens his arm and surprises himself by resting his chin on Jimin’s shoulder.

“You can check the rings now if you want to,” the clerk offers quickly.

“THAT’S FINE,” Yoongi shouts at the same moment that Jimin says, “sure!”

Jimin and Yoongi look to each other, their faces very very close with Yoongi’s current hold around the other, and have a frantic exchange with their eyes.

Yoongi cut the face-off short and pastes on a smile. “Sure,” he echoes to the clerk, who looks hesitant, “let’s look at them now.”

She opens up the box. Jimin makes more frantic eyes at Yoongi, confused as to why they can’t check the rings. You’re about to find out, Yoongi tries to say with his face.

The clerk presents the rings, and Jimin and Yoongi both lean forward to peer at the thin, shiny silver bands.

So much nonsense they’re going through, Yoongi muses to himself, for such a tiny reward.

“...Well?” the clerk asks. “Do you want to look at them?”

“Yes!” Jimin says, reaching into the box and taking one out. It sparkles under the bright lighting of the store, caught between his slender fingers.

“Does the engraving look correct?” she prompts.

Yoongi picks up the other ring and he and Jimin both examine them, reading the inscriptions inside the band.

Let’s meet when the lillies bloom

KN & KS

6.28

Of course. Yoongi resists the urge to throw his ring across the store and then run away, crying and making flaily arms.

Jimin looks at Yoongi in panic. Yeah, now he gets it, Yoongi thinks.

“Let me grab the order form,” the clerk says, moving away for a second to search through another cabinet behind the counter.

“Those bastards,” Yoongi mutters as soon as she’s out of earshot.

“I want you to know,” Jimin says beside him, “that this is the gayest thing that’s ever happened to me.”

“This is the least gay thing that’s happened to me this week,” Yoongi shoots back, thinking of all the wedding preparations he’s been a part of in the past seven days. He returns his ring to the box, and Jimin follows suit.

The clerk returns with a piece of paper. Her lips move as she silently reads the order off of it.

“How sweet!” she coos. “Is the 6-28 when you met?”

“YES,” Yoongi and Jimin answer in unison, perhaps a bit forcefully.

“And the lilies-- there must be a story there!” She clutches at the paper. “I have to know!”

Silence.

Jimin coughs.

“Sweetie,” Jimin says suddenly, shifty eyes moving to Yoongi. “Tell her. Darling.”

Ha. Ha ha ha.

“Right,” Yoongi fumbles. “The lilies. Uh, you see...”

The clerk waits, eyeing Yoongi. Yoongi’s going to love re-telling this story when he goes to jail for stealing his best friends’ wedding rings.

“You know, when we met, it was...in a place full of lilies,” Yoongi begins.

Jimin raises an eyebrow.

“It was, uh, it was a park!” There we go. “And, you know, the lilies were blooming because it was summer. June, like the rings say.” Yoongi grins, proud of his own cleverness. “I was just walking through the park,” like a vagrant he resists saying to the clerk, “and there he was, sitting on a bench, all by himself. Being beautiful.” Yoongi shoots Jimin a smile. Jimin smiles back, and his fond exasperation feels kind of real this time.

“Don’t lie,” Jimin cuts in, but his tone is gentle. “I was crying, I wasn’t very beautiful right then.” He leans towards the clerk again. She leans in too, enthralled. “I’d just been broken up with. That’s why I was in the park in the first place. I ran way to be by myself and cry.”

The clerk’s face drops open in sympathy.

“I just like parks,” Yoongi cuts in. “That’s why I was there.”

No one acknowledges him. The clerk tuts, shaking her head over Jimin’s fake heartbreak.

“Anyway,” Yoongi adds, “don’t say that. You were beautiful even crying.”

Jimin blushes. “Our first meeting!” he summarizes to the clerk. “I went to cry over a terrible guy and ran into the perfect one.” He looks at Yoongi and Yoongi feels just for a second frozen in time, like maybe they’re having a moment together.

“And there were just lilies everywhere,” Yoongi tacks on, just to be safe, successfully ending the moment.

The clerk looks almost emotional.

“That is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard,” she says solemnly.

