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I just need enough of you to dull the pain

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There is something oddly satisfying about the pain the needle creates on Yoongi’s skin.
He’s already used to it; the many tattoos on his skin are enough proof for that.

Maybe it wasn’t his best idea to tattoo the anemone on his right hand with his left hand since he’s right handed, and the tattoo is therefore destined to turn out shit, especially since Yoongi has already turned off most of the lights in the studio and his only source of light is now the green neon light in the room; a sign that says Sorry Mom!

Jeongguk hung it up when they first started the shop. Up to this day, Yoongi is convinced that the only reason for that is because Jeongguk’s parents were never fond of the idea that their son wanted to become a tattoo artist instead of a business man.

Yoongi is so used to the pain that he doesn’t flinch once, not even when the needle stings his skin right where his wrist bone is underneath. What he does think though is that he should’ve asked Namjoon to stay longer and maybe finish the tattoo for him. Maybe then it would’ve looked better than it does now.

Yoongi turns off the tattoo machine and leans back, eyeing the new motive decorating the back of his right hand and his wrist for a while.
Then, he sighs and grabs the antiseptic and applies it, then he takes a band aid and puts it on the tattoo.

The bell above the entrance rings and Yoongi’s eyes immediately dart to the clock hanging on the wall.
It is past ten already, technically the shop is already closed, but it seems like Yoongi has forgotten to turn the little sign hanging on the door around – it still said opened!

He rubs his eyes and sighs as he gets up and leaves the little studio and walks up to the front counter.

A guy stands there, pink haired and smaller than Yoongi; he kneads his own fingers and glances around nervously.
He is wearing an oversized, white sweater and light blue, ripped jeans. As Yoongi lets his eyes wander down, he realizes that the guy is wearing pink socks with white, slightly dirty sneakers.

He certainly does not fit into this shop, Yoongi thinks. Maybe that is why he is so nervous.

“Hi,” the guy greets him, and Yoongi is a bit startled at first. His voice is high, not unpleasant, but unusual. It suits him, though.

“Hey,” Yoongi says, “How can I help you?” He doesn’t say that the shop is actually already closed and that the only reason why the guy is talking to Yoongi right now is because Yoongi was too stupid to remember to turn the sign around.

“I wanted to make an appointment,” the guy says. He sounds so timid, Yoongi almost feels sorry for him.
“What for?” Yoongi asks, and then he adds, “Tattoo or piercing?”
What he really wonders is why the guy couldn’t have simply called.
“A piercing,” the guy says, and Yoongi almost laughs; he is standing there, fiddling with his sweater paws and he has pink hair and he’s chewing on his bottom lip and is demanding a piercing – all that Yoongi can imagine is a septum or snakebites on the guys face, and it almost cracks him up.

Almost.

“A piercing,” Yoongi repeats and bends down a little to get the book calendar they keep underneath the counter.
“A helix, actually,” the guy quickly adds, as if he knows how odd Yoongi thinks this is.
“I already have earrings, I –“ the guy stops, probably wondering why he is telling Yoongi this.
“I see,” Yoongi says and opens the calendar.

“You could get an appointment next week, if that’s okay. Wednesday?” And the guy nods.
“Yeah, that should… that should work.”
He smiles at Yoongi, and Yoongi smiles back, because part of him feels sorry for the guy. He looks more than uncomfortable.

“Great. Name?”
“Park Jimin.”
Yoongi nods and writes the name down at Wednesday – “Is 4pm okay?” “Yes.” – and adds a 4pm behind Jimin’s name. Then, piercing; helix.

“A helix costs around 40,000 won here,” Yoongi tells him as he leans against the counter, “But we’ll inform you about everything else on Wednesday.”
Jimin nods, a bit eagerly, and smiles brightly. “Okay, thank you.”
“Sure thing. See you next week.”

Jimin leaves, then, and Yoongi waits for about a minute until he walks up to the entrance and turns the sign around.

~

Taehyung is there on Friday. Taehyung’s always there on Fridays.
His classes end at 2pm and then, he spends his day at the tattoo shop.

Jeongguk has never understood why exactly Taehyung would rather be here, at the shady (Namjoon always fights him about this one – “It’s our aesthetic, Jeongguk, appreciate it.”), small tattoo shop, than at his own apartment, especially since it lies in the other direction from the university.

But Jeongguk doesn’t ask. He doesn’t mind Taehyung’s presence, none of the three men do (Sometimes, when Yoongi is especially grumpy, he claims that Taehyung is getting on his nerves and tells him to leave, but he is never serious about it and everyone knows it).
Jeongguk and Taehyung have been something like friends for a while now, and since they barely get to see each other due to Jeongguk’s job and Taehyung’s art major, Jeongguk thinks that these Fridays are necessary to maintain their friendship.

Jeongguk glances at Taehyung from where he’s standing, bend over the counter, working on a new design for a costumer.
Taehyung just lies there on the large, black couch. He’s staring at the drawings hanging on the wall while his fingers run through the cat’s fur; Minho is his name. Namjoon found him on the streets a while ago, and ever since then he’s been living in the tattoo shop.

Jeongguk doesn’t mind the cat. They all have to make sure he doesn’t settle in one of the studios, though, because hygiene, and at night they have to lock him in the backroom.
But no, Jeongguk doesn’t mind him, and he is even willing to buy cat food and a nice toy every now and then.

Taehyung loves Minho. Sometimes, Jeongguk believes the cat is the only reason why Taehyung ever comes here.

The design Jeongguk is working on is simple but abstract. It is a triangle, the lines and the edges always bend so it remains a triangle, yet it is impossible.
An optical illusion.
Jeongguk looks back at Taehyung. “Do you want to get dinner with me later?” he asks.
Taehyung halts his movements and glances at Jeongguk. He nods and smiles.

Jeongguk nods, too, and looks back down at the paper in front of him. “Good,” he whispers.

The cat jumps down from Taehyung’s stomach and lands on the floor with a thud. Taehyung gets up a few seconds after, wiping the cat’s fur from his shirt.
“God, is Minho ever going to stop molting?” He walks over to Jeongguk, stops right next to him and glances over his shoulder.
“Who would want a tattoo like that?”
Jeongguk shrugs, not averting his gaze from the sketch. He can feel Taehyung’s breath hit his neck.

“Bet his name is written down somewhere, go check if you’re that interested,” he mumbles. Taehyung lets out a half-hearted laugh. He stares at the motive, at Jeongguk’s fingers and the pen, Jeongguk can feel it. A shiver runs down his spine.
When Taehyung then starts to absentmindedly tug at his belt loop, he softly pushes the hand first and then Taehyung away.

“Think about where you want to get food later. I don’t want to waste too much time on deciding,” Jeongguk tells him.
Taehyung stands there for a moment, then he walks around the counter again and plops down on the couch.
“Alright,” he mumbles, leaning his head back, “Will do.”

And Jeongguk glances at him.

~

Taehyung decides on some take-away place. It isn’t the closest place Taehyung could have chosen, and by the time they arrive the sun is already setting. Jeongguk checks the time – 10pm. It is summer, the air is warm, and he is still sweating although the temperatures have already dropped.

There is something odd about the situation, he thinks as he stops the engine and gets out of the car, Taehyung following him.
“The sky is pretty,” Taehyung notices. Jeongguk looks at him, halts for a moment, then looks up at the sky.
It is pink and red and lavender and orange and so much more.
Jeongguk looks at Taehyung again. “You say that every time we’re outside.”
“Because it’s true,” Taehyung says. They reach the door, Jeongguk pushes it open.
“You’d realize it yourself if you paid more attention to it,” Taehyung continued, “I just want to remind you of the pretty things in life.”
Jeongguk doesn’t know why he feels a lump in his throat.
“Yeah.”

There is a group of three people in front of them, waiting for their order. Jeongguk buries his hands in his pockets, looks down at his sneakers.

He always gets dinner with Taehyung on Fridays. It has become a routine ever since Taehyung decided to spend his afternoons at the tattoo shop.
Apart from that, Jeongguk and Taehyung rarely ever do something together. Jeongguk knows they should, but it never happens, and he isn’t sure if it’s only because they both don’t have enough time or if it is something else.

The group in front of them pays and leaves, then, and Jeongguk and Taehyung step up to the counter.
“I want to have sushi,” Taehyung says, so they order sushi, Jeongguk volunteers to pay, and Taehyung grins at him while they are waiting for their food.
“Don’t look at me like that,” says Jeongguk, leaning against the counter, “You’re paying next time.”
But of course, that doesn't stop Taehyung’s boxy grin.

It’s almost dark by the time they leave the shop and get into Jeongguk’s car again, Taehyung on the passenger seat.
“Do you want me to drive you home?” Jeongguk asks like he always does, starting the engine.
Taehyung frowns at him.
“I thought,” he breathes deeply, “We can eat together, right?”
Jeongguk halts. “Sure,” he says, “But, I mean, should I drive you home? We can eat there, or at my apartment, I don’t care –“ “I want to eat here,” Taehyung says, propping up his feet on the dashboard.
He always does that, always always. At the beginning, Jeongguk used to tell him to stop it, which eventually died down until there were only little, uncomfortable glances. Now, Jeongguk just stays quiet.
Taehyung does what he wants, that’s it.

Jeongguk loves his car. It took him a while and the help of his parents to save up for it, and he wants to take care of it and keep it clean as good as possible. Feet on the dashboard are forbidden, that’s a rule – but he guesses he can make an exception for Taehyung.

“Yeah,” he says, “We can eat here.”

They unpack their food and shortly after, the car smells like sushi and Jeongguk doesn’t mind one bit.

~

Park Jimin returns on Wednesday on 3.54pm.
Yoongi is standing at the counter doing absolutely nothing other than listening to the faint purr of the tattoo machine Namjoon is using.
The bell rings, Park Jimin walks in, and for a moment, Yoongi is sure not to hear anything at all.

Jimin looks way more confident – if that is the right word to describe him – than the last time Yoongi saw him.
Today he is wearing a rose shirt with a little pocket on the chest. There’s a black cat printed on the pocket.
His jeans are light grey and just a bit baggy, the trouser legs are rolled up. The socks are pastel blue this time, and again, the white sneakers.
Yoongi doesn’t think he’s ever paid so much attention to a stranger’s outfit.
He doesn’t think he’s ever even paid so much attention to his own outfits – he is pretty sure he owns at least five of these black short-sleeved shirts, so he just threw that on this morning, and his ripped skinny jeans are equally black. Even his boots (it is summer and Yoongi wears boots; they’re year-round shoes) are black. Huh.

“Hey,” Jimin says, smiling. Yoongi smiles back. “Hi. Park Jimin, right?”
Jimin nods. “I’m here for the helix, I made an appointment last week –“
“I know, “ Yoongi interrupts him calmly. He doesn’t even have to check the calendar, but he pretends to do so anyways.

Jimin keeps on smiling and fiddles with his fingers. Not in a nervous manner; more as if he is aware of how adorable he is.
He is wearing nail polish, Yoongi notices. Pastel blue, like his socks.

“Here.” Yoongi slides a paper and a pen over to Jimin. “I need this for your consent. Just to make sure.”
Jimin takes a moment to read over the document, then takes the pen and signs it.

“Just follow me,” says Yoongi and walks into one of the empty studios.
The light in here is a lot brighter. It’s unpleasant, but the best light to work with.
Jimin follows him and Yoongi closes the curtains.
“So, a helix,” he says as Jimin sits down on the tattoo couch.
“You came back so I’m assuming you really want this piercing, huh?”
Jimin nods. “Otherwise I wouldn’t have made an appointment, right?”
“Oh,” Yoongi chuckles, “Believe me, there are enough people who make an appointment and then never come again. Especially the ones who want a tattoo.”
He walks to the counter in the back of the studio and opens one of the wardrobe doors.

“Really?” Jimin asks, “That doesn’t make any sense.”
“It kind of does,” Yoongi disagrees.
“You can remove a piercing at any time, but a tattoo – it stays. And if you don’t have the money or the pain tolerance to remove it you’re fucked.”
He returns with a box and a tablet full with the needed equipment.
“Here.” He opens the box and gives it to Jimin.
“Choose one. Don’t worry, you can change it after around eight weeks.”

Jimin is quiet while he chooses the stud. Yoongi puts on gloves and starts sterilizing the equipment.
“All of these pieces of jewelry are titanium,” he tells Jimin, “It’s the least reactive metal. Do you have any allergies or are you taking any medication?”
Jimin shakes his head. “No – I think I’ll take this one.”

Yoongi nods. “Okay. I’ll draw a dot where I’ll put the helix and you tell me if you’d like to have it there or not, alright?” Jimin hums as a sign that he understood, so Yoongi takes a pen and carefully draws a dot.
Just as he’s about to stand straight again, he spots the shadows above Jimin’s eyes.
It’s make up, he realizes, pink and shimmery and very delicate.

Yoongi tells him to look in the mirror and Jimin gets up.
“I like it there,” he says.
Yoongi sterilizes the stud while Jimin sits back down again.
“This is different from normal earrings, the ones you already have. They are done with a gun, but now I’m gonna use a needle. Alright?” Jimin nods.
“It’s not going to hurt a lot. I’ll only start after you tell me okay, though, so you can relax –“
“It’s okay, you can start,” Jimin giggles, “I’m not as sensitive to pain as I look like.”
Yoongi doesn’t tell him that he talks like that to all of his costumers, simply nods and cleans the area around the dot with an alcoholic wipe, then he takes the needle, glances down at Jimin and pierces his ear.
Jimin doesn’t wince.
“It didn’t hurt,” he tells Yoongi after they’re done. Yoongi stares at the shimmery eyeshadow.
“Yeah,” he says, “Told you.”

They walk back to the counter after Jimin has told him countless times how happy his new piercing is making him.
Yoongi just smiles to himself.

“Okay, that’s 40,000 won.”

Jimin takes out his purse and then gives Yoongi the money. It’s quiet as Yoongi opens the register to put the money away.

“Is that your new tattoo?”

At first, Yoongi doesn’t register that Jimin is talking to him. But of course he is, there is no one else around them.

“Uh,” Yoongi says, “Which one?”

Jimin points to his right hand, where, a few days ago, a band aid was on.

“Oh, yeah, actually.” Yoongi nods, keeping his eyes on his wrist, as if this is the first time he sees the tattoo, the flower. The anemone.
It healed well, and although Yoongi was concerned that it would turn out ugly, he is quite satisfied now.

“How’d you know?”

Jimin shifts from one foot to the other.
“I saw the band aid the other day and, I don’t know, just guessed.”

Yoongi glances at him, then looks back at the tattoo. “Yeah, it’s new,” he says.
Jimin nods once. “I like it. It’s an anemone, right?”

“It is.” Yoongi looks at him, confused, squints his eyes. “You’re an expert on flowers, huh?”
Jimin shrugs with a sweet smile. “Kind of. I work at a flower shop.”
Of course he does, Yoongi thinks. “Really?”
“Yep. Local Flower Meadow. Have you ever been there?”

Yoongi snorts. “Do I look like I’ve ever been there?”
Jimin giggles. Yoongi feels a shiver down his spine. Jimin’s giggle is a cute sound, he allows himself to think as much as that.
“You never know. Maybe you secretly have a hidden soft spot and like to go to flower shops in your free time. Maybe you get your doughnuts with the pink icing and you secretly liked the Unicorn Frappuccino, although everyone else hated it.”
Jimin giggles again and Yoongi chuckles.
“Oh, you got me there,” he murmurs.

Then, he says, “I bet you like the Unicorn Frappuccino. Admit it.”
Jimin frowns and shakes his head. “I don’t, actually. It is way too sugary.”
Yoongi raises his eyebrows. “You think it is too sugary?”
“Yeah… I know, I look like someone who would absolutely adore that drink, but no. Thank you.” Jimin sighs and smiles.
He glances at the clock, and suddenly, his pretty smile disappears.

“Oh, no, I have to go now. My afternoon classes start soon.” He breathes deeply and then gives Yoongi an apologetic look.
“Sorry, Yoongi-ssi –“
“Hyung is fine.”
Jimin seems taken aback for a moment. He nods.
“Yoongi hyung. Sorry. It was nice talking to you, but I have to leave. University, you know.”
He bows his head once, just a bit, the smile returning to his plump, red lips.
“Maybe I’ll come back one day to get a tattoo, who knows!”

Then, he turns around and leaves.

Yoongi realizes he didn’t even have a chance to ask Jimin what he is studying.

Another time, maybe.

~

“I want to get a tattoo,” Taehyung says on another Friday.
Jeongguk is leaning against the counter, his phone in one hand, Taehyung is lying on the couch.

Jeongguk looks at him. “A tattoo,” he repeats.

“Yes. You sound surprised.” Taehyung glances at Jeongguk and sits up. “I like yours and Yoongi hyung’s and Namjoon hyung’s, too. I think they’re cool, and I’ve thought about it for a while now.”

“You already have a tattoo,” Jeongguk notices.

“I want another one.”

“It’s expensive.”

Taehyung frowns. “Funny how it’s you out of all people who tells me that,” he says. Jeongguk looks down at his arms. “I did most of them myself, I didn’t really need to pay for that,” he remarks.
Taehyung lies back down with a sigh. Somewhere, in another room, Minho meows.

“You could tattoo me for free,” he suggests. Jeongguk can see the grin on his lips. “We’re friends after all, right?”
Jeongguk doesn’t say anything for a few seconds. Taehyung lifts his head, cranes his neck to catch a glimpse at him.
“Right?”

Jeongguk locks his phone and lets it disappear in his pocket. “Right,” he says, “We’re friends, and that’s why I’m not going to tattoo you.”

Taehyung sits up again, a bit faster, even gets up. “What? Why?”

Jeongguk walks around the counter.
“Because you’re my friend.”

“You tattooed Yoongi hyung and Namjoon hyung as well.”

“That’s different.”

“It’s actually not.”

“They already have many tattoos, it doesn’t make a difference. If anything, I just helped them out.”

“They already have many tattoos? How is that supposed to make a difference?” He walks over to the counter, leans against it, right next to where Jeongguk is standing and looking through the calendar.
Jeongguk senses the hurt in his voice. Or maybe he is just imagining it.

“If I fuck up, then it doesn’t matter. No one will notice,” Jeongguk chuckles.

“So that’s it?”

He looks up, meets Taehyung’s eyes.

“You’re scared of fucking the tattoo up?”

Jeongguk feels the heat rush to his face.
Don’t blush, he thinks frantically, trying not to look too tense.

“’course not,” he murmurs.
There’s a small smile playing around Taehyung’s lips.
“Sure. You’re not,” he says softly.

Jeongguk stares at his lips. They’re pretty, he realizes. They would make a good tattoo design.

“Fuck off,” he mumbles. Taehyung chuckles.
Jeongguk lowers his head to look at the calendar again. There’s a costumer coming in soon, and he knows that it is Namjoon’s, but Jeongguk is really tempted to take care of the costumer instead.
He’d do anything just to get away from Taehyung and his lips right now.
They make him uncomfortable.

Much to his luck, it says small tattoo; writing, no sketch behind the costumer’s name, and for a second, Jeongguk believes that fate loves him.

“Can we go get dinner again tonight?” Taehyung asks. His fingers are softly tapping against the surface of the counter.
“I’ll have to take care of the next costumer,” Jeongguk says. He looks up at the door.

“Oh,” Taehyung says, frowning, “But that doesn’t answer my –“

The bell rings and a young woman walks into the shop. She wears jeans shorts and a white crop top and converse, her ankles and calves and a part of her right thigh are covered in tattoos.
Her hair is long, dark. Red lipstick is on her plump lips.
Jeongguk smiles at her as she walks up to the counter.

He greets her, she greets back. Taehyung stays quiet.

“I called a few days ago and made an appointment for a tattoo. I think I talked to Namjoon… is that you?” she asks with a confused smile.

“Uh.” Jeongguk glances down at the calendar. Park Sooyoung.
“That’s my colleague, actually. But since it is just a small tattoo, right?” – Sooyoung nods – “I can tattoo you, too, if that’s okay with you. Namjoon’s busy right now.”

The girl doesn’t even contemplate for a second, simply nods and smiles. “Sure! I don’t care who does the tattoo as long as it looks good.”
She looks at Jeongguk’s tattooed arms.

Jeongguk smiles at her. “Okay, great. Then just follow me into one of the studios.”
He turns around. Taehyung is staring at him. Glaring at him. Jeongguk ignores it, simply walks past him; his arm brushes against Taehyung’s.

But he does not pay attention to it, at least he tries his best not to, and him and Sooyoung disappear in one of the empty studios, leaving Taehyung behind.

~

Sooyoung is attractive. Jeongguk is lonely.
Some things happen sometimes, he can’t change it.

And so it happens that, after the tattoo on Sooyoung’s left upper arm is done and Jeongguk has sterilized it and taken care of everything, they stay in the studio and talk.
And they talk a bit more and it is probably already around six and they are both obviously attracted to each other, so Sooyoung sends Jeongguk a cheeky grin and Jeongguk leans forward and kisses her on her plump, red lips.

They kiss and feel nothing but heat and arousal as Jeongguk moves his lips softly at first, then harder and faster and kisses Sooyoung breathless and pushes her until she’s almost lying on the tattoo couch.

They can’t do anything in here, not when a curtain is all that separates them from the counter front.
Jeongguk pulls away again, they both stare at each other a little out of breath.
“Not here,” he whispers. Sooyoung understands, nods.
“How close do you live?” she whispers back.

“Pretty close. Doesn’t matter, though, I have a car. Come on.” Jeongguk grabs her hand and pulls her up. She giggles when he pretends to listen for strange noises at the curtain, then he pulls it open.
Namjoon is standing at the counter.
He turns around as soon as he hears Jeongguk’s steps.

“Oh,” he says, “Are you leaving?” Then, “Are you two leaving?”

“Is that okay with you?” Jeongguk asks.

Namjoon shrugs and nods. “Sure.”

Jeongguk grins at him, then him and Sooyoung hurry through the shop and leave, Sooyoung clinging to Jeongguk’s arm as if he was her lifeline.

They don’t notice that Taehyung wasn’t leaning against the counter anymore. Jeongguk doesn’t ask himself why Taehyung wasn’t lying on the couch.
He doesn’t think about Taehyung and about dinner and about his lips.

~

It is a Saturday night and Yoongi is alone in the shop.
In the backroom, to be more precise. Minho is curled up in a ball right next to him, purring and sleeping.
Papers are spread on the table Yoongi is sitting at, some covered with little sketches and doodles that could’ve turned out as new tattoo motive ideas if Yoongi hadn’t been feeling too unmotivated and mentally drained.

The fluorescent lights are too bright and hurt his eyes, he doesn’t even know what time it is, and he should probably head home soon.
Yet, Yoongi stays and keeps trying to come up with good ideas.
He always feels the most inspired when he is at the tattoo shop. There is still a little bit of hope left in his mind that he will actually draw something tonight, and he knows that, if he went home now, he wouldn’t come to any result at all.

His apartment is not inspiring at all.

Yoongi draws a little something in the corner of the paper right in front of him when the bell rings.

He freezes. Did he mishear something?
He glances at the clock – half past twelve. The shop is already closed.

Yoongi tabs his pencil against the table, his eyes lingering on the clock.

“Hello?”

Just as a familiar, timid voice sounds Yoongi remembers; he forgot to turn around the sign again.
Then, he realizes that he has definitely just heard someone speak, so he gets up fast, startling Minho awake.
The cat lifts his head tiredly.

Yoongi leaves the backroom and glances at the door.

Park Jimin is standing there. He relaxes when he sees Yoongi.

“Jimin,” Yoongi says, eyebrows raised, and walks around the corner. Jimin is breathing heavily, he notices.
“Sorry.” Jimin holds his breath for a second.
“Excuse me, Yoongi hyung, I didn’t mean to startle or disturb you.”

He turns his head and looks outside, cranes his neck to look around the corner of the building. Yoongi narrows his eyes.

“What are you doing here?” he asks, “The shop is already clo –“

“I – can you maybe lock the door?”

Yoongi raises his eyebrows even more. “Why? What happened?”
He moves forward to the door, gets out his key; as Jimin fiddles with the sleeves of his jacket he locks the door.
“I think,” Jimin takes a deep breath in, “I think someone’s been following me.”

“You think?”

“I know it. I know someone did.” Jimin sighs.

Yoongi’s jaw clenches. “Who? Did you know them?”

Jimin shakes his head quickly. “No. I – I went to a club today. With a few friends. But then I… wanted to leave early and go home because, I don’t know, I wasn’t really having fun. This guy must’ve noticed. He was kind of creepy and way older than me. Followed me and… talked to me, I guess. I ignored him, but I didn’t want to take the same metro as him, and then I remembered that this place was pretty close. I came here hoping that someone would still be here.”
He lowers his head.
Yoongi bites his lip. “You can stay here, it’s okay.”

Jimin smiles slightly. “Thank you.”

“Didn’t plan on leaving soon anyways.”

Yoongi walks back to the backroom and Jimin follows him hesitantly. “Were you still working?” he asks as he spots the papers all over the table. Yoongi huffs.
“Not really. I tried, but I can’t come up with anything.” He collects the papers and stores them away in one of the many drawers of the small kitchen area (nothing fancy; a rice cooker, a microwave, a sink, a coffee machine, cupboards, drawers).

“Sit down. Do you want to drink something?” Yoongi asks, opening a cupboard. Jimin shakes his head. “I’m good, thanks.”
He walks around the table and wants to sit down on the bench that is right in the corner, then he gasps.

Yoongi turns around so fast, he almost knocks down one of the glasses standing by the sink.

“You have a cat!” Jimin whisper-shouts excitedly.

Yoongi blinks. “We do, yeah.”

Jimin sits down and starts running his fingers through the cat’s fur.
“His name is Minho,” Yoongi tells him. He sits down next to Jimin, watching him pet Minho.

“He is amazing. I love him.”

Yoongi chuckles. They just sit there, then, don’t talk. Jimin keeps petting Minho who looks more than comfortable and Yoongi watches Jimin’s hand and his face.

He is wearing a bit more makeup today. His skin is flawless; there’s a soft blush on his cheeks, and they are glowing.
His lips are coated with a glittery gloss. They look even pinker now, and they are shining under the fluorescent lights.
The bronze-colored eyeshadow on his lids is glittering as well and suits him beautifully, Yoongi thinks.

God, he realizes, Park Jimin is breathtaking.

His outfit consists of a white, short-sleeved shirt that says Baby in big, round and pink letters, tight black jeans, an oversized, distressed denim jacket and white converse.
Yoongi’s gaze travels down to his thighs.

Fuck.

“It’s warm in here,” Jimin notices. He stops petting Minho and takes off his jacket.
“I love cats.”

“I’m not surprised.”

Jimin grins at Yoongi. “Yeah… I know. I have a cat myself. Her name is Mochi.”

“Mochi?”

“I love rice cake.” Jimin shrugs. Yoongi makes a mental note of that.

“Minho used to live on the streets. Namjoon – my colleague found him one day, but his landlord doesn’t allow any pets, and Jeongguk and I don’t feel capable of taking care of another living thing.” They both chuckle.
“It’s nice that you let him live here,” Jimin says quietly. Yoongi smiles slightly.

“How long have you been working here?” Jimin asks. It is probably just to keep the conversation going, but Yoongi doesn’t mind. He likes Jimin’s voice, likes listening to it.

“Oh. Almost three years. I started this thing with Namjoon, actually.”

Jimin looks at him with raised eyebrows and an impressed expression on his face.
“Really? At such a young age?” Yoongi nodded.

“Wow. And I’m still going to university.” Jimin lets out a breathy laugh.
Minho gets up, stretches; then, he jumps down to the floor and leaves the room. Jimin and Yoongi look after him until he’s disappeared around the corner.

“I’ve never gone to university,” Yoongi mumbles, “It is good that you’re going. ‘s a good thing. Makes everything easier that comes after.”

Jimin purses his lips. “I’m a literature student,” he says, as if that would contradict what Yoongi has just said.
“Really?” Yoongi asks.
“I thought you were more the art type. Or music, maybe. Dance is another option.”
He tries to imagine Jimin reading poetry books and old, classic novels. Then he realizes it is actually not that absurd.

“I like books,” Jimin says. He’s staring at the wall, his eyes taking on a dreamy look.

“They make me happy. Allow me to dream. I like that. I like diving into a story and not wanting to let go.”

Yoongi hums and nods. “I’ve never been that much of a reader, but I get what you mean.”
Jimin turns his head and grins at him. “I can read you something, one day,” he suggests, “My favorite books, maybe.”

Yoongi presses his lips together. “I’d like that, I think.”

“What do you like, hyung?” Jimin pulls his legs up to his chest and leans his head back.

Yoongi blinks. “Music,” he says, “Tattoos. That’s it, I guess.”

“Music,” Jimin repeats, “Yeah, you look like that.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing bad.” Jimin chuckles. He closes his eyes shortly. “You look cool. You look passionate. Music fits, that’s what I’m trying to say.”

“I’m gonna take that as a compliment,” Yoongi says. Jimin nods. “It is one.”

His eyes travel down Yoongi’s neck and his arms. “How many tattoos do you have?”

“Someone’s being talkative, huh?” Yoongi teases. Jimin grins, scratches his elbow.
“I like talking, I guess,” he says and looks down at his hands, “I’m sorry.”

Yoongi doesn’t mind. He prefers it over silence between them.

“I don’t know how many I have, actually,” he says, stretching his arms out and looking at them.
“My arms are full of them, as you can see. Have some on my neck, my hands… on my legs, chest as well. And one on my back. Everywhere.”

Jimin reaches out. He halts right before his fingertips touch Yoongi’s skin. “Can I?”

Yoongi can do nothing but wordlessly nod.

Jimin’s fingers are cold. He feels goosebumps all over his body.
Jimin traces the outline of the anemone and the compass and the spider web and the skull, stops at the angel with the black, frayed wings. Then, his fingers leave Yoongi’s arm and move up to his neck.
Yoongi inhales sharply.

“I like them,” Jimin whispers as he runs his fingers down the word S U F F O C A T I N G that is tattooed top bottom on the right side of Yoongi’s neck.
“Thank you,” Yoongi breathes back.
Jimin halts, locks eyes with Yoongi. “Can I see the one on your back?”

Yoongi believes his heart stops beating for a second.

He doesn’t say anything as he fiddles with the hem of his shirt and then takes it off and slowly turns around, so his back is facing Jimin. He can hear a quiet gasp from behind.
Namjoon tattooed the dagger that looks like it’s digging into Yoongi’s left shoulder blade a while ago.
It has to be one of Yoongi’s favorites.
He had thought about it for a long time before asking Namjoon for help, and luckily, he hasn’t regretted it up to this day.

Jimin stays quiet as he touches the tattoo and keeps his cold hand on Yoongi’s hot skin for a while.
Then, he pulls his hand away again and Yoongi turns around, about to put his shirt back on when Jimin stops him by grabbing his wrist and stares at his chest and his stomach.
There are less tattoos on there, but Jimin keeps staring, as if he is seeing something that Yoongi keeps missing.

“Yeah,” Yoongi says, just to break the silence, “I have quite a few tattoos.”

He looks at Jimin, notices he is leaning in. He doesn’t mind one bit, just keeps his eyes on his pretty, glossy lips. His own lips are parted slightly.
“I love them,” Jimin whispers. His left hand is on Yoongi’s shoulder, his right hand moves up to cup his cheek.

Yoongi catches Jimin’s lips in a wet kiss. His eyes flutter shut; so does his mind.

Jimin breathes loudly as he moves his lips against Yoongi’s and slowly, carefully climbs on his lap. Yoongi’s hands find his hips to pull him closer until Jimin’s body is pressed against Yoongi’s half-naked one.

They kiss harder, faster. Yoongi moves them until Jimin is lying on the bench and he is hovering above him, kneeling between his legs.
They have to break the kiss to catch their breaths, but Jimin keeps Yoongi close by wrapping his arms around his neck and exhaling against his ear. Yoongi shivers as he plants kisses down Jimin’s jawline and to his neck.

His left hand searches for Jimin’s jacket that’s still laying on the bench to throw it to the floor, so Jimin can lie down more comfortably.
A giggle escapes Jimin’s lips when Yoongi accidentally pets his head as he tries to reach for the jacket. Yoongi glances up, finds it, throws it off the bench; presses his lips to Jimin’s. Jimin gasps.

It is quiet around them, but Yoongi swears he hears an orchestra play when he grinds down and his middle meets Jimin’s.

Jimin breaks their kiss and gasps again. His eyes are closed, his mouth hangs open.
Yoongi has to steady himself against the backrest so they don’t fall off the bench.
“This is… uncomfortable, right?” he asks quietly. Jimin’s eyes remain close, his hands run up and down Yoongi’s spine.

“We’ll make it work,” he manages to say. He moves his hips against Yoongi’s again and again, and pulls Yoongi down into another, sloppy kiss.
All that Yoongi can think about then is how he is going to ruin the pretty gloss on Jimin’s lips.
He is going to ruin the gloss, and the beautiful glow of Jimin’s cheeks, and his flawless skin and he is going to ruin Jimin.
He can’t stop thinking about it, not when Jimin kisses him like that, not when their tongues are touching and fighting for dominance, not when Jimin is moaning into his mouth.

Yoongi can’t get himself to stop.

His hands slip underneath Jimin’s shirt and he caresses the soft, hot skin there. Jimin whimpers quietly when Yoongi presses his middle against his.
“How far do you want to take this?” Yoongi mumbles against his lips right when he is about to take Jimin’s shirt off.
“I –“ Jimin kisses him again, “I have protection. In the pocket of my jacket.”

Yoongi wants to pull away, give Jimin an unbelieving look because that’s how he is feeling right now; Jimin looks so, so innocent. Too innocent for that.
But he doesn’t pull away, just presses his lips to Jimin’s and then moves back, pulling Jimin’s shirt off.
He doesn’t even get the chance to look at him since Jimin is moving forward again to kiss him. Yoongi grunts.

“Come on,” Jimin mumbles, “Come on come on.” He tries to open Yoongi’s pants. His hands are shaking.
“Wait.” Yoongi pushes his hands away, kicks off his shoes and quickly takes off his pants then.
He manages to take a quick glance at Jimin; his narrow waist, his pretty stomach, the way his rips show when he is squirming under Yoongi’s gaze.
He has a belly button piercing. Yoongi’s mouth waters.

“Fuck,” he hisses, “You didn’t tell me about that one.” He leans down and presses kisses to Jimin’s bare chest and down to his belly button.
His tongue licks the piercing and then he takes it between his teeth, pulls it. Jimin lets out a breathy moan.
Yoongi’s hand travels up to Jimin crotch, palming him through his tight jeans as he continues to pepper his stomach with kisses.

“Hyung,” Jimin whines. “They’re too tight. Take them off, please, pretty please…”

Yoongi glances at Jimin. His cheeks are flushed. He looks so aroused, it sends a shiver down Yoongi’s spine.
Yoongi opens Jimin’s pants, takes them and his shoes off as fast as possible.
They’re both only in their boxers then.
Yoongi can see Jimin’s erection pressing against the fabric of his boxers. It does something to him; something inexplainable.

“Touch me,” Jimin whines, “Please, please, hyung… I –“ He squirms.
Yoongi can only stare at him, wide-eyed. Jimin’s so, so sensitive, he’s never met someone like that, has never been intimate with someone like Jimin.

And God, Yoongi is intrigued by it.

“It’s okay,” he whispers, kisses Jimin through his boxers.
“I’m going to take care of you.”

He doesn’t know why he’s said that; he doesn’t feel weird, though. It feels just right.
“God,” Jimin pants. His fingers tangle in Yoongi’s hair. “God, hurry up please.”
Yoongi can feel Jimin’s erection growing, and he himself is getting harder with every new touch.
“Okay,” Yoongi mumbles, pulling Jimin’s boxers off and then, right after, his own. He throws both to the ground before crawling between Jimin’s spread legs again and leaning over him.

“You’ve got protection?” he makes sure and Jimin nods.

