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Run Into Sin

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Bills.

Bills that Jimin can’t afford to pay.

He stares at the stack of envelopes that sit before him. The dining table is still messy, in a state with the unwashed dishes and residual food stains since he attempted to prepare a new dish last night. Admittedly, his passion for food may alight a spark within him but carrying out the task and cleaning up afterwards isn’t made for him.

Jimin sighs as he tentatively reaches for the first of the letters, ripping it open ungracefully. The water bill. His eyes scan over the letter, mouth slackening upon noticing the price named at the bottom.

“Jeongguk!” He calls out immediately.

“What?” Comes his roommate’s distinct, distant reply.

“Come to the kitchen!”

It takes a moment for Jeongguk to emerge from his bedroom, clearly having freshened up from a shower. A towel is wrapped around his waist, hanging low and exposing his toned stomach and visible v-line. He has a toothbrush in his mouth, hair pulled back by a headband. Evident of last night’s party and last night’s fuck is clear on his face, seemingly exhausted. He stares expectantly at Jimin, arching a brow.

“I have class in thirty minutes and I just woke up. What could you possibly want right now, Jimin?”

“Perhaps if you hadn’t stayed out late partying, you would be on time.”

Jeongguk rolls his eyes, huffing under his breath.

Jimin swallows around the lump that grows steadily in his throat. It’s an undeniable fact that his roommate is attractive. He hadn’t anticipated that Jeongguk would be as striking as he is when he had agreed to give Jeongguk a chance, from Taehyung’s recommendation. Yet, Jeongguk had waltzed into his life, practically begging on his knees to let him move in.

“Shut up.” Jeongguk mumbles. “What’s the issue?”

Jimin licks his lips smoothly, handing over the letter.

“I’m gonna go off on a limb here and assume you used the water to this extent, have you seen the sum of this bill, Jeongguk?”

Jeongguk looks in disbelief but he strides forward, grabbing the paper off his hands and allowing his eyes to scan over the letter.

They’re struggling—that much isn’t a secret anymore. Taehyung, even, has noticed their inability to pay their rent and bills on time. The boy always discreetly transfers money into either Jeongguk’s or Jimin’s account whenever a payment is due. Sometimes Jimin’s best friend, Yoongi, also help out as much as he can. As much as Jimin appreciates Taehyung’s and Yoongi’s endless dedication to their spiralling financial issues, he’s growing tired of their friends always supplying for them.

“I’ve literally cut my shower time by half.” Jeongguk denies, shaking his head as he throws the paper down on the table. “Literally, Jimin! A whole ten minutes less, I timed myself! You can’t pin this down on me, no sir.”

Jimin had known that renting out his own apartment, away from campus would be significantly harder than dormitory life.

Living in dorms had been dreadful. When he had moved in and met his roommate: Sangyun, he realised they were polar opposites. Sangyun was an enthusiastic and overly cheerful man whereas Jimin is anything but. Jimin prefers his own space, his own quiet time and they two of them just didn’t collide well.

As the weeks had passed, Jimin knew he had to get out of there.

It hadn’t taken him long before he had started to look for a new roommate, searching high and low for a man who’d adapt well to his habits. Taehyung had approached him and told him about Jeongguk, insisting that Jeongguk was also desperate for a new place and they’d get along well.

Jeongguk, in many ways, is like Sangyun but Jimin has come to accept this fact and deal with it. In times of desperate measure, Jimin had to accept Jeongguk as a roommate. It’s easier since they have their own rooms, only having to see each other in the living room or the kitchen.

“Fine,” Jimin grumbles irritably, running a hand through his unkempt hair. “What’re we going to do, then?”

“I don’t know?” He shrugs helplessly.

“What about your family funds?” Jimin breaches the topic carefully, not wanting to hit a sore spot for Jeongguk, knowing the man keeps his family secrets close to his heart and never reveals them. “You’re rich. Don’t you have an inheritance, or something?”

Jeongguk wraps the towel tighter around his body, looking perplexed.

“I’m not using that money.”

“Why not?”

“Why don’t we just ask Taehyung, again?” Jeongguk suggests, changing the topic effectively.

Jimin shakes his head almost instantly.

“No way. We’re not taking from him again.”

They stare at each other for a moment in complete silence, the heavy weight of the situation settling into both of them. They have bills to pay, rent to pay. Neither of them have the sufficient amount of money. Jimin’s part-time job as a Psychology tutor isn’t providing enough.

Jeongguk, on the other hand, simply doesn’t have the time to work.

He holds a prestigious place in the dance academy at the university, a vigorous program that requires extra curriculum classes. He juggles his dance classes as well as History and Sociology modules, tackling a lot on his plate all at once and making it virtually impossible to handle a part-time job alongside it all.

“Well…” Jeongguk drawls out when neither of them speak, attempting to fill in the gaps. “I’m not asking my parents, if that’s what you’re waiting for me to say.”

There’s finality in his tone. Jimin knows that Jeongguk’s from a wealthy family, it’s obvious from his attitude, the way he carries himself. It irks Jimin that he doesn’t use his fortune to good, doesn’t attempt to supply for them.

“Why not?” Jimin groans. “Won’t it be helpful if your rich daddy can—”

“No.” Jeongguk’s shutting down the suggestion before it can progress any further, shaking his head. He walks to the fridge, picking out his pre-prepared green juice and shaking it up. “Did I not just say, no?”

The two of them have been living together for approximately five months now and yet, they’re not relatively close yet. They get along well enough for roommates. They can manage a dinner meal together with some light conversation, they can see each other around campus and stop for a small chat but there’s not a real, strong bond between them.

The reason they’re able to bond and communicate effectively with each other is because of their mutual friend, Taehyung.

They’re from two different worlds, two different personalities that insistently clash.

“Fine.” Jimin’s irked and he can’t help how it laces into his tone. “Fine. You can figure a way out of this mess then because, I’m pulling my weight.”

He doesn’t stick around to observe Jeongguk’s reaction. Jimin grabs his pot of yoghurt and granola, retreating back to his bedroom where he can eat his breakfast peacefully in his own company.

**

Jeongguk walks alongside Hoseok as they make their way to the dance studios.

They aim to practice their new routine until they drop from fatigue.

The choreography is still fresh in Jeongguk’s mind, his limbs automatically moving to their own accord as the beat of the song resonates in his mind on a continuous loop. To say he’s overworking himself is an understatement but he has a point to prove, a talent he has to prove he didn’t just buy his way into with his fortune.

Hoseok looks over to him, offering a wavering smile.

“You okay, Guk?” He questions, tilting his head to the side.

Curiosity lingers in Hoseok’s eyes, always attentive to his every need. Jeongguk had never struggled to make friends in university, though the process had been hindered due to his ‘rich kid’ status, but he had failed to maintain true, meaningful friends.

But Hoseok had walked into his life and refused to walk out.

Upon meeting him for the first time at the dance studio, Hoseok had simply stated that they’re here to have fun, to improve and learn on their skills and their private lives were to remain outside of the four walls of the studio. But as time had progressed and they had become closer, a tighter bond had been established between them. Now, Hoseok doesn’t hesitate to ask if he’s aware something is wrong.

“I’m fine.”

“You seem lost in thought.”

“Aren’t you a mind reader?” Jeongguk teases, softening as he looks back at Hoseok. “Honestly, I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. Let’s just practice.”

Hoseok seems more than okay to oblige.

There’s always a sense of calamity when he enters the studio, it washes away his troubles with every beat of the music that envelops the room. With Hoseok by his side, guiding him through every step, Jeongguk feels more relaxed here than anywhere else.

They start their dance routine, standing in front of the mirrors as the hip hop music plays loudly on the speakers. Jeongguk attempts to follow Hoseok’s movements but falls short a few times.

“Ah, Guk.” Hoseok steps into his space, guiding his hands into position. “There we go. Now try.”

Jeongguk attempts the hip thrust motion with his hands moving in the right direction, tilting upwards, trying to pin the choreography down.

Hoseok’s patient with him and he doesn’t push nor belittle, simply humming at the appropriate times and providing constructive criticism when necessary.

When they take a half an hour break after dancing non stop since they arrived, they order greasy takeaway food—much to Jeongguk’s dismay—and sit cross legged on the unforgiving, hardwood floor together. Hoseok slurps on his noodles, staring at him intently.

“There’s something wrong.” He’s not prying, simply stating what he’s trying to decipher.

Jeongguk shrugs as he stirs the rice around his plate with his chopsticks, no intentions of actually swallowing down the calories. He has to process the words a few times, his mind sludged before he sighs, placing the takeaway box down on the floor.

“Maybe…” he says. “It’s nothing I can’t handle. Money problems, y’know?”

He knows Hoseok is all too familiar with money problems. Who isn’t? They’re all students in the same university, all swimming in the same realms of issues.

Hoseok glances up as he sucks on his bottom lip thoughtfully.

“I guess so. Do you need help, or anything?”

“Nah… not really. It’s just, Jimin’s really unimpressed with how little I’m helping.”

“Well, it’s not really your fault.”

“It is, hyung.”

“No,” Hoseok says firmly, putting his food down as well so he can provide his undivided attention to Jeongguk. “It isn’t, d’you hear me? You’re focusing on your dreams, against everyone’s will, and you’re handling everything all at once. It’s not your fault you can’t give much.”

“It’s just hard. I don’t even get student loans.”

Due to his family’s fortune, the amount of loan he’s entitled to decreases significantly. Even if his inheritance is frozen. From all ends, Jeongguk’s hands are tied.

“Maybe you should fight your case to the university?” Hoseok suggests tentatively, always skirting around the issue of his family. “They should understand if you’re not really in contact with your parents, you don’t really associate with them.”

Jeongguk considers this. He could, indeed, go to the university finance office and lay out his dilemma. But he knows it’ll only cause a hysteria he’s not prepared to deal with. His family is a situation he likes to bury down, pretend it doesn’t exist. He engages with countless people on numerous occasions per day and he can talk endlessly, but his family has never been a topic with anyone except Hoseok and occasionally Taehyung.

He bites his lip as he picks up his takeaway food again, taking a bite of the rice and chewing until it turns to mush and it’s distasteful.

“I don’t know.” He sighs. “I guess, I’ll just have to research around and see what I can do with my current timetable.”

Hoseok nods. “That sounds like a good idea.”

“You don’t need to worry, y’know?” Jeongguk glances over to him with a sincere smile. “I know you care but it’s fine. As bad as my relationship with my parents is, they’ll help in the end.”

“They’ll make you drop out.”

Jeongguk’s eyes turn to steel as he stares hard at his food.

“I can’t live with no money, hyung.”

“So, you’ll give up your passion, your dreams for it?” The man’s voice becomes harder, no coddling behind his tone. “You joined this university against everyone’s wishes, you’re thriving here, we’re the top performers. Don’t you dare give up on this now, not when you’ve made it so far.”

Jeongguk takes a deep breath as he allows the words to sink in.

He has to take the liberty to look around the dance studio he sits in. It’s quiet, nearing nighttime, hence the empty room. It’s a spacious studio, containing all their equipment, spare change of clothes, shoes—they’ve designed the room as their own. Jeongguk has spent countless nights here when he refuses to go back to the apartment, wanting to perfect his routine.

Insomnia is a slow killer. But in Jeongguk’s case, he uses it to good. He takes advantage of his sleepless nights, his hazy state of constant sleep deprivation and dances until exhaustion drains him.

After coming so far, achieving so much in a short space of two years—going back on his dream only makes Jeongguk’s chest constrict tightly.

“Sorry,” he mumbles as he brushes his fringe off his forehead, heaving a sigh. “You’re right. I can’t give up now.”

Giving up his family, his fortune, his luxurious life and his high ceiling mansion house has to come to some good.

Hoseok looks over to him with a reassuring smile, speaking volumes more than his words ever could. He reaches over, clasping a hand over Jeongguk’s shoulder and squeezing down.

“C’mon. Let’s dance.”

**

Jimin’s sitting on the couch, cradling a cup of green tea when the apartment door opens to reveal both Jeongguk followed by Taehyung and Yoongi, joined together by the hip as they waltz into the house.

He frowns a little, having not expected his roommate back so early nor the two uninvited guests. He reaches over to turn the volume down, places his warm mug down on the table and stares back unimpressed at the three people standing before him.

Yoongi shoots him an apologetic lazy grin, walking over to him instantly.

“You alright, Jiminie?” He asks as he sits down besides him, placing a tentative hand on his knee and squeezing. “Sorry we came without letting you know, I thought we should all talk about what we’re going to do about the money solution.”

Jimin looks down at the comforting weight on his legs before sighing, nodding.

“Hyung, we can manage this.”

He’s not sure they can, though. His mind had been wracking uselessly throughout his lectures, as he had attempted to take notes on Clinical Psychology, about how he can solve their problem. When he sat with his tutor students, he had been half present and didn’t deliver his best performance as a teacher.

Jimin prides on being on top, being the best of all—but he’s struggling to maintain his reputation, his composure slipping as his woes take over.

Jeongguk looks sheepish as he sits down on the adjacent couch, drawing his legs up to his chest and wrapping an arm around himself. Taehyung flops down besides him, resting his head on Jeongguk’s shoulder as he stares attentively between his boyfriend and Jimin.

Yoongi clicks his tongue, shaking his head as he relaxes.

“I wish you’d stop trying to be a damn saviour all the time and accept help when it comes your way, Jimin.”

His eyes flash up to his best friend, narrowing.

“I do accept help. I’ve taken money off you and Taehyung for the last two rent payments.”

Accepting help from other people has always been a difficult feat for Jimin who’s always been taught to be fiercely independent growing up, forced to look out for his own since he knew his parents never would. Being the middle child amongst an abundance of siblings meant he was constantly neglected, having to look out for himself. Since becoming accustomed to such a lifestyle, having overprotective friends is overbearing to him especially when it comes to money help.

Jimin knows Yoongi through Psychology lessons.

Whilst Jimin has no real interest in his major, Yoongi definitely does. Yoongi thrives with the subject area, has dreams of helping others and following a career as a Psychologist. They had bonded together during one of the lectures where they were forced to work as part of a group, prepare a presentation together.

Jimin may of not made many friends in university, thus far, but Yoongi makes up for all of them.

“We’ll continue to do that, if you need it.” Yoongi’s tone is firm. “But we’re not here to throw money in your direction. Jeongguk’s explained his concerns, we’re just going to search online for alternative methods to earn money.”

“You don’t think I’ve tried?”

“Apparently not.”

Taehyung sniggers as he stretches his arms above his head where he sits, smiling sweetly at Jimin.

“We’re your friends. We’re going to figure this out.”

Jimin sighs as he reclines back on the couch, knowing it’s a lost cause. As much as it makes him feel uncomfortable by the prospects, he knows there’s no way he’ll be able to stop Yoongi and Taehyung from following through what they came here to do.

“Fine, whatever.”

When Jimin glances up to his roommate, Jeongguk’s smiling widely at him.

Fuck Jeongguk and his constant, permanent state of cheerfulness.

Taehyung rummages through his large bag to withdraw his MacBook, placing it down on the coffee table so everyone has a clear view as he starts up the laptop. They sit in silence as Taehyung types in his passport, loading up a webpage. He immediately types in: ‘Student Jobs’.

“You do realise neither of us have the time for a job?” Jimin questions. “I’m already working.”

“Quit your tutoring.” Taehyung doesn’t miss a beat to reply. “It’s shit, doesn’t give you half the money you truly need.”

“It’s convenient. It’s what I’m good at.”

Jeongguk looks over at those words, looking at him carefully for a second before he turns his attention back to the laptop. His intense stare is all-knowing, like he knows Jimin’s lying, that he holds no real interest in Psychology or teaching the subject to snobby, younger university students.

Jimin swallows down the distaste in his throat, not wanting to acknowledge the stare.

“Why don’t you try selling some of your cooking?” Taehyung suggests carefully. “You love cooking and—”

“No.” Jimin shuts down the suggestion before it can even progress, shaking his head insistently. “I don’t want to.”

“But you’re good at it.”

Jimin is good at cooking, he may even go as far as saying he has a real, genuine interest in it, too. He’s been told he has power in his fingertips that he can transfer into seasoning, into flavour—he can cook up a dish and make people fall head over heels for it. He’s enamored people with his skills.

“I don’t want to.” He repeats with firmness hardening in his tone.

“Right…” Yoongi drawls, eagerly changing the subject. “Taehyung, give it here.”

Taehyung obliges within a second, grabbing the gadget and handing it over to his boyfriend. Yoongi changes the web page, searching up other jobs that work well with a student job. He browses quietly, humming under his breath as he does so. Jimin watches him intently, holding no interest in joining into the conversation Jeongguk and Taehyung have started amongst themselves.

Jimin finds that he gets along with each person in the room individually well enough but as a group, altogether, he struggles.

“What about… dog walking?” Yoongi draws all of their attention back to him, turning the laptop around. “It works around your own schedule, you work with individual clients. It seems like an easy job.”

They all turn to Jimin.

He frowns, knowing the extra job to pay the rent will inevitably fall on him. Bitterness addresses him before he can stop himself, unable to stop the prodding question of why Jeongguk can’t pull his weight spin his mind.

“Uh… sure, whatever.”

Yoongi frowns at him as he clicks on a few other links on the website, before handing the laptop over to Jimin so he can gauge for himself.

The job seems simple enough. It requires twice a week commitment, after classes, and Jimin has to take them on an hour route around the park whilst the owner makes their journey home from work.

“I don’t know.”

Yoongi looks over to him with a bemused expression, raising a brow questioningly.

“What don’t you know?”

“Me? Dog walking? For a random person?” Jimin frowns just by the mere mention of it, interacting with someone older and more established terrifies him a little. “Why can’t Jeongguk do it?”

All their eyes filter to Jeongguk who looks a little abashed before edging for the laptop himself. He takes it off Jimin and settles back on the couch, scrolling down the page as he reads.

When he looks up, he has the decency to look shameful.

“I mean… I could ask Hoseok hyung but..” he shrugs as he hands the gadget to Taehyung. “I’m sure I have dance practices those days.”

“Of course you do.”

“It’s not my fault!” He tries to defend himself almost immediately. “Seriously, our dance performance is coming up soon and we’re working really hard. If I’m not doing that, I’m trying to do my assignment deadlines on time. I just… I don’t have the time, y’know?”

At the very least, Jeongguk’s honest.

Jimin can appreciate it but he doesn’t accept it, he can’t help the coldness that runs in his veins from the blatant rejection from Jeongguk of doing the job. Jimin hasn’t been around dogs—their family could never afford them—and he doesn’t feel entirely comfortable.

But it’s abundantly clear that’s the only option they have.

Yoongi looks at him with a twisted expression, mixed in with sorrow.

“You’ll be alright, Jiminie. I know you will be.”

If he just extracts some of Yoongi’s confidence and pushes away the resentment he feels for his roommate at this given time, maybe he just will be alright.

**

It’s Jimin’s first day dog walking.

He had met with the client beforehand, alongside Yoongi, and he had received the keys and gotten to familiarise himself with the dogs.

Clover is a Pug whereas Tulip is a French Bulldog and as adoring as they are, Jimin feels no real interest in continuing with the chosen occupation. He attempts to give it a try. He arrives to the Gangnam-Gu district in Seoul, picks up Clover and Tulip and goes down the suggested route through the park and feeds them.

But Jimin’s never handled dogs before.

Naturally, he loses control easily.

Tulip turns out to be an energetic, lively dog that’s extremely friendly and stops at every passerby and silently asks to be petted. The strangers do stop and try to make conversation with Jimin, asking questions about Tulip which causes Jimin to retreat back into his shell.

Clover ends up running off when Jimin lets go of the leash of a minute, having to search around the park until he finds her curled up underneath the bush and trying to dig a hole in the grass.

“C’mon, Clover.” Jimin sighs irritably under his breath, a clear sign of frustration painted over his expression as he attempts to steer the dog back towards the direction of the house. “Stop being difficult.”

Jimin knows talking to the dog isn’t going to make a difference, isn’t going to really cause Clover to immediately obey him but he feels helpless and hand tied in either direction.

He ends up having to call Taehyung and ask for tips since he knows Taehyung is accustomed to dogs, considering he grew up with a family dog. After being coached by his friend, Jimin finally manages to get Clover and Tulip back to their home and collapses onto the couch.

A simple task like walking dogs has wearied his energy.

He eyes Clover and Tulip carefully as they run around the living room, both of them snarling at each other. He’s not entirely sure if the dogs even like each other. When the time strikes, Jimin prepares food in their bowls and then sneaks out of the apartment.

Later that night, he quits the job after only one shift.

**

Jeongguk can’t stop yawning behind his fists as he sneaks back into his apartment after staying up all night practising, going to the library after dancing and then sneaking into his morning classes. Sleep deprivation weighs down on him heavily, sludging his veins and making his reaction times slow.

He has plans of going to his bed and passing out.

Yet as he enters and places the bag of groceries for dinner down on the table, he notices Jimin slumped in the couch. Jimin looks irked, fiddling with the sleeve of his sweater as he aggressively flicks through the TV channels. Jeongguk tilts his head to the side, observing his roommate for a second before looking over the clock.

“Shouldn’t you be dog walking right now?” Jeongguk breaks the silence between them, albeit with some hesitance, as he steps closer to the living room and shrugging his jacket off. He stands before Jimin, looking at him cautiously. “I’m sure you started your shift like… fifteen minutes ago.”

Jimin looks over with lethargic, blinking eyes.

“I quit.”

Disbelief paints over Jeongguk’s face, shaking his head insistently.

“You gotta be kidding me? Why?”

“I didn’t like it.”

“We need the money!”

“Then, why don’t you do it yourself?” Jimin rolls his head back up against the couch, raising a condescending brow at him.

Jeongguk swallows. “You know why I can’t.”

He despises it when people, specifically Jimin who tends to do it a lot, throws his schedule back in his face. He hates it when he’s reminded about his inability to help, the fact that his inheritance has been thrown and he has no way of fending for himself.

“Well. I don’t think it’s fair it only comes down to me.”

Jeongguk scoffs. It’s not often that he gets annoyed but when it does, it comes all of a sudden and it comes on strong. To truly get under Jeongguk’s nerves, it has to come from a place that he’s deeply insecure about. His money situation with his family is perhaps the one, and only, ordeal that’ll cut deep enough.

“I don’t know.” Jeongguk sighs as he runs a hand through his hair, tugging at the end of his roots. “I’ll… I guess, I’ll just try to sell some of my dancing videos? Can I even do that? Will anyone buy them?”

It’s the last solution he’s reaching, desperately grasping at straws to make ends meet.

If he was any closer to Jimin, he knew it wouldn’t be so hard. If he and Jimin were somewhat friends, met at a middle ground and were able to associate with each other freely, it wouldn’t feel as burdening. Friends help each other.

Roommates who barely share a bond together, rejoice together at sporadic times during the time to taste Jimin’s new dishes for dinner isn’t a real bond.

Jimin’s face softens and remorse filters into his features as he releases a breath, running a hand down his face and taking a moment to recompose himself before he decides to speak.

“I’m being unfair,” he mumbles under his breath. “I just don’t know how we’ll get out of this mess.”

“You didn’t even give dog walking a proper chance.”

“I know.” His face scrunches up, shaking his head. “But I’d rather not. It’s not my cup of tea.”

They spend a few minutes in silence, just like that. Jimin sits on the couch, legs crossed and deep in contemplation whilst Jeongguk stands before him. The two of them seem deep in thought, trying to come up with a solution.

“I could find a sugar daddy.” Jeongguk attempts to lighten the mood.

Jimin’s eyes flash up to him, unreadable for a second before he erupts into laughter.

“Shut up, Jeongguk.”

“I’m serious, I could!”

“We’re not finding a damn sugar daddy!” Jimin breaks off the suggestion before it even becomes a possibility, throwing his head back on the couch as he closes his eyes.

Jeongguk glances around their safe haven, their apartment.

He needed to move away from dormitory after his status as a ‘rich kid’ was exposed and the roommates he was sharing with became vicious, clearly bitter and wanting to inflict the sourness they felt towards their own misfortune upon Jeongguk. They’d purposely tortured Jeongguk, playing music loud at night, bringing friends over and discussing the Jeon family’s wealth.

It had been hard to deal with, harder to swallow.

He had just moved away from a luxury district of Seoul, residing in a extravagant apartment shared with his brother and his parents to a dingy, run-down dormitory. The inheritance he had been promised, millions upon millions, had been frozen and Jeongguk was left to fend for himself.

Someone who has been pampered, taken care of all his life was suddenly thrusted into a life where he had to look after himself.

It wasn’t the biggest shock to his system since Jeongguk had started to rebel a few years before he got shunned out of the family. He knew his dream as a dancer was never going to be accepted and he dealt with it accordingly: hanging out with the wrong group of friends, getting involved in drug and sex scandals that was published in the news.

Being rich and famous was exhausting.

The apartment that he struggles to pay for, saves up money like a savage for is a safe haven and Jeongguk doesn’t want to lose it.

He glances back at his roommate and nods.

“No sugar daddy.” Jeongguk promises.

Jimin opens one eye, squinting at him cautiously before he pats the space besides him.

It’s not often they hang out, as roommates, besides when they really have to. Jeongguk tends to soak up any time he gets with Jimin, thriving off being around company rather than being alone.

Jeongguk toes off his Adidas sneakers, dropping his backpack on the floor before sauntering up to Jimin and sinking into the couch besides him.

They keep a decent distance between them and they sit together in silence for a minute, staring intently at the TV before Jimin breaks the silence.

“I made a new dish, want to try?”

“What dish?”

“Italian!” Jimin announces proudly, bouncing off the couch and wandering to the kitchen.

It’s mesmerising that the only time Jimin displays any sort of passion, any sort of liveliness is when there’s the mention of food and cooking.

Jimin brings back a warm pot of lasagna, handing it over to Jeongguk and sitting back, eagerly waiting his response. He takes the food off him gratefully, using the fork and knife to gracefully cut himself a serving piece and blowing on it before taking it into his mouth. Jeongguk takes a moment to savour the food. Jimin’s an exceptional chef, it’s not a secret and he knows Jimin’s aware of this fact too.

Regardless, Jimin looks putty under his approval. His eyes are wide, awaiting for the words.

Jeongguk swallows slowly before looking over to him, his smile twitching instinctively.

“Jimin. This is great, beautiful. Another good dish, really.”

Jimin brightens as he hums, settling back in the couch.

“Thanks.”

They sit together in silence as Jeongguk nimbly eats at his lasagna, taking his time to allow himself to properly relish in the taste and the blend of spices used in the mince meat. He grabs second servings and when he returns to the couch, Jimin’s looking at him seriously.

“We’ll figure it out, Jeongguk. We will.”

Jeongguk decides for the time being, he wants to believe in those words as he nods and resumes to eating quietly.

**

The next day when Jeongguk’s busy in one of his lecture classes, he gets a text notification from Namjoon. One of his hyung’s that had been associated with the family business and devotedly, had quit and followed Jeongguk once he had been effectively disowned for following his dreams. Namjoon had taken care of Jeongguk upon moving to Seoul, meeting with Jeongguk’s new friends and making a good connection with all of them. It’s no doubt that Namjoon gets along with both Hoseok and Taehyung and it’s refreshing that he has a good circle of people surrounding him.

‘Check your bank balance, Guk. Love you.’

Jeongguk frowns at the message. He knows it only means one thing and when he logs into the online banking and finds the sufficient amount he needs to pay rent, from his half, he nearly begins to cry in class.

‘Joon hyung, this was unnecessary. Thank you so much. I love you.’

‘Make it up with a meal sometime. X’

It feels unjust to accept the money off Namjoon. He knows Hoseok must’ve told Namjoon the situation, it’s abundantly clear to anyone who associates themselves with Jeongguk about the deep waters he’s in.

He sighs when he texts Jimin: ‘We’re safe for this month.’ And then decides, there’s something, anything, he must do to bring the money to the table himself.

**

When Jeongguk gets home from classes and his dance practice late at night, he slips through the door and finds Jimin’s already in his room. The door is sealed shut and locked meaning he’s not looking to seek out any social interaction with Jeongguk tonight.

Regardless, there’s a bowl of prepared pasta awaiting for Jeongguk on the counter that Jimin’s made for him.

Jeongguk warms up the dinner, his stomach churning with the intense hunger since he’s been dancing without any fuel for hours on ends now. His legs burn with the overexerting, his arm muscles weighing down heavy. He takes the bowl of pasta into his room, settling on his bed and beginning to browse the internet for alternate ways to earn money.

Jeongguk makes notes as he goes.

Essay writing services, which isn’t too bad. His literary skills aren’t top notch, hence why he’s always preferred showing his talent in the form of his body, but he can adapt well and use online resources to produce worthy essays. But upon researching more, he finds he doesn’t fit the criteria to apply for the job.

Every time he finds a solution, it falls short.

Jeongguk either doesn’t have the time or doesn’t fall into the guidelines required for the specific job or task. He feels at wits end by the time he finishes his research, an entire hour has passed and his pasta remains mainly untouched.

He picks up the carbohydrate heavy dinner, nibbling on the pasta and contemplates.

After waiting for another ten minutes, he begins to search the Internet high and low before he comes across something intriguing.

Homemade porn video contest.

Jeongguk halts upon seeing the title of the webpage, his brows furrowing instinctively as he slowly edges and clicks out of curiosity. He scans through the site, reading through the guidelines and the general information.

Are you in a relationship and want to share your sexy times? Are you eager to earn more money in an unconventional yet rewarding way? Join the one and only, the unique homemade porn video contest.

Every week, you and your partner must submit a video following specific rules and kinks that must be performed. These kinks may vary from: handcuffs to sensory deprivation (further information provided below).

This not only allows you and your partner to earn some cash but also gives the two of you the chance to explore new realms, open doors to new sexual discoveries that you two never realised you may of shared.

For each video, you’ll receive 75,000 Korean won. There’s seven weeks worth of video and the winner will be prized with a shocking 1,500,00 Korean won.

Don’t fret because your money woes have been solved.

Jeongguk stares at disbelief at what he’s reading.

He rereads the information a few more times, trying to make sense of what he’s discovered and trying to understand how much money is involved in the entire ordeal. It’s not a hard task for Jeongguk, at least.

He readily indulges in casual sex, has fuck partners on the side that he treats like real friends with benefits. Sex has never been a complicated feat for Jeongguk who likes to interact with people, likes to get involved and likes to get intimate with multiple people at a time.

But he’s never read something as startlingly bizarre as a porn contest.

Jeongguk allows the newfound information dwell within him for a while, not wanting to react upon it immediately, as he closes his laptop down and diverts his attention elsewhere.

**

The restaurant Namjoon chooses is fancy.

It’s Korean BBQ but regardless, as Jeongguk enters and processes the ambiance of the place, the posh vibe he receives—he knows it’s expensive and he knows his pocket can’t handle it.

Namjoon sits in a discrete table, off to the side with Taehyung in tow.

The two of them had hit it off well when Jeongguk had introduced them to each other, admiring the way the two of them had seamlessly bonded and created a friendship worth savouring. Namjoon’s policy of meeting Jeongguk’s friends and getting to know them had paid off well.

“Well, thanks for waiting for me.” Jeongguk voice is a sarcastic drawl as he notices the meat sizzling on the pan before him, on the table already.

He shrugs off his scarf, letting it fall ungracefully off the back of his chair before settling down. Taehyung smiles at him and so does Namjoon, both looking sheepish.

“We were hungry, you were taking ages!” Taehyung defends.

Jeongguk laughs, licks his lips as he rolls up his sleeves and prepares himself for a feast. Dancing ignites something within him, bringing out a feral and intense thirst for passion but ultimately, it also drains him.

It also makes him incredibly hungry at the end of it.

“It’s fine,” Jeongguk brushes it off with a wave of his hand, scanning around the restaurant to observe the people and his surroundings before fixating his eyes back on his friends and forcing to remain there. “I’m not mad, or anything.” He reassures. “How’s your day been?”

The two of them, in turns, launch into conversation. There’s never a dull moment with Taehyung, as it is but combined with the eccentric Namjoon—the bantering and back and forth is priceless and Jeongguk treasures their times together.

Namjoon has started to work at a coffee shop as a manager, having newly graduated from university, which means he always has an abundance of stories available.

A waitress comes around and drops off their drinks, a sparkle in her eyes as she smiles at Jeongguk suggestively.

Taehyung leers as soon as she waltz’s away, raising a brow.

“She totally has a thing for you! She’s been staring all night!” Taehyung gushes out.

Jeongguk seeks out the waitress again but she seems to have disappeared in the depths of the dimmed lighted restaurant, serving other customers. He turns his attention back to the cooked meat, using his chopsticks to place a serving into his place and mixing it with the rice.

“Don’t give him any more suggestions!” Namjoon scolds, whacking Taehyung lightly on the shoulder. “He doesn’t need anymore potential one-night stands, he has enough and he’s busy.”

“Hyung!” Jeongguk interrupts, scandalised. “Who do you think I am?”

Perhaps it’s his family money—that no one realises he doesn’t actually have possession over—or his quirky charm, but Jeongguk entices people, both men and women easily. He indulges and he likes it. There’s no regret behind his actions.

Namjoon pierces him with a look.

“You know exactly who I think you are.”

“Shut up.”

Namjoon lets out a giggle as he covers his mouth with the sound that escapes him, a smile growing over his lips.

The mention of sex, regardless, has the opposite effect on him.

Instead of wanting to dwell in the girl, wanting to seek out her attention and take her home tonight—he finds himself wondering about the contest he found last night. He wonders if anyone will be willing to participate and wonders if it’s his only bet to earn the money.

He, also, knows no one would take part.

Unless he asks Jimin.

“So…” Jeongguk pushes the meat around his plate with his chopsticks, busying his bottom lip with his teeth. “I found something online yesterday that may solve some of the money problems.”

At this, both Taehyung and Namjoon’s heads snap up.

“Oh, yeah?” Taehyung smiles as he puts his spoon down, settling his hand under his chin as he leans in to devote his undivided attention to him. “Enlighten us, tell us the brilliant idea.”

“It’s not a brilliant idea,” Jeongguk objects immediately with an uneasy laugh.

He knows that the idea of quite literally becoming a porn star isn’t going to sit well with most people.

Namjoon arches a brow in question, edging forward.

“Now, I’m intrigued.”

“Well…” he trails off, glancing around the darkened restaurant as if it’ll help delay the inevitable. “Well. There’s a contest going on right now for… porn. Porn video contest. You get a shit load of money.”

There’s a deafening pause.

He watches how Taehyung and Namjoon’s mouth slackens, both of their eyes darting towards each other as if they’re trying to gauge if this is a joke or really the truth. When Namjoon looks back at him, he seems bewildered.

“Porn? Porn videos? You want to do porn to pay your rent?”

“Well, when you put it like that.”

“I’m putting it exactly how it sounds!”

Whilst Namjoon looks slightly outraged and mostly confused, Taehyung just seems entertained. Amusement tingles in his dark brown orbs, inching in closer so he can talk clearly over the bustle of the restaurant.

“Who would you even do these porn videos with, though?”

Jeongguk flushes a little as he pushes the food around his plate, losing his appetite to keep consuming now.

“Jimin.”

Namjoon’s eyes widen whereas Taehyung starts to laugh unabashedly, slamming his fists down on the table and attracting an abundance of attention. People crane their necks over to look at the commotion. Namjoon buries his head in his hands but Taehyung doesn’t look the slightest bit shameful, lips stretched out into a full grin.

“Jimin?” He repeats, shaking his head. “Good luck with that, Guk. He’s had sex… what? Three times? You think he’s going to readily make porn videos with you?”

“Three times?” Both Jeongguk and Namjoon repeat in unison.

“Yeah.” Taehyung shrugs. “It’s not a secret, he doesn’t hide that fact. He’s not really into casual sex like you are, Jeongguk. I don’t think it’s going to settle well with him.”

Jeongguk slumps back in his seat, exhausted. He’s running out of ideas and this contest, as bizarre and ludicrous as it sounds, would’ve been an easy way out. Sex is what he’s good at. He can sell sex, if he has to.

“I can at least bring it up, right?” Jeongguk says, voice reduced to a whisper from apprehensive.

“What do you expect him to say?”

“No…?”

“That’s right. It’s gonna be a no.” Taehyung sounds absolutely sure of himself, settling back in his seat and crossing his arms. “It takes him a while to warm up to new people, to let them into intimate parts of himself so sex with you?”

“You say that like I’m horrible.”

Taehyung chides, shaking his head.

“You’re not horrible, you just don’t understand Jimin. He’s very… he keeps a small circle, very closed off and guarded. I don’t think he’ll ever want to be exposed on video, to the internet, Guk.”

Jeongguk sighs as he runs a hand through his hair, worn out of all his ideas. He shuffles more meat into his mouth, chewing slowly.

“Well, I guess I can find someone else to do the videos with.”

This time, Namjoon furrows his brows.

“I don’t think you realise what you’re signing up for, Guk.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean… it sounds all fun and games,” he lowers his voice, glancing around cautiously. “But do you realise what it’ll mean if those videos come out, if someone see—you won’t get off lightly. Once you’re on the internet, it’s there forever.”

Jeongguk considers Namjoon’s words. He knows there’s truth to his words, ringing truth out of all the haze. He knows that once he exposes himself online, he can never remove every extent, can never remove every trace of the video.

But he also knows he’ll never show his face on these videos.

How will someone ever know it’s him if they only have a camera view of his body, not his face, making it virtually impossible to identify him?

“I understand your concern, hyung.” Jeongguk smiles at him, reaching over to place a hand over Namjoon’s. “But trust me, I won’t do anything stupid that’ll get me excluded or something. I’ll be careful about it.”

Namjoon doesn’t seem convinced and the unease scattered across his features doesn’t wipe away, remaining twisted and unsure. He hums as he picks up some rice with his chopstick, skilfully shoving it into his mouth.

“I trust you.”

Taehyung looks over to him as he eats.

“So, you’re going to ask Jimin?”

“I don’t know… I can give it a shot.” Jeongguk says.

Taehyung nods, looking genuinely amused as he takes a sip of his water.

“I gotta see how he reacts. It’ll be hilarious.”

Jeongguk rolls his eyes, leaning forward and closing the gap between them to swat his shoulders harshly.

“Shut up. It has to work out. It’ll be so good, Taehyung! We’ll get so much money, we’ll be able to pay rent. It has to work out.”

**

As sure of himself Jeongguk may of been, sitting besides Jimin now only aids to his nerves.

Jimin sits composed on the couch, as always. He has the coffee table pulled closer to him with books and notepads strewn across, working mindlessly as his eyes drift upwards to the TV every few minutes. They’re watching their favourite K-Drama, and Jimin seems to be attempting to balance the two acts together.

Jeongguk watches him carefully, taking sips of his Diet Coke as he does.

He had been confident about the porn contest and after dwelling on the idea for a while, discussing it with Taehyung and Namjoon—he had become convinced that it’d be a worthwhile solution.

But sitting besides Jimin only tears down some of the confidence.

Because Jimin is an enigma, even after living together for five months, Jeongguk hasn’t even begin to touch the surface with Jimin. His roommate is guarded and holds his heart close to himself, doesn’t like to reveal himself to any person. Jimin barely smiles and when he does, it’s around Taehyung and Yoongi when his poise slips.

Jeongguk doesn’t think he’s ever been a reason behind Jimin’s smiles.

He fiddles with the hem of his shirt, not focusing on the dramatic music that starts to play loudly from the TV.

“What’s got you so lost in thought?” Jimin asks, snapping him out of his trance.

“Huh?” Jeongguk looks over to him with a slight tug on the side of his lips.

“You seem…” Jimin stops where he’s writing notes, waving the hand in the air uselessly. “Just not yourself tonight.”

“What’s my usual self?”

“Loud.” Jimin doesn’t waste a second to reply—making Jeongguk snort. “Annoying.”

“Forgive me for wanting to be quiet so you can work.”

“That’s never stopped you before.”

“Well, it’s your lucky today.” Jeongguk drawls the words out, draining the last sip of his soda before putting the can down. He draws his legs up to his chest, resting his head atop.

“Why aren’t you out, fucking someone or something? It’s a Friday night.”

“Tired.” He mumbles.

“That’s, also, never stopped you before.”

“Oh, shut up!” Jeongguk looks up, towards Jimin and lets out a hearty laugh at his roommate’s insistent words. “Appreciate that I’m staying in for once and giving you company instead of complaining about it.”

“I don’t need the company.” Jimin’s tone is icy but hints of hilarity shines through.

“Yeah, right. You secretly fucking love it.”

“You wish.” Jimin grabs his pencil case, throwing it in his direction. “Aren’t you going to do some work, then? I’m sure you must’ve gotten an assignment, or something.”

Jeongguk shrugs. There’s a pile of work that’s only growing but he has no motivation to get started, not when his mind remains occupied elsewhere. Concentrating can be a difficult feat for Jeongguk, especially on History and Sociology assignments. Focusing on block prints makes his mind go haywire.

“Nah.”

Jimin gives him a look but doesn’t speak otherwise.

“Whatever you wanna do, dude.”

They sit in silence as Jimin keeps working, flicking through his Psychology books. His eyes seem dulled, holding no real interest as he takes notes. He looks exasperated with himself, with his work.

Jeongguk shifts uncomfortably on the couch, wringing his fingers together.

“Have you thought more about how we’re going to pay rent?” Jeongguk brings up hesitantly, skirting around the issue.

He’s a little afraid that his ‘rich’ status will be thrown back in his head and a part of him trusts Jimin not to do that, only to poke light fun at the situation but never take it beyond the unspoken boundaries. Somehow, without ever discussing the topic, Jimin knows exactly how far he can extend the family talk.

Jimin looks up when he’s directly addressed to, lowering the pen in his hand.

“No…” He admits lowly. “Not unless it means I have to go out there and get a second job, so. Why, have you?”

This is his time.

This is Jeongguk’s time to drop the bombshell, announce his genius plan. But when he looks over to Jimin, he feels pierced under his intense gaze. There’s something about Jimin’s eyes that feels like the man is staring straight through you, into your soul. Jeongguk shudders inwardly as he licks his lips.

“I may of found something. A solution.”

Jimin seems intrigued, pausing for a second before pushing the books away from him and settling back on the couch. He situates himself, raising a brow at Jeongguk.

“Yeah? What is it?”

“It’s going to sound insane, okay? So just… keep an open mind.” He requests and upon Jimin’s facial expressions not shifting even in the slightest, Jeongguk takes a deep breath and lets it out in a rush. “There’s a homemade porn contest and you make seven videos, weekly, and get money for each video.”

He turns to observe Jimin’s expression.

Jimin’s face morphs from curiosity to shock horror, twisting up in distaste as he leans back on the couch some more and looking at Jeongguk with disbelief painted over his features.

“Excuse me?”

“Homemade porn contest.” Jeongguk repeats. “Money for each video, for seven weeks.”

“Did you really just suggest sex to me for money?”

Jeongguk sighs. He had somewhat expected this reaction and he understands Jimin’s apprehension. But they’re at wits end. They’ve tried everything to no avail, the bills keep piling up and the rent remains high. Their tuition fees untouched.

“It’s… it’s not such a bad idea, Jimin.”

“Are you kidding me?” Jimin laughs and this time, there’s no hints of humour behind them. “Why on earth would I have sex with anyone on camera?”

“I-I don’t know. I really think it’d help us.”

“What if someone finds the videos?”

“We wouldn’t record our faces, Jimin. C’mon, we can be wise about this.”

“We’ve never even kissed or come remotely close to anything beyond platonic, sometimes friends, roommates—and you think we’d be able to have sex?”

As harsh as Jimin’s words are, there’s truth behind them. Jeongguk hadn’t thought this through, clearly. He found an offer and he ran a mile with it, considered the offer, the solution to all their woes that weigh heavy on their conscience.

It’d be a lie if Jeongguk hadn’t thought about Jimin in a sexual content. Jimin has irresistible plump lips, outrageously handsome features and a heavenly figure that he barely works for but is graced with naturally.

But beyond just thinking about it, there’s been nothing but a platonic bond between the two of them.

“I guess I wasn’t thinking,” Jeongguk mumbles moodily under his breath. He’s irked with himself for never being enough, never being able to help efficiently. “Fuck it.”

“If you want to help, you need to think properly. Realistically.” Jimin continues.

“I got it.”

Jeongguk knows he made a mistake by mentioning the contest. He, personally, doesn’t see the harm in trying something new, something spontaneous and he sure as hell wouldn’t mind taking Jimin into the bedroom. But he also understands boundaries, understands some things aren’t so easy.

Jimin looks over to him with a small smile, looking apologetic more than anything else.

It seems like he wants to say something, perhaps explain himself but he clamps his mouth shut and doesn’t utter a single sound. Instead, he offers another lingering gaze at Jeongguk before retreating back to his Psychology work. He doesn’t look up from where he works, scribbling the words down as the gel pen bleeds onto the paper.

Jeongguk keeps staring uselessly.

He shifts on the couch, feeling restless and unable to focus on the TV.

Jimin notices because he looks up, narrowing his eyes carefully.

“Uh…” He considers his words carefully before biting his lips, looking torn. “I’m nearly done with my work. D’you, maybe, want to bake a cake together, or something?”

It’s not often Jimin will propose a cooking or baking session together in the kitchen. He keeps his culinary skills close to his heart, never revealing his fascination with ingredients and recipes. He’ll only propose such an offer if he’s finding a way to apologise without saying the words like the one time he and Jeongguk had a fight for Jeongguk playing his music too loudly, it had escalated dramatically and Jimin retorted with baking red velvet cake with him.

“Yeah?” Jeongguk perks up a little, smiling softly at Jimin. “What kind?”

“Carrot?”

“Eugh.” He scrunches up his face in disgust, mockingly hiding his face behind a cushion. “Disgusting. I’m disowning you, I’m moving out.”

Jimin gasps in horror, shaking his head.

“You don’t like carrot cake?”

“I’ve never had it, honestly but who the fuck puts carrot in a cake?”

Jimin shakes his head. “This is just not on. Not if you’re living with me.”

He drops his pencil down on the table and stands up with an aura of determination attached to him as he strides to the kitchen, almost aggressively collecting the ingredients needed for carrot cake. Jeongguk watches in amusement as he watches Jimin naturally take control over the kitchen, settling back in the couch.

He admires Jimin now. It’s the only time he’ll see a sincere glisten in Jimin’s eyes.

**

Jimin’s repressing a yawn behind his fist as he discreetly slips into his second lecture, Cognitive Psychology, and takes a seat in the back besides Yoongi and Seokjin. He shoots them a smile, barely existent, as he withdraws his beaten down, barely working laptop and starts it up.

Seokjin passes him a block of chocolate and he accepts it, not having enough time in morning to stop and consume breakfast.

“Thanks, hyung,” he mumbles under his breath as he nibbles on the chocolate melting between his fingertips, licking it off his thumb and humming.

Seokjin shrugs. “You okay? Need the notes you’ve missed so far?”

“If you don’t mind.”

Seokjin hands over his paper full of notes without a mind in the world, settling back in his seat and relaxing by resting his hands behind his head. Seokjin’s resitting his university years after taking a few gap years to take his time to travel. He had met Yoongi upon enrolling and the three of them sit together during their insufferable lectures.

Yoongi shoots Jimin a concerned glance, pulling his brows together.

“Did you sleep enough?”

“Not really.” He doesn’t beat around the bush. “I didn’t finish the fucking assignment for this class and I remembered at like, ten in the night so I got up and worked on that till really late.”

Yoongi looks unimpressed, tilting his head to the side to observe Jimin better.

“Are you insane? How can you forget?”

“I don’t know, okay!”

“Did you finish it?”

Jimin hums in affirmation as he withdraws his papers, stapled together with the words written, rewritten and proofread. He hands it over to Yoongi, who hands it to Seokjin so the older man can scan through it.

“You need to stop slacking like this.” Yoongi doesn’t look at him as he speaks, keeping his eyes trained on the projector as he takes notes. “I know Psychology isn’t what you’re interested in but you need to pass your classes, regardless.”

“I’m not disinterested in it.”

“Right.”

“Seriously.” Jimin chuckles lowly under his breath, organising his papers out and opening up a new document to begin taking the notes. “I’m just… I’ve got things on my mind.”

Yoongi turns to look at him but this time, hints of seriousness and concern filters into his mind. He falters where he’s taking notes.

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, yeah. Just… Jeongguk and his stupid fucking ideas.”

Yoongi lets out a laugh.

“Yeah, Taehyung told me.”

Jimin feels relieved that he doesn’t have to explain the situation out, spelling out each word will only result in him blushing. He groans under his breath at the mere thought of porn videos. Jimin keeps himself guarded, doesn’t reveal himself to many people and the thought of making videos with someone like Jeongguk terrifies him.

Jeongguk is, all in all, a wonderful person. Exhausting and can drain Jimin’s energy sometimes from his liveliness but he’s good natured, has sincere intentions.

But Jeongguk is also wild and free. He dwells in and out of casual sex, sees people regularly on the side with no strings attached. He’s shameless and whilst there’s nothing wrong with this fact, Jimin wouldn’t like to join the list of people Jeongguk’s slept with.

“It’s crazy!” Jimin whisper-yells, outraged. “He really wants me to make videos with him.”

“It’s for money.”

“Exactly… sex, for money.”

Yoongi shrugs as he sits back a little, looking over to Seokjin who seems to be devoting his time between checking the work and listening in to the conversation.

“Yeah but, do you have many options left at this point?” Yoongi questions.

Jimin looks at him incredulously.

“Are you supporting this idea, hyung? Really?”

Yoongi holds his hands up in surrender, immediately backing down from the claim as if he doesn’t want to be caught in the middle. He shrugs, again.

“The way I see it, it’s an opportunity. It could work out for the best.”

“I’m not having sex with Jeongguk.” Jimin deadpans.

He’s definitely not having sex with Jeongguk. There’s no way in hell he’s going to take his clothes off, get into bed and have sex with Jeongguk.

“Do you have any other solutions, then?”

Jimin doesn’t. He’s tried his hardest, he’s overexerting himself with his current job. He barely has any time for himself as he spends most of his day at university, in the library and then tutoring other students. Once he gets home, he attempts to devote some time towards his cooking which ultimately pushes back his deadlines and results in him staying up late to finish them.

He’s already established he’s useless working under other people, easily threatened by authority figures.

It’s frightening to think that his only solution may be having to film sex with Jeongguk.

“Not really.”

Yoongi smiles a little, both reassuring and sympathetic.

“Look, I’m not telling you what to do by all means. This is your dilemma and you’re free to sort it out anyway you want to but.. It’s only seven videos. Seven videos and you’ve solved your entire money problems for the rest of the year.”

He sighs as he slumps back in the uncomfortable plush seats, hands pausing over where he’s been typing over his keyboard.

Seokjin leans over, a small smile playing on his lips. He looks sheepish, clearly eavesdropped on the entire conversation.

“Can I just interrupt?” His smooth voice speaks out, continuing despite waiting for the permission. “I think Yoongi’s right. It’s only a small sacrifice for a big price.”

Jimin blinks in disbelief. “A small sacrifice? Recording sex is a small sacrifice?”

Seokjin shrugs, his eyes wandering to Yoongi and back.

“You can be clever about this, you can make this work for you, Jimin,” Seokjin says matter-of-factly, smiling. Jimin will never admit how much Yoongi and Seokjin’s support and approval means to him and looking at Seokjin’s sincere, smoothed out expression means nothing but complete honesty.

There’s truth behind Yoongi’s words. There’s truth behind Seokjin’s words. If he obliges, also follows Jeongguk into the world of casual sex, he’ll be exposed online and it can never be removed. He wonders what it’ll mean to him, to his limited amount of friends and more specifically, his family.

Jimin has already narrowly avoided being outed to his parents who’re severely against anything sexuality that isn’t exclusively straight. It was the hardest task to look them in the eyes whilst laying in a hospital bed, evidence of his sexuality all over his injuries and tell them he’s not gay.

But what’s the likely chance his parents will find porn videos of him online?

“I don’t know,” Jimin mumbles when the lecturer raises his voice a little, getting engrossed into the content he preaches. “I’ll think about it, I guess.”

**

Jeongguk’s sitting in the university common room, surrounded by a group of friends from his class as they play snooker together and eat the cafeteria food. Taehyung’s up against him and he’s proving himself to be a good player, continuously winning against Jeongguk.

“You bastard.” Jeongguk’s realigning the balls back into position, holding onto the cue white ball.

Taehyung smirks as he stretches his arms above his head, holding onto his cue tightly.

“I can never be defeated.”

Jeongguk hands the game over to someone else, a girl within their group, as he resigns and takes a seat on the adjacent couch. He picks up his lunch that he neglected to attempt to defeat Taehyung, sipping on the straw slowly as he swallows down the apple juice.

For once, he has nothing to look forward to. Normally after his lessons finish, he has to head to dance practice with Hoseok and remain within the studios until the sky has darkened and slumber creeps upon him.

But Hoseok had cancelled today after he claimed he wanted to rest and take some time off with his sister who’s visiting him in Seoul. It’s not often that he gives them a day off but Jeongguk accepted it gratefully.

“Yeah, yeah,” Jeongguk drawls. “Watch, she’ll smash you at the game.”

The girl definitely doesn’t win against Taehyung. The older man looks smug as he retreats away from the pool table, fist pumping the air insistently and claiming he has to tell Yoongi about his skills and see whether or not he can win against his boyfriend. Jeongguk rolls his eyes and pushes down the surge of fondness he feels towards his friends, diverting his gaze elsewhere.

They spend a little while longer in the common room, challenging each other to snooker games as the atmosphere between them becomes more tense as the competition increases.

Eventually, when Jeongguk finally wins against a boy in his class - he looks up to see Jimin walking their way.

It’s not often Jimin will make an appearance in the common room, if ever. He doesn’t like to interact with people he isn’t friends with and presumably, finds that the common room drains him of his energy. But he strides towards Jeongguk with boldness painted over his expression, clutching onto his backpack tightly.

Jeongguk takes a step back from the snooker table, raising a brow at Jimin questioningly.

Taehyung halts too, his expression brightening upon seeing Jimin.

“Hey, buddy!” He greets, putting down the snooker cue and walking over to Jimin. Taehyung pulls him into an one-armed hug, smiling. “What’s up, what brings you to the common room?”

Jimin pulls back with a hesitant smile, doubt entering over his features now that he’s stood before a group of people he’s not familiar with. He shifts uncomfortably on his feet, nodding to the abundance of students sitting around the snooker table and glancing between them all, before fixing his eyes on Taehyung.

