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The Miku Effect

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Jungkook does not, strictly speaking, believe in magic. He knows how magicians do their tricks because he had that phase that one time where he obsessively searched for magicians’ secrets so that he could do the tricks himself. He knows how they pretend to saw people in half without actually sawing them in half and he knows how they make rabbits and doves come out of hats (although he doesn’t really agree with using animals like that, he admits that it looks pretty cool.)

As someone who doesn't believe in magic or any variation of it, he doesn’t think much about it when he sees a post online that says ‘if u see this u are gay’. He knows that a post on Twitter can’t turn you gay, even if it does have a picture of Hatsune Miku, so his very not fragile heterosexuality has nothing to fear.

He scrolls past it, pauses, and then scrolls back up to look at it again. He isn’t sure why, but something’s drawing him to the post. He stares at it for a few seconds, then scrolls past it again.

He thinks about the post a few times that night. Nothing serious, because posts can’t turn you gay. But he wonders, what if it did? He supposes that it wouldn’t be that bad, really. He has plenty of gay friends and they all seem to have a nice time being gay.

It’s not real, though. He’s not gay and he never will be.

-

Jungkook is starting to think that the post was real and it actually has turned him gay.

The reason behind that hypothesis is the man standing in front of him, if 'man' could even properly describe the ethereal being that he’s looking at. Angel, maybe. He’s just standing there, just standing there as if he fits in with all the regular people nearby. As if he doesn’t stand out a mile just by looking the way he does.

Jungkook feels like he shouldn’t even be permitted to be in this man’s presence, and yet he feels a strange desire to talk to him. He's not going to talk to him, though, couldn't possibly interrupt this beautiful stranger's day with a nervous introduction. It would only end in embarrassment.

They're in the spice aisle, and the man is staring intently at the display as if he's looking for something specific. His gaze is piercing, and Jungkook thinks that if he were that box of ground black pepper that he's looking at then he would have combusted on the spot.

He's not even meant to be in the spice aisle; he's never been in this store before and he got lost on the way to the snacks. He thinks that maybe getting lost in here was fate, and maybe he was destined to encounter this beautiful stranger.

No, that's not right. The obvious explanation is that he saw a post on the internet that turned him gay and now he thinks that men are hot. He would bet that he could have seen this man a few days ago and wouldn't have even bat an eyelid at him. Like, obviously he wouldn’t have. It’s just because of the post that turned him gay.

It occurs to Jungkook, after standing there with his arms limply by his sides watching the man pick out some things and continue down the aisle, that staring at people is creepy, so he does what he does best and runs away.

After hiding in the cereal aisle for a few minutes, Jungkook resumes his adventure through the store in search of snacks. Fortunately- or unfortunately- he doesn't see the beautiful stranger as he fills his arms with as many unhealthy things as he can carry. He probably should have brought a bag, but it's too late for that now.

Snacks stacked high in his arms, Jungkook makes his wobbly journey to the checkout. The choco pies on the top are starting to slip, but it'll be fine, he's good at balancing things. Nearly there and they're still slipping. Oh no, wait, fuck-

The choco pies fall and then so does everything else, clattering noisily to the ground. Jungkook swears under his breath, scrambling to pick everything back up as his face starts to burn.

"Would you like to share my basket?" A voice comes from behind him.

Jungkook turns to say 'no thank you, I'll be alright', but then he sees the owner of the voice and he loses the ability to talk. It's the beautiful stranger from before, eyes kind with a hint of amusement as he holds out his basket, the items inside arranged neatly with plenty of room to spare.

A pathetic, senseless noise comes out of Jungkook's mouth. He looks at the stranger and then at the basket and then all of his stuff on the floor. Seeming to take that as a yes, the man kneels down next to him and helps pick up the snacks and put them in the basket.

Somehow, seeing his stuff in the same basket as this man's stuff gets Jungkook thinking. He thinks about how they could have a future together where they go on shopping trips and be domestic and sneak kisses when nobody is around and argue over which brands to get. They could go on dates to the grocery store and Jungkook could propose in the spice aisle because that's where he first laid eyes on him-

That post is making him have gay thoughts about a person he hasn't even said a coherent word to yet. He isn't sure what kind of sorcery is behind it, but its powers are incredible.

He should probably say a coherent word to him, though. "Thank you," he says, because he doesn’t know what else he could say.

The stranger smiles at him again. "No problem. Picked up more than you expected, huh?"

Jungkook flushes again in embarrassment as he looks down into the basket and realises that he didn't get a single sensible food item. This man probably thinks that he doesn't know how to feed himself- even worse, he would be right. "Yeah," he says meekly.

He tries hard to think of something smart to say, something witty, something that would make this stranger fall in love with him right this very second so that they can live the rest of their lives together with the grocery store dates and the proposal in the spice aisle. "I'm Jungkook," he says, and it's awkward and sudden but he doesn't think that he can have a whirlwind romance with someone if they don't know each other's names.