“Yeah. My jacket pockets.”
Yoongi eyes Jimin up and down.
There is so much going through his mind at that exact moment and Yoongi wishes he could put it into words.
But it’s not that easy, and he knows that. There is one thing though that he believes sums everything up quite well: Park Jimin is beautiful.

“Jacket,” Yoongi breathes. He blinks and nods. “Jacket…”

Yoongi leans down a bit clumsily, almost falls off the bench. Jimin laughs, grabs his shoulders to prevent just that.
“Careful.”
Yoongi gulps and grabs the jacket, then fishes the condom out the pocket.
Jimin immediately takes it from him and opens it. Yoongi notices that his hands are shaking a bit.

After a few seconds of struggling, Jimin manages to open the package and sits up. He grabs Yoongi’s cock, moves his hand up and down two times until it’s fully hard, then he rolls the condom over it.
Yoongi hisses at the touch.

Jimin lies down again and spreads his legs, Yoongi kneels between them and lingers above him. His right hand is on Jimin’s hip, his left one braced right next to Jimin’s head.
“Ready?” Yoongi asks, “Do you need prep –“

“I’m okay,” Jimin interrupts him, shifting around nervously, “I’ll be alright. Just… try not to go too fast, yeah?”

Yoongi opens his mouth, but other than a few stuttered noises nothing passes his lips.
He leans down and kisses Jimin, then he wraps one arm around his waist to lift him up a bit and aligns himself just right.

He pushes in. Jimin whines.

“Oh,” he gasps, “Oh my God.”

Yoongi inhales sharply as he tries his best not to move too fast. It’s not hard for him, he simply has no idea how much time Jimin takes, but, with a look at his contorted face, Yoongi can only guess that he still needs a moment.

“It’ll be okay in a few seconds,” Yoongi promises and kisses Jimin on his forehead, then the corners of his eyes, kisses away the tears that have formed.
Jimin’s left leg trembles, his hands frantically run up and down Yoongi’s back, desperate to find something to hold onto.

“Move,” he suddenly presses. Yoongi obliges almost immediately. He squeezes his eyes shut as he starts moving slowly at first, then he gasps and buries his head in Jimin’s neck.
Although everything inside of him screams at him to go faster, his mind is telling him to wait, wait, wait, until Jimin tells him it’s okay.

A moan slips past Jimin’s lips. “Hyung, you –“ he whimpers, “It feels good.”

“Talk to me,” Yoongi breathes, “Talk to me, Jimin.”

“Go faster.”

Yoongi quickens his pace, tightens his hold on Jimin’s waist. He kisses Jimin’s neck, nibbles and sucks at the soft skin.
Jimin wraps his arms around Yoongi’s neck and arches his back.

“Faster,” he whimpers breathlessly, “Oh my – go faster, please, please.”

Yoongi’s breath quickens, he starts thrusting in and out even harder, goes deeper, and suddenly, Jimin lets out a noise that is probably the most incredible thing Yoongi’s ever heard in his entire life.

He whines and moans at the same time, raggedly, and throws his head back.

“There, right there, please,” he stammers.

He spreads his legs even farther and rests one of them on top of the table, he looks so desperate, so aroused and so needy.
Yoongi feels something build up in his stomach, something intense and tightening.
He hits that spot inside of Jimin again and again until all that Jimin can do is lay there, slack-jawed and with closed eyes.

“You’re so beautiful,” Yoongi grunts, and he means it. He means it.

“You’re so beautiful like this, so pretty for me.”

“I’m going to come,” Jimin whimpers.

Yoongi feels similar, so he quickens his pace even more, goes deeper, deeper, faster, harder, deeper, grunts at the exhaustion that starts to wash over him, and wraps a hand around Jimin’s cock, stroking him fast.

“Come on, come on…”

Jimin moans loudly and arches his back when he comes all over his stomach and Yoongi’s hand, then his whole body starts trembling.
Yoongi comes right after him, the sight of Jimin’s face and Jimin’s hole clenching around him just being too much.
His eyes are closed as he slows down his movements and eventually just collapses on top of Jimin. Both of them breathe heavily; Yoongi can feel Jimin’s heart beat fast.

When he opens his eyes again, he notices Jimin is staring at him.
“Huh?” he asks. Jimin smiles and shrugs. His cheeks are flushed, sweat beads cover his forehead and his fingers are tangled in Yoongi’s hair.

“Nothing.” Jimin looks up at the ceiling.

“This just… this felt good. Really good. I don’t regret it.”

Yoongi kisses Jimin’s chest. “I’m glad.”

A wave of fatigue hits him then. It’s in the middle of the night and all he wants to do is to sleep, but then again, he wishes he could just stay here.

“I didn’t think this is how my night would end,” Jimin giggles. Yoongi hums. “I don’t mind the outcome,” he mumbles against Jimin’s skin.
“Just come over anytime, and we can do it again.”

Once he has said these words he realizes the weight of them. But he doesn’t move, doesn’t act surprised, doesn’t try to correct himself. Just lets it be. He doesn’t know why.

“I’d like that,” Jimin whispers. He cups Yoongi’s cheeks and pulls his head up; then, he kisses him softly.
“Okay.” Yoongi kisses him again.
Once they break apart, he keeps his eyes locked with Jimin’s for a moment before sitting up and grabbing his shirt that’s lying on the ground. Then, he wipes the cum of Jimin’s stomach and his own and his hand. He throws the shirt away again with a grin at Jimin and pulls off the condom, then knotting it and getting up.

“It’s already late,” he says. Jimin sits up, running a hand through his hair. “Yeah,” he replies, “I think I’m going to head home now.”
Yoongi nods. “Me too. I can drop you off at home if you want.”

Jimin glances at him. “Okay,” he says, “Sure, why not.”

And Yoongi can only do so much as smile at him.

~

Namjoon realizes that there is something odd about Yoongi the next day.
“Okay,” he starts, “What the hell is wrong with you?”

Yoongi looks up at him in surprise. “What do you mean?”

“Why are you so…” Namjoon huffs and lifts his arms, then drops them again, “So happy? I know you’ve been at the shop until late yesterday, you can’t have gotten that much sleep. And usually, that makes you unbearable. What happened?”

Yoongi looks away. He doesn’t think he wants to talk to Namjoon about his sex life.

“Can’t I be in a good mood for once?” he asks in return. Namjoon raises his eyebrows.

“Sure. Just thought it was weird.” He leaves Yoongi alone after that.
Yoongi grins.

~

“No way.”

Jimin giggles. “Yes way.”

“No way. No way did you do that.”

“Yes, I did. Yesterday. I left the club early, remember?”

He hears his friend, Seokjin, sigh. The grin on his lips grows and he starts nibbling at the sleeve of his white sweater.

“Park Jimin, you’re full of surprises.”

Jimin’s bus arrives. “I’m not.” He enters.
“Kind of. You look like a baby.”
“Hyung, stop,” Jimin whines. He leans his head against the cool window. It’s a sunny day, the sky is blue, the streets are busy. He smiles.

“So how does he look like?”

“I already told you,” Jimin mumbles.

“Tell me again, then.”

“Fine.” Jimin sighs. “Uh, bleached hair? Kind of messy… Many tattoos and a lip piercing. Dark clothes, usually –“

“Oh my God,” Seokjin gasps, “Jiminie got himself an emo!”

“Stop it, hyung,” Jimin hissed, “He’s not – not like that. You have to see him, I can’t really explain it.”
“Fine,” Seokjin says, “Take me to that shop one day. I’m even getting a tattoo, for all I care.”

“You wouldn’t do that.”

“Correct, I wouldn’t, I just want to see your little punk boyfriend.”

“Seokjin!” Jimin groans, “Stop it! He is not my boyfriend, we just – we had sex, yeah? That’s all. Nothing more.”
“What was his name again?”

Jimin worries his bottom lip and hesitates. “Yoongi.”
He doesn’t realize the huge smile on his lips until his cheeks hurt.

“His name is Yoongi.”

~

Taehyung doesn’t come on Friday.

Jeongguk waits and waits and then, he is busy, but he still waits, even while he is busy.
Taehyung doesn’t show up, not even after Jeongguk texts him, ‘Where are you?’
He wonders if it’s desperate, his messages, but he is only worried, that’s all. Taehyung and he were friends after all, right?

To Jeongguk, it was already weird when Taehyung had just disappeared a few days prior, without even saying goodbye, and although they still wanted to get dinner.
Sure, there had been the thing with Sooyoung, but Jeongguk had returned to the tattoo shop right after and Taehyung had been gone.
When Jeongguk asked Namjoon, he said that Taehyung hadn’t felt good and had decided to go home.

Ever since then, it has been quiet. Jeongguk has tried to call Taehyung and texted him a few times, but there was no response.

“You look grumpy,” Yoongi notices. Jeongguk hums. “I do?”

“You’ve been wearing that frown all day long. Is it because Taehyung's not here?”

“I don’t care if Taehyung’s here or not.”

“Wow,” Yoongi says and raises his eyebrows, “You care a fucking lot, that’s what I’d say.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

“No need to get all defensive,” Yoongi murmurs, hands raised, “It’s okay. You two are friends. I get it.”

Jeongguk sighs and rubs his eyes. “Sorry,” he says, “I’m a bit stressed.”
Yoongi cocks his head to the right. “About?”
Jeongguk hesitates. “About Taehyung not responding to both my messages and my calls,” he tells him. A costumer enters.
“Huh. And you’re worried,” Yoongi concludes and Jeongguk nods.
“Maybe go to his place, then. You know where he lives, right?” Jeongguk nods again.

He has already thought about going to Taehyung’s place before, but he isn’t sure if that’s not too much. Maybe nothing bad happened and Taehyung would think it’s weird that Jeongguk is stressing so much. Maybe he is just too busy at the moment.

Jeongguk sighs, then he smiles at the man in front of him. “Can I help you?”

“I made an appointment for a tattoo,” he says, “I talked to Yoongi, I think.”

“That’d be me,” Yoongi says, raising one hand, “The studio is right over there.”

He waits until the costumer has walked away from them, then he leans close to Jeongguk’s ear and quietly says, “You’re friends. Go to his place, check on him. Oh, and –“ He furrows his brows and thinks for a moment. Jeongguk squints his eyes.

“What?”

“Do you know a flower shop called Local Flower Meadow?”

Jeongguk nods hesitantly. “I guess… It’s close to that one bakery you used to like so much. Remember?”

Yoongi thinks. Then, suddenly, his eyes widen, and he nods. “Oh, yeah, I remember. Thanks.”
And with that, he turns around and hurries after his costumer.

Strange, Jeongguk thinks, Yoongi and flowers. An odd combination.

~

He does end up going to Taehyung’s place.

He almost didn’t, but now he is standing at the front door, searching for the right bell.

Taehyung lives in an apartment complex together with his roommate in a house that’s full of students. The apartments are cheap, the location is close to the city center and the university and the whole building is in an acceptable condition. Taehyung’s really lucky.

A crackle sounds, then a, “Hello?” That’s undoubtedly Taehyung.
“Hey,” Jeongguk responds and steps closer to the intercom, “It’s – It’s Jeongguk.”
Taehyung is quiet for a moment.
“What do you want?”
Jeongguk raises his eyebrows at the annoyed tone of Taehyung’s voice.

“I wanted to check on you,” he says as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“You didn’t answer my calls and my texts. And –“ He taps his fingers against his thigh.
“You weren’t there today. At the tattoo shop.”

Taehyung’s breathing is all that Jeongguk can hear for a few moments.

“Oh,” Taehyung says then, “Right. My phone died, and my charger is broken. I didn’t have time to go buy a new one, sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Jeongguk says, “Just wanted to see if you’re alright.” He looks down at his feet.
“Do you mind if I come up?”

Jeongguk’s been at Taehyung’s place before, more than once. There is nothing weird about his question.
But it is weird that all Taehyung does after this is hang up. No response, nothing.
Huh.

Jeongguk is about to walk away when the door buzzes. He winces, turns around and pushes it open.
There is no elevator in the building, but luckily, Taehyung does not live on the sixth floor.
It’s only the fourth, and Jeongguk chuckles to himself as he starts making his way upstairs.

Taehyung is already waiting at the door of his apartment.
He is wearing a black and olive-green zip up hoodie and black sweatpants.
His brown hair is tousled, he looks something between annoyed and tired.

“Hey,” Jeongguk says after Taehyung lets him enter.
Taehyung just nods and closes the door.
The apartment is a bit messier than usual, Jeongguk notices, but nothing too bad. One of the jalousies in the living room is down and Taehyung’s easel is in there. His paint tubes and brushes lie spread on the table and some even on the floor.
But other than that, it is normal.

“So you have been busy,” he says, still looking around curiously.

Taehyung frowns. “What do you think I’ve been doing? Relaxing?”

Jeongguk shakes his head. “No. That’s not what I meant.”
They walk into the living room.
“What do you want?” Taehyung asks. He doesn’t sound rude though, rather calm.
“You weren’t responding to any calls or messages,” Jeongguk tells him again, “You didn’t show up like you usually do. I was just a bit –“ He almost says worried and he doesn’t know what stops him from doing so. Taehyung glances at him and Jeongguk looks at his lips.

“I thought something had happened. I thought you were mad at me.”

Jeongguk is surprised when Taehyung’s gaze softens.
“Sorry,” he mumbles and rubs his eyes, “I had some stuff to do for university and… I don’t know. It’s getting harder, exams are coming up soon and I just want to make it, you know?”
Jeongguk nods. He knows.

“And my phone died,” he repeats from earlier, “I would’ve responded but… yeah. Sorry for worrying you.” There’s a small smile on Taehyung’s lips that keeps Jeongguk from disagreeing with him that no, he did not worry about him.
“Yeah,” he says instead, “I get it. It’s fine.”

He looks over at the easel, at the canvas. The painting is not yet done.
Red, orange, blue brushstrokes. That’s all that Jeongguk can recognize.
He doesn’t ask about it, though. Instead, he asks, “How about we get dinner now?”
Taehyung crosses his arms and leans against the table. He slowly starts to nod.
“Yeah,” he mumbles, “Okay, let’s do that.”
Jeongguk glances at him. “Alright,” he whispers.

They’re friends. It is okay to get dinner with them, with friends. And Taehyung looks like he is in desperate need of food and any kind of human interaction, and Jeongguk starts to wonder how much time Taehyung has actually spend locked in his apartment. Then he figures that he doesn’t want to know.

Taehyung has to get ready after that, leaving Jeongguk in the living room, alone.

Luckily, Jeongguk doesn’t have to wait for too long, and he spends his time leaning against the table and staring at the paint-splattered canvas across the room.

He spends his time staring at the painting and listening to the repetitive buzzing of Taehyung’s phone on the table when his roommate calls him.
It buzzes and buzzes and keeps buzzing, it just keeps going, and Jeongguk wants it to stop, he wants to lean over the table and reject the call, but he just stares at the phone until the caller gives up and stops trying. Only then does Jeongguk catch a glimpse at the status bar, at the battery percentage that reads 84%.

Taehyung returns, wearing a dark green, old-looking sweater and black pants. He smiles.
“We can go,” he says.
Jeongguk looks at him, moving his tongue and pressing it against the inside of his cheek.

“Someone just called you. Your roommate, I think,” Jeongguk says, pointing back at the phone.
Taehyung’s smile disappears and slowly, the realization starts to sink in.

“I don’t think you should make him wait for too long, huh?” Jeongguk huffs, then he pushes himself off the table and walks past Taehyung.

“Come on, let’s get dinner!” Jeongguk says loudly and energetically opens the door.
Taehyung stands there for another moment, frozen still, then he turns around and blinks.
“Yeah, right,” he says, “Dinner.”

They leave, and neither of them brings up the phone call again.
Jeongguk wishes Taehyung would, he wishes Taehyung would apologize and explain why he ignored him and then even lied to him, but he doesn’t push it.
Taehyung will have his reason, he tells himself, so he keeps his feelings and thoughts to himself.

They enter his car, fasten their seatbelts, and Taehyung props his feet up on the dashboard.

Jeongguk halts.

“Don’t do that,” he says, starting the engine, “It’ll get the dashboard dirty.”
At first, he thinks Taehyung hasn’t heard him. But then, slowly, Taehyung pulls his feet down again. He stares at Jeongguk, yet doesn’t say anything.

They drive in silence.

~

Yoongi doesn’t know how he ends up standing in front of the Local Flower Meadow.

He’s there, suddenly, at five in the afternoon on his day off.
The sign above the shop is white, the letters of the name are pink and in italics and round.
The shop itself doesn’t seem to be huge, and from the outside it looks almost invisible in between all the other stores and cafés and restaurants with the bright neon signs and the colorful windows and the music that blasts and that Yoongi can hear even on the street, outside.

Then, Yoongi sees Jimin there, watering some flowers. Yoongi sees his pink hair and salmon-colored shirt and the apron he is wearing and the light blue pants.

A small bell rings when he enters the shop. Jimin looks up; his eyes widen when he sees Yoongi.
He sets down the watering can and wipes his hands on his apron before walking over to him.

“Hey,” he says, “What’re you doing here?”

Yoongi looks around. The back of the shop is pretty dark and there are no lights turned on. The sunlight from outside is the only source of illumination.
“Hey,” Yoongi says. His eyes linger on the flowers Jimin has just watered.
“I, uh – I just wanted to come by.”

“Decided to change your aesthetic a little bit?” Jimin asks with a grin that turns his eyes into crescents.

“Yeah,” Yoongi chuckles, “Exactly. We’re into pink now.” Then, he shakes his head.
“No, I just wanted to… see where you’re working at.”

Jimin raised his eyebrows. “And…?"
Yoongi shifts uncomfortably.
“Maybe… wanted to ask for your number,” he mumbles. He reaches out and touches one of the flowers that’s closest to him.
Jimin looks surprised. But he smiles.
“My number?” he asks. Yoongi nods.
“Okay.”

He takes a crinkled piece of paper and a pen out of the pocket of his apron, then he raises his knee a little and lays the paper on top of his knee, quickly writes down his number, then adds a small Jimin ^.^ underneath.
He gives the piece of paper to Yoongi.

“Here. Just text me later, okay?”

Yoongi nods quietly.

“Anything else?”

Yoongi looks up. “Yeah,” he says, “Do you happen to have anemones?”

And Jimin smiles.

Chapter Text

The first time Yoongi texts Jimin is when Jimin is sitting in the lecture hall.

He doesn’t answer right away, doesn’t even read the message. Jimin likes lectures and he likes listening to his professor and taking notes. He knows that most students don’t and that they think it’s boring and they just like the student life for the life, not for the student, but Jimin doesn’t care what others think.

He doesn’t have a problem with going to university, and if he had, then he wouldn’t go there and simply find a full-time job.

The lecture ends shortly after twelve. Jimin is one of the last people to leave the hall, as always. He usually can’t be bothered to hurry up after class.

He walks down the light hallway, past the students that are standing in small groups, talking to each other about everyday things. Some of them throw short glances at Jimin.
Their voices echo off the walls and fill the air, and Jimin likes it. It’s better than dead silence which would only make him uncomfortable.

Once he is close to the exit, he takes out his phone to finally read the new message he got earlier.

Unknown:

Hey, this is Yoongi

The tattoo parlor guy

Jimin smiles as he reads the message. He pushes the door open with his right shoulder and steps out into the warm summer weather.

Me:

Hey Yoongi ^^

This is Jimin, the flower shop dude

He saves Yoongi’s number and then puts his phone away. It’s a nice, sunny day, the sky is blue and almost completely clear. Jimin is only wearing a lose short-sleeved shirt but long jeans which he already plans on taking off once he gets home.
There are quite a few people waiting at the bus stop. Jimin doesn’t mind though.
He has to wait for about ten minutes, so he takes his phone out once more.

Another new message.

Yoongi:

You don’t say

I do remember you, you know

Me:

Am I that unforgettable?

Yoongi:

Kind of

Where are you right now?

Jimin raises an eyebrow. He hasn’t known Yoongi for too long, so he doesn’t quite know what Yoongi’s intentions are.

Me:

In front of the university, waiting for my bus. Why?

Yoongi takes almost a whole minute to reply.

Yoongi:

Are you heading home? I could pick you up

Jimin bites down on his lower lip.

Me:

Yes, I am. You don’t have to pick me up, though

It is weird. They don’t know each other, and sure, Yoongi seems to be cool and nice and yes, they have already been intimate, but Jimin also knows better than to interpret too much into that one night.
Yet, there is something like hope as he reads over Yoongi’s messages over and over again, waiting for another reply. No doubt, Yoongi is interesting.
And cleary, the elder wants to see him, right? Otherwise he wouldn’t randomly offer to pick him up.
Just the thought of that, plus the offer Yoongi made, Just come over anytime, and we can do it again, makes Jimin shiver.

His phone vibrates with another message.

Yoongi:

I want to see you again.

Can I pick you up?

~

“I have to leave.”

Yoongi’s voice pulls Jeongguk out of his thoughts.

“What, why?” he asks, but Yoongi is already leaving the backroom and walking around the counter. Jeongguk’s eyes follow him.

“Long story, no time to explain… I’ll be back later, okay?”

Jeongguk raises his eyebrows. “Why? I mean – What? Where are you going?”

“I’ll treat you to dinner if you take over whoever is coming in while I’m gone, yeah?” Yoongi says. He has almost reached the door.

“Okay,” is all that Jeongguk says.

Yoongi nods at him once, then he is gone.

~

Yoongi drives a black Ford Fiesta. It smells new, and Yoongi immediately apologizes for the mess once Jimin has sat down, although there is no mess.

Jimin smiles and sets his backpack down between his legs.

“Okay,” he says. Yoongi starts driving.

Jimin leans his head against the window. Yoongi asks him for his address and Jimin tells him, and then it’s quiet again.
Jimin starts playing with his backpack straps.

“You like these colors, don’t you?” Yoongi asks suddenly. Jimin looks down at his pastel blue backpack. He shrugs.
“I guess. I mean, that’s not hard to tell.” He grins.

“No, it isn’t. It suits you, though, don’t worry.”

“I’m not.” Jimin looks out of the window again. “If anyone has a problem with it, it’s their business, not mine.”

Yoongi nods slowly. “Yeah,” he says, “That’s a good mindset.”

Jimin doesn’t know what to say after that, and he doesn’t know what they could talk about either, but he doesn’t want it to be quiet.
He wonders once more if this situation is weird. If it was supposed to be a one night stand and Yoongi was just polite when he told Jimin that they could repeat it.
But he asked Jimin for his number, and he wanted to see him, today, it would be stupid if Yoongi didn’t like him at least one bit, yeah?

“How was class today?” Yoongi asks. Jimin glances at him.

“Good. As usual.”

“Boring?”

“Not really. I like my degree.”

Yoongi nods, stops at a red light. Jimin’s eyes linger on him a bit longer. Let’s his gaze wander down Yoongi’s exposed neck and his arms. Takes in the sight of his tattoos.

“I never went to university,” Yoongi tells him. Jimin tilts his head to the side. “You could’ve studied art,” he says, “Not that you can’t draw, I like your drawings.”
Yoongi licks his lips as he thinks. “Yeah, I know. It’s just… I couldn’t be bothered, I guess? I… I like art, not only on a canvas or tattoos or whatever, but… more than that. I don’t know, it’s a bit weird, but do you get –“

“I do,” Jimin interrupts him, “Anything creative. That has meaning to it, a message. Right?”

Yoongi nods slowly. “Yeah. Yeah, I guess.”

“You weren’t finished, I interrupted you, sorry –“

“It’s… fine.” Yoongi opens his mouth and starts driving again once the light turns green.

“I could’ve studied music as well. Actually considered it. But… “ He sighs.
“Okay, now this is going to sound stupid and cheesy, but I don’t think that you can teach… art. I mean, sure, you can show someone how to draw, or how to play an instrument, or how to dance or to write. You can teach someone different techniques and styles and which equipment is the best for what. But that doesn’t mean that someone will then actually be capable of creating art, because art is about the meaning.
And you can’t teach someone how to be meaningful, can you? That’s why I always disliked art or music class at school. It didn’t make much sense to me, and I thought it was nonsense to theoretically teach something but completely missing the point of it. Art is about the message, the meaning, the backstory and so much more, and you simply can’t teach that. You have to feel it and you have to pour you heart and emotions into your creation. Anything else is pointless to me.” Yoongi takes a deep breath, holds it, then releases it.

“That’s why I scrapped that whole university plan and opened the tattoo parlor right away. Because I knew how to draw and how to tattoo, and I knew how to be passionate and how to give meaning to my creations.”

He stops the car. Jimin looks out the window. They’re standing right in front of his apartment complex.

Yoongi stares at him expectantly, and Jimin knows he has to say something because Yoongi looks so unsettled. And he wants to say something, too.

“I like that. What you just said,” mumbles Jimin. “To be honest, I never thought about it like that.”

“Most people don’t,” Yoongi agrees with a nod. “And I’m not the type of person to walk around and share my thoughts with the world. What for? I always ask myself. I like to keep it quiet.”

“Then why did you tell me?” Jimin asks. Yoongi frowns uncomfortably.

“I… don’t know,” he breathes, “I –“ he keeps his mouth opens, thinks.
“I really don’t know. Thought you’d understand.”

“Well, I do.” Jimin chuckles. After a short moment of silence, he lowers his head and grabs his backpack. “I think I should get going, right? Don’t you have to work?”
Yoongi sighs. “I do. Unfortunately.”

“I would ask you in, otherwise.”

“Yeah, right.”

Jimin doesn’t know if that’s his cue to leave. He slowly opens the car door but keeps his eyes locked with Yoongi’s. He hesitates, halts for a second.
“You can come over, later, if you want,” he says.
“I don’t have any plans today. You can come over once you’re done with work.”

For one second, Jimin can’t read Yoongi’s expression, and he thinks that this was too much, that he has misread the signs.
But Yoongi nods once. He even smiles.
“I’d like that, yeah,” he says quietly.

Jimin nods as well. “Okay,” he replies, then he steps out of the car.
“See you later, then?” he asks.

“Yeah, see you later,” Yoongi says.

Jimin waits until Yoongi’s driven off. His heart beats a little faster.

~

There are no new messages from Jeongguk, haven’t been any ever since they met the last time, for dinner.
A part of Taehyung is not surprised and knows he shouldn’t care.
But another, much bigger part is bothered, so, so bothered that he even considers calling Jeongguk just to see if he is alright.

But he knows that’s wrong, and he knows that Jeongguk is mad at him and unfortunately has every right to do so.
So the silence continues.

~

Yoongi arrives at Jimin’s apartment shortly after six. It’s still bright outside, of course it is, it’s summer, after all.
Jimin opens the door for him and lets him in.

“Hey,” he greets him. Yoongi greets him back while looking around the apartment.

“My roommate is not here so we have the whole apartment for us,” Jimin tells him as they walk over into the living room.
He sits down on his couch and looks at Yoongi who just keeps standing there, right next to the table. He stares at something on the couch, and Jimin follows his eyes until he spots Mochi.
“That’s your cat?” Yoongi asks.
Jimin nods.
“Yeah, Mochi. You can – you can sit down, you don’t have to stand there.” Jimin giggles.

Yoongi walks over to him and sits down – right next to him.

“How was your day?” Jimin asks just so there won’t be an awkward silence. Yoongi sighs.
“A bit stressful. There were many people coming in and… I had to finish a quite large tattoo.” He nods as he tells Jimin that and lets his eyes wander around the room.

“And yours?”

“It was alright,” Jimin tells him, “Did some work for university, but other than that I didn’t really have anything to do.”

Yoongi’s leg is bouncing up and down. He doesn’t look tense or nervous, but his leg, it keeps moving, up and down, and then he taps his finger against his knee.
Jimin squints his eyes.
Yoongi has his head turned away from him.

“Hey,” Jimin mumbles.

Yoongi turns his head. His eyes widen when Jimin presses his lips against his.

It’s okay, Jimin intently thinks, It’s alright, he told you it was okay.
Yoongi kisses him back. His lips are chapped, and the kiss is wet and deep.
Jimin manages to climb on Yoongi’s lap and wraps his arms around Yoongi’s neck while Yoongi lets his hands slide underneath Jimin’s shirt.

It’s okay.

“Not here,” Jimin whispers against Yoongi’s lips when Yoongi is about to undress him. He breaks the kiss and pushes Yoongi’s hands away, then he gets up.
“In my room. I don’t… I don’t want to risk anything, yeah?”

Yoongi nods. He looks a bit dumbfounded, but he gets up and follows Jimin into his bedroom.

It happens quickly – Jimin takes off Yoongi’s jeans and his shirt and Yoongi takes off Jimin’s pants, neither of them can even be bothered to care about Jimin’s shirt now.
The next moment, Jimin is lying on his bed and Yoongi is on top of him, between his legs.

Once they have both gotten rid of their underwear, they take their time.

Yoongi makes sure to prep Jimin well enough until Jimin is a squirming and panting mess, begging Yoongi to hurry up already.
Yoongi presses his lips to Jimin’s when he pushes in, and then he leaves kisses down his jawline and his neck and buries his face right there to muffle his own groans.

“Oh my God,” Jimin whines, again and again, “Oh my God.”

“Breathe,” Yoongi grunts when Jimin lets out a stuttered moan and gasps for air right after.
“Talk to me, be vocal, Jiminie.”

Jimin pants and moans again.
“It feels good,” he manages to say. His eyes are closed, and he throws his head back.
“Keep doing that, hyung, please…”

They go like that for a while, not too fast so they can both enjoy it for as long as possible.
Yoongi kisses Jimin’s cheek and then his lips.
“Good?” he asks.

Jimin nods. Then, he taps Yoongi’s shoulder.
“Wait.”

Yoongi stops immediately.

“Can we… uh…” Jimin pushes Yoongi until he is sitting, then he carefully climbs on his lap.
“Is this okay?” he asks when he wraps his legs around Yoongi’s back, only keeping himself up with one hand.
Yoongi’s eyes widen.

“Yes,” he says, “Oh God, yes, Jimin, anything you want.”

So Jimin lowers himself on Yoongi again and starts riding him, his hands clutching Yoongi’s shoulders and back arching.
He throws his head back but quickly, the pleasure becomes too much, too much, just too much, so he buries his head in Yoongi neck and whines, whines and moans so much yet so quietly that Yoongi has to run his hands up and down Jimin’s back in a soothing manner.
“It’s okay,” he whispers and closes his eyes. They’re both close.
“You can let go.”

Jimin comes, hard, and Yoongi follows shortly after.

“Oh, fuck,” Jimin gasps. He lies down with his eyes closed, breathing heavily.
“That was… I…”

“It was good,” Yoongi says and lies down next to him.

“It really was,” Jimin agrees.

He opens his eyes and looks at Yoongi and Yoongi stares right back. Then, they laugh.
“I could get used to this,” Jimin says. He regrets it right after, but luckily, Yoongi doesn’t seem to think it’s weird. “Yeah, me too,” he replies.
Jimin can feel his cheeks heat up, not only from the exhaustion, so he quickly turns around until he is lying on his side, facing away from Yoongi.
He reaches for Yoongi’s hand, finds it and pulls it until Yoongi is lying right behind him, his chest pressed against Jimin’s back and his arm wrapped around Jimin’s waist.

Yoongi seems stiff for a moment, but he quickly relaxes.

“I need this,” Jimin tells him, “Sorry if this is –“

“It’s not,” Yoongi interrupts him, “It’s fine, I don’t mind.”
He presses a soft kiss to Jimin’s neck and then another one to his temple.
“You’re so soft.”

Jimin pouts and playfully pushes him away. “’m not.”

“You wear makeup and pastel clothes, of course you’re soft.”

“Shut up,” Jimin tries to look mad but fails. They laugh.

“I’m just messing with you,” Yoongi whispers. Jimin looks at him over his shoulder.
Yoongi leans in and kisses him softly, so softly.
Jimin sighs into the kiss.
Yes, he really could get used to it.

“You can stay the night,” Jimin tells him once they pull away again.
“If you want to, I mean.”

Yoongi gives him a level look.

“Okay,” he says, “Yeah, I’d like that.”

~

Seokjin returns around 8.30am the next day when Jimin and Yoongi are still asleep.
After they have woken up and Yoongi left hurriedly, even pressing a short and soft kiss to Jimin’s temple before he leaves, Seokjin grins at Jimin and gives him that look.

Jimin blushes and covers his face with his hands.

“Oh Jiminie,” Seokjin says, “I’m all ears.”

~

It is Friday.

Taehyung was hesitant at first, figured Jeongguk wouldn’t want to see him, but now he is in front of the parlor and pushes the door open. They need to talk, that is for sure.
He spots a pink-haired boy – man? – sitting on the couch with Minho on his lap.
Namjoon is standing behind the counter and writing something down. He looks up once the bell rings, announcing Taehyung’s arrival.

“Hey,” Taehyung says and glances around.
“Hi. Jeongguk is in the studio right now, it’ll still take a while,” Namjoon tells him, then he lowers his eyes back down on the sheet of paper right in front of him.
Taehyung looks at the couch and the guy sitting there who is looking right back at him, smiling softly.
“Hey,” Taehyung greets him and sits down on the couch as well, careful to keep some distant between them.

“Waiting for you appointment?”

The guy shakes his head. “No, I’m waiting for a friend to finish work.”
Taehyung squints his eyes. “Does your friend work here?”
The guy nods. “Yeah, it’s… Yoongi.”
He seems to stiffen, but then he smiles again and looks fine.
“Oh,” Taehyung says, “I didn’t know Yoongi had friends.”
The guy laughs. “We haven’t known each other for too long. I’m… Jimin, by the way.”

“Taehyung.”

“What about you? Are you waiting for someone, too?”

Taehyung hesitates for a moment. “Yeah, actually. Jeongguk. Works here as well.”
Jimin nods once. He caresses Minho’s head and Minho purrs loudly.
Taehyung chuckles.

“What a coincidence,” Jimin mumbles, “Yoongi told me he’d be done by 3, and it’s almost 4 now… Well.” Jimin shrugs. “Can’t do anything about it, can I?”
Taehyung purses his lips, then he looks at Namjoon.

“Namjoon-hyung?”

“Huh?”

“How long do you think Jeongguk still needs?”

Namjoon inhales sharply. “Still a while. It’s a pretty big tattoo, about an hour, maybe? A bit more?”
Taehyung nods, then he gets up and holds his hand out to Jimin.
Jimin gives him a questioning look as he lifts Minho up and sets him down on the couch right next to him, then he grabs Taehyung’s hand and pulls himself up until he is standing next to him.

“What are you doing?” he asks.
“Let’s go get coffee, yeah? I don’t want to just sit there. Gets boring after a while.”
Jimin seems to consider the offer for a moment, then he shrugs. “Okay, sure, why not. Let’s go.”

~

Jimin is, and Taehyung learns that within 20 minutes, a literature student at the same university that he himself goes to.
He likes cats and makeup, as he admits shyly, listens to indie rock (they have something in common there) and pop music, works at the Local Flower Meadow, was born in Busan and his favorite book is The Bird by Oh Junghee.

“Where do you know Yoongi from?” Taehyung asks. He doesn’t miss the blush that decorates Jimin’s cheeks right after.
“Oh, he did my helix,” says Jimin, “A while ago. We met again after that which was more or less by chance and one thing let to another… Oh, I shouldn’t have said that. Nevermind, sorry.” He frowns and shrugs it off, but Taehyung quickly shakes his head.
“No, don’t worry, I’m not…” he sighs, “I’m not against that. In fact, I like men, too.”

Jimin glances at him surprised. “Really?”
Taehyung nods. “Yeah.”

It doesn’t feel weird telling Jimin that, and Taehyung does not have that often with people. Jimin seems to be a trustworthy. At least Taehyung hopes he doesn’t simply come across like that.

“Ah, good. I mean, me and Yoongi aren’t together or anything, don’t get me wrong –“
“No need to justify yourself,” Taehyung chuckles and takes a sip of his coffee, “Yoongi isn’t the type for relationships anyways.”
Jimin’s face falls a bit. “Oh yeah? Why?”
Taehyung hums and takes another sip, swallows his coffee. “That’s his story to tell. But believe me, he kind of is a loner, so if the two of you are going to meet today chances are high that he likes you. In what way, well, that’s something you’ll have to find out.”
Jimin chuckles and looks down at his coffee. “Yeah.”
Taehyung’s phone vibrates. He glances at Jimin, then he takes out his phone.