“Not much. I wanted to talk to Jeongguk, actually.”

Jeongguk looks up at that. “Me?”

It’s only been a few days since he had suggested the homemade porn contest but he’s steadily realising his mistake in doing so. After they had baked the carrot cake and ate it together silently, they’ve been avoiding each other since. Jimin had slipped out of the apartment quietly in the morning, not sparing a single word to him.

Jimin makes direct eye contact with him as the sides of his mouth twitch upwards slightly.

“Yeah, you. Want to walk home together?” He pauses, filtering around the room again and shaking his head. “If you don’t… I, uh—you’re busy, never mind.”

It’s a little endearing how awkward Jimin can be, stumbling over his own words as he tries to retreat back the offer. Jeongguk let's out a little chuckle, grabbing his belongings.

“Yeah, let’s walk home together.”

“You sure? You’ve got nothing else to do?”

He shakes his head as he fist pumps the boys in the room, nodding at the girls and quickly giving Taehyung a hug as a form of goodbye. He walks up to Jimin and puts a hand on his shoulder hesitantly, offering a squeeze. Jeongguk just wants to feel comfortable around his roommate entirely, doesn’t want Jimin to feel a sense of boundaries between them.

“I’m absolutely free.” He promises. “Let’s go.”

Jeongguk steers them out of the common room, up the stairs into the lobby of the building before they walk out onto the campus grounds. It’s a bright day, the sky nearly completely cloudless as the heat beams down on them. Jeongguk sighs a little as he takes in the warmth, shrugging off his jacket.

Jimin looks timid as he walks besides him, head tilted downwards as he carefully observes where he walks.

They cross the street, out of the university and towards the bus stop they have to take to commute back to their apartment. It adds a little time to their overall journey but Jeongguk would happily take it over being belittled and pushed around for his status.

The bus they have to take is crowded, causing the two of them to squash up into a corner of the bus.

Jimin has his headphones in and seems to be breathing harder now, curling into Jeongguk’s space as if to make himself appear smaller amongst the sea of people. Jeongguk recognises his behaviour and frowns, wondering what’s causing Jimin to react in such a manner. Regardless, he shuffles forward some more and wraps a tentative arm around Jimin’s waist to shelter him from the other people on the bus.

Jimin looks up to him, surprised but doesn’t voice any protests.

They make eye contact and Jimin looks away, drumming his head gently to the beat of the music being played in his ears.

Once they get off at their stop and resume their walk towards the apartment, Jeongguk clears his throat.

“So… you said you wanted to talk to me?”

Jimin halts for a second before he hums, fiddling with his pocket to withdraw the key as he unlocks the front door and lets Jeongguk in first. They walk up the two stories to their apartment, walking through.

“Y-yeah. I’m just… it’s a little weird for me so give me a second?” Jimin politely requests.

Jeongguk nods and doesn’t speak anymore. He walks over to the kitchen, giving his roommate the space he needs as he starts to fix them a glass of cold water.

Jimin accepts it gratefully, muttering ‘thank you’ under his breath as he leans against the kitchen island.

“So…” Jimin starts back up once he’s ready, placing the glass down and tracing around the rim. “I’ve thought about the homemade porn contest some more, and talked to Yoongi hyung about it.”

This time, Jeongguk jolts in surprise.

He pauses where he’s taking a sip of his water, eyes widening comically as he glances over to Jimin.

He had thought it’d the last time they’d discuss the homemade pron contest and it’d never be mentioned again. He thought it’d be one of those awkward, lingering conversations that’ll burden them like the elephant in the room that’s not addressed. He knows that’s Jimin’s style - ignore and bury.

But Jimin’s standing before him with earnest eyes, an inviting smile.

“Oh.” Jeongguk stutters over his words, throat growing dry. “What about it?”

He attempts his hardest to act nonchalant, shooting him a half-smile as he raises the glass and takes another sip though his composure has slipped.

“I think we should do it.”

Jimin says the words with no hesitance, announcing it out loud between the two of them.

Jeongguk almost chokes on the liquid in his mouth, swallowing it down thickly as he runs a thumb over his lip to catch any remnants.

“Are… are you sure?” Jeongguk asks. “I don’t want you to feel obliged or anything.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m still fucking scared. This… it’s very different to anything I’ve ever considered before. I don’t want to get caught, or anything.”

“It’s okay to be scared.” He shrugged as he shuffled closer to Jimin, offering a smile. “I’m scared, too—honestly. We won’t get caught.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because we’re not going to show our faces when we film.”

Jimin flushes deeply at that, glancing away quickly and fixating his eyes on the clock behind them. He takes a moment, seemingly deep in thought before he drags his vision back to Jeongguk.

“I haven’t had sex much in my life.” He sounds so genuinely distraught about this fact, eyes narrowing like slits. “I’m not used to just… having sex all the time.”

“Hey.” Jeongguk’s lips curl downwards as he cuts the distance between them, stepping into Jimin’s personal space. “It’s okay. That’s not an issue, y’know? We really don’t have to do this, if you’re not comfortable, really.”

“I want to. At this point, we don’t have another choice. I don’t think it’s a good idea but we have to.”

“We can always figure something out.”

Jimin shakes his head insistently. “No, no. This is our best bet right now.”

Jeongguk can’t deny the fact because it’s the truth, sighing as he bites on his bottom lip and nods.

“It’s also okay if you don’t have much sexual experience. I won’t judge you or anything.”

Jimin pauses. “It’s not that I don’t have much experience. I’ve only had sex with one person.”

“That’s okay, as well.”

There’s no judgement from Jeongguk whatsoever. Whilst he, himself, may prefer to have many sexual partners at once, he understands why it’s not appealing to someone else. He can especially understand why Jimin would find it even harder to commit to a porn contest.

Jimin’s lips twist up in a disconcerted smile, seeming unsure.

“You’re sure that's okay?”

Jeongguk laughs heartily, loosely grasping Jimin’s forearm and guiding him to the couch. They sit together as Jeongguk devotes his undivided attention to him.

“Jimin, it’s not a job application. I’m not asking for heaps of experience, for a specific number of sexual partners to qualify for the contest. It’s an amateur contest, it’s just a bit of fun.”

“I haven’t even kissed anyone in years.”

“That’s fine, too!”

“Is it, really?”

Jeongguk tilts his head to the side as he allows his eyes to scan over Jimin’s face, a little smirk beginning to form. His gaze lingers downwards to Jimin’s lump lips, instinctively licking his own as he shifts on the couch.

“I mean, we’d probably have to practice kissing before we film.”

Jimin seems a little taken aback by this, sitting back a little.

“Wait, seriously?”

“Yeah? How else are we going to make a convincing video? We have to get used to each other.”

Jimin heaves a heavy breath, eyes fluttering shut for a second. When he reopens, they’re darker with a hint of suggestion behind them but he makes no initiative moves.

“Will we have a practice run of sex too, then?” He asks, snarky.

Jeongguk breaks into a fit of laughter, shaking his head as he conceals his mouth behind his hand.

“No, I don’t think that’ll be practical. Let’s just… go with the flow, we’ll film the first video, we’ll review it and if it’s not working out, we don’t even have to put it online. We don’t have to do anything. We’ll delete it immediately and forget the entire idea.”

Jimin seems relieved at this fact, signs of reassurance pouring into him as he straightens up.

“I don’t think I’ll want to watch it back.”

“Then, don’t. I will and I’ll be very honest about it.”

They sit opposite each other with no words being exchanged for a minute. Jeongguk allows the air to hang heavy between them for a moment, letting the weight of the situation sink in for both of them and giving Jimin the time to back out of this if he needs to. He doesn’t want to do this if Jimin’s uncomfortable, doesn’t want Jimin to feel obliged.

Jimin finally looks up and nods.

“Let’s do this. I think we can do this.”

 

Jeongguk brings over a bottle of vodka and they sit on the floor, around the coffee table as they sip back on alcohol to loosen themselves up. It’s a terrifying feat, unfamiliar grounds to explore the idea of kissing with Jimin. He had never imagined he’d end up here, waiting for the moment their lips touch.

Jimin seems to be shaking with nerves as his hands tremble when he sips back on the vodka mixed with coke, eyes becoming hazier with each time the glass meets his lips.

He swallows thickly, watching Jeongguk intently.

“We’re doing the right thing?” Jimin asks.

Jeongguk nods. “I think we are.”

Jeongguk shifts into a tipsy state easily, never able to handle his liquor easily. He pours another glass of straight vodka, scrunching his face up as he swallows down the distasteful liquid.

“So, we’re going to practice kissing? Now?”

Jeongguk hums at Jimin’s question, nodding as he places the half empty glass down on the table. He shifts forward, invading Jimin’s space. He figures he’s going to be doing a lot of that since they’ve agreed to these videos, it only makes sense to start getting used to it.

Jimin seems apprehensive towards the boy for a minute, hesitating before he relaxes.

Tipsy Jimin is a laid-back Jimin, soft around the edges unlike the usual composed self and eyes diminished of the guard he holds up. There’s a cheeky smile that takes over his lips, making his features even more strikingly beautiful as his eyes crinkle shut.

“When’s the last time you kissed someone?” Jeongguk whispers to him, matching the intimacy of the moment.

“I was… seventeen?” He says, shrugging. “Yeah. It’s been four years.”

“Wow.” Jeongguk breathes out. “That’s… that’s a long time.”

“How long has it been for you?”

“Maybe, uh… two days ago?” Jeongguk laughs, a little shameful of his own experience now. “It wasn’t anything special. Just a drunken kiss at the bar.”

Jimin blinks at that.

“See? I could never do that. Do you even remember their name?”

“Nope. He was a bad kisser, to top it all off.”

“I’m probably a bad kisser too.”

Jeongguk clicks his tongue in disagreement, eyes flickering down to Jimin’s lips. He can’t help but ogle at his plumpness, at their natural pink colour.

“I somehow doubt it.”

“Come, find out.”

There’s a certain boldness in his words, a smug smile as he leans back on the palm of his hands and raises a suggestive brow at Jeongguk. He looks sure of him. Jeongguk decides he likes it when Jimin’s hard exterior has melted, when it’s just him underneath in his raw form, beckoning Jeongguk forward with his look.

Jeongguk doesn’t waste any time.

He sits up on his knees, inching forward and pulling Jimin forward by a hold over his collar and presses their lips together.

Jimin squeaks in surprise and remains stagnant as Jeongguk kisses him, starting off slow and building up the pace. He understands it’s been four years since the other man’s last kissed, it shows in his inexperience as he remains still and surprised. Eventually, though, he responds.

His hand comes to curl at the nape of Jeongguk’s neck, tugging him closer but remaining submissive as he kisses back.

Jeongguk moans softly into his mouth, eyes fluttering shut as he takes control. He licks into Jimin’s mouth after sharing a few open mouthed kisses, finding Jimin’s as they kiss dirtily. At some point, Jimin starts to shift.

Jeongguk pulls back immediately, eyes darkening with the lust that overtakes him.

“S-shit, sorry. Was that okay?”

Jimin’s eyes remain shut as he breathes heavily and when he reopens, his expression remains undetectable, but his eyes are aroused and piercing right into Jeongguk.

“Yeah. Wow.”

“Shall we try another?”

It’s an excuse to keep kissing Jimin, not wanting to let go of the feeling just yet.

The older man seems to contemplate for second before he hums, nodding.

Jeongguk doesn’t need anymore indicator. He shuffles forward and practically pounces on him, causing their bodies to collide and shuffle backwards a little. Jimin moans and adapts, navigating his way with ease as he wraps an arm around Jeongguk’s neck and begins to kiss back.

It’s still timid and shy, still testing the waters and Jeongguk slows down to help him catch up.

Once Jimin resumes and takes initiative, tentatively licking into Jeongguk’s mouth first - he knows the man is ready. They kiss like they have all the time in the world, lazily smacking their lips together as they taste each other. Jimin tastes like bitter alcohol, mixed in with something sweet. Jeongguk croons as their tongues swipe together insistently.

At some point, as the minutes tick by, Jimin starts to move again and when Jeongguk pulls back, he only pulls the younger man back and presses his lips together roughly.

Jeongguk takes the subtle hint and pushes Jimin back so he’s laid out on the floor, limbs stretched out before straddling his hips and leaning down to keep kissing. Jimin seems pliant under his hold, breathily releasing sounds into Jeongguk’s lip that are too arousing to be real.

Fuck, Jimin.” He pulls back abruptly when the front of his pants begin to feel painfully tight, not moving off the older man. Jeongguk bites his lip, savouring the taste. “Fuck.”

“So, am I a bad kisser?” Jimin questions, rolling his head backwards and looking up to him with lidded eyes.

Jeongguk curses under his breath again, shaking his head insistently.

He moves off Jimin’s hips, not wanting to overstep their boundaries and make the atmosphere uncomfortable between them. They’ve only just kissed, only experimented in new realms and he doesn’t want to ruin the moment.

He sits down besides Jimin’s stretched out, laid out body and crosses his leg, resting his back against the couch.

“Bad kisser?” He repeats incredulously. “Fuck, no. Not at all.”

“You sure? You still wanna do these videos with me, huh?”

Jimin,” Jeongguk drawls the name out, staring down at him seriously. He needs to portray how good the kiss was, how his lips are still tingling with the sensation and how his hands practically shake with the need to reach out for him again. “You’re fucking sexy, hot as hell, okay? Of course I want to do the videos. The question is, do you still want to?”

Jimin laughs prettily. His eyes crinkle shut as he sits up again, edging for the vodka again. He seems to flush red at the praise, hiding his face in the crook of his elbow as he continues to giggle.

“I want to, yeah. I truly do.”

Chapter Text

Another day passes until they finally decide to discuss the nitty, gritty details.

Jeongguk and Jimin sit around in the living room, both nursing a bottle of mango and raspberry cider. Jimin admits that he’s not a big drinker but he genuinely likes fruity drinks so Jeongguk had made a point of stocking up on all the tasteful ciders he could find in the local supermarket.

Jeongguk just wants Jimin to feel comfortable, he wants to reassure Jimin as much as possible that the contest will do them some good. It’s an easy alternative and they’re able to control it at their own pace, have fun whilst doing so.

Jimin sips at his bottle tentatively, lips sucking around the rim seductively. He doesn’t even realise what he’s doing and how obscene he looks doing it. Jeongguk glances away, heaving a breath.

“So… how is this going to work, then?” Jimin finally questions, sitting cross-legged on the floor. “Like, I have no idea how this contest will work. I don’t even know the details!”

Jeongguk glances up at him, smiling reassuringly.

“Lemme show you.”

He grabs his laptop off the couch, sliding down onto the floor besides Jimin. As he shuffles forward, their knees touch. He aligns himself to sit directly before Jimin, turning his MacBook up and opening up a webpage. He finds the details of the specific porn contest, turning it around for Jimin to see for himself.

Jimin takes it off him gratefully, shooting a smile as his eyes dart across the screen. He’s seemingly deep in thought as he reads.

“It’s seven weeks worth of videos,” Jeongguk clarifies for him. “Seven videos, one per week. Each video, there’s a different type of kink or fetish to cooperate along.”

“Oh. Okay.” Jimin hums. “What’s the first video’s kink?”

Jeongguk reaches forward, pointing out the list of the fetishes listed.

“Riding.”

Jimin’s cheeks heat up. “Oh.”

A part of Jeongguk wonders exactly just how much sexual experience Jimin has. He wonders whether the man prefers to be on top or bottom, whether or not he likes to give or receive more. There’s still so many things they need to discuss.

It’s undeniable that deep down, Jeongguk’s riddled with nerves. He’s the first person that’s sleeping with Jimin after four years and he doesn’t want to disappoint, he doesn’t want Jimin to question why he ever broke his no-sex rule.

“Have you ever rode someone before?” He asks.

Jimin’s cheeks redden even deeper, turning his face away to take a sip of the cider and busy himself. He waits a moment before he replies.

“Just because I’ve had sex less than you, doesn’t mean I haven’t tried things, Jeongguk.”

His words spark an interest in Jeongguk. He arches a brow, tries to imagine Jimin riding a cock and how glorious his toned, heavenly body would look. He wonders whether Jimin moans louder like he does when they kiss. He realises, with a start, that it’s not long till he won’t have to imagine. Soon, it’ll be a reality.

“Nice to know.”

“Have you?” Jimin shoots the same question back to him. “Ever rode someone, I mean?”

“Yeah, ‘course. A couple of times but I’m usually the top.”

Jimin’s eyes widen for a second before he nods, refusing to make eye contact with Jeongguk as he nods.

“Oh. That’s good because.. I’m usually the bottom.”

Jimin’s still tentatively skirting around the issue, evident of the nerves that consume him whole. It’s probably new waters for him, to be approaching the subject of sex once again and discussing it openly with someone who dwells in casual sex. It’s clear, though, that he’s trying his hardest to push through the initial discomfort of talking about it.

Jeongguk laughs and ignores the pitter patter of his heart, increasing at the mere thought of Jimin beneath him.

“Well, look at that. It works out perfectly.”

Jimin looks at Jeongguk intently for a second and it seems like he wants to say something but he decides against it last minute, looking away. He looks back down to the laptop, continuing to scroll through the rules.

They lapse into silence as Jimin reads to himself, whispering words under his breath with his brows furrowed in concentration. Jeongguk takes a moment to observe how effortlessly beautiful he is, even when he’s not trying.

“So, how much money are we making, exactly? Since that is the most important part.”

Jeongguk’s snapped out of his admiring trance, gently prying the laptop back into his hands as he observes the pricings.

“So per video, we’re earning around 75,000 Won subject to whether or not the video is accepted by the organised, follows the general guidelines and terms and conditions. If we win runner-up, we’ll win 760,000 Won and if we win the entire contest, we’ll win 1,500,000 Won. So…” He lowly wolf-whistles, eyes twinkling. “A lot of money.”

Jimin seems contemplative, lost in thought.

“Wow.” He breathes out, nodding. “Yeah, wow. That’s a lot.”

“But it’s worth it?”

“I think so.”

Jimin returns to reading, taking the laptop back into his hands as he does. He flushes every so often, presumably reading the weekly schedule and the kinks included to be filmed. Some of them are intense, some Jeongguk hasn’t even experimented with himself.

It both excites him and also unnerves him to try something new, to be inexperienced and trying to conquer a new realm.

“So, how is this going to work?” Jimin asks.

“The video is uploaded on the Friday of the week. We’ll film on the Thursday, I’ll review it and edit it accordingly and then we send it off to them.”

“Edit?”

“Yeah like, if our face accidentally shows. I’ll need to blur that out.”

“Oh.” Jimin seems to approve, instinctively shuffling closer to Jeongguk. “And how do we get paid?”

“Every three videos, they’ll transfer the money directly into one of our banks.”

“Fuck…” The weight of the situation seems to finally sink into Jimin because he seems more alert now than he has. “So, we’re doing this. We’re really doing this.”

Jeongguk can’t help the giddy laugh that escapes him, unable to tear his gaze away from Jimin.

“Yeah. I guess we are.”

“Shall we sign up, then? Quick. Before I go back on my decision.” He teases.

Jeongguk grabs at the laptop in a quick motion, making Jimin burst into laughter too. He settles backwards, resting his back against the couch as he opens the sign-up page and begins to fill out their details.

He knows, deep down, that this contest will either make or break his relationship with Jimin. They’re roommates, they live together and this could potentially cause everything to destruct and come hurtling downwards.

Whilst he and Jimin aren’t close friends—there’s a mutual trust and respect for each other. They live together, sharing an enclosed place together. They know more about each other than they let on, perhaps better than anyone else like how Jeongguk gets moody in the mornings and how Jimin loves to cook but hates tidying up. They know little details about each other that creates the basis for a special bond, regardless of whether or not they’re close.

Jeongguk feels comfortable. He feels ready to do this with Jimin.

“Are you sure?” He finds himself asking one last time, needing a confirmation. “We’re allowed to withdraw anytime but still… are you sure?”

Jimin’s draining the last drop of cider, putting the bottle down and nodding to Jeongguk without hesitation. His eyes crinkle when he smiles, the alcohol melting down the barrier he holds fiercely. Jeongguk can’t help but cherish the moments he gets to see Jimin like this.

“I’m sure.”

Jeongguk doesn’t waste another second before clicking confirm, sending their details through.

**

“So, this is happening? This is really happening?”

Taehyung’s sitting on the edge of his seat, eyes bulging. His university work is scattered around him, untouched. Instead, he’s been nibbling on a chocolate bar for the past twenty minutes and distracting all of them in the library. He tries to initiate physical contact with Yoongi who swats him away every time and mutters ‘behave’ under his breath.

Jeongguk resists the urge to groan at the distraction, again. He looks up from his Sociology essay, nodding.

“Yeah.” He glances around the library quickly to ensure there’s no one eavesdropping before continuing. “We’ve signed up already, received our details and instructions for the first video.”

Jeongguk spares a glance over to the right where Jimin sits. He has his headphones in his ears, blocking out everything else and seemingly unaware of the conversation at hand. He’s roughly scribbling onto his notepad, pressing the pen down hard in an almost aggressive manner as he makes his notes. Yoongi’s watching him warily.

Taehyung seems delighted at the prospects, clapping his hands together loudly in a really subdued, quiet library.

“Fuck, yes!” He whisper-yells. “That’s amazing, Guk.”

Yoongi looks over to quieten him down but he has a small smile twitching on his lips, not voicing how fond he really is of Taehyung. He reaches out for Taehyung’s hands, intertwining their fingers absentmindedly as he continues to work. Taehyung falters only for a second, melting into the touch but he keeps his eyes fixated on Jeongguk.

“What do you have to do for the first video, then?” Yoongi questions, not looking up from his work.

Jeongguk finds himself flushing at the mere mention, once again. He fiddles with the edges of his papers, crinkling them up.

“Riding.”

“Oh.” Taehyung hums solemnly, nodding. “That’s beautiful.”

He snorts in disbelief towards his friend, reaching over to swat Taehyung’s forearm playfully. It’s refreshing that so far, his friends have been nothing but accepting towards the idea of filming porn videos. He knows there’s risks associated that everyone’s concerned about, including Namjoon, but they’re doing this carefully, they’re not allowing their identities to be exposed online.

Jimin must believe this too otherwise he never would’ve agreed, he never would’ve signed up alongside Jeongguk.

He knows that it’ll be hardest to break the news to Hoseok. He appreciates his older friend’s opinion and Hoseok will never sit comfortably with the idea. He’ll argue it’s risking his place in the dance academy, it’s threatening everything he’s worked exceptionally hard for. Jeongguk debates whether or not he should even tell Hoseok, whether he can keep it a discrete secret and keep it for himself entirely.

Yoongi reaches over to pat Jimin’s biceps, coaxing him out of his study haze.

Jimin looks up at the sudden touch, pulling one of his headphones out. His expression softens upon realising it’s Yoongi, raising a brow in question.

“Yeah, what’s up?”

“We’re just talking about the contest,” Yoongi tells him.

On cue, Jimin blushes. It’s appealing how Jimin seems chaste about the whole ordeal, his innocent smile that appears upon his face at the mention of the videos.

“Oh, right,” Jimin says, looking bashful as his he looks down at his work and collecting himself before up, towards Jeongguk. “What’re you guys talking about?”

“Nothing specific, just generally.” Yoongi shrugs as he twists his torso to give Jimin his undivided attention but keeping a hold of Taehyung’s hand as he does so. Concern fills his eyes for a minute, the mood between them changing to serious. “You definitely want this, yeah? Guk’s not forcing you to do anything, is he?”

Jimin doesn’t hesitate for a second, nodding.

“Of course. I wouldn’t of agreed otherwise.”

Jeongguk feels his cheeks heat up. He’s not sure what the issue is but since Jimin agreed to do this with him, since they had shared a heated kiss together—he’s been eager for Jimin’s approval towards the contest. He’s been eager to see Jimin fluster over the situation.

He doesn’t miss the way Taehyung turns to look at him, sparing him a glance for a few seconds with intent behind his expression, before he glances away.

“Good,” Yoongi continues. “I know this may be hard for you. I just want this to be good for you.”

“It will be, hyung.” Jimin reassures. “I really think it’ll help us with the rent and the bill, some of the debt we’ve landed into. We’re gonna get a lot of money, you don’t have to worry.”

Yoongi hums as he listens, nodding.

“And you’ll drop out the minute you get uncomfortable, right?”

“You worry too much, hyung!” Jimin laughs.

Taehyung seems to take this chance to ease himself into the conversation. He slides forward on his chair, sitting closer to them both as he faces at Yoongi with a pointed look.

“Doesn’t he?” Taehyung adds along. “Since you told us about this two days ago, he’s been quite literally losing sleep over it. D’you know how hard it is to sleep when Yoongi’s grumbling, moving around all night?”

“It’s a taboo subject!” Yoongi defends himself, shooting his boyfriend a glare. “There’s a lot of things that can go wrong and I’m allowed to worry for my friends.”

“Right.” Taehyung drawls out but nonetheless, he wraps an arm around Yoongi and tugs the boy close to his side.

Jimin, however, doesn’t take the newfound information lightly. Jeongguk watches with mesmerisation as to how he comforts his friend, reaching over to clasp a hand on Yoongi’s shoulder. He squeezes down firmly as if to placate the older man. When Jimin speaks, sincerity drips from his words, ringing clear to everyone around the table.

“I know you’re worried but trust me hyung, we’ll be wise about this. We won’t do anything that’ll ruin us permanently.”

Jimin oozes of confidence, his words never faltering once.

Just a few days ago, he had been quick to shut down the idea. He had been quick to jump to conclusions, to disregard the contest and completely tear down Jeongguk for even considering it. But now, he seems to have come to peace with the idea and even, strongly defend it. He looks up to Jeongguk in that moment and sends him a discreet nod.

Jeongguk diverts his attention elsewhere, not wanting to give himself away.

**

Jeongguk’s sitting in Jimin’s room, on the bed with his Sociology work sprawled out across him.

Jimin sits up, resting against the headboard with his knees drawn close to his chest. He’s trying to focus on his Psychology notes, rewriting out his notes and attempting to process the information.

Jeongguk had been craving someone else’s presence, someone’s company. He doesn’t like to spend time alone. He doesn’t like to be cooped up in his bedroom, on his own, doing his work. He hasn’t found the time to go out with Taehyung and entertain himself with masses of people, tied down with dance practice and his assignments. Jeongguk usually thrives off social interaction so right now, he feels starved.

He had creeped into Jimin’s room after insufferable silence in his own, trapped within the four walls.

They hardly hang out together in each other’s room. In fact, Jeongguk thinks this is the first time he’s analysing Jimin’s room properly. They usually see each other in the kitchen, in the living room and the invitation never extends beyond that. It’s a clear boundary Jimin has, wanting to keep his bedroom for himself and Jeongguk’s never tried to overstep.

But today, it seemed like Jimin doesn’t mind.

“Why are you staring at me?” Jimin breaks the quietness in the room between them, not looking up from the handout of sheets he’s reading.

Jeongguk hadn’t realised he was doing so. He quickly looks away, diverting his gaze back towards the papers before him. He tries to read the notes but it’s an impossible feat, the words blurring into each other. Concentration has always been difficult for him and right now, even more so. With each passing second, it feels like ants are crawling under his skin.

He pushes the work forcefully away from himself, taking a deep breath.

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to.”

Jimin finally does look up, narrowing his brows carefully.

“Uh. Are you okay?”

It’s not often Jeongguk’s ADHD seems to take effect in such a startling manner. The medication he takes usually sets him for the day, allowing him to remain in a pliant mindset where his thoughts aren’t spiralling and his attention span isn’t less than ten minutes. But he had forgotten today due to the demanding schedule and Hoseok’s insistent text messages, asking him to come to the dance studio as soon as he could.

In the midst of his morning chaos, he had forgotten.

Jeongguk fiddles with the hem of his shirt, sitting up straight and then laying back down. He shrugs.

“I’m fine.” He lies. “Honestly, I’m kind of shocked.” He changes the topic.

Jimin follows the lead, knitting his brows together. “Shocked?”

“Yeah, that we’re hanging out like this. We never do.”

Now that he’s in Jimin’s personal space, he lets his eyes wander. He observes the bedroom. It’s bare, there’s barely any decorations, any sign of sentimentality or any personal touch. It’s void of any emotions, empty inside out. It’s oddly fitting to Jimin, too.

Jimin pauses for a beat before he manages a laugh, shrugging.

“Yeah but I guess, it’s not too bad?” He tilts his head to the side, observing Jeongguk carefully. “Especially when you’re quiet and you let me do my work without any distractions.”

Jeongguk’s only quiet because there’s turmoil inside of him, his thoughts racing hundred miles per hour as he tries to placate himself. He’s finding it difficult to stick to a tedious task: reading. The telltale sign of ADHD.

“Fuck you,” Jeongguk says fondly, shaking his head.

“I don’t typically let people into my room,” Jimin continues. “You should feel special.”

“Why don’t you?”

The question seems to throw Jimin off for a second, not having expected to be asked about it. He shrugs, his expression thoughtful.

“I just like my own space.”

“How did you even survive dorms, then?”

At the mere mention of dormitories, Jimin holds up a hand in horror. He starts to laugh unabashedly, not holding back the glorious sound that escapes to his lips. It resonates with Jeongguk, wanting to record the sound and hearing it back on a loop.

“Don’t even mention it. It was horrible!”

“Yeah,” Jeongguk agrees. “I know.”

Even though he thrives off social interactions, meeting and mixing with new people - dormitory life, even for him, had been too much.

“It wouldn’t be so hard if I didn’t have a roommate, y’know? It’s already a tiny room, as it is, and then to share that small space with someone else. It’s… it’s too hard, honestly. I couldn’t do it.”

Memories of Jeongguk’s short-lived time in the dorms filter his mind. He remembers moving in with high hopes, still reeling from the heartbreak of being disowned by his parents for chasing his dreams and turning his back on the family business. He had thought by arriving to dorms, he would be able to delve into new surroundings. He’d get accustomed to a different setting.

He resists the urge to shudder at the remembrance. He tries to push his thoughts to one side of his brain, where he can’t access them. He’s not there anymore. He’s here, with Jimin, in their apartment.

“I understand. It was the same for me.”

Curiosity filters into Jimin’s face. He hesitates for a second, licking his lips and then shuffling forward. He places the papers down on the side of the bed, looking at Jeongguk curiously.

“I’ve always wondered why you moved out of dorms.”

“Oh, really? Why?”

“Well because…” Jimin fiddles with the pen remaining in his hand, continuously clicking down on the release absentmindedly. “You like people. You like partying. Isn’t that what dorm life is? Parties, getting drunk and shit faced and sleeping with anything that walks?”

It’s not entirely a lie. Dormitory life had been wild, there’s always a new bustle of energy coming through the doors. There’s always sounds that radiate through every inch of the hallways. There’s always a sense of distraction that didn’t really help Jeongguk’s case.

Jeongguk swallows around the growing lump in his throat, the discomfort of being questioned about the tender spots in his life. He doesn’t want to give himself away. He’s not prepared to talk about his family and the fact that he had been harassed by college students.

He shrugs, trying to downplay the situation.

“Even I can get tired of constant partying, whether you want to believe it or not.” He plays it off.

Jimin doesn’t seem to register the words, blinking in disbelief but he doesn’t push upon the subject. He seems to recognise when or when not to speak and keeps his mouth clamped shut.

“You’re right.” He agrees nonetheless.

Jeongguk’s grateful. They fall back into silence and Jeongguk attempts a second try at doing his work, picking up his pen to highlight passages in hopes the colours will help him focus. He’s unsuccessful.

He almost wants to call Hoseok instead. He wants to sneak into the dance studios and practice their new routine as with each passing day, their performance draws closer upon them and the expectations placed on him grows heavier.

Jimin’s quiet as he resumes to work. There’s something ethereal about Jimin when he’s doing nothing in particular, just scribbling down notes messily on the paper. He’s always studying, always burying himself in the books. It’s commendable how dedicated Jimin is to his studies.

With the distraction that Jeongguk feels, he can’t help but letting his mind wander to kissing Jimin.

He can’t stop thinking about their last time and how Jimin’s plump lips had felt moving over his, how he had tasted of alcohol and it was bittersweet.

Jeongguk shifts forward on the edge instinctively, eyes shutting at the roaring thoughts and the arousal that pings through him. Jimin seems to notice the slight movement immediately because his eyes snap up, narrowing.

“What?” He questions. “What is it?”

Jeongguk licks his lips as he takes a deep breath.

“Let’s practice kissing again.” Is all he says, the words coming out of him like a rush without taking a breather.

It takes a moment for the request to register within Jimin. The reaction sinks into his features, his brows knitting together and expression turning slack. He’s shuffling forward, whether or not he realises it.

“You want to?”

“Fuck, yes.”

How does Jeongguk begin to explain that he hasn’t stopped thinking about Jimin since the first time? It happens every so often, when he gets infatuated to someone who’re good at what they do. It takes a few times to get the feeling out of his system, until his thirst is finally quenched.

Jimin smirks at him, leaning back on the bed.

“Well, why don’t you come and do it, then?”

(Mood: Two Door Cinemas - Bad Decisions)

 

It’s all the invitation that Jeongguk needs. He doesn’t hesitate and he knows Jimin’s comfortable with the idea, practically beckoning him forward. This is what they both want.

Jeongguk doesn’t say anything else. He’s cutting the distance between them, grabbing ahold of Jimin’s collar and tugging him forward so their lips crash together.

It takes a few minutes to find a steady rhythm, their teeth clashing from the force of the kiss. Jeongguk’s biting down on Jimin’s bottom lip to draw out whimpery breaths, instantly falling pliant under his hold.

Jeongguk loves sex. He loves how it makes him feel, how it makes others feel good. But nothing compares to this. Kissing. It can be intimate with a hint of dirty, the pace can be slowed down or it can be sped up with tongue involved. It ignites something within Jeongguk, makes his stomach coil tightly. It’s one of his favourite things and especially when Jimin kisses exceptionally well.

“C’mere. You’re too far,” Jimin whines into his mouth.

Jeongguk’s chest tightens at the request. He obeys, breaking apart only so he can scoot forward. Jimin’s hand comes to rest on his waist, pulling him impossibly closer so Jeongguk’s climbing into his lap, straddling his hips.

They start to kiss again. It starts off unhurried, their lips smacking together before the moment catches up to them. Jeongguk slips tongue into the kiss, grinding down lazily on Jimin’s hips. Jimin groans at the sensation, breathing heavily as he reaches up to grasp Jeongguk’s hair and tugging hard.

It’s sloppy as they exchange saliva, kissing messily but it’s enough to arouse Jeongguk down to his core. His chest inflames with desire and he has to part before he gets carried away, shutting his eyes.

When he reopens, Jimin’s staring at him. His orbs have darkened and there’s purpose behind his eyes, scanning over his face and resolutely back to Jeongguk’s lips. There’s only a second pause before Jimin’s leaning in, kissing him again.

Jimin’s taking the initiative, for once.

It aids to Jeongguk’s growing eagerness. He’s able to take a step back from his usual dominant headspace, following Jimin’s pace. Jimin’s hand travel all over his body, down to his waist and stopping short to his ass. He doesn’t extend his boundaries, though and lets his hand drift upwards instead.

They’re kissing insistently, pausing every so often to take a deep breath.

For someone who hasn’t kissed in four years, Jimin adapts fairly effortlessly. Especially when he seems so sure of himself, not hesitating to take over. When Jimin finally pulls away, he makes sure to bite down on Jeongguk’s bottom lip and tugging at it harshly before doing so. He looks pleased with himself when he settles back.

Jeongguk can’t help the sudden moan that escapes him, eyes fluttering open once the moment is over.

“Fuck,” he whispers. “Fuck, Jimin.”

Jimin seems to be reeling from the intensity of the kiss himself. His head has rolled back against the pillow, taking a moment to collect himself. He’s tugging on his bottom lip between his teeth, lust filling his features. He looks breathtaking like this—drawn up and eager. He finally looks at Jeongguk, smiling tiredly at him.

“That was…” He pauses, trying to find the right words. “Good. That was good.”

“Good?” Jeongguk snorts, teasing. “Just good?”

“You’re not getting anymore praise from me,” Jimin says seriously. He shifts out of bed after recollecting himself, seeming more composed now. He grabs his Adidas hoodie resting on the headboard, throwing it on and zipping it up to his chin. “I don’t need to give you a bigger ego.”

“That’s rude.”

Jimin laughs but his eyes remain soft. “Want to help me cook dinner?” He changes the subject swiftly.

It’s always an honour to be in the kitchen with Jimin. It’s the place where he’s most in his element. He cooks dinner with every might within him, devoting entirely to his culinary skills and attempting to do justice to every dish he brings to the table. He’s always trying something new, something different and Jeongguk respects that.

“Sure. What’s on the menu today?”

Jeongguk gets off the bed, following after him. He’s secretly relieved for the distraction that means he’s not forced to complete his homework. The more he stares at the words, the more it’s beginning to bother him to the core of his being.

“I’m just going to go through my book and randomly selecting something,” Jimin informs him as he walks into the kitchen. He struts over, fiddling with different cabinets and withdrawing a book. “Want to choose one, instead?”

“Okay.”

Jeongguk grabs ahold of the thick, tattered recipe book. It’s one of Jimin’s prized possessions, a notebook that he holds close to his heart and hardly ever exposes to anyone. It contains every recipe that he’s either adapted or created himself, neatly written.

“Choose anything,” Jimin tells him as he walks around the kitchen, grabbing a pan. “I have ingredients for almost all of them.”

He hums, nodding. Jeongguk slides into the stool as he starts to flick through the pages, reading through the different recipes. He pauses for a second, taking a moment to analyse Jimin’s beautiful, cursive handwriting and how elegant it seems against the expensive paper.

“Are you saving this for your cookbook one day or something?” Jeongguk genuinely questions, in awe as he flicks through the pages but reluctantly opts for an Japanese dish.

As soon as the question is said, Jimin halts where he’s preparing. His eyes tighten, discomfort filtering into his features and it takes a second before it smooths out. His jaw is clenched when he reaches over, gently prying the book off Jeongguk and nodding in approval to the selected recipe.

“No.”

“You should,” Jeongguk says without a beat. “You have enough talent and experience to publish one.”

He knows he’s pushing an unspoken border here but he needs Jimin to know that he’s good at what he does. Even if Jimin knows, Jeongguk wants the younger man to hear it from him, too.

Jimin shrugs and he opts not to reply. The conversation ends there and neither of them mention it again.

“You going to shut up and help me out, or not?” Jimin’s breaking the silence a few moments later to say, looking over his shoulder with a pointed look.

Jeongguk chuckles. He’s relieved that his question hasn’t caused Jimin to spiral and shut him out and instead, inviting him back into the kitchen. He doesn’t dare mention the cook book again. Instead, he rolls his sleeves up and walks to the sink, washing his hand.

“Yes, sir,” Jeongguk teases as he gets to work.

**

Thursday.

It reads ‘Thursday’ on Jeongguk’s iPhone, the date glaring back at him through his bright screen. Thursday is the day they film their first video.

Jeongguk has felt antsy all day. He finds it impossible to focus during his classes, unable to sit still. He constantly fidgets, drumming his fingers down on his knees as he forces his head to remain staring straight ahead of him. How can he attempt to focus when there’s a looming reminder that he’ll fuck Jimin tonight?

He’s going to fuck Jimin tonight.

Jimin is going to ride his cock.

The thought alone makes him shudder and he shakes his head, willing himself to compose. He diverts his attention back at his papers and attempts to write down the last notes he can manage about Marxism and Karl Marx before the lesson is dismissed and he practically flies out.

Dance practice with Hoseok is just as insufferable.

Dancing serves as a sanctuary for Jeongguk. It’s a headspace that he can resort to when he wants to unwind down, when he allows the strain of his muscles to take over by insistently repeating dance moves that he perfects. His limbs move on their own accord when he stands in the studio, following the beat of the music that rings loudly through the room.

But today, he’s unable to devote his entire attention to the choreography.

If Hoseok notices, he doesn’t comment. He sends Jeongguk side-eyes the entire three hours they spend together in the studio, ordering extra takeaway food as if he assumes that Jeongguk’s hungry or tired. Jeongguk’s grateful for his silence.

It’s nearing seven in the evening by the time Jeongguk finally makes it home, exhausted and drained from the rush hour commute on the trains. He steps into the apartment, shrugging off the leather jacket off his sweaty body.

The first thing he notices is Jimin sitting on the couch.

His legs are crossed over the leather seat, nursing a bottle of cider. Jimin seems relatively relaxed, eyes a little hazy as he watches the TV intently. It seems like Jimin had attempted to do some homework because his books are scattered across the coffee table, untouched.

Upon Jeongguk’s arrival, Jimin glances up.

His easy expression morphs into a nervous one, riddled with apprehension. The sides of his lips twitch upwards but it wavers, falling short and not meeting his eyes.

“Hey,” Jeongguk greets. He manages a small grin as he hangs up his jacket, crossing over to the living room and standing before the couch. “How was your day?”

“Good.” Jimin pauses in between his words to take a long sip of his cider, eyes softening. “Yours?”

“Tiring.”

“I feel that,” Jimin agrees, shuffling on the couch and making space for Jeongguk.

Jeongguk obliges to the silent request. He sits down besides Jimin, stretching his legs out and throwing his head back. As much as he adores dancing and wants to continue doing it for the rest of his life, the fatigue he feels afterwards threatens to take over every organ in his body.

“It’s Thursday,” Jeongguk announces.

Jimin halts and his hands tighten around the bottle of alcohol he holds, lips curling upwards just the slightest. It makes his eyes crinkle shut. Despite the jitters that are evident on his face, the smile seems genuine.

“It is.”

“Are you ready to film the video, then?”

Jeongguk doesn’t beat around the bush, he doesn’t want to. Not when the situation is real, present and would require their attention today. He wants to be straight-forward about it, creating a basis that allows both of them to communicate effectively about the issue.

Jimin flushes a little as he hesitates before nodding.

“Yeah.”

“Only if you’re still comfortable and onboard with the idea.”

“I am,” Jimin laughs. “We have to, don’t we?”

Jeongguk takes a deep breath before he twists his torso, moving to face Jimin better. He allows his eyes to wander and he doesn’t hold back from the obvious movement. It’s completely innocent compared to what they’ll be doing in a matter of a few hours. Jimin seems to notice the inspection because his smile grows and his cheeks redden, forcing his gaze elsewhere determinedly.

“Shall we?” Jeongguk suggests.

Jimin nods though he still doesn’t look at him.

“Where are we going to do this?”

“My bedroom.”

“What do I do?”

Jeongguk can’t help but release a small laugh, overcome with fondness towards Jimin’s shaky voice. He can’t help the way his hand reaches out, resting idly on Jimin’s thigh and squeezing ever so slightly. The touch seems to appease Jimin because he releases a breath, eyes fluttering shut.

“You do realise you don’t have to do anything.”

“That’s not what I meant, Jeongguk and you know it.”

“Fair enough,” Jeongguk laughs. “I guess we’ll go to the bedroom, we’ll kiss to loosen up and get into the mood and then we can start recording.”

Jimin hangs onto every word, seemingly deep in thought. He finishes off the last drip of his cider, placing the bottle down on the table. He waits for another moment before he finally gathers himself, nodding as he gets off the couch.

“C’mon, then.”

It hits Jeongguk. Realisation slams into him. It’s actually, really happening.

Jeongguk can’t deny the sparks that ignite within him, sending shockwaves through his system. He feels wired and on edge, mind racing with wild thoughts of Jimin’s naked body on top of his. There’s genuine thrill that shoots down his spine, making him shiver as he gets off the touch.

They walk into Jeongguk’s bedroom together, stepping inside the darkness. As soon as the lights switch on, Jimin’s making a gruntled noise.

“Clean your room,” he complains. “No one likes a messy room in a porn video.”

Jeongguk notices his room is in a state, clothes strewn across the floor and his Sociology and History books messily open and scattered across his bed. He mutters an apology under his breath as he clears up, putting the things back in their rightful places.

Jimin eases onto the bed once it’s clear. He’s attempting to unwind, it seems, as he begins to unbutton his shirt and he spreads his thighs on the mattress. Jimin’s not even particularly trying but he’s still coming off as incredibly seductive, absolutely too sexy for his own good.

“Getting comfortable there?” Jeongguk teases as he walks over to the bed.

Jimin looks up, shrugging. “Might as well.”

“Can I join you?”

There’s not a moment of hesitation before Jimin parts his thighs further, extending the invitation and looking younger than he is when he nods.

No amount of conversation between them will make the ordeal any less surreal for them. It’s a new prospect for both of them. The event will change both of their lives, for the better or the worse and the only thing they can do is attempt to ease themselves into the situation and adjust accordingly.

Jeongguk does the courtesy of tugging his shirt off, exposing his muscled abs before climbing into the bed and settling between Jimin’s thighs.

Jimin accommodates the boy immediately. His hand settles on Jeongguk’s waist and he brings him closer.

For a moment, neither of them make a move. Instead, they stare at each other intensely. The gaze never wavers. It takes a minute before Jeongguk grows tired of just looking at Jimin’s lips and not tasting, surging forward and kissing him.

Jimin begins to kiss back almost immediately, growing accustomed to the action. Jeongguk feels himself slipping back into a familiar headspace as he tastes Jimin. It’s only the third time he’s kissing Jimin but he already knows he’ll never get entirely used to this, to the way Jimin falls obedient under his hold and the way he responds eagerly. The sensation is all-consuming and Jeongguk’s putty under Jimin’s hold.

Jimin licks into his mouth, asking for permission. Jeongguk grants him, opening his mouth as their tongues meet in a sloppy, dirty kiss. The pace increases as Jeongguk begins to roll his hips down, grinding down on Jimin’s crotch.

“Fuck,” Jimin whispers into his mouth mid-kiss, breaking apart to moan.

The sounds that the older boy releases and the curses he mutters under his breath is enough to spur Jeongguk on. He groans loudly, overcome with his arousal as he reaches out to fist a hand in Jimin’s hair, tugging.

Jimin gasps as he falls to the right, allowing Jeongguk to do as he please.

They kiss for a few minutes longer. It’s clear they’re both getting more worked up, their erratic grinding becoming more desperate with each passing second. Jimin finally pulls back, his entire frame shaking as he rests his forehead against Jeongguk.

“Stop. I’m hard already.”

“Are you ready to film?”

Jimin lays back, resting his head on the pillow before he tentatively nods. There’s trepidation written across his features, nerves lingering in his unsure smile but he powers through.

“Yeah. Yeah, let’s do this.”

Jeongguk waits before he withdraws himself, climbing out of the bed and leaving the warmth that Jimin’s body radiates of. He walks over to his wardrobe, pulling out an old camera he had been gifted for his sixteenth birthday by his father. He wonders what his father would think of his disgraceful son now: pansexual, dancer and a porn star.

He sets it up on his desk, balancing on top of some books to give the perfect height and a clear view of the bed.

When he checks the viewfinder, he’s met with Jimin’s heavenly body. Jimin’s taken off his shirt now, his abs stretching on for miles upon his flat stomach. Jeongguk has to clamp his mouth shut to resist the sounds that threaten to escape him, unable to look away.

“Shall I put some music on?” Jeongguk questions.

Jimin’s head rolls over in his direction, narrowing his brows questioningly.

“Music in the background of porn videos literally ruins them.”

“Oh,” Jeongguk drawls out the word, raising a brow. “The porn expert.”

“Shut up.” Jimin has the decency to look almost shameful, glaring at Jeongguk before he pats the space besides him. “Start recording, we’ll edit it out until we start actually… y’know, having sex.”

Jeongguk compels, not wanting any longer. Once the camera starts to flash the red light, indicating it’s being recorded, he knows there’s no going back now. A flicker of nerves cross him as he takes a deep breath, stepping back and allowing his eyes to filter to Jimin.

Like a natural, Jimin’s further unwinding right into the sheets.

Whether the act is intentional or not, it’s clear Jimin’s putting on a show. He has a sultry look painted over his expression, eyes subdued and staring straight into Jeongguk’s soul. His lashes flutter up to the Jeongguk with an intentful look. It makes Jeongguk’s stomach stir.

He doesn’t waste anymore time.

He practically leaps back into bed, climbing into Jimin’s space and smashing their lips together.

Jimin lets out a loud gasp of surprise as he’s caught off guard but he adjusts. His hand settles on top of Jeongguk’s jeans, working on unzipping and tugging the material down. Jeongguk helps him, lifting his hips so the slide of the jean comes easier. Once he’s down to his boxers, he nods to Jimin and says.

“Take yours off too.”

Jimin nods eagerly. He fiddles with the denim, skin tight and making the movement a little difficult. Jeongguk reaches over, helping him and throwing the jeans to one side of the room alongside with Jimin’s boxers.

He’s met with Jimin’s erection and he has to take a moment to collect himself.

Jimin’s not the biggest but what he lacks in length, he makes up for in girth. He’s thick and his cock is fully hard, straining painfully and his tip an angry looking colour. Jeongguk grins at the sight, licking his lips with a purr. He knows the reason Jimin’s reached this state is because of the lack of sex he’s had over the years, reducing him down to desperation easily but there’s no complaints.

Jeongguk can’t resist to reach over, grasping his cock and squeezing tightly at the base. It draws out a long, erratic whimper from Jimin.

“You look like you’re about to come already.”

Jimin’s eyes shut at the words, whispering a curse under his breath.

“I haven’t been touched in four years,” he explains himself, his voice lowering so the cameras can’t pick up on it. “Of course I’m about to fucking come.”

He snickers at Jimin’s frustrated words and he accepts them. He lets go of the cock, much to Jimin’s dismay, and devotes his attention to elsewhere. Jeongguk takes his boxers off next, already half-hard and growing steadily by the second. He watches how Jimin’s eye line follows downwards, eyes widening upon Jeongguk’s dick.

Jeongguk leans into his space, nuzzling his head into Jimin.

“Let go,” he murmurs. He takes the liberty to use his tongue to lick up the man’s neck, stopping at Jimin’s earlobes and biting down instead. “Let go. Give into me. We’ll make a good video.”

The words seem to have the same reaction he had been hoping for. Jimin moans under his breath, not holding back how loud he sounds as he instinctively parts his thighs and tilts their head so their lips can meet.

Now that they’re naked and their erections are aligned together, Jeongguk can feel Jimin’s hardness rubbing against his. They grind upon each other as they kiss, increasing the pace with a hint of fervor behind the motion. It doesn’t take long for Jeongguk to get aroused, eager, especially when he’s on top of pretty boys like Jimin.

Jeongguk breaks apart the kiss to forcefully press Jimin back into the mattress. He keeps a heavy hand on the boy’s chest, keeping him down as he starts to let his lips travel. He presses lingering kisses over Jimin’s collarbones, drifting downwards. When he reaches Jimin’s hips, he sinks his teeth in slightly to leave indents.

Jimin starts to squirm, whispering incoherent words under his breath.

“Please.”

Jeongguk smirks against Jimin’s pale, soft kiss. He kisses above his bellybutton tenderly, squeezing the boy’s waist gently.

“Please, what?”

It’s mesmerising to watch how quickly Jimin’s falling into a submissive headspace. It opens up a whole new horizon for Jeongguk to explore. The usual Jimin who’s moody and aloof is nowhere to be detected, replaced with a pliant, whimpering mess who’s on edge for Jeongguk’s every move.

“Do something already,” Jimin requests.

“If you say so.”

Jeongguk leans down, shuffling between the man’s thighs and takes Jimin’s cock into his mouth without warning.

Jimin whines. He reaches out to tread his fingers through Jeongguk’s hair, trying to find something to hold onto as he tightens his fists and slumps back into the pillow. He gives the control over to Jeongguk, allowing him to do as he please.

Jeongguk hums, pleased with himself. His tongue swirls around Jimin’s tip, teasingly taking him down slowly. When he comes back up, he makes a point to lick the underside of Jimin’s cock to watch how the older man’s thighs tremble from sensitivity. Watching Jimin’s positive reaction gives him a boost, bopping his head up and down and taking him right down to his base so Jimin’s trimmed pubic hair tickles him.

Jimin’s a lost cause by now. He can’t seem to hold back the string of insistent sounds that fall from his lips, sounding delirious and broken. This is only the start and Jimin’s already dismantled.

When he feels a subtle hip raise, he pulls off.

He fixes Jimin with a look, arching his right brow precisely at him. Instead of taking Jimin’s cock back into his mouth, he diverts his attention to the man’s inner thighs, alternating between kissing and nibbling.

“What do you want?”

Jimin seems hesitant to speak his mind. He bites his lip contemplatively, apprehension leaking into his features. He’s holding back and it’s not surprising considering how long it’s been for Jimin, added along with the fact that it’s being recorded. Jeongguk just wants to help in him unravelling.

“Wanna…” Jimin takes a deep breath, pausing. He looks sheepish, not looking Jeongguk in his eyes. “Want to fuck your throat.” As soon as he says the words, his cheeks flush and he tries to hide his face.

Before he can cover his features, Jeongguk reaches out to pry the arm away from his face and nods.

“Do it.”

“Are you sure?”

Instead of replying to him, Jeongguk leans in and takes the cock back into his mouth. Jimin’s dick is thick and he deepthroats him, taking him right down and remaining buried deep as he taps Jimin’s waist. He prompts the man to meet back on the movements.

Jimin does, tentatively. There’s hesitation behind each subtle hip raise, taking it slow. Jeongguk reaches out for Jimin’s hand and intertwining their fingers, despite the fact that the act is painfully intimate. Jimin squeezes back and finally, begins to fuck his throat.

He rolls his hips, jostling the cock deeper in Jeongguk’s mouth. When Jeongguk splutters, Jimin’s trying to withdraw immediately.

The younger man doesn’t let him, though. He knows Jimin’s on edge but he wants to reassure what they’re doing right now is okay. He doesn’t let Jimin pull away, pushing himself back down further.

“F-fuck,” Jimin releases breathily.

After a few minutes, Jimin finally gives in. He accepts the feeling and he starts to fuck Jeongguk’s throat earnestly. He’s overcome with pleasure, eyes squeezing shut and his hand leaving Jeongguk’s, only to grasp onto his hair and tightening painfully.

When Jimin tenses and his orgasm draws closer, Jeongguk pulls off.

“What?” Jimin’s eyes fly open, a drawn out whine leaving his lips. “Why?”

“I gotta open you. I want us to come together.”