"Seokjin," the man says, thankfully not seeming weirded out. If he's not weirded out by Jungkook being a catastrophe of a human being, then they must be compatible. "We can pay together, if you like, since we're sharing a basket. I'm not buying much," Seokjin says, gesturing to his sensible pile of spices, milk and dried noodles.

Paying together sounds like one step closer to Jungkook's romantic grocery store fantasy, so he eagerly agrees, but not too eagerly because he doesn't want to seem like a creep. If he's being a creep, it's not his fault, it's because of the gay thoughts that have been implemented into his mind.

As they wait to pay, they stand in comfortable silence- or, at least, the silence seems comfortable on Seokjin's end. Jungkook is positively buzzing from a mixture of excitement and nervousness, continuously sneaking glances at Seokjin's side profile next to him. That nose, those lips, that jawline... Jungkook would like to meet Seokjin's parents just so that he can thank them personally for producing such a flawless specimen.

Jungkook is the one who is spending the most money between them, so they pay with his card and then Seokjin pays him back with cash.

It looks like their interaction is over and they're going to go their separate ways and never see each other again. Jungkook doesn't want that, he doesn't want that at all. What about the romantic grocery store fantasy? Is he going to let that slip through his fingers just because he's scared of putting himself out there?

He inhales, and takes a risk. "Seokjin-ssi, could I get your number?"

Seokjin's eyes widen slightly in shock, and Jungkook wants to dig a hole in the ground and get in the hole and live in the hole forever. Seokjin opens his mouth and closes it again and Jungkook wants to shout 'it's just a prank, bro!' and run away. Seokjin fumbles around with his pockets and Jungkook wants to get his name legally changed as soon as he gets home so that he can leave the country and start a new life and, wait, what's Seokjin doing?

Seokjin has fished the receipt and a pen out of his pocket, and is scribbling something onto it. Jungkook's breath catches in his throat.

"Here," Seokjin says cheerfully, handing the receipt back to Jungkook and, yes, that's a phone number written on it. "Good job I carry a pen around, huh? People always tell me that I'm weird for always making sure I have a pen on me, who's laughing now?"

People think that Seokjin is weird for carrying a pen around, and people think that Jungkook is weird because he's Jungkook. Maybe, just maybe, they could be weird together. Everything's falling into place.

As they part ways, Jungkook feels good, giddily swinging the plastic bag that the store gave him around his head. It isn't until five minutes later when he remembers that this only happened because a post online turned him gay that he starts to feel weird about it.

What did he just do? What is he doing?

-

He seeks help from Taehyung, his roommate and self-proclaimed loud pansexual.

“I don’t really know how to say this,” Jungkook starts, standing awkwardly in the doorway, shifting his weight from foot to foot.

“If you’re going to drop big news on me,” Taehyung interrupts him, shovelling cereal in his mouth. “At least do it after I’ve finished my soup.”

Jungkook stares at the bowl at the table in front of Taehyung. “That is cereal.”

“Cereal is a kind of soup,” Taehyung says, with his mouth full because he’s an animal.

The concept of cereal being a kind of soup confuses and enrages Jungkook so much that he forgets for a moment what he was meaning to talk about. “You’re wrong, and for that reason I’m going to tell you anyway.” He takes a deep breath. “I think that a post on Twitter turned me gay.”

Taehyung chokes on his ‘soup’, coughing loudly and spluttering all over the table. When he stops making noises like a man on the brink of death, he looks at Jungkook accusatively as if he was entirely his fault, when it was in fact only partly his fault. “What do you mean, a post on Twitter turned you gay?”

Jungkook thinks that it’s pretty self-explanatory. “Yesterday I saw a post that said that if you see it then you’re gay, and then today I saw a gorgeous man and asked him for his number. I think that I’m gay now.” He discovers as he talks that he isn’t actually very bothered about this. It’s more of a mild inconvenience than anything else.

For some reason, Taehyung looks like he feels sorry for him. “Oh, Jungkookie, the post didn’t turn you gay. You just happened to see a gorgeous man after you saw it.”

“But I had gay feelings for him,” Jungkook says.

Taehyung pauses for a moment, screwing his face up in thought. “Okay, I really don’t like to tell people what their sexuality is because people always know themselves more than other people do. However, I am very sure that you like men and have always liked men.”

“... I’m straight, though,” Jungkook says weakly. “Or I was straight.”

Taehyung chews his cereal judgmentally. “When I brought Jimin home for the first time, you told me that you were jealous,” he says.

“That was a joke.”

“The way you stared at him didn’t seem like a joke.”

There is a brief silence. “I don’t care about your opinion,” Jungkook decides, crossing his arms.

"Jungkookie," Taehyung says gently, tone changing suddenly. "I think that you've always had these thoughts, but it's only now that you can blame it on something that you're allowing yourself to acknowledge them.”

That makes perfect sense. In fact, it makes too much sense, so much so that Jungkook can’t wrap his head around it. It’s fine if an online post turned him gay, he doesn’t feel weird about it because it’s just something that happened, but if he was into men this whole time then that means that he has to think about it.