Gukkie:

Taking a break rn, Namjoon-hyung told me you were there

Where are you?

Taehyung sighs.

Me:

Out getting coffee

We need to talk

We need t

We n

He locks his phone and puts it away again. “Everything alright?” Jimin asks, “You look annoyed.”
“It’s okay,” Taehyung replies and shakes his head. He is about to take another sip of his coffee when he sighs and puts the mug down again.

“It’s not okay.”

Jimin chuckles. “Tell me.”
Taehyung hesitates. He doesn’t know Jimin, not really, and he isn’t sure if telling an almost-stranger about his problems is a good idea, but then he realizes how badly he needs to talk about it.
Usually, his roommate Hoseok is the first person he would talk to about stuff like this, but they haven’t really been able to exchange more than three words a day recently.
Besides, Taehyung is busy and the only person he meets with on a regular basis is Jeongguk, but how the hell is he supposed to talk to Jeongguk when this is about Jeongguk?
Jimin doesn’t even know Jeongguk, so what is he supposed to do? Nothing, exactly.

“It’s a long story,” Taehyung tries although that’s a lie; it’s not a long story.
“I have time,” Jimin replies.

So Taehyung sighs and rubs his eyes. “Alright, fine. Jeongguk – I need to talk to him. Things haven’t been going well between us recently, and I’m sick of being mad at him and I’m sick of him being mad at me…” He tilts his coffee mug a bit and watches the brown liquid almost spill out.
Jimin eyes him attentively and hums. “Are you two dating?”
Taehyung chuckles. “Gukkie and me? No, no… He’s not –“ He lifts his head and blinks at the ceiling.

“He’s not into guys. Honestly, he is probably the straightest person you’ve ever seen. And even… even if he was into guys, it’s just very, very unlikely that he’d ever like me.”

“Why?” Jimin asks. Taehyung doesn’t miss the sad undertone Jimin’s voice has adapted and his heart clenches a little.
“I’m just not his type. He’s into tattooed girls with long legs and pretty faces… yeah, I’m neither of these things.”
Although Taehyung tries his best to sound casual about it, as if this wasn’t getting to him, he wonders how desperate he sounds.
Jimin gives him a sad smile. “How do you know that? Have you ever talked to him about it?”
Taehyung pulls at a thread on his pants. “Not really. Haven’t had the chance yet. But I’m not going to risk our friendship for a stupid little crush. I’ll get over him someday.”
“That’s such a cliché thing to say,” Jimin notices and they both chuckle.
“How long have you liked him?” Jimin then asks.
“Oh,” Taehyung says and thinks.
“Honestly, I don’t know when exactly it started. I’ve known Gukkie for quite some time now and it… it just was like that, eventually.”

“Then how did you notice?”

Taehyung thinks again. “I… I don’t know… We were friends at first and I kept visiting him every Friday after class, and eventually I just got too excited and nervous I guess. Like, I knew that it wasn’t normal to feel like that when you meet up with a friend. And I never felt like that with any of my other friends either. I already knew that I was gay, so it wasn’t really a surprise when I realized that I had a crush on…” He stops. “On Jeongguk.”

Taehyung notices he is smiling once he’s finished talking.

“Yeah, that’s it, basically.”

Jimin bites his bottom lip to keep himself from grinning.

“Okay, but how long have you liked him approximately?”

Taehyung purses his lips. “I really have no idea –“

“A few months? Half a year?”

Taehyung lifts one shoulder.

“More than that? A year?”

“About, I guess? I told you, I don’t know.”

“About a year? Oh, Taehyungie…” Taehyung smiles at the nickname.
“That’s pretty long for a stupid little crush… don’t you think?”
Taehyung feels the heat rise to his cheeks. He wants to disagree or at least say anything else, but he can’t. Deep down, he knows that Jimin is right, he knows how fucked he is.
But admitting it out loud – he isn’t sure if he can do that.

“You should talk to him,” Jimin says softly. Taehyung nods slowly.
“I know,” he mumbles.

He really knows.

~

“Fuck, Jiminie… Careful, don’t hurt yourself.”

Yoongi watches as Jimin kicks off his white sneakers (they have rainbow-colored laces) and tries his best to take off his ripped jeans.
“I’m trying,” he murmurs. Yoongi chuckles.

“Yeah, I can see that.”

Finally, Jimin manages to take off his pants and throws them on the passenger seat. He immediately turns back Yoongi and kisses him passionately.
The car is filled with heavy breathing noises.
Yoongi’s hands run up Jimin’s thighs, his wonderful thighs, and then grips his ass. Wait.
He pulls away immediately and looks at Jimin, wide-eyed.

“Are you…?”

He lowers his gaze and looks at Jimin’s middle.
“Oh my God,” he breathes as he sees what Jimin is wearing – lace panties.
Jimin chuckles nervously. “Too much? I… liked them, they were pretty… Is it okay for you?”
Yoongi looks up again, locks his eyes with Jimin’s.

“Please marry me already,” he groans and Jimin giggles.

Then, Yoongi eyes him up once more. “They look perfect on you. You’re so beautiful, do you know that?” For a split second, he wonders what Jimin would look like sprawled out on his bed.
Jimin’s eyes soften a bit before he tugs at Yoongi’s shirt.

“Here, take that off.”

Yoongi complies. The next moment, Jimin is sucking and nibbling at his collar bones and his chest.
“I love your tattoos, so much,” he whispers. A shiver runs down Yoongi’s spine, his mind is spinning for a moment.
Jimin opens his belt and somehow, he manages to pull Yoongi’s pants and his boxers down just enough so Jimin can wrap his small hands around Yoongi hard cock.
Yoongi finds the situation both ridiculous and oddly exciting.

He has parked the car on the parking lot behind an empty, closed down shop on the outskirts. There are no people around which is good for them, because this wasn’t planned – Yoongi had expected them to drive to his apartment, which was their initial plan, but then Jimin got too impatient and then Yoongi, too, so he just thought Fuck it, and here they are.

Jimin climbs on the passenger seat and for a split second, Yoongi wants to complain, but then Jimin lowers his head and Yoongi can feel his lips around the tip of his cock and fuck.
Yoongi isn’t even capable of saying anything as Jimin circles his tongue around the tip and then lowers his head more and more. He’s going to suffocate, Yoongi thinks, but nothing happens. Luckily.

Jimin wraps his hand and around what he can’t reach with his mouth and then bobs his head up and down. Yoongi hisses.
“Damn,” he gasps when Jimin uses his tongue and runs his hands through Jimin’s hair, accidentally grips it and pulls it once the pleasure becomes too much.
“This feels good, you’re doing so good,” Yoongi praises him. Jimin whimpers. That sound alone makes Yoongi’s head fall back.

“Fuck.”

He isn’t sure how long he will last if Jimin keeps doing that, he taps Jimin’s shoulder and then cups his chin, pulling him up.
“Hey, hey, baby… You’re doing so well,” he whispers and kisses Jimin.
Once they break apart, Yoongi isn’t able to take his eyes off Jimin’s thick lips.
His pretty, pretty red lips.

“Come here, yeah?” Yoongi pulls Jimin on his lap, kisses his forehead, then slowly takes off his panties. They struggle a bit, again – the car isn’t really spacious.
“Yoongi,” is all that Jimin can whimper.

They have sex, then, in Yoongi’s car, and Jimin accidentally hits the horn three times. They laugh it off and hope no one hears them.
When Jimin comes he looks so pretty and so hot, his head thrown back, his eyes shut, and his mouth open for a soundless moan, Yoongi himself has to hold back a moan.
And because they are both in desperate need of affection (not that either of them would admit that (at least not Yoongi)) they cuddle on the backseat afterwards.
Jimin’s head is resting on Yoongi’s chest, his fingers are tracing the outlines of the tattoos.
Yoongi just holds him close and kisses the top of his head every now and then.

“You alright?” he asks. Jimin nods. “Yeah. You?”

“Kind of exhausted.”

Jimin chuckles. “Me too.”

He tilts his head a bit; his lips brush against Yoongi’s skin.

“I met Taehyung today, while you were still busy.”

Yoongi smiles. “And? You two get along well?”
Jimin nods. “I think so. We talked about Jeongguk.”
Yoongi hesitates and frowns. “What about Jeongguk?” he asks, pressing another kiss against Jimin’s temple.
Jimin smiles sweetly.

“Oh, nothing. Nothing that should bother you.”

~

Taehyung doesn’t know if it really was the best idea to exchange numbers with Jimin.
Okay, no, wait – Jimin is great, he is a sweet person and Taehyung feels comfortable around him which is probably the most important thing.
But Taehyung didn’t expect to end up like this on a Monday night, in the middle of a club surrounded by drunk strangers and sweaty bodies, Jimin somewhere lost in the crowd, already too wasted to care about Taehyung.

It started out so well, they met after university, got lunch together, talked – of course, about the Jeongguk topic as well as the Yoongi topic.
Taehyung got to know Jimin a little bit better and he was actually enjoying spending time with him.
But Jimin eventually suggested they could go to this one club that he’d always wanted to go to but never had the time for.
And Taehyung, stupid how he is, agreed.

For the fourth time since they have entered the club he thinks about leaving. Not that Jimin would notice, honestly. But Taehyung is a good person and he knows he has to take care of Jimin.
So all that he can really do is stand by the bar and nip at his cocktail which is, and he made sure of that, not high in alcohol content.
It tastes okay, though not good enough to not make Taehyung regret spending money on it.
But maybe it’s just his rather annoyed mood that makes him so negative.
He likes parties, that’s not it. He just really doesn’t want to be here now, and he knows he could have a lot more fun if he could get drunk as well.
But oh well.

“Hey – Hey Taehyung!” he hears someone shout.
Taehyung turns his head and sees Jimin stumble towards him, a huge grin on his lips.
“Hey,” Taehyung says, “Are you alright?”
“I’m great.” Jimin leans against the bar and leans his head back. He closes his eyes for a second and Taehyung can see the smudged make up on his face.

“Why are you not having fun?”

“I’m having great fun,” Taehyung says and takes a sip of his cocktail, “Why, aren’t you?”
“You’re frowning, you don’t look happy,” Jimin notices, ignoring Taehyung’s question.

“Should we go somewhere else?”

“Whatever you want.”

“I know a place we can go to,” Jimin slurs. He sets down the glass he’s holding, then takes Taehyung’s and sets it down as well. He takes Taehyung’s hand and intertwines their fingers and starts pulling him through the crowd.
“Where are we going?” Taehyung asks, but Jimin doesn’t answer.
They leave the club, and for a second, Taehyung is grateful. The air outside is warm, but much cooler than inside the club, and he feels like he can breathe again.
Jimin continues to pull him down the street. “Come on, Jimin,” Taehyung whines, “Tell me where we’re going.”
“It’s a surprise,” Jimin giggles. He sways to his left and Taehyung has to reach out to steady him.

“You’re too drunk.”

“Am not. You’re just too sober.”

“What is that even supposed to mean?”

“Shut up and follow me.”

And so Taehyung does.

They walk down the street for a while, past small groups of people standing on the sidewalk and parked cars and shops and light posts.
Jimin sometimes mumbles something inaudible, followed by a giggle, but Taehyung doesn’t think he wants to know what Jimin has just said.
They arrive at a familiar place, then.

“Jimin, no,” Taehyung says as they stop in front of the tattoo shop.

“Jimin yes.”

“Shut up, I’m not going in there.”

“Why not? I want a tattoo. We can get friendship tattoos.”

“I haven’t even known you for five days. I’m not getting a friendship tattoo now.”

“What? Aren’t we friends, Taetae?” Jimin pouts. Taehyung sighs and rolls his eyes.
“Sure we are. But – there won’t even be anyone in there, it says that the shop closes at 10 –“

“Oh, don’t worry, Yoongi is usually still here at a time like that. The sign says open.”

And before Taehyung can stop him, Jimin has pushed open the door and is dragging Taehyung into the parlor.
At first Taehyung thinks no one is there. It is dark and quiet.
But then, he sees the light coming from the backroom. “Hello?” Jimin shouts. Taehyung winces and pulls his hand from his grip.
Before Taehyung can tell Jimin to shut up he spots Yoongi leaving the backroom.

Followed by Jeongguk, much to Taehyung’s horror.

“Oh,” Yoongi says, “What are you doing here?”
“Good evening,” Jimin says with a huge grin. He sways, Taehyung grabs his shoulders to steady him; Yoongi probably realizes that Jimin is drunk.
He looks at Taehyung, and so does Jeongguk. Taehyung ducks his head.
“I want to get a tattoo. Together with Taehyungie, actually,” Jimin announces and pats Taehyung’s chest.
Taehyung just shakes his head, keeping his eyes locked with Yoongi’s.
“A tattoo?” Yoongi repeats. Jimin nods.

“Yes, please.”

“The shop is already closed,” Jeongguk says, staring at Taehyung.
Taehyung opens his mouth, but Jimin is quick to interrupt him.
“I know, but I thought that Yoongi hyung would be kind enough to tattoo me. That’s right, isn’t it?” Jimin takes a few unsteady steps towards Yoongi and giggles when Yoongi wraps his arms around his waist.

“It would make Jiminie really happy.”

Taehyung is sure Jimin is trying to sound cute and sexy at the same time, but he fails miserably. Taehyung cringes.
“Yeah, come on, sit down there for a second,” Yoongi says and helps Jimin to walk over to the couch where the younger plops down.
“I’m not going to tattoo him while he is drunk,” Yoongi tells Taehyung.

“He’s gonna regret it tomorrow, that’s for sure.”

“I didn’t tell him to come here,” Taehyung replies, “I don’t think it’s a good idea either.”
“Then why didn’t you stop him?” Jeongguk asks. Taehyung glances at him.
“Take him home,” Yoongi says and crosses his arms, eyeing Jimin contemplatively.

“He needs to sleep. It’s late, you two have class tomorrow, right?”

“You shouldn’t have come here in the first place,” Jeongguk murmurs. Taehyung shoots another glimpse at him.
“Do you know where he lives? I can call you a taxi,” Yoongi offers, but Taehyung shakes his head.

“It’s fine, I’ll manage it.”

Jeongguk huffs and both Taehyung and Yoongi look at him.

“Who even gets drunk on a Monday night? You should’ve looked out for him –“

“Could you please shut up?” Taehyung snaps. Jeongguk clenches his jaw.
“I didn’t tell him to come here and I’m sorry we disturbed whatever you two were doing, won’t happen again.” Taehyung grabs Jimin’s hand and carefully pulls him up.
“Come on, we’re going home now. Sorry to have bothered you.” The latter is directed at Jeongguk, and Jeongguk knows, he knows that Taehyung is mad.
“I want a tattoo,” Jimin whines.
“You can get one once you’re sober enough, yeah?” Taehyung says. With one hand he is trying to fish his phone out of his pocket, with the other arm he steadies Jimin as they walk towards the door.

“Wait,” Jeongguk says.

Taehyung thinks he’s misheard him. He stops.

“My place is closer. Let’s go there.”

Taehyung must be dreaming.
Jeongguk walks up to him and wraps his arm around Jimin’s other shoulder to help Taehyung holding him up.
“You don’t –“ Taehyung starts, but Jeongguk shuts him up with a glare.
“I know,” he says, and that’s it.
They leave the parlor, get into Jeongguk’s car and drive to his apartment in silence.

~

“Lay him down there,” Jeongguk says and points at the couch. Taehyung nods.
Jeongguk closes the door and walks over into his kitchen. He gets a glass and fills it with water.
When he returns, Jimin is already asleep.
“Damn,” he murmurs, putting the glass on the table.

“How much did he drink?”

“I don’t know,” Taehyung replies with a shrug.
“I think he just drank too fast. I should’ve taken better care of him.”

Jeongguk feels a sting in his chest. He knows that No, it’s not your fault. What I said earlier was bullshit and I’m sorry for it, is what he should say.
“Yeah, probably,” is what he says instead. Taehyung wraps his arms around his own waist, staring at Jimin.
Jeongguk sighs and grabs one of the fluffy blankets hanging over the backrest, then he gives it to Taehyung.
“Take care of your friend,” is all he says before turning around and walking over into his bedroom, shutting the door behind himself.
Jeongguk exhales deeply.

Fuck.

He sits down on his bed and rubs his face. What has he done? He is supposed to be mad at Taehyung and they’re not supposed to talk, moreover is he not supposed to stay at Jeongguk’s place.
He sighs and stares at the wall. “Wow, Jeongguk,” he murmurs, “You’re such a dumbass.”

It doesn’t take Taehyung long to finish taking care of his friend. There is a knock on the door, Jeongguk says, “Come in!” rather reluctantly.
Taehyung opens the door and peeks into the room.
“Hey,” he says. Jeongguk looks at him until Taehyung slips into the room and closes the door.
“Uh… Jimin is asleep,” he says.

“I know.”

“Yeah. Just… wanted to tell you.” Taehyung fiddles with his fingers and sways back and forth. He doesn’t meet Jeongguk’s eyes.
“Sit down here,” Jeongguk sighs. It makes him nervous when Taehyung’s just standing there.
Taehyung glances at him. “Oh no,” he stammers, “I’m gonna head home now. I don’t want to bother you any longer.”
Jeongguk frowns. “And what, you’re gonna let your friend stay here alone? No way. I’m not going to take care of him tomorrow.”
That is a lie and they both know it.

Jeongguk pats the mattress next to him and Taehyung takes a few hesitant steps towards him, then sits down.
It’s quiet.
Jeongguk nibbles at his bottom lip.

Fuck, he is supposed to be mad at Taehyung for lying to him and ignoring him, they are friends after all, or at least that’s what Jeongguk thinks they are.
And friends don’t lie to each other for no apparent reason, and they don’t just ignore each other.
Maybe Taehyung has his reasons, and maybe Jeongguk would understand them, but he would have to ask, and honestly – Jeongguk is a proud little shit, he is well aware of that, so he won’t ask. Either Taehyung’s going to tell him or they’re just never going to talk agai –

“I’m sorry.”

Jeongguk halts. Then, he squints his eyes and glances at Taehyung.
Taehyung inhales deeply. “I’m sorry,” he repeats, “for ignoring you. That was pretty shitty of me.”
Jeongguk looks down at his hands and shrugs. “It was, yeah.”
“I don’t even know,” Taehyung stops and looks up at the ceiling, “I don’t even remember why I did it. Isn’t that weird?”
Jeongguk shrugs again. “Sounds like a lame excuse to me.”

“It’s not,” Taehyung says.

“Don’t bullshit me. We’re friends.”

Taehyung opens his mouth. Closes it. Opens it again.
“We are,” he mumbles.

“Why did you lie to me?” Jeongguk asks, trying to sound as casual as possible.
“I –“ Taehyung starts, then he buries his face in his hands and groans.
“Fuck, that girl. You remember her? The girl you were with?”
Jeongguk averts his gaze. “Sooyoung,” he says.
“We were supposed to get dinner,” Taehyung tells him.
“We always get dinner on Fridays and you even asked me where I wanted to go and I – Namjoon and I knew that there was something happening between the two of you, Jeongguk, there are no doors, there are curtains. They aren’t necessarily soundproof.”

Jeongguk feels the heat rush to his face.
“I’m not mad at you for sleeping with Sooyoung,” Taehyung continues after a short break, “Hell, do whatever you want. But… not on Fridays. Not on that one day we always have plans for, yeah?”
Jeongguk nods slowly.
“I shouldn’t have ignored you or lied to you or whatever. But I didn’t know what to do.”
He takes a shaky breath in. Jeongguk glances at him.
“She was just a one-time thing,” he tells Taehyung, “Nothing more. And you’re my friend. Don’t worry about some random girl.”
He wonders when Taehyung has become so protective.
“I know, I’m sorry. I can be really stupid at times,” Taehyung says with a sigh and tugs at the sleeves of his sweater.

“Don’t be mad at me, yeah? I promise, it won’t happen again.”

Jeongguk keeps his eyes on Taehyung’s face. He looks at his lips.

“Okay.”

He taps against his own knee, then he gets up.
“I’m gonna buy you dinner this Friday, deal?” he suggests. Taehyung cracks a little smile.

“Sounds good.”

“I’m not mad.”

“Okay. Where are you going?”

Jeongguk has taken a few steps towards the door. He throws a glance at Taehyung over his shoulder.
“I’m gonna get you a glass of water now.”

Taehyung’s smile grows. “Thanks.”

Jeongguk walks into the kitchen, gets a glass and fills it with water.
There are little snores coming from the living room, from Jimin.
When he returns to his room, Taehyung is curled up on one side of the bed, fast asleep.
A smile tugs at Jeongguk’s lips and for one second, he allows it to show.

He walks over to the bed, puts the glass of water on the nightstand and tucks Taehyung in. Then, he stays there, just staring at the sleeping boy.
There is a weird feeling in Jeongguk’s chest. It calms him down, watching Taehyung sleep.
Jeongguk blinks, then he quickly takes off his shirt and his jeans and slips underneath the covers next to Taehyung.
He wants to turn away, so he isn’t facing Taehyung, but he can’t; something inside of him tells him that watching Taehyung, staring at him, at his pouty lips and his rosy cheeks is the right thing to do. Even though it makes his heart clench.

He thinks about Taehyung’s words again, about his voice and how hurt he sounded. Hurt because Jeongguk had sex with another girl.
Jeongguk rolls over on his back and stares at the ceiling.
The sensation in his chest is heavy, feels suffocating.
He’s had that before. He still remembers it; but it wasn’t with Taehyung lying next to him.
It was when he was holding a girl in his arms, kissing the top of her head and watching her sleep peacefully.
For a second, Jeongguk allows himself to wonder if it was possible for him to feel something like that for Taehyung.
He frowns. No, that is absurd. It can’t be, he knows that. Taehyung and he are friends, have been for a while now. Jeongguk knows that thoughts like that come and go and they don’t mean anything. He is still young, he is allowed to imagine.

Jeongguk sleeps with his back facing Taehyung that night.

~

When Taehyung and Jimin leave the next day, Jeongguk tries to ignore the tugging feeling in his chest. He succeeds, for now.

~

Jimin does not know how he has survived class.

Luckily, his professor and his classmates left him alone but then, he just had to be reminded that there is an essay due in two days and Jimin hasn’t even started. Jimin is sure that he isn’t going to start today either, not with the pounding headache that’s been torturing him all day long.
Once class ended, he hurried outside and now, he is standing at the bus stop in front of the university, along with too many other people that Jimin usually doesn’t mind but today, today he minds them a bit too much.

He knows that it’s warm, yet he is freezing –although he is wearing a sweater.
His outfit is a desperate try to make it look like he as everything together. His sweater is pink, not too baggy, and he is even wearing fishnet tights underneath his boyfriend jeans.
He is not wearing any makeup, though, which kind of contradicts his plan not to look too hungover (which he is, so, yeah – ).

To put it short, Jimin is a mess.

He closes his eyes for a short moment and presses his books a bit harder to his chest. The sun is way to bright for his liking, and he just wants to be home and sleep.
Just sleep, and take some aspirin.
Why did he decide to get drunk on a Monday again? Jimin doesn’t remember, and he isn’t sure if he really wants to. He knows that he was with Taehyung, and this morning he woke up at a place he’s never been to before – Jeongguk’s apartment, apparently. But everything that happened in between is gone.
Jimin didn’t ask any questions this morning, too busy focusing on not dying and then getting to his own apartment as fast as possible because shit, he was late for class and he was stinking and still wearing the same clothes as the day before and his face was covered in smudged makeup.
Somehow, Jimin managed to take a shower in less than five minutes and then get dressed and gather all his stuff before leaving his apartment ten minutes later than usual.
He didn’t even have time for breakfast. Now it is past two already, and he still hasn’t eaten anything.

His stomach growls.

Jimin glances up at the schedule display and frowns. Great, fucking great, his bus was supposed to be here five minutes ago, and although that isn’t even that much time, to Jimin it feels like ages.
Just when Jimin feels like luck has left him today, his phone vibrates with an incoming call.
He sighs and glances at the display.

Yoongi

Jimin raises his eyebrows, then he picks up.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Jimin… it’s Yoongi.”

“Yeah, I know.” Jimin glances around to check if his bus is coming.
“Everything alright?”

“That’s what I wanted to ask you,” Yoongi chuckles, “You were pretty drunk yesterday.”

Jimin groans. “Don’t remind me. My head still hurts.” He sighs, then halts. “Wait, how do you even know?”

“Oh.” Yoongi sounds amused.
“You may or may not have spent us a little visit at the tattoo parlor yesterday.”

All of a sudden, Jimin feels even cooler.
”What?” he gasps, “Don’t tell me that’s true.”

“It is.”

“What the fuck…” Jimin throws his head back.
“I was embarrassing, wasn’t I?”

“Kind of.”

“Someone kill me, please.” Then, before Yoongi can say anything, Jimin adds, “Not that my headache isn’t already doing a great job at that.”
Yoongi chuckles. “Where are you?” he asks.

“At the bus stop, waiting for my bus that just decided not to come today, because making me suffer seems to be fun.”

“Alright, I’m picking you up.”

Jimin’s eyes widen. “What? No! You don’t have to –“

“I want to, now shut up, I’m on my way.”

Then, Yoongi hangs up. Jimin lowers his phone with a huff.
“Unbelievable.”

Yoongi arrives shortly after Jimin’s bus does, but Jimin doesn’t mind. He gets into the car and closes his eyes with a groan once they start driving again.

“I’m never gonna drink anything ever again.”
“… he said and got drunk not even a week after,” Yoongi says. Jimin glares at him.

“Shut up.”

Yoongi smiles. “How’re you doing? Besides the headache.”
“I’m tired. I just…” He stretches his back, “wanna get home and sleep and never wake up again.”
“Wow,” Yoongi mumbles, “Park Jimin has one beer and this is the result.”
“Shut up!” Jimin exclaims, hitting Yoongi against the shoulder, “I’m not a lightweight! You’ve never seen me drink.”
“Yeah, yeah, baby,” Yoongi chuckles, “Whatever you say.”

Jimin is blushing too hard at the nickname to send Yoongi another glare.
“I’m not a lightweight,” he just says again, crossing his arms with a pout.
He sits up straight after a short while, looking out of the window.

“Hyung,” he says, “We’re not – I don’t live here.”
Yoongi laughs. “I know, silly. I do.”

“Yeah,” Jimin says, “But I don’t –“

“I’m gonna take care of you,” Yoongi states casually, yet it sends a shiver down Jimin’s spine as it makes him remember another time Yoongi used that statement.

I’m going to take care of you.
Oh, and how he did.
But this time it is meant in an innocent, friendly way, Jimin knows it.

“Oh,” Jimin quickly says, “Spontaneous plans, I don’t mind.”
He doesn’t. He won’t ever, not if it involves Yoongi.

~

Yoongi has a studio apartment. Industrial style, Jimin realizes, and he loves it.
Not too big, not too small. Just perfect.
The bed is standing in the left corner, hidden by a bookshelf in front of which the couch and the TV are standing. The dining table is standing in the middle of the room, the kitchen area is on the right.
Most of the furniture is dark, yet the whole room seems pretty light due to the many windows covering one of the walls.
Jimin smiles.

“It’s a bit messy,” Yoongi says.
“Shut up,” Jimin replies and rolls his eyes, “You said that about your car as well. Where is the mess you’re talking about?”
Yoongi chuckles. “The kitchen’s not cleaned up.”

“Oh no, you dirty little man.”

They take off their shoes. Jimin lets himself plop down on the couch with a sigh and leans his head back.
“I’m so exhausted I could sleep for a whole month straight.”
Yoongi glances at him. “Go ahead then. Are these clothes even comfy?” he asks and walks over to the kitchen.
Jimin peeks down at himself.
“Uh, I guess?”

No, he wants to say, At least not when I’m trying to live through a hangover.
Yoongi eyes him critically. He gets Jimin a glass of water and an aspirin – ”You’re literally saving my life right now, hyung.” – then he walks over to his wardrobe.
Jimin swallows the pill, closes his eyes, leans his head back.
His eyes snap open again when he feels something hit his chest.

“Here,” Yoongi says, “Get changed.”
Jimin looks down at his lap. A green hoodie, grey sweatpants.
“The green is gonna look awful with my hair,” Jimin mumbles. Yoongi playfully glares at him.

“Don’t be a brat.”

“Okay.”

Jimin gets up with a sigh and starts undressing – he doesn’t even think about Yoongi standing right in front of him, doesn’t notice the faint blush flashing over his cheeks.
After all, they have already done so much more than getting undressed in front of each other, have been much more intimate.
Jimin also doesn’t think about the fact that he is wearing panties again because that happens more often than he’d like to admit, it’s normal for him, but it makes Yoongi turn away and mumble a quick, “I’m gonna get some snacks,” before hurrying away with his head down.

Yoongi’s clothes are a little bit baggy and long, but Jimin doesn’t mind; he feels oddly comfortable wearing them, and when he looks down at himself and tries to stretch his arms, so his hands are peeping out of the sleeves, he realizes that his purple nail polish does not look too bad with the dark green color of the hoodie. He smiles a little.
When Yoongi returns, he is also wearing sweatpants, but they’re short, ending right above his knee.
Yoongi has pretty knees, Jimin notices, although it is a weird thing to think.

He sits back down on the couch, watching Yoongi open a bag of chips and pour the content into a large bowl; there’s also chocolate and a small bowl with soup.
“What’s that for?” Jimin asks with a frown. Yoongi chuckles.

“You’re hungover, you need to eat.”

He turns on the TV, puts on a movie, then sits down next to Jimin. Right next to him.
Jimin grabs the bowl with soup and starts eating. Almost automatically, Yoongi wraps an arm around Jimin’s shoulder, and neither of them says anything about it, thinks it’s weird.

“Is that a horror movie?” he asks, eyes glued to the TV.
“A trashy horror movie,” Yoongi corrects, “More funny than scary, don’t worry.”
Jimin glances at him. He doesn’t mention that he is absolutely chicken-hearted and even a trashy horror movie could be enough to scare him endlessly; instead, he huffs and leans his head against Yoongi’s shoulder.

“I’m not worried.”

“Good.” Yoongi lays and arm around Jimin’s shoulder, even pulls him a bit closer.
They sit like that, half-cuddling, and Jimin barely gets to eat his soup because Yoongi’s scent is so distracting.
But this is perfect. Jimin can slowly feel his headache disappear as the aspirin starts to work, and the tension in his muscles fades away.
Yoongi was right; the movie is not scary at all, and Jimin finds himself laughing a bit too hard at the characters’ dumbness and the predictability of the plot. Yoongi grins every time he laughs.

“Feeling a bit better?” Yoongi mumbles. Jimin hums.

“A bit. But not well enough to go home and actually do stuff.”

“Sure.”

Their hands are intertwined, and it feels nice. Jimin wonders what part of Friends with Benefits this belongs to – the Friends or the Benefits.
But he decides that this question shouldn’t bother him, and he should just enjoy the moment, right next to Yoongi, watching trashy horror movies not even Jimin is scared of.
Jimin turns his head a bit until his lips brush against Yoongi’s jaw. Without averting his gaze from the TV screen, he starts pressing soft kisses on Yoongi’s skin. Yoongi’s breath hitches.

“What’re you doing there, Minnie?” he asks. His low voice along with the nickname make Jimin shiver.
“Nothin’,” Jimin mumbles. He shifts until his is kneeling and cups Yoongi’s face, then he continues kissing Yoongi’s jaw and his neck.

He doesn’t know what’s gotten into him, he just feels like it, feels like being affectionate without any further intentions. And with Yoongi, it feels easy. Effortless. Right.
Yoongi stays still for another few seconds, then he carefully rests his hands on Jimin’s hips, and just when Jimin thinks that Yoongi is going to push him away now and tell him to stop, he pulls Jimin down until he is sitting on Yoongi’s lap.

Before Jimin is able to look at Yoongi, Yoongi has leaned forward and presses his lips to Jimin’s.
Jimin smiles. He doesn’t hesitate to kiss back, his small fingers curling around the back of Yoongi’s neck.
It should surprise him that this doesn’t seem to be weird or feel bad. It is, in fact, the very contrary; Jimin isn’t uncomfortable, he is not sure whether this feels right or not, but what he can say is that he likes it. It feels good and Jimin doesn’t want to stop, so he figures it’s okay.
That’s what this whole Friends with Benefits thing involves, too, right? Kissing. It’s not the first time they’ve done it, they kiss while they have sex and before and after as well. Kissing is not that big of a thing.

“You’re so tense,” Yoongi mumbles against his lips. Jimin hums.
“Sorry,” he says and presses his lips harder against Yoongi’s. Yoongi chuckles.

“Your head’s okay?”

“Mhm.”

Yoongi’s hands run up and down Jimin’s back, slip underneath his shirt, explore his skin for a while and then, he starts to massage Jimin.
Jimin winces; it hurts a bit, but it also feels very, very good.
Yoongi keeps on kissing him at first, but Jimin is unable to kiss him back, Yoongi’s hands on his tense back just feel too good, and he loses himself in the relaxing sensation that washes over him.

Yoongi chuckles and leans back.
“Good?” he asks. Jimin just hums lowly in response.
His eyes are closed, and he knows that his face probably looks weird, but what he didn’t expect was for Yoongi to groan and then to lean forward and press soft, then hungry kisses all over his neck.

“Don’t stop,” Jimin whimpers once Yoongi’s hands come to a halt on his back.
“Fuck,” Yoongi hisses, nudging his nose against Jimin’s jaw, “Fuck, you look so… so –“
Jimin’s eyes snap open. So what, he thinks, What do I look like?
“So?” Jimin asks. He softly kisses Yoongi’s cheek. Tell me.
“So good. You look so pretty, Jiminie.”

Jimin feels his lips curl up into a satisfied grin. “Thank you,” he mumbles.
He tries to ignore that his cheeks heat up.
“And you’re so soft, God, I didn’t know guys could look good in fucking fishnet tights…” Yoongi continues and nibbles at Jimin’s skin. Jimin lets out a breathy laugh and throws his head back. His eyes flutter shut.

“But apparently they can. And makeup. You look so pretty in makeup.”

“’m not wearing any today.”

“I know. You still look pretty, with or without. Doesn’t matter.”

Yoongi lets go of Jimin’s neck where Jimin is sure he’ll find a purple hickey once he’ll look in the mirror, and stares intently at Jimin’s face.
“Does anyone ever tell you how pretty you are, Jiminie?” Yoongi asks. His voice is almost nothing more than a whisper.
Jimin feels himself blushing. No, no, he can’t stop seeming to be casual about it, about these things Yoongi tells him, can’t show how much they mean to him.
“Uh,” Jimin makes, “Maybe? I don’t… know… not really.” He sighs and looks at Yoongi’s bookshelf.

“Most people think I look ridiculous, I guess. A boy wearing makeup. Pink clothes. Girls clothes.” Jimin lets out a huff and shrugs. When he looks back into Yoongi’s eyes, he thinks there’s something that has changed, something in his look.

“But it’s okay!” Jimin quickly adds, just because he doesn’t want to upset Yoongi, “It’s fine, I’m over it.”
“You don’t believe what they say, right?” Yoongi asks. Jimin shakes his head.
“Good. That’s good. Don’t believe the bullshit they’re telling you.”

His eyes are locked with Jimin’s for another few moments, then he leans forward and softly kisses him on the lips.
Jimin wonders if Yoongi is going to tell him how pretty he is again, and a part of him wants that, needs to hear the praise.
But then he figures that Yoongi doesn’t need to do that, and that his actions are louder than words.
Another part of Jimin, though, realizes that it’s not Yoongi’s job to make him compliments since they’re not in a relationship, they’re friends, maybe, friends with benefits, although Jimin is sure that the benefits part is a lot bigger than friends (He tries to ignore the way that his heart clenches at that, doesn’t want to admit how sad it really makes him).

They don’t have sex that day, and Jimin is grateful. He feels drained and exhausted and it seems like Yoongi notices that, so they spend the rest of the day watching movies (not only horror movies, luckily) and eating unhealthy food and Jimin sometimes complains about how shitty he feels.
It’s perfect that way.