Yoongi pulls Jimin just a little bit closer. At first it’s awkward, but then Jimin relaxes into his side.

“Maybe you should try the rings on,” the clerk urges.

Yoongi feels Jimin freeze where their sides meet.

“Oh I don’t know, we gotta get going,” Yoongi croaks, but he can see it on the clerk’s face: she’s going to see them wearing the rings, whether they like it or not.

“Honey, let’s do it,” Jimin agrees, sensing the situation. “Just to be sure.”

Aw, hell. “Right,” Yoongi says.

They both reach back to the box for the rings, moving away from where they were settled against each other; Yoongi’s side feels oddly cold without Jimin there. They at least avoid the utter humiliation of having to put the rings on each other; the clerk seems content watching them each putting on their own. Yoongi prays they fit.

He can feel that his own band is a little loose when he puts it on, but he does what he can to hide that from the clerk. “Nice,” he says, kind of pathetically, appraising.

But Yoongi’s heart hammers in his chest as he watches Jimin slide his ring on. Fit fit fit, he begs the universe, please fit.

The ring settles at the base of Jimin’s finger. It fits perfectly.

The ring looks stunning on Jimin’s hand. Yoongi looks from his ring to Jimin’s; the sight is so unusual to him, something he never thought he’d see.

“Wow,” the clerk says. Yoongi has to agree.

They all stand in silence for a moment before Jimin shuffles his feet and says, “well,” and they all snap out of it, Jimin and Yoongi removing their rings to return them to the box once more.

The clerk seems to collect herself. “So will that be all for today?”

“Yes,” Yoongi answers immediately, but Jimin clutches at his bicep, looking right into Yoongi’s face.

“Babe--“ there’s a pulse in Yoongi at the use of the pet name-- “didn’t you say you wanted to get me a rehearsal gift too?” He turns to the clerk. “Tonight’s the rehearsal dinner, so he promised me a rehearsal gift.”

There’s definitely no such thing as a rehearsal gift, Yoongi thinks.

“Right,” Yoongi says flatly.

“Let’s see what’s around!” Jimin announces, unperturbed, and he flits away from Yoongi and through the store. The clerk chases from behind the counter, eager to participate.

“Ooh!” Yoongi hears a moment later. He curses the names of his best friends, whose fault, it should be noted, all of this is was in the first place; and then he follows the sound to where Jimin stands over a case full of earrings.

Jimin’s finger presses against the glass insistently, like he can just push through it hard enough and reach the jewelry. He looks thrilled, clearly excited to share what he found, and Yoongi has to admit that it’s kind of endearing. “Babe, what about this?” Jimin asks.

Yoongi focuses on the pair in question: small, elegant diamond-encrusted hoops.

He checks the price.

₩399,000

Yoongi looks up. Jimin smirks at him.

He’s got to hand it to him, the kid’s good.

“Oh, those would look gorgeous!” the clerk crows, already unlocking the case and reaching in to grab the earrings.

“Gorgeous,” Yoongi says, and even though he just got trapped, he has to hold back a laugh. The corners of Jimin’s mouth twitch as well.

“Let’s see them, then.” The clerk presents the earrings to Jimin.

Jimin carefully takes them and then holds them up to his ears. Instead of finding a mirror, though, he turns to Yoongi with a questioning expression, apparently seeking his approval.

Yoongi would’ve rather seen the earrings actually on, but this’ll do. Even with his fingers holding them in place, the hoops look natural on him. Understated, but just a bit edgy and attention-catching; perfect.

Yoongi nods, and Jimin’s eyes sparkle.

“Let’s take them!” he tells the clerk, and she looks like she’s about to breakdance.

She whisks the earrings off to their new home, another dark velvet box, and Yoongi extracts his credit card from his wallet with a roll of his eyes, handing it over to the clerk.

A second too late, Yoongi realizes what he’s done.

“Oh my god,” he says as she moves away to swipe his card at the computer. “Oh my god, fuck, Christ.”

Jimin’s eyes widen. “What?”

“My card,” Yoongi hisses. ”My name is on my card.”

Jimin’s mouth drops open.

