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Coffee Stains, Guitar Strings

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The whir of machines fills the shop as Jimin pushes a few strands of hair out of his eyes and adjusts his shirt, eyes drifting over his reflection. Damn, he looks tired.

Just thinking about sleep makes his mouth stretch into a wide yawn as he turns away from the mirror and heads out front. Taehyung is saying goodbye to a customer, waving enthusiastically as they leave. The doorbell jingles as they exit, leaving the shop empty.

Taehyung spins around to face Jimin, the smile he’d plastered onto his face vanishing in an instant. “I fucking hate them.”

Jimin purses his lips. “You’re lucky I’m your best friend more than I’m your boss,” he says and Tae just laughs. Jimin can’t stop himself from chuckling along as he passes his friend and heads for the register. “Were those the regulars you always complain about?”

“The ones that order very complicated drinks for every single one of their ten million kids and then complain because they think I forgot that extra pump of vanilla?” Taehyung nods. “Yeah, that’s them.”

Jimin just nods, no energy left in him to respond. He’s been here since opening but no one has been able to cover Hoseok’s weekend shifts since he broke his leg—and god knows he can’t leave Taehyung on his own. Evenings here get busy with all the lovebirds coming in for moonlit tea dates or whatever the kids are doing for romance these days.

“You know, you can go home if you want to,” Taehyung says. “You look like fucking shit.”

“Thanks,” Jimin says with a laugh. “But I can’t abandon you. You’ll drown without me.”

Taehyung scoffs as he turns to rearrange an already perfectly arranged display shelf. “Puh-lease. When have I ever needed your help?”

“Um, always?”

“Yeah, right. Name one time— oh, shit.”

Jimin whips around, expecting to see Taehyung surrounded in glass or the shelf about to topple over. Instead, he just finds Taehyung dusting off the front counter and tidying up as quickly as possible. He straightens his uniform and gestures for Jimin to do the same.

“New regulars.” Taehyung whispers, though Jimin isn’t sure why. No one has entered the shop yet. “They come in every evening. Look alive, Jimin.”

Jimin is just about to question his friend’s sanity when the jingle of the bell draws his attention. He looks forward and—oh, now he gets it—finds himself staring at a pair of ridiculously beautiful young men, talking and laughing with each other as they step inside.

One of them has a guitar on his back and he holds the door open for the other. Jimin’s eyes follow him from the moment his gaze lands on him. He almost doesn’t hear Taehyung’s whisper of, “Music majors. Seokjin and Jungkook. They go to that fancy school down the street.”

Taehyung leans on the counter by the register, nudging Jimin in the side to snap him out of his trance. “Welcome back!” he says, grinning from ear to ear. “The usual?”

“You know it,” says one of the men. Jimin still isn’t sure who is who.

Taehyung turns to him. “Jimin, you wanna start on Jungkook’s drink?” he asks, keeping his voice low so only his friend can hear. He rattles off the order and Jimin only hopes he remembers it right. “Thanks.” Taehyung turns back to the men as Jimin sets to work. “It’s on us today.”

“Tae—!” Jimin starts, but a rather aggressive gesture of Taehyung’s hand behind the counter stops him. He bites his tongue. He knows by now to just let Taehyung’s crushes run their course, even if it means letting him abuse whatever power he has at the shop.

Jimin works on Jungkook’s drink as Taehyung chats up who he assumes is Seokjin. Meanwhile, the other guy—Jungkook, he supposes he must be—casts Taehyung and his friend a knowing look and a grin before walking away.

It’s hard not to watch him as he sets his guitar in a nearby seat and makes his way over to the pickup counter, hands in his pockets. Jimin pretends not to notice the way Jungkook’s eyes seem to follow him. It sends his heart into overdrive and makes it hard to focus.

Typically Jimin is in Taehyung’s position; making conversation with customers as he works, always smiling and cracking jokes. But something about this Jungkook guy has him feeling nervous, overtly aware of how tired he looks and terrified he’s going to make an embarrassing mistake in front of him.

He steps out of Taehyung’s way as he works on Seokjin’s drink, still chatting with the man as he does. Jimin saunters over to the counter and hands Jungkook his drink. “Here you go,” he says. “Hope it tastes good.”