(They cuddle, of course, the whole time, and their fingers are intertwined, too. They also kiss, not only once, and for that, Jimin is grateful, too.)

(And the fact that Yoongi doesn’t bring up Jimin’s little visit at the tattoo parlor the night before. Jimin will have to ask Taehyung about that one, soon.)

~

Jeongguk promised to invite Taehyung to dinner on Friday, and now it’s Friday, so here Taehyung is, sitting on the couch in the tattoo parlor, waiting for the monotone buzzing of the tattoo machine to finally stop.

Minho is curled up against his left leg and Taehyung lazily pets him, while throwing glances at Yoongi who is leaning over the counter every now and then.
He squints his eyes – there’s something on Yoongi’s neck, and Taehyung’s been trying to get a better look at it for the past minute or so. And then:

Min Yoongi!”

Yoongi frowns at him. “What?”

“Is that a hickey on your neck?”

Yoongi rolls his eyes. “It is a Mind your own fucking business.”
If Yoongi tries to be intimidating, then Taehyung can confirm that he is really not. But maybe he’s just gotten used to Yoongi’s grumpiness and it doesn’t impress him anymore.

He gets up and steps closer, tilting his head to get a better view of Yoongi’s neck. Yoongi glances at him, then scrunches his nose up and presses his hand to the side of his neck, right on the hickey.
He knows exactly what Taehyung is talking about.

“Who the hell gave you that one?” Taehyung asks.
“Why the fuck do you sound so surprised?” Yoongi shoots back, “I do have a love life, yeah?”
Taehyung thinks and squints his eyes. “But who –“
Then, something clicks inside his brain and it all starts to make sense.

“Jimin…”

Yoongi’s head shoots up and he looks alarmed, but his face relaxes a bit when he sees the amused smile on Taehyung’s lips.
“It was Jimin, right? Oh my God,” Taehyung exclaims with a wide grin, “It really was!”
“Shut the fuck up,” Yoongi murmurs, “No need to get all excited over it.” He bits down on his bottom lip.

“Min Yoongi and Park Jimin, this feels like a movie.”

“How do you even know?” Yoongi then asks.
Taehyung shrugs. “Jimin told me you hooked up once, and I know that you met again after that, yeah, don’t even try to pretend – I just figured it was him. And, well, you confirmed it, didn’t you?”
Yoongi’s face falls a bit. Then he groans and buries his face in his hands.
Yes, it was Jimin. Happy?”

“Very,” Taehyung giggles. After Jimin told him that he and Yoongi had hooked up, he didn’t think that it ever happened again. Apparently, he was wrong.
“So, is that a thing now? Between the two of you, I mean,” Taehyung asks and leans against the counter.
Yoongi murmurs something inaudible, then he sighs.

“Why do you even care?” he asks, but Taehyung can hear that he is close to giving up.

“Why not? Jimin is my friend now, too, and I want to make sure you treat him right.”

“What about me?” Yoongi says, but when Taehyung only raises his eyebrows and gives him a doubting look he sighs.
“If you really want to know – fine.” He throws one last glare at Taehyung.

“We’ve had sex for a few times now, and we’re both okay with it. Is that what you wanted to hear?”

Taehyung grins and nods, and Yoongi rolls his eyes. “You’re unbelievable, I hope you know that.”

“I do. Go on, tell me more.”

Yoongi sighs again, even more dramatic this time. “There’s nothing else to tell.”

“When did you see him the last time?”

Maybe Taehyung sounds too curious, but he really doesn’t care.

“On Tuesday. Picked him up from university when he was hungover.”

“Aww,” Taehyung coos, “You two are like a couple!”
“Shut up!” Yoongi hisses again and glares at him, “We’re friends, that’s all.”

“Friends don’t have sex regularly.”

“Well, we’re special.” Then, he quietly adds, “We didn’t even have sex on Tuesday.”
Taehyung just smiles. Even though he likes to tease his hyung, he is happy for him and for Jimin, as long as they’re happy, too. It simply shows him that not all relationships necessarily have to come with many problems. Like Jeongguk and mine,, he adds in his thoughts.

“I hope you treat him well,” Taehyung says a bit more serious, “He deserves the world and, although I doubt you can give him that –“ “Yah, shut up!” “– I do think you need someone like him in your life. You seem to get along well.” He nods slowly as if to confirm his own words.
“And, well, keep up whatever thing you have going on as long as you’re both okay with the way things are, yeah?” And with that, Taehyung sends him a careful but dunning glance, trying his best to read Yoongi’s expression, but failing as he does so often.
“Sure,” Yoongi says with a shrug and looks down at the surface of the counter, “I’m okay with it.”
Then, he takes a deep breath in and adds, “Jimin’s great, y’know.”

One of the curtains opens and Jeongguk steps out, followed by a man and a woman. They don’t look Asian, and they talk English. Taehyung wishes he could understand more, but they speak way too fast for his liking. He steps aside to make space in front of the counter and watches them as they pay, thank Jeongguk and then leave the parlor.

Taehyung turns to Jeongguk. “Can we leave?” he asks.
Jeongguk is wearing all black today, Taehyung notices. His shirt is a bit tight around his biceps, but it’s short-sleeved and therefore shows his tattoos. His skinny jeans are ripped at the knees and he wears black Timberlands – goddamn you, Jeon Jeongguk, it’s summer outside.
But Jeongguk has never really cared about that.

Taehyung realizes he has been staring when Jeongguk looks up at him from where he has been staring at his phone. He blinks and smiles, pretends it was nothing.
“Uh,” Jeongguk makes and takes a glance at the book calendar.
“Yeah, I’m free now. I’ll go get my jacket, wait.”

He walks into the backroom and Taehyung waits. His heart is beating heavily.
Fuck, he thinks, Fuck, fuck fuck fuck –
Jeongguk returns, looking like always, and Taehyung forces himself to keep a straight face.
“Where do you wanna go?” Jeongguk asks as they walk towards the door, throwing his jacket over one shoulder.
Taehyung glances at his arms.

“There’s this take-away place a classmate told me about,” he says. Jeongguk chuckles, opens the door and they leave the shop and start walking down the sidewalk.
Taehyung is grateful that it is summer, not only because it’s always warm, but because he likes the weather in general, and the clear sky as well. It’s a special kind of atmosphere that is outside, and Taehyung wishes it would last all year round.

“Take-away, always take-away. What about real food for once? You don’t have to worry about the money, I can afford it,” Jeongguk says and opens his car. They get inside, he starts the engine.
“I’m not! But going to fancy restaurants… that’s not my thing. I wouldn’t even know where to go to.”
Taehyung almost props his feet up on the dashboard, but quickly decides against it. It’s just a small thing, and maybe Jeongguk wouldn’t even say anything, but he doesn’t want to risk anything.
And Jeongguk says nothing, so Taehyung keeps his legs down.
“I know places,” Jeongguk says, “I’m going to take you out to one of them, one day, yeah?”
If Jeongguk realizes how easy it is to misunderstand his words, then he is really good at pretending not to.
Taehyung inhales sharply. His heart is too loud for his liking.

“Yeah, one day, when I’m not a broke art student anymore,” he huffs and prays, prays to God that Jeongguk doesn’t notice how shaky his voice has gotten.
But it is Jeon Jeongguk that’s sitting next to him, and Jeon Jeongguk is obliviousness in person.
Jeongguk chuckles.

Taehyung glances at him. The sun is close to setting, and the sky turns a pretty light blue and orange.
Jeongguk looks so, so pretty in this light, Taehyung wishes he could pull out his phone and take a picture of him.
He considers that; it would be weird, sure thing, but they’re friends, and he can’t not do anything anymore just because of this stupid crush, that would be suspicious, too, and it’s just a photo.

But even if he didn’t have a crush on him, he is sure that no camera on this earth could capture Jeongguk’s beauty quite fairly. Just… yeah.

Taehyung hesitates and considers for a little longer, then he quickly pulls out his phone, opens the camera app and takes a photo.
By the time Jeongguk realizes it’s already too late.
“Hey!” he complains and slaps Taehyung’s thigh. Taehyung laughs.
“Don’t take a picture of me!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Taehyung giggles.
Jeongguk huffs and glares at him. “Fuck you,” he says, “Delete it.”
But he doesn’t sound serious, so Taehyung just sticks his tongue out and puts his phone away.
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to show anyone.” He can see that Jeongguk is trying really hard not to smile as well.

They’re both quiet again and for a while, Taehyung doesn’t look at Jeongguk. Instead, he tries to concentrate on the houses and people they’re driving past, and on the sky.
But when he does look at Jeongguk again, he regrets it immediately because he is overcome by the sudden urge to reach out and comb his fingers through Jeongguk’s hair. It looks so soft, so fluffy, and God, he sees the soft blush on Jeongguk’s cheek and he just wants to touch him.
Taehyung has to force himself to look away again, so he doesn’t do anything stupid. Even stupider than taking a photo of Jeongguk.
“We’re there,” Jeongguk says eventually and stops in a parking lot. Taehyung takes a deep breath in.

“Okay.”

Jeongguk looks at him with furrowed eyebrows. Taehyung doesn’t like that look, not one bit. He looks concerned, and once Jeongguk is concerned he’s not going to let lose.
“What?” he asks, a bit snappier than usually.
“No, that’s what I was going to ask you,” Jeongguk says, “Why are you so quiet?”
Okay, maybe he is not that oblivious.
Taehyung rolls his eyes, just because, and ignores the tight feeling in his chest and the voice inside his brain that keeps yelling He cares he cares he cares he cares!

“You always complain that I talk too much. Make up your mind,” he says. Jeongguk squints his eyes.
“Yeah, but I don’t mean it,” he says, “I thought you knew that.” And oh God, Jeongguk thinks Taehyung was honestly offended by his teasing remarks whenever Taehyung is rambling on whatever thing is on his mind that day.

“Yes, I do,” Taehyung says, “I was just – nevermind. I’m alright, nothing to worry about.”
Jeongguk opens his mouth and Taehyung half expects him to say something like ”I’m not worrying about you, dumbass,” and that would’ve been okay, that’s what Jeongguk does and everything would’ve been normal then.
Except he doesn’t say that and instead closes his mouth again, nods and says a quiet, “Okay,” before leaving his car.
And to say that Taehyung is dumbfounded would be an underestimation.
“Oh,” he says, then he quickly leaves the car as well.

His heart is hammering in his chest as he hurries after Jeongguk.
Jeongguk’s hair throws shades on his forehead, and it looks even softer, now, that the sun is shining on it.
One of his hand is buried in his pocket and he nibbles at his bottom lip.
Taehyung’s gaze falls on his tattoos as he reaches out to open the door. Jeongguk halts, and when Taehyung looks up, his eyes meet Jeongguk’s.

“You sure you’re alright?” Jeongguk asks cautiously, “You can always talk to me, you know –“

“I’m alright, yes,” Taehyung says more urgently than before because no, he is not going to let Jeongguk be worried about him, especially not today, when Taehyung is so awfully aware of everything that Jeongguk does, when his mind and his heart are going crazy and he isn’t sure how he can make them stop.
“Oh,” Jeongguk says, “Okay.”

He opens the door to the take-away place and they enter, Taehyung right after Jeongguk, and he can even smell Jeongguk’s cologne more than he usually does.
They happen sometimes, days like this one.
As if it’s not already terrible enough to have a crush on one of your best friends.
“What do you want to get?” Jeongguk asks.
“Whatever you’re getting,” Taehyung replies because he isn’t sure if he is capable of producing any other normal sentences right now.
Jeongguk throws one last worried glance at him, then he turns to the cashier and orders something. Taehyung doesn’t even listen.

Get yourself together, he keeps telling himself, and eventually it works at least a bit because when they leave the place again and Jeongguk throws a worried glance at him, Taehyung manages to calm him with a smile.

“How was university today?” Jeongguk eventually asks after they get in his car, a last try to get Taehyung to talk more than just two words.
Taehyung sighs. “Awful. Had class today and I’m working on this one piece –“ Jeongguk’s eyes seem to light up, “– and I just can’t seem to get it right. It looks awful and is definitely missing something. Maybe you can take a look at it and help me,” he adds, just because it’s something he would say. Jeongguk nods. “Sure.”
Taehyung unpacks his food and immediately has to smile. He can feel Jeongguk’s eyes on him.

“Japchae,” he says, “It’s my favorite food.”
“I know,” Jeongguk says, and it’s the best thing he could’ve said.
It even makes Taehyung relax a little bit; but his heart stops for a second, he is sure of that.
It’s easy to fall for Jeongguk, even when he is so goddamn oblivious and stubborn at times. He is a good person, Taehyung knows that, and every person who has talked to him for more than a minute knows that, too.

He doesn’t tell people that he cares about them, he simply does, and he shows it, and it’s so, so easy to fall in love with Jeongguk.
Taehyung would like to pretend that he is not quite there yet, but that would be an utter and big lie. He’s far gone, and it scares him, and it could destroy their friendship, Taehyung needs to be really, really careful –
But it’s so easy to love Jeongguk, and it’s so hard to stop.

~

Some time has passed since Jeongguk wondered about whether or not it would be possible for him to develop feelings for Taehyung.
Some time has passed, and he rarely ever thinks about it anymore. It’s not like he doesn’t at all, sometimes, when he sees Taehyung on Fridays, the thought crosses his mind, and sometimes, when their fingers accidentally brush, he wonders what it would feel like to hold Taehyung’s hand, and then, at other times, he feels the urge to wrap his arms around Taehyung’s waist and pull him close and just stay like that.

And sometimes, he thinks about kissing Taehyung.

Okay, he doesn’t think about kissing Taehyung as in considering it, no. That would be weird and Jeongguk wouldn’t do that.
But he does wonder how it would feel, how Taehyung’s lips would feel. He feels creepy, then, especially when he catches himself staring at Taehyung’s lips.
But these thoughts come and go, they never stay, luckily, and most of the time Jeongguk is free from them. Which is good, because anything else would confuse him even more.

~

It’s after work on a Saturday, Jeongguk has just left the tattoo parlor and is on his way to his car, when he gets call from an unknown number. At first, he doesn’t think he should pick it up – unknown numbers are never a good sign, they only bring a lot of trouble and Jeongguk certainly doesn’t want that.
But then, the caller doesn’t hang up, and he is too curious to just decline the call, so he picks it up.

“Hello?”

“Hey,” a female voice says. There is a short pause, and Jeongguk wonders where he has heard that voice before.

“This, uh, this is Sooyoung. You gave me your number a while ago, remember?”

And when Jeongguk doesn’t answer right away, she adds, “This is Jeongguk, right? From the tattoo shop?”
It doesn’t take Jeongguk long to remember her. He sleeps with people, sometimes, used to pretty often a while ago, but ever since he has slept with Sooyoung there haven’t been any other hookups.

“Yeah,” he quickly says, “that’s me.”
“Oh, great,” she says relieved and chuckles, “I have some questions about a tattoo, so… I was wondering if you are working today, so I could drop by… I thought since you did such a good job on my last tattoo, I’d ask you for advice if I ever want another one.”

Jeongguk looks up at the sky and then back at the tattoo shop. He’s only standing a few meters away from it.
“Uh,” he makes just to get some more time to think about whether or not he should tell her that technically, he is already on his way home but that she could come in on Monday.

He decides against it.

“Sure, I’d love to give you advice,” he says, “I’m still at the shop, so…”
“Great!” Sooyoung says and giggles, “I’ll be there in a few.”
She says goodbye and he echoes her words and then she hangs up. Jeongguk stands there for a few seconds, dumbfounded, before quickly turning around and taking three big steps towards the door of the tattoo shop.

Yoongi throws a confused glance at him.
“What the hell?” he asks.

“Someone I know will be here in a few.”

Luckily, Yoongi doesn’t ask any more questions then, and Jeongguk walks into the backroom, throws his jacket over one of the chairs and looks at himself in the mirror.
He looks decent, he thinks, not too tired, quite acceptable.
The bell over the door rings shortly after and Jeongguk leaves the backroom again. Sooyoung stands in front of the counter, smiling sweetly.
“Hey,” she says once she sees Jeongguk.
“Hi.” Jeongguk tries to ignore Yoongi’s piercing gaze.
“Let’s… let’s go into the studio so you can show me your tattoo, yeah?” Jeongguk suggests and Sooyoung nods, chuckling.

“Yeah, okay.”

Then, they both stand there, neither of them moving or saying anything.
Eventually, Yoongi groans. “Oh God, I’ll just leave. Jeongguk, remember to turn the lights off before you leave.”
Yoongi gets his stuff from the backroom and then quickly leaves the shop (not without bumping against Jeongguk’s shoulder, of course), and then, Jeongguk and Sooyoung are alone.

“Come on,” Jeongguk quickly says to break the silence between them. They go into one of the studios, Jeongguk closes the curtain.
(His heart is beating faster than usual.)

When he turns around, Sooyoung is staring at him. A nervous smile lies on her lips and she sways back and forth on her heels.
“Hey,” she breathes and they both chuckle.
“Hey,” Jeongguk echoes.

She sits down on the tattoo couch and opens her bag. Then she pulls out a sheet of paper and holds it out to Jeongguk, who, for a moment, is a bit taken aback. He didn’t think she actually wanted a tattoo, as weird as that sounds.
“Here,” she says as Jeongguk doesn’t move. He blinks, walks over to her and takes the drawing.
It shows a watch, tied to a long rope. Nothing too special, but it looks nice.

“For my stomach, I thought,” Sooyoung says, “Here, on the left side.” She runs her fingers up and down the left side of her stomach, right under her breasts.
Jeongguk nods slowly. “Yeah,” he mumbles, eyes moving back and forth between the drawing and Sooyoung’s body, “That should work –“
“I, uh,” she interrupts him, “I could take off my shirt so you… can get a better idea.”

Jeongguk lowers the drawing as he gets what is happening.
Fuck, he thinks, that was smooth.

Sooyoung quickly takes off her shirt, her upper body only dressed in a bra, and Jeongguk realizes once again how attractive she is.
Sooyoung looks up at him with big eyes, almost expectantly, and Jeongguk quickly sits down next to her.
“Okay, so, here?” he asks and points at her side. She nods. “Yeah, you can… touch me there, too, I don’t mind.”
Of course you don’t, Jeongguk thinks and gulps.
He carefully runs his fingers up and down her skin, slowly, and then, without any reason, his hands move to her stomach and her back. She is still looking at him and when Jeongguk raises his head, she leans forward and kisses him.

What about Taehyung? his mind asks.
What the fuck, Jeongguk thinks back, What the actual fucking fuck?

Sooyoung’s hands grip his shoulders and he is finally being pulled out of his trance, kissing her back immediately. She climbs on his lap and it doesn’t take them long to fully make out.
Her shirt is already gone, so Jeongguk’s follows, then his pants and hers and her bra and eventually, they’re both naked.
She has protection with her, at which Jeongguk thinks both, Thank God! and Of course she does.

They have sex, then, and Sooyoung looks really pretty.
They have sex on the tattoo couch which Jeongguk knows he is never going to tell anyone. No one will ever know that he had sex with a girl in the studio, no one needs to know.

And no one needs to fucking know that the during the whole thing Jeongguk keeps thinking about one person he shouldn’t think about while having sex with a girl.
No one needs to know that Jeongguk can’t stop thinking about a certain pair of lips that he has been thinking about for way too long now, and Jeongguk doesn’t understand, he doesn’t fucking understand, he doesn’t know why he looks into Sooyoung’s eyes and wishes he would see someone else’s instead.
It scares him so much that when he climaxes, he can only think of one person’s face that’s definitely not Sooyoung’s.

Sooyoung leaves him about ten minutes after they’re done and Jeongguk doesn’t talk to her.
He can’t blame her, not really. She doesn’t owe him anything.
Jeongguk almost cries a little, not because of Sooyoung, no. But no one needs to know that or anything.

No one needs to fucking know that while having sex with a girl, Jeongguk couldn’t stop think about Kim Taehyung. And it scares him.

~

“Fucking Jeon Jeongguk,” Yoongi mutters and kicks a stone that is lying on the sidewalk.
“Fucking kid – only thinks with his dick. What the fuck.”

Yoongi doesn’t really want to understand why Jeongguk couldn’t have invited that girl to his place instead of the fucking tattoo shop. Still, he is pissed.
He opens his car and plops down on the passenger seat, then he thinks.
It’s too early to go home and go to bed, he thinks, but he doesn’t want to go to any clubs, he’s not really the type for that.
He unlocks his phone only to find two messages from Jimin that he has sent two hours ago.

Jimin:

Hey hyung ^-^

Do you want to come over after work? I’m boreeeedddddd.

Yoongi smiles.
Seems like he does have plans for tonight, after all.

Me:

On my way

~

When Yoongi arrives at Jimin’s apartment, it’s almost dark. He rings and doesn’t have to wait too long until the door buzzes and he can enter.
“Hey,” Jimin greets him, smiling brightly.
“Hi,” Yoongi says. He tries not to be too obvious as he eyes Jimin up and down – his peach-colored sweater is low-cut and shows half his shoulders and his collar bones, his light blue jeans sit perfectly on his hips and Yoongi would just love to let his hands run over them.

“Come in. My roommate has some friends over, but I hope that doesn’t bother you.”

Yoongi feels his heart sink a little – but really, just a little. No sex then, which is fine, because Yoongi likes to spend time with Jimin either way.
“That’s fine,” Yoongi says and enters.
“Do you want to drink anything? Or eat?” Jimin turns around once he’s closed the door.

“Have you had dinner yet?”

Yoongi chuckles. Cute.
“I’m good, thanks, don’t worry about me.”

“But if I don’t, then who will?” Jimin pouts. Yoongi chuckles. “You really don’t have to worry, I can already take care of myself,” he says at which Jimin sighs.
“Fine. But don’t complain if you’re hungry later,” he mumbles, then they walk into his room.

The last time Yoongi was here, he didn’t really have time to take a look at Jimin’s room – they were, well, busy.
But now that he is here, he realizes that his room is just so… so Jimin. He doesn’t know what he expected.
The walls and most of the furniture are white with some small, black accents. Jimin’s blanket is pink, of course, and his pillows are in different pastel colors (Jimin has many pillows). A huge houseplant is standing in one corner of the room and many tiny ones are standing on his desk and his window sill.
The room is pretty tidy, there is a pair of pants and a shirt hanging over the chair, makeup and school books are lying on the desk.
Yoongi smiles.

“I like your room,” he says. Jimin, who’s already sat down on his bed, looks up in surprise but smiles nonetheless. “Thank you,” he says. Yoongi walks over to him and sits down as well.

“How was work today?” Jimin immediately asks and shifts a bit until he is sitting cross-legged, facing Yoongi. He looks excited, as if he is really looking forward to hearing about Yoongi’s day. And maybe he is – Yoongi wouldn’t be surprised because Park Jimin is a literal angel and fuck, Yoongi really wants to kiss him right now.
“It was okay,” he says, “My shift ended earlier today due to… well, special circumstances.”
“Do I want to know what that means?” Jimin asks carefully and chuckles.
“I don’t know,” Yoongi says with a shrug, “My coworker decided to get laid in the studio today, so.”
“Ew!” Jimin contorts his face, “Who even does that?”

Yoongi stares at him, wide-eyed, and then he grins when the realization seems to hit Jimin.
“Oh,” the younger mumbles.
“We did that,” Yoongi says and Jimin nods.
“Huh, right.”

Then, they both laugh quietly.
“So, what did you plan for tonight?” Yoongi asks once they’ve calmed down again.
Jimin’s smile fades and he suddenly looks a bit uncomfortable.
“Oh, well,” he says and starts fiddling with his fingers. He wears lavender nail polish. He is so precious, Yoongi has to press his lips together to prevent himself from saying something stupid.

“I didn’t think you’d ask and, well… I also didn’t think Seokjin would have his friends over tonight, so…”

So no sex tonight,” Yoongi says, and Jimin’s eyes widen and his head snaps up, but then he smiles apologetically.
“Well, no, I guess,” he mumbles but giggles right after.
“What about a movie?” Yoongi asks.
“The TV is in the living room and, well, Seokjin and his friends…”

“Right, yeah.”

They both think then. Yoongi knows that there are plenty things they could be doing, still he doesn’t know if it’s something him and Jimin should do together.
The only time they’ve hung out without having sex was when Jimin was hungover.
“Maybe I have an idea,” Jimin says suddenly. Yoongi looks at him expectantly, and he doesn’t know if he’s only imagining it, but Jimin seems to be getting shy all of a sudden.
“I’m all ears.”

“Don’t be mad,” Jimin says and Yoongi doesn’t know if he should be alarmed or not.
“I could, uh…” Jimin stutters, then he leans forward until his lips are close to Yoongi’s ear and his breath hits the side of Yoongi’s face.

“I could suck your dick.”

Jimin immediately sits back down and buries his face in his hands. Even the tips of his ears are red.
Yoongi looks at him, stunned. He almost forgets to answer because God, Park Jimin just asked him if he could suck his dick and managed to do even that in a cute way.
“Oh my God,” Yoongi says, “Please do that.”
Jimin raises his head a bit. “What, really?” he asks and Yoongi nods.
(He stops himself from remarking that they’ve already done much more than that and there really, really was no reason for Jimin to get shy about asking.)
“Did you expect me to say no?” Yoongi asks. Jimin shrugs.

“You never know.”

They are both quiet, then, and after a few seconds, Yoongi mumbles, “Fuck it,” and cups Jimin’s face to pull him in for a kiss.
Jimin reciprocates immediately, his hands moving down to open Yoongi’s pants.
Yoongi wants to move and take his pants off, but Jimin grabs his wrists and stops him.
“No, wait,” he whispers against Yoongi’s lips before kissing him shorty and then sliding off the bed and kneeling down on the ground, in front of Yoongi, his eyes never leaving Yoongi’s.

Yoongi can only stare at him with parted lips as Jimin palms him through his jeans.
It is quiet between them, the only noise being the faint conversation in the living room. Someone laughs.
Jimin presses harder as Yoongi’s erection is growing.
Yoongi hisses. This feels good, pleasant, and although Yoongi can’t wait to feel Jimin’s lips around his cock, he doesn’t hurry him, just stays quiet.
Jimin finally starts to pull down Yoongi’s jeans (they’ve become pretty tight by now) and then, once he has taken them off, continues to palm Yoongi through his boxers.
Yoongi can’t suppress a gasp.

Jimin closes his eyes as he kisses Yoongi through his boxers while his hands fiddle with the hem of his boxers.
He leans back, looks at Yoongi again, then takes of his boxers as well.
It gives an odd picture, Yoongi thinks: Park Jimin, sweet, innocent-looking, on his knees, in front of Yoongi and his cock.
It makes Yoongi want to fucking whimper, fuck, Jimin, what are you doing to me?
Jimin wraps his hand around Yoongi’s cock and starts to slowly, slowly move it up and down, tightening his hand with each stroke. Yoongi leans his head back and closes his eyes, breathes deeply.

“Does that feel good, hyung?” Jimin asks, “Am I doing well?”
“Yes,” Yoongi mumbles and looks down again, his eyes meeting Jimin’s.
“You’re doing good…”

And then, Jimin licks his lips and wraps them around the tip of Yoongi’s – oh God.
Yoongi wants to grip Jimin’s hair, throw his head back, say something – but he can’t, he can’t, so he just keeps his eyes on Jimin who swirls his tongue around the tip of Yoongi’s cock and then slowly lowers his head.

He keeps going, keeps going until Yoongi thinks he is going to die, or at least moan out loud, if he doesn’t stop.
Jimin whimpers and his eyes flutter shut. He wraps his hands around the part that he can’t reach and starts to bob his head up and down.
He is slow at first, probably getting used to the feeling, so Yoongi tries not to hurry him.
Suddenly, he can feel Jimin’s tongue against the underside of his cock, and Yoongi hisses, almost moans again.
Jimin bobs his head faster, his lips are shiny from salvia, his eyes are squeezed shut, and he looks so pretty, it’s insane and it makes Yoongi’s head spin for a moment.
He tries to contain himself, tries not to grip Jimin’s hair or buck his hips up – he doesn’t know if this would be too much for Jimin, doesn’t know where the younger’s limits are.

Shit, they should’ve talked about this before –
“Hyung,” Jimin mumbles. Yoongi looks down at him. He hasn’t realized how tense he has gotten.

“Yeah, baby?”

Jimin lies his head down on his thigh and glances up at Yoongi. Yoongi feels his heart clench.
“What’s wrong?” he asks. His cheeks are a bit flushed.
“Nothing,” Yoongi says, “Really. I just… I was wondering how far I… I can go, y’know.”
He brushes a few strands of hair out of Jimin’s face and watches as the younger starts to smile.
“Oh,” Jimin says. Then, he starts to giggle.
“Hyung, I’m not as sensitive as I look like. Just… go ahead, and I’ll tell you if I don’t like something, yeah?”
Yoongi blinks at him. “Yeah,” he then replies, “Yeah, okay.”

He keeps his eyes looked with Jimin’s as Jimin lowers his head on him again.
“Fuck,” Yoongi hisses and runs his hand through Jimin’s hair as the younger immediately starts to bop his head at a fast pace.
“Jiminie, you look so pretty like this, do you know that?”
And Jimin whimpers at this.

He drags his tongue along the underside of his cock again, and again, and Yoongi grips at Jimin’s hair with a gasp, careful at first, but when Jimin doesn’t say anything and instead just repeats what he’s doing, Yoongi pulls a bit harder.
Jimin moans around his cock, salvia covers his lips and his chin and Yoongi just can’t take his eyes off him.
How does someone look so innocent and sweet and then do this but still look the same?
Yoongi doesn’t understand, not at all, but he doesn’t question it, too.

When Jimin sucks at his tip and then quickly moves his head down again, Yoongi almost automatically bucks his hips up and thrusts into Jimin’s mouth once.
Fuck, he thinks, I killed him fuck fuck fuck

But Jimin just coughs and doesn’t stop, he’s still alive, Yoongi is on cloud nine.
He feels the familiar heat in his stomach and knows he is close, he lets out a moan and Jimin looks at him from under his eyelashes, increases his pace and honestly, Yoongi stops wondering how the hell Jimin does these things –

“I’m gonna come,” he groans and the next moment, he is spilling into Jimin’s mouth, and Jimin swallows it all, even presses soft kisses to the tip and to Yoongi’s thighs as Yoongi comes down from his high.

“Oh my God,” Yoongi pants, “Fuck…”

He runs his hand through Jimin’s hair a few times, then he grabs his hand and pulls him up until he is climbing on his lap.
“Where the hell did you learn that?” Yoongi asks, still breathless, and Jimin giggles, shrugging.
“Natural talent, I would say,” he mumbles as he wipes the spit of his chin, then he presses his lips to Yoongi’s.
Yoongi cups his cheek and kisses him back, hard and passionate, and when they break apart, they’re both panting.

“Now… what?” Jimin asks.
Yoongi’s heart skips a beat. He can feel the bulge in Jimin’s pants press against his hip.

“Now it’s your turn,” Yoongi replies. Jimin blushes and nibbles at his bottom lip.

“Okay,” he whispers.

Yoongi presses another kiss to his lips. “Lie down,” he tells him and Jimin moves off his lap, doing as he was told.
Yoongi gets dressed again, then he kneels down in front of Jimin on the bed. He carefully parts his legs, then leans above him and kisses him.
Slowly, he opens Jimin’s pants and pulls them off – Jimin is wearing red panties, which he pulls of as well.
Jimin hums as Yoongi presses kisses to the insides of his thighs, sucks and nibbles at the skin.

“Jiminie?” Yoongi asks, “You… have lube, right?”

Jimin cranes his neck to look at him, then he nods quickly and points at his bedside table.
Yoongi opens the top drawer and pulls out a small, pink bottle – it’s strawberry flavored because of course it is.
He opens the bottle and squeezes a bit of the lube on his fingers. Jimin watches him eagerly.

“Okay?” Yoongi asks as he settles himself between Jimin’s legs again and moves one hand down until his finger is pressed against Jimin’s entrance.
Jimin nods. “Yeah, okay.”

“Tell me when to stop.”

Yoongi presses his first finger in and Jimin hisses, throws his head back.
“Okay?” Yoongi asks again. His free hand rests on Jimin’s knee and caresses the skin there.
“Yeah,” Jimin says, “It’s fine.”

So Yoongi moves the finger, slowly at first, then a bit faster, until Jimin tells him that he can take another one.
The second finger seems to hurt a bit more and they have to wait until Jimin gets used to it.
But they take their time, and eventually, Yoongi can move his fingers again, and Jimin moans quietly.

“Remember, there are people in the living room,” Yoongi tells him with a chuckle and Jimin hisses.

“Oh, right… right, I’ll be quiet…”

Eventually, Jimin can take the third finger, and that’s as far as they can go.
Tears pool at the corners of Jimin’s eyes as he whimpers, trying his best to relax.
“It’s okay,” Yoongi tells him, “Do you want to stop?”
“No, please,” Jimin says almost immediately, “Don’t stop, give me a second.”
And of course Yoongi obliges.

He pushes Jimin’s shirt up a bit and kisses his stomach, then he nibbles at his collar bones and his jaw line until he reaches Jimin’s lips and kisses him softly.
“Okay,” Jimin mumbles against his lips eventually, “You can move.”
So Yoongi does, moves his fingers and searches that one spot inside of Jimin while Jimin whimpers and gasps but somehow manages to stay quiet.
That is, until Yoongi finally hits his prostate and Jimin lets out a stuttered moan, arching his back.

“Shh, Jiminie,” Yoongi mumbles, “Remember, people.”

His free hand finds Jimin’s and they intertwine their fingers. Jimin’s grip is harsh.
“I’m trying, I’m sorry,” Jimin breathes with a chuckle and presses his other hand to his mouth. He even bites down on his finger to keep himself from moaning.
He squirms instead and wraps his legs around Yoongi’s waist, he hiccups once –

Jimin comes untouched, eventually, and Yoongi has to kiss him through it to stifle his moans.
It’s incredibly domestic and even though Jimin is embarrassed right after and buries his face in his pillow, Yoongi swears he has never seen anything more attractive than Jimin’s face.

(Especially when he comes.)

~

It is around 8am and it is way too early.
Jeongguk would love to go back home and crawl into his bed again, but he promised Yoongi to take over his early shift, to make up for the incident two days ago.
But at least the coffee shop is already open, so Jeongguk thinks to himself, Why not? and walks into the shop.

He stares at his feet as he walks up to the front counter which of course isn’t a good idea, and he is immediately punished for it when someone bumps against his shoulder.
And if that’s not already bad enough, Jeongguk can feel something cold and wet on his upper body – when he looks down at himself, he sees that his shirt is stained with someone else’s drink.

“Oh, for fucks sake,” he mutters.

“I’m so sorry, oh my God,” someone, a woman, says. She grabs a tissue from the counter next to them and starts to wipe down on Jeongguk’s shirt, but Jeongguk doubts that it’ll do much.

“Hey, it’s okay, wait –“ he says and tries to grab the woman’s wrist, then he looks up and is taken aback for a moment.
The woman is young, about his age. She has long, dark brown hair and big, dark eyes.
Her lips are of a light red color, and although there is nothing extraordinary about her face, she looks… special. In a good way.

She seems to notice that Jeongguk is staring at her before Jeongguk himself realizes, because she stops wiping his shirt and looks up at him, then chuckling nervously.
“Uh,” she makes, and that’s what makes Jeongguk snap out of his thoughts.
“Sorry,” he mumbles and looks down at his shirt just so he doesn’t have to look at her.
“No, I’m sorry,” the woman says, “I should’ve been more careful. Sorry. I… I’ll pay for your coffee, okay?”
Jeongguk shakes his head. “You don’t have to, it’s fine –“
“But I want to,” the woman interrupts him. Then, she smiles. “I’m Jennie. Jennie Kim.”

“Jeongguk.”

They stare at each other then, until Jennie laughs awkwardly and turns to the counter without averting her gaze.
“What did you want to order?” she asks.
“Oh,” Jeongguk replies and looks at the menu, “Just a plain black coffee.”