It just doesn’t sound right. He’s always been straight, he’s the token straight friend of the group. It would be weird if he were gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with it- he knows there’s nothing wrong with it, but he’s still incredibly reluctant to think that the way that he’s perceived himself for his entire life has been wrong. It’s like he has to rethink everything about his life, realising that every time he thought a guy was hot in a no homo way was actually in a homo way.

He could be into guys. He’s probably into guys. No, he remembers the way he felt when he looked at Seokjin, he’s definitely into guys. The way that he liked him had a definite gay feel to it.

And magic Twitter posts don’t exist, not really. He knows that if he thinks about it for longer than five seconds.

Taehyung is watching him patiently as he stares into space, having revelations that he would rather save for a later time, like when he’s in bed and alone.

"You could maybe be right," Jungkook says finally, "but I'm still going to keep saying that a picture on the internet turned me gay because it's funnier that way." He thinks some more. "Or bi? That would make more sense."

Taehyung noisily slurps up the remainder of his cereal milk. "You've got all the time in the world to figure it out properly," he says with milk dripping down his chin. "In the meantime, if you could just confirm for me that I was right and you do think that my boyfriend is hot then that would be great."

"... Well."

"Well?"

Jungkook groans loudly. "Fine! He's hot! It's Jimin- of course he is! Look at him!"

"I do look at him," Taehyung says, satisfied. "I look at him very often. You should be sad that I got him first." He gets out his phone, dials a number, and then puts it to his ear. "Jiminie! Hi! Jungkookie finally admitted that he thinks you're hot. Yeah, I know. You’ll never guess what got him to admit it-"

“Jiminie-hyung, your boyfriend thinks that cereal is a soup!” Jungkook shouts into the phone, before scurrying away into his room.

-

Jungkook, having confidently identified as bisexual for a whole two weeks now, has been pretty obvious about his crush on Seokjin, and Seokjin doesn’t seem bothered by it in the slightest. He seems the exact opposite of bothered, judging by the way that he starts babbling nervously, ears reddening, every time Jungkook does something that’s a tad too obvious, like telling Seokjin that he looks like a god amongst men.

“You’re cute,” Seokjin would say, and then he would change the subject. Jungkook has discovered that, despite coming across as all suave and confident, Seokjin doesn’t seem to know how to handle compliments. It’s endearing and only makes Jungkook want to compliment him more.

They meet again, entirely by coincidence, at the grocery store (not in the spice aisle this time, although that may be for the best because Jungkook would have probably pissed himself with excitement if it went full circle like that.)

Seokjin smiles from across the aisle, looking genuinely pleased to see him. Something that Jungkook had worried about when he first asked Seokjin to meet up with him was whether or not Seokjin actually wanted to see him or was just going along with it for the sake of being polite. By now, he has gathered that Seokjin actually likes him, and every time he’s reminded of it he feels a warm feeling in his gut.

He isn’t sure what they are, or if they are anything at all, but they haven’t known each other for very long, so it’s not like they’re officially dating or anything. Maybe Jungkook still thinks about them being together forever and getting married in five years in this very supermarket, but that’s nobody else’s business.

“Hyung!” He shouts excitedly, definitely too loud judging by the way the surrounding people turn to look at him. He doesn’t care much, and it looks like Seokjin doesn’t either. He waddles over as quickly as he can with a pile of stuff stacked high in his hands, because he never learned his lesson about bringing a bag.

“Would you like to share my basket?” Seokjin asks, laughing.

Jungkook drops his groceries into the basket, shuffling stuff around so that it all fits. “What brings you here today?” He asks, rather stupidly.

Seokjin’s lip curls into a little smirk. “Buying food. I need to do it to live.”

On a normal day, Jungkook would shrivel with embarrassment at his pathetic attempt at small talk, but he happens to be in a very good mood today. This may or may not be because he beat Taehyung at every single video game that they played this morning.

“Hyung, do you want to know a secret?” Jungkook stage whispers.

Seokjin goes along with the act, leaning in conspiratorially.

Jungkook feels giggly as he says it. “You were my gay awakening.” It isn’t really a secret because he has told all of his friends about it, but Seokjin doesn’t need to know that. “Well, technically, Miku Hatsune was my gay awakening.”

Seokjin goes from flustered, opening and closing his mouth speechlessly, to downright confused. “I- You- What?” His face and ears are pink, so incredibly pink.

Jungkook was right before- this is a funny story to tell. Seokjin’s response only spurs him on, and his words are distorted by laughter as he tries to explain. “Seeing you is what made me realise that I liked men, but that only happened because I saw a picture online of Hatsune Miku.”

“You’ve lost me,” Seokjin says, and he’s laughing too. People are starting to stare at them. “You can’t just- you can’t just say stuff like that, Jungkook-ah.”

It takes about five minutes for Jungkook to explain, not necessarily because the story is complicated- because it isn’t- but because it’s so hilarious to him now that he can’t help but laugh. He’s laughing and Seokjin’s laughing and he’s never been more glad that a post on Twitter told him that if he saw it then it meant that he was gay.