Jungkook accepts it with a small nod of his head and takes a sip, Jimin waiting with bated breath. Jungkook smiles. “It’s perfect. Thank you.” He pauses for a moment, then adds, “You must be Jimin, right? The owner?”

Jimin blinks. “Own—? No, I’m just—”

“He will be soon,” Taehyung intervenes. “When the cun—” He glances at Jimin as his friend casts him a chastising frown. “Current. When the current owner retires. She’s selling and Jimin’s gonna buy.”

“I’m thinking about buying—”

“He’s buying.”

Jimin refrains from rolling his eyes at Taehyung, instead focusing on Jungkook as he speaks. “You’ll still let Taehyung gives us free drinks, right?” he says with a laugh, and Jimin feels himself grinning along.

“Believe it or not, I don’t have much of a choice when it comes to Tae,” Jimin says, nudging his friend in the side. “He does what he wants.”

Taehyung nods proudly, resting his arm on Jimin’s shoulder and leaning against him. “Damn right.”

“Anyway,” Jimin clears his throat, “enjoy your drinks. I’m sure you two have better things to do than listen to us all day— ow!” Jimin jumps away from Taehyung as he feels a sharp pinch on his side. He presses his hand over the smarting skin and furrows his brows at the other man.

“Actually, we should get to work on your song for the show,” Seokjin says, nudging Jungkook’s arm.

“Oh.” Jungkook nods. “Right.”

Seokjin gives Taehyung a little wave and Jungkook, with a shy smile on his face, looks at Jimin and gives him a nod before walking away.

Jimin watches as Jungkook sits down, pulling his guitar into his lap as Seokjin retrieves a notebook from his messenger bag and drops it onto the table. His hearts speeds up a little bit at the idea of possibly hearing Jungkook sing. His voice is hypnotic enough even when he’s just talking. Jimin can only imagine what it sounds like singing a song.

But the moment is ruined by a hand grabbing his sleeve and tugging him towards the back of house, yanking him through the ‘employees only’ door. Jimin spins around to face Taehyung, throwing his hands in the air. “What the hell, Tae? You almost gave me a heart attack.”

“Double date me.”

“What?”

“I mean, not me, you go with Jungkook and I’ll go with Seokjin. It’s perfect!”

Jimin scrunches his nose up. “No way. I don’t even know the guy.”

“Hence the double date,” Taehyung says. “You can get to know him that way.”

“Do you remember the last time we went on a double date?”

Taehyung leans back, staring off into the distance as he recalls the horrifying memories of that day. He wrinkles his nose in disgust and shudders. “Okay, yeah, that one was a mistake,” he says, holding his hands up in defeat. “But these two are not like those guys. They’re nice and respectable and fucking hot and musicians. Jimin, c’mon, Jungkook is absolutely your type and I know you have a guitar kink.”

“It’s not a kink—”

Taehyung presses a hand over Jimin’s mouth. “Keep telling yourself that,” he says. “Just think about it. Sleep on it, you know? I’m sure they’ll be back tomorrow and we can ask them out then.”

“But I—” Jimin starts but Tae is gone before he has a chance to finish. With a huff, he straightens out his uniform again and steps through the doorway just in time to see a small crowd of people entering the shop.

Let the evening rush begin.

 

 

Jimin huffs out a sigh as he sets aside another clean glass. The radio blares next to him and he sings along with it at the top of his lungs. The shop is slow right now and Taehyung already called to say he’d be running late due to traffic, so Jimin is free to do as he pleases.

He splashes the water in the sink to the beat of the music, feet slipping on the wet floor—he’ll clean it up later—until the song slows down to switch to the next.

Jimin pauses, dries his hands, and reaches up to turn the music down. He’s pretty sure he just heard someone enter the shop but he can’t be sure since Taehyung busted up the bell on the door last night.

How someone breaks a solid metal bell Jimin will never know. Taehyung certainly has a talent for destroying things if nothing else.

Jimin shoulders the door open, towel in hand and stops in his tracks when he sees Jungkook standing at the register. He smiles as the other man looks over at him and waves. “Hey,” Jimin says, making his way over to the register. He glances towards the door and sets his towel aside. No Seokjin. Just Jungkook. He tries to contain his giddiness.

“Hey,” Jungkook returns, hands in his pocket, grin spreading from ear to ear. “Just you today?”

