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Your breath hitches as he runs one finger up your slit, its tip circling your clothed clit. He smiles when his finger is immediately drenched by your juices.

“You’re so wet for me,” he breathes in your ears, smirking.

Of course, you’re dripping wet, having missed his touch for so long. It’s been roughly a month since he last came to your condo and the second his face grazes your vision, you already felt the liquid rush to your cunt. His boyish smile sent a thousand knives down your throat, gushing you dry in your core.

And it makes you happy that he’s just as needy. When he enters the condo, he grabs you by your hand and slams your back on the door so forcefully that the hallway echoes with the thud. His mouth latches onto yours, moist and ready to explore your every crevice. You fight back, engaging in a loud kiss that robs him of his breath but he willingly lets you. His tongue dances with yours in rhythmic cadence, in lovely circles, and that soaks your panties more. The hands reaching your body find an easy way into the valley between your breasts, the small of your back, the apex of your thighs. And that’s when he teases you with one finger and then two and then both are inside you.

You moan loudly in his unforgiving lips, his teeth now chewing on your lower lip, while his other hand presses you closer to his tight chest. Your hands thread through his hair, angling his head so that he can plunge his tongue deeper into you, and if possible, as deep as his fingers which are now knuckle-deep in you.

The next few minutes are spent divesting each other’s clothes, strewn unceremoniously in your condo. Your lips leave each other for a moment, hurriedly ripping off shirt, pants, skirt, underwear, to once again reattach. Your fingers claw at his chest when his black shirt is off his back while he cups your butt to wrap around his firm body. He settles you both on your sofa and you straddle him, one hand fumbling for his cock. It’s erect and throbbing and hot and you couldn’t wait any second longer than to feel him inside you. You tug on it a few times, earning a groan and a bite of your neck from him, and position it on your awaiting sex.

In a swift thrust, you plunge into him, taking all of his girth and length. You throw your head back with the sensation, white stars hot in your vision, and he growls into your neck, licking and nipping and sucking the flesh. You don’t wait for your cunt to adjust to his size and pummel into his cock, propping yourself on his shoulders for better leverage, for a harder thrust. He finally opens his eyes to watch how his cock disappeared in your folds, how slick the motion was from his angle. You observe the same and bite your lip, enraptured by the sight and sound of your lovemaking.

“I missed you so much, Y/N,” he moans into your mouth before capturing it once again, rendering you breathless.

You mumble the same in between kisses and bounce up and down his cock to show him just how much you missed him. He grips your hips to guide you further and harder, as if you weren’t vibrating enough, and those long fingers will leave marks that will surely stay.

You’ve never fucked anyone this hard before and it excited you that an innocent text an hour ago led to this romp. Your leg muscles are getting tired from the intensity of your movements and he senses it so he slides backward on the sofa to control the motion. Your hands hold onto the headrest as you were now only supported by his strong legs. And you’re glad you did because your pace is unmatched by the rapid, sharp thrusts that he gives you. You could feel how hard, how deep he was in your core and though it stung a little, you only whimper in ecstasy. Your arms tremble from his rutting and he aggravates it by sucking on your dangling tits.

“Ah, fuck—I missed you too…” you moan in broken syllables.

Despite the glorious sensations, you were a tad short from cumming and despite your spineless arms, you reach one hand to rub on your clit. He swats it away and replaces your hand with his, his thumb pressing on and encircling the nub skillfully. He suckles on your nipple, rolling it between his teeth, and even thrusts into you harder. Three pumps were all it took for your walls to clamp weightily on him and for you to scream his name until your throat was hoarse.

You knew he was close too, as his movements became more haphazard and eager, and he slides back up on the sofa to pull you closer to him. He buries his fingers on your hips to fasten you in place, as if he wasn’t so deep into you already. He pants quickly, his jaw set in a tight clench. And then with one sharp jerk of his hips, he comes undone. You could feel his hot seed coating your walls and capture the pleasure on his face as he howls your name over and over, staring at you with half-lidded eyes.

And then it was over, both of you a boneless heap from the most hardcore sex of your life.

Only that it wasn’t spent with the man of your dreams. That is Park Jimin, you recall clearly.

And this is his best friend, Jeon Jungkook. Who also happened to be your best friend’s boyfriend.

Your head turned to the side, seeing a selfie of you and Jimin by the beach, framed and displayed by the coffee table. The guilt washes over you immediately, the picture staring at you, angled perfectly to witness what you have done. You close your eyes and catch your breath, replaying in your head the history of how this treachery came to be.

Chapter Text

You’ve only heard stories of Jeon Jungkook from your best friend, Sohee, and your boyfriend, Jimin. Despite the one degree of separation you have with him, you haven’t formally met Jungkook. And even if Sohee has been dating him for two years now and you’ve been with Jimin for three, you’ve just never had the chance to meet Jungkook face to face. It’s either he wasn’t available or you weren’t around when Sohee and/or Jimin met up with him, especially now when your life revolved around work, work and did you mention work?

From what you’ve gathered, Jungkook is quite the sporty fella. He was the ace of the college wrestling team, having survived his academic career off of his athletic scholarship on that. In his free time, he liked to jog, lift weights and drink protein shakes, Sohee tells you. Aside from that, he is quick-witted, the type to beat a pro at his own game, even if the young champ was the amateur one. Jimin shyly admits that he’s never won an arm wrestling bout with him, and you appease your boyfriend that it’s because Jungkook used to be a wrestler so he’s strong as fuck. Then there’s that one time Jimin tells you Jungkook entered a bowling tournament the first time and won gold medal easily, even though his dongsaeng only trained for a month and a half, out of sheer boredom.

You’ve seen pictures of the infamous guy as Sohee flooded your Facebook wall with their couple selfies at the café, the restaurant, the gig of some indie band, the tourist spot they vacationed in. They went around a lot and part of you knew that it’s because Sohee toted Jungkook as some kind of trophy. He’s good looking, you admit, and tall and incredibly built even with the oversized hoodies he always sported. One time, Sohee overshares that he’s excellent in bed and by then, you’ve had enough stories of Jungkook for the rest of your life.

You’ve known everything there is to know about him by now. You’re supposing he knows you like the back of his hand as well, as Sohee can talk quite a lot, and Jimin may have added a word or two about you. Really, meeting Jungkook in person was the final requirement to forming the perfect circle of your mutual exclusivity – the characters of which include you, Sohee, Jimin and Jungkook.

Sohee is your childhood friend, having shared schools your entire life and seeing how each other blossomed from giggly girls to wonderful women. That fact glues your friendship solid and if it weren’t for that, honestly, you really wouldn’t be friends. You were complete opposites: she was the gregarious, extroverted one while you were the brooding, scholarly type. She copied your assignments to survive through high school and even college; and she returns the favor by tagging you along her sorority’s parties and events. That stark difference extends to your love life. You’ve seen her heart broken several times, mainly due to her horrible taste in men. She’s also become sort of a warning for you when it came to relationships, that’s why you’re the more guarded and rational one in the duo. She was a fuckboy magnet, you flatly tell her, and she bluntly retorts that she couldn’t help it if she liked her boys pretty and buff. In fact, she met Jungkook at one of those parties that his fraternity and her sorority jointly organized, two years after your graduation. They hit it off – in more ways than one – and became a serious couple after months of being fuckbuddies. You, on the other hand, settled for men with inner beauties: the sweet nerd everyone passed over for the bad boy, the guy who liked video games more than meeting girls, the dude who thought anime was a work of art. And that’s how you snagged the last member of your circle, Jimin. He was the sweet nerd you met at an academic conference you attended. He kept attending the same breakout sessions as you and after the three-day event, you exchanged numbers and your romance ensued. It was serendipitous that he happened to be Jungkook’s best friend and when you tell the coincidence to Sohee, she squealed in delight, fancying that some divine intervention occurred to make these relationships come to be. Later on, you find out that your boyfriend and Jungkook were neighbors from Busan and have been inseparable since high school.

From Jimin’s and Sohee’s stories, you didn’t know why Jungkook was your boyfriend’s best friend but knew why he was Sohee’s boyfriend. And now you’re meeting him finally. The stars have aligned and allowed the double date to push through. You, Jimin and Sohee are at a diner near your condo after you being miraculously home by 5:00 pm.

“I’m so excited!” Sohee squeals, pinching your arm.

You grimace and soothe the sore arm, grunting, “What the hell, Sohee? Did you really have to do that?!”

You’re crammed in between Sohee and Jimin at a booth near the entrance of the diner so you can all easily see Jungkook when he comes.

She ignores your remark, continuing her assault on your arms. “I’m just so excited that you’re finally meeting Kookie. It’s been what, ten thousand years since I and Jimin have been babbling about him and now we’re here and oh, it just feels so historic.”

Jimin laughs and leans forward to tell Sohee, “We should mark this in our calendar and celebrate every year, Sohee. This one’s for the books.”

You glare at the new partners in crime, crossing your arms over your chest. “Stop it you two. It’s not as if I’m meeting the President or something. It’s no big deal. This will happen eventually and I just don’t see why you’re all so excited about it.”

She rolls her eyes at you. “Well, humor me Y/N, but I just think that today officially starts our romantic clique.”

You raise one eyebrow at the giddy girl. “Romantic clique? Let me guess, you’ve been watching reruns of Friends or How I Met Your Mother, am I right?”

She snorts at your spot-on deduction, glancing at the window to see if Jungkook or his car was already nearby. “Oh shut up, Y/N.”

Jimin continues siding with Sohee, bobbing his head up and down pleasantly. “Babe, you got to admit though, this is pretty cool. We’re best friends with each other’s lovers. You don’t see that everyday.”

You sigh, finally caving in to Jimin’s comment. “Fine, I admit it. Now Sohee, will you please stop hurting me?”

Sohee stops pinching your arm and returns to her side of the booth in the restaurant. She clasps her hands together, eyes looking high up in the ceiling and fingers enumerating her musings. “I can already imagine our group dates, our weekly meet-ups at that hipster bar downtown, our honeymoon in Thailand! The possibilities are endless.”

The “honeymoon in Thailand” had you thinking something else so you jest, “Are you suggesting a foursome, you perverted bitch?”

Sohee makes a face and swats her hand, “Eww, what the fuck, Y/N? Of course not! You know what I’m trying to say, bitch. Can’t you just play along?”

You hold her hands and look her in the eyes. “Sohee, it’s just a meeting. It’s not going to change anything.”

She removes her hand from your hold and stomps her fists on the table. “It freaking will. You just got to cooperate and go along my plans okay?” she swipes her phone and shows you a picture of a flyer, “Look, I’ve already set our next date so you better get your sorry ass out of the office before 5:00 pm on June 2 –that’s next week—Y/N, because Code Kunst is performing and I want us there.”

Jimin caresses your hair, saying in a concerned voice, “Yeah babe, you have to stop rendering too much overtime. You look so stressed.”

You turn your gaze to Jimin, your voice immediately softening. “I’m sorry babe. I know I don’t have enough time for you anymore but I’m just so bent on getting that retail account.”

He shakes his head and smiles reassuringly at you. “You know you don’t have to worry about me. I completely understand and support you in all your endeavors, but your friend over there,” he points at Sohee, “may not be as kind. And she’s right too, work-life balance, remember?”

Sohee disrupts the sweet moment with another stomp of her fist. “Jimin is completely right. Don’t be another cog in the machine, Y/N. Fight the big boss! Live a little! Manse!” she raises her fists up high for emphasis.

She then glances at the window again before you could even bark a snide remark, and notices the subject of the meeting approaching the diner, “—okay, everyone shut up. He’s coming.”

You see the golden boy in the corner of your eyes. He’s wearing a black cap with matching black hoodie and washed out torn jeans. For some reason, you think the clothes are a size smaller than him. Either that or he’s just insanely muscular.

Sohee tilts her body back, waving at Jungkook who has now entered the premises. He spots your group and dashes towards the booth. Sohee scoots to the window side to give room for the new guest.

“Sorry I’m late. I had to park all the way there.” Jungkook pants and points to somewhere across the street.

He settles in beside Sohee and gives her a flirtatious smile. “Hey, love.”

Sohee’s voice raises an octave higher as she ropes her arms around Jungkook’s and presses her nose to his. “Missed you, love.”

Jungkook nudges her nose back and whispers sweetly, “Me too,” before kissing her fully, his hand cupping her cheek.

“Get a room, you two.” You grunt. By now, you’re used to Sohee swapping faces with her former lovers but it still somehow made you cringe seeing it up close.

She breaks away from the kiss and throws daggers at you. “And that bitter person over there, my love, is Y/N. Y/N, meet Jungkook, my sun and stars.”

You offer your hand and smile. You didn’t want to make a bad impression especially since this meeting was supposed to be pleasant and, quote unquote, historic. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Galaxy.”

Jungkook looks at your hand and shakes it warmly. “Finally. Nice to meet you too, the reason for Jimin-hyung singing cringey love songs in the shower.”

Jimin blushes furiously at this, raising his fist as if to hit the tattletale. “Jungkook-ah! That was years ago!” You remember that they used to share a room before Jungkook moved out when he finally got a stable gig.

You lean your head on the crook of Jimin’s neck and chuckle, “That’s cute, babe. Shall I embarrass Sohee or…?”

It was Sohee’s turn to raise her fist in protest. “Hey, why do you have to do that?”

You all laugh at the childish banter, Jimin’s eyes now reduced to crescent moons from your tirade. You were happy that the meeting went off at a good start, and that Jungkook warmed up immediately to you. From what you’ve heard, he’s shy around strangers but given your role in his girlfriend’s and best friend’s lives, you technically weren’t a stranger anymore.

Once you all settle down from laughing so much, Jungkook tells you, “Anyways. As I said, it’s nice to meet you, Y/N. This has been long overdue.”

You were about to say the same thing as well. “Yeah, I know. Looking back, it’s probably because I’m just too career-driven for my own good.”

“I like that about you, babe.” Jimin plants a soft kiss on your cheek and you blush a little. You’re not used to public displays of affection, but you guessed it was okay to be this sweet in front of Sohee and Jungkook.

Which was apparently not as Jungkook pretends to shiver from cringing. “O—kay, we’ve had enough PDA for the day. Why don’t we order something to eat?”

Jimin beckons a waiter and the group orders milkshakes, hamburgers, fries and steak. The conversation flourishes while waiting for the order, all of you catching up on recent events in your lives. You learn that Jungkook is a sports coach at a fitness club, which must have slipped your mind given the many details Sohee and Jimin have thrown at you about him. You tell him you’re a market analyst, working for an American corporation that sucks consumers dry of their hard-earned savings. And then the chat veers towards work like Jimin’s recent promotion as supervisor at an accounting firm, Sohee’s trip to Japan next month to accompany her boss as she is the head executive assistant there, and your obsession about that retail account (which has been repeated at least thrice over the course of the conversation). Then Sohee steers the discussion towards a future group date you’ll be having, the one she mentioned a while ago, and the one you’ll be present for as well as your calendar is free on that day. The rest of the date goes on smoothly, each one chiming in a witty remark or a snide joke. Two hours pass by so fast that when the date ends, you find yourself looking forward to future dates.

Walking out of the diner, Sohee reminds the group, chomping loudly on one of her take-out french fries, “So it’s set right? One week from now, June 2, 10:00 pm at Club FF.”

She then wags one french fry on your face, “Y/N, I’m looking at you. If you need to call in sick just to be on time, you better do it.”

You raise your right hand and inhale, as if reciting an oath, “I promise I’ll be there, Sohee. June 2, 10:00 PM at Club FF for Code Kunst-sunbaenim.”

The group roars with laughter but Sohee narrows her eyes at you, still doubting your sincerity. “You better be. Or else you’ll have to treat me out for coffee.”

“I’m sure we’ll have a great time, babe.” Jimin prods, squeezing you to his side. You nod and smile at him.

“Anyways, we’ll go ahead. This was fun!” Sohee waves goodbye, blowing kisses.

Jungkook wraps his arm around your friend’s shoulder and waves his hand as well. “Nice meeting you, Y/N-ssi. See you next week.”

You flash a wide grin, agreeing completely. “Same here, Jungkook.”

And then they were gone, Sohee feeding Jungkook with her leftover fries. You guess that they’re probably headed off to her place to fuck, given how Jungkook playfully swipes Sohee’s ass that had her shrieking in glee. Speaking of fucking, you remember that you haven’t been intimate with Jimin for a week now. You’ve missed him badly but you didn’t want to admit it.

Fortunately, Jimin isn’t too shy to show you he feels the same because as soon as you’re both alone, his right arm trails from your shoulder to flirtatiously settle on your waist. He nudges your ear with his nose and breathes, “Where you off to, babe?”

You turn away from him, eyeing him maliciously. “Nowhere. Just heading home.”
He returns your gaze with a lick of his lips. “You want me to come with?”

You scrunch your nose, feigning disinterest. “And why would I want that, Park Jimin?”

He seductively runs his fingers through his hair and winks at you. “Because you miss me as much as I miss you?”

“You’re a mind reader, you know?” This time, you pull on his collar and kiss him fully. He giggles under your touch and wraps his arms around you.

The trip back to your condo has never been this long –despite it being just a short walk from your place and you would have done that if not for your and Jimin’s excitement. Oh you wouldn’t definitely do that now, not when Jimin’s hand is groping your thigh while the other is steering the wheel or not when you’re nibbling on his earlobe and he’s finding it hard to concentrate on driving. Thankfully, you’re at the final stoplight to your pad and you stop flirting with him.

You and Jimin practically dash towards the 3rd floor of the building, stumbling and groping and kissing your way to your place. When you enter, the door is slammed with a loud bang that will definitely jolt any sleeping neighbors awake. But you and Jimin don’t care, especially now that both of you are eager to rid yourselves of your clothes and head towards your bedroom.

You fall to the bed loudly as well, the mattress squeaking from the force. Jimin never breaks his lips from its contact with yours, darting his tongue into your willing mouth. You run your fingers through his hair and inhale the scent it gave off. The smell intoxicates you, making you moan into his mouth, lavished gloriously and deliciously by his adept muscle. Your tongue involuntarily joins the tangling of muscles, swirling in his swollen lips, the roof of his mouth and all parts of him you could taste.

Jimin tugs on your blouse and you lift your arms to remove the piece of clothing. He takes the chance to remove his shirt as well and you run your palms on his firm chest, his hard abs, terminating at his waistband. He swipes his hands on your skirt, running the zipper in haste and throwing it alongside his eager shuffling of his slacks. He’s kneeling before your open legs, roaming his eyes at the sweaty sheen of your body. Smirking, he dives at the pulse of your throat, sucking lightly so as not to leave a mark but enough to elicit a moan from you. Your hands find purchase at his tight ass, cupping it before switching over to palm his prominent erection through the thin fabric of his boxers. His breath hitches on your neck, enabling goosebumps to bloom at your sensitive flesh.

He now pecks at your collarbone, kissing a hot trail from your clavicle to your breasts. He reaches the clasp at the back and with a flick of his wrist, your aching peaks spring free. The garment joins the disarray on the floor, while you impatiently pull on his boxers to join the heap as well. He indulges you with a pull of his hands and his leaking erection now presses on your inner thigh. His mouth latches on your erect nipple, caressing it slowly with his pink tongue and soft mouth, and that rewards him with a low, guttural whimper of his name from you. That spurs him to coax more from you as one hand kneads on your breast while another slips under your soaked panties, cupping your sex in an upward curve.

“You’re so wet, babe… ah, fuck.” He looks up to tell you when his fingers squelch against your slit, immediately returning his attention on your chest. Your hands are caressing every expanse of his skin, until one grips on his throbbing length. He hisses, pausing from his delightful assault of your perked up breasts, before bucking his hips gradually on your hand.

“Jimin… I missed you so much,” you manage to utter in between the moans and gasps you were emitting profusely. He hums in agreement, suckling your other breast, fingers strumming on your clit. All five fingers are rubbing on the sensitive nub and that’s all it took for you to frantically shimmy out of your drenched underwear.

You run your hand on his cock, pulling him further, nearer to your core. He catches on the request and he’s only more than willing to position himself on your dripping sex. Slowly, he dips the tip inside, the both of you moaning in unison. He props himself on his elbows, eyes fixated on the way he slowly entered you, inch by painful inch, until the tip kissed your womb. Your walls clamp on his rigid shaft automatically, the motions magnified by the slow pace of your lovemaking. Nestled so snugly inside you, Jimin starts moving, rolling his hips forward, eyes now hazily resting on your lust-filled orbs. You bite your lips at his languid motions and return the gaze with knowing eyes, letting him know you needed him faster, sharper, harder, harder, harder.

He nods and wraps his arms around your shoulders, using you to brace himself from the mindless rutting he’ll be doing to you. And then his fingers tighten its grip on you as his hips pound onto your core harshly, the earlier slow pace now replaced by rapid-fire thrusts that send you knocking your head on the bed’s board but you don’t mind. You’re too enraptured by the way his cock brushes against your g-spot, digging half-crescent moons on his back, nails raking down in long, red lines. He slides you both downward so you don’t hit the head board and collapses on top of you, whispering sweet nothings into your ear. You turn your head sideways to capture his lips once more and he swirls his tongue inside your mouth once again.

You feel your chest heaving from the sensations, the week-long abstinence from Jimin coming to a close, as was your orgasm, now so precipitously chasing your system. Your walls clench on his cock rapidly and he feels your stranglehold on his length that he dislodges one hand from your shoulder and settles his fingers on your clit. You break away from the kiss, shutting your eyes painfully as he rips a loud moan of his name form you. He suckles on the flesh behind your ear, awaiting the onslaught of your orgasm, thrusting into you like there was no tomorrow.

And then you come, screaming out his name in broken syllables. He aids in riding your high, and you pull his hand away when the sensitivity was too much, to rest on your lips. You hollow your cheeks and suck two of his fingers loudly, looking at him as you did. He was near, you knew by the way he shuddered and stuttered into you, his eyes entranced by the way his digits disappeared inside your mouth. A few harsh thrusts and his breath hitches again, face contorted in pleasure, both his hands clutching on to your hips to steady you as he poured himself inside.

His pace slows after a while, and he withdraws from you with a loud squelch, the mix of your juices now dripping on to your bed sheet. He widens his eyes and hurries to the bathroom, returning with a warm towel to wipe the both of you and the bed of the remnants of your romp.

You shake your head at him and extend both arms to urge him beside you, “Stop that babe and come over here.”

“This is your favorite bedsheet and I don’t want to ruin it.” He throws the towel and joins you in a warm embrace, settling your head in his shoulder.

“I could care less, babe. That’s what the cleaners are for.” You kiss him on the chin and he smiles at that.

“I love you.” He kisses you chastely as you mutter the same to him.


June 2, 10:37 pm, Club FF.

You’re tapping angrily at your phone, spewing all-caps texts to your best friend.

10:00 PM MY ASS, SOHEE. WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?

Jimin caresses your back, seeing how your lips have formed into a triangle, which usually happened when you were upset. “Babe, they’ll be here. Relax.”

You only click your tongue at his reassurance, and though the caress is soothing, you’re still angry at Sohee.

Sohee: On our way! :-)

You shake your head, knowing very well that the text meant she has just finished taking a bath. You decide to call her and bellow in the manner you’re typing all-caps texts at her but she rejects your call. She knows you too well to do that. Sohee’s been always late but you kind of hoped she wouldn’t be right now especially since she was the one who set this date. And this was her favorite artist. She was usually prompt during circumstances like these.

You type furiously again, the poor screen receiving your wrath.

TELL THAT TO THE MARINES. I FUCKING KNOW YOU’RE NOT EVEN DRESSED.

Sohee: We’ll be there in 10 mins, tops.

YOU BETTER BE. JIMIN AND I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR OVER AN HOUR.

Sohee: Calm your tits. We can already see you.

You lift your eyes from the screen and peer around the outside of the bar, searching for Jungkook’s black car, just in case. And then you realize something, tapping even more forcefully into the keypad.

DID YOU FUCK JUNGKOOK OTW HERE? THAT’S WHY YOU’RE LATE?

Sohee: How dare you even insinuate that, Y/N? What the hell???

You grunt loudly, whispering, “I knew it.”

Jimin was observing the whole time but didn’t get to read all the texts you exchanged with Sohee so he asks, “What is it, babe?”

You look up from your screen and roll your eyes, “They fucked before going here. I mean… I can’t even—“

Jimin just laughs at this, shaking his head dismissively at your inference. “Ah, that dongsaeng really…”

Before you could type another reply to Sohee, she’s already at your side, tugging your arm. “Sorry.” She pinches her fingers to form hearts and pouts.

You cringe and push her away, “Stop that. You’re not cute, Sohee.”

Jungkook pumps his fist with Jimin and bumps his chest, before giving you a shy wave. They were so fucking guilty especially with the flush of Jungkook’s cheeks that were definitely not caused by the trip here. “Sorry, guys. Traffic.”

You’re about to say something unsavory but Jimin squeezes your hand, “Now that we’re all here. Let’s go in. I think Code Kunst will be performing soon, right babe?”

“You’re lucky he’s got a fuckton of opening acts, Sohee!” You swivel your feet and turn your back, letting Jimin lead the way.

The four of you settle in, thankful that the club still had a spot for your group. And you were indeed just in time, as Code Kunst begins performing the minute you’ve all sat down. All your anger dissipates with his soft melodies. You enjoy the performance and forgive Sohee, who’s been doing aegyo for the past half hour. The performer serenades the crowd for five songs and after that, you decide to drink and chat away the rest of the evening.

The second group date is a success, as each of you engage in jovial conversation, witty banter and occasional mockery. You muse that this date officially started the “romantic clique”, as Sohee coins. Jungkook throws jokes that catch you off-guard and that rack Jimin’s body into laughing fully and uncontrollably. Your bickering with Sohee amuses your lovers, as they are now firsthand witnesses of your love-hate relationship with each other. These condescending jokes are a part of your dynamics and at the end of the day, you shrug off any harsh comments Sohee throws at you. Taking a step back at the group’s interaction, your heart fills with joy.

After the date, Sohee tells you that there’s another one already booked for the four of you. She demonstrates the excellent organizing skills she’s honed at in the events company she worked at, as she tells you the meticulous details of your clique’s next rendezvous. The third date is spent at an amusement park and though you feared heights (which Jungkook and Sohee did not), you ride the pirate ship anyway and nearly vomit on a five-looped rollercoaster where your feet dangled in the air. Admittedly, this is the break you needed from your slave-driven work and with a knowing glance, you thank Sohee, for which she just smiles warmly at you. She knew you too well and you’re more than grateful that she’s always been patient in dragging you to things like these. The fourth date is a horror movie marathon at your place and you thought you saw Jimin mouthing ‘thank you’ to Sohee when you cuddle more closely to him during a gory scene. You playfully hit him on the chest and ask ‘what?’ with your eyes, for which he just innocently raises his brows and chuckles.

It was good to belong. For so long, it’s just been you and Sohee, or you and your boyfriend and you were content with that. But having what you have now made you realize how nice it would be to have a group such as yours.

That had your mind churning your group’s future together. If all goes well, you will be each other’s maids of honor and they will be each other’s best men. You’ll be neighbors in a suburban village you always talked to Sohee about and complain about pregnancy and your husbands’ poor skills in doing the household chores. They’d have their boys’ night outs and maybe take up golf as a hobby while you and Sohee have your salon dates. You’d raise your kids as close friends and be soccer moms and host parties for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and so on and so forth. The thought warms your heart. What you would give to make your fantasies come true is something you think about. For now though, you enjoy the scenery before you: Jimin and Jungkook roasting marshmallows over a pit of fire while Sohee’s singing a pop song heartily. Oh, indeed, what you would give to keep it this way.


If anyone asks, you would deny it. Sohee will disparage you to the ends of the earth for it, knowing how passionately you mocked the Literature Club back in high school and college. Jimin will probably just be pleasantly surprised, and though he was your muse, you just couldn’t admit it.

It being the fact that you enrolled in an English creative writing class for adults two weeks ago. The class is actually a cross between an organization for writers and a master class for wannabes like you. The first session invites veteran writers to share their wisdom to writers while the second one allows random, brave souls to recite their poems or short stories up front. You chance upon the class in one of your meetings with a publishing company that wanted to tie up with yours. The small publishing house held classes as part of its advocacy and as the thought of creative writing has been swimming around your head for a while, that meeting was your fortuitous sign to take the class.

You’ve always loved English, especially world literature, and you immersed yourself in the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, among other literary greats. For some reason though, you never outed yourself as a literary enthusiast and it didn’t help that the Literature Club was a league of snobbish elites who thought your entrance essay for their organization was a piece of garbage. That made you spite them throughout your academic years, even if you’ve kept journals of your poems, musings and one-shots all this time.

The class is a welcome diversion from the insanely competitive nature of your work. The bi-weekly sessions eased the stress from work and though your mind didn’t technically rest given the need to use your creative juices in writing, you are nonetheless relieved. This secret has been solely yours for the longest time.

Until today.

“Fancy meeting you here.” A familiar voice asks you, his shadow casting on the empty chair beside you.

You look up from your notebook and goggle your eyes at the owner of the familiar voice. “Jungkook! What are you doing here?”

He takes the empty chair, plopping his messenger bag on the armrest and tells you nonchalantly, “Taking creative writing lessons, of course. What else?”

“Does Jimin know?” The question stumbles out of your mouth, outed so easily that this was your main concern in seeing a familiar face.

He shrugs, unaware of your concern, “I don’t know. Did you tell hyung?”

You shake your head furiously. “No. Please don’t tell him. I’m ashamed as it is.”

“What’s there to be ashamed of?” he smirks, looking at you with a judging glance.

“Does Sohee know?” you snicker at him, returning the judging stare.

“Of course not.” He shifts his eyes around, avoiding your gaze.

“What’s there to be ashamed of?” you squint.

He sighs and relents to your mockery, “Fine. Your secret’s safe with me.”

You find it difficult to grasp the fact that Jungkook is now here beside you in a writing class so you ask idiotically again, “Why are you here?”

“I already told you. I’m taking up some lessons.”

You knit your brows, looking up to find and forming the answers that may be written in the white ceiling, “To write Sohee a…poem?”

At that, he huffs, “Contrary to popular belief, I too can like writing.”

Your brows are still creased, digesting the information he was giving, “What popular belief? No, scratch that. I know why. But seriously though?”

He purses his lips, drumming his fingers on the armrest, “I may have dabbled in the arts when I was younger but never got around it. Now that I’m older, I just had some free time to write. You?”

“I’ve always liked writing. It’s what I do when I want to destress.”

“So do you like keep a journal of your works or something? What type of literature do you write anyway?” he rests his chin on his palm, looking furtively at your stack of notebooks on your armrest.

“I do keep a journal and I like writing poems.” You lift your notebook to him, the weathered leather cover flapping as you did.

“Has Jimin-hyung ever read any of your works?”

“Oh gods no. I would never.” You wave your hands, as if he asked something offensive.

“And yet you’re willing to recite your poems to complete strangers than hyung?” he quirks an eyebrow at you, lowering his head.

You roll your eyes at him. “I will show him. In time. Just not right now. And wait, why am I the only one embarrassed here? Has Sohee seen yours?”

He tilts his head to the side and shakes his head once. “Nope. And I don’t intend to. I don’t think she’s ready to see my masterpieces.”

“Right.” You snort.

He reaches for your hand and with a serious expression, appealing to you, “Seriously. Don’t tell her.”

You stare at his hand and he quickly removes it, now gazing into his dark-brown orbs sternly. “Only if you don’t tell Jimin.”

Jungkook grins and rests his elbow on the armrest, his hand curled so that his pinky finger is the only digit free, “Pinky promise.”

You gawk at his long pinky and entwine yours with it. “Pinky promise.”

You both nod once and smile. The class begins a few minutes later, the veteran writer being the latest bestselling author of a tragic romance novel. You and Jungkook settle down, listening attentively to his lesson. Jungkook leans towards you once when he couldn’t understand the writing of the teacher and you patiently spell out the English word “effervescence” for him, which he thanks you for. You can’t help but smile when you see the young man hunched over his armrest, furiously taking down notes. It was totally uncharacteristic of him and it amuses you that this side is something you see.

It’s an innocent secret and keeping this from Sohee was no big deal, you tell yourself. Jungkook’s willing to hold on to yours too and you trust him that he won’t tell Jimin. Eventually, Jungkook will find out why you’re keeping this a secret from Jimin, and of course, you’ll ask him why he hasn’t told Sohee about this. Eventually, because you know you’ll be spending a lot of time together in the writing class.

It’s a harmless secret, the both of you uncharacteristically taking creative writing lessons. It wouldn’t hurt anyone, right? Little did you know you were so fucking wrong.

Chapter Text

“I know your secret.” Sohee playfully tells you, her lips quirked in a coy smile.

All color leaves your face, ashamed and anxious of the fact that Jungkook broke his pinky promise a week after your agreement. That bastard is going to get it when you see him again, you bristle.

Still, you feign disbelief and shake your head at Sohee, “W-what secret?”

“You and Jimin-ssi.” She cocks an eyebrow at you, squinting her eyes as she sips her orange juice.

“What about me and Jimin?”

Sohee points to your collarbone and wiggles her eyebrows suggestively. “You and Jimin did some hanky panky last night didn’t you?”

You touch your skin where her eyes land and pull up your phone to see it on the screen. A kiss mark. Jimin left one on you last night when he came over to visit and eventually slept over. “Oh this secret…” you trail off, eyeing the receipts of your lovemaking.

“Well it’s not really a secret given that I can see it in all its glory.” Sohee rolls her eyes, chuckling.

You let out a huge sigh of relief, thankful that she’s not talking about the other secret you shared with Jungkook. “Yeah, well we got a little drunk last night and one thing led to another and tada.” You chuckle loudly, joining the high-pitched noises Sohee makes.

“Ey, I didn’t think Jimin could be so rough.” She grits her teeth and clenches her fist for emphasis.

“Shut up, Sohee. That’s not something we should talk about.” You grunt.

“How can we not when you’re covered in Jimin’s little marks?” She scoffs. If you’d known that Sohee would whisk you away for lunch to mock you about your hickeys, you wouldn’t have agreed to meet up with her in the first place.

“This is just an accident. Jimin’s not really the rough type.” Still, you wrap your scarf around your neck more tightly to cover the marks up.

“I know. This is the first time he’s marked you so obviously. Unlike my Kookie baby.” She toys with the straw of her drink and licks her lips.

“Sohee, TMI! I don’t want to know, thank you very much.” You wave your hand repeatedly, as if erasing the unsavory thoughts of Sohee and Jungkook’s escapades.

“Let’s just say there’s a reason why I wear turtlenecks all the time.” she winks at you suggestively and you cringe, shaking your head vigorously.

“Sohee!” you shriek and she rolls in laughter to rile you up more.

“Anyways, be sure to get your workaholic ass free this Saturday. It’s our college reunion and you promised you’d come along this time.” she wags an accusatory finger at you.

You hated your college reunions – or any reunion for that matter – because of all the small talk and superficial conversations it entailed. On the contrary, Sohee attended these regularly as her sorority as well as Jungkook’s frat were organizers. Last year, you remembered promising to show up for once after her incessant, pitiful begging.

“This Saturday? As in two days from now?” you glare at her, furious that she’s telling you this only now.

She only flips her hair back, easily evading the daggers you’re throwing, “I know you too well, Y/N. If I informed you ahead of time, you would have arranged something to be unavailable for the reunion.”

With a defeated sigh, you confirm your attendance. “Fine, bitch. I’ll attend the stupid reunion just to shut you up.”

“You can bring Jimin. If someone should finally show off her boyfriend, it’s you.” She loudly gobbles up her slice of chocolate mousse.

“Why me? It isn’t as if my personal life mattered in college.” You furrow your brows.

“Exactly the point. People are curious, that’s all. Especially when I told them you’re settling down.” She says nonchalantly.

Sohee isn’t completely wrong though. Settling down with Jimin has crossed your mind more often than usual as your group dates with your “love clique” became more frequent. For some reason, the constant meetups fuel your desire to maintain the harmony of your four-way “relationship.” You don’t admit it to Sohee or Jimin though, because your best friend has taken on that vocal role for you. Each date is peppered with her repetitive ramblings of the shiny, happy future among the “awesome foursome.”

“First of all, Jimin hasn’t even proposed yet so let’s not jump the gun. And second of all, why the fuck did you tell our stupid classmates that? They’ll definitely look for a ring on my finger now that you said that, you bitch.” You growl.

Sohee mocks you, tilting her head side to side. “Whatever, Y/N. Just come up with an excuse. Tell them Jimin’s still waiting for the next full moon to propose or something. We’re in the 21st century for crying out loud. Rings are so 1975.”

“Hey, wait, why aren’t you telling them about settling down with Jungkook? Why did it have to be me huh? Your love life was the talk of the town back then,” you raise your chin, sticking it up to her.

At this, she glares back, “Oh was it?” but knowing you were right, she pauses and nods, “oh yes it was. Anyways, it’s easier to talk about you,” she glances around, averting your gaze. “And, it’s awkward if I tell them that and Kookie’s there, you know.”

“Why would it be so awkward if it’s the truth?” your eyes narrow, catching on the telling signs of your best friend hiding something from you.

“It is the truth. It’s just… not the right venue to talk about it.” She mumbles.

Your expression changes as you note the way her shoulders droop. The shift in her gay demeanor urges you to hold her hand and squeeze it comfortingly.

“Hey, Sohee, is there something wrong?” you ask in a concerned tone.

Sohee flinches from your touch but covers up her discomfort with a wide smile. “Nothing’s wrong! What the fuck are you talking about, you judgy bitch?” she squeals.

Her high-pitched voice grates your ears and before you can even pry, you instead ride along her playful banter. “I’m a judgy bitch? Well fuck you too, Sohee.”

Sohee giggles, the corners of her eyes crinkling as she did. “The reunion’s at Narae’s bar, 8 pm, Saturday. Don’t forget! I know Jimin doesn’t have an active social life outside of our group so I’m sure he’ll be free. And I’m 100% sure he’ll come with.”

“Well look who’s the judgy bitch now. For your information, my Jimin has a healthy social and personal life outside of our group.” You bat your lashes at her.

“Yeah right. I bet he reads the bible during his free time.” she snickers.

“At least he’s going to heaven unlike you and Jungkook. You two have a reservation in hell, probably.” You spit.

“Oh baby, we’re already there.”

This time, the two of you laugh wholeheartedly.

Still, you could see the sad glint of Sohee’s eyes even with the cackles that fill the coffee shop. Something’s up, you’re sure. Though Sohee is the more expressive one of you two, she’s also the type to bottle her feelings up until she bursts. Typically, you’d need more time to gather clues and obvious hints about her issue before you can successfully wheedle the problem out of her. Obviously, this one is about Jungkook. Trouble may be in paradise, you surmise. But as she’s evidently evading the questions, you decide to ask her next time or when the situation called for it. Maybe then, she’ll open up.

If you only knew how long that next time would be, you would have, you should have asked. Because tolerating her like this would be one of your biggest regrets.


“Writing is an art, do you know why? I’ll give you an answer.” Jae Han, the guest author for today’s class, breathes in loudly, before exhaling just as forcefully.

He dramatically continues, “It’s because it springs from the inner workings of an idle mind. It agitates your mind in fact. It keeps you up at night. It makes you lose your appetite. At least that’s how it is for me. And then before you know it, it’s taken over your life. You can’t think about anything but writing. The words flow through your hands, the words appear before your eyes. Out of thin air, something beautiful happens. That’s art, isn’t it?” he flutters his eyes repeatedly as if possessed.

You are enthralled by his words, finding yourself nodding to each of his utterances. Some of your classmates are looking at each other, a bit taken aback by the passion Mr. Jae exudes. You’re not one of them. If anything, you’re amazed that someone can be so wrapped up in describing writing as if it were a majestic thing.

You’re too fixated on the speaker that you don’t notice the arrival of your seatmate.

“What did I miss?” Jungkook pants, sweat rolling down the side of his cheeks as he readies his notebook and pen.

You look towards his direction and shake your head. “Nothing much. Just why writing is an art.”

“Oh. I thought this was a writing class and not intro to philosophy,” he sniggers, obviously judging the frazzled look of the author.

Anyone who’d stare would think the same as Jungkook – Mr. Jae looks unkempt, with his frizzy hair mushrooming like a halo around his head and his clothes looking way too wrinkly to be considered fashionable. The reclusive author had a reputation, you’d admit, but his works were the best you’ve read in years that you ignore his appearance. Tortured souls seem to write the best novels, you’ve learned over the years of being a voracious reader.

You roll your eyes at Jungkook, whispering, “He’s right you know. Writing is an art. You missed his excellent explanation of why.”

“But you’re here to help me catch up, yeah?” he cocks an eyebrow at you and you grunt.

“For one, you shouldn’t be late in these classes. You paid for these remember?” You glare at him, inadvertently taking in his getup. He’s clad in a black muscle shirt that hugged his torso too tightly and a loose pair of sweatpants that draped a bit over his signature sneakers.

“I know. But I had a client who paid overtime so I can afford these classes.” He flips through his notebook and scribbles on the date today.

“Anyway, now that you’re here, make sure to listen.” You turn your head to Mr. Jae again, resting your chin on the palm of your hand.

“Yes, ma’am.” He salutes you, finally paying attention to the speaker.

In the next half of the lecture, Jae Han discusses the difference between prose and poetry so eloquently that your college professors now seem vapid as compared. Glancing at Jungkook, you see how his mouth is ajar, eyes blank as slate, and you couldn’t repress a chuckle from the sight.

“What?” he furrows his brows at you.

“You look so clueless.” You repress a loud chortle.

“This is my normal face, Y/N-ssi. Sohee calls it Jungshook.” He dons it for you to demonstrate.

You cover your mouth with your palm to hide a loud laugh. He giggles as well, tilting his head to the side and shaking it.

“Writing comes from somewhere. Whether it be a desire to express your unbridled emotions, or simply a need to write something as ordinary as waking up in the morning. So, for your assignment, I want you to get in touch with your inner selves. Ask yourself, ‘what compels me to write?’ For this exercise, I want you to pair up and ask your partner where their inspiration comes from. A writer learns from others, my students. So it’s important that you divulge all your innermost feelings to your writing partner. Next week, I expect that each one of you will present a piece – a poem, a narrative, a journal entry, anything – that tells me why you write.” With those words, Mr. Jae adjourns the class.

Of course, you and Jungkook pair up for the assignment, as he nudges you and wiggles his eyebrows at you for that. You nod and give him a curt smile.
“Does that mean we’ll still see his afro hair again next week?” Jungkook shoves his things inside his backpack.

“Yes. It seems Jae-sunbaenim will be our guest speaker for the next three to four sessions.” Your eyes wander to his bag, too oversized to be considered an everyday item.

“Are you going on a trip? You look like you’re backpacking somewhere.” You ask, unable to hide your curiosity.

Easily, Jungkook carries the seemingly heavy backpack with one hand, tensing multiple veins that protrude in his arms within your view. “Oh this? I usually carry a huge bag around. Helps keep me fit.”

He suddenly lifts the bag back and forth, as if it was a dumbbell, and you awkwardly gawk at the way his bicep flexes.

You shake your head and avert your eyes from his muscled display. “So, do you want to work on the assignment?”

Jungkook groans, pulling the straps of his bag. “Right now? Are you serious? We have a week to figure it out.”

“Well I’m a busy woman, Jeon Jungkook, and tonight is all I can afford to work on the homework.” You argue.

“I have a date with Sohee tonight. How about tomorrow?” he smiles, flashing his bunny teeth at you.

“Fine. I wouldn’t want you leaving Sohee high and dry. Besides, this can’t get in the way of our love lives.” You wag your finger at him.

“Totes. It’s a secret remember?” he winks at you.


After the class, you go your separate ways. You decide to head home, suddenly famished from the awful traffic on the way back. You walk towards the entrance of your apartment, having parked your car in the basement. Your phone rings in your pocket as you do, a smile curling up your face upon seeing the name of your beloved filling the screen.

“Hello?” you greet him sweetly.

“Hi babe. Did you have dinner already?”

Your work schedule has normalized, after finally securing the belabored retail account, and that meant you got to see Jimin more often. Your free time after work has been usually spent with him at dinner, which easily extended to either you or him sleeping over.

“Nope. You?” you walk up the steps of your apartment as the elevator’s under repair again.

“I was waiting for you.”

The other line is eerily quiet and you imagine your boyfriend has once again been left alone at the office to render overtime. If you could, you would strangle his slave driver of a boss for overworking him. It doesn’t help that Jimin is all too willing and too nice to be buried in so much work though.

“But it’s almost 8. Aren’t you starving?”

“No, not really. One of my officemates treated us out for coffee because it’s his birthday.”

“Oh I see. Where do you want to eat, babe?” you press the phone to your ears as you fish for your keys in your bag.

“Here.”

“At your office?” you wonder as you turn towards the hallway of your apartment, walking with your head still fixated on your purse.

“Here with you.” Jimin’s voice echoes so clearly that it’s as if he was in the same place as you.

And he was indeed. Looking up, he suddenly comes into view, leaning on your door with a box of takeout in his hands.

A wide smile slowly forms on your face, pleasantly surprised by Jimin at your doorway. He raises the box to your direction, donning a smile that reduced his eyes to half-moons. You tap your phone to end the call and saunter to him, draping your arms around his neck.

“Babe…” You croon as you nuzzle his nose and peck him chastely on the lips.

Even after all these years, Jimin never fails to be this goddamn sweet to you. It’s as if time hasn’t passed and you’re still at your honeymoon phase. Sohee tells you it’s bound to end soon but you sincerely wished that it would never. These little gestures tell you it would never indeed.

“Surprise…” he breathes in your mouth as you incessantly smack his lips with yours.

“This little surprise of yours wouldn’t have been possible if you didn’t have excellent timing, you know.” You unlock the door of your pad, and enter it with Jimin.

He sets the box on your dining table and heads towards the kitchen to get some utensils. “That, babe, is what you call fate. And glancing at the driveway every few minutes to make sure you’ve pulled up before I called you.”

You smile, immensely touched by his gesture. “How long have you been waiting?”

“Not long. Maybe an hour? I didn’t want to bother you since it’s a Thursday.” He says as he fills a pitcher with water.

To cover up your secret, you lie to Jimin that you have a weekly meeting with your division every Thursday afternoon. Hence, he shouldn’t call you. It seems to work so far, as he undeniably believes it.

“Oh, right. Well, let’s eat.” You clap your hands together, awaiting his preparations.

It’s always been like this. No matter where you ate or went, Jimin would prepare everything for you even if you didn’t ask him to. He’d even rebuke you if you moved one inch and by now, you’re used to sitting pretty as he fuzzed with all the workings of your dinner.

“Thank you for the food, babe.” You kiss him again and he returns it loudly.

“You’re welcome, babe.”

The next hour goes by with you and Jimin talking about work and how your day went. The last you’ve seen each other is this morning and nothing much has happened in the time apart between you two. Despite that, you never run out of stories to share with your boyfriend. You could chronologically detail your day to Jimin and he’d never tire of hearing you rant or rave about it all. He was your soundboard and though you’re not much of a big talker, you find yourself rambling about your mundane day. Which led to the unexpected lunch with Sohee, and reminded you of your awesome foursome’s new group date.

“By the way, do you have any plans on Saturday? We have our batch reunion at Narae’s bar.” you chew the rest of your maki.

Jimin nods, wiping the excess rice that gets stuck on your chin. “Sure babe. I’ve always wanted to come with you but I knew how much you hated reunions so I didn’t press it.”

“You should have come with Jungkook and Sohee then if you were so eager, babe. It wouldn’t be a big deal to me.” You rest your hand on top of his, squeezing it.

“But I want us to be together when we attend the reunion. Our classmates will just tease me to no ends if you’re not there.” He squeezes your hand back, as if dispelling your worry.

“Aww babe. I promise I’ll be there this time.” you smile warmly at him.

Jimin grins back, his eyes disappearing once again, as he nods, “I’d like that very much.”


You nearly forget about the reunion until Jimin reminds you about it the night before. You bemoan your promise to attend the blasted event to Sohee, as the last time you did wasn’t a pleasant experience.

The only batch reunion you’ve gone to was a year after you graduate and you vowed since then never to show up even if Sohee headed the next year’s event. Because truth be told, you hated your batch mates. They all used you for your tidy notes and exam primers, with no word of thanks. You’re sure they only liked you because of your social butterfly of a best friend. You can’t blame them though as you’ve never been the most sociable person. That’s the stark difference between you and Sohee – she befriended everyone effortlessly while you can’t even remember that one classmate you’ve had since first year. It’s not that you’re introverted. You’d like to say you’re selectively extrovert.

During that cursed reunion, people bragged about their achievements as if they won the Nobel prize. They went on endlessly about their trips to Europe, their newly bought cars and their fancy-ass jobs. You could not repress the roll of your eyes when one of Sohee’s sorority sisters flaunted her diamond engagement ring. She apparently bagged a millionaire tech entrepreneur, who proposed to her in Maldives. You hated the pretentiousness of it all. And it didn’t help that Sohee was different around her sisters. She suddenly becomes this character from the trashy reality shows you’ve unfortunately watched that squeal about superficial things.

Needless to say, since then, you avoided your reunions like the plague.

Of course, until now. You’ve already prepped yourself for tonight, wearing a simple black dress that hugged your figure in all the right ways and boasted your long legs exquisitely. Your batch mates will definitely be surprised upon seeing you. Back then, you wore cargo pants and black caps and bomber jackets that people actually thought you were a lesbian. Oh you’ll show them tonight alright.

Your doorbell rings and you know that’s Jimin fetching you for the darned event. You are immensely relieved that at least he’s there to make things better.

You walk hand in hand as he leads you to his car. You board the vehicle and note the way Jimin’s breath hitches upon unintentionally exposing more of your skin. “You’re so beautiful, Y/N.” his eyes roam around your body, ogling you unabashedly.

“Thank you, babe. You’re not half as bad too,” you peck him on the lips and he chuckles at your remark. Closing the door for you, he circles the vehicle to board it and start to drive to Narae’s bar.
On the way, you couldn’t hide your nerves. You fidget with your purse and expel loud sighs, unaware that Jimin notices.

“Just relax. I think we’ll have fun,” he squeezes your hand, tracing circles on your palm relaxingly.

“Fun?” you snort, “I don’t think so. Reunions are an unnecessary expense. I don’t know why Sohee’s so into organizing these things.” You squeeze his hand back, anyway, grateful for his soothing words.

“I think Sohee-ssi has events management coded into her DNA. The way she organizes our group dates is just amazing.” His hand now rests on your thigh while the other turns the steering wheel deftly.

“I guess so. Ever since we were kids, she’d organize parties and stuff. It’s a passion—rather, it’s an obsession.” You clearly remember how Sohee toted a planner even when you were just 7 years old, listing down all the logistical requirements for a simple party.

“At least she’s found her niche.”

“I just wish that didn’t spill over to our reunions though. I don’t like mingling with our batch mates,” you click your tongue.
“Why not?” Jimin turns to look at you, knotting his brows.

You groan, “You know why. They’re all assholes and jerks.”

“Not all, babe. I wasn’t. As well as Sohee or Jungkook.” he gazes at you, tapping your chin.

“You’re just exceptions to the rule. The rest just used me for their grades.”

“That’s all in the past, babe. You have to learn to forgive and forget. I bet they’ve all matured and are now wonderful human beings, if you just opened your heart to them.” Jimin is too pure for this world, you’re definite. He seems to never cease to see the good in people and you loved that about him.

You shrug, but nonetheless find yourself agreeing to his words. He could be right. Two years is a long time, enough for those assholes and jerks to redeem themselves.

“Maybe.” You mutter.

“Don’t worry too much, Y/N. Let’s just enjoy the atmosphere and have a bit of fun. What’s the worst that could happen?” he purses his lips, raising his brows inquisitively at you.

You nod half-heartedly. “Okay babe.”

In less than an hour, you arrive at Narae’s bar. Sohee and Jungkook are at the entrance of the destination, greeting and ushering in the guests. As you pull up, she waves enthusiastically at you while Jungkook grins at your direction. A valet takes Jimin’s keys and you saunter to Sohee who practically sprints to you.

“You really came! I’m so happy, Y/N.” she locks you in a tight hug, rotating the both of you playfully.

“Let me go, bitch. I’m getting dizzy,” you still her and wrest yourself from her grip.

“Glad the both of you are here, Y/N-ssi,” Jungkook nods singly at you, grabbing Jimin’s fist and bumping chests with your man.

“I’m beyond glad, love! I could die right now. This woman would rather eat maggots than go to a reunion. But now you’re here and I just can’t…! And look at you, looking so sexy in that number.” Sohee whistles, gesturing her finger up and down your dress.

“Oh shut up Sohee. You don’t need to butter me up. I’m already here.” You make a face, dismissing her compliment.

“Thank you, Jimin-ssi for dragging her out here.” She pats Jimin’s shoulder.

“No need to thank me, Sohee-ssi. Y/N’s eager to attend the reunion, aren’t you babe?” Jimin wraps his arm around your shoulder and you look up at him quizzically.

“I’ll give it a chance.” You cross your arms over your chest.

“Well, quit dawdling and get your asses inside.” Sohee smacks your ass, earning her a hiss from you.

“Aren’t you coming in?” you ask over your shoulder.

“In a while. We’ll just wait for a couple more minutes and we’ll go in.” She winks at you.

“We’ll save you a seat,” Jimin says as he waves goodbye temporarily to the pair.

Entering the bar, you see the swarm of mostly familiar faces. The establishment is closed for the event, which has come into full swing with the small groups of people by the cocktail tables and plush chairs. Those who recognize you warmly greet you. Most are Sohee’s sorority sisters who are now surprisingly warm towards you. They compliment you about your dress, even chiming that you should have worn dresses back in college to flaunt your flawless legs. Admittedly, the banter is nothing you expected and though you’re sure some of the praises are phony, you easily feel comfortable in your surroundings.

The next to greet you is the owner of the bar, Park Narae, who took over her family business of bars and night spots. She was your spritely classmate in Chemistry. Although she borrowed your notes once and never returned them, she was always nice to you. She was another exception to the rule, you think. On second thought, you may have just been erroneously overgeneralizing as everyone interacted with you warmly. They did throw a remark or two about your gorgeous boyfriend but none that really offended you.

“Sohee’s talked so much about you and Jimin-ssi here.” Narae asks, joining you and Jimin in a plush couch near the dance floor.

Your eyes widen, internally panicking as to what else Sohee may have shared. “Oh did she?”

“Yeah. We’ve basically known Jimin from her stories. Is it true you guys met in a conference in senior year?” She points at the two of you and you both nod.

“I stalked her through the breakout sessions.” Jimin sheepishly offers.

“Oh that’s so sweet.” Narae rests her hand over her heart.

“I think the correct adjective is creepy, Narae-ssi.” You quip.

“Y/N-ssi, if this man was stalking me in a boring conference, I wouldn’t even hesitate. He can get my number, my address, even my first-born if he wanted.” This time, all of you laugh at her joke.

Shortly after, Sohee and Jungkook join your table. He wraps his arm around the sofa, encasing her inside his outstretched arm.

“Looks like you guys are having fun.” Sohee greets Narae in a series of complicated cheek-to-cheek pecks that are customary to their sorority.

“Nothing much. Just how Jimin stalked Y/N into romance.” Narae answers.

“Isn’t it the sweetest thing?” Sohee gushes to Narae, who nods approvingly.