Jeongguk reaches for his bedside table, opening up the drawer to retrieve the lube and condom. Jimin’s eyes darken upon noticing what he’s grabbing at, mouth slackening as he nods subtly.

“Oh.”

“Y’alright? With this?”

“Yes. Please.”

Jeongguk smirks at the approval. His senses are tingling as he opens the lube bottle, slicking up two of his fingers. He wonders if Jimin’s had anything in his ass for the last four years but he doesn’t dare ask.

“Uh.” Jimin’s reaching out to grab ahold of Jeongguk’s forearm, preventing him from making any further movement. “Um.. you’ll take it slow, right?”

The words sound wavered, unsure. Jeongguk softens under the hold. To help ease some of Jimin’s doubt, he leans in and kisses him. It’s chaste and innocent, just a few reassuring pecks.

“Of course.”

Jimin believes him because he lays back down, body relaxing and spreading his legs apart.

Jeongguk can barely believe his luck. Barely two weeks ago, he never would’ve imagined being in this position with his uptight, sometimes insufferable roommate. They’ve barely exchanged a deep heart-to-heart conversation before and now, here they are, filming a porn video together.

His lower stomach tightens at the thought, his neglected cock twitching uselessly.

Jeongguk’s careful with Jimin’s body as his hand comes to rest gently on his hips, squeezing down and using his index finger to trace Jimin’s rim.

“I’m gonna open you up now, okay?”

Jimin doesn’t reply but he does the courtesy of opening his eyes, looking straight at him. Despite the absence of words, there’s approval in his orbs that assures Jeongguk to finally push the finger in.

He’s instantly met with resistance. Jimin’s tight like a vice around him and he can’t help the groan that falls from his lips when the older man clenches around him.

“Fuck. You’re so—”

“Tight?” Jimin finishes for him, laughing shortly.

“Yeah.”

Jeongguk slowly inches the finger in, bottoming out. He gives Jimin time to adjust before slowly beginning to pump the finger, eyes fixed on Jimin’s expression to make sure he’s not pushing too far. Jimin, however, seems to be high off the feeling. His head is rolled back, eyes squeezed shut and his mouth hangs open in pleasure.

Spurred on, Jeongguk works the second finger into him. It causes Jimin to raise his hips.

“Please.”

“Please, what?” Jeongguk tuts, stilling the fingers. “Beg for me.”

Please,” Jimin’s repeating unabashedly. “Please. Another finger, please.”

In that moment with Jimin’s angelic tone imploring him, he’s not sure he could ever deny the older man a single thing. The boy is like ecstasy, easily addicted to just from the first taste.

Jeongguk eases a third finger into him. He gives it a minute before he starts to roughly fuck Jimin open, pumping the fingers inside of him and curling them to press against his prostate.

He knows he’s reached the bundle of nerves when Jimin’s letting out a loud string of curses. His entire body spasms, cock beginning to leak with precome. Jeongguk decides he’s ready, withdrawing his digits.

“Switch positions,” he mutters but does the work.

He grabs Jimin’s waist and in one swift movement, moves them so he’s underneath and Jimin’s settling in his lap.

It seems to dawn upon Jimin what’s about to happen. His body shudders as he straddles Jeongguk, staring down at the boy with sensually dark pupils. He licks his lips, leaning down to kiss Jeongguk eagerly.

Jeongguk takes the time to roll the condom onto him, easing it into Jimin’s hole as they kiss.

He can’t stop admiring Jimin’s body on top of his. It’s on view for him, thick thighs settled on either side of him and his slim waist begging to be touched. Jeongguk’s hands wander over his flat stomach, stopping dangerously close to Jimin’s cock but not touching.

Fuck,” Jimin mewls. “Fuck, you’re so big.”

“Yeah?” Jeongguk kisses him back, licking into his mouth. He holds onto Jimin, digging his fingers into the skin as he waits till Jimin’s taken him all the way down. “Fuck yourself back on my cock like a good boy.”

Jimin freezes for a second before he breathes out. His cock twitches, achingly hard and leaks precome. Jimin likes it.

“You like being called good boy?” Jeongguk teases now that he knows, faux innocence dripping from his tone.

Jimin stares at him with desperate, wide eyes. He doesn’t respond and he gets to work. He starts the pace slow, adjusting to the sensation of Jeongguk’s cock inside of him. Once he gets the hang of it, he fucks himself insistently. Like he was made to take Jeongguk.

Jeongguk reaches over to grab ahold of his cock once again. He holds back his own choked up sounds as he starts to stroke Jimin in time to the thrusts. Jimin barely lasts another few minutes, still moving as he comes. He garbles nonsensical words under his breath, spent of his orgasm.

It’s clear his effort reduces, the stain of Jimin’s muscle getting the better of him as he starts to slow down. Jeongguk takes over.

“I got you,” he promises.

Jeongguk switches them over again. Jimin falls into the mattress like a heap, exhausted but still willing to let Jeongguk finish. It doesn’t take long for the younger man, either. He fucks into Jimin half dozen times more before he’s coming into his condom, a loud cry leaving his mouth as he bottoms out.

“Pull out,” Jimin requests quietly when Jeongguk remains buried inside of him. “Please. Sensitive.”

“Oh.” Jeongguk wrinkles his nose, obliging. “Sorry.”

He scrunches up his nose at the ruined condom, rolling it off his condom and moving to discard of it. On his way back to the bed, he grabs the camera and stops the recording. Somewhere amongst the fucking, he had forgotten they were even filming in the first place.

Jeongguk can’t begin to describe how he feels. His senses are heightened, feeling overwhelmed with the force of his orgasm that had overcome him harder than he can last remember. He had practically blacked out from pleasure for a few minutes, sailing into an incredible headspace.

When he’s returning to his bed, he notices Jimin trying to make a run for it.

Jeongguk halts, dread registering within him.

“What’re you doing?” His tone comes out snappier than intended, narrowing his eyes. “Where do you think you’re going?”

Jimin looks like a deer caught in headlights. He comically pauses where he’s searching for his clothes, nimble fingers dropping the boxers in his hands.

“I-I,” Jimin stutters. “Isn’t this what actually happens? We fuck, then we part ways?”

Jeongguk purses his lips in distaste at the words. He puts the camera down, tilting his head to the side.

“It doesn’t have to be that way. We just fucked. We don’t have to make it awkward.”

Jimin seems to take the words into account. He runs a hand through his matted, unkempt hair that’s been ruined during the sex. He looks ruined, cheeks flushed and lips bitten raw.

“What way does it have to be, then?”

Jimin seems vulnerable, inexperienced. It pings at Jeongguk’s chest as he takes a deep breath, stepping forward into his step in a reassuring manner.

“Why don’t we bake a cake?” He suggests. He may not know Jimin exceptionally well but he knows the kitchen is a way into the man’s heart. “Chocolate cake?”

Jimin’s features brighten. His shoulders slouch from relief, seeming more relaxed and at peace now.

“Yes. Yes, let’s, he pauses. “Can I wear clothes, though?”

Jeongguk can’t help the laugh the leaves his lips. He crouches down, grabbing Jimin’s attire and hurling it in his direction. Jimin grabs a tissue, wiping himself down from the remnants of come on his skin as he starts to redress.

They follow into the kitchen as they begin to bake.

**

Jeongguk’s finishing up a class and he finds Taehyung waiting outside his lecture hall.

Taehyung’s engrossed in his cellphone, eyes diverted downwards as he bops his head along to the tune that he’s listening to. Jeongguk feels a smile easing onto his lips upon the sight of his friend, walking over to him and tapping him on the shoulder gently. Taehyung’s drawn out of his trance, glancing up and ripping the headphones out of his ear.

“Gukkie,” he’s saying fondly as he pulls Jeongguk into a hug. “I’m starving. Wanna eat?”

Jeongguk glances down at his watch. He has an hour and half gap before he has to go the dance studios with Hoseok and continue to work on their routine. They’re completing the entire choreography today and his attendance is important.

“Sure. What’re you feeling?”

They begin to walk away from the hallways, down towards the cafeteria in the university building.

Taehyung shrugs as he pockets his phone, devoting his entire attention to the man.

“Anything, man.”

They grab a tray from the cafeteria and patiently line up, awaiting their turn. Taehyung’s eyes glance around the room, seemingly to observe each person that sits around the table and what they’re eating before he can make his own decision. Jeongguk reads the menu over and over before deciding on some chicken soup, wanting to opt for something light so his stomach will behave during dance.

“Oh, look!” Taehyung’s perking up, breaking the comfortable silence between them. “There’s Jimin and Seokjin!”

Jeongguk raises a brow and he follows his friend’s eyeline, his sights falling upon Jimin.

Jimin’s sitting in one corner of the cafeteria, trying to hide in the shadows. His black hair falls upon his eyes, concealing him effectively. In front of him is a plate of uneaten ramen noodles, a glass of water that hasn’t been touched. He’s studying - because, of course he is - and his attention remains undiverted on the papers.

Seokjin—admittedly, a man that Jeongguk hasn’t interacted with much—sits opposite him. He seems to have an array of food before him, opting to mix and match between the dishes.

“Seokjin hyung is Yoongi’s friend,” Taehyung’s announcing. “The three of them are like the infamous, quiet Psychology students. They’re known for their solemn moods, never contributing in classes.”

This news isn’t surprising to Jeongguk, at all. He’s already aware of Jimin and Yoongi’s habits and it’s no wonder they associate with another man that’s like themselves. He rolls his eyes as he orders his food.

“Hold on…” Taehyung’s whispering, realisation dawning on his face. “Wait, it’s Monday.”

Jeongguk knits his brows as he looks over his shoulder in question to his friend’s revelation about what day of the week it is. He accepts the soup that’s handed to him in a bowl, putting it down on his tray.

“Yes. What about it?”

“Does that mean—” Taehyung reduces his voice down to a whisper. “You’ve filmed your porn video already?”

Despite the fact that he’s hushed enough that no one will catch the words, they’re still surrounded by people. Jeongguk’s eyes widen as he quickly looks around, wondering if anyone’s caught sound. The people around them seem unaffected, though. Not a single person moves.

“You fucking idiot,” Jeongguk hisses.

Taehyung’s features contort into offence, frowning.

“What? What did I do?”

He accepts his own plate of food off the lady serving, bowing his head in respect before falling after Jeongguk like a lost puppy. Jeongguk rolls his eyes and he’s about to walk to a separate table, away from Jimin and his friend but of course, Taehyung’s tugging him in that direction.

“What are you doing?” Jeongguk whisper-yells, trying to snatch his arm back.

“I wanna ask Jimin how the video was!”

“No, fuck off, Taehyung! We’re in public!”

Taehyung pays no mind, though. He seems to be in a headspace of his own as he drifts over to the table, slamming his tray down and sliding in next to Seokjin which forces Jeongguk to sit besides Jimin.

It’s fine, though.

Their relationship since the video has been steadily going in one direction which is upwards. There’s no space for awkwardness, no skirting around each other. Jeongguk doesn’t allow it and it seems that Jimin’s happy to follow the lead. They resume like normal roommates, their habits not changing up.

They still eat dinner together, they still spend the evening together in the living room with their favourite K-drama playing in the background.

They haven’t initiated anything sexual, not even kissing, since the video. But it’s fine. Jeongguk suspects it’ll only be crossing into dangerous territory if they try anything besides strictly just filming their videos. He’ll keep that side of him, his need to appease his sexuality, through the casual sex he readily involves himself with.

Jimin seems surprised by the company, looking up and raising a brow. He doesn’t seem pleased of being disturbed but he doesn’t voice any complaints, sliding to the right some more, granting Jeongguk some space.

Jeongguk gingerly sits down, placing his tray down. As he does so, he’s sure to send a glare in Taehyung’s direction.

“Good afternoon,” Taehyung’s announcing in a bright, chirpy tone. “How’re you all?”

Seokjin seems accustomed to Taehyung’s presence and his nature, doesn’t even bat his eyelashes as he offers some of his pork stew. Taehyung digs right in, tasting it and nodding in approval.

“Good, we’re good,” Seokjin says. “Hi, Jeongguk.” He looks over in the younger man’s direction, nodding. They’ve met before, here and there around campus but never had the chance to talk like this. “It’s nice to meet you properly, finally.”

Jeongguk does the courtesy of looking the older man in the eye, nodding.

“Hello. It’s nice to meet you, too. I’ve heard about you.”

Seokjin grins. “All good things, I hope.”

“Of course.”

Jimin barely pays attention to the conversation. He seems determined to study, head buried in his textbook as he highlights over the passages and recites them under his breath. He seems dull, though. Subdued. His body is tense and barely holding himself together.

Of course, Taehyung takes that opportunity to blurt out.

“So, well—how was the filming?”

Jeongguk looks to his friend again, eyes narrowing like slits. He’s tempted to reach over and hit him, pound some sense into him. Taehyung has a loudmouth and he never holds back but he thought the older man would have some conscious to remain a little quiet about their contest.

Jimin splutters at the blatant, straightforward mention.

“Wait… does Seokjin hyung know?” Jeongguk asks tentatively.

Seokjin’s eyes twinkle as he nods, pushing the stew around on his plate with a grin.

“Yeah, yeah. Of course, I do.”

It seems like everyone that he associates heavily with knows except Hoseok. The thought of telling one of his closest friends, the man he treats like an older brother makes Jeongguk’s stomach tighten uncomfortably. He knows, for a fact, that Hoseok will never accept the contest.

He also knows if Hoseok finds out through another form that’s not through Jeongguk’s mouth itself, the older man will be hurt.

Jeongguk pushes the torturing thoughts to one side of his mind, not wanting to dwell on them. If he thinks hard enough, he’ll only begin to fixate and that will only result in more harm than good.

Jimin flushes and it’s clear he doesn’t want to take part in this particular conversation, trying to hide himself further and stubbornly focusing on his work. His attention has been altered though, hands shaking slightly over the pen he writes with.

“Well,” Taehyung pushes, a little impatient. “How was it, then?”

It’s obvious that Taehyung’s not backing down without a fight, wanting to know details and demanding them now. Jeongguk sighs as he leans in a little, lowering his voice to remain cautious.

“It was fucking brilliant, okay? Is that what you want to hear?”

The words are bitter but Taehyung doesn’t seem to notice. He gleefully starts to clap, nodding.

“I probably won’t watch it,” Taehyung’s quickly saying. “But I’m glad! Has it been uploaded?”

Jeongguk nods. He had watched over the video and he’s not in denial about the fact that he had masturbated watching it, making himself come fast and heavy upon seeing Jimin’s orgasm face. He had blurred out any frame where their face was evident which wasn’t a lot. He brightened the video and then uploaded it. The organisers of the contest seemed to accept it within hours.

“Yeah,” Jeongguk hums.

“Jiminie!” Taehyung’s turning to him instead. “How do you feel?”

Jimin’s reluctant to look up. He doesn’t look completely at ease but he doesn’t seem uncomfortable, either. He seems to be skirting on the edge of unsure how he truly feels. He fiddles with the pen in his hand before he shrugs.

“Not really fazed.”

Jeongguk wonders whether or not he’s lying. His behaviour hasn’t changed in the past few days, at least. If he is affected by the events, Jimin’s made a point of not revealing it at all.

Taehyung purses his lips. “Really?”

“It was cool,” Jimin shrugs. “Hot. What more do you want to hear?”

Seokjin cackles at that, mouthful of food as he shakes his head.

“I still can’t believe you went ahead with it,” Seokjin speaks once he’s swallowed, a smile spreading across his lips. “I thought you’d never accept the offer even after we had the talk.”

Jeongguk can’t deny that he’s curious about what he and Jimin had talked about, wants to know with what concerns Jimin had approached his friends with.

Jimin seems to pause over where he finally reaches over for his water, taking a sip.

“I had to.” The voice holds no room for arguments. “It was for money. We needed it.”

“You loved it, didn’t you?” Taehyung’s smirking.

Before Jimin can even react to the insistent teasing that Taehyung throws in their direction, Jeongguk leans forward and swats his forearm harshly. Taehyung frowns instantly, withdrawing.

“Ouch,” he complains.

“Mouth shut,” Jeongguk mutters seriously. “You’ll expose us within days. We have seven weeks to ride through here.”

Quite literally.

Jimin seems to catch on because his eyes widen for a second, going blank and then he diverts his attention elsewhere.

Jeongguk’s mind wracks with remembrance, images of Jimin’s alluring thighs stretched out for him. The way his mouth hangs open when he uses Jeongguk’s cock to get himself off, the way he desperately clutches onto Jeongguk’s skin for reigns. The memories alone make Jeongguk’s skin heat up, feet shuffling under the table to attempt at composing himself.

Seokjin laughs. “Leave the kids alone, Taehyung. Yoongi won’t be happy if he knew you were annoying them.”

Taehyung pouts. “Yoongi won’t say anything.”

“Leave them be.” Seokjin only repeats.

As they resume to eating their lunch, making light conversation that thankfully doesn’t consist of anything to do with their video—Jeongguk can’t help but let his eyes linger towards Jimin.

Jimin’s attempting, it seems. Normally he doesn’t participate in group conversations, keeping himself to one side. But he’s trying. He looks up every so often, contributing a word or two.

Jeongguk finds a smile growing on his lips as he sips at his soup.

**

“What about this one?”

Jimin’s head snaps up at Jeongguk’s question and he seems to blush furiously, looking away quickly.

Jeongguk smirks. His finger grazes over the velvet smooth purple eye mask, feeling it over and judging the weight of the material. Tomorrow’s video is sensory deprivation and they’ve decided, together, for the video that Jimin will be blindfolded. It’s terrifying since they’re still not accustomed to the dynamic between them yet, Jimin will be sightless and at Jeongguk’s mercy.

It puts Jimin in a vulnerable position and it’s obvious, painfully so, that he’s on edge about the ordeal.

“Jimin,” he calls for the older man again. “Yes or no?”

He raises the eye mask up again, letting Jimin contemplate his decision.

Jimin heaves a sigh under his breath as he walks over to him. He gently pries the mask off his hands, looking at it. He playfully pulls it over his head, atop of his eyes to obscure his vision for a second in the middle of the store.

Jeongguk watches carefully, licking his lips.

Jimin barely leaves it on for a few seconds before he’s ripping it off his eyes, handing it back.

“That’ll do.”

Jeongguk puts the eye mask into the trolley besides the rest of their groceries, pushing the cart to follow Jimin into the next aisle. Jimin seems to be holding himself together, tension evident in his shoulders. He wants to say something to help him unwind down, reassured him but Jeongguk’s never been exceptionally good at words and he doesn’t want to have the opposite effect.

“Jimin.”

The older man turns upon hearing his name, halting where he’s grabbing washing up liquid. He raises a brow at Jeongguk.

“Yes?”

“If you’re not comfortable with tomorrow’s video, you don’t have to be blindfolded.”

“Then, there won’t be a video?”

“Well…” Jeongguk licks his lips. “I mean, I can wear it.”

Apprehension fills Jimin’s features as he seems to think this over for a few seconds. He doesn’t reply immediately, diverting his attention back to the different bottles and selecting a specific washing up liquid. He places it into the trolley, shaking his head.

“I like the idea of being blindfolded,” Jimin admits.

“Oh, do you?” He purposely drawls the words out, acting like a tease and covering up how those words hit him in the gut like a swift punch. Jimin likes to be blindfolded.

Jimin looks over to him with an unimpressed, bored expression.

“Shut up or I’ll quit making videos with you altogether.”

Jeongguk knows that he’s not being honest, that he’d never quit once they’ve come this far already. They’ve conquered their initial fears, the anxieties that had dwelled deep in their minds. They had filmed their first video and uploaded it, securing themselves the first payment.

But he wouldn’t put it against Jimin, regardless.

“Sorry, sir.” Jeongguk mimics zipping his lips, throwing the key away.

They shop in relatively quietness that’s comfortable and easy to adapt to. Jimin’s humming under his breath as he takes his time wandering through each aisle, selecting their food for the week that he’d need to cook his dishes and picking up junk food that they store away. Jeongguk finds himself enjoying his time.

It doesn’t require too much effort for him to spend time with Jimin. It doesn’t drain his energy, doesn’t make his mind go haywire with the need to concentrate. Instead, he finds himself letting go and loosening up.

When they’re paying, he doesn’t miss how Jimin’s cheeks darken considerably handing over the eye mask.

The cashier barely bats her eyelashes as she accepts the objects being provided to her, scanning them and placing them into a bag for them. She doesn’t even look at Jimin nor Jeongguk twice. She simply says the total sum of their purchase in a monotonous tone, eyes drilling into them.

As they leave and take the train back home, Jeongguk doesn’t notice how Jimin’s eyes keep wandering to the bag with the eye mask.

**

“You sure?”

Jimin’s naked, shivering on the bed. His head is rolled back on the pillow, eyes shut as he anticipates. Whilst the sight before Jeongguk is glorious, it’s not enough. He reaches down, patting Jimin’s inner thigh to prompt him to open his eyes.

Jimin does, fixing Jeongguk with a piercing look.

“I’m sure.”

Once the consent is out there and heavy between them, Jeongguk makes a move. He raises Jimin’s head up a little, hands shaking a little over the eye mask he holds in his hands. He gently stretches the string over Jimin’s head, fixing it over his eyes and blocking his sight.

“Is that okay?”

A sigh leaves Jimin’s lips as soon as the material is secured over his eyes but it doesn’t sound anything more than placated. He seems to settle further into the mattress, shifting to get more comfortable. His hands reach up for Jeongguk’s body blindly, experimentally letting it rest on Jeongguk’s waist.

It’s a relief to know he’s beginning to feel more familiar with their dynamics, able to reach out and touch how he pleases. Albeit, with hesitation but regardless, Jimin’s hands are on his body.

Jeongguk realises Jimin can’t see him. So, he takes a moment to admire Jimin.

His eyes wander over the man lying beneath him. Jimin’s beautiful with his limbs outstretched, his plump lips just begging to be kissed. His neck is strained, revealing how his Adam’s apple bobs, waiting for Jeongguk to make a move. His body is on display for Jeongguk. Toned, smooth abs and thick thighs. Jimin’s ethereal and Jeongguk’s given the privilege to indulge him.

He edges off the bed to walk over to the camera, pressing record and wandering back.

Jimin’s already shivering, his other senses heightened now that his vision has been stolen from him.

Jeongguk reaches out, lightly letting his fingers touch the side of his waist. He runs his hand down, reaching under his body to grasp at his ass. It’s a little difficult with the angle but it’s enough for Jimin’s back to arch, instinctively leaning into the touch. Jeongguk feels hazy with the power he currently holds over Jimin. The older man is anticipating his every move.

Letting his fingers float, it drifts towards Jimin’s nipples.

Without warning, he twists Jimin’s right nipples between his fingers. He tugs with the right amount of pain and pleasure mixing behind the motion, leaning down to mouth at his other nipple.

Jimin’s body responds, his body moving upwards as he lets out a sound.

“Oh my God.”

Jeongguk smiles against his pecks, drawing back and letting his hands cruise down further.

Unsurprisingly, Jimin’s cock lays neglected against his stomach. By this point, he’s fully hard. They’ve been kissing before they had started to film, trying to warm up to the intensity this video will hold. Jimin seems to relish kissing, always eagerly trying to increase the tempo.

“You’re so hard already.”

Jimin mewls, nodding.

“I am,” he affirms.

“What should we do about that?”

Jimin clamps his mouth shut and apparently decides against speaking, allowing Jeongguk the reigns over what he wants or doesn’t want to do. He decides he likes that. He hums, his fingers reaching for Jimin’s inner thighs.

It seems to be a sensitive spot for Jimin because his entire body shudders, trying to inch away from the touch.

“What do you want, Jimin?”

Jimin seems whimpery, broken down already when he chokes out. “I don’t know.”

He frowns and he gives in to Jimin. He doesn’t want to torture the boy, he wants to please him. Jeongguk’s fingers ghost over his cock, thumbing over the slit. Jimin gargles out a cry, pleading under his breath in a stream of words.

The sight of Jimin blindfolded, begging for him and leaning into every little touch is enough for Jeongguk’s own erection to require attention. His lower stomach tightens. But he doesn’t pay any heed to himself, wanting to pour every ounce of his might into pleasing Jimin.

“You do know,” Jeongguk tuts. He leans in, sucking at the head of Jimin’s cock between his lips. He tightens the suction, waiting till Jimin moans before withdrawing. “Tell me.”

“Fuck me.”

It’s out there. Jimin’s words shameless, dirty and a hint of desperation crawling into his tone. He instinctively parts his legs, mumbling a small ‘please’ under his breath.

It’s captivating how Jimin works. In person, he’s enigmatic and he barely lets anyone into his life. He keeps a tight circle and refuses to acknowledge anyone else beyond those he’s accustomed to - which isn’t much. He holds his emotions tight, never revealing more than he intends to like he’s practiced the art of coming across a cold-hearted, detached individual.

But behind closed doors, underneath the sheets—Jimin’s reduced to whimpers, pleads.

Jeongguk still can’t figure out whether it’s part of the act, playing the role he needs to for these videos. They need to win in order to qualify for the money and perhaps, Jimin’s trying his hardest.

But either way, Jimin’s a different person when he’s hard and wanting to get fucked.

“Yeah, yeah. I will.”

Jeongguk’s mind works in overdrive as he grabs the lube, drizzling it generously over three of his fingers. He takes his time this time around too, never wanting to make Jimin feel discomfort. He opens Jimin up with one finger at a time, keeping insistent pressure against his prostate whilst doing so.

When Jimin’s nearing more and more close to his orgasm, Jeongguk finally slides into him with his cock.

Unlike last time, the pace is faster this time. Jeongguk takes the time to bottom into him, inch-by-inch and then he picks up and doesn’t relent. Jimin seems to be elated, mouth hanging open and hands clutching into Jeongguk’s forearms.

When Jeongguk’s close, he pulls out.

Jimin’s eyes shoot open. “W-what? Why?”

Jeongguk clicks his tongue and he doesn’t reveal his intentions, shushing the man. He rolls the condom off and grabs both of their cocks together, stroking them together in time. The glide of their erections together makes Jeongguk’s mind go blank, a cloud of complete pleasure consuming him whole.

Jimin comes first, a breathy moan escaping him and Jeongguk’s coming after him barely seconds later.

They come down from the high of their orgasm as Jeongguk collapses into his chest without meaning to. Jimin shifts a little from the sudden weight on top of him but he doesn’t force the body off him, tentatively wrapping an awkward arm around Jeongguk before deciding against it and letting it lay limp on his side.

“Can I take my mask off yet?” Jimin whispers into the quiet room.

Jeongguk laughs and nods when he realises the man still can’t see him. He reaches over, taking it off for Jimin.

He’s met with Jimin’s bleary, teary eyes. His doey-eyes staring back at him earnestly, looking every bit wrecked as he had sounded. Jeongguk’s stomach does a funny swoop upon seeing Jimin’s face and he quickly diverts his gaze elsewhere.

“Need to stop recording.” Is his lame excuse as he climbs out of bed, turning off the camera.

Jimin waits quietly where he lays, not moving an inch. He seems to be floating in a different headspace, eyes not entirely focused. Jeongguk frowns, wondering if he had pushed too hard or whether it was the effect of the blindfold.

“Hey…” Jeongguk calls out to him, watching how Jimin turns and offers a smile. It puts his mind to peace, for the meanwhile. “You wanna see something?”

Jimin arches a brow as he blinks, willing the unshed tears away of the overwhelming ordeal. He waits a beat before nodding.

Jeongguk crotches down under his bed, grabbing a box. It’s where he keeps all his marijuana, rolled and ready to smoke. Admittedly, he doesn’t do it in the house but sometimes, just sometimes, he has to.

When he opens the box and reveals two joints, Jimin seems confused.

“I’ve never smoked weed.”

“You don’t have to, if you don’t want to,” Jeongguk promises as he slides back into the bed, still naked. He lights up his blunt, taking a drag. “Helps you relax, though.”

If they can’t talk about the scene they had just done, perhaps they can unwind with drugs and smoke together.

Jimin only contemplates for a minute before turning over onto his side, resting on his stomach with his legs kicked up in the air. It’s a sinful view—his perky ass on display, a feature of Jimin that Jeongguk has yet to admire properly.

He forces his gaze away. Not today.

Jimin follows the same step, inhaling the weed and shutting his eyes as he allows the serenity of the drug to do his job.

It should be weird. Smoking and getting high with your roommate who’ve you’ve fucked twice now and are still naked with, in bed. But as the marijuana takes effect, Jeongguk can’t bring himself to care.

Chapter Text

Jeongguk’s trying to complete to his History work, frowning upon the dates of the First World War that he has to remember until he hears a soft knock on his bedroom door. He’s laying on his stomach, books scattered out in front of him and his notes messily scrawled out. He winces when he notices, realising he’s probably going to have to rewrite them.

“Come in.”

The door opens slowly and reveals Jimin. He’s wearing his lounge wear, a baggy white hoodie that swallows him whole and hangs off his shoulders. It reveals his dainty neck adorned with two necklaces, his sharp collarbones. He looks sheepish, a dubious expression playing on his face.

“Hey,” he gets out. “Do you have a minute?”

It’s not often that Jimin will wander into his room, demand for a minute of his day. Jimin never asks for anything. Jeongguk can’t help but feel immediately obliged to follow, nodding as he sits up and crosses his legs.

“Yeah. Come, sit.”

Jeongguk moves the books out of the way, making space for his roommate. Jimin takes the hint, still not making eye contact as he shuffles onto the bed. He seems to make himself appear smaller as he crouches into the space, drawing his legs up to his chest and looking at Jeongguk earnestly.

Jimin looks delicate, skirting around carefully like there’s something he wants to say but he’s not sure how.

It pings at Jeongguk’s chest as he twists his body to face him better, offering a reassuring smile. He’s tempted to reach out, to lay his hands on Jimin but he resists. He doesn’t want to keep crossing their unspoken barrier, wanting to remain within the lines. He wants to keep his affection that he readily gives out to people at a bay.

“Is something the matter?” Jeongguk finally asks when a few minutes pass and neither of them speak, remaining devotedly muted as they bask in the tranquility of the moment. “You look…” He searches for the word and fails, sentence falling short.

Jimin looks up to him, finally. Uncertainty leaks into his face, making him look younger than he is. He shifts on the bed, taking a deep breath.

“I know I said I didn’t want to watch the videos back, to read the comments but… but.. I want to see what people are saying about our videos.”

He says the words slowly like he’s trying to comprehend his own thoughts, trying to understand why he wants it. Jeongguk frowns and he waits a beat, carefully articulating his next words. He understands, in this moment, that Jimin has come to him with something he never usually would. By saying something wrong, he’ll only build up the walls that Jimin’s trying his hardest to demolish.

“Are you sure?” He frowns. He hasn’t checked the comments himself, not wanting to concern himself with people and their opinions. “The public can be brutal.”

Jimin shrugs. “I’m a big boy, I can handle it.”

“I know you can. You just don’t have to purposely put yourself through something that’ll only hurt, potentially.”

Jimin seems to consider this. His eyes turn clouded, overcome with thoughts before he looks back at Jeongguk. There’s a smile twitching on his lips. He reaches out to tap Jeongguk’s shins like he’s trying to console him, assure that this is what he wants. He had, after all, gathered the courage to ask.

“Let’s read the comments.”

Jimin’s usual remoteness and detachment has melted off. Since they started to film the videos, there’s a switch between the dynamics they’re usually accustomed to. It seems like Jeongguk’s prying into his roommate’s inner self slowly, bit by bit. There’s still a long way to go, still so much to learn and discover but the initial hardship has been wiped clean.

Jeongguk also recognises the determination behind Jimin’s tone. He clearly wants this. There’s no going back, no hesitation in his words.

“Okay…” Jeongguk agrees. He grabs the laptop sitting on the side of his bed, only serving as a distraction to him as he had tried to study. “Just… don’t take any of the comments to heart.”

“I can handle some comments, Jeongguk,” Jimin’s tone has a slight hint of frustration.

Jeongguk doesn’t bother saying anything else. He takes his time typing in the porn website’s address, loading up their own account and their videos. He almost winces upon seeing the preview of them—their bodies, legs intertwined and their cocks on screen. He quickly scrolls down, pressing on comments.

He has nothing against watching the videos. He has, plenty of times, and he’s gotten himself off every single time. He just doesn’t want Jimin to notice the flush that overtakes his cheeks, a burden at how obviously the videos affect him.

Jeongguk’s eyes widen upon seeing the response, though.

95 comments.

“J-Jimin.”

Jimin seems to be hanging on the edge, waiting for news. He shuffles forward at his name, raising a brow.

“What? What is it?”

Jeongguk swallows as he reads the first comment displayed to him, eyes scanning over the enthusiastic words.

‘This is fucking sexy. Amateur porn is the best!!! They’re my winners already.’

“I think the comments are good.”

Jimin seems to relax once the words process within him, his shoulders slumping and the waves of anxiety rolling off him as the seconds tick by. They sit in silence until Jimin reaches forward, grabbing the laptop off him and settling back on the bed. He takes time to read through them, eyes widening and at particular times his cheeks flush.

Jeongguk waits for his turn, unable to keep his eyes off his roommate and the reaction he keeps giving off. He finds it fascinating how intrigued Jimin is by the entire ordeal.

“Um… a lot of the comments are about me being a slut for it,” Jimin admits lowly as he hands the laptop back to him, running a hand through his hair. Amusement laces in his tone, not sounding offended at all. He doesn’t seem all too bothered by any of it.

There’s many things Jeongguk wants to say back. Instead, he swallows down the lump.

“I didn’t think they’d get so much attention,” Jeongguk says once the silence begins to extend between them again. “I didn’t think anyone would like them.”

Jimin hums at the words, quietly agreeing.

“Yeah, well. Apparently not.”

“That’s so crazy? We literally have thousands of views.”

“We must be good.” Jimin shrugs with a short laugh. “Clearly.”

The sex has been good. The two times he had gotten to fuck Jimin had been exceptional. It’s the kind of sex that never really leaves you, the kind of sex that makes you compare to every other sexual encounter you’ve had. There’s something about Jimin’s usual passive demeanour that slips off, entering an entirely different submissive headspace. The thought alone makes Jeongguk’s head spin.

It’s clear everyone else admires it, too. If the comments are any indicator.

“If we’re so well-liked, we better win,” Jeongguk decides to declare. “They have to vote for us and keep us running in the competition. So far, we’re in the top five and I haven’t received any notifications about potential elimination, so we’re good.”

Jimin laughs at that, nodding as he rests his head back on the pillow and takes a moment.

The conversation at hand seems to end because neither of them mention the videos again. Thursday is around the corner, only two days away and they’ll have to film their third video. Though, this video doesn’t involve penetration—Jeongguk’s still intrigued, interested to find out how it’ll work out.

“Don’t you have that party today?” Jimin’s breaking their peacefulness to ask, arching a brow at him. “With Taehyung?”

Jeongguk’s eyes widen. He had almost forgotten. Since they had started their porn videos two weeks ago, he had barely gone out. He had been trying to split his time equally between working, dancing and Jimin. He had been trying to establish a rapport with Jimin so they won’t resort to awkwardness after filming, allowing their relationship to be open and free for communication.

It seems to work because Jimin doesn’t shy away, he doesn’t hide himself. He still has the same obnoxious aloofness aura to him that he carries around him, still cooks and bakes and he still remains away from Jeongguk around campus. Nothing really has changed between them besides the fact that they’ve had sex and will continue to do so.

His hands scramble out for his phone, pressing down on the home button. It’s only 9pm.

“I can make it on time,” Jeongguk reassures as he crawls out of bed, opening his wardrobe and pick out the first clothing items that comes to hand. “I completely forgot.”

Jimin rolls his eyes as he watches warily.

“I still don’t understand how you have the energy.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s literally a Tuesday night. You had a day full of lessons, three hours with Hoseok hyung at the dance studios. You have classes tomorrow, too and yet, you’re preparing to go out to a party tonight. Aren’t you tired?”

Jeongguk pauses at Jimin’s words. How does he explain he’s constantly in a state of fatigue? He’s just, overtime, learnt to adapt. Insomnia has plagued his life for as long as he can remember. He remembers being a young teenager, staying up till ungodly hours of the night and willing himself to sleep. He remembers crying out of frustration when it didn’t work, slamming his fists into the walls.

Now, he’s more accustomed to four hours per night. It suits his schedule better, it suits his body better. Anymore than that, his system begins to register it as oversleeping and leaving him in a worst state than he had fell asleep.

“I’ll be fine,” Jeongguk’s saying as he shrugs on his leather jacket.

“Not what I asked but.” Jimin makes a gesture with his hands. “Whatever you want, man.” He pauses. “Don’t bring someone home, please. I’m going to be trying to sleep.”

Jeongguk’s hardly ever brought home his casual fuck buddies, his one-night stands. He may indulge in sex but he’s also respectful about it. It never extends to his apartment, where he shares with someone else.

“You know I never would.”

The thought of sleeping with someone else in his apartment, with Jimin right next door, sits uncomfortably to him. It feels wrong.

Jimin looks unfazed as he nods, getting off the bed himself.

“See you later, then.”

**

Dance practice ends up extending longer than usual today. Even when the night falls upon them and most of the students have retreated back to the comfort of their homes, Jeongguk’s still practising.

The studio’s lights are dimmed, adjusting to the darkness of outside. Hoseok’s taken a recess to grab dinner for them from the local takeaway down the road, claiming he won’t be longer than twenty minutes. Jeongguk’s stomach rumbles from the lack of nutrients and calories but he forces himself through the routine.

As the performance draws closer, Hoseok grows more and more brutal with their timetable. He expects the utmost perfection from Jeongguk and doesn’t accept anything less. He doesn’t let up on Jeongguk, or himself, as they practice hours upon hours. They run through each step repeatedly, attempting to synchronise flawlessly.

Jeongguk feels lethargic. His bones feel heavier than his body can handle, weighing him down with faintness that threatens to overtake him. He’s his own worst critic, though. He’ll never give himself a break even if he deserves one, always pushing himself to be better.

When Hoseok slips into the studio with two bags full of takeaway boxes and notices Jeongguk’s body swiftly moving to the slow, sensual song they’re meant to perform - he clicks his tongue.

He walks over the stereo, turning it off and fixing Jeongguk with a motherly, disappointed look.

“You’re going to drop if you overwork yourself like this,” Hoseok’s scolds, voice tingled with firmness but also concern. He sighs as he sits down, patting the space besides him.

“I’m tough, hyung. I can handle it.”

Nonetheless, Jeongguk does accept the food. As much as he wants to restrict to ensure he has an impeccable body for the performance, he knows he has to make up for the calories he’s burnt from hours of exercise. He sits down besides his older friend, crossing his legs and begins to dig in.

“I know you can. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here.”

“True.”

Hoseok’s blind faith in him makes him believe, too.

He had arrived at the dance academy with limited skills to show but a burning desire that emanated off him. Everyone could see it. Everyone could recognise it. Jeongguk had a skill so intricate, so carefully devised within him that he had been storing away to prevent his family finding out. When he had arrived to university, he had realised—with a start—he was allowed to be open. It had been liberating, it had opened up horizons that Jeongguk had only ever dreamt to.

Hoseok had taken a liking on him upon first sight.

He had approached him after their training lessons, patting him on the shoulder and persuading Jeongguk to go for a coffee with him. As they had sat in the coffee shop till the late hours, sipping back countless cups—Jeongguk learnt that Hoseok had been dancing for years.

They taught each other, transmitted skills off each other. Jeongguk could never dance with anyone else now as well as he can with Hoseok. A part of him believes his purpose has been to form an undefeatable dynamic with the older man.

Hoseok chews on the pork slowly, thoughtful expression fixed over his face. He hums as he waves his chopsticks in the air, subconsciously drawing closer to Jeongguk.

“I’ve been meaning to ask you, have you sorted out your financial situations? Since you’ve not talked about it recently.”

Jeongguk freezes as soon as the question is out there. It hangs heavy in the air between them, immediately thickening the tension. He’s sure his subtle, yet obvious, stuttering at Hoseok’s words gives him away.

“A-ah. Not really.”

Guilt trickles down the back of his neck, extending down to his spine as he attempts to remain a composure over himself. He stirs around the noodles in the takeaway box, not daring to look up and maintain eye contact with the man.

“Oh?” Hoseok seems intrigued now, not sounds the slightest convinced. “Then, how’re you coping? Do you need me to help you out? I got extra this semester and—”

“No!” It’s out of Jeongguk too fast. “No, no. Hyung, I can’t take your money.”

“You take Namjoon’s money.”

It almost sounds like an accusation. Hoseok knits his brows together, looking genuinely perplexed.

“Not anymore. That was once and I’m still trying to repay him.”

“Jeongguk, we’re your hyungs, you don’t have to pay us back for anything.” He pauses. “Let me, okay? Transfer at least some—”

“No.” His voice is firmer this time. “I said no.”

Jeongguk wishes he had the strength to come out with the truth, to admit that he had resorted to unconventional methods that Hoseok would never approve of. The porn contest goes against every rule the prestigious university holds, would threaten his place in the dance academy. It’s quite literally illegal. They have an important dance performance coming up and he can’t cope with Hoseok’s disappointed, pointed looks. Not right now. Maybe, after the performance.

After the performance, Jeongguk decides. Once they’re done with the performance that’ll make or break their careers, he’ll come clean and he’ll admit the truth. Hoseok deserves to know, especially if the rest of his friends do.

Hoseok looks almost offended, reeling from the sharp words but before he can speak, Jeongguk continues.

“I’ve got this month covered,” he continues smoothly, voice slipping into a more accommodating tone. It feels wrong but he can’t help it. “Maybe next month if I need help, I’ll ask you? Is that okay, hyung?”

He can finally breathe out in relief when Hoseok’s features polish out with contentedness again, wiping clear of his initial suspicion.

“Of course, Jeongguk. I’ve got your back. You know I do.”

Jeongguk can’t address the shame that presses down heavy on his chest. He resumes his attention elsewhere. If he ponders over the thought any longer, it’ll threaten to swallow him entirely.

They continue to dance into the early hours of the morning. They incorporate new moves, switching up their usual drill and trying something new so they don’t grow tired of practising. Jeongguk attempts not to make eye contact with Hoseok all night, sure he’ll word vomit all he’s bottling up. Instead, he ignores it. He follows Hoseok’s steps in stride and works hard on impressing the older man instead. It’s the least he can do.

(Mood: Calvin Harris - Feels)

When Jeongguk slips back into the apartment at 3:30am, he finds Jimin’s still awake.

Jimin looks exhausted, weariness painted over his face. His eyes are droopy and he’s barely able to keep them open. He’s sitting on the couch with his legs crossed, a bowl of bibimbap in his hand but he’s not consuming it. When Jeongguk’s presence is announced, his head snaps over so fast he must’ve gotten whiplash.

“You’re home,” he breathes out.

Jeongguk narrows his eyes as he closes the door behind him. The smell of fresh cooking evades him system, filling his nostrils as he sighs. Jimin’s just cooked recently. It still reeks of different spices and seasoning. It’s a smell that he’s grown to feel comforted by. He shrugs off his jacket, nodding.

“Yeah. Why’re you awake?”

“I was… just wondering where you are,” Jimin says tentatively like he doesn’t want to admit it. “Also I have to do homework.”

“Um… I was at the dance studios with Hoseok?”

“Oh.” Jimin’s face falls and he shakes his head at his own stupidity, putting his bowl down on the table. “I should’ve known.”

“Did you stay awake for me? Aw. You worry about me.”

Jimin glances up and he scrunches up his face, immediately resorting to denying this fact. He shakes his head almost furiously, his index finger pointing down to the untouched, unopened Psychology books as if to implement his homework excuse.

“You’re not that special, Jeongguk.”

The younger man laughs at how fiercely Jimin’s trying to prove himself otherwise.

“Just admit you care about me.”

“I don’t! You always stay out late!”

“You don’t care about me?” Jeongguk gasps, faux offended as he rests a hand over his chest and clings onto the material dramatically.

Jimin’s eyes widen and he seems annoyed. He huffs under his breath, unravelling his limbs and crossing his arms. He looks like a disturbed toddler getting caught for doing something wrong and getting scolded for it. It’s so comical that Jeongguk starts chortling, trying to hide the embarrassing sound behind his fist.

“You don’t usually stay out this late on weekdays unless there’s a party and I checked, there isn’t,” Jimin tries to explain. Admittedly, not making it any better for himself.

“Why did you check? Because you care?”

Jeongguk’s teasing now but secretly, he’s thriving off the attention. He likes the confirmation that Jimin had cared enough to stay up for him when he values sleep so dearly. He waltz to the kitchen, grabbing the already prepared bibimbap for himself. Of course, Jimin had left him food like he does every other night.

Jimin groans as he grabs the cushion, burying his head.

“Go to sleep. Fuck off,” he mumbles, muffled by how his mouth is covered.

Jeongguk wishes it was that easy. His insomnia makes sleeping a mission, quite literally. Even though he’s drained from practice, it’ll still take him a while to actually lul off into slumber. It’ll take hours, having to shut off his mind effectively and listen to hours of his ‘sleepytime’ playlist.

He walks back to where Jimin’s still trying to hide himself. Without meaning to, he sinks his fingers into Jimin’s strands and tugs it through. Jimin shudders at the touch in his hair and slowly raises his head, arching a brow in question towards Jeongguk.

“Do your homework,” Jeongguk guides. He sits down with his food and starts to dig in, desperate for the nutrients. “Then we’ll go to sleep. We have filming tomorrow and I don’t want you to be tired for it.”

Jimin’s body tightens at the mention of filming, releasing a breath.

“O-oh. Oh yeah.”

Tomorrow’s video is going to be different simply because there’s no aspects of penetration involved. It consists of throat fucking. Admittedly, it’s one of Jeongguk’s favourite acts of foreplay—both giving and receiving. He had been looking forward to week three for this precise reason but he’s not sure how Jimin feels about it.

“How do you feel about it?” Jeongguk asks, genuinely curious.

Jimin seems to debate with himself. He bites down on his bottom lip, pulling at a layer of his skin. When he faces Jeongguk, nerves is painted over him and it doesn’t take a stranger to realise.

“Not the most confident.”

It’s out there. Blatant, honest truth that pours from Jimin’s mouth readily.

Jeongguk considers his answer. Jimin’s never admitted his feelings so openly and he doesn’t want to make a mess of the trust. He swallows around the fried egg in his mouth, instinctively leaning closer to Jimin. He doesn’t reach out, doesn’t initiate any physical touch.

“Why?”

“Because…” Jimin takes a deep breath. “I’ve not… um, done it often and I have a really bad experience relating to it.” Jimin keeps pausing in between words, features contorting to pained.

Jeongguk’s not sure what the experience is. Honestly, he doesn’t know much when it comes to Jimin. He only knows what he can observe with his eyes, can draw up his own conclusions from. He doesn’t know anything deeper, anything real. He soaks in any information given directly by Jimin.

Regardless, he’s already figured out that in this moment, he shouldn’t pry for more details.

He understands that it must’ve taken a lot of strength for Jimin to admit even that small fact about himself. He’s baring his soul open for Jeongguk, even if it’s only a small window into his life. Jeongguk understands because he’s the same way, cradling his secrets close to his heart and never revealing himself to anyone.

“Okay.” Jeongguk nods, lowering his chopsticks. “We’ll switch it up. You can fuck my throat, instead?”

Jimin traces patterns into the exposed knee of his distressed jeans, looking uncertain.

“Are you sure?”

“I told you, I’m usually the dominant in these situations but I really don’t mind switching it up. Jimin, I just want you to be comfortable.”

Jimin’s features ease out upon the news, his body visibly unwinding down.

“If you’re sure then yes, yes. I’d prefer that.”

“Then, it’s settled. Don’t stress. It’ll be good.”

Jeongguk’s not the most eloquent with words. He had never been taught how to address emotional situations accordingly, had always faced affection with money being thrown in his face. Having emotionally unavailable parents had resorted to much of Jeongguk’s misfortunes, unable to sort through his grief in a healthy manner and turning to alternative ways: fucking with everyone that interests him, blowing his money until his inheritance freezes and he’s left with virtually nothing to his name.

Jimin snorts but he doesn’t argue, nodding.

“Tomorrow?” He asks for confirmation.

“Tomorrow.”

Jimin loiters around the living room, clearing up the kitchen as he waits for Jeongguk to finish. Once the counters have been wiped down and the dishes are washed, dried and put away—they decide to go to sleep.

Just before Jimin escapes into his bedroom, Jeongguk calls out for him.

“Yes?”

“Sleep well, Jimin. Tomorrow will be fine, trust me.”

The older man takes a moment and then he exhales. “I trust you. Goodnight.”

**

(Mood: PARTYNEXTDOOR - Wus Good/Curious)

 

Jeongguk knows Jimin’s feeling skittish, seemingly riddled with apprehension so he pays extra attention to kissing him before they start to film.

His hand settle on the side of Jimin’s waist, gently pressing down. The other hand cups the back of Jimin’s neck, a reassuring presence. Their tongues meet for a sloppy, slow but dirty kiss. Jimin’s tension seems to be evaporating with each passing second as they exchange saliva, whimpering broken sounds into each other’s mouths. Jimin begins to unravel slowly, letting himself go.

They part every few kisses to collect their breath before they surge forward and resume the motion.

It registers within Jeongguk how good it feels to kiss Jimin. The boy always tastes good, he’s always exceptionally well at keeping up with the pace that they set and he uses the right amount of tongue. He’s vocal and he’s touchy as his hands wander over Jeongguk’s body now, squeezing his ass.

Jeongguk immediately releases a guttural sound.

“Fuck, Jimin. That’s good.”

Jimin’s face lightens up like he’s just discovered hidden treasure, experimentally groping harder over the jeans. It seems the praise makes him confident because he starts to kiss with more ferocity, shaking Jeongguk down to his core. When they pull away from this specific kiss, Jimin makes sure to tug on the bottom lip between his teeth.

“Shit. You’re good at that.”

Jimin slumps into the sheets, peering open one eye with a timid smile.

“If you say so.”

“I do,” he affirms. He shifts off Jimin, eyes darkened by the pinging arousal that swims in his lower stomach. “Are you ready?”

“Yeah. I’m ready.”

When there’s consent from Jimin, he makes a move. He retrieves the camera from the wardrobe, setting it up on the table. He decides to get naked then too, met by his half-hard erection. It never takes him long to get this needy, this quick when he’s around Jimin apparently. He ignores the ache and he starts to record.

Jeongguk’s a little nervous knowing that no matter how he angles the camera, his face will be slightly exposed due to the nature of the video.

When he turns back around, prepared to indulge in Jimin—he finds Jimin’s already out of bed. He’s stripped himself of his pants and boxers, standing before him stark naked. He’s idly stroking himself, eyes hungry with thirst. With a single motion, he gestures for Jeongguk to get down.

Jeongguk swallows. He obeys and sinks to his knees in one graceful movement.

His hard cock twitches where it lays heavy and neglected on his thigh, not making a move to touch himself. When Jimin shuffles forward, he rests his hands on either side of his thighs to anchor to something.

Jimin’s demeanor has slipped to something darker, intent in his dark pupils. He cards a hand through Jeongguk’s hair, using slight force to tilt his head backwards. Their eyes meet and Jimin’s smirk grows. Jeongguk opens his mouth, sticking his tongue out in anticipation, already eager to get the scene started.

Jimin’s mouth parts in a silent groan as he angles his cock but instead of guiding it into his mouth, he rubs it against Jeongguk’s lips. He smears his precome over his shiny, wet lips.

“Are you sure?” Jimin whispers to him, making sure one last time.

Jeongguk shudders at the husky tone that addresses him. He can’t recall the last time he was on his knees and there’s no denial about the fact that it thrills him, sends something that feels like a shot of cocaine up his spine. He feels high off the feeling, adrenaline pumping in his system and they haven’t even started.

“I’m sure.”

Once the confirmation is out of his mouth, Jimin cuts off the rest of his words by pushing his cock into his mouth. The pace is gradual and they work towards it. Jeongguk bops his head up and down, licking the underside of Jimin’s thick cock and using his hand to play with Jimin’s balls.

The older man seems overcome with delirium, his fingers tightening in Jeongguk’s hair.

“That’s it,” he’s murmuring repeatedly under his breath, words jumbled and incoherent.

Jeongguk’s reducing him to such a state and it only spurs him on, sucking him down harder and eagerly pausing for Jimin to take over. He pulls off with an audible ‘pop’ so he can breathe, looking up to Jimin through his lashes.

“C’mon. Fuck my throat. I know you can.”

Jimin’s part his lips, pursuing them thoughtfully before he nods. He grunts under his breath, sounding unhinged.

“Hands behind your back.”

Jeongguk’s eyes widen upon the order. That’s new to him. No one’s been able to successfully tame him behind closed doors, usually falling putty under him. He’s never given up the upper hand he holds over sexual dynamics but Jimin’s words are firm and leave no room for arguments. He finds himself obeying.

Jimin’s watching him through hazy, clouded eyes. He looks feral as he licks his lips and then whispers ‘I’m starting’ before pushing into Jeongguk’s mouth again. His hand tangles in Jeongguk’s hair, pushing him down further.

Jeongguk wills his throat to relax around the intrusion, choking a little as his gag reflex is prodded. He breathes through his nose, looking up to Jimin even when his eyes fill with moisture from the sensation.

“Aw, already tearing up?” Jimin coos. There’s a sadistic undertone in his voice, having slipped into a different headspace. “Poor boy.”

Jeongguk’s cock twitches uselessly at the words. He’s never felt arousal like this, swirling deep in his lower stomach. He’s almost tempted to reach out and touch but he wants to be good, doesn’t move from his position.

Jimin’s pace increases to merciless. He keeps thrusting deep and not letting up, sometimes pulling out long enough to let Jeongguk breathe but pushing in before he manages to do so. Jeongguk’s sure he’s crying for real now, tears staining down his cheeks as he allows Jimin to do as he pleases.

After a few rough thrusts, Jimin pulls out and Jeongguk recollects himself.

He splutters once he gets the chance to, gasping. Jimin reaches forward, an apologetic look clouding his face. He wipes away the tears remorsefully with his thumb tenderly, the touch feeling almost too intimate for the nature of the video.

“Come down my throat.”

“I will,” Jimin promises. His hand drifts upwards, resuming the hold in his hair and fucking into him all over again.

It doesn’t last much longer. Jimin’s erratic moans get louder, sounding more broken as he buries deep inside of Jeongguk. He barely lets out a ‘I’m coming’ before he’s releasing. Jeongguk gags at the sudden bittersweet taste but he swallows, trying not to wince whilst doing so.