So Jennie orders his coffee and another one for her because, well, her drink is gone now anyways, and she pays for it as well, ignoring Jeongguk’s protests.
“Here, take it,” she says, “It’s all I can do for now, right?”

And Jeongguk figures she is right.

They talk after that. Jennie is on her way to university, but she is a bit too early for her class because she actually wanted to go to the library and look for books for her next assignment, and Jeongguk realizes he still has some time, too, so they sit down together outside.
Jennie is a Biology student and is just a bit older than Jeongguk himself, and when she asks him if he goes to university, he tells her about the tattoo shop and she promises to drop by at some point.

She is pretty, that’s for sure, and she is sweet and has a nice laugh.
She likes to dance and to sing and she studied a year abroad, in New Zealand.
That’s what Jeongguk finds out before she has to leave.

“Well, Jeongguk,” Jennie says and smiles, “It was nice talking to you. And, well, sorry again. About your shirt.”
Jeongguk shrugs it off. “Don’t worry, it’ll dry.”

It was iced coffee, it was brown, it’ll leave stains; but Jeongguk doesn’t mention that.
They just stand there, neither of them daring to say goodbye, and Jeongguk knows he has to ask something.

“Okay, I really need to leave now,” Jennie says, looking at her watch.
“Maybe I’ll see you around –“

“Are you free this evening?” Jeongguk asks. Jennie raises her eyebrows.
“I guess?” she then replies, “Depends on what for.”
“We could watch a movie at my place,” Jeongguk suggest and Jennie chuckles.
“Wow, sounds like what a murderer would say. I’m in.” She laughs, then she gives Jeongguk her phone number in case anything happens, and then she leaves.

~

Jeongguk knows he should’ve stopped whatever he is doing right after Sooyoung, but some things just happen.
It’s not a date, at least not for him. Jennie comes over, they pick a movie and watch it, and eventually, they kiss.
Things like that happen all the time, Jeongguk’s had hookups before Jennie, before Sooyoung, it’s nothing new for him.

They have sex, even though Jennie tells him that she doesn’t want this to be a one-night stand and that she would really like to get to know him more.
Jeongguk agrees with everything she says although deep down, he has already moved on.

Jennie looks even prettier that evening, and her body is gorgeous, so Jeongguk tries to focus on that and he pretends that he is completely enamored.
He pretends that it’s not Kim fucking Taehyung’s face he sees whenever he closes his eyes.

They cuddle afterwards, and Jennie leaves the next morning, looking happy and giddy.
Jeongguk feels like shit once the door closes and he is alone again.

What the fuck, what the fuck? This was not how things were supposed to go, not at all.
Jeongguk wanted to distract himself but no, Taehyung just had to be on his mind again for some weird fucking reason and it’s starting to creep him out.
And now he has to break it to Jennie, who has nothing to do with any of this, who just wants to meet a nice boy who she’ll fall in love with, but no, Jeongguk has to be the selfish asshole and crush her dreams.

Jeongguk knows he has to stop here, can’t take this any further, can’t hurt more people.

~

But of course, he doesn’t stop. He doesn’t even tell Jennie – instead, he ignores her texts and calls which he knows is a really shitty thing to do, yet he does exactly that.
And he keeps going. He sleeps with girls as an attempt to distract himself from the weird thoughts that he can’t get out of his head, and he pretends that it works except for it doesn’t, not at all, he sleeps with a girl and it’s Taehyung who’s on his mind, not her, it’s Taehyung, Taehyung Taehyung Taehyung…
Jeongguk is well aware that what he is doing is not okay and that he isn’t really helping anyone. But it’s easy. And it’s the only thing he can do.

But of course, it’s not going to end well.

~

It’s been two weeks ever since Taehyung has seen Jeongguk for the last time.
Last Friday he pretended to be sick just so he could avoid whatever happened the Friday before.
Jeongguk, luckily, didn’t offer to come over and take care of Taehyung.

But now it’s Friday once again, and Taehyung thinks he can actually face Jeongguk again without dying internally.
And everything is okay, everything is going well, until Taehyung sees the purple marks on Jeongguk’s neck, and his whole world seems to collapse.

Luckily, he is standing behind Jeongguk, originally wanting to watch him work on a new design, so Jeongguk doesn’t see his face fall. Suddenly, Taehyung feels too sick to stand upright, so he stumbles over to the couch and sits down there.
“Woah,” Jeongguk says and looks at him, “Are you alright?”

Taehyung refuses to look back at him, just nods and rubs his eyes.

“Yeah, I’m… I’m alright.”

He’s not, not at all.

Jeongguk has hickeys, of course Taehyung’s not alright.

It’s not like Taehyung has never been scared that one day, Jeongguk would get together with someone else. The possibility has always been there because Taehyung knows that it’s easy to fall for Jeongguk. Jeongguk is simply great, and it would be stupid of Taehyung to think that he is the only one to develop feelings for him.
But he thought that Jeongguk would at least tell him about. They’re friends, for God’s sake, and friends tell each other whether or not they’re dating someone.
Taehyung swears there are no tears in his eyes. He’s not going to cry, not because of a stupid little crush –

“You don’t look alright, not at all,” Jeongguk says, and he sounds so genuinely concerned, it almost forces a whimper out of Taehyung.
“But I am,” he mumbles as Jeongguk walks around the counter to get to him.

The door swings open and the bell rings aggressively.

Both Jeongguk and Taehyung turn their heads to look at the person who’s just entered.
It’s a young woman who Taehyung has never seen before. She has long, dark hair, a pretty face.

And she looks mad.

Taehyung also doesn’t miss the way Jeongguk tenses. But before Taehyung can question this, the woman starts yelling.

“Jeongguk!”

And Taehyung is confused.

“I’ve been trying to call you for almost two weeks and you just keep ignoring me!” she yells and stops a few meters in front of Jeongguk.
“You didn’t even text me, you didn’t do anything –“

“Jennie, please, calm down and let me explain –“

The woman, Jennie, doesn’t even listen.
“You told me it wouldn’t just be a one night stand, I thought you were being honest! I thought you… you were different, but no, you’re just another asshole – do you think I would’ve had sex with you if I had known that? You fucking lied to me!”

Ouch. Taehyung glances at Jeongguk, sees the helplessness in his face.

“I – I’m sorry, I really am,” is all Jeongguk says then. Jennie stares at him, her lips pressed into a firm line. Then, suddenly, her eyes widen.

“What the – is that a hickey on your neck?” she asks a lot quieter than before.
Jeongguk tenses even more, if that’s even possible, and rubs his neck.
He opens his mouth and wants to say something, but he stays quiet. Jennie’s face falls.

“So you’ve been sleeping with other girls after me? And you didn’t even have the guts to tell me?”
Jeongguk doesn’t even need to answer; Jennie gets it. She takes a shaky breath in.
“You fucking asshole,” she hisses, then she turns around and storms out. And Jeongguk just stands there, frozen still.
Taehyung only now notices how fast his heart his beating.

“What was that?” Namjoon asks from where he is standing in the doorway of the backroom.

“Shit,” Jeongguk hisses then and rubs his face, “I fucked up.”

“Badly,” Namjoon adds and sighs.

Taehyung can feel Jeongguk’s eyes on him. He blinks and looks at him.
“Hey,” Jeongguk whispers, “are you –“
“Yes, I am,” Taehyung interrupts Jeongguk. He feels numb, his mind is racing, and he doesn’t want to be here, not when Jeongguk is standing there, asking him if he is alright.

Jeongguk nods slowly. It is obvious that he doesn’t believe Taehyung, but Taehyung couldn’t care less right now. Jeongguk’s been sleeping with other girls, and although Taehyung knows that Jeongguk is straight and that he therefore would never ever fall in love with Taehyung, this still felt like a stab in the chest.
“Okay,” Jeongguk mumbles. He looks tired all of a sudden.
“Just, think of where you… want to get dinner later. I still have to finish this one design, but then we can go,” he says and rubs his eyes.
Taehyung gets up as soon as Jeongguk has finished talking.
He needs to get away from here, now.

“I have plans with Jimin, sorry,” Taehyung blurts out. Jeongguk raises his eyebrows.
“With Jimin? But it’s Friday,” he says, and it almost sounds like It’s Friday, this is our day, but only almost, and Taehyung isn’t stupid enough to believe it.
“Sorry,” he just repeats.

Jeongguk stares at him softly. “It’s okay. Have fun with Jimin, I guess.”
Taehyung just mumbles something like “Thank you,” then he walks out of the shop as quickly as possible.

He allows himself to cry once he’s turned around the corner.
People stare at him and move out of Taehyung’s way as he heads down the sidewalk, just keeping his head low but not really trying to hide his face. The tears burn on his skin, but he doesn’t care.

He doesn’t fucking care about his ugly crying face or that he’s in public, and he swears that he especially doesn’t fucking care that Jeongguk doesn’t love him.

~

To say that Jimin’s day has been bad so far would be a complete underestimation.

“It’s been a complete catastrophe!” he exclaims and throws his head back once he is seated on the passenger seat of Yoongi’s car.
“Nothing is going well for me, absolutely nothing!”

“Wow,” Yoongi says and starts the engine, “Who do I have to kill for you?”
Jimin glares at him and Yoongi chuckles. “Come on,” he says then, “tell me about it.”
And so Jimin does, about his alarm clock that just randomly decided to die in the middle of the night, so of course Jimin slept in and couldn’t even have breakfast, and he forgot, like, half his materials.
This one book he really needs for a project next week was nowhere to be found in the library, and the presentation Jimin held in class was a huge failure.

“Student life, huh?” Yoongi says by the time he has finished, which earns him a slap against the shoulder from Jimin.

“But hey, at least you look good.”

“Min Yoongi!”

“Sorry.”

Jimin leans his head against the window and groans.
“I swear, my life just hates me.”

“Hey,” Yoongi says, and Jimin is surprised by how gentle he sounds.
Yoongi places a hand on his thigh. It feels oddly comforting.

“See, I’m here to make your day better now. Isn’t that something?”
Jimin rolls his eyes and sighs. “Yeah, kind of.”
“See.” Yoongi grins.
“We’re going to do whatever you wanna do. Deal?”

“Anything?”

“Anything.”

Jimin looks at him, then grins.
“Can we go to a bookstore?”
He half expected Yoongi to deny it or be annoyed and roll his eyes, but no. Yoongi shrugs and simply says, “Alright.”
Jimin is impressed.
“Wow, that was easy.”

Yoongi groans. “Come on, I’m not that bad, usually.”
“There are a million things I could’ve suggested,” Jimin says, “I could’ve asked you to go buy new panties with me, but no, you settle with bookstore. That’s just weird.”

Yoongi nibbles at his bottom lip.
“Panties, huh?”

And Jimin rolls his eyes.

“Hey, you had a bad day so I’m here to make you feel better, that’s all,” Yoongi tells him then, “And if going to a bookstore makes you happy, then so be it. I don’t mind.”
He stops at a red traffic light and taps his finger against the steering wheel. Then, he seems to notice that Jimin is staring at him with a smile and glances at him.
“What?” he asks.
“Nothing. That’s just really cute of you,” Jimin says with a shrug. Yoongi just huffs.

They stop at a fast food restaurant first and Yoongi orders food for Jimin, skillfully ignoring the younger’s protests, because Jimin, you haven’t eaten today and it’s already past three in the afternoon, for God’s sake, and Jimin just ducks his head and takes the food rather gratefully because honestly, he’s been starving.
Yoongi patiently waits until Jimin’s finished, then they drive to the bookstore.

At some point during the drive, Yoongi puts his hand on the middle console. Jimin watches his hand thoughtfully.
Would it be weird if he took his hand? Probably.
But they’ve done a lot more than just holding hands, a lot more than that, so what’s so special about the small things? Like holding hands, or random kisses and hugs and cuddles.
Jimin doesn’t get it; maybe he would if he really wanted to.

He quickly averts his gaze from Yoongi’s hand before he does something stupid.

Luckily, there aren’t many people at the bookstore; Jimin isn’t sure he wants to be in a crowded room now, and he’s pretty certain that Yoongi doesn’t want to either.
Jimin just strolls around for a bit, then he reaches the section Historical Books.
Yoongi, who is close behind him, snorts.

“What?” Jimin asks.

“Historical Books? Really?” Yoongi huffs and lets his gaze run over the book shelf.
“I thought you were more the type for cliché romantic novels. The ones that would make me throw up in an instant.”

Jimin glares at him. “I do like a variety of books, thank you.”

Yoongi chuckles, then he walks past Jimin and over to the Science Fiction section.

Jimin glances at him. Today, he is wearing a dark grey flannel jacket with a black hood, black ripped skinny jeans, an old band tee and black boots.
Yoongi grabs one of the books and Jimin can’t see the title, yet he keeps on staring.
There’s something captivating about watching Yoongi do normal, everyday things, like drive his car, pick out a movie, or, like he is doing right now, look at a book in his hands.
He wears a slight pout on his lips and sometimes, he nibbles at his lip piercing.

The sudden urge to walk over to him and hug him overwhelms Jimin and he has to force himself to look away, winces even. A warm feeling, one that he has been getting while being around Yoongi way too often for it to be random, spreads in his stomach.
Oh.

Jimin quickly grabs one of the books, doesn’t even look at the title or the cover, just pretends to.
He wonders if, at moments like these, Yoongi is stealing quick glances at him, asking himself if it was okay if he would take Jimin’s hand, kiss him, hug him, whatever.
When Jimin isn’t looking, does Yoongi watch him from afar, with butterflies or a warmth spreading in his stomach, and doesn’t want it to go away?
Maybe, and maybe, whenever Jimin and him aren’t together, he tries to think of the last time Jimin was lying spread out underneath him and tries to recall the way Jimin’s body felt and what he sounded like.

At least Jimin hopes that’s how it is, so he isn’t alone with these thoughts.

Maybe Yoongi doesn’t give a damn about him, is only doing it for the sex, and although that might sound a bit too absurd, for Jimin, the possibility that Yoongi doesn’t want this to be more than a friendship is high.
And of course that bothers him, but he can’t change much, can he?

He puts the book back into the shelf and walks over to the next section; Poetry. Yoongi actually does join him here.
“Found something?” Jimin asks. Yoongi shakes his head.

“Not really. I’m a bit picky when it comes to books, especially since I never read them anyways.”

Jimin chuckles. “Do you like poetry?”
Yoongi tilts his head. “I guess,” he says, “I hated it at school, but I like music, so why not poetry as well?”

They look through some of the books together, and whenever their fingers brush, Jimin feels a little happier.
It’s different than in the books, and a part of him already knew that.
Jimin doesn’t feel like passing out every time Yoongi talks to him or even looks at him – of course not.
Bur he also doesn’t feel like exploding whenever they have sex and kiss.
He just feels good and happy, being around Yoongi makes him feel as if everything’s alright. And that’s great, he guesses.

Eventually, Jimin does move on to the Romantic section, and Yoongi groans but chuckles and follows him nonetheless.
“What’s even so good about these books, I don’t get it,” Yoongi remarks.
Jimin thinks for a moment.
“Well,” he says, “Some of them are actually quite well written.”
Yoongi snorts. “So are other books.”

“I know. I guess it’s… see, some people read fantasy books because they usually take place in another world, different from ours. And maybe these people like that, because they don’t really know if they like living in our world.”
Jimin can sense Yoongi’s gaze on him. He continues.

“And… of course, I can’t speak for everyone, but some people might like romantic novels because… well, relationships seem so effortless in them.”
He takes out a book with a blue cover, looks at it for a while.
“Sure, the characters have their struggles, and not everything goes smoothly from the beginning on, but these relationship are usually just like most people want their own relationship to be. And when the story is then even written in a realistic way, people will buy and read it because they like to dream.”

He puts the book back into the shelf without reading what it’s about. When he turns around, Yoongi is still staring at him.
“Why do you like these novels, then?” Yoongi asks. Jimin can feel the heat rise to his cheeks.

“Well,” he says, “I just told you, didn’t I?”

He walks past Yoongi, keeping his eyes on the shelf next to him. Yoongi follows him.
“So, you want one of these disgustingly cheesy love stories that’s unbelievably predictable and boring? Woah, can’t relate,” he says. Jimin cracks a smile.
“No,” he says and stops, turns around to Yoongi again, “I guess I like the effortless part.”

At that, Yoongi raises his eyebrows. Jimin knows he has to explain.

“Let’s say I didn’t make the best experiences when it comes to relationships,” he says and wraps his arms around his waist, “I know, this sounds awful and it’s really not that bad, but I guess I wouldn’t be single now if it had worked out flawlessly.”
“What happened?” Yoongi asks.
“Ah, not much. I only had two relationships, and my first boyfriend just didn’t really have any feelings for me anymore. Which is okay, it’s not his fault, really, but he tried to blame it on me, my personality and looks. That… wasn’t cool.” Jimin knows his smile is forced and probably looks more like a grimace, but he can’t help it.
“What about the second one?” Yoongi asks calmly.
“Oh.” Jimin looks down at his feet.

“About the same reasons, I guess. Said he didn’t really know how to deal with a person like me, and, well, yeah. That was that. He –“ Jimin sighs, “Did some things that weren’t really cool, so I don’t mind that he is gone now.”

Yoongi senses that this is a difficult topic, so he doesn’t ask any further questions.
So he starts talking about himself instead, and Jimin I grateful for that.

“My first boyfriend left me for someone else,” he says and looks at the bookshelf.
“I didn’t really know how to deal with it, and I guess I didn’t want to either. I had a few girlfriends after that, nothing too serious, but guess what?” he chuckles. Jimin squints his eyes.

“What?”

“Almost all of them ended up cheating on me.”

Jimin’s eyes widen. “What?” he gasps, “Why? Who does that?” He wants to say he’s sorry, but he figures that it doesn’t matter now anyway.
“It’s alright.” Yoongi shrugs. “I know, it sounds mean, but they didn’t really mean much anyways. Sure, it’s a shitty thing to do, but I was never really over my first boyfriend, and they realized that I was still in love with him. At least that’s what they always told me after I found out they had cheated. That, or that I didn’t show enough affection.” He rolls his eyes.

Jimin wonders if Yoongi is still not over that boy. If Jimin is just a distraction, too.

“I wish that hadn’t happened to you. You don’t deserve that,” Jimin mumbles and glances at Yoongi.
The older man nibbles at his piercing and shrugs. “It’s okay. I’m over it, kind of.” Yoongi sighs.
“I mean, I don’t know why I would have a relationship if I can’t even trust the other person. That’s why I don’t do them anymore. Relationships, I mean.”
Jimin swears he doesn’t feel a sting in his heart.

“But not all people are mean,” he says, ignoring how unconvincing that sounds, “Maybe you haven’t found the right one yet.”
Yoongi chuckles. “Yeah, maybe.” Then, he glances at Jimin, and he smiles, and Jimin smiles back.

He ends up buying a romantic novel and Yoongi buys a poetry book, and then they drive to Yoongi’s apartment.
It’s around 5pm, the weather looks nice although Jimin can see dark clouds approaching from far away. Probably a thunderstorm.
“We could go outside,” he suggests, “Go for a walk or whatever. Enjoy the nice weather.”
Yoongi follows his gaze and looks outside. “Or,” he says, “We just stay inside.”

Jimin throws him a doubtful glance. He isn’t sure if staying inside and not doing anything will ever get the friendship side of their relationship going, but he doesn’t say that.
“Okay. And what should we do then?” he asks instead.
Yoongi hums as he pretends to think and walks over to the couch.

“You could read me from your new book.”

Jimin raises his eyebrows. “I thought you didn’t like romantic novels?”

“I think they’re unnecessary and boring. Maybe you can prove me wrong, though.”

Jimin considers this. He doubts that he can. Still, he grabs the book that’s lying on the table and walks over to Yoongi. Staying here and reading him a book is much better than going home and being alone.
Yoongi half sits, half lies on the couch and Jimin settles in between his legs, his back resting against Yoongi’s chest.

“The cover looks awful,” Yoongi remarks. Jimin giggles and rolls his eyes.

“Never judge a book by its cover.”

Jimin starts reading, and Yoongi, for the most part, listens patiently. Sometimes, he makes sarcastic remarks that make Jimin laugh, but Jimin still secretly thinks that Yoongi kind of enjoys the story.

After a while, when they have reached page 43 and the protagonist is having a mild breakdown because she doesn’t know what she is supposed to be wearing to a fancy dinner (see, there is some real drama to the story), Yoongi starts running his hand up and down Jimin’s right arm.
Jimin shivers and tries to resist the urge to just close his eyes and relax.

Then, Yoongi’s hand moves up to his hair and brushes it back, and then he Jimin’s temple and his forehead.
Jimin chuckles. “What’re you doing there?”
“Nothin’,” Yoongi mumbles back. He keeps pressing kisses to Jimin’s hair and his hand runs down Jimin’s arm again, then he intertwines their hands.
Jimin would be lying if he said that this doesn’t distract him, that his breath doesn’t hitch, and he has to squint his eyes to focus on the words again.
Yoongi kisses down to his jaw and Jimin tilts his head so that Yoongi can reach his neck.
“Keep on reading, Minnie,” Yoongi whispers, his hot breath hitting Jimin’s skin.
Jimin hasn’t even realized that he stopped reading. He clears his throat, tries to keep his eyes open when Yoongi nibbles and then sucks at his skin, and when he continues to read, his voice is shaking slightly.

Jimin hesitates and lowers the book. Yoongi doesn’t seem to have notice that he has stopped talking once again, too busy kissing Jimin’s neck, and when he uses his tongue, Jimin actually whimpers.

Jimin sits still for another second or two, then he turns his head, so he is facing Yoongi.
Yoongi frowns and looks like he is about to complain, but Jimin just leans forward, and closes the gap between their lips.
He tries to breathe deeply and calmly which his weird sitting position is not really helping him with, so he slowly turns around until he is sitting on Yoongi’s lap.
Yoongi’s right hand rests on his lower back and his left one pulls him closer by the back of his head.
Jimin just desperately clutches at Yoongi’s shirt, he can’t do much more than that – that, and kissing him passionately.
Yoongi’s tongue explore his mouth, licks his lips, and Jimin just lets him.

He lets Yoongi lift him up, not stopping to kiss him – the book falls down to the ground with a loud thud and Jimin almost giggles – and then carrying him over to where his bed is standing.

Jimin falls back on the mattress, Yoongi is right above him, kissing him again.
It feels like a movie, Jimin thinks, the way the light is falling into the apartment and on them, how he lies there, spread out on Yoongi’s sheets, and Yoongi is kissing him.
“This okay for you?” Yoongi mumbles against his lips as he slips his hand underneath Jimin’s shirt and lets his fingers run over his skin. Jimin just nods and whimpers when Yoongi’s fingers brush his nipple.
Yoongi lets out a breathy laugh and then takes off Jimin’s shirt, followed by his own.
Jimin stares at his upper body, at the tattoos he is sure he’ll never get enough of. Just when he is about to reach out and touch Yoongi’s skin, Yoongi leans down and takes one of Jimin’s nipples between his teeth, just very lightly without much pressure, and lets his tongue swirl over it.
Jimin can’t escape the quiet moan that slips past his lips.

“You’re so sensitive,” Yoongi mumbles, “Fuck, I love that.”

Jimin hums in response. His eyes flutter shut, and he leans his head back – he can already feel the tightness in his jeans, and it’s uncomfortable, but he also doesn’t want to hurry Yoongi.
He doesn’t want this to be over soon, he wants to cherish every single second and every single touch that Yoongi gives him, because he craves it, craves the affection.
He knows he is desperate and it’s embarrassing, but he can’t help it.
Yoongi lets go of Jimin’s nipple, instead peppering his chest with kisses.
“How do you wanna do this?” he asks. Jimin squirms a bit. “I don’t know,” he says before realizing that he could probably demand anything and Yoongi wouldn’t deny it.

He thinks for a second, his cheeks heating up. He wants to buck his hips up against Yoongi’s, needing any kind of friction, but he manages to restrain himself.
“Don’t be too harsh,” he suddenly blurts out. Yoongi looks up at him and Jimin squeezes his eyes shut.
Frick, he could’ve demanded anything, and that’s what he wants? Classic vanilla sex?
Needless to say Jimin is surprised by himself, but he is even more surprised that Yoongi smiles at him and nods.

“Okay.”

Then, he kisses Jimin again, a bit softer but equally as passionate as before, and Jimin melts.
God, he thinks, Yoongi is perf –

A moan slips past his lips when Yoongi grinds down against him, and his pants start to feel painfully tight.
“Please,” he whimpers, “Please, take them off.”
Yoongi mumbles something inaudible and kisses down Jimin’s chest and his stomach, then he starts to undo Jimin’s belt and slowly, but not teasingly slow, pulls down his pants.

Jimin feels another moan threatening to slip past his lips but manages to hold it back.
“Fuck,” Yoongi hisses when he sees Jimin’s panties – black lacey – and leans down to kiss Jimin’s bulge.
Jimin feels his cheeks heat up when he realizes that he is already leaking, and God, it’s so embarrassing how sensitive he is.
Yoongi, however, doesn’t seem to think so.

“You’re so pretty,” he mumbles and starts pulling down Jimin’s panties.
“I swear, I’m gonna take a photo of you one day.”

Jimin whines.

“Please do that,” he breathes, “I swear, that’s the nicest thing someone’s ever said to me while having sex.”
Yoongi chuckles. “Oh, I don’t mind telling you more of these things.”

He kisses Jimin again and then they both sit up. Jimin’s small hands open Yoongi’s jeans (his hands are shaking, what the –) and then he waits for Yoongi to take off his jeans and his boxers.
Once they’re both fully naked, Jimin moves to kiss Yoongi again, but the elder stops him.
“Wait,” he whispers.

What did I do what did I do what did I do, Jimin thinks.

He must look pretty anxious, because Yoongi chuckles and softly pushes Jimin until he is lying down again.
“I just – give me a second,” Yoongi says lowly.
He looks at Jimin’s face at first, and then his gaze wanders down, across Jimin’s whole body.
Jimin wants to squirm, but Yoongi reaches out and soothes his hands down Jimin’s stomach and his waist.
“I know I keep saying this,” Yoongi whispers, “but you’re so pretty.”

He leans down and presses a chaste kiss to Jimin’s lips.

“Breathtaking. Gorgeous.”

Stop, Jimin thinks, Stop but keep going but stop, I don’t know how to handle this –
Yoongi opens the drawer of the bedside table and gets out a bottle of lube and a condom. He takes his time fingering Jimin open, but he is gentle, almost too gentle, but Jimin doesn’t say anything because he enjoys it.
For a moment, it allows him to pretend that this is more than just sex.
“Yoongi,” he moans when Yoongi repeatedly hits his prostate.
“Yoongi, oh my God, this feels so good –“

“Do you think you’re ready, baby?” Yoongi asks and Jimin nods.

“Yeah.”

A few moments later, Yoongi kisses him deeply before slowly pushing in.
The moan that leaves Jimin’s lips is stifled by Yoongi’s, and when they break apart again and Yoongi buries his face in Jimin’s neck, Jimin tangles his fingers in Yoongi’s hair and tries to concentrate on anything, anything but Yoongi’s lips against his neck, his hands on his waist and his fingers that draw soothing circles on his skin.
It’s all too much for Jimin but it feels so good, so right, and he whimpers as he forces himself to keep his eyes open.
He looks at the ceiling, at the shelf to his right, at the window sill and at the sky outside.
The sky is still blue, the sun is shining, but Jimin swears he can hear the faint rumbling of thunder.

“You alright, Jiminie?” Yoongi asks breathlessly. Jimin manages to nod.

“Remember, be vocal, baby.”

Jimin whines and moans. Yoongi’s pace is slow but steady. It doesn’t take him long to find Jimin’s prostate again. The younger arches his back off the bed and opens his mouth for a stuttered moan.

This doesn’t feel like simple sex, this feels like love.

Jimin feels himself losing control.

But with Yoongi, it feels alright, and Jimin doesn’t mind it.
“Vocal –“ Yoongi groans, “Tell me what you want, Jimin.”
“A bit faster,” Jimin pleads. His voice is high-pitched.

Yoongi increases his pace a bit. Jimin wraps his legs around his waist.
“Can you kiss me?” he asks and almost cringes at how pathetic he sounds. But Yoongi doesn’t seem to mind. He quickly connects their lips, a bit clumsily at first, and kisses Jimin hard.

Jimin’s brain seems to shut down for a moment.

The thunder outside is coming closer, thick, dark clouds approaching and slowly covering the pretty summer sky.

Yoongi’s one hand finds Jimin’s belly button piercing and he tugs it lightly. Jimin’s breath hitches.
Before he can even think about it, he grabs Yoongi’s free hand and intertwines their fingers.
A part of him is scared that Yoongi will pull away because this is weird, holding hands while having sex, it’s too soft but Jimin can’t help it, he needs it.
Yoongi seems to notice because he doesn’t pull away. In fact, he tightens his grip and deepens their kiss. His teeth sink into Jimin’s bottom lip.

“Yoongi,” Jimin whimpers as he can feel the familiar heat pool in his lower abdomen.
His free hand clutches at Yoongi’s shoulder, his nails dig into his skin. The elder hisses and grunts.

“I think I’m – I think I’m close…”

“It’s okay, baby,” Yoongi mumbles, never breaks their kiss, “You can let go whenever you want to, I’m here, I got you.”

Shut up, Jimin thinks as he buries his face in Yoongi’s neck. Bad idea, bad idea, as Jimin suddenly becomes awfully aware of Yoongi’s scent that makes his mind spin, and he think he might pass out from the wave of impressions that comes crashing down on him all at once.
Yoongi wraps one arm around Jimin’s waist to lift his waist up a bit but keeps their hands intertwined. His grip is gentle and Jimin thinks he doesn’t want Yoongi to ever stop holding him like this.

He realizes, as the thunderstorm finally reaches this part of Itaewon and the first raindrops fall from the dark sky, that he never ever wants to be away from Yoongi, that he wants to kiss him forever and he wants Yoongi to call him beautiful and breathtaking and he doesn’t want this to only be sex.
He wants this to be so much more.

Jimin moans.

He comes as he realizes he might be in love with Yoongi.

“Fuck,” Yoongi hisses and kisses his neck, “Fuck.”
He comes shortly after.

Jimin doesn’t move as Yoongi gets up to throw the condom away, and he doesn’t move either when Yoongi lies back down next to him, cleans him up and then wraps an arm around his waist.

“Stay the night?” Yoongi asks, “Please.”
Jimin wants to cry.
“I’d love to,” he whispers despite his mind yelling at him that it’s not okay for him to stay. Not when he just realized that he is in love with Yoongi.
“Good.” Yoongi leans down and kisses Jimin softly. When they break apart again, Jimin can’t help but stare at Yoongi. His bleached hair is sticking to his forehead and his sweat is glistening with sweat. Jimin carefully reaches out and brushes Yoongi’s hair back.

This feels too intimate. Jimin wants them to stay like this forever, here, in Yoongi’s bed, while the world outside is going down.
He wonders if Yoongi can feel it too, if it’s different for him as well.
At least he doesn’t complain when Jimin pulls him in for another kiss and then, when they both get comfortable, rests his head on Yoongi’s chest, listening to his heartbeat.

“Jimin-ah?”

“Yes?”

“You’re beautiful.”

Jimin smiles. There are tears in his eyes.

~

When Yoongi wakes up, there is a pleasant smell surrounding him.

Someone is running their fingers through his hair.

Yoongi grunts and turns around. He can hear someone giggle, and almost immediately memories from the previous night flush his brain.

Jimin.

Yoongi feels a tightening warmth in his chest.
He opens his eyes and lifts his head only to rest it on Jimin’s lap and bury his face in Jimin’s stomach.
“Good morning,” Jimin says, laughing breathily.

Yoongi mumbles back something inaudible and tries not to concentrate too much on Jimin’s fingers in his hair.

“I made breakfast,” Jimin tells him after carding his fingers through his hair for a while.
“It already smells amazing,” Yoongi says. He wishes he had the motivation to get up and actually eat the food but being here with Jimin – it feels comfortable.
And maybe, just maybe Yoongi is a tiny bit scared that once they get up, Jimin will be gone way too soon.

“Bet it tastes even better,” Jimin says, and then he suddenly gets up. Yoongi groans internally.
He sits up and looks over to where Jimin is standing at the stove – he is wearing one of Yoongi’s band shirt’s that’s a little baggy on him and no pants, just his panties, and Yoongi has to swallow. Suddenly, he doesn’t feel tired anymore.

Jimin has really pretty legs, and although Yoongi has noticed that before, seeing them from afar and naked is something different.
The whole image of Park Jimin standing there, in Yoongi’s kitchen, doing normal things after having woken up right next to Yoongi, after having spent the night here, is something that’s completely new.
Sure, they’ve spent the night together before, but then the other one always left in a hurry the next morning, without having breakfast and mostly without a proper goodbye as well.

And especially after the sex they had yesterday, Yoongi just feels like this is… different. New.
It’s strange to him that he doesn’t really mind it.

In fact, he knows he could get used to this. Used to seeing Park Jimin next to him whenever he wakes up, Jimin wearing his clothes and no pants and getting comfortable in Yoongi’s apartment.
And Yoongi wants this, too.

But he doesn’t know much about love, if he is being honest. The only time that he has really loved someone in a way that was different from the love for his friends and family was the very first time he was in a relationship.
Heechul and Yoongi – inseparable ever since freshman year of high school.
Or, not so inseparable after all.

Yoongi can’t describe his feelings for Heechul, but if he had to put a label on it he would call it love.
He would’ve done anything for him, would’ve even gone as far as changing everything about himself just to please Heechul. Luckily, he didn’t do that because Heechul left him for someone else during their senior year.
Yoongi never got over it, no matter how hard he pretended, and that’s why none of his following relationships worked out.
But it’s been years now, and he knows that he is being an idiot.
He hasn’t even heard anything from Heechul ever since their breakup. And, if he is being honest, he doesn’t want to either.
It’s cliché, he knows that – not getting over your ex and being scared to start a new relationship.
But maybe that’s exactly what Yoongi is feeling.

Again, he doesn’t know much about love, he wouldn’t know how to describe it.
He doesn’t know what people really mean when they talk about love.
But he doesn’t have to. What’s important to him is that he wouldn’t mind spending his time with Park Jimin, and not just every now and then when it fits and only for the sex.
Yoongi would love to lie with him on the couch and listen to his voice reading him disgustingly cheesy romantic novels, he wants to take care of him whenever he is sick or hungover or simply stressed from university.
Yoongi wants to take him out on dates and hold his hand and kiss him whenever he wants to, and he wants to find Jimin’s stuff everywhere around his apartment and have meaningful sex with him and fuck, Yoongi doesn’t know shit about love but if that doesn’t mean he is in love with Park Jimin, then he is sure he will never find out the true meaning of that word.

And right now, Jimin is standing there without pants and wearing Yoongi’s shirt, and he is smiling at him and leaning against the counter.
He looks so gorgeous like that, Yoongi just wants to get up and kiss him and tell him that he is in love with him.
But he can’t, because deep down, he might be scared after all.
It’s not even the doubt that Jimin doesn’t feel anything for him that is keeping him from jumping up and confessing. Yoongi would rather have his hopes crushed right now than in a few weeks or months when he has started to feel comfortable with it.

No, that’s not it.

Yoongi is simply not what’s good for Jimin.

Yoongi has had several relationships after Heechul, both boys and girls, and it’s never worked out.
And Yoongi knows that’s his fault. He was always the one who couldn’t give his partner what they needed – affection, attention, love. He never knew how, not after Heechul.
What if Jimin would say yes if Yoongi asked him to be his boyfriend? The possibility is there.
Then Yoongi would have to love him and let go of his past. And he doesn’t know if he can do that.
He has tried it, several times, and ended up getting left or cheated on.

He knows that what he feels for Jimin is different from what he felt for all the other people before. But what if still, Jimin isn’t going to be happy with him, will leave him or even cheat on him? Or, even more probable (because Yoongi knows that Jimin wouldn’t ever cheat on anyone), what if Yoongi breaks Jimin?
Yoongi wouldn’t ever forgive himself that.