“For now,” Jimin says as he punches his numbers into the register and rings up Jungkook’s regular drink. “Taehyung’s running late. Same as yesterday?”

Jungkook nods and reaches for his wallet.

“It’s on the house.”

“What—I—” Jungkook blinks. “Oh, you don’t have to do that, really.”

Jimin gives him a smile, finishing up the transaction just to take the drink out of inventory before grabbing a cup. “It’s fine. Take it this time, at least. If you wanna insist on paying next time, you can.”

Jungkook purses his lips together to hide his smile and slips his wallet back into his pocket. “Thanks,” he says, so low and quiet Jimin almost doesn’t hear it.

As Jimin sets to work he gives Jungkook another glance, taking in the sight of his oversized jacket and bright red beanie. Jimin can’t help but think how good he looks like this. Beanies are a damn good look for him.

He turns his attention to the drink as Jungkook moves to the pick up counter. “No guitar today?” he asks as he begins mixing ingredients. Another glance back at Jungkook and he pretends not to notice the way Jungkook’s eyes seem to travel over the full length of his body before snapping back up to his face.

“Nope,” says Jungkook as he leans on the counter. “No Seokjin either. He’s got a family… thing. So I’m just working on some writing today.”

“So are you a singer too or…?” Jimin turns to hand Jungkook his drinks, which he accepts with a smile and a small bow of his head.

“Yeah, I am,” Jungkook says before taking a sip. “Perfect.” His smile grows when Jimin smiles. “So, um…”

Jimin’s heart skips a beat. He has no idea what Jungkook is about to say but his mind jumps to irrational assumptions. Like maybe Jungkook is about to ask him out. What would he even say? Yes? Would he even be able to make himself say yes or would he freeze?

“I hope this isn’t too forward.”

Oh god.

“But, um, I couldn’t help but hear earlier.” Jungkook licks his lips, staring down at his hands. He fidgets with the cup. “You were singing and…”

Jimin feels his face flush red.

Jungkook clears his throat and spews the next words out so fast Jimin almost misses them. “I just wanted to say I think you have a really beautiful voice.”

And with that, Jimin’s face feels like it’s on fire. He can only imagine how red he is by now. “Oh, th-thank you.”

Dead silence follows as Jungkook continues staring at his own hands. His fingers tap against the cup and then, finally, he straightens up and lifts the cup from the counter. “Well, uh, I should get to work on my song,” Jungkook says, still avoiding eye contact. He turns on his heel and heads for a table.

“Wait.”

He spins back around without hesitation, though his eyes are a little wide with fear.

“Um…” Jimin wracks his brain for something to say. “Do you wanna sing?”

What the hell, Jimin?

Jungkook blinks, brows furrowing in confusion.

“Here, I mean.” Jimin grasps for an explanation, his head spinning. “I—I’ve been thinking about hiring live singers for the weekends.” He talks so fast he isn’t sure Jungkook can even understand him. “We get a lot of young couples in here on weekend nights and I thought it would be nice to have live music on those nights.”

Not true. He’s never thought about that until just this moment. It’s not even his decision to make. He doesn’t own the place. Thankfully, Madame Satan (that’s Taehyung’s codename for her but Jimin finds it catchy) barely pays attention to her own business anymore so he could probably do whatever he wants here and she would never know.

Jungkook blinks a few times, staring at Jimin rather dumbfounded. Then he nods. “Yeah. I’d love that. That—that sounds like fun.”

Jimin beams. “Great. I’ll set it up. Um…” He can practically hear the cogs turning inside his head. “Saturday night? We can do a trial run.”

“Yeah, sounds great,” Jungkook says, seeming just as giddy about this as Jimin.

“Awesome, okay, uh…” Jimin chuckles nervously. “Okay, Saturday.”

The door opens and Taehyung steps in. “Oh my god, I’m sorry. The traffic was hell. I never wanna sit in a car again. My ass feels like—” He stops in the middle of the shop, eyes darting back and forth between Jungkook and Jimin, his hand freezing as it runs through his hair. “Oh, sorry,” he singsongs, tiptoeing between the two of them toward the back of the shop. His face splits into a childlike grin. “Ignore me. You two kids keep talking.”