You shake your head, failing to understand their shared agreement. “I don’t get it. But thanks anyway for er, thinking it was sweet.”

“Oh, Y/N-ssi, you have no idea how Jimin-hyung was so obsessed with you. He even had a stolen photo of you as his phone wallpaper after the conference,” Jungkook chimes in.

Jimin glares at the young man, crossing over your table to hit him repeatedly on the arm. “Yah!”

“Is that true, babe?” you stare maliciously at your boyfriend who’s now turned into a deep shade of crimson.

Jimin returns to his seat and waves his hands to dismiss Jungkook’s claim. “Don’t believe anything that this disrespectful hoobae tells you, Y/N.”

“Hyung, this hoobae’s been to these reunions more than you that it’s more like I’m the sunbae now.” Jungkook retorts.

“He’s right, Jimin-ssi. You and Y/N have been AWOL for too long. Why is that?” Narae adds, sipping her cocktail.

You and Jimin look at each other, searching for a viable excuse. Jimin answers for both of you, excellently explaining, “I think it’s just wrong timing. We had commitments we couldn’t get out off and we didn’t want to come alone. But don’t worry, we’ll always attend the reunion from here on out. Won’t we, babe?”

You stare into Jimin’s eyes and shift your eyes meaningfully, internally protesting his vow. He only winks at you and reluctantly, you nod. “Of course. We won’t miss it for the world.”

“Let’s drink to that!” Sohee raises her glass and you all clink your glasses and bottles of alcohol.

You don’t know how it happened but by the time you’ve come back from the restroom, the rest of your batch mates are cramped in your table. People are animatedly and excitedly conversing that the music has become a soft lull in the background. You smile at the sight before you, silently berating yourself for harboring ill thoughts about your reunions. Your batch mates aren’t as bad as you’d purported them to be and perhaps, that first time was just a fluke. It makes you consider attending these get-togethers in the future more diligently.

“Y/N!” a soft, high-pitched voice catches your attention.

You turn around to a warm hug from a long-haired woman you didn’t quite know.

“Oh, hello…” you greet just as warmly, despite not knowing this woman.

When she pulls back, you hug her again, recognizing it to be Irene, your close friend in your History class. Aside from Sohee, she was your partner in crime in college. She moved to the US after graduation, resulting in sparse emails and Facebook messages exchanged over the years.

“Irene! How have you been? When did you arrive? Why didn’t you tell me?!” You squeal, unable to hide your excitement over seeing your good friend.

“Whoa, one question at a time, Y/N. I’m so sorry though. I was just so busy visiting my parents that I totally forgot to tell you.” She apologizes, rubbing her hands together to emphasize.

Your eyes dart to her fingers, noticing the studded ring on her left finger. You gasp, “You’re getting married?!”

She splays her palm, looking at her ring and nodding in response. “Yeah. It just happened.”

“Congratulations! Who’s the lucky guy?” you hug her again.

Irene points to a tall, Caucasian guy who is currently the center of your table’s attention. “Brent. I met him at work and we started dating a year ago. He proposed last week that’s why I’m here for him to meet my parents and relatives.”

“I’m so happy for you. When’s the wedding?”

“In two months. We’ll have one in California, where he’s based, and another one here in Seoul. I’ll send you guys invitations I promise.”

You hold her hand, surveying the ring and marveling how it glimmered despite the dim lights. “We’ll definitely attend. Just let us know okay?”

“Of course. Anyway, let’s get back there. I can’t wait to meet the man of your dreams.”

You remember she hasn’t formally met Jimin as her departure to the US was swift.

With her hand in tow, you saunter back to the group, who immediately flock to Irene. The ladies in the table all fawn over her rock, immediately interrogating the couple. Only a few direct their questions to Brent as he doesn’t speak Korean at all. A huge roar of laughter erupts within your group when Narae asks “How love together? Explain.” to Brent and he says something very long and detailed that the woman only responds with “Yes.”

A few more batch mates enter the venue, but one of them catches Sohee’s attention and leads her to frown. You catch the sudden shift in Sohee’s expression as well as the meaningful gaze that she exchanges with Jungkook. He shakes his head at her and she sighs sharply. You crane your head to see who the new guest was and wonder.

As you weren’t the most sociable girl back in college, you didn’t know a lot of your batch mates, this new one included. The latest guest is pretty with her long, red locks teased into curls and her face so angelic that you could have mistaken her for an idol. Narae sees the new visitor, greeting her warmly before the guest could approach your group.

It’s then that you notice Jimin turning his head towards their direction, stiffening as he did. He licks his lips nervously, clearing his throat all of a sudden. You observe the change in his demeanor and nudge him.

“What’s wrong?”

Jimin immediately returns to a pleasant smile, “What?”

“What’s wrong, I said.” you repeat the question in a louder and clearer voice.

“Nothing. Nothing’s wrong, what are you talking about?” he rubs your arms, returning to the lively conversation with the group.

“Who’s she?” you press against Jimin to turn his attention back to you.

“Who?” he asks, but you could see he was lying.

“The redhead. I don’t remember her.” You point to the girl.

“Oh. That’s Seulgi. You probably didn’t have classes with her. She’s an Art major.” His eyes dart around, avoiding your gaze.

“Babe, what’s wrong?” you ask again, not giving up until he answered you truthfully.

“Nothing’s wrong, I promise.” He clasps his hands together, as if begging you.

You can’t shake the ill feeling in your chest. Especially when Narae decides to disperse your group to dance and they collectively do, as if rehearsed. She should have reintroduced Seulgi, you think, but why she doesn’t confuses you.

Who is she? You ponder. You scramble your brain for any faint recollections of the redhead but try as you might, you couldn’t. Your college had a lot of students and given your averseness to any form of social activity except when Sohee begged you to come, it shouldn’t be any wonder. Still, you wonder why your best friend knows her and you don’t. You’ve met all her other close friends and acquaintances that it would be impossible for you to miss Seulgi. More importantly, why do Jimin and Jungkook know her? Your head starts to ache.

Jimin, Sohee and Jungkook decide to battle it off in the dance floor, moving to the bass-heavy beats of the DJ. You decide to join them after finishing your cocktail while documenting their gyrating asses through an incriminating video. Brent and Irene are also left in the couch, whispering sweet nothings and stealing kisses. You cringe at the PDA but the display also warms your heart for you knew how fucked up Irene’s most recent relationship was. Brent seems like a good guy and you’re glad she’s found the one.

Looking at the silly antics of the rest of your awesome foursome makes you think about the future again. Internally, you’re already imagining showing this video to Sohee’s future children and telling them, in case they were good dancers, that they didn’t get their skills from their mother.

“Hey, Y/N.” Irene scoots beside you, disrupting your recording.

“Hey, Irene. What’s up?” you stop the recording, turning to her. She has a serious look on her face and you’re left contemplating why.

“You do know who Seulgi is right?” she asks tentatively.

You shake your head. “No. Why?”

“I don’t want to be the one to tell you but you have to know so I’ll say it anyway.” She clears her throat.

Your heart skips a beat, instantly anxious. “Okay.”

“She sort of had a thing with Jungkook-ssi back in college. And Jimin-ssi too.”

Your eyes widen, finding it hard to digest this new information. “She dated them both?”

“Not exactly. But from what I’ve heard, Jimin-ssi was making a move on her already when Jungkook-ssi slept with her.”

Her words slap you like hard bricks, shocked and confused from her words. “What?!”

“Those two had a nasty fight over her. I think they both forgot to call dibs and unfortunately, Jungkook-ssi already had slept with her before Jimin-ssi even got to ask her out for a date.” She purses her lips into a thin line.

“Why do I not know this?” you say your thoughts aloud.

“Exactly. But I think we both know it’s because you weren’t really that interested in matters like these right? Maybe as well, those two and Sohee thought it would be better you didn’t know. Also, Seulgi’s moved to France to pursue her painting career and there was no way she’d be here. Well, until today.” She sighs.

“That’s why they were so awkward,” you nod slowly, the changes in the atmosphere now making sense.

“Don’t tell them I told you. I know all this because Seulgi is my former roommate’s best friend. Besides, who’d have ever thought that you, Jimin-ssi, Jungkook-ssi and Sohee would get together like this, right? In any case, just take what I said with a grain of salt. It’s all in the past anyway.” She smiles reassuringly.

You return a smile that doesn’t reach your eyes. For some reason, you’re not sure the hatchet has been buried.

Nevertheless, you join your crew on the dance floor when Sohee throws an imaginary rope around you and tugs on it to prod you to join them. With a roll of your eyes, you pretend to be pulled forward and dance – or at least move your body in some resemblance to dancing. The four of you stays that way until Jungkook excuses himself to go to the restroom. Sohee, on the other hand, is pulled away by her sisters for some shots. You and Jimin continue your movements, with him being the only one who had a sense of rhythm. Irene’s revelation hangs over your head but you try very hard not to give it any second thought as this, this frenetic dancing and happy reunion, was what mattered now. Especially not when Jimin tugs you forward to his body in an intimate embrace and kisses you so deliciously that your insides swirl.

The romantic exchange is interrupted by your phone vibrating in the pocket of your dress. Hesitantly, you pull away from him when you see the caller at this untimely hour. He pouts when you walk outside the bar to answer the call.

It’s your stupid boss. Clearing your throat and thinking of happy thoughts, you cheerily answer his call, “Yes, Kun-hee-nim. No, I sent the report last night. Yes, yes, I included the trend for the past five years—oh, okay. I’ll just resend it. No problem... Okay, you’re welcome. Goodbye, Kun-hee-nim.”

You await the beep of the other line before nearly crushing your phone to bits. Your boss is asking you to resend an editable version of your report – which he specifically asked in PDF – tonight. Luckily, you’ve gotten used to how Kun-hee changed his mind as quick as a blink of an eye that you’ve saved all your reports and data on your phone.

Still, with fuming ears, you compose an email to send the raw version of your report. It’s 11 in the evening, you suddenly note, as you draft your message. You press ‘send’ and huff when the email has been confirmed as sent.

The minute you do, you’re now aware of the vast emptiness outside the bar. Narae’s bar is located at the outskirts of the city that you can now practically hear crickets in your quiet surroundings.

Except all you hear is murmurs of a man’s and a woman’s voice.

You glance around the empty setting, abruptly afraid that you may be hearing things. You’re the biggest coward when it came to ghosts but just like in the movies, your curiosity gets the best of you. Instead of returning to the bar, you gingerly approach the origin of the murmurs and are led to the back of the bar. You feel relieved that you’re not going to see any ghost tonight.

Still, your eyes widen at what you see.

Arms wrapped around herself, Seulgi is standing in front of a very flustered Jungkook.

“We overlapped right?” she asks, eyes fixed resolutely on the ground.

He presses his tongue against his cheek, making a sound at the back of his throat. “Seulgi-noona, I don’t want to talk about this anymore.”

His words fall on deaf ears as Seulgi continues, “I thought I’d never see you again. But here we are. So please answer the question.”

“What good would it do? I have Sohee now. And you’ve got someone else too. Why do you want to know?”

“I just want closure, Jungkook. Just tell me the truth.” This time, she stares back into Jungkook’s tired eyes.

It’s his turn to avoid her gaze and he sighs, not muttering a word.

“I’m not leaving until you tell me the truth, Jungkook.” she raises her chin, as if to prove her point.

Jungkook stares into her eyes, not blinking, before he answers sternly, “Okay. You did. You went up and left for France without telling me when I met Sohee. Satisfied?”

Seulgi nods slowly, as if gradually processing Jungkook’s affirmation. “For the record, I did tell you. You were probably just too drunk to remember. I heard her voice on the other line that night, Jungkook. I told you then that if you loved me, that if you wanted us to work, then you should have come back to me. But you didn’t and chose to fuck her instead.”

“She didn’t know okay? I didn’t tell her about us when I met her or dated her. So don’t blame Sohee.” Jungkook hisses.

She nods, “I know. I’m not blaming anyone. I guess this is just…our fate.”

Tense silence permeates the air between them. Jungkook awkwardly rubs his hands on his thighs while Seulgi is still wrapping her arms around herself. Neither look at each other.

The redhead breaks the tension. “Thank you for letting me know. I wish you all the luck with her.” She reaches out her hand to caress Jungkook’s cheeks.

He flinches from her touch, holding her arm to stop her. With a sad smile, Seulgi returns to the bar, entering through the back door. Jungkook runs his hand through his hair, hissing ‘fuck’ through gritted teeth. With a sigh, he opens the back door as well, rejoining the crowd.

You amble towards the front door of the bar and try to compose yourself from what you’ve seen. Nothing scandalous happened, if you were being honest. Sure Jungkook wasn’t the most truthful with Sohee back then but it’s all in the past. And nothing will continue in the future, as you’ve observed. But for some reason, you feel like you’ve witnessed something forbidden. At least the Seulgi issue is settled now. Clearly, it was her and Jungkook who had a thing and not her and Jimin – that relieves you to some extent. However, you wouldn’t dare tell Sohee this little incident. Some secrets are best kept as that, you surmise.

However, it seems that you didn’t have to tell her as she apparently has seen the second-long interval between Seulgi’s and Jungkook’s re-entry to the bar. Jungkook is now appeasing her, holding on to her forearm as she thrashed wildly. You hear a loud, ‘let me go!’ from her before Jungkook pulls her unwillingly away from the stares of the nearby crowd.

Jimin witnesses the scuffle as well and he grimaces. You saunter to him, his expression immediately changing but you shake your head. You decide to tell him what you’ve seen recently and with a sigh, he tells you briefly about his history with Seulgi. He’s so apologetic, hands interlocked tightly around yours, as he reassures you that it’s all in the past. You completely believe him, allaying him with words of reassurance yourself.

A little later, you learn that Sohee has stormed off. Jungkook pathetically calls out to her as he’s left his car to hitch a ride with her here. Jimin offers his car to follow Sohee but Jungkook dismisses the offer. Seulgi has left by then, muttering a weak goodbye to the group.

Downtrodden, he returns to the bar and plops on the couch, asking for another beer from the waiter.

“Shouldn’t you go after her?” you cock an eyebrow at him.

Jungkook shakes his head, sipping on his bottle. “It’s best if I leave her alone.”

“You shouldn’t have lied in the first place.” You glare at him.

“I didn’t lie. I just didn’t tell her the whole story.” He glares back.

“Well that’s what you get from keeping secrets.”

“Oh, and you’re the one to say this to me? You’ve been lying about the writing class to hyung.” He smirks.
“That’s a different story, Jungkook. It’s different from this,” you seethe.

“Whatever, Y/N. Secrets are secrets. Period.” He then proceeds to ignore you, chugging on his beer.

With a huff, you warn him with a point of your finger, “You better not tell Jimin about our secret anyway. There’s a reason I’m keeping it as it is.”

“I pinky promised didn’t I?” he says sarcastically, sticking up his pinky finger for you.

With a grunt, you turn your heels on him indignantly, deciding to ignore Jungkook for the rest of the night. You walk towards Jimin, who’s now surrounded by his former club mates.

How dare Jungkook think you were in the same league as him? Your secret is in no way comparable. It’s an innocent one, an innocuous lie that will surely make Jimin laugh if he ever knew.

Wasn’t it?

You refuse to answer your question and instead focus on your boyfriend, relishing the way his eyes become crescent moons, his whole body bends forward as he laughs with his colleagues.

Chapter Text

Boo, code red.

You read Sohee’s text and it’s been a while since she’s called you boo and used code red in the same sentence. The last time she did was years ago – back in college when she had a pregnancy scare with her Literature professor. The incident with Jungkook and Seulgi two days ago would mean it was a serious matter if she invoked the Code, you think.

Hence, you dial up her number immediately. She picks up after only one ring and you ask, “Where are you?”

“Starbucks at your building,” she replies, weariness evident in her tone.

“You’re here now?”

“Yep, just arrived.”

“Okay. Wait for me.”

“Please be quick,” she says in a pleading tone.

You pause and tap your fingers on your desk. Your boss needed your market report by the end of the day and you’ve just finished processing the data in Excel. The clock reads 5:00 pm and though you’re sure you’d complete the report by 6:30, you knew that Sohee was more important than that.

Sighing, you rise from your seat and decide that you’ll just render overtime. Kun-hee-nim usually goes home at 10:00 pm so you had plenty of time until then to finish the deliverable. Besides, he told you he needed it just this morning instead of the usual two-day heads up he would give you. He’ll have to wait. Your best friend needs you. Her sanity is more important than the stupid report.

Grabbing your purse, you slur to your officemate that you’ll be out for an early dinner despite his protests about Kun-hee’s deadline. If the slave driver really needed your report, he would have breathed down your neck by now and since he hasn’t, he’s possibly just power-tripping as usual. Especially because you chewed his ass out during the department’s morning huddle.

Arriving at Starbucks, you search for Sohee and find her tucked in the farthest corner of the coffee shop. She’s swirling a stirrer on her cup absentmindedly, her eyes fixed on the Starbucks logo on it.

You walk towards her and immediately reach out for her hand to squeeze.

Sohee exhales an audible sigh that lands on your fingers and she clasps your hands just as tightly.

“Sohee… Boo… what’s the matter?” you probe in a comforting tone.

“Things just aren’t fine and dandy with me and Jungkook…” she mumbles, her eyes downcast and her shoulders drooping low.

“Is this because of Seulgi incident at the reunion?”

She nods weakly, eyes still staring elsewhere. “Bingo.”

“Haven’t you talked to Jungkook about it since then?”

“We have. And it’s been settled.”

Your brows knot and immediately wonder why she calls you for a heart-to-heart talk. You retract your hands and inquire, “Settled as in you’ve patched things up settled?”

She nods weakly again.

“Then what’s the code red for?”

She licks her lips then quirks these into a shit-eating grin that makes your insides churn. “Because you’re overworking yourself again for that dickwad of a boss you have and you deserve a break.”

You fume at her words, spitting, “What the fuck, Sohee? I have a deadline tonight and this so-called break I deserve is wrong timing!”

Sohee just shrugs and sips her coffee leisurely, “I’ve been texting you for hours and you’ve been ignoring me so I had to invoke code red. Besides, if you really had a deadline, you wouldn’t have agreed to this meeting, I know how career-driven you are. Your monthly targets are more important than my woes.” She pouts, as if hurt.

You grit your teeth as you hiss, “But you called code red. And we both know how fucking sacred code red is. Gods, Sohee, you are so childish! Unbelievable!”

You’re collecting your purse but Sohee stops you with a hand on your wrist. “Wait, Y/N, I’m sorry. Can you please keep me company? You’re here anyway. We both know you don’t want to go back to your asshole of a boss,” She says in a calmer, more apologetic voice.

Your jaw clenches and though you’re pissed at her, she was right. You really didn’t want to hand in a report you knew was just a result of Kun-hee’s mood swing. You’ve forgone lunch and managed to survive your shift on three cups of coffee and a small, triangular kimbap. You finally agree to take that needed, well-deserved break.

“Well, you better make it worth my while, bitch. Pay for my food and drinks.” You throw your purse back to the empty seat beside you.

Sohee rises from her seat and finger guns you, “Gladly, boo. So the usual? Tall iced Americano and New York cheesecake?”

“Oh, no Sohee. Make that venti iced Americano, New York cheesecake and roasted chicken pesto sandwich.” You say sarcastically, cocking an eyebrow at her.

“Wow, you’re such a pig. Don’t worry, boo, I got you.” Sohee winks at you as she walks towards the counter. In a few minutes, she returns with your order and you sip on the overpriced yet delectable concoction.

“Thanks for being so understanding, Y/N. For serious, though, I am still a bit bothered about the whole Seulgi situation.” This time, Sohee’s expression becomes somber and the poor stirrer becomes the object of her discomfort as she twists it in a convoluted knot.

However, you don’t take the bait this time and just snort at her, “Yeah right, Sohee. Like that would gain my sympathy.”

“For reals, Y/N. I’m a bit worried Jungkook might find out that I knew,” she swipes a slice of your cheesecake without your consent.

“Knew what?” you click your tongue in disapproval of her food theft.

“About him and Seulgi.” She says after she swallows the stolen slice.

You squint your eyes, processing the information she’s telling you. “That you knew he was with Seulgi when you hooked up back then…?”

Sohee widens her eyes and shrugs, her lips pursed into an ‘oops.’

“Oh my God, so you mean to say you knew all this time that he was taken but you hooked up with him anyway?” you munch on your sandwich, your stomach thanking you for your first proper meal of the day.

“Oops,” she says aloud this time.

“I don’t want to judge – you know I’m just generally nonchalant about these things – but still, Sohee!” you open both palms to gesture at your shock at your best friend’s actions.

“He’s just so freaking hot, Y/N. He was the best-looking guy in that reunion years ago and it just so happened that I was single and oh-so horny then that when he looked my way, I just made it my mission to fuck him that night.”

“Wait, so you only met Jungkook at the reunion?”

The question irritates Sohee as she glares at you, “Yes, boo. I did. Didn’t I tell you that like a thousand times already?”

“You did. But how did you know he was with Seulgi? Your sisters told you or something?”

She shakes her head as she now slices a piece of your sandwich. “It was obvious. Have you taken a good look at Kookie? A guy as hot as that could not be single. And if he was, it’s only because he’s a fuckboy or gay. And when I talked to him at the reunion, I knew he wasn’t any of those so I kinda knew that he had someone.” She hovers her hand as she tells you, tipping it side to side.

“And yet you fucked him. Ah… you’re really unbelievable, boo,” you gasp mockingly.

“Again – he’s ridiculously hot, Y/N. It would be impossible to resist him.” Sohee rolls her eyes at you.

“So the entire time… the months you were fuckbuddies, he still had a relationship with Seulgi?”

“Yeah. He is such a monster in bed that I could care less if he had a girlfriend.” She says casually.

“Wait what?” you are genuinely disgusted by your friend now. You knew how fucked up she was back in college – her taste in men, her sexing ways – but you didn’t know she’s done something like this.

“Y/N, we both know I’m not a goody-two shoes like you. I didn’t pray for my soulmate to come knocking on my door – like you,” at this you protest but she puts her finger to her lips to shush you, “…And I know that I haven’t been exactly the kind of girl guys bring home to meet their parents – but I also know that unlike you, I go where love finds me. I don’t dawdle or ask for signs or whatever. I take matters into my own hands.”

You grunt at her cheesy words and gape in disbelief, “Bullshit. How dare you justify that, you homewrecker? You go where love finds you if and only if that love is not attached to someone. Which clearly, you did not. You practically snaked Jungkook away from Seulgi. How are you living with yourself, Sohee? You ruined a relationship!”

“Technically, it was already in ruins when I came along. I just gave it a teeny-tiny nudge,” she nudges her elbow, for effect.

“I don’t know why I’m even friends with you. What you did to Seulgi is a grave sin. Fucking multiple guys, flirting with your professor, even skipping class just so you can get laid – all those I get, but this, this is unacceptable.” Your voice raises a little, causing some of the customers to look at you and Sohee.

Sohee motions you to lower your voice, as she explains, “I know, I know, don’t let the rest of the Starbucks know too, Y/N. I do feel guilty about it. But I also don’t. Because I snagged a great guy. Jungkook is amazing – more than the sex or physical stuff – he’s a catch. And I’m so glad I snatched him away from Seulgi. She’s stupid to not have fought for him, you know? If she really loved him, she should have stopped at nothing to make him stay. I know I have a fucked up view of what love is and how you’re supposed to handle it, but I also know that Jungkook’s worth all that. It’s worth being the other woman, worth being the girl people thought caused his breakup with Seulgi, worth being judged by my own best friend. He’s the one I can feel it. I’ve never been this whipped in my life, boo. I’ve changed because of him. I’m a one-man woman now, Y/N. I love him. I really, really do.”

You see the sincerity in Sohee’s eyes and though you’re still appalled by her actions in the past, that’s all there is. It’s all in the past and all’s been said and done. Jungkook chose Sohee and she was somewhat right – if he wanted to be with Seulgi, he would have stayed even if your best friend was a tempting vixen of a woman.

With a sigh, you give up your arguments. “Fine. I’m cringing from all this profession of love for Jungkook but fine, I understand. I don’t want to be all righteous but fine. Let’s just hope he never finds out you knew all along.”

Sohee sighs as well, glad to have you on board her train of logic. “I know, boo… I just feel guilty that he feels so bad about it all. And that I enjoyed him feeling bad about it.”

You lean back to your chair and cross your arms over your chest. “That is shitty, indeed, Sohee.”

Sohee slumps forward, nearly swiping her cup to spill, and buries her head on the table. “I know, I know, Y/N… I should feel shitty but I’m not. Especially since the makeup sex was so so good, boo, you have no idea. Kookie made me come so hard that I—”

You tut to interject, “Sohee, I don’t need to know that. I get it. I got your point so shut it.” You clasp your fingers together to emphasize.

Sohee raises her head up, almost beaming at your support to her actions. “Right? You get me, Y/N right? I’m not completely in the wrong here, right…?”

“Well, as your best friend for more than two decades now, I’d say this infraction is very minor compared to all the filthy things you did back then.” You say impassively.

Sohee springs up, crossing her arms over her chest as well. “Ya, you make it sound like I was some kind of slut back in college!”

“You’re the one who said that not me.” You cock your head to the side in defiance.

She raises both hands, “Fine, I’m guilty. I’m a homewrecker. I’m a filthy slut. Sue me!”

Her actions may have caused a good relationship to end but knowing that these have happened already and there was nothing that could be done to repair it, you decided to allay Sohee. You shake your head and place your hand over hers. “No, seriously though, Sohee, what’s the big deal? Seulgi is a thing of the past. Jungkook was sorry for it and you enjoyed his sorry state – even though you knew about it anyway that he shouldn’t have apologized in the first place—but it’s happened. What matters now is what you have with him and as you said, as I get it, you intend to make that work.”

“I just really wish Jungkook won’t ever find out that I know. He’ll be so mad at me he might leave.” Sohee runs a hand through her long hair.

“He won’t. Only you and I know about this. And though I disapprove of how you acted towards the whole situation, the best thing to do now is play dumb. Like never bring this up with him ever.”

“Okay. I’m calm now.” She lets out another loud sigh.

“It’s the perfect crime, Sohee. And I’ll help you cover it up. Jungkook won’t ever know, promise.”

She raises the pinky of her free hand and extends it to you, “Pinky promise, boo?”

“Pinky promise, boo,” you link your pinky with hers and smile.


It’s only three days before your writing class and though you’ve already finished your draft, you still haven’t worked with Jungkook to discuss your motivations for writing. Partly, it’s because it would be so awkward to do so knowing that he still had a spat with Sohee. Now that you know he’s clearly patched things up with her, you decide to text him for a rain check. He replies that he can come over Tuesday night to work on it and you cancel on Jimin that night with an alibi that you have dinner with your officemates. Luckily, your boyfriend is busy this week as it’s audit season and it’s likely he won’t be sleeping over during that time.

Hence, on Tuesday, you get all your deliverables done as quickly as possible so you can get home on time. Jungkook arrives a little after you settle in your pad and you greet him enthusiastically.

“Nice place you’ve got,” Jungkook looks around, stepping out of his shoes and settling the pair by the doormat.

“Thanks. Please sit down wherever. Do you want to eat while we’re doing the assignment? I can order takeout.” You offer.

“Dumplings and fried rice sound nice,” he says with a smile.

“Got it.” You dial up the delivery number of a nearby Chinese restaurant and order.

While waiting for the food, you open your laptop and settle it on the coffee table. Jungkook is sitting properly on the couch while his oversized backpack rests on the small chair. He’s taken out some papers and sneaking a glance at these, you notice he’s printed some poems by Lang Leav.

“Oh, Lang Leav. I love her work.” You beam.

Jungkook hands the papers to you and you browse the poems he’s printed. “Yeah, I just got to read some of her work and it’s amazing.”

“Her poems don’t have the usual rhyming structure but it works, you know?” you skim through the pages, all poems you’ve read already.

Your eyes dart to one entitled Soul Mates and read it again, remembering it was one of your favorites.

I don’t know how it is you are so familiar to me – or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before – in another time, a different place – some other existence.

Jungkook’s voice breaks your reading as he says, “Yeah. Some are really sad but some – well – I couldn’t understand the meaning of some words so I don’t know… heh,” he laughs sheepishly.

“That’s okay, Jungkook. That’s what dictionaries and online translators are for.”

You’re still leafing through the papers until you chance upon the print-out of a novel summary by Jung Bo Hee. She was a famous author back in the late 80’s, if you recall correctly, and one of the few Korean authors who used English as her medium of expression. Her best sellers were part of your reading list in college and you recall how your professors swooned over her unique writing style. Most of the novels she’s written are tragedies – the female protagonist always choosing something else instead of love – and since you’re a sucker for that genre, you’ve read all her works.

“You’re reading Jung Bo Hee-sunbaenim?” you look up at Jungkook and he visibly stiffens at your remark.

“Uh, y-yeah. I heard she’s a famous author or something.” He murmurs, not returning your gaze.

“Or something? She’s only the greatest Korean female novelist of all time! And she even writes in excellent English! This is an excellent choice, Kookie. Her novels are gripping.” You enthusiastically fan the printout, as if doing so would convince him.

“Ah really? I’ve never gotten to reading her novels but I will one of these days.” He remarks curtly.

“This one you’ve printed is pretty good but if I may, I recommend you read the first novel she’s written after she got married. It’s the best one, in my opinion. I think the title of that was—”

“Doe Eyes.” He glances at you and you think you saw a sad glint in his eyes as he did.

“Yeah, that’s the one. That novel is a real page-turner.”

“Oh yeah? I’ll read that then,” Jungkook nods weakly, pursing his lips into a taut line.

You would have pried on the palpable unease in his features if not for the arrival of your food. He offers to pay for your meal tonight, saying you can pay the next time, and you gladly let him.

You return to your position, slumping back on the floor and leaning against the couch.
“Aren’t you uncomfortable there? You can eat better at the couch.” He observes.

You shake your head. “No, it’s just been a habit. Usually, when Jimin’s around, he’ll sit where you are and he’d feed me—I mean, we’d eat together like this.”

Jungkook sneers at your slip-up, “Oh, so hyung feeds you like you’re a little kid huh? I bet he says here comes the airplane~”

You narrow your eyes at Jungkook and playfully swat his thigh, which he easily evades. “Of course not. And that’s none of your business, Jeon Jungkook. I bet you’re a thousand times more cringey with Sohee.”

Jungkook presses his tongue against his cheek and snorts, not snapping anything as a comeback.

You know you shouldn’t ask but since you’ve broached on the topic of Sohee, you start, “So things are good with my best friend?”

Jungkook fishes for his fried rice as he mutters, “I think so. You’d know, else I wouldn’t be here.”

“We didn’t talk about it. Else, I wouldn’t have asked.” You lie.

“Okay fine. Yeah, we’re good. Are you and hyung?” he looks at you with a deadpan expression.

“Of course we are. Why wouldn’t we be?” your voice raises a pitch higher and that usually happens when someone’s caught you lying.

“I don’t know. I’m just asking.” He shrugs.

“Is there something he’s not telling me that you know, Jungkook?” you squint at him, suddenly alert of any telltale signs that can cause concern.

“No, heck no. Is there something Sohee’s told you that I don’t know, Y/N?” he squints back, returning your intense gaze.

You almost blanch at his words, sputtering, “N-no, of course not. Pfft, what do I know about your relationship? It’s not like Sohee kisses and tells you know,” you ramble on in that same high pitch.

Before Jungkook catches on, you steer off the topic and say, “Anyways, let’s get started.” You turn your attention to the blank document in your laptop.

“Okay, then.” Jungkook places the box on your table and leans forward.

“Well, we should start by telling each other our motivations for writing. You go first,” you turn to him ready to take down notes.

Jungkook tilts his head to the side and rubs his neck. “Ladies first. Yours is easier.”

“What’s the matter? You’re suddenly shy about this? Trust me, I won’t cringe when you profess your love for Sohee,” you raise one hand as if to emphasize.

He shakes his head repeatedly. “It’s not about her. She’s not my motivation. I mean, sure, she’s one of the reasons but she’s really not the main one. It’s a little bit… more personal than that.”

Your brows furrow but indulge the man of his request, “Oh… Okay… I’ll go first then.”

“I promise I won’t cringe. I know it’s all about hyung. But I’m not going to judge you. I promise.” He grins.

Thinking about your motivation to write, you reminisce to the first day you met Jimin three years ago…

The conference is boring as can be. Granted, you’re in Busan, the first time in a long time – but that doesn’t really butter the deal as you’re almost nodding yourself off to sleep not even ten minutes into the first day. If it weren’t for the fact that Professor Joon required your attendance to this forum, you would have already left. The darn old man even had a separate attendance sheet for your class so that he’ll know how many unfortunate students dared understand the role of the private sector in wealth creation.

The symposium brought together scholars and students to present their papers about business management (your major) and public administration. Apparently, the three-day event aims to bridge the gaps in governance through gaining insights from academicians and businessmen. The organization sponsoring the event had the exact same theme last year and frankly, you were pissed at the monotonous drabble about “the government should work together with the private sector to achieve development goals through regular consultations blah blah blah…” It doesn’t take a three-day conference to figure that out. Any intellectual knows that already. As a senior, you were expecting something more actionable than the usual motherhood statements.

It annoyed you further that the program is jam-packed – a total of five breakout sessions per day – and you had to attend all five to be given a measly certificate of participation – another requirement by your masochist professor. Still, you dutifully read the abstracts of the breakout sessions and attended one about big data and government processes. Then another session about e-government and social media. And another on the significance of participatory governance in the business sector. This goes on for the second day and your eyes are already glazed over as you try to listen attentively to the speakers.

By the fourth parallel session of that second day, you noticed it.

A raven-haired lean man kept following you to all your sessions.

As soon as you rise from your seat for one session, he gets up as well and goes where you do. It wouldn’t have been so obvious if not for the one time you mistook a room for one of the topics and he left as soon as you did.

Partly irritated and partly scared, you test your hypothesis and lead the man towards the ladies’ room. With all the courage you can muster, you turn around to face him.

“Are you following me?” you spit, scowling at him.

You’ve startled the stalker and he takes one step back. “Sorry miss, what was that?”

“I said are you following me? I’ve noticed you keep taking the same sessions as I do and it’s just weird.” You maintain the sharp glare but immediately realize how good-looking he is. He fills his polo shirt so well that his biceps are practically screaming on his sleeves. His thighs are strained against the fabric of his slacks and try as you might, you can’t help but gawk. Looking at his small face, you see how defined his jawline is that you could already imagine tracing your fingertip along it. Your eyes then land on his full lips and relish on how plump and soft they must be.

“I think that’s not a coincidence. There are other students who are probably interested in the same sessions you’ve attended so I don’t see what the big deal is.” he explains calmly, running his hand through his hair.

You pathetically follow the way his raven hair bounces with the drag of his fingers. Still, you keep boring a hole on his forehead and taunt, “But you’re the only one who’s stalked me since day one. I keep seeing you in the same sessions… it’s too much of a coincidence don’t you think?”

He chuckles softly, looking to the side to show you how sharp that jawline is, “Ah, I think you’re jumping to hasty conclusions here, miss. I bet if we took a survey of all the students who’ve attended your sessions, we’d see a lot of similar participants, don’t you think?” he cocks an eyebrow at you.

You huff indignantly, a bit pissed that the hot guy is right. Crossing your arms over your chest, you still stubbornly cling to your “hasty conclusion” and snort, “Okay, when you put it that way, you’re kind of right…But then, why are you following me to the ladies’ room?”

His eyebrows now knot, the confidence gone in his demeanor as he bites on his lips. “I’m going to the men’s room too.”

“Men’s room is over that way,” you pucker your lips to the other direction.

He turns his head to the direction you point to and sees the huge sign for the men’s bathroom. He smiles so wide that it reaches his eyes, reducing it to crescent moons. “I must have been mistaken. Sorry. I’ll go this way now,” he points a finger towards the men’s room and walks away from you.

“Bye, mister.” You turn on your heels and head towards the ladies’ room.

You’re stopped in your tracks when he calls out, “Wait, miss.”

You look back at him, eyebrows raised, “Yes?”

He clasps his hands together and licks his lips. Damn, those lips look sumptuous. “I’m Jimin by the way.” He extends his hand as he introduces himself.

You goggle at the proffered hand and it takes you a few seconds to grasp the situation. Trying not to be rude given the false accusations you’ve pinned on him, you tentatively reach out yours to shake his firmly, “I’m Y/N.”

“Senior?” he smiles at you as you withdraw your hand immediately. In that miniscule moment, you realize how his hand is softer than yours.

“Yeah. You?”

He nods. “Which class are you attending this conference for?”

“Business Economics with Professor Joon. You?”

“Elective in political science under Professor Yeng. Ah, Professor Joon…” he clicks his fingers, realizing something, “Oh, so you’re a business major?” he says, a hint of interest in his voice.

“Yeah. He’s my thesis adviser actually. So I had to attend this stupid conference instead of working on my thesis.” You click your tongue unintentionally.

He cackles and the melodious sound racks your chest. “I know the feeling. Professor Joon can be… persuasive and a bit inconsiderate sometimes.”

You blow raspberries and roll your eyes at that. “Sometimes? You mean all the time right?”

“He was my Business 101 professor, so I know.”

“What’s your major?”

“Accounting.”

All your reservations towards your stalker dissipate as you know how hardworking and well-mannered Accounting majors are. They’re the lot you see filling your libraries, always reading their textbooks and solving their problem sets with a calculator on their side. They’re stellar students who run charity drives for children that they’ve practically reserved a seat in heaven. The fact makes you warm up to Jimin. “Wow. Accounting... There’s nothing about accounting in this conference. This must be boring you to death.”

“I had to attend it. I’m minoring in business, you see.”

You’re in love. With the demanding load of an Accounting major, Jimin even found the time to minor in Business. You suddenly think it’s not so bad if he stalks you all the way to your house now.

“Well, it’s nice meeting you, Jimin-ssi. I’m sorry if I thought you were a stalker. It’s probably my PMs or something…”

He shakes his head, “No, no worries. I’d think the same if I were you.”

You smile sheepishly and not being able to come up with any more topics, you emit, “I really have to pee but I’ll see you around.”

“Sure. It’s a pleasure meeting you, Y/N-ssi.” He gives you a single wave and goes to the men’s room (presumably).

By the last session of the day, you find yourself anticipating seeing Jimin in the room. The topic is nowhere related to any of your courses and you think you lost him on the way back so you’re unsure. You look around the room, searching for his frame but the first speaker’s already started and that tells you he must have chosen a different session.

“Is this seat taken?” a familiar voice breaks your thoughts.

Your face lights up to a wide smile as you gesture him to sit. “Go ahead, Jimin-ssi.”

He settles his bag on the armrest and smiles as widely at you as well.

At the end of the second day, Jimin walks with you to your hotel – where he was also staying at. The walk back has you engaged in long conversations about academics, the future and your hobbies. The more you talked, the more you found yourself being instantly drawn to the Accounting major. He’s the perfect gentleman, even offering to carry the eco-bag containing the handouts and materials from the conference. Of course, you protest but he’s already swung it vern his shoulder and you could only mutter a timid word of gratitude. Arriving at your hotel room, he tells you it was nice chatting up with you and if you’re free, you can join him for dinner. He’s all alone, he says, and the meal stub he has is for two that it would be a waste if he didn’t share it with another. You gamely say yes because who says no to free food? Especially because your bloody thesis adviser didn’t even subsidize your meal allowance for the conference.

During dinner, you find out he’s a Busan native and he even teaches you how to ask for water in satoori. He’s billeted in the hotel as part of the allowance his professor gave him and even if he wanted to pocket the money instead and stay over at his parents’ house, Professor Yeng has already booked the rooms for them. You then say you’re a Seoulite through and through and this is the first time you’ve been to Busan since your family outing a few years ago. He offers to tour you around during your free time and before you could swallow your kimchi, you’ve already said yes. In fact, you impulsively decide to come home to Seoul with him the day after the conference instead of the last day because of that.

By the last day of the conference, your mind is already filled with excitement that no amount of scholarly information could be crammed in. You’re looking forward too much to the sights you’ll be seeing with Jimin that it’s all you talk to him about over the last five breakout sessions and coffee breaks and lunch. You could see how excited he is as well, and though this is so out of character for you, you willingly go with the kind stranger.

The mini-tour of Busan began with a walk at Haeundae beach and you would’ve spent the rest of the evening there, if not for his insistence you try dongnae pajeon. After the sumptuous feast, he takes you to a small coffee shop he frequented back in high school. The mini-tour went on so smoothly that it was already 11:00 pm when you both decided to call it a day. When he accompanies you back to your room, you couldn’t help but give him the warmest smile you could manage. You even give your number before he could even ask for it, and you think you see him giggle as you did. With that stupid smile on your face, you fell asleep and wished that the train back to Seoul would be delayed so you can spend more time with Jimin.

By the time you return to Seoul, you couldn’t stop raving about Jimin to Sohee. You’ve never connected with another guy on this level, never warmed up to anyone so easily as you did with him. When he texts you that he wished you arrived safely at your dorm, you reply so fast that it became so obvious you were waiting for his text this whole time. When he invites you for lunch that day, you immediately say yes, ditching Sohee’s ass even if she “booked” you first.

Over the next four weeks, the lunch dates became frequent and spilled over to coffee breaks then dinners then weekend rendezvous. During those dates, you learned more about each other – how he’s the eldest in the family, how he loved to read the manga One Piece, how he laughs so hard his entire body folds. You willingly divulged all information he asked – your dreams of becoming a Marketing Director at a multinational company, your love for indie music, your quirk of biting your nails when you were nervous.

At the end of the first month of meeting Jimin, you were sure. You’re madly in love. He fit the mold of the guys you dated. He perfectly snuggled his way into your heart. The only thing is that you’re unsure if he felt the same too.

You find the answer to your question at the end of your movie date, one wintry Saturday afternoon.

“Did you enjoy the movie?” Jimin tucks his hands on the pockets of his padded jacket.

“It was fine. I just think the ending’s a bit overrated,” you shrug, digging your hands inside your pockets as well.

“Why? At least Mike and Olivia had a happy ending. Everyone deserves a happy ending.” Jimin glances at you, astonishment evident in his expression that he even blocks your way as he says that.

You make a sound at the back of your throat and say, “I don’t know. It’s too cliché. It could have been open-ended. Like they see each other several years later and then the screen goes black.”

“But if that happened, then we wouldn’t know if they got together. The whole movie built up the tension between them you know? Wouldn’t it be a waste it ended like that?”

“You know me, I’m a sucker for tragedies.” You raise both eyebrows at him and sigh.

“Even in real life?” Jimin’s still staring at you and he walks to the vehicle side as you cross the street.

“Maybe.” You say indifferently, successfully crossing the other side with your hand around his arm.

“So does that mean you’re going to turn me down?” he asks so out of the blue that you stiffen and accidentally squeeze his arm. He yelps in pain, caressing his pinched bicep.

“W-what?” you freeze in your tracks.

Jimin slowly turns to face you and threads his fingers through his hair. “I was going to ask if you could be my girl but you said you like tragedies so…” he curves his lips in a frown.

“What are you saying, Park Jimin?” your eyes widen and you could feel a blush creeping on your cheeks.

“Well somebody told me that if I didn’t make my intentions clear by now, I’m going to be friendzoned soon. And I don’t want that so…” he licks his lips and you pathetically watch the drag of his pink tongue along his beautiful mouth.

“So… are you asking me if I want to be your girlfriend?” you ask hesitantly.

Jimin nods, his lips pursed into a shy smile.

“Shouldn’t you be down on your knees or something?” you laugh mirthlessly.

“You said you don’t want clichés like that but if you insist,” Jimin starts getting down on one knee and you immediately stop him.

“No, don’t do that! Jimin, no, not in the middle of the street, for Christ’s sake!” you’re blushing furiously now.

He gets up and laughs embarrassingly. His ears are tickled pink as well, and you thought you saw the same color taint his cheeks. “So, what do you say, Y/N?” he holds both your hands and you stare at his chubby fingers.

“S-sure. I’ll be your girl.” You whisper, barely audible.

Jimin strains to hear you and he leans forward, his ear a breath’s away from your lips. “What did you say?”

“I said yes, I’ll be your girlfriend, Jimin.” You declare a bit louder.

A wide smile forms on his face and as he turns around to face you, he lands a soft peck on your cheek. “Oh, Y/N, you’ve made me the happiest man right now. Ever since I first stalked you at the conference, I couldn’t stop thinking about you.”

You tilt your head to the side, saying, “Huh, so I was right! I knew you were stalking me then!”

Jimin chuckles so loudly that his whole body bends forward. “I’m sorry. I just couldn’t take my eyes off of you. And I didn’t know how else to approach you. I was glad you’ve caught on because I didn’t have any backup plans.”

You squeeze his hands and pretend to be disappointed, grimacing. “Oh, you sly bastard.”

“At least you’re mine now.” He raises your hands to his lips and kisses the crooks of your fingers.

“Yes I am, Jimin.” You say, despite the goosebumps blooming on your flesh – from cringing or romance, you’re not sure.

Jimin interlaces your fingers together and leads you to the café where you then swoon over each other like a high school couple on their first date out.

Since then, it has been bliss. Jimin is all you could dream for in a guy. He’s the more affectionate, more showy of you two. You’d find post-it notes of ‘I love you’, ‘Think of me babe’, ‘I can’t wait to kiss you later’ on random pages of your textbooks, as if he knew that would get you going through understanding econometrics. The past three years have nothing but blissful for you and Jimin. He never fails to shower you with gifts – even if there was no occasion – or show you how much he loved you every time you were together. He’s made it a mission to outdo every anniversary present he’s given you and the last one is a photo mosaic of your trips and pictures together. As you approached your fourth, you wanted to show him that he’s just as special to you as well. Hence, you were motivated to write 48 poems to mark your 48 months together. He’d be so surprised about the poem collection because you’ve never admitted your love of literature to him. You could already see how tightly he’ll hug you or how repeatedly he’d kiss you once you give him the gift.

“…So that’s why I write. I want to show Jimin how much I love him and thank him for all he’s done to me.” you end your narration with a sigh.

Jungkook looks at you with his usual “shook” expression, uttering, “Wow. I promised not to cringe but I have goosebumps all over. Sorry, Y/N-ssi, I didn’t know you were this cheesy with Jimin-hyung.”

You playfully tap Jungkook’s knee, earning him a chuckle. “Ya, I’m baring my soul here! The least you could do is not cringe.”

“I said I’m sorry! If I were Sohee, I’d probably be in tears right now but hearing all that about hyung is just…” he shudders for effect.

You roll your eyes at him, grunting, “Whatever, Jungkook. I’m just doing it for the assignment. That’s what Jae Han-sunbaenim said – be completely honest, don’t hold anything back. I’m just following his instructions. It’s your turn now to make me cringe.”

Jungkook smirks at you, “My story won’t make you cringe. Not even one bit.”

“Why not? If it’s not about Sohee then definitely it’s about your first love or some unrequited romance, I’m sure.”

You’re not looking at Jungkook as you’re typing away at your laptop so you fail to see how his smug expression changes to something melancholy. He doesn’t respond to your inference and it’s then you look back to find him longingly glancing at the printout for Jung Bo Hee’s work.

“That’s not it. It’s something more personal than that, I told you,” he says.

You stare at him softly, now realizing how different he looks compared to his usual jolly, flippant self. “What is it then, Jungkook? If you don’t mind telling me…”

Jungkook leans back on the sofa, rubbing his hands together. “This is the first time I’m telling this to someone else other than Jimin-hyung. Sohee doesn’t even know about this at all. And…” he sighs, trailing off. “…and I hope that… that you understand how difficult it is for me to tell you this, Y/N-ssi.”

You sit beside him on the couch, sympathetically patting on his hand resting on his knee. “Of course, Jungkook. I won’t judge or pry if it makes you that uncomfortable.”

He looks at your hand atop his and gently presses on it. With a pursing of his lips, he mumbles, “You have to know. Especially because that’s what the assignment’s all about. I just… need some time to process my thoughts.”

“Sure, Jungkook. Take your time.” you smile comfortingly.

Jungkook chews on his lips, sighing repeatedly. You could see the pain in his eyes and the hesitation on his face. After a few minutes of awkward silence, he lets go of your hand and slaps on his knees. With a huff, he lets you know the reason for his writing endeavor.

“I was only 15 when my parents divorced. I stayed with my father then because that’s where my home is and it ended up being his so that’s why. I was scared to go with my mother to be honest. She was always away for her work and I just couldn’t bear adjusting every time she decided to move. She’s kinda famous in her field, you see. And her work required her to attend writing conferences and book signing and stuff like that. In fact, she’s so famous that you already know her,” Jungkook hands you the printout and points on the name on the text. “That’s her. Jung Bo Hee is my mother.”

You could not repress a gasp from his revelation. Though her work was a required reading, your professors didn’t really tackle her biographies nor did you ever care to research about her background. All you knew was that she was married before and all the works she’s released after her marriage centered on domestic issues.

“Jung Bo Hee? As in the author Jung Bo Hee?” you blink twice at the paper he hands you.

Jungkook weakly nods, his jaw clenching. “The novel you mentioned, Doe Eyes, I think that was about me. I was too young to read it and I never really got around to doing so as dad sort of banned all traces of mom at home. I never really knew why they divorced. They were so good at hiding their conflicts from me so I didn’t know. I was shocked when they divorced… I never got to really process it and until now, I didn’t really know why they did. When I was growing up, she wasn’t always present. She’s always working, always writing, always searching for inspirations. When she was around though, she was the typical mom who’d prepare my lunch or help me in my homework. But when she left, the house just felt the same. It’s as if she never really settled in in the first place. I still kept in touch with her every now and then, but since she’s a world-famous author, it was rare for us to see each other. And that even became more infrequent once she married another guy. By the birth of her first child, my brother, I already moved to Seoul for uni. I didn’t think about her often and busied myself with college and my friends and sports. She didn’t even attend my graduation so I knew then how she’s moved on from us. It’s like we’re just a phase in her life she wanted to forget. And unfortunately, I forgot about her. And then…”

He rests his elbows on his knees and clasps his hands together that his knuckles turn white as he continues, “…and then a few months ago, I found out she died. Colon cancer, that’s what her husband said. I didn’t even attend the funeral – I was away with Sohee for Thailand then, I think. It would be shitty of me to say this but I really didn’t feel anything, nothing at all, when I learned she passed away. She was never really there for me, looking back. I found out that she only got married because she was pregnant with me. And for so long, I felt that I was just an obstacle to her career. But then… I learned that she left me a letter. And that just fucked me up. Completely fucked me up.”

“She told me that she never forgot about me. That she would have wished to be the normal mother I deserved. That she’s sorry for all the times she wasn’t there for me. That she loves me dearly. That she regrets to her very last breath that she wasn’t the perfect mom. And that shook me you know? It rocked me to my core… I found myself reading all her works and finding bits and pieces of my childhood in her books. Of course, since all her works were in English and I wasn’t fluent in that, I decided to study the language. Suddenly, I realized how stupid it was of me to ignore her like that. How it was fucking too late for me to make up for lost time. Suddenly, I wanted to know how her mind worked, how it would have felt to write those words, to tell those stories. And next thing I know, I’m just scribbling poems after poems and random notes… and it’s all about her. When I chanced upon our writing class, I just knew I had to take it. Maybe it’s a sign from mom, I don’t know. It’s supernatural bullshit but I went anyway and you found me… and there… that’s why I write.”

You could feel the regret, the guilt, the unexplainable sadness in Jungkook’s demeanor that you immediately allay him with a caress of your hand on his back. You don’t say a word and he only peers at you with a soundless word of gratitude.

“Thank you for telling me this, Jungkook. I know how hard it must be to share something like this to a complete stranger,” you start.

“You’re not a stranger, Y/N. You’re Sohee’s friend and Jimin-hyung’s girlfriend. And you’re my friend. Thank you for listening as well,” he pats your knee.

You and Jungkook stare into each other’s eyes, a melancholy smile on both your lips.

“Thank you for trusting me with this. My motivation to write pales in comparison,” you chuckle to break the heavy tension in the air.

Jungkook laughs as well, “We can’t really compare them. They’re very, very different things.”

“Yeah. But yours is like… heavy, heavy stuff, man. It’s like somebody threw a ton of bricks at me right now.”

Jungkook straightens from his seat, removing his hand on your knee and you in turn removing your hand on his back. “Sorry about that. I hate drama but that’s my life. Heh…”

“Do you want some water?”

He nods and you get him a glass of water which he empties in a single swig. As he sets the empty glass on the table, he sighs and urges you, “Anyways, let’s just start working on our pieces. I’ve already started on something if you’d like to see.”

Jungkook fishes out for a crumply piece of paper in his backpack. It’s a handwritten poem, smudged and messy with various strikeouts. He hands the paper to you and you read it, feeling so privileged to have seen this side of Jungkook. He’s never crossed you as someone who thinks much or shows his emotions so readily that you don’t know how to treat this situation.

The fact that Sohee doesn’t know about his mother bothers you a bit. You thought they were serious and given how they’ve been together for at least two years, family should have been a topic they’ve discussed. Apparently not, as you’re the first to know this information. With the secret he’s told you, you begin to see Jungkook in a new light. Maybe he’s not the airhead athlete you purport him to be as Sohee’s typical type. Maybe he’s really an emotional, sensitive individual screaming at the seams from the stereotype he’s unknowingly cast.

You show your piece as well, a typewritten poem that you’ve edited at least a hundred times already. He commends your choice of words and the message of the poem, even telling you that Jimin would have probably cried if you read him your piece aloud. On the other hand, you compliment him with the raw feel of his poem, pointing out that the poem didn’t need to rhyme to work. By 10:00 pm, around three hours after your meeting with Jungkook, you have both finished your assignments, content in your outputs.


You’re the unluckiest person when it came to drawing lots and it was no surprise that your and Jungkook’s poems are the first pieces for that night’s recitation. Jae Han repeats his instruction, adding that each student is given 5 minutes to present their work. He tells you to provide a brief description of your motivation in writing your piece before actually reading it aloud.

You volunteer to present yours first, thinking it was the lighter of your pair’s work. Jungkook encourages you with a mighty ‘Fighting’ and a loud pat on your back.

Still, you couldn’t help but be nervous as all eleven pairs of eyes including Jae Han’s and Jungkook’s were on you up on the podium. You tap on the microphone and check if it’s on, then clear your throat to begin.

“Good evening, everyone. I’m Y/N. I wrote this poem for my long-time boyfriend Jimin, my muse. As a gift for our fourth anniversary, I wanted to let him know how much I love him through my poems. So… here’s one I’ve written…” you clear your throat again, trying to dispel the shaking of your hands holding your poem.

Title: Seconds, Minutes, Hours

It’s been four years since we’ve been together

48 months shared, 1,440 days with each other

I can no longer count the minutes, the seconds

But I will never tire if you asked me, I reckon

Ask me anything, anything at all, and I’d do it willingly

I apologize if I don’t always show so obviously

Just know that every millisecond you’re near me

Every passing hour you’re with me

Every single day you stay by my side

Every single moment for the rest of my life

Are memories I will always treasure

The seconds, the minutes, the hours

Will never be enough, will never be too much

To show you my love, to relish your touch

Every single moment as long as I’m alive

Is every single moment I want to be by your side.