Jimin deserves the world, and Yoongi can only give him a handful of it.

“If you keep on staring like that you’ll have to pay for it,” Jimin says, crossing his arms in front of his chest and tilting his head to the left.
Then, his smile slowly disappears.
“Are you okay?”

Yoongi blinks. He nods.
“Yeah, don’t worry.”

He rubs his face and then finally gets up and walks over to where Jimin is standing.
“Let’s have breakfast, then. Can’t let your work have been for nothin’.”
Jimin grins widely and grabs Yoongi’s hand, cheerfully pulling him over to the table.

It is right then and there that Yoongi realizes how much in love he is with Park Jimin and that it doesn’t fucking matter. Not one bit.

~

It is a few days after that, while Jimin is doing his laundry, that he finds something that definitely does not belong to him.
A dark green hoodie, grey sweatpants. A black shirt from a band that Jimin has never heard of.
Shit.
These things aren’t his, they are Yoongi’s. Jimin recalls Yoongi giving them to him, for the time being, of course, but now they’re here, at Jimin’s place, about to get washed in his washing machine.

This is not okay. He can’t have Yoongi’s clothes here, not when they aren’t in a relationship.
Sure, Jimin could just give them back. He could wash them now, text Yoongi, go over to his place, give him his clothes back and that’s it.
It’s that easy. Nothing complicated.

Yet Jimin still finds himself kneeling on the floor in front of the washing machine, the clothes in his hands, and contemplating whether he really wants to do that.

He comes to a conclusion five minutes later, when his knees are starting to hurt.
No, he doesn’t want to give the clothes back. At least not yet – maybe when Yoongi asks for them.
Maybe then. Or maybe not, he’ll see. He could just pretend to have given them back already.
Yeah, that sounds like a plan.
And as these thoughts cross his brain and Jimin puts the clothes into the washing machine, he realizes how screwed he is, and that, although he knows that he can’t have Yoongi, he doesn’t really mind.

~

The sun is pretty today, but when is it not, really?
Jeongguk tightens his grip around the steering wheel. They’re standing on the roadside, having stopped here after getting dinner.
They, being him and Taehyung.

They don’t talk a lot. Taehyung is too busy eating and Jeongguk is, well, what is he doing?

Trying not to think. He fails at that, though, ends up thinking even more.

“How was your day?” Taehyung asks, and Jeongguk believes he only wants to break the silence.

“Good,” he replies, “Nothing out of the ordinary happened.”

“Same here.”

They go back to being quiet. Jeongguk feels the weight of it on his ears.
It’s not like he doesn’t want to talk – he really does.
But every time he tries to come up with something to say, his brain is completely empty. He sighs and leans his head back, then he looks at Taehyung.

“Are you sure you’re not hungry?” Taehyung asks and lowers his chopsticks.
Jeongguk nods. “I’m sure, yeah.”

He knows that, if he tried to eat now, he would probably immediately throw up.
Taehyung raises one eyebrow. “Do I have to be worried? About you not eating?”
Jeongguk is not able to avert his gaze from Taehyung.

“No, you don’t.”

“Are you getting sick?”

“No.”

“Have you already eaten today?”

“Tae.” Jeongguk chuckles. “I’m okay, really. I promise.”
Taehyung’s face softens. “Okay,” he says.
Jeongguk shivers.

“I think you should decide where we eat next week,” Taehyung says as he closes the empty food box and puts it into the plastic bag which he then throws on the backseat.
“I always decide, now it’s your turn.”
Another try to get the conversation going.

“I don’t mind,” Jeongguk says, “You pick good places.”
He is still staring at Taehyung, who, unfortunately, realizes before Jeongguk does.

“Okay – what?” Taehyung giggles.

“Huh?”

“Stop staring.”

“’m not.”

“Yes, you are.” Taehyung’s grin widens. “Is there something on my face?”
Jeongguk shakes his head, smiling slightly.

“You look just fine.”

You look so pretty. I don’t know why I keep thinking that and your lips look so kissable and I can’t stop staring.
“Shit, just fine? I thought I was breathtaking!” Taehyung exclaims, pretending to be offended. Jeongguk rolls his eyes.

“You know what, actually you’re a real ugly fucker.”

Taehyung gasps. “Take that back!” he says and dramatically clutches his heart. “My poor feelings!”
Jeongguk grins.

You look beautiful, he thinks, You look so, so beautiful.

He hasn’t been able to get Taehyung out of his mind. He just pretends to not know why; of course, that won’t work forever, but it has worked until now.
“Yeah, I’m sorry,” he says and grins, “The truth hurts.”
Taehyung slaps his arm and Jeongguk laughs.

I want to kiss you, he thinks, and his smile immediately fades. Fuck.

“I think you have never looked in a mirror,” Taehyung says and shifts around a bit.
He props his feet up on the dashboard. Jeongguk feels his heart clench.
“You know what? I’m going to buy you a mirror for your birthday, so you can see what real ugliness – hey, are you okay?” Taehyung looks at him again. He sounds and looks even more worried than before.

I’m going to kiss you.

“Hey, Tae?”

Taehyung raises his eyebrows. “What?”
His eyes go wide as Jeongguk leans in. Suddenly, their lips are pressed together, and Jeongguk’s whole body relaxes.

Fuck.

He is almost surprised at how sudden Taehyung reciprocates and – wait, no, no no no no, this is not supposed to happen, they shouldn’t kiss, what the fuck –

Taehyung cups his cheeks and Jeongguk pulls away.

“Oh,” Taehyung whispers.
“Fuck,” Jeongguk hisses, “That… it wasn’t – fuck…”

He runs a hand through his hair and leans his head back. Taehyung’s face falls.
The silence is killing Jeongguk, but he can’t bring himself to say something. Not now, not after he just destroyed everything.

“Hey,” Taehyung says softly, “We can just –“
“I’m going to drive you home, yeah?” Jeongguk interrupts him, not even looking at him. Taehyung is too stunned to answer for a few seconds.
“Okay,” he then mumbles. He doesn’t sound convinced.

They drive in silence. Jeongguk feels even sicker than before. If he wanted to he could throw up in an instant, he is sure of that.
He wants to apologize, but his throat feels too dry to speak.
When they stop in front of Taehyung’s apartment, it’s already dark outside. Taehyung inhales deeply, then he opens his mouth and turns to Jeongguk – he looks like he wants to say something. Jeongguk turns his head away.

Taehyung closes his mouth.

He leaves the car without saying anything.
The silence that follows is suffocating Jeongguk.
He blinks away the tears and swears he is not in love with Taehyung.

~

It’s different with a guy. Or, maybe not so much.
Maybe Jeongguk just keeps telling himself that to pretend he is not enjoying it.

Junhong is his name. The guy’s name.

His hands are warm and rough, and the way they tug at Jeongguk’s hair as he is thrusting into Junhong is not too unfamiliar.
Junhong has a piercing. He has a few tattoos, too. His dark curls stick to his forehead and he looks a lot younger than just a few hours ago, when Jeongguk first saw him at the club.

Jeongguk screws his eyes shut and kisses Junhong, but then his mind is screaming Taehyung and fuck, okay, no, Jeongguk keeps his eyes open, Jeongguk doesn’t kiss Junhong.

He is already enjoying this a lot more than he should. Of course, he could blame it on the alcohol, but Jeongguk is a lot soberer than when they started, and he is still absolutely turned on.

No matter how hard Jeongguk tries to distract himself, he can’t help but see Taehyung there, underneath him, he can’t help but wish it was him.

Stop, okay, stop. Junhong, right.

Jeongguk doesn’t even try to be gentle anymore, but luckily, Junhong doesn’t mind.
In fact, it doesn’t take long until he moans, “I’m gonna come,” right before he does. Jeongguk fastens his pace and chases his own orgasm which hits him not too long after.
“Fuck,” he hisses and plops down next to Junhong, both of them breathing heavily.

It is quiet in the room, except for their panting. Jeongguk wants to lie down properly and close his eyes when Junhong pulls him in for a kiss.
Jeongguk doesn’t pull away. He kisses back hard and no, he doesn’t have feelings for Taehyung, he can’t have, he just slept with another guy, it’s not possible –
Junhong pulls away, keeps their eyes locked for a moment, then looks at Jeongguk’s clock.

“Shit!” he hisses and immediately gets up.
“What?” Jeongguk asks, confused.
“My parents are literally gonna kill me,” Junhong says while getting dressed.
Jeongguk squints at the clock – 2.36pm.

“I told them I would be home around one – fuck, where is my shirt? – not that they would care, but still…”
Jeongguk picks up Junhong’s shirt and gives it to him.
“Tell them you’re crashing at a friend’s place,” he suggests, “Then they won’t be too worried.”
“Great idea,” Junhong says while trying to push his arms through the sleeves of his shirt, “But my friends don’t live exactly close. I’m not from this part of town.”
Jeongguk doesn’t think too long before he replies, “Then stay the night,” as if it was obvious.
Junhong halts for a moment. “You sure?” he asks.
Jeongguk shrugs. “Yeah.”
Junhong stares at him.
“Cool,” he then whispers before undressing again.

Jeongguk isn’t sure if this was a good idea – offering a one night stand to stay the night. But it wouldn’t be the first time he does this. Besides, Junhong seems like a good kid.
And maybe, just maybe Jeongguk is a bit egoistic and hopes to get his mind off Taehyung for at least a few hours.

~

Taehyung knows that it’s early when he is standing in front of Jeongguk’s apartment – he managed to sneak into the building while someone looking like a business man left.
It’s not much later than 7.30 in the morning, but Taehyung has to go to an exhibition soon (a must-attend-event, his professor said) and he really needs to talk to Jeongguk – about yesterday, about the kiss. About them.
He has waited for over than a year for this to happen, and now he is not going to waste another second to tell Jeongguk about how he feels.
Because even though the evening ended abruptly for Taehyung, and even though Jeongguk hasn’t texted him once ever since then, this can’t have meant nothing. You don’t kiss your friends just like that.

Taehyung doesn’t even expect much from Jeongguk. An explanation, maybe. Another kiss and the question if Taehyung wants to be his boyfriend would be even better, of course.

Taehyung takes a deep breath in. He is shaking a bit, not too bad though. He can do this.
Taehyung raises his hand to ring the bell.

He can do this

The door opens and a boy Taehyung has never seen before is standing right in front of him.
He is tall – taller than Taehyung, for sure – and has brown, messy hair. A little piercing decorates his nose and his jaw is broad and prominent.
“Oh,” he says, “Uh –“

Jeongguk appears next to him. His face falls when he sees Taehyung.
“Hello,” Taehyung says, “Jeongguk, we need –“
There are hickeys on the boy’s neck. There are hickeys on Jeongguk’s neck, too, and Taehyung swears to God, they weren’t there yesterday.
The boy shuffles nervously.

“I have to go,” he says, then he glances back at Jeongguk, and he looks almost apologetic.
“Okay,” Jeongguk breathes, and then the boy pushes past Taehyung and hurries downstairs.
Taehyung doesn’t move.

“That,” Jeongguk swallows, “Uh…”
“Jeongguk.” Taehyung clenches his fists. This can’t be true, this can’t be happening.
He thinks about turning around and just leaving, but then Jeongguk takes a step aside and lets Taehyung enter.
The door closes quietly.

“Explain,” Taehyung says. Jeongguk stares at his feet.

“What?”

“Everything.”

And when Jeongguk stays quiet, Taehyung asks, “Who was that?”
At that, Jeongguk looks up. “Junhong.”

“Junhong?”

“Yeah.”

Taehyung bites down on the inside of his cheek.
“You had sex, didn’t you?” he asks. Silence.

“You kiss me,” Taehyung says, trying his best to stay calm, “And then you go and fuck someone else? Are you serious?”
Jeongguk winces.

“What were you even thinking? You –“ Taehyung gasps for air, and he realizes there are tears burning in his eyes. He blinks, and they roll down his cheeks.
“You fucking kissed me, doesn’t that mean anything to you?”

“It was just a kiss,” Jeongguk mumbles.
“Get over it.”

Taehyung stares at him, wide eyed.
“What the fuck did you just say? Get over it?”

Jeongguk closes his eyes. “Tae, I’m so –“

“You fucking moron! You go out and fuck your way through half of Seoul, of course a kiss means nothing to you – but did you ever think about me?” Taehyung yells, stepping closer to Jeongguk who doesn’t move. “Of course not, because you’re a fucking arrogant and egoistic asshole, you never think about others! You didn’t think about that poor girl, you didn’t think about Junhong and if he might catch feelings for you now and you didn’t think about me, you never do –“ Taehyung is full-on sobbing now and he doesn’t want this, he is so weak and he hates it.

He just wants Jeongguk to hold him close. Is that too much to ask for? What else does Taehyung have to go through before things finally go well for him?
“Tae –“ Jeongguk tries, but stops immediately as Taehyung practically collapses against him and punches his fists against his chest.
“Fuck you, Jeon Jeongguk, you fucking asshole, just because you don’t have any feelings doesn’t mean others don’t have them, too, and – let go of me!”
Jeongguk tightens his grip around Taehyung’s wrists as Taehyung tries to pull them away, and he is screaming and squirming and crying, Jeongguk can’t even understand what he is saying anymore.

He quickly wraps his arms around Taehyung and pulls him in close against his chest.
Taehyung’s sobs come out muffled as he presses his face against Jeongguk’s shirt.
His movements become weaker and weaker until his hands slide down Jeongguk’s chest and his body goes limb.

“I’m sorry,” Jeongguk immediately whispers. His lips are pressed against Taehyung’s hair.
“I’m so sorry, shh, calm down…”

Taehyung whimpers. Yet he manages to free himself from Jeongguk’s grip and push him away.
“Don’t,” he sobs, “Don’t fucking say that when you don’t mean it. You don’t even know what you’re doing to me.”

Jeongguk actually looks pained. “Then tell me,” he says, “What am I doing to you?”
And when Taehyung doesn’t answer because he doesn’t know what to, Jeongguk takes a step forward and cups Taehyung’s cheeks.

Taehyung thinks he might collapse when Jeongguk’s lips press against his.

Instinctively, he pulls away, staring at Jeongguk with wide eyes. He can feel the younger’s hot breath on his skin, and he looks equally surprised as Taehyung feels.
Taehyung wants to ask him what he is doing, what the fuck that was supposed to be. But the regret to have ended the kiss so fast is stronger, and Jeongguk is still cupping his cheeks.

Taehyung leans back in and kisses Jeongguk. Jeongguk kisses back.

It’s hesitant at first, and more pressing their lips together than an actual kiss. But then Taehyung dares to move his lips and Jeongguk is quick to imitate the movement.
And before Taehyung even knows what happening, he wraps his arms around Jeongguk’s neck and pulls him closer.
He thinks of the boy and the hickeys on Jeongguk’s neck and he feels a sudden emptiness fill his stomach, yet he can’t bring himself to pull away.
Jeongguk’s hands move down to rest on his hips and he is moving – and Taehyung registers that Jeongguk is pushing him, not away but in the direction of the bedroom.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, Taehyung thinks, but that’s it. He complies easily and lets Jeongguk walk them into the bedroom, and he hates himself for not minding.
He wants this. He loves Jeongguk and he wants to sleep with him and that’s not okay, not after what Jeongguk did.
At least Taehyung knows that – But maybe the little bit of self-esteem he still had in him was gone the second Jeongguk pressed his lips against Taehyung’s.
They fall onto the bed, Jeongguk on top of Taehyung, and he is suddenly so gentle, Taehyung swears he feels dizzy.

He pulls away. They both open their eyes.

“This is okay, right?” Taehyung quickly asks, because he doesn’t want Jeongguk to do this without really wanting it. Which is very likely to be the case, that’s why Jeongguk’s nod confuses him.

Jeongguk kisses him shortly and softly. Taehyung forgets Junhong and that this was the bed they had sex on.
Jeongguk’s hand slips underneath his shirt and he shivers, then throws his head back when Jeongguk starts to kiss neck.
This feels so good, so effortless that Taehyung can’t believe that just a few minutes ago, he screamed at Jeongguk and he cried, although the dampness of his skin is still proof enough for his tears.

Taehyung spreads his legs a little farther and suddenly, his and Jeongguk’s crotches are pressed together. He gasps; Jeongguk grunts and pulls away from his neck. Instead he stares at him with wide eyes before slowly moving his middle again. Taehyung tries really hard to keep his eyes open and not let them flutter shut from the wave of emotions that hits him.

Jeongguk’s lips are on his again. There is a whine that wants to fight its way out of Taehyung’s throat.
He feels loved by Jeongguk, loved for once, something he has been dreaming about for what feels like forever.
And now, they’re here, on Jeongguk’s bed, making out, and this has to be a dream – Taehyung hasn’t even told Jeongguk what he feels for him.
His left hand plays with the hem of Jeongguk’s shirt and pulls it up a little bit to let his fingers trace Jeongguk’s skin. The younger shivers.
He pulls away momentarily. The look in his eyes seems to ask, ‘Where is this going?’ but Taehyung doesn’t have an answer. He tilts his head back and stares at the ceiling, hoping that Jeongguk won’t change his mind, please, please.

Honestly, Taehyung doesn’t know if he could deal with that.

His heart is pounding fast in his chest, to the extent that it almost hurts. He can feel Jeongguk’s stare burn into his skin.
Then, Jeongguk moves, leans down and presses his cold lips against his throat. Taehyung wants to whimper from the relief that overcomes him. He manages to keep his eyes open and glances down – Jeongguk has taken off his shirt. It lies somewhere next to the bed, on the floor.
Taehyung blinks. Jeongguk pecks him on the lips, and then again, before his hands move down to open Taehyung’s pants.

“Wait.”

Taehyung grabs Jeongguk’s wrists and stops him from pulling his pants down. Jeongguk looks up at him in surprise.
“Huh? Is everything alright?” He leans forward again; his lips briefly touch Taehyung’s.

“No, Jeongguk, wait,” Taehyung repeats more urgently and gently pushes Jeongguk away. Jeongguk’s breath is still hitting his skin, and for a moment, he wonders if this is the right thing to do. For once, everything seems to work out just like Taehyung wants it to, and he should enjoy it and just let it happen.
And he wants to.

But he can’t let this be a one-time-thing. He can’t sleep with Jeongguk now and then leave his apartment right after, just like Junhong had this morning.
This could destroy their friendship if Taehyung doesn’t clear things up now. He has come this far, he is not going to make a stupid mistake now.
And that’s what he came here for in the first place – confessing. He is not going to let the fact that he is lying in bed with a shirtless Jeongguk destroy his plan.
“What?” Jeongguk asks. He looks worried, maybe. Annoyed. Taehyung tries to keep a straight face and not to frown.

“This – we should talk first,” he says. His voice sounds hoarse. He clears his throat and tries to distract himself from the panic weighting down on his chest.
“Talk about what?” asks Jeongguk, “Tae…”

Taehyung’s hands clutch at Jeongguk’s shoulders. He opens his mouth but fails to speak.
Jeongguk’s face softens visibly, along with Taehyung’s whole body.
It will be okay, he thinks as Jeongguk kisses him softly, There is no need to worry.

“Gukkie,” he mumbles against Jeongguk’s lips.
Jeongguk only kisses him harder at this.

“Hey.” Taehyung whimpers when Jeongguk’s hand cups his cheek and pulls him in closer.

“Jeonggukkie, hey, wait –“ Taehyung manages to create a small gap between them. He keeps his eyes closed as he tries to catch his breath.
It is so quiet that for a moment, he beliefs that he is all alone. He can’t even hear Jeongguk breathing, it’s as if he is holding his breath – yet his own heart is beating as if he has just finished running a thousand miles.

“I can’t do this. Not like this,” Taehyung begins. Jeongguk’s grip on his cheek becomes a bit stronger.

“I have feelings for you,” and if that wasn’t already enough, Taehyung adds, “Jeongguk, I am in love with you.”

Time passes slower, then, the temperature drops noticeably, and Taehyung can neither feel or hear anything.
Jeongguk pulls his hand away. “Taehyung,” he says, and his voice sounds a lot lower and deeper than usually.

“Taehyung, look at me.”

Taehyung does and regrets it immediately, because Jeongguk doesn’t look happy. Not at all. In fact, he looks very far from it.
Taehyung immediately feels the urge to apologize, but he presses his lips together. Anything he would say now could make the situation even worse.

“Is that true?” Jeongguk asks and Taehyung nods hesitantly.
“You’re in love with me?” Another nod.

Jeongguk exhales deeply. Then, he moves away from Taehyung and runs a hand through his hair.
His cheeks are flushed, and he looks tense, desperation tearing at his features, making him look at least ten years older.
“Jeonggukkie?” Taehyung asks timidly. His voice is barely more than a whisper.
Jeongguk doesn’t move. He doesn’t even look at Taehyung, so Taehyung pushes himself up, crawls over to him and places a hand on his shoulder.

“Hey, Gukkie, I’m sorr –“

“Don’t fucking touch me,” Jeongguk growls and then slaps Taehyung’s hand away. Taehyung feels as if he’s just been struck by a lighting.
He stays still as Jeongguk gets up and turns away from him, then walks over to his shirt and picks it up.

“Get out,” he hisses, putting his shirt on.

Taehyung blinks. What?

“Taehyung,” Jeongguk says more urgently, “Taehyung, get out!"

Get out, Taehyung thinks, Get out, Taehyung, get out, get out –
This doesn’t make any sense to him. He feels like crying, like curling up on the floor and bawling his eyes out.
He can’t move for another few seconds – What was that? Get out?

Suddenly, Jeongguk grabs his wrists and pulls him up to his feet. It’s so abruptly that Taehyung stumbles and almost falls but can hold onto the bedpost just in time.
He whimpers and turns around to Jeongguk. His shaking hands manage to button his pants; Jeongguk isn’t even looking at him. He is breathing heavily and looks like he is going to start yelling at Taehyung at any moment.

Taehyung feels ready to throw up.

He knows that Jeongguk has no right to treat him like this – or has he?
But either way, Taehyung has fucked up, he has ruined everything, and this is the prize. Great, great!

“Jeongguk,” he says as gently as possible, “I didn’t mean – let me explain, yeah? Hear me out first…”
Jeongguk spins around so fast that Taehyung fears he might fall over.

“Explain what, Taehyung? That you’re in love with me? What the fuck?” He breathes heavily.
The tears that are burning in Taehyung’s eyes are threatening to spill over at any moment.
“I thought we were friends, and friends don’t fucking fall in love with each other! How did that even happen, fucking hell, get the fuck out of my apartment!”

Friends don’t make out with each other, Taehyung thinks, but he doesn’t say it.

“Get out,” Jeongguk yells again, and suddenly, he has taken two steps towards Taehyung and has pushed him towards the door.
Not hard enough to make Taehyung fall or hurt him physically, but emotionally for sure, and it’s enough to destroy the perfect little world in his head where everything is alright.

Taehyung doesn’t say anything as he leaves the room and hurries to open the door.

He believes that he can hear Jeongguk crying. But maybe that is just a part of his imagination.

~

It’s one of the many times where Jimin and Yoongi are on Jimin’s bed, fucking. Jimin’s roommate isn’t here, at work or whatever, Yoongi doesn’t really care. They’re alone for now, and that’s what counts.

It has become a regularity, this thing between them. Once a week, at least. It’s not like Yoongi minds. It’s good that way.
But recently, ever since Yoongi has realized that this could be more, it’s been getting harder for him to keep this up as something between friends.

Jimin is beautiful, very much so, and it more than often takes Yoongi’s breath away.

And Jimin is even more gorgeous looking now that he is lying underneath Yoongi, his hands holding onto the headboard on the bed and his eyes closed.
It’s not easy for Yoongi to tear his gaze away from him, but he manages it when he leans down and kisses Jimin’s bare chest instead.
He is a bit harsher in his trust than usual, he can’t help it, but luckily, Jimin doesn’t mind.
In fact, he seems to like it, lets out whimpers of pleasure every now and then and tells Yoongi whenever he hits a good spot.
Of course, Yoongi wouldn’t ever do something that could physically hurt Jimin without his clear consent, and they both know that. Jimin trusts Yoongi.

Jimin is wearing light blue nail polish with glitter today. He even managed to put on makeup – a pretty gloss on his lips that Yoongi has long kissed away, some subtle eyeshadow. His skin looks flawless even with the sweat glistening on his forehead.
Yoongi likes to imagine that Jimin wanted to be all pretty for him.

Fuck, Yoongi realizes, He is so pretty.
And it would be so easy to tell him just that – Yoongi has done that countless of times already. But now, there is a special new meaning to it. It’s as if every time Yoongi tells him he is pretty, he is also telling him he loves him.

I like that shirt on you – I love you

You look nice today, but what I really mean is I love you and it kills me that I can’t tell you.

You’re a good person. Too good for me.

I love you.

Jimin is precious. Fragile, easy to break. He may stand Yoongi’s harsh grip on his hips and his hard thrusts, but Yoongi’s words could easily destroy him. It kills Yoongi that he can’t just say what he wants to.
“Yoongi,” Jimin whimpers. One of his hands gets tangled in Yoongi’s hair and pulls him down into a deep kiss. Yoongi wants to pull away immediately, but he doesn’t.
He knows Jimin is close and luckily, he is, too, because his mind is starting to hurt from the thought of Jimin underneath him and the words that are lying at the tip of his tongue are threatening to slip past his lips at any moment.

I love you, he thinks and quickens his pace. He fears that he might hurt Jimin, but Jimin just moans and arches his back.

I love you.

It’s that thought that makes Yoongi come, and Jimin follows quickly after.

“God,” Jimin pants. Yoongi tries to calm his breath and pulls out of Jimin. It is so tempting to just lie down, pull Jimin close and kiss him, to pretend that there is something more between them, at least for a while, until Yoongi has to leave again.

But Jimin isn’t his and he will never be, and it’s foolish of Yoongi to hope that that could change.

“Yoongi?” Jimin asks, and he sounds confused when Yoongi gets up without sparing him a glance.
He cranes his neck as good as possible to look at Yoongi. The exhaustion is written in his face, and he reaches out to grab Yoongi’s wrist and pull him closer, but Yoongi quickly collects his clothes and hastily gets dressed. He almost stumbles and stands straight for a moment, rubbing his temples and closing his eyes.

“Yoongi.” Jimin sounds more alarmed now.

Yoongi knows he should lie down next to him and cuddle him, clean him up, he has been harsh today, has gone harder than usual and it did absolutely shit for him, the feelings are still there, he is almost more aware of them than before.
Yoongi craves Jimin’s affection and his touch, but he needs to get away from here. Now, as fast as possible.

“Yoongi, what are you doing? Where… where are you going?” Jimin asks and sits up. He has wrapped the comforter around his body, and he looks like a lost puppy sitting there, slouchy and with glassy eyes. Yoongi wants to kiss him so badly.
It would make him say it though. He can’t, he can’t stay here. He is so fucking selfish.

“Did I… do something?” Jimin tries one last time, “Just tell me, please don’t leave. Yoongi –“
He stops, then, realizing that Yoongi won’t talk, and that Yoongi will leave.
So he just sits there, watching Yoongi get dressed and then walk out of the room, silent, with an unreadable expression.

Yoongi’s heart breaks that day. He can’t forgive himself that. He fucked up, and he knows he has lost Park Jimin.

Chapter Text

It’s quiet in the tattoo parlor. Too quiet for Yoongi’s liking. The last costumer has left a few minutes ago and Yoongi’s shift is about to end. Now it’s just him and Namjoon.

Yoongi sighs as he throws another glance at the clock. Still five minutes – maybe he could start packing his stuff.
He tabs his fingers against the surface of the counter as he walks past it, just to destroy the silence that is slowly becoming unbearable.
He has never been one to mind the quiet a lot, in fact, it has always been quite the opposite. He prefers it since it allows him to fully concentrate on himself, on his thoughts and what he is doing.
But recently, silence has been too loud.
It is a reminder that something is missing. Someone.

Minho, who is lying on the couch, purrs and lifts his head when he notices that Yoongi steps closer. He gets up, stretches, and looks at him expectantly.
A smile tugs at the corner of Yoongi’s lips.

“Hey, do you know how… long this has been in the fridge?”

Yoongi turns around to face Namjoon who is leaning against the doorframe, scratching his head and holding a rice milk carton in his hand.
“I just found it and I don’t remember buying it… it must’ve been in there for months.”

Yoongi doesn’t say anything as he skeptically watches Namjoon. It is nothing new for him to be out of it, and usually, it is something that never ceases to amuse Yoongi.
But now, he can’t bring himself to chuckle or even smile. He just stares at Namjoon, blankly, and wonders about the absurdity of the situation, especially when Namjoon finally looks back at him and seems even more confused than before.

“What?” he asks.

“What?” Yoongi asks back and shakes his head slightly.

“Is this Jeongguk’s?”

Yoongi pulls a face and shrugs. “How am I supposed to know? I don’t give a shit.”

He turns away and grabs a pen, then pretends to write something down. It is quiet behind him. Namjoon doesn’t move.
Yoongi squeezes his eyes shut and sighs.

“Sorry,” he mumbles, turning around to face his friend, “I don’t… know whose milk that is. It’s not mine.” He forces a smile to top it off.
Namjoon’s look is piercing and sceptical and Yoongi avoids his eyes, then flinches and turns back around to hide his tentativeness.
He is sure that is has worked when he can hear Namjoon walk away, probably to dispose of the rice milk.
And Yoongi, Yoongi allows himself to relax for a second. Not much has changed but everything has gotten so much more exhausting. What he has been doing for years suddenly feels like a burden, and more often than not Yoongi finds himself lying in bed at home not being able to get up, let alone go to work.
He hasn’t dared to call in sick yet, but maybe it’s just a matter of time.

Sometimes, Yoongi draws, but even his drawings feel incomplete.

“Hey,” he hears and winces a bit. Namjoon is right next to him and puts a hand on Yoongi’s shoulder.
Yoongi glances at him.
“You can go home; your shift has ended. I’ll tidy everything up.”
Yoongi looks at the clock. Indeed, his shift is over.
“I can help you clean up, it’s no problem,” Yoongi says after remembering that there is nothing waiting for him at home. So why hurry?

“You look tired,” Namjoon states. His eyes soften a bit.
“And? It’s late, and you don’t look exactly rested as well.”
“That’s not what I mean, Yoongi.”

And Yoongi knows that. He’s not stupid; but he doesn’t want to talk to Namjoon about his problems, he can’t, and he wonders why his friend can’t accept that.

“Yoongi,” Namjoon repeats. Yoongi figures he looks like he’s thinking too much again.
“I can help you tidy up, it’s no bother,” he just says because he doesn’t want to listen to Namjoon.
He is not ready for someone else to make him feel like shit, too. In fact, Yoongi himself is already doing a great job at that.

“You know,” Namjoon deadpans, “You’re such an idiot for thinking that I don’t notice anything.”

Yoongi closes his eyes. He is not ready.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he mumbles, and he doesn’t look at Namjoon because he already knows that he won’t be able to stand the look on his friend’s face.
“You do. Do you think I’m that dumb?”

“Namjoon, drop it, please,” Yoongi says. He looks at the clock and decides that going home might not be such a bad idea after all.
“No.” Namjoon makes a pause, but Yoongi knows that he is not done yet.
“I can’t keep watching you pretend you’re alright when you’re certainly not. Yoongi, you’re my best friend, I’m worried about you. And I’m allowed to be worried. Someone has to, right?”

Yoongi turns his head away even more. “Right.”

“Right.”

The silence gives both of them enough time to think. Namjoon speaks up first.
“You have never been someone to openly talk about your feelings a lot. At least not for as long as I know you. But usually, you could tell me when something was not alright, even though you were never good at naming what exactly was going wrong. And now – this has been going on for a while. You were doing so well, and now I have to be scared to ask you for literally anything because I don’t know if it’s too much for you. I can tell that something is wrong because your job is usually never too much for you.”

Yoongi gets what he is trying to say. He gets it, he got it before. But it’s hard to accept.

“What if the problem is ridiculous? Too ridiculous to tell anyone about?” Yoongi suddenly asks because what if it really is? But Namjoon just chuckles.
“Min Yoongi and a ridiculous problem? Never heard of that. I think that’s impossible. Besides,” he takes a deep breath in and smiles, “If it’s a problem and it bothers you, then it cannot be ridiculous.”

Yoongi believe that makes sense, somehow.

“Maybe,” he starts, “Maybe –“
The neon lights happily flicker in the dark. The air smells used and Yoongi can hear the distant roars of engines.

“Maybe I should go home now,” he says. Namjoon’s face falls a bit.
He doesn’t stop Yoongi when he gathers his stuff and walks towards the door, though.

“See you tomorrow,” Yoongi says and opens the door.

“Is it because of him?” Namjoon asks. He is still standing in the same spot as before, hasn’t moved an inch.
Yoongi halts and looks back at him. His face must be answer enough to Namjoon.
“It is, right? It’s because of Jimin.”

“It’s not.”

“Yoongi.”

Yoongi drags his tongue across his teeth. He clenches his hands.
The thing is, it’s not entirely because of Jimin. The thing is, Jimin was just the trigger.
If Yoongi was honest, then he would tell Namjoon that it is because Yoongi knows it’s all his fault.
He fucked up, he was the one to leave and ignore Jimin and hurt him so, so badly that he hates Yoongi now. And he has every right to do so.
Yoongi lost what was the most precious to him and it’s all his fault. But he can’t tell Namjoon all of that.
Not yet, that is.

“It is,” he ends up saying and nods, “It is because of Jimin.”

“Talk to him,” Namjoon suggests without asking any more question. In a way, Yoongi is thankful.
“I can’t. If I could, I would’ve already done that. But I don’t think I can do that to him,” he says with a shrug.
“You could always try,” Namjoon says without missing a beat. Yoongi wants to laugh at that.
“If it only were that easy,” he chuckles, “If it were that easy, man, I think I would’ve already married him.”

Then, Yoongi leaves, and Namjoon doesn’t stop him this time.

~

Time passes, almost enough time for Yoongi to forget about his conversation with Namjoon. Neither of them brings the topic up again, and Yoongi is grateful for that.

Jimin is still not present, except for in Yoongi’s head, he is always there, always always, never gone, not once.
He is there at night when Yoongi’s nightmares turn to dreams and he is there when Yoongi finds his clothes between his own, and he is there in the sketches Yoongi draws.
Every day, always.

It hurts a lot. More often than not, Yoongi finds himself looking at the few photos he has of Jimin, and then he wants to call or at least text him; but he never does it.
In a way he is a coward, and he knows that. But Yoongi is too far gone to care.

Maybe one day, he will be able to accept that Jimin won’t come back and that it’s his own doing that put him in this situation.

“We should get dinner together, today,” Jeongguk says after the costumer Yoongi has just tattooed left the parlor.
“Today? But it’s Friday,” Namjoon remembers and looks at Jeongguk, “What about Taehyung?”

Jeongguk visibly tenses. His eyes darken. Yoongi wonders if Namjoon’s insensibility is intentional; Taehyung hasn’t been to the tattoo parlor in a while and Jeongguk voluntarily stays longer on Fridays. It is obvious that something is wrong between them.

“Yeah, Taehyung. Right.” Jeongguk says. He looks like he wants to say more but doesn’t seem to be able to find the right words.
Yoongi is quick to help him.

“There is this sushi place on the other side of town that you always wanted to check out, right, Namjoon? Why don’t we go there?” he asks.

Jeongguk throws him a thankful glance and a small smile. Namjoon opens his mouth, closes it again; repeats this two times.
“Aright,” he eventually says, “Maybe it’s not a bad idea after all.” Then, he goes back to his work.
When Yoongi walks past Jeongguk, Jeongguk grabs his arm and whispers a quiet, “Thank you.”

So, a few hours later, they close the shop and get in Namjoon’s car; Jeongguk on the backseat, of course. The drive is comfortable and Yoongi believes that Jeongguk is the most thankful for the silence that is between the three of them.
Yoongi looks out of the window and allows his thoughts to run free. He watches the people in the city, wonders where they are heading, who they are, looks at the houses and shops and bright lights that are on even though it’s early in the evening and the sun is still up.