Jimin milks out his orgasm for a few minutes longer before finally withdrawing.

He looks euphoric, features scrunched together from the impact of his climax. He’s sighing, a glorious contented sigh that falls from his lips. He looks down at Jeongguk and then wets his lips, nodding to him.

“C’mere. Stand up.”

Jeongguk unfolds his hands from his back, throbbing in the position they’ve been forced to. He stands up and Jimin’s pulling him close to his chest, wrapping a strong arm around his waist. They’re standing before each other, the proximity making Jeongguk feel dizzy. Jimin grabs his cock and starts to stroke him, giving the attention Jeongguk’s been pathetically yearning for.

Jimin knows exactly where to touch him, where to apply extra pressure as his hand closes tighter around the head of his cock. Jeongguk’s gasping as they start to kiss, breaking apart to release insistent moans.

Barely half strokes later, Jeongguk comes with a loud cry all over Jimin’s hand.

They breathe heavily in time together, leaning onto each other. Jimin takes the come covered fingers into his mouth, licking the digit clean whilst keeping eye contact with him.

“Fucking hell,” Jeongguk mutters in disbelief.

Another second passes before Jimin’s exhaling.

“Turn the video off. Please.”

Urgency leaks in Jimin’s tone, eyes turning serious as the moment switches up. It requires Jeongguk’s immediate attention because not a minute later, he’s pulling away and wandering over to where the camera is set up. He stops the recording, placing the camera face down. When he turns back, Jimin’s beginning to tremble violently. Tears start springing into his eyes and he tries to cover his face, almost threatening to buckle to his knees.

“Jimin…” Jeongguk feels dread sludging in his veins. He surges forward, grabbing ahold of the boy before he falls. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

The older man shakes as he pinches the bridge of his nose, taking a deep breath.

“Sorry, I’m sorry. That was so good, I promise. I’m just—”

“Is it because of the bad experience?”

“Y-yeah.”

That’s all the answers he needs and he doesn’t pry anymore. Jeongguk gently holds onto Jimin’s forearm and steers them towards the bed. He pulls the bedsheet apart, coaxing Jimin to lay down first before climbing in after him. Their bodies are still sticky with sweat and remnants of sex linger on their bodies but neither of them complain.

“Uh. What are we doing?”

Jeongguk chuckles though it shakes, out of his depth but desperate to appease Jimin any manner he can. He cradles the back of Jimin’s head, bringing him closer so he can rest his head on Jeongguk’s chest. Jimin follows to the touch, finding refuge in Jeongguk’s body. He emits another deep breath but nuzzles his head into Jeongguk’s bare chest.

“We’re cuddling.”

“Cuddling?” Is Jimin’s muffled reply. “Why?”

“Because we filmed something intense and you’re shaking. So, we’re cuddling. It’s normal.”

“I don’t cuddle.”

“Sorry to break it to you, honey, but we’re literally cuddling right now.”

His tone may leak of sarcasm and he may fondly roll his eyes but he’s also concerned. That seems to hit him stronger. He doesn’t understand. He doesn’t know what’s going on, what’s troubling Jimin so deeply. But he’s eager to help in anyway he can.

Jimin sighs and if he wants to protest, he doesn’t bother. He immerses himself into Jeongguk. Their bodies fit together like puzzle pieces, sliding together and fitting effortlessly like they belong.

“I’m so pathetic. I’m so sorry—”

“Stop,” Jeongguk firmly cuts him off. He runs a hand through Jimin’s hair, tugging at the bottom to give the older man something else to focus on.“There’s nothing wrong with your reaction.”

“I was just…”

“Triggered?”

“I think so, yeah. I guess.”

“It’s okay,” he reassures. “We won’t have to do it again, it’s over. You’re okay.”

Jimin hums and he doesn’t say anything else. They remain cuddled up, laying besides each other and burrowed into each other’s warmth. Jimin’s body begins to ease up with the trembles, each exhale coming easier to him. Jeongguk basks in the serenity of the moment, the aftertaste of closure after sex. He gently runs his thumb down the nape of Jimin’s neck, moving to feel his pulse.

Jimin’s heartbeat starts to decrease under the touch, eyes fluttering shut.

“There we go,” Jeongguk whispers, matching the intimacy of the moment. “You feeling better?”

“Mm. Better.”

“Wanna go to sleep?”

Jimin shrugs and he shakes his head, yawning behind his fist regardless.

“Yes. But I don’t want to move.”

“Then, don’t.”

“I can’t. I can’t just sleep—” But Jimin doesn’t get the chance to finish his thought, falling into a deep slumber.

Jeongguk stares down at Jimin. He feels envious that he’s able to knock out so easily, barely taking him a minute before luls off. He almost wants to move away and let Jimin sleep peacefully. Perhaps, he should catch up on some work. But as he stares down at Jimin’s even chest, raising in time to a slowed rhythm—he finds that he’s not in a worry to go anywhere.

 

The next morning, Jeongguk wakes up to an empty bed and the presence of Jimin’s body disappeared from his side. He doesn’t want to address the feeling of disappointment that weighs him down, curling into his own body and drifting off to sleep once again.

**

“We got paid!”

Taehyung and Jimin’s head snap up from where they’re sitting. They’re outside on the campus grounds, sitting around a bench. Taehyung and Yoongi are eating lunch together, lovingly feeding each other and acting gross. Jimin’s trying to study some more, his lunch untouched besides him. Jeongguk had his laptop out and he was attempting to do work before getting distracted and checking his bank account.

Jimin raises a brow. “You mean, porn video paid?” He asks, voice hushed.

He nods eagerly as he turns the laptop around, displaying the total sum of their three videos so far. The digits in his bank account feels satisfying, after having struggling for so long. He doesn’t remember the last time he had this much money in his account, the last time he wasn’t into minus.

Taehyung swallows around the bite of the sandwich he’s eating, looking gleefully pleased.

“That’s great, Guk!”

Yoongi nods. “Is it enough for rent this month?”

“More than enough,” he reassures, already setting to transfer the specific amount into his second account so he can follow through with his required payments. “I’m so happy. Our efforts was paid off.”

Jimin looks contented, a lazy smile sprawled across his lips. His eyes drift up from the papers before him, sparing a moment to make eye contact with Jeongguk and nodding softly. As if to placate him. Silently praise them for their work.

Taehyung settles back on the bench. His smile is devious, clearly thinking up something completely unwise. Taehyung’s ideas always end in disaster and each time, they promise they’ll never listen to him again. But regardless, no one is as entertaining as Taehyung is.

“We should go out for drinks! To celebrate!”

For once, Taehyung’s not suggesting something outrageous and rather, it makes sense. Jeongguk’s always prepared to accept any offer that forces him out of the four walls of his home, allows him to interact with other people. He likes drinking and he likes losing a small part of his conscious to enter into a different, overcast mindset.

Jimin, on the other hand, is already shaking his head.

“Not my scene,” he rejects almost immediately, not even taking a second to consider the offer. “Nope.”

Taehyung pouts. “Please, c’mon. You’ve never gone out with me! It’ll be fun!”

“I don’t like bars.”

“We’ll go to a nice one!”

Yoongi sighs at his boyfriend’s insistent pleading. He reaches out to grab Taehyung’s hand, intertwining their fingers as he lifts it to his lips and kisses it tenderly. There’s a certain softness behind the action before he turns to Jimin.

“Jiminie. One time won’t hurt,” he persuades.

“Not you too, hyung.”

“You don’t have to come but Seokjin will probably tag along, Jeongguk’s friends can come, too. It’ll be fun. You don’t even have to drink.”

Jeongguk almost feels guilty. They’re pleading Jimin to come along and he knows, for a fact, that his roommate isn’t comfortable with the idea of the club scene. Jimin’s never immersed himself into such a situation and it doesn’t seem like he’s ambitious to start doing so anytime soon. Nonetheless, he seems to be contemplating Yoongi’s offer and a second later, he sighs out loud.

“Fine.” Exasperation leaks from his tone when he speaks. “As long as my drinks are paid for.”

Taehyung squeaks—quite literally squeaks—as he claps his hands. Once again, his loud boisterous personality attracts attention from the students around them. The boy never seems affected, though. He never seems to pay any heed to people around him and what they think, never dulling his contagious aura.

“I’ll never make you regret it, I promise.”

Jimin grumbles irritably under his breath. “Better not.”

Jeongguk’s pleasantly surprise that Jimin had even agreed in the first place. He had never imagined, not even in his wildest dreams, that Jimin would willingly come along to their night-outs. There’s always been an unspoken but distinct barrier between his and Taehyung’s friendship compared to Jimin’s and Taehyung’s. But it seems like they’re all colliding together for one night and Jeongguk’s already anticipating it.

**

Jeongguk knocks on Jimin’s bedroom door later that night.

He’s ready for their night out. He pulled out his finest attire, a tight fitting white shirt that people have told him looks exceptionally flattering and skin-tight jeans. It shows off his ravishing body that he works day and night for.

They’re expecting to meet Taehyung and Yoongi there, at the club. The designated venue is awhile away from where they live, in the heart of Itaewon and the nightclub scene. They have to take public transportation, meaning they should leave now, hence why he’s trying to coax Jimin out of his room.

“What is it?” Jimin’s muffled voice calls out.

“Are you ready? Let’s get going.”

“Yeah, hold on. I’m coming.”

Jeongguk steps back as he withdraws his pocket, messaging back a few of his friends as he waits. Hoseok’s coming along with Namjoon, planning to meet him at the club. It’s thrilling to have his friends in one location together since he never usually has the luxury of time to meet them individually. He feels blessed to have them in one space together, being able to interact with them all.

He’s messaging back Hoseok when Jimin emerges from his room, running his nimble fingers through his hair.

“Let’s go.”

Jeongguk pockets his phone, turning to face Jimin. Before the breath is knocked out him - quite literally. He halts dramatically, eyes widening as they scan over Jimin’s heavenly body.

He’s seen Jimin in many different outfits before. He’s seen Jimin when he’s trying to put effort in for university with his tees and his distresses jeans. He’s seen Jimin in his lounging outfits, hoodies and baggy sweats. But he’s never seen Jimin quite like this before.

Jimin looks ethereal.

His messy black fringe falls over his forehead, concealing him. His cheeks are flushed as he looks up to Jeongguk, licking his lips. The attire is effortless and yet, Jimin pulls it off unfairly well. He’s wearing a black tee paired together with a white zip-up jacket and tight slacks that show off his toned legs. When he turns around to lock his bedroom door, Jimin’s ass is blatantly on display. Perky. Defined.

Jeongguk’s throat runs dry and he painfully swallows down the lump that lodges uncomfortably, trying to regain a composure over himself.

“What?” Jimin notices him staring, furrowing his brows. “Is there something on my face? What’re you looking at?”

“U-uh,” he stutters before shaking his head resolutely. “No, no. It’s all good. C’mon, we’re gonna be late.”

They walk down down to the train station together, side-by-side. Their proximity is close, making Jeongguk’s skin heat up every time their arms brush together. They don’t even feel the need to strike a conversation, comfortable silence dwelling between them.

When they’re pushed into a packed, enclosed train together—Jeongguk really stands no chance. Jimin’s body is pulled up tight against his, standing dangerously close. They hold onto the railing bars as the train’s door shuts and traps them instead. Jimin keeps falling into him repeatedly as the train jerks, looking genuinely apologetic each time. Jeongguk doesn’t know how to explain that it’s more than okay. That it’s more than welcomed.

Jeongguk feels like he can finally breathe properly once they arrive at the club.

Taehyung’s waiting outside for them. He’s also well-dressed and clinging to Yoongi’s side, attached to the hip with his boyfriend. But as soon as he sees them emerging from the station, he abandons Yoongi and runs over to them.

He embraces them both, pressing reassuring, chaste kisses on Jimin’s cheeks.

“Let’s get this damn night started!”

Jimin still looks a little uncertain. He eyes the club warily, looking across the line that extends across the corner. He seems a little inexperienced as to what to do, where to go because he trails behind the rest of them and follows their actions. They’re guided inside and they’re led to a booth where Hoseok and Namjoon are already sitting.

Jimin smiles at them but apprehension leaks into his expression, looking at unease.

“Would you like a drink?” Jeongguk slides up next to him, wrapping a tentative arm around Jimin’s waist and resting a hand gently on him. “I’m sure they do ciders here. You’d like that.”

 

Jimin instinctively leans into the touch. He seems to be grateful for the offer because it doesn’t take long before he’s nodding, muttering back.

“Sure. Please.”

“Sit down, I’ll be right back.”

Jimin obeys and he sits down besides Taehyung, squeezing into the tight couches of the booth. Jeongguk let's his eyes wander over Jimin for a second, ensuring that he feels comfortable amongst their friends before he walks over to the bar. He orders two ciders for himself and Jimin and returns, sitting down besides Jimin.

The older man accepts it with soft, crinkled eyes and gratitude in his tone. His words are barely audible over the loud speakers that blare the hip hop song through the club but Jeongguk can make out ‘thank you’ through the movement of his lips.

As the night progresses, it becomes clear that Jimin’s beginning to unwind down. He’s surrounded by good company and whilst it may be new waters for him, he’s genuinely trying to get along with the people he sits around. He engages with Hoseok and discusses their dance performance that’s upcoming, he also manages to makes idle chat with Namjoon. The cider seems to smooth out his anxieties and replaces him with a more confident self.

They order a few more rounds and they do shots together. Jeongguk can’t take his eyes off Jimin and how the man’s face scrunches up with distaste, shaking his head as he slams the glass down.

Eventually, Taehyung and Yoongi become too touchy to remain sitting before the rest of their friends. They excuse themselves, disappearing into a far corner of the club. The hyungs also pull away, promising to be back within twenty minutes and they’re only going outside for a quick smoke break. It leaves Jeongguk and Jimin alone around the table, their third bottle of cider empty and both swimming in a tipsy, hazy mindset.

Jimin turns to him with an expectant, lazy smile.

“Why aren’t you out there, trying to find your lay for the night?” He questions, sounding curious.

On any other occasion, that would’ve been the plan. He normally loosens up with a few cautionary drinks with his mates before he decides to conquer the night. He’ll flirt with numerous people until he finds the one for the night, dancing with them, making out with them and eventually leaving. It’s his trademark way of clubbing. It’s what he likes to do.

Yet he sits besides Jimin and he realises, he’s not all too eager about going anywhere.

Because Jimin’s beautiful. Even under dimmed, barely recogniseable lighting. He’s tipsy and his eyes are hazy with the cloud of alcohol that consumes him. He’s sweating due to the humidity in the club, making his black shirt stick to his skin in an alluring manner. He’s everything Jeongguk likes to devour.

Jeongguk doesn’t want anyone else tonight.

“Wanna dance?” He suggests instead, completely switching the topic.

Jimin raises a skeptical brow at his question, seemingly not expecting it. He settles back on the couch and shrugs.

“You want to dance with me? Than anyone else out there?” His head focuses over the crowded dancefloor, sounding befuddled. “W-why?”

“What’s so wrong with it?” He retorts.

“Well, I’m not a dancer.”

“Jimin,” Jeongguk laughs, shaking his head. “I’m not asking you to have professional experience to dance at a dingy, dirty club. Jesus.”

Jimin lets the words slither within himself, allowing him to contemplate the offer. He traces the rim of his cider bottle as he thinks. The minutes pass and a look of determination fixes over him and he nods firmly. He stands up, nodding to the dancefloor.

“C’mon, then.”

Jeongguk nearly chokes on air when he realises Jimin’s willing, prepared to dance with him.

He can barely believe it’s happening and he never imagined he’d be guiding Jimin through the club. People are grinding upon each other, moving their hips indecently in time to the heavy beat of the sensual song. Jimin’s eyes have grown darker than usual, pupils wide as he turns to Jeongguk expectedly.

“You’ll have to guide me,” he says. “I’ve never done this before.”

“It’s okay,” Jeongguk promises. “It’s easy. Follow my lead.”

Once they find an empty space upon a sea of crowded, drunken bodies - Jeongguk resumes the dominance he holds over them. He reaches out for Jimin’s petite body, settling a hand on his waist and tugging forcefully closer.

Jimin’s pliable under the hold and he leans into the closeness, eyes widening at the prospects as to what’s happening. He settles an arm over Jeongguk’s shoulder, looking at him with an angelic expression, biting his lips as he does so. He looks divine.

(Mood: Daft Punk - Lose Yourself To Dance)

“Let your hips move to the rhythm,” Jeongguk guides him. He takes the first step, moving his hips. “Let go. Close your eyes, listen to the music.”

Jimin obeys each and every order. His eyes flutter shut and he exhales, his body no longer tensing as he begins to loosen up. When Jeongguk grinds down, he stutters upwards to meet back the movement. It causes friction, their clothed crotches rubbing against each other and Jeongguk can’t help the gasp that escapes him.

“That’s it,” he murmurs. “You got it, Jimin.”

With the praise, Jimin seems to gain boldness. All signs of hesitance and initial doubt washes off him, replaced with a self assured Jimin. He follows the beat of Daft Punk’s song, rolling his hips and reaching over to grasp at Jeongguk’s ass. He smirks, like he knows exactly what he’s doing, and gropes him harshly through the jeans.

“You like that, don’t you?” Jimin leans in, whisper-yelling right into his ear.

Jeongguk shudders at the intimacy. He drinks in Jimin’s presence, accepting the heavy weight of Jimin’s body moving against his. This feels better, this feels almost familiar to him. He feels significantly drunker now, his head growing heavier as he feels a flame being kindled inside of him and burning him. Jimin seems to have this affect on him. But even more so right now, especially since they’re in public and they’re shamelessly rutting against each other like they’re in heat.

Jeongguk can’t resist. He can’t hold back. The feeling consumes over him.

He moves in for the kill, tangling a hand through Jimin’s hair and forcing their faces together so he can kiss him. Just before their lips press together, Jimin’s tilting away so the kiss lands on his cheeks, instead.

“We’re not filming,” he reminds Jeongguk. There’s a slight tease in his voice, like this is exhilarating for him.

Oh, right. Of course, they aren’t.

Jeongguk groans, not all too bothered about the fact that he’s forgotten they’re not in the confines of his bedroom. Instead, his lips linger downwards as he presses kisses down Jimin’s jawline, over his neck. Jimin seems to have no complaints to that and even shuffles closer into their embrace.

“What if someone sees us?” Jimin asks.

“Don’t worry.”

Regardless, Jeongguk starts to pull away. The moment catches up to him and he realises how dangerous it is, what he’s doing. It breaks every rule they have set up for each other, tears down every wall they’ve built around each other. It terrifies him how much he wants Jimin in that moment and he has to withdraw, heaving a breath.

Jimin doesn’t let him go too far, bringing him back closer and resuming their actions from before.

“Jimin…” he manages. “Stop. I’m hard.”

Jimin’s eyes glisten, absolutely delighted at this fact when he pulls away. He takes a clear step back, nodding.

“Want another cider?” Jimin says, instead. “I’ll go get them.”

Jeongguk feels like he can finally breathe once Jimin’s disappeared into another corner of the club. His eyes clear of the haze, staring down at his hard erection straining against the front of his jeans. Jeongguk pours all his might to let it die down itself, not wanting to further embarrass himself than he already has.

Once he’s collected himself, he looks up to scan across the room and look for Jimin.

He’s nowhere to be seen but instead, he finds Hoseok.

Hoseok is standing relatively closeby, his hands curled around a new glass of alcohol. His eyes are squinted, straining right at Jeongguk and a knowing look is painted over his expression. Most of all, though, there seems to be suspicion that laces into his tone. It’s almost like he knows something.

Once their eyes meet, Hoseok offers a curt nod before looking away and walking off with Namjoon in another direction.

Jeongguk can’t help the nerves that invade his system, unsure what to conclusion to draw from the short interaction. He can’t dwell on the fact for much longer because Jimin’s strutting back in his direction, looking too good to be real in his tight slacks. He hands over the cider, keeping a clear distance this time almost as if he’s sobered up and realised.

“Whilst that dancing was nice,” Jimin yells over the music. “I won’t be your one-night stand, sorry. You’ll have to find someone else.”

Jeongguk grins. He’s relieved that the atmosphere between them hasn’t turned sour, that they’re still open and comfortable with each other despite the sin they were about to commit only moments ago. He isn’t sure how to deal with awkwardness and long gaps of silence and he’s glad that isn’t the situation here.

“Don’t worry.” Jeongguk grins as he lifts the bottle to his lips, taking a long sip. “I wasn’t planning to make you that, either.”

**

The dance studio is explicitly cold today and it numbs the tips of Jeongguk’s fingers as he comes inside, groaning obnoxiously loud. He stretches his arms above his head, smoothing out the kinks in his muscles before settling down his bag and the takeaway food he had brought beforehand.

Hoseok sits in the middle of the studio.

He’s cross-legged, arms stretched out in front of him to prepare for their vigorous dancing for the evening. He seems poised and practiced, body bunched together.

Jeongguk watches in amazement for a second, unable to stop the admiration that spreads through his lungs at his friends. Hoseok is exceptionally brilliant at what he does and there’s no denial about it. He leans against the wall, waiting.

When Hoseok looks up, however, Jeongguk’s blood runs cold.

Because the man is seething. He looks disturbed, features pulled together in dismay and disappointment. His eyes are drooped low, his lips twitching in a frown. Hoseok makes eye contact with Jeongguk and looks a mix between agitated and outraged.

“I know.” Is all he says. “I know about the videos.”

The words are straightforward, cutthroat and Jeongguk’s sure his entire world stops moving for a second as he stares in disbelief. How the fuck does Hoseok know? He had concealed it well, had made his knowing friends keep quiet about it as well. There’s no way he would’ve figured it out.

Jeongguk blinks a few times, swallowing around the growing lump in his throat. Bile builds up and he feels the need to vomit but he holds himself together and pushes through.

“How?” He breathes out.

Hoseok clicks his tongue, shaking his head. He gets up from the floor and struts over to one side of the studio, grabbing his jacket as if he’s on his way to leave. Panic addresses Jeongguk and he rushes forward, grabbing ahold of Hoseok’s forearm to halt him.

“Don’t go, hyung. It’s not so bad. Please, don’t make this more dramatic than it has to be.”

Hoseok snatches his arm back.

“You do realise that what you’re doing is illegal, that you’ll lose your place in the dance academy?” The older man presses, his voice brittle as if he’s close to breaking. “I care about you so fucking much, Jeongguk so fucking excuse me for being scared for you.”

“This is why I didn’t tell you.”

“Because I’d tell you the truth?” He spits, taking a step back. “That you’ll get into a shit load of trouble if someone finds out? That you’ll taint your image, our image?”

Jeongguk closes his eyes for a second, trying to collect himself. The last thing he wants to do is lose his control, say something he’ll only regret later. He doesn’t deal with authority well, doesn’t like answering to people trying to talk down upon him. Hoseok’s piercing him with a look that seems like he’s trying to pry right into his soul, discover his inner secrets.

“No one’s going to find out.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because hyung,” he sighs exasperated. He takes a step forward, trying to placate Hoseok as much as he can manage to do so. “I didn’t just jump into it without thinking it through.”

“You say that, Jeongguk…” Hoseok pursues his lips. “But I found out. I saw a link on my Facebook for a ‘really hot porn video’, and I recognised your voice immediately. You don’t think someone else will?”

Jeongguk realises there’s truth ringing in Hoseok’s words. There’s nothing he can do to change the pitch of his voice in the videos, only attempt to lower the volume so he’ll hardly be recognisable.

It’s out there, though. It’s a matter he can’t dwell on and torture himself over.

“That’s because you know my voice. No one else will dig so deep, look so deeply into it.”

“What if you lose your place in the dance academy?”

Jeongguk shakes his head slowly. “I won’t.”

“You sound so sure of yourself.”

“Because I feel sure about this.”

Hoseok looks more troubled now, features turning acidic. He takes another step back and runs a hand through his hair. It’s clear Hoseok’s just trying to look out for him, he’s been taking care of Jeongguk for years now since they entered the academy together.

He collapses into a heap on the floor, pulling the legs to his chest.

Jeongguk follows right after him, tentatively reaching out to touch Hoseok. He just wants to placate him, make him understand that they’re not going into this blindly. So far, a lot of his money problems have been solved and his relationship with Jimin has drastically improved. So far, the effects have been nothing but positive.

“Hyung,” Jeongguk tries again. “Do you trust me?”

Hoseok’s eyes burn into his when he makes eye contact.

“You know I do, Guk.”

“Then, please stop worrying.”

“You can’t stop me from doing that. I can’t tell you what to do but I know for a fact that you’ll lose your place.”

Jeongguk’s heart sinks at his fierce, bold words. There’s certainly behind them and his voice doesn’t waver. He looks apologetic, fiddling with the loose thread in his socks. He diverts his attention elsewhere, not wanting his hyung to notice how his face crumbles.

“Hyung—”

“Let’s just practice.”

“Hoseok.”

“You said you know what you’re doing, right?” Hoseok turns to him and even manages to muster a small smile, it twitches but it remains on his face no matter how unstable. He gets up again, stretching his arms above his head. “So, I’ll let you do that. But we’re here for a reason and we’re going to dance so, let’s do that.”

There’s no room for arguments. No room for protests.

Jeongguk takes a moment before he nods, also getting up. He smooths out his clothes, doing his routine of stretches. Hoseok walks over and turns the speaker on the loudest volume, effectively blocking out any attempt of conversation they could make.

Inevitably, the practice session is insufferable and for the first time, Jeongguk’s breathing out in relief when their time is over.

**

It’s humiliating for Jeongguk to admit how much it’s bothering him. When he enters his apartment later that evening, bones protesting with fatigue and guilt weighing heavy on his chest—he finds Jimin in the kitchen, filtering around the room as he cleans up after cooking dinner. He looks in his element, as always, whistling a tune under his breath as he collects the dishes.

When he notices Jeongguk walk through the door, he turns over and shoots him a tentative smile.

“You’re home. How was practice?”

Jeongguk grumbles under his breath, not wanting to lie but not wanting to talk about the entire ordeal either. He had known Hoseok would take the news personally, see it as an attack on their upcoming performance but he had also imagined he’d be better prepared to counter and defend himself.

“Fine.”

Jimin notices his pungent tone, his agitated mood because he swirls over to face him immediately. Jimin’s eyes follow across his face for a moment, observing him carefully all over before licking his lips. It seems like he’s contemplating what to do, whether or not to ask.

“Is everything okay?” He finally asks.

Jeongguk chuckles out bitterly. “S’fine.”

The man tilts his head to the side. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah. Whatever.”

Jeongguk knows he’s being difficult. He also knows Jimin’s never been faced with this side of Jeongguk, the side that’s jarringly flawed. He’s never learnt how to deal with his turmoil. He’s always been taught that concealing, never revealing more than what’s to offer on the surface. It’s hard for him to talk about his thoughts, he struggles to articulate them without making a fool of himself or the situation.

Jimin narrows his eyes carefully. He says what he knows, the only thing he knows.

“Um… shall we bake a cake?”

It’s become their trademark way of dealing with tribulations together. If there’s something rocky between them, they decide to just bake something. To cook together.

“Not everything can be fixed by baking a fucking cake, Jimin,” he says, irked.

“Well, what the hell do you want me to do, then?”

“I’m not asking you to do anything!”

Jeongguk wanders over to the couch, collapsing into the seat and throwing an arm over his face. He breathes heavily into the crook of his elbow, willing himself to calm down before he does something he’ll regret.

Jimin seems to hesitate where he stands before he resumes the task at hand.

He takes his time. He seeps through the room like a ghost, taking each step with precise care. It’s like he’s trying to make himself appear meek, trying to hide himself away from Jeongguk’s presence. He washes the remaining dishes with a distinct coldness that he emits of, drying them and putting them back in their designated place. The clear censorship from Jimin makes another intense wave of regret press down on Jeongguk.

“Jimin.”

“What?” The older man turns to face him.

“Come here, please. Sit with me.”

Jimin hesitates only for a minute before he obeys. He pulls the washing gloves off him, crossing the room and settling besides him. He’s trying to keep a clear distance between them like he’s unsure where they currently stand.

“I’m sorry,” Jeongguk says immediately. “I didn’t mean to take my frustrations out on you. Sorry.”

Jimin wrings his fingers together, face diverted downwards and refusing to make eye contact.

“I didn’t mean to come off as pushy.”

“You’re not. That’s the last thing you are.”

“You came in and you seemed to be in a mood and that never happens,” Jimin’s trying to sort out through his thoughts when he speaks. “So naturally, I thought something bad happened.”

Jeongguk pauses. “Something bad did happen.”

“Ah.” Jimin seems to be out of his element with the situation, discomfort clearly being painted over his features. He turns towards Jeongguk and despite all odds, he pushes through. “Do you want to tell me about it? I mean, you don’t have to but—”

“It’s fine. I can tell you. It’s partly about you.”

“Oh.”

“Hoseok hyung found out,” he breathes out. “He’s really fucking mad at me. He thinks I’m putting me and him in jeopardy for the dance performance coming up really soon.”

Remorse crosses Jimin and his face falls.

“Oh… Jeongguk, I’m sorry.”

“I just hate disappointing him, y’know?”

“Mmm.” Jimin nods even though it’s clear that he has no idea. He doesn’t understand Jeongguk’s background, the family he had suffered through and the reason why he is who he is today. He doesn’t understand why this dance academy and why the performance is so important.

It’s Jeongguk’s first chance to prove his worth.

The entire time he had held his talent towards dancing, Jeongguk was taught to repress it. When his father had taught him practising self choreographed routines at the early hours of the morning, he had told Jeongguk that it was a side of him he’d never be able to express, to commemorate. That his loyalties will always lie with the Jeon business and nowhere else.

Yet, Jeongguk had fought for what he believed in. He had left behind luxuries and treasures to struggle on his own, adapt to a life without maids and everything that had been handed to him on a silver platter.

There’ll be big companies attending the dance performance, seeking for new potential recruits to sign up. He knows this will either make or break his future. To do anything that’ll potentially harm that is, obviously, frustrating to Hoseok who doesn’t seem to understand.

“I don’t know what to do,” Jeongguk admits. He’s sure desperation reek off him because Jimin seems sorrowful.

He hangs onto every word Jeongguk utters. He’s trying to supply as much comfort as he can manage to do so, not accustomed to adapting such a situation.

“Well.. like, do you want to quit making the videos? Will that help?”

The mere suggestion causes Jeongguk to shake his head furiously, immediately shutting it down.

“No. Absolutely not. We’re making good money, easy money. We need that money, Jimin.”

“Yeah… we do…” his voice trails off, seemingly deep in thought. When Jimin looks back up at him, his features have smoothed out and a need to reconcile seems to have taken over. “But I don’t want to potentially ruin your future.”

“You’re not ruining anything?”

“I am, you make those videos with me.”

Jeongguk clicks his tongue. “D’you realise I’m the one that suggested to do this contest? I’m the one who wanted to do this, persuaded you to join me? If anything happens, it’s down to me and not you.”

Jimin seems distraught. There seems to be thoughts that are spinning his mind as he idly tugs on his bottom lip with his thumb and index finger, eyes unfocused and staring off into the distance. When he finally looks over and makes eye contact with Jeongguk, there’s a lazy smile spread across his face.

“As long as you’re sure it won’t ruin anything.”

“It won’t. I won’t let it. We’re doing good so far.”

Jimin hums in agreement, nodding his head.

“We are. I checked the comments, again.”

Jeongguk turns to look at him, confusion filtering in his expression. He doesn’t understand why Jimin keeps referring back to the comments, wanting to read opinions that’ll never matter. The public always has things to say, always wants to implicate their impression on everything they come across. For someone as inexperienced as Jimin, dwelling in sex after four entire years—he’s surprised that Jimin seeks approval.

“What did they say?” He finds himself asking instead.

“Good. Good things,” Jimin grins. “We’re doing something right, obviously.”

“I mean, our videos are pretty fucking hot.”

Jimin flushes at the compliment, abashedly ducking his head in the crook of his elbow for a moment.

“The last one was hot.”

Jeongguk’s heart race increases dramatically at his words, turning to face him. He feels his neck click at the sudden movement, narrowing his eyes at Jimin. Even he hadn’t watched the video back after the first time, not sure he was ready to be exposed to his own submissiveness.

“Oh, really?” Jeongguk swallows. “Did you watch it back?”

Jimin licks his lips and he instinctively shuffles forward, nodding in affirmation. His eyes darken considerably and he seems to be slipping into a different headspace, a complete 360 turn to his mood only a few minutes ago.

“Yeah. Yeah, I did. People were saying it’s our best video so far and I had to understand why.”

“Well… did you? Did you understand why it was our best video so far?”

A glorious sound falls from Jimin’s lip, an effortless chuckle that resonates within Jeongguk. He looks breathtaking like this, carefree and not trying to hide his expression. Instead, he’s open and he looks beautiful under their dimmed living room lighting.

“Yeah,” Jimin says. He doesn’t expand upon it, though. “Yeah, I do.”

“Well… we have a lot to live up to for the next video, then.”

“What’s the next video?”

Jeongguk wants to tell him. He wants to see how a cloud of pleasure will take over Jimin’s face, wants to gauge his reaction to understand how he feels about what they’ll required to do for the fourth video.

But he decides to keep it a secret, for now.

He wants to see Jimin shake with anticipation, he wants to catch the man completely off guard. He wants to add an element of something special to the next video since they seem to be exceptionally well.

“You’ll see for yourself.”

Jimin seems tortured by this but he doesn’t complain, only huffing and diverting his attention elsewhere. They sit in peaceful silence for a few moments, not feeling the need to fill the gaps in between them. Jimin’s breathing heavily and Jeongguk counts each inhale and exhale, willing his own beat to come down to a considerable amount.

“So…” Jimin starts after a while passes, just letting the moment extend before them. “How’re you feeling now? A little better?”

Whilst there’s clearly unrest that’s storming inside of Jeongguk, he realises it’s a little quieter with Jimin’s presence. If he was alone, he would’ve been throwing a tantrum to deal with the turmoil. But with Jimin’s reassuring body pressing up against the couch, radiating warmth—Jeongguk finds it’s easier to navigate through his feelings. To make sense of himself.

“A little better, yes.”

Jimin seems contented with the reply, crooning.

“Are we going to bake that damn cake or not, Jeongguk, then?”

Chapter Text

“ [..] But he reaches over and he touches you, like a prayer for which no words exist, and you feel your heart taking root in your body, like you've discovered something you don't even have a name for.”
― Richard Siken, Crush

“Doggy style,” Jimin deadpans.

Jeongguk can’t stop giggling. He shakes with the force of his laughter, continuously erupting from him.

They’re both naked and they’re attempting to warm up to their session of filming. It’s a serene Thursday evening and Jeongguk had called out sick from dance practice, not wanting to face his older friend. He knows, deep down, that it’s a dreadful decision. Hiding away from Hoseok won’t make the situation any less complicated, it won’t hide the fact that his hyung is vexed towards him. If anything, it’ll only hinder their relationship further.

But facing Hoseok today had filled him with terror, the sensation running deep within his veins. He’s never been an individual to take other people’s opinions to heart, had always followed his own. But Hoseok’s not just anyone. Hoseok’s one of his closest friends, someone he trusts blindly with his eyes closed and without the older man, he’s absolutely irrelevant. They complete each other.

He knows the only time he can kiss Jimin is when they’re just about to film, to loosen up the dynamics between them and set the mood for the night. Jeongguk takes advantage of this fact, peering up to cut the distance between them and chase the taste of Jimin’s lips.

They lazily peck each other, occasionally deepening the action and adding a slip of tongue. It remains chaste, playful and Jeongguk’s heart flutters each time he pulls back and finds himself wanting to return for more.

“Yeah. Doggy style.”

“You made a whole deal of this week’s video, as if it was something exciting.” Jimin pouts, looking disappointed. “Doggy style is nothing.”

“Well, no… we have to incorporate something else.”

Jimin seems intrigued by this, settling back a little so he’s straddling Jeongguk’s lap. Glorious thighs on either side of the younger man, smooth stomach in direct view with perky nipples standing upright.

It’s too hard to resist, especially when the opportunity is presented so perfectly. Jeongguk reaches up and he flicks the nipple with his index finger, closing his digits and tugging on it harshly.

Jimin gasps at the movement, swatting his hand away.

“Behave,” he scolds even though the sides of his lips twitch upwards, a clear sign he had liked it. “Incorporate what?”

“The options were…” Jeongguk mentally scans his mind for the list he has memorised, debating and weighing out the different choices they had. His mind had kept referring back to a specific one but it crosses many limits people have and he doesn’t want to make Jimin uncomfortable. “Spanking, cock ring or double penetration.”

The older man’s eyes widen as his eyes unfocus momentarily with the decision he’s faced with.

“Not double penetration,” he declines almost immediately.

Jeongguk laughs, not the slightest bit surprised. As appealing double penetration sounds, it’s something he hasn’t had the chance to experiment and properly explore himself. He wouldn’t feel comfortable to introduce that aspect into their videos, especially with someone like Jimin’s who's still relearning the ins and out of having sex. He doesn’t want to break Jimin’s trust.

Jimin bites his lip and he’s shuffling forward, eyes darkening.

“Spanking.” He concludes, mind made up.

Jeongguk has to blink a few times to make sure he had heard correctly. Jimin wants to try spanking. A thought he hasn’t been able to remove from his mind since he had read it.

“Are… are you sure?”

“More than sure.”

“That’s…” he attempts to find the right words, not wanting to downplay how interested he is but he’s also terrified of hurting Jimin. “It can be quite intense, you know? I don’t want to do something wrong.”

“I trust you.”

The words spill out of Jimin’s mouth before he realises, announcing it casually. The confession pings deep in Jeongguk. He feels honoured that Jimin feels comfortable around him, enough to put faith in him and reveal a side to him that no one else gets to see.

Jimin seems to realise what he’s said because his cheeks flush. He doesn’t retract the words, though - he just tries to hide his face, burying himself away. Jeongguk takes the words seriously, accepts the responsibility placed on him. He’ll never intentionally do anything that’ll harm the trust they’re establishing.

“Good,” Jeongguk replies a moment later. “But let’s talk about it before we jump into the video?”

Jimin hums as he climbs off Jeongguk’s lap, settling down besides him as if to devote his attention towards listening and understanding rather than getting distracted. He withdraws his hands, folding them into his lap.

“Sure. What do we talk about?”

“Well. Have you ever been spanked, or spanked someone, before?”

“Yes,” Jimin’s saying without hesitation. “I’ve been spanked before.”

Jeongguk would’ve never expected that and instinctively, he finds himself shifting forward. He soaks in any information he’s allowed to hear about Jimin, whether it’s sex related or not. He keeps finding little windows into Jimin’s life and he’s enjoying peeping in and picking up on little details. He knows, eventually, it’ll add up to a bigger picture and he’s prepared to learn more.

“Oh.”

“Only a few times.”

“Here I am thinking, you would’ve never tried it.”

Jimin guffaws, shaking his head. Remnants of fondness linger on his face, painfully oblivious when he stares down at Jeongguk. He shifts on the bed, drawing his legs up to his chest instead but never looking elsewhere. His gaze is intense, like he’s imploring into Jeongguk’s soul.

“Like I said, Jeongguk—just because I’ve had sex less than you, doesn’t mean I haven’t tried things before.”

“Do you like spanking?” He changes the topic instead to ask.

Jimin shrugs. “I love it.”

Jeongguk takes a moment, his breath hitching at the words. He curses himself inwardly, despising how easily he had given himself away and made oblivious that Jimin’s words affected him. But truthfully, the image of Jimin, face down in the mattress and his perky ass growing red under Jeongguk’s palm is enough for him to come in his pants.

“O-okay. How far do you want me to take it?”

“Not very far,” Jimin requests. “It’s been awhile and I’d rather not be really sore tomorrow.”

“Sure. Sure. Ten spanks?”

Jimin pauses for a second as his cheeks flush bright. A wave of timidness seems to wash over him, a sheepish smile twitching at his lips. He looks every bit as inexperienced as he seems to portray himself.

“Ten spanks sounds good.”

“We should also establish some sort of safe word, just in case you want me to stop. I don’t want to push too hard.”

Jimin chuckles, his hand reaching out to amusingly swat Jeongguk’s shoulder. He doesn’t seem to take Jeongguk’s words seriously, not realising that there isn’t the slightest hint of joke behind his words.

“Look at you, all formal—”

Jeongguk props himself up on his elbows, immediately cutting him off before he can make light of the situation.

“I’m serious.” He shakes his head, his voice holding the utmost sincerity. “Sometimes, either person can get carried away and we need to make sure we’re keeping ourselves safe before we do something we’ll only regret later. Spanking… ten or fifty, it’s intense and we need a word that’ll mean we stop immediately.”

Amusement is wiped clear off Jimin’s face as soon as the words soak into him, replaced with solemnity and almost looking awed. He doesn’t say anything for a while, playing with his fingers as a means of distraction.

“Okay,” he finally relents. “Fair enough. French fries?”

A beat passes.

“French fries?” Jeongguk laughs.

“French fries are greasy and I don’t like them.”

The explanation is straight-forward and somewhat reasonable but regardless, Jeongguk’s stomach flutters with a sense of butterflies like a young teenage boy with his first crush. There’s something, even as simple as ‘French fries’ as a safe word, that does things to Jeongguk.

“Okay,” he replies. “It’s settled. If either of us say ‘French fries’, we stop.”

A cheeky grin takes over Jimin’s lips. He laughs under his breath, shaking his head before he leans in and kisses him. It’s not often Jimin will initiate any contact himself. He usually takes a backseat and allows Jeongguk to take the lead. But regardless, as the time passes and they become accustomed to each other—Jimin’s beginning to open up to new possibilities and becoming more comfortable with himself.

Jeongguk never wants to do anything that’ll break the trust, never wants to make Jimin regret this.

“Deal.”

The tempo between them begins to switch up relatively fast after that. Jeongguk’s skin feels heated from their conversation of spanking, his chest inflamed with the overwhelming feeling of ‘needing’ and ‘wanting’. He’s torn between pinning Jimin down and taking what he wants or stretching out every minute just to hear the man’s whines.

Jimin’s becoming bolder, though. He knows what he wants and he demands for it.

With his teeth nibbling on Jeongguk’s bottom lip, his slight hip rolls on top of his crotch and his wandering hands—Jimin’s desperate and he’s not trying to hide the fact.

Jeongguk grabs his waist and halts the movements, turning them over gracefully. Jimin’s body collapses onto the mattress in a heap, his naked body relaxing into the sheets as he stares up to Jeongguk with an already blissed out mien.

“Start recording.”

Jimin’s tone holds no room for arguments, looking up to Jeongguk through his lashes. He arches a brow challengingly. Jeongguk finds himself complying without having to think too hard about it, nodding as his hand travels over Jimin’s body one last time before he withdraws. He shakes with anticipation as he sets the camera up, starting to record before rushing back to his bed.

Foreplay has always been important for them to include before they start the main focus of the video but Jeongguk has something new spinning his mind.

He starts to stroke himself idly, his eyes scanning over Jimin’s body and admiring him silently. The older man seems to subsciously cater to the piercing look, parting his legs as if it’s an invitation and keeps eye contact with him almost fiercely.

“I want to try something.”

Jimin’s tongue brushes against his lips, curious wide eyes looking up to Jeongguk.

“Oh? Like what?”

“Have you ever gotten rimmed?”

Jimin visibly halts, his body tensing up from the question. He blinks in surprise and he has to take a moment before he replies, gently shaking his head and declining any prior experience to the matter. But he still looks interested, eyes wide and curiously staring into Jeongguk’s.

“N-no. I haven’t.”

Jeongguk hums and he gathers himself before articulating a response. He reaches over to grab ahold of Jimin’s thigh firmly, using his strength to turn the boy over so he’s flipping onto his stomach.

“That’s a shame,” Jeongguk sighs. He pulls Jimin up onto his knees, his perky ass sticking out in the air. It’s a sight that Jeongguk wants to memorise, wants to remember each curve and bend. He can’t help when his hand begins to grope his skin roughly, experimentally pulling apart the cheeks to observe his clenched hole. Without warning, his hand delivers a loud, stinging slap to his cheek. “Because your ass, Jimin, really deserves to get eaten.”

Jimin immediately gasps at the slap as the sound resonates through the room, groaning. Jeongguk almost regrets the position they had put Jimin into, finding himself yearning to see the boy’s expression. He wants to watch how responsive Jimin is to him, how his eyes will tear up from what they have planned for this video.

(Mood: Justin Timberlake - Cabaret)

“Do it,” Jimin begs, voice muffled as his face is stuffed into the sheets.

Jeongguk’s not sure whether he’s asking for the spanking or the rimming but he doesn’t need to be told twice. He croons as the thrill shoots up his spine, situating himself carefully between Jimin’s parted legs. He spreads Jimin apart further, bringing his hand down again hard for the second time—mentally counting in his head. Eight to go.

Jimin’s ass deserves all his attention. He’s ready to deliver it. His hand wanders over his backside, feeling over every knob of his spine and down the curves on his waist. Jimin arches his back obediently, tingling and shivering.

Jeongguk presses lingering kisses over his ass, soothing over the redness that’s already developing. It’s an intimate move, a harsh contrast to the mood they’re trying to settle into for the rest of the video. He takes his time, giving each and every inch of Jimin’s skin his time. Jimin’s sighing, moaning ‘please, more,’ under his breath.

“Such a pretty hole,” Jeongguk marvels and can’t help the third spank he delivers, the hardest one yet.

Jimin whimpers this time, adjusting to the force and the pain. Jeongguk grabs the back of the man’s thighs, smiling when his clenched hole is exposed.

Jimin shudders. “Please,” he only repeats, as if he has no other vocabulary left and they haven’t even started.

“I got you.”

He wants to spend each second wisely, doesn’t want to go too fast and regret not savouring this time. Jeongguk’s hand gropes Jimin as he leans in, tentatively licking across his hole experimentally. Jimin’s immediately gasping, a clear sign he’s doing something right.

Upon the initial approval, he kicks it up a notch.

He starts to kiss around the rim and then finally, begins to lick properly. He devotes his time, gently easing up his hole and only pushing his tongue through once he’s been given approval. Jimin’s falling pliant under the sensation, flopping onto his arms and pushing back up more.

It only spurs Jeongguk on further. He pulls at Jimin’s skin harder, leaving imprints of his fingers as he licks into Jimin’s walls. When Jimin’s least expecting it, head swimming from the rimming—Jeongguk starts to spank him. He alternates between each ass cheek, devotedly giving them both the same attention. He stops when he has three spanks left, smirking down at Jimin.

“Stop, s-so close,” Jimin whines into the sheet, voice cracking at the end.

In a matter of just minutes, Jimin’s been reduced down to a state. He’s pliant, withdrawing out long whimpers. He sounds close to giving up already, overwhelmed from the insistent licking into his hole and the spanks that are ruthless and unforgiving.

Jimin’s ass is scorching hot to touch, vibrating off warmth. Jeongguk let's a groan of his own slip, aroused by the mere sight of his doing. To purposely tease and rile Jimin up further, he withdraws his tongue entirely. He bites down on Jimin’s ass cheeks, delivering the last three spanks, going the hardest yet.

Jimin cries out loud as his body spasms, rolling around helplessly as he desperately tries to feel friction for his neglected cock. He’s unable to do so. Jeongguk presses him down into the mattress with a firm hand on his back, silently warning him to keep still.

When he pushes his tongue in the second twice, he starts curling upwards and searching for Jimin’s prostate. He waits a minute and when Jimin least expects it, he starts to gently ease in one of his digits, closely followed by a second. The pace of the video increases up a notch, demanding a rougher presence and Jeongguk’s trying his hardest to deliver without hurting Jimin.

Jimin doesn’t seem to mind, though.

He readily accepts what he’s given, albeit with some groans and pleads of ‘more’, and adapts to the momentum that Jeongguk’s trying to set.

Jeongguk starts to thrust the fingers inside of him in time with his tongue still moving inside of him, eating him out and not letting up on the pressure. Though it’s difficult, he angles his fingers upwards and strokes the bundle of nerves that causes the older man to shoot up and moan loudly.

Jimin bites down on the pillow, muffled cries leaving his mouth and Jeongguk only feels encouraged.

Once he’s sure he’s opened up Jimin to a satisfactory level, he pulls out both his tongue and fingers much to Jimin’s dismay and slicks up his cock. Jimin doesn’t move from his position, still buried in the sheets and baring open the most vulnerable part of him. In the position that exposes Jimin entirely, he seems lax and he’s allowing Jeongguk to take what he wants in honour of the video.

“Gonna make this good for you,” Jeongguk promises. His hand rubs Jimin’s upper thighs soothingly as he traces his cock around Jimin’s stretched out hole. “Gonna fuck you so good, babe.”

Jimin believes him because he doesn’t protest, doesn’t even move an inch until the pressure of Jeongguk cock enters him. He hisses under his breath, fingers clutching around the sheets to find something to hold onto. Jeongguk waits for a second before he starts to fuck him fast and hard.

Each hip thrust forward is precise and angled to hit Jimin’s prostate dead-on, not giving him a break from the insistent drive. Jimin’s far gone now, unable to form incoherent words as he reaches out blindly for Jeongguk. He’s not sure what the older man’s asking for, what he’s trying to hold onto but Jeongguk supplies his hand.

It seems to settle Jimin down because he exhales upon the physical contact, intertwining their fingers and tugging the man closer towards him.

Jeongguk leans over his body, pressing Jimin’s back down and smothering their bodies together. With the position, he finds he can thrust even deeper. The pressure is almost unbelievable, tight as a vice around Jeongguk’s cock and he can barely hold himself together as the frenzy of pleasure overtakes him.

He’s fucking into Jimin so hard that he doesn’t even notice Jimin’s coming. Untouched. He halts, dumbfounded and blinking in disbelief.

“Did… did you just come?” Jeongguk’s asking, movements stilled inside of Jimin.

Jimin’s entire body shudders and when he manages to twist his head to look back, his eyes shine with unshed tears. He nods mutely, biting his lip raw. He looks shameful of the fact and it pings at Jeongguk’s chest.

“F-fuck.” Jeongguk’s not sure he can survive any longer now, closing his eyes. “Fuck. You’re so fucking hot.”

Jeongguk’s about to reach his own orgasm now, pushed over the edge. His lower stomach tightens, the familiar blinding pleasure threatening to take over before he realises Jimin’s talking to him. He snaps out of his haze, looking down at the man.

“Don’t.” Is what Jimin’s saying.

Despite the need to ejaculate, Jeongguk stops immediately. He doesn’t move, a wave of panic settling into his chest at Jimin’s words. They seem urged, sending off on a high, pained moan. Jeongguk’s hand reaches down to touch his shoulders, massaging his blades gently with his thumb.

“Are you okay? Shall I pull out? What’s going on?”

Jimin waits a beat, shaking his head. “Come on my face.”

The request is said bluntly, a hint of eagerness shining through. It’s the last thing Jeongguk had anticipated but he’s too close to acknowledge that fact. He feels animalistic, overpowered with desire as he pulls out.

He turns Jimin’s body over and tries not to come on the spot from Jimin’s wrecked face. Jimin’s face is blotchy and he has tear stains down his cheeks, eyes blurred with red-rimmed pupils and lips bitten raw. He breathes out, his chest heaving with the movement before he opens his mouth and sticks his tongue out.

Jeongguk comes. With a few rough jerks over his cock, he releases over Jimin’s face. It reaches up to his eyes and Jimin winces, lashes fluttering shut as he licks around his lips to consume the bittersweet substance left lingering on him.

“Holy… shit…” Jeongguk mumbles.

Underneath lays him a celestial man, never warming up to anyone in his life and yet, continuously manages to let Jeongguk in. Jimin, a man who has never talked to anyone seriously before except Yoongi, lays underneath Jeongguk with his come splattered across his face and looking up to him with a blissful expression. Like he wants nothing else.

Jeongguk can’t help the urge of adoration that crosses into him, leaning in to kiss Jimin a few times.

They exchange lazy kisses like they have all the time in the world, like they’re not still recording. Admittedly, Jeongguk has forgotten all about it. The minutes tick on the camera but neither of them seem to be bothered. The taste of Jeongguk’s semen is passed between them before Jimin finally tilts his head, breaking apart the kiss.

Jimin’s head rolls back and he closes his eyes, chest still huffing with the effort of trying to catch his breath.

“I’ve gotten fucked like this before. But it’s never felt good. Never like this.”

The words are honest in a jarring, startling manner. Jimin’s not beating around the bush, he’s saying how he feels without any censorship. Normally, Jimin can be open with his words but he never reveals any deeper feelings, he never exposes himself in a manner that’ll leave him susceptible. But right now, he’s stripping down the layers and he’s revealing more about himself.

Jimin’s looking up to Jeongguk with wide eyes. They still glisten with tears that he’s trying to hold back but they’re not from pain, not from displeasure - they seem to gleam and the crinkles around his eyes only indicate… happiness. Jimin’s smiling.

There’s a lump in Jeongguk’s throat that he can’t swallow around, large and lodged painfully. He’s never looked at another man and felt emotions that threaten to burst, filling to the brim with an unexplainable sentiment. Jeongguk’s going crazy. It’s the aftereffects of an orgasm, it has to be.

“You came untouched,” he numbly noted, stating the obvious.

Jimin giggles, hiding his face in the crook of his elbow.

“Yeah. I’ve never done that, either.”

Jeongguk doesn’t know what else to say or do. For the time being, he’s rendered completely speechless. He’s not sure whether it’s because of the intense session they’ve just shared or the fact that he’s coming to terms with a feeling that’s swimming in his stomach, something he can’t seem to make sense of and can’t shake off.

Regardless, he collapses into a heap on the bed besides Jimin.

Neither of them reaches out for each other, there’s no cuddling or physical contact involved. But Jimin’s shifting his body ever so slightly, turning onto his side to look at Jeongguk better.

“It’s still recording,” Jimin reminds him.

“Let it.”

His legs feel like jelly, melting right into the mattress and the mere thought of leaving Jimin’s body warmth makes his chest swell with distaste. Jeongguk wants to lay right here and bask in the pleasant ambience that floats between them.

Jimin has no protests. He’s just smiling soothingly and within minutes, his eyes close and he falls asleep.

**

(Mood: Nick Jonas - Bacon

 

It hits Jeongguk later, when he’s sitting in his lecture.

The morning had been pleasant. He had gotten up to Jimin cooking breakfast, an enticing aroma wafting through the apartment as they sat at the kitchen island and ate together. Neither of them contributed to a conversation but there was lingering stares and softened smiles directed towards each other.

