To Namjoon, Jeongguk has always felt like summer. Even in winter, he’s like a warm breeze, brown hair tousled over his warm eyes, a bright smile always playing at his mouth.
He knows it from years of being half-family with Jeongguk and Hoseok’s families. Knows it from weekend trips taken with the three of them in the hottest part of the year, Jeongguk skinny and windblown and happy, throwing his head back in silent laughs with his big, endearing nose all scrunched up.
Now Namjoon doesn’t remember much except that he always thought Jeongguk was pretty cool, and Jeongguk definitely always thought he was cool. He’d look at Namjoon with those big, shiny eyes and he didn’t even try to hide it. He was good. He was a sweet kid. But after Namjoon moved to the city and Hoseok went to university, they didn’t really see each other.
That’s why today, he’s surprised.
“I have great news,” Hoseok says as he slides a beer toward Namjoon.
“Jeonggukie is moving to Seoul! He’s going to live in my second room.”
Namjoon raises his eyebrows. “Really?”
“Yeah! He’s moving here for work, and the timing was perfect. I’m so excited. I miss that kid.”
“I’m so glad, Hobi-yah,” Namjoon says earnestly. “You guys have always been so close. And it’ll be good to see little Jeonggukie again.”
Long story short:
He eats his words.
Namjoon goes over for dinner the day after Jeongguk moves into Hoseok’s apartment. Just chicken and beer, Hoseok said, nothing fancy. Some hotteok later because Jeongguk’s been asking for it. So his guard is down, and he’s not ready.
He lets himself into Hoseok’s apartment.
“Hey, Namjoon-hyung!” calls the guy in the kitchen.
Namjoon’s lips part and he freezes.
In the split second as Jeongguk comes toward him, all he can register is an assault of muscles and tan skin and long, wavy hair falling over his eyes. Fuck, holy fuck, Jeongguk is hot.
It feels like all the air has been punched out of him, and when he finally manages to gasp, “Jeongguk-ah,” he’s already got an armful of Jeongguk. “I—hey!” Fuck. There’s really no coming back from this, Namjoon thinks. He’s lucky Hoseok wasn’t here to see it.
“Hi.” Jeongguk lets go of him and grins. “It’s so good to see you, hyung.”
Namjoon flounders. “It’s—wow, you—it’s good to see you too.”
“Come on, I’ll get you a beer,” Jeongguk says. He turns around and Namjoon gets socked in the stomach again. He lets out a shaky breath that was very nearly an audible whine, and he tries to drag his eyes away from Jeongguk’s ass.
Namjoon follows him to the kitchen. He tries not to stare, but that ends up with him awkwardly dodging the eye contact Jeongguk makes when he hands him a glass of beer. “Thank you.” It comes out strained.
“Joon-ah, there you are!” comes Hoseok’s voice, and shit, there’s Hoseok. He grabs Namjoon’s arm and shakes it in greeting. Namjoon’s got to snap out of it. “Look at him, huh?” he says, enthusiastic, gesturing to Jeongguk. “This big boy!”
Oddly enough, it’s Hoseok’s enthusiasm that makes Namjoon feel guilty for checking Jeongguk out. This is his best friend’s little step-brother, the kid he grew up with, who laughed with him all summer, rode bikes and skinned his knees and listened to all the music Namjoon showed him. He almost can’t reconcile it. Almost.
“He is big,” Namjoon agrees, and tries to keep his mind out of the gutter.
“You want to show Namjoon your room, Jeonggukie?” Hoseok asks. “I’ll get the food ready.”
“Hyung,” Jeongguk laughs, looking a little bashful, but he doesn’t reject his brother’s excitement. “I’ll show you,” he says to Namjoon, and sets their beers down at the table before leading him into his bedroom.
Namjoon’s seen the room before. Their friend from school lived in it before, but when she moved in with her girlfriend, Hoseok was out a roommate for a couple months of rent. It was lucky timing for Jeongguk to move in now, Namjoon thinks.
The room is nice. It’s very clean, like Jeongguk’s room in his and Hoseok’s parents’ house was and how Hoseok’s bedrooms have always been. His things are tidy and orderly, and the room itself is very adult. The bed is made neatly. There are a couple of real life throw pillows arranged on top of it. It all makes Namjoon feel very messy.
“It looks so good,” Namjoon says. He looks at Jeongguk’s dresser. “You have a lot of candles.”
“I really like fresh scents,” Jeongguk says. He goes to pick up one of the candles and holds it out for Namjoon to smell. “It smells like freshly washed laundry!” His tone and expression are so excited, Namjoon can’t handle it.
“That’s really nice, actually.”
Jeongguk grins as he sets the candle back down. Then he leans against his dresser. “How are you doing?” he asks.
“I’m really good,” Namjoon says. He holds his hands in his jacket pocket and tries really hard not to be self-conscious. “How are you? You’re starting a new job, right?”
“Yeah,” Jeongguk says. “I graduated last month.”
“Oh, damn, that’s right.” Namjoon remembers Hoseok leaving for Jeongguk’s university graduation. “That’s so big.”
“It is,” Jeongguk agrees. He messes with one of his little tea lights. “So, I’m working with this up and coming screenprinting shop. It’s something I did a lot of in school.” He keeps his eyes down as he speaks. “It sounds like they’re getting more business than they know what to do with. I’m excited, but I’m a little nervous they’re going to expect me to be able to help a lot with management.” He flickers his gaze up to meet Namjoon’s and sets the tea light down.