Suddenly, the clerk’s voice calls out to them. “Sir?”

Yoongi prepares to bolt. Jimin gives him a look like he knows, and like he might follow.

“Sir. About your card--” she shuffles back over. “I charged it with a fifteen percent discount.” She flashes a smile. “Tomorrow’s your wedding day after all! And you two are just the cutest.”

“A haha, ha, thank you,” Yoongi chokes. “Wow. Thanks. Thanks so much. Nice. So nice. Honey. Sweetie. Isn’t that nice of her?”

Jimin nods a little too rapidly. “So nice.”

“Very nice,” Yoongi repeats.

She shimmers. “Of course!”

She hands over a receipt, which Yoongi signs faster than he’s ever done anything in his life, and then he nudges Jimin to grab the earring box, and they turn to leave.

“Don’t forget these!” she calls after them. Yoongi turns around to see her presenting the box with the rings.

Yoongi nearly dies on the spot. “Of course not,” he deadpans. He can feel Jimin stifling a giggle beside him. He walks back and grabs the rings.

“Let’s go cupcake,” Yoongi rushes, hustling Jimin out. Jimin, however, turns to smile at the clerk as they leave.

“Thank you! You were so helpful! Thank you so much!” he calls, waving with both hands, and the clerk returns the wave enthusiastically.

”Freedom,” Yoongi announces once they hit the sidewalk.

He doesn’t hear anything from Jimin, but when he turns to him, the other is quietly laughing. No, he’s giggling. It’s a rather distinct giggle. The sound is probably used to cure cancer or something.

“What?” Yoongi asks.

“That was ridiculous!” Jimin laughs. “I can’t believe we just did that!”

“I can,” Yoongi grouses. He keeps walking-- he doesn’t know what they do to people who are caught stealing wedding rings, and he doesn’t want to find out-- and Jimin sticks by him.

Just as Yoongi pockets the rings, though, something occurs to him. “Hey, why did you go in the store in the first place?”

Jimin turns, his expression suspiciously bright. “I was wondering if you were going to ask that.”

“Yeah?”

“I was going to pick up cufflinks. Not for me, for someone else.”

Yoongi makes a ‘go on’ motion.

“You see, two of my friends are getting married tomorrow.” Jimin rounds on Yoongi, so that they’re facing each other.

Wait a second.

“And they sent one groom’s best man to get the rings, and forgot to tell him about the cufflinks,” Jimin explains cheerily, “so they sent the other best man to the jewelry store too.”

Hold up.

“You might know the couple,” Jimin says. “Kim Seokjin and Kim Namjoon?”

Oh god.

“Oh god,” Yoongi verbalizes.

“Indeed,” Jimin agrees happily.

Oh god.

“We’re the best men,” Yoongi observes pathetically, still in shock.

“That’s right,” Jimin says. “We’ll be standing across an aisle from each other tomorrow afternoon.”

Yoongi groans, hiding his face in his hands.

“You were pretty good in there,” Jimin muses. “I’m sure Seokjin and Namjoon would love to hear about it. Especially Seokjin.”

Yoongi hides deeper in his hands.

”But,” Jimin’s tone is contemplative, “you know, you still owe me a fifteen percent discount from four thousand won.”

Yoongi looks up from his hands.

Jimin smiles. “Why not buy my silence before we get back to the happy couple?”

Yoongi hopes he’s hearing what he thinks he’s hearing.

“There’s a restaurant a couple blocks from here I like,” Yoongi offers cautiously. “If that would...help you keep quiet.”

Jimin smiles that smile, then he returns to Yoongi’s side, winding his hand around Yoongi’s bicep like before, so they’re linked together again.

Yoongi indicates the direction of the restaurant, and they begin to walk again, and the whole thing doesn’t feel bad at all.

“Wait,” Yoongi says after a half block of trying not to reveal that he’s kind of really a lot blushing. “Wait, wait, what about the cufflinks?”

Jimin sighs dramatically, then turns them back around to face the store. “Alright, let’s go get them!”

“Noooo!” Yoongi shrieks, detaching from Jimin and taking off in the opposite direction. Jimin runs after him, laughing.

&&