When Jeongguk had left to go classes, he had found his heart fluttering against his rib cage and his mind racing with flashing images of Jimin’s crinkled eye smile. A sensation he had never experienced before, not towards anyone else.

It’s only when he’s sitting in a mind numbing lectures, the words going right over his head when he realises: he hasn’t fucked anyone else. Not really.

In the past four weeks he’s been seeing Jimin as his fellow porn star, he’s only slept with one other person on one occasion. It’s a shocking revelation, for someone who readily immerses himself amongst other human beings and he jolts in his seat at the realisation.

Taehyung, who had snuck into the lesson to give him company, notices the sudden movement. He twists his torso over to observe him better, raising a questioning brow.

“You alright? Got shivers, or something?”

“When’s the last time I slept with someone?” He blurts out.

Taehyung furrows his brows, thrown off guard with the blunt question. He lowers the phone in his hand, taking a moment to scan across the lecture hall to ensure no one’s eavesdropping.

“I don’t know. Last night?”

“Besides Jimin.”

“Uh… I don’t remember,” he says honest, oblivious to Jeongguk’s current turmoil. “Probably at the party we went to, awhile ago. Why? What’s wrong?”

“Isn’t that weird?”

Taehyung pauses. “I don’t know. Is it?”

The question is directed back at him with a frown, seriousness settling into Taehyung’s features like he’s beginning to come to terms with the weight of the situation. It’s not Jeongguk just finding a reason to distract them from lecture, it’s not just a chance for him to boast about his fucks—he’s seriously contemplating deeply.

“Should we go out tonight? I wanna get laid.”

He guffaws. “No, man. I have a date night with Yoongi hyung,” he rejects sorrowfully. Taehyung seems to have a thoughtful expression fixed over him before he reaches over, clasping a hand on Jeongguk’s shoulder. “You’ve been busy, yeah? Don’t think too hard about it. Believe it or not, you won’t drop because you’re not sleeping with people. Trust me.”

Jeongguk snorts, shaking his head a little. Taehyung doesn’t have a clue of what’s really spinning in his mind, what he’s really dwelling on. But he’s still trying his hardest, enforcing what he thinks the problem is and trying to help in any way he can.

Jeongguk admires his best friend. He shoots Taehyung a grateful smile, nodding.

“But we gotta go out, get laid soon.”

“Did you forget I have a boyfriend?” He retorts. “I mean, I’ll come and act as your wingman but leave me be.”

“Must be boring. Having a boyfriend.”

All his life, thoughts of having a commitment felt like the plague. Being tied down to one person after feeling suffocated and trapped by his family was a frightening thought. When Jeongguk had finally gained independence over his own actions, the freedom to do as he pleased—he had ran a mile with it. He had grown desensitised to drugs, accustomed to the party scene and indulging in people. He had adapted the numbing feeling of the emptiness of his heart ripped open.

Commitments were always associated with the same feelings for him.

Taehyung hums under his breath as he locks his phone, deciding to dedicate his undivided attention to the conversation at hand. Taehyung, like Jeongguk, had preferred to stick to one-night stands. He didn’t have a heart wrenching explanation for his impulsive behaviour though, simply claiming it was less messy and he didn’t have time to deal with something more serious yet, had sexual urges to get out of his system.

Yoongi had waltzed into his life, bringing Jimin along with him and everyone’s lives collided since.

“Not really,” Taehyung admits lowly. “You’d think so. Sometimes, hyung and I just lay in bed, cuddled up—we don’t even talk. It’s still great. Everyday with Yoongi is like… I don’t know, is worth it. It doesn’t compare to what one-night stands feel like.”

Jeongguk allows the words to process within him, running through them carefully in his mind. He fiddles with the pen in his hand, pressing the release over and over. The lecturer speaking is barely registering into him now, going right over his head. All he can do is fixate on Taehyung’s words.

“You’re whipped.”

Taehyung laughs and even though his eyes crinkle with the force, he still remains soft like he’s genuinely concerned.

“What’s going through your head, huh?”

“Nothing,” he declines, too fast. “Nothing. Just wondering.”

Taehyung doesn’t seem the slightest bit convinced. His eyes narrow precautiously but he doesn’t question upon it further. He seems to understand when to push the limits, and when not to. He seems to be treading lightly.

“Okay..” his voice trails off, a small smile spreading across his lips. “You know you can talk to me, if you need to.”

“Of course. I know.”

They turn their attention back to the lecture. There’s only fifteen minutes left and regardless, Jeongguk can’t tune in for the remaining time left, not even attempting to do so. He knows when his ADHD is helpless and today is one of those days, no matter how frustrating it is. It feels like ants crawling under his skin, hyperactive and wired like he’s consumed a copious amount of coffee.

Jeongguk’s relieved when he walks out before his own mind explodes on him.

**

Hoseok’s still ignoring him.

He’s doing it in a subtle manner, still conversing with him but never extending the conversation any further than the necessities. But his disapproval lingers in the air like a bad stench, making Jeongguk’s stomach churn uncomfortably with every second he spends in the dance room.

Hoseok’s dancing is intricate and incredible, limbs flaying smoothly without a mishap. He’s talented. He deserves to have the chance of recognition, to be plastered across teenager girl’s walls from admiration. He deserves to be signed to a company.

Jeongguk’s threatening that, and his own career. He’s putting everything they’ve worked hard to build up for in jeopardy.

He doesn’t blame Hoseok. He doesn’t blame the fury that the older man seems to be radiating of, vibrating through the room and causing a thick layer of tension to inevitably exist.

Hoseok’s barely sparing him a glance as he dances, moving effortlessly around the room. Jeongguk tries to keep up but with their dynamics are temporarily impaired, it’s hard to keep up and it’s hard to make it look believable.

“Hyung..” He says - but comes out like a high-pitched whine, desperate to fix this. “Please. We have a performance coming up. In less than three weeks. We can’t carry on like this.”

Hoseok turns to look at him, daggers piercing in his eyes swimming with emotions he’ll never utter through his mouth.

“Don’t talk to me about the performance like you care.”

“I don’t, huh?” He can’t help the bitterness that sweeps into his tone, unintentional but still bold. “Why the fuck am I still here, then?”

“Beyond me.”

“I know you’re hurt. I get it. But you can’t—” Jeongguk takes a deep breath. “You know what I’ve sacrificed for this. You know. You can’t throw that back to me like this, especially when you know how helpless I was.”

He withdraws from Hoseok. He feels like his heart has been ripped out of his chest, stomped upon from Hoseok’s scarring words. Hoseok has always been understanding towards him and his family, always offering a lending hand and a reassuring smile.

Hoseok’s face falls and he pauses, stopping any movements of his body. He stands, chest still heaving from the inevitable tiredness and sweat that overcomes a dance after practising a routine. Despite Hoseok trying to catch his breath, there’s remorse that begins to enter his face.

“Jeongguk…”

Hoseok sighs as he runs a hand down his face. He walks to the side of the studio, cutting off the Hip Hop song that’s been blearing around the room for the past two hours. He walks over and sits himself down besides Jeongguk, exhaling.

They don’t speak for a while. Neither of them have the sufficient words, as of yet. Hoseok fiddles with the laces of his trainers, keeping his head diverted downwards in shame. Eventually, he glances up when he’s prepared.

“I’m sorry. That was uncalled for.”

“It was,” Jeongguk says. “But I get it.”

“I’m just worried.”

“Your performance won’t be-”

“Not for me,” Hoseok cuts him off, a fierce undertone in his voice as he turns to glare at Jeongguk. A mother-hen look underneath all the anger is present, shining through and displaying his true intentions. “I don’t give a shit about myself, Guk. I’ve been here with you for so long to know how much you deserve this and if you don’t accomplish something out of it… I’ll.. it’ll break my heart, sweetheart.”

Jeongguk’s composure cracks and he has to look away, blink rapidly to keep the tears at bay. If he lets them fall, he’ll entirely expose himself and he’s not prepared.

“S-sorry.” His voice shakes when he speaks.

“I can’t stop you from doing this. I don’t even think it’s possible now. How many videos are you in, now?”

Jeongguk takes a deep breath. “Four. Fourth video was filmed yesterday.”

“Ah,” Hoseok hums thoughtfully as he nods. “How many left?”

“Three more.”

“I love how it correlates with the dance performance.” The man laughs though he seems distressed about the situation, running a hand through his hair and lightly tugging at the roots. “Just… don’t fuck this up, Guk.”

“I won’t, hyung.”

“I’m sorry, again. I’m just worried.”

“I know and I’m telling you, I’ve got this.”

Hoseok shoots him a smile. It wavers and it doesn’t remain long on his face, twitching helplessly but regardless, it’s there. The tension begins to disperse between them before Hoseok stands up.

“No slacking. Our performance is coming up. Get your ass up.”

Hoseok still pushes him twice as hard, trying to make up for the previous aloofness by enforcing a stricter version of himself. Jeongguk doesn’t mind and he welcomes it. He accepts the harshness and the scolding. He welcomes it because at the end of the practice when they’re packing up and turning the lights off—Hoseok grins at him.

That’s all that matters.

**

“Why am I coming along?” Jimin groans.

There’s a party on campus today. A low-key gathering of students, surrounded by light liquor and the chance to rejuvenate in the school year thus far by interacting with new human beings. It’s inevitable that Jeongguk and Taehyung wanted to go and they, somehow, managed to drag Jimin along too.

Jimin had grumbled and groaned, muttering profanities under his breath of how unjust this was. But he had tagged along eventually and now, as they walk to the small bar located on campus, he even seems a little excited, a perk in his step as he strides along.

“Because, you deserve to unwind and relax,” Taehyung says. He’s holding Yoongi’s hand as the couple walk ahead. “You need some drinks, get it into your system. Have some fun. Party.”

Jimin glares at him. “It’s a campus party. There’s only so much fun you can have.”

A moment of silence spreads after his words and Jeongguk turns to face the boy better, arching a brow in question.

“So, you’d rather go to a proper party, then?” He asks, genuinely curious even with the hints of amusement lingering in his tone.

It seems Jimin doesn’t hate partying as much as he makes it out. He does despise the scene, in general. But with groups of friends, he seems to adapt well and with time, he becomes comfortable. It’s how they’ve managed to drag him to another bar, after all.

Jimin rolls his eyes and he reaches out to swat Jeongguk, successfully silencing him.

“No one said you can interrupt the conversation and speak.”

“I’m wounded.”

“Good.” Jimin rolls his eyes though a glimmer of a smile spreads across his lips.

The campus party, as predicated, isn’t as stimulating as had been advertised. Jeongguk has been expecting this so he doesn’t feel disappointment, simply adapting to the quiet scene they’re faced with today. It’s a small bar but it’s crowded, lights dimmed and surrounded by every corner with university students.

The drinks are majorly discounted but they’re cheap, distasteful alcohol. Jeongguk finds beer the only appealing drink in the menu and he can’t help but order it, even if he despises beer itself.

It’s bitter and it’s hard to swallow down, the thick liquid sloshing in his throat and making him wince. Regardless, they find an empty couch and gather around as they talk.

Seokjin’s at the bar, too and he joins them. He squeezes into the couch besides Jeongguk and effortlessly strikes conversation, despite the fact they’re not really accustomed to each other. Jimin supplies a few words here or there but mostly dedicates his time to sitting in the corner, comfortably so. He doesn’t mind not talking. He seems more than fine with glancing around the packed bar and sipping at his beer every now and then.

Taehyung and Yoongi excuse themselves—once again—half way through but this time, they don’t seem riddled with their sexual tension. Instead, they hold a joint between their hands and hazy eyed for the drugs.

“I’m going to get another drink,” Jimin dismisses himself, raising his empty beer glass.

Seokjin nods discreetly to him before Jimin gets up, wandering off to the bartender. Jeongguk turns to Seokjin again and other students join them, some of which he recognises from his classes and others, new faces. It’s effortless for him to interact though and he does so without a mishap, getting to know some new people.

Twenty minutes pass and Jeongguk’s realisation hits him like a truck - Jimin isn’t back yet.

For someone who doesn’t immerse themselves into drinking for leisure and socialising, it’s a little startling where Jimin would disappear off into a tiny bar. He glances around and he’s met with a sea of people, undetectable upon the rumble.

“Seokjin hyung.” Jeongguk nudges him. “Do you know where Jimin is?”

The older man pauses his conversation with a girl he had getting to know, glancing over to him with knitted brows. A wave of turbulence crosses him, shaking his head slowly.

“No, no. Didn’t he come back?”

“Not that I’m aware of.”

“Probably by the bar? Go check, Jeongguk.”

At the order, he simply nods and withdraws himself from the couch. His ass feels a little numb from being seated for so long as he rubs it over the rough material of his jeans. Jeongguk wanders down to the bar, trying to hide amongst the bodies so he doesn’t expose himself.

Regardless, he’s met with a sight. A sight that renders him speechless, at first.

Because surely, there’s Jimin.

Jimin’s seated at the bar on the high stools, legs nearly tucked underneath him and lips fixed around a straw of a repugnant looking cocktail. His eyes are sultry, lashes fluttering up to another man that sits before him. They’re both intrigued in each other, pressed up against each other’s in close proximity.

The man is someone Jeongguk recognises all too well—a man he’s bedded before, a man he’s had a falling out with. A man who doesn’t care about feelings, emotions and likes to take what he gets.

He watches for a moment, not wanting to misread the situation.

But as the minutes tick by, it’s inevitably abundant what’s going on. Jimin, who’s usually guarded by anyone even relatively unfamiliar, seems to have melted. There’s a tipsy trance around him, eyes mellowed out from the volume of his drinks. He’s edging forward into the man’s space, feeding off his warmth.

Jeongguk realises, startlingly, What he’s feeling.

Jealousy.

It’s a bitter, nauseous sensation. It dwells in his lower stomach and consumes all other emotions, rendering him useless to focus on anything else. His eyes blur where he’s staring, the effect of four beers beginning to register into him, himself. The more he looks at Jimin edging closer to this man, he feels like the alcohol’s going to come up.

Jeongguk burns where he stands and impulsively, makes a split second decision.

He struts over confidently despite the waves of anxiety, standing short in front of Jimin and the man. The man’s eyes filters up to him, narrowing his eyes carefully.

“Jeon Jeongguk?” He asks, voice heavy with the confusion.

Jeongguk frowns and he doesn’t say anything else. Even just looking at the man makes him feel sick to the core of his existence, stomach rolling as he swallows back the displeasing feeling. Instead, he focuses on Jimin.

“Can we talk?”

Jimin looks up to him, hints of innocence spreading in his wide pupils. It’s the same look Jeongguk gets when Jimin’s underneath him. His system goes into haywire and he’s reaching over, grabbing his forearm.

Jimin doesn’t seem to be complaining.

He simply nods and excuses himself from the man, standing up from the stool. He wobbles, almost losing footing but Jeongguk holds a steadying hand on his waist.

Jeongguk guides then to the bathroom instead of the couch where Seokjin sits. Jimin’s eyes widen upon realising, his entire body shuddering but following closely by. The bathroom is dingy and damp, not a single person in view but it doesn’t stop him.

Apparently, it doesn’t stop Jimin either.

Jeongguk invades Jimin’s space, pushing the older man into the wall. Jimin bites his lip to disguise his gasp, head resting against the tiles as he looks to Jeongguk with a slight eyebrow raise. There’s implication behind the small action and Jeongguk just wants to take.

He walks in closer, zeroing on the boy. The closeness between them makes the hair on Jeongguk’s arm stand, his chest inflaming with the heat that spreads amongst them.

There’s something here—something he can’t bring to words, something he doesn’t understand himself. But it’s worth treasuring, in this moment. It’s all he wants to do.

“You’re jealous.”

It’s not a question, it’s a statement Jimin says. Even then, he sounds befuddled. Despite the obvious lust, there’s also hints of puzzlement like the older man is trying to understand.

“No.”

“You are.”

“I’m not.” He continues to deny.

“Why are you here, then?” Jimin tilts his head, amusement lacing his tone. “Why have you got me against the wall, under your will? What does that mean?”

“Shut up,” He mumbles.

He doesn’t let Jimin speak any longer. He presses him closer, their clothed crotches rubbing against each other. Jeongguk uses both hands to rest on either side of Jimin’s head, successfully trapping him in. He leans in to kiss Jimin.

Jimin prepares because he puckers his lips, anticipating. His eyes shut and he falls pliant, in a swimmingly submissive headspace almost immediately.

Jeongguk smirks, withdrawing. Jimin’s eyes fly open, frown impending on his features that’s too starling against the softness of the moment.

“W-what?” Jimin whines.

Jeongguk shakes his head, his thumb reaching out to soothingly run over Jimin’s bottom lip.

“I’m jealous, maybe. But you purposely wanted me to come to you,” he says and when Jimin’s eyes widen but he doesn’t respond, Jeongguk continues. “You disappeared purposely long enough for me to follow, for me to see. You wanted me to see. You weren’t even surprised to see me approach you, disturb your conversation. You’re not even bothered. You didn’t care for him, did you?”

Jimin exhales, his shoulders shaking as he remains stubbornly quiet. He doesn’t respond, neither does he confirm nor deny either statement. He maintains eye contact and ever so carefully, draws the thumb into his mouth.

Jimin sucks on Jeongguk’s finger lazily, tongue swirling around the digit. Jeongguk’s cock begins to twitch, arousal pinging through him.

“Jimin,” he warns under his breath, not opposed to taking Jimin right here, right now.

Jimin pulls the thumb off with an audible ‘pop‘, a smile taking over his lips.

“Are you going to do something, or not?”

Jeongguk clicks his tongue, shaking his head.

“How bad do you want me to?”

“Is that even a question?” Jimin retorts, raising a brow questioningly.

(Mood: GOT7 - Teenager)

Jeongguk knows he can keep this going on for awhile, they can make it drag. They can frustrate each other with sexual frustration. But that’s not what he wants to do right now. He looks at Jimin and a moment passes before he’s leaning in, insistently pressing his lips against Jimin.

They’ve worked each other up enough that, even without touching, they’ve managed to resort to this dynamic.

Jimin’s needs under his hands, falling into his hold and kissing deeply. His tongue flicks on Jeongguk’s bottom lip, demanding entrance. Jeongguk opens and they dirtily kiss. Jeongguk presses his thigh against Jimin’s growing hardness, grinding down as they moan into each other’s mouth.

“J-Jeongguk.”

Jeongguk’s never heard his name being moaned from Jimin’s mouth, the way it stutters and he sounds broken from little to no contact already. He smirks and he decides, he likes it.

“Say my name again, Jimin.”

“Jeongguk,” He doesn’t waste a beat to do so. He parts his legs impossibly further, clutching on tightly to Jeongguk’s waist. “Jeongguk, please.”

“Please, what?”

“Don’t tease,” he manages to hiss out. He seems tense from the intense need that overcomes him.

Jeongguk decides not to drag it out any longer. Truthfully, he’s not sure he can resist any longer and the more he stares at Jimin, the more he just wants to take. He’s not sure he’ll ever get enough of Jimin. He’s not sure he ever wants to get used to this.

Jeongguk’s hand drifts downwards, over Jimin’s clothed crotch. He grinds the heel of his hand down onto him, giving him pleasure and keeping their lips locked together. When his hand slips inside of Jimin’s unbelievably tight jeans and manages to grab his half-hard cock, growing under his movement, it seems Jimin can’t hold back his sounds.

As much as he adores hearing them, he’d rather not give them away.

“Quiet, gorgeous,” Jeongguk pleads. He breaks apart their kiss, using his spare hand to clamp down on his mouth. Jimin quietens immediately, muffled sounds travelling through the palm. His lips linger downwards over Jimin’s jawline, nipping at the skin. “Quiet, I got you.”

They struggle with the power hold, Jeongguk trying to rub harder before he can’t resist any longer. He pulls back the hand only to roughly push down Jimin’s jeans, alongside with his boxers and pull them into a cubicle. He locks the door, Jimin resuming his position against the wall as he strokes Jimin faster.

Jimin’s struggling, too. His nimble fingers, faltered by the pleasure he’s receiving, fiddles with Jimin’s zipper. He pulls the jeans down and manages to pull Jeongguk’s neglected, hard cock free.

“Let me,” Jimin begs. “Let me, please.”

“Let you what?” He whispers back.

Jimin demonstrates instead of answering. He bats Jeongguk’s hand away and he holds both of their hard, heavy cocks in his hand. He groans, his head rolling back and banging against the filthy bathroom door. He jerks them off fast, squeezing at the tips and Jeongguk’s not embarrassed to admit he comes first. Jimin follows right afterwards.

Both of their comes, two loads, stain their hands. Jimin keeps milking them through the orgasm, going until it edges onto oversensitive.

Jeongguk hisses, gently reaching out for Jimin’s hand. He lifts the fingers to Jimin’s own mouth, feeding both of their orgasms. Jimin obliges because he’s always good for Jeongguk, no matter what the request is, and tries his hardest to please. He licks the fingers clean, panting when he withdraws.

“Fuck…” Jeongguk whispers.

The moment catches up to him. He steps back, breathing heavily. He’s indulged in people before, just like this but never with someone like Jimin. Never with Jimin. Not like this, anyway.

They had built up a strict and firm rules for themselves. Yet, it all came tumbling down in a public toilet.

Jimin seems to realise, too. He’s trying to step back but he’s unable to do so, back hitting against the door.

“What the fuck?” Jimin breathes out, sounding aghast and concerned from all ends. His voice shakes as he fiddles with the lock of the cubicle, desperately clawing and trying to get out. “What the fuck.”

“Jimin, stop—”

“I gotta go.”

Jimin.”

But there’s no need because Jimin’s breaking free and he’s escaping without a word, disappearing into a sea of people. If it’s even possible, the bar seems more crowded now than they had arrived. Each inch of the small bar is covered, drinks being passed around and the chatter too boisterous for Jeongguk to even think.

All he can address is the swirling question: what the fuck just happened?

**

Jimin begins to avoid him.

Jeongguk’s not even sure if it’s intentional or not, can’t seem to figure out what’s circling his mind. Jimin’s in and out of the apartment a lot, never staying around for too long. He throws himself head first into his Psychology work, forced to take field trips with his class to certain locations to collect data for his work. They’re both busy, it only makes sense.

Jeongguk’s schedule gets even more demanding. Assignments zero in, deadlines impending upon him and Hoseok pushes him twice as hard. He’s at the dance studio for most of the time, day in and day out. He even completes his assignments during the breaks that they take, trying to fill in every gap.

It’s Thursday and Jeongguk doesn’t even realise.

He’s walking home after a demanding day, prepared to pass out and sleep for a good twelve hours. However when he’s walking through the door and he finds Jimin in his bedroom, handcuffs on the bed—he realises.

“We’re filming, aren’t we?” Jeongguk sighs.

He doesn’t seem to make it sound like a burden. He likes sex, he’s practically beginning to love it when it concerns Jimin. But he’s spent of his energy, drained of himself. He’s just practiced dancing for five hours with short breaks only, muscles in his legs protesting and threatening to buckle underneath him.

Jeongguk needs a nap. A good night’s sleep.

He doesn’t have the stamina to deal with fucking and especially not with the strange current dynamic between he and his roommate. He’s not sure where they stand, not sure how he feels and what’s going on since they made out in the bar toilet - but Jimin’s being difficult.

Jeongguk just can’t deal with it, right now.

“It’s Thursday,” Jimin’s voice is startling distant as he picks up the heavy duty handcuffs, fiddling with them. “I’ve opened up myself already, I’m prepped. Just fuck me and let’s get this over and done with.”

Let’s get this over and done with.

Jeongguk wants to protest. He wants to put his foot down, he wants to make it sweet and loving. He wants to kiss over every inch of Jimin’s body, he wants to reach within and touch the parts even Jimin despises about himself. But Jimin sits before with a stubborn look fixated upon his face.

The mere idea of Jimin stretching himself out on his own, to thought of them filming a video, should be arousing.

Instead, Jeongguk’s insides remain deflated. He stares at Jimin and he doesn’t feel the sparks flickering between them, he doesn’t seem like he’s being ignited. It feels wrong. It feels like he should stop for a breather, try to figure out what’s going on and fix it between them.

But they have a video to film, a job to do.

“Okay.”

Jeongguk’s voice is hoarse, troubled by what’s going on between them.

Jimin doesn’t say anything else. They strip in silence as Jeongguk sets up the camera, angling it in the right position so there’s no sense of exposing them. When he turns back around, Jimin’s on his stomach with his hands clenched behind his back. It feels sinful, in a dirty way, in an unappealing way when he cuffs Jimin’s hand behind his back.

It feels unlawful when Jeongguk thrusts into him, fast and merciless. Each push in is met by Jimin’s prostate, hitting the spot ruthlessly. His fingers dig into Jimin’s waist but he’s leaning down, kissing the back of his spine at the same time of his brutal thrusts - like he’s trying to press apologies to his skin.

Jeongguk comes first and it takes a few pumps around Jimin’s cock for him to come, too.

The video feels awkward. But it doesn’t stop from Jeongguk saving it.

He uncuffs Jimin and watches the older boy walk out of the room without a word, without a sound and retreat back into his bedroom. Jeongguk wishes he could understand what was going on but nothing seems to make sense anymore.

**

“One more routine left to learn, then we’re ready.”

Hoseok’s words are firm with a hint of sweetness, a smile spreading across his lips. Since their truce, he’s began to revert back to his old self with the caring glances and the sincere words. Hoseok’s still skeptical about the whole issue but he’s decided to be more accepting about it, to understand rather than push away.

Jeongguk’s miserable, though.

As much as Hoseok’s words soothe him and being in the studio, alone, is therapeutic to him—he can’t stop his wandering mind. He feels lost, in a permanent state of disbelief.

He can’t stop thinking about Jimin.

“Yah, Jeongguk, are you even listening?” Hoseok scolds, reaching over to slap Jeongguk’s shoulder in a feeble attempt to bring his attention back.

“I am. Sorry.”

Hoseok narrows his eyes critically but he doesn’t ask anymore questions, humming and diverting his attention back to the dance routine.

It’s a welcomed means of distraction, to immerse himself into the choreography and try to focus on the low, sensual beat to Drake that blares through the speakers. Hoseok is a natural and his body moves languidly to the beat drops, effortlessly gliding across the floor as Jeongguk tries to keep up.

“There’s someone buzzing at the door,” Hoseok says, interrupting their dance flow. “They’re interrupting with our dance. Tell them to leave.”

“Why me?” Jeongguk pouts.

Hoseok shooed him away with a gesture of hand, effectively dismissing him. Jeongguk grumbles under his breath as he walks to the entrance door, unlocking it and opening it. Only to be met with Jimin.

It’s the last person he’s expecting so he’s momentarily frozen, eyes widening comically upon seeing the boy. Jimin stands before him, wrapped up in a scarf that conceals much of him despite the fact that it’s only Autumn and the weather is only beginning to lose the touch of warmth. He holds two coffee cups in his hands and wears an apologetic, sheepish expression.

“Oh,” Jeongguk mumbles. “What—what’re you doing here?”

The question comes off blunter than he intends, features twisting remorseful immediately. He bites his tongue to resist saying anything else that’ll come off too harsh.

Jimin, however, doesn’t shift. He holds up the coffee.

“Coffee makes everything better.”

He waits a beat. “Well, at least you’re not trying to suggest baking or cooking.”

Jimin ducks his face, a light flush taking over his face as he laughs prettily. In the past few days, he’s been holding himself together and trying his hardest not to reveal his inner emotions. It had been hard to deal with after becoming all too accustomed with Jimin’s deeper side, to quickly revert back to the guard he had before.

“Can I come in?”

Jimin’s never showed interest in his dancing before, at least not obviously. His eyes sparkle with curiosity though and he angles his body slightly so he can peek inside.

“Sure,” Jeongguk relents.

He let’s Jimin through as they walk down to their own room in the studio. Hoseok’s waiting for him but upon seeing Jimin, his features only brighten.

“Jimin-ah!” Hoseok announces, jumping up from where he sits cross-legged. He walks over to Jimin, guiding him into a short embrace. “What brings you here today?”

“Ah.” Jimin shrugs. “Just wanted to see Jeongguk, needed to talk to him. If that’s okay?”

Hoseok smiles knowingly and no other words need to be exchanged as he nods. He walks to the corner of the studio, grabbing his belongings.

“I’m hungry, anyway. I gotta try out the noodle bar with Namjoon so I’ll come back in a few hours. Jeongguk, you better practice.”

Jeongguk nods. “Promise, hyung.”

Hoseok exits the dance studio and devotedly, allows Jimin and Jeongguk the time they need alone. Despite all odds and the promise of making things better, the atmosphere is a little awkward between them regardless. Jimin looks shameful now as he glances around, sighing.

“Shall we drink the coffee, then?” Jeongguk attempts to guide.

He’s realised, thus far, that Jimin struggles with dealing his emotions. He can’t draw out his deeper thoughts and articulate them. Jeongguk, in a lot of similar ways for different reasons, can relate. He doesn’t want to pry nor does he want to force Jimin to open up.

“Good idea.”

They sit cross-legged on the hard, unforgiving tile of the studio together as Jimin extends the cup towards him, not making any eye contact with him whilst doing so.

“What coffee did you get for me?” He asks curiously, considering he can be picky about his warm drinks and how they’re prepared.

“Cappuccino, one brown sugar packet with soya milk. That’s it.”

A grin flashes across Jeongguk’s face as he accepts the cup off him gratefully, unable to stop the butterflies that erupt within stomach. He’s not sure how but Jimin knows his order perfectly, word for word. When he takes a sip of the coffee, it even tastes just how he likes.

“Thank you. What did you get for yourself?”

Jimin raises a brow like he’s not entirely sure why he’d hold interest over the matter, raising his iced coffee.

“Iced latte, a shot of vanilla.”

“Nice. Nice choice.”

They hold eye contact with each other until Jimin starts to grin, having to look away as the shyness takes over his face. Jeongguk feels compelled to reach out and touch him but he’s already treading around lightly, not wanting to push accidentally and ruin the newfound acceptance they’ve found.

Jeongguk wants to say something, anything but he’s broken from his thoughts.

“Can you show me…um, I wanna see you dance.”

Jimin’s request is innocent enough but there’s a hint of eagerness behind his tone, almost pleading. He looks ashamed like he’s not sure if he’s actually allowed to.

“You wanna see me dance?”

“Is that—“ Jimin pauses, shaking his head. “Never mind, don’t worry—“

“I can show you. I just don’t understand why.”

Jimin shrugs. “I know you’re into dancing, but I have no idea why. I’ve never seen you dance. I’ve never—I’m just curious, I guess.”

“Okay.”

Jeongguk obliges because he’s never ashamed of dancing, he’s adored doing what he does since he was young. He holds an aura of confidence and perfectionist when it comes to dancing, thrives off showing others. Regardless, a flicker of nerves cross through him when he stands up and plays the Drake song.

The slow sensual begins to filter through the room and Jimin’s eyes widen but he relaxes, settling back against the wall.

The moves come easy to Jeongguk. He crouches, moving his arms accordingly along to the beat. The song that he’s dancing to has a slight sexual touch to it, hence his elaborate, almost provocative moves. Jimin’s biting his lip and if his expression is any indicator, he seems to be enjoying it.

“Wanna dance too?” Jeongguk suggests.

“What?” Jimin repeats, immediately shaking his head. “Uh, no no. I’m so bad at dancing—“

“Please? I’ll teach you. You,” he pauses, deliberating his words and then deciding to say how he feels frankly. “You have a body made for dancing, fucking natural. Please.”

Jimin sighs and he seems to consider for a second before relenting, pushing off the wall and standing up. He walks over to Jeongguk slowly, eyes wide like he can barely believe he’s doing this.

“I can never dance like you.”

“That’s what you think.”

Jeongguk invades his space, hands settling on Jimin’s waist as he gently guides him into position. He leans in between his legs, gently prying them apart.

“Now, watch me.”

(Mood: Jikook dancing to Drake - Own It

As Drake’s voice filters through the speakers, Jeongguk runs through the dance moves slowly. His legs and arms coordinate at the same time, moving along to the rhythm. Jimin watches with entranced eyes, hyperaware of every movement being made. When Jeongguk completes the routine for the first half of the routine, he halts and nods at Jimin.

“Try it.”

Jimin’s hesitant and even as he dances, it seems like he’s trying to pull himself together. His moves are clumsy but regardless, despite the inexperience, it’s clear he’s flexible and he can bend to fit the lyrics and the dance moves. Jeongguk steps closer to him, moving his arms and moving them for him.

“More force here, Jimin.”

They repeat the first half of the verse together, standing side-by-side. The world outside begins to darken as night falls before them, but neither of them seem like they want to go anywhere. Jimin adjusts well, apparently good at following instructions and listening intently when told to do so.

Jeongguk feels pride and he can’t help but address the feeling, watching Jimin with amazement clouding his eyes.

Jimin has a glorious body that deserves to be recognised, deserves to be showcased and admired. He seems to know exactly how to bend his body, how to move along to the music when prompted to do so.

They get up to the chorus of the music before they begin to falter. Jimin seems to give up, unable to continue or learn anymore of the choreography. He starts to fool around, standing up straight and lowering himself to the ground with no real intent to complete the dance moves. Jeongguk doesn’t force him to, either. He just rolls his eyes fondly and continues with the routine.

“You’re good,” Jimin promises when they’re both done, collapsing to the floor in a heap. “I mean, not surprising. But you’re really good.”

“Why’s that not surprising?”

Jimin shrugs. “You can just tell, to be honest. Plus, you hold so much dedication and passion for it.”

“Well… yeah,” he laughs as he runs a hand through his hair. He sits down besides Jimin and moves closer to him, chasing the warmth the boy radiates of. “I made sacrifices to get where I am, to get here. Of course, I’d be dedicated.”

Jimin looks up and they make eye contact for a second, sitting right next to each other. Jimin’s eyes swim with emotions that never gets to his mouth, his lips opening but his words faltering. He swallows. It looks like he wants to say something but never gets around it, glancing in the other direction.

“I hope those sacrifices were worth it,” Jimin says instead.

Jeongguk takes a moment to glance around the dance studio he sits in, the one he shares with Hoseok. He has great friends, he’s making a good companionship with Jimin - and hopes it’ll remain that way—and he can’t help but feel like the sacrifices were worth it.

“They were.”

Jimin’s smile is dazzling. “Good.”

**

The awkwardness between Jimin and Jeongguk evaporates almost immediately after their little dancing session in the studios.

They don’t speak about the mishap in the bar, about how they had needily gotten each other off whilst moaning each other’s names. They don’t mention it. They pretend it never happened and they continue like normal. Jeongguk’s routine becomes a norm, a somewhat dull schedule on repeat.

But every time, he’s granted with the promise of coming home to Jimin.

Jimin’s becoming more and more open, refusing to hide parts of himself as he readily begins to spend his spare time with Jeongguk. Whenever they get home and they’re alone together in the apartment, they hang out together. Jeongguk usually puts on a movie and Jimin cooks them something to eat alongside, sitting close on the couch and eating Jimin’s delicious recipes together.

At times, they get distracted by their own conversations and resort to turning the movie off.

Slowly, but surely, they’re establishing a bond.

It’s still weak and if they try anything too harsh, it’ll hinder the entire progress thus far. But Jeongguk’s willing and patient, taking his time to get to learn Jimin’s in and outs and who he is as a person. There’s still so much to adjust to, still so much that’s unknown between the two of them but they have all the time in the world.

After their spoiled video, Jeongguk’s been eagerly awaiting Thursday all week.

He practically skips home after dance practice, vibrating off the energy he feels as opposed to his usual weariness after spending a few hours with Hoseok. He unlocks the apartment door to the living room empty and quiet. He frowns as he drops the keys on the counter, calling out Jimin’s name to no avail.

Jeongguk knows Jimin hasn’t forgotten about their video.

They had been texting about it earlier, trying to establish when they’d both be home so they could start recording. There’s no way Jimin isn’t aware unless he’s running later than intended.

He sighs as he walks to his bedroom, switching the lights on only to met with Jimin. Naked. On his bed.

“Jimin?”

Jimin’s head rolls over where it lays on the pillow, mellowed out and lustful. He bites his lips, fluttering his lashes seductively a few times. His hand is working over his cock, rock hard and looking desperately close to relief. Jimin moans loudly, humming brokendly.

“I saw,” he falters, trying to speak. “I saw what this week video is about.”

“Oh.”

“Edging?” Jimin confirms, his hand tightening over his own dick. He squeezes over the head, thumbing over the slit as he collects precome and feeds it to himself. “I.. I’ve been edging myself for thirty minutes already. To get us started.”

“Jesus fucking Christ.”

Jimin giggles though it’s breathy and barely there, already seemingly floating.

“So turn the video on and come fuck me.”

Maroon 5 - Animals

Jeongguk stands in shock for a few moments, attempting to comprehend what’s going on. Before him lays the most gorgeous man he has set his eyes on, naked and legs spread across the mattress, getting himself off to the edge of ecstasy but stopping short. For thirty whole minutes. Jeongguk’s moving immediately.

He’s roughly ripping the buttons off his shirt as he fumbles with the material, reaching out for the camera with his spare hand. He sets it up carelessly and starts to record, too worked up and bothered to focus on the angle as he throws the shirt into one corner of the room. He grabs the waistband of his jeans, tearing them off his body.

“That’s it,” Jimin’s moaning, halting his movement. “Come take me.”

Jeongguk grabs the lube on his way over, not sure he can resist holding back any longer. Not sure he can manage foreplay when he’s already worked up and it’s barely been minutes since he entered the apartment. Jimin doesn’t seem to mind, though. He has a splendid smile spread across his lips and he welcomes Jeongguk’s body between his, immediately reaching out to clutch onto his forearm.

“Let go of your cock.”

“No—”

“Let go.”

Jimin pouts but he does as asked, wistfully dropping his fully hard and painful looking dick. Instead, he falls pliant and subconsciously edges into Jeongguk’s hold. It’s a complete 360 turn from their last video which had been awkward and excruciating to get through. This time, Jimin seems completely involved and willing.

Jeongguk slicks up one of his fingers and gently eases into Jimin, not wanting to slow down the pace. As soon as he’s bottomed out, he begins to roughly fuck Jimin with the finger. At the same time, he grabs Jimin’s cock and jerks him off in time.

Whenever Jimin’s stomach tightens and he begins to visibly pant harder, clear that he’s about to come - Jeongguk stops.

No,” Jimin whines. “Please. So close.”

Jeongguk clicks his tongue in disapproval at his pleading—no matter how it exhilarates him to hear—and continues his torture with his digits. He slowly pushes in two fingers at the same time. Jimin tenses for a minute, trying to adjust to the sudden stretch and eventually, he relaxes into the sheets and allows Jeongguk to do as he please.

Once he’s sure Jimin’s fully prepped, he begins to stroke Jimin again.

This time, Jimin’s body shudders as he arches his back and subconsciously chases the sensation. He tries to buck his hips, fuck himself down on Jeongguk’s hand faster. Jeongguk allows him to but as soon as Jimin’s moans get louder, drawing closer and closer to his sweet release - he stops.

“Please, please.” Jimin’s dignity is stripped down, left with a whiny Jimin who’s pleading. His eyes tear up with the need of reach his climax but being stolen of the orgasm. “Please. Babe, please.”

“Ssh.” Jeongguk chides though his heart hammers against his chest, hypnotised by Jimin’s fervor and the way he keeps groaning. He wants to hear Jimin moan his name. He leans right into Jimin’s ear, whispering ever so softly. “Say my name, Jimin. You can come.”

Jimin’s chest is quivering, oversensitive and throbbing but still delirious for more. He tilts his head so his lips linger over Jeongguk’s ear, biting down on the younger man’s earlobes and tugging roughly between his teeth as if to declare his frustration.

“Please, Jeongguk. Let me come.”

Jeongguk knows, there and then, that it’s game over for him. He’s gone for Jimin. He’s lost in the way Jimin whispers his names, begs for him over something Jeongguk controls. He’s in a trance by Jimin’s soft smiles and his eagerness, the side of him that keeps surprising Jeongguk.

“Come. Come for me.”

The hands starts to stroke Jimin again, relentless in the pursuit of his orgasm as he tightens his hold and prompts Jimin to come.

Jimin climaxes with a loud gasp, his hips raising up as he chases the sensation. Jeongguk keeps milking the come out of his cock, pumping fast until Jimin’s spent of semen and the moment begins to gently fade.

“Turn the video off,” Jimin begs. “Then, fuck me hard and good.”

Jeongguk hums as his heart clenches tightly and his hard, untended cock twitches uselessly. He takes a deep breath, mentally preparing himself for what’s to come next. Jimin wants to fuck without cameras, without anything recording them. Without the pretence of showing the world. He wants to fuck just because the two of them make each other feel good and they want to hold onto that.

“Yeah. Yeah.”

The video is paused and the camera is put away before Jeongguk travels back towards Jimin, settling in between his thighs and gets to work. He knows, deep down, it must hurt Jimin slightly. His cock jerks despite having just come, stirring to life again as Jeongguk slicks up with lube and pushes into him.

They kiss desperately, tongues swiping against the other and teeth clashing as Jeongguk fucks into him. The thrusts are deep and punctuated, intended to hit against Jimin’s prostate dead-on. There’s no eyes on them. In the dark room, it’s only the two of them and the way Jimin keeps stuttering out his name, whimpering and shaking.

When they come—Jimin a second time, though he barely spurts out any liquid—Jeongguk can’t help but register the sinking dread in his lower stomach. They’ve just completed the sixth video, the second to last. After the next week’s video, their short-lived careers as porn stars comes to an inevitable end.

He can’t help but feel a lingering sorrow dwelling deep inside of him, eating him up and gnawing on the lining of his stomach. He feels sick to his gut. Overtime, the last month or so, Jeongguk’s become pathetically accustomed to their filming and having sex with Jimin. He’s not sure where they’ll go from here but he also can no longer deny he’s beginning to gain feelings for Jimin, as well.

It’d be pointless to deny it.

Even just looking at Jimin now, post-sex and blissful with his eyes shut and chest heaving with the coming down after his orgasm, Jeongguk knows there’s no chance he can pretend his feelings doesn’t exist.

It’s a terrifying revelation.

Jeongguk tries to shift from the bed, to leave Jimin’s embrace before he grows used to it. But Jimin refuses to let him move, tightening his arms around him.

“Where are you going?” He whispers, his voice holding a hint of fear though his eyes remain closed. “Don’t go.”

Jeongguk swallows and he tries to resist the urge he has to scream, pushing down the anxiety that’s beginning to grow steadily within him. He doesn’t want this. He doesn’t want to deal with feelings and the implications it comes with.

“I need to go,” Jeongguk pleads—he’s sure there’s a touch of urgency that leaks through, voice cracking. “Taehyung’s waiting for me. I need to go.”

“O-oh.” Jimin finally opens his eyes, narrowing questioningly. “You sure you’re okay, though?”

“I’m good. I’m fine.”

Jimin doesn’t seem convinced. He tilts his head to the side and observes him closely, eyes darting over every inch of his face before he sighs. He doesn’t ask questions and he doesn’t try to dig deeper, accepting what he’s being given at face value. He squirms and pushes Jeongguk off gently.

“Have a good night with him,” Jimin mumbles. “Even on a Thursday night.”

Jeongguk’s already grabbing his phone, opening up his address book as he withdraws from the bed and gingerly redresses. He feels a shot of betrayal as his own actions register into him. He clicks on ‘Hayoon’s’ details. An old fuck buddy.

“Are you sure you’re okay, Jeongguk?” Jimin’s asking once again though this time, there’s a hint of firmness in his tone. He’s settling to sit upright, resting on his elbows. “You look… I don’t know, jittery.”

He doesn’t dare look at Jimin when he messages Hayoon, asking whether he can come over or not because he’s horny. He has to, in anyway possible, filter out the dwelling feeling that’s growing inside of him. He has to forget Jimin’s moans from his mind and he has to bury himself into someone else.

Regret slams into him like a truck when he nods and replies. “More than okay. Have a good night, Jimin.” And walks out of the apartment merely an hour after he had arrived.

Chapter Text

“Sorry about the blood in your mouth. I wish it was mine.

I couldn't get the boy to kill me, but I wore his jacket for the longest time.”
― Richard Siken, Crush

**

Guilt.

Jeongguk feels an overbearing sense of guilt, weighing down on his conscience and filling his lungs up, making it hard to focus upon anything else. He’s not sure why he feels guilty. It’s not like he and Jimin are in a commitment, they’re not bound to each other and they hold no expectations from each other. Yet leaving the girl’s house after fucking her only an hour after fucking Jimin—Jeongguk feels guilt.

He has dance rehearsals today, performing the routines he’s done so far with Hoseok in front of his coach and choreographer. It’s nerve wracking to show two important figures his progress so far, how he’s evolved since the last time he had worked with them. They both seem pleased, though.

His coach’s eyes linger on Jeongguk for longer than necessary towards the end of the fifth song.

He analyses Jeongguk all over, sizing him up under his unforgiving gaze. It’s like he’s trying to implore into Jeongguk’s body, trying to draw out his deepest, darkest thoughts. It causes Jeongguk to falter a few times, feeling himself fluster under the look.

Hoseok seems to notice because he tries to protect Jeongguk’s body as much as possible, standing in front of him whenever possible and speaking up any chance he gets. Jeongguk’s grateful and at the end of the performance when they give the two of the men give their final verdict, they receive praises.

“You both seem ready for the performance,” the choreographer says, a proud smile stretching out across his face. He stands up from his seat, nodding at them approvingly. “Just a few mistakes here and there, nothing too concerning. Do you both feel ready?”

Jeongguk stands on the stage, sweating under the bright, blinding lights. He’s still trying to collect his breathing, resume to a normal level heartbeat. His palms feel sticky and his clothes are clinging to his skin. Hoseok, besides him, seems way more composed and put together.

Hoseok hums. “Yes. I think we’ve done really well and worked hard, too. I think we’re ready.”

“It’s in a week time,” he continues. “I hope you’re working harder than ever now.”

Working ‘harder than ever’ is an understatement. Jeongguk isn’t sure he’s seen anything besides the four walls of his dance studio for the last few days. He’s barely had time for himself, barely able to make time in his week to eat his meals efficiently—he’s completely tied down.

It’s not as burdening as he had expected it to be. Despite the tight schedule and preparing for the final performance, trying to prove his worth and breaking his way into the dancing industry—he’s adjusting well. Dancing is all he has wanted to do for as long as he can remember, mesmerised by the idols he’d see on his TV when he was younger. Now, he has a shot and he’s reaching out for it. He’s never backing down.

The coach is still watching him warily, a knowing look flashing across his features. Nonetheless, he doesn’t say anything, not providing any words of his own. He merely nods, dismissing them.

Hoseok and Jeongguk gather their belongings and walk off the stage, climbing down the stairs and into the back.

Once he’s away from their hard gazes, Jeongguk feels like he can finally release a breath he hadn’t realised he had been holding. Tension evaporates off his body, rolling off his shoulders. His body slumps and his organs relax. He sighs, looking over to Hoseok.

“That coach…” Hoseok says as he’s ripping the shirt off his body, revealing a slim, muscled stomach. “He knows something.”

“Knows something? What do you mean?” He repeats, dumbfounded.

“He knows something. He was looking at you like he knew something.”

“Hyung… you’re making no sense right now.”

Hoseok sighs as he grabs a spare change of shirt he always carries when he’s dancing, pulling it over his head. His red hair appears through the hole, unkempt but seemingly unbothered.

“I don’t know. He just… was very unlike him, he’s never acted like that before. It’s fucking weird.”

Jeongguk understands where his older friend is coming from. It had been unnerving to be stared down by the coach like that, a treatment he had never received before. But he can’t dwell on it. He can’t worry himself about the ‘what if’s’ and the ‘but’s’. Not right now. Not when he has his eyes and mind on the prize, on the light at the end of the tunnel. All his hard work has to pay off.

“What if he knows about the videos?” Hoseok continues to ask, voice ending on a high shrill.

Jeongguk pauses where he’s grabbing his phone, unlocking it to check his notifications. He stops, looking over to Hoseok who seems deadly serious. Remnants of panic are evident on his face, hands shaking at his side. Jeongguk sighs as he steps forward, holding onto Hoseok’s hand gingerly.

“Why would an middle-aged man, married to a woman, have any idea about gay porn videos?”

“You’d be surprised.”

Jeongguk snorts. “He doesn’t know, trust me. You think I’d still be a part of the fucking academy if he did?”

That seems to make sense to Hoseok because he exhales, representing calamity when he nods. He consoles himself, moving away from the hold and continue getting changed.

“Sorry, I’m just being stupid. I’m worried.”

“Nothing stupid about it,” Jeongguk tries to reassure. “You’re afraid, I get it.”

Hoseok snorts at that but doesn’t say anything else, shrugging helplessly. It’s abundantly, and painfully, obvious that Hoseok’s still not comfortable with the idea. It doesn’t settle well for him and he doesn’t try to hide the fact, blunt about how he worries and how he’s paranoid people already know.

“As long as it doesn’t affect the performance.”

**

It’s only later when Jeongguk’s entering the men's washroom, needing to release before he headed home that he realises something is wrong.

The bathroom is eerily quiet—uncharacteristically so—and Jeongguk can’t help how he frowns when he stands before the sinks, unzipping his jeans. He analyses his face in the mirror as he urinates, wiping a thumb under his eyes to remove the smudged eyeliner.

He observes his appearance for another minute, eyes scanning over his features critically. He looks exhausted. There’s dark eyebags and he has red-rimmed eyes, in desperate need of a good night’s sleep. His body is frail, inevitably losing weight from the constant prancing around and lack of nutrition so his body starts to shape up well for the performances.

Jeongguk doesn’t look like himself.

He sighs under his breath as he runs a hand through his hair, zipping back up and turning around. He’s about to leave the bathroom but the door opens before he could, causing Jeongguk to take a step back, letting the men through.

Jeongguk doesn’t recognise them. They seem to be from the year above his, older and holding a sense of danger surrounding them. They walk like they’re a formed organisation, in a triangle with the leader at the front.

Jeongguk’s hardly ever intimidated by people but it’s undeniable how nerve wracking it is to be faced by them.

He smiles politely and moves around them, about to walk out.

“Hey, aren’t you the porn star?”

Jeongguk freezes, his body tensing up immediately at the words. It takes him a moment for the words to process within him, dread running cold in his veins. His whole world comes to a stop. Blood pumps harder around him, electrifying every sense within him and heightening his reflex. He’s on guard. He turns back around slowly, raising a brow and clearing his throat.

“Sorry?” He attempts to sound as collected as possible but he can’t manage to keep the slight quiver in his voice.

The main man, standing in the front of his crew, steps forward. He has a menacing grin fixed over his lips, tingling with sick amusement. He’s clearly stronger, has an advantage with his heavier frame.

“I asked you a question. Aren’t you the porn star?”

Jeongguk’s in denial. He’s sure there’s no way someone could’ve figured it out, hasn’t been able to put the pieces together. His mind wracks of possibilities, how people could’ve fit the puzzle together but he comes up short. As far as he can remember, he had been relatively safe.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You don’t?” The man tilts his head to the side, smirking. “Because I’m pretty sure you’re the talk around the campus, buddy.”

“You’re all mistaken,” he says fiercely, holding his ground. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. Now, if you’ll excuse me—”

“Did you really think no one would find out?” The man presses on.

Jeongguk sighs as irritation begins to spread within him, making it hard to remain level-headed. His temper is a problem and often, it gets the better of him. He takes a deep breath, turning to face them properly. He attempts to keep his expression straight and detached but his lips twist. Jeongguk’s furious.

“Did I or did I not just say, you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about?”

The man seems amused by his response and the velocity behind the words, the way it’s spat towards him. He takes a moment.

“We don’t fucking appreciate fags on this campus, y’know? Don’t mind me for wanting to make sure.”

Every button inside of Jeongguk is being pushed, being tested to his limits. He takes a deep breath, trying to sort through his thoughts. He decides, ultimately, this isn’t worth his energy. As much as he’d like to pin this man down, extract apologies until he’s whimpering and crying—he knows it’ll never end positively.

Jeongguk has a performance in less than a week. He can’t get into any kind of trouble.

He also, desperately, needs to figure out what’s going on and whether the videos have spread despite their immaculate attention towards making sure they’ll never get caught out. They haven’t accomplished that.

Jeongguk decides it’s just not worth his energy.

He turns on his heels, about to walk out until there’s a firm grip on his arm forbidding him from doing so. The touch burns him right down to the bone and he feels something hideous squirms into his body. He snatches his arm back, glaring.

“I don’t know who the fuck you are but touch me again, and—”

“And what?”

“Who the fuck do you think you are?”

Jeongguk has always been bold. He has never shied away from conflict, faces it headstrong. But he’s also not a martyr, he can recognise a hopeless situation—like the one he faces now—and stop his temper from spiralling before it consumes him whole and resorts in something hideous.

“We don’t want the gays on the campus,” the man hisses.

“I’m not fucking gay!” Jeongguk screeches back, not even hesitating for a second and when the man moves to talk again, he cuts right through. “I’m fucking pansexual. There’s no porn videos, okay? No such thing. Now, back the fuck off.”

“Pansexual…” He repeats, disgust creeping onto his face. “Do you know how wrong that is?”

“Oh my God.”

“Not only do you film videos with a man, you’re also pansexual. How did we allow such faggots onto our campus?”

That’s the last straw Jeongguk. He’s continuously prodded right where it’s stings, the sensation crawling under his skin and spreading through him. He feels ignited with the fury that takes over him like a dark cloud, obscuring his vision. He sees red and he’s not thinking straight when he’s reaching forward, grabbing the man’s collar to bring them face-to-face, only to shove him backwards roughly.

The man stumbles, losing his footing and falling back into his friends. They all grumble as they hold him, steadying him.

Jeongguk knows he’s made a mistake.

As soon as the man looks up and his eyes have darkened, a sadistic form taking over—he knows he’s done for.

Jeongguk’s just a university student. He is eager to learn and moreso, eager to pursue his dreams of dancing. He has had to resort to extreme measures to get by. He’s an ambitious person, constantly striving for what he believes it. Yet, that’s the exact reason he’s about to get beat down. His dignity is about to be stripped off him, his pride erased for simply loving more than one gender.

The friends surrounding the man move immediately like they’ve had a plan beforehand. One of them locks the entrance to the bathroom, ensuring no one else will wander in. Two of them walk towards Jeongguk, grabbing ahold of both of his arms and stabilising him against their hold.