“You seem very capable to me,” says Namjoon, though he has no idea. “Your willpower is no joke, Jeongguk-ah.”
Jeongguk gives Namjoon a shy little smile that’s almost jarring in how quick it takes him straight back to when they were kids. “Thank you, hyung.”
“LET’S EAT!” comes Hoseok’s cry from the kitchen.
Dinner just lets Namjoon know in an even clearer way how capable and adult and interesting Jeongguk is. He sits across the table from him, and now as he talks Namjoon notices that aside from his long, wavy hair, he also has several new piercings in his ears. Not to mention, the last time Namjoon saw him, his eyes and nose were so big on his face. It was endearing. But now he’s grown into them, and it’s far more devastating than Namjoon could have imagined. He’s so handsome.
“I don’t think screenprinting is something I’ll want to stick with forever,” Jeongguk is saying, mostly finished with his food. “But it’s a really good opportunity for someone as young as me, and I want to keep working on illustrating, too.”
“Do you want to show any illustrations?” Hoseok asks, making Jeongguk give him a scrunchy little grin.
“Not now, hyung. But there’s plenty of time, I’ll have some to show you.”
“We can put some up!” Hoseok is beaming, and it makes Namjoon happy. Hoseok and Jeongguk have always been close, and Namjoon knows Hoseok’s missed having his brother around since he and Namjoon came to the city after graduating high school. If anything, he thinks the two of them are closer now than they were before.
Before he leaves, Jeongguk gives Namjoon a tight goodbye hug and a sweet smile and Namjoon does his best to ignore the flip in his stomach.
After a couple days, Namjoon is able to put the startling revelation of Jeongguk’s attractiveness out of his mind and just be happy that he’s there, that he’s back for his brother.
As soon as he does, of course, he sees him again.
He’s putting together an arrangement when the bell on the shop door rings. He looks up to greet the customer and startles. “Jeongguk-ah!”
“Hyung, hello,” Jeongguk greets him. He’s dressed in his work clothes, looking classy in a pair of black jeans and button down. “Wow, this place is beautiful.”
“Oh, thank you, that’s all thanks to Yongsun,” Namjoon waves off. “She makes everything so pretty. What are you doing here?”
“Ah! I knew you could help me with this.” Jeongguk beams. “My boss was talking about getting some floral arrangements for the office. I said I knew somebody, so he let me out for some fresh air.”
“Oh,” says Namjoon in surprise. “Yes. Yeah, I can help you with that. What are you looking for?”
“I’d love to see what you like to put together,” Jeongguk says. “It’s a pretty neutral space, just white and greys. Wood. No need to worry about color coordination.”
Namjoon looks around. He’s already putting things together in his head. “Have you thought about some plants?” he asks absently while he considers.
“I asked. We’re gonna see how we do with flowers, though. I’m not sure we’d be great at keeping them alive.” Jeongguk gives him a scrunchy little smile. A ticklish flip happens in Namjoon’s stomach that he tries to ignore. Jeongguk leans on the counter. His sleeves are rolled up, and Namjoon fixates on his forearms without meaning to. “I can come by anytime this week, if you just let me know?”
“I can bring it by,” Namjoon volunteers before he can stop himself.
“Oh.” Jeongguk blinks. “Does it cost to deliver?”
“Not for you.” Wow. He really can’t stop himself.
“Hyung,” Jeongguk says disapprovingly.
Namjoon shrugs and doesn’t give. “I’ll bring something by tomorrow.”
Jeongguk nods. “Thank you. Ah, here.” He pulls his business card out of his pocket and hands it to Namjoon with a bow. “Well. Thank you again, hyung. I’ll see you then.”
“See you then, Jeongguk-ah.” Namjoon waves as he walks out. Then he blows out a long breath and turns back to his flowers.
When he tells Yongsun he’s doing a delivery during his lunch hour the next day, she looks at him like he’s grown a tail. He shrugs helplessly.
The place where Jeongguk works isn’t big, but it’s a very clean and pleasing space. He looks around, and there’s no one in the front with the couch and chairs, so he moves toward the offices.
“Hello?” he calls tentatively, and knocks at the wall.
There’s a banging sound, then a call of, “Hyung! I’m coming.” Jeongguk appears a second later, and when he does Namjoon’s heart just fails. The top of his hair is pulled back in a little bun. It’s endearing, but it’s also kind of devastating.
“Hey,” he says, delayed. “I—hi. What’s up?”
“Sorry,” Jeongguk huffs. “There are only three of us here Fridays, and the others are out to lunch. I was just making some coffee.”
“No, you’re fine,” Namjoon says. “You. Your hair.”
Jeongguk’s hand goes to the little bun automatically. “Oh.” His cheeks color.
“It’s cute,” Namjoon says.
Jeongguk laughs, but he still looks abashed. “Thank you. So, flowers!”
Namjoon looks down at the arrangement he’s holding. “Yes. Flowers. I brought these for you.” He tries not to visibly cringe at himself. “Where do you want them?”
“They’re so beautiful.” Jeongguk touches some eucalyptus reverently. “Um, we’ll go with in here, I think.” He points at the side table by the chairs and couch. “Is that okay for them?”