The seconds, the minutes, the hours

Let’s spend all of it with each other

The seconds, the minutes, the hours

Let’s wind them down together

My seconds, my minutes, my hours

Spent with you are all that matters

You look up from the podium and are met with a roaring applause. Jae Han nods enthusiastically, evidently pleased with your poem. Jungkook gives you two thumbs up, a huge bunny grin plastered on his face. The author admires your work and some of your classmates share their positive comments as well.

It’s Jungkook’s turn now and returning to your seat, you pat his back to boost his morale. He sheepishly smiles at your gesture and you whisper ‘fighting’ with a clench of your fist.

Jungkook fidgets in front, rubbing his hands on his jeans and chewing on his lower lip. He tilts his head to the side, and you notice that it’s his nervous tic. With a loud gulp, he leans forward to speak on the microphone.

“H-hello, good evening. I’m Jungkook, Y/N-ssi’s writing partner…. Um… I wrote this poem for my mother… She passed away three months ago and I never really got to say goodbye to her properly so…” he waves his hand to point at the piece of paper.

Expelling an audible sigh, he recites his poem.

Title: Always

 I never knew I’d say goodbye again

I didn’t get to say it the first time you left

I was too young to understand

That that day would be the last I’d see you

It’s always too late for goodbyes

That’s what I’ve been told

I would have wanted you to know

That I love you, that I miss you

That I ached for the person

Who brought me to this world

But as always, it’s all too late

You’re gone, off to a faraway land

No matter how loud I scream

You’ll never hear any of it

You’ll never know how I feel

And I will always regret

Not having said all this to your face

And all my words, all my feelings

Will all remain unsaid

It hurts to say goodbye

To you of all people

And though it doesn’t matter now,

I want you to know

That I will always love you

That I will always miss you

That I will always ache for you, mother

Always

Always…

Jungkook pauses at the end of his poem, staring at the document for a long time. You think you see him bite back his tears as he grips on the piece of paper too tightly. Finally, he looks up, signaling the end of his recitation. The class claps for him loudly, some of them looking at Jungkook pensively while others even giving him a standing ovation. Jae Han approaches him with a loose embrace and Jungkook returns it awkwardly with a pat on the author’s back. When Jae Han pulls away, he squeezes on Jungkook’s shoulders and thanks him sympathetically. Jungkook mutters a shy ‘thanks’ as well and Jae Han lets him go to return to you.

You don’t know why but one meaningful glance with Jungkook tells you it’s okay to lock Jungkook in a warm embrace. He leans in to your grasp, closing his eyes and leaning his head on the crook of your neck.

“You did great, Jungkook. Your mother would have been very proud of you,” you whisper against his skin.

“Thank you, Y/N. It means the world to me,” he whispers back.

After a while, you detach from each other and sit down to listen to the rest of the class as they recited their pieces.

The class is dismissed earlier than usual and Jungkook offers to take you out for dinner, which you willingly oblige. During that time, you talk about each other’s backgrounds where he learns you had a younger sister and how deeply ingrained Jimin was in your family that they even ask for him instead of you. It’s gotten to a point where they would prefer if you came home with him rather than by yourself. Jungkook then shares about his being an only child and how he used to draw when he was a kid because he was too shy to mingle with the other children in his neighborhood. Jimin was the only kid who managed to get him out of his shell after meeting each other in elementary school. You manage to tell him about Sohee’s family situation as well, Sohee being the youngest of a brood of three girls. And then you talk about your friendship with her and the conversation flourished from one topic to another.

After the dinner, you return to your apartment with a newfound penchant for Jungkook. Someday, when he’s ready, you’ll spill his secrets to Sohee. You bet your best friend would love him more if she discovered this emotional side of Jungkook, and you’re positive she couldn’t care less if he wrote poems as a pastime. For now, you settle with the fact that you’re the only person aside from Jimin who knows Jungkook as a mellow soul. Still, you couldn’t shake an ill feeling in your gut. You pay it no mind, however, and drift off to sleep.

If only you did, you wouldn’t have been caught in a sinister lie months later.

Chapter Text

You vow not to use that palette when you get married. It’s a combination of pink and violet gradients, reminiscent of the official colors of some KPop boy group you chanced upon while surfing for a show to watch. (Seventeen was it? Or Wanna One? Ah, the fact escapes you now and you could care less, to be honest.) In fact, the wedding invite looks like an album cover, the program its track list, the stylized combination of Irene’s and Brent’s names the band’s logo. It seems music brought the two together as a collage of different instruments, pictures of Brent playing guitar and while Irene sang, and musical notes adorned the next page.

“I would have settled for a simple white card,” you idly mutter as you peruse the contents of the invite.

Jimin looks over to you, his attention grabbed from soothing your tired leg muscles. “The colors look fine, babe. I wouldn’t mind deviating from the usual white for ours.”

You stare at him incredulously, telling him emphatically, “Babe, have you taken a good look at it? It’s pink. And violet. Like some Disney character puked on it or something. How is this a wedding invite?” You fan the card, now aware that the material is a bit thicker than the usual invites you’ve gotten before. “I bet this cost them a fortune getting printed,” you muse out loud.

He grins at your reaction, cooing, “And so what? May I remind you I’m a supervisor now, babe. We can totally afford it.”

You blush from Jimin’s remark, choosing to cover your face with the card and feigning interest in rereading the details. “We can use your ridiculous salary to cover for other things, babe. Or on second thought, we can just go paperless. It’s the in thing now.”

“Nothing beats getting it in print though. Sort of makes it more real.”

You hotly remove the invite covering your face, expressing your protest with your mouth agape. “Real? You mean, we’re going to be really broke if we print cards like these! Guests are just going to throw them anyway…”

“You never know, Y/N. I for one like keeping wedding invites as souvenirs.” He pats on your leg resting on his lap.

“Not everyone is like you, Jimin. I’d probably flip if I found our wedding invite in the trash.” You clench your fist, immediately seething from the scenario.

Jimin chuckles heartily, his eyes barely visible, his tiny dimples engraving into his cheeks. “Are we seriously fighting over Irene-ssi’s wedding invites?”

That snaps you back to reality, to the fact that this is your friend’s wedding, not yours; and that getting all worked up about their wedding costs is not a valid reaction.

“We’re not fighting. We’re just having a passionate discussion about…er… wedding invites,” you hide your embarrassment with the card on your face.

He chortles again at your puny excuse, resuming his soothing caress of your limb. “Alright, if you say so, babe~ I just didn’t realize how passionate you were about wedding invites.”

“That’s just me… You learn something new everyday,” you say softly.

Jimin takes the invite away from you, exposing your sheepish expression. Instead of rubbing his small victory on your face, he graces you with an understanding smile. “Tell you what, we can compromise. You can choose the color of the invite while I get to select the material of the paper.”

“Sure babe. That sounds fair.”

A pregnant pause lingers in the air. Talks about the future are not uncommon in your relationship. Unlike other couples who discuss matters like these when they’re sure of each other, you two have talked about these even only after dating for a year. The conversation can go on for hours lingering on questions such as where you’ll get married (he prefers it by the beach while you want a church wedding), where you’ll honeymoon (a seaside destination vs. the cool countryside), where you’ll settle down (the city vs. the suburb), among others. Despite that, neither attempts to ask the most important question: when you’ll finally tie the knot. You never had the audacity to coax him to propose, and he never seemed to get around to doing so, for reasons unknown. Perhaps, it’s the complacence that you two know each other well enough to wait for the perfect moment. And clearly, that’s not tonight.

Hence, Jimin quickly changes the subject, focusing on the trivial thing in the room – your aching muscles, “Does that feel better?” he kneads your leg, looking at you.

You nod, tucking your leg under the other, and pressing your body to his side. “Much. Thanks babe,” you kiss him on the corner of his lips.

“You’re welcome, babe.” He kisses you back, fully but chastely on the lips.

Your phone rings, an alarm setting off, and when you swipe to end the blaring sound, you immediately grumble. Jimin’s phone rings as well, and he marvels at the notification which says, “T minus 7 days til Irene’s and Brent’s wedding! ♡ ♡ ♡ ”

“Sohee-ssi never fails to amaze me,” he comments, dismissing the alarm.

“Tell me about it…”

Sohee is so meticulous and so dedicated in being your group’s organizer that she’s created a Google calendar for your lot’s escapades. “Awesome Foursome’s Whatsomes” is the name of said calendar, which she updates with all important occasions such as your birthdays (and to your horror, even your monthsaries) and other group activities. Scrolling through the remaining months of the year, you see a chockfull of events that basically snatch away your days off. It would have been a welcome gesture if not for the fact that she already dutifully reminds you all via chat/text/call. It’s overkill at its finest, and you know she’s only doing that because of you. You tended to forget group dates and much to your chagrin, you realize you’ve been baited. There’s no way you can’t show up for an awesome foursome’s whatsome now. Not when there’s a calendar automatically synching up your group activities.

“I find it very helpful though. At least I know what activities we have next. Like… apparently we’re attending the Ultra music festival two weeks from now. And that Sohee and Jungkook’s monthsary is the week after,” Jimin chimes as he browses through the calendar.

“Which is something we shouldn’t really care about, babe. It’s their monthsary,” you roll your eyes in protest.

“But we should. Especially since we’re the ‘awesome foursome’. And being that means we’re going to be spending a lot of time together.”

“If they don’t break up of course,” you say absentmindedly, slumping back on the couch to scan your SNS feed.

Jimin sets his phone down on his lap to look at you, curiosity swimming in his pools. “And why would you say that, babe?” he asks in an almost shocked voice, as if you’ve said something horrible.

“What?” you furrow your brows, pretending not to hear his concern.

“Why would you think they’d break up eventually?” he takes away your phone, staring at you intently. Oh boy, this is going to be an interrogation.

You sit up from your position, clearing your throat. “I don’t know. I mean… we can never tell what happens in the future. It’s a possibility, you know.”

“Did Sohee tell you something?” Jimin gazes at you even more inquisitively, genuine concern spreading on his face.

“What? No! Did Jungkook say something to you?” you ask in return, trying to divert the question.

He shakes his head, sighing. “That kid never tells me anything. Besides, I would have told you if he did. But Sohee… I’m sure she would have said something to you. C’mon, tell me the truth, babe. Is there something going on between those two? I thought they’ve patched things up after the reunion.”

“No babe, no... Sohee didn’t tell me anything. What I do know is that they’ve reconciled. That’s it,” you reply, pursing your lips.

Jimin pinches your chin, crinkling his nose. “You know you’re a bad liar, Y/N. But fine, if you don’t want to tell me, then I’ll respect that. I really hope it’s not alarming though.” He frowns, his expression looking so bothered as if it’s his own relationship on the rocks.

“Of course, Jimin. They’re happy together and very much in love with each other. Nothing’s going to change that,” you say reassuringly, distracting your lover with a peck on his lips.

He nods, seemingly content with your assurance, as you turn on the television to watch some random sitcom.

At the back of your head though, you perfectly know why that statement slipped. Last week, Jungkook opened up to you – and a bunch of random strangers, if you may add – about his mother. Sohee didn’t even know about the fact, puzzling and alarming you greatly. If they were really happy and very much in love with each other, why didn’t the young man tell your best friend this secret? If you were to compare your situation with theirs, you and Jimin are open books to each other. So why can’t it be like that with them? You wonder. Try as you might, you can’t think of a logical answer.

Instead, you turn your attention to the full body laughs that Jimin emits and the way his eyes are reduced to crescent moons while watching the skit on the television.


 

Irene and Brent’s wedding reception is held on a private garden venue in Jeju Island one cool summer afternoon. The sun is high up but not too hot and the outdoor setting is bathed in the salty and refreshing breeze of Jeju seas. You four attend the second part of the function instead – after the formal one where traditional ceremonies were held with the couple’s families. Arriving there, you see the newlyweds, already going from table to table to chat with friends, most of whom have attended the reunion weeks ago.

Irene is a blushing bride, clad in a simple white gown, unlike her groom, who is donning a pink and violet suit. The rest of their entourage looks like an ensemble of Disney characters, the bridesmaids wearing pink gowns while the groomsmen wearing violet suits. Everywhere you turn your eyes to is, in fact, drenched in pink and violet – from the flowers to the banners to the table covers. Your eyes begin to strain from the much too pastel, much too radiant colors.

Jimin smooths the knot of your brows with a playful furrowing of his own as he peers into your eyes.

“What?” you straighten the crease of your brows, raising them.

“You look so serious. It’s a wedding babe. Not a funeral,” he giggles.

“Sorry, babe. There’s just too much pink and violet. I’m getting a headache,” you mutter as you massage the ridges of your brows.

“What’s wrong with pink and violet, bitch?” Sohee snaps, having overheard your complaint.

You glare at her, grunting, “I’m not a fan, okay?”

“I bet your wedding with Jimin will be all-black or grey or some sad color cause you’re so dead inside.” Sohee glares back at you, scrunching her nose in disgust.

“I won’t allow that.” Jimin interjects, shaking his head for emphasis.

“That’s an exaggeration, babe. Of course it won’t be black. Maybe… very, very dark blue,” you tease.

Jimin’s eyes widen at you, groaning, “Babe…”

You laugh it off, dismissing your comment with a wave of your hand. “Just kidding. We can have white or whatever. Just not pink or violet please,” you allay him with a caress of his chest.

“How about ours, love? What will be our motif?” Sohee turns to the quiet, young man who’s been observing your interactions amusingly.

Jungkook tilts his head to the side, rubbing at his nape as he hums thoughtfully. “W-whatever you want, love. It’s your choice.”

“Then we shall have pink and violet,” Sohee links her arms around Jungkook’s, keening to him contentedly.

“Then you better expect I’m not going to be there.” You narrow your eyes at Sohee.

“I’ll bring you sunglasses, Y/N, just so you can attend our wedding. Will that be enough, you cynical bitch?” She counters, narrowing her eyes at you as well.

“Or we can, you know, choose another color, Sohee,” Jungkook mumbles.

She looks at Jungkook, plastering a wide grin. “Of course, love. Whatever you want.”

“But honestly, Sohee, whatever motif your wedding is, we’ll surely be there. Won’t we babe?” Jimin nudges you, throwing knowing glances at your direction as if reminding you of his concern for the other couple’s relationship status.

“Of course. You’re my best friend and Jungkook’s Jimin’s best friend. We wouldn’t miss the union of our two bestest friends for the world.” You press your hands together.

Sohee rests her hand over her chest, clearly touched by your remark. “Awww, thanks boo. And so will we. You two are my most favorite people in the world. Next to Kookie of course,” she chuckles, curling up to her still stoic boyfriend.

“Yeah. Especially since you’re going to get hitched first,” Jungkook remarks idly.

“And what makes you think that?”

He looks at you with an unreadable expression, somewhat somber if you were to describe it.

“Yeah, love. How come?” Sohee peeks at her boyfriend, who’s now chewing on his lips.

Jungkook rubs his nape again, answering, “Because… uh… you know… you and Jimin-hyung have been together longer than us. So I guess it’s just logical that you two get married first…?”

Jimin drapes his arm around your shoulder, siding with the young man’s reasoning. “I get what you mean, Kookie. But it’s no big deal, really, whoever gets married first. If you and Sohee want to tie the knot before we do, you’ve got our blessing.”

“Of course! By all means, go ahead. If the time is right, why not?” you add happily.

“Well if you insist. We’ll get to it already, won’t we love?” Sohee turns her face to Jungkook, whose mouth is now agape and doe eyes so wide it looked like he was panicking internally.

He refuses to answer his girlfriend, instead distracting you with, “Oh look, Irene-ssi and Brent are coming over.”

The four of you turn your attention to the couple, awaiting your turn as they approach you. Irene runs to you, almost tripping in her gown, and you welcome her with open arms. You both beam wide smiles to each other, squealing congratulations and warm greetings. On the other hand, Brent shakes Jimin’s hands firmly, who then pats him on the back with a broken pronunciation of the English for “Congratulations.” He does the same to Jungkook who utters “Chukahae”, apologizing belatedly after realizing Brent might not have understood it. The groom surprises Jungkook with a casual “Kamsamnida”, delighting the young man. Sohee reaches for Brent’s hands after, greeting him with a fluent, perfectly enunciated “Congratulations” in English. He thanks her with a slight bow. Jimin, Jungkook and Sohee then take their turns congratulating Irene, the young bride thanking all of you for coming.

“There’s a bouquet and garter toss later. I hope you’ll all join,” she informs you.

“Oh… well…” you stutter.

The four of you look at each other meaningfully, wordless apprehensions thrown in between. The hesitation mainly lies in the fact that the bouquet and garter toss is not a common tradition in Korean weddings. You’re not superstitious but you’ve been raised to believe that this part of wedding receptions don’t bode well for those who catch the bouquet and garter. It’s said that those who catch the bouquet and garter must wed in a year or else they’ll separate. As a result, these are often tossed to already engaged couples to minimize bad luck.

“You’re the only ones who are sort of headed towards that direction. So I hope you’ll indulge me and Brent. Please participate later,” Irene tells your group as if reading your minds.

“Of course, Irene-ssi. We’ll do that,” Jimin is first to chime, smiling at the bride.

“Great! In the meantime, please enjoy the food. And again, thank you for being here,” Irene says, prompting Brent to bow and utter “Kamsamnida” again before they move to the next table.


 

Despite the two buffet stations, the queue is long and winding. Sohee gripes about her grumbling stomach, tugging on Jungkook’s hand to get in line first.

“Actually, I’m not yet hungry, love. Hyung, you and Y/N can go with Sohee instead,” Jungkook suggests.

You say nonchalantly, “Me too, actually. I ate your sandwich on the plane, babe, remember?”

Jimin nods in understanding, offering instead, “Then I’ll just get us a plate, babe. I know what you like anyway.”

“Thanks babe,” you kiss him on the cheek.

With another nod, he and Sohee set off to wait their turn in the buffet.

Left alone, you and Jungkook share comfortable silence, him fiddling with his phone and you observing the motions of the reception. A loud guffaw catches your attention, Narae being the culprit, as she talks to Brent in broken English again. The groom is charmed by her efforts, rolling in laughter as well.

That causes you to stare at Jungkook, as it is at his side where the melee erupted. You find that he’s expelling loud sighs even though he’s playing some game on his phone. Something’s bothering him, you could tell. Perhaps, the fact that you’ve been seeing each other weekly has made you adept in reading his nonverbal expressions. You’re sure Jimin has caught on too, but you couldn’t really share your observation with him as he’ll definitely wonder how you would have known Jungkook like that. You’re not as perceptive as Jimin is and that would further cause him to worry about the status of his best friend and your best friend’s relationship.

Seeing the slow pace of the buffet line where Jimin and Sohee are and allowing your piqued curiosity to get the best of you, you interrogate the young man.

“Are you okay?” you start.

“Hmm?” he looks up at you, exiting his game. “Y-yeah. I’m okay. I’m fine,” he mumbles.

“You don’t look like it. You’ve been quiet since we arrived here.”

Jungkook sighs again, toying with his phone. “There’s just nothing to say.”

“You’re normally not like that though,” you argue.

“Must be tired from the flight,” he rubs his eyes, as if masking his dead silence with just plain sleepiness.

“…Right. A seventy-minute flight can do that to you,” you say sarcastically.

“You’re too curious for your own good, Y/N,” he says flatly.

“I’m sorry if I’m concerned. It’s just that I care for my best friend Sohee. And I care for you too… as a friend would to her friend.”

Jungkook measures you up with his gaze, pressing his tongue in his cheek. He leans forward, resting his elbows on the table, and finally relents. “Fine, fine. You caught me… I’m just not comfortable.”

“Obviously. Sohee’s been throwing herself at you and you’re just… there,” you say with a sluggish gesture of your hand.

“I know. But it’s just that… I have a thing against weddings…” he shyly admits.

“Because of what happened with your parents?” you quietly supply.

He nods, clasping his hands together. “I don’t know. I just… I mean, I can see how happy Irene-ssi and Brent are. But will they be like that forever? Of course not.”

“Don’t be so negative, Jeon Jungkook. Not every marriage ends in divorce.”

“I know. But what can I do? After what happened to mom and dad, I just don’t believe in the sanctity of marriage and weddings and stuff,” he fidgets in his seat.

“And is this something that Sohee knows?”

“Of course not. It would devastate her if she learned that all this time, I have no intentions of marrying her.”

You gasp, appalled by Jungkook’s statement. It causes you to smack him on the arm. He is startled by your attack, soothing his injured arm immediately.

You sputter, “Yah! Then what the hell are you doing with my best friend? Don’t tell me you’re just going to leave her hanging like that! You’ve seen how much Sohee loves these functions. She’s even attended all her sorority sisters’ weddings, for crying out loud.”

Jungkook groans, scratching his head. “I know. I know, Y/N. That’s why I’m just playing along her fantasies. I can’t break her heart just like that.”

“Well do something about it, you prick. Come clean or I’ll tell her.” You stick up your chin defiantly.

Jungkook gapes at you, immediately pressing to your side and shushing you with his finger on his lips “No, please don’t. Y/N, I beg you don’t. I’ll tell her… eventually. Just not right now.”

“Don’t be unfair, Jungkook. My best friend is madly in love with you and you’re just… what? Using her to bide your time?” you snort.

He shakes his head vigorously, waving his hands to dispute your assumptions. “No, it’s not like that. I love her too. I really do. But I just don’t see myself walking her down the aisle, you know?”

You roll your eyes at him, hissing, “What the fuck, Jungkook—”

“—No listen, wait, listen. I love Sohee. I want to be with her. Believe me, I do. But I’ve got my issues. And I need to resolve them first before I even think of marrying her,” he explains.

“Issues? Like what?” you still look at him with a perplexed expression.

“Like I’m afraid I won’t live up to her expectations of being a good husband or a good father. Or that she’ll leave me and our kid and shit… I don’t want my child to experience what I did.” His face falls, his lips tugging into a sad curve.

You begin to understand his concern, and it now dawns on you how important his disclosure of his secret with you was. You look at him sympathetically, advising him, “So tell her, Jungkook. Instead of telling me. She’s your girlfriend, not me. She’s in your relationship, not me. Tell her and I’m sure she’ll understand. You can work it out.”

“You really think so?” Jungkook chews on his lips, staring at you.

“I know so. This is Sohee we’re talking about. She’s no saint but she’s definitely a very understanding human being. Especially when it comes to you.”

Jungkook seems convinced, as he bobs his head into slow agreement. “Okay… I will.”

“You should. If you really want to make your relationship last, you will be completely honest with her,” you say sternly.

“Yeah, I will. Thanks, Y/N.”


 

The pair returns to your table. Sohee raves about the extensive sushi platter that she’ll probably come back for seconds or thirds. Jimin sets your shared plate, asking if there was anything else you wanted so he can line up again. You shake your head and thank him for the plate, wolfing down on the teriyaki sliders. Jungkook proceeds to feed Sohee with a few pieces of sushi, stealing glances at you. You raise your eyebrows at him, quirking your lips to the side to gesture on Sohee (and the assumed revelation of his issues with her). He nods once, acknowledging you. Fortunately, your better halves are distracted with the ruckus that Narae is causing at the nearby table, affording you the wordless exchange.

An hour into the reception, the emcee announces the start of the bouquet and garter toss. He calls for you and Sohee while Irene poises herself to throw the bouquet. The host explains the mechanics, asking you and Sohee to close your eyes. Whoever the bouquet lands nearest is proclaimed the winner. It’s a modified version of the Western tradition to minimize any injury (as if you two are too eager to catch the bouquet). The same technicalities will guide the garter toss, he adds.

You and Sohee sit beside each other, pretentiously glaring at the other to intimidate. In reality, you didn’t really care which one of you caught the bouquet. You are so secure with your relationship with Jimin that even if he doesn’t propose within a year, you know you’ll still end up with him. Sohee is a different story altogether as you notice her rubbing her hands together in prayer.

What the hell is going on between her and Jungkook? Are your last thoughts before the emcee cues to close your eyes.

Irene counts down, swinging the bouquet as she readies herself to launch it at your side.

The crowd cheers in anticipation, some with held breaths, some with loud whistles.

3.

2.

1.

And the bouquet lands perfectly on your lap.

You did feel the soft thud of the bouquet as it bounced on your lap, opening your eyes slowly to find that indeed the beautifully arranged pink and violet flowers are yours. The crowd claps loudly, Sohee congratulating you gleefully.

You hold on to the bouquet, finding yourself staring at the flowers fondly.

“Looks like you’re going to get married first, boo. I should have made a bet on this or something,” Sohee nudges you, a small smile on her lips.

“Don’t be silly. This doesn’t mean anything,” you say indifferently.

Your body betrays your nonchalance as you look around to search for Jimin’s face. He looks at you warmheartedly and you raise the bouquet for him with a shy smile.

With the bouquet toss done, Brent takes Irene’s place while Jimin and Jungkook take yours and Sohee’s. The two men bump fists, patting each other’s back to wish the other good luck. Jimin takes one look at you and winks.

You and Sohee look on from the side, anticipating the outcome of the toss.

3.

2.

1.

And you gasp.

The garter lands perfectly on Jungkook’s lap.

His eyes immediately open, goggling at the elastic. The emcee enthusiastically declares Jungkook’s victory. Compared to the unanimous reaction earlier, pockets of congratulations unevenly echo from the crowd. Jimin darts his eyes on the garter then Jungkook then you, repeating it a couple of times.

“Well… that’s interesting…” Sohee breaks the silence, her expression gradually souring.

Jimin and Jungkook approach you two, the former helplessly staring at the latter; and the latter chewing on his lips.

Jungkook is the first to cut through the tension, jesting with a cackle, “Aigoo… told you I have bigger thighs, hyung. You’re too short to catch the garter.”

You join him, chuckling hesitantly. “It doesn’t help that you’ve been losing weight lately, babe,” you caress Jimin’s arms.

Jimin finally breaks into a warm smile, nodding. “Just stressed with work, babe…”

“Either that or Y/N’s been keeping you up late at night,” Sohee sniggers.

“Yah! You’re such a pervert, Sohee!” you glare at her, and she in turn sticks her tongue out to you.

Jungkook’s teasing is an effective diversion, especially when the emcee calls the two of you for the next part of the program. As with Western tradition, Jungkook must roll the garter up your thigh. Awkward looks are exchanged among the four of you, and again, the young man is the first to dispel it.

“It’s just for fun. C’mon, Y/N,” he motions for you and you automatically go where he leads.

Your dress inches back just above your knees as you sit down. Jungkook kneels before you, glancing at you sheepishly.

“Just up to my knees please,” you whisper to him.

Jungkook nods once in understanding. You take off your shoe and extend your leg. With a smack of his lips, he latches the garter on your foot. You can’t help but hold your breath as his warm hand, incredibly larger than Jimin’s, trails from your calf to your leg. He licks his lips, which you now see are aquiver, as he settles the garter just above your knees. You observe him unsteadily, now noticing how the veins in his trembling arm protrudes. He pats on your knee, startling you. You immediately glance at Jimin and nearly grow pale from his expression.

Jimin watches the interaction pointedly, and if looks could kill, you’re already dead right now. You’ve never seen him look at you like that, his eyes reduced to intimidating slits as he bores holes into Jungkook’s form. He clenches his jaw so tightly that his muscles leapt in his cheek. His arms are crossed over his chest, puffed and heavy from a breath he seems to repress.

The emcee’s cacophonous jeering dissipates the palpable tension among the four of you, as he jokes about something you didn’t catch. You rise from your seat, tugging on the garter as if it smothered your leg. Sensing your approach, he pastes a sunny smile, whispering sweet nothings in your ears. Jungkook is quick to sidle up to Sohee’s side and your best friend easily melts into his touch.

You return to your seats, where Narae and some familiar faces engage you in jolly conversations. Fortunately, that’s enough to make the group forget about the embarrassing incident a while ago.

Still, you catch Jimin furtively glancing at Jungkook, who is none the wiser as he resolutely fixes his gaze somewhere else – perhaps aware that his hyung is throwing daggers his way.

On the flight home, you would have wanted to ask Jimin about whatever that was. However, you realize that doing so would only acknowledge something you refuse to admit. Back home, Jimin reverts to his old, cheery self as the couples part ways, even customarily bumping chests with Jungkook. The change in his demeanor warrants further investigation, you know. In all three years you’ve known Jimin, he’s never glared so intensely at anyone like that. And to think that he would – to his own best friend, no less – is a revelation.

However, as Jimin tightly wraps his hand around yours while the other is on the steering wheel, you just couldn’t bring yourself to ask. He even hums along to the song on the radio, and you do the same. He’s back to normal now. That’s what matters.


 

The incident at Irene and Brent’s wedding reception is long forgotten as Jimin interacts with you as he usually would. And even more when Jungkook passes you notes while listening to Jae Han’s class.

Ever heard of a comb, sunbae?

The note makes you laugh but you nonetheless widen your eyes at him, mouthing for him to quit it.

He sniggers in response, drumming his fingers on his notebook.

You realize that fate has a funny way of screwing with you as Jae Han says the next writing assignment is about love. Jungkook reacts with his usual expression, mouth agape and doe eyes wide.

“It doesn’t always have to be romantic love. It can be about your love for life, or your love for your best friend or even something as trivial as your love for pizza. Anything really! There is no limit. As I’ve seen you’ve worked excellently with your partners, I think we can continue this set-up for the rest of my lessons. I look forward to your pieces next week. Class dismissed,” Jae Han clasps his hands together then bows to the class.

“No fair, Y/N. You’re practically done with the assignment with the hundred poems you’ve written for hyung,” Jungkook groans, shoving three fries on his mouth. The two of you dine in a nearby fast food restaurant, deciding to work on the assignment already.

“For your information, it’s not a hundred. Maybe just around ten,” you refute.

“Point is – you’re done with the assignment. Compared to me. I have to write again,” he laments.

“Uh, that’s the reason you’re attending this class isn’t it? It’s a writing class, in case you’ve forgotten.”

“I know. You don’t have to rub it all over my face. I’m just saying… I need inspiration to write,” he expels a drawn-out sigh.

“I thought your mother is your muse?” you knit your brows at him.

“She was. I mean she is. But I already poured so much of my energy into that one piece that I’m already exhausted. I need a different muse.”

“Then what’s Sohee for?” you ask, ending with a matter-of-factly hum.

“Of course. I can write about her. Yep, she’ll be my muse this time,” he says weakly, as if convincing himself.

You narrow your eyes, wagging a French fry at him. “She better be. She’s been chatting my ears off about Irene and Brent’s wedding. God, I’ve never heard the same story so many times a day. I can already finish her sentences, damn it.”

Jungkook snickers at your complaint. “Heh… seems like we’re on the same boat. She hasn’t shut up since then.”

Bringing up Sohee leads you back to your conversation with Jungkook at the reception. So you pry, “So… you’ve told her about the thing?”

Jungkook freezes, setting down the burger on its way to his mouth. He bobs his head side to side and answers, “Sort of. I did ask her about settling down… and stuff.”

“And?”

“Surprisingly, she’s down for whatever I want. She’s open to suggestions.”

“And have you thought of it?” you lean forward, suddenly interested with the topic.

“I have and well… I realized I’m just a simple man. I want a church wedding. Call me traditional or whatever but there’s something sacred about weddings in churches—”

“Like it’s actually God’s will to bring you two together,” you interject unwittingly.

Jungkook smiles widely at your elaboration. “Exactly! I’m a firm believer in fate. That people fall in love with each other because they’re meant to be together. And with Sohee, I know we didn’t start off as ‘clean’ as we would have liked. But there’s a reason we met each other under those circumstances. Maybe to learn from the experience… or maybe to become better individuals. I don’t know…. I may be reading too much into it… like attaching some higher purpose for the way we came to be. But you know, it makes sense the more I think about it.”

You find yourself smiling warmly at Jungkook, nodding so enthusiastically at his conjecture. “I totally get you. That’s what happened with Jimin and me, I think. Fate brought us together, as who would have thought that attending a boring academic conference would result in me snagging a wonderful guy like him?”

“Yeah… totally. I’m glad you get me.”

“How about your honeymoon? Have you broached on that topic?”

Jungkook shakes his head. “But to answer your question…” he looks up, squinting his eyes as he thoughtfully ponders on your question. “Definitely not the beach. I hate the heat. Maybe somewhere cool… like the countryside.”

You goggle at him, clicking your fingers. “Me too! I keep telling Jimin that we would be better off spending our honeymoon in the quiet, coolness of the countryside than the scorching hot beach. He’s too stubborn though, and we’ve always reached an impasse on that.”

“Oh really? Well hyung’s always been fond of the sea. Maybe because he’s a true-blue Busan boy. I mean, I’m a Busan boy too but I’m honestly just sick and tired of the sea. Sohee’s practically dragged me to all beach destinations in our trips together.”

“Finally! Someone gets me,” you chuckle.

Jungkook chuckles back, continuing, “I suppose your next question would be where we would eventually settle down. As I’ve said, I’m just a simple man with simple tastes… so I’d be happy if I can start a family in a quiet suburban area – not too noisy like the city, not too rural like the province. It’s just right.”

“We seem to think alike, Jeon Jungkook. I would like to raise my kids in a suburban environment too,” you squeal, the telepathic connection between you two causing you to titter.

“Then we better convince our partners to go along our plans, huh?” he wiggles his brows suggestively.

“You bet we should,” you nod as you sip on your soda.

Suddenly, Jungkook lets out a loud “Ha!”, startling you. It seems inspiration has struck him as he whips up his notebook and pen.

“Wait, are you writing something?” you inch forward trying to peek at his work.

He tuts to scold you, settling the notebook on his lap. “It just fit with the new English word I learned today.”

“Fine, fine. I won’t look. Just show me when you’re done,” you lean back, crossing your arms over your chest.

Thirty silent minutes pass before Jungkook hands over his work to you. You read the short poem, lips slowly curving into a delighted smile.

“It’s raw. And nice. Good work, Jungkook,” you beam at him.

He’s sheepish all of a sudden, scratching the back of his head and chuckling softly. “Thanks. It just came to me.”

“Maybe we should keep talking about our love lives to inspire us, yeah?” you suggest.

Jungkook shakes his head in protest, groaning, “I think we’ve shared enough. I don’t want to know how you and hyung make babies.”

“Jungkook! That’s not what I mean! Jesus, you’re perverted just like Sohee. You two really belong together,” you grunt.

He could only laugh loudly at your comment. You talk about all topics but love after that, your burger and fries and milk shakes long gone when you part ways.

Jae Han decides to choose only one of each pair to recite his/her work. Immediately, you nudge Jungkook to deliver his as you think his piece is the better one. He lowers his head instead, refusing to cooperate. The stubborn woman that you are, you raise your hand, frantically waving at the unkempt author. Jungkook attempts to bring your hand down, but it’s too late as Jae Han has already called on your forced volunteering of the young man.

With a fierce glare at you, Jungkook walks up to the podium, clearing his throat as he narrated his poem.

Coalesce

You like the hustle and bustle

I like the peace and quiet

You like pastel colors

I like black and white monotones

You speak before you think

I think too much, I only squeak

Perhaps that’s the reason

We’re perfect for each other

Two halves of a whole

We’re lost parts of our incomplete souls

We coalesce and the sceneries blur

We coalesce and the colors explode

We coalesce and the stories form

We coalesce like a perfect storm

Jae Han claps loudly, praising Jungkook’s piece. You grin widely at the young man, proud of his accomplishment and his use of an unfamiliar English word. You’ve actually seen that he’s been diligently reading up on writing, the spines of some books peeping out of his bag.

The rest of the class shares their pieces, most are poems about romantic love. Jae Han then proceeds with his lecture about outlining different types of literary pieces. The discussion ends with another assignment and he asks each one to draw a piece of paper from a box.

“There are various genres of literature – romance, comedy, fantasy, adventure. And what I’d like you to do is research about the tropes of the genre you’ll be selecting. I highly advise that you not use the Internet on this. Call me old-fashioned but I believe you can only learn about literature if you read them. It’s not compulsory but I highly recommend you buy a few books on your chosen genre to familiarize yourself with the tropes. Consider it your small contribution to the economy,” he approaches the two of you and Jungkook urges you to pick for your pair.

“Class is dismissed but we can spend the remaining time for consultation, if you have any questions,” he announces, going around the other pairs for them to choose their genre.

You unfurl the rolled up paper, reading your assignment to be—

Adult romance

You gulp loudly, the first words coming to your head involving perverted things. Jungkook balks, staring at the piece of paper with wide eyes and open mouth.

“Is that what I think it is?” he rasps.

“Wait, I’ll clarify.” You head out to the author, standing awkwardly as you wait for the mousy little girl to be finished with her question.

Jae Han looks up at you once the girl’s gone, raising his eyebrows for your question.

“Sunbae, this genre,” you place the crinkly paper on his desk so he can read it, “is this like… Fifty Shades of Grey kind of romance or The Notebook kind of romance?”

“Fifty Shades, definitely,” he quickly answers.

You blink twice, scoffing inadvertently, “Excuse me?”

“It’s a trend nowadays. And don’t worry, your other classmates have worse. One of them has sexual abuse and another has explicit horror,” he responds with a smile.

“So we have to read… porn? For the assignment?” you inquire, barely a whisper, ears flushing red from embarrassment.

Jae Han sighs audibly, clasping his hands together. “This is what I’m talking about. Our backwards society has repressed our creative minds so much that topics like sex and drugs are so difficult to discuss openly. If you really want to be a writer, you have to be open-minded, Y/N-ssi. You may not write something in that genre but you have to broaden your horizon and familiarize yourself with other genres to find your niche.”

You don’t respond to his advice, choosing to bow instead and excuse yourself.

Jungkook observes you, a hopeful look on his eyes. “So?”

“It’s Fifty Shades,” you answer dejectedly.

Jungkook stares at you incredulously, muttering, “Oh.”

“I know…” your shoulders droop as you collect your things.

“It will be a very interesting trip to the bookstore then,” he follows your actions, tugging on his backpack.

“Tell me about it,” you sigh.


 

That Saturday, you meet up with Jungkook at a local bookstore. He has a three-day conference (you’re surprised that fitness coaches even had conferences) next week and the awesome foursome is due for a club date tomorrow. Hence, today is your only free day to work on the assignment. You’ve skillfully convinced Jimin not to come over today, saying that you don’t feel well, even when he insists he can just take care of you. Your lies are a no-brainer at this point, and you should really feel bad about this but with just three more sessions to the writing class, you know it’s an unavoidable sin.

Sheer mortification does not even begin to describe what you feel during that trip. You want to finish the assignment and would have settled for Googling everything, if not for Jungkook’s stern reminder that you’re both grown-up adults who should be mature about this.

It’s just a stupid assignment. Nothing else. It’s just a book – which happened to be porn. Nothing more.

Jungkook arrives a few minutes after your agreed upon time. He is wearing his casual clothes, white shirt, torn jeans and black cap all rounded up by his brown suede boots and heavy backpack. He raises his brows at you, greeting, “Hey.”

“Hey. Let’s go in and look for smut,” you kid with a slight skip in your step.

“So excited,” he responds sardonically.

You scan the bookshelves, looking for the “Adult Fiction” category, too shy to even ask for assistance from the kind staff who greets you cheerily. You rove your eyes on covers of scantily clad couples in compromising poses, begrudgingly realizing that you’ve found what you’re looking for. You turn around to call Jungkook, but apparently he’s still stuck in the “Young Adult Fiction” category across the aisle. It now baffles you that the bookstore organized their merchandise like this, underage teens having easy access to the salacious titles.

You walk over to him, tugging on the sleeve of his shirt. “I found the porn.”

“Oh, really? Where?”

“Just across.”

“I’ll be there in a sec,” he shifts his eyes to the spines of book lining the shelf.

You turn your gaze to where he’s looking at, finding all seven Harry Potter books and one compilation in one section. “You read Harry Potter?”

He nods. “My mom actually bought me the whole set – in English and Korean – as a gift for my 11th birthday. I’m done with the Korean version but the English one – I’ve barely started the third instalment. There were a lot of big words…heh,” he narrates, cocking his head to the side.

Your heart warms at the tidbit and you find yourself smiling at him like at an idiot.

“What?” he looks at you quizzically.

“Nothing. It’s just you know… I didn’t take you as someone who’ll read books like that.”

Jungkook snorts at that. “Right. Because I’m your typical jock isn’t it?”

“No, no! I mean, well… you can’t blame me for having my impressions of you.” You smack your lips and shrug.

He lets out an exasperated sigh, sneering, “And I thought we’ve gone past that, Y/N.”

“Sorry! I really am. Stereotypes are hard to break you know.”

“I know. That’s why Sohee’s…” he trails off.

You’re immediately interested. “Sohee’s what?”

“Nothing. Never mind,” he turns your body, hands resting on your shoulder, as he leads you to the other aisle, “C’mon, let’s read some porn.”

Jungkook decides to buy a thin paperback with a shirtless, muscled man carrying a svelte woman in his arms amidst the backdrop of an ocean’s waves. The title is cringeworthy – Passion in the Roaring Seas – and yours is not any better – Countdown to Your Touch. Your also thin paperback has an illustration of the close-up faces of a couple on the brink of kissing. Your selections are the cheapest and thinnest of the surprisingly many novels on the genre.

Jungkook offers to shoulder your expenses and you could see a lone sweat rolling down his cheek as the cashier looks at him judgmentally.

“For research,” he mumbles, as if doing so would save his face.

You could only giggle at the back, and he hisses at you to stop.

You hop on his car as you both head to your apartment. On the way there, you decide to stop by a convenience store to buy some snacks. And then he suggests alcohol.

“I think I need to be drunk enough to finish this novel. You?” he grabs a six-pack of beer.

You answer him with grabbing another pack.

At your apartment, the two of you settle in your living room, him sitting comfortably on the couch while you take your usual position on the floor, leaning against the furniture.

“You sure you’re fine down there?” he scoots to the side to give you space on the sofa.

You raise a thumb, swigging on your bottle. “Definitely.”

He leaves you alone after that, flipping the paperback while taking his occasional gulps of beer. The both of you read quietly, only breaking the silence to go to the bathroom or open another bottle or refill your snacks. He’s a voracious eater, you’ve realized, as he’s almost finished two large bags of chips by himself.

“Sorry. Have to feed my muscles,” he flexes his bicep for emphasis.

“Whatever, muscle pig.” You roll your eyes at him, diving your nose again into the awfully written novel.

At the corner of your eyes, you can’t help but study Jungkook. Despite the crease of his brows and his altogether disgusted expression, he is a diligent reader, you realize. He encircles words he doesn’t recognize, consulting his dictionary to translate and understand its meaning. You smile inwardly, pleasantly surprised that all your impressions of him are shattered one by one. At the back of your head, you wonder if Sohee knew this side of her boyfriend.

An hour after your pair’s silent reading, something snaps. This is attributed to the unhealthy amount of alcohol ingested or the collective, increasing rage over the poorly stitched pieces of crap being read (or both).

“And this is considered worthy of being published? Man, even a child can write better than this shit! It’s so repetitive… I’ve read pussy so many times I’ve lost count,” Jungkook practically bellows, almost crumpling the paperback.

“I fucking know right? Mine’s no better. The characters have had sex so many times and it’s not even halfway through the novel!” you slam the book on your hand, as if doing so would end the torture for the two of you.

Jungkook slumps back on the couch, snapping the book shut. “I give up. I can’t take any more of this crap.”

“Have you figured out the trope?”

He shakes his head. “What about you?”

You grimace, flipping through the pages. “Well if counting down to three before they bang is a trope then yes.”

Jungkook squints his eyes to ponder. “Er, I don’t think it is…”

“I know,” you rest your head on the sofa. “Guess we have to read more.”

He lets out an extended groan, “Does it mean I have to finish this?”

You pat him on the knees, clenching your fist together. “Fighting! We can do this, Jungkook. We can get through this.”

He rests his hand over yours, squeezing it while his other clenches as he miserably joins you in lackluster cheer, “Fighting…”

As you’ve read a lot of books in your lifetime, you finish your novel before Jungkook does, resulting in the two of you taking turns in reading aloud the rest of his book. Thankfully, it’s the last chapter and you find yourself counting down the pages of his novel. You settle beside him, pressing your body close to his side to read better.

In reality, the words are a bit hazy in your vision, the alcohol having crept up your brain to cause intoxication. You’re sure the same can be said for Jungkook as his words are starting to slur. You’re suddenly aware that he feels so warm next to you. His cheeks are flushed red, the crimson color travelling to his ears as well.

“I don’t get this part… it seems impossible to… to do this one,” he drawls, pointing at the text.

You take the book, rereading the part he’s pointed at. Having understood it better, you describe the scene to him, “It’s actually pretty shimple… The girl is straddling the guy, her back facing him while her face is turned to the side so he can kiss her.”

“Huh?” he fumbles for his dictionary, looking up “straddle.”

“Jungkook, the author’s used ‘straddle’ sho many times in the book how can you not get thish part?” you jab your finger on the encircled word in an earlier page.

“Oh I did? Well… I must have forgottten…,” he scratches his head, reading and rereading the dictionary meaning of the word.

Something snaps again. And you—

“Here, let me demonstrate,” you take both books from his hand and clamber over him.

“The girl’s positioned like this…” you imitate the position described on the book, pressing your back against Jungkook’s chest and settling yourself between his thighs. “And the guy’s kissing her like this…” you reach for his head, angling it short of a breath’s away from yours.

He stiffens under your weight. And you are now hyperaware of every little thing his body tells you – the loud beating of his heart, the reflexively tightening muscles of his taut thighs, the warm breath ghosting over your lips – as he croaks, “…Oh.”

His hands slowly find purchase at your hips, as he hoists you over his lap. He shifts his thighs, snapping it shut, making your bottom rest over these comfortably. You revel in the trained ease of his maneuver, letting out a small yelp as he positions you above him.

“Do… you get it now?” you drone.

His eyes rove your face, darkening slowly as he ogles at your lips.

Up close, you can’t help but admire his handsomely boyish face. You begin to study his features, finding several moles in the process – a tiny one on his nose, another on his cheek, then under his lower lip, and his neck. He’s fixated on your lips however, finding it hard to look away even when you carelessly lick them. For some reason, the distance between your faces now seems shorter – much too shorter –compared to before.

He sighs once more, his hot, alcohol-infused breath fanning on your lips, causing you to lick them again. You catch the bob of his Adam’s apple as your eyes travel back to his doe eyes.

Suddenly, the need to connect overcomes you. You can see the steady but gradual inching of your lips together, an invisible force gravitating your faces to each other. A tiny voice screams “Stop!” in your head but you can’t bring yourself to heed its advice. Suddenly, you’re the main character of the novel you’ve just read – Counting Down to Your Touch (or was it Countdown… aish).

And you count down.

Three…

Jungkook’s jaw clenches, making you notice the chiseled arch of his jawline.

Two…

The tips of your noses touch, lips almost brushing together.

One…

He angles his head slightly and you hold your breath.

Zero.

Chapter Text

 

Jungkook closes the distance between your lips, the first pecks long and languid but nonetheless sweet and intoxicating. Your face is awkwardly turned to the side as you meet each stroke of his mouth and chase contact after contact like starved for his taste. Seemingly keen on your discomfort, he presses you closer to his taut chest, and angles his body to end the chase, his own impatience wearing thin from being detached from your warmth so quickly.

Soon, your body is swiveling on its own to momentarily separate your lower halves, only to trap Jungkook’s form with both knees on the side of his hips. How you manage to do so gracefully, in both your inebriated states, baffles you greatly but all thoughts are foregone with the way his large, dainty hands grip your hips; with the arresting, insistent clasp of his unbelievably soft lips on your own again. Those same hands tug down on your body to rest on the apex of his thighs; those same lips leave you breathless from increasingly passionate kisses.

You should stop this now. You should stop him from exploring the inside of your mouth with his tongue. You should stop returning each swipe of his pink muscle with your own. You should stop his hands directing your hips to rock over his very prominent bulge. You should stop grinding back and forth, fumbling for his belt while his hands slither to your back to toy with the hook of your bra.

You should stop. You. Should. Stop. Stop! Sto—

“—Babe?” Jimin interrupts your reminiscing with a brush of his fingers on your clenched fist.

“Hmm? Sorry, you were saying something?” you plaster on a wide grin, eyes wide and full in attention to him.

“I said it sucks that the music festival was cancelled. Sohee was really looking forward to seeing Zedd live,” he repeats himself, still soothingly brushing your palm with lazy circles.

The awesome foursome’s scheduled music festival for this week was cancelled due to a freak accident at the venue. Though you’ve all been refunded your tickets, Sohee couldn’t stop complaining, even going as far as ranting about it on her SNS. Jimin suggested to go to a club instead, where his favorite band at the moment We Are the Night is performing. Hence, tonight, the four of you will congregate to watch their performance.

Jimin fetches you from your apartment while you get ready for the date. Preparations are longer than usual, as you spend a considerable amount of time in front of the mirror to compose yourself. It takes you ages because in all honesty, you’re not sure if you can face Jungkook after what happened last night. What makes matters worse is the marks he’s left on your neck. You fix your turtleneck snugly to cover the reminders of last night’s transgression, even dabbing on concealer on the marks which was a futile attempt. As if that isn’t enough, you’re not sure how to face Sohee as well. Panic strikes you raw and hard, guilt coursing through your veins like thick venom.

“Y-yeah. Totally sucks. She’s a huge fan…” you mumble absentmindedly.

Jimin peers at you, a concerned expression on his face as he assesses your appearance. “Are you okay, babe? You look a little pale,” the back of his hand automatically presses on your forehead to check on your temperature.

You flinch away from his hand before he can settle it against your neck. “Oh really? N-no, I’m fine, babe. I’m just… a little under the weather.”

Jimin frowns at your announcement, uttering, “Oh no. Haven’t you been sick since last night? You know what, I’ll just cancel our date. We can always watch We Are the Night when you’re feeling much better. Let’s just stay here so you can rest and I’ll take care of you,” he says so warmly that instead of being touched by his sweet gesture, you’re utterly disgusted with your all-too guilty self.

“No babe, I’m fine. Really. Was just probably tired with… um, with work. And I know how much you love We are the Night. It’s okay babe. I can manage.” You shake your head to reassure him, caressing his hand.

“Are you sure? You really don’t look so good…” Jimin stares at you sympathetically and you swallow loudly to force back the bile building in your throat.

You muster the most stable smile you could, barely managing to calm the quiver of the corners of your lips. “I’m sure. Please don’t worry about me anymore, Jimin.”

He finally relents to your stubborn dismissal of his concern, nodding. “Okay, if you insist, babe. But if you suddenly feel too sick or anything, we’ll go home, okay? Your health is more important to me.”

“Thanks, babe. You’re the best,” you compliment him, the choke in the last syllable stifled with a clearing of your throat.

He grins so widely that his eyes turn into crescent moons. “Of course, babe. You know I love you that much.”

“I love you too, Jimin.” You hope he didn’t hear the crack in your voice as you uttered those words.


The ride to the club is the most grueling, most nerve-wracking experience to date. You conceal your trembling hands under your thighs, and fortunately, Jimin doesn’t notice as he’s telling you a funny incident at the office. You try to quell your wild heart, murmuring half-hearted chuckles and feigning interest in his anecdote.

However, the moment you see Jungkook and Sohee waiting for the two of you by the entrance of the bar, your face loses all color. Jimin hands his car keys to the valet while Sohee rushes to you in a bone-crushing embrace. You stiffen under her grasp, eyes wide and panicking as Jungkook looks on. You avert your gaze from him, but not before seeing how he worries his lower lip so much that it draws blood. Jimin pats his back, startling him, and as if a switch has been flicked, Jungkook flashes a wide smile.

“It’s the first time you guys were late,” Sohee rubs her chin thoughtfully, pulling away to amusingly look at you and Jimin back and forth. With a smirk, she asks quietly, “Did you guys bang before you went here?”

Jimin blushes instantly from her accusation, flailing his hands about in protest. You only glower at her in response and she cackles, pleased with herself. Jungkook remains impassive in his place, still looking at you with an unreadable expression on his face.

“Just kidding! Lighten up! To be honest, it’s a bummer the music festival was cancelled. But you know, I’m going to let it go. I’ve said what I needed to say in my SNS. I’m sure We Are the Night is going to make it all good, right?” Sohee beams at you.

You nod weakly, a thrifty smile hanging on your lips. “Right. Good thing Jimin scored tickets for tonight…”

Sohee furrows her brows as she steps back again, surveying you from head to foot. “Are you alright, boo? You don’t look so good.”

Jungkook turns his attention to you and studies you furtively, panic striking his features.

Jimin sidles up to your side, clicking his tongue, “I told you, babe. You’re really pale.”

You blow raspberries and dispel their concern with a swat of your hand, “I’m fine. Really. This is just some residual stress from work. I need this club date too to relax and forget about my asshole boss. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than here.”

Oh, you are such a good liar. But Jungkook sees right through you. His jaw clenches at your excuses, and that’s when you notice how painfully stiff his form is. His shoulders are overwrought, his hands are deep in his pockets, his eyes are darting at you nervously.

“Alright, boo. Don’t worry, I won’t force you to the dance floor later. Just sit back and watch us dance animals shake our booties, ‘kay?” Sohee winks at you.

“Ugh. I think I’m going to throw up if I see you wiggle that ass, Sohee,” you roll your eyes at her, pretending to gag.

Sohee narrows her eyes at you, scoffing, “She’s fine, Jimin. If she’s still this snarky, I think she’s fine. Anyways, let’s go in. Show’s about to start.”

With her invitation, the four of you enter the club. It’s not a packed venue, enabling your quartet to sit at a cubicle with the best view of the band. They’re already setting up their instruments, talking amongst themselves and poring over their set list.

You and Sohee sit beside each other while Jimin and Jungkook are at the edges of the half-circle cubicle. Your boyfriend kindly flags the waiter, and he orders for iced tea for you, insisting that you should stay away from alcohol for now to rehydrate. Your mind screams that you fucking knew right? The last time you drank so much alcohol, you ended up on Jungkook’s lap and…

“Orange juice for me, hyung. Got to stay away from alcohol too. I have to wake up early tomorrow,” Jungkook’s voice breaks your reverie.

“Ah right, you have that conference tomorrow…” Jimin says as he revises Jungkook’s order to the waiter.

Sohee drones on something about missing Jungkook while he’s away but you tune out the conversation, immersed in your own thoughts.

Could he still be possibly hung over? That’s why he’s not drinking? Or is he afraid he’ll cause a scene when the alcohol gets to him? You don’t want to know, if truth be told, because goddamn it, you’re not sure how you’ll be able to manage drunk Jungkook again.

Suddenly, your brain floods you with memories of last night with him. The ill-timed recollection has you digging your fingers into your palms.

 

You should stop. You. Should. Stop. Stop! Stop…

But how could you when Jungkook feels so so warm and so so good beneath you? When his soft hands are now making quick work of your bra? When his mouth tastes so delectable against your mouth? How could you even attempt to fight this off when you’re now grinding against him—willingly—and you could feel the delicious drag of his bulge on your clit?

Oh indeed, you can’t end this. It’s far too late to listen to reason, to fight off temptation. Especially when he moans like that. Fuck, he moans so manly, so low and deep and needy that you gyrate over his erection extra hard just to hear it again.

Before you know it, he’s discarded your bra and your blouse. He detaches from your lips to grab his collar and rid himself of his shirt. You curse under your breath upon seeing the flex of his body, the result of his million hours at the gym. You can’t help but ogle at his tight abdominal muscles, his hard chest with that low dip in the middle collecting the sweat from your movements. Pants are removed next and he latches his lips on the pulse of your throat while his hands bunch your panties to the side and tug his boxers to set his cock free.