And maybe Yoongi should’ve been a bit more attentive, because when Jeongguk suddenly says, “Hyung, I don’t think this is the right place,” once Namjoon comes to a halt, it is already too late.
Yoongi furrows his brows and looks up. Looks at Namjoon, then back at the shop they’re standing in front of.

The white sign that reads Local Flower Meadow in pink, round letters is hard to ignore. It is even harder for Yoongi.
He looks back at Namjoon once more, and he swears there is something like remorse in his eyes.

“No,” he says. Namjoon glances at him.
“At least give it a try,” he begs, “Try to talk to him. You know him, I’m sure he will listen to you.”
Yoongi clenches his jaw and stares right in front of him. He takes a deep breath in to calm himself down; he doesn’t want to yell at Namjoon. Not now.

“Maybe I don’t want him to listen to me. Maybe I don’t wanna talk to him at all.”

“And maybe,” Namjoon says harshly, “Maybe I don’t want to keep seeing you like this. Unhappy. Miserable. Maybe you have to get off your high horse and listen to me once. I’m your friend, I’m looking out for you and I wouldn’t tell you to fucking talk to Jimin if I knew that it couldn’t potentially help you.”

Yoongi presses his lips together. He swears Jeongguk is not even daring to breathe.

“What do you want me to do?” he asks quietly, calmly.
Namjoon’s expression softens. “Go in there,” he says and nods in the direction of the shop, “And talk to Jimin. I don’t know what happened between the two of you, and I don’t want to. But explain why you did what you did, and I’m sure he’ll understand. And if not then you’ll at least be able to say that you’ve tried.”

Yoongi hates that Namjoon’s words are to plausible.

He sits there for a few seconds and stares at the dashboard, his leg is bouncing up and down.
It is an unnerving moment; Yoongi can practically feel the tension in the car.
“Fuck,” he hisses and rubs his face, then his eyes, “Fuck. I’m gonna mess up. I’m gonna –“
He stops himself by biting his tongue. Even though the pain is not too bad, it somehow brings some sanity back into his mind.

“Wish me luck,” is the last thing he says before opening the car door and getting out, his eyes never leaving the flower shop.

The bell rings when he opens the door. Yoongi almost winces at the noise.
It’s just as dark as it was the first time he was here; in fact, everything looks the same, but the flowers are probably different ones.
Yoongi holds his breath as he looks around. He almost feels disappointed when he doesn’t see Jimin standing somewhere, watering the flowers.
He wonders if he is even here, and then wants to laugh and cry at the same time because what if Jimin doesn’t have to work today?

But none of that matters anymore when a person leaves the backroom and Yoongi recognizes pink hair and a pastel shirt.

His heart is going crazy and it has various reasons.

“Hello, can I help you?” Jimin asks, and he smiles, and his voice is sweet, and he looks pretty, even in the dim light.
Yoongi can’t even answer, his throat is too dry, and he forgets how to move his lips.
For a second, he thinks that Jimin hasn’t recognized him yet due to the light, which, okay, would be fine.
But then Jimin stops, and he is close enough to be able to see Yoongi’s face, and he still doesn’t say anything, doesn’t stop smiling, doesn’t start yelling or crying or whatever – he doesn’t do anything and Yoongi takes a moment to understand.

“Hey,” Yoongi says. His voice is raspier than usually.

“Are you searching for something specific?” Jimin asks, straight-faced.

He’s giving Yoongi the cold shoulder. He is pretending not to know him.
If Yoongi is honest, this hurts a thousand times more than the thought of Jimin yelling at him.

“What?” Yoongi asks because he already forgot what Jimin said, and Jimin giggles – it sounds forced, but he giggles, and God

“I asked you if you were looking for something specific. A birthday present? A gift for your girlfriend? For your mom?” And he smiles sweetly, oh-so sweetly. Yoongi feels so sick he is sure he could throw up.
“What?” he asks again, then quickly shakes his head. “I mean, yeah, no… Uh…”

Breathe, he tells himself, Calm down. Play along.

Yoongi looks around, thinks for a moment. He can feel Jimin’s gaze upon him.
“Uh, yeah, two things, actually,” he then says. When he looks back at Jimin, he feels a lot stronger than before. Jimin squints his eyes slightly. It seems hard for him to keep the act up.
“What is it?” he asks.

“I need flowers. A – a flowerpot. Do you happen to have anemones?”

Jimin’s face falls. He clears his throat and blinks; it takes him a few moments to regain his composure and to smile again.
“Sure. I think they’re over there,” Jimin says and walks towards one of the tables covered in flowers.
Yoongi follows him.

“Here, we got them in white and violet. What do you prefer?” Jimin asks, grabbing two flowerpots; one with white anemones and one with violet ones.
Yoongi doesn’t think too long.
“The violet ones should be nice,” he says and looks at Jimin, “I know someone who likes these kinds of colors and – yeah. Maybe it’ll make them happy if I buy them.”
Jimin’s eyes widen and he blinks. He quickly puts the white anemones away again and lowers his head.
“Yeah,” he says, both hands tightly holding onto the flowerpot, “Maybe it would.”

They walk over to the counter and Yoongi takes out his purse to pay.
Jimin tells him the prize. It is quiet while Yoongi takes out the money.
“Actually,” Jimin says when Yoongi hands him the money, “Uh… you said there were two things you came here for.”

And Yoongi remembers. “Yeah… right. That’s what I said.”
He waits until Jimin has sorted the money into the cash and is looking at Yoongi again.
Yoongi hold his breath for a moment.
“I… I came here because I wanted to talk to you,” he says, and then he adds, “Actually, because I need to talk to you.”

And Jimin loses his composure.
His face softens visibly; now that Yoongi looks closely, he just seems exhausted and drained.
“Yoongi,” Jimin mumbles, “Why?”

“Because I fucked up,” Yoongi replies, “We both know that. And now I’m here to apologize.”
“It’s not as easy as that,” Jimin says.
“Why not?” Yoongi asks, “Let me at least explain myself. Let me talk to you.”

Jimin looks conflicted; Yoongi can’t blame him. This is already more than what he had hoped for.

“I don’t know…” Jimin sighs. He looks away.
“My… shift ends in half an hour. If you can wait for so long, then we can talk. If not, leave.”

Yoongi’s eyes widen. He nods. “Of course, I’ll wait. Half an hour?”

“I’ll be outside.”

“Okay. I’ll be there.”

Jimin pushes the anemones towards Yoongi. “Here, don’t forget them. I bet the person will be very happy about the color, you know.”
Yoongi grabs the flowers. “Yeah,” he agrees, “I think so, too.”
He looks at Jimin, and Jimin looks back. Then, Yoongi leaves the shop.

Half an hour is not that long, he knows that. But it feels like an eternity now. Yoongi almost laughs; he feels like a child every time before something exciting was supposed to happen. Like on Christmas Eve or his birthday, but worse.
So he waits impatiently for Jimin, the anemones that he never intended to buy in his hands.

By the time Jimin leaves the shop, he has almost completely calmed down again; but as soon as he sees Jimin, his whole body feels on edge again.
Jimin is not wearing his apron anymore. His hair is a bit messy, but it looks cute, and he isn’t wearing any makeup, but he still takes Yoongi’s breath away.
That’s what love does, he thinks, but it’s cheesy, so he doesn’t think about it any further.

“So,” Jimin says.

“Hi,” says Yoongi.

“Hey.”

Jimin fiddles with his fingers and shifts from one foot to the other. It takes Yoongi a moment to realize that he is nervous.
“You wanted to talk,” Jimin reminds him. Yoongi nods.
“Yeah, right.”

He has to think, has to concentrate on what to say. Jimin notices and gives him time.

“Jimin,” Yoongi says because it’s more comfortable than staying quiet.
“I’m sorry.”

Jimin’s shoulder relax. “Okay.”
He sounds unimpressed, and Yoongi can’t blame him.

“I’m sorry that I left and that I… treated you like that. I didn’t – I didn’t want to make you feel bad.”
God, Yoongi is bad at this.
“I was a bit overwhelmed by everything and I let it out on you. That wasn’t fair.”

“Okay,” Jimin repeats.

“Not enough?” Yoongi asks.

“Not at all,” Jimin replies. “Why did you do it? You just left and never talked to me again. You didn’t even text me telling me what we had was over. I didn’t – Yoongi, you just don’t do that. I’m not saying you owe me anything, but I thought I meant at least something to you.”
Jimin’s voice is shaking. Yoongi fears he might start crying.

“You do, Jimin-ah, I swear, and it’s not about that at all. See, I know I behaved like an asshole, but –“

“Why? That’s all I wanna know, why?” Jimin asks again and he sounds so desperate that all Yoongi wants is to hug him and tell him it’s going to be okay.

“I don’t know,” Yoongi tells him, “I don’t know – why did I do it? Because –“ I love you and I’m scared.

Yoongi doesn’t say that.
“Because I’m a coward,” is what he says instead. It’s at least the truth. Jimin’s face softens.
“Yoongi…” he mumbles, “Yoongi, God, you’re such an asshole.”

And Yoongi is sure he has lost, he has fucked up completely and Jimin hates him, hates him so much with every right to do so.
So, Yoongi doesn’t expect Jimin to step forward and hug him.

“I hate you,” Jimin sobs, pressing his face against Yoongi’s neck, “I hate you so much.”

“I’m sorry,” Yoongi says again and tightens his grip around Jimin’s waist. The smell of flowers and fruits fills his nose and he feels more at ease than ever.
“I missed you so much, Minnie.”

“I missed you, too, dumbass.”

Yoongi doesn’t think that it should be that way, but he knows that they are good again when he feels Jimin’s hot breath hit his ear.
He moves one hand up to Jimin’s head and holds him tight, tighter than ever before and imagines that this is him confessing his love.
He wishes Jimin knew, too.

~

Although Yoongi doesn’t know if it’s right, they go to Jimin’s apartment.
And even if he wanted to, he couldn’t leave Jimin now anyway, not after the time they have spent apart.

“My roommate is not here,” Jimin says.
“Okay,” Yoongi answers. They go into Jimin’s room.

Yoongi’s fingers are itching and all he wants is to touch Jimin, everywhere, be close to him, smell him, feel him, everything, everything at once – it hurts, and it hurts probably more than before, but Yoongi is okay with that because being close to Jimin makes up for that. He has learned that now.

“You okay?” Jimin asks quietly. Yoongi is still standing there right by the door, hasn’t moved ever since they have entered the room.
“Yeah,” Yoongi replies breathlessly, “Now I am.”

Jimin blushes. “I hate you,” he mumbles while trying to suppress a grin, then he reaches out and grabs Yoongi’s hand. Yoongi immediately feels at ease, especially when Jimin pulls him closer until their chests are almost touching.
“Come on,” Jimin whispers. His breath soothes across Yoongi’s lips. It’s like an invitation; yet, Yoongi needs to hear it from Jimin. Needs to hear the words. And Jimin understands.

“Hyung,” he breathes, “Kiss me, please.”

And Yoongi does. Yoongi swears he does.
He cups Jimin’s face with his hands as careful as possible and kisses him, softly but passionately, hesitantly but deeply.
Jimin kisses him back and gives him support. Gives him strength.
They both want this. They both want each other.

In a different way, Yoongi thinks, but Jimin’s lips make the voice in his head suddenly sound so quiet.

Even though Jimin’s room is not that big, they don’t make it to the bed. But that’s okay.
Yoongi thinks he is okay with everything if it means he gets to see Jimin like this, on top of him, riding him. It’s okay if he gets to pleasure Jimin and make him smile and throw his head back and if he gets to hear the sweet little moans that leave his mouth whenever Yoongi thrusts in just right.
Jimin is perfect like this and Yoongi will do everything to keep him, even if it will hurt.

And Yoongi knows that it will. Yoongi knows that loving Jimin will hurt like hell.

He almost tells him. The love thing, that is. But he doesn’t.
And it’s probably better that way.
Some things are better left unsaid.

~

It’s been a while ever since Taehyung has been to the parlor. Jeongguk doesn’t miss him.

He does not.

No.

Maybe a bit.

But he would never admit that, not to himself nor to anyone else.
It’s none of anyone else’s business.
And what is there to tell anyway? That Jeongguk somehow managed to lose both one of his best friends and someone who makes him feel things that he didn’t think he was capable of feeling for a man?

Taehyung is a good person and Jeongguk is selfish. And somehow, Jeongguk is perfectly aware of the latter – but he’s a proud person, very much so, which makes it hard for him to accept that, more so to realize that whatever happened these past few weeks, everything that has changed, is all his fault.

Jeongguk thinks a lot, about himself, about Taehyung, about the two of them together, about what happened the other day and Taehyung crying and Taehyung yelling and him kissing Taehyung and Taehyung kissing back and Taehyung, Taehyung Taehyung Taehyung –

Jeongguk’s mind is confusing him, and none of his thoughts lead to anything he can work with.
All that he knows is that Taehyung is gone, it’s probably, very likely Jeongguk’s fault and he is the one who will have to overcome his own pride and try to apologize.
To him, that doesn’t seem like enough. And he knows he has to explain himself and to talk to Taehyung about what happened and what will happen in the future. And maybe Jeongguk isn’t ready yet.

Of course, this isn’t about him and whether he is ready or not because he is not the one who got hurt but instead is the one who fucked up.
But to figure that out, Jeongguk needs time.

The question is if he has got the time.

The question is if Taehyung will wait.

Or, if Jeongguk wants Taehyung to wait.

~

Week one after Jimin. Only seven days, and not even one has passed where Yoongi hasn’t seen him.
He doesn’t mind, not particularly, minus the usual struggles that come along with falling in love with your Friend with Benefits, at least.
Jimin comes over to his apartment or they meet in the city or Jimin is at the tattoo parlor.
Just like today.

Yoongi is alone at the parlor again. It’s early in the evening of a cloudy day and Yoongi stands outside, leaning against the wall of the building.
He is a nervous fuck and has never had the best coping mechanisms – he hasn’t touched a cigarette in a while, but the thing with Jimin made him pick up the bad habit of smoking again. He hates himself or it, in way.

The shadow appearing next to him makes Yoongi look up.
“I didn’t know you were a smoker,” Jimin says with a smug grin. It’s still a game for him, it’s all a game.
Yoongi shrugs, glances down at the cigarette between his fingers. Thinks about stubbing it out, then deciding against it and taking another drag.
“Me neither,” he mumbles and then adds, “I quit a while ago.”

“What made you pick it up again?” Jimin asks and leans against the wall next to him. A wave of flowery perfume hits Yoongi. The smell quickly mixes with the smoke and it becomes so absurd that Yoongi doesn’t want to breathe for a moment.

“I don’t know,” he replies, eyeing his cigarette skeptically. You, he wants to say, but he doesn’t because that would be unfair.
“Sorry. I know it’s unhealthy, in case you wanted to tell me that,” he then says and tries to smile at Jimin.
Jimin pouts a little; it looks cute. The shirt he is wearing is too big for him and he looks even more fragile in it than usual, and Yoongi just wants to hug him and hold him close and keep everything bad away from him.
That is the effect Park Jimin has on Yoongi. A dangerous thing.

“I know that you know. You’re not stupid,” Jimin says and steps closer. Yoongi is a bit surprised when Jimin wraps his arms around his waist and rests his chin on his shoulder.
“I missed you,” Jimin whispers. Yoongi chuckles.
“You just saw me yesterday. Not even 24 hours ago.”
Jimin furrows his brows. “Don’t care. Still missed you. I’m clingy, you know that.”

“Yeah, I know.”

Yoongi takes another drag, then he throws the cigarette to the ground and puts it out with his shoe.
“Let’s go inside, shall we?” he asks and stands straight so Jimin will stop touching him, stop being so close.
A part of Yoongi immediately misses the warmth of Jimin’s body.

“Wait,” Jimin says and Yoongi does. He doesn’t have time to wonder because the next moment, Jimin is pressing his lips against Yoongi’s and Yoongi is completely lost.
Fuck,, he thinks, I love him so much.

Jimin is taking his air to breathe but he is his source of oxygen.
Jimin simply has to be there for Yoongi to feel at ease but he is what causes the war inside Yoongi’s head.
Jimin’s touch soothes Yoongi’s pain but is more hurtful than anything imaginable.

Yoongi is so fucking lost.

“I missed you,” Jimin quietly repeats when they break apart. He is still so close, Yoongi could count every single one of his eyelashes.
“Did you miss me, too?”

“Of course,” Yoongi whispers. It’s not a lie. Yoongi isn’t sure if it comes close to what he really felt, though.

But the smile on Jimin’s lips is priceless. Yoongi falls a bit more in love.

“Let’s go inside, then,” Jimin says and takes Yoongi’s hand.

Yoongi has to work on a sketch, so him and Jimin disappear in the backroom where Yoongi’s stuff is spread on the table.
Jimin watches him work, doesn’t interrupt him, and it is quiet.
His legs are resting on Yoongi’s lap, but other than that, he doesn’t touch him, just watches what he is drawing.
It gets later and later, darker and darker, they barely speak. It’s comfortable, Yoongi thinks.
Maybe a bit too comfortable considering how close Jimin really is to him, with his arms that slowly find their way around his torso and suddenly, he is touching Yoongi, and not just a little bit.
Jimin’s fingers caress Yoongi’s waist and he rests his head on his shoulder. Yoongi’s breath hitches.

“Jimin-ah,” Yoongi warns.
“’s looks pretty,” Jimin mumbles and Yoongi isn’t sure if he is talking about his drawing.

He sighs and decides to ignore the tension in his shoulders. This is Jimin, he is used to being this close to him, in fact, he is used to being a lot closer to him.
It bugs Yoongi and it shouldn’t, so he pretends everything is alright.
Jimin, however, isn’t dumb.

“Hey,” he says gently, “Are you alright?”
He doesn’t sound worried though, so Yoongi just shrugs and murmurs, “Sure,” and continues to draw.
Jimin is still for a moment. Then, he shuffles around until he is kneeling next to Yoongi and leans forward to kiss his cheek.
“Okay,” he whispers. His breath hits Yoongi’s cheek.
He sits down again and wraps both his arms around Yoongi’s waist.
“I like watching you work,” he tells him, “It’s relaxing. You’re so good at drawing. Which is no surprise, of course.”
Yoongi just hums as a response. He can hardly imagine that the situation could be relaxing whatsoever considering how absolutely not calm he is feeling on the inside.

His leg is bouncing up and down. Yoongi runs a hand through his hair.
When Jimin presses his nose against Yoongi’s neck, he chuckles dryly.
“Someone’s being cuddly today, huh?” he asks. Jimin hums and giggles.
“Does it bother you?” he asks in return, “I can stop, not that I want to.” He laughs. Yoongi can feel his lips against his neck.

He remembers what sleeping with Jimin could lead to and clenches his jaw.
“Jimin-ah,” he says with a mocking undertone, “Not here, huh?”
Jimin hums but doesn’t let go of Yoongi. At least he settles with resting his head on Yoongi’s shoulder.

It’s hard for Yoongi to concentrate when all he can feel is Jimin and all he can smell is Jimin and even though he is not looking at him, all he can see is Jimin, too.
He taps his pencil against the table, then lays it down.
“Do you want to take a break?” Jimin asks. His fingers soothe up and down Yoongi’s arm; his left hand slips underneath his shirt and caresses his back.

And Yoongi thinks that it’s pretty damn unfair that this is so easy for Jimin. That he can just keep touching Yoongi and kiss him and pretend like it’s nothing, and Yoongi can’t even breathe properly when Jimin is this close.
It’s so unfair and Yoongi doesn’t like it, doesn’t want Jimin to stop but doesn’t want to keep going like this either. This thing, this one-sided thing is tearing him apart and he has realized it a long time ago but right now, right now it’s getting all too much, and he wants it to stop –

Yoongi forgets to release the breath he has been holding and gets up, so abruptly that his knees hit against the table.
There is a loud noise and Jimin flinches, but Yoongi just pushes past him and takes a few steps away from the table.
“Yoongi?” Jimin asks worriedly, “Hey, what’s wrong?”

Not again, not again, Yoongi thinks as he rubs his eyes and runs a hand through his hair.
“I – nothing,” he says because he doesn’t know what to say.

“Are you feeling sick? I can take you home if you want to,” Jimin continues. He sounds unsure and Yoongi can’t blame him.
“Or do you need water? You look pale, just talk to me, please –“

“Jimin, please,” Yoongi begs, “Please be quiet for a second.”

He knows he’s snapped even before Jimin reaches over the table to grab his hand. Yoongi almost automatically pulls away and spins around, facing a scared-looking Jimin.
“No, stop, stop. Don’t touch me, you’re only making it worse!” he hisses. Jimin’s eyes widen.
“What –“ he starts, but Yoongi doesn’t give him the chance to speak.

“You’re touching me, and you’re so close and you’re making me feel these things and I can’t keep going like this, Jimin,” Yoongi says. He sounds desperate and it’s not what he wants, but he can’t help it. He’s done, can’t keep going like this.

“You’re always… there. Always. Everywhere. Even when you’re not really there… God, Jimin, you’re making me crazy.” Yoongi’s hands get tangled in his hair.
Jimin looks like he is about to cry.
“Fuck, do you even know what you’re doing to me? Do you even understand? Why is this so easy for you?” Yoongi asks and almost takes a step forward to grab Jimin’s shoulders but can keep himself from doing so last minute.

There is something glistening in Jimin’s eyes. It could be tears.

“And I’m here hurting you, that’s all I’m doing, just because I don’t know how to fucking deal with myself,” he goes on.

“Yoongi,” Jimin sobs, “What are you… what’re you trying to say?”

Yoongi drops his arms to his sides. He must be looking pretty pathetic, standing there.

“This thing between us,” he says without hesitation, “I can’t keep doing this. Not as long as I have feelings for you.”

It’s out. Yoongi wants to run and hide but can’t even get himself to squeeze his eyes shut. Instead, he stares at Jimin and Jimin stares right back.
It takes Yoongi a moment to realize that there are tears running down Jimin’s cheeks.
Jimin lowers his head, and not even a second later he buries his face in his hands and starts crying.
“Oh my God,” he sobs, “Yoongi, oh my God –“
And Yoongi doesn’t know what this is supposed to mean and what he is supposed to do now, so he just stands there, helplessly, staring at Jimin and contemplating whether he should just leave or not.

When Jimin finally looks at him again, his cheeks are red and tear-stained, but he looks prettier than ever. Yoongi swears he falls in love with him all over again.

“Yoongi,” Jimin sobs. There is something like a smile on his lips, just very faint, but it is there.
“Oh my God I love you so much –“

Yoongi’s breath hitches.
“What?”

Jimin chuckles. He wipes his tears away.
“I love you,” he repeats. Yoongi shakes his head.
“You do?” he asks, taking a step towards Jimin who lets out a teary laugh.
“Yes, I do, I really do, you dumbass –“

Yoongi cups his cheeks and cuts him off with his lips. His body is running on autopilot but that is okay, that’s alright because it’s doing the right thing and Jimin loves Yoongi.
He loves him.
Yoongi loves him.
It’s gonna be alright.
They’re gonna be alright.

When Yoongi pulls away and opens his eyes, he finds Jimin staring back at him.
He looks like he wants to say something, but Yoongi doesn’t let him, just leans forward and kisses him again. Jimin’s lips are like a sweet treat that he has been craving for so long and can’t resist anymore now that he has gotten a taste of it. But Jimin, Jimin doesn’t mind. He wraps his arms around Yoongi’s neck and pulls him closer, as close as possible, and kisses him back eagerly.

It doesn’t feel like in the movies. In fact, it doesn’t feel like anything Yoongi has ever felt. Not even what he had with Heechul comes close.

But it feels like something that Yoongi cannot describe yet desperately wants to get used to. He wants to get used to Jimin in his arms and being able to tell him that he loves him. It’s so new but seems so right, and it’s scary, but Yoongi thinks he can take it if it’s for Jimin. He knows he wants to try for sure.

They break apart, breathlessly, and Yoongi sits down next to Jimin. They both take their time to sort their words.

“So,” Jimin says, tapping his fingers against his thighs.

“So,” Yoongi repeats and they chuckle.

“You’re in love with me,” Jimin states. It sounds as if he is just listing facts, which, well, he is, but it sounds so oddly natural that Yoongi feels bad for being so dramatic about it.

“Yeah,” he breathes, “I guess I am.”

“How long have you known?” Jimin asks calmly. Yoongi is thankful that he is so relaxed – he wouldn’t be able to deal with a hysterical Jimin right now, and maybe, Jimin knows that. Then again, maybe this is just normal for Jimin.

“A while,” Yoongi tells him, “A few weeks. Probably longer.”
Jimin nods slowly.
“Me, too,” he then says before a smile tugs at his lips. He looks at Yoongi.
“Does it scare you?”

Yoongi glances at him, then shrugs. Does it scare him?
A shit ton. Can he be honest about it?
Then, Yoongi looks at Jimin and sees the sincerity in his eyes.
Yes, he figures, he can.

“A fucking lot,” Yoongi mumbles and immediately lowers his gaze. He isn’t sure if it hurts Jimin to hear things like that, but it’s too late for that now.
Jimin doesn’t say anything for a moment. He takes Yoongi’s hand and squeezes it softly, intertwining their fingers. Yoongi looks at their hands.

“That’s okay,” Jimin whispers, “Me, too.”

Yoongi feels his shoulders relax. It feels reassuring to hear things like that – maybe, if they work together, they can manage it.
“We could try, though,” Jimin says as if he’s read his mind, “I don’t know how serious you are, but I’m sure about it.”
Yoongi squints his eyes at him.
“I wouldn’t have said anything if I wasn’t sure either,” he tells him and almost sounds offended; a part of him probably is.
But Jimin just shrugs. “To be fair,” he says, “I thought you were going to tell me that you hated me.”

And at that, Yoongi can only laugh because it’s so far from the truth.
“Why would I hate you?” he asks. Jimin blushes and smiles.
“Some people do,” he answers, biting down on his bottom lip.
Yoongi stops laughing. His heart clenches.

“I’m sure about this,” he reassures Jimin and has probably never felt more confident than at that moment, “We should give it a try.”
Jimin blinks at him.

“Yeah,” he says and nods, “We should.”

~

Taehyung hasn’t been sleeping so well recently. It’s not really a surprise but it still sucks a lot, especially since he needs all the energy he can get to finish his project for university.

Not that his body cares about that at the moment, there are other things that busy him.

Like Jeongguk, but Taehyung would rather pretend that’s not the case.
It feels like a weakness to admit that what happened is constantly on his mind and distracting him. He wonders if Jeongguk feels the same, though.

They haven’t spoken ever since it happened. Neither of them tried to reach out to the other one and Taehyung doubts that will ever happen. Jeongguk is too proud and he is too scared – the last time he tried to make a step, he triggered a catastrophe.

It’s 2am on a Wednesday, and Taehyung is awake. Still. Again.
The sky is dark, almost pitch black. Taehyung stands by the window in his kitchen, a steaming cup of tea in his hands. Somewhere in the distant, he can hear Hoseok snoring.
Technically, Taehyung is not alone, but he swears he’s never felt lonelier.

So, when his phone vibrates he flinches and is almost too startled to pick it up.
When he does, Jimin’s name and phone number shine into his face. Taehyung frowns and accepts the call.

“Yes?”

“Taehyungie!” he can hear Jimin. He sounds too awake for 2am and Taehyung hopes he isn’t drunk.
He isn’t, he quickly realizes, but instead, the reason why his friend is still awake is quite humane.
“Yoongi and I decided to have a movie night,” Jimin tells him, “Well, I decided, and he agreed.”
Taehyung leans against the window.
“Sounds nice. Why are you calling?” he asks.

“I read your messages from earlier,” Jimin replies, “I’m sorry I’m only getting back to you now, but I was… I was busy.”
Taehyung didn’t want to know that, but it’s too late now.
He thinks back to the message he sent Jimin – where he asked Jimin if he wanted to hang out, maybe, since they haven’t seen each other in a while.

“I could’ve been asleep right now,” Taehyung chuckles.
“Well,” Jimin says, “Maybe I knew you weren’t.”
Oddly, Taehyung wonders if him and Jimin could ever become best friends. He looks outside and watches the city lights from afar.

“I couldn’t really sleep,” he tells Jimin although he never asked, “Been having problems with that for a while now.”
“What happened?” Jimin asks.
Taehyung hesitates. He knows that Yoongi is sitting right next to Jimin and he isn’t sure if Yoongi knows about what happened between him and Jeongguk.
Probably not, he thinks, because that would imply that Jeongguk cared. And he doesn’t, he’s proved that more than once now.

“Nevermind,” he says despite his urges to talk about it, “I’ll tell you sometime. Don’t wanna disturb yours and Yoongi’s time together.”
Taehyung can hear Yoongi say something in the background and Jimin replies something inaudible. Then, he’s back at the phone.
“You’re not disturbing anything. Do you want me to come over?”
Taehyung throws a glance at the clock. “No, please, I’ll be okay. Don’t worry,” he immediately says, “Maybe we can meet some other time. Now make sure to get back to Yoongi before he gets impatient.” He manages a chuckle.
Jimin is quiet for a moment. “Okay,” he then says, “But don’t hesitate to call me if something’s wrong, yeah?”
“Sure,” Taehyung says. They say goodbye and he hangs up.

The silence around him is suffocating. Suddenly, Taehyung feels so, so small and vulnerable – he sets down his mug on the kitchen counter and leaves the room.
The whole apartment is dark, but Taehyung can’t really be bothered to turn on any of the lights. He walks over into the living room which quickly turns out to have been a bad decision.
There’s the easel, and a canvas, painted with pretty colors. The sunset scenery that Taehyung has already been working on when Jeongguk and him were still talking.

Something tugs at his heart when he sees the colors and is reminded of the boy who broke his heart.

But before Taehyung can get lost in the feeling, someone rings at the door; it takes Taehyung a few moments to realize that it was his door, and that someone actually came here at 2am.
A part of him hopes that the noise didn’t wake Hoseok up; the other part hopes that it’s Jeongguk in front of his door.

It’s not Jeongguk. It’s Jimin, which is a surprise, too. Taehyung squints his eyes at him as he watches him walk upstairs. The clothes he is wearing don’t really look like his. He must’ve been in a hurry and left right after their phone call.
“Hey,” Taehyung says, confused, “What’re you doing here?”

“Being a good friend,” Jimin says self-confidently and walks past Taehyung into the apartment. Taehyung closes the door.
“Okay?” he says, watching Jimin take off his shoes. “Jimin, I told you, it’s alright –“
“Well, and I know better than to believe that,” Jimin says. Once he’s done taking off his shoes, he stands upright and crosses his arms, giving Taehyung a scrutinizing look.
“You’re not alright,” he concludes, “And I’m here to talk to you.”

Taehyung lowers his head. “You didn’t have to give up your night with Yoongi,” he mumbles, but Jimin shrugs. “I see him almost every day, I think we can both manage a few hours apart from each other. Besides, he’s probably glad not to have me around for a while.” He chuckles, then he points in the direction of the living room. “You wanna sit down and tell me what happened?”
Taehyung hesitates. Then, he nods.
They go into the living room and get comfortable on the couch, and then, Jimin gives Taehyung time and they’re both quiet.

Eventually, Taehyung sighs and leans his head back.
“I fucked up,” he says, “Badly.”
“What did you do?” Jimin asks.
“I –“ Taehyung feels like his throat is tightening. “I told him that I loved him.”

It feels weird saying that out loud, and it must feel weird to hear it, too, because Jimin doesn’t say anything for a while.
Then, he breathes, “Wow,” and is quiet again.
“It just happened,” Taehyung continues, “I didn’t even want to, but then I felt like I had to, so I told him and he, he got so mad.” Taehyung feels tears prickle in his eyes. He tries to blink them away.
“He was so mad at me, and he yelled and then he kicked me out.”

Jimin plays with a thread on his jeans. “What happened before?” he asks.
Taehyung swallows. “He kissed me,” he says, “Actually, he already did that once before, and then he ignored me, so I went to his apartment to talk to him and maybe, if things had gone good, to confess. I thought he just panicked and needed some time…”
Jimin looks at him as if he is already sensing something bad.
“He fucked another guy,” Taehyung almost whispers and then closes his eyes. It hurts thinking about it and he wishes he could just forget about it.
“He kisses me and then fucks someone else. As if I’m nothing to him. I was so angry, and I yelled at him and then –“ His voice cracks and he stops, clears his throat. “And then he kisses me again.”

“Oh God,” Jimin mumbles, “Taehyung, I’m sorry.”

Taehyung opens his eyes again and stares at the ceiling. “It’s alright,” he says.

“You don’t deserve this.”

“I know.”

He does. Well, a part of him does. The other part, the one that is still holding onto Jeongguk and refuses to accept what happened, doesn’t. It’s exhausting, really.
“But that doesn’t make it any better,” Taehyung adds, “I still fucked up, and so did Jeongguk.”

“You did nothing wrong,” Jimin tells him, “You were being honest, and that’s a good thing. Whatever it is that set Jeongguk off, it doesn’t justify anything.”
At that, Taehyung just shrugs.
“Are you going to talk to him?” Jimin asks.
“I don’t know. Probably not,” Taehyung replies, “I guess I need to learn to let go, or whatever.” He sighs, then he looks at Jimin and smiles. He doesn’t want to talk about Jeongguk anymore.
“How are things with Yoongi, though?”

Jimin immediately blushes and tries to hide his smile. “Oh,” he says, “Good. Everything is… good, yeah.”
Taehyung keeps looking at him for a few moments. “I’m glad,” he mumbles, “You two deserve that. You know… to have someone like that.”
Jimin nibbles at his bottom lip. He glances at Taehyung.

“So do you,” he says. Taehyung wants to laugh.

“We’ll see,” is all that he says, because after what happened with Jeongguk, he isn’t so sure if he really does anymore.

~

Jeongguk is fucking pissed. He is – fucking – miserable. Not that he’d ever admit it, not to himself, not to anyone else.
If he pretends that everything is alright, everything is just going fine, perfectly fine, then no one will notice. Then he won’t have to face his problems.
Except for it isn’t that easy, and Min Yoongi is a mentalist.

“Jeongguk,” he says. Jeongguk, who is standing at the counter, pretending to go through the list of costumers who are still going to come in today, hums.
“How long are you going to keep going like this?” Yoongi asks and Jeongguk has already had enough of their conversation.

“What do you mean?” Jeongguk asks back lackadaisically.

Yoongi leans against the counter and crosses his arms. He considers Jeongguk for a while.
“Are you hitting puberty late or what?”
Jeongguk puts down the pen and inhales sharply, then tries to breathe evenly in order to calm himself down.
“Don’t know what you’re talking about,” he presses through gritted teeth and looks back down at the list. He probably knows exactly what Yoongi is talking about.

“See,” Yoongi says, sounding as if he’s smiling. Min Yoongi and his stupid, ugly smile.

(Jeongguk knows that Yoongi’s boyfriend would kill him for that).

Jeongguk doesn’t react, so Yoongi adds, “The mood swings,” and Jeongguk looks up once again.
“Mood swings?” he asks incredulously. Yoongi nods. “’s been pretty bad. And –“ he sighs, “Everyone has noticed, so don’t even try to talk your way out of this.”

Sometimes, Jeongguk wishes he had other friends. Or no friends at all. No one who cared about him.
Then, situation like this one wouldn’t come about.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Jeongguk snaps at him, unintentionally, of course, but it’s enough to startle Yoongi and enough to make Jeongguk decide that this is his signal to leave. So, he turns around and has already taken a few steps away when Yoongi speaks up again.

“Don’t think that I haven’t noticed Taehyung’s absence.”

He sounds completely calm. However, his words, they strike home.

Jeongguk stops walking.

Yoongi pauses for a moment, then continues. As if he hasn’t already said enough.

“You two are friends. Hell, you’re closer to him than to anyone else. Even though you hate to admit it. And I know that you do, because that’s just how you are.”
Jeongguk lowers his head, but still doesn’t speak. He doesn’t know what; and he wants to know what else Yoongi has to say.