With that, he disappears into the back, leaving Jungkook and Jimin alone once more. Jimin just chuckles again and Jungkook’s cheeks redden slightly. He just lifts his drink to Jimin with a smile before heading to a table in the corner and digging into his bag for a notebook.

Jimin watches him for a second before following after Taehyung, readying himself for the inevitable interrogation.

 

 

Over the next few days Jungkook stops by the shop a couple of hours before the evening rush and talks with Jimin before sitting down to write or strum a few chords on his guitar.

Jimin still hasn’t heard him sing but he’s learned a lot about his friends Seokjin and Namjoon and about the music program he’s in at his university. He especially hears a lot about the upcoming showcase he and Seokjin are taking part in and the song they’re writing for it. He seems excited and nervous whenever he mentions it and Jimin finds it endearing how passionate he is about his music. He could listen to Jungkook talk about it all day.

But right now they’re talking about his pets. Jungkook leans on the counter as he shows Jimin pictures of two tiny, fluffy dogs and a very bored cat.

“They’re with my parents right now because they can’t stay in the dorms with me,” Jungkook explains as Jimin swipes to the next picture. “But Seokjin, Namjoon, and I are all looking for an apartment to move into soon. So hopefully I can bring them with me.”

Jimin smiles as he looks at the precious animals but he finds himself constantly distracted with the desire to stare at Jungkook instead. The way he smiles when he talks about something he loves sends Jimin’s heart fluttering. Even though he’s entirely aware that having a reaction like that to someone he barely knows is irrational, he can’t seem to help it.

“Anyway,” Jungkook says suddenly and Jimin’s paranoia kicks into high gear. Had Jungkook noticed him staring? Is he freaked out now? “I should probably let you do your job. You two are gonna have that evening rush soon.”

“Oh.” Jimin casts a disappointed glance in the direction of the entrance. “Yeah.”

“I should get going anyway.” Jungkook adjusts the strap of his guitar, making sure it’s snug around his chest. He points at Jimin as he backs away. “Tomorrow night, though.”

Jimin feels that stupid smile return to his face. “Tomorrow night,” he repeats, bringing an equally dopey grin to Jungkook’s lips. He waves at the other man as he leaves the shop and feels his heart skip a beat when Jungkook faces the window to cast a peace sign over his eye at Jimin before disappearing down the street.

That precious little moment only lasts a second before Taehyung slides along the counter to Jimin, propped up on one elbow. “Tomorrow night?”

“Oh yeah,” Jimin says, turning to face his friend. “About that. We need to set up a stage.”

“What.”

 

 

Jimin finds himself fidgeting with anything and everything within reach as the clock ticks on, moving closer and closer to the 6 o’clock mark when Jungkook had agreed to show up. He and Taehyung had managed to throw together a makeshift stage that actually looks half decent, now Jimin just has to be patient and wait for what he expects to be the voice of an angel.

He and Taehyung blast their way through another long line with more than half the customers getting their drinks to go, thankfully, so the building doesn’t stay too busy. Jimin does a speedy clean up to be ready for the next rush… and so the place looks nice before Jungkook shows up.

Once he deems it presentable he returns behind the counter to take a few deep breaths. He looks at Taehyung. “Be honest, do I look disgusting?”

“Little bit,” Taehyung answers without hesitation. He shrugs when Jimin gives him a frown. “Here.” He reaches out, fixing Jimin’s hair and dabbing at his face with his apron before straightening out his uniform. “Better. You really like Jungkook, don’t you?”

“What— No— It’s not— I just—”

“Oh shut up,” Taehyung says with a roll of his eyes. “You’re acting like a middle schooler with a stupid crush. Now calm down before he thinks you’ve lost your mind.” And with that Taehyung grabs Jimin by the shoulders and turns him to face the front door just as Jungkook steps through it with a smile on his face.

Jimin’s heart skips a beat as their eyes lock and Jungkook waves at him. He lifts his hand to return the gesture, barely noticing the way Taehyung darts away with a snicker. “You’re early,” he says as Jungkook makes a beeline for the counter.

“Thought I should do a little prep before I actually start,” says Jungkook. “And I thought you might want help setting up but…” He casts a glance at the stage, his smile growing. “Looks like you took care of that.”

“Tae and I had a little extra time earlier.” Jimin takes a deep breath, lips pursing together as his heart beats out of control. The way Jungkook stares at him has his head spinning. He can’t think straight with those eyes piercing into him. “Let— Let me get you a drink,” he finally stammers out. “On the house. It’s the least I can do as a thank you for doing this for free.”