“It’s good, yeah,” Namjoon reassures him. He takes the flowers over and sets them down where Jeongguk indicated. “You’re going to want to keep an eye on these guys to keep them alive for a while,” he says. “Just check for dead flowers and throw them out, make sure they have water. If the water gets cloudy, you’ll want to change it out. Here.” He hands Jeongguk the flower preservative he brought with him. “When you change the water, mix this into it. It’ll keep them alive longer.”
Jeongguk nods resolutely. He takes the little package, then pulls out his phone and starts typing.
“Are you taking notes?” Namjoon laughs. “It’s easy, I promise.”
“Hyung,” Jeongguk says, looking up at him mock-severely. “If I’m going to graduate to real plants, I need to pass this.”
Namjoon shakes his head with a smile and holds his hands in the pocket of his jacket. “So, you’re good to go.” He stalls.
Jeongguk jumps on it. “Are you busy? Like I said, I was just making coffee. I’m getting really good with pour-overs, but it’s too much for me to drink on my own. You could help me out.”
“So this is that kind of office,” Namjoon laughs. He looks at his watch. “Yeah, I’ve got a bit.”
Jeongguk leads him to his office, which is not very big, but it’s nice and neat. He’s gotten a start on decorating. There are a couple pictures of him and Hoseok with their family, all of them looking bright and happy. Namjoon smiles at them.
“You can sit,” Jeongguk says. He drags a chair over from the corner. “I’ll be right back.” When he returns, he’s balancing a pour-over coffeemaker and a kettle. He sets them on his desk and starts to pour the water.
“How are you?” Namjoon asks. He looks around. “Seems like a nice place.”
“It is, yeah,” Jeongguk agrees, looking up from what he’s doing. “But, you know. Moving from university to a job is weird.”
Namjoon hums. “You seem to know what you’re doing.”
Jeongguk snorts. “Does anyone ever know what they’re doing?” He wrinkles his nose. “I guess I know what I’m doing for now.”
“I know what you mean.”
Jeongguk sits back in his chair. He reaches up to pull his hair loose, then shakes it out. He looks like a golden retriever, Namjoon thinks to himself with a smile. “I’m glad I’m here, though,” he says brightly. “For sure. I missed Hobi a lot, and I have friends in the city. And you! Maybe now I won’t just be the tag-along kid, huh?” His eyes still sparkle with the joke, but it’s not just a joke.
“You were never a tag-along kid,” Namjoon says. He tries to say it equally lightly, as if he were responding to a joke. He’s not lying, either. He can’t remember Jeongguk ever not respecting his and Hoseok’s space, can never remember wanting Jeongguk to go away. He can remember wanting him there, thinking that things were fun with him along. Jeongguk has always been quiet and sweet and mature. Self-aware, too, Namjoon thinks.
He doesn’t say any of that, though. Just leaves it as you were never a tag-along kid and hopes Jeongguk can hear yeah, you have me.
It’s loud enough to be heard over the music in the bar, which is pretty goddamn loud.
“Jeongguk-ah,” Hoseok grins when they get sight of the voice and realize it was Jeongguk. They greet each other like friends, rather than brothers who live together, doing that sort of bro-high-five. “I didn’t know you were coming here.”
“Didn’t know you guys were,” Jeongguk says. He beams at Namjoon. “Namjoon-hyung. Hey.” He’s holding a mostly-empty glass of beer, and Namjoon’s pretty sure it isn’t his first. His eyes are glassy and sparkling, like he’s happy and maybe a tiny bit tipsy.
“Hey! Since you’re here, want to meet my friends? We’re at the couch, we have room for both of you!”
Hoseok turns to look questioningly at Namjoon. Namjoon shrugs.
“Sure thing.” Hoseok claps Namjoon on the shoulder. “I am going to the bathroom. I’ll join you in a second.” He hands Namjoon his beer and darts in the direction of the bathroom, leaving him alone with Jeongguk.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” Jeongguk says, taking Namjoon’s arm and guiding him toward where he and his friends are sitting.
“It’s so strange to see you in a bar,” Namjoon says and immediately tries to backtrack, remembering Jeongguk’s tag-along kid comment. “I mean—not that you don’t seem grown up, you’re very grown up. Just, before you moved here, the last time I saw you, you were this kid, you couldn’t drink at all. But here you are. Grown up,” he reiterates awkwardly.
“Grown up,” repeats Jeongguk. He turns his head to look at Namjoon. He has to look up just a little, shake his hair out of his face. Namjoon remembers the week before, and the bun, and jesus he gets distracted by Jeongguk too easily.
“Grown up,” he says one more time. He really needs this beer.
“Thank you.” Jeongguk is smiling. “The grown up thing, I mean. You’re grown up too, hyung.”
Namjoon laughs. “I guess I am.”
“Here we are.” Jeongguk leads him to the couch and three armchairs in the far corner of the room. “Guys!” He gets the attention of the five people sitting there. “This is Kim Namjoon. I’ve known him since I was, like, ten years old. Namjoon-hyung, this is Wheein, Taehyung, Jimin, Haseul, and Sooyoung.”
Namjoon bows to them, feeling a tad awkward with Jeongguk’s very beautiful friends. Haseul immediately stands and offers him her chair.
“Oh, no,” he tries to refuse, but she gets up and sits next to the girl with the long hair—Sooyoung.