This is it. This is where you cross the line. You should stop now. You should—

But when your sexes brush, the motions send liquid fire throughout your body that you could only reciprocate. With one swift pull of your hips, he’s buried inside you. The room spins in your vision as you throw your head back from the way he stretches your walls. He’s so deep inside that you can feel the tip kiss your womb. He pulls you forward to settle your suddenly heavy head on the crook of his neck.

Head turned to the side, you see the framed picture of you and Jimin by the beach. The guilt spreads through your limbs but you can’t bring yourself to stop. You close your eyes instead as Jungkook plows into you, pants and moans and whimpers muffled in your hair. In no time, his thrusts become frantic and though you don’t reach your own high, you kindly clamp on him to extend his orgasm, the hot liquid smearing your walls to trickle down your thighs…

The static of the mic jolts you away from your flashbacks. The band members introduce themselves and greet the crowd who jovially cheers them on. You look around to see if Jimin or Sohee has noticed your spacing out. Or how cold sweat now rolls down your cheek. Your eyes lock into Jungkook’s instead, and realize that he’s apparently been staring at you all this time. The two of you hold each other’s gaze, neither backing down, both immobile once again from the tension. The bar suddenly comes to a halt and in your imagination, it’s only you and Jungkook at this space. He lets go of Sohee’s hands, and she is none the wiser of the suffocating atmosphere that hangs over you and her lover. His stare is still unreadable, almost pained at best, and the tension coils around your covered neck.

It’s much too much for you to handle. It’s toomuchtoomuchtoomuch—

Before you could empty your stomach in the cubicle, you shoot upright and mumble, “Excuse me, I just need to go to the bathroom.”

You don’t dare look back even when you could hear Jimin asking what’s wrong. You pray to the heavens he doesn’t follow you because god knows you’ll just break down from the pressure. You attempt to walk as fast as normally possible, making a beeline to the bathroom. Thankfully, it’s vacant and you enter it as quickly as you can, back pressed to the door as you inhale lungfuls of breath.

You yelp when the door opens suddenly, and altogether bulge your eyes out of your sockets when you find Jungkook entering it as well, firmly locking the door.

“What are you doing here?!” you exclaim, retreating to the back of the room to get away from him. The space is too small however to accommodate your request, that if you stoop down, you can feel him breathing down on your neck.

Jungkook leans against the door, with fidgety hands trembling and fixated eyes to the floor. “I-I just want to talk.”

“We could have done that over the phone or whatever. What if Sohee or Jimin saw you going here with me? Jungkook, you should leave!” Your heart raps against your ribcage, each painful beat prompting you to release the bile in your throat.

Jungkook looks up at you, shaking his head. “They didn’t. I made sure of that.”

“Jungkook, get out. Please. Don’t make this harder than it is…” you bemoan.

He steps forward but you retreat, pressing your back against the cold wall. He catches your drift and he stops, respecting the small gap you’ve built between each other. “I just really need to talk to you. And I’m sure that if I don’t do that now, you’re never going to talk to me about what happened last night.”

You slump on the toilet seat, legs suddenly losing strength. “There’s nothing to talk about, Jungkook. Last night… I haven’t even given it that much thought.”

Why lie, Y/N? You berate yourself. Perhaps, by doing so, you’ll be more relieved, you think.

But again, Jungkook sees through you so easily. He snickers, “Really? Then why are you so awkward around me?”

“Why are you?” you hiss at him.

He clicks his tongue, running his fingers through his hair. “This is exactly why we need to talk.”

You bury your face in your hands, shoulders drooping from grief. “What is there to talk about? We messed up okay? We already know that. The more we talk about it, the more we’re just… repeating the same mistake.”

Jungkook clenches his fist, seething through gritted teeth, “I know. I fucking know, Y/N. And I already feel so guilty. I can’t even look at Sohee in the eyes anymore.”

You finally look at him and see the tormented expression on his face. He’s just as worse off as you. Immediately sympathetic, you soften your stern voice and admit to him, “I’m sorry, Jungkook. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have put us in a compromising position.”

He stares at you apologetically, pursing his lips. “I’m sorry too. I don’t know what got to me… why I did that with you.”

“Blame it on the alcohol,” you shrug.

He nods weakly, grumbling, “Yeah… that’s probably it.”

That should be it, you scream internally. But you know yourself well enough to realize that it really isn’t. Because if the alcohol was to blame indeed, then how come you remember everything vividly? If you were really drunk, then how come last night’s memories are as clear as day to you?

Jungkook cuts the silence short with a confession that rocks you through your core. “But… just so you know… I-I think you ought to know… I-I wasn’t drunk.”

“W-what?” you gawk at him, mouth agape, heart lurching to your throat at his admission.

He rubs the back of his head as he continues, “Sure I was a bit tipsy but I knew exactly what I was doing. I wasn’t drunk at all.”

“Why are you telling me this? What do you want me to do with this information, Jungkook?!” you whine, looking up at him quizzically.

Jungkook clenches and unclenches both hands, at a loss on how to reason with you. He tentatively holds your gaze, eyes registering a painful glint. “I don’t know, Y/N! I don’t fucking know. I just felt like I should tell you.”

“So what? So that I can feel even guiltier than I already am?” you bark at him.

“Like I said… I don’t know…” Defeated, he stares at his feet, rubbing his nape again.

His admission has you painfully recalling the events of last night once more. You can taste the acid in your tongue from your suppressed emotions, can feel the migraine from the conflicting thoughts. With Jungkook confessing this to you, there is nothing left to say but—

“But if I’m being completely honest… and really, it’s unfair to pin this whole thing on you… I wasn’t drunk too. The beer did get to me. But not enough to completely cloud my judgment or something. I mean, it did because I had sex with you but… really, I was sober enough to remember what we did. What I did with you.”

Jungkook looks at you with eyes so wide and mouth agape that if it were any other occasion, you would have laughed at his usual shook expression. Both his hands fly to his skull, as if fearing that if he didn’t, his head would fall off from the revelation. “Shit. So… so what happened last night… Y/N, are you telling me that… we really did that on purpose…?”

You squeeze your eyes shut and nod weakly. “Yes. Shit… yes.”

“Fuck… holy fuck! What are we going to do, Y/N?” he paces around the room, hand covering his mouth.

“Nothing! We don’t do shit, Jungkook. What do you expect us to do?” you’re practically hollering at him now.

He retreats to his hunched form, mumbling, “I don’t know. That’s why I’m talking to you.”

“I don’t have the answers as well,” you say dejectedly.

Another tense silence hangs over the air. The loud beats of the band’s set echo in the small bathroom. But nothing could be louder than your heart pounding against your chest.

“We can come clean,” Jungkook manages to say, a barely audible suggestion.

You vehemently shake your head, protesting, “And ruin our relationships? No fucking way! What happened last night stays between us. Promise me, you won’t tell Sohee.”

Jungkook sinks to squat on the floor, head clutched by one hand as he moans to you, “But I feel so fucking guilty, Y/N. I can’t take it… it’s literally eating me alive. I haven’t slept since I left your apartment last night.”

“And you think I don’t feel just as guilty as well? Jesus Christ, Jungkook, if you only knew how hard it was to stay in the same room with Jimin and Sohee...”

He allays you, immediately apologetic of how he’s seemingly treating lightly your own worries. “I’m not saying that. I’m just so confused. And I just thought that maybe, just maybe, talking to you would help me process what we did.”

“Why? It’s just a one-time thing, Jungkook. That will never happen again.” You gaze at him intently, trying to get that point across.

“I know. It won’t happen again. It won’t…” He murmurs, and you think you caught a tinge of his voice convincing himself more than you.

You sigh exasperatingly, “Just promise me, you won’t tell Sohee or Jimin about what happened. It will be our secret. I know it’s wrong but I love them too much to hurt them.”

“We already did,” he quirks his lips to the side, glancing at you darkly.

“So let’s not hurt them anymore, okay? Let’s just keep our mouths shut and forget about this whole thing. It didn’t mean anything anyway.”

Did it? Not mean anything? Really? That tiny voice in your head asks. You ignore its insinuation.

Jungkook agrees nonetheless, now choosing to turn his attention to picking at his nails. “R-right. We probably just got carried away by the smut we were reading.”

“Y-yeah. Right. That’s it. That’s all it is,” you murmur, and you hope he doesn’t catch the tinge of your voice convincing yourself more than him.

He claps his hands on his knees and rises, clenching his fists. “Okay. I promise, if you promise the same.”

Your right hand shoots up automatically, declaring boldly, “Of course! I swear on my ancestors’ graves.”

“Pinky promise?” And just like the first day you’ve met him at the writing class, he curls his hand so that his pinky is the only digit free.

You entwine yours with him and breathe out, “Pinky promise.”

He nods, resolutely looking into your eyes. You try to stare as hard as you could and when you waver from the intensity, you retract your hand from him.

You rise from your seat, mumbling, “I think we should head back. Jimin might check up on me. We’ve taken too long.” you gingerly head towards the door where he rests against.

He goes out of your way as he unlocks it and waves with his hand, “Yeah you’re right. You go ahead. You left before I did.”

You clasp the doorknob, back turned against him. You don’t know what compels you to say the next words but it’s too late to even wonder as you babble, “This… this changes nothing between us okay? We fucked up but I’m still your friend. And you’re my friend too, Kookie.”

“Of course. Absolutely, Y/N.” This time, he sounds a bit more determined.

Your lips curve into a dry smile but your eyes are still downcast. “Thanks, Jungkook. I’m counting on you.”

You don’t dare look back to hear what he has to reply to that. You exit the door, inhaling and exhaling a few times before rejoining Sohee and Jimin. Luckily, they are too caught up in the songs and the energy of the crowd to notice that you’ve been away for too long.

Jimin does ask if you’re fine and you only kiss him in the cheek in response. That effectively distracts him from asking any more questions, now content on wrapping his arm around your waist and kissing you on the forehead. Jungkook returns less than a minute later, and as if he’s seen what you’ve done, kisses Sohee on the cheek to, again, effectively distract her from his absence.

The rest of the time, you don’t look his way anymore, because if that talk was meant to fully dispel any tension, to logically process the sin you’ve committed last night, it didn’t achieve its objectives. If any, the guilt is magnified ten-fold, the chaotic thoughts are even more muddled. And your feelings towards Jungkook are suddenly being questioned.

Try as you might to focus on the soothing sounds of the band, you couldn’t resist entertaining your ruminations. Why did you have sex with him last night? Why didn’t you stop him? Why didn’t he stop you? How could you do this to Jimin – your boyfriend, the man of your dreams, his best friend? How could you do this to Sohee –your best friend, the woman who’s stood by you all this time, his girlfriend?

You know by now that his relationship with Sohee was far from perfect. She probably saw him as a trophy, a poster boy for her ideal guy. But you also know that Sohee loves him more than he understood, hell she even begged you to keep the Seulgi thing a secret right? As compared, you and your relationship with Jimin, unlike Sohee and Jungkook’s, is perfect. He’s everything you could ever wish for in a man; hell, you’ve never even fought with him all these years because he’s just so fucking understanding and so fucking patient with you. He always placed your needs before his, even when he wasn’t trying. He’s just so naturally angelic that you thank the heavens every single day for making you meet an amazing guy like him.

So why did you, Y/N? What the fuck is wrong with you? You ask yourself repeatedly but the answers don’t come.  


You survive the club date as Jimin kindly dismissed it, saying he remembered he had an early meeting tomorrow. You hoped he didn’t notice that you’ve been sweating nervously the entire time, even when the club was actually too cold that you had to steal Jimin’s jacket to dissipate the chilly air. You hoped he only did that out of the goodness of his heart, out of consideration for Jungkook as well who needed to be early for his conference.

You expel a huge sigh of relief out of Jimin’s view as he deposits you in the passenger seat and turns to wave goodbye at Jungkook and Sohee. He settles on the driver’s seat afterwards, starting the engine but not before landing a quick peck on your cheek.

“Are you feeling any better, babe?” he intertwines your fingers together and you set your interlocked hands on your lap.

 

No, Jimin, I’m not. I cheated on you. With your best friend. And it’s killing me so so much. I’m so sorry, babe. I fucked up. I fucked everything so much. Please forgive me—

“Yeah. I am. Thank you for taking care of me,” you smile at him, glad the words don’t hurl from you.

He grunts and eyes you interestingly, squeezing his hand in your grasp, “Of course babe. I’ll always take care of you. I’m your boyfriend, isn’t that what boyfriends do? Besides, I love you, Y/LN Y/FN.”

The words sting. Those three words should normally cause your heart to flutter, your flesh to ignite with goosebumps all over, your body to crackle with electricity. But now, these just remind you of how undeserving you are of his love.

“Why?” you lament, unable to stop yourself.

Jimin peers at you, an incredulous look on his face, as if you’re asking him something so trivial like why he loved We Are the Night. “Because I just do. What’s gotten into you babe? Are you sure you’re okay?” He wrests his hand free from your hold and lays it against your forehead to check your temperature.

You shake your head, weaving your fingers together again. “I’m fine. Really. I am. I just… I’m wondering. Humor me,” you whisper.

“Okay then, I’ll tell you.” He indulges you in your simple request, tapping his hand on your lap. “I love you because you don’t need me.”

You look at him, eyes wide and shocked. “What?”

“You’re a very independent woman, Y/N. You’re someone who knows what she wants in life and how to get it. I admire you for that. You know how to take care of yourself, and I sincerely think you could survive in a deserted island just because you’re fiercely self-sufficient. All these years, babe, you never fail to amaze me with the overflowing passion you have for everything that you do. And because of all that, I am more motivated to show you that I love you. I try my best to take care of you to show you – and maybe even remind you – that sometimes, you do need someone to hold you down even when you’re just fine on your own,” he ends with a smile so warm and pure that it made it more difficult for you to breathe.

“Jimin…” the tears prick at the corner of your eyes and eventually roll down your cheeks. If he only knew. Fuck, if he only knew…

He immediately worries over the tears suddenly staining your face, rubbing your cheeks with his hand. “Hey, why are you crying? Babe, what’s wrong?”

 

I fucked Jungkook, that’s what’s wrong. I fucking had sex with your best friend, my best friend’s boyfriend, that’s what’s wrong. I messed up, Jimin. I messed up so bad. I don’t know how I can fix this.

“Nothing… I’m just… thank you, Jimin for putting up with me. I know I’m not the easiest person to get along with but you endure me anyway,” you sniffle.

Jimin chuckles, evidently amused by this dramatic turn of events. “Where is this coming from? Babe, you’re perfect as you are. Don’t ever doubt yourself about that. And I love you. And in case you missed it, I love you, Y/N. Nothing can ever change that. I’ve been madly, deeply, truly in love with you since that first day I stalked you in that conference. So will you please get your head out of the gutter and stop worrying about these things, hmm?” he frowns playfully at you, raising one brow at you even.

You chuckle back, nodding in understanding. “A-and just know, that no matter what happens, I love you, Jimin. I love you so much, babe. You’re the perfect one, not me.”

Jimin interlaces your fingers again, bringing the back of your hand to his lips for a quick peck. “That’s why we’re perfect for each other. Two perfects make a whole, yeah?”

“That isn’t even a real expression, Jimin…” you gripe.

“Shhh… you’re ruining the moment,” he winks at you playfully.

You hold on to his hand tight, much too tightly to be comfortable but he doesn’t mind. And in that moment, you realize that you would give anything to never let him go.


Jungkook doesn’t contact you in the next three days, as he’s preoccupied with his conference, you assume. For some reason, you were expecting he would as you two didn’t really finish the writing assignment. Truth be told, you didn’t want to be the first to reach out to him about it. Yeah, you said that things would still stay the same between you two but who were you kidding? That night changed everything.

You’re sure he could care less about the writing assignment so you take it upon yourself to come up with your pair’s presentation. Armed with facts culled from the internet, you finish it the night before the class. You tap on your keyboard, debating whether you should press “Send.” With an incensed curse under your breath, you email the presentation to Jungkook anyway.

Come writing class though, he doesn’t show up. You check your email, in case he’s replied and provided an excuse for his absence. There’s nothing new in your inbox except that spammy online clothing ad. You look at your phone and find no messages as well. You’re so tempted to text him, but decide against it out of nerves. Still, a tiny voice in your head once again reprimands you – Didn’t you say that this changes nothing between you and him?

Huffing a frustrated sigh, you whip up your phone and text him.

 

Hey, where are you?

The seconds trickle by like thick syrup pouring through a sieve as you stare at your screen. The seconds turn into a full minute and it causes you to consider calling him. That’s normal right? You’re just checking up on him? He’s supposed to be here, so it’s okay if you call him to know what’s up? You answer affirmatively to all questions.

Fortunately, the beep of your phone stops you from doing so. You swipe and read his reply.

 

Sorry, can’t make it tonight. I’m a bit under the weather…

It makes you wonder what he did during those three days. Did they bench press until they dropped dead? What do sports coaches even convene about? Thigh measurements? The latest protein shakes?

 

Oh, I see. Take care. Don’t worry, I did the ppt.

Was he even really sick? You don’t recall Sohee sharing this to you, as she usually did (to the point of oversharing). Another beep – much faster than the previous text – disrupts your musings.

 

Yeah I saw. Thanks, Y/N. I’ll make it up to you next time.

You return to your silent pondering. If he’s not sick, then… he’s avoiding you? Sure, it’s very awkward to meet you again. Fuck, you practically shat your pants on your way here. But he has to be mature about this. You both need to be. Things need to get back to normal – even if it is so difficult to do so – and being with you in this writing class is the crucial first step.

Still, you give him the benefit of a doubt and respond with—

 

No probs, JK. Get better. See you next week.

He doesn’t reply after that. You spend the rest of the time poring over your presentation while you wait for Jae Han. He starts the class with a recap of last week’s discussions, transitioning to your group assignments. You successfully discuss the rushed presentation without breaking a sweat, as years of being an account executive have trained you.

After hearing all of your group works, Jae Han congratulates the class again. He then writes something on the board in big, bold letters—

 

BOREDOM

He swivels to face the class, explaining, “According to the famous Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, boredom is the desire for desires. And these tropes you’ve presented are testaments to that. There is nothing more paralyzing than boredom, my students. If you want to be an acclaimed writer, you will learn from these tropes and not use them. I know, why did I even bother assigning you these if we’re not going to use them, right? But know this, the moment you’ve decided to succumb to the mundane, oft-woven tales that your genres have shown you, you’ve committed a huge sin.”

He walks around the class, hands behind his back as he continues, “Another individual – the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard – even argues that boredom is the root of all evil. It is the despairing refusal to be oneself, he says. So ponder on this, have you ever been bored? I’m sure you’ve all experienced that. Now, remember, what happened then? What stopped you from moving forward? What made you realize you were bored in the first place?

“When you get out of that rut is when you truly know yourself, when you truly realize who you are and what you are capable of doing. Because boredom, my dear students, is a writer’s greatest weakness and resorting to it is a writer’s greatest folly,” he ends with a dramatic pause and a long sigh.

The class hums in agreement, some furiously scribbling in their notebooks while others conversing with their seatmates. You heard him loud and clear, and the words resonate to you. But you couldn’t bring yourself to write it. Instead, his words are like a splash of cold water to your face – a big yellow school bus crushing you with its weight as cold realization dawns on you.

Boredom is the culprit.

Your illicit transgression with Jungkook was caused by boredom.

You clutch on your heart, feeling the pang of guilt surge through you as well as the debilitating pain of coming to terms with your mistake.

Yes, you have a perfect relationship with Jimin. You’ve been this stable with him for the past three years because of the pinpoint equilibrium of your union. In reality though, you may have gotten too complacent with each other that you secretly craved for something, or someone, to shatter the idyllic bubble you had with your boyfriend.

Perhaps, the main reason why it was so easy to lure you in that trap many nights ago was because of this secret. You’ve felt it, somehow, after the honeymoon phase with Jimin years ago. But you’ve never really acknowledged it for fear of… what? For fear of losing someone as perfect as Park Jimin? For fear of failing the perfect impression people had over you two? For fear of being alone and lonely and miserable?

Shit.

Fuck.

You’ve been living a lie. And the truth has been revealed, unraveled so carefully, in your interactions with Jungkook.

Fuck.

How are you going to live with this now? Again, you come up empty for a response. You spend the rest of the session with eyes glazed over as the truth sunk in.


Two more sessions, you chant in your head. Just two more sessions and this writing class is over.

You had half a mind to remember the assignment for next week – and fortunately, this one is individual work. It’s freestyle writing, Jae Han instructs and it will be used to assess the class’ progress for the past months. You email the details to Jungkook and he replies with a curt –

Noted. Thanks.

It would typically be easy to use Jimin as your muse. You’ve written 36 poems about him by now that finishing 12 more should be easy as pie. But it isn’t the case at all. You’re crippled with the undeniable, recently learned fact that you’re bored with Park Jimin. He’s the sweetest, nicest, most selfless guy you’ve ever met. And you’re bored with him? How dare you? That fans the embers of guilt over and over until you’re consumed by the flames of your mistake.

Still, you try maintaining the normalcy of your relationship with him. Because you do love him and you know that he loves you just as well. You paste a trained smile when you have dinner together, squeal in absolute joy at the courteous gestures he’s always done for you.

The magnitude of your sin bears down on you with the knowledge that you can’t share this predicament to Sohee. She’ll offer comforting words, she’ll give the best advice. But you can’t bear to even stay in the same room with her that you keep this to yourself. You’re so afraid that the secret might slip and completely change your lives.

That Thursday, Jungkook doesn’t attend class again. However, he kindly informs you earlier that—

Sorry, can’t come tonight. Have a client.

You don’t bother to appease him or berate him for missing the classes for two sessions straight. Things won’t change? Yeah right, you’re a hypocrite and a fool for believing that.

Unlike you, he seems to have “moved on.” The selfie from his 28th monthsary with Sohee attests to that. He flashed his bunny teeth, face molded to your best friend as they crammed themselves in front of the camera. Sohee captions it as “28th and counting ♥” and you click on the heart emoticon, because you should, as expected from her best friend.

There’s no recitation for tonight and Jae Han asks that you submit your outputs to him instead so he can review your writing progress. You’re relieved because you’re nervous about your piece, terrified that saying it aloud only solidifies the direness of your situation. As you read at your print-out, you see the latent emotions manifest—

 

Ennui

If I choose to stay and make things work, although I don’t know how to fix things… does that make me a stupid fool? Or am I just a desperate lover hanging on to the slivers of our romance like sand in an hourglass, easily slipping through my fingers? Perhaps, I’m an absolute bore for choosing this stasis even though I know I’ve changed, like you have. Will you call me a damn coward if I choose to stay anyway, forever pondering on the what-ifs, the should-haves, the could-haves, the would-haves?

I don’t know the answers. And honestly, I don’t want to know. Because the moment I ask you the question is the moment I confirm I’m all of the above.

Are you bored with me?

—Is the question I hope to never say.

Are you only noticing now?

—Is the answer I hope to never hear.

The author discusses something about the publishing process but you’re too distracted by your chaotic thoughts to understand what he’s talking about. You take down notes anyway and that somehow tempers your reflections.

You return to your apartment with heavy steps, wondering why you’re even finishing the course that sorely reminds you of the reason for your sleepless nights. You’ve just settled in the couch when a beep from your phone captures your attention.

 

Boarding now. TTYL babe. Love you.

Jimin’s attending a one-week conference in Singapore, part of their company’s training on some new accounting software. You type up a response, trying your best to return the enthusiasm.

 

Take care, babe. Love you too.

You draw in a shaky breath as you send the message. It’s not that it wasn’t true. But damn, your heart hurt from the pain and guilt tormenting you.

You’re about to get yourself a glass of water when three loud, successive knocks rap against your door. You wanted to scold the person on the other side that there’s a doorbell and doing that would only wake the neighbors as the sounds reverberate across the hall. You jog towards the door when the knocks become louder, the stranger seemingly desperate to get a hold of you right away.

Your brows knot as you wring the knob open, prepared to snap at the intruder—

Instead, you could only goggle as you recognize the cause of the ruckus.

“Jungkook? What are you doing here?” you whimper.

Chapter Text

 

You gawk at the monstrosity called the Five Peaks, the top attraction in the amusement park where you, Jimin, Sohee and Jungkook have double-dated. The rollercoaster daunts you when you see the unsteady-looking straps on the shoulders of the riders, their feet dangling in the air as the ride traverses the five 100-feet loops.

You think you heard one of the poor souls desperately screaming for his mother and begging to be let off the ride right away. With a loud gulp, you wish you wouldn’t be caught doing the same, only because the sheer mortification from Sohee’s judgmental sneers will be too much to bear.

As usual, your best friend suggested the venue of your third date, nagging you that it’s been a while since the two of you have gone to an amusement park. She and her beau are the more courageous of you lot, attested by their rowdy cheering when the queue is short enough to accommodate your group soon. On your end and if you were being honest, you’re the real coward between you and Jimin. You recall it took you half an hour of your boyfriend’s patient convincing before mustering the courage to try the (very low-hanging) zipline in some resort years ago.

“Scared?” Jungkook’s mocking voice breaks your trance, your eyes wide as saucers as you feel the gush of air when the rollercoaster zips past the third loop.

You immediately change your expression, arms crossing over your chest and brows furrowing at him. “M-me? No, of course not. I’m not scared. I’m not scared at all,” you grunt, shaking your head.

He sniggers, nudging you with his elbow. “Yeah, right. You look like you’re about to cry, Y/N.”

You roll your eyes at him, pressing your arms closer to yourself to shield your already bruised ego. “I just have dry eyes syndrome,” you grumble.

Jungkook cackles loudly, the high-pitched, almost breathless laughs causing you to look at him. He’s so amused by your alibi that the corners of his eyes crinkle. “Dry eyes syndrome? Wow. That’s new. I’ve never heard that excuse. Good one, Y/N. Good one.”

“What? It’s the truth. I’m not scared. Maybe a little nervous but not scared, Jungkook,” you bark at him. Your body betrays you as you balk when another bloodcurdling scream rips through the air.

He swings his arm around your shoulders and whispers, “You don’t have to lie to me, Y/N-ah. It can be our little secret. I promise I won’t tell Sohee or Jimin-hyung. Besides, the ride looks fun!” he points to the topic of your conversation, following the ride with a roll of his head.

You bristle at his remark, dislodging his hold of you. “Fun?! It’s fun that you’re literally 100 feet away from plunging to your death? I’m sorry, Jungkook, but I think rollercoasters are overrated and extremely unsafe. The statistics prove it! I really don’t get why people subject themselves to this kind of torture,” you snort.

Jungkook hums thoughtfully, bobbing his head slowly into a nod. “Ah… sometimes you just got to plunge into the unknown, Y/N. Let gravity take its course and enjoy the ride. Nothing beats the adrenaline rush, trust me.”

You raise an eyebrow at him, looking at him appallingly. “I’d rather live never knowing that rush than die finding out too late. Thanks but no thanks, Jungkook.”

He pats your back, reassuring you, “You don’t have to be scared. You’ve got me, Sohee and Jimin-hyung. You won’t die alone. We’ll be there with you.”

“And we’re having this conversation one minute before we ride that damn rollercoaster?! Really, Jungkook? Right now? Aish…” you lament, pressing your tongue against your cheek.

“Just trust me. I bet you’ll want to ride it again after our turn,” he wiggles his brows suggestively.

You’re about to retort with something snappy but the journey of the previous group’s ride has come to an end and your group is next. Jungkook calls on Sohee and Jimin who are caught up in fun banter with a common friend. The two race to the front and Jimin replaces Jungkook by your side. You all settle on the vacated seats, with Jungkook and Sohee in the front row, as expected. As you walk past them, Jungkook clenches his fist and mouths, ‘Fighting!’ With a sigh, you wriggle yourself in the seat and hang on to the straps as well as Jungkook’s words.

After your turn, you do feel sick and a bit woozy, ready to hurl your lunch at the sidewalk. But Jungkook was right. The experience was terrifying but exhilarating. It made you want to ride the rollercoaster again. And again, until Sohee practically dragged you to the arcade. You walk away from Five Peaks agreeing that indeed, nothing beats the adrenaline rush.


“What are you doing here, Jungkook?” you repeat yourself, the first question seeming to fall on deaf ears.

Jungkook looks unkempt, dark circles heavy under his eyes and hair mussed under the blue beanie he wore. His clothes look hurriedly put on, as you notice that his socks don’t even match. He hunches over the door, one arm against the frame as he stares at you darkly.

He’s not supposed to be here. It’s his 28th monthsary with Sohee, for crying out loud. She just posted about the momentous event in her SNS. You even reacted with a heart emoji and commented on it! He should be curled up next to her, probably after banging each other senseless. Unexpectedly, that scenario pricks at your chest but you ignore it. For once, you listen to the tiny voice screaming in your head, repeating a fact you already know – he’s not supposed to be here.

 “I just wanna ttalk…” he slurs, trying to focus his vision on you. His alcohol-infused breath fans over your face and panic quickly overwhelms you. He’s drunk – for real – and you’re not sure you can handle him.

Hence, you quickly shut the door to avoid any further contact. But it’s too late as his foot is now resolutely on it. You know it’s futile given his strength, but you try anyway. And of course, even in his drunken condition, Jungkook exerts no effort in staying in place.

“C’mon, let me in, Y/N. Talk ttoo me,” he whines, head pressing against the door.

You inhale sharply, jaw clenching from the tension smothering you. “No. I don’t want to let you inside. I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want anything to do with you, Jungkook!”

Jungkook groans at your remark, banging his head on it once. “Please… I beg you. Please… just give me two minutes… I just neeed to talk to you, Y/N. Please…”

“We can talk here. Like this,” you say firmly, despite the way your arms are now growing tired from fighting back the pressure of Jungkook pushing against the door.

He bangs his fist against the door frame, causing you to jerk. “Your neighbors are gonna zee me. Do you really want them to know I’m over here? Right now? At ten in the evening?”

He had a point. Fuck, he had a point… You typically wouldn’t care as he’s been here a couple of times. But this time is different, especially since you had sex with him. His reasoning effectively convinces you. You let go of the door at last, triggering Jungkook to almost fall into your arms. You steady him, pushing his shoulders away from your body as he struggles to stand upright.

When he has already gained his bearings (and because you couldn’t stand the spark of electricity that suddenly sizzles through your fingers from the contact), you release your hold on him. You lock the door and he watches you through half-lidded eyes, body swaying back and forth.

“Two minutes,” you remind him sternly.

He nods weakly, plopping loudly on the couch that he nearly slides down. He attempts to compose himself, slouching forward with his elbows propped on his knees and hands clasped tightly.

Your heart beats painfully, the all too familiar panic flowing through your blood. This is wrong, says your conscience. But you’ve let him in and even if you try, you’re no match against his herculean strength. Still, you stab at making the scene as decent as possible. Instead of usually settling on the floor at the foot of the couch, you drag a chair to sit in front of him. You ensure there’s considerable distance between the two of you as the tiny voice in your head chants the words — thisiswrongthisiswrong — incredibly loud and extremely clear.

You cross your legs together, clutching your hands around your knees, as if doing so would dampen the tension. Clearing your throat, you ask, “So what is it that—”

Before you could finish your question though, Jungkook leaps to your form to embrace you. As he is intoxicated, he manages to wrap his arms around your legs instead, snuggling his head against your lap. He mutters, “What are you doing to me, Y/N? Why can’t I stop thinking about you?”

You attempt to pry him off you, pushing away Jungkook’s strong arms as well as the abrupt onslaught of emotions suffocating you. “J-jungkook… get off… me! What are you doing?! Let me… go…” you wildly object.

He looks up at you with pleading eyes, and your heart drops from the pain staining his boyish features. “Didn’t you hear what I just said? I zaid I can’t ztop thinking about you… why is that, Y/N? Can you please tell me why?”

You pretend not to understand him and reiterate yourself, “Let me go, Jungkook. You’re drunk. You don’t know what you’re saying…” your eyes shift anywhere but his, fearing that doing so would give away your loose tenacity.

He huffs frustratingly and grips on your arms to force you to look at him. “Are we still playing the fucking pretend game? Things won’t change between us… bullshit! Stop pushing me away and listen to me, Y/N!”

You stubbornly avert his gaze but he warns, “I’m going to kiss you if you don’t look at me.”

With a shaky exhale, you slowly follow his request, staring into his glassy eyes.

“There’s my girl…” he coos contentedly, lips quirking into a melancholy smile.

“W-what do you want from me, Jungkook?” you squirm under his grip, feeling the indents of his fingers digging into your arms. Shit, those will leave marks. Again.

He sets one hand free so he can tuck a stray tendril of your hair behind your ear. You wince because honestly, everywhere he touched lit a fire within you, immediately followed by the poisonous guilt running through your veins.

“I just want to talk, Y/N. Iz that so hard to do?” he asks in a calmer tone.

“W-what is there to talk about? A-and we could have done that over the phone—”

Jungkook brings a finger to his lips, shushing you. “Don’t use that excuse with me again… Bezides, I really, really, really just wanted to see you. I’ve missed you zo much, Y/N.”

His words shouldn’t affect you but the fact that he misses you has wormed its way into your heart. You know it’s bad but you can’t deny that it felt so so good. Nonetheless, you try to hang on to the last slivers of your reason, exclaiming, “Jungkook, you’re not thinking straight. What about Sohee? She might be looking for—”

He resents your remark, waving his hands about to dismiss it. “Who cares? Fuck Sohee… I want to be with you right noww.”

His words send cold shiver down your spine, causing you to madly protest, “Jungkook?! What the hell? What are you saying? This is wrong! We shouldn’t be doing this!”

Jungkook caresses your cheek, whispering, “Who says? All these weeks I’ve been avoiding you and I thought I could bear itt… but I juzt can’t. I can’t stop thinking about you, baby girl. I think I’m going crazy…”

You momentarily lean into his touch. All voice of reason will soon disappear so you implore, “Jungkook… JK… please, stop this already… She’s my best friend, damn it! I can’t do this to her!”

Jungkook cackles mirthlessly, slumping on the floor and resting his weight against his palms. “It’s too late, Y/N. It’s fucking too late. And you know how I know? It’s our monthsary tonight right? And when I waz with Sohee… God knows how hard I tried to be happy about it... We even fucked just like old timez but you know what? All I could imagine as I’m fucking her… iz you. It’s fucking sick right? I’m zo fucked up right? But what can I do? I can’t stop remembering our night together. I can’t fucking stop thinking about you.”

You’re trembling from his wild declaration because underneath the mess of your emotions is the fact that you feel the same. Nevertheless, you keep up appearances, deciding to calm Jungkook down with a sweeter tone. “Kookie… hey, stop it… you don’t know what you’re talking about. This is just the alcohol—”

Jungkook leans forward, crossing his legs together and interjecting, “Then good! They say you speak the truth when you’re drunk right? For once then, I’m finally being honest with myzelf. Like I’ve always been… with you.”

The confession spurs shame inside you and you cover your face with both hands, refusing to acknowledge that he is indeed telling the truth. You shake your head, crying, “No, no… no! It can’t be! Stop it! Please stop…”

He kneels before you, grabbing your hands and pulling these away from you as he makes eye contact. “Make me,” he hisses through gritted teeth.

It’s that night all over again. Your faces are so near—too near—that his alcohol-laden breath ghosts over your face. His eyes darken at the way you bruise your lip with your teeth, fixated on the way you lick it afterwards. The beating of your heart deafens you, and try as you might to look away, you can’t. Not when that familiar, comfortable kind of warmth surges through your body.

Your resolve breaks completely that you could see the final grains slip through your fingers. You admit with a squeak, “…I can’t.”

His lips curl into a contented smile, slowly easing himself between your legs so he can envelop his arms around you. He says the words for you, “Because you want me too right? I can feel it. Right now. You want me like I want you. I know it’s bad. Hyung will probably kill me. Sohee will go crazy… but… but they don’t have to know. We can keep this to ourselves.”

“Jungkook, I—”

Jungkook lunges forward, stifling your words with the swoop of his lips. Your logic screams in a faraway distance, tucked conveniently in the corner of your mind. What replaces your supposed protests is the docile actions of your lips. He coaxes it open to entangle your tongues and you allow him the opportunity. He cradles your skull as he deepens the kiss, sighing at finally quenching his thirst for you. You moans in response, each kiss insistent, each stroke passionate, each time deeper and harder than before.

The alcohol is strong on your taste buds and immediately you’re intoxicated by his bittersweet essence. You whimper when he sucks on your tongue and gasp when his mouth travels to nibble on your earlobe.

“No marks please…” you rest your hands on his chest, now feeling the loud pounding of his heart in sync with the beats of your own.

Jungkook nods singly, nuzzling your neck as he replies, “Got it…”

He then licks the column of your throat, tasting the salty sweat that rolls cold down there. Despite the heat his tongue ignites in its trail, you shiver from his touch. Jungkook hums as if to appease you, hands assuaging your quivering form with tender caresses of your arms. His reassurance causes you to expose even more of your neck to him, and he hungrily laves at your flesh.

Those exploring hands now grope your breasts and you could only keen into him as he flicks your nubs into hard pebbles. You moan at the tingle of each brush, and he kneads your mounds in delicious circles in return. Your hands fly around his neck, nails digging on to his broad back from the pleasure.

“No marks, baby girl…” he drawls against your ear, nipping at the lobe as he kisses you again.

You clench your fists instead, choosing to dig your nails into your palms until your knuckles turned white.

Suddenly, Jungkook pulls the back of your knees and wraps your legs around his torso. You cling on to him as he deftly stands upright, carrying you like you were nothing but a bag of bones. He firmly holds you in place, walking towards the couch where he settles you just as easily. You can’t imagine how he managed to do so ever so gracefully, but all thoughts are forgotten when you see the tent in his pants.

You lay in waiting, heart rapping a thousand beats, muscles shaking uncontrollably. He removes his beanie, carding his fingers through his hair as he tugs on his collar to peel his shirt away. You gawk at his perfect form, his taut chest heaving from the excitement of what you were to do next. The harsh light of the room illuminates his bare skin, especially the sheen of his sweat coating his half-naked form. You follow the stream of perspiration down the dip of his chest and bite your lip at the flex of his abdominal muscles. You divest yourself of your dress and your underwear as well, while he scrabbles to unzip his pants and roll it down his legs with his boxers.

Jungkook pauses to ogle at your naked body, and you do the same, your eyes now glazing with lust from the proud erection jutting against his stomach. He hovers over you, languidly stroking his cock to align with your drenched core. You willingly spread your legs for him as he props himself on an elbow by your head.

“I’ll eat you out next time, Y/N… I promise… I just need to be inside you right now…” he rasps against your ear, clasping his mouth along the shell.

The sensation shoots straight down your core, making you whine at him. “H-hurry…” you urge him with a soft yank of his hips.

He growls at your demand, burying himself inside you slowly. He hisses at the spasm of your walls, the slickness of your heat, the tightness of your core. You expel a loud curse as he stretches you and he stills his movements to relish your walls clamping on his cock.

But it’s only a fraction of a second as when he’s sheathed to the hilt, he thrusts into you furiously. You once again grip onto his back, the force of his motions sliding you forward to the armrest of the couch. He rests his forehead against yours, studying the expression of your face as it contorts satisfyingly for him. He slams his hips hard and deep and fast that every buck makes you heady with desire. You squeeze your eyes shut from the assault, intent on basking in the pleasure. Jungkook pants so hard against your face that you inhale the breath he exhales, as you do with him. He ruts against you so forcefully that you’re sure he’ll come soon.

But he doesn’t forget about your pleasure as well, asking, “Are you close?” He moans in staccato as his eyes still absorbing your expressions.

Although his thrusts send you reeling, you come up short on reaching your high. You shake your head feebly, murmuring, “N-no… I need—”

As if irked by your admission, Jungkook gets to work, one hand reaching down to swipe your clit. You let out a contented sigh as he rubs you and it’s all he needs to continue stroking your swollen bud with five fingers. All the while, he maintains his frenetic pace, one arm looped around your hips to shorten the distance of each thrust.

You whimper at his ministrations, overwhelmed by the coil in your stomach snapping like thin thread. He dives to plunge his tongue inside your mouth again, and you reciprocate wantonly, the need to come depriving you of any decency.

With one pivot of his hips, the thread finally snaps. Pleasure replaces the guilt in your veins as your high runs its course. He eagerly drinks in your moans and whimpers and gasps, muffled by his unforgiving mouth. Jungkook revels with a loud groan at the chokehold of your walls on his cock, but he keeps up with his persistent pace to join you. A strangled cry escapes his lips upon finally following you, his hot seed coating your walls.

He doesn’t relent in his thrusting into you though, flicking his fingers on your clit while he slides his cock in and out until he softens. You gently push him away when oversensitivity creeps in and only then does he detach from you. You both catch your breaths, as you turn to your side, and he snuggles you from the back.

Jungkook is first to change the breathy sounds reverberating in the air, telling you, “Let me stay over please… I’m too dizzy to go home, Y/N… I promise I’ll be gone before you wake up. Just let me stay a couple of hours…”

You should really deny him this plea, thinking that giving in to this recent romp is debauchery enough. But that miniscule thought remains unaired as you nod into agreement. He celebrates loudly with a peck on your cheeks.

“Let’s clean up,” he declares as he clambers over you to lead you to your bathroom.

The two of you wash up, Jungkook taking his time to gingerly wipe the remnants of your deed on your sore center. He insists on doing so even when you take the hot towel from him. Your refusal dies with every soothing caress of his hand on your arm.

By now, you’re expecting the guilt to return. You’ve both recovered from your highs, bodies still flushed pink but nonetheless back to its normal states. The guilt never comes back though. Instead, you savor the bittersweet taste of his mouth as he pecks your lips over and over. Both his hands cup your cheeks while his thumbs brush away the tears staining them.

Jungkook carries you in his arms as he gently lays you on your bed. He joins you afterwards, tucking you against his chest. He greets ‘good night’, ending it with a kiss on the top of your head.

And for the life of you, in spite of the gravity of your second mistake and all that it entailed, you sleep well for the first time in weeks.


You wake up around a quarter after eleven from the loud beep of your phone. You apparently moved to curl up against your side, enabling you to conveniently retrieve your device. Jungkook is no longer beside you and you think he may have left after his promised few hours of sleep.

The absent guilt resurfaces as you swipe to read the message.

I know you’re asleep now. Just wanna let you know I’ve arrived. I miss you already. Love you babe.

You can opt to ignore his text. Jimin expected you to be sleeping already anyway. However, for some reason, you respond to him with—

I miss you too, Jimin. Love you.

A few seconds after your sent text, Jimin calls and you answer him.

“Babe, why are you still awake? Don’t you have a morning huddle tomorrow?” his worried voice is tired and scratchy, sleepiness evident in his tone.

“Yeah, babe… I was actually sleeping already. I just woke up from your text,” you respond, rubbing your eyes.

“Oh no, did I wake you up? Sorry babe…” he groans.

“No, it’s okay. I just… um, well, you know I’m a light sleeper.”

“Ah right, go back to sleep then. I’m about to as well.”

You hum in approval, saying, “Yeah, let’s go to sleep. I’m sure you’re tired.”

“Don’t worry about me, babe. I’m not expected until noon so it’s okay,” Jimin allays you.

“Ah, that’s good. At least you get to rest.” You then notice the light switched on in the living room, the door of your bedroom ajar to let the stream in.

“Yeah, good thing. Anyways, let’s both get some rest. I know how stressed you’ve been with work lately.” Jimin stifles a yawn on the other line, prompting you to yawn as well.

“Okay, good night, babe.”

“Good night babe, love you,” he says sweetly.

“L-love you too, Jimin. Bye,” you wait until he hangs up.

Your attention is directed towards the light in the living room, standing up to turn it off. You stop in your tracks when you find a half-naked Jungkook on the sofa, phone pressed to his ear as he talked to the person on the other line.

“Yes, love. Now, be a good girl and go to sleep now, okay?” his eyes are closed as he coos the words against his phone. He hears your opening of the bedroom door, eyes slowly opening to stare at you. “Happy monthsary, love… I love you too… thank you for loving me. Yes, of course, we’ll be together forever. Good night.”

He ends the call with a sigh out of Sohee’s earshot. “I-I think I should go,” he starts, rubbing his nape.

“Uh, yeah, sure,” you mumble.

Jungkook rises from the couch, collecting his garments strewn on the floor. “Go back to sleep, Y/N. I’ll just see myself out.”

You shake your head, crossing your arms over your chest. “No, it’s okay. I’ll just wait for you.”

“Um, okay, thanks then…” he quickly puts on his clothes, shimmying himself into his pants.

“Are you… are you feeling any better? You said you were dizzy a while ago,” you ask out of concern.

“Y-yeah. Much better.” He raises a thumb up, kneeling to tie his shoelaces.

You bob your head up and down, still observing him as he rises to fix his shirt and scratches his head upon realizing he had mismatching socks.

“Good night…” he bows slightly, waving singly at you as he approaches the door.

“Okay… take care, Jungkook,” you greet him halfheartedly.

Something inside you argues that crippling despair will soon settle in once he leaves. The thought terrifies you so much that you utter— “Or you could stay. You don’t want to be caught drunk driving… I’ll be up in a few hours anyway.”

Jungkook releases his grip on the knob, sauntering to you with a relieved smile. “I’d very much like that.”

“Let’s go to sleep then,” you cock your head towards the direction of your bedroom, walking ahead of him.

Suddenly, Jungkook encircles your waist with his arms, settling his chin on your shoulder. “Thanks, baby girl,” he breathes against your neck.

The two of you return to slumber, and again, you can’t fathom why only comfort settles in your chest as you fall asleep in Jungkook’s arms.


The following day, Jungkook is the first to get up. He’s apparently cooked breakfast as you wake up to the smell of toasted bread, cooked bacon, and brewed coffee.

You should be disgusted with yourself, the domesticity of his kind gesture refueling the guilt. But it doesn’t. It should baffle you why you feel so incredibly warm and romantically touched. But once again, it doesn’t. Oh, it just doesn’t stir any discomfort at all.

Jungkook flashes a sunny smile as he sees your sleepy form emerge from the bedroom. He looks up while setting the plates on the table.

“Good morning, Y/N,” he greets you, beckoning, “C’mon, let’s eat.”

His hair is slightly damp, and even from a distance, you can smell your body wash on him. He is clad in a familiar hoodie, and when you realize the owner of the garment, you swallow loudly. It’s the one Jimin left last week when he stayed the night. With Jungkook’s bigger frame than Jimin’s, the hoodie fits him to a tee.

“Good morning, Jungkook.” you head towards the dining table. He slides the chair to ease you in and you settle on it.

“Um, you didn’t have to cook breakfast,” you murmur.

“Consider it my appreciation for letting me stay over,” he grins.

“T-thanks,” you smile back. You’re still looking at the hoodie on his body, ogling at the way it outlines the flex of his muscles underneath.

He seems to notice it, apologetically sputtering, “I hope you don’t mind if I borrow your hoodie. My shirt smells really bad.”

“It’s actually not mine,” you sip on your coffee, scalding your tongue in the process. You flinch from the pain and immediately soothe your burning tongue.

Jungkook catches your drift, droning, “…Oh. Sorry about that. I’ll… I’ll take it off.”

“No, it’s okay. Just… just return it before Jimin comes back.”

He nods, promising, “Of course, of course. I’ll wash it first and return it to you.”

Does it mean he’ll come over again? Your inner voice inquires. You answer with yes because you do want him to come over again. And maybe sleep over. Alternatively, you can go to his place, which you haven’t been to. And maybe sleep over as well. You search your emotions to scold you but you can’t find them. Fuck, why can’t you?

“When is hyung coming back?” he interrupts your ruminations.

“Next Thursday.”

“Ah, I see. Just in time for writing class. I’ll return it then,” he munches on a piece of bread and a strip of bacon at once, catching the crumbs with the plate.

“So you’re finally going to show up?”

“Yeah. It’s the last session so you know, I have to. I paid good money for that. What are we supposed to do next week anyway?”

You knot your brows, recalling your conversation with Jae Han after class yesterday. “Didn’t you get sunbae’s email? He said he emailed you about the assignment last week.”

“Oh… that email. Yeah I got it. I did send him my work.”

“Oh good. Well, the final session is like an evaluation of some sort. Maybe he’ll hold consultations or something, I don’t really know.”

Jungkook snickers, “Or he’ll promote his book, you know the one about writing English literature? I knew that class was just a marketing gig for that when I found out sunbae recently published a book on writing.”

“To be fair, he’s a good teacher. I’d buy that book, honestly,” you shrug.

“You don’t need it. You’re already a good writer,” Jungkook pours more coffee when he sees you’ve almost emptied your cup.

You blow raspberries, saying, “Don’t pull my leg, Kookie. You’re actually better than me.”

“I… just have a good muse,” he says feebly.

“Oh yeah, your mom… a-and Sohee are good sources of inspiration.” At your remark, bile replaces the strong flavor of the coffee on your tongue.

“I’m not talking about them,” he says so silently you almost did not hear it. He looks at you meaningfully, hoping you comprehend his insinuation.

Your eyes widen from the realization, stuttering, “W-what do you mean, Jungkook?”

“You’ll see,” he purses his lips, tilting his head to the side.

Your second alarm blares before you could follow up on his mysterious insinuation. “Shit, I have to take a bath now. Sorry, JK, the breakfast is wonderful but I’m going to be late.” You shove the rest of your bacon in your mouth, rising from your seat.

“I’ll go ahead then. I’ll clean this up then leave,” he offers.

“You’re too kind but it’s really not necessary… Are you, um, are you sure you can drive?”

“Yeah, totally. I have a bit of headache but I already popped some meds so I’ll be fine.”

“Okay then, take care,” you leave him to get your bathrobe and towel. You overhear him depositing the dishes and cups on the sink.

“Bye, Y/N. I’ll get going. Thanks again,” he shouts from the living room.

“Bye, Jungkook. Thank you for the breakfast,” you holler back, scrambling to end the alarm jarringly beeping by your night stand.

As you swivel to run towards the bathroom, you land against Jungkook’s hard chest, causing you to squeak. You look at him almost cross-eyed, faces once again so near that you can smell the coffee on his breath. He easily envelops his arms around your torso, both stroking the small of your back lazily.

“Before I leave…” he inhales sharply and kisses you, not as intense as he did last night but just as intoxicating. The flutter in your stomach relaxes your form pressed to him, and you could only slant your head according to where he wanted. You wrap your arms around his nape and he completely encases you with both arms.

Remembering you will be late, you break away from him. He nuzzles your nose, sighing, “I’ll see you around, baby girl.”

“Y-yeah… see you around, Kookie,” you weakly concede.

He finally detaches his hold on your body, throwing a coy smile as he leaves the bedroom. You wait until you hear the main door close before you slump on the floor. Your legs feel so boneless all of a sudden as it dawns on you that it wasn’t your alarm that you ended.

It was Jimin’s call. For the past year, it’s been his habit to call you at this hour, becoming your human alarm to remind you not to be late, even if you didn’t need reminding.

You fucking know that you should feel absolutely guilty, feel downright filthy. But in all honesty, you can’t wait to see Jungkook again.


You text Jimin back as soon as you arrive at work, coming up with an excuse that you accidentally cancelled his call. He tells you it’s not a big deal but it’s the first time you’ve ever done it so he was a bit worried that something may have happened to you. You appease him excellently and throw sweet nothings like ‘I miss you’, ‘I can’t wait until you come back’, and ‘I love you’.

The last three words don’t pack a punch as these usually did. It concerns you so much that you’re distracted the entire day. Especially when you smile at the latest text message you’ve received—

I miss you, baby girl.

The worries in your heart are replaced with warm tingles, prompting you to respond with—

I miss you too, JK.

The flirtatious texts continue over the next three days. You and Jungkook don’t see each other during that time because Sohee is with him all the time. Jungkook makes up for it though with calls during lunch time when the two of you rant about your boss and his clients, respectively. Or with calls in the wee hours after their late night dates, after ensuring as well that Jimin has gone off to sleep. You had to be discreet about this, after all.

By now, you didn’t really care if you’re more excited about the prospect of conversing with Jungkook than talking to Jimin. And by Wednesday night, you fall asleep to the sweet singing voice of Jungkook, a fact that you’ve learned recently. Your heart flutters even more as you remember that you’ll get to see him again tomorrow finally.

The thought occupies your head so much that you forget Jimin is coming back on the same day. He has an early flight and is expected to arrive by lunch time. Deviating from your usual tradition of fetching the other at the airport, his text tells you not to do that as he preferred you take your much needed lunch break than tend to him. However, he hopes he can see you tonight for dinner at his place.

Jimin calls you the moment he lands and it’s safe to do so. “I can pick you up at your office. You’re out by six, right?”

Looks like an hour is all you have with Jungkook. Maybe you can skip the writing session and go to his place instead? But then you remember Jae Han heavily requesting your presence in the last session, saying something like it was an important matter. An hour it is.

“No, babe, um it’s Thursday remember? We have a division meeting so I might be late,” you mumble.

“Oh, right… sorry, I forgot. Jet lag,” he chuckles softly, “I’ll just wait for you until you’re done.”

“No!” you raise your voice a bit higher than necessary. You clear your throat and continue, “I mean, no. It’s end of the month so the meeting will probably take ages. I can—I can just go to your place instead. I’ll call you when I’m on my way.”

“Oh, okay then. We’ll have late dinner.”

“No, you can eat ahead. You must be tired from your flight and I’ll be very late.”

“It’s okay babe. I’ll just snack on something in the afternoon so I can wait up on you.”

Your long-forgotten guilt reappears. This is why you fell for Jimin. This is why you’re going to hell.

You click your tongue on his stubbornness, groaning, “Jimin… why are you doing this? You don’t have to sacrifice so much just for me…”

Jimin chortles on the other line, amused by your concern, “What are you talking about babe? I’ve always been like this.”

Right… he’s always been like this. Waiting up on you until you finished your meeting and he fell asleep in his car, missing out on his dinner because you rendered overtime, taking care of you even when you didn’t need it. How can you forget so easily?

“I-I know. It’s just unfair to you,” you murmur.

“Babe… I want to do this so don’t think you’re being unfair,” he says in a soothing tone.

“I’ll make it up to you. I’ll buy us dinner. Or if you want, I can take you out on a date tomorrow. Are you free then?” you offer.

“But I want to see you tonight… I’ve missed you so much, babe. Didn’t you miss me?” he gripes like a child.

You falter at his question, squeaking, “Of course I did, you silly child.” You dispel the tension in your voice, chuckling, “I’ll be there as soon as I can. I promise.”

“Yay! See you later, babe. Love you,” Jimin utters in a singsong voice.

“I love you too,” you respond just as warmly.


Jungkook is the first to arrive at the writing class, after you begged off from his offer to pick you up at the office. You remind him sternly—

It’s too dangerous. My officemates might see you.

 

I just can’t wait to see you, baby girl…

You can practically hear him grumble. And despite yourself, you admit—

Me too, JK. I’ll see you soon.

Jungkook rises from his seat to attempt to hug you but you widen your eyes at him, wordlessly reminding him that you can’t do that here. Your class knew you were taken, as you’ve told them that during the first recitation. Though you’ve never really chatted with them nor needed to justify why you and your writing partner are now affectionate, you don’t take your chances. Jungkook stretches his arms instead, scratching at his nape when you settle down on your seats.

“So, um, how’s work?” He clasps his hands together on the arm rest, peering at you.

“A bitch. As usual. You?” You look back at him.

“Same old, same old,” he sighs.

“In short, we’re both stressed,” you sigh as well.