Jungkook chuckles as Jimin somewhat frantically starts putting together his favorite drink. “You really don’t need to do that. Spending a little extra time with you is payment enough.”

The utensils Jimin had just grabbed clatter to the floor as he freezes, eyes wide. He hears Taehyung say something along the lines of “I’ve got it! No worries!” as he rushes to pick up the fallen tools. Jimin spins around to face Jungkook, half-made drink in hand, his mouth opening and closing but nothing coming out.

Jungkook looks just as shocked and dumbfounded as Jimin. He swallows hard. “I’m gonna go set up,” he says, turning on his heel and heading for the stage.

“Breathe,” Taehyung whispers to Jimin before heading to the back to wash up the utensils.

Jimin follows his advice, takes a few deep breaths, and finishes up the drink.

Oh god. Okay. He can do this.

He glances at the door to make sure the rush isn’t starting before heading for the stage where Jungkook sets up the microphone and readjusts the stool. He glances back when he notices Jimin and seems to take a deep breath before turning to him.

“Here,” Jimin says, offering him the drink, which he takes with a smile. “I’m not that good of company so I figured you still deserve a better form of payment.”

Jungkook chuckles, his cheeks a little red at the reminder of his earlier blunder. “Thanks,” he says, “but you’re really selling yourself short, Jimin.”

“Is that a joke about my height?” Jimin cracks back, earning himself another adorable laugh from Jungkook. He swells with pride. “Anyway,” he shuffles his feet, fingers fidgeting with the long sleeves of his shirt, “I’ll let you finish setting up.”

He gives Jungkook a tiny wave of his hand before spinning around to walk away. Jungkook calls him back.

“Jimin,” he says, and something about the way Jungkook says his name makes Jimin’s heart skip a beat. He turns back to him. “Do you have a favorite song?”

For some reason Jimin’s mind goes blank. There are a thousand songs he loves but he can’t think of a single one when Jungkook stares at him like this. He feels his face turning red, so he says the first thing that comes to mind, “Anything you sing is my favorite.”

He’s already tomato red when he turns away and escapes to the safety of the register. He sees Jungkook grinning to himself as he sips at the drink Jimin had made and finishes setting up. Jimin beams as he leans on the counter, arms folded in front of him as he watches the musician.

Tonight’s gonna be a good night.

 

Jimin sighs as he finishes the last drink of the rush. His usual crowd of lovebirds and youngsters have filled the building just in time for Jungkook to finish tuning his guitar. Seokjin, Namjoon, and another friend of theirs, Yoongi, sit amongst the chattering youths. Apparently Jungkook had invited them out to see him sing.

As Jimin’s eyes drift over the tables, checking for any needed refills or clean ups, he can’t help but notice the way Seokjin rather obviously points him out before leaning over to whisper something to Yoongi, who chuckles and casts a glance at Jungkook.

Jimin convinces himself he had imagined it.

However, it’s quickly erased from his mind as he hears the first chord of a song float through the shop. He turns his attention to Jungkook, just as he leans forward, lips close to the mic. It feels like the world freezes around Jimin in that moment as Jungkook’s voice fills the room.

 

When nightmares come, keep you awake

Baby close your eyes, I’ll take the weight

But I won’t’ speak, I will refrain and be the song

Just be the song

 

Jimin’s heart squeezes tight in his chest. Jungkook’s voice is warm and smooth. The way he closes his eyes as he sings brings a smile to Jimin’s face. He looks so peaceful like this.

 

When inner scars show on your face

And darkness hides your sense of place

Well, I won’t speak, I will refrain and be the song

Just be the song

 

Flow down all my mountains, darling fill my valleys

Flow down all my mountains, darling fill my valleys

Flow down all my mountains, darling fill my valleys

 

In that moment, no one else in the room seems to exist anymore. It’s just Jimin and Jungkook and that soft voice engulfing him and those deep, warm eyes as they flutter open to meet with his.