“Hyung, she’s just using you as an excuse to squeeze in next to her girlfriend,” Jeongguk says. Haseul wrinkles her nose at him, and Sooyoung takes her hand.
Namjoon sits down.
“My hyung is here, too,” Jeongguk announces, looking delighted. “He went to the—oh, Hobi-hyung!” Namjoon can’t quite get his eyes off Jeongguk as he introduces Hoseok to his friends.
And actually, that problem just gets worse the rest of the night, the more Namjoon drinks. Jeongguk is pretty, everything about him is pretty. His hair, his eyes, his laugh. God, Namjoon loves his unrestrained laugh, just throwing his head back and cackling. It makes him smile in the most obvious way.
Jeongguk’s friends are nice. Haseul and Sooyoung are hilarious and cute together. Jimin and Sooyoung rib Jeongguk gently together. Wheein and Taehyung egg each other on, get loud and make jokes together Namjoon doesn’t understand, but he can’t help but laugh because they’re so endearing. And from the glances Hoseok keeps throwing Jimin, Namjoon thinks he’s having a good time too.
Hoseok’s a lightweight, so he’s always known how to pace himself a little better than Namjoon. When Namjoon gets up to go to the bathroom, he stumbles a little.
“Uh oh,” Hoseok laughs, and immediately everyone else is laughing with him. Namjoon frowns.
“You okay, hyung?” Jeongguk asks. There’s a little smile on his face, but a look of concern, too.
“I’m good. Just gonna go to the bathroom.”
“I need to go too,” Jeongguk says. Distantly Namjoon thinks he’s lying, but he lets Jeongguk walk with him to the bathroom, and wait for him when he’s finished.
The bathroom lights are too bright, and Namjoon stumbles a little in front of the mirror. “Whew.”
“About time to go home?” Jeongguk asks. His voice is as gentle as the hand on Namjoon’s elbow. Suddenly Namjoon is warm and embarrassed, not just from the alcohol, but from Jeongguk’s worry for him.
“I’m okay, Jeonggukie,” he says.
They leave the bathroom together. The others all look about ready to leave. Jeongguk whines at Hoseok for getting his tab, and Hoseok tells Namjoon it was his turn and calls him a freeloader, even though he never lets Namjoon pay him back.
They say their goodbyes outside the bar, Jeongguk’s friends all happy and nice. Hoseok gets them a taxi and says, “You can stay with us tonight,” and doesn't leave room for Namjoon to argue.
Namjoon gets hit hard by the sleepiness in the elevator up to Hoseok and Jeongguk’s apartment. He’s dizzy. Jeongguk doesn’t even warn him before he reaches down and sweeps Namjoon’s legs off the ground, sweeps him off his feet.
“Whoa,” Namjoon says. He blinks and his eyes focus right in on Jeongguk’s strong chest. “Whoa.”
“I gotcha,” Jeongguk says. Which, clearly.
“You can put me down, I’m fine,” Namjoon gasps, trying not to focus in too hard on Jeongguk’s strong, strong arms. Or his broad chest. His clouded brain is making it harder to direct his thoughts, but god, this is too much.
Jeongguk and Hoseok both totally ignore him.
“He can sleep on the couch,” Hoseok tells Jeongguk as they near their apartment.
“You’re embarrassing me,” Namjoon mumbles.
“Aww,” Hoseok coos.
“Don’t be embarrassed, hyung,” says Jeongguk, but Namjoon can hear the laughter in his voice.
Inside, Hoseok locks the door, calls a goodnight, and goes to his room.
Jeongguk sets Namjoon on the couch far too gently. “Oh my god,” Namjoon hears himself gasp. “You’re strong.”
Jeongguk giggles. It’s so cute. “I know.”
“Cute,” Namjoon says. Jeongguk’s nose wrinkles, and Namjoon barely manages to refrain from poking it.
“I’ll be right back, hyung. Take your jeans off.”
Jeongguk comes back a minute later with a throw blanket and a pillow, then he goes to the kitchen for a glass of water he hands Namjoon. Namjoon immediately spills it on himself. Jeongguk lets out a sharp laugh and covers his mouth. He gets Namjoon a new shirt from his bedroom and helps him change into it. Namjoon drinks, and Jeongguk crouches in front of the couch.
“You’re not gonna throw up, are you?”
“I’m not going to throw up,” Namjoon confirms. “Thank you. Sorry.”
“You’re fine, hyung.” Jeongguk helps him get situated on his side. “The rest of the water is on the table. Get some sleep, okay?”
“Goodnight,” Namjoon mumbles. He pulls the throw blanket over his body and smushes his cheek into the pillow.
In the morning he wakes up with a dull headache and to the smell of food. When he manages to sit up on the couch, Jeongguk is working in the kitchen, cooking rice and frying eggs. He gives himself one good look at Jeongguk’s broad back and shoulders, then slumps back down on the couch.
Okay, it’s a problem.
At first, Namjoon thinks maybe a good bit of time away from Jeongguk will do it. He’ll deliver arrangements to his office on Fridays and that will be it. He’ll take his time, sort his thoughts, and when his Horny Brain turns off, he’ll finally be able to stop fucking thirsting after Jeongguk.