He leans to your side, lowering his voice so you’re the only one who can hear him, “Good thing you’re here to make things better, baby girl.” He smirks as he pulls away.

You blush furiously from his remark, repressing the smile on your lips. The screen of your phone lights up and Jungkook notices the sender, causing him to stiffen.

Sorry to bother you babe. Just want to let you know that I can’t wait to see you tonight.

Jungkook seems to remember something, fishing for it on his large backpack. “Here, I washed it. Thanks for lending it to me,” he hands the hoodie back to you wrapped in plastic. You retrieve it, slightly bowing your head in gratitude.

“H-hyung’s back?” he asks casually.

You nod. “This noon. He arrived this noon.”

“So are you seeing him tonight?”

You nod again while responding to Jimin’s text.

Me too, babe. I’ll see you soon.

“Okay,” he bobs his head in understanding.

You place the device on the table, fiddling with it as you ask, “You? How about you and Sohee?”

“We’re supposed to go to this pizza place tonight but she canceled at the last minute. Something about overtime,” he bites the inside of his cheek, tapping a pen on his notebook.

“Oh… I see,” you purse your lips, humming thoughtfully.

An impish thought crosses your head. Then the thought becomes words as you say, “I could-I could cancel my date tonight. Jimin knows I have a division meeting. He’s expecting me to come home late.”

Jungkook’s face lights up at your suggestion, leaning to your side again and smirking, “Yeah? You sure hyung won’t mind?”

“We’re supposed to have dinner but you know, I can just make up for it tomorrow. We’re both free then, anyway,” you explain quietly, ensuring that your classmates near you won’t overhear.

“That’s a good idea, Y/N. Hyung’s probably tired from his flight anyway.”

“Yeah, totally,” you say, convincing yourself. Your insides scream at you, detesting this illicit plan but you pay it no mind, especially when you chirp, “We can grab dinner at your place. I can cook for you. In return for, you know, the breakfast last time.”

“I’d like that,” Jungkook nods approvingly, beaming at you.

You grin at him as you send another message –

Sorry babe, fucking meeting just started. Boss is chewing my ass. This is going to be an all-nighter. Will make it up to you tomorrow, I promise. Love you.

Jae Han enters the room as soon as you send the text. He greets the class heartily and you notice the twenty or so pieces of thick books he’s hauled in a cart to the classroom. It’s the book he recently published and as a perk for attending his writing class, all of you will get a free copy. The class erupts into cheers as a result.

“It has been my pleasure to be your mentor these past few months. All of you are excellent students and I thank you for letting me mold your minds to become future writers. Reading all your work and comparing it with your first assignments have shown me how far you’ve all progressed. I feel like I’ve given birth to future authors, who will then shape the minds of the next generation. It’s your graduation day, my foster children, and appa is so proud of you,” he sniffs, wiping a tear on his eye.

Your classmates are moved by Jae Han’s display of emotions, some also wiping tears while another cheers with “We love you sunbae!” You giggle at that guy who shouts the cheesy line and it breaks the melancholy mood.

Jae Han composes himself, proceeding to discuss the mechanics for the final session, “Since this is the final session and it’s like a graduation, I would like to give out some awards. I didn’t grade any of your submitted works but I felt the need to recognize some individuals,” he retrieves a medal from his bag and the class collectively gasps in awe.

After settling the first few medals on the table, he hands out the different awards such as Best in Poetry, Best in Prose, Best in Fiction, Best in Nonfiction, among others. He explains briefly the reason for awarding the recipient before giving it to the student. After a while, it then dawns on you that he’s basically recognizing everyone in the class as each medal is customized to appreciate the good qualities of the awardee.

All that’s left is you and Jungkook.

“For the next award, hmm, may I just say… This person surprised me. Perhaps, I’m envious of his good looks that my reservations first remained. However, as we progressed, I have realized that beneath that handsome face and good built is a true writer. I sincerely think he can be a decent novelist one day. Although he was absent in the last two sessions, he made up for it during the rest of the course. This award is for the class salutatorian,” he pauses dramatically, “Jeon Jungkook,” Jae Han grins at your writing partner.

The class claps noisily, some whistling to cheer for Jungkook. He looks at you with his usual shook expression, and you urge him to stand to get his medal already. Jungkook rubs his nape as he approaches the podium, immediately embarrassed when Jae Han pats on his back loudly. Jungkook shakes his hand in gratitude, staring at the medal as he returns to his seat.

“Which means that this final award is to the student whom I have seen has the most potential to be a writer. You all are, my dear students, don’t fret. But I think this individual has excelled in all my assignments. I look forward to more of your work,” he glances at you, nodding, “Our class valedictorian, Y/LN Y/FN.”

Jungkook cheers you on with loud claps and an ear-to-ear bunny smile. You’re flattered by your sunbae’s recognition and Jae Han smiles warmly at you as he places the medal on your neck. “Congratulations, Y/N. You are such an excellent student,” he tells you.

“Thank you, sunbae. You are an excellent teacher too,” you sheepishly say.

You can’t help but stare at the gold medal around your neck. Jungkook meets you with a loose hug, whispering in your ears, “Congrats, baby girl.” The words bloom gooseflesh all over your body.

With the awarding ceremonies over, Jae Han says the class can consult with him for anything except money – as he’s also just as strapped for cash. The hour ends with him handing out his signed books.

Before you and Jungkook leave, Jae Han tells you that, “The two of you make a great pair. If you pursue writing, I think you both will succeed.”

You are immensely grateful for being recognized by such a renowned author. There’s even a slight skip in your steps when you saunter to Jungkook’s car.

“Oh, you didn’t bring your car?” Jungkook asks you as he sees you follow him.

“Nope. I don’t bring my car once a week to let it rest. And today’s the day. You don’t mind, right?”

He snorts, “Of course not. All the more I can be with you,” he winks at you.

You roll your eyes at him as he opens the door for you. After tucking in your seatbelt and shamelessly brushing your chest with his elbow, Jungkook settles in the driver’s seat. Unlike Jimin, he’s a reckless driver, and it takes you a while to get used to this speed. Sensing your discomfort, his hand finds your own and intertwines your fingers together.

“I think tonight calls for a celebration, Y/N. We fucking owned that class. Am I right?” He grins so widely that the corners of his eyes crinkle.

“Yeah, congrats to both of us! Woohoo!” you scream.

He chuckles at your remark, wiggling his eyebrows at you suggestively, “I’ll make sure you have a good time.”

You glare at his naughty suggestion, muttering, “Just make sure I can walk home afterwards.”

“Who says you’re going home, baby girl?” he stares at you darkly.

“Jungkook!” you exclaim.

“You can borrow Sohee’s clothes. She’s left some over my place.”

“Jeon Jungkook, no! I can’t!” you painfully squeeze his hand in your grasp.

He winces, relenting, “Fine, fine, fine! I’ll let you off.”

“Thank you!” you soothe his bruised hand, brushing your thumb against his.

“Does 1:00 a.m. sound good?” he cocks an eyebrow at you.

You swat his arm playfully and he grimaces, chortling afterwards. “12:59 then.”

You huff indignantly but chuckle at his teasing.


The moment Jungkook closes the door of his apartment, his hands are all over you. You’re not given time to take in the surroundings as he robs you of your breath, mouth hot and ravenous against yours. Keeping your lips captive, he hoists you around his torso and carries you to the bed.

Jungkook tosses you on the mattress so excitedly that you bounce from the force. He stands at the foot of the bed, discarding his shirt, unbuckling his belt, shedding his pants. You ease out of your blouse and skirt just as hurriedly, heart beating loudly from enthusiasm.

He joins you on the bed with licks of your lips and you indulge yourself of the forbidden taste. His hands roam to remove your underwear, as you pull on his boxers as well. His lips now navigate your exposed flesh, making his wet way down your throat, your breasts, your navel. His hot breath soaks you even more as his face lingers on your core.

And then he crosses the distance. The flat of his tongue swipes against your slit, producing a loud moan from you. He examines your expression as he plunges deep into your core, the loud squelch of your juices filling the room. He suckles on your clit as the pressure in your stomach builds. Soon, his fingers curl inside your walls, against that spot that made you see stars. You buck your hips into him, nails digging into his scalp from the way he’s eating you out. A few more skillful flicks and intense sucks send you thrashing wildly beneath him. He drinks in what you give him, willingly being flooded by the evidence of your orgasm.

Jungkook slides forward to kiss you passionately and you stroke on his stiff cock, thinking he’ll plow into you. He moans at your movements but shakes his head, as if reading your mind.

“I’m not done with you yet, baby girl,” he wickedly professes, ducking to lick at your barely recovered sex to taste you once again.

You’re so enraptured by Jungkook’s tongue and fingers that you forget to text Jimin at the time you’ve set to tell him good night. And though he wonders why, he just texts you—Good night. I miss you babe. See you tomorrow. Love you—before he sets out to sleep. He hopes you went home safe and sound.

Chapter Text

12:59 on the dot.

The bastard Jungkook is true to his word. The sly devil only permitted you to go home at this time, after spending the past few hours eating you out until your voice was hoarse and fucking you until your sex was sore. You didn’t know that the dinner you were supposed to cook for him apparently meant you being the appetizer, main course and dessert.

You limp to the Uber he’s booked, causing Jungkook to snigger upon seeing your struggle. You shoot him a menacing glare and bark well-versed curse words to protest your condition. Jungkook repeats his insistence of driving you home but you’re too paranoid that Jimin, the sweet lover he is, might surprise you at your doorstep.

Jungkook acquiesces to your speculation, rubbing his nape as he accompanies you to the awaiting car. Nonetheless, he pulls on your waist to kiss you long and hard before you can board the vehicle. You flinch a bit, as that spot ached, but easily melt into his touch once he teases in his tongue.

You pull away lest things may hotly escalate again. He unwillingly disengages from you, leaning in to whisper into your ears, “Until next time, baby girl.”

“Goodbye, Jungkook,” you enter the vehicle with a snort and a shake of your head.

Jungkook responds with a shit-eating grin before closing the door, and though you’re tender all over, you look forward to the promised “next time.”

In the car, you reply to Jimin that you’re just leaving the office, seeing that he’s sent a message several hours ago. You are actually supposed to say you’re already home but something in your gut tells you that the present alibi is the best lie.

Jimin calls you upon receipt of your text and you feel a bit guilty that he’s still up at this hour.

“What kind of division meeting runs way past midnight, babe? Your company is overworking you like a dog, I swear to god…!” Jimin seethes, voice raspy and booming. You can already imagine his ears going red from the secondhand fury.

“Yeah, it’s a bummer, babe. But don’t worry, I’ll be home soon. I’ll just sleep this off. I’m sure tomorrow will be a better day,” you snivel.

“You mean later? It’s already 1:00 am, by the way! I’m sorry, and excuse my French, but your boss is a fucking asshole, babe. Why does he do this to you? Isn’t it enough he’s power tripping all the time and making you render too much overtime? I mean, honestly, what kind of decent sleep will you get now?” Jimin spits.

He’s so worked up, as if he’s the one being done the injustice and not you. The long-forgotten guilt grows and comes back in full force, finally.

You sigh, trying to calm your boyfriend down, “Jimin… babe, calm down. No use complaining about it. It’s already been done. The important thing is I’m going home and I’m going to sleep and I’m going to see you tomorrow, I mean, tonight, okay?”

“Why don’t you call in sick instead? Or have a half-day leave? I’m sure your boss will understand given how late he dismissed you!”

“Inasmuch as I want to, I can’t, babe. I still have pending reports due today that even if I do take a leave, I’ll just spend it thinking about them. So really, it’s better if I go to work.”

“Aish… I’m just so pissed, babe. Your work stresses you out so much that it’s even made you sick. It’s literally unhealthy! I’m very worried about you…” Jimin laments, his voice calming down to a softer tone.

You catch the eyes of the driver glancing at you meaningfully through the rearview mirror. Maybe it’s because you’re so fucking guilty that you think he’s judging you. After all, he saw Jungkook kiss you so passionately to the point of scandalous a while ago. And now, you’re telling someone that you have just gotten off at work, which clearly wasn’t the case.

You clear your throat, prompting the driver to look away. “Jimin, worrying about me won’t do us any good. You’re just going to get sick because of that. Work is just really hectic this time of the year. I promise it will get better in the coming days.”

“You already said that last time and a week later, you’re going home at freaking one in the morning. It just seems to get worse, really…” Jimin expels a long-drawn out sigh.

“I understand your concern, babe, but please, really, don’t worry about it anymore. I can handle it, I promise. Now, will you please go to sleep? You also have to go to work later, you big goof,” you chuckle.

That lightens Jimin’s mood, ripping a loud chortle from him, “I’ll go to sleep once I’m sure you’re arrived home safely. Give me a blow-by-blow account of your arrival so I can be assured.”

There is no heavy traffic at this hour and Jungkook’s place is apparently very near yours that the car pulls up by your apartment in no time. You press the phone to your ear as you alight from the vehicle.

You indulge your lover, informing him of the boring details of your arrival, “Okay, babe. I’m already by the driveway.”

“I’m already climbing the stairs,” you stomp your feet more heavily on the steps so he can clearly hear.

“I’m already at the front door,” you search for the keys on your purse.

And then the door opens.

Your eyes widen at the sight of Jimin in front of you.

“Surprise~” Jimin presses to end the call. He looks very sleepy, eyes reduced to slits but smile so warm to greet you.

“Babe! W-What are you doing here?” you squeal, face losing all color from the surprise. You press your bag tighter to your body, trying your best to feign immense delight at your boyfriend’s sudden appearance.

Jimin embraces you tightly, humming contentedly. “I can’t wait another day not seeing you, Y/N. So… surprise!” he kisses you on the cheek, retrieving your bag and setting it on the couch.

“Is this why you were so worked up with me coming home late?”

He sheepishly chuckles, carding his fingers through his hair, “Let me be selfish just this once. I was actually about to sleep but I just can’t wait another moment not seeing you, babe.”

You furrow your brows in fake annoyance, groaning, “Ah, Jiminie…”

Jimin peppers you with kisses all over your face to apologize, latching his arms around your waist. You tap on his chest and smile warmly, tempering the quiver in the corners of your lips.

“How-how long have you been here?” you promptly check your appearance on your phone’s camera, when he turns his back against you to close the door.

“I don’t know, maybe two-three hours ago?” he looks up, pondering on your question.

You shove your phone to your bag, pasting a wide smile for him. The action causes your eyes to catch the plastic containing his hoodie. You goggle at the package, quickly diving to stuff it deeper inside so he doesn’t notice it.

“Oh. Really? You shouldn’t have, babe. I know you’re tired from your flight and all. Besides, you should have told me. I would have gone home earlier if I knew you were here,” you say absentmindedly. You tuck your hands behind your back, picking on your nails nervously.

Jimin knots his brows, looking at you quizzically. “But you were in a meeting, babe. I didn’t want to disturb you. Although, honestly, I thought you were already home by the time I’ve gone here…” he stifles a yawn, returning to your side.

“Ah right… yeah, I was in a meeting… I just meant, you know, it’s unnecessary,” you purse your lips.

Jimin ignores your remark, surveying your appearance. You swallow loudly from the scrutiny, a million alarms blaring in your head. Fortunately, he just stares at you lovingly and caresses your hair. He tucks a stray tendril behind your ear, making your skin break in gooseflesh.

“You look so tired babe. C’mon, I’ll tuck you in. Let’s go to sleep,” he coos.

You nod vigorously, murmuring, “Yeah, let’s. I’ll just go to the bathroom then we’ll sleep.”

“Okay, don’t take long~” Jimin smiles as he breaks away from you and enters your bedroom.

“Of course, babe,” you beam at him, closing the door of your bathroom. You urgently inspect your body, meticulously looking for any marks that Jungkook may have left. You smell yourself as well, wary that Jimin may pick up a different scent from you. Thankfully, there is no incriminating evidence of your illicit tryst tonight. You exhale loudly, hand pressed over your heart, as you stare at your reflection on the mirror.

Fuck, you almost got caught. Fuck, why did you put yourself into this mess?

“Babe?” Jimin calls out from the other side.

“Yes, babe?” you splash cold water on your face to find even more relief, and wash away any traces of Jungkook there.

“Did you see my hoodie? I’ve been looking for it all over but can’t seem to find it. I’m sure I left it here the last time I slept over…”

You gasp, panic immediately settling in. Shit, did you close your bag? What if he sees it there? What excuse will you say? Will he believe you if you managed to come up with one?

Shitshitshit—

You nearly burst through the door from the wild scenarios, sprinting to him to babble, “Oh, it’s at the office. I, um, I used it one time I left my sweater. Do you need it? I’ll just return it to you later.”

“No, it’s fine babe. I was just wondering where it was. I’ll just sleep in my boxers for now,” Jimin tells you with another reassuring smile. He’s strips to his boxers and clambers on the bed, tucking himself inside your heavy blanket.

“Oh—okay, but if you need it, I’ll bring it home later,” you sag in another moment of relief, masking your believable alibi with a yawn.

“No, really, it’s fine, babe. Now get changed and come to bed,” Jimin pats the empty space beside him.

“Yes, babe...”

You retrieve your phone from your bag for your alarm – a force of habit really, given that Jimin will surely wake you up later. To reassure yourself, you securely hide the hoodie at the bottom of your tote. You then hurriedly change into your nightgown, and set your device on your night stand.

With everything settled, you curl up to Jimin’s side, your back facing him. He tightly wraps his arm around your form, tightly pressing your bodies to mold against each other. He kisses you on the ear, bidding you a sleepy good night. You weakly return the greeting, only because your heart is still racing from the events of tonight.

A few minutes later, you nearly jump when your phone suddenly beeps. You reach for your device, sneakily swiping to read the message—

Hope you’ve arrived home safe and sound. Good night, baby girl.

You slowly observe if Jimin’s already asleep. His eyes are closed and his breathing is even. Thinking that the coast is clear, you tap a reply.

“Who is that? Stop texting, babe and go to sleep…” Jimin murmurs.

“It’s jus-just Kun-hee-nim, texting final reminders for the report. I’ll reply real quick and go to sleep now,” you mumble.

“Aish…” his complaint ends in a soft snore.

You quickly respond to Jungkook—

Home already. Don’t text me. Jimin’s here. Talk to you when ok. Good night.

You return the phone on the night stand, staring at it a few seconds to ensure that Jungkook doesn’t reply. He doesn’t, fortunately, but as a precaution, you set your preview notifications off and turn over your phone face down.

You calm yourself down and join Jimin in slumber. For some reason, it feels different when Jungkook was beside you nights before. And though you sleep easily, you missed the comforting warmth of his body when he was here.


The following day, you are woken by your alarm. You end the jarring tone, easily catching the strong smell of toasted bread, cooked bacon and brewed coffee. With your senses slowly being wakened, you register the ache in your joints, your hips and, particularly, your core. You rise from the bed and immediately grimace when doing just that made needles shoot up your spine.

As you hobble towards the dining area, you find a freshly showered Jimin preparing your breakfast. His eyes light up upon seeing your sleepy form, chiming, “Good morning, babe. C’mon let’s eat.”

The scene looks so familiar. And if you had half a mind to process the situation, you would have mistaken Jimin to be Jungkook with the exact same lines thrown your way.

“Good morning, babe. You’re up so early,” you rub at your eyes, approaching the table.

Jimin quickly slides your chair and you ease in the seat.

Oh, indeed, this feels too familiar.

“I know you’re tired so I cooked you breakfast,” Jimin fills your cup with coffee and stacks your plate with bacon and bread.

The guilt magnifies ten-fold in your belly, especially when you find it difficult to sit properly due to the soreness of your lower body. Karma sure is a bitch.

“You didn’t have to babe… You’re too sweet.” You lower your head to stare on your food, lifelessly picking up a bacon to munch on it.

Jimin tips your chin, grinning at you so brightly that you’re almost blinded by his smile. “You’re welcome, babe. Just let me take care of you, okay?”

You curl your lips into a semblance of a smile, nodding weakly.

Thankfully, that awkward breakfast ends before you could finish your meal as Jimin tells you he needed to go ahead. He has an early client meeting, if you heard him correctly. He’ll see you later, he says. He’ll drop by your office to pick you up, he says. You could only nod to his statements, not really fully digesting his words.

Because right now, all alone in your apartment, does everything sink in. You nearly got caught. And for hours last night, you fucked Jimin’s best friend, without a single sliver of guilt. Jimin’s sudden appearance this morning is a reminder of the fact that you’ve long shelved in your subconscious.

He’s too good for you. He loves you so, so much.

And for all the perfection that Jimin is, you wish you still felt the same. God, why was it so easy to change?

Sobs rack your chest, hot tears finding their way out of your eyes as you feel ashamed by your realizations.


You’re so distracted on the way to work that you almost miss your stop. The rest of the day is spent in auto-pilot, shuffling between meetings and admonitions and typical slave-driving work.

By five in the afternoon, Jungkook calls you.

“You never texted the all-clear but I was worried you couldn’t walk or something so I called,” he crows on the other line.

“Ah, sorry. I was just too busy,” you mumble, overlooking his enthusiasm.

He picks up on your sullen expression, asking, “What’s wrong?”

“We are. What we’re doing is wrong,” you mutter flatly.

Jungkook falls silent. A sound catches at the back of his throat, and you hear him sigh loudly. “D-did hyung find out?”

“No. Not at all.”

He lights up, piping, “Oh. Then what’s wrong, baby girl? Hyung doesn’t know. Sohee as well, I’m sure of that. Why… why are you suddenly saying this?”

“I’ve just been thinking and… I just feel so fucking awful, Jungkook. Don’t you feel guilty at all by what we’re doing? We almost got caught, for Christ’s sake!” you grunt.

“But we didn’t, right? We almost did, but we didn’t. We’ll just have to be more careful from now on. I promise I won’t steal you away when you have a date with hyung,” he says reassuringly.

“Jungkook, didn’t you hear what I just said? Are you even listening to me?” you spit.

“I did. But baby girl, what can I do? I want you. And I know you want me too. So we have to keep doing this. We just have to be more careful, that’s all.”

You sigh exasperatingly, groaning, “Why Jungkook? Why do you want to continue doing this? It’s fun and all, I admit, but it’s wrong. It’s fucking wrong.”

Jungkook feels slighted by your statement, asking sharply, “So it’s all just fun and games to you?”

“Wow. That’s what you heard from all that? Wow, Jeon Jungkook you’re such an excellent listener,” you respond sarcastically.

“Don’t use that tone with me.”

“Don’t ignore what I’m trying to say.”

Jungkook doesn’t offer a comeback, clicking his tongue on the other line. You hold your ground as well, your heavy breathing filling the silence.

He’s the first to break the tension, saying more calmly, “Look, Y/N, I get your point. But hear me out too… How about we talk about this later? Let’s figure this out. Just work with me, please…”

“I have to meet Jimin later. I already ditched him last night, remember?”

“Then… then, tomorrow. Are you free?”

“Jungkook—”

“Hey babe,” Jimin greets cheerily, suddenly reappearing by your side.

“Babe! What are you doing here?!” You clutch on your phone, clapping your hand on the device to hide the name on the screen. You set the device on your table, forgetting to turn it over face down.

“Fetching you from work? Didn’t you say you get off at five? I was calling you but your line was busy. Sorry if I let myself in,” he leans in to kiss you on the cheek.

“Oh… right, right. Sorry, I was talking to a client. Um, let me just fix my things. Ten minutes tops. I’ll meet you at the lobby,” you paste an unnaturally wide smile at him.

“It’s okay. I’ll just wait here. I’m already here anyway…” Jimin plops on one of your vacant seats, returning your smile.

You turn your back against him, setting out to prepare for your date.

“I almost didn’t recognize Jongin-hyung. He cut his hair really short,” he remarks, swiveling playfully on his seat.

“What? Who?” you ask distractedly.

“Jongin-hyung, the receptionist,” he repeats. “Last time I saw him, his hair was really long.”

“Ah, right… Jongin-ssi. Um, yeah, I think my asshat boss gave him a memo for that. Office decorum or some shit…” you scramble to save all your files, shutting down your computer and shoving all your things in your bag.

Jimin aids in your endeavor, throwing your empty cup of coffee and arranging your documents on the table. “That sucks. Must have taken Jongin-hyung months to grow it that long. Your boss is a real jerk, babe.”

“Yeah, totally,” you mumble vaguely.

“Are you still talking to someone?” Jimin points to your phone, seeing the screen light up when you accidentally press on it out of your hurried actions.

You follow his pointing finger, gaping at the device and lunging to end the call.

“No, no… oops!” you laugh nervously, “The other person just forgot to end it.”

“Was that Jungkook?” He stares at you intently.

Panic mars your face, lips turning into a triangle. Shit did he see???

You croak, “Jungkook? Why would I be talking to Jungkook?”

“I thought I saw his name.”

“No, no. That’s Jong-Gook, our sales guy. I was clarifying some of his statistics for my report,” you swiftly lie.

Jimin squints, wondering, “Ah… I thought it was a client?”

“Before that, when you probably called… before Jong-Gook-ssi, I was talking to a client,” you babble on. He’s still squinting at you, clasping his hands together, elbows propped on the armrest of the chair.

Thinking that you look very suspicious, you dramatically lament, “I’ve just… I’ve just been really busy, babe. I’m going crazy with all this shit… So many things are going through my head. I don’t even know what I’m saying!” you cackle mirthlessly, tapping on your head for effect.

The farce works. Jimin instantly pouts to sympathize with you, rubbing your arms soothingly, “Don’t worry babe, I’m here now. I’ll help you forget about that asshole.”

He scowls towards the direction of Kun-hee’s office then reverts to grinning at you, comforting you with his touch, “Tonight, I’ll cook you a really good meal.”

Shuddery breaths are pulled in and out, as you revel in the warm, relaxing caress of Jimin’s hands. “Thanks babe. I’m so sorry if I’ve put you through so much shit.”

Jimin furrows his brows, looking at you curiously, “Hey, babe, are you not feeling well again? You’re talking nonsense again.”

“It’s just… So many things are going through my head,” you lean your head on his shoulder and he strokes your head tenderly.

“It would seem so. You’ve already said that, babe. Twice now,” he giggles.

You look up at him, groaning, “Ah, I did? Aish… I’m so stressed.”

“C’mon, I’ll help you relax. Are you done?” he looks around your things to check your preparations.

You nod, pressing your bag to your body. He rises from his seat, intertwining your fingers together as you head towards the parking lot. You squeeze on his hand tightly, and he doesn’t seem to mind even if it bordered on painful.

You needed it. His hand on yours is the reality check to your lofty fantasies with Jungkook, the literal thing pulling you back to earth, the sore reminder that you already belonged to someone.

Jimin’s second, unexpected apparition is sign enough for you to end your traitorous liaison with Jungkook. You’ll end it. Soon. As soon as you can.

While you still can.

For now, you grin widely at your boyfriend, who kisses the back of your palm. He intertwines your digits together as he starts to drive. You stare at your interlaced fingers, pushing away all unsavory thoughts and focusing on the warmth of his skin against yours.


Arriving at his condo, you turn your attention to the newly framed picture at the living room. It’s a group selfie of the awesome foursome that one time you went camping. Oh, those were good times. Things were simple then. You were Jimin’s girl, who is your best friend, and Sohee was Jungkook’s, who is Jimin’s best friend. The four of you were mutually exclusive and hopelessly in love.

Oh, how things have changed… how you have changed.

After easing into his casual clothes, Jimin sets out to the kitchen, right away preparing your dinner. Kimchi-jigae and sogogi kimbap are the menu this evening, as he tells you he missed Korean food while he was away. You attempt to help but he dismisses you playfully, insisting you sit back and relax as he cooks.

In the meantime, you pretend to watch the sitcom on the television where in fact you are actually tending to your phone. The messages sent are frantic, almost desperate, that you can practically hear Jungkook’s words.

Y/N

Baby girl…

Talk to me

Are you with hyung?

Just tell me if you’re with him and I’ll stop texting.

Please talk to me.

Please don’t end this.

I swear I’ll fix it. We can make this work. I promise, just let me.

I don’t want you to go. I can’t lose you.

Please, baby girl.

I lo—

You don’t bother reading the last text and respond with a curt—With Jimin. Will text when ok.—and turn off your phone, to minimize any more unwanted surprises.

Jimin finishes cooking, setting the dishes on the dining table. You sit down as you await his final preparations, fondly looking on as he hums a tune. The song sounds so familiar. Oh right, that’s the ballad Jungkook sang to you until you fell asleep.

You shake your head, physically willing away the scenario. You’re with Jimin. Focus on him, you command your faculties.

“Bon appétit!” Jimin chirps happily, ladling spoonfuls of the soup and feeding you with a piece of kimbap.

You graciously receive it, droning approvingly. “Mmm, good! That’s a really good kimbap, babe.”

Jimin sheepishly smiles, slurping on the soup. “Thanks babe. I made it with a special ingredient.”

You stare at him interestedly, prepared to take a mental note of the said ingredient. “Oh really? What is it?”

Jimin reaches into his pocket, answering with a finger heart, “This.”

You laugh melodiously, shaking your head, “Oh, babe. You’re so cheesy.”

“Oh, you loved it,” he giggles.

Your mind darts to the cheesy lines Jungkook has also told you over the phone a week ago. Focus on Jimin, damn it! You berate your subconscious.

To aid in your endeavor, you decide to start with something mundane, “So, how did your training go?”

“Good, good. It was a very interesting and very helpful course. Our trainer Mr. Smith explained the concepts really well. He’s Australian though so it took me some time to understand his accent, heh… But I think I understood enough to cascade to my team.”

“Ah, I see, like a training for trainers program. Did you have other reps from your branch offices?”

“Yes, babe, you’re right. It was actually a diverse group, some from other country offices. But yeah, I’m the only Korean rep.” Jimin raises his brows, feeling privileged by the fact.

“Then it’s a good thing, right? Even though your boss overworks you to death, at least he sends you to trainings abroad. Unlike mine,” you roll your eyes and huff indignantly.

Jimin squeezes on your hand, reminding you, “Babe… don’t think about that asshole. Your food might go bad if you keep worrying about work.”

You squeeze his hand back, nodding, “Sorry babe. I’m just…” you clench your other fist and press your lips together.

“I know, babe. There, there…” he smiles sympathetically. “I really don’t know why you keep working for that asshole anyway. I mean, you’re too good for him. You do all the work and he gets the credit without giving you your due. It’s unfair!”

It’s your turn to calm him down. It warms your heart how incredibly empathetic Jimin can be. Oh, it’s all coming back to you now, how wonderful a lover he is.

“Hey, what happened to relaxing and forgetting about work, babe? You’re getting worked up again,” you giggle.

Jimin chuckles as well, throwing his head back in embarrassment. “Right. Sorry, babe. I just wonder sometimes why you’re still working at that sucky company.”

“Because, sucky as it is, I love my job. It’s the only thing I know how to do,” you shrug.

“I know babe. But don’t get me wrong, don’t you think it’s time you search for greener pastures?”

“It’s crossed my mind, yes. I’ve been with that company since college, part-timing and interning and finally, being a full-time employee. But I don’t know… sometimes, you just can’t let go of things because you’ve gotten so used to them, you know? It’s hard to quit even when things have changed,” you stare at your soup, twirling your spoon around the liquid.

Are you still talking about your job? Your mind enquires.

Maybe, you reply.

I hope, you settle.

You ignore the insinuations and shift to a jovial expression. You veer the conversation back to Jimin with, “Anyways, I’ll think it over, I promise. Let’s just talk about your training.”

“Yeah, right. Regarding that, there’s actually something I want to talk to you about,” Jimin releases your hand and clasps both of his, donning a more serious expression.

Your heart bobs in your throat that you nearly choke on your kimbap. “S-sure. What is it babe?”

“Our trainer is apparently a director at our headquarters in Melbourne. And I don’t know, I wasn’t really the best student in that training – not that we were being graded or anything – but I don’t know, he, um, he mentioned, in passing, that there were some vacancies at the head office. And that, if I were interested, I could, you know, try and apply. He said he can give me a recommendation.”

You lean forward, pride for your boyfriend genuinely filling your chest. “Oh wow, that’s great news babe. I’m so happy for you.”

“For us, you mean.”

You blink twice at him, squeaking, “Huh?”

“There’s a three-month internship for executives in Melbourne next year. It’s not necessary for the vacancies but Mr. Smith said it’s a good program to build capacities for the office. After the program, interns are evaluated and absorbed immediately for key positions,” he reaches out for your hand again, holding it tightly.

“And I’m really interested, babe. I really want us to go,” he gazes into your eyes.

“Us?” you repeat hesitantly.

“I don’t want to force you to come with me. But it’s a great opportunity and I really think that you can find a job there. I’ve also done some research. Melbourne is a great city to raise a family. It’s like the most livable city in the world, according to some global index… So, what do you think, babe?” he peers at you carefully, studying the changes in your expression.

You loosen his hold on your hand, tucking it on your lap as you grate on your nails. “I don’t know babe. It’s just… it’s a lot to process. These things take a lot of planning. And you’re basically asking me to leave my life here and start again in a foreign country.”

Jimin sidles closer to you, wrapping his arm around your body. “You’ve got me, babe. We’re in this together. And I know it’s crazy. I never imagined I’d do it but it just made sense. The more I think about our future, the greedier I get to dreaming big for our family.”

You stare at him, worry tainting your face. “But what’s wrong with doing that here? It’s not like we’re living in a so-so country, babe. Korea is a great place to raise a family too.”

Jimin nods in understanding, completely agreeing with you, “I know, but just think about it. Don’t you want to get out of your comfort zone and start fresh? Not that things are bad here… but you know, migrating to Australia is an opportunity of a lifetime. It isn’t easy to come by.”

Your eyes rove around his place, settling on the frame by the living room. “What about Sohee and J-jungkook?”

“What about them? We’ll still go home during the holidays. Or they can come visit us. Besides, I’m sure they will be very happy for us if we decide to migrate.”

“Won’t you miss them?” You’re pathetically grasping for straws to reason with Jimin, to be honest.

“Of course, I will. But babe, what are Skype and Facetime and Facebook messenger for if we can’t keep in touch with them?” he answers patiently.

You bob your head slowly into a nod, finally seeing his point. Nevertheless, your hands are suddenly clammy from the thought that in a few months, you’ll be leaving work. And family. And Sohee. And Jungkook.

Especially Jungkook.

Ah, fuck, didn’t you say this was wrong and you wanted to end things with him? you chide yourself.

“I’m sorry if I’m not as enthusiastic about this as I should be. It’s just a lot to take in. This changes everything, Jimin. And I don’t think I can make a decision right now. I want to think things over,” you pat on his hand.

Jimin nods supportively, cooing, “Take all the time that you need, Y/N. I’m in no rush. I just floated the idea and you know, whatever you want, I’ll respect it.”

“But what if… what if what I want isn’t what you want?” you worry your lower lip.

“Babe, we’re one heart. You want to stay, I’ll stay. You want to leave, I’ll leave. I’ll go wherever you want. Because I want you to be happy. And ultimately, really, that’s what I want. Seeing you happy,” he beams, smiling so widely that his eyes turn into half-moons.

“Jimin…” why are you like this? you want to add.

He claps his hands on his knees, saying, “Let’s stop talking about this. Think about it and get back to me once you’ve made your decision – which may I remind you, is not something I’m expecting anytime soon. In the meantime, let’s eat before the soup gets cold, okay?”

You nod, accepting the roll of kimbap he again feeds you. Although the food is delicious, bile gathers at your throat from the thought that you might leave Jungkook for good.


You stare at your reflection in Jimin’s bathroom mirror, washing your face several times to find some relief from the direness of your situation. The talk with Jimin has you freaking out, exhuming feelings of fear, anxiety, and guilt.

Especially guilt.

Tonight’s dinner reaffirms the fact that Jimin’s feelings for you have not changed. Not one bit. In his own way, he shows you that he intends to spend the rest of his life with you. That you’re part of his future plans. That he believes the awesome foursome can be together amicably.

How did things get so fucked up like this? How was I supposed to know that writing class would change everything? You ask yourself but find no answers.

Jimin actually teases that he can join you in the bath but you fend him off effectively, saying you needed your alone time. He respects your decision. Of course, he does. Because that’s just how he is.

The emotions well up in your chest so much that you feel physically smothered. Fortunately, you’re able to lock the door and open the faucet, before the bile in your throat finally releases.

Oh, you just want the earth to swallow you up right now. Be anywhere but here. Be anyone but you.

Feeling that you’ve emptied the contents of your stomach fully, you rise to drown yourself in the shower, letting the water mask the stream of tears flowing down your face. You calm down after showering for too long that the pads of your fingers wrinkle. Easing yourself in Jimin’s bathrobe, you get out of the bathroom.

Jimin is drawn to your form, wrapping his arms around your waist and leaning his face to the crook of your neck. “Mmm, my babe smells so good…”

You squirm under his grasp, wedging your hands between your pressed chests to gently pry his hands away. “Babe… let’s go to sleep.”

Jimin doesn’t budge however as he nuzzles his nose beneath your ears, inhaling your scent more sharply. “But babe… I’ve missed you so much. Didn’t you miss me?” he grumbles childishly.

“Of course I did. I’m just really tired…” your protests die in your throat when Jimin licks a sensitive spot on your neck. The hot comforting muscle automatically tilts your head to the side, gaining him access to more of your flesh.

“Don’t worry, I’ll do all the work. Just let me fuck you please,” he lets out a whine as he continues to lavish your neck with his tongue.

One of his hands travels to the pleat of your bathrobe, skimming your stomach in delicious motions. Meanwhile, his other hand coasts the base of your spine soothingly.

“B-but that’s not fair…” Despite your disapproval, you relax into his touch, allowing him to peel the bathrobe off you.

Jimin litters kisses on the top of your right shoulder and back to your neck, until he reaches your chin to land a peck on it.

“What’s not fair is if you don’t let me do this, babe. C’mon, I promise I won’t take long…” he whimpers.

The bathrobe pools at your feet and he abuses the opportunity to unabashedly grope you all over. You feel his erection pressing against your stomach and he implores one more time, “Please, babe…”

He gives your ass a light squeeze, producing a low moan from you. You relent to his wishes, nodding feebly, “Okay…”

With a satisfied smirk, he encloses his mouth over yours while kneading whatever flesh his hands latch on to. You close your eyes from the delightful sensations, all objections eradicated as he pulls and leads you by your hips to the bed. A few steps have you tumbling on the mattress, and Jimin detaches from you momentarily to strip his shirt and boxers.

You open your heavily-lidded eyes, finding Jungkook by the foot of the bed. He takes in your naked form, biting his lips at what you display for him. You blink several times and rub your eyes to refocus your vision. The bare man before you is Jimin, not Jungkook. What the fuck???

Jimin strokes his cock as he hungrily ogles your body. “Fuck babe, you’re so beautiful. So perfect…” he hisses, sighing upon settling his eyes on your core.

No, Jimin, I’m not, you wanted to say. But thankfully, you stifle the words before they stumble out your mouth.

He joins you in bed, hovering over your form and you greet him with wide open legs. The scene takes you back to Jungkook’s drunken confession and you shake your head to once more physically will the thoughts away.

Jimin notices your action, asking worryingly, “What’s wrong, babe? Don’t you want me to top?” he caresses your cheek, looking into your eyes.

He’s so close to your face that you suddenly feel suffocated. Most likely because at this distance, he can see right through you. And right now, you’re afraid you might give away what your mind has been fucking thinking.

You dismiss his concern with a smile, caressing his cheeks as well. “Nothing… nothing’s wrong. Why don’t – why don’t you take me from behind, babe?” you say sweetly.

“Are you sure? You said you don’t like that position…” Jimin kisses the corners of your lips, nudging his nose to yours.

Ah, right. You did mention it before. Said you disliked the position because you felt like you were being fucked like a dog. Ah, but you deserve this. This is the only way you can satisfy Jimin.

You answer him with a long, searing kiss that makes his cock twitch against your stomach. “I’m sure.”

Jimin moans and heeds your request, flipping you over so that you’re on all fours. This is better. This is less intimate.

He runs his fingers through your slit, dipping to see if you’re lubricated enough for his cock. “You’re not yet wet, babe…”

And at the realization, he springs into action, head disappearing between your legs to lick you. You grip on the sheets as the trained, calculated licks of his tongue have you reeling. He flicks his tongue against your clit with just the right pressure, just the way you’ve always liked. Unlike Jungkook, who sucked on your bundle of nerves like a caveman last night.

Fuck, why do you keep thinking about him?

You focus on Jimin’s tongue patiently coaxing your juices out, tenderly running the muscle up and down your slit. You buck your hips to his face, and he spreads you wider so he can plunge further into you.

Jimin pulls away from your core once he’s certain you’re drenched enough, tugging on his cock to position it on your awaiting sex. He then buries himself inside you, inch by inch, lapping up the way your walls cling on to him. He growls upon entering you fully, fingers gently digging into your ass.

You whimper at the first thrust, slow and gentle unlike Jungkook’s brutal pace the night before. The unwanted thought causes you to meet his hips, more forcefully than he does, ripping a guttural moan from Jimin.

“Ah… babe, fuck, that’s good…” he coos, one hand now skimming the length of your spine. He leans forward, sweeping your hair away from your nape, to kiss you there while his hands stroke you lovingly.

It’s too tender. It’s too fucking sweet. The need to feel something else claws in your skin as your brain keeps replaying the moments you spent with Jungkook.

“Spank me, babe…” you suddenly command, pulling on his hand to smack your ass.

Jimin shifts to look at you, stilling his movements, “What did you say, babe?”

“Spank me, c’mon babe. Hit my ass, please…” you turn your face away from him, tugging on his hand again to slap your bottom.

“O-okay,” Jimin tentatively strikes your ass, asking, “Like this?”

The force is too soft to mark. It’s not enough to hurt you.

“Harder,” you hiss through gritted teeth.

Jimin submits to your desire, meeting your skin with a louder smack. You flinch from the pain, sure that his hand will leave an imprint on your bottom. But it’s effective to distract you from your unruly thoughts.

“Again,” you say, thrusting hard into him.

He moans from your motion, hitting both your cheeks once more. It’s a more forceful blow that your skin stings from the pain. You can see the blood rushing to his palms, can feel the sting in your cheeks each time his hand and your ass meets. You urge him to do it again and again until you’re sure you won’t be able to sit properly tomorrow. You whimper under the loud slaps, basking in the pain to drive out your muddled feelings.

In time, his thrusts become harder and deeper and faster, Jimin being carried away by the pleasure of your pain. He times each spank and thrust, grunts at the way your walls clench on him from his movements. The intoxication of your spasms causes him to dig his fingers on the skin of your hips so that he can smack your ass with the other more weightily.

His breathing becomes uneven, signaling his close but he never forgets about you. He reaches under to twist on your clit, and you keen into his hand to cum. Your knuckles have turned white from gripping on the bedsheets, your legs wobbling from your impending orgasm.

Jimin continues to slam into you steadily, flicking his fingers on your clit until you scream for (thankfully) his name on the mattress. Your orgasm sends tingles all over your body that you suddenly feel lightheaded.

Intent on following you, Jimin finds purchase at the swell of your hips as he recklessly ruts into you. A broken moan of your name ensues, his hot seed coating your walls white as you kindly milk him with your residual contractions. He shudders from the intensity of your lovemaking, crashing on your back to regain his breath.

“That… was amazing babe…” he exhales.

“Y-yeah…” you mutter.

Having recovered from his high, he dislodges from you. Your body slumps forward, at once boneless from your romp. Jimin returns quickly with a warm towel, turning you over so he can clean you up.

You wince from the pressure placed on your reddened bottom.

Jimin notices and apologizes profusely, “Shit, babe…I’m so sorry, I got carried away. I should have held back.”

You shake your head, smiling feebly, “Don’t be… it’s okay, babe.”

“Let’s not do that again. I don’t want to hurt you. Your butt looks really red,” Jimin cuddles by your side, delicately gathering your limp body to rest against the crook of his neck.

“It’s okay babe… I wanted it,” you murmur. I deserved it, you think.

You’re too tired to move that you let Jimin ease you into his shirt and your undies. He shifts your body so that you can rest comfortably on his chest. You try to empty your mind, which is still hung up on his best friend. At least now, the pang is accompanied by physical pain. At least now, the soreness of your ass replaces your wandering thoughts. And that’s enough to lull you to sleep.


The following morning, you open your phone, steeling yourself from the onslaught of expected texts from Jungkook. You decide to check your messages inside Jimin’s bathroom, trying to be extra careful about this all – as Jungkook has said.

You clap your hand over the speaker, silencing the phone as soon as you can. Jungkook’s messages do arrive, flooding your inbox. But it’s not the thing that catches your eye.

Boo, code red.

Sohee’s text immediately wakes you up, heart thundering in your chest from her summons. What could she possibly want from you? Does she know? Did Jungkook break up with her already? You should have replied to his texts last night. Fuck…

Cold sweat rolls down your cheeks from the million questions.

Fuck…

Chapter Text

“Do you think we’d ever fight over a guy?” Sohee interrupts your excited rambling of seeing your family again and eating home-cooked meals.

It’s Chuseok and the holiday is a week-long celebration this year. You badly need the break, having been caught up in technical papers and group presentations that a normal college junior juggles.

You expect that Sohee would return your enthusiasm, causing you to be baffled by her bizarre question. Her face takes on a serious expression however, a rare occasion in a while, emphasizing her sincerity in hearing your answer.

Nonetheless, you snort derisively at her, “Wow. Your question is totally related to what I’ve been talking about, Sohee. Where is this question coming from anyway? Did your guy suddenly become interested with broody girls like me?”

Sohee flips her long hair back, rolling her eyes at you, “Just answer the question, boo.”

“For the record, this noona romance you have with Jiyong-ssi is something I disapprove of, which I’ve already said so many times. He’s a sketchy fella, didn’t I say that? But you do you, even if you’re basically raising a toddler on your back,” you look at her with deadpan eyes, tugging on the straps of your backpack.

“Fine, call me a cradle snatcher for cavorting with a freshman. But I can’t help it if he’s got a booty like an oppa,” Sohee snaps back. She then does a double take, annoyed that the conversation has veered elsewhere. She playfully swats on your arm, repeating herself, “Yah! Answer the damn question, Y/N.”

You wince from her assault, aiming to retaliate but she defends herself with her shoulder bag.

“C’mon, Y/N, indulge me. It’s just a stupid question,” she squeaks.

You look at her, brows drawn into a knot. With an exasperated sigh, you respond brusquely, “My short answer is no.”

Sohee glances at you curiously, scooting to your side in the bench to peer into your eyes. “You mean it, Y/N?”

“Of course, Sohee. I think it’s more likely that we’d fight over the last piece of chicken wing than some guy. I’m sure of it,” you grunt.

“And the long answer?”

With another grunt, you answer impassively, “The long answer is that first of all, we have different tastes in men. You like your guys shallow and ‘hot’ and I like mine deep and er, unique. Secondly and most important of all, I honor sis code. Sisters before misters, right?”

She takes a moment to stare at you then nods, mumbling, “Okay, if you say so…”

You narrow your eyes at her, noticing the worrisome quirking of her lips. “What’s the matter, boo?” you inquire, tone more serious and receptive than earlier.

“Nothing. I’m just wondering…” she replies, ending it with a long sigh.

You click your tongue, demanding, “Spill it, woman.”

Sohee bites the inside of her cheek, avoiding your gaze to look at her feet. “Well… it’s just… one of my sorority sisters got her man stolen by her best friend. She’s been friends with her since childhood and this guy’s her childhood sweetheart until one drunken night and poof! Boyfriend is best friend’s baby daddy… It kinda scared me, you know? What if it happens to us?”

“How will that happen to us, Sohee?!” you cross your arms over your chest, cocking an eyebrow at her.

“I don’t know. What if you meet some nerdy guy who happened to be super hot, or I meet a hot guy who happened to be super nerdy? You never know what fate gives you…”

“That’s why there’s the freaking sis code, Sohee. As well as the holy order of dibs. If you call dibs on a guy, I’d respect that – in the same manner that I know you’d respect mine. And also, we trust each other enough to never cross the line with our men. Like I would never place myself in a compromising position with that kid Jiyong. Better safe than sorry, right?” you say matter-of-factly.

Sohee nods affirmatively, muttering, “Okay. I’m calm now. Sorry I dampened the mood there.”

“It’s okay, boo. Just shut up and never bring that up ever, okay?” you soothe her back with caressing strokes.

She grins widely at you, nodding.  


Sohee opens the door of her apartment, breaking you out of your reminiscence.

“Didn’t have to knock seven million times, boo,” she slurs. You realize you’ve been knocking inattentively whilst taking a trip down memory lane.

Sohee looks sullen, dark circles under her eyes and her beautiful face crumpled in misery. Your eyes roam to the several bottles of beer littering her coffee table, the stench of alcohol easily filling up her apartment.

Another thing captures your attention – a picture of Sohee and Jungkook by her corner table, with the backdrop of the beach, their faces molded to fit the frame and the view. Your heart clenches involuntarily.

“Sorry, you said you needed to talk,” you follow her lead, settling by the couch where the picture is out of your view.

“Anything I can get you? Coffee? Water? Beer?” she offers.

You furrow your brows at her last offering, asking, “Beer? It’s 10 in the morning, Sohee. It’s too early to drink.”

“Didn’t know you’re not supposed to drink at this hour…” she shrugs, slumping beside you.

You immediately press closer to her, cooing, “Hey, Sohee, boo… what happened? What’s going on with you? Why are you drinking?”

You notice the few cigarette stubs reduced to bits on the ashtray, one of which still diffusing wisps of smoke. “And oh my god, have you been smoking again?!” you bellow.

“What’s wrong with taking a few puffs?” she limply shrugs.

“But you quit a long time ago. The only time you smoke is when you’re stressed… why-why are you stressed?”

“You know why,” Sohee stares at you darkly.

You panic slightly. You haven’t spoken to Jungkook since last night and during that twelve or so hours, so many things could have happened. Could he possibly have ended things with her? That can’t be it. She’d be a wreck if that ever happened and not this somewhat composed woman before you.

Despite your chaotic thoughts, you try to maintain your composure, croaking, “Is this because of J-jungkook?”

Sohee snaps her fingers, the excited gesture accompanied by a lackluster “Bingo.”

“What’s wrong with you and Jungkook?” you ask, despite knowing the answer.

“Did Jimin talk to you?” she inquires, deflecting your question.

Does Jimin know anything? You think wildly.

Your nerves get the best of you that you ramble, “No, I mean, yes. We always talk. But wait, I’m confused. What do you mean talk to me? What kind of talk is this anyway? You have to be more specific, boo.”

Sohee nods, clarifying, “Right, my bad. What I meant is that, has Jimin talked to you about Jungkook?”

You snort at her question, “N-no. Why would he talk to me about Jungkook? I mean, even if they do talk, it’s not like Jimin shares it to me. That stuff is private. It’s a guy thing.”

“Oh… really…” she drones disappointedly.

“Why do you ask?”

Sohee sighs long and hard several times before answering your question. “It’s just… I just feel something’s off, you know… Like Jungkook’s keeping something from me.”

Shit. You hope she doesn’t notice the rivulets of cold sweat rolling down your cheeks. You hold on to your perfect mask, evading the remark with, “Didn’t you just celebrate your monthsary? You looked so happy then…”

“Pictures don’t always tell the truth,” she murmurs as she stares longingly at her selfie with Jungkook.

You dart your eyes to the picture quickly, only because staring too long made it harder for you to breathe. With a huff, you ask demandingly, “Will you please stop with all these mysterious bullshit and just tell me what’s going on, Kim Sohee?!”

Sohee holds on to your hand, squeezing it as she says, “Sorry, boo… I just feel that something’s up with Jungkook. I’m so sure. I mean, it’s not like he’s not fucking me anymore or anything—matter of fact, we just banged last night. But I just… I can’t shake this feeling. Like he’s fucking someone out of me, you know? He’s always been rough, but last night… and lately, he’s just been… different.”

Oh. So they banged last night. He must have gone to Sohee when he couldn’t reach you.

Oh. So Jungkook’s always been rough. You fucking know right? You can barely walk leaving his apartment—

Stop it! Focus on Sohee! You command your drifting mind.

You cackle mirthlessly, too forced to be considered done in jest. Luckily, Sohee doesn’t pay it any mind. “That sounds ridiculous, Sohee. Why would he fuck someone out of you? A-and how does anyone even do that? You’re not making any sense…”

Sohee inhales sharply, explaining, “He always keeps his eyes closed when we’re doing the missionary. And I don’t know why but he’s always, always fucking me from behind like I’m some fucking dog.”

Oh, right. You and Sohee hated that position. The only similarity you’ve had sexually all these years.

Before you fucked Jungkook too of course.

You shake your head to physically shun the thoughts away, speculating, “Maybe he just wants to change it up? Missionary is boring anyways…”

She rolls her eyes at you, looking at you critically, “Says the woman whose favorite position is missionary.”

“That’s besides the point, Sohee. My sexual preference has nothing to do with your situation.”

“Right. You’re right. Sorry, boo. I’m just so scared you know? I’ll die if I find out Jungkook is cheating on me…” Sohee laments, clutching her head.

You stroke her back soothingly, trying your best to temper the trembling of your fingers. “D-do you have proof?”

“No but my spidey senses have never failed me. Remember Hansung in 12th grade? It’s happening again. This is exactly how I felt then.”

How can you forget? Sohee was so spot on with her instinct that Hansung was shell-shocked from her accusations. You can vividly remember ganging up to confront him and his other woman, his face losing all color from your best friend’s words.

Your mind wanders dangerously… What would happen if she finds out about you and Jungkook? Will she slap you like she did then to Hansung’s other woman?

You retract your now quivering hand from allaying Sohee and grate on your nails out of her sight. “Maybe… maybe it’s just your hormones or something. I know, I know…I’m being sexist for attributing our bodily functions to your ‘spidey sense’ but there’s some truth to it, right?”

Sohee nods at your suggestion. Her lips then quirk into a downward curve as she grimaces, “The thing is I’ve missed my period... Oops.”

“You’ve what???” you goggle at her, heart sinking to your chest.

Fuck. Her pregnancy will complicate things. You should really end your infidelity with Jungkook as soon as possible. Especially because he’s going to be a father.

She leans back on the sofa, muttering nonchalantly, “Was supposed to have my period a week ago.”

Your hand flies to your mouth in shock, the muffled words coming out in broken syllables, “Oh my god… Sohee… have you… have you checked?”

“Yeah, I did. The result’s negative so these aren’t my hormones, Y/N. Don’t worry,” she pats your knee, seemingly to appease you.

You sigh in relief too excitedly, as if it’s your own missed period being tackled here. You’re still left wondering though so you ask, “Why did you miss your period then? Aren’t you on the pill?”

Sohee shrugs, raising both hands up, “I don’t know. I’m not a freaking gynecologist, boo.”

“You should get checked then. Those home kits aren’t a hundred percent accurate.”

Her eyes widen excitedly, as she beams, “Why don’t you come with me? I can go to the doctor today.”

“Why don’t you ask Jungkook instead? Don’t get me wrong, I’d gladly accompany you, you’re my best friend, duh? But this is your future with him and I-I think it would be better if he came there with you instead of me.”

Sohee taps on her chin, considering your idea, “You know what, you’re right. I’ll call him up later and ask him to come with.”

“R-right. You should do that,” you nod weakly.