 

And when you run far from my eyes

Then I will come, in dead of night

But I won’t speak until morning light

I’ll be the song, just be the song

Flow down all my mountains, darling fill my valleys

Flow down all my mountains, darling

Flow down all my mountains

 

A smile crawls across Jimin’s lips as the shop claps for Jungkook. All those people cheering for him, some even whistling, his friends shouting, and Jungkook’s eyes never leave Jimin. He smiles, face turning a light shade of red before his eyes finally dart away. He bows his head to the crowd before he starts his next song, faster-paced this time, his foot tapping along.

“Marry him,” Jimin hears Taehyung say in his ear. “If you don’t, I will.”

Jimin just chuckles, the back of his hand flying up to stifle it. He turns to roll his eyes at his friend but Taehyung just shrugs before bounding off to chat up Seokjin.

Jimin gets back to work, casting frequent glances at Jungkook, who seems to do the same to him. Asking Jungkook to sing tonight is by far the best snap decision he’s ever made.

 

The room is silent save for Jimin humming to himself and the sweep of the broom across the floor. The lights let off a dim glow as Jimin cleans alone. He let Taehyung leave a few minutes early to go hang out with Seokjin and his friends so he’s left to close the store alone.

Even that can’t put a damper on the good mood Jungkook’s music had left him in. He hums the first song Jungkook sang—was that song meant for him? Jungkook had certainly made a point of looking at him as he sang it—and sways to the slow beat.

He hadn’t gotten a chance to say bye to Jungkook or thank him for singing, though he’s sure he’ll see him again soon. He wonders if he can convince Jungkook to do this again next weekend. Maybe he needs to get Jungkook’s number.

How does he not have his number yet?

“Hey.”

“Oh, fuck me!” Jimin whips around, hand on his chest as he comes face to face with Jungkook. His heart races. Where Jungkook has been this whole time he doesn’t know, but he can’t make his mind wrap around the words he needs in order to ask the other man.

Jungkook stifles a grin. “Probably not the best thing to shout when you don’t know who you’re shouting it at.”

It takes a moment for Jimin’s heart to calm itself and his brain to work properly once again. “Fair enough.” He glances around, toward the front door, then casts Jungkook a suspicious frown. “I thought you’d left already.”

“Um.” Jungkook shoves his hands in his pockets, his eyes darting to the stage.

Jimin glances over to see that his guitar still rests against the stool there, his bag sitting beside it.

“I hope this isn’t… weird.” Jungkook takes a deep breath, his eyes looking anywhere but at Jimin until he manages to force the words out. “I was kind of hoping for a chance to sing with you.”

Jimin’s eyes go wide. “Oh.” He feels dizzy all of a sudden. “Yeah,” he says before he can stop himself. For a second he regrets it—he gets so embarrassed singing in front of other people—but the smile that graces Jungkook’s face erases all of that from his mind in an instant.

Jungkook bounds back over to his guitar, Jimin trailing behind, removing his apron and tossing it aside as he goes. Jungkook pulls another stool over for Jimin before sitting down, guitar on his lap. “Here,” he says as Jimin sits. He sets his phone on his knee, opening up a playlist for the other man to see. “Pick a song.”

Jimin scoots the stool a little closer and leans over the phone, his hand resting on Jungkook’s thigh to prop himself up. He doesn’t even realize how intimate the touch is until he feels Jungkook’s eyes on him. “Uh,” Jimin moves his hand away from Jungkook and leans back a bit before pointing out a song, “that one.”

“You’ve got good taste,” Jungkook says with a grin. He sets his phone aside and positions his guitar, strumming a few practice chords before he starts. He sings the first verse, his voice just as soft and soothing as earlier, warming Jimin up from the inside out. His eyes turn to Jimin and he gives him a nod to prompt him to join in.

It takes a second for Jimin to find the courage but when he does his voice meshes with Jungkook’s like they were made to sing together. Any fear he had of singing with Jungkook vanishes the moment the other man beams at him, white-toothed grin flashing and the corners of his eyes crinkling.

When they finish the song Jungkook seems incapable of taking his eyes off Jimin, lips pursed together as he tries to contain his smile. Neither of them say a word for awhile until he pipes up, eyes on the ground now. “Uh, I know I said it before but I just have to say it again… you have a really beautiful voice.”

For what feels like the thousandth time, Jimin blushes. He turns his head away, hand coming up to hide his face, teeth biting down on his lower lip. “Thanks,” he says. “You do, too.” Then he clears his throat and looks at Jungkook again. “How long have you been playing?”