(Jeongguk! His longtime friend and his best friend’s younger brother! Who’s smart and capable and sweet and pretty and has really strong arms—)
But as the weeks pass, Namjoon realizes that the attraction is bearable. Jeongguk’s pretty face and long hair and piercings and big arms and strong chest and thighs are all bearable. He doesn’t just have the hots for Jeongguk. He likes him.
He tries to shove it down. He gives it a really good go.
But at the end of the day, Jeongguk is Jeongguk, everything Namjoon didn’t know he wanted. And Namjoon’s not sure he really wants this to go away.
“Okay, what’s wrong with you?”
Namjoon stops tapping. “What?”
Hoseok gives him a dead look. “You’ve been tapping on your glass non-stop for five minutes. What’s going on?”
It says a lot about how predictable Namjoon is that Hoseok just waits patiently as Namjoon cycles through his stubborn resolve to keep this a secret, his guilty crisis, and finally acceptance. “I have to tell you something,” he says finally, and Hoseok is already nodding. Whatever.
It’s been almost three weeks since his resolution to keep Jeongguk out of his sight and stop being horny about him. And the thing is, Jeongguk is just there. Hoseok just had to get along this well with his step-brother.
“Go ahead, Namjoon-ah.”
Namjoon blows out a long breath. “Okay. So. I don’t really know how to say this.”
“I’ll refrain from making any judgments. Just lay it out.” Hoseok’s brand of patience is funny in how specifically impatient it is. Namjoon’s always kind of appreciated that.
“Okay. Here it is.”
Hoseok blinks at him.
“I like Jeongguk.”
Hoseok blinks at him again. At least half a minute goes by, and they just stare at each other. “You are legally obligated to buy me another drink,” Hoseok tells him finally.
Namjoon nods, feeling frazzled. Hoping for more of a reaction. “That seems true.”
He gets Hoseok another beer. Hoseok takes a couple gulps for show, then goes back to nursing it, as Hoseok does. “Jeongguk,” he repeats. “Like. My Jeongguk?”
This was what Namjoon was waiting for. “I’m sorry,” he says, feeling desperate and still kind of guilty. “He’s really cool and interesting and smart. And, like—”
Hoseok holds up a hand. “Do not say it.”
“—really handsome, too.”
Hoseok lets out a strangled noise and hides his face in his hands. “Okay. Okay okay okay.” He grumbles to himself. “Nobody gives you advice for this kind of shit,” he says under his breath.
“I’m sorry,” Namjoon says again. “I didn’t mean for it to happen.”
The look Hoseok gives him is unreadable. “Oh, Namjoon-ah,” he says finally. “Does anyone ever mean for feelings to happen?” He seems to consider. “Well, yeah, I guess some people do. Masochists. But this is different. You’re not a masochist.”
Namjoon stopped following what he’s saying as soon as he started talking. “What?”
“You don’t need to hurt yourself over this,” Hoseok says. “It’s okay. It’s okay that you have feelings for someone, and god fucking damn it, I can’t believe I have to say this, it’s okay that you have feelings for Jeongguk.”
“Namjoon-ah,” Hoseok parrots. “You’re good. Okay? This might be weird for me for a little while, because he’s my brother, but you’re good. And Jeonggukie is good too. Together that’s a lot of good.”
When tears prick at Namjoon’s eyes, he blames it on the alcohol.
Namjoon’s something close to settled into the idea of having feelings for Jeongguk when he goes to drop off an arrangement and Jeongguk asks him into his office.
He’s a little nervous. He doesn’t have the slightest gauge on how subtle a person he is, but he thinks it’s entirely possible Jeongguk knows about his feelings.
It turns out Jeongguk just wanted to show him his succulent.
He holds it up with a huge, bright smile. “I’m calling it Jiji. Like from Kiki’s Delivery Service.”
“That’s so cute, Jeongguk-ah,” Namjoon says. He thinks he might be audibly in pain.
Jeongguk sets the succulent back down. “I looked up instructions on taking care of it. Turns out it’s pretty easy.”
Namjoon huffs a laugh. “I told you.”
“You did,” Jeongguk agrees. He’s smiling a little, but he looks like his thoughts are somewhere else. “Hyung, is everything okay?” he asks after a moment. “You’ve been acting a little different. I don’t want to assume it’s about me, just, if you—I just—um.” He stammers a bit, then gives up for a second. His eyebrows draw together.
“I’m okay,” Namjoon says. “I promise I’m okay. I’m sorry for acting weird.”
Jeongguk nods. Namjoon can tell by looking at him that he still feels insecure, but he doesn’t want to say anything. He’s too polite, too deferent. He won’t push.
“I’ve had things going on,” Namjoon continues gently. “But I’d like to spend some time together soon, if you’re up for it.” He is going to live to regret that, maybe. But he can’t just let himself hurt Jeongguk for no good reason.
Jeongguk finally looks at him again. “Yeah.” He clears his throat. “Yeah. Do you want to come over tomorrow?” Jeongguk asks. “I’ve been wanting to watch Spiderverse again, and Hobi’s gone all evening. You can come keep me company.” He looks so hopeful.
“Yeah, I’d love to,” Namjoon says. “Yongsun and I have to do a delivery in the afternoon, arrangements for a wedding. We should be done by five-thirty, though.”
“Cool. You can come over whenever.” Jeongguk smiles at him. His body does this weird thing where it looks like everything’s delayed, just a second behind his thought process. Then he moves forward for a hug. Namjoon accepts it. “See you tomorrow.”