Sohee’s not comforted one bit however as she returns to her predicament. She groans, “But seriously, boo, what do I do? I just have this nagging feeling that he’s cheating on me.”

“Have you tried talking to him about it?”

She splutters at your suggestion, gawking at you incredulously, “And ask him what? ‘Hey, love, by any chance, did you cheat on me today?’” She sniggers, shaking her head, “I don’t think that’s a good idea, boo.”

“Yeah, you’re right…” You sigh despondently, offering instead, “Then I’ll ask Jimin. Maybe he knows something about Jungkook and he just doesn’t want to tell me.”

Sohee lights up at your plan, holding both your hands in a tight squeeze. “Oh, you will? Oh please do, boo. I’m going crazy with my suspicions here.”

“Of-of course, boo. I’ll talk to him and let you know as soon as I do,” you squeeze her hands back.

“Thanks, boo. You’re a life saver,” she leans her head on your shoulder.

“In the meantime, what are you planning to do?”

Needless to say, you’re curious. You’re the other woman after all. Better be alert than be blindsided by her plans. Wait a sec, didn’t you say you’re ending this thing – whatever it is – with Jungkook soon? Why are you even asking her next course of action?

“Well... call me crazy but I’m planning on keeping a close eye on him.”

“How? Are you going to hire a private investigator or something?” The words tumble out your mouth before you can even process it.

You’ve planted an idea, a brilliant one at that, one that will greatly ensure that you can’t be seen with Jungkook.

Great. Just great.

And Sohee seems to agree, as she hums approvingly, “Hmmm, that sounds like a good idea.”

You vehemently contest the trap you’ve set for yourself, flailing your hands about with a resounding, “No!”

You clear your throat as Sohee jerks a bit from the force of your protest. With a softer voice, you reason, “I mean, think about it Sohee, what if Jungkook finds out you’ve been spying on him? And your spying doesn’t yield any results? For all you know, he’s just stressed with work.”

Fortunately, Sohee assents to your explanation. “You’re probably right. He did mention his new boss is really fond of him.”

You snap your fingers, tilting your head to the side. “See? That’s probably it. Look at me, I’m so deep in work shit that I barely have time for Jimin. Like yesterday, I apparently told him to pick me up at five and I totally forgot about it. What the hell, right? Stress can do that to you. Heck, you’re forgetful too when you’re juggling so many events at once.”

Sohee concurs, nodding along, “Yeah, I know, boo. You’re like a walking zombie after work. And yes, I do remember I asked you how to spell orange one time I was stressed from work.”

Encouraged, you blather on to completely convince her, “I mean, don’t get me wrong. A woman’s instinct is always on point but you also have to be rational about these things. You can’t let yourself be blinded by your emotions. Consider the facts on hand as well. Like, for example, what you said, Jungkook’s new boss hates him and he’s probably super stressed about it that it spills over to his personal life. Like how he’s distracted when you’re banging and stuff… Wait a sec, do you guys even talk about these things?”

Like how he does with you? Opening about his mom and his view on marriage and stuff? Your mind enquires.

Shut up, you fume.

Sohee frowns at your question, grumbling, “These things? Like feelings and shit? Well… you know Kookie. He rarely talks about that stuff. When I do ask him, he’s always, ‘no, love, I’m okay, love, everything’s fine, love.’ You know how jocks can be. They hate opening up about their feelings. Makes them feel less manly, I guess.”

He’s more than a jock, Sohee, you wanted to say. He likes to write, did you know that? He’s so, so much more than who you think he is.

Your thoughts take over you that you idly remark, “I just think if you get past that stereotype of him, you’d be surprised.”

“What do you mean?” Sohee looks sideways at you, not getting your point.

“He may be your typical jock but maybe there’s more to that than meets the eye. Maybe there’s a sensitive soul deep inside that you need to coax out.”

Sohee blows raspberries, chortling, “Are you hearing yourself, boo? Jungkook is the most basic jock I know. He loves working out, hell, he’s even made a career out of it! He loves the arcades, loves the thrill of extreme sports… He is literally, a living, breathing muscle pig. There’s got to be nothing deeper than that.”

You begin to see the reason for Jungkook’s easy attachment to you, the mysterious trailing off of his words when he talks about Sohee’s view of him, the hesitancy in Sohee’s attestation that she’ll walk down the aisle with her boyfriend.

Ah, so this is why he cheated… If you only knew, you would have never done what you did. Then again, you never realized you were bored with Jimin until Jungkook kissed you.

But back to Sohee.

“You never know, Sohee. Just because he looks and acts like a jock, it doesn’t mean that’s all there is to him.”

Sohee bobs her head side to side, hearing you out, “Okay, okay, Sigmund Freud. I’ll try and ask him to quote unquote, coax out his sensitive soul.”

“And I’ll ask Jimin, in case Jungkook’s mentioned anything.”

She smiles warmly at you, pouting her lips, “Thanks, boo. I really needed this.”

You grin back, caressing her arm softly, “Anytime, boo. You know I’m always here for you.”

Sohee recoils from your unusual words, gazing at you judgmentally, “I know, I know… but hey, when did you ever get sappy and start throwing cheesy shit like that?”

You playfully smack her on the arm, crossing your arms over your chest. “Oh shut up, Sohee. You better enjoy it while it lasts.”

Sohee giggles, throwing herself at you to embrace you tightly, “I love you too, Y/N.”

You pat her on the back, letting her mold her body to yours. You attempt to choke back the tears of guilt, of regret, of absolute shame that you’re the cause of your best friend’s pain.


The trip back to your apartment is spent ruminating on your conversation with Sohee.

Especially the bit about the pregnancy scare.

You check the period tracker app on your phone, noting the day you’re supposed to have your period. You nearly drop the device upon realization.

That you’re supposed to have your menstruation eight days ago.

You calculate in your head what happened last month – and distressingly realize that a little over a month ago is when you first had sex with Jungkook. Unprotected sex, you add.

Your heart thunders in your rib cage, each rap painful and heavy.

Maybe you missed your pill?

You sprint to your medication cabinet, counting the pills and checking the corresponding days. You find out that you did take them religiously, so it’s impossible for you to get pregnant.

Is it?

You search the net for any reasons you may have missed your period.

  1. Not taking the pill at the same time every day – that can’t be it. You’ve even set an alarm for that.
  2. Missing a dose – not possible, as well. You took all of them. And your empty pill case proves the fact.
  3. Alcohol – sure, you enjoy a glass of wine once in a while but you’re not a heavy drinker at all. That night you drank with Jungkook couldn’t have diminished the efficacy of your medication. Even if you did down at least half a dozen bottles in the process.

And lastly –

  1. Taking a generic form of the pill – you’re not the type to scrimp up on your health. You’ve been buying the same brand for years, as prescribed by your doctor.

You then search for reasons for missing your period even when you’ve taken your pills.

If you have not missed any pills, skip 1 period, yet have no other signs of early pregnancy, it is very unlikely that you are pregnant. Signs of early pregnancy include fatigue, breast tenderness or enlargement, nausea or vomiting, and increased urination.

-- says the other website.

You rack your brain for any of the aforementioned symptoms and frantically debate with yourself as almost all signs are scarily true to you. Of course you’re always tired. Your freaking work is too stressful lately. Your breasts did feel tender, but you’re sure it’s only because Jungkook practically mashed it that night he came over drunken. Vomiting? Yeah, you vomited last night but only because you were so overwhelmed with your emotions. Those symptoms couldn’t possibly mean you’re pregnant, right?

Right?

Shit.

You convince yourself that your explanations make sense. You’ve always been reliable in your birth control, and this decision is some form of gift to Jimin. You trust that he is faithful to you so contracting any sexually transmitted diseases is off the list. Doing you raw is the least you can give your generous lover after all those years he’s taken care of you.

However, you gather, that in all those years you’ve been making love to Jimin raw, this, your problem right now, has never been an issue. The niggling thought – that one illicit tryst weeks ago – seems to be the culprit.

Shit.

With shaky and almost stumbling steps, you descend the stairs of your apartment building, sprinting to the nearest pharmacy to buy a home pregnancy kit.

You stare at the package for so long that water starts to form in your vision. You’ve read the instructions several times that you can already follow it with your eyes closed. With tentative, hitched breaths, you trudge to the bathroom to find out if you’re pregnant.

It takes you a full hour to get it over with, as you read and reread (and reread) the instructions despite the numerous times you’ve done so. You proceed with the task, ensuring that the drops hit the strip correctly. You then delicately place the small rectangular kit on top of a level surface, as instructed in the box. And just to be sure, you set an alarm on your phone for two minutes. No, scratch that, you revise it to five just to be absolutely certain.

You feel every muscle tense in anticipation and dread. The chaotic thoughts flood your system in the meantime.

What if it’s positive? Should you tell Jungkook?

Are you even sure it’s his? You had sex with Jimin then too but it’s frightening how you miss your period exactly a month after you did the deed with Jungkook.

What if it’s positive? Should you tell Jungkook?

What would happen then? Will he leave Sohee? What if Sohee’s pregnant as well? You haven’t heard from her but you’re certain that she went to the doctor because you overheard her talking to Jungkook on the phone and he confirmed he’ll accompany her. That’s why you left as soon as you can. You can’t bear being in the same room with him and Sohee. Not anymore.

And if you tell Jungkook, what would he do?

What if he leaves Sohee for you? He seems very desperate to get a hold of you yesterday, even when he knew you were with Jimin. He even said those three words you thought were reserved for your best friend.

What about Jimin? What would he do?

If Jungkook chooses you, it will be an absolute mess. And fuck, what if Sohee’s pregnant as well? If Jungkook chooses you over her, you’re in big trouble. You’re destroying a lifetime of friendships here.

Hey, you’ve already done it several times, your subconscious reminds you.

You settle with not telling Jungkook, in case there are two pink lines on the kit.

What about Jimin? What would he do?

You’re confident that Jimin will be ecstatic if he finds out you’re pregnant. That may be the only sign he’s waiting for to finally pop the question. On second thought, will you be able to live with yourself knowing that the kid may not even be his? That that sinful night bore fruit to a child who may be a constant reminder of your debauchery with Jungkook? And what’s worse, that night happened again and again (and so many times two nights ago) that even if the test is negative now, what if it turns out positive a month later? You’re definitely never going to know who the father is by then.

What about abortion? That will surely settle the paternity issue. It’s the perfect way to cover up the perfect crime. Although you’re pro-choice, you can’t help but taste the acid on your tongue from the very thought of terminating a pregnancy that could have been perfectly normal if only you were faithful.

You grate your nails into your scalp, finding no viable solutions to all questions you’ve posed.

Shitshitshit—

The alarm blares, completely startling you. You slowly approach the counter, feeling your heart skipping a thousand times against your chest. At this distance, you can see the deep pink line.

Oh gods, please let it be just one…

And you exhale.

One line. Meaning negative. Congratulations, you’re not pregnant.

You press your hand over your chest, slumping on the floor as you clutch on to the result. Tears run down your cheeks uncontrollably, as your emotions swallow you whole.

The relief is temporary as you recall your advice to Sohee. These kits aren’t a hundred percent accurate, you said. Despite another round of dawdling and internal debates, you compose yourself and head to the nearest clinic to get yourself tested.


The nurse tells you to kindly wait your turn as Dr. Ha is still seeing another patient. The nearest clinic turns out to be two blocks away from Sohee’s apartment, as it’s the only one open during the weekend. You pray to the heavens that your best friend is finished with her exam.

You’re tempted to text her, as a precaution. It’s normal to do that right? You’re just checking up on her, right? You type in response to your internal question when—

“Hey, boo, what are you doing here?” Sohee’s bubbly voice greets you.

Your eyes widen at her greeting, and even more, if possible, when you see the man behind her. Jungkook represses the smile quivering in his mouth, worrying his lower lip between his teeth. He looks both shocked and delighted to see you there as well, eyes wide and curious.

“H-hey, Sohee. J-jungkook,” you purse your lips into a thin smile.

“Hey, Y/N…” he pipes feebly.

Sohee sits beside you, leaving Jungkook to awkwardly stand rooted to his spot. “Hey yourself. What are you doing here I said.”

“Oh… um, I have, ah, I have my monthly check-up with Dr. Ha,” you sputter, averting the boring gaze of her lover.

“Oh, really? She’s my OB too. I just saw her,” Sohee happily shares.

“Ah… right. So how did it go?”

“Well she said I have to do some blood tests to be sure. We’re on the way to the lab actually.”

You nod absentmindedly, mumbling, “Right. To be sure…”

Sohee studies your expression, making you self-conscious under her scrutiny. She suddenly gasps when it dawns on her, exclaiming, “Oh my fucking god, boo! Are you pregnant?!”

Jungkook stiffens at Sohee’s question, gaping at you inquisitively.

You shush her with a finger to your lips, looking around to find the other patients staring at your group, “No! No, I’m not. It’s just-it’s just my regular check-up, like I said.”

“Ms. Y/LN, you’re next,” the nurse informs you.

“Let me know what happens, boo. Oh this is so exciting! What if we’re both pregnant? Isn’t that amazing? Our kids are going to have the same birthdays!” Sohee squeals.

And same father, you nearly spit out.

Her boyfriend is not as enthused, as his trembling fist clenches so tightly that you can see his knuckles turn white, as his jaw sets in a taut square that a muscle dances in his cheek.

You rise from your seat, murmuring, “Sure, Sohee. I’ll let you know. I’ll go ahead. See you around, boo… J-jungkook.”

Sohee waves goodbye excitedly, chirping, “See you, boo. Think positive!”

“Bye, Y/N,” Jungkook greets softly as you walk past him. He continues to look at you with an unreadable expression and you don’t dare look back, afraid that one stare might give you away.


Similar to Sohee, Dr. Ha draws up a lab test request for you. Results will be out on Monday at the earliest, she said. The clinic will call you as soon as the results are out, she said.

And in all your years of existence, you have never wished that Monday would come soon enough.

You linger on telling Jimin about the trip to the clinic, as you’re certain that Sohee may spill about it soon. Especially because the awesome foursome is due for a movie date on Wednesday. Your best friend isn’t the most discreet human being and the possibility of Jimin knowing before you could even tell him is very, very high.

Then again, texting Jimin would clearly play out the wild scenarios in your head, all of which ended bitterly.

You fervently pray that you’ll find out your results on Monday indeed.

Your phone beeps, shattering the cold silence of your apartment. You loudly groan upon reading the text—

Are you pregnant?

—sent by Jungkook. Before you can even type up a reply, the grey dots are dancing on his side of the line. His next message reads—

Is it mine?

Shit, how are you supposed to know? Your thumbs hover on the keypad, as you come up empty with a reply.

Answer me, baby girl, or I’m coming over.

You fidget with your phone, responding immediately.

I don’t know. I’ll find out if I’m pregnant on Monday.

Your phone rings, the discordant tune resounding in your pad. You curse under your breath but nonetheless decide to answer it.

“H-hello?”

“Baby girl… thank god, you’ve answered my call,” Jungkook sighs in relief.

“Where are you? Why are you calling me?”

“I’m at Sohee’s.”

“What the fuck, Jungkook? I’m ending this call right now. You can’t call me when you’re over there!” you hotly protest.

“Don’t worry. She’s in the bathroom. She can’t hear us,” he assuages you.

“No! It’s not safe! End this call right now!”

“Why isn’t it safe? I told you, she’s in the bathroom. Chill, baby girl.”

You card your fingers through your hair, seething, “She knows, okay? She talked to me earlier because she suspects you’re cheating on her.”

“Oh…” Jungkook simply responds.

Oh? That’s all you’ve got to say? Jungkook, please—”

“Does she know it’s you?”

“No.”

“That’s a relief…” Jungkook sighs loudly, relieved.

“Even so… let’s not talk right now. Just… just call me when you’re no longer there.”

“But… but I just want to hear your voice, Y/N…I’ve missed you, baby girl.” he coos.

There’s so much longing in his voice and you can’t help but say the same, “M-me too, Kookie.” You shake your head to snap yourself out of it, imploring, “But please… not now, okay? Like I said, I’ll know by Monday. So… so please, let’s lie low in the meantime.”

“Got it. But please let me know your results as soon as you find out, okay?” he implores as well.

“I will. Just… just take care of yourself. A-and Sohee.”

“You too, baby girl. I lo—”

You know what he’s supposed to say. Your heart whirls with mixed, conflicting emotions. On one hand, a part of you is elated that he feels this strongly about you. But the euphoria is short-lived when you remember the fact that you both belong to someone else.

You immediately interrupt him, pleading through strained breaths, “Don’t say it, please. Not when you’re at Sohee’s apartment.”

“I’ll tell it to you face to face then. Soon,” he says so happily that you can imagine the small smile on his face.

“Bye, Jungkook.”

You don’t wait for him to hang up. You dash to the bathroom to vomit, praying that it’s just the overwhelming emotions you can’t contain and not a sign of another life growing in your belly.

Monday can’t come soon enough.


You manage to pull through the rest of the weekend. Jimin leaves you alone during that time, busy with work he’s taken home. You’re grateful that he’s preoccupied as you’re not sure you can act normal around him anymore.

You don’t get to tell him about your predicament. Instead, you swear Sohee to secrecy until the results are out. She playfully agrees, although she tells you she doesn’t know why you’re so reluctant.

Oh, if she only knew. Ah, if she only knew.

You also don’t get to ask him about Jungkook’s odd behavior, saving that conversation for later. You’ll just come up with an excuse to Sohee, you settle. You’re a good liar anyway, you miserably muse.

Monday finally comes but the dread in the pit of your stomach does not dissipate one bit. You count the hours until you get a call from the clinic, spending the rest of the day in dazed routine. By two in the afternoon, you dial the number of the clinic, unable to mitigate the ill feeling in your chest.

“Y/LN Y/FN, right? Ah, yes, we have your results now, Y/N-ssi,” the nurse informs you.

Your heart bobs in your throat. “O-oh, really? May I know the findings right now?”

“Oh, sorry, Y/N-ssi, but we’re not allowed to discuss patient’s results over the phone. You can access it online, if you wish. The username and password are in your receipt.”

You scramble your brain for the whereabouts of the said receipt. You search your purse, tucking the phone between your shoulder and ear whilst you unpack your bag.

“Oh I see, thank you. I’ll just check it online,” you mumble.

“You can also drop by the clinic for the physical results if you want. We’re open until five,” she cheerily offers.

You recall the encounter with Sohee and Jungkook, cringing from the possibility that you might run into them again. “No, no, it’s fine. I’ll just check it out on the website. Thank you for your help, goodbye.”

You continue leafing through the contents of your bag, wishing that you had enough concentration to keep the receipt. Fortunately, you find the piece of paper tucked at the bottom of your purse. You sag in relief, but also shudder when you realize you’re literally seconds away from finding out the truth.

You go to the website and type the login details provided, drumming your fingers on the keyboard as the page loads. A scanned PDF of your results pulls up and you open it.

You feel the tension in your shuddering fingers, in every fiber of your being as the document loads. You quickly scan through the medical terms, trying to process it with your zero knowledge of the exam. But one thing is clear as you finish perusing the document.

Congratulations, you’re not pregnant.

You clap your hand over your mouth to muffle your sobs. You wipe the tears smearing your face, ducking your head out of your officemates’ view. You’re finally relieved, expelling sighs that mark the heavy boulder lifted off your shoulder.

But what about Sohee? Did she get her result already?

What about Jungkook? Should you tell him?

You inhale and exhale a few times before deciding to text Sohee instead of her boyfriend. She quickly replies to your inquiry, sending three sad faces.

Your freshly calmed heart lurches again, causing you to call her.

“Negative, boo,” she groans.

“Oh… Did you want it to be positive?”

“Of course! I wouldn’t want anything more than be the mother of Jungkook’s child,” she laments.

“But are you ready? And what about Jungkook? Is he ready to be a father?”

Sohee snorts, “You know I don’t believe in that. You’re ready when you’re ready, boo. And I think Jungkook is too.”

“Oh… well, better luck next time, then.”

“Yeah. Wait a sec, how about yours?”

“Negative too.”

Sohee groans again, clicking her tongue, “Aish… and I was already imagining the joint birthday parties of our kids. Oh well, better luck next time, too~”

“Yeah,” you sigh.

“See you Wednesday then. I promise I won’t spill your secret to Jimin. As long as you keep me sober,” she chimes.

“Ugh, for fuck’s sake, Sohee!” you bark.

She guffaws on the other line, “Shhh, calm your tits, Y/N. Your secret is safe with me. Hang on, have you talked to him?”

“Umm, not yet. He’s too busy with work but I’ll ask him, I promise.”

“Okay. Anyways, Wednesday, don’t forget! Bye!”

You end the call, your moment’s relief completely disintegrating as you now dread the movie date with the awesome foursome.


Jungkook’s apartment is the venue of tonight’s movie date. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is the film to be played, after the lot of you decide to raffle off the choices to be fair in the selection.

You arrive at his apartment with Jimin, who greets him with the customary gesture of clenching fists and bumping chests. Jungkook looks at you over Jimin’s shoulder, causing you to dart your eyes elsewhere.

“You guys are late again! Were you perhaps making babies before going here?” Sohee jests, winking at you suggestively.

You’re actually late because crippling anxiety attacks you again. Jungkook haven’t contacted you since Saturday, and you’re thankful that you’re allowed those days to breathe. At the back of your head though, you think it’s because Sohee’s shared your negative result with him, something she would likely do especially since he saw you at the clinic.

But the very thought of being in the same room with him, Sohee and Jimin had made you panicky once more. You spent a good time in the bathroom to calm yourself down and expel the contents of your stomach again, before pasting a wide grin to Jimin who patiently waited for you.

You glower at Sohee, nostrils flaring up from her not-so-subtle insinuations.

Jimin blushes, laughing to dismiss the accusation, “No, that’s not it at all. Just the traffic. We were late because of heavy traffic. But really, Sohee, are you always going to ask this whenever we’re late?”

“Of course! I can’t wait to be an aunt, Jiminie~” she nudges Jimin.

“Let them live, love. I’m sure hyung and Y/N will get pregnant when the time is right,” Jungkook casually remarks, busying himself with preparing the movie.

You furtively glance at him, unsure why you sense a hint of annoyance in his tone.

“Right. We’ll only do that when we’re ready,” you firmly say.

“Well, whatever. Jungkook and I are always ready, right love?” Sohee attaches to Jungkook, possessively wrapping her arm around his waist.

You notice that the pair look freshly showered, their hair a bit damp and Sohee dwarfed in Jungkook’s hoodie. It dawns on you that they may have fucked before you came over, Sohee’s flushed cheeks somewhat confirming your theory. At the realization, something stings in your chest.

Jungkook bobs his head in approval, raising both brows in assent. “Anyways, let’s just watch the movie…” he mutters.

“Yeah, let’s,” Jimin curls to your side, interlocking your fingers together.

And despite yourself, you can’t help but steal a glance at Jungkook during the film. He keeps his eyes trained on the film though but you’re certain that he doesn’t pay attention as you note the slight shiver of his hand on his knee.

As you watch the movie, you wonder if such technology in erasing memories existed in real life. Because right now, you wish you could forget the intricate lies you’ve weaved for your lover and your best friend. Oh, if only you could, you would return to when things were simple.

After the movie, you volunteer to wash up the plates and utensils, feeling the dire need to get out of the living room as soon as possible. Jungkook’s kitchen is out of their view, giving you your much needed solitude. Sohee consults with Jimin about some accounting troubles in her company and you thought that that would be enough to keep the three of them preoccupied.

As usual, you’re wrong, Jungkook appearing beside you to help you clean up.

You nearly drop the plate you’re washing when you take note of his presence, choosing instead to sigh sharply.

“Don’t be like that,” he murmurs.

“You can’t be here. Go back to the living room, Jungkook,” you scrub the plate a bit too harshly.

“What? I’m just helping you clean up,” he innocently shrugs.

“I don’t need your help,” you curtly answer.

“Y/N…” he frowns at your remark.

“Please, Jungkook. I need space. So—so just go back to the living room and leave me alone,” you gripe.

Jungkook grabs your wrist, peering into your eyes, “I can’t leave you alone. I’ve left you alone enough these past two days.”

You tug on your wrist but his hold is tenacious. “What are you doing? They might see…”

“No, they won’t. Baby girl, why are you being like this? What’s wrong?” he rubs his thumb on your wrist, briefly distracting you with the warmth suffusing from his digit to your skin.

But you snap out of it swiftly, hissing in a hushed tone, “Are you going to keep asking that? You know fucking what! Let me go, Jungkook.”

He removes the plates you’re currently washing, grabbing both wrists as he says, “I love you.”

Fuck.

You bite your lower lip, directing your eyes not to look into his.

“I’m going to kiss you if you don’t look at me,” he warns.

The familiar words cause you to dejectedly relent to his request. You inhale and exhale sharply, squeezing your eyes shut before staring into his orbs.

He smiles contentedly, “There’s my girl…”

“Jungkook, stop it. Please stop it,” you implore.

“Stop what? Stop loving you? You know I can’t do that,” he releases one wrist to cup your cheek.

You flinch from his caress, and you’re now aware that you’re shuddering like a leaf under his touch. You can hear the drone of conversation between Sohee and Jimin in the living room, but you’re increasingly being deafened by the loud thuds of your heart.

“You said I can tell you I love you when I see you again right? So here it is… here I am. I love you, Y/N,” he coos.

For a moment, you’re fooled that it’s only you and Jungkook in his apartment, right here, right now. Your emotions well up in your chest once again, the filthy sparks his caress ignites making your heart flutter.

You relax under his touch, saying softly, “Jungkook… I—”

But it’s only for a moment.

“Love, what’s the name of that building beside your gym again? Come here, we can’t find it on the map,” Sohee’s booming voice interrupts the trance.

“Yeah, just a sec,” Jungkook finally lets you go. But not before chastely kissing you.

He leaves sweet embers in your lips, only to be replaced by the bitter taste of your guilt.


That’s the last you spend with Jungkook alone.

Sohee moves in with him temporarily as her apartment has a gas leak, a result of an experiment gone wrong by her chemist neighbor. The damage is so severe that it will take weeks to remove the stench, according to her.

Part of you thinks it’s a lie. Jungkook can easily confirm but you suppose he’s just going along to dispel her doubts, especially since you’ve told him that Sohee is suspicious. Armed with the fact that she intends on keeping a close eye on him, you are convinced that Sohee planned this all along.

For some reason, it irks you.

You have no right. Absolutely no right to be annoyed. Or jealous. Especially jealous.

But you find yourself getting envious over the fact that Sohee can freely touch Jungkook as she wanted, can freely kiss him as she liked, can freely fuck him as she desired. Whereas you, you are left with the scraps of stolen moments with him, like that brief moment in his kitchen a few days ago.

And then you find yourself wallowing in regret and guilt. Sis code. Sisters before misters. Dibs. Oh, you wished it was easier said than done. Your logic grills you from the green-eyed monster plaguing your brain. Focus on Jimin, for fuck’s sake, focus on your boyfriend of three years! It scolds you.

But even when you’re under Jimin and he breathlessly chants your name and you revel in the tenderness of his gaze as he tells you he loves you, you could only close your eyes and wish it was Jungkook instead.

The weeks go by with you teetering from your emotions. It’s not healthy at all as you lose sleep most nights, as you cry yourself to sleep frequently, as you distractedly drive home to almost collide with another car.

This can’t continue, your head says.

This can’t stop, your heart whispers.

You spend another night crying yourself to sleep, as you’re pulled by both faculties.


Hey

Jungkook’s text lights up the screen, illuminating your dark room. You rouse from his message, as if you aren’t fully awake enough at this hour. It’s 11 in the evening and lately, you sleep at one.

Though your head clearly tells you not to reply, you do.

Hey

Sohee’s left

He says, and in all your miserable nights, you finally find a reason to smile.

Oh

--you reply simply.

Can I call?

Of course you want to hear his voice. Fuck, what you would give to hear his voice. But you firmly decline. You have to stand your ground.

No

Why not? Hyung’s there?

No

Then why not?

You can practically hear him groan on the other line.

I can’t

Can’t what?

You type, I can’t stop thinking about you. Can’t fucking stop my feelings for you. You press backspace, steeling yourself to stand by the decision you’ve made a week ago.

This has to stop

Jungkook calls you and you muster all your strength to stop from answering him. He immediately texts you once the ringing ends.

Why won’t you answer me? Baby girl, what’s wrong?

You grunt at the fucking stupid question. He keeps asking what’s wrong as if what you have isn’t forbidden in the first place. Your phone keeps ringing after that, Jungkook once again desperate to get in touch with you. You drown the sound with a pillow but with the quiet stillness of your pad, the noisy device grates your ears. You turn off your phone, wishing that Jungkook ceases from his pursuit.

But barely fifteen minutes pass and loud knocks rap against your door.

Shit.

You cover your ears, attempting to mute the sound but his muffled callouts of your name will surely wake the neighbors. Grudgingly and nervously, you rise to open the door for him.

Jungkook heaves, collecting his breath. He never gives you the chance to reject him as he grabs on your wrist and slams your back against the door. The impact is so loud that the hallway echoes with the thud. His mouth latches onto yours, moist and ready to explore your every crevice. All your resolve dissolves into thin air as his kiss sears its way to your cunt. You fight back, engaging in a loud kiss that robs him of his breath but he willingly lets you.

Your breath hitches as he runs one finger up your slit, its tip circling your clothed clit. He smiles when his finger is immediately drenched by your juices.

“You’re so wet for me,” he breathes in your ears, smirking.

Of course, you’re dripping wet, having missed his touch for so long. The second his face grazes your vision, you already felt the liquid rush to your core. His boyish smile sent a thousand knives down your throat, gushing you dry.

His tongue dances with yours in rhythmic cadence, in lovely circles, and that soaks your panties even more. The hands reaching your body find an easy way into the valley between your breasts, the small of your back, the apex of your thighs. And that’s when he teases you with one finger and then two and then both are inside you.

You can’t recall much what happens next – just the flurry of clothes strewn unceremoniously on the floor and the tangle of limbs tumbling to the sofa to reconnect where you both wanted to be nestled in the most.

“I missed you so much, Y/N,” he moans into your mouth before capturing it once again, rendering you breathless.

You mumble the same in between kisses and bounce up and down his cock to show him just how much you missed him. He grips your hips to guide you further and harder, as if you weren’t vibrating enough, and those long fingers will leave marks that will surely stay.

“Ah, fuck—I missed you too…” you moan in broken syllables as he ruts beneath you and laves at your dangling tits.

Your tired muscles are supplanted by his superior cadence, forceful upward thrusts pumping into you as strong possessive arms keep you in place. Despite his looming orgasm, he never forgets about your pleasure, reaching between you to rub on your clit skillfully, all the while suckling on your nipple and rolling it between his teeth.

Suddenly, you stutter, sinful fireworks exploding behind your eyelids, your walls clamping weightily on him, your throat becoming hoarse from screaming his name over and over. He groans from the way you choke his cock, and it’s all he needs to let go. He pulls you closer to him, burying his fingers on your hips, panting quickly to bloom gooseflesh on your neck.

With one sharp jerk of his hips, he comes undone. You could feel his hot seed coating your walls and capture the pleasure on his face as he howls your name over and over, staring at you with half-lidded eyes.

And then it was over, both of you a boneless heap from the most hardcore sex of your life.

Only that it wasn’t spent with the man of your dreams.

The selfie of you and Jimin by the beach reminds you of your transgression for the nth time. The guilt washes over you immediately, the picture staring at you, angled perfectly to witness what you have done. You close your eyes and catch your breath, summoning every bit of courage to follow through with your decision.


Jungkook cuddles your naked form once again, squeezing you close to him in the small confines of your sofa. A little later, he clambers over you to lead you to the bathroom to clean. You let him have his way, even when tears mar your face and he reverently replaces the salt with his sweet kisses.

He carries you in his arms, like he did before, laying you in the bed daintily, in stark contrast to his roughness earlier. He even aids you in dressing up, as he settles on sleeping in his boxers. And then he joins you, tucking you against his chest. Both comfortably on your sides, Jungkook bids you ‘good night’, ending it with a kiss on the top of your head.

It would be so easy to get lost in his arms, in your oxytocin-filled happiness, in his and your temporary suspension of reality.

But that’s all it will ever be, as you recall the decision you’ve firmly made regarding your situation.

You pull away from him, pressing a hand over his chest, “I think you should leave.”

Jungkook holds on to your hand, bringing the back of your palm to his lips. “Why baby girl?”

“I can’t… I can’t do this anymore,” you sob, tears springing anew.

He brushes your tears with his thumbs, shushing, “Why? You know we can’t stop. Not now. Not ever. Not when I lov—”

You sit up, folding your knees to your chest as you beg, “No, Jungkook. Please don’t say it. No… don’t.”

He easily pries you away from your shell, repeating himself, “But I love you—”

You wildly object, attempting to remove his hold of you, “No, no, no. You can’t.”

But of course, he maneuvers your body so effortlessly that you’re now sitting across from him, your knees on both sides of his hips.

He coaxes you to look at him, nuzzling your nose, “But it’s what I feel. And I know you feel it too.”

You grit your teeth to fend off the delicious swirls his affections produce, groaning, “But Jimin… and Sohee… we can’t hurt them any further than we already have.”

Jungkook sighs exasperatingly, declaring, “So let’s break up with them. Let’s make this real, Y/N.”

You widen your eyes at his nonchalance, as if it’s the only logical thing to do. You exclaim, “Jungkook, this is wrong! We can’t do this.”

He rubs both your arms, convincing you, “That’s why we’ll break up with them. I’ll call her now. I’ll end it. I will. I’ll do that for you.”

He reaches for his phone and you dive to stop him from doing such a careless thing. “No, no! Please don’t do that. Calm down. You’re not thinking clearly.”

Jungkook deposits the device back on the night stand, calming you a bit. He grunts, interlacing your fingers together, “Do you love me, Y/N?”

“Jungkook…” you look away, as usual, fearing the worst for yourself.

He clicks his tongue in disapproval, cupping both your cheeks so that you have no choice but to look at him. He asks thickly, “Do. You. Love. Me, Y/N?”

He holds your gaze, staring into your eyes intensely. Your brows crease, lips trembling as you rasp, “I… think I do.”

Jungkook presses his forehead onto yours, cooing, “Then what’s stopping you?”

Once more, the slivers of your resolve slowly evaporate in your fingers. You squeeze your eyes shut, protesting, “But I love Jimin too. I can’t do this to him.”

“You’ve already hurt him by being with me. And though you knew it would hurt him each time, you still did it,” Jungkook says bitterly.

You detach from his hold, barking, “Stop it, Jungkook. I know. Don’t you think I fucking know?!”

He patiently chases you, placing his hands on your cheeks as he sweetly allays you, “Y/N, baby girl, please be with me. We can keep it from them right now. And then when we’re ready, we can tell them about us.”

“Jungkook—”

He peers into your unsteady eyes, continuing, “I can’t stop thinking about you that it hurts so fucking much. When I’m with Sohee, all I can imagine is you, writhing beneath me, calling my name. And when I think about Jimin-hyung doing all the things I do with you, I get jealous. I want to fucking punch him in the face. I can’t stand it. One day more without you by my side… is torture.”

“Please, Jungkook. Don’t be like this. You can’t do this to Jimin. He’s your best friend, for crying out loud!” you whine out.

Jungkook tilts his head to the side, pressing his tongue against his cheek. He huffs, “What would you do if things were reversed? What if Jimin-hyung and Sohee cheated on us? If you were Sohee, you’d let me go, right? That’s the best option.”

Allowing yourself to imagine that makes your heart ache. The pain would be unbearable. Your wrath will be implacable. Your relationships will be irreparable.

And so you make up your mind, breathing out, “And I will. As who I am right now. I will let you go.”

He approaches you again, ready to encase you in his arms, but you rise to leave the bedroom. You need a bigger space to evade him. “Y/N, what do you mean?”

“I’m stopping this,” you calmly say, despite your knees shaking from nervousness.

Jungkook shakes his head, mouth agape and eyes wide open, “But… you said you love me?”

“But I can’t hurt Jimin. Or Sohee. They matter more to me than what we have—what we had. I can’t risk losing them both, Jungkook.”

“But you can do that to me?” he asks incredulously, the shock on his face dripping in his tone.

You cling on to your will, almost babbling with eyes trained at him. He needs to hear your sincerity, or else you’ll just be under him again. “Please forget about me. Be happy with Sohee. She loves you dearly. And whatever problems you have with her, fix it. Believe me when I say she’s serious about you. So please… please make my best friend happy.”

Jungkook saunters to you, and you walk backwards, unaware that you’ve trapped yourself against the wall. He cages you further with both arms snaking around your waist. His words muffle against the crook of your neck, “Y/N, how can I when you’re all I can think about? You’re all I want. What we shared is deeper than what I’ve ever had with Sohee… please… please, don’t leave me, baby girl.”

You stiffen under his hold, clenching your fists to stop yourself from reciprocating his embrace. You swallow a hard lump on your throat, trying to convince him (and yourself), “This will pass, Jungkook. Just give it time and it will pass. All things do. So, please, if you really love me, if you want me to be happy, let me go.”

He realizes that you will not waver so he lets go. He gazes into your eyes with glassy orbs, rasping, “Y/N…”

You stroke his cheek, and he leans into your touch with closed eyes and hitched breath. Your lips curve into a small smile, as you continue, “Goodbye, Jungkook. I wish you all the happiness with Sohee.”

He doesn’t say much after that, content with committing to memory your features, with stroking your hair lovingly, with allowing the tears to fall from his handsome face unabashedly. You bite back your own but a stray tear rolls down your cheek and Jungkook swoops to brush it away.

With a sigh, he tells you, “I will never forget you, Y/N. I wish you all the happiness with Jimin-hyung. Even though I want that happiness to be mine.”

“In time… Jungkook, in time, you’ll realize we were just carried away.”

“And what if we weren’t? What if what we had was real?”

“Then we’ll be together one day if we’re meant to be.”

Oh, hope is a dangerous thing. It’s paralyzing, cruel and unsure. But just for now, while it still hurts, you allow yourself to hope for the best.

You expel a suspended sigh, pursing your lips as you utter firmly, “Until then, goodbye Jungkook.”

Jungkook nods weakly, rubbing the tears on his face with the back of his palm. “Okay… goodbye, Y/N. I love you.”

He hastily gets dressed, through sniffles and sobs. You lead him out, feeling the heaviness in each step you take. Outside, he stands by the door, shoving his hands in his pockets. It seems he wants to say one more thing, his mouth opening to stifle a sound in his throat, but he decides against it, choosing to purse his lips into a taut line. With one long look, he waves goodbye to you.

You watch him walk away, closing the door only when he’s out of your view. And that’s when you remember, you did want to say one last thing before he left.

I love you too.

But it doesn’t matter. There’s no point in him knowing this.

This is for the best, you tell yourself.

But why does it fucking hurt? And at that, you shed the tears brimming in your eyes.

Chapter Text

Sohee turned out to be pregnant after all.

A second visit to the doctor, after her bouts of nausea and vomiting, confirmed the inevitable.

And today, the awesome foursome is celebrating the momentous event in a dinner hosted by the newly pregnant woman. Which you helped in preparing because she asked for your assistance. And the good friend that you are, you ensure she doesn’t exert herself too much given her condition. Even though you’re so distracted that you almost overcook the pasta noodles and burn the puttanesca sauce.

“Here’s to us!” Sohee toasts, rising from her seat and raising her glass of orange juice, “To the beginning of the future of the awesome foursome,” she gazes at you and Jimin then Jungkook, “And to the beginning of our future, love,” she beams at him.

“To our future, love,” Jungkook echoes plainly, donning a trained smile for her. Sohee looks at him so lovingly that he should brim with elation.

However, that’s not the case at all as your eyes scan Jungkook. You find that his bunny smile lacks its usual luster, that his eyes are too vacant to be considered happy, and his form is too stiff it looked painful.

Is it really though, or are you merely imagining things? It has been a little over two weeks since you’ve ended things with him, and fortunately, the four of you have not met since then due to Sohee’s work load. The time that has passed should have given you your much needed reprieve but you’ll be damned if you didn’t admit that seeing him again, under these circumstances, hurt. For one, never did you imagine that the next time the awesome foursome would assemble is to celebrate your best friend’s pregnancy. Granted, you told yourself were ready for whatever fate would bring –ah, but this, right now… this is just too cruel, you muse as you silently curse to the heavens.

You abate the quiver of your own lips, starting to feel the slight ache from smiling too insincerely. The quiver extends to your fingers raising your glass of wine that you hope the group doesn’t catch the slight tilt of your glass. Jungkook peers at you sneakily and you bid each muscle to keep it together, attempting to look as excited as you normally should for your best friend.

“Cheers indeed!” Jimin pipes warmly, his face lighting up so brightly that you’re blinded by his megawatt smile.

“I’m so happy for the two of you,” you chime in the most cheery voice you could muster.

The four of you clink your glasses. For a brief moment, your and Jungkook’s fingers brush, sending sparks through your veins. That causes you to disconnect from the toast prematurely and down your wine in one fell swoop.

Sohee sits down, immediately sidling up to Jungkook as she gushes, “Thank you, boo and Jiminie. I’m just so happy that I’m finally pregnant – not that we’re trying or anything but this baby,” she rubs at her stomach fondly, “this baby is a gift. And I can’t wait for her to come out in this world.”

“Her? We can’t tell the sex yet at this point, love,” Jungkook asks, pulling back to look at Sohee inquisitively.

She nods, caressing his arm as she explains, “Yes, love, I know. But I’m sure with all the positions we’ve been doing lately that it’s a definite her,” she ends with a suggestive wink.

Jungkook blushes from her oversharing while Jimin chortles in amusement. You could only look on with wide eyes, finding the dire need to refill your glass.

“Oh, is that so? I guess, we have to take pointers, babe. I’d like a girl as our firstborn too,” Jimin nudges you.

You giggle somewhat heartily in response, mumbling, “Ah, I guess-I guess so, babe. What positions were you doing Sohee anyway?” you rest your chin on your hand, as if interested.

“I’ll tell you in a separate session, boo. Don’t worry,” she wiggles her brows at you and you raise a thumb up in approval. Your mouth feels dry for some reason that you halve your wine in a loud gulp.

“So, what’s the plan, Kookie? Will I be hearing wedding bells soon?” Jimin narrows his eyes at the younger man, clasping his fingers together in front of his face.

Jungkook blinks twice, cautious of his hyung’s scrutiny. He scratches his nape, murmuring, “Well…”

Sohee looks on eagerly and you swirl the glass as you anticipate his response as well.

“Well, yeah. That will happen soon. It-it’s only fitting that we get married. I want our baby to be blessed after all,” he purses his lips, quirking it into a half-smile.

“And what makes you think I’ll say yes, huh, Jeon Jungkook?” Sohee sticks her chin up in defiance.

Her lover stares at her quizzically, tentatively muttering, “But-but love I thought… I mean, we’re going to have a baby together. Isn’t it just—”

She cackles playfully, patting Jungkook’s chest in jest. “I’m just messing with you, love. Cheer up! Oh, you should have seen how shook you looked.”

Sohee is pleased with her prank, laughing so much that she holds her stomach in hilarity. Jimin joins the laughter and as a supportive audience, you laugh as well.

Jungkook sighs, as if relieved, “Whew! I thought you would reject me or something…”

Sohee keens to him, cooing, “Reject you? Never! Besides, all I’ve ever wanted is to be your wife, you muscle pig. You’re the one for me, Kookie. And I can’t wait until we get married. I and our baby. We can’t wait to be with you forever.”

Jungkook nods in approval, drinking all of his wine in a single swig.

“Better get to it then, Jungkookie. I know a really good jewelry store downtown. Their rings are half the price, I heard. I can come and help you pick out designs, if you want,” Jimin shares helpfully.

Sohee gasps, casting a sidelong glance at Jimin. “Oh, a discount at a jewelry store? How would you know, Jimin-ah? Don’t tell me you’re also an accountant for Cartier’s now? Could it be…” she points at you accusatorially that you stop from downing your third glass for the night.

Jimin widens his eyes at her, blurting, “What? What do you mean, Sohee? I’m just saying there’s a good jewelry store downtown. And—,” But Sohee continues her impish stare that Jimin stutters, “What-what??”

She cocks an eyebrow, snickering, “From the looks of it, I think there will two wedding bells ringing in the air!”

Jungkook darts his eyes back and forth to the three of you. You ogle at Jimin who has now turned into a brilliant shade of crimson.

Jimin licks his lips, carding his fingers through his hair as he sighs, “Well… I don’t want to get ahead of myself. But, you know, it will only happen if Y/N would like the same.” He stares at you tenderly, interweaving your fingers together.

You goggle at his fingers while his thumb affectionately brushes your own. With the spotlight on you, your heart beats so fast that you pray to god he doesn’t hear the thuds. You understand what Sohee’s been implying but instead of glee, you are racked with anxiety. You squeeze Jimin’s hand to mask the obvious tremble of your fingers.

“Of course-of course. I’d want nothing more than be your wife, babe,” you mutter, parroting Sohee’s earlier remark.

Sohee lets out a deeply moved ‘Awww’, clutching at her chest and cuddling Jungkook’s arm. “This is it. Oh my god, it’s really happening. This is the future we’ve been babbling about guys. Or you know, what I’ve been gushing about since forever.”

“Right, love. This is it…” Jungkook drones, staring into the distance.

“Yah, Jiminie – you better take care of Y/N or else I’m going to squish your mochi cheeks until you burst, you got it?” Sohee huffs, wagging her finger at your boyfriend.

Jimin chortles, the vibrations traveling through your body connected by his hand. He raises his other hand, declaring, “I promise! I’ve only done nothing but take good care of Y/N. Right babe?”

You nod vigorously, pasting another wide smile for them. “Right, right. Jimin has always been so gracious to me.”

Sohee is moved again, as she lets out another ‘Awww.’ In contrast, Jungkook just observes the pair of you darkly and you think you see him grip the stem of the glass too tightly.

Sohee then glances at you meaningfully, quirking her lips to the side to gesture to Jungkook. You raise your brows in confusion, but finally catch on when she widens her eyes and cocks her head to Jungkook’s side again.

“Ah! And… yah, Jungkook-ah, you better be a good father to Sohee’s baby or else I’m-I’m going to throttle you until your muscles burst, okay?” you warn him, even when it is so, so difficult to hold his gaze.

Jungkook peers at you wistfully, closing his eyes once and nodding. “I will. I promise,” he sighs.

You sincerely wish he makes good on his promise. Even if a tiny part of you wants to be Sohee right now.

“I think this calls for another toast,” Jimin offers, breaking you out of your momentary trance.

Sohee immediately fills her glass with juice and Jungkook’s with wine. The four of you raise your glasses again as Jimin stands up to toast.

“To the awesome foursome. And our futures together,” he declares with a wide grin.

“Cheers to the freaking that!” Sohee clinks her glass so loudly that her juice spills a bit. Jimin titters, infecting Sohee with his glee as well.

You and Jungkook are the only ones not so enthusiastic. Thankfully, your lovers are too captivated by their excitement that they don’t notice the alarmed expressions you and Jungkook wordlessly exchange.


“I’ll come with you,” you announce, disrupting your silence with Jimin in his car.

Your words are drowned in the background music, apparently, as Jimin asks you with his hand patting on your leg, “Huh, babe? You were saying something?”

You clear your throat, repeating yourself more distinctly, “I said I’ll come with you. In Melbourne. I’ll migrate to Australia with you, Jimin.”

Jimin is so taken aback that he pulls over to the side of the road to focus on talking to you. He turns his whole body to face you, inquiring with a shocked expression, “Did I hear you right? You’re agreeing to come with me, babe?”

You nod, reaching for his hand to hold it between your hands. “Yes, babe. I’ll come with you.”

His face breaks into a wide grin that reduces his eyes into crescent moons. He takes his time to process your announcement, nodding a couple of times and squeezing back the hand you’ve trapped between yours.

And then Jimin pulls you by your nape to kiss you soft and long, rubbing his free hand on your cheek. As he pulls away, he leans his forehead against yours, whispering, “You don’t know how happy you’ve made me, Y/N. This day is just a gift that keeps on giving. First, with Jungkookie and Sohee’s pregnancy and now this… Ah, I’m so happy I could die, babe.”

You close your eyes, groaning, “Don’t die on me, Jimin. We’ve still got the rest of our lives together.”

Jimin nuzzles your nose, giggling softly, “I’m not going anywhere, Y/N. I love you. So so much.”

He kisses you chastely and you reciprocate with a loud smack. “I love you too, Jimin.”

Seemingly remembering something, he pulls away from you, cupping your cheeks as he asks worryingly, “But really, babe, are you sure? I don’t want you to do this only because I told you to.”

You stroke his arms, alleviating his concern. “I’m 101 percent sure, babe. I want to be with you. Wherever that is. I can’t wait to start my future with you, Jiminie.”

“Thank you, babe. You won’t regret it. I promise,” he smiles warmly as he lands another kiss on your lips.

Back at your place, Jimin never detaches from you that it is as if he’s molded your bodies into one. A single sensual caress at the small of your back tells you he wants more than just that and you oblige him. You wrap your arms around his neck as you angle your head to kiss him firmly. He moans under your lips, hands gently easing your hips backwards to your bedroom. He kisses you just as passionately, his tongue sweeping your lower lip and you part your mouth to welcome him.

All four hands fumble at your garments, buttons undone, shirts removed, lower garments peeled off until both of you can feel the warmth of each other’s bare flesh. Jimin lowers you to your mattress carefully, trapping your naked form with his knees on both your sides. He dusts you with kisses to your face, your lips, your ears, before his lips venture south. You shake your head and stop him from going lower, intent on ravishing him first.

He looks up at you, puzzled by your hesitation, but nonetheless allows you to change positions so that he’s on his back and you’re now face to face with his rigid cock. You grip on the base and stroke him a few times, earning a low growl from your lover. You lave his throbbing muscle eagerly, licking its tip and underside before cocooning him in your hot mouth. He lets out another guttural groan, head tilting back from your motions. You envelop him completely as the tip hits the back of your throat and he juts his hips involuntarily from the sensations. You suck him patiently, bobbing up and down his cock in learnt fashion.

Jimin writhes underneath you, caressing your hair softly and whispering encouraging words at how good you’re taking him, as usual. In time, the slick sounds of your ministrations take over, muting the moans and whimpers he expels. And then he flinches as he nears his orgasm, gently prodding you to stop.

He pulls your arms, rising from the bed to shift positions once again. With wet, searing kisses, he coaxes you on your back but you don’t relent.

“What’s wrong, babe?” he finally asks, wary of your reluctance.

You shake your head, shushing him, “Shhh, let me, babe,” you lightly press on his chest so he can lay on the bed once again.

“But I have to eat you out too,” he grumbles.

You smile weakly at him, shaking your head once again, “Not tonight, Jimin. Let me take care of you,” you distract him with a languid pump of his cock.

It’s an effective maneuver. His eyes roll at the back of his head and he easily sinks to the bed as you straddle him. You align his cock with your core, coating it slick with his pre-cum and your saliva. And then you still your movements as you peruse his form.

It’s easier to face him now. The dinner serves as the final nail in the coffin of your romance with Jungkook. Though your heartbreak still lingers, you have boldly taken a step forward with your boyfriend. Maybe, you’ll regret deciding on your future with Jimin eventually. After all, you have only made up your mind in his car. Maybe, Jungkook will still think of you in the dead of the night despite Sohee’s pregnancy. After all, he still looks at you with the same pining like before. But maybe, just maybe, the futures you’ve determined tonight will make it all better. After all, things seem to be falling into place like perfect pieces of a puzzle.

Jimin gazes at you through half-lidded eyes, suddenly noticing the pause in your movements. “Babe? What’s the matter?” his hands automatically fly to cup your cheeks.

“I love you, Park Jimin,” you smile, tears falling down your cheeks unwittingly.

He’s supposed to ask you the reason for your tears but all thoughts are gone with the wind as you descend on his length. Both of you moan contentedly instead, as you rock your hips over him. You prop yourself on his lean stomach, and his hands now find purchase on your hips to guide your cadence.

It takes a few bucks of your hips before he pulls you forward, your entire body pinning him. He sweeps the tendrils of hair sticking to your face, as he stares deeply into your eyes and rasps, “I love you too, Y/LN Y/FN.”

He kisses you fiercely, consuming the moans and breaths you exhale. He punctuates his feelings with a sharp jerk of his hips and you relinquish control as he thrusts from below. He slips one arm between your connected bodies, flicking at your clit until you see stars. You spasm above him, walls clenching on his cock as your orgasm floods over your body. He joins you shortly with a hitched chant of your name, your residual orgasm milking him of his load.

The two of you lay just like that for what seemed like forever. You realize that your tears now mingle with his, and you don’t remember when exactly he cried. However, silently, both of you appease each other with soothing caress and sympathetic kisses.

At least for you, your tears stem from the fact that you’re coming to terms with your future. With Jimin. And possibly Jungkook and Sohee. The wild imaginations you’ve conjured with your best friend months ago are finally coming true.

Indeed, this is the future for the four of you. You just have to live with it somehow.


“Jeju? For three days? In a high-end resort? Wow, boss, this is… er…new,” you exclaim in a high-pitched voice, unable to hide your surprise as you reread the document Kun-hee has just given you.

The elderly man smirks at your remark, leaning back on his swivel chair, “Consider this an early Christmas gift, Y/N-ssi. The French heads of this new chain of luxury resorts will be down there that week. I want you to talk to them and pitch our marketing plan before the competition sniffs blood. It’s a risky move but I’m sure you’ll make it happen.”

“Thank you, Kun-hee-nim. This is a great honor,” you gratefully say.

It’s the first time that your boss has let you take the lead on a new and lucrative account like this, and even more to send you off elsewhere. Even though it’s just in Jeju, it’s still a big deal especially when your slave driver of a boss has practically chained you to your desk for years.

“You’re welcome. I know I’ve been hard on you these past few months – or maybe years, I can’t remember… Anyway, I’ve only been like this because I believe in your potential, Y/N-ssi. In fact, I’ll dare say that I see a lot of myself in you. If you just continue working as hard as you’re doing right now, you’ll succeed in no time,” he explains with a warm smile, a very rare expression on his face.

Your surprise escalates even further, with his unusual warmth and his remark about your similarities. You awkwardly gawk at him and murmur, “I don’t know what to say except thank you, Kun-hee-nim. I’ll do my best.”

“I know you will, Y/N. That’s all, now get back to work,” he fans his hand to dismiss you, returning to his signature brusqueness.

You take your leave, bowing slightly to him. You’re so high in spirits that you walk to your workstation with a slight skip in your steps. You can’t help but smile as you stare at the project note.

It seems every puzzle piece is falling perfectly in place indeed.

After work, Sohee asks you to accompany her at a bookstore café to buy pregnancy books. You want to tell her that you’re no expert on the matter, but you tag along anyway as part of your best friend duties. Still, you can’t help the slight dread in the pit of your stomach because of your last memory with Jungkook at that very store.

“I’m so happy for you, boo. Finally, that asshole slave driver has seen your worth! I’ve heard great things about that French resort. We might hold an event there soon, you know. You are so lucky to be staying there for free!” She babbles, chomping on her second muffin, which is actually yours.

You glower at her thievery but she just smiles innocently at you. “Thanks, boo. I’m really glad that things are looking up, you know?”

“Yeah, definitely. I feel like my pregnancy is a lucky charm. I mean, a week after our celebratory dinner, you’re already being shipped to a very important assignment and Jimin’s shopping for rings! Ugh, this baby is such a gift,” she raises her hands in emphasis.