Jeongguk promptly starts to struggle, words garbling out of him that are nonsensical. Fear begins to flood him, shutting his system down and his lower stomach churns uncomfortably. He wants to throw up. His head feels heavy, unable to hold up it’s own and his legs turn to jelly, about to collapse. The abuse hasn’t even began.

When the man approaches him and raises the first of many fists, to teach him a lesson, to beat the ‘gay out of him’—Jeongguk closes his eyes and accepts his fate.

**

Jimin’s walking through the campus, resigning himself a day so he can relax at home. Psychology lessons tend to numb his mind, extract all joy from his system and drain him out. He doesn’t mind the subject, he just has no passion for it and makes it increasingly difficult to focus on.

He had clocked into the university attendance system, declaring he’s here. But promptly leaves right afterwards, sure that if he sits through another second of his teacher preaching about Clinical Psychology, he’ll lose his mind.

It’s a breezy day today, Autumn is just around the corner hence the darkened leaves that have fallen upon the streets. As he walks, he listens to the satisfying crunch underneath his feet. He snuggles further into his long, black coat, trying to extract warmth.

It’s a mellow day and it resonates with Jimin, relatively calmness spreading through his lungs as he begins the journey home. He sits on the bus and presses his headphones in, zoning out to the outside world.

When he arrives to the apartment, he’s already buzzing with new recipes he wants to cook, prepared to immerse himself to a day in the kitchen. Recently, he hasn’t had the time to complete more creative dishes due to his assignments but now it feels like he can get a head start.

The last thing he’s expected, however, is a wounded Jeongguk spitting blood into the sink.

Jimin freezes upon the sight of his roommate, bent over and wheezing. There’s crimson blood soaking into couple of tissues he holds, staining them and his fingers. He looks to be in apparent pain, face scrunched up as he curses under his breath.

“Jeongguk?” Jimin’s voice is high and whiny, coming off more urgent than he wants to let on. He takes a step in, dropping his bag to the floor. “What the fuck? What the fuck happened?”

Jeongguk jolts, startled by the sudden presence of another human being. He turns slowly to face him properly, diverting his attention away from the sink. Jimin has to bite down the gasp, eyes darting across Jeongguk’s battered and bruised face, his swollen and purple nose.

“Oh, hi,” he says meekly.

Jimin pales, feeling the blood rushing out of him. His heart pumps faster, coursing through his body and causing his level of adrenaline to shoot up. Jimin doesn’t waste any time before he edges forward, walking towards his roommate. He hates how it pings him profoundly just by looking at Jeongguk.

He grabs Jeongguk’s face by the chin, gently tilting his head back and towards the light so he can observe the extent of his injuries.

Jeongguk’s doesn’t seem seriously hurt, at the very least. There’s no need for immediate medical attention.

There’s a few scratches on his forehead, a deep cut on his cheek and his nose bleeding but not broken. Jimin sighs as he leads Jeongguk to the kitchen island, sitting him down before filtering in and around the kitchen. He grabs the only supplies they have, never having to equip for a beating before, and sits down besides him.

“How did this happen?” Jimin asks patiently, trying to ignore the touch of dismay in his tone.

He almost doesn’t want to look at Jeongguk’s face, almost feels like he can feel the pain himself. He grits his teeth as he gently wipes the wet cloth against Jeongguk’s cut-up cheeks, trying not to notice the way he flinches. Jimin’s adamant though and presses down firmer.

Jeongguk’s quiet for a moment, seemingly bracing himself for what he’s about to announce.

“You… you don’t know?”

“Know what?”

“Anything?”

Jimin frowns, pausing his actions. “What’re you talking about? What’s going on?”

He hates how his heart starts to hammer, his mind unravelling with thousands of different possibilities. He holds his breath patiently and waits despite the irritation growing under his skin with each second the other man remains silent. They both stare at each other for a long minute before Jeongguk sighs.

“Um…” Jeongguk licks his lips. “I got approached by some older university kids.”

“Okay…”

Jimin works as he listens, not sure he’d be able to devote his undivided attention even if he tried. The longer he keeps his gaze on Jeongguk, the deeper it scars him. He walks across the kitchen, grabbing a box of band aids.

“They were… um, using some degrading, derogatory terms.”

“Like?”

Jeongguk bites his lip. “Faggot.”

A burst of anger registers into Jimin, fury threatening to overtake him. He has to take a deep breath to compose himself even as his hands shake over the first aid supplies he holds, shutting his eyes tightly. When he reopens and focuses on Jeongguk, the man looks sheepish and it’s abundantly clear there’s more to the story.

“Guk…” Jimin edges forward. Without thinking, he grabs ahold of Jeongguk’s hand and intertwines their fingers, desperate to supply any kind of comfort. “What is it? You’re scaring me, what’s going on?”

“Did anyone talk to you today, in class?”

“No…?”

“Anyone give you weird looks?”

“No!” Jimin sighs, raising his voice. “Seriously, Guk.”

“No, I, just—” Jeongguk shakes his head, his features scrunching up from the agony. His fingers clench down tightly around Jimin’s and he takes a few moments before speaking, regretful eyes shining into Jimin’s. “They know. I don’t know how but I think they know. About the videos. Even my coach today, he kept staring at me and then… they know. They asked me. They know.”

(Mood: RY X - Berlin)

Jeongguk’s rambling goes over Jimin’s head after he says ‘about the videos’, the words not addressing to him any longer, as his mind goes blank. His hold over Jeongguk’s hand goes slack, panic slamming into him and freezing the blood in his veins.

“Jimin…” Jeongguk’s trying to gain his attention back, bring him back down to Earth. “Jimin, please. Please say something.”

There’s many things Jimin wants to say, namely: he knows this would’ve happened. He had been hesitant to agree with the porn videos at all. He didn’t want to do this originally because of the risks and circumstances attached. Now, he sits with a roommate riddled with scars and cuts, bleeding all over their kitchen and their future hangs uncertain in the air between them. He should’ve refused to do the videos right from the start.

Jimin exhales sharply, trying to recollect himself.

As much as he wants to lose his temper and throw a tantrum, claim he ‘told Jeongguk so’—he knows it’s not the time for such a reaction. Right now, his roommate needs him and he needs to deliver. He needs to act maturely and wise up to the situation, understand the deep waters they’re in now and act accordingly.

It’s difficult but he manages.

He squeezes Jeongguk’s hand in reassurance, snapping out of his little trance he had managed to enter into. Jeongguk’s eyes raise to meet his, flooded with anxieties and fear. Jimin wants to kiss each and every mark on his face, kiss him until the overwhelming negative feelings are flushed out of him.

“We’re okay,” he forces himself to say, no matter how bitter the words feel on his tongue. “We’re going to be okay.”

Jeongguk shakes his head. “We’re not—”

“Did you hear me, Jeongguk? We’re going to be okay. Now, shut up and let me clean you up and we’ll figure this out, okay? We’re going to figure this out.”

Jimin resumes to gently wipe away at the cuts with the disinfectant, biting his lip as Jeongguk winces. He attempts to smile at Jeongguk but it cuts off short, wavering on the border of uncertainty. It ends up coming across as a grimace. As much as he wants to remain as a rock for Jeongguk to lean onto, he’s struggling to do so.

Jeongguk must’ve noticed, must’ve heard the insincerity to his words and the shaking of his hands. He must’ve understood that Jimin feels hopeless right now because his mood shifts drastically.

Jimin narrows his eyes as he watches Jeongguk’s condition worsen gradually, his breaths coming out choked and short and his eyes widening with the realisation that he feels like he can’t get it together. His body starts trembling and the palm that Jimin holds grows moist under the hold. Jeongguk’s face pales, sweat beads rolling down the side of his head as his frame shakes.

Jimin’s not sure how to react or how to help. He’s never been faced with a full blown anxiety attack and he wishes he had done his research prior. As a Psychology major, he should know.

“Guk…” His own voice shakes when he asks. “Do… do you want me to hold your hand, or not?”

If there’s one thing he can remember from his lessons, it’s that some people don’t like being touched when they’re having an anxiety attack. He has to adhere to the rules and ensure Jeongguk’s comfortable first.

It takes a moment for the question to register within Jeongguk as his eyes remain hazy and unfocused, staring off into space. His chest heaves for a few seconds before he’s looking up, remeeting Jimin’s gaze and nodding slowly.

“P-please. Hand. Hold.”

“Okay. Okay. I got you,” Jimin promises, offering a gentle smile. He’s itching to reach out for his phone and quickly research but he’s not sure if he wants to wander even an inch away from Jeongguk. “I got you, baby.”

They wait for a few more seconds in silence before Jimin decides to stand up. He gently guides Jeongguk off the stool, a steadying hand on Jeongguk’s waist and he leads them into the living room instead. Jimin sits down first, prompting Jeongguk to lay down with his head in Jimin’s lap. It’s a difficult feat with a trembling Jeongguk but they manage to get into position.

Jeongguk rests his heavy head in Jimin’s lap, burying himself into his thighs and continues to rattle.

Jimin soothes him with a hand over his shoulders, gently rubbing him down like he’s trying to coax the anxiety out of his system. He doesn’t know how to help but he’s desperate to do so, in any way he can.

It’s only when Jeongguk’s breathing comes out startled, clearly unable to perform the task himself that Jimin starts to guide.

“Guk… you’re… we need to focus on your breathing, okay?” He reduces his voice to whisper but still resolute in the quiet room. “Can you close your eyes and inhale for five seconds, exhale for five seconds, Guk?”

Jeongguk musters up to the task though it takes a lot of courage out of his system, shivering as he follows the orders. He squeezes his eyes shut, and focuses on breathing every five seconds. It takes him a while but it’s accompanied by Jimin’s wandering hand over his body, caressing over every inch of his skin that can be reached.

Ten minutes pass in deafening silence except Jeongguk’s harsh chokes until he begins to resume back to normal, body gently slumping into Jimin’s lap as a look of relief takes over his features.

Jimin doesn’t speak for a moment, allowing the two of them to bask in the moment as he keeps his hands stroking down Jeongguk’s back. He tentatively pushes his hand under Jeongguk’s shirt, feeling over every knob of his spine.

“You okay?”

Jeongguk laughs at the question, humorlessly. “We’re fucked.”

“We’re not.”

“What the fuck are we going to do?” His voice is hoarse when he asks, almost screaming the words in frustration.

“Here’s what we’re going to do,” Jimin says determinedly. He’s not going to let the situation win, no matter how fearful he is. He wonders if the word has spread and how far it’s spread. Has it spread back home in Busan? “We’re going to first figure out what’s going on so far, we’re going to call Namjoon hyung and we’re going to tell him, maybe even Yoongi. We’re going to fucking figure this out, together.”

Jimin has to persist certainty if he wants to help Jeongguk also keep a composure over himself. He’s not sure if he can handle another full blown anxiety attack, his own heart race dramatically climbing. He doesn’t dare to remove his hands off Jeongguk, still soothing him subtly.

It takes a moment but Jeongguk finally nods with a heavy sigh.

“I think we fucked up in the last video, or something. There’s no way else someone could’ve found out.”

“Should we watch it back?”

Jeongguk hesitates, biting his lip. “Can you? I just—I can’t right now.”

“Sure. Sure.”

“Now, please?”

Jimin looks to his bedroom where his laptop is, dubious of leaving Jeongguk here and wandering off. Even if it’s only for a second. He visibly halts, deliberating until he feels Jeongguk’s hand tapping him on the side of his thighs like a quiet reassurance. He sighs, one last wander of his hands over Jeongguk’s body before he carefully withdraws himself.

When he comes back into the living room, Jeongguk has pulled himself together.

He sits upright on the couch and looks determined to seem fine, lips stretched into a thin smile and his eyes squinted and focus. Jimin frowns but he doesn’t say anything else, settling down besides him.

“You should look away,” Jimin suggests as he loads up the webpage, opening up the porn website where they’ve been uploading the videos. He enters their details, pressing on their videos as he takes a deep breath.

Jeongguk obeys. “Yeah.” And diverts his attention out of the window, focusing on the high rising buildings in Seoul.

Jimin clicks on the latest video only… it doesn’t load.

His frown deepens as he starts to furiously click down on ‘video six’ only to be met with an error sign. He wonders if the website’s signal is down but as he clicks on their other videos, they work normally.

“Uh… Jeongguk…” Jimin calls out for him tentatively. “It’s… I think it’s been taken down?”

Jeongguk turns to face him with confusion filtering into his features.

“Give it here,” he commands and reaches over, taking the laptop right out of his hands.

His brows furrow in concentration as he works over the page, clicking on the link multiple times only to be met with the same error page. He’s diverted back to their main videos, the other five videos that are still online and available for viewers.

“I don’t know what’s going on.”

Jimin hums as he grabs Jeongguk’s phone, opening up Namjoon’s contact details.

“Call him, tell him. He knows a solution for everything.”

Jeongguk’s hand shakes as he takes the phone off, precarious as he clutches the device tightly and makes no move to press dial. It takes him a few seconds. He looks genuinely shameful, like he’s embarrassed to have to resort to this before he bites the bullet and presses the call button.

Jimin hesitates before he edges closer to him on the couch. His hands convulse as he grabs Jeongguk’s, holding onto him tightly and intertwining their fingers together as a means of supplying comfort.

“Put it on loudspeaker.”

Jeongguk obeys and a voice speaks through the other line.

“Jeongguk! I’ve been trying to reach out to you! Fucking hell, where—”

“Namjoon hyung, I’m fucked,” he announces plainly, cutting him off with a distressful, high-pitched whine. “I’m fucked, we’re fucked. I’m going to lose—”

“Don’t be silly!” Namjoon’s voice chides, tsks in displeasure. “Will you believe me when I say I’ve already handled it?”

There’s a pause. Jimin doesn’t understand but his interest has peaked, raising his head and arching a brow expectedly.

“Handled it?” Jeongguk repeats, suspicious. “Do you even know what’s happened? Do you even know what you’re trying to handle here?”

“The video? Sixth porn video?”

“How do you know?”

“Uh… everyone does?” Namjoon laughs, sounding way too relaxed for someone whose friends has just been exposed as porn stars and now their future prospects are threatened. “Do you even realise what’s happened? At all?”

“No!” Jeongguk cries, frustrated. “I went to dance rehearsals and stopped in the bathroom on my way home, I was cornered by a group of five guys and I was beaten the fuck up. Jimin has no fucking clue. What the fuck is going on, hyung?”

“Right… well, is Jimin there? He should hear this too.”

“I’m here,” Jimin confirms his presence.

“In the sixth video, someone enhanced the audio and they heard ‘Jimin’ and ‘Jeongguk’. I’m guessing someone must’ve been suspicious, right off the bat. Someone around campus is watching the videos. When I caught the news, I immediately contacted the video and asked for that video is be taken down and every trace of it.”

“Hyung…” Jeongguk breathes out.

“It’s gone. I don’t know if the person who heard it made copies, or anything but you can just deny it. Is there only one Jeongguk in the world?”

“But our bodies… our frames, it’s obvious when added up together in the bigger picture.”

“Just keep denying it. They can’t physically prove it, Guk.”

Jeongguk seems distressed, heaving a loud sigh. He fiddles with the hem of his shirt, desperately seeking some kind of distraction. He doesn’t seem appeased with this, despite Namjoon’s efforts.

“It won’t stop the abuse. The name-calling, the derogatory words. It won’t stop any of it.”

“Perhaps not, no. Not for the time being.”

“Will I lose my place in the academy, hyung?” Jeongguk asks and his voice actually cracks, like the mere possibility is breaking his heart audibly. He sniffles, the first of his tears gathering in his eyes. “Hyung, I can’t lose—”

“Has your coach, any teacher, said anything to you, yet?”

“No, not that I’m aware of. My coach was staring at me weirdly today but, that’s it.”

“They can’t throw you out from speculations. There’s no confirmations that it’s actually you, y’know?”

“Yes, they can,” Jeongguk continues to agree, in clear denial. “Why would they want to deal with a problematic dancer, that brings them gossip and whispers? They won’t want me. I blew it. I ruined it for Hoseok.” Another ordeal seems to snap into Jeongguk. “Hoseok hyung,” he breathes out, shaking his head furiously. “Is he mad at me? Is he okay?”

Jimin can’t watch any longer. It physically pangs him, his chest constricting painfully. He squeezes their conjoined hands and in a moment of weakness, he lifts them up and kisses Jeongguk’s knuckles tenderly. It’s a foreign concept—to want to provide someone with comfort, to smother them with affection until their unpleasantries are wiped away.

“Hoseok will be fine. It won’t harm him,” Namjoon says though his voice hardens just the slightest. “They’ll keep you because you’re their best dancer, you’re nothing without them. They need you.”

“That’s not true—”

“Yes, it fucking is, Jeongguk. Without you, the dance academy falls apart. You play a big role and they’d be so fucking stupid to let that go. Especially so close to the performance. You really think they’re going to drop you a week to go? Who’s going to perform, then? Uphold their reputation? They may not agree with it necessarily but nonetheless, they ride your fucking dick to get by.”

Jimin snorts in laughter and has to bury his smile in their hands, shaking his head fondly. He realises, with a start, through this entire ordeal, he hasn’t thought about himself once. He hasn’t thought about the implications he’ll have. He’s only focused on Jeongguk and ensuring he’ll be okay.

What does that mean?

Jimin doesn’t know but he chooses not to question it any further, not wanting his mind to dangerously spin in a different direction with the impending questions. He’d rather focus on the situation they’re currently faced with, on the sudden shift in the mood around them and the tension that’s been cut into it.

Jeongguk takes a deep breath and visibly relaxes.

“I think… I think you’re right.”

“Of course I am. Did I or did I not say I’ve taken care of it?”

“What should we do now…? Jimin and I?”

There’s a pause from the other line before Namjoon speaks, sighing.

“I wouldn’t recommend filming the last video. I know you need the money and you’re so close to winning but think about it - is it really a wise idea? After how narrowly we dodged this bullet? You let it die out.”

Jeongguk bites his lips, uncertain as his eyes travel to Jimin. It’s like he’s silently trying to seek his approval to the matter. Jimin only nods reassuringly and squeezes their hands together.

“O-okay. Yeah, I don’t think we should.”

“Sorry, kid. I know you wanted that win. Just think wisely about this all. I gotta run now, yeah? Take care of yourselves, Jimin, too. Don’t let anyone touch you or they’ll face me,” Namjoon growls seriously. “Call Yoongi too, yeah? He’s freaking out. I love you.”

Namjoon hangs up before either of them can respond, thank him properly for his dedication towards helping them. They’d be helpless without Namjoon, right now. The phone cuts off and they’re both left staring at a blank screen.

It’s only nearing into evening outside as the sun sets and the sky is a splash of orange and pink, blending in together and creating a masterpiece upon them. Jimin stares at it intently, swinging their hands between them. Serenity overtakes him, the panic dying down and slowly dispersing between them.

(Mood: Sleeping at Last - Light)

They sit there together with no words needing to be exchanged for the moment to matter. They’re touching and that’s all that matters, fingers twisted up in each other’s. They watch the sunset together from where they sit.

Jimin thinks right now, in this moment, there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.

Even with his future still ambiguous, still needing to smooth out the repercussions he’ll face afterwards—he thinks right now, right here is where he’s meant to be. With Jeongguk holding his hand, their breaths evened out as they watch the restless city of Seoul from their window.

“Hey…” Jeongguk whispers, turning to face him. The previous features that had been rumpled in dismay has been polished, left with a cheeky grin. “Hey, Jimin.”

“Hi.”

“Shall we go to sleep?”

Jimin wrinkles his nose as he shifts to look at the clock, displaying it’s barely 7pm.

“Yeah. Yeah, let’s sleep,” he finds himself agreeing nonetheless.

Jeongguk’s smile grows. He seems relieved. They get up off the couch, still wrapped up in each other’s embrace. Jimin stops in the kitchen to grab some food for them that he had previously cooked and stored away for days like these, grateful that he had done that now.

They wander into the bedroom together. Neither of them reach to turn the lights on, allowing the darkness to encase them and conceal them for comfort. Maybe, they’re not ready to be startled with the realisation that there’s something going on between them. Maybe, they’re not ready for the revelation that Jimin’s heart hammering against his chest and his chest swelling isn’t platonic anymore.

The darkness hides them, hides their feelings, hides their knowing looks and their tender smiles.

For the time being.

They get into bed from opposite sides but meet in the middle, immediately reaching out for each other.

“Turn over,” Jimin commands him quietly.

Jeongguk complies without a second of hesitation, turning his back to him and gazing out in the other direction. Jimin wraps an arm around his waist, pulling him closer so they’re spooning. The position is comfortable and they fit together like they’re meant to be, Jimin’s head nuzzling into his neck and their legs tangled up.

Warmth spreads through Jimin and ignites his bones, causing him to slip into a pleasant headspace. Despite all that hangs in the air and all that requires his attention of panic, he feels… surreal. He feels content.

They lay awake for a while and when Jeongguk’s chest settles and he falls asleep—Jimin feels relieved. He may have not commented on it directly himself but he’s noticed. Jeongguk clearly suffers from insomnia, up all night and fatigued state from the dancing combined.

At long last, Jeongguk’s sleeping peacefully in his hold. For the first time, Jimin falls asleep peacefully, at long last.

**

Jeongguk wakes up first.

He feels groggy, his system seeming to work slower than usual as it takes a while for him to recognise where he is. He’s in Jimin’s room, wrapped up in his arms in a darkened room though sun rays filter into the room and illuminates the space around them. He yawns behind his free fist, blinking a few times to adjust. He twists his torso a little to observe Jimin behind him.

Jimin’s still sound asleep. His eyes are squeezed tight shut, arms tight around Jeongguk like he’s clinging onto him. He’s snoring lightly, his breathing louder than normal as he snuggles further into Jeongguk at the slight shift on the bed. He smiles softly, wanting to reach out and touch but unable to do so effectively in this position.

Instead, he turns back around and basks in the moment.

After an hour or so, Jimin finally stirs. He mumbles a few words incoherently, barely audible, trying to get comfortable in the position before he blinks his eyes open. He immediately sits up, gauging the situation between them.

“We’re cuddling,” Jimin says, dumbfounded.

Jeongguk resists the urge to scoff. He’s still trapped in Jimin’s arm and there’s fatigue in his veins, not from the lack of sleep but rather from recovering from the events of yesterday. Anxiety attacks tend to wipe him out. He takes a moment before smiling

“Yeah. Yeah, we’re cuddling. What happened to your ‘no cuddling’ rule?”

Jimin laughs. “I don’t know,” he admits honestly. He seems to debate internally with himself whether to move or not before deciding against it, burying his head back into Jeongguk as they slump into each other’s body. “Can we stay like this for a while? What time is it?”

“Um…” he reaches out for his phone. “7am.”

“Why are we awake so early?”

“I mean, we slept before 8pm.”

“Oh, right,” Jimin stifles a laugh this time, coming out as a yawn instead. “Of course we did.”

They remain quiet for a moment, just intertwined in each other’s embrace. Jeongguk finds that he doesn’t need to frantically search deep in his mind for conversation starters, doesn’t need to keep something going back and forth. Because right now, they’re more than comfortable and this feels right.

Finally, Jimin whispers. “Can we skip university today?”

The question is said in a steady voice but there’s hints of something deeper, the slightest pinch of fear mixed in. It’s understandable. Jeongguk’s dreading to come face-to-face with Hoseok after he’s been exposed, doesn’t want to experience his fury and his ‘told-you-so’ look. He can already imagine it.

The suggestion of skipping university makes him feel relieved.

“Of course, yeah.”

“If what Namjoon said is true and someone’s been watching us, I’ll just feel really uncomfortable.”

“Stop. Stop trying to justify it,” Jeongguk chides gently. “I get it and I’m telling you, we can stay in all day.”

“Will you stay in with me?” Jimin asks next, this time his tone a touch gentler like he almost doesn’t want to ask.

Jeongguk’s heart twists painfully. He’s reminded, once again, of the time he had walked out on Jimin after having sex to go and indulge with someone else He wishes he could take it back now, wishes he could get back into bed with Jimin and complied to Jimin wanting to keep him there Being here with him, right now, has made him realise there’s nowhere else he really wants to be.

Maybe, it’s too early to think so. Maybe, it’s insane to think so.

But there’s no other words to describe the feeling he’s experiencing right now, feels like he’s floating on cloud nine whilst being embraced by Jimin. The older man’s attention and affection is all he’s been craving for recently, the man’s approval and his sleepy whispers. All of it. He doesn’t want or need anyone else.

“Yeah. I won’t go anywhere,” Jeongguk reassures quietly.

They continue to nap on and off for the better half of the morning, sleeping every now and then and switching it up to talk quietly amongst each other. The conversations never hold much relevance, just trying to pry into each other’s little details like their favourite music artists and what they prefer to do when they have holiday from university.

Eventually when the time rolls to 10am, Jimin decides it’s time they get the day started.

They shower separately. Jimin goes in first with a shy smile, grabbing his clothes from his room and deciding he’ll change inside the bathroom whilst Jeongguk waits. He uses his phone, texting back a few friends and absolutely refusing to check Hoseok’s insistent text messages.

Once Jimin comes out with wet hair and a glorious, shining body in a fresh pair of clothes—he smiles at Jeongguk.

“Your turn.”

Jeongguk refuses to look him in the eyes, not wanting to make it obvious that he’s entranced by every feature of Jimin. He takes his time under the hot spray of water, trying to wash the emotions of yesterday off.

When he emerges, Jimin’s on his bed.

“Hey,” he greets shyly as if they’re meeting each other the first time since the morning. His precious boldness and openness to their conversations in bed has wiped away, replaced with the old Jimin but slightly more inclined to talk. “How was that?”

“Good,” Jeongguk answers honestly with a reassuring smile. He walks to one side of his room, plugging in his hairdryer and sorting out the mess on his head. “Do you want some breakfast?”

“Yeah, I can make it.” Jimin stands up from where he sits and he seems to contemplate what to do, whether to walk towards Jeongguk or not before deciding against it. “I’ll see you in the kitchen.”

Jeongguk watches him leave and waits until his figure has disappeared from the doorway and sounds of pots clashing in the kitchen can be heard. He smiles widely, knowing that Jimin’s now in his zone. Kitchen. It’s where he belongs, naturally.

Once he’s blowdried his hair and changed into suitable clothes—he comes out to a fully prepared, decked out kitchen island.

“How did you manage to do this so quickly?” Jeongguk marvels.

The table has an assortment of different dishes, all easy recipes that can be prepared in a matter of ten minutes. Jimin, being an expert he is, can probably do it even less if the current alignment before Jeongguk is any indicator.

There’s egg and bread, French toast and chocolate muffins. He licks his lips as he sits down, his stomach rumbling from the lack of food consumed yesterday. He knew there was food in the bedroom that Jimin had taken with him but he had refused to eat it, choosing to snuggle into Jimin and fall asleep almost immediately.

“You did too much,” Jeongguk complains—though he’s grateful. “I don’t even think I can eat all of this.”

Jimin snickers as he sits opposite him, a boastful smile taking over his lips. It’s clear how much he likes treating others with his food and it’s taken him a long time to allow himself to be comfortable doing so, willingly allowing people to judge him for his cooking.

“Just take a bit of each. I’ll prepare you a plate, wait.”

Jimin does so and Jeongguk waits patiently. The man puts a slice of French toast with a tiny dollop of cream to go alongside it, a single egg and half of a muffin. He looks pleased with himself when he sits back down, watching him warily.

Jeongguk already knows it’ll taste good. He has no doubts in Jimin’s cooking. So, when he takes a bite and his taste buds explode with the goodness, he’s not surprised.

“This is delicious, holy shit.”

Jimin grins. “Thank you.”

They sit and eat breakfast, not talking to each other but sparing each other a glance every now and then. Every time their eyes meet, Jimin tends to blush and divert his attention elsewhere. Jeongguk doesn’t mind and if anything, he can admire Jimin’s timidness.

When they’re done, they settle on the couch and they put on Netflix.

They opt through different serial killer documentaries, surrounded by old cakes Jimin’s baked and is desperate to get rid of. They eat the baked goods and find themselves inching towards each other’s presence with each passing second of the thriller documentary they watch. At a particular gory scene, Jimin gasps and covers his eyes. He instinctively falls into Jeongguk’s side, trying to hide himself from the TV.

Normally, Jeongguk would tease someone for doing that, call them a weakling and tell them to pull themselves together. But as he watches Jimin find refuge within him, he can’t help but feel his chest swell with unexplainable fondness. He coos under his breath, wrapping an arm around Jimin and drawing him closer.

Once they’re done watching three shows consecutively and it’s nearing to early evening, Jimin nudges Jeongguk.

“Can we bake a cake?”

Usually, the request to bake irks Jeongguk. It’s usually a tactic to avoid a serious conversation and Jimin’s good at persuading people for what he wants to do. But today, he asks with stars in his eyes like he’s just trying to genuinely spend more quality time with Jeongguk and the best way he knows how is through baking, through sharing his one and only passion.

Jeongguk grins and nods, not wasting a second before obliging.

“Of course, babe. Come.”

Jeongguk sits on the counter, legs crossed underneath him and sucking on a lollipop as he watches Jimin filter through the kitchen. Jimin takes a natural stance in the kitchen, knows the ins and outs even with his eyes closed. Every few seconds, Jimin’s gaze will flicker to him and he’ll visibly pause.

“What?” Jeongguk smirks as he sucks harder around the sweet, eyes glistening with a knowing look. “What’s the matter?”

“U-uh.” Jimin coughs into his fist, shaking his head. “I’m all good. Need your help, though.”

Jeongguk sighs inwardly. He had wanted to tease Jimin further, wanting to provoke such reactions that only provide him with more satisfaction. But he also wants to provide with any aid possible.

“Sure. What should I do?” He bites off the lollipop, munching it quickly before getting off the counter.

“Just help me weigh the ingredients. I need two eggs, please. Some vanilla extract, top right cabinet.”

Jeongguk hums. “Yes, sir.”

He walks around the kitchen and retrieves the ingredients asked of him, making sure to get the right quantity before wandering back to Jimin. The older man seems appreciative and shoots him a dazzling smile each time, one time even managing to lean in and kiss Jeongguk’s cheeks.

It’s harmless, could even be considered platonic but it makes Jeongguk’s heart race climb drastically.

“First,” Jimin says as he pulls out a bowl. “We combine the butter and sugar together, cream it. Makes for a good, moist base for the cake,” he explains though Jeongguk hadn’t asked but he certainly doesn’t mind.

He steps closer to Jimin, standing from behind him and breathing hotly onto Jimin’s ear. He knows he’s overstepping a line here but it doesn’t stop him from doing so, one hand settling on Jimin’s waist.

Jimin shivers but he pushes through, trying his hardest to act nonchalant.

“What else, Jimin?”

“Uh..” he trails off, distracted for a minute. “We add the eggs next.”

Jimin continues to follow his own instructions though his focus has been diverted and he stumbles, stopping every now and then when Jeongguk’s hand wanders higher towards his neck. He doesn’t press down, simply massaging Jimin’s Adam’s apple. He watches how Jimin swallows and shuts his eyes, halting his actions.

“J-Jeongguk,” he breathes out.

“Sorry.” Jeongguk takes a clear step back, still grinning. “Continue.”

Jimin seems both relieved but also frustrated, looking over his shoulders to deliver a deeply unimpressed look before he gets to work. Using a electric hand mixer, Jimin combines the ingredients together. He explains his steps as he goes along, launching into a long explanation about why vanilla extract is important regardless of the sugar in cakes.

“After we’re done with the wet ingredients, we can start with the dry.”

“The flour?” Jeongguk raises a brow, opening a cabinet to withdraw a packet. “How much?”

“175G, please.”

Jeongguk hums and grabs the electric weighing scale, ready to weigh out the specific amount required. But as he opens the packet, the flour splutters up and out, making him take stumble backwards as he coughs violently. He pats his chest, trying to clear his airways.

Jimin turns to him, concern flooding his features. He abandons his task at hand, immediately walking over to him.

“Guk?” He frowns. “Are you okay?”

Jeongguk collects himself and nods. “Yeah, sorry. Sorry.”

“It’s okay. Be careful.”

“Your flour is horrible,” he groans as he reopens the packet tentatively now, ensuring it doesn’t disperse into the air.

Jimin laughs prettily, his eyes crinkling with the act and he opens his mouth to reply but before he can, he’s cut off. There’s a loud, insistent buzzing up to their apartment. Both of them freeze momentarily, looking towards each other and before they can react, there’s another buzz.

“Someone’s downstairs,” Jeongguk supplies uselessly. “Probably Taehyung or Yoongi hyung.”

Jimin rolls his eyes and walks away, resuming to prepare for the cake. Jeongguk walks to the intercom, pressing down on the button and picking up the phone.

“Hello, who is this?”

A unfamiliar, static tone speaks through the other line. It’s gruff and the mere voice demands the utmost attention, screaming authority.

“This is Mr. Park. Jimin’s father. Is my son there?”

Jeongguk freezes as he clutches around the phone in his hand. For as long as he’s been roommates with Jimin, his family has been an topic off limits. They’ve never mentioned it, never been breached upon it. All he knows, through Taehyung, is that Jimin is one of many siblings.

He glances away towards Jimin who’s still blissfully mixing, unaware to what’s going on. To the fact that his father is downstairs.

Jeongguk’s mind wracks as he tries to think back to the last time he had seen Jimin interacting with his family at all, talking to his parents, his siblings. He can’t recall a single time.

“Yes. What’s the issue, Mr. Park?”

At the mention of the family name, Jimin’s head snaps up and he visibly halts. He drops the mixer in his hand, causing it to clatter loudly on the counter. Jeongguk winces. Something feels wrong. There’s something seriously wrong.

“I’m here to see my son,” the deep voice continues, now sounding offended at the question. “Open up the door.”

“I—I,” Jeongguk seems conflicted, looking back at Jimin. Jimin only nods to him mutely though horror has taken over every feature on his face, paling. All the happiness from earlier has drained, leaving him with a detached, shell-shocked individual. Jeongguk’s torn. “Okay.”

He hangs up and allows the man through the door, hands shaking whilst he does so. He, himself, doesn’t know the background of Jimin’s life but he knows it can’t be a walk in the park. Now, when he looks back at Jimin, he knows he’s preparing for something major.

It seems like Jimin wants to say something, ask something but he’s unable to do so. He’s frozen on the spot and they both wait in silence.

A few minutes pass before there’s a loud, unwelcoming knock on the door. Jeongguk takes a deep breath, mentally preparing himself for an ordeal that he doesn’t want to deal with but he knows he’s compelled to do so. He glances to Jimin but Jimin only shakes his head, retreating back a little more.

Jeongguk knows the task is handed to him.

He exhales and wrings out his fingers, cracking his knuckles before he walks to the front door. He opens it slowly, revealing Mr. Park and Mrs. Park.

They’re both pristine looking parents, well kempt, expensive looking individuals. Mr. Park stands with his head stuck in the air, disgust crawling over every features as he peers into the apartment with a critical look. Mrs. Park is dressed in her finest, a tight-fitting black dress and a fur overthrow. They look like they have the rule of power, holding it in the palm of their hands as they walk into the apartment without sparing Jeongguk a single glance.

Jeongguk doesn’t know what’s going on but all he can think, and feel is how wrong this feels.

Jimin hasn’t moved from his spot in the kitchen. His hands are clenched by his sides, eyes narrowed carefully as he observes every movement his father takes in the apartment. He doesn’t even bother to look at his mother, focusing all his energy upon his father. Mr. Park finally sweeps over with his eyes, finding Jimin.

“What is this mess?” Is the first thing he demands to know, scanning the kitchen. “What the fuck is this?”

Jimin raises a brow. “Hello to you too, appa. How’ve you been? I’ve been just great.”

There’s definite, clear-cut bitterness that implodes his tone. It contributes to the thick tension growing between the four people standing in the room. Jeongguk shifts uncomfortably on his feet, watching the situation play out in front of his eyes.

Mr. Park’s lips curl downwards, an ugly looking snarl taking over.

“Jimin. I’m not here for conversations.”

“That’s just brilliant, isn’t it? Fucking brilliant.” Jimin laughs, seemingly unbothered.

Language, boy!” Mr. Park bellows.

Mrs. Park clicks her tongue in distaste, her cascading hair whipping in the air from her sudden movement from the doorway. She walks into the apartment, wrinkling her nose at her husband.

“You never stop screaming,” she complains before her eyes drift to Jimin. Her expression doesn’t ease up. “Jimin. We’re here to talk. Fix us a drink will you, son? Let’s talk.”

Jimin looks like he wants to object. He grits his teeth and the motion is audible, a loud sound in the quiet room. Jeongguk swallows thickly and he doesn’t know what’s going but he knows the best thing he can do is give the family space. He tries to quickly dismiss himself, walking in the direction of his bedroom.

“Jeongguk, no,” Jimin shakes his head. “Stay.”

“But—”

“Stay,” he repeats, only sounding more firm. “Sit down with them. I’m coming.”

Jeongguk feels a desperate, crawling need to get himself out of the situation. He wants to remove himself to avoid seeing the inevitable destruction impending to occur. But when he meets Jimin’s eyes, they’re already shining with unshed tears and he’s barely holding himself together out of the last ounce of dignity within him.

He notices Jimin’s expression and he finds himself obliging, wanting to stay to be there for him.

(Mood: I couldn’t figure out the right one for this scene but: Downton Abbey - Damaged is the song I listened to whilst writing this. )

He sits down on the couch and resolutely refuses to look either parent in the eye. Even with gaps in his knowledge, Jeongguk feels nothing but resentment for them. For the way they waltz into the apartment like they own the place, look down upon them like they’re superior. Everything about them feels snobby, rubbing Jeongguk all in the wrong places.

But he’s a classy man, raised in the luxurious district of Seoul with millions around the corner for him. He knows respect and he knows playing a part.

Mr. Park is inspecting him up and down, cold eyes wandering over him. He looks displeased but he doesn’t comment, doesn’t look away either. It’s unnerving and Jeongguk squirms but he doesn’t let his discomfort show.

Jimin arrives back into the living a few minutes later. He holds a tray, steady in both hands as he places it down on the coffee table before his parents. He stands, unsure what to do for a minute, before finally moving to sit besides Jeongguk. It’s surprising how close he sits, the proximity almost suspicious as their thighs touch. Jeongguk swallows around the lump in his throat and doesn’t make a comment.

Neither of the parents talk.

Mr. Park picks up the glass of drink but he doesn’t consume it, distractedly tracing the rim of the glass. Mrs. Park takes a sip and tries her hardest to keep a neutral expression, lips twitching.

“Well. Are you going to speak or not?” Jimin’s tone remains unkind, cutting in.

Mr. Park snorts and Mrs. Park takes a moment, tentatively taking another sip before putting the drink down. It’s clear she never wanted it in the first place, just needed an ice breaker. Jeongguk braces himself when he sees her lips move, waiting.

“You haven’t come home in a while.”

Jimin’s facial expression remains smoothed out, unfazed.

“Yes, I’m well aware.”

“You still doing Psychology?”

“Yes.”

“Good grades?”

“Yes, Eomma.”

“Hmm.” She sticks her nose in her air, sniffing at nothing. “Would your… roommate, I think, say the same?”

Jimin laughs, breathy and under his breath and sounding in a state of disbelief.

“Yes, my roommate would say the same.”

Mrs. Park turns to Jeongguk expectedly and he’s not sure what he’s meant to say. He clears his throat, trying to follow the conversation as he nods slowly.

“Yes. Jimin’s getting good grades.”

Mrs. Park laughs, too. She sounds unconvinced but she doesn’t say anything else, tracing patterns into her skirt like her undivided attention is impossible when talking to her son. She’s treating Jimin like he’s below her, like he’s the dirt under her shoe and she’s not trying to hide the fact, either.

“You haven’t come home in a while,” Mrs. Park repeats her words from before.

Jimin rolls his eyes and shifts forward, prepared to have a go at her and release his frustrations. He seems ready, his guard coming right down and evident fury overtaking.

“Yes, because—”

“And we’d rather you never do, ever again.”

A chilling silence follows. Jeongguk’s eyes widen as his head moves to face Mrs. Park better, finding no evidence of humour in her features. She remains indifferent. Mr. Park, similarly, seems the same. He’s detached and barely even following, focusing on the world outside from the apartment window.

Jimin halts from where he’s about to move. Only to slump back in the couch.

“Eomma…” his voice sounds child-like now, cracking. “Eomma, please.”

“Jimin. Don’t make this any harder than it has to be.”

“Eomma, why?” Jimin pleads, tears easily spilling over the edge. He gets off the couch only to kneel before her, holding her hand. “Eomma, I’ve done everything you’ve wanted. I did Psychology, I left to keep the family reputation up. I’ve done everything. Why? Don’t do this, Eomma. Please.”

Mrs. Park viciously tears her hand away. Something feral enters into her pupils, darkening as she backs away from Jimin like he’s physically harmed her.

Don’t touch me! I don’t want your disease!”

Jimin’s dumbfounded and still trying to chase after her contact.

“Disease? What disease?”

“Your gay disease!” She cries in outrage, jumping up from the couch. She knocks over the drink, watching it fall to the ground and shatter to pieces. The liquid seeps out, staining the floor. “I bet this drink gave me the disease as well!”

“Eomma…” Jimin breathes out, crying heavily now.

“You think you could upload porn videos online? You think we wouldn’t realise you’re gay?” She continues to yell, the volume going up a notch. “You think I didn’t hear your name being whispered in that video? You told me you weren’t gay.”

“I’m—”

“You’re still as gay as you were when you were crippled, on the hospital bed! You’re a disgrace, Jimin and we don’t accept faggots in the Park family.”

“Eomma—”

“I feel disgusted to stand here.”

Jimin’s still trying to seek out some sort of contact, try to meet some sort of truce. He walks towards her again, reaching out for her but Mrs. Park slaps him. It’s a sharp, stinging slap that resonates loudly in the room right across his cheek.

Jeongguk’s moving in a flash.

He sprints towards Jimin, gathering the boy into his arms and pulling him back. Jimin finds consolation in the embrace because he crumples in Jeongguk’s arms, loud, heartbreaking sobs wracking out of the boy.

Jeongguk looks up and he spits out, as well as he can manage under the current turmoil.

“Get the fuck out of my apartment before I call the police, you fucking, disgusting excuse of a human being.”

“Who the fuck—” Mrs. Park tries.

“I’m giving you five seconds.” Jeongguk continues, his voice remarkably steady even as he shakes with anger, his body trembling. He’s itching to reach out, to inflict harm back. “Get the fuck out!”

Mrs. Park and Mr. Park barely waste a second after. They’re getting up and they’re moving, their noses still wrinkled in disgust and still walking like they own the place. Mrs. Park pauses at the front door but upon seeing Jeongguk’s stare, she decides against saying anything and leaves, slamming the door shut behind her.

As soon as they’re gone, an eerie moment of silence follows.

Jimin has seemed to stop crying in a matter of seconds, only sniffles escaping from him. Jeongguk doesn’t dare let him go, arms tight around him and rocking his body back and forth.

“Let go of me.”

Jeongguk does, immediately. He drops his arms from Jimin upon the request and waits, not wanting to overstep.

Jimin looks up and the temporary misery, devastation has been replaced with unhinged anger. His features contort and before Jeongguk can catch up to what’s going on, Jimin’s moving to the kitchen.

He grabs the bowl of their ingredients, the cake they hadn’t finished and untouched, and sends it hurtling to the ground. It smashes into pieces, causing the second destruction of the day.

Jimin’s screaming. It’s a piercing loud sound, breaking through the room and cutting up the thick tension. He doesn’t cry. He doesn’t say anything beyond his screams, kicking the kitchen cabinets and moving to smash another glass equipment.

“Jimin!” Jeongguk yells, trying to regain his focus back to him. “Jimin, stop.”

Jeongguk’s a little wary, maybe even a little afraid of the current state of Jimin. But he knows he has to take action. He tentatively reaches out for Jimin, drawing the body closer and away from where he’s ruining their home.

Jimin falls into the embrace once again but this time, there’s no crying. There’s stubborn, quiet silence from him and an occasional sniffle. He’s barely holding himself together, rattled by what he’s heard and experienced.

Jeongguk rubs a soothing hand over his back, quietly willing his breathing to reduce down to a reasonable level again.

It takes a while but Jimin finally manages to resume to normalcy, his chest heaving but no sudden signs he’s going to return to disrupting their safe haven.

“It’s not fair, Guk.”

The words physically ache Jeongguk, dangerously squeezing his current fragile state. He doesn’t have the words so he doesn’t say anything, not wanting to put his foot in his mouth and make a mess out of the situation.

“I know.”

“I did everything for them. It’s not fair.”

Jeongguk shushes him, terrified Jimin wil work himself up again and knows that reaction won’t be helpful for the time being.

They remain wrapped up in each other’s arms for a little while longer, finding solace and comfort. They fit together well, their bodies aligning like they were always meant to meet in such an embrace.

“Jimin…” Jeongguk whispers. “What do you need? Tell me.”

“I wanna forget.”

Jeongguk doesn’t know how he prefers to forget such events, doesn’t know how Jimin copes. He doesn’t even understand what has just happened properly, can only come to his own hazy, gapped conclusions. Jeongguk sighs.

“Wanna keep baking?”

“No, no. I wanna forget.”

Jeongguk frowns as he cards a hand through Jimin’s hair, detangling the knots and pressing a tender kiss to his forehead. He continues to press lingering kisses, puckering his lips and continue down the side of Jimin’s face. It seems to appease Jimin for the time being because he exhales, leaning into every single one of them.

Jeongguk feels like he’s making progress so he continues, reaching Jimin’s neck and sucking on the skin. Not long enough to leave marks but so Jimin will be flooded with nothing but pleasure.

Jimin whines as his body responds, raising his hips and meeting back the warmth. Jeongguk smiles tentatively, drifting upwards and kissing down his jawline.

“Jeongguk…” Jimin sounds relatively calmer now, eyes shut.

“Listen, babe… I… release your frustrations on me, okay?” Jeongguk resorts to the one thing he does know: sex. “Take me as yours, fuck me, Jimin. Let’s forget together.”

Jimin seems to hesitate. His frame tenses and for a second, Jeongguk thinks he’s said something wrong. Perhaps, he should’ve kept his mouth shut. Perhaps, he should’ve dug deeper for alternate ways to make Jimin feel better.

But Jimin reacts begins to react quickly.

“Yes, please,” he murmurs. “Want to fuck you, please.”

It all descends from there. Jimin withdraws only the slightest so he can crash their lips together. It’s a desperate, demanding kiss—it’s full with passion and fierce force. Jeongguk gives up his control, falling to a submissive headspace and he allows Jimin to pick out what he needs.

Their lips move rhythmically together, tongues swiping as they exchange saliva. It’s dirty but it’s pleasurable. Jimin keeps releasing tiny moans into the other’s mouth, rolling his hips up and chasing the feeling.

“Thank you,” Jimin whispers against his lips.

Jeongguk shakes his head, not wanting to hear it. He reaches out to thread his fingers through Jimin’s hair, tugging him back down so they’re kissing once again. They stumble through the apartment, breaking apart only when necessary, to get back into the bedroom. They strip off their clothes, throwing them across the room as they fall into the bed.

Jeongguk nibbles on Jimin’s lips, grinding down on Jimin’s hardening cock.

“Take me,” he begs under his breath. “Take me.”

“I will.” Jimin promises.

For someone who hasn’t fucked someone else in four year, Jimin seems to understand what to do and how to do it well. He grabs the lube from the bedside table, hesitating only for a second. Jeongguk recognises the skepticism in his features because he reaches out, wrapping a gentle hand around his forearm.

“You’re okay,” Jeongguk whispers. “I got you. Just go with the flow, do what feels right.”

The advice seems to resonate within Jimin because he follows easily. He slicks up a finger but crouches down between Jeongguk’s legs, parting them so he can settle inbetween. He licks his lips before picking up Jeongguk’s half-hard cock.

Jimin seems to know what he’s doing because he smirks before he leans down, taking the head of the cock into his mouth and sucking on it. At the same time, he eases a single digit into his hole.

The sensation from both ends overwhelms him. Jeongguk gasps and arches his back immediately, trying to chase the feeling but Jimin doesn’t allow him. He reaches over with the spare idle hand, pressing his body back into the mattress before doubling his efforts over the cock.

He sucks Jeongguk right down to the base, choking lightly. He bops his head up and down a few times, only to resurface for air and take a moment.

“I’m not great with… the whole throat fucking thing,” Jimin explains, flushing. “Because of the previous experience, as you know. Let me set my own pace?”

Jeongguk nods and then bites his lips, contemplating what boundaries Jimin would feel more comfortable with. That’s all that matters right now.

“Can I keep your hands in your hair, at least?”

“Um… y-yeah, sure.”

They resume back to the task at hand. Jimin takes it upon himself to choke on the cock, deepthroating each time as he eases another finger into Jeongguk’s hole. He seems to know what he’s doing and holds the capability between the two of them. Each movement that Jimin does has Jeongguk squirming underneath him, releasing pretty little groans.

Jimin’s fingers curl inside of him, reaching out for the bundle of nerves and Jeongguk convulses.

“I’m ready,” he convinces Jimin, not sure how he’ll last any longer if this torture is kept up. “Please. I’m ready. Fuck me.”

Jimin obliges. He withdraws his fingers carefully, listening to the squelch of the lube moving inside of him before swirling his tongue around Jeongguk’s cock one last time. He sits upright, rolling a condom on and lubing up some more. He leans into Jeongguk’s space, one hand on his bicep and the other reaching out for their fingers.

They intertwine their fingers together, settling it on top of Jeongguk’s chest.

The moment is serene and intimate, making Jeongguk’s stomach flutter. He closes his eyes, rolling his head back and exhales sharply when he feels the sharp pinch of Jimin’s cock entering inside of him. He tenses momentarily, trying his hardest to adjust to the intrusion. Jimin’s patient and only edges in when he knows Jeongguk’s prepared, kissing down his neck at the same time.

Jeongguk unwinds, finding himself opening up to Jimin more and more.

“That’s it…” Jimin whispers against his neck, sucking to leave a small hickey—nothing too permanent, before lingering up to his jawline. “I’ll make it good, I promise.”

“I don’t doubt it.”

Jimin starts to move. He fucks into Jeongguk at a fast pace but still deep, making Jeongguk feel him all over. The sensation is all-consuming, unable to focus on anything else but the delicious drag of Jimin’s cock inside of him.

Jeongguk groans out loud, crying Jimin’s name as Jimin begins to pick up the movement.

Each thrust is angled upright, hitting Jeongguk’s prostate dead-on. He hasn’t received penetration like this, so overwhelmingly exceptional that he feels like he can’t breathe properly. His breath hitches and he clutches onto Jimin, baring out to him so he can do as Jimin pleases.

They’re both worked up and reeling from the prior events. They don’t last long.

Jeongguk reaches down and starts to jerk himself off, matching Jimin’s pace and it only takes a few pumps over himself before he comes. He yells Jimin’s name whilst doing so, blinding pleasure making his black out for a second as he softens into the mattress and lets the older man finish.

Jimin growls. “You’re so hot, Jeongguk. Fuck.”

Jimin thrusts a half dozen more times before he bottoms out, buried deep within Jeongguk. His cock pulses and he releases, coming inside of him. He digs his fingers so deep into Jeongguk’s biceps, he’s sure there’ll be marks there tomorrow.

Neither of them speak.

For a moment, it’s just the two of them and their climaxes still floating around them. Jeongguk’s still coming down from his high, breathing harshly as he shuts his eyes. He feels Jimin shift around him, slipping out of him tentatively and discarding of the condom before returning with a wet tissue to clean up after Jeongguk.

“Come here, let’s cuddle,” Jeongguk demands lightly.

(Mood: Coldplay - Hymn For The Weekend)

Jimin laughs though it wavers, features scrunched up in uncertainty. He slips back into bed with Jeongguk. He reaches out for Jimin’s arm, pulling him closer as Jimin’s head into his chest The older man exhales a little breathily, burying deeper and finding a sanctuary within him.

“Was that okay?” Jimin whispers. “I feel like I may of gotten carried away. Just… worked up.”

“More than okay. It was the best,” he promises. Jeongguk kisses the top of his head, his unkempt hair. “Thank you.”

“You don’t have to thank me.”

Jimin hums as he snuggles into him further and Jeongguk laughs, running a hand through his hair. He tugs at the bottom of Jimin’s strands, the baby hairs that curl around the nape of his neck before kissing his forehead.

“I’m sorry you had to see that,” Jimin continues. “My parents…”

“We don’t have to talk about it.”

“I should explain, though.”

Jeongguk shakes his head. “You’re not obliged to do anything, Jimin. If you want to talk, I’m all ears. But you’re not… you don’t have to just because you feel like you should, because of what I saw. All in good time.”

Jimin hesitates. It’s obvious he’s contemplating whether or not he wants to open up and expose himself, the same secret he’s been concealing deep within him. The same secrets that makes him a walking mystery.

He draws his head back a little so they can make direct eye contact. Remorse and confusion filters into Jimin’s expression, biting his lip as if he’s unsure what choice to make. Jeongguk’s about to tell him—once again—that there’s no need for him to open up if he feels uncomfortable.

But before he can do so, Jimin starts to talk.

“I was seventeen when I was in my last relationship,” Jimin announces though it’s not news to Jeongguk. He had been well aware of this fact. “I was seventeen. He was thirty-seven.”

That, however, is something he hadn’t been aware of. His eyes widen, momentarily left shocked from the news of Jimin being involved in a relationship with a drastic age gap. He doesn’t know how to process this piece of information so he just waits for more explanation to follow.

“I didn’t love him. I thought I did, though,” Jimin laughs. It’s a bitter laugh, barely there. “He gave me attention and my parents never did. The man took advantage of me and my fragile state since I was yearning for someone, something. Amongst my five other siblings, I was neglected and belittled and the man made me feel… sexy. Wanted.”

Jeongguk exhales sharply. With each word Jimin takes, his chest further threatens to collapse. His lungs squeeze tightly, making it hard to draw breaths properly. It’s not even his own life story but upon seeing Jimin’s parents, he thinks he understands the situation Jimin’s trying to paint better.