Yongsun and Namjoon have gotten the truck loaded with the arrangements for the wedding when she has to leave for a family emergency.
“Namjoon-ah, I’m so sorry,” she says. “I’ve got to go. I can call someone to come help you.”
“Don’t worry about it, noona,” Namjoon waves off. “I’ll get things figured out, don’t worry about anything.”
She leaves. Namjoon fills his cheeks with air and tries to think of his options. He doesn’t want to call Kahei in on her day off. And it could take her an hour to get down here. He could do most of the work himself, if only he could drive.
It tugs at his brain. “Goddamnit,” he mumbles. He takes his phone out and calls Jeongguk.
“Hello, hyung?” Jeongguk answers after a couple rings.
“Jeongguk-ah. Hey, are you busy?”
There’s some rustling. “No, I’m not busy. What’s up?” Namjoon can hear voices and some low laughing that Jeongguk shushes.
“You’re with people,” he says. “It’s okay, don’t worry about it.”
“No,” Jeongguk says quickly. “Do you need something? Jimin and Tae were about to leave, really.”
Namjoon tries to believe him. “Okay. Ah, the floral delivery I told you about yesterday? Well, Yongsun had an emergency and she had to leave. I can’t drive the truck, but I know you can drive, so I wanted to see if maybe...” he lets himself trail off.
“Yes!” Jeongguk exclaims. “Yeah, of course I can drive you. Give me, like, fifteen minutes and I’ll be there.”
“Jeongguk-ah, you live fifteen minutes away.”
“Exactly!” Jeongguk says brightly. “Gotta go, bye!”
Sure enough, fifteen minutes later Jeongguk is jogging up to the front door of the shop, looking winded. Namjoon unlocks the door to let him in, then takes him out back.
Namjoon pulls out his phone to map them to the destination. It’s farther than he’s comfortable with, pushing it on time a bit now, and when they make it to the venue a woman in a pantsuit is pacing outside, waiting for them.
“Thank god,” she exclaims. “I don’t want to hurry you too badly, but I need the boutonnieres while the grooms are still crisp.”
“Of course,” Namjoon says. “Sorry for the delay.” He hands her the boutonnieres, and she looks two seconds from disappearing before she instructs them to set the corsages down and tells them she’ll be back to show them where to put the arrangements.
They go back out to the truck to get the ones for the tables. “Wow,” Jeongguk exclaims when he sees the arrangements. “These are so beautiful.”
“Thank you. They are nice, aren’t they?”
“Kind of makes me want to have a wedding.”
Namjoon curses himself when that puts a little tingle in his stomach. He mumbles a non-response, and they carry the arrangements inside. The woman from before is back, another woman with her.
“Sorry for being so frantic just now,” she says. “Thank you so much. It’s Kim Namjoon-ssi, isn’t it? I’m Byulyi. I appreciate your help. I can show you where to put those. Hyejin-ah—make sure the bridesmaids get the corsages.”
Byulyi shows them to the reception area. They have arrangements for each table and a couple large ones for the photo area. It’s clearly a large wedding, and it takes a while to set up, but Jeongguk is quick to help and catch on as Namjoon double-checks that each arrangement looks perfect.
“This is going to be a beautiful wedding,” Namjoon says to Byulyi as they finish and she surveys the room, looking harried.
“It will be, yeah,” she agrees. She blows a loose strand of hair out of her face. “Nothing less for Yoongi and Seokjin.” She looks around and seems to think for a moment, then turns to them. “That’s everything, isn’t it? Thank you again. These are excellent.” She bows.
Namjoon bows as well. “It was my pleasure, Byulyi-ssi. Have a wonderful day.”
Back in the truck, Namjoon leans back and closes his eyes, just for a moment. Then he looks at Jeongguk. “Thank you so much for your help. You really saved my life today.”
“Ah, it was nothing,” says Jeongguk.
“Can I pay you?” Namjoon asks. “Seriously.”
“What?” Jeongguk just about squawks. “No. Of course not.”
Namjoon had thought as much. “Can I buy you dinner, then?”
Jeongguk seems to contemplate for a moment. Then, “Yeah. Yeah, okay. I’m hungry. We can go out for barbeque.”
“Okay.” Jeongguk puts his hands on the steering wheel. He takes a deep breath. Then he pulls the truck out.
They go to one of Namjoon’s favorite barbeque restaurants. The drive isn’t very long, but neither of them talk very much. Namjoon searches for something to say, but he can’t come up with anything.
They’re quiet as they’re seated, order drinks, start eating. They only really talk about the food, until halfway through dinner.
“Hyung,” Jeongguk says. He sounds almost timid.
Namjoon gives him his attention. “Yeah?”
“Is this a date?”
Namjoon stares at him.
“I’m sorry,” Jeongguk says after a good moment of staring. His cheeks are pink and he won’t look up at Namjoon anymore. “I just... I didn’t know if, maybe.”
“Did you want it to be?”
Jeongguk looks at him. He takes a minute, seems to see that Namjoon is serious and not making fun of him. “Yeah,” he says. It comes out a little breathy. “Yeah, I do. If you’re up for that.”
Namjoon laughs incredulously. He leans back in his seat and covers his mouth with one hand. “If I’m up for it.”
Jeongguk leans forward with his elbows on the table. “I like you,” he says, so low nobody but Namjoon can hear it.