Jungkook taps his fingers on his guitar. “Since I was a kid. Saw a guy playing in the park one time and begged my dad to buy me one.” He smiles at Jimin. “Haven’t stopped since.”

“I played one once when I was a kid,” Jimin says with a chuckle. “It was my cousin’s. I swore I wanted to learn how to play but I’m terrible at following through.”

“It’s never too late to start,” Jungkook says, lifting the guitar and holding it out to Jimin.

Jimin leans back. “What? Now? Seriously?” He shakes his head, hands waving in front of him. “No, no, no, it’s fine.”

Jungkook chuckles, standing up and setting the guitar in Jimin’s lap. “Don’t be a chicken,” he says as Jimin grabs the guitar to keep it from sliding off his lap. “I won’t make fun of you or anything. C’mon, I wanna teach you.” He positions Jimin’s hands and pulls the guitar into position. “You’re right handed, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Alright, the song I just played is pretty simple,” he says as he moves Jimin’s fingers where they need to be and presses them against the strings. “So we’ll do that one. Try it.”

Jimin plucks at the strings, too hesitant and soft for it to make much noise. He feels his face warming again as Jungkook’s hand rests on his shoulder but he tries again, this time playing the chord correctly.

“Perfect.” Jungkook starts to move his fingers again, then stops. “Wait…” He moves around Jimin, standing behind him and reaching around. “Put your fingers here, here, and here. Press down. Perfect.” Jimin tries to focus on what Jungkook is telling him and not on the way the other man’s chest presses against his back. “Now, like… this. Perfect.”

Jungkook’s breath ghosts over his neck as he leans around to check the position of Jimin’s hand before having him play the chord again. His hand rests over Jimin’s, guiding it as he strums.

After a few more chords Jimin can’t keep himself focused anymore and he risks a glance back at Jungkook, only to find him staring back. His heart skips a beat, Jungkook’s eyes dart to his lips, and before he knows what he’s doing Jimin’s eyes fall shut and Jungkook’s lips are pressing down against his.

His breath catches as lips as soft as Jungkook’s voice move gently with his own, Jungkook’s hand squeezing his.

The kiss ends too soon for Jimin’s liking but he understands why when Jungkook leans back, uncertain eyes darting over Jimin’s face for any sign of discontent.

But Jimin smiles and Jungkook returns the gesture. He slides the guitar from Jimin’s hands, leaning it against the unoccupied stool before returning to his spot behind the smaller man. His hand cups Jimin’s cheek as he kisses him again, Jimin leaning back against his chest, his hand reaching up to rest alongside Jungkook’s neck, his thumb brushing over his jawline.

His heart pounds against his chest as Jungkook catches his lower lip between his own, lingering for a moment before pulling away. His eyes ease open to see Jungkook smiling at him.

“Um…” Jungkook’s hand flies up to fidget with his hair, then rub over the back of his neck.

Jimin chuckles and Jungkook soon joins in. “We… are so awkward,” says Jimin, stating what’s been obvious to both of them since the day they met.

Jungkook laughs, head leaning forward to rest on Jimin’s shoulder. “I know,” he says through his giggles. He steps back, still fidgeting with his hair or his shirt as he picks his guitar up again. Before he can sit, Jimin hooks the stool and pulls it closer, grinning up at Jungkook.

“Let’s sing another song,” Jimin says as Jungkook sits down, their seats so close to each other their knees bump as Jungkook readies the instrument. He rests his arm on Jungkook’s shoulder, leaning close as the song begins. This time he sings along without hesitation.

The two of them stay like that for who knows how long, cozying up next to each other as they sing, sneaking glances between verses, hands hiding shy smiles.

Eventually Jimin has to finish closing the store while Jungkook moves the stools back to their rightful places and dismantles the makeshift stage.

The moon hangs high in the sky by the time they finish, stepping outside the storefront to share a goodnight kiss before going their separate ways. Jimin walks home with a smile on his face.

 

 

Days at the shop return to normal once Hoseok is able to take over his usual shifts again. Though Jimin makes sure to rearrange his own schedule so that he’s there on weekend nights to see Jungkook sing. On top of that, Jungkook shows up earlier than usual to catch Jimin at the end of his shift and walk him home, even though it’s only a block away.