“He used me for sex. I never wanted it but I gave in. In return, he brought me clothes, transferred money into my account whenever I wanted. He was a rich businessman and I was his doll, his personal slave. He loved me because I catered to his every need.” Jimin pauses and before Jeongguk can say anything, he continues. “A day before my eighteenth birthday, he took me out. He made me do cocaine with him before we got into a car together. He was driving and he didn’t stop at a junction, driving right past at full speed. I think he was trying to impress me, not realising putting our lives in danger isn’t appealing to me whatsoever. We crashed, badly.”

“Oh, Jimin…”

“I broke some bones that I never healed properly from and I spent my eighteenth birthday in a hospital bed, battered and bruised. My parents grew suspicious of the man that was with me and I denied being gay to them. I wasn’t gay,” Jimin shakes his head. “I couldn’t be gay, I wasn’t allowed to be gay..”

“I’m sorry,” Jeongguk supplies uselessly, kissing his hair.

“I’m gay,” Jimin continues. “I can’t keep hiding it. I couldn’t keep hiding it. My parents… they’re elite people. They’re not the richest but they hold status, they hold a long family line. Me being gay, me wanting to be a chef? It wasn’t allowed and I seeked for their approval, I followed them blindly. I moved out and came here so I wasn’t an ‘gay’ embarrassment, I took Psychology to please them. I… I lost them. I gave up my life, everything for them and they cut me off. They disowned me.”

Jeongguk shudders as the fresh, raw memories of his parents that had been wandering the apartment merely an hour ago filters into his mind once again. Just thinking about Mrs. Park’s gaze, her hand hitting Jimin’s cheeks—it angers him.

“Jesus Christ.”

“I gave up my life for nothing.”

Jeongguk shakes his head furiously. A crushing need to protect Jimin takes over every sense in his body, every organ. He shuffles closer—though it’s humanly impossible with their current proximity—and presses kisses to every inch of Jimin’s face. Between each kisses, he pauses to whisper words of affirmation.

“You’re beautiful,” Jeongguk’s voice is barely audible. “You haven’t given up anything. The fight isn’t over. It’s never over. You’re gay, and that’s okay. It’s never fucking over.”

With each word and each lingering presence of Jeongguk’s lips on him, he begins to unravel and feel more comfortable.

“Jeongguk…”

“Fuck them. Drop out of school, drop Psychology. I knew you never had an interest in it, I was proven right.”

“You did?”

“Yeah,” Jeongguk sighs. “I see it. Everyone does.”

Jimin furrows his brows, having not expecting that. It’s like he believes he had been able to conceal it the entire times and it’s a revelation that someone else picked up on it.

“Oh…” Jimin looks befuddled but shrugs. “I mean, it’s just a burden to me. It’s interesting but I was trying to make my parents love me, trying to see if they ever could. Clearly not.”

“They’re delusional. You can’t just abandon your own son because he’s gay. You’re their blood, you shouldn’t be tossed aside so easily.”

Jimin body frame shudders at that and for a moment, he doesn’t respond. When he looks up, tears begin to build in his eyes again. Jeongguk coos as he reaches out with his thumb, catching the moisture before it can fall.

“I tried all these years for their approval, it never worked.”

“I don’t think it was ever meant to.”

Jimin sighs heavily and he shakes his head, trying to come to terms with the situation before he leans in and nuzzles himself into Jeongguk’s chest once again.

There’s so many unsaid words that hang between them. There’s so much Jeongguk wants to say, wants to make Jimin believe about himself. But he also knows there’s a time and a place for everything and perhaps, blurting out his deeper thoughts isn’t the wisest option at the moment.

“You deserve better, Jimin.”

But apparently, the words don’t reach Jimin’s ears because he’s already fallen asleep, on top of Jeongguk’s chest.

**

Jimin’s getting ready to go to his classes and Jeongguk watches warily, draped across the bed with a frown settling on his lips. To say he doesn’t want Jimin to leave is an understatement. They’re in the sanctuary of their home, where everything feels serene and feels pleasant.

Outside of these four walls, there’s a rumour waiting to unleash and drama waiting to unravel.

It seems like Jimin recognises that as well because he’s reluctant as he dresses himself, hiding behind the wardrobe door as he does so. He emerges dressed, fiddling with his hair with a sigh.

“You don’t have to go,” Jeongguk reminds him.

Only yesterday, Jimin received some of the roughest news of his life. He was humiliated and physically harmed by his mother. He was told by his parents that they didn’t want to see him anymore, that their home wasn’t his anymore. It’s an event that leaves people reeling for months and yet, Jimin’s trying to get himself together the morning after.

It’s uncalled for. It’s unnecessary.

Jimin exhales and seems annoyed at Jeongguk’s reminder, ignoring him as he walks to the mirror. He stares at his reflection for a long moment, scowling at his own appearance.

“Do you have a hairbrush?” He asks instead.

“Dresser, top drawer.”

Jimin moves away without a sound and grabs the brush, smoothing out the strands of his hair. He moves to grab his backpack on the floor before stopping. His eyes linger over to where Jeongguk lays, still smothered by the blankets.

“I’m being a dick, aren’t I?” He questions out loud.

Jeongguk snorts and settles to sit upwards, the blankets pooling around his body. He beckons Jimin forward and the boy follows. Jimin stands before the bed, his knees hitting the edges and looking longingly at Jeongguk.

“You’re not being a dick,” Jeongguk promises sincerely. He reaches out so he can cup Jimin’s cheek, swallowing. He hates how right this feels. “You’re worried, and—”

“I’m not worried.”

“Jimin,” he sighs. “I thought we were beyond that point now, lying and hiding around each other. Just admit how you feel.”

Jimin takes a moment before he responds, eyes darting in the other direction. It seems like he wants to stall and not say anything, divert the topic elsewhere. But he takes a deep breath and in a rush, starts to speak.

“I’m terrified of what people will say.”

“Jimin…”

“I don’t want them to look at me weird. I know I act like I don’t care and all, but I do, okay?”

Jeongguk pouts a little, grateful for another window into Jimin’s life. Yesterday night, he learnt more than he had ever imagined he’d have the privilege to do so. The information is still processing within him. Jimin’s slowly, but surely, beginning to open up and let him know the little, dwelling secrets that reside within him.

“It’ll be bad for a while,” Jeongguk admits lowly, his thumb stroking Jimin’s cheekbones. “But we’ll get through it. We did nothing wrong. We did what we had to do to survive.”

Jimin nods after a moment of contemplation, relaxation settling into features. He takes a step back from the hold, smiling.

“You gonna go classes?”

“Nah,” Jeongguk shrugs. “Need to go dance practice with Hoseok hyung, though. Unfortunately.”

Jimin winces. “Rough. Good luck with that.”

“Thanks, sweetheart.”

Jeongguk’s saying the pet name of endearment without even thinking twice, naturally filtering out of him. His eyes widen but Jimin seems unconcerned, barely even noticing it as he hums and offers a wave. He saunters out of the room and after some shuffling in the kitchen, the front door slams shut and Jeongguk’s alone with his thoughts.

He sits there for a few minutes.

Jeongguk listens to the steady heartbeat hammering in his chest, to the serene quietness of their apartment. He wonders if Jimin will be okay and whether or not he’ll be honest about this fact when he gets home.

He reaches over for his phone, dialling Yoongi’s number.

“Hey, Guk…” Yoongi picks after two short rings, sounding breathless. “I’ve been trying to reach you all of yesterday. Are you okay? I think Taehyung’s had three strokes just worrying about you.”

Yoongi’s letting out all the words in a rush, barely pausing in between. Jeongguk stifles a laugh, biting down on the palm of his hands so he can muffle the loud sound.

“I’m not surprised. I’m fine,” he promises. “Really, we’re all good.”

“What happened, though? I knew something would’ve happened.”

“We said each other’s name in the last video,” Jeongguk sighs upon the remembrance, shaking his head. He wishes they hadn’t been so impulsive, hadn’t acted upon their desires and thought it through. “It was barely a whisper but it caught up on the camera and someone enhanced the audio, spread it around.”

“Shit… now what?”

“Now, nothing. Namjoon hyung took care of it and we might face some backlash but it’ll be fine.”

Yoongi heaves a heavy-hearted sigh, not sounding the slightest bit appeased regardless. Jeongguk can just imagine the older man tugging at the roots of his hair, cursing under his breath.

“Is Jimin okay?”

“About that…” Jeongguk’s finger traces patterns into the bedsheets, snuggling back into the warmth of the bed. He doesn’t want to move. He wishes he could hide out here for the rest of time. “He’s coming to classes today and I’m a little worried. He had a visit from his parents yesterday and… and it was bad, hyung.”

“Really?” Yoongi breathes out. “What the hell happened?”

“I can’t tell you. It’s not my story but Jimin will tell you, I think,” he says. “Just… can you do a favour for me?”

“Of course, Guk.”

“Take care of him today, please?” Jeongguk requests, biting his lip as he does. “He’s going to be in classes all day and God knows how people will react, y’know how horrible people are… I’m worried.”

There’s a long pause from the other line.

“Of course.”

“I think he was feeling bad this morning, too. But he wouldn’t admit so just, take care of him.”

Yoongi deliberates his words from the other line and when he speaks, there’s a hint of fondness that implores through his tone. There’s a smile evident in his voice.

“You like him, don’t you?”

Jeongguk halts at the question said so frankly, so plainly. Like Yoongi has no doubts about this fact. Like it’s not a question but rather, an observation and he’s merely looking for confirmation.

He doesn’t have to think twice about the question.

Just thinking back on yesterday and his immediate instinct to protect Jimin, the yearning to crawl into his body and extract all the pain only to inflict it upon himself had been hard to comprehend even for him. Just thinking about Jimin’s sobs and his outburst that consisted of deranged, uncontrollable rage cements it within him.

A part of him has known. But this is him coming to terms with it.

“Yeah, hyung. Yeah, I really do.”

Yoongi doesn’t seem surprised when he speaks next, barely missing a beat.

“I know.”

**

Jeongguk doesn’t want to be here.

He’s on campus, concealing himself within his beanie and his white face mask, trying to protect himself from prying eyes and questioning gazes. It’s clear some people around the campus are aware of his ‘porn star’ status, leaving lingering stares and disgusted expression. Others are unbothered, walking right past him like any other stranger would.

Hoseok appears after a few more minutes of waiting.

He, also, is trying to obscure himself. With his sunglasses in the unkind weather and his face mask. He barely glances at Jeongguk as he walks through the dance studio doors, into their designated room.

“You’re ignoring me,” Hoseok comments plainly as they enter their dancing room, dropping his bag on the floor. “Ignored all my calls, too.”

Jeongguk has the decency to look sheepish, shame imploring into his features as he sighs. He rubs a hand down his hair, pulling the face mask now that he’s in the comfort of the studio.

“Sorry. It’s been a crazy day.”

“I don’t doubt it. You know how many times I’ve had people coming up to me about my porn star ‘little brother’.”

He scrunches up his features. “I’m sorry, hyung.”

“I told you, didn’t I? This would come back around on you.”

Hoseok’s displeasure and irritation had been expected. He doesn’t feel the slightest bit surprised to be faced with an annoyed, withdrawn Hoseok who’s barely looking at him as he sets up their equipment and props for the dance. Jeongguk feels compelled to say something, do something that’ll express how genuinely sorry he is.

He’s tired of disappointing Hoseok. The older man has poured every effort and might into perfecting their relationship, ensuring their duo worked together effortlessly. Yet, Jeongguk keeps putting a damper over that.

“You did and I’m sorry.”

“Fuck it.” Hoseok waves a hand of dismissal in the air, seemingly not wanting to dwell on that. “What’s happening, now? You safe? Anyone approached you about this? I…” he looks over to Jeongguk finally. “Uh… what happened to your face?”

Jeongguk had almost forgotten he had been cornered by some boys in the toilet yesterday. The remembrance had been forgotten amongst the other swirling, time consuming events. He swallows as he runs a hand down his face cautiously, avoiding his swollen nose that’s probably only grown in size.

“I… I got beaten up.”

“What the fuck?”

“Look, it’s fine—”

Fine?” Hoseok repeats, his voice a high shrill as he crosses over to him. He grasps Jeongguk’s face, angling it backwards to inspect the damage carefully. Distaste crosses his features and he takes a step back. “Jeongguk, this isn’t okay. I’m not going to let this happen to you. Who the fuck—”

“I said, it’s fine. Can we stop talking about it?”

“Jeongguk, you’ve arrived at the studios with a shiner and you’re telling me to just forget about it? What did you expect I’d do?”

“They’re just homophobic, pieces of shit. Why should we give them our time of the day?”

Hoseok sighs loudly, shaking his head furiously. It doesn’t seem like he’s done with the topic at hand but for the time being, he stops mentioning it. He takes a deep breath and runs a hand through his freshly washed red hair, tightening his fist and pulling in pure frustration.

“You know coach was talking about it, the videos?”

Jeongguk’s eyes widen as his head snaps up. Dread addresses him, making him feel cold all over as he instinctively takes a step forward.

“What - what did he say?”

“He said that…” Hoseok pauses, the corner of his lips tugging upwards. “That what you do outside of the dance academy is none of their business and you’ll be treated like an individual. Any other consequences, the university will deal with themselves and your place isn’t threatened. For the time being.”

It’s like Hoseok’s words are a remedy, alleviating some of the frigid tension that’s been growing inside of him. There’s only one thing he’s desperate to salvage from this entire situation and it’s his dancing, he doesn’t want to give up that part of him due to his last resort measures.

Hoseok’s standing before him and reassuring him, it’ll be okay. It’ll be fine.

“Thank fuck,” Jeongguk breathes. He almost wants to fist pump the air, dance in victory. “Thank fucking God.”

Hoseok’s grin slowly appears upon his face before he shrugs, opening his arms up for an embrace. Affection is the last thing he had anticipated receiving from Hoseok, especially after what he had done. But he’ll readily accept it. He finds his own smile tugging at his lips, easing his way into the hug.

Hoseok tightens his arms around Jeongguk, burying his head on top of his hair. Hoseok snuggles in further, trying to soak in the warmth. It’s almost like he’s trying to squeeze the sadness out of him.

“Hey,” Hoseok whispers. “I’ll always take care of you, through thick and thin. This was a bad idea, I know. But you’ve learnt your lesson now and I know you know that. Let’s focus on our performance in a few day’s time and forget everything else, yeah?”

Jeongguk shuts his eyes in relief and heaves a deep breath, nodding.

“Yeah, hyung. Yeah.”

He feels prepared to give the show of his life, now. Determination courses through his body even more so now, even stronger. The urge to defeat everyone else in his path, the urge to prove he’s more than just a rich, spoilt brat with a side porn star career. Jeongguk has a talent and he’s here to deliver.

**

(Mood: Post Malone - I Fall Apart)

 

Hoseok drops Jeongguk off outside his apartment. Both of them are giggling, high off the feeling of dancing all evening. He hangs off his hyung, burying his head into his neck as they laugh together. He hasn’t felt this at peace with himself for a while but knowing everything is falling into place and his dance performance is coming up is enough to push him to a tranquil state of mind.

Hoseok clasps his shoulder and squeezes down lightly.

“Take care of yourself, okay?” He whispers, smiling. “If anyone tries to hurt me, I’ll hurt them right back.”

“Yes, hyung,” Jeongguk says solemnly. “Got it.”

“See you tomorrow, babe!”

Jeongguk watches Hoseok’s figure disappear into the distance, back to the train station before he collects himself. There’s a goofy grin still fixed over his lips, satisfied from the events of the day and feeling more confident more over his dance routine than he has before. It felt like he had a purpose today and aided with Hoseok’s encouraging nods, it only came together for a showstopping rehearsal run. Jeongguk’s prepared to get up on the stage and prove it.

He enters the apartment with the same giddiness radiating off him, even doing the courtesy of waving at his neighbours.

“Jiminie!” He announces gleefully as he steps in, shuffling out of his trainers. “Jimin!”

“In the bedroom.”

Jeongguk shrugs off his beanie, throwing it down on the counter as he makes his way over to the bedroom. He knocks lightly but enters anyway, still smiling widely. It only fades away, just the slightest, upon noticing Jimin.

Jimin seems… angered. He’s sitting on the edge of the bed with his phone in his hands, flicking through a conversation with no real interest behind his pupils. His stance is tight, holding himself together exceptionally well though it’s clear he’s about to burst from the edges. When Jeongguk’s appearance is granted, he looks up.

His eyes hold rage. Betrayal and rage.

They burn holes into Jeongguk, seeing right through him and Jeongguk has to halt and observe him carefully.

“Jimin,” Jeongguk repeats but only, this time his tone is tentative and careful. He steps forward and hesitantly reaches out to place a hand on Jimin’s thigh. “It’s okay, whatever they said—it’s okay.”

Jimin laughs bitterly, empty and void of any humour. He pierces Jeongguk with a strong gaze, speaking more words than his mouth can ever utter.

“Who’s Hayoon?”

The joy that had been residing in Jeongguk’s body immediately drains, leaving him cold as he shivers. Jimin’s voice isn’t friendly, it’s harsh and it’s unkind as he’s darts the questions towards him. There’s no room for idle conversation, cutting straight to the chase.

“Hayoon?” Jeongguk repeats with an uneasy laugh. “Just a girl… why?”

“I thought we were different.”

Jimin pries the hand off his thigh, shuffling backwards on the mattress and refusing to allow Jeongguk to touch him. Hurt filters through his body language, seemingly frustrated at the events that are occurring between them.

“Different?” Jeongguk repeats, furrowing his brows. “I don’t… I don’t understand.”

“Me and you. Don’t you like me?”

The question is blatant and though Jimin’s trying to keep the conversation as straight-forward as he can manage, hints of desperation crawl through his voice. His facial expressions are contorted to pained, twisted with a dash of irrationality.

“I do.” Jeongguk admits. There’s no point of denying it.

“So, why the fuck did you sleep with someone else?”

“Jimin…” he breathes out, shaking his head furiously. “No, no, listen—”

“An hour after you slept with me? Is that all I mean to you?”

“Jimin, that’s not how it was.”

“How the hell was it then?” Jimin snaps, his face breaking as his features crumple. He looks like he’s close to crying but he’s gathering up the last of his dignity, holding onto it tightly. “How the hell was it like, then? Because the way it seems to me, I was just one of your lays. Like the rest of them.”

“That’s not true.”

“Hayoon was going around talking about it today on campus,” Jimin continues to talk. He sniffles and it’s obvious he no longer wants to discuss this but he’s forcing himself to. He digs his fingernails into the palm of his hands, hissing. “She was boasting about it. Saying Jeongguk ‘the porn star’ has fucked her only the other day. Said times, days.”

“Jimin…”

“I can’t believe you,” Jimin finally stands up and he’s shuffling around the room like he’s trying to grasp at last straws of his sanity. “I can’t believe I let you into my fucking life like this and you… you never even cared about me. It was all just a fuck for you. I was a fuck to you.”

“Are you kidding me?” Jeongguk’s letting out a rush, shaking his head. He takes a step towards Jimin but when he notices how Jimin’s trying to edge out of his presence, trying to create as much distance as possible between them—he respects it and doesn’t attempt anymore. “Yesterday, was that just a fuck?”

“What the hell was it, then?”

“We… we made love, Jimin.”

Jimin scoffs and more resentment filters into his features as he pinches at the skin of his forearm. Jeongguk wants to scold him, tell him to stop before realising he has no right to do so. He watches painfully, watches Jimin unravel dangerously.

“It wasn’t love. None of this… you never cared. You used me.”

“I didn’t fucking use you, Jimin.”

“Then why else would you sleep with Hayoon?”

“Because… because I was scared, okay?” Jeongguk pleads, his voice cracking but he continues. “You don’t know my life either, Jimin. You don’t understand why that’d terrify me. I realised… I realised I wanted you more than anything else and it scared me. I ran. I was a coward, I wanted to prove to myself it isn’t you. That you’re not the one—”

“Stop,” Jimin laughs. “Stop. It’s too much to hear.”

“I’m not lying to you.”

“It’s pathetic. You realise you may have more than platonic feelings for someone so you decide to degrade them in your eyes, reduce them down to just a fuck?” Jimin questions, repeating each word slowly.

“You don’t understand.”

“What is there to understand? What could you, a rich boy, born with a silver platter and an inheritance to your name, millions and luxuries—what could you possibly be afraid of?”

The moment breaks for Jeongguk.

Silence follows after Jimin once he’s said the words. They hang heavy in the air, suffocating Jeongguk with the harshness of them. He processes each single one of them, each word cutting him deep and leaving him scarred. Rich boy. Silver platter. Inheritance. What could you possibly be afraid of?

Jeongguk’s one and only fear has always been being reduced down to his family name, not accepted for who he is because he’s supposedly had a smooth sailing life.

He had moved out of the dormitories for this exact reason, chasing a life where it’ll never be thrown back in his life.

Yet the one person he had counted on never hurting him, never abusing his past against him, did the exact thing he had dreaded. Jimin had carelessly, without a second thought, shoved his insecurities right back in his face in the most cruel, unforgiving manner.

He starts to cry. There’s no doubt he can hold it back and he doesn’t even attempt to, his vision blurring with the force of his tears as a sob breaks out of him. Jeongguk wraps an arm around his body, trying to keep himself upright.

“Guk…” Jimin gulps, the moment catching up to him. “Jeongguk, Guk.”

Jimin walks towards him, repentant almost immediately and trying to make the situation better. He reaches out for him but Jeongguk swats the hand away, stepping back so he collapses against the wardrobe.

“Jeongguk,” Jimin sounds distressed. “I didn’t mean that, please.”

“You think I have an inheritance?” Jeongguk chokes out, tears flooding down his cheeks repeatedly. Even when he tries to wipe it away, it’s replaced with more trails. “You think I have a fortune, a family? I’ve been disowned too, Jimin. You don’t know fucking shit.”

“I’m sorry, Jeongguk.” Jimin starts to cry, too.

Jeongguk can’t stay here, though.

He needs to clear his mind and he needs to empty out his heart. He doesn’t want to say or do something he’ll only later regret. His chest constricts severely tight in his chest, prompting him to leave. He needs to leave.

Jeongguk only shakes his head, walking right out of the bedroom and into his own. Jimin’s quick behind him, following and watching aghastly as Jeongguk opens his own wardrobe and pulls out a duffle bag.

“Guk,” Jimin chokes out, shaking his head. “No, no. Don’t go. We’ll work this out, let’s talk about this—”

“I need to leave.”

His voice is robotic, void of any emotions. Jeongguk doesn’t feel anything as he speaks, the blood coursing in his veins cold and frozen. He packs without a hint of despair that he feels deep inside, mechanically doing the task he’s forced with.

Please.”

“Leave me the fuck alone, Jimin,” Jeongguk laughs bitterly. He zips up the bag, mentally scanning where to go and who to stay with. He knows Hoseok or Namjoon are his best bet, the only people that’ll get him furthest away from Jimin. “I’m just a rich boy, aren’t I? Living off inheritance, living with luxuries? Why’d you associate with someone like that? Leave me alone.”
Jimin’s still attempting to make amends, though. He’s trying his hardest to pull Jeongguk back into his touch, trying to smooth over the deep cuts with his hold. But Jeongguk breaks free of the older man, refusing to let himself be touched.

If he stays here any longer, he might do something stupid like confess. Confess about his life, about how much he’s beginning to fall Jimin despite the older man’s prejudice thoughts against him. He can’t keep baring open his soul for someone who’ll never learn how to appreciate it.

“Will you come back?” Jimin manages to squeak out meekly, standing in the living room as Jeongguk walks to the front door and opens.

Jeongguk looks back to spare one last glance. Jimin looks childlike, vulnerable as he stands in the middle of their living room. He’s wearing a baggy hoodie, swallowing him whole and he’s still crying upon further inspections. Tear trails stain his cheeks, puffing them out and making him look so small. Jimin looks so devastated, heartbroken, signs of mourning leaking into his face.

“I don’t know.” Is all Jeongguk replies with as he leaves, slamming the door behind him.

Chapter Text

“You know these things. You know how to ride a dirt bike, and you know how to do long division, and you know that a boy who likes boys is a dead boy, unless he keeps his mouth shut, which is what you didn't do, because you are weak and hollow and it doesn't matter anymore.”
Richard Siken - Crush

**

(Mood for the first quarter of this chapter: LANY - Walk Away)

 

“Jeongguk. Guk. Honey, you gotta get up.”

Jeongguk groans from the insistent deep voice calling out to him, disturbing him from his deep slumber. He squeezes his eyes shut tighter, willing the man away from him and granting himself a few more minutes of sleep. However, Hoseok doesn’t relent.

“Guk… we have rehearsals, c’mon.”

“No. Please.”

It’s no surprise that Jeongguk has been hiding out in Hoseok’s apartment recently, trying to refuel in the comfort of his friend’s four walls. Stepping outside means facing reality, means the possibility of facing Jimin and he can’t handle that right now.

Hoseok sighs as he scoots forward, kneeling before Jeongguk and the bed. A soothing hand runs through strands of Jeongguk’s hair, gently tugging at the roots.

“I know you’re hurting, Guk. I know you don’t want to go anywhere. I know and I understand. But our dance practice is days away and we haven’t practiced in two days. I’m scared. This is important for us and we can’t blow it, not because you’re heartbroken.”

“I’m not heartbroken,” he mumbles stubbornly back.

“Not heartbroken,” Hoseok repeats, though there’s a scoff evident in his tone. “But regardless, you can’t stay in bed. We have to make a move today.”

Jeongguk feels like a burden. The past two days have been terrible for him, confining him to Hoseok’s bed. He had insisted on taking the couch since he was crashing unexpectedly but Hoseok had claimed as a hyung, he can’t give Jeongguk the uncomfortable option and forced him onto the bed.

He hasn’t done much. He’s ate when Hoseok’s prompted to, showered when he felt the sweat sticking to his body and causing an unpleasant odor and he’s practiced the routine during nighttime when insomnia plagues him and Jimin’s words spin in his mind. He’s desperate for a distraction, of any kind, to remove the cruel words that Jimin had uttered.

Jeongguk doesn’t mean to come across as useless. He just doesn’t know how to force himself to go through a normal day-to-day routine when his chest threatens to collapse upon itself, when his heart squeezes tightly in an uncomfortable manner whenever he even thinks of stepping back onto campus.

Jeongguk sighs as he blinks awake, being greeted with a blearily vision of a concerned, mother-hen looking Hoseok crouched before him.

“You worry too much, hyung,” Jeongguk mutters under his breath, husky from the remnants of sleepiness.

Hoseok shrugs. “If I won’t, who will?”

“I really don’t want to go to class.”

“I know, sweetheart,” Hoseok frowns. There’s a sympathetic look that implores his features, softening out his curled down lips. He reaches out, soothingly rubbing his shoulder blades. “Trust me. But we have to remember that our performance is merely four days away and we haven’t been in the studio even once.”

“If we fail, you can blame me.”

“We’re not failing.” Determination filters into his voice, shaking his head furiously. “If you talk like that again, I’ll slap you.”

Jeongguk decides not to irritate his older friend any longer. He nods in a silent promise, not wanting to dwell on the idea that they may fail in four days. They’ve been working hard for an entire year and they have an audience waiting for them, entertainment companies anticipating to see their talent and whether or not they’re worthy to get signed. If anyone deserves the recognition and a deal, it’s Hoseok.

The man stands before him with the utmost assurance despite their halted rehearsals, he’s confident in the two of them together.

“Sorry. Let me shower, I’ll be right out.”

Hoseok seems to hesitate before he reluctantly agrees, giving Jeongguk the space he needs. He smiles, leaning over to pet his hair before withdrawing. There’s a perk in Hoseok’s steps now, seemingly satisfied with himself. Jeongguk vaguely wonders what he’s done in this lifetime to receive such a constant beam of sunshine in his life.

Once Hoseok’s left, Jeongguk’s guard comes down.

The previous attempts he had desperately tried to put in place for Hoseok comes tumbling down and his smile falls, melancholy taking over. He takes a deep breath, collecting himself by counting back from ten in his head. He has to start the day. Time won’t wait up for him, no matter what. Time won’t slow down because he’s facing a turmoil.

He tears the duvet off his heated body, grabbing a fresh change of clothes from his bag. In a hurry, Jeongguk hadn’t packed efficiently and he’s regretting it now―left with scraps and clothes that aren’t matching.

The shower takes a while to warm up but he stands under the unforgiving, cold spray until it’s pleasant. The shower hit the knots in his back harshly, limbs working slower than usual as he scrubs himself. In the small enclosed place, he can’t help how his thoughts wander to Jimin and he has to force himself to focus elsewhere.

His phone hasn’t been switched on for three days now. He wonders if Jimin’s tried to reach out to him, to apologise and try to retract his words. Jeongguk wonders whether or not it’ll matter now, whether the damage has already been done.

Before he can begin to spiral dangerously and enter an unhealthy state-of-mind for the rest of the day, he exits the shower and begins his day.

Hoseok’s waiting in the kitchen for him, the dining table adorned with his favourite breakfast option: an egg sandwich.

It’s bittersweet. Jimin would have food waiting for him for every meal, whether it’s fresh or pre-prepared, and it’d taste delicious each time. It feels criminal to indulge in someone else’s cooking, especially when he’s desperately craving someone else’s. He takes a deep breath and smiles at Hoseok in appreciation, grabbing the sandwich and gingerly taking a bite.

It’s distasteful. Hoseok’s cooking is spectacular, if anything. But Jeongguk doesn’t have an appetite and the texture rubs at his taste buds, making him want to throw up.

Hoseok notices but he doesn’t say anything else, pretending to be blissfully unaware as he filters around the kitchen. He washes the dishes, humming a tune under his breath as he gives Jeongguk the time he needs to finish his breakfast. They both know no one’s leaving until the plate is empty.

It takes a while but Jeongguk finally swallows the sandwich down, a large lump in his throat as he puts the plate down.

Hoseok finally turns around when there’s a silent promise that he’s finished, grinning slowly as he nods delightfully.

“Great! Let’s go!”

Hoseok remains the devoted friend he is, dropping Jeongguk off to his classes with a encouraging embrace and a promise he’ll be here at the end so they can go to dance practice together. Being out in public once again and immersing with people has never felt more like a mission than it does now, having to put up with a false pretence and pretend he’s okay.

He’s not sure whether he’s overreacting or not. He feels like he is.

Jeongguk has managed to fall for someone for the first time. He has known his sexuality from a young age but it’s never extended beyond sexual desire, the feeling of wanting to be with someone romantically has always been a distant hope for the future. At some point, he had become convinced everyone uses him for his family name and therefore, he had refused to allow himself to get attached to anyone.

Jimin entered his life. At first, for the five months, he admired the boy from afar. There was layers upon layers to Jimin, each stuck to him fiercely and never revealing much about himself. Jeongguk had been intrigued, purely because he likes a challenge, and he had fought hard to pull each layer down.

Now, he’s been revealed with who Jimin is. A frightened individual himself, running from a life where he’s been trying to cater to others. Deep inside, bitter towards anyone who supposedly has it better.

Jeongguk hasn’t had better.

What’s a life when your parents look down upon you, put a price tag on you and treat you nothing beyond that? What’s a life when your parents have been emotionally unavailable all their lives and can only show their affection through money? A new iPhone for when you fail a test, a new MacBook for when you trip up on the street and have a graze. What’s a life when they discover your one and only talent and try to strip you away from it, try to reduce you down to their lives and then, shun you out because you refuse to follow?

Jeongguk squeezes his eyes shut, exhaling sharply through his nose.

Before he can enter the first class of the day, he feels a tight pair of arms wrapping around his body. The person snuggles into Jeongguk’s neck, sighing and the warmth and the musky scent of the person instantly reminds him of Taehyung.

Taehyung is here. Taehyung’s hugging him and consoling him, nuzzling his nose into the junction of Jeongguk’s neck. He’s here. Jeongguk could cry. As lovely as Hoseok’s presence has been, nothing compares to his best friend of similar age.

“I’m here, I’m here,” Taehyung’s whispering as if he’s reading his mind. “I’m sorry I didn’t come see you before. Honestly, I didn’t know where you were and you wouldn’t answer my calls.”

“Sorry.”

“It’s alright, Guk. You okay?”

They stand outside the class and though the lights dim and the lecture begins, neither of them move from the back hug. Jeongguk feels his muscles relaxing, falling more pliant in Taehyung’s hold as the seconds tick by.

“No,” he replies honestly.

Taehyung sighs. “I know.”

“Have you spoken to Jimin?”

“I don’t want to.”

Jeongguk frowns and shakes his head. Memories of Jimin standing alone, broken in their living room enter his mind and it causes him to have to take a deep breath. He shouldn’t feel guilt but that resides alongside the other dwelling emotions, knowing he perhaps hadn’t made the best decision. Jimin was, also, reeling from his own problems and he had left Jimin to fend for himself.

“But… is he okay?” Jeongguk tries not to pout. “Please, tell me he’s okay.”

Taehyung doesn’t reply for a while, seemingly no words to muster up with. He finally pulls away from the embrace, turning Jeongguk around so they’re facing each other. Worry implores his features, brows furrowed together and lips stretched into a thin, concerned line.

“You really like him.”

How many times are people going to state this? Jeongguk knows, he knows this feeling even when it’s unfamiliar and icky, feels unpleasant and invades every vein in his system to cause him to go into overdrive. He knows he likes Jimin.

“Yes, Taehyung.” He hopes the annoyance doesn’t shine through his tone.

If it does, Taehyung barely notices. He just sighs and shakes his head, running a hand through his well kempt hair.

“Yoongi’s been with him and he claims that Jimin’s doing okay,” he answers Jeongguk’s concerns.

Of course Jimin’s okay. Why wouldn’t he be okay?

Jeongguk forces himself to breathe through the sharp stab he feels in the side of his stomach, the realisation that Jimin’s just fine without him. He forces his perilous thoughts to a part of his brain he can’t access, refusing to acknowledge them. He reaches out for Taehyung’s forearm instead, tugging him in the direction of their lecture hall.

“We’re going to miss the notes.”

**

Clinical Psychology. Important.

Jimin rereads the words he’s written on his notepad, bold and underlined and yet, as he sits in this lecture―none of the words go through him. They go right over his head, unbothered and unfazed.

He has no real reason to focus in Psychology lessons now.

The only reason he had opted to pick the subject was because his dad was a long-time Psychologist, held a deep, intricate passion for the topic. He had devoted his entire life to helping other patients, coming up with alternative methods than resorting to medication for mental health.

Maybe, just maybe, if Jimin had followed the same path―he’d earn a father’s love.

He’d earn his father’s smile directed towards him instead of his siblings, he’d earn his father’s praises instead of being told he’s a failure. Just maybe, it’d be his turn to be accepted into the family.

It never worked. His father never called him, never checked up on him the entire time he’s been doing his degree. The one time he did, he was only displeased by Jimin’s course and claimed he had chosen the wrong university to study at. There’s always something wrong with Jimin, one thing after the other that always makes him fall short of his father’s pride shining on him.

Jimin can feel both Yoongi and Seokjin’s gentle, but prying eyes, focusing on him.

It causes an itch under his skin, wanting them to look away but knowing his friends are only concerned for him. He doesn’t want it. He doesn’t deserve it. For someone with such a rough history, how could’ve he assumed Jeongguk’s life?

He might’ve had no idea of what Jeongguk’s dealt with. They’ve never allowed their bond to progress to that extent, never managed to make it down to the nitty and gritty details. But he knows Jeongguk’s life couldn’t of been easy, not with the way he holds dancing so dearly like it’ll slip right through his fingers and how he lives like a peasant despite the fact that he’s apparently rich.

Jimin is so stupid.

“Jiminie,” Yoongi’s calling for him, nudging him. “Focus.”

“Patient, Yoon.” Seokjin interrupts and provides his piece. “He’s trying.”

Jimin grits his teeth as he lifts his head up, reading the words on the projector even when they blend into each other and makes the task is virtually impossible. Fuck Psychology. He doesn’t need Psychology anymore.

“We have an assignment coming up,” Yoongi continues in his velvet smooth tone, not a single mishap. If he’s worried for Jimin, he’s doing an exceptional job of hiding it and only meaning business. “He can’t slack off, not now.”

“He’s having a hard time.”

“So? I―”

“Stop,” Jimin says harshly. “Stop.”

They all fall silent and Yoongi turns away, determinedly focus on the rest of the lecture as Seokjin nods off to sleep.

The longer Jimin sits here, the more he feels paralysed. He doesn’t have to keep pretending now, he doesn’t have to keep scoring high grades and overworking himself into the early hours of the morning for his father, his mother. They no longer matter. They’re no longer a part of his life.

It’s a revelation that he’s still trying to come to terms with. Whilst there’s mourning within himself, a gaping hole that leaves his heart wide open―there’s also relief.

Relief that he doesn’t have to hide his sexuality any longer and he doesn’t have to keep pushing away potential partners he would’ve gotten with before, relief that he doesn’t have to keep internalising his sexuality. Relief. It floods his system and takes over, feeling liberated. At long last, Jimin’s free.

Fuck Psychology.

He throws his pen down, grabbing his bag and shuffling out of his seat.

Yoongi’s hand shoots out to halt him almost immediately, eyes flooding with panic as he tightens his hold. As if he’s afraid Jimin will go running.

“Where’re you going, Jiminie?”

Jimin manages a smile. He hasn’t been able to show off such gestures recently, not when he feels like he’s going to break into two pieces, quite literally. Returning home to an empty apartment, void of Jeongguk’s cheerful presence has been hurting him more and more when he wakes up to the same the next morning.

He may of ruined one good thing for himself, he won’t allow his life to follow the same way.

“I’m dropping out.”

Yoongi’s eyes bulge right out of his sockets. “W-what?”

“Hyung, you know I have no interest for Psychology.”

“Yes, but―”

“So, I quit. I’m done. I’m going to apply for culinary school right now.”

Yoongi seems bewildered, eyes darting across Jimin’s features as he analyses him carefully. When he notices nothing but absolute sincerity staring back at him, his steel expression is dropped. There’s something that resembles… pride in Yoongi’s pupils, darkening them momentarily as he bites his lips.

“I… go on, Jimin. I’m proud of you.”

Maybe, just maybe, it’s okay that his parents never held any honour for Jimin and his efforts. Maybe, they were never supposed to be the people to give him acceptance, to give him the assurance that he needs.

Because before him sits Yoongi with wide, shining eyes that are nothing but genuine. There’s candid honesty in his voice, quivering with the words.

Jimin closes his eyes. This is what it feels like, to have someone to be proud of you.

“I love you, hyung.” Is all he whispers before he grabs his belongings and ushers out of the lecture, thrilled with the adrenaline. Prepared to start a new life and make amends.

**

Jeongguk keeps faltering.

It’s obvious that he’s focusing on something else, mind wandering far away from the studio he stands in, in front of the big mirror and the blinding lights. His body may be present in the dancing studio but his mind isn’t.

Hoseok’s trying his hardest to be patient but annoyance leaks into his tone.

“We have our performance in two days, Guk.” Hoseok shuffles closer to him, reaching out to wrap an arm around Jeongguk’s shoulder and draw him closer. “C’mon, get your head in the game.”

“Sorry, hyung.”

Jeongguk wishes it was so easy, wishes he can erase every part of Jimin from his mind and focus on the task at hand.

They practice for thirty minutes longer with little to no break, exhausting themselves until their clothes are drenched with the sweat. The song switches up and the seconds break ends, prompting them into rehearsing over and over. Jeongguk’s limbs move on their own accord, following the dance steps like he can do it in his sleep.

“Is your family coming to watch the performance?” Jeongguk asks, voice coming out as a high squeak.

The song finishes and before the next audio can play, Hoseok’s walking over and halting their CD. He turns to Jeongguk with an almost sympathetic look, like he doesn’t want to admit the truth. Jeongguk hates how he makes people feel like they have to walk on eggshells around him, especially concerning the topic of family.

It takes a minute for Hoseok to finally answer, heaving a sigh.

“Parents and sister, yes,” Hoseok finally says. “They’re travelling from afar for me.”

Hoseok has a good relationship with his family, spends most nights talking to his sister on the phone and FaceTiming his mother in the morning when he’s eating breakfast. He maintains a good bond, despite the distance and the absence between them.

Jeongguk wants to feel envious. They’re travelling from their home city to Seoul, just to see Hoseok perform. They want to support their son in the flesh, want to watch him through their own eyes. It proves their utmost love for their son.

Whereas Jeongguk’s family, only residing forty minutes away from campus, won't be attending.

He fails to feel bitter over this fact any longer, though. He has known what his family is like since the minute he had decided to move out of the mansion that no longer held the meaning of ‘Home’ for him and came to study.

Jeongguk doesn’t want his family there.

“That’s good,” Jeongguk grins. “I bet your parents will be excited.”

Hoseok sheepishly smiles. It still looks like he’s trying to hold back, to make sure he’s not rubbing his fortune in Jeongguk’s face. Hoseok is lucky but Jeongguk only feels prideful over this fact.

“Yeah… we’ve been talking about it a lot, recently.”

“I can’t wait to see them.”

Hoseok hums in approval over this fact. He retreats back to the stereo system and turns the music back on, prompting them to continue with the routine.

In total, they’re performing six songs. It’ll be a fast-paced, tiring performance that’ll consist of them being fast on their feet and little breaks in between. Some many even consider it inhumane. But Jeongguk wants it fast, intense―he wants to prove he can take it and he can make a potential future career out of this dream of his.

Nothing will break his heart harder than not being able to achieve his dream.

Hoseok doesn’t need to guide him any longer, both of them familiar with their dancing moves. It continues in the same manner, Jeongguk gaining confidence over his every step and Hoseok’s encouraging nods and praises only spuring him on.

They, momentarily, stop for a break when they hear the front door rattling.

“Someone’s at the studio,” Hoseok sighs as he shakes his head, running a hand through his hair to straighten it out. “Go check for me, please?”

“Sure.”

Jeongguk swallows. A part of him isn’t prepared to meet other people and interact with them but he also knows Hoseok is trying to get him back to his old self. He takes a deep breath, walking to the front door of the studio.

He opens without pausing to take a look in the peep hole.

It’s Jimin.

Jimin’s standing before him with bleary eyes, smudged eyeliner underneath his eyelash. He’s wrapped his arms around himself, trying to hold himself up. He looks like he’s desperately trying to keep himself in place, eyes lighting up just the slightest upon seeing Jeongguk.

“Guk—“

“No.”

Jeongguk’s declining immediately, not even waiting for his answer to follow. He’s not sure he wants to listen to Jimin right now.

Granted, he’d give anything to fix the situation between he and Jimin. But right now, there’s still lingering resentment that dwells deep within him and invades his organs. He can’t make good with someone who he’s still silently cursing in his head.

Jimin’s face falls. The light drains, his lips curling downwards. He looks genuinely remorseful, like he’s aching to say his piece but short of getting what he wants.

“No?”

Jeongguk doesn’t bother saying anything else. Maybe, he can deal with it after his performance. But right now, seeing Jimin is opening up a wound that’s still trying to heal weakly. He can’t cut himself deeper when he’s got other things to focus on.

Jeongguk would rather secure his future first.

“I’m sorry,” he says and hopes his apologetic tone is obvious when he shuts the door and retreats back inside the studio.

Jeongguk doesn’t dare register the loud sob that breaks right afterwards, loud and clear to anyone. He doesn’t dare let his clenching chest and his twisting heart win.

**

Jimin’s not sure what to do, where to go.

He’s beginning to pick up the pieces of one part of his life. He hasn’t officially dropped out of university, not yet, but he’s already made a list of culinary schools around Seoul. They’re cutthroat and demanding, wanting expertise and experience. Jimin has both. He just has no record of it, never expanding upon his talents, never taking it anywhere else besides the kitchen.

But upon seeing Jeongguk and the harsh door to his face—Jimin’s beginning to realise his mistake more than ever.

He stands outside Yoongi’s apartment, urgently ringing the bell for him. It’s been a few minutes and there’s still no answer. He tries to call the man but to no avail. He sighs, feeling tears prickling in the back of his eyes again. Jimin has never felt so alone.

There’s shuffling from the other side of the door and it opens to reveal Taehyung.

Jimin halts, his expression falling upon seeing Taehyung. There’s obvious distaste settling in Taehyung’s features, frowning deeply and nose scrunched up. He glances around the block before glancing back at Jimin, unimpressed.

“Jeongguk isn’t here.”

“I’m not here for Jeongguk,” Jimin promises, trying not to let his voice come out as a whine. “I’m here for Yoongi hyung.”

“He’s not here either.”

Jimin bites his lips as it wobbles, a fresh set of tears overcoming him. He’s both heartbroken and regretful, mourning the loss of his family and his roommate. He’s both feeling liberated and trapped. Jimin sniffles as he tries to furiously wipe away the moisture before he can embarrass himself but Taehyung catches the sight of him crying.

He softens a little, reaching out to hold Jimin’s forearm.

“D’you wanna come inside?”

“I don’t deserve—”

“Come inside,” Taehyung insists firmly, gently steering Jimin into the block with the hold. He closes the front door behind him and opens up his arms, offering an embrace. “C’mere. Come.”

There’s something comforting within Taehyung’s tone, pinging him deep inside. Jimin, oddly, can’t keep it back anymore. He falls into the hug and begins to cry. He cries for his parents, for his siblings that he doesn’t think he’ll ever see again, for his roommate’s heart that he shattered, for the trust he held between the palm of his hand but crushed. He cries because he finally can.

Taehyung seems a little out of his element with the situation but adapts well enough, guiding him away from the front door and up to the apartment.

“Sit down, Jimin-ah,” Taehyung pushes him down onto the couch. “Hyung is out for an extra class he’s taken but he’ll home soon. Do you want anything to drink, to eat?”

Jimin shakes his head. “Just sit here with me, please?”

Taehyung seems to hesitate but obeys, nodding as he settles down besides him. He crosses his legs underneath him on the couch, grabbing the bottle of water on the coffee table and taking a long sip. It’s clear he’s trying his hardest to navigate through this awkward moment. He and Taehyung are good enough friends, they know each other through Yoongi but they’ve never delved in such a situation.

Taehyung finally seems to understand what he needs to do because he scoots closer.

“Wanna talk to me about what’s going on? I only know bits, there’s gaps in my knowledge. Enlighten me.”

Jimin sighs, shaking his head sheepishly.

“You’ll think differently of me.”

“Why do you think so?”

“You already do, Taehyung,” he reminds the man. “Just now, you were looking down upon me.”

Taehyung has the decency to look a little regretful about that, tugging on his bottom lip between his fingers. He shrugs.

“Like I said, I don’t know the full story.”

“I… I said some things I wish I could take back now.”

Taehyung hums thoughtfully, scrunching up his eyebrows carefully.

“About his family?”

“Y-yeah.”

“That was the worst topic you could’ve chosen to say something bad about. Do you know how sensitive that is to Jeongguk?”

Jimin hates that he does know. He knows all too well. Even if it hasn’t been talked about with direct words, the topic of family hangs heavy between the two of them. Even if they never had a conversation about it, Jeongguk had always avoided even heading in that direction. He had always seemed bitter about it, sour and closed off. It was ridiculous that Jimin couldn’t take the hint when provided with one.

“I guess so.”

Taehyung clicks his tongue. “It’s something he’s been trying to escape his entire life, Jimin. It’s the reason he ever left the dorms.”

“Dorms?”

“I know I shouldn’t say this without Jeongguk being here. This is his story but he’s stubborn, he’ll never fully let on how bad it is and honestly I don’t even know how bad it is,” Taehyung sounds worked up over the situation, lips curling downwards. “But he was born in a rich family yes, but he’s been disowned.”

“I know that… he told me before he left the apartment.”

“Ah,” Taehyung nods solemnly. “They disowned him because he refused to follow the family line of expectations.”

“The—what?” Jimin repeats, befuddled.

“Jeon… Jeon family?” He says with an eyebrow raise, pulling out his phone and typing up the name online. Through Google search, he shows Jimin his phone. “They’re really big in the business district, own shares from big companies in Korea. They’re rich. Like really rich.”

Jimin takes the phone off him tentatively, skipping through the pages upon pages of articles, news on the family. Not in a single one is there a trace of Jeongguk’s name. It’s almost as if he’s been completely wiped off, erased from the family. Jimin frowns as he keeps scrolling, waiting for some news about the boy but coming to a dead end.

“They wiped him out.”

Taehyung nods. “They freezed his inheritance too, pretend he no longer exists.”

“I… why?”

“Because he wants to dance, wanted to become an idol. It’s not acceptable. Every member of the family follows one route: their business, you’re either a part of it or you’re no longer a part of them.”

‘That’s so cruel.” Jimin’s aghast, shaking his head furiously. “That’s horrible.”

“Well, yeah… but that’s the reality, isn’t it? Cruel life.”

Jimin shudders and now that he replays the night, it hits him even harder. The way he had so casually thrown Jeongguk’s status back in his face without any concern, without any second thoughts as to how this could affect the boy himself. He hadn’t done his research, hadn’t known the full story before he had spoken.

Even just thinking about Jeongguk’s face, how it crumbled and his facade came right down is enough for Jimin’s world to tilt off its axis for a second.

He’s desperate to make amends, he’s just not sure how.

“What do I do, Taehyung?” Jimin hates how high his voice comes off, shrill and grasping at straws that remain of the broken relationship before him. “How do I fix this? I’ll do anything.”

Taehyung stares off into space for a second, contemplating upon the question. There’s no one else—besides Hoseok, and Jimin’s sure he wouldn’t want to see Jimin right now—that knows Jeongguk better. Taehyung knows the ins and outs to Jeongguk, has spent the most time with him since the beginning. If there’s anyone who’ll know how to fix this, it’ll be Taehyung.

Jimin’s relying on him to help him through this tribulation. Jimin has never been good with dealing with emotional situations, anything that requires him to leave his shell and interact with others. He wants to make a change, though. He wants to learn when to bite his tongue, how to remain silent and not speak out of anger.

Taehyung looks troubled before he sighs, running a hand through his hair.

“Don’t do anything. Not right now.”

“Taehyung…” he frowns.”

“No, I mean it.” His voice is stern when he speaks, features contorting to seriousness. “He has an important performance. This will make or break his future, entertainment companies will be there. He could, or could not, get signed. This is important.”

“Important. I got it.”

Jimin’s only ever seen him dance once in his life. It had been a blessed time, regardless, to get to see the passion and the complex adoration he holds for dancing. It’s apparent that Jeongguk was born to do this, born to perform and attract people’s attention and their admiration. Now that he’ll perform in front of big names, an audience—he’ll enamour everyone that encounters him.

Jimin’s sure of it.

He’ll do anything to prevent the performance from going wrong.

“So, if you really care about him—you’ll wait.”

“I do care. I care a lot.”

Taehyung seems a little unconvinced and he doesn’t comment, fiddling with the hem of his shirt. Jimin feels the need to enforce this fact, reaching over to wrapping his fingers around Taehyung’s forearm. Their eyes meet once again and he whispers the words this time, only audible for the two of them in the room.

“I care.” Jimin repeats firmly. “I like him. I’m falling for him. I really fucking care, Taehyung.”

Each word is said with utmost ferocity, sincerity pouring into his tone. He’s ripping his heart open, leaving it out on the table for others to observe. He’s never felt so vulnerable. He’s never allowed anyone to make him feel so vulnerable, never allowed someone into his life to this extent.

Taehyung’s lips twitch and eventually, a small smile takes over.

“I believe you,” he responds.

**

The day has arrived.

Jeongguk stands backstage, his new suit plastered onto his skin. It’s black and it’s sequined, sparkling out and making him look radiant. Makeup noona’s work around him, patting him down with powder and adorning him with eyeshadow. It’s just one of the many outfit changes for the night.

He and Hoseok will dominate the stage for the better of forty minutes with different dances, intermission in between so they can get changed. They have a whole team of dedicated stylists and makeup, doing their degree in their respected places, working after them.

Jeongguk’s nervous.

He’s nerve riddled, the sensation invading every bone in his body and leaving him feeling crippled with fear.

Jeongguk knows he’s good at what he does. He has given up his family, his reputation for something that he’s devoted his time to and gradually improved upon. Even when he had been forbidden from dancing, he had taken it upon himself to lock his bedroom door at nighttimes and practice till the early morning. Even if his footing had been to be light as to not disturb his family, even when the music volume was so low that it barely used to be audible.

He has a chance to prove it and he’s here for the crown, for the winning.

Hoseok comes back from the separate dressing room he has for himself, dressed from head-to-toe in the finest clothes. The prestigious dance academy funds their students well, providing them with everything they can only ever dream of. He looks dashingly handsome in the floral blazer, paired with a white ruffle button-up and tight black slacks that hug his figure.

Jeongguk offers a small smile to him, eyes scanning over him playfully as he wolf-whistles.

“Looking good, hyung.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes though there’s remnants of fondness that implore behind them, tugging at the end of his blazer. He crosses over to Jeongguk, invading his personal space as he fixes the collar of his blazer, too.

“You know what you’re doing tonight, right?”

“Yeah. Inside and out. Memorised.”

“No problems, whatsoever?”

Hoseok looks so concerned. Ever since Jimin’s sudden appearance at the dance studio, he’s been skirting around Jeongguk like he’s genuinely afraid for the younger man. He cares, an incredible amount, and he can’t help but show it obviously. Wholeheartedly.

“Nope. You’re good, as well?” Jeongguk checks. “Know what songs we’re doing?”

“Of course I do,” Hoseok clicks his tongue in disapproval, swatting his shoulder. “I created them, don’t get cocky.”

They share a short laugh together, both of them apparently shaking with the nerves now. The countdown to their performance has begun, barely less than thirty minutes till showtime. It’s clear everyone is aware of this fact, sound technicians running around and stylists making their last minute adjustments.

Jeongguk’s hands tremble as he hears the crowd settling behind the stage curtains, a bustle of energy taking over. Behind the curtains are a group of important people deciding on Jeongguk’s fate. They hold the path of his future, his prospects in their hands and he’s eager to please.

Hoseok notices because he reaches over, grabbing ahold of his hands.

“We’re going to be okay. Remember the steps, in beat to the music. I have faith in you, Guk.”

Jeongguk takes heed to the words, allowing the advice to rush over him like a flood. The words offer some source of comfort to him as he squeezes his eyes shut, nodding a little.

“Thank you, hyung. We’ll do well.”

Hoseok drops the hold when another stylist is calling him away, wanting to make adjustments to the fitting of his blazer so it curves around his glorious hips. The older man excuses himself, wandering off and leaving Jeongguk alone with his consuming thoughts.