“I—” Namjoon stammers a moment, caught off-guard by Jeongguk’s directness. “I like you, too, he manages.
Jeongguk looks down at the food he’s mostly finished. His ears are pink. “Good,” he says. “That’s good.”
They finish their food between sickeningly sweet glances at each other. Shy little smiles, as if they’re suddenly at dinner with a new person. Namjoon should be ashamed, really.
He makes sure Jeongguk gets as much as he wants to eat. Then they leave, and when they get back into the truck a thick silence falls over them.
Namjoon rubs his palms over the legs of his jeans. “So. Uh, do you want dessert?” It seems right. Dinner was maybe less than impressive, for a first date.
“Yeah,” Jeongguk says decisively. So Namjoon looks at him to ask where he wants to go. Not getting it, of course, until Jeongguk kisses him.
And god, does Jeongguk kiss him. Namjoon doesn’t even give him time to do the hesitant little pull-back, to make sure Namjoon’s into it. He drags him closer by his jacket.
He’s not alone in the touching and grabbing, either. The closer he leans, the better Jeongguk gets an arm around his waist. Jeongguk is good at this, good and so overwhelming. The way he holds Namjoon makes him feel so much like he is wanted, which makes something drop hungrily in his stomach.
Namjoon threads his fingers through Jeongguk’s wavy hair. When he gives it a little tug, Jeongguk groans, so Namjoon tugs him back just enough to press his lips under Jeongguk’s chin, down his neck. Jeongguk makes an aborted little noise and curls his fingers in Namjoon’s sweater.
He pulls Namjoon back to him.
“That’s not what I meant,” Namjoon gasps into his mouth. “By dessert.”
Jeongguk presses his lips to Namjoon’s neck and laughs against his skin.
“I meant, like. Ice cream or something.”
A little nip. Namjoon’s too turned on too quick.
“Do you still want to come over?” Jeongguk asks. His eyes are dark, and his chest is rising and falling a little faster than normal. He leans back a little more in his own seat and says casually, “I think we have ice cream, if that’s what you want.”
Namjoon lets out a whoosh of breath. “Uh huh.”
“Cool.” Jeongguk’s eyes are bright and glassy like they were the time he was tipsy.
He drives them back to the flower shop. They’re quiet in a tense, bubbly way as Namjoon locks up and they start toward Jeongguk and Hoseok’s apartment.
“I,” Namjoon starts awkwardly not halfway through the walk. His hands are shoved in the pockets of his jacket. “Um, Jeongguk-ah, I like you,” he says again. “I just want you to know. I like you, not just—” He breaks off and takes a breath. He knows what he’s trying to say, just not how to say it in a way that isn’t embarrassing.
Jeongguk just looks at him. It gives Namjoon a second to appreciate this habit he’s developed, of shaking his hair out of his eyes. He’s like a big puppy, in the sweetest way. “Hyung, I’ve liked you since I was a teenager.” He kicks a rock off the sidewalk, into the dirt by a tree. Then he says it again, a little quieter and a little more fervent. “I’ve liked you since I was a teenager.”
Namjoon opens and closes his mouth embarrassingly. “What?” he manages.
Jeongguk shakes his head with a little laugh. “Got a little embarrassed about it. After I went to university and realized how obvious I must have been back then. That’s why I was afraid of being a tag-along kid, you know?”
“You weren’t a tag-along kid,” Namjoon says. He can hear the disapproval in his own voice. “I always liked having you around.”
Jeongguk huffs. “Okay. Well, anyway. Just so you know. I still like you. Or like you again, or whatever. I think we should go on a real date. More than one real date. Lots of them.”
Namjoon can’t fight the grin that comes to his face, so he looks at the ground. His ears must be so pink.
Namjoon looks at him.
“I’ve always thought you were so cool and handsome. I still do.” Jeongguk’s eyes are earnest, but a little teasing, too.
Namjoon holds his hand over his mouth and tries not to let Jeongguk see how big his smile is. It makes Jeongguk laugh out loud, and he knocks their shoulders together and holds Namjoon around the waist and kisses his cheek, just real quick.
By the time they reach Jeongguk and Hoseok’s apartment, Namjoon feels warm and embarrassed with all the sweetness. The door closes behind them, and as soon as they have their shoes off, Jeongguk puts an arm around his waist and pushes him with his back to it, giggling as Namjoon scrunches his nose and looks away.
“You’re so cute,” Jeongguk says. He pecks kisses to Namjoon’s jaw and cheek and forehead. Then gentle, insistent hands press Namjoon’s hips back so he hits the door, and Jeongguk kisses his mouth.
Namjoon would be lying if he said he weren’t just the slightest bit affronted at how good Jeongguk is at kissing. He approaches it like he does everything else: earnest and fervent and tangibly excited.
One of his thumbs digs into Namjoon’s hip, holding him there as Jeongguk’s mouth opens to him. The other hand moves up and down his side, squeezes at his waist. Namjoon gasps into it and Jeongguk’s lips press to his neck. He feels so wanted. He loves this about Jeongguk—that he doesn’t seem to find it necessary to hide the way he feels, and how much he wants Namjoon.
Namjoon thinks he should probably let Jeongguk know how much he wants him, too.