“Jimin’s shopping for r-rings?” you gawk at her.

Sohee grimaces, covering her mouth with a muffled, “Oops.”

You knot your brows, snorting, “Spill it, woman! What do you mean Jimin’s been shopping for rings?!”

Sohee places her half-eaten muffin on the plate, wiping the crumbs on her face as she divulges, “Well, my wedding with Kookie is sort of not a surprise anymore, right? Especially with me getting pregnant and all… so we’ve been openly talking about the arrangements and stuff. Since last week, he’s been shopping for rings already, and Jimin’s helping him. I keep telling Kookie though that I don’t want anything flashy. No diamonds or big stones, I said. Just a simple wedding band would suffice. I know, I know, me not wanting a diamond ring? Unbelievable, right? But really, I don’t want it. All my sorority sisters have like a fucking marble on their fingers and they complain that it is so impractical to wear all the time. Like one of them can’t even—”

“Sohee! Get to the fucking point!” you bark so loudly that the other customers look at you.

Sohee sighs, clasping your hands together. “Okay, calm down, boo. I’m getting to it. Anyways, so Kookie tells me that you and I have apparently the same ring finger size and I’m like, ‘how would you know that, love?’ And he’s like, ‘well, hyung told me. He’s been shopping for an engagement ring too. We might get the same design if the deal is good.’”

Your eyes widen at her revelation, croaking, “Jimin’s shopping for rings…?”

“That’s what I’ve been saying, boo. Are you even listening? Eyes on the board, bitch,” she clicks her fingers around your face to literally snap you out of it.

You gasp, finally processing Sohee’s words. “Oh god… he’s going to propose.”

Sohee squeals, squeezing your hands excitedly. “I knowww. I think he’s going to do it after Jungkook’s birthday. You know, so as not to steal my love’s thunder.”

“And when is that again?”

She grunts, reaching for her phone to jab her finger on the calendar, “September 1st, bitch. And I really thought you’ve been diligently following the awesome foursome whatsomes! Aish, you’re impossible!”

“But I’m in Jeju then, remember?” Your flight is on the afternoon of Jungkook’s birthday, in fact.

She groans, face crumpling in disappointment, “Ah shit, really? You know what, I take it back, your boss is still an asshole slave driver. Scheduling work on Jungkook’s birthday!”

You look at her with a deadpan expression, grunting, “Sohee, he wouldn’t have known that it’s Jungkook’s birthday then. Don’t be so hard on Kun-hee-nim.”

“Wow, you sold out pretty quick. Defending your boss just because he’s whisking you away in a luxury resort,” she sneers. “But fine, you’re right. Such a bummer though. Maybe we can reschedule?”

You wildly protest, shaking your head, “No! No. Don’t reschedule just because of me. It’s Jungkook’s birthday. You guys should celebrate it on the day of his birthday.”

“Well, it’s really just going to be dinner at this meat place he likes. He needs to leave very early the next day for this stupid hiking tour,” Sohee slumps her chin on her palm, stabbing the half-eaten muffin with her fork.

“Hiking tour?”

“Jungkook and I normally do sporty stuff for his birthday, remember? Like last year we camped in Busan and the year before that we went skydiving. This year, we’re supposed to hike two mountains but that’s not going to happen with me being knocked up,” she pouts.

“Yeah, I don’t think it’s a good idea to come with him.”

“I want to be selfish and beg him not to go but it’s his last birthday as a single man so I’m just going to let that slide.”

“Right… since you’re going to get married,” you bob your head sluggishly, the realization sinking in just as slowly.

She senses the dip in your mood, reaching for your hand as she assures you, “Hey, boo, don’t be like that. You’re going to get married soon too, I’m sure. Jimin’s shopping for rings after all.”

You shake your head, dispelling her concern, “Ah, let’s just wait and see, boo. I’m in no rush.”

“Oh, I’m sure of it. You deserve to be as happy as I am right now. You deserve the world, Y/N,” she strokes your arm.

Oh, do you really? After everything? Your mind mocks you.

“T-thanks boo. I’m just hoping for the best,” you curl your lips into a semblance of a smile.

Sohee prattles on about wringing Jimin’s arms until he proposes to you and you try to keep up that smile to appease her. Not when it’s becoming so apparent how your futures are going to be. And to be honest, although you’re supposed to feel relieved, you’re absolutely frightened.


The trip to Jeju proves to be your much needed distraction. Kun-hee is relentless as he runs through your marketing plan the minute you arrive at your hotel. The meeting goes on for hours with his meticulous guidance and though you would normally resent his anal nitpicking, you badly needed it to get your chaotic brain to focus on something—anything—else.

It’s an early meeting with the French investors the following morning. You easily charm the elderly, towering businessmen in your crisp blouse and tiny skirt and sky-high stilettos. You even manage to use some French phrases to delight them, and they surprise you with the basic Korean they have learned. While they tour you around the newly opened resort, you madly jot down notes for your presentation to their partners in the next days.

As you retire for the day, you realize that your schedule is jam-packed. Meetings upon meetings fill your calendar and for the first time ever, you look forward to being drowned in work. Especially since your idle time is spent imagining how Jungkook would propose to Sohee and how your heart would break into a thousand pieces as a result. It doesn’t help that your feed is flooded by selfies of Jimin and Sohee with the birthday boy. You can’t help but zoom in on Jungkook’s face, allowing yourself to pine for him just a little bit more in your solitude.

Come thirty minutes past eleven, you are surprised by the loud chime of your doorbell. You remember mentioning to the businessmen that you are booked in one of their hotels but you don’t recall giving that tidbit away as a welcome invite to intrude at your personal hours. Nevertheless, you shuck on your blazer and pull on your skirt as you approach the door.

Your eyes nearly bulge out of their sockets upon perusal of the late night visitor.

“J-jungkook? What are you doing here?” you cry out.

Jungkook is decked in a stealthy, black attire from his cap to his mask to his hoodie to his shoes. He removes the mask covering his face, greeting you with, “Let me in first.”

“What—how—but—”

“I can explain, just let me in first, please,” he implores.

You look around the empty hallway, wary that someone may have seen him. You pull him inside against your better judgment.

“Okay, you’re inside now. Explain,” you square your arms over your chest, glowering at him.

Jungkook settles his heavy backpack on the floor as he sits on your bed. “Don’t look at me like that,” he groans.

At that you snap, barking, “What the fuck are you doing here? How did you even know my room number? And oh my god, does Sohee know you’re here? Does Jimin? Jungkook, this is too dangerous! What the hell—”

Jungkook claps his hands together, startling you and effectively shutting you up. “I’ll explain everything if you stop with your twenty questions.”

You bob your head to the side, gesturing with your hand to let him speak.

“Thank you,” he nods, sighing as he explains himself, “I came here because I wanted to spend my birthday week with you,” he raises a finger when he sees you opening your mouth to protest. You close your mouth in response, smacking your lips together to let him continue.

He scratches his nape, continuing, “It’s my only wish. Stupid I know. Out of all the things I could wish for, I choose this. But it’s my birthday. And I’ll do whatever the hell I want to. I know we’re over. I know we’re wrong. I fucking know that we can’t ever be together. But I thought that maybe I’m allowed to be selfish this one last time.”

He catches his breath, resting his elbows on his knees and clasping his hands together, “What else can I lose? I’ve already lost you and we’re definitely never going to be together. Not when I’m going to be a father and I’m going to marry Sohee and you’re going to marry Jimin-hyung and migrate to Australia.”

You widen your eyes at him, and he eyes you nonchalantly, continuing, “– yeah, he’ll propose soon because I helped him pick out your fucking engagement ring. We both know what’s going to happen, Y/N. But I just thought, if we can be together, just one last time, then I’ll take it. I know you still feel the same for me. I saw it in your eyes when we had dinner at Sohee’s. And call me crazy but please, just give me just a few more days before I completely get over you.”

His words make it difficult to stand. Hence, you sink down on the nearby chair, grating at your nails from his offer. Jungkook stares at you, studying the expressions on your face but seeing that you’re still dumbfounded from it all, he continues his explanations.

“On your other questions – Sohee knows I’m in the mountains so she’s not expecting my call or anything. If she asks for pictures of my trip, I can just say my phone died or something. She let it slip that you’re staying here so there’s that. And for your room number, er… let’s just say I can be really charming when I want to. Jimin-hyung doesn’t know I’m here, that I’m sure. I even took the last flight out and covered myself up really well so that no one would recognize me. And, just to be completely safe, I researched if we had common friends living nearby and luckily, none of them can afford to live within this posh area so... So, I hope you can calm down now and I hope you can grant me my birthday wish.”

You stare at him, eyes not blinking, still shocked to find this young man before you. “But Jungkook, this is wrong. How can three days spent together change anything? How can that help us move on?”

He grunts, stroking his thigh in frustration, “I’d rather have three stolen days spent with you than none at all, Y/N. You already broke my heart. What worse can you do, huh? Let’s just pretend that for the next few days, there’s only you and me, just like in our writing class. Let’s fall in love even just for a moment, forget who we belong to and then… then, move on. Please, Y/N… please baby girl, I beg you. Please do this last thing with me and I swear, I’m never going to ask anything from you again. I’ll ask Sohee to marry me when we get back and I’m sure Jimin-hyung will ask you too, so… so just make my wish come true, please.”

His offer is tempting. It’s just one last time, after all. And fortunately, you’re both afforded this clandestine opportunity to consummate whatever fire still ignited between you two. His cover-up is rock solid, his explanations hold soundly. It’s a well thought-out plan. Further, Jimin promised he wouldn’t bother you in the next three days so you can focus on such an important assignment. It’s a perfect opportunity indeed.

Still, you inquire, “A-and where will you stay?”

Jungkook wrinkles his nose, mumbling, “I was hoping I can stay here with you.”

You scoff at his remark, sniggering, “Wow. Free accommodations on a luxury resort. You must be dreaming, Jungkook.”

He tilts his head to the side, responding, “Well, I can just book a separate room, if you’re not comfortable.”

You disagree with a sharp shake of your head, “That’s not needed. You already charmed the front desk anyways… But still, I’ll be busy the whole day. I’ll barely have any time with you. I’m on official business after all.”

“I know. But I mean, you’re going to come home eventually, right? I’ll just stay here until you’re done with work,” he pats on the bed for emphasis.

You look at him incredulously, grunting, “You’re just going to stay here the whole day? What are you going to do then?”

He shrugs, “I don’t know. Play games on my phone, watch movies, whatever. I’ll figure it out. And don’t worry, I’m not going to parade myself in the resort. I know we should be discreet.”

You nod in approval, saying aloud, “Seems like you’ve thought this through.”

Jungkook rolls his head, as if easing a kink in his neck, grumbling, “I have. Very much. You have no idea…”

He then stares at you, worrying his lower lip, as he asks softly, “So, what do you say?”

It’s just one last time, after all. It’s the perfect opportunity. It’s the perfect crime.

“O-okay,” you croak, settling your gaze on your feet.

Jungkook grins widely, unable to hide his joy. He rises from the bed, sauntering to you to look into your eyes, “Okay? Really? You’re okay with me here?”

You grudgingly gaze back, muttering, “Yeah… Now, stop smiling like an idiot before I change my mind.”

He cackles, raving, “I can’t help it baby girl. This is the best birthday present ever!”

“Aish, JK…” you snort, turning your face away from him.

He seeks closer contact with you immediately, nuzzling your exposed neck and locking you in an embrace, “Thank you, baby girl.”

You revel in his masculine scent assaulting your senses. Tentatively, you wrap your arms around his waist, murmuring, “Y-you’re welcome, Kookie. And for your information, I’m only doing this because it’s your birthday.”

He pulls back to study your face, smirking, “Oh, really now? Thank you very much for being so considerate then. Allow me to show you how thankful I am…” He returns to the crook of your neck with loud, adamant kisses that elicit a moan from you.

But back to business. You wedge your arms between you two but of course that’s not enough to remove his effortlessly tenacious grip on your back side. “Jungkook, no! I’m still finishing my report—”

He interjects with trapping you against the wall, grinding his now apparent erection into your stomach, “This will be quick, I promise…”

You gather whatever strength you have left, succeeding in creating some space between your bodies. You sigh and admit, “But Jungkook, I-I don’t want another pregnancy scare…”

Jungkook nods in understanding but quickly appeases you with, “Don’t worry. I brought condoms.”

You blink twice at him, mouth agape.

He only smirks again, caressing your hair, “I’ve thought this through, remember?”

You roll your eyes at him but nonetheless allow him to smother you in his arms, “Aish…”

And that’s the last you say as he leans to kiss you. It doesn’t take long for you to turn putty in his mouth as you bask in the plush of his lips, as you let him carry you to the bed, and all you can do is moan wantonly. He pours his repressed feelings in each peck, each kiss, each swipe of his tongue that you shamelessly writhe underneath him.

Quick hands fly to unravel your garments and his, limbs coordinating surprisingly well to accommodate the riddance of clothes with minimal detachment of your lips. In the flurry, you’re sure you heard your laptop and your well-organized documents drop to the floor but you can’t bring yourself to care. Not when Jungkook kneads your breasts in delicious circles and flicks your nipples into perked buds.

He kisses your body with due care that when the flat of his tongue connects with your clit, you shudder. It’s softer than his usual force but altogether passionate that you come embarrassingly quick, sinful fireworks exploding behind your eyelids to blind your vision.

After much maneuvering, you descend on him, raking your nails to strum on his flexed abs until your hand connects with his weeping erection. He slams his fist on the mattress when you swallow him whole without warning, gritting his teeth through muffled curses. His voice dips an octave lower as he praises how well you’re taking his cock, how fucking warm your mouth feels, how pretty you look with his cock stuffed down your throat.

And then strong arms gather you to lay on the bed, followed by his swollen lips bruising your own in unparalleled passion. You glide your hips against him, fluttering your eyes open to find how slick with sweat your bodies have become. And before he forgets, he reaches for the foil at the night stand (how it got there you can’t recall), tearing it open and practically shoving it on his cock so he can finally bury himself inside you.

When he does, his mouth hangs open, eyes firmly shut, all muscles in his body tensing from the feel of your hot walls clinging onto him. You squeeze on him to move but he hisses a warning, something like – “fucking wait” and you cheekily repeat the motion anyway. He growls at your boldness, eyes boring holes into you as he pulls out until only the tip is grazing your walls.

Jungkook taunts you with a tongue against his cheek, hanging his hips like that until you grow impatient and buck under him. He lets out a dark chuckle, finally relenting to your whimpers, impaling you slowly that you feel your lubricated walls stretch gloriously with every inch he crosses. The first few thrusts are slow, his hips rolling like waves, and you would have gladly taken over if not for the way his lips distract you with sensuous, languid kisses and his hands resolutely grip on your hips.

A particularly low moan, akin to a whine, from you snaps Jungkook’s resolve and he picks up his pace swiftly, ramming into your body that the whole bed shakes. The sudden shift in his movements sends you to overdrive. It’s too much for you to handle such ferocity, but you meet him thrust after thrust anyway even when the rhythm has become too chaotic. Jungkook doesn’t mind as his escalating pants fanning against your neck tell you he’s coming soon.

But you’re the first to reach that peak again, arching into him so hard that you almost hear every vein in your body pop. Intent in following you, Jungkook slams into you so furiously, hands imprinting ghastly marks on your hips, moans sounding almost wolfish and feral. You kindly toil through, despite your battered core, until Jungkook cries for your name, spilling himself into the condom.

After a few minutes of calming your scorching bodies, he rolls off of you to dispose of the used condom. He then organizes the clutter of documents on the floor, even inspecting your laptop for any damage. You can’t help but chuckle at the shook expression on his face and his very uncharacteristic clean up.

“Kookie, what are you doing?” you ask amusingly.

“I’m just checking on your laptop. You still have to work you said,” he says, depositing your materials on the table.

“Is it working?”

“Yep. Thank god,” he sighs in relief.

“Come to bed then. I’ll deal with that later…” you swipe your hand on the empty space beside you.

“Yes ma’am,” Jungkook hops to join you, draping an arm across your torso as he plops on his belly.

You giggle from his gesture, booping his nose with your finger when he stares at you. He crunches his nose, as if averse, but rolls in laughter as well when you pout at him.

“I love you,” he breathes out, his hand now tracing abstract shapes on your belly.

And for once, you allow yourself to admit it to his face, without guilt or remorse or hesitation, “I love you too.”

As expected, his presence makes you forget about your presentation. You pray that auto-save will recover your work.


The rest of your business trip goes according to plan. You manage to ace the presentation with the Korean partners of the company the following day. They shake your hands firmly and bow to you to congratulate you about your excellent proposal. They even invite you over lunch and though you’re tempted to decline on account of Jungkook, you indulge them anyway.

The ease in your meeting masks the reality this morning. Because you decided to sleep after your romp with Jungkook, you had to wake up extra early to pore over it one last time. You even had to cautiously pry the boy’s iron-clad hold on your body, tiptoeing across the room to work on your presentation. The adrenaline rushed through you then, as the clock ticks ominously reminding you about your meeting. Still, you can’t help but steal a fond glance at Jungkook’s sleeping form, now realizing he sleeps with his mouth open.

Jungkook considerately doesn’t distract you the whole day. But it’s you who can’t seem to get him off your mind, as you’re practically vibrating in anticipation to return to him. So much so that you text him---

Hey, how are you? What are you doing?

He replies seconds later with—

I’m fine, baby girl. Just ate some snacks. And now watching NatGeo.

Ah that’s good. My meeting will end in a bit.

Okay. Get back to it then. Didn’t bother you so you could focus.

You repress the smile on your face, roving your eyes around the room and luckily finding the employees intently listening to their boss’ presentation.

Thank you.

You tap on the keypad, pausing to type the next words but doing it anyway—

I miss you already.

I miss you too. But get back to work and finish that, baby girl. So I can show you how much I miss you ASAP.

Your heart flutters with excitement. Your salacious mind suddenly wishes Jungkook has enough condoms for the next days.

Roger that. Love you.

Love you too. :-)

You return your attention to the presentation, trying to make sense of the slide and attempting to temper your excitement. You remember to send a canned message to Jimin after the meeting, and he replies that he wishes you the best in your trip. And that he misses you a lot. You reply cursorily that you feel the same. But not really when all you can think about is being ravished by Jungkook whole when you go home.


Back at your room, you chime repeatedly at the doorbell until you hear the scramble of feet approaching the door. Jungkook greets you with arms wide open, a shit-eating grin on his lips, and you lunge at him in a bone-crushing embrace. He tips back a bit before regaining balance, chortling as he drapes your legs around his body effortlessly.

“Welcome home, baby girl,” he rasps before capturing your lips in a messy kiss.

You keen into his mouth, tilting your head to allow him to kiss you further. Things easily escalate from there, discarded clothing littering random parts of the room, heavy breathing replacing the background noise of the television. This time, you straddle him, internally rejoicing that he brought two boxes of condoms – more than enough indeed for the next days.

After your intense lovemaking, he cuddles you in his chest and you press your hand over his heart.

“So… how did work go?” he starts.

“Good. We’re just ironing out some parts of my proposal. It’s a bit tiring but I’m sure I can close the account. You?”

“That’s good news, baby girl. Good job. As for me… Well I just watched TV the whole day and learned that male penguins propose to females by giving them a pebble.”

You look up at him amusingly, “Ah really? Their ring is a literal rock.”

“Yeah. And did you know that butterflies can taste with their feet? Or that horses make faces to communicate with each other?”

“Oh, I didn’t. Wow, you must have watched a lot.”

Jungkook chuckles, “Yeah but it’s okay. It’s nice to vacation indoors like this once in a while.”

“I’m glad. Don’t worry though, you have me the whole day tomorrow,” you grin.

He stares at you with wide doe eyes, “Really? Why? You called in sick?”

You shake your head, giggling, “No silly, the company has an emergency meeting tomorrow so my presentation’s moved on the last day. So… there, I’m all yours for the next twenty-four plus hours.”

“That is indeed great news, baby girl,” he kisses you chastely.

And then, he hovers over your body, proceeding to demonstrate his deep appreciation of the good news.

Some time later, you order room service after sapping each other’s energies dry. Jungkook orders a meal good for six people and you kid him about it playfully. He proceeds to wolf on his burger in record time in defiance.

Nothing much happens after that, the both of you satisfied with just lying in bed and watching random TV shows, making out every now and then.

Jungkook cuts through your lack of conversation, asking, “Do you sometimes think that maybe, if we weren’t committed to our partners, we could have been together?”

You hum, pondering on his question, “No. I don’t think so.”

He peers at you, furrowing his brows, “Why not?”

“Because you’re not my type. I mean, you’re too pretty for my taste.”

“Pretty? Wow. It’s the first time someone’s called me pretty,” he snorts.

“Yeah, you are. If it weren’t for your muscles, you’d easily pass as a flower boy,” you reason.

“Okay. So you’re actually just basing this on my looks. I’m offended,” he quirks his lips upside down.

You pat on his chest, explaining, “Kookie, let’s be honest here. You’re smoking hot, the kind of guy who normally gets any girl he wants. And me, well… you wouldn’t even take a second glance at me if you saw me walking down the street. The type of girls you fall for, I don’t belong to that. Sohee, definitely. But me, no.”

Jungkook looks at you disappointingly, pinching on your chin, “Hey, that’s not true. You’re beautiful too.”

“But admit it! Sohee’s way up there in your league and I’m just, you know, I’m just a plain Jane. I’m not trying to put myself down or whatever, but I know what I am and what I’m not. And I’m okay with it.”

“I kinda get what you mean. I thought girls like Sohee were my ideal type too. Until I met you,” he stares at you fondly.

You roll your eyes, scoffing, “Aish, Jungkook. You don’t need to use your pickup lines on me! You got me in bed already, remember?”

“No, it’s true! I’m not smooth-talking you. For the longest time, all the girls I’ve ever been with are, as you’ve said, pretty girls like Sohee. But when I got to know you, I realized I’ve been very wrong. I should’ve looked back when you walked down the street. And chased you and carried you on my shoulders or something,” he chuckles.

“Ah… but that didn’t happen. So…,” you trail off. “But since we’re talking about this… I’m just curious. What did you like about me?”

Jungkook smacks his lips in contemplation, squinting, “I honestly don’t know. Maybe… maybe it’s because I just feel so different around you, you know? Like I’m free to be whoever I want and you’d accept me just the same. Funny but I think I fell in love with you ever since I told you about my mom. There’s just something about you that makes me feel like I can be something more. More than the jock that Sohee takes me for.”

You nod sympathetically. Your deductions were right after all. “But you have to admit, if you really wanted Sohee to know you better, you should have opened up to her more, like how you did with me.”

“Ah. The thing is she never gave me a reason to do so. I don’t know. She never made me feel comfortable enough to show that side of me,” he shrugs.

“But you have to. Especially since you’re going to be spending the rest of your life with her.”

Jungkook sighs, “Yeah, I know. I will eventually.”

“You can start by telling her about your mother.”

“Yeah, I will. But I don’t know. I just think it won’t be like what I had with you,” he stares at you pensively.

You purse your lips, exhaling, “But it doesn’t matter now, does it? We’re not going to be together. We just have to accept things and move on.”

Jungkook swallows loudly, biting his lower lip, “Yeah. I just didn’t imagine you and hyung would move so far away though. But I guess that’s for the best. So we can focus on them.”

“Right. Right…”

A momentary silence hangs over the air, the canned laughter in the sitcom filling the room. Jungkook breaks it again with another question, “How about you? Why did you like me? Like you said, I’m too pretty for you and I’m definitely not as sweet as hyung. And I know how fucking cheesy he can be when he’s in love.”

You giggle, nodding, “But that’s what endeared him to me. He’s always so patient, so kind, so thoughtful, so sweet. So fucking perfect.”

“So why did you fall for me?”

“Sometimes though, when everything is perfect, nothing is, you get me? With Jimin, everything is just too perfect all the fucking time that it’s frightening. And honestly, boring. He’s just too good to be true. Whereas you… your flaws make you human. And maybe a part of me wanted the challenge, wanted the mortal over the god.”

His lips curve into a melancholy smile, “How poetic, Y/N. I’m flattered.”

“I’m not flattering you so don’t be so full of yourself,” you retort.

That lightens his smile and he asks, “Speaking of poems, are you done with your present for hyung?”

“Yeah. I finished it a few days ago.”

“Just a few days ago? Weren’t you working on it for several months now?”

“Let’s just say I got distracted. It isn’t easy writing to someone you don’t feel so strongly for anymore, you know.”

“Oh, I see…” Jungkook licks his lips.

“Maybe we should come clean about the writing class to them? I’m sure that can help in letting Sohee see another side of you,” you suggest.

“Yeah sure. That’s a good idea,” he suddenly shakes his head, fondly sharing, “I’ll never forget that writing class. I never thought I’d enjoy sitting in class ever.”

You find yourself looking back on your memories together just as fondly, “Yeah. That writing class changed everything.”

He inhales sharply, declaring dryly, “But yeah… that’s over. That’s that. And this is all we’ll ever be.”

You attempt to comfort his somber mood, reaching out a hand to caress his cheek, “So let’s just enjoy it. While we have the time, Jungkook. Let’s forget them for now and love each other until we can, yeah?” you smile at him with the same melancholy quality he curls.

Jungkook nods, kissing the top of your head. “I love you, Y/LN Y/FN.”

“And I love you too, Jeon Jungkook,” you kiss him on the lips.


The next day, you wake up to find Jungkook staring at your form draped in blankets. He walks towards you, kissing you with a flirty ‘good morning.’ Suffice to say, breakfast in bed became each other, and despite being self-conscious about your morning breath, Jungkook just peppers you with kisses hungrily.

Much of the morning is spent tangled in each other’s limbs, talking about all topics under the sun similar to when you two were still attending writing classes. By noon, you realize you’ve emptied one box of condoms and you start to feel your core aching from your activities.

You decide to put to good use Jungkook’s seemingly unlimited physical prowess. And so, in the afternoon, you venture to go biking with him, donning your masks and caps and beanies to maintain anonymity. He easily turns the activity into a race and you curse him for being an overly competitive muscle pig, rendering your entire lower body boneless. The trip is cut short by rain however. The two of you barely manage to sprint to an empty shade, now drenched and cold. Jungkook encases your body, ducking to kiss you languidly. For some reason, the temperature rises in the confines of that shade, despite the wind chill from the rain.

When you return to your accommodations, Jungkook makes up for wearing you out with a surprisingly good massage. But as expected, it’s not just an innocent massage as he gropes on your ass. Things escalate again that whatever muscles he’s eased have tensed once more. Nevertheless, you allow yourself the overexertion, realizing that time seems to fly as you near the end of your dalliance with Jungkook.

“What’s this?” you ask Jungkook, staring at the sleek, black notebook he’s given you.

He rubs his nape, mumbling, “My gift to you.”

“My poem notebook for Jimin loks like this too,” you leaf through the notebook, skimming through his compositions, “Are-are these—did you write these for me?”

“Heh… told you I had a different muse, right? Surprise~” he says singsong.

“Oh, Jungkook… you shouldn’t have. I don’t have anything to give you.”

“It’s okay, baby girl. You don’t have to. You’ve given me so much more than I could ever ask for,” he plants a kiss on your lips.

You smile at him, quickly scanning the ten poems or so he’s written manually.

“I know we shouldn’t be giving each other gifts or anything. But I just couldn’t help it. You can keep the notebook or throw it away, I don’t care. I’m just… I just wanted you to have it,” he tells you with a smile.

You tenderly stroke his head, smiling back, “Thank you, Jungkook. I’ll read it and keep this. My last memory of you, if you will.”

Jungkook is pleased with your answer, “Thank you, Y/N. I hope you like it.”

“I love you,” you nuzzle his nose.

“I love you too,” he breathes out.


The meeting on your last day stretches until late lunch. Although you tell Jungkook that he can go ahead and leave, he insists on waiting for you and taking the same flight as you do in the late afternoon. “Seventy more minutes with you, please,” he says. And who were you to decline him that?

On the way back to Seoul, decked in your masks and beanies and caps, you both relish in your final, stolen moments together. You lay your head on his shoulder and he intertwines your fingers, sharing comfortable silence at each other’s presence. Once the plane lands, you both part ways as you search for Jimin’s face in the awaiting crowd.

Upon finding his grinning face, you beam at him and he jogs to you.

Jimin greets you with a warm embrace, kissing you fully as he rasps, “Welcome back, babe. I’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed you too babe,” you reply.

“C’mon, let’s eat. I’ll prepare you some dinner. You must be very tired,” he rests his hand on the small of your back, rubbing that spot soothingly.

You deposit your shoulder bag on the handle of the luggage but you aim poorly, causing the contents to spill. You sink down to collect your things but Jimin doesn’t allow you as he does the task for you.

As you stand, you find Jungkook staring at your pair. He tugs on his mask, pursing his lips into a taut smile and nodding once. You nod back at him, smiling just as despondently. He sighs and turns around, shoving his hands in his pockets. And for some reason, you can’t help but stare as his form disappears in the crowd.

“What are you looking at, babe?” Jimin follows your line of vision.

“Nothing. I just thought I saw someone familiar,” you shake your head.

“Oh really?”

“Anyways, let’s just go home, babe,” you grin at him.

Jimin nods, draping his arm around your waist as he pulls on your trolley.

Though it aches, you flick a switch in your brain and tuck all memories of Jungkook at the back of your head. Because, this, right now, is reality. The dream-like three days with Jungkook is over and from now on, your future begins with Jimin, as Jungkook with Sohee. It hurts but it’s for the best. At least, that’s what you tell yourself.

Chapter Text

You stare at the black notebook far too long that your eyes start to water.

Billion thoughts bounce in your head like floating bubbles ripe for plucking to finalize the decision on Jungkook’s gift. One compelling argument offers that you should just throw it away. He wouldn’t ever know what happened to it anyway. It’s not like he can casually ask you about his memento while Jimin and Sohee are there with you (the only time you’re ever going to be together if he makes good on his promise). And if he’s serious, he’ll never sneakily message you about his gift – and about anything at all, really– so there’s that. The argument is very compelling, indeed.

But another thought wheedles its way just as you’re about to pluck that bubble. It contests that you can read the collection before you throw it out as it’s already in your lap anyway. Besides, you’re sure that the regret from throwing something so lovingly made by Jungkook will be immense. Reading the entire collection, committing it to memory, letting your heart sink a little bit more, crying until your eyes swell red, then finally throwing it in the dumpster to never see the light of day – that sounds like a good plan. With that rebuttal, the second thought wins your favor.

You open the notebook, carefully pinching one page between your fingers to never miss a leaf.

For you

Until ‘then’

– he writes on the second page. Just like what you said when you ended things with him. “Until then, goodbye Jungkook.” Until ‘then’ – It’s so simple and brief but you can feel the hope in the quoted word, can no longer deny in your heart of hearts that you hope to reach that juncture one day, where you can conclude that in fact, you were both not carried away.

You turn another page and read his first poem entitled ‘Goodbye’, finding the irony in starting a collection with such finality.

There’s no good in goodbye. Whoever invented the word must be a sadist. Come to think of it, I’ve said goodbye so many times that I’ve lost count. But I realize now that I never understood its gravity. Until, of course, I said goodbye to you. So this is how it feels, huh? It feels like your heart being ripped into pieces infinitely. Oh how I wish that I never said goodbye to you. I never thought I’d ever, to be honest. Because fuck, if this is really the end, I don’t know if I can start again. But no matter, I’ll keep saying it. Maybe it will lessen the pain. Maybe, it’s enough until ‘then’. So for now, goodbye to you. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye…

The tears finding their way out of your eyes are hot and profuse. It’s just the first piece and you can already feel your eyes swell. Nevertheless, you persist, reading each one of Jungkook’s compositions, even when your tears create a smudgy circle on his black ink.

A dozen poems are a breeze to read, in all honesty, especially with you who have spent most of your pastime engrossed in hardcovers and finishing them in a day. This time is very different though. You take painstaking care to read each word, syllable by syllable, as if you’re just learning the English language again. You even say the words out loud to soak them in, as if these are new to your vocabulary. And you do know that the tactic only delays the inevitable but the stubborn in you can’t help but cling to the disappearing tendrils of your connection with Jungkook—that notebook the last thread you need to snap, the grand finale to your tragic romance with the young boy.

There’s only so much dawdling you can do with his short yet impactful compositions. You turn to the next page and arrive at the last poem. As if he knows you’ll ask for the random number of poems he’s written, his final piece answers your query—

– twelve for the twelve months in a year

– twelve for the almost twelve weeks of writing class

twelve for the twelve days it took me to love you

– twelve for the twelve hours I spend thinking about you

– twelve for the twelve minutes I spend thinking about you

– twelve for the twelve seconds I spend thinking about you

Because my seconds, minutes, hours

Spent with you are all that matters

Ah, it’s an homage to your first poem. The one you wrote for Jimin. When you were still so deeply in love with him, or something like that. This is plagiarism, Jeon Jungkook – you want to bark at him. But only the Jungkook in your head would cheekily smirk at you but coyly apologize with a stolen kiss on your lips.

Reading the entire collection? Check. Committing it to memory? Check. Letting your heart sink a little bit more? Check. Crying until your eyes swell red? Check. Throwing it in the dumpster to never see the light of day? …

You now stare at your trash can. You tap the notebook’s cover rhythmically, engaging the bin in a one-sided staring contest until you feel your eyes strain.

You come to another decision. You’ll throw the notebook another day, when the city collects for garbage so that there’s no turning back. Yes, that’s the best option. Because honestly, you still want to hold on to the flimsy thread, want to return to the prelude and listen to the music until you’re the single person left in the opera house.

And at that, you tuck Jungkook’s gift between your arms, close to your heart, rewinding the plan before the denouement—committing it to your memory, letting your heart sink a little more, crying until your eyes swell red.


Jungkook makes good on his promise.

Two weeks after the tryst in Jeju, he proposes to Sohee in a dinner he’s hosted. He starts the evening with a recitation of a poem about his lover, and though she is moved by his sweet words, you reckon that they sound trite and forced. Or maybe you’re just imagining things. Again.

How dare you.

And then he proceeds with his cheesy proposal, rising from his seat as he reads his speech, “You’ve always been there for me. And I don’t know why you chose to stay with me even though I’m not a great guy. You’ve been through a lot, love, so thank you… thank you for choosing me even when everyone treated you like shit for it. But that’s all in the past now. What matters is what we have right now and what we will be having in the future – our baby, the testament of our love for each other. So…”

He stuffs the piece of paper in his pocket and fishes for something, kneeling in front of Sohee. She gasps visibly, tears now falling down her cheeks. You notice that Jimin has been recording the entire thing, and that results in you whipping up your phone to record as well. You’re the maid of honor, after all.

Jungkook smiles tenderly at her, continuing, “So, love, will you do me the honor of being my wife? Kim Sohee, will you—and our baby—marry me?” He pinches the ring between his fingers, offering it to her.

Sohee nods vigorously, a muffled ‘yes’ escaping her lips. She eases her finger into the ring and prods on Jungkook to rise. He’s only risen halfway when she encases him in a flurry of kisses and tight embrace. Jimin loudly cheers, prompting you to do the same. Or at least you try to be just as enthusiastic. Reminder number two, you’re the maid of honor, after all.

Your boyfriend goes around the table to congratulate Jungkook, patting his back loudly and smiling so widely his eyes disappear. You then saunter to Sohee who hugs you so tightly, wordlessly relaying how thankful she is that her dreams have come true. It goes without saying that you have to congratulate Jungkook too, especially now that Jimin’s let go of him and is stroking Sohee on the back to signal his turn to embrace her. You detach from Sohee and trudge towards Jungkook, who anticipates you with a poignant stare. He welcomes you with open arms, and you loosely hug him, chests never touching.

“Take care of my best friend, will you?” you whisper. And this time, you mean it. Even if it hurt, you really hope he takes care of her.

“I will. Take care of yourself too, Y/N,” he replies.

And before any more goosebumps bloom on your skin, you walk away from him.

Moving on isn’t an easy feat after all. But you have to do it. It’s for the best. Looking at Jungkook, you’re somewhat glad that there’s a glow about his face, like a heavy mask has been lifted or a deep, dark secret has been told. Maybe he’s finally accepted you two can’t be together. Or probably, he opened up to Sohee about his mom, or your writing class.

Definitely your writing class as he tells the group next when Sohee asks him where he learned to write like that, “Y/N and I attended this English writing course for adults under Jae Han-sunbaenim. We didn’t really plan it together but we saw each other there and ended up being writing partners.”

Sohee’s shock and amusement register on her face, as she confirms with you, “Really boo? You writing? Didn’t you hate the Literature Club back then?”

Jimin’s reaction is different from your best friend’s though, eyes squinting with a tinge of offense. “Why didn’t I know about this, babe?”

All eyes are now on you, and you feign another trained smile for them. “Er, I just didn’t think it was important. It’s just one of those classes, you know. And to answer your question Sohee, I only hated that club because they were snobbish elites who thought they were the shit, when in fact they’re just shit. Like literal poop.”

“It wasn’t a stupid class, Y/N. Wasn’t there a special reason why you attended it?” Jungkook reminds you, perhaps noting how his hyung’s expression has taken a dark color. How helpful.

All eyes are again on you, and you wonder why you’re the only one being grilled about this situation. But for some reason, you don’t feel like throwing Jungkook under the bus first. It’s his engagement after all.

You answer calmly, “Yeah, well... I took that course because I wanted to improve on writing poems.”

“Poems?” Jimin’s voice raises, nose wrinkled, as if he’s hearing the darndest thing.

“Yeah… poems,” you clear your throat to emphasize. Head down low, you dare stare back at him, mumbling, “Poems for you, babe.”

Sohee cringes but titters from your confession. “Eeee, I knew it! You’re a fucking cheeseball too, boo. I may be cheesy but I’m not as cheesy as you to write a poem,” she turns to Jungkook, saying softly, “But don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the poem, love. It’s the best poem I’ve ever heard. Thank you so much for that.” She taunts you again, snickering, “But youuu. Ha, pretending to be so calm and collected when in fact, you’re the cheesiest person in this room!”

The blush on your face is apparently reflected on Jimin’s too, his expression now softening as he asks, “You wrote poems for me, babe?”

You sigh, visibly flustered by the unexpected outing, “It was supposed to be a surprise but Jeon here,” you glare at Jungkook, “has spoiled it in front of everyone so there’s no use denying it.” You gaze at Jimin affectionately, holding his hand, “It’s my gift to you for our anniversary, babe. 48 poems to celebrate our 48 months together.”

Sohee recoils from your rare display of fluff, pressing herself to Jungkook’s side. “That is so romantic, boo. And also cheesy. But mostly romantic. Awww…”

Jimin stares at you, wide-eyed and curious, “48 poems? Wow,” he rolls his lips in a smack, “That’s—that’s a lot…”

You bob your head to the side, shrugging.

“A-and where are these wonderful poems, babe?” he follows up.

“Back at my place. I was supposed to give it to you tomorrow, you know, when we celebrate our anniversary.”

“Can’t I get these now? It’s almost our anniversary anyway.” There is agitation in his voice, the kind you hear when you’re about to give a child his favorite toy.

The clock reads 9:00 pm. According to plan, you’re supposed to formally mark the occasion with a fancy dinner tomorrow at the same time. And then leave for a mountainside villa for the next three days to celebrate your 4th anniversary. You look at Sohee and Jungkook, brows raising like an SOS call.

Jungkook is first to respond to your distress signal. “Yeah, hyung, go ahead. Get your poems and celebrate early. We’re fine here,” he assures, wrapping one arm around Sohee.

Sohee wiggles her eyebrows at you, nodding in approval. “Go, have fun, kids,” she fans her hand, as if physically sweeping you both away.

You’re supposed to protest but Jimin is already collecting his coat and tugging on you to rise. “Sorry for leaving so early but congratulations, Jungkookie and Sohee. I’m so happy for the two of you. We’ll go ahead.”

You bow to them, mouthing off a broken congratulations as Jimin practically drags on your arm to leave Jungkook’s apartment.

“Make babies!” Sohee says as you scramble to keep Jimin’s pace.

You giggle and manage to wave goodbye before tottering out the door.

And briefly, ever so briefly, meet Jungkook’s eyes with a grateful stare.


Jimin practically floors the gas to reach your apartment in record time. Arriving there, he skips steps to dash to your room, being too impatient with the elevator from registering “G”, all the while dragging you along like some raggedy doll.

You wheeze upon closure of your door, bending over to catch on your breath and clutching at your rapidly beating heart. “Did… we… really have… to run… babe?”

Jimin smiles apologetically at you, but his snigger gives away his sincerity. “Sorry, babe. I’m just really excited to read your poems.”

You fall to the couch, closing your eyes and inhaling deep intakes of breath to calm your near hyperventilation. Jimin returns with a glass of water for you, his hand on your back to soothe you.

“Just give me…” you chug down the whole glass, “a sec.”

“Sure babe. Or you can tell me where it is and I’ll get it for you?” he offers.

His suggestion is a welcome one, given the slight cramp in your legs slowly creeping in. You nod, instructing, “It’s by my nightstand, babe.”

“Got it~” Jimin scampers to your bedroom with a playful hop. In two shakes, he emerges from the room with the black notebook. Looking at it, you furrow your brows as you recall that you wrapped your gift and the one he’s holding definitely does have one. Which would only mean—

“Oh, you let Jungkook write the poems, babe?” he curiously asks, leafing through the pages as carefully as possible, despite his hurried flitting.

Your recently calmed heart gallops again, each beat deeper and louder than the previous one. You rise from your couch, almost falling face down to Jimin’s form. “Ah shit, sorry babe, that’s not it. Er… Jungkook gave that to me as a present after the course. Hang on, I’ll just look for mine.”

“Do you mind if I read it?” he looks up, placing his coat on the armrest and sitting on your vacated spot.

It takes you a fraction of a second to decide. If you say yes, Jimin will be suspicious, what with the telling look he gave you when he found out you and Jungkook attended a writing class together behind his back. Although you’re the owner of the gift, there’s no harm in sharing it with him, especially since Jungkook is his best friend. It’s not like there is anything incriminating in the notebook (if the situation was ideal).

However, as it is not ideal, you have to say no. But fuck, your memory grows fuzzy on the sequence of the poems. You’re certain there’s at least one incriminating poem there but you can’t recall which one it was. Was it the second one? The fifth? Fuck…

Despite the uncertainty, you choose to say, “No, o-of course not. It’s fine. Suit yourself.”

Still, you try to repair the situation right away. You dash to your bedroom, legs aching and that cramp throbbing, to look for your gift.

“Ah, the kid hasn’t changed one bit. He still has really ugly handwriting,” Jimin tells you.

“Ah, really? I haven’t read his poems yet...” you absentmindedly respond, mind drawing a blank from figuring out where the fuck you kept your gift. You return to the living room and shuffle through the contents of your bag but bemoan when you don’t find it there.

Jimin barely looks at you, still on the first page, and you thank the heavens that in this situation, he’s not as proficient in English as you. “It’s so nice of him to dedicate an entire notebook for you. I’m jealous. I’ve been his best friend since he wore diapers but you get a handwritten poem collection. Aigoo…”

You return to your bedroom, pulling drawers and blankets. “Oh, don’t be. I guess it’s just his way of saying thank you. We were partners in that writing class after all.”

“He’s pretty good though, I’ll admit.”

His remark blares alarms in your head. Shit, is he finished with reading the first poem? That piece is harmless as compared to the rest of the collection but the succeeding ones are not so. You have to work fast. “Oh he was. Graduated class salutatorian when we ended the course.”

“Oh really? And who was the valedictorian?” he’s now by your bedroom door, leaning against the frame, eyes momentarily leaving the notebook.

“Me,” you acknowledge him briefly with a tight-lipped smile.

Jimin ambles to you lazily, curiously observing your panic-stricken search. “Of course you were. I wouldn’t be surprised because you’re amazing just like that, babe,” he caresses your back.

You smile at him, very fleetingly, eyes and hands working simultaneously to scan various parts of the room. “Thanks babe. Anyways, stop reading that and read mine. If only I can fucking find it…” you murmur, the chink in your pretense chipping away to reveal how frantic (and not eager as you suppose Jimin thinks of this whole scurrying about) you really are.

Finally, you locate the gift, tucked between the side of your nightstand and your bed. You let out a huge sigh of relief, snatching the wrapped notebook and handing it to Jimin, “Here. Now, will you please stop reading Jungkook’s cheesy poems and read my cheesy compositions instead?” you hand over to him with a teasing voice.

Jimin doesn’t look up however, his attention firmly grabbed by the poem he’s reading. His brows are creased, mouth curved in a frown.

You may have underestimated Jimin’s reading speed.

“…Babe?” you call out to him weakly, trying to catch his attention.

With his head down, he gazes into your eyes, asking in a quiet voice, “How come he knows about the birthmark on your inner thigh, babe?”

You should have snatched that notebook out of his hands when you had the chance. “What?” You croak.

Jimin holds the notebook splayed out in one hand while one finger of his other traces the lines, reading aloud, “He says here – ‘the tiny islands of your birthmark leading me to your center like a happy trail’ – how would he know about that?”

Thinkthinkthink.

You place your gift on the bed, clapping your hands together and nodding exaggeratingly, “Ah, that. I told him about it, of course. We-we had a session where we had to pretend we were lovers and I guess he wrote that as a result. Jae Han-sunbaenim can be eccentric sometimes. You won't believe the kind of assignments he made us do. Like one time we had to read por—”

“…And I’d want nowhere else to be but nestled between your legs as you gaze into my eyes and I plow into you. Over and over until we reach our peaks, and I’d take you again and again. Because it’s where I belong. In your arms and only there, just like in the confines of that writing class,” This time when he looks up, his stare is full-on and testy, “That’s a pretty vivid imagination, Y/N.”

You laugh it off. Fuck why does your laugh sound so fake? “W-well yeah. Jungkook is very creative. Clearly, because he’s written a poem like that. I mean… Maybe it’s because of the porn we were tasked to read. Like can you believe it babe? We walked into a bookstore and bought smut like Fifty—”

He huffs, interjecting with a dark smirk, “You’re not a very good liar, you know that, right?”

You can feel the singular bead of cold sweat rolling down your cheek. “I’m not lying, Jimin. The poem is really just a writing exercise and—”

And then he snaps, gripping on the notebook so tightly it almost crumples, “Stop fucking lying, Y/N! Tell me the truth!”

“Jimin… no, it’s not what you think… Nothing happened between us. It’s just an assignment, like I said—”

“I can see right through you, babe. I’ve always had. And right now, I can clearly see you’re lying. You’re fucking lying!” The notebook flies off his hand, startling you.

“Jimin… please believe me. Why won’t you believe me?” you realize you’re clasping your hands together as if in prayer now.

Jimin inhales through his nose sharply, one hand resting on his hip while the other cards through his hair. He glowers at you, hissing, “You fucked him, didn’t you? You did, didn’t you?”

Your eyes shoot open. Your heart completely lurches in your throat. Maybe you can still get out of this if you keep your voice level. But it comes out choked. “No, babe, gods no! It’s just a stupid poem. What the hell, Jimin? How could you even—”

Jimin seems not to hear what you’re saying, still glowering at you sternly, “I deserve the truth, Y/N. If you respect me enough, not as your boyfriend but just as a fucking person, you’ll be honest with me. So I’m going to ask again and you’re going to answer me truthfully this time. Did. You. Fuck. Jungkook?” His fists are clenched, his breathing is labored, his glare so piercing that you can feel it sting you physically.

You’ve never seen Jimin this angry before. The closest you’ve got is him mouthing off a guy who whistled at you one time you were out drinking. Ah, it comes back to you now. This stare is in the same category as the one he gave Jungkook during Irene’s wedding.

Insisting on your lie will not make this any better. Admitting the truth will only make it worse. But with how Jimin is scowling at you, you accept defeat.

Your admission comes out as a muffled, broken sob, “…Jimin… I’m… I’m sorry… It was just one time and we were drunk and stupid and… oh gods, I’m so sorry, Jimin. I didn’t mean to—”

Jimin’s eyes go wide, as if these will bulge out of its sockets, his jaw slacking in a hitched groan. He bellows, “One time? He writes you an entire notebook of poems and it’s just one time?! I don’t think so, Y/N. You’re not some random chick if he’s written these many poems for you.”

You’re genuinely rubbing your hands together to apologize, approaching him like a skittish animal, “It really was. Just one drunken fuck okay? Jimin, babe, I’m so sorry…” you reach out to him.

Jimin backs away from you, as if your touch would contaminate him with your incurable disease, “How long? How long have you been fucking him?”

“I told you. It only happened once!” you insist.

But he’s too good at catching your lies. He grits his teeth, growling, “Bullshit! Don’t fucking fuck with me, Y/N. I’m this close to losing it! How long have you been fucking him?”

And you’re really bad at lying. Hence, “Jimin, I… a month. Or two.”

“A month? Two months? Get your facts straight, woman! How long was it really?”

You shake your head, “I don’t know, Jimin! I didn’t keep track.”

“Have you been fucking him since the start of that class?”

“There’s no point in knowing anymore—”

“ANSWER THE QUESTION!” he screams so loudly that the vein in his neck protrudes.

You flinch again, and left with no choice, you answer feebly, “No.”

“Before Irene’s wedding?”

“No.”

“When I left for Singapore?”

Your eyes twitch. “Y-yes.”

He paces back and forth, finally exiting your bedroom, nodding to himself as he babbles, “Ah… so that’s why… I see now. That’s why you’ve been acting so funny lately. I thought—I hoped—it was just because of work. I noticed something off with you but I just didn’t bring it up because I believed you when you said it was just work stress. I didn’t want to add to your stress and I… Fuck, I was so wrong…”

However slowly, you chase your boyfriend, allaying him with, “Jimin, I’m so sorry… It’s over now. I promise you, it is. We’ve ended it because we couldn’t live with ourselves hurting you and Sohee. What we had was wrong but it’s done. Please—”

Again, your explanations fall on deaf ears as he interrupts you with his realizations, “…Right, right, I remember now. When I came back from my trip, you blew me off. Said you had a meeting but you were fucking him, weren’t you? And when you came back in the evening, I knew it. I fucking smelled sex on you but I just turned a blind eye. Because it’s you. You’re not capable of that. You could never do that me… Oh, fuck, I’m so fucking stupid!” he cradles his skull, digging his fingers into his scalp.

You search for an opening, for him to look at you, but he only keeps walking aimlessly until he’s back at your living room, “Jimin… please stop. It’s over okay? It’s—”

He finally looks at you, glaring again, “Why did you do it? Was I not good enough for you?”

You wildly protest, shaking your head, “No, gods no! You’re perfect as you are, babe.”

“Clearly not because you fucking had sex with my best friend!” he stomps his fist on his leg.

You avert his gaze, head dropping low, “I’m so sorry…”

But Jimin is relentless. “Is it because he’s prettier than me? Or more muscular? Or taller? Or because he has a bigger dick?”

This time, you look him in the eyes, contesting hotly, “NO! Of course not! It’s not just about the sex!”

Jimin blinks twice, face losing all color with your remark. It’s as if you’ve scalded him with your words, offense fully marring his features. “Not just about the sex…? Then why? Fuck… don’t tell me you fucking love him?” he staggers back, retreating to the couch as his legs give way.

You swallow your dread and kneel in front of him, hands inches away from his lap, “I—Jimin, babe, it’s… It’s over now, okay? I choose you and—”

“And you think that makes it okay? You think after all you’ve done, you still deserve to be with me? Wow, you must be feeling very lucky, young lady,” he sneers.

“Jimin, I’m so sorry. Jimin, please, please forgive me…”

He looks at the couch and then you, asking, “Did he fuck you here?”

“Does it matter?” you lament.

Your answer only riles Jimin up even further, as he spits, “It does to me! Now answer the damn question! Did he fuck you here?”

You dig your fingers into your palms, fist clutching at your knees, “Y-yes.”

“By our picture at the beach?” he glances at the picture frame.

“Yes.”

“Did you think of me when you were doing it?” he gestures with a cock of his chin.

“Yes.”

“Do you think of him when we’re fucking?”

“Sometimes-Yes,” You can only take so much questioning that you implore, “Jimin, please stop with the questions. I don’t want to answer anymore. There’s nothing else to say. It’s done. Jungkook and I are done.”

He doesn’t falter however, “Is he a good fuck? I know Sohee hints at that a lot. But is he?”

You shake your head, tears splashing as you do, “Jimin, please… no more…”

Jimin leans forward, elbows on his knees, as he cocks an eyebrow at you, face inches away from yours, and says quietly, “He is, isn’t he? Else, you wouldn’t have done it over and over with him. Bet he fucks you senseless too. Bet you like how rough he gets, huh? When we were roommates I saw how he’d mark his women…. Ah! That’s why you wanted me to spank your ass back then… Cause you fucking loved getting fucked like the fucking slut that you are, don’t you?”

It’s too much. Toomuchtoomuchtoomuch—

You almost claw out your eyes, wiping away your tears angrily and glaring at him, “YES! Yes okay?! You’re too fucking sweet and it’s boring me to tears that’s why I fucked him! Is that what you wanted to hear? Are you happy now?”

Jimin does not wince from your blowout, holding your stare calmly, “Ecstatic. Fucking wonderful. At least now you’re telling the truth.”

You immediately regret your words, sinking to the floor in deep sorrow, “No-Jimin, no. I didn’t mean what I said. I love you, I really do. It was just a stupid mistake. And I’ve ended it okay? It means nothing anymore—”

Jimin smacks his lips together, seething, “How could you do this to me? How when I fucking love you so much, you know? All these years, I’ve tried to be perfect for you, always understanding, always patient, always selfless… I know you don’t need me but did you have to fuck my best friend to show me how little I meant to you? And Sohee… How could you do this to her? She’s not the poster girl for honesty but still, she’s your fucking best friend! Why, Y/N? Why did you hurt us?”

You boldly cross the distance between you, groveling at his feet almost to apologize through your wails, “I know, Jimin. I know. I’m so sorry. I don’t deserve you. You’re too good for me. And I betrayed you. I betrayed Sohee. And I feel guilty. I feel so fucking guilty for what I’ve done.”

He leans back on the couch, grunting, “Oh you’re feeling guilty now? After you’ve had your fun with Jungkook? That’s rich. You know you should have stopped it. There’s always a point when you can stop. Right when you felt something different, you should have fucking stopped. I know Jungkook – he easily wavers – but you, you’re stronger than him. You could have resisted. You could have said no and knocked some sense into him. Why didn’t you, Y/N?”

“I don’t know, Jimin. Maybe… maybe I gave in because I’m unhappy with us and I didn’t realize it until Jungkook kissed me. And I’m so sorry. I should have handled this better. I should have been honest with you from the start. But I really didn’t know, babe, I swear. I thought I was happy because we were perfect. But I realized that I was wrong, so fucking wrong and I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that it has come to this.”

Jimin doesn’t say anything, for once, appearing to have finally listened to your explanation. He only stares at you, unblinking, one hand gripping the armrest tightly. Your sniffles and sobs fill the tension in the room, and though you feel the prickle on your legs from kneeling on your haunches too long, you remain immobile.

With a loud slap on the armrest, Jimin cuts through the silence, your body shaking from the sound. “You know what? I take it back. This isn’t your fault. This is that spoiled brat’s fault. He’s always been unable to keep his dick in his pants. Like back then with Seulgi, and now with you. I let him off that time but I really shouldn’t have. Should have bashed his head in while I had the chance. Ha! After raising him on my back, he does this to me? He’ll see. He’ll fucking see. I’ll make that bastard see.”