His hand shakes as he reaches out for his water bottle, taking a long sip and willing the moisture to soothe the lump in his throat. He wishes he had eaten more, a low rumble of his stomach reminding him that he’s been neglecting his meals.

Jeongguk turns on his heels, ready to walk to position before he’s stopped by his coach standing before him.

The coach has a wry smile playing on his lips, seemingly looking bittersweet. In his hands, he holds a piece of paper that’s mostly crumbled. The look on his face looks concerning and it immediately puts Jeongguk in further unease, the feeling crawling in his lungs and squeezing tightly.

“Hi, coach-nim,” Jeongguk mumbles. “Can I help you?”

“No, no. It’s all good,” the man promises. “I just needed to make one thing clear, if that’s okay with you.”

(Mood: Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart )

Jeongguk has been avoiding any figure of authority since the porn videos had come out to the public. He had been denying taking any part furiously, refusing to admit that it’s him in the frames. Whenever he’d see his coach around campus, he’d run and hide in the other direction to avoid striking a conversation that’ll inevitably drift towards the topic of the rumours.

Yet standing before the intimidating and menacing figure now, there’s nowhere to hide.

“Of course.”

The coach pursues his lips, running a hand through his greasy, unkempt hair. It seems like he’s trying to avoid the inevitable, create a distraction so he can work through what he wants to say.

“I don’t think there’s a future for you here, at the academy, after this performance, Jeon.”

The room stills. Cold dread addresses Jeongguk, coursing through his veins as he allows the words to process within him slowly. One-by-one. He waits, waits for his coach to laugh and tell him he’s okay. It doesn’t come. The coach is still staring down at him with a conflicted look, partly saddened but also unbothered, almost relieved.

It doesn’t feel real.

“Sorry?”

“What I’m trying to say, Jeon, is that we can’t keep you on after this performance.”

“B-but, why?”

Words fail him, his sentence faltering and ending with a crack in his tone. With twenty minutes till showtime, he doesn’t need this right now. He knows he potentially wants to get signed by an entertainment company but he also wants to complete his degree, he wants to hold his head up high and prove he got to his position without buying his way through.

All the hopes and dreams he had held strongly for himself are crashing down, tumbling into pieces right before him.

The coach’s lips twist in an contorted pain smile.

“I think we both know why.”

“But you said it was fine, that it was outside of the studio and my personal life—”

“Jeongguk,” the coach cuts off with a heavy sigh. “Please, don’t make this any harder than it has to be.”

Without any real explanation, without a promise of closure—he’s being dumped from the academy. For his mistake. For wanting a real way to fund himself that didn’t cripple his demanding timetable in the process. Jeongguk’s aspiring dancing career has come to an unfortunate end, at the end of this night. He’ll no longer be a part of the studio, he’ll no longer be able to dance with Hoseok.

Hoseok.

At the mention of his dance partner, he glances around frantically in the space he stands but finds no trace of the man whatsoever. He glances back to the coach and he almost considers pleading, getting down on his knees.

The coach is already moving away though.

“We’ll talk at the end. I’ll give you a proper send-off. Thank you for your efforts in the academy, Jeongguk and we wish you the best of luck.”

Jeongguk wants to protest but the words are stuck in the bottom of his throat, feeling choked and close to bursting into tears. But he knows he can’t. In fifteen minutes now, he has to show his face to the world with impending doom at the end of it. He has to represent an organisation he’s no longer a part of.

They used him until the performance to uphold their reputation and now, tragically, they’re dropping him because they no longer need him.

Jeongguk sniffles and he has to take a deep breath, eyes fluttering shut as he maintains a shaky composure over himself.

You’ll never succeed in dancing. In one way or another, you’ll fuck it up. You belong with us, Jeongguk. In the Jeon family, making money, sitting in business meetings with your older brother, carrying on the inheritance and the name. Don’t embarrass us, son. Don’t go out there with hopes of dancing when they’ll never amount to anything. Don’t fool yourself with a talent you don’t have.

“You’re right, appa,” Jeongguk whispers under his breath. “You were right. I’m sorry.”

He knows where he’s going after this performance.

**

(Mood: Fink - Looking Too Closely)

 

Jimin sits in an obscure part of the theatre hall, squeezed in the back out of direct people’s view. Recently, he’s been receiving more and more stares. He’s not a fool. He knows exactly why people are staring, exactly what they’re thinking when their eyes linger over his figure like they’re trying to match it to the one they had seen in the videos.

He has a face mask pulled over his mouth, further concealing his identity as he hides in the dark corner.

The performance is about to start and he feels like he could be sick from nerves, himself. He hasn’t seen Jeongguk properly in a week now and the void of the boy is beginning to leave a gaping hole in him. His heart feels empty, his chest feels hollow. Jimin’s become too accustomed to Jeongguk and it should terrify him but he can’t help but chase the feeling, instead.

From a distance, he can spot Yoongi, Taehyung, Seokjin and Namjoon sitting together. He has the urge to go and sit with them but he knows, deep down, he’s not welcomed.

He remains devoted to his corner.

The lights dim and the music intensifies, causing the crowd to fall silent immediately as they patiently await the appearance of the anticipated performance of the year. The dance performance from Jeongguk and Hoseok has been advertised, mentioned and talked about for months now.

It’s finally coming to life.

People are clearly eager to see the talents they’ve been informed about over and over if the crowded hall is any indicator, each seat is taken across the entire theatre hall. There’s a group of men right in the front, adorned in three-piece suit attires and Jimin’s sure they’re from the entertainment companies.

The curtain is raised and Hoseok is revealed for his solo dance.

Jimin’s never seen the man dance before so it’s entrancing, drawn in from the very first second. Hoseok is a born performer and he owns the stage like he created it himself, prancing around with intricate tumbles and back flips that look way too graceful to be real.

Jimin’s holding his breath through the entire routine and he’s so mesmerised that he doesn’t recognise Jeongguk entering the stage.

The crowd immediately starts cheering, some wolf-whistles can be heard. Jimin’s heart jumps out of his chest when he notices Jeongguk, wearing his black blazer with the bedazzled jewels, making him sparkle under the spotlight.

But there’s no spark in Jeongguk’s face when he looks out to the crowd.

Jimin remembers distinctly how Jeongguk looks when he dances, can memorise each bump and curve on his face as the smile takes over when he assumes his position. Each step that the younger man takes, there’s a shine of his true passion that’s evident for everyone to see and recognise.

But right now, his expression remains blank.

His eyes are drained, a dark brown that look more annoyed than anything else.

Jimin bites his lips, distinctly knowing something is seriously wrong but he can’t seem to piece together what’s going on. He doesn’t understand what could possibly go wrong. He also knows Jeongguk would never let anything affect his day.

Jeongguk takes centre stage as he dances, Hoseok following his lead but the lack of chemistry is prominent. Jimin’s eyes dart quickly to the entertainment companies, their expression unimpressed and barely moving an inch.

His heart starts to hammer.

He feels panicked. A gut feeling settles into Jimin, knowing there’s nothing he can do to help but desperate to do something. He digs his nails into the palm of his hands, taking a deep breath to calm the turmoil he feels for Jeongguk.

The first song is over and Jeongguk barely spares a glance to the audience, not a single hint of smile on his face, as he wanders off stage to get dressed in his next outfit for the second song.

Jimin waits another five minutes before Jeongguk’s emerging once again. This time, he wears a stunning pink jacket with white pearls around the collar and sleeves, adding a pop of colour to his otherwise mundane attire.

He has a solo dance this time as the lights become faint and leave him illuminated on stage under the spotlight, alone.

Jeongguk starts to move around stage gracefully, moving his limbs languidly. He does a handstand and stands up straight, barely even moving an inch out of place. He’s practiced and poised, showing off expertise he holds in his field.

There’s a few cheers from the crowd, only increasing in speed when Jeongguk completes a complicated dance move.

Jimin holds his breath as he watches with pride, joy filling his orbs as he holds his hands and waits.

Waits for disaster, apparently.

Jeongguk’s scanning across the audience and unfortunately, his eyes meet with Jimin. They widen immediately, losing focus of his dance moves and tumbling down to the floor of the stage with a loud thud. Jimin stands up, torn between running towards him and having to dig the heels of his feet into the ground to prevent himself.

There’s gasps that ripple through the crowd and a few murmurs but like a true performer, Jeongguk stands up.

Almost acting like nothing has happened, like he hadn’t just tripped over himself upon the sight of Jimin—he continues. He seems even more withdrawn now, only putting half the effort into his moves and his eyes remaining blank.

Jimin’s not sure he can focus on the rest of the performance even if he tries. When the song is over and Jeongguk disappears backstage, he realises his presence is only doing more harm than good. With a heavy heart and a crushed soul, he stands and leaves the theatre hall before he can further damage Jeongguk’s future more than he already has.

**

(Mood: Tom Odell - Heal )

 

Jeongguk’s a failure.

He’s a failure.

He had not only tripped during his solo performance—perhaps, arguably, the most important part of the entire night for him and his future—but he had received absolutely no feedback from any of the entertainment companies. He’s left with no future whatsoever in his chosen field. Kicked out of the dance academy, pushed away from the companies. Dancing has, suddenly, become a distant and hopeless dream for him.

He hasn’t seen anyone since the performance ended. He had ran out of the hall as soon as the last song was over and everyone was giving them a standing ovation—one he didn’t deserve to stick around for.

Jeongguk had rushed back to Hoseok’s apartment and blindly stuffed a bag full of clothes, his necessities and left without a word, without a sound.

He sits in the train heading towards Gangnam-Gu, feeling detached. Helpless.

Jeongguk’s phone buzzes insistently in the pocket of his jeans and he distinctly wishes it’d stop, he almost wants to throw it out of the window so it’ll stop. He’s not in the mood to talk to anyone, he’s not sure he’ll ever be in the mood to willingly discuss how he had managed to jeopardise his own future.

Upon seeing Jimin, he had faltered.

He hadn’t expected Jimin to show. The wound is still raw, still open and bleeding and seeing Jimin had only cut deeper. He wishes he had a control over his emotions, he wishes he could enter a state of being completely business and never allowing the outside world change his game face.

Apparently, he’s weak.

Like his father had claimed.

Now he sits in the train towards his old home after two years, hands joined together, ready to plead for forgiveness. Jeongguk is ready to take on a mundane life. He’s been proven twice, brutally, in one day that he was a fool for ever trying to pursue something that’s completely out of his jurisdiction, out of the norm for people like himself.

Jeongguk rests his head against the window as he cries. It’s embarrassing to let down his guard in public, to let the dam burst when there’s people surrounding the cart but he can’t help it.

He tries to hide his face within his clothes, sniffling as he smears snot into the scarf he’s wrapped around his neck tightly. But the sounds are loud and his crying is apparent to everyone riding with him.

Jeongguk’s tried. He’s failed. He’s a failure.

He had a distant dream for himself and he’s attempted it for himself, he’s seen how it causes destruction in his life and now, he’s letting go.

The train comes to a stop. He takes a deep breath and collects himself, wiping furiously under his eyes so his family won't notice he’s been crying. He wraps the scarf around his neck tighter, burying his head in the fabric before he makes his way to exit from the train cart.

It’s a short walk to his residential mansion. It’s located within the centre but still discrete enough that no one can peek in, unless they’re invited. The mystery surrounding the Jeon family knows no ends.

Jeongguk takes a deep breath as the mansion comes to view.

This is the same place that haunts him in his sleep, invading his peace and making him rethink his entire life. This is the same place he’s been on the run from, trying to escape and avoid. This is the same place that has embedded within Jeongguk and changed his entire life.

He stands before the residence and he knows what he has to do.

He takes a deep breath before approaching the watchguard. It seems like since Jeongguk’s absence, they’ve hired new staff. He doesn’t seem to recognise the man standing before him at all. He shoots a twisted smile to the man.

“Is Eomma and Appa inside?”

The man tilts his head to the side, confusion settling into his features as if he’s just been addressed to in nonsensical language.

“Sorry? Who are you?”

Oh. Right.

Jeongguk has almost forgotten that he’s been erased from the family history, every trace of his name removed. There’s no surprise the new watchguard has no idea who he is.

“I’m Jeon. Jeon Jeongguk.”

The watchguard looks at him more closely before nodding, moving to his walkie talkie and talking into it. After a few minutes of back and forth, the man looks down at Jeongguk, mostly unimpressed and his facial expression mostly not moving.

“Your father asks why you’re here.”

Jeongguk bites his lips. It’s now or never. He either has to confess he’s back, here to beg for forgiveness from his parents or he can turn back on his heel and return back to his demolished future.

“I’m here to join the business. I’m here to tell them they were right.”

The watchguard’s expression remains mainly blank but hints of sympathy are detectable, his lips curling downwards. His hand twitches over the walkie talkie and he seems to resist a sigh before he nods.

“Go right through.”

**

The dining room is still as grand as Jeongguk last remembers. The light walls reflects a certain ambiance, creating a facade of something calm. The chandelier hangs low from the ceiling, illuminating the decked table. The centerpieces are groomed and replaced with fresh flowers every single day, a tradition Jeongguk’s mother hasn’t eased up on.

Jeongguk sits on the right with his father at the head, his brother opposite him and his mother on the other head of the table. They’re all staring down at him, making him feel flustered under the warmth of the lights and their heavy, expecting gazes.

He shifts on his seat, squirming with discomfort. He’s been here for approximately five minutes and he’s already feeling sweat growing under his collar, making the attire uncomfortable to sit in.

Jeongguk hadn’t even bother changing after his dance performance, running right as soon as the curtains had been drawn. He’s still wearing the expensive blazer, the buttons done right up to his neck, looking uptight.

His mother’s analysing his physique critically, eyes wandering over his figure and pausing at the choice of clothing. She’s cutthroat and unforgiving with her hard look and when her eyes resettle on his, her lips stretch into a thin line.

Jeongguk swallows.

Finally, his father edges forward. He folds his hands on top of the dining table, taking a deep breath before he begins to speak.

“I told you, didn’t I?” Is the first thing he says to Jeongguk, to his son, since returning. His lips curl upwards in a twisted, satisfied smile. Like he’s been living for the day he gets to say: ‘I told you so’ to his son. “You’d never be happy with dancing.”

Jeongguk grits his teeth. He has to clench his fists under the table, on his lap to resist saying anything unjustifiable. He was always happy with dancing. He just wasn’t able to bring the right amount of integrity to the respectful field, embarrassing himself and his dance partner. He wishes Hoseok never chose him.

“Yes, appa.”

“Hands on the table, Jeongguk,” his mother chides, cutting in and speaking now that the father had. “Have you forgotten your basic table etiquette?”

He exhales sharply through his nose, flexing out his fingers before bringing them to everyone’s view on the table. He hates how he finds himself naturally slipping into a more submissive headspace around his parents, somehow still paralysed by their power. Even being in this house, alone, brings back enough torturing flashbacks.

“I was right, wasn’t I?” The father pushes for an answer.

“Yes, appa. You were right.”

“What made you change your mind?”

He contemplates his answer for a second, not wanting to be completely honest with his family. They don’t deserve it, they’ve never earned a single ounce of his trust and he knows whatever he’ll say will only be used against him in the future. He bites his lip raw, taking a deep breath.

“I just had no passion or drive for it anymore.”

His father’s eyes light up as he nods eagerly.

“That’s my son. I finally got my son back.”

The words feel like the vile building in the back of Jeongguk’s throat, having to swallow heavily around the distaste in his mouth. It tastes like blood, vulgar and hard to ingest. He hadn’t forgotten his father’s patronising words, the way he looks down upon Jeongguk but he’s not used to it being thrown in his direction anymore.

“Yes, appa.”

“You’re hundred percent you want to join the business? There’s no going back once you do. Not this time, especially. You won’t keep fucking us around.”

“You were—” Jeongguk almost protests. You were the one that disowned me. But he receives a sharp look from his brother sitting opposite him, a slow shake of his head to warn him that it’s the wrong selection of words. One step out of line and Jeongguk will be sent packing right out of this house. “Yes, appa.”

“Tell me why you want to join.”

This is the part where he’s made to beg.

His stomach churns uncomfortably as he bows his head, falling into more submission. It only gratifies his father, apparently, because even with his gaze directed downwards, he can notice the man’s delighted grin.

“Because I realised my mistake, appa. I’m sorry. Please, take me back and let me prove I was wrong.”

“That’s it?”

“I lived to regret my decision everyday.” He continues, close to tears now as the conflicted words come out of his mouth. His voice cracks and everyone’s eyes remain burdensome on him before he forces himself to keep speaking shakily. “I lived to regret not joining the family business. I struggled with my money, a lot. Please, take me back.”

His father’s sadistic grin only grows, turning to his brother.

“Joonho, what do you think?”

Jeongguk’s still in two minds about he feels about his brother. On one hand, it seems like Joonho genuinely cares about him. When he was still a part of the family before it came tumbling down, Joonho would take care of him and guide him through the tribulations that came with being a part of the Jeon family. He’d assure that Jeongguk never put his foot in his mouth. But on the other hand, Joonho can also be devoted to his parents to a fault. It’s hard to trust him wholeheartedly.

Joonho turns to Jeongguk and looks him up and down for a second before speaking softly.

“Take him back, appa. I think he’s learnt his lesson.”

His father turns back to Jeongguk.

“We’ll form a contract tomorrow and we’ll unfreeze your inheritance, all the millions of it. We’ll keep adding to it, as well,” he says proudly. “Go get some rest now. Your room is untouched. Don’t let me down this time, Jeongguk.”

“Yes, appa.”

**

When Jimin wakes up the next morning, he decides to chase down Jeongguk.

Yesterday’s dance performance had wretched his soul and he feels directly responsible, he needs to scavenge out Jeongguk’s presence so he can apologise. There’s so many things left unsaid between them that he needs to get out of his system. There’s been enough time between them that now, he’s ready to openly confess to how he feels.

It’s terrifying to put yourself on the line, to bare open your deepest thoughts for others to implore at, to make yourself purposely vulnerable. It’s terrifying, even more so, when you’ve been taught to do exactly the opposite of that and you’re beginning to branch out of the norm.

But Jimin knows if he doesn’t try now, the chance will slip right through his fingers. He’ll never get the chance of redemption with Jeongguk. He’s not sure if he deserves a second chance, to ask Jeongguk to come back to their share home but if he never tries—it’ll eat him up, gnaw at his stomach.

By now, Jimin’s figured out that Jeongguk’s staying with Hoseok.

He takes his time getting ready, continously swallowing down the nerves that he feels invading him. He takes more time than usual when styling his hair, allowing his strands to curl at the ends. Once he’s ready and checked his appearance twice over, he finally begins the bus journey over to Hoseok’s apartment.

Jimin’s never been inside Hoseok’s apartment. He’s stood outside once whilst waiting for Jeongguk back when they had just started to live together. He only vaguely remembers the route and nostalgia floods him as the bus takes him to his destination. Jimin wishes he could go back in time, when things were simpler and he and Jeongguk were still strangers.

Maybe, he wouldn’t fall for him second time around and he wouldn’t manage to make a mess of it all.

When the stop arrives, Jimin takes a deep breath before stepping out of the public transportation vehicle. He walks into the smaller roads, down to Hoseok’s apartment block. It’s the same as he remembers when he walks up to the front door, buzzing for Hoseok. He’s granted entry minutes later.

When he walks up to the third floor and knocks for Hoseok, he almost hopes he’ll be met with Jeongguk.

It is, indeed, Hoseok, though.

Hoseok looks weakened, signs of fatigue taking over his features. His eyes are red-rimmed like he’s been lacking from sleep, barely able to keep them over as he leans onto the door He blinks lethargically at Jimin, scanning him all over.

“Hey…” he sounds hesitant as he speaks, furrowing his brows.

“Hi, hyung,” Jimin greets, licking his lips. “How was the dance performance? I was there to see a bit. I loved your solo dance.”

Hoseok’s smile is barely manageable but it’s there, running a hand through his hair.

“Thank you, Jimin-ah. Would you like to come in?”

“If you don’t mind…”

He’s a little surprised by Hoseok’s hospitality, especially after how he had treated and talked down to Jeongguk. Jimin almost feels like he’s overstepping a line with how tired Hoseok apparently is, in desperate need of a deep slumber but instead, willingly catering to Jimin.

Hoseok shakes his head patiently and steps back, opening the door all the way and allowing him through.

Jimin walks into the unfamiliar surroundings, doing the courtesy of sweeping a look around the entire apartment. It’s a fairly small size, especially for a struggling student but it’s lived in and cosy. There’s vibes that resemble Hoseok with the personalised photo frames, the trophies showcased for his dancing.

Jimin smiles and looks back at Hoseok, nervously wringing his fingers together. Before he can speak, Hoseok’s cutting in.

“So, I’m guessing you and Guk fixed things up?”

The question is unexpected. Jimin furrows his brows as he settles his back against the counter, supporting his weight on it.

“No…? Why would you think that?”

“Um… because Guk didn’t come here after the performance and I was guessing you two patched things up?”

“He didn’t?” Jimin repeats, the first burst of panic registering within him. “Wait, where did he go after the performance?”

Hoseok seems a little startled now, offering a helpless shrug.

“He disappeared right after the performance.”

“Have you spoken to him since?”

“Nah,” Hoseok shakes his head. “I was going to now, I thought he was with you or something.”

“No, hyung. I left the show two dances in.”

Hoseok’s features turn sour, perplexed now as he glances to Jimin with desperation leaking into his pupils. Almost like he’s begging for Jimin to be lying. He takes a deep breath and runs a hand down his face.

“Where the fuck is he then?”

“I don’t know!” Jimin exclaims immediately. “I haven’t seen him since the performance.”

Hoseok’s grumbling angrily under his breath as he crosses over to his living room, grabbing his phone. He’s viciously dialling a number not to no avail, sighing in frustration as he looks over to Jimin.

“He stumbled during the performance, didn’t he?” Hoseok asks. “I could tell, something was really wrong.”

Jimin bites his lips as the memories flood his mind, nodding slowly.

“Yes, hyung. He did. It was pretty bad. I left right after that because I couldn’t bear watching it any longer.”

Hoseok sucks in a harsh breath as he tries calling Jeongguk a few more times but each time, he’s met with voicemail. Neither of them have had from Jeongguk since yesterday at the performance and when putting the context into place, it’s clear there’s something seriously wrong. Jeongguk wouldn’t go running.

“Let me try Namjoon, or Taehyung,” Hoseok suggests as he wanders into the corner of his kitchen, trying to reach out to their mutual friends. Jimin waits anxiously as Hoseok talks back and forth with Namjoon for a few minutes. Hoseok returns with a solemn expression. “Namjoon…”

“Namjoon, what?”

“Namjoon thinks Guk went back home.”

“Went back home?” Jimin repeats, dumbfounded.

Admittedly, Jimin’s knowledge about Jeongguk’s past life before he had started university and his family is limited to none. He doesn’t know any details, is only aware of the fact that he’s from a prestigious background and apparently, hates it when it’s mentioned to him frankly.

Jimin wishes he understood why. He wishes he could rewind back to a week ago before he had stomped upon their growing relationship, before he had managed to break apart every building block they had been constructing together. They were working towards something beautiful, something that Jimin’s willing to give up his insecurities, his issues and time and effort for.

Hoseok looks close to tears. He nods, running a hand through his hair and tugging at the roots like he’s trying to root himself into the ground and not overreact.

“Jeongguk takes everything to heart. He expects the best of himself, perfectionist in every sense. Even if he won’t admit it,” Hoseok speaks even when his voice trembles over the words. “He gets that from his family. They had subconsciously groomed him to be that way and it still reflects in his behaviour.”

The new piece of information resonates within Jimin, dwelling in his mind as he rethinks every word Hoseok’s just told him. He tries to apply the information to the Jeongguk he knows and finds truth ringing clear within them.

“I know…”

“He thinks he failed yesterday so if anyone knows Jeongguk, they’ll know he’s beating himself up over it.”

“So, he went home because of it?”

Dread dawns on Hoseok’s face as he nods his head slowly.

“To beg for his parents back…”

“They disowned him, didn’t he?” Jimin whispers, remembering Jeongguk’s angered words.

“Yeah. For Jeongguk, he had a choice. He could either join the family business or he’d be shunned, removed. They’d act like he no longer exist. They’d freeze his money and they’d leave him homeless, pleading for forgiveness but Jeongguk never allowed that to happen. He came here, he made a name for himself.”

If Jimin wasn’t already feel guilt, it flushes into his system twice as harder now. The more he learns about Jeongguk, the more he learns that the younger man isn’t just a happy-go-lucky, extroverted individual. There’s more to his character that he lets on, more suffering and anguish that he conceals within him and hides behind a mask.

“So, he’s gone home? To ask for them back?”

“Presumably so.”

“He gave up dancing?” Jimin repeats, still feeling befuddled and desperately hoping none of Hoseok’s words are true.

Jimin’s seen Jeongguk’s passion for dancing himself. He’s seen the way he holds it closely to his heart, treasures the fascination he holds for it. It’d be a injustice to the world if Jeongguk resorted to being a businessman, sitting behind desks and addressing older, greedy men who only care for money.

Hoseok’s biting his lips hard enough that he bleeds, worrisome evident.

“Yes, Jimin. That’s what I think.”

It immediately settles wrong within Jimin. He feels an urge to stop Jeongguk from making the biggest mistake of his life so he’s not thinking twice, not even contemplating the words that escape him with a rush.

“Where’s his family home, hyung? I’m going there.”

**

There’s a knock on his bedroom door, followed by. “Can I come in?”

Joonho stands in the doorway but steps inside without permission, despite asking.

Jeongguk doesn’t expect any better and resists the urge to sigh, shuffling to sit upright on his bed. He glances around his room one last time, still in a trance since sitting in his childhood room. It really hasn’t been touched since he left, his dirty shirt still strewn across the floor. He wonders how deeply his parents resented him for chasing a far reality to the point they didn’t allow the maids into his room.

“Sure,” Jeongguk replies uselessly.

Joonho steps gingerly into the room. He looks around, wrinkling his nose at the contents in the room.

“This is filthy.”

“Shut up.”

The brother cracks a smile before he edges further, sitting down on the bed besides Jeongguk. He’s holding a folder in his hands and Jeongguk already knows what it is. His heart begins to beat quicker and he has to take a deep breath, look away before it becomes abundantly clear.

Joonho is patient though and eventually, he pushes the folder into Jeongguk’s hand.

“The contract.”

Jeongguk swallows as he takes it off him but refuses to take a look at the documents, not wanting to read between the lines of his freedom being stolen from him. This contract will bind him to the Jeon family for eternity, require him to marry a good housewife and maintain a reputation like much his father’s where he slaves away behind a office and fake business associates.

“Oh. Thanks.”

“I think you should check it, buddy. You should know what you’re getting yourself into.”

“Okay.”

Jeongguk still makes no move to open the folder. Instead, he places it down on the bed before him.

“Guk… you should—”

“Can you stop?” He cuts in, words more fierce than expected. A fire is burning inside of him, growing deeper with every passing second that he stays in this suffocating mansions with emptiness inside. “Stop acting like you care, hyung. You never contacted me once since I left, not even once.”

“Jeongguk…”

“So, please. Don’t play the caring older brother now.” He grabs the papers, pulling out the papers and barely giving them a glance as he takes the pen. He’s about to sign it. He’s about to give up his whole life.

Joonho reaches out and halts him.

“Don’t.”

Jeongguk blinks in disbelief as he tears his hold away from his brother, pupils alight with fury.

“Don’t fucking touch me.”

“Don’t sign it.”

“Why the fuck not?” The cynicism rolls off him now, unable to hold it back any longer. “This is what you, what appa wants. You want me to give up everything so I can serve under you. You’ve given up everything already, given up the woman you love and now you want me to follow you. Don’t act like you care now. Don’t fucking do it.”

Joonho looks mostly unaffected. Perhaps, he’s just become immune to everything he’s had to endure since he followed their father blindly into the business. He had a life of his own, eager to get into the acting industry. He had a girlfriend. He left everything behind to remain loyal for the Jeon family.

His expression remains well maintained, barely moving an inch.

“All I’m saying, Jeongguk, is: think carefully. Is this what you really want? There’s always a way. Don’t make my mistakes. There’s always a way.”

Before Jeongguk can rebuttal, Joonho is standing up. He shoots him one last desperate look, confusing the younger man further before he walks out.

The contract lays out before Jeongguk. The rules, the regulations are all in black and white for him to read. He sees a section of ‘inheritance’, meaning his money will be granted back to him in full. He takes a deep breath and puts the papers back inside the folder, promising to sign it later.

**

Jeongguk sits around the dining table with his family. They’re all awkwardly quiet as expensive cutlery scraps alongside the china plates. The maids run around the table, refilling his father’s food and ensuring he’s eating well. His mother sits at the opposite head of the table, wiping her mouth every few seconds and never actually consuming her food.

Another maid walks into the room, sheepish expression on her face.

“There’s a boy at the door. He’s looking for Jeongguk.”

Jeongguk perks up at the mention of his name, his ears opening up as he raises his head. His plate of dinner is mostly untouched, unable to find it within him to consume the stew. He wonders who it could be. He assumes it’d be Namjoon, considering the man is familiar with Jeongguk’s family.

The father looks up, unimpressed.

“Tell him to go home. Jeongguk’s here now and he won’t be leaving.”

Jeongguk swallows at the authority ringing in his tone. There’s no nerve from anyone around the table, the workers in the mansion to question him. A long suffering pause passes before the maid nods.

“Of course.”

It only serves to make his curiosity grow a considerable amount, pondering upon who it could be that’d come after Jeongguk. After all, he had spontaneously disappeared after the performance. He hadn’t reached out to anyone. His skin crawls with the need to go check but he knows it won’t be acceptable.

His father looks up to him and offers an insincere smile.

“Have you signed the contract yet, my son?”

Of course, that’s the topic of discussion. Jeongguk halts where he’s forcing himself to stuff another mouthful of the pork stew into his mouth. He lowers his spoon, visibly hesitating. Opposite him, Joonho has stiffened up but tries his hardest to play it off.

“Not yet.”

“Have you read it through?”

“Yes,” Jeongguk lies because he knows it’ll only cause a commotion if he says no. “I have. I agree. I just need to sign.”

“Well, hurry up.” The man stops, swallowing his bite. “Actually, Jeongguk. Go bring the papers now, sign them in front of me. Let’s begin a life together, son. Let’s not delay it any longer.”

Whilst Jeongguk had been planning on signing them, he had never imagined there’d be a strict deadline impending upon him. He had never imagined he’d be forced to do it merely hours after receiving the document.

“Appa—”

“Go.”

His heart begins to hammer and despite his obvious anger towards his brother, he shoots a desperate look to Joonho as if his older brother will come to his aid. Joonho looks back at him with sorrow taking over his features, as if he’s resigning to the fact that he simply can’t help in this situation.

“Appa…” Jeongguk tries again, grasping at straws. “Appa, I—”

Jeongguk.”’

“Sir,” the maid has returned once again, looking timid as ever. She keeps her head bowed like she’s frightened. “The boy simply won’t leave. He’s throwing curses, threatening.”

“Who the fuck is he, then?” The father bellows, apparently already worked up over Jeongguk’s hesitation and now the uninvited guests.

Jeongguk holds his breath as the maid stumbles over her next words.

“It’s a Park Jimin, sir.”

Jimin. Jimin. Jimin is outside.

Jeongguk’s eyes widen and he feels himself instinctively standing up, his heart already leaping out of his chest as his limbs work on their own accord. He’s tempted to break out into a run, straight to Jimin. Another part of him is terrified. He’s not sure how it’ll settle with his father, the news of Jimin waiting for him.

His father waits for a second. “Is he a commoner?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Tell him to get the fuck off my property, then. Before I call the police.”

“He’s waiting outside the gates, sir.”

“Still my property!” The father snarls. “I want him out. Nevermind, let me just.” He grabs his phone, presumably to dial the police.

Jeongguk’s reacting before any further can be taken, the thought of Jimin being handled by his family making his nerves go into overdrive. He has never touched his father and yet he has the courage to reach out for him, hold onto his forearm to prevent him from moving any further.

The man halts as his eyes turn wide, facing Jeongguk.

“Son… what do you think you’re doing?”

“You’re not calling them.”

“There’s an unknown peasant on my territory and—”

“I said, you’re not calling the police,” Jeongguk repeats his words with more firmness even when his voice shakes from the fear that he’s actually stood up to his father. He feels a cold shudder passing through his body but he holds up his own, his heart speaking for his mind. “You’re not going to call them.”

“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t.”

“Because Jimin’s done nothing wrong. He’s a good man.”

“Who invited him here?”

“He’s got concerned about me,” Jeongguk says. “I’m going to go talk to him.”

“You’re not leaving this dining table, young man.”

Even with his father’s order, he finds himself directly disobeying. He stands up and puts his napkin down on the table, barely giving him a second glance as he starts to walk out of the dining table.

“Jeongguk. I said sit down right now.” His father calls after him.

Jeongguk keeps walking.

Adrenaline pumps through his system at the disobedience he had just performed in front of his father. Admittedly, he has always been a rebellious teenager growing up. He snuck out of his mansion plenty of times, on many occasions, and he involved himself readily in scandals that were published about him.

But he had never directly said something to his father’s face.

His father is an intimidating, powerful man. He, alone, is worth millions. He can crush Jeongguk with his fingers, bring him down to the ground and tarnish his entire life. He has always walked around eggshells when it concerned his father.

Yet, he’s walking towards the front door of his mansion and out without a backward glance.

Jimin had been there yesterday, at the theatre hall. He had sat amongst the audience, in the far corner, and he had watched eagerly. There had been delight in his eyes, exhilarated seeing Jeongguk perform.

Before Jeongguk had managed to falter and fail his routine, lose his dance academy place and receive disapproving looks from all the entertainment companies.

(Mood: Dua Lipa - Be The One)

Jimin sits on the curb outside the gates, the hood of his jacket pulled up to conceal most of his face. He wears a mask over his mouth, further hiding his identity. His legs are raised up to his chests, arms wrapped around them in a feeble position. He’s rocking himself back and forth, back turned to Jeongguk and oblivious that Jeongguk stands before him.

He takes a moment to observe Jimin. To memorise how Jimin reacts to stressful situations. To learn the behaviour for himself.

“Jimin,” he finally calls when he’s ready, the name coming out of his mouth in a rush. He swallows. “Jimin. It’s me.”

Jimin freezes his motions and it takes him a moment before he’s slowly turning around to face him. His eyes are ample, doey-eyed and bleary with unshed tears, red-rimmed underneath with dark eyebags. He looks like he hasn’t slept well for days and the same probably applies for Jeongguk.

Jimin blinks a few times, like he’s in apparent disbelief.

“You came. You actually came outside. I thought they’d tell me to leave.”

“Apparently, you’re refusing to.”

Jimin manages to laugh a little though it bubbles out of his mouth and falters fairly quickly, lips curling downwards. The tears finally release out of his system, rolling down his cheeks as he hiccups.

“Don’t do it, Guk. If you’re doing what I think you’re doing, please don’t.”

Jeongguk takes a deep breath.

“What do you mean?”

“You’re joining the family business, aren’t you? That’s why you’re back here.”

“Why does it concern you?” He asks, just because he’s bitter over everything that has happened and he can’t help it.

It only causes Jimin to cry harder, even though it’s silent. Tears are replaced with more moisture even when he tries to wipe them away, trying to gain a composure over himself.

“I might have made you feel like I don’t care, that I’m a judgemental asshole and maybe I deserve that. But why are you doing this? Please, don’t do this.”

“You are a judgemental asshole.”

“Guk…”

“This is my family,” he continues, gesturing to his grand mansion behind him. His future. His home for the rest of his life. “My fortune. My inheritance. My life, Jimin. Is this what you imagined it’d be?”

“Say what you want. Like I said, I deserve it. But I’m begging you, don’t sign your future over to them.”

Jeongguk’s temper is pushed over the edge, bursting with the overwhelming emotions as he begins to yell loudly on the street.

“Why the fuck not, Jimin?” He asks cruelly. “I lost my dance academy place, I fucked over my performance and lost the company deals I was supposed to be granted. I lost you. What’s left for me? Nothing. Nothing. This is what I deserve because I never had a talent—”

Jimin stands up as he walks over to him, eyes swimming with the outrage he’s feeling as he places the palm of his hand over Jeongguk. It successfully cuts off his angry ranting, his words coming out muffled.

Jimin stands in close proximity and Jeongguk’s eyes fluttering shut, relishing the warmth of the other boy. He hates to admit it but he’s missed being surrounded by Jimin’s presence, enveloping him and for the time being, making him feel at immediate relief.

“Shut up,” Jimin says resolutely. “Shut the fuck up.”

“Jimin,” he tries to respond but it’s fallen on deaf ears, inaudible.

“Are you kidding me, Jeongguk? You never had a talent in dancing?” He’s raging, vibrating with the relentless words that stream out of him, not even stopping to inhale. “What about those nights you spent in the studios, till the early morning? Till your body ached? What about those times Hoseok praises you, endlessly. Your coach? Your friends? The whole damn campus adores you, loves you, looked forward to your performance and guess what? If you stuck around long enough, you’d realise they were praising you, too.”

“Jimin—”

“Don’t you dare stand in front of and tell me that you don’t have a talent in dancing when that’s what you were born to do. You were granted the ability to share with the world. Yes, okay—you got kicked out of the academy, you might’ve even lost some deals and you’re just giving up? Just like that? One rejection and that’s fucking it?”

Jeongguk closes his eyes as he begins to cry, moved by the words Jimin’s providing him with. The sob breaks out of him, though the sound is blocked, and his whole body shakes with the force. Jimin continues though, crying with him as he stutters over his words.

“You get up. You try again. You go to auditions for these companies, you work even harder and you prove you have worth.” Jimin pauses to sniffle, eyes blurred with the moisture. “Don’t say you deserve nothing. Not when you deserve everything, Jeongguk.”

Jeongguk takes a deep breath. He allows the words to resonate within him, dwell in the wounds where he’s hurting and bleeding out. They soothe him over and it takes him a couple of minutes to let them process.

Jimin’s standing before him, pouring his soul and might out to him. Something he’s never done with anyone, considering his introverted personality. He has never given away his heart to anyone, allowed himself to fall.

Before Jeongguk can contemplate his actions, he acts upon his gut instincts.

Jeongguk grabs Jimin’s hand that covers his mouth, pulling it away but only to tug Jimin closer. He cups the back of his neck, bringing him forward so he can crash their lips together.

It’s like being reborn. Kissing Jimin has always felt like serenity, where everything aligns and begins to make sense to him once again. The static noise in Jeongguk’s head quietens as their lips work over each other, smacking eagerly as their tongues meet and dirtily move against each other.

It sparks a fire within Jeongguk, in the pits of his stomach of desire and want. He just wants Jimin.

No matter how much Jimin has scarred him with his words, he wants him. He wants Jimin without the pretence of making videos together. He wants Jimin in the mornings, waking up together and he wants Jimin during the nights when they cuddle up and sleep within each other’s presence.

Jimin moans softly into his mouth, fingers reaching out to tangle in Jeongguk’s hair.

They stumble over each other, struggling to maintain themselves out in the open as they kiss. If Jeongguk’s parents saw the interaction between their son and another man, it’d be game over. But it’s already over, it’s been over for a while now.

Jimin pulls away to take a deep breath, eyes still closed as he regains a composure.

When he opens his eyes, they’re still shedding with tears but he doesn’t seem melancholic anymore. Optimism floods into him, evident on every feature.

“Come home, Jeongguk,” Jimin pleads, his voice breaking on his name. “We have a lot to work through, I know. But I know you don’t want this, so please don’t do this.”

Jeongguk barely has to deliberate his decision. One look at Jimin and he already knows what he wants.

“Wait for me here?” He requests softly. “I gotta go and break off the ties myself, for the first time.”

This time around, it’s Jeongguk disassociating himself from a toxic environment. He won’t be rendered heartbroken after this because he already knows where he belongs. He belongs in his dingy, small apartment shared with the man he’s falling for and he belongs with Hoseok, working on his dancing.

Jimin flashes him a smile.

“I’m not going anywhere without you.”

**

Walking back into his apartment is refreshing.

He throws the bag on the floor and walks in further, collapsing onto the couch and burying his head into the leather seat. He inhales deeply, another bubble of emotions settling heavy on his chest.

Jimin walks in after him and sits down besides him, waiting for a beat before speaking.

“I don’t know if you care, after everything I’ve done. But I applied for culinary school.”

Jeongguk halts from where he’s trying to memorise every bump in the couch before he looks up hastily, looking over to Jimin in surprise.

“You, what?”

It’s the last news he had been expecting to hear but he readily welcomes in. His heart swells with pride though he doesn’t voice it out loud yet, staring at Jimin intently.

Jimin flushes as he nods, running a hand through his mangled black hair. He looks sheepish about his news like he’s trying to downplay this fact, not make a big deal out of it.

“I dropped out of school. Losing my parents made me realise I didn’t need to keep doing that and that I should, myself, actively seek out what I like doing the most.”

“Which is cooking.”

“Yeah.”

Jeongguk sits upright as the news processes. He remembers every single night Jimin stayed up till late to complete homework he never had desire in doing so, forcing himself to study every minute of his day so he could convince himself the subject was made for him.

He licks his lips as he waits for the right response to articulate.

“I’m proud of you, Jimin. Really proud.”

Jimin’s smile grows and his cheeks heat up as he looks away, not fighting the praise and seemingly to accept it. Another moment passes.

“Thank you, Jeongguk.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Yoongi hyung wants to host a little get together at his apartment at the news tomorrow night, will you come?” He asks though there’s uncertainty in his tone, pleading with Jeongguk.

He’s nodding before Jimin even finishes.

“Of course.”

They fall back into silence. Jeongguk sighs as he folds his legs underneath him, glancing around the apartment. It seems like Jimin’s barely been around recently, not a single object moved out of its designated place. It doesn’t feel lived in.

It takes another few minutes before Jimin’s twisting his torso towards him, facing him. Seriousness takes over his features as he reaches out to hold Jeongguk’s hand.

Jeongguk welcomes the contact instinctively, wrapping his fingers around Jimin’s and holding onto him tightly.

Whilst their relationship remains up in the air, he could never deny Jimin a thing. It feels right, to be touching him and to be sitting near him. He has been deprived of Jimin’s proximity and right now, he feels like he’s finding inner peace after a week of constant and relentless turmoil. The voices in his heads are coming to a peaceful end.

“I’m sorry.” Jimin’s words are sincere and the apology is thick with remorse, proving with the expression Jimin wears. “I’m so fucking sorry, Jeongguk. For saying what I said, for doing what I did. I’m not even going to try and justify myself. I said something wrong and I’m really sorry. I hope you can find it within you to forgive me, Guk.”

Jeongguk shakes his head patiently. Despite the hurt behind Jimin’s words a week ago, he can recognise when someone’s being honest.

He lifts their conjoined hands, placing a soft, lingering kiss on Jimin’s knuckles.

“I’ve already forgiven you.”

“But—“

“Will you forgive me for making you feel like you were nothing more than a fuck to me?” He continues, lips twisting downwards at the mere mention. “Especially when you’re so, so far from that. To me.”

“I - I… of course.”

“I’m falling for you, Jimin. I’m an absolutely goner. Surely you’ve realised that? What I did with Hayoon was a moment of weakness, a moment of me freaking out, before I realised just how much you mean to me. Do you believe me?”

Jimin’s eyes fill up with tears once again and Jeongguk’s faster this time. His spare hand cups Jimin’s cheeks, using his thumb to wipe away the moisture before they can fall. It’s not the time to cry anymore.

“I believe you, Guk.”

“I’m sorry this porn contest became a mess and we never got to win. I’m sorry it got to this point of disaster but you’re here with me now and I never want to let that go.”

Jimin swallows audible, his Adam’s apple bopping as he nods even when it’s delayed. His eyes flutter shut as his chest heaves, humming.

“It’s okay. I’m honoured to be able to do the contest with you, to be able to learn what a truly beautiful soul you are, Jeongguk.”

Jeongguk smiles softly. Everything feels tranquil, his heart bursting with emotion. He can’t help but seek out more contact, pulling Jimin into an embrace. Jimin falls into the hold immediately, snuggling into his body. Jeongguk secures his arms around Jimin tightly, squeezing his eyes shut.

“I’m falling for you too, Jeongguk.” Jimin whispers into his ear before he laughs prettily, sounding more like himself than he has through this entire ordeal. “I already have.”

Jeongguk, for the time being, doesn’t have the appropriate response.

Instead, he holds Jimin even closer and presses kisses down the side of his face. Jimin giggles at the affection, leaning into his touch. Jeongguk wraps his arms around his lower waist, hauling him forward so Jimin climbs into his lap.

He doesn’t know how long he sits on the couch with Jimin straddling his lap, kissing lazily with the revelation that they’re falling in love with each other. Because all he really knows is that he can continue doing this for a long time.

**

(Mood: Lord Huron - Fool For Love)

 

Yoongi really goes above and beyond for the little get together for Jimin.

He decks out his entire apartment, filling the small space with decorations and an assortment of foods. Taehyung claims he was the mastermind behind it all and doesn’t let Yoongi take all of the credit. There’s a small number of guests, namely their closest friends. It’s nice to see Seokjin, to see Hoseok and Namjoon arriving together.

It’s also pleasant to see Jimin unwinding down in such a setting. He holds a glass of cheap champagne, wrinkling his nose as he drinks but attempting to pretend he’s liking it. Every now and then, his eyeline will follow Jeongguk’s.

They’ll make eye contact and Jimin smiles gently, his cheeks flushing with the warmth of the alcohol and the good feeling that consumes him and every person in the room.

When Hoseok sees Jeongguk, he’s immediately sprinting over and embracing him. Jeongguk melts into the hug, sniffling a little. He knows he’s let his hyung down, disappointed him by ruining the company deal, by getting kicked out of the academy but apparently, Hoseok doesn’t let it show.

There’s not a single lingering negative feeling between them as Hoseok runs a hand down his back, soothingly trying to reassure that it’s okay.

“Fuck that academy. I quit, too.” Hoseok announces into his ear.

Jeongguk freezes at the news. Hoseok loves the dance academy. He has worked hard to get up the ladders within the other dancers, to get his own room in the studios and scavenge out Jeongguk to join him. He’s been reigning the academy for years and he finally had a shot at performing in front of people of importance.

He leans away from the hug, holding Hoseok’s shoulders tightly.

“Hyung, what the fuck?”

“I’m not going to keep dancing there without you, my partner. What would I do without you?”

“But… but,” Jeongguk flounders, unable to find the right words to articulate how he feels. Though there’s unease for Hoseok’s position, he feels a contentment settling into him. Hoseok’s loyal enough to quit his place in the academy, uproot his entire life and leave himself in uncertainty just for Jeongguk. He feels tears building up in his eyes but Hoseok’s reaching out, wiping them away before they can surface. “But, hyung… what’re you going to do?”

Hoseok shrugs with a slight pout, looking worrisome but not letting it show entirely.

“I’ll go wherever you go. If you’ll have me? Dance partners forever?”

Jeongguk swats his shoulders playfully before pulling him back into another hug. He feels the eyes of their friends staring at them like hawks as they cling onto each other like a lifeline. He can hear Jimin cooing which only causes him to smile against Hoseok.

“Forever, hyung. Forever.”

More alcohol is passed around and glasses upon glasses is given to him through Taehyung, settling around the kitchen island as they sip at the vodka soda. Jeongguk feels himself unraveling bit by bit. Though there’s a lot of his life to still sort out, sort through—he feels at peace knowing that what he needs is right here.

Jimin who’s attempting to dance with Yoongi in the middle of their apartment, Seokjin embarrassingly joining in and Hoseok putting them to shame. Taehyung standing by his side with Namjoon, nudging his hips against his in time to the beat of the music.

He relishes the feeling because right now, he’ll never ask for more.

Eventually when he enters a tipsy state of mind, Jimin’s slipping up to him discreetly. He reveals a joint and gestures to the front door, offering a suggestive eyebrow raise.

They chase each other down the stairs, giggling as they run and skip two steps at a time. Jimin almost falls and Jeongguk’s rushing over, grabbing ahold of his waist to steady him before picking Jimin up instead.

Jimin squeals, wrapping his legs around Jeongguk’s waist and even as he protests and demands to be let down, he’s only clutching onto him tighter. Jeongguk can’t stop laughing, feeling elated and overjoyed.

They arrive outside the apartment block, standing side-by-side against the wall as Jeongguk lights up the blunt.

“You liked smoking weed, then?” Jeongguk questions curiously as he takes the first hit, taking a long draw before exhaling and watching the smoke curl up into the air. He hands it over to Jimin who takes it off him gratefully.

“It was nice. Pleasant,” Jimin hums in agreement as he follows the same actions. “Couldn’t stop laughing afterwards, I like that.”

“Yeah. The effects are nice.”

They smoke for a while in peacefulness, not feeling the need to exchange any words between each other. There’s comfortable silence that invades them, reassuring Jeongguk that this is meant to be. Every time he exhales, he finds himself glancing over to Jimin and unable to resist, he reaches out for him.

Jimin follows when Jeongguk tugs him closer, taking the hint and settling between Jeongguk’s thigh against the wall. Jimin smirks, tilting his head up so he can watch the younger man closely.

“What is it, babe?”

“You’re just really pretty, Jimin.”

Jimin rolls his eyes fondly and clicks his tongue as he refuses to accept the compliment but the goofy, appreciative smile speaks volumes more than his words will ever let on. He leans into the touch, nuzzling his head into Jeongguk’s neck as he takes a drag of the blunt and exhales into Jeongguk’s neck.

They talk for a little while, finding the conversation drifting to Jeongguk’s family.

It’s a little strange to discuss intimate details about his emotionally constipated, twisted family. It’s hard to bring out every moment that has contributed to his dark times and the person he is today but Jimin seems to soak up every detail.

Every time Jimin pouts in displeasure at the points in the story that becomes harder to listen to—namely how Jeongguk’s father treats him, breaks him down and makes him feel inadequate—he kisses Jeongguk’s lips.

They start lazily making out against the wall, grinding their hips down upon each other needily. The rest of the conversation is swallowed whole by Jimin’s desperate moans being whimpered into Jeongguk’s mouth, clutching onto Jeongguk’s sleeve and digging his fingers in hard enough to leave marks.

“Jimin,” he groans. “Not here.”

“Take me upstairs,” Jimin’s begging right back, eyes still closed even as they part from the kiss. With each moment passing, they’re growing more eager to rip the clothes off each other and if Jeongguk doesn’t get Jimin alone in his bedroom right this instant, he might just come in his pants. “Please, missed you inside of me so much. Make love to me, Jeongguk. I want you—”

“Oh my God!” Someone squeals, breaking the moment apart.

Jeongguk shrieks as Jimin jumps at the same time, jolting in surprise and immediately taking a step back from Jeongguk’s embrace. Both of their heads snap towards the direction of the sound, finding Hoseok standing there.

He looks horrified, dismay filling each feature of his as he covers his eyes, traumatised.

“Holy shit. I want to unsee that so bad.”

Jeongguk chuckles, shaking his head. He’s still panting hard from the pace of their kissing, willing his stirring cock to relent as he runs a hand through his hair and fixes a few unkempt strands.

“What do you want, hyung? I’m busy.”

Hoseok chuckles nervously, eyes still wide like he’s mentally wiping out every single second he just had to witness. He walks towards Jeongguk and with each step he takes, his smile begins to grow steadily. He looks ecstatic, vibrating out of his skin.

Before any of them can question what’s going on, Hoseok hands his phone over.

It’s an email, opened up to a letter from an entertainment company.

Jeongguk’s breath catches in his throat and he pauses, unable to read any further. Both jubilation and fear fills him automatically, both at once, as he holds onto the phone tightly. His eyes remain on Hoseok, searching his pupils.

“What is this, Hoseok hyung?”

“Read it,” he simply demands.

Jeongguk shakes his head adamantly. “No, no. I can’t.”

“Just read it!” Jimin squeals, unable to hold back as he practically jumps on the spot. He reaches over, grabbing the phone off Jeongguk and reading for himself, too impatient to wait. A moment of silence spreads between them before Jimin’s looking up, eyes wide. “Jeongguk… baby…”

“Stop, stop. Jimin—”

“This company’s calling you and Hoseok hyung to them. They want to train you, take you under their wings,” Jimin’s breathing out in shock, looking over to Hoseok who only nods to confirm the news. “They… they were there for the performance, Guk.”

Jeongguk blinks in disbelief once, twice.

“I did so bad in the performance, though.”

“Apparently not,” Hoseok interrupts as he steps forward, grasping his shoulders. “We did so good, Jeongguk. If only you could’ve seen yourself thrive on stage. One mistake doesn’t matter and this company obviously doesn’t care. They want us under their name.”

It still feels like a dream, like he’s floating and none of this real. He had never imagined he’d get called in by an entertainment company. He had performed poorly in front of his audience, disheartening himself and proving his skills to be merely mediocre.

But someone had taken a liking on him. On Hoseok. On them together.

“Oh my God,” Jeongguk whispers out. “We’re… we’re going to be trainees?”

Hoseok’s eyes glisten when he nods, ease taking over his features.

“Hell yes, Jeongguk. Yes, we are.”

Jeongguk can barely begin to comprehend how he feels. Short bursts of euphoria begins to fill within him, embedding deep in his stomach. He feels overwhelmed, unable to process the news effectively. It’s always been a distant hope for the future.

He had been so quick to resort to giving up on his dream. But now he stands before the man he’s falling in love with, his older brother that he relies his entire life on and a group of friends in the apartment upstairs that he’ll willingly give up any part of himself for.

Jimin’s going to culinary school in Seoul, Jeongguk’s going to become a trainee in Seoul. They’re both fulfilling with the ambition that they had rooted to, held onto and attempted endlessly to accomplish.

Jimin’s pulling him into an embrace, cooing under his breath. Jeongguk leans into the touch, unable to resist and soaking up the attention. He’s still in a state of permanent shock and it only begins to register within him as Jimin repeats ‘my superstar’ over and over under his breath.

When they pull away, Jimin kisses him softly on the lips. His expression looks enchanted, mellowed out from the drugs but looking genuinely contented like there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.

“We’re going to be okay, Jeongguk.”

For once, Jeongguk believes Jimin’s words. It feels like it’s going to be okay.

“I know,” he whispers right back. He chases after Jimin’s lips, moving closer for another peck that he gets given readily. “I know. We’re going to be okay.”

Hoseok cheers, jumping up and down on the spot with overjoy.

“Let’s go upstairs and fucking party!”