He tangles the fingers of one hand in Jeongguk’s hair and gives it a gentle pull again. Just like last time, Jeongguk groans, and he lifts his head up to look at Namjoon with his eyes dark and lips parted.
Namjoon is not so great at saying things nonverbally. He doesn’t entirely trust himself to get the message across, not like Jeongguk does with the way his feelings bleed into his body language. So he says again, “I like you,” and then he says, “I want you.”
Jeongguk makes a strangled noise at that, and even physically shudders a little. “Namjoon-hyung,” he says, and it comes out incredulous. He leans forward to kiss Namjoon again, one quick sweet one. “Do you want to...?” His eyes dart meaningfully to his bedroom.
Namjoon’s stomach drops. Jeongguk takes a couple steps back, and he drags his eyes down his body. Jeongguk doesn’t wear form-fitting clothes often, but the jeans and sweater he pulled on before he came to help Namjoon today look incredible on him.
“I want to,” Namjoon says. “Only if you do.”
“Oh, hyung,” Jeongguk huffs. When Namjoon comes forward, he meets him with a little smile, wraps his arms around his waist and picks him up to spin him around once.
Namjoon lets out a yelp that turns into a laugh. “Put me down! Oh my god.”
Jeongguk does, and looks at him with that huge, happy grin. He takes Namjoon’s hand and pulls him to his bedroom to kiss him more.
It should be annoying that neither of them can stop smiling and laughing as they try to get down to business, but it’s not. Namjoon feels so happy, it won’t quit bubbling out of him.
They end up like this:
Jeongguk sitting on his bed with his legs spread, naked from the waist down. Namjoon having been pulled onto his lap still wearing his underwear.
By the time they’re rutting against each other, mouths pressed together, Namjoon can’t fully remember how they got here. Vaguely, he recalls being pulled onto the bed and gasping “you’re so hot,” and Jeongguk’s laughter in his ear and having the daylights kissed out of him.
Now he’s grabbing at Jeongguk’s hips to try and still them as he grinds up against him, so lithe and strong it makes Namjoon’s mouth water. “Calm down a minute, baby,” he says when he isn’t strong enough to hold Jeongguk still.
Jeongguk shudders and gives Namjoon a desperate look. “Sorry,” he says, and he blinks a far too self-conscious expression into his eyes.
“You’re fine,” Namjoon assures him. “Just—better like this.” He takes Jeongguk’s cock in his hand and takes pleasure in the way his thighs twitch and his lips press together against a groan. He strokes it once. Too dry. “Do you have, uh.”
“Mm,” Jeongguk hums affirmatively before he can finish. He leans over, nearly tilting Namjoon off his lap, and pulls some lube from the drawer next to his bed.
Namjoon takes it, but sets it down long enough to pull his own dick out. He must look silly, sitting on Jeongguk’s lap with his dick out, but he wants Jeongguk so much that he can’t quite be self-conscious.
He puts some lube on his hands and rubs them together for a second. He strokes himself, then holds his dick and Jeongguk’s together.
Jeongguk lets out a startled moan, and his hips jump.
“Is that good?” Namjoon asks.
Jeongguk just whimpers. He brings a hand up to join Namjoon’s, and then everything is just warm and slick and a little hazy while they rut against each other.
Jeongguk makes the sweetest little sounds as Namjoon touches him, breathy little whimpers and moans, and Namjoon kisses them out of his mouth.
He comes first, with a sob into Namjoon’s neck, hips twitching helplessly. By the time he comes down, Namjoon has stroked himself off to the sight of him.
Jeongguk pulls him into another kiss, softer and a little lazy now. When he pulls back, he looks down between them and says, “Ugh.”
Namjoon laughs. Jeongguk has never been much for messes.
He pulls his shirt off and helps Namjoon out of his. Then he gets up, and tugs Namjoon to the bathroom.
They clean themselves up. Namjoon has a little, nagging fear that maybe this was less than satisfactory, kind of rushed and desperate, but Jeongguk keeps pressing sweet little kisses to his mouth when he gets the chance, and Namjoon just melts for him.
Jeongguk gets Namjoon a clean shirt and a pair of sweat pants to wear. “Do you still want to hang out?” he asks. “We actually have ice cream. I don’t lie to get what I want, I promise.”
Namjoon swats his ass. “Yeah, I want to hang out. I haven’t seen this movie.”
Jeongguk brightens. “Oh, you’ll love it. Hey, are we movie snugglers? Because I think that’s one of the things I bring to the table in a relationship. I’m good at snuggling.”
“I’m probably not as good at it as you, but maybe we can work on that.”
Jeongguk arranges them on the couch into his desired snuggling position. He doesn’t even manage to start the movie before they’re kissing again, pressed together and licking into each other’s mouths.
That’s when Hoseok walks in. He screams.
“Hyung!” Jeongguk exclaims, ignoring the way Hoseok’s hand is clutched to his heart. “We were about to start Spiderverse. Do you want to join?”
Namjoon sits up and gives Hoseok an apologetic look. “No more making out. Sorry, Hoseok-ah.”
Jeongguk pouts a little, but he agrees. Hoseok still looks a little shaken as he sits down.
“There are going to be rules,” he says severely.
“Right,” Namjoon agrees.
“Mhm.” Jeongguk snuggles closer to Namjoon. Then he reaches up in Hoseok’s direction.
They bump fists.
“What?” Namjoon squawks.