So far they’ve kept the recent developments between them under wraps, trying not to be too handsy with each other at the store. Back at Jimin’s apartment is different story entirely.

Today it’s just Jimin in the store when Jungkook comes in a few minutes before shift change, wearing Jimin’s favorite beanie. Jimin grins at him as he approaches, hands behind his back.

“Hey!” he cheers as the other man approaches the counter, and Jungkook cocks his head to one side.

“You’re…” His eyes narrow. “Excessively chipper today.”

Jimin grins as he reveals something from behind his back, holding it up for Jungkook to see.

It takes a moment, then Jungkook blinks, shakes his head, and smiles at Jimin. “Is that the deed to this place? You bought it?”

“Took out a loan and just went for it,” Jimin says as he stows the deed behind the counter again. He’ll find a safer place for it later. “I got a better deal than most people would have since I practically run the place anyway and with the business this place this gets, shouldn’t take long for me to start making a profit. Now…” He clasps his hands together on the counter. “I just have to work out an official deal with this gorgeous singer I met about his live performances here.”

Jungkook tries to hide his smile as he leans on the counter as well, eyes locking with Jimin’s. “How about for now…” He keeps his voice low as though someone else might hear if he speaks up, even though they’re the only two in the entire store right now. “The official deal can be that the owner gives the singer a kiss, and the singer will perform for free again this Saturday.”

Jimin purses his lips together as he circles around the counter, checking the front door for incoming customers before grabbing the front of Jungkook’s jacket and pulling him in for a kiss.

He can feel Jungkook chuckle against his lips as his hands find Jimin’s waist, dragging him closer as their lips move in sync. It doesn’t last long before the kiss is interrupted by an “Oh my god, finally.”

They break apart, Jimin stumbling backwards and Jungkook’s hand flying up to press over his pounding heart. Taehyung gives them both a look, his brow lifting. “Calm down. It’s just me.”

Jimin sighs. “Tae, how many times have I told you not to come in the back door?”

Taehyung snickers at that as he punches his numbers into the register to clock in for his shift. He gives Jungkook a nod. “Good job. I thought I was gonna have to lock you two in the storage room to make anything happen.”

Jungkook chuckles, his cheeks turning a light shade of red before he shoots back, “I’m pretty sure that’s what we’re gonna have to do to you and Seokjin.”

Taehyung sputters, nose scrunching up at Jungkook. “That’s— You— Whatever,” he responds, pretending to be proud of his comeback before rushing off to the back to change into his apron.

“Nice one,” Jimin says, raising his fist and grinning when Jungkook bumps his own against it. “I’ll go get changed and we can head out, okay?”

Jungkook nods, then casts a glance back at the front door. He leans forward, pecking Jimin on the lips. “I’ll wait outside,” he says and Jimin can only smile in response before he bounds out the door, hands in his pockets.

Taehyung emerges from the back again, frowning through the window at Jungkook. “I don’t like him anymore. Get rid of him.”

With a laugh, Jimin shoves Taehyung, earning a jab in the side from his friend. “Too bad. I think he’s here to stay.”

“Ooh, so serious already,” Tae singsongs with a wink. He glances out the window just as Jungkook happens to look inside. He gives him two thumbs up, sticking his tongue out and waggling it as he points at Jimin.

Jimin smacks his hand down. “Stop!” He shakes his head, chuckling at his friend as he grabs the deed again and heads for the back. He doesn’t have to see Taehyung to know he’s mouthing something else to Jungkook through the glass. He doesn’t even want to know.

He gets changed quickly, shoving his belongings into his bag before leaving with a rushed goodbye to Taehyung. He steps outside, slipping his hand into Jungkook’s as he reaches him, and glances back to see Taehyung fake a gag at them. It’s only seconds later as they’re walking that he gets a text from his best friend saying, You guys are cute, tbh.

They walk hand in hand, past Jimin’s apartment and around and around until they’re happily lost, talking about Jungkook’s showcase and the song he’s writing. They sings parts of the song to each other, suggesting changes as they go and rearranging a few lyrics.

They stay lost in their own little world as they talk and laugh about anything and everything, fingers interlocked, heads resting on shoulders. Jimin’s heart feels warm in his chest as Jungkook starts singing again.

Yeah, definitely the best snap decision he’s ever made.