“Whatever is going on between the two of you, you need to fix it, and as soon as possible, please. Because honestly, you’re unbearable like this.”

Enough, Jeongguk thinks and turns around. Spins around. Yoongi looks at him with one eyebrow raised.
“Shut up,” Jeongguk hisses, “You have no idea what happened so don’t tell me how to deal with it, okay?”
“Jeongguk,” Yoongi says, as if he can’t believe what he’s just heard, “You’re my friend, of course I’m not going to shut up about it!”

“Taehyung and I are fine, okay? Thank you, I don’t need your help with any of this,” Jeongguk spits, then he turns away and is about to walk into the backroom when Yoongi’s voice stops him once more.

“Oh yeah? You are fine?” Yoongi asks and chuckles.
“Sure, that’s why I haven’t seen him in weeks. Weeks. Jeongguk, I’m not stupid.” He turns to Jeongguk’s direction, and when Jeongguk throws a glance at him, he sees how desperate he looks.
And Yoongi, Yoongi doesn’t look desperate. Never.

“You two are fine, okay, keep telling yourself just that. But I know that’s not true because Taehyung would never miss an opportunity to see you, and you two aren’t fine when he almost starts crying when he finds out that you had sex with another girl.”

Jeongguk head snaps up because that one, that’s new, and for one second he can’t believe how he himself missed that but Yoongi didn’t.

“Taehyung doesn’t like picking fights or whatever. Hell, I’m not close to him and even I know that something very bad must’ve happened between the two of you.”

“You have no idea,” Jeongguk murmurs, “You have no fucking idea how I feel.”

Yoongi squints his eyes slightly. He looks like he wants to say something, but Jeongguk doesn’t let him.
“I,” he continues, “have been fucking miserable ever since Taehyung and I stopped talking and I don’t know what to do, because I know that it’s all my fault, everything is my fucking fault because of course it is.” He draws a sharp breath in and presses his lips together until it hurts.
“You don’t fucking know what it feels like to make a person that’s important to you feel worthless and not good enough simply because you’re too proud to be honest. You have no idea – oh, why am I even talking to you?” Jeongguk makes a dismissive hand movement and is about to turn away.

Yoongi huffs. “Oh, believe me, I do,” he says, “But you know what? I had the courage to own up to my mistakes. Because that was what I owed that person.”
Jeongguk lowers his head.

“I don’t get it,” Yoongi says, “What is it that you are so scared of?”

“I’m not scared,” Jeongguk replies too quickly. Yoongi squints his eyes.
“Then what is it that makes it so hard for you to talk to Taehyung?” he wants to know and crosses his arms. “There has to be something that keeps you from admitting that you’ve fucked up and apologizing.” And when Jeongguk stays quiet, he adds, “What is it, Jeongguk?”

“It’s nothing,” Jeongguk hisses, “Now stop asking dumb shit like that as if it was any of your business.”
Jeongguk is too mad to think rationally and too irritated to realize that his reaction is more or less proving Yoongi right.

“Well, as your friend, it kind of is, isn’t it?” Yoongi laughs, “Besides, I’ve been through something like this, with Jimin, and look where we are now – I can help you if you just tell me what the fuck happened. Stop being so goddamn proud, Jeon Jeongguk.”
Jeongguk glares at him. “I’m not proud,” he snaps, “Besides, what Jimin and you have is completely different. Don’t even dare to compare it.”
Yoongi squints his eyes. “Is it, though?”

Jeongguk swallows. He can hear the clock ticking, that’s how quiet it is.

“I don’t have any feelings for Taehyung,” he says calmly.

“Sure,” Yoongi replies just as nonchalant, “Keep lying to yourself.”

“I don’t have any feelings for Taehyung,” Jeongguk repeats. He can’t hide the defensiveness in his voice, though, and he is sure that Yoongi has heard it, too.
“We’re friends, fine, but I would never fall for a guy, and you as my friend should be the one person to know that!”

“Jeongguk,” Yoongi says, “What are you trying to prove?”

Jeongguk halts. “I’m not in love with Taehyung.” He inhales deeply. “Not now, not ever.”

“Then what is this about?” Yoongi asks stubbornly, “What is it that makes it so hard for you to overcome your ego and go talk to Taehyung?”

Jeongguk doesn’t reply to that because he doesn’t know. Well, he does.

“Have you ever thought about how Taehyung feels, then? Have you at least been that considerate?”

Jeongguk still doesn’t know what to reply, so he turns around. He’s had enough, Yoongi’s interrogative manners are seriously getting on his nerves and he has to get away from here.

“Jeongguk!” Yoongi shouts frustrated.

“Fuck!” Jeongguk yells back, “Okay, fine! Fine!” He turns back around to Yoongi and stares at him with wide eyes.
“Fine, here you go: Taehyung told me he was in love with me, okay? We kissed, and I avoided him, and he still came back to me because that’s just how Taehyung is, right? And then I fucked up, I totally did, and I can’t, I can’t talk to him. Not ever again. Even if I didn’t owe him that much, I still couldn’t.”

“Fuck you do,” Yoongi hisses surprisingly angry, “What you owe him is an apology. An explanation. Taehyung is a good person, but you –“ He shakes his head. “You are egoistic.”

Although Jeongguk expected something like that, it still hurts.

“Shut up,” is all he says.

“You don’t even realize what damage you’re causing, do you?” Yoongi continues, “But you know what I think?”

Jeongguk doesn’t react; He knows Yoongi is going to tell him either way, no matter if Jeongguk wants to hear it or not.
And he is right.

“I think,” Yoongi says and steps closer, “That you do have feelings for Taehyung. I think that you are too proud to admit it to yourself and that you’re scared.”

“Shut up,” Jeongguk repeats. His voice is shaking; so are is hands.

“You can’t come to terms with yourself and you’re letting it out on Taehyung. That’s just not fair!”

“Shut the fuck up!”

“Accept it, Jeongguk!” Yoongi shouts, “You’re into boys, get over it! You like Taehyung, so what? What’s your fucking problem?”

“Shut up, just fucking shut up!” Jeongguk yells and almost covers his ears. But instead, he walks past Yoongi and storms towards the door.
Yoongi says something else, but his words get lost.

The bell over the entrance rings as Jeongguk leaves the parlor and hurries down the road, away from his friend.

~

Ending up in front of the familiar apartment complex that is Taehyung’s home comes as a surprise, even to Jeongguk.

The façade of the building is grey; there are cracks in the walls. Somewhere in the background, Jeongguk can hear the city.
The roaring of the engines, white noise. It’s all familiar.

Jeongguk just stands there for a while and stares at the door. Then, he raises his head and looks at the window which he assumes is Taehyung’s.

Now or never, is what he thinks, but walking up to the door and ringing the bell is much harder than that.
But Jeongguk makes it, eventually. When he checks his phone for the time, he realizes he’s been standing there for solid twenty minutes.

The reason why he is ringing the bell isn’t the guilt that is eating Jeongguk up or the fight he’s just had with Yoongi. Well, not entirely, at least; it’s more the fact that Taehyung deserves an explanation. At least that – because Jeongguk is egoistic and Taehyung is a good person.

“Hello?” someone says and it takes Jeongguk a moment to realize that the voice is one, coming out of the intercom and two, not Taehyung’s.
Jeongguk hesitates and thinks for another moment and realizes that it’s his roommate, Hoseok.

“Uh – hi,” Jeongguk says, “Hey, this is Jeongguk. Is Taehyung there?”

Jeongguk can hear susurration, then, Hoseok’s voice again.
“Yeah, he is here – man, I’m not sure if he has time right now.” Jeongguk opens his mouth to retort something when Hoseok speaks up again, a bit quieter this time.
“Maybe I’ll just stay out of this and open the door for you, alright? But be careful, he seems a bit irritated.”

Jeongguk sighs relieved. “Thanks,” he says. A few seconds later, he can push the door open and hurries upstairs. The apartment door is ajar. When Jeongguk pushes it open Hoseok isn’t there, so he quietly slips into the apartment and closes the door.
“Taehyung?” he asks. No reply; the only thing he can hear is faint music playing, coming from one of the bedrooms.

Jeongguk peers into the kitchen and finds it to be empty, so he walks back into the hallway and is about to check the living room when he catches a glimpse of a person leaning against the wall right next to the bedrooms.
Jeongguk startles, turns around.

Taehyung is standing there, tiredly glaring at him. Of course, he is.

“Oh,” Jeongguk says, “Hey.”

“What are you doing here?” Taehyung asks.

“Can we talk?” Jeongguk asks back.

Taehyung doesn’t reply. Jeongguk takes that as a sign for him to continue.

“Taehyung, listen, okay? I’m –“

“Sorry?” Taehyung cuts him off, “That would be something new.”

For a moment, Jeongguk is too surprised to respond.
“I’m being serious,” he then says, “I’m sorry.”

Taehyung is completely still. There’s not an inch of his body that moves, not a single nerve in his face that twitches.
“Is that it?” he asks, “Are you done?”

Jeongguk blinks. “I guess,” he mumbles, “Can you – do you think you can forgive me?”

He knows that this is risky. It’s demanding a lot, probably, and he has no idea if he is doing the right thing, but he’s always sucked with words and it’s his doom right now.

What he did not expect, though, is to see tears in Taehyung’s eyes.

“What?” Taehyung asks, “That’s it?”

And Jeongguk, Jeongguk nods.

“You can’t be serious,” Taehyung breathes, “After everything you’ve done you just come here, apologize once and think I’m over what happened? How you treated me, what you’ve said – am I just supposed to forget all of that? Is that what you did? Because if so, then –“ Taehyung gasps for air and it is only then that Jeongguk realizes he’s crying.
“Then I’m sorry, Jeongguk, but it’s not that easy. Not at all.” He wipes away some of the tears running down his face. Jeongguk resists the urge to step forward and pull him close.

“At least not for me,” Taehyung adds, then, he zones in on the sleeves of the shirt he is wearing.
Today, he is wearing baggy clothes and his hair is messy, but, in a breathtaking moment, Jeongguk realizes how beautiful he looks.

“We can talk about this, can’t we?” Jeongguk offers. He doesn’t know how to have talks like these and it’s getting more and more obvious. Taehyung huffs.
“Okay, go ahead,” he says, “Do you even know what you did wrong?”

Jeongguk raises his eyebrows.
“What?” he breathes.
Taehyung clenches his teeth.
“Do you,” he repeats a lot slower, “Have any idea of what you did wrong?”

It’s a question that leaves Jeongguk speechless. He knows the answer, to some extent at least. But he isn’t sure if his own perception of the situation is enough to satisfy Taehyung, and, furthermore, it’s too much.
It’s too much for him to put into words.

But he owes Taehyung an explanation, especially now that he is looking at his tear-stained face.

“I knew it,” Taehyung whispered. Then, suddenly, he contorts his face, and yells, “You have no idea what you did, what you did to me, and you still have the audacity to come here and ask for forgiveness!”

Jeongguk closes his eyes.

“How self-centered does someone have to be? How arrogant? I told you how I felt and you, you completely disrespected me and left me to believe that I was the thing that was wrong,” he gasps for air, then sobs and wipes his eyes.
“I couldn’t have been more wrong though,” Taehyung concludes and Jeongguk feels his heart drop.
“I’m sorry,” he says. His hands are shaking.
“Don’t say that when you don’t mean it!” Taehyung cries and new tears roll down his flushed cheeks, “You’ve already done enough damage, don’t make it even worse! Don’t you have any self-respect?”

Probably not, Jeongguk thinks, probably not.

“Then what do you want me to do?” Jeongguk asks exhaustedly. Taehyung frowns at him.
“No, what do you want me to do? What did you expect? Did you expect me to run back into your arms and let you hurt me all over again?”
Jeongguk shakes his head. “I wouldn’t do that.” And Taehyung huffs.
“Sure, Jeongguk.” He takes a moment to collect himself, then he looks back at Jeongguk.
“You know what?” he says, “I want you to leave. Now. I don’t wanna see you anymore, not – not ever again. Don’t come back. I don’t think I can stand being around you any longer.”

Jeongguk wishes his words didn’t hurt so much. It’s as if someone took a blunt blade and forced it into his chest. He tries his very best not to visibly wince.

“You don’t mean that,” he mumbles and realizes how pathetic that sounds.

“No, I do. And you know what else I really mean?” Taehyung expectantly looks at Jeongguk who doesn’t have an answer and doesn’t want to hear one, either.
“I hate you, Jeongguk. A lot. For everything that you’ve done.”

And he’s crying again, but he’s not alone, because Jeongguk is crying, too, and the pain in his chest gets unbearable and he can’t believe that Taehyung hates him, he just can’t because it’s not fair.
It’s not fair when all Jeongguk wants to tell him is how much he loves him.

Jeongguk loves him. And he should have realized that a long time ago when all he could focus on was Taehyung’s lips and all he could think about was his body in his arms. But instead, Jeongguk kept denying it.
And now, he’s ready. And Taehyung hates him.

Jeongguk is such a fucking idiot.

He says, “You don’t,” and cringes when his voice only comes out as a tearful whimper.

Taehyung closes his eyes. “Please, just leave, Jeongguk.”

“No.”

“Please –“

“I can’t. I’m sorry, but I can’t. Not again.”

Taehyung opens his eyes. There is something soft in them as he watches Jeongguk cry.
Suddenly, he just drops to his knees and buries his face in his hands. His sobs are loud and Jeongguk is with him within a split second.
Taehyung wraps his arms around Jeongguk’s waist and presses his face against his chest, and Jeongguk holds him close and cries quietly.

“I don’t hate you,” Taehyung sobs, “Don’t go, please.”

“I won’t,” Jeongguk promises, “I’m sorry.”

And maybe, Taehyung can feel the meaning behind these words, or maybe he just trusts Jeongguk so much, because he stays quiet and just pulls the other man closer.
And Jeongguk cannot ask for more.

~

It was still raining earlier, but now, it has cleared up again. Taehyung and Jeongguk went out for dinner yesterday as it was Friday; Jeongguk insisted on going to a real restaurant for once, and he even paid for both of their meals (it embarrassed Taehyung only a bit).

Now, it’s Saturday evening, and Taehyung is at Jeongguk’s place. Not much has changed in their relationship, much to their dismay. But maybe it’s better if they take it slow.

“Look how pretty the sunset is,” Taehyung says. He’s standing by the window and cranes his neck to get a better view of the sun.
“Really pretty,” Jeongguk agrees with a nod, then he looks at Taehyung.

“You wanna drive around a bit?”

Taehyung nods. “Can we get dinner on the way?”

Jeongguk doesn’t mind, so they put on their shoes and leave the apartment.

Jeongguk drives them to Taehyung’s favorite takeout place and doesn’t miss the smile that tugs at Taehyung’s lips as well as the faint blush on his cheeks.
Inside, they have to wait a bit for their food since it’s Saturday night and it’s usually fuller then, so they sit in one of the corner booths. Taehyung traces the pattern of the table with his finger while Jeongguk types something on his phone. When he puts it away and looks up, he catches Taehyung staring at him.

“What?” he asks.

“Nothing,” Taehyung replies.

Jeongguk chuckles. “Like what you see?” he teases. It’s easy like this, and sometimes, he forgets that there could be more, but there isn’t yet. Jeongguk knows he has to take the next step, make a move – he keeps telling himself he’s not ready, but the longer he does, the less he believes it himself, and honestly, it’s probably just a matter of time until the bomb explodes and something either happens or Taehyung gets sick of waiting.

“Sure,” Taehyung snorts. Much to his luck, their order is done, and they pick it up, then leave the place and walk back to Jeongguk’s car.
“Do you wanna eat back at my place?” Jeongguk asks while they get in the car. Taehyung nods, putting the food on the backseat. He hesitates. “Can we drive around a bit more first?”
So they do. It’s almost dark already; Jeongguk hasn’t realized how long they waiting for their food. Then again, summer is practically over, and the days are getting shorter again. At least it’s still warm outside.

They drive around and neither of them says anything. The silence is not a bother, though.
Taehyung leans his head against the window and looks at the city lights from afar while Jeongguk tries not to get too distracted by the sight of the man next to him and concentrates on the road.

“Look how pretty that is,” Taehyung says astonished and points out of the window. Jeongguk nods.
From here, they have a pretty good view of the city, and it makes Jeongguk feel a bit jittery inside.
Then again, maybe it’s not the city that makes him feel this way.

Taehyung turns his head and is looking at Jeongguk now. He smiles softly. Jeongguk has to resist the urge to look right back at Taehyung, because once he does, he isn’t sure if he would be able to look away again.
Finally, Taehyung turns his head away.
The mood has shifted; but maybe it has already done so a while ago. Jeongguk doesn’t know.

His hands are shaking and sweating. He taps his fingers against the steering wheel. Breathing is a bit harder than usual.

“Taehyung,” he says.

Taehyung hums. Then, he looks at Jeongguk when Jeongguk doesn’t speak.

“What’s wrong?” Taehyung asks. Jeongguk shakes his head once to show him that everything’s alright, he just needs time to sort his thoughts.

“I,” he starts, then bites his lip.

“You?” Taehyung says slightly amused.

Jeongguk blinks. “Good thing it stopped raining earlier, right?”

He doesn’t have to look at Taehyung to know that he looks slightly disappointed.
“Yeah,” Taehyung says, “It is.”

“I’m in love with you, I think.”

Fuck.

Jeongguk feels the panic rise in his chest. God, fuck, shit, what did he just say?

“You’re what?” Taehyung says. Jeongguk just wants to squeeze his eyes shut and never open them again. Leave the car, never return.

“Pull over,” Taehyung says, “Please.”

Jeongguk doesn’t react, so Taehyung repeats, “Jeongguk, pull over!”, and he sounds stern and mad and Jeongguk fucked up. He fucked up badly.
They approach a lay-by and he stops there.
Jeongguk immediately rolls his window down and breathes in the fresh, cool air.
From up here, they have an even better view on the skyline. Taehyung would like it, but Taehyung isn’t even looking at the city. He stares at the street in front of them, his lips parted.
Jeongguk isn’t sure what’s going to happen now. He doesn’t want to find out. He wants to leave and be alone.

He rubs his eyes and opens his mouth before his brain can even come up with something to say, an explanation, maybe. “Look, I’m –“ he starts, then, Taehyung looks up at him, leans forward and presses their lips together.

Jeongguk’s eyes flutter shut. This isn’t so bad, no, this is good, yet there is the suffocating feeling of panic in Jeongguk’s chest.

The kiss doesn’t last long; as if Jeongguk could tell, anyway. He’s lost every sense of time.

“Don’t,” Taehyung warns quietly once he’s pulled away again, “I love you, too.”

This doesn’t come as a surprise. Maybe it does. Still, Jeongguk’s hand immediately goes to open the car door.
Taehyung’s grip around his arm stops him.
“Jeongguk, please,” he says, “Don’t do this again.”

Jeongguk blinks again, then looks at his hand on the door handle. He lets go.
Taehyung releases a breath.
“Look at me,” he says, “What are you scared of?”
Jeongguk stares back into Taehyung’s eyes. “I don’t know,” he breathes.
Taehyung nods slowly. “Can I kiss you again?”
This time, Jeongguk nods. He closes his eyes.

Taehyung kisses him softly. Even though Jeongguk has kissed many people before, he cannot compare this to anything else. And he doesn’t want to.

He tries his best to shut his mind and kisses Taehyung back.

“This is alright,” Taehyung mumbles against his lips and grabs his hand to intertwine their fingers.

It is. It’s alright. Jeongguk gets lost in the feeling of Taehyung’s lips.

It’s official now. Jeon Jeongguk is utterly in love with Kim Taehyung. And for the first time, it’s okay. He feels at ease, and it’s because of Taehyung.

This thing between them, it can work. And Jeongguk really wants it to, more than anything else.

“Wait,” Taehyung says and pulls away. Jeongguk opens his eyes; his mind is in a haze, but Taehyung is really beautiful.
“Is this… official now?” Taehyung asks.
Jeongguk blinks. He feels Taehyung squeeze his hand.
“Do you want it to be?”
Taehyung nods.
“Then, yes.” Jeongguk clears his throat. “Yes, let’s make this official.”

Taehyung beams at him. He leans in again – right before their lips touch, he whispers, “Slowly”, and Jeongguk couldn’t be more thankful for him.

~

It is a weird proposal of Yoongi’s. Jimin wonders where he got the idea from, and as far as he knows, he himself has never voiced anything that would imply that he likes to draw. After all, that’s Yoongi’s job.

So, he asks again, “You want me to what?”, and Yoongi smiles calmly.

“I want you to tattoo me,” he says as if it’s nothing. As if he hasn’t just asked his boyfriend to perpetuate himself on Yoongi’s skin.
“That’s – wow,” Jimin says. Yoongi shrugs. “You don’t have to.” He doesn’t sound disappointed, but Jimin feels guilty nonetheless.
“It’s not that I don’t want to,” he immediately says and turns around to face Yoongi. They’re in his kitchen; just a few seconds ago, Jimin was making them dinner, but that is now long forgotten.

“It’s just… a huge thing, isn’t it? I don’t want you to regret it… okay, you know what, forget about it,” Jimin says when Yoongi frowns at him.
“Jimin-ah,” Yoongi says, “Look at me, okay? How many fucked up tattoos do you think I carry on my body?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, I don’t either. Because it doesn’t matter.” He pushes himself off the table and walks over to Jimin who is leaning against the counter.
“I can still ask Namjoon or Jeongguk to help me. Wouldn’t be the same, though.”

Jimin tilts his head to the side as Yoongi stops in front of him, his hands on Jimin waist, and leans in to kiss Jimin’s neck.
“I don’t know,” Jimin sighs, “Do you have anything in mind?”
Yoongi shakes his head. “I’ll let you decide.”
“Gosh,” Jimin says, “Even more responsibility…” Then, he sighs again and wraps his arms around Yoongi’s neck. “Alright, I’ll give it a try… if you insist…”
Yoongi smiles cheekily. “Thanks baby.” He kisses him shortly. “Just let me know when you’ve decided on a motive.” Then, he steps away and leaves Jimin alone, who feels both nervous and oddly touched.

~

The weight of what he is supposed to do doesn’t fully hit Jimin until they are at the parlor again, a few days later, at almost midnight.
Yoongi is sitting on the tattoo chair and has already taken his shirt off. Jimin stands next to the table with the equipment – Yoongi has prepared everything, has explained the steps multiple times. Still, Jimin is nervous. Even though Yoongi said he wouldn’t care, Jimin doesn’t want to mess the tattoo up. After all, Yoongi will have to walk around with that thing forever.

Jimin knows Yoongi trusts him with this. It’s a lot of responsibility.

“Ready?” Yoongi asks, throwing a glance at Jimin.

“Uh, yeah.” Jimin takes the tattoo gun and climbs on the chair behind Yoongi.
“I’m ready.”

The motive is already drawn on. A bunch of forget-me-nots. Because of course.

When Yoongi asked him why he chose these flowers in particular, Jimin just told him to look up the meaning.
He isn’t sure if Yoongi has, but at least he hopes so and wishes Yoongi won’t bring it up. It would be embarrassing, kind of.

“Hey,” Yoongi says and reaches behind to caress Jimin’s thigh, “Angel. You alright?”
Jimin blushes. “I’m good.”
Then he gets ready and throws one last glance at Yoongi through the mirror.
“Okay,” he breathes and starts.

Jimin concentrates and quickly gets so lost in his task that there is no room or time for his nervous thoughts anymore.
At first, his hand is still shaking, and some of the lines turn out a bit uneven, but after a while, Jimin gets more confident, more secure.
Yoongi doesn’t wince once and patiently waits for Jimin to finish. Once he does (the motive is just a small one), he immediately turns around and presses a kiss to Jimin’s stomach.
“Thanks,” he whispers.
Jimin smiles proudly. After he has taken care of the tattoo (with Yoongi’s instructions, of course), they stay for a little longer. Jimin’s legs rest on Yoongi’s lap and their hands are tangled.

“Now you get to carry a part of me around with you all the time,” Jimin says, “Sorry not sorry?”
“That was kind of the plan,” Yoongi tells him and grins nervously. Jimin blushes. His heart does a weird thing and he feels warm all over his body.
“Oh,” he says. He doesn’t say that Yoongi would regret that once he’s gotten sick of Jimin because at that moment, he isn’t thinking these things.

“Too much?” Yoongi asks and squints his eyes slightly.
Jimin quickly shakes his head.

“No,” he says and smiles, “Absolutely perfect.”

~

Usually, Jimin and Yoongi see each other almost every day. If one of them is really busy, they at least manage to stay at the other’s place for the night.
Sometimes, things don’t work out that way, though.

Jimin has his exams, has a ton of work to do for university, and Yoongi, Yoongi just happens to be extremely busy at the parlor.
So, at first, they don’t meet on Monday because Yoongi has to work a lot and Jimin has an exam the next day.
Then, on Tuesday, Namjoon is sick and Yoongi has to take his shift, too.
Wednesday comes and goes – Jimin has this one paper he has to write.
Thursday – still the paper.
Friday, and Jeongguk has plans with Taehyung, so, Hyung, please? I owe you something, and Yoongi takes over Jeongguk’s shift, too.

Suddenly, it’s Saturday, and Yoongi realizes that this is the longest they’ve gone without seeing each other ever since the Not Talking™. He has to admit, he has already gotten so used to having Jimin around that he feels weird.
And he misses him. A shit ton.

It feels like a relief to see a pink head of hair walk into the parlor. Jimin seems to be equally excited, because before Yoongi even has the chance to look him in the face, he’s already run up to him and wrapped his arms around his neck.
“God,” Jimin says, his voice muffled by Yoongi’s shirt, “I missed you so much.”

Yoongi doesn’t miss the amused look on Jeongguk’s face.
“I missed you, too,” he replies and kisses Jimin’s hair, “You think you can let go of me for a sec?”
Jimin whines and buries his face deeper in Yoongi’s neck, but then, he takes a step back, pouting slightly.
Yoongi blushes when he looks at him. “I’m ready to go soon, believe me. Then, I’m all yours,” he says.
“Okay,” says Jimin and stands on his tiptoes to kiss Yoongi. Yoongi kisses him back easily and gets lost in the feeling for a moment. God, he really missed Jimin.
“But hurry up –“ Jimin adds when Jeongguk clears his throat from where he’s been watching them, the amused look still on his face.

“You know what, hyung?” he says, “How about you leave early today. I’ve got it, believe me.”

Yoongi glances at him, one eyebrow raised. “You sure?”

Jeongguk waves him off. “Absolutely. See it as a – sort of – thank you for taking my shift yesterday.”
“Oh,” Yoongi says, “Thanks.” He doesn’t get a chance to question Jeongguk’s real motives or if he’s just being extraordinarily nice today for no reason.
Jimin grabs his hand and drags Yoongi along behind himself. “Thanks, Jeonggukkie!” he says and waves goodbye. Yoongi catches one last glimpse of Jeongguk and swears he looks conflicted – should he be amused by how whipped Yoongi is or should he feel touched by how adorable Jimin is? – because that’s what Jimin does to people.

“You’re eager today,” Yoongi says when they’re outside, walking towards his car. Jimin hums and shrugs. “Just happy to see you again.”

For a while, they walk quietly, their hands intertwined. Jimin hums some sort of melody.
Yoongi listens.

Then, Jimin stops and looks at Yoongi.
“Did I ever tell you,” he says, “Why we met?”

Yoongi raises his eyebrows. “That is probably the weirdest question you’ve ever asked me,” he states.
Jimin giggles. “I mean, remember when you first saw me?” Yoongi nods.
“Well, for me, it was even before that,” Jimin tells him, “Sometimes, I would walk around this part of town, and then I would walk past the parlor. And there I saw you.”
Yoongi nods. “Okay. Well?” He isn’t really sure what to do with that piece of information. They start walking again.

“Well,” Jimin says, “I was too scared to just walk in and talk to you. So, I needed an excuse.” He smiles whimsically. Slowly, Yoongi starts to understand.
“That one night I came in to make an appointment – I could’ve just called.” And then, Jimin laughs.
Yoongi shrugs with one shoulder. “To be fair, I never thought about it like that,” he says, “But Park Jimin, you’re fucking shrewd.”
Jimin smiles innocently.

They get in Yoongi’s car – Yoongi halts, then watches Jimin put on his seatbelt. He looks pretty, so pretty, and it once again hits Yoongi what a lucky bastard he is to have Jimin by his side.
It takes Jimin a moment to realize that he’s being stared at, but when he does, he raises his eyebrows at Yoongi.
“Huh?”
“Nothing,” Yoongi says. Then, he leans forward and kisses Jimin softly. Jimin makes a muffled noise before he kisses back.
Yoongi reaches up to card his fingers through Jimin’s hair and then moves his hand down to cup his cheek.

For a while, they just sit there and kiss and it’s perfect. Jimin’s perfect. Fuck, Yoongi is in love.

And it doesn’t scare him anymore.

“Y’know,” he mumbles when they pull away, “The whole Not Being Able to See Each Other thing. There is a simple solution to that problem.”
Jimin looks at him with wide eyes. “There is?”
“Mhm.”

But Yoongi doesn’t tell him – doesn’t ask him, not yet, at least. They have time. But the possibility is there, and he is sure that Jimin has it already figured out, because he sits back down, and there is a soft smile on his lips.

~

They go back to Jimin’s apartment – Seokjin is not there, so they end up in the living room, sprawled out on the floor, Yoongi between Jimin’s legs, because of course.

“Oh my God,” Jimin breathes afterwards, “Oh my God, maybe we shouldn’t see each other more often.”
Yoongi chuckles. He gets up and stretches his hands out for Jimin to grab them. Jimin just whines.
“You’re a literal baby, you know that,” Yoongi says, then he squats down and picks Jimin up.
“Am not,” Jimin mumbles tiredly. Yoongi lets him down on the couch and then lies down right next to him. Jimin immediately snuggles up to him and sighs happily.
“I love you,” he mumbles. Yoongi feels his cheeks heat up. “I love you, too.”

They stay like that for a while. Yoongi presses soft kisses to the top of Jimin’s head every now and then and runs his fingers through his soft, pink hair.
He’s pretty sure Jimin has fallen asleep; his breath goes even and slow.
Yoongi smiles slightly. His free hand that is just loosely placed on Jimin’s hip moves up to Jimin’s hand.
He intertwines their fingers. Today, Jimin is wearing black nail polish. Yoongi has to chuckle.

“Huh,” Jimin mumbles tiredly, “What’s so funny?”

“Nothing,” Yoongi says quietly, “Didn’t know you liked black.”

Jimin rubs his eyes. “Huh?” he makes again, “Oh, right. I needed something to match your clothes.”
Then, he lays his head back down on Yoongi’s chest and closes his eyes again.
Yoongi lies there completely still for a while, just staring at the ceiling. His heart is beating harder than before.
No, there really is absolutely no reason for him to be scared anymore. Because this is it for him. This is how he wants things to be.

It was worth the wait and definitely worth the struggles they had, because now, Yoongi knows he won’t trade it for anything else in this world.
He hopes Jimin feels the same; but when he looks down at him and sees him sleeping peacefully, one hand weakly clutching at Yoongi’s shirt and looking so relaxed and at ease, Yoongi knows.

Yoongi just knows that he does, too.

~

“You’re sure you wanna do this?” Jeongguk asks for the umpteenth time.
Taehyung looks at him. “Yes,” he says, “But if you don’t want to, I’m just gonna ask Namjoon or –“
“No way.” Jeongguk shakes his head and pulls his chair closer, “I’m not gonna let them set their hands to you.”
Taehyung grins and cards his fingers through Jeongguk’s hair.
“I’m going to love it either way, and believe me, you’re not going to screw up.”
“How are you so sure?” Jeongguk asks.
Taehyung shrugs. “Because it’s you,” he says as if it was obvious.

Being in a relationship with Taehyung hasn’t saved Jeongguk from the constant nagging about wanting a tattoo.
And although at first, Jeongguk was quite persistent when it came to refusing to tattoo Taehyung, the threat to just ask Yoongi or Namjoon or, even better, a completely different tattoo artist finally got to Jeongguk. Because there was no way that he’d let anyone else do this for Taehyung.

“I must love you a lot if your cheap efforts at persuasion manage to convince me.” Jeongguk says. Taehyung grins.

“Love you, too,” he says sweetly.

The tattoo is supposed to go on his thigh – another reason why if, then Jeongguk – he doesn’t necessarily fancy the thought of Taehyung undressing in front of someone else.

“Okay,” Jeongguk says once he’s prepared everything. The motive is a sun; a simple circle, surrounded by a swung ring of rays.
It is rather simple; good for Jeongguk.

“You know this is going to hurt,” he tells Taehyung and glances up at him. Taehyung nods. “I know.”

“Good.” Jeongguk looks back down at Taehyung’s thigh, then he starts.

The skin there is really sensitive. Taehyung winces, but only once or twice, and it only distracts Jeongguk a bit.
“Almost done,” he soothes Taehyung, whereat Taehyung only chuckles. “I know, I can take it.”

Again, the tattoo is small, but it still seems to hold a lot of meaning for Taehyung, because when Jeongguk finally lifts the tattoo gun, rolls his chair back a bit and says, “Finished,” Taehyung looks so touched that Jeongguk fears he might cry.

“You alright?” Jeongguk asks, “Do you like it?” He takes the equipment and starts to clean up.
Taehyung just sits there and stares at the tattoo. “Yeah,” he breathes, “Thank you.”
Jeongguk returns to take care of the tattoo and bandage it. “No problem. But don’t expect me to do this again.”
Maybe it’s not so much the thought of fucking the tattoo up anymore, but rather the fact that he is hurting Taehyung to some extent, and he’s definitely done that enough times.

Taehyung looks at him and smirks. “Oh, what? I thought this was just the beginning.” He giggles when Jeongguk rolls his eyes.
“Well,” he then says, “Guess I’ll have to ask Namjoon-hyung then…”
Jeongguk’s head snaps up. “Okay, no, you know what? Forget it, forget what I said. You want a tattoo, you talk to me. Got it?”
Taehyung grins and nods.

Jeongguk raises one eyebrow at him, then he huffs. “You’re spoiled,” he says and finishes bandaging the tattoo.
“What can I say. My boyfriend makes sure to take good care of me.”

“Sounds like you’re lucky to have him.”

“Indeed. He’s the best.”

Jeongguk glances at Taehyung from under his eyelashes. He hopes he can’t see the blush on his face.

“Alright. We’re done here.” He quickly gets up to put the disinfectants away. From behind him, he can hear steps, and then, two arms wrap around his waist. Jeongguk smiles.
“Hey,” Taehyung says. His voice is muffled by Jeongguk’s shoulder.
“Thanks. I love you.”

Jeongguk’s heart does The Thing™. His left hand grabs Taehyung’s and he intertwines their fingers, then he turns around.
“I love you, too,” he tells him, “A lot.”

Jeongguk still sucks at showing his affection. But he’s getting better. And Taehyung’s patient.

Together, they walk back into the parlor. The lights are dim. It’s dark outside.

“Can I see you again tomorrow?” Taehyung asks, and suddenly, he sounds a bit hesitant. Jeongguk knows why; he isn’t sure how far he can go with Jeongguk. Doesn’t know when things go too fast, get too much.
Jeongguk looks down at his feet.

“Actually,” he says, “I wanted to ask you if… if you’d like to stay the night at my place.”

Taehyung is quiet and Jeongguk doesn’t want to look at him. His heart is pounding against his rip cage.

“Yeah,” Taehyung says, “I’d love that.”

Jeongguk throws a glance at him and cracks a smile, then he grabs Taehyung’s hand and pulls him closer.

“Good,” he whispers right before their lips touch.

Taehyung smiles into the kiss. Jeongguk wraps his arms around his waist. Even with his eyes closed, he knows that Taehyung looks absolutely breathtaking.

The fluorescent lights in the backroom flicker. The neon sign that says Sorry Mom! glows happily.
Somewhere, far away, Jeongguk can hear the city.
In a way, things are still the same. Maybe not exactly; maybe just a hundred times better.
And fuck, Jeongguk would be stupid if he wanted to change anything about it.