You wonder out loud, brows furrowed, "Jimin, what are you talking about?”

He rises from the couch, collecting his coat, walking past you and heading to the main door.

“Jimin, hey, where are you going? Jimin!” you holler, heart beating so loud that it rings in your ears.

For a moment, you are petrified, breath held in your lungs even when he disappears with a loud bang from your view, jolting you. You allow the tears to emit in streams, the painful sting of his words resounding in your head.

You could never do that me…

…how little I meant to you?...

This is that spoiled brat’s fault…

I’ll make that bastard see…

Like a splash of cold water to your face, you make sense of his words.

I’ll make that bastard see…

You scramble to your feet, grabbing on your keys and sprinting to your car when you realize what Jimin’s words mean


Luckily, you move fast enough to catch Jimin. His car is only two vehicles ahead of you, and you tail it steadfastly though your eyes are still blurry from your tears. You grab on your phone, speed dialing his number, waiting for him to answer your call although you know he wouldn’t. His phone rings but he ignores you, as expected. Despite that, you continue your pursuit, multitasking between watching his every swerve and turn and trying to reach him on the phone. You perch your device on your cellphone holder, wary that this dangerous feat may take its toll and your life with one wrong move.

You repeat the idiotic pursuit until the automated voice tells you his number cannot be reached. You curse loudly, banging your hands on your steering wheel out of frustration. It’s not difficult to conclude where he’s going. You know this path very well. At the final traffic light to the known destination, Jimin’s car speeds past you as the light turns red. You pathetically watch as he turns the corner, the place where you were previously dining this evening.

You tap nervously on the steering wheel, eyes darting back and forth. Maybe you can try calling Jungkook? You’re not sure what Jimin will do to him and though murder is probably off that list, you still think you should call Jungkook to buy him time. You’re too slow to act though, the light turning green that you have no choice but come there unannounced. You cross the road, zooming almost above the speed limit and turning sharply to Jungkook’s curve.

You sprint to his room, four fucking floors you breeze by, until you arrive at the final step. His room is the nearest one by the stairs, and twenty steps are all it takes to cross the distance. You can already see from here that the door is ajar, the bright light slicing through the dimly lit hallway. Contrary to your earlier speed, you take your time because your nerves get the best of you – every muscle is shuddering, every breath is held, every beat of your heart is magnified tenfold.

A loud scream pierces through your reverie, prompting you to shove the door open wide.

Your soul leaves your body. It’s just a dream. It’s just your imagination. This can’t be happening.

But the sound is so loud, you can hear something crack each time Jimin’s knuckles connect with Jungkook’s body, can see the blood splattering on the carpet, can feel the hot stuffiness of the room smothering your throat.

Jimin pins Jungkook on the floor with his knees on both sides of the young man, who only covers his face with both arms but accepts the punches his hyung throws. Sohee kneels beside them, screaming and crying and calling out to Jimin but he’s not listening. And then she calls out to you when she sees you standing by the door.

But you don’t move, you can’t. All you can do is watch and hear and feel.

You think you hear Jimin saying – “You selfish son of a bitch! You greedy motherfucker! After everything I’ve done for you—you fucking fuck my girl? Again?” – or something like that.

You’re not really sure because right now, it’s like a scene in a movie. The world slows, the sounds are muted, the characters bathed in fuzzy filter, adding drama to the cinematography. This can’t be real. These confrontations rarely happen in real life. At least, you never imagined it would happen to you. This can’t be real. Thiscan’tbe—

But then Sohee’s knocked back – she has gripped on Jimin’s arm as he aims for another swing, but he reflexively pulls back, causing her to fall with a loud thud. She yelps from the force, laying on her side.

The scene is now playing in normal speed, and you vividly remember what happens next.

Jungkook easily pushes Jimin away from his chokehold, toppling him over effortlessly. He rushes to his fiancée’s side to check up on her, cooing, “Sohee… love, are you okay?”

Sohee grimaces but nods to assuage Jungkook, bawling even more when she sees his beaten up face. Jungkook shushes her, even when tears also find their way out of his doe eyes.

Jimin stands, dusting off his jeans and clenching his fists to his side. That’s when you see his bloodied knuckles, your eyes wide open and your body shuddering from fear of the reality you’ve just witnessed. Jimin collects his breath, glaring down at Jungkook before turning around. He acknowledges your presence with another glare, bumping into your shoulder on his way out.

“Get out,” Sohee snarls, Jungkook choosing to wrap his arms around his lover protectively rather than turn around to acknowledge you too.

“I’m so sorry,” you think you manage to mumble, before leaving them.

You consider running after Jimin, groveling at his feet again and begging for forgiveness. But the incident has you wishing to be swallowed by the earth whole, disappearing from him – and Sohee and Jungkook – forever because fuck, how will you ever face them again?

With tired feet, you return to your apartment, slumping on the couch and wailing uncontrollably into your hands covering your face. As you lean back on the sofa, something pokes on your back, and you reach backwards to feel for it. Sobs rack your chest again upon recognition of the thing poking you.

It’s a red, velvet box. You don’t have to open it to know that it’s your engagement ring.

Indeed, you want to be anywhere but here.


The days that follow are the most difficult, most harrowing days of your life.

You don’t know how you’re able to plow through each day, mostly fending off your coworkers’ concerns about your swollen eyes and distracted demeanor. In the evening, you stare into the distance or the still unopened box (mostly the box) for hours before you go to sleep when it kindly visits you. It’s like you’re on a bad acid trip, the high never coming, forever trapping you in a fucked up haze.

Jimin hasn’t spoken to you since that incident. Nor has Sohee. Or Jungkook. That doesn’t stop you from trying to talk to them however. It’s become a routine to send out texts during your lunch time – one for Jimin, another for Sohee, and another for Jungkook. But none of them reply. You had hoped Jungkook would because you were partners in this perfect crime, after all. But then again, perhaps, he’s faring better than you. After all, Sohee’s Facebook status still reads engaged.

Kun-hee congratulates you on closing your account with the French company but his cheer and your colleagues’ are met with a somber smile. “You can have a double celebration with your boyfriend, Y/N-ssi. Go ahead and take that leave. His birthday is next week right?” your boss pats you on the back, and you conjure a smile for him.

Oh. So it’s been two weeks since then. Fourteen days of suffering like this. It’s only been two weeks but it feels so much longer.

Meet me 6pm at the diner tomorrow.

—is Jimin’s cursory reply to your apology one time. You read and reread the message, unsure if the acid trip has escalated to hallucinations now. You reply anyway,

Okay.

It’s only 5:55 on your watch when you pick a secluded spot at the diner. Try as you might, you can’t help but recall the first time the awesome foursome convened here. The memories flood you unkindly, and oh, what you would give to hit restart.

You inhale and exhale repeatedly, as if meditating, but it doesn’t help your beating heart at all. Especially when you see Jimin entering the restaurant and roaming his eyes to look for you. With much hesitation, you wave at him and he catches your gesture, features dropping, lips curving into a tense line.

You inch to the side to give him space out of habit—berating yourself later upon realization that he won’t be sitting beside you. Not anymore.

“Hi,” he greets, oh-so-formally that one would think it’s a business meeting.

“Hello.” You want to add how are you? but that’s a fucking stupid question.

“I-I ordered you latte,” you slowly slide the cup his way, praying to the heavens he’d take it.

But he only stares at the cup. “Thanks but I just had coffee.”

“Oh. I see,” you nod dejectedly.

“This will be quick, I promise.”

It’s a fucking business meeting after all, as he shuffles through his leather bag to pull out a piece of paper. He slides it, and a pen, your way. “I need you to sign this here,” he points on the line at the bottom of the document – Bank of Korea Account Closure Form.

“Oh. You’re closing o-our account?” That joint account you’ve opened with him years ago to save up on your future.

“Yeah well I have no intention of maintaining it. And with it needing both our signatures in certain transactions, you know… it’s meaningless now,” he says, oh-so-formally again.

“Oh. I see,” you nod dejectedly again. “W-Why now though?”

Jimin sighs through his nose, “I’m leaving soon and a lot of things need to be ironed out so… so I need to close that account.”

“How soon?”

“January. Was supposed to tell you that I passed the internship program during our anniversary. But…” he smacks his lips, “you know,” he shrugs.

“Oh. I see” becomes your standard response today.

“So you applied to the program even when I haven’t given you my decision yet?” In retrospect, you should have never brought that up as the implications of Jimin’s actions no longer bear any weight.

But he indulges you anyway, answering, “I only submitted my application when you said you’ll come with me. And apparently, the selection process is pretty quick... So there,” he taps his fingers on the table.

And as usual, you respond with – “Oh. I see.”

“So, if you please,” he gestures to the blank line awaiting your signature.

You uncap the sign pen, poising your hand to ink the document. But you just have to know – “Is it too late for me to ask for another chance?”

A muscle in Jimin’s cheek jumps, his jaw clenching at your question. “Jungkook confessed, you know. He told me everything. His drunken confession. Your escapade in Jeju. Everything,” he mutters, finally looking at you darkly.

You swallow a hard lump in your throat, croaking your standard, “Oh… I see.”

“I’m sorry too but it’s just too painful for me to stay here in Korea. I need to get out. Asap.”

Your hand trembles. The tears prick at the corners of your eyes. You inhale sharply, turning your face to the side to wipe a tear that managed to fall. “I understand. It’s really over now. I see…” you chant, nodding.

Jimin closes his eyes at seeing your gesture because no matter how you hide it, he always catches on your little quirks, even when he doesn’t want to anymore. His voice is shaky when he opens his orbs again as he humors you, “Let’s say I forgive you and we get back together, and say, we work through the awkward phase of building our relationship again – do you honestly think we’d be happy? The answer is no. Because you’ve changed. I noticed it. Even before Jungkook came in the picture. Something changed in you. And to this day, I regret not opening up to you about it. Maybe if I did, you wouldn’t have done that. You wouldn’t have strayed…” he trails off, hissing a breath through his teeth.

“It’s not your fault. It’s mine, Jimin. I should have been stronger. Like you said. I should have stopped it while I could. But I… I just let it consume me. I’m so sorry,” you reach out to him, hand hovering to cover his.

He lets you, squeezing your fingers between his palm. “We’re both at fault. My head was so high up in the clouds, so fucking cocky that we had it good.”

You clutch on to his hand so tightly, fearing this is the last that you’ll get to do so. “And we did, Jimin. We really did.”

“But like you said… we weren’t fucking perfect. Nothing ever is.”

Silence ensues, a dark cloud hanging over your booth, so out of place from the merriment in the other tables.

“I can’t say I’ve forgiven you yet. But I also can’t say that I don’t love you anymore. We’ve shared so much together and I just can’t throw it out like that… fuck, I even have to physically stop myself from calling you each morning. God, you don’t know how much I miss you, Y/N—” Jimin chokes, a hand covering his mouth as the tears pour down his face. And that’s all it takes for yours to stream freely too.

“But I have to move on. We have to move on. Even if it hurts. Even if it is so fucking hard. Because we just can’t be together anymore. At least, not right now, when we’re both hurting like this,” he sniffles.

You allow yourself to be selfish, one last time, lamenting, “But do you have to move so far away to heal? Why can’t you just stay here? I’ll leave you alone, I promise. I’ll stay out of your way. Just stay here please. And come back to me, Jimin.”

“The thing is I don’t know if I can ever want to come back to you, babe,” he tongues the inside of his cheek, looking at you so ruefully from being so honest.

You let go of your hold on him, covering your mouth with both hands. “Oh god… Babe, I’m so sorry.”

“I know, I know… I’m sorry too.” And out of habit, he caters to you. He extends his hand, swiping at your cheeks to rub the tears away. You preen to his touch, relishing in the moment while it lasts. “Maybe one day, we’ll be together if we’re meant to be.”

The words sound so familiar. Only now, you’re at the receiving end.

Oh, hope is a dangerous thing. It’s paralyzing, cruel and unsure. But just for now, while it still hurts, you allow yourself to hope for the best. Once more.

“Until then, goodbye, Y/N,” he smiles through his tears.

You nod in understanding, tears spilling freely, “Goodbye, Jimin. I wish you all the happiness in the world. All the happiness I couldn’t give you.”

“And I, the same.”

You proceed to retrieve the item in your bag, taking it with you after debating whether you should or not. Jimin stares at the box, swallowing hard to hold back his tears.

“You left this in my apartment,” you slide the box to him.

Jimin takes the box, gripping on it tight and shoving it in his bag. “Your signature please.”

You do as you’re told and as soon as you hand Jimin the document, he takes his leave. He wipes away the tears with the back of his palm, never daring to look back at you. As for you, you cry unrepressed in that booth, ignoring the curious stares of the customers. You wallow in the fact that from now on, it’s really over.


You think your week could not get any more hellish than that goodbye with Jimin. But— 

Boo, code red.

And though you know it’s going to be an ugly meeting with Sohee, you meet up with her at the Starbucks in your building, per her request. She’s earlier than you, and if it were like old times, you would have teased her about what food she’s eaten to be this early. But that’s that. And here you are.

You saunter to her with your head bowed low, settling on the seat across.

She doesn’t give you time to make small talk, snapping, “Please, spare me your apologies because I will hear none of it. I came here to talk and by talk, I mean you shutting up and listening to me while I confess something, okay?”

You nod weakly, “O-okay.”

“Since it’s the season of telling the truth, here’s my confession,” she starts, eyes looking down on you joylessly, the same kind you’ve seen when she confronted Hansung’s woman.

“I knew, boo. I knew you were the other woman. After I left Jungkook’s apartment that night, I lurked. I waited in my car, hoping that he would stay put in his pad, hoping that I was wrong. While I was there those few weeks, he almost proved me wrong, you know. He made so fucking sure I wouldn’t suspect a thing like saying he loved me unnecessarily, fucking me so sweetly I missed choking on his cock… He was so, so different and for a moment, I really thought I was just being paranoid.”

Your eyes widen at her revelation, heart racing fast again.

She sighs, “But then, ten minutes later, he’s sprinting to his car and going off somewhere in the dead of the night. I followed him of course, and fuck… I felt my soul left my body for a moment when I saw him go up to your place. I was so shocked. And so fucking hurt. He has another woman. And it’s my best friend.”

Sohee heaves, her face turning crimson from her fury. “I wanted to go up there and confront you two. God knows I was so ready to slap you until your fucking face bled. I wanted to ask him, why you? Of all the women he could fuck, why did he have to choose my best friend? But for some reason, I couldn’t move. Couldn’t even fucking wipe my own tears ruining my mascara. I just stayed in my car and waited like a pathetic bitch,” she laughs emptily.

“He came down an hour later, I think, crying like a fucking baby. You must have ended it, I thought, and I want to say now – Thank you. I don’t know how long you’ve been doing this behind my back, behind Jimin’s back, but thank you for ending it anyway,” she says plainly.

“I’ll be honest though, I wanted to get even. Just for kicks, I’ve thought about seducing Jimin just to spite you. But I just couldn’t do it. I love you too much to hurt you like that. Guess it’s just a one-way street, huh, boo?” she sarcastically asks.

You don’t answer, intently keeping your gaze on the table.

“It doesn’t matter now. Don’t worry, I’ve moved on. I didn’t take my pills that month so I knew I had a perfect bait for him. God must have been on my side because weeks later, I’m pregnant. And when I found out I was, it was so much easier to face you. Besides, I couldn’t keep using work as an excuse not to see you guys. I’m the fucking events mastermind, after all. And at the dinner, I only confirmed that something went on between you two especially since you kept drinking wine and I know how you fucking hate wine, boo.”

She sits upright, her chin up, “But that’s that. I’m pregnant and Jungkook’s going to marry me. I got what I wanted and I know he won’t leave me. He told me about his mom, and I just knew that he’s going to fucking try being the best father for my baby. Because even if he loves you, and I don’t care if he still does, he won’t leave me. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he repeats his fucked up family history.”

She expels a heavy sigh, rasping, “So there’s my confession. Maybe this is karma for all the fucked up things I did back then and you know what? I deserve it. I don’t blame anyone. This is what I get for being a fucking slut. Not gonna lie, it hurts like a bitch though. It still does but I know it will get better in time.”

You finally manage to gain your faculty of speaking, muttering, “Sohee… I’m so sorry. I should have never done this to you and Jimin. I don’t want to justify my actions but things just happened… One thing led to another and—”

Sohee rolls her eyes at you, interjecting, “Things never just happen, boo. I should know, I’ve been there. But you, how could you? You, of all people, with your discipline and principles. I expected better. Then again, expectations and reality are always two different things.”

You attempt to gaze into her eyes, pleading, “Boo, let me fix this please. Give me another chance to make it up to you.”

But she’s defiant. Even when she thanks you and recognizes her karma, she’s still bitter about this. “I just can’t trust you again,” she folds her arms over her chest.

Her remark irks you in a way. Despite her explanations, all the blame and repercussions seem to fall on you. And fuck, in spite of it all, she chose Jungkook over you.

“And you trust Jungkook? Over me? Sohee – if he was able to cheat on you with me, how sure are you he won’t do it again?” you bark against your better judgment.

Sohee smirks, shaking her head, “You know, you’ve lost the right to give me any fucking advice since you kissed Jungkook. So, no, boo, you don’t get a say in this.”

You’re immediately apologetic again. “I’m sorry. I really am…”

With another sigh, she leans forward to calmly tell you, “I forgive you, boo. But this is the end. This is the last time I’m calling you boo.”

“Why? Why are you choosing him over me? I know I fucked up but I’ve known you since forever and—”

Exactly. And look what you did,” she hisses.

“Sohee… I’m so sorry. I don’t know what to say but sorry. I truly am.” Tears stream down your face again. Two goodbyes in a week are too much for your fragile heart, after all.

“Do you still love him?” she asks, calmly again.

You hesitate for a moment before answering, “W-what? No.”

Sohee smiles at you pensively, “Ah, you’ve always been a bad liar, Y/N.”

You shake your head vigorously, trying to convince Sohee, “I don’t love him anymore! And even if I do, I’ll handle it. I’ll do something about it. Just don’t leave me. Please—”

She latches her hand over yours, “Goodbye, Y/N. I wish you all the best in life. Please don’t talk to me or Jungkook ever again. Leave us be. And I guarantee you, we will leave you alone.”

You cling on to her hands desperately, “Sohee, don’t do this please… I promise I’ll stay away from Jungkook, just, just don’t end our friendship like this. Jimin’s left me. Please don’t leave me too.”

Her cool façade is broken, tears now marring her pretty face too. She clears her throat, uttering in a whine, “But I have to. For my baby. I’m so sorry but I don’t think I can look at you the same way ever again. I can’t raise my kid and watch out for Jungkook too. This is for the best. I can’t be your friend anymore. I’m sorry but goodbye, Y/N. It was nice knowing you…”

And with that, she stands up, hand over her mouth to choke back her tears, never daring to look back at you.

And just like that, the pieces of the puzzle broke. Things fell, but not in place as you originally thought these were. Things just... fell apart.

It dawns on you now that it never was a puzzle being completed in the first place. No, those little moments weren’t pieces of a puzzle perfectly fitting together. No, those events were cards of diamonds and spades and hearts and clovers, neatly stacked on top of another by the hand of god. A rickety, moveable, fragile house of cards, easily swept by the slightest chill of wind. And your secret’s revelation has caused it to disperse, fanning out on fate’s lap as she cruelly mocks you with a mirthless cackle. Ah, you should have known better to think, to hope, to imagine that after all your debauchery, the heavens would be so kind to you.


It wouldn’t surprise you if Jungkook suddenly decided to meet up with you, say goodbye one more time, even when you’ve already done that. But he doesn’t. You stop texting him as well as Sohee, honoring your ex-best friend’s request.

Ah, everyone in the awesome foursome is now just an “ex” to you. Ex-boyfriend. Ex-best friend. Ex-lover. It’s like that phase in your life never existed – everything so easily snatched by fate away from you.

You spend your days drawing up scenarios. What if you told Jimin about the class early on, lying that Jungkook’s writing poems for Sohee when in fact you're doing this for your muse, him? Perhaps, Jimin would have believed you and your gift would have been appreciated nonetheless. What if you never let Jungkook inside your apartment the first time? Perhaps, he would not have been so comfortable with you so easily. What if you told Sohee about Jungkook’s secrets – his mom, his insecurities etc.? Perhaps, she would have done been more open-minded about him.

But no matter how many ideal scenarios you draw up, they don’t matter. Not when it’s so fucking clear that things have changed. Not when your mom asks you why you haven’t told her about Australia. Not when you watch reruns of Friends and hate it that you can no longer tease Sohee about it.   

What do you do when your whole life shatters just like that?

For now, you immerse yourself in your what-ifs, your should-haves, your could-haves, your would-haves. Because when your whole life shatters just like that, you can only cling on to the slivers of your past life while it still hurts. 

What do you do when your whole life shatters just like that?

Fuck if I knew.

You close your notebook, consoling yourself with the words marked in ink. Writing your feelings for no one but yourself. Scribbling away your thoughts aloud before you go insane. Pouring it all like a silent cry for help.

Writing, writing, writing until ‘then’, when it’s all better. When you can look at yourself in the mirror again. Until ‘then.’ Because when your whole life shatters just like that, you can only cling on to the hope of a better day. And maybe, just maybe, tomorrow will be that better day.

Chapter Text

nodus tollens

(noun) the realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore—that although you thought you were following the arc of the story, you keep finding yourself immersed in passages you don’t understand, that don’t even seem to belong in the same genre—which requires you to go back and reread the chapters you had originally skimmed to get to the good parts, only to learn that all along you were supposed to choose your own adventure.

– said the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, a website you’ve stumbled upon.

Would you look at that? There’s apparently a nifty term for that hellish phase of your life—that night which turned into a week then a month then a year. Not that knowing this now would make any difference. It’s not a keyword to the next stage of the game, not a cheat code you can input to restart your session. Nah, it’s just useless knowledge, really.

Just like the numerous scenarios you’ve conjured and facts you’ve gathered about your dire situation, both causing spontaneous, self-directed bouts of depression and fits of rage. They’re all meaningless, useless trivia now.

But no matter, let’s indulge your masochist self. Let’s take an example. Scenario #1: Jimin asks that you return everything he’s given you – probably through a family representative or through a courier service. Fact #1: He doesn’t, and instead, you are wretchedly surprised by random things that remind you of him, like a post-it note on the last page of your planner reading –

Congrats on making it through another year with Kun-hee, babe. I’m so proud of you. Love you.

It’s your fourth year in college all over again, where his random scribbles would be sources of inspiration or rewards for finishing your problem set. As you stare at the note, you wish he just demanded to retrieve everything.

Scenarios and facts involving Sohee and Jungkook are even worse off.

You imagined Sohee would be the type to ask that you return everything she’s given you. But given your history together, that would be very impractical and nearly impossible – you’d need a hundred forty-foot containers to fit everything. She probably knows this too, because she settles with pretending you never existed in her life. She blocks you in her SNS and her phone, the latter fact you confirm when you attempted to call her for a birthday greeting. You realize how scared she must be of losing Jungkook and how badly she wants to protect him from you. Not that you’d reach out to him though, that’s a fact. But you still haven’t gotten to throwing away his gift, so there’s that.

It may be wise to erase your existence in her life, after all.

In contrast, Jungkook’s circumstances do not veer off-course, the scenarios and facts aligning with him. He does text you in the dead of the night, despite Sohee’s pregnancy, throwing profuse apologies, regretful ramblings and love-filled declarations– all the stuff you already knew and expected when you left him the first time. His words are said during his weakest moments, you could tell. And by weakest, you mean when he’s drank a pint or two, as confirmed by the wrong spelling, the missed punctuations, the out-of-place uppercase. Exhibit A—

Im zo zorry Y/N I fuckedj up all oif. Us.

Drunk Jungkook is always honest. But mostly stupid.

In any given scenario, you would have given in. But the fact is: shame on you, if you fool me once; shame on me, if you fool me twice. You can’t break any more hearts, can’t afford to jump again just because your heart told you to, can’t let your worst get the best of you. You’re stronger now. Or at the bare minimum, you’re trying to be. As such, you block him on your phone—and on your SNS, just to be safe.

This obscure sorrow called nodus tollens needs to end. Your story needs to be filled by a different narrative, having wallowed from the breakdown of your previous life for too long.

Although, if truth be told, you would have preferred that the events took the following turn:

  • marry Jimin and become the stereotypical soccer mom to his kid;
  • effortlessly juggle being a career woman, wife and mother;
  • be the ahjumma Sohee’s kid Skypes to when her mom is too insufferable;
  • drink wine with Sohee over Facetime to complain about your husbands;
  • spill Sohee’s secrets to Jungkook when he asks for gift ideas; and
  • continue the rest of your life as part of the awesome foursome growing old together.

But yeah, that plotline has been closed off. The bullet points have gone to shit. It’s a different chapter now, a misplaced trajectory but nonetheless, it’s yours.

And as you turn over a new leaf in uncharted territories, you heave a huge sigh, gripping the piece of paper signaling another close, entering Kun-hee’s office with a loud knock.


xx June 20xx (xx years later)...

You are pleasantly surprised that a lot of people turned up for your book signing. You figured the word-of-mouth marketing spurred interest, as advised by your PR manager Rose, but you didn’t expect that you will be flocked in this rural part of Busan. Besides, the release of your book has been little over three months ago. People should have lost interest with you by now.

The quaint bookstore easily fills up with your fans, and though Rose would likely scold you for being so stubborn and choosing a small venue for this event, you endure the heat and noise from the crowd. After everything that has happened to you, you just never expected to catch a break like this – or any break at all, really. Perhaps, fate is kinder to you now, you reckon.

As the last number of people trickle out of the bookstore, you graciously entertain questions and requests for selcas for those who stayed behind. After a few protracted minutes, Rose ushers them out with her practiced smile, and they follow her like mice to a pied piper. You humbly request that she allow you some alone time to look around the bookstore, having been intrigued by its unique feel.

Quintessential Quills is famous for its antique décor and quirky trappings – descriptions you’ve only read before in those hipster art magazines you subscribe to now. It stands true to paper though, as you rove your eyes around the shop. It is a fairly quiet store – unlike the ones in Seoul – perhaps, due to its location in the heart of a mountainside community. Because of that as well, the store feels nostalgic and rustic. It is not only filled with floor-to-ceiling selections, but also gems of art like the calligraphy on the wall near your shelf—

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that is why we call it the present. – Master Oogway

You chortle, recognizing where the quote (with matching turtle caricature) has been culled. And also shake your head, flushed with how it resonates with you. You peruse the shelves, finding several pre-loved classics bound in leather, interspersed with brand new titles in shiny plastic.

Entranced with your scanning, you fail to notice the flurry of feet approaching you, the owner of said feet likewise oblivious of your presence. As a result, she crashes into you and stumbles on her backside with a loud “oomph.” You did feel the clash of something fluffy (?) against your legs and as you peer down at her, concerned that she may be hurt, you are immediately disarmed.

The young girl, around three to four years old, stares at you with her doe eyes so wide and so curious that you swear you’ve looked into them before. Instead of crying from her tumble, the little one smiles. Though missing a few teeth here and there, her pearly whites flash in a manner that also looks so familiar. Her jet black hair rolls on her shoulders, her doll-like face framed by her too-short, choppy bangs. The fluffy thing you felt is apparently her pink chiffon dress—as pink as the apples of her cheeks—bouncing as she steadily helps herself up. Successful in her endeavor, she suddenly squeals upon seeing the cover of a book at the bottom shelf.

Captivated with this new distraction, you mute the background noises growing louder towards you.

“I swear to God she was just right there. What do you think I was doing? I was holding her hand and—”

The flustered man is interrupted by an exasperated sigh, “Oh really? Then where is she? I leave you two seconds with her and she’s already missing? Unbelievable! I can’t even trust you with this, huh? My God, why did I even—BOO!”

You whip your head around from the nickname you’ve been bestowed in a past life. Your heart sinks a little because the term scratches a wound you thought you’ve healed.

The little girl raises her arms automatically, shrieking excitedly, “Eomma~”

The woman plunges to collect her child, arms draping around her cocoon of chiffon. She chides her worryingly, “Boo, where have you been? Eomma and appa have been looking everywhere for you…”

The kid isn’t unfettered however, swiveling her entire body to point at the bottom shelf, “Eomma, appa… bunny!”

Her father grins affectionately at her, nodding towards the direction of his daughter’s line of vision, “Right, right. It’s a bunny. Does my baby want the bunny?” – to which she assents excitedly, practically bouncing on her mother’s arms.

It would be so easy to walk away and exit the store; to just leave the family be, engrossed in their daughter’s newfound favorite book. But it’s also not that easy. You are too enthralled by the domestic scene before you to head out. And especially not now, when Sohee and Jungkook are simultaneously gawking at you upon realizing you’re there.

“H-hello,” you squeak, sure that their faces have frozen solid from your unexpected appearance.

Sohee is first to break free from the suspension, blinking twice and grinning at you cordially, “H-hi, Y/N. Long time.”

“Hi, Y/N. Long-long time…” Jungkook echoes as splutters, again donning his signature shook expression. Only that there’s something mature about his features now. It’s his eyes, your subconscious tells you.

“Hello, Sohee, Jungkook,” You smile at them affably, pointing to the giggly kid, “S-she’s yours?”

As if Hikaru knows she’s being talked about, she wedges her head on the crook of her mom’s neck. Sohee nods, “Yeah. She is. This is Hikaru, our little bundle of joy.”

“Hikaru? Oh, is that Japanese?” you inquire, something faint in your recollection telling you it’s a familiar name.

Jungkook lights up from your remark, beaming, “Yeah, it is.”

“Why does that name sound so familiar?” you tap on your chin, pondering, “Ah! Hikaru! Like the character from the anime, Ghoul?”

He flashes his bunny smile, “That’s the one. Means—”

“Means light,” you say almost in unison with him.

“Right,” he nods approvingly.

You don’t miss the judging stare that Sohee gives the both of you, so you stop this arbitrary connection with Jungkook. “What a beautiful name. And such a beautiful girl. She has your smile, Sohee… and your eyes, Jungkook.”

“Thanks. We’ve been told,” Sohee says noncommittally.

“Oh… I see,” you grate at your nails now, unable to come up with something to allay the tense atmosphere.

Jungkook swoops in for you, saving with a scratch at his nape, “So um, how are you? What brings you to Busan?”

“Book signing,” you gesture to the table and your embarrassing life-size standee by the makeshift stage.

Sohee glances where you lead her, mouthing in a perfect circle, “Oh, right, right, you just released your book—I mean, your—”

“Your poem collection,” Jungkook completes her sentence.

She glares at Jungkook, turning to you with a tight-lipped smile, “Right, congrats. I heard it’s a bestseller. People are calling you the next Lang Leav.”

You snort, dismissing her compliment shyly, “Oh, no, I don’t think so. She’s-she’s out of my league. I’m just a humble writer and she’s something else.”

“Then maybe the next Jung Bo Hee?” Jungkook remarks meaningfully, causing another dark stare from Sohee.

The seconds-apart slip-ups have you edgy. You want to keep talking to them. You really do. You want to hang on to this tiny slice of your connection. But Jungkook keeps fucking it up and—

And it seems, that Sohee feels the same as you because despite that, she attempts with a warm smile, “So you finally quit on that slave driver of an asshole boss you have?”

Momentarily, you almost call her by the moniker she’s dubbed her child with, “Yes, bo-I mean, Sohee. I did. Around two years ago, I quit on him. I saw an email from Jae Han-sunbae about his apprenticeship program and I just jumped on the chance. Been sort of his protégé since then.”

“Congrats, Y/N. So how’s Jae Han-sunbae? Still doesn’t own a comb?” Jungkook chortles.

His remark rips a hearty chuckle from you, “Yeah. But his hair is already greying so he resembles a mad scientist now more than a tortured soul.”

Jungkook wrinkles his nose, “Well, he kinda looked like a mad scientist from the beginning, Y/N, so that’s not a new development.”

“Oh really? I never noticed.”

“Yeah? Well, you’ve always been not good at catching these things easily,” he murmurs.

And there he goes again, destroying the amicable momentum among you three.

Still, you persist, glad that Sohee is still there to catch you with her loose-hanging smile.

You turn to her, “Um, how about you two? Still an events planner and a sports coach?”

Sohee dips her head in agreement, “But I work part-time nowadays, especially with how Hikaru has completely taken over my life…” she jostles Hikaru who wraps her arms around her neck.

“That’s good. At least you get to focus on raising your kid.”

“Yeah, it’s great. We’ve also moved to Busan a few years back. Jungkook’s idea. It’s easier to raise a kid here than in Seoul, he says. Kinda true though,” she continues.

“Oh nice… you’re near Jungkook’s parents…” you trail off.

“Yeah. And it also helps that Jimin’s parents pitch in too, sometimes. They are just so fond of Hikaru,” She says absentmindedly.

“Oh. I see,” you mutter as low as how your heart drops from the mention of Jimin. You can vividly imagine the tendrils of reconnecting with Sohee and Jungkook snapping now.

Sohee attempts to reconnect with you still, keeping her voice level as she asks, “Y-you haven’t heard from him?” But it comes out as a croak.

“No, I haven’t. But-but I’m sure he’s doing well.”

“He is. I heard he just got promoted to Chief Financial Officer in his company. He’s in town for the next two weeks. It’s his parents’ 30th wedding anniversary so…” Aware that she may have overshared, Sohee looks at Jungkook to salvage the situation but he just tongues the inside of his cheek in response.

Except for Jimin’s recent promotion, you want to say you do know. Having been ingrained in Jimin’s family for so long, you know his parents’ and younger brother’s birthdays, know how old their pet dog is. You even know when they bought their second family car, as you were there when they made the purchase. Even with the passage of time, you remember. Every little thing about Jimin’s life. Even if you don’t want to anymore.

You paste on another smile and shrug weakly, “I know. I mean, I figured he must be, given that…”

One last try. Maybe this conversation won’t end bitterly.

You take a jab, piping, “So… books? Hikaru knows how to read already?”

Jungkook is first to cooperate. “Yeah. She’s a fast learner. I read to her before she goes to sleep. But she also reads them whenever she wants to.”

And Sohee gladly follows suit. “And at the rate she’s going, by the time she’s six, she will have read all the books I’ve ever read in my life.”

You’re so pleased with this development that you sneer, “And that’s not a lot, Sohee.”

She rolls her eyes at you – oh god, you missed being savage with her – and grunts, “I know but well, I didn’t need to back then. I always had you to read them for me.”

Ah, but the pang is too much. Your smile curls to a frown, heart painfully lurching to assault you with flashes of memories with her. The two of you exchange knowing looks. It’s only a second but it feels like time’s suspended, enough to tell you a million untold stories, a million untold feelings.

Jungkook cuts through the tension, looking back and forth at the two women he’s loved. “…Right. And now she’s picking out her birthday gift. Another book.”

“Birthday?” you glance at him.

Jungkook nods, “Tomorrow. Her birthday’s tomorrow. Antsy little baby can’t wait for her book though. That’s why we’re here.”

“How old is she again?”

“She turns four tomorrow,” Sohee replies.

You stare off into the distance, belatedly realizing that four years have passed. Four years, forty-eight months. Forty-eight. Just like the forty-eight poems Jimin never got to read. Ah, must your brain really make that connection now?

“Oh, really? It’s been four years huh? Time really flies,” you mumble.

“Yep. It really does,” Jungkook idly agrees.

There’s only so much pressure that flimsy small talk can handle. Sohee does not want to broach on the topic of the past, as you can see her eyes flash wildly. Jungkook, on the other hand, is wistful, his doe eyes too large and too telling to rein it in.

Hence, Sohee stoops to retrieve the book with the bunny cover, elating Hikaru. She cuts the temporary connection with you, stammering, “I-I’m… I’m so sorry but we have to go ahead. We still have a lot of stuff to do, with her party and all. Congrats on your book, again.”

You snap out of your mindless staring, plastering a weak smile, “Thank you. Good luck on the party, Sohee, Jungkook… Happy birthday in advance to Hikaru.”

Sohee returns a thrifty grin, turning around to pay for the book. Appearing to remember something, she slightly swivels to study Jungkook’s form.

Jungkook is aware of his wife’s scrutiny and he worries his lower lip as a response. He sighs, quirking his mouth to the side, “Take care of yourself, Y/N.”

You slightly bow to him, mimicking that quirk in his mouth, “You too. Goodbye, Jungkook.”

Try as you might, you can’t look away. Not when Jungkook tells Sohee to wait by the door so he can replace her in the queue. Or when Sohee playfully nuzzles Hikaru’s nose and the little girl giggles. You’re too captivated again, and with the dead silence of the store, it’s so easy to catch the conversation that ensues.

“Eomma?” Hikaru cups her mother’s face, squishing her cheeks.

Sohee giggles at her daughter’s action, “Yes boo?”

“Who is she?” she points at you.

Sohee makes a sound at the back of her throat, eyes fixated on her daughter’s curious face, “Oh—um…she was-she was eomma’s old classmate, boo.”

Hikaru hums, seemingly content with her mom’s answer. Jungkook reappears by their side, making a funny face at Hikaru, who titters in glee. He then motions for his turn to carry her with a hand on Sohee’s back.

But she shrugs it off, “No, Jungkook. You don’t get to carry her.”

Jungkook groans, tentatively caressing Sohee’s arm, “Love, I’m sorry. I won’t let her out of my sight again, I promise. Please let me carry her? I know your arm’s already sore…”

Sohee narrows her eyes at him but nonetheless relents with a snort, depositing Hikaru in Jungkook’s arms, “You better make good on that promise, Jeon…”

And again, try as you might, you can’t look away. Not even when Jungkook and Sohee latch their hands together, and you’re blinded by something flashy.

Ah… so Sohee did get a simple wedding band in the end.

You don’t know what you were expecting in watching their forms disappear from your vision. Maybe it’s a test to see if Jungkook would look back. Yes, you know – you must be so full of yourself to think he still feels that away for you. But it’s a necessary condition in moving forward. You never really knew when he stopped texting or calling you, after all.

Don’t look back, don’t look back, don’tlookback

Thankfully, he doesn’t because if he did – god, you weren’t sure what sign you were wordlessly asking, if he did.

As compared, Sohee does throw you a furtive glance while Jungkook is preoccupied with his purchase earlier. And despite the years that have passed, the attempt to forget each other’s body language, the huge rift between you two, she wordlessly tells you what you’ve been longing to hear, words you would have told her too—

“I’m really glad to see you, boo.”


Narae’s bar is tonight’s venue for your batch’s reunion. It has been that way apparently for the past few years and of course, you didn’t know because you didn’t attend the succeeding ones. Why would you even? There was no one to accompany you anymore. And though it’s a solid excuse to get free drinks, it’s just too risky. The fallout of the awesome foursome oozed through the grapevines, several versions spreading through the batch in preposterous mutations. Your favorite would have to be the one where you cut your hair that short because Sohee asked you to as repentance for your transgression. It’s partly true but really, it’s because it’s easier to maintain a bob nowadays.

Although you’re unsure which version is circulating now, you finally show up at the reunion this year, armed with Narae’s reassurance that she will personally shield you from the gossipmongers and manhandle those who will harass you. Also, because there’s that possibility that Jimin will be attending too.

For some reason, seeing Jungkook and Sohee a week ago has emboldened you to rekindle connections with that sordid past. From what Sohee’s shared, Jimin’s promotion is a very stellar achievement given his fairly short stint to Australia. Then again, he’s always been a hard worker. Couple that with the very nature of his internship program, and he’s sure to be on top in no time. Luck may have favored him too, you think. And of course, Jimin deserves all the luck god can give out. He deserves the world and all the happiness you can’t give him.

He seems to be really happy too, from what you’ve gathered. One time you brazenly visited his parents’ home, you saw their walls lined with pictures of his trips in Australia – sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. For a brief moment, you are reminded painfully that you will only get to see his eye smiles on those picture frames or your computer screen. You will never be on the other side, pressed to his face to fit the camera’s screen.

Your computer screen? Yep. Because unlike Sohee, Jimin does not block you or even unfriend you. He just ignores your online presence. Not that you’d ever dare tag him in posts or message him, of course. Fine, you did message him once, but you were only seenzoned and that pretty much told you he wasn’t ready to do anything with you.

Until today.

All alone at the back of the bar, which Narae has turned into an al fresco extension, you nurse your third cocktail for the night. You’ve retreated to this empty space after getting fed up with the perfunctory pleasantries of your batchmates. Your alcohol tolerance has improved greatly over the years, what with Jae-Han’s obligatory brainstorming Fridays – an excuse for him to chug on rum while you jot down his ideas for your future compositions.

You’re sure the alcohol hasn’t fogged your brain but the Jimin standing in front of you looks so ethereal that you had to rub your eyes twice and shake your head thrice to confirm he was flesh and bones, and not some alcohol-induced hallucination.

The hallucination speaks finally, greeting you with a simple “Hi.”

His hands are in his pockets, shoulders a bit stiff from pressing to himself as if cold, lips smacking into a thin smile. He looks exactly the same – save for his hair which he’s parted to showcase his forehead and dyed to its original black; and that expensive-looking suit he’s traded for his usual plaid and slacks.

“Hello,” your grip tightens on your glass, eyes wide and shocked at his appearance.

Jimin inspects the several empty glasses littering your table, jesting, “I’d offer to buy you a drink but I think you’ve had one too many.”

“Please tell me you’re real…” you whisper, ignoring his remark.

He chuckles, eyes crinkling to the crescents you never thought you’d see in person again, “You’re not drunk. I’m really here.”

You nod in approval, chuckling softly, “I never thought you’d actually come. Narae said she invited you but you know, I didn’t want to keep my hopes up…”

Jimin squints, sighing, “Well, Narae can be pretty convincing. And also, she literally twisted my arm until I conceded. She heard I was in town so… here I am…” he pats on his legs.

“Kudos to her though. I imagine it would be difficult to convince you otherwise.”

Jimin gestures to sit on the empty chair across from you and you nod (too) keenly, “Ah, not really. It’s refreshing to see familiar faces once in a while, especially when you’ve gotten so used to them before,” he ends with a pensive gaze.

You can practically feel the dip in the atmosphere, further freezing the chilly night.

You clear your throat to gain reprieve, steering the conversation elsewhere, “Um, congrats on your parents’ anniversary.”

“Thank you. I didn’t think you’d still remember,” he leans back to stress his amusement.

You bite the inside of your cheek, “Oh, there are a lot of things I remember, Jimin. Even if I don’t want to anymore…”

Ah shit, why did you have to say that aloud?

Jimin clasps his hands together, staring at you, “I can imagine. I know the feeling, Y/N.”

Must you fuck this small talk up???

You attempt to alleviate the somber mood with the good news you’ve heard about the man across from you. “So… heard you recently got promoted as Chief Financial Officer. Aigoo… you’re a high baller now, Park Jimin.”

He chortles, leaning back on the chair, “Heh, I wouldn’t say exactly that. But yeah, things are really looking up.”

You grin widely at him, “Good for you. Congratulations on that. You deserve it. Really. I’m glad you’re doing well, Jimin.”

He takes his time to turn his head to look at you, muttering, “Thank you, Y/N.”

A beat of silence. Are five seconds all you’ll ever have good conversation with him?

Jimin acts quickly, taking his turn to keep the ball rolling, “And you – I heard you’re a bestselling author now. Your book sold out all copies on the first month. If I may say frankly, you’re the real high baller, Y/LN Y/FN.”

Sheepishly, you thank him. “Thanks but that’s just a lucky break. People were probably bored of reading their usual romance novels and webtoons and found mine. It will pass.”

“I wouldn’t say it like that. You’re a good writer.”

“How would you know? You never read my gif-I mean, my poems, my book of poems.”

Get it together, Y/N, you hiss at yourself.

Jimin smirks, “I did, matter of fact. I finished your book while on the plane. Read it in one seating too – not like I could leave the plane and all, but you get me right? Anyway, I read it and I must say, I enjoyed all your compositions.”

“O-oh. Really? Th-thanks, Jimin,” you stutter.

“You’re welcome. You really have a talent for writing, Y/N. I’m also glad you’re doing well. You deserve the success,” he says warmly.

“Thank you, Jimin. I really appreciate it. Especially coming from you.”

Jimin shakes his head, all too cognizant of your little quirks and thinly veiled allusions. “You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. You’ve had it tough.”

“I imagine you’ve gone through the same as well. Or maybe worse,” you mutter.

“But here we are. Four years later. Somewhat stronger, somewhat wiser, yeah?” he cocks an eyebrow at you.

You bob your head into a slow nod. You roll the cube of ice on your now empty glass, using that as diversion from the palpable tension between you two. With a sigh, you open up a new topic, “Um, I saw Jungkook and Sohee a week ago… at my book signing in Busan. They were shopping for books for their little one.”

Jimin’s eyes spell his surprise. “Oh really? What a coincidence...”

“I know. I mean, the three of us are all still living in the same country but what are the odds that they’ll be there on the day of my book signing right? It’s totally unexpected.”

“Stars do align sometimes, Y/N.”

You ignore his heavily laden statement, tentatively asking, “Have you-have you gotten in touch with them?”

Jimin hums, crossing his legs. “I have. Sort of. I saw them last Christmas, their first after moving to Busan. I usually go home for the holidays, you see, and they happened to visit then.”

Oh. So it’s only you who have been out of the loop. Figures.

You try to repress the tremble in your voice but fail, “H-how did it go?”

Jimin grunts, threading his fingers through his hair, “Well, suffice to say you’ve got a doting uncle here. Hikaru just adores me so much. Wouldn’t stop pinching my cheeks the entire evening. She even followed me around like a lost puppy. Aish… and I thought I’ve gotten rid of all the Jeons in my life,” he laughs heartily.

You’re infected by his upbeat mood, giggling softly in return. “That’s good to hear. At least-at least, you’re rebuilding your friendship with Jungkook.”

Unlike me with Sohee, you’d like to add.

And as usual, Jimin catches on your unspoken words. His eyes soften to study your expression. He pauses, carefully formulating what he’s about to say next.

“You should allow yourself that too, you know. I think Sohee needs her best friend back. I mean, for one, she calls Hikaru boo.”

You click your tongue, grumbling, “Ah, but it’s still too dangerous. When I saw them together… I just… I don’t know, Jimin…”

He inhales sharply, saying the words for you. “It hurt?” He doesn’t even flinch when he asks next, “Because you still love him?” but his resolve gives away with his jaw clenching tightly.

You’ve never reflected that much on that meeting, to be honest. Sure, you’ve analyzed Sohee’s and Jungkook’s body language, their telltale signs, their chemistry, but never homed in on your feelings for the younger man. As such, with Jimin’s aid, you ask the same question to yourself: Do you still love Jungkook?

Surprisingly, the answer comes up quickly. “No, no, it’s not that. It’s more of… I can see that they’re trying, like really trying, for their kid. And if I re-enter their lives at this time, things might fall apart again. I’m too scared to make a move, Jimin.”

Jimin nods in understanding, offering his two cents, “Well, you’ve learned your lesson, Y/N – there’s that. So I’m confident that whatever you choose to do is for the best.”

And after all these years, after the shit you’ve put him through, Jimin still believes in you. Ah, he deserves the world, indeed.

You hold back the tears, a melancholy smile on your lips as the words escape your lips, “You’ve always been too kind, Jimin-ah. Always too trusting with me…”

“Ah, but I’m not only saying this because it feels like the right thing to say. It’s not like I can gain anything from flattering you, you know. I meant what I said, Y/N. I trust you’ll do what’s best for you and Sohee,” he stares into your eyes intently, as if to emphasize.

You hold his gaze but fear that the tears will fall soon, so you look away, mumbling, “Thank you but again, you’re too kind to me, Jimin.”

Jimin curves his lips to the side, humming in defeat. He drums his fingers on the table, changing the topic, “I got your poem, by the way.”

“My poem? What poem?”

“You know, the posted poem by Lang Leav.”

Ah, you recall now. You did send him one last year, a drunken afterthought one lonely Saturday night when you were binge-reading your Lang Leav books. If you recall clearly, the one you sent was this:

A BETRAYAL

I cannot undo

what I have done;

I can’t un-sing

A song that’s sung.

And the saddest thing

About my regret—

I can’t forgive me,

And you can’t forget.

“Oh… that one. I thought you never did. Lang discontinued that service when I sent it out.” It’s true though because Lang was working on her new novel by the time yours was poised for sending.

He shrugs, “I guess mine got through. Actually… I received the poem many months ago. But um… it took me a long time to figure out what to respond to you.”

You lower your head, grating at your nails. “I didn’t expect you would. I just… wanted you to receive that poem really. Part of my exercise to grieve over what’s happened.”

“Thank you. But yeah, I found a response. Bought her entire box-set to do that. And I guess that’s also one of the reasons why I’ve decided to attend the reunion, especially when Narae confirmed that you were coming.”

He fishes for something in his breast pocket, “So, here… Mailed it to myself so I can deliver it to you personally. I want you to have this.”

He slides a white, string-tie envelope and you gingerly open the package, careful not to crease the heavyweight art paper. With pleading eyes, you ask, “Do you mind if I read it now?”

Jimin splays his palm, “No, not at all.”

You gulp, heart lodged in your throat, as you read the poem.

WOUNDED

A bruise is tender

But does not last,

It leaves me as

I always was.

But a wound I take

Much more to heart,

For a scar will always

Leave its mark,

And if you should ask

Which one you are,

My answer is—

You are a scar.

You finish the poem in seconds, but re-read the lines several times to let the truth sink in completely. So… this is how Jimin feels about you… It hurt – but it was a good kind of hurt. At least, you now know for sure where he stands.

“Am I still too kind?” he asks timidly, head tilted to the side.

You simper, “I guess not. But it’s well-deserved. And I understand, Jimin. Thank you for giving this to me.”

“Honestly, I’ve moved on from what happened between us all. I’ve forgiven Jungkook… I’ve forgiven you… but it doesn’t mean I’m ready to let you two back into my life. Little by little, maybe we can. Eventually, maybe we can… maybe we’ll be friends, maybe we won’t. I don’t really know. What I do know is that whatever fate will bring, I’ll take it. And I won’t change it, whatever it is.”

You’re uncertain if you got his message clearly; hence, you boldly ask, “So, does this mean… let me be straightforward with you… if fate gives us another chance at romance, you’ll allow it?”

He chortles, tipping his head back, before he responds, “I think the poem should tell you my answer to your question. Read between the lines, Y/N. You’re smarter than that.”

“I see. But still, you’re much too kind, Jimin. You could have made me hope and I’d hope. You could have led me on and I’d be deceived. Thank you, Jimin for being honest with me.”

“Because honesty is the best policy. Cliché but true,” he winks at you.

“I fucking know right?” you roll your eyes, causing him to laugh.

You join him in the laughter, and for a moment, you bask in the melodious sound of his voice. It’s a good kind of hurt indeed.

He settles down after a while, shifting into a serious expression again. “But, honestly too, you have to forgive yourself, Y/N. It’s been four years. Maybe meeting all of us at once is a sign from the heavens for you to finally forgive yourself. Cliché as it may sound, things really do happen for a reason, right?”

“Right…”

The drone of the bass, the cacophony of the crowd and the steady beats of the music replace your idle chatter with Jimin. You look ahead, awkward to maintain any further eye contact with him. In your peripheral vision, you note that he’s just as hesitant, opening and closing his mouth several times.

And then he acts, rolling his sleeve to glance at his watch. “Ah, it’s getting late and I have an early flight to catch.” He rises from his chair, prompting you to do the same, “It was really nice seeing you, Y/N. You take care now, okay? I wish you all the best. And I’m really glad you’re doing well. Really.”

“You too, Jimin. Thank you. Thank you for everything really. Have a safe flight.”

He waves goodbye, one hand in his pocket as he walks away.

You could stop him and offer to walk him to his car, you know. Why? Maybe because he’s expecting you to extend that courtesy? Besides, this may be the last you see of him in a while. The moment, no matter how brief, is something that can tide you over in the next year or so. Still, you can’t bring your feet to move. After all, he made it clear that it’s really finished between you two. The walk to his car will definitely be awkward as hell, especially since you have run out of things to say to him – though in your head, you imagined to tell him so, so many things. Or… or maybe he can come up with meaningless topics instead?

As if reading your mind, Jimin turns around, saying a few more things to you, “Ah, before I forget, Y/N…” he starts.

You lean forward, nearly tumbling, clearly giving away the hunger to talk to him more. “Yes?”

“Go make your happy ending, okay? Your story might not have ended with me – or even Jungkook – as your Prince Charming but there’s still hope. Find your ‘until then.’ I’m rooting for you, Y/N. Tragedies are overrated anyway,” he ends with a tender smile.

You allow the tears to fall, smiling an ear-to-ear grin, nodding vigorously.

He nods, walking away from you to disappear into the night.


Time doesn’t heal all wounds. But it serves as a balm enough to soothe the pain. And in time, the wounds don’t hurt as much. Maybe, that’s the real adage. These things, you realize, as you contemplate on your encounters with the former members of the awesome foursome.

You stare at your computer screen, the empty document with just the title screaming at you.

Until ‘then’

It’s that composition you’ve never gotten to finish. It’s the first one you’ve actually worked on for your new book, but ironically, the only one you’ve always put on hold.

Perhaps, your heart and head were not in the right space while working on your new collection for the past half year or so. Seeing Sohee, Jungkook and Jimin again serves as the impetus to complete that poem. The one poem connecting all of you together.

Perhaps, as well, this is fate telling you that you have to stop dwelling in the past. Clearly, the rest of the awesome foursome has. Though Sohee and Jungkook don’t look the happiest, they choose to work with what they have, pouring their love and time and patience with each other to tend to their little one, Hikaru. Though Jimin will never return to you, you are happy that he is doing very well, his migration to Australia taking him to new professional heights, something he can probably never achieve that soon in South Korea. And you, though you’ll probably grow old without these characters – unlike that alternate universe you have been hanging on to for so long – you’re still here, with a second lease at life, barely breathing yes, but positively alive.

With a resolute sigh, you type away.

Until ‘then’

I used to think that ‘then’ would mean seeing you at the end of the tunnel, the literal light to the darkness of my life. You – my lover, my sin, my friend. I used to imagine vividly how warm your arms would be, how bright your smile would be, how happy I would be, knowing that after all those years of fumbling in the dark, I have you in the end to shine on me.

But that’s a lie. I have come to realize that at the end of the tunnel is a mirror, where only my reflection will greet me. And when I do, although alone, I will (should) smile, I will (should) laugh, I will (should) sigh contentedly.

Because until ‘then’ is our end. Until ‘then’, goodbye, my lover, my sin, my friend.

Until ‘then’ is where I and only I begin again.

You smile through tears, pleased with your composition.

This, right now, is the end of your nodus tollens. The plot of your life makes some sense somehow, the arc of your story, although severely off-course, is clearer. The passages of your past are no longer drowning you in; this genre – tragedy – will turn into something lighter (hopefully). And though you still go back and reread the chapters where the good parts were, you now choose your own adventure.

It will take some time to be at ease with your fate, but maybe, just maybe, this is the beginning of that proverbial better day you’ve desired for so long. For now, it’s enough to strive for your happy ending, to root for yourself, to end the tragedy.

And for the first time, in a long while, you are happy, moving on, moving forward, to strive to find your until ‘then’.

FIN.