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Black Swan

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...and that’s the completed eye look! Pretty simple, right? So now let’s get that powder brushed off and apply some quick liner and lashes before choosing a lip shade, which will really help finalize the look and pull everything together.

“Too fast, too fast,” Jimin mumbles, pausing the video with a quick tap of the space bar and leaning back in his chair to dig in the vanity drawer at his hip for a liquid liner, which he shakes and uncaps before unpausing the video.

On the screen, glamkook— also known as Jeongguk, Jimin’s favorite beauty guru, is sitting in front of a black background with a smattering of makeup products piled on a table in front of him. One tattooed hand holds up a bright pink mirror, the other clutching a big, puffy powder brush which he uses to delicately swipe finely milled white powder from under his eyes.

Jimin follows suit, choosing his favorite fluffy brush to wipe away the powder he’d caked on over his concealer earlier. He’s pretty sure it’s called baking and while he isn’t exactly sure what it does Jeongguk never skips it in any of his videos so it must be important.

Putting liner over your hard work is always a little nerve wracking, right? Jeongguk says when Jimin unpauses the video, voice filtering choppily through Jimin’s laptop speaker, a little quieter than he’d normally keep it so Taehyung can’t hear what he's doing through the wall. I’ve been doing makeup professionally for years but every time I put that felt tip to the client’s eye I feel like I’m about to ruin everything.

Jimin knows how he feels. The liquid liner shakes in his hand a little bit when he leans forward to get a better look in his hand mirror and he presses the cold, inky tip to his upper lash line.

I’ll be doing a wing today, but feel free to use your preferred liner style. I think a nice crisp cat-eye goes really well with the smoked out dramatic shadow we did today and it also adds some structure which is needed for the gems below your eyes to not look out of place.

Jeongguk masterfully lines his eyes and then draws out a wing with a flick of his wrist, all while Jimin does his best to follow suit. It turns out okay, though noticeably less perfect than Jeongguk’s. He’s still an amateur, having only started watching beauty tutorials and makeup videos in general, which in turn had inspired him to start doing makeup on himself.

While the two of them begin lining their other eye in unison, Jeongguk starts telling a story about one of his clients. Jimin zones out, letting the smooth, dulcet tones of his voice wash over him as he drags the liner across and out, being extra careful to not mess up all of his hard work.

He’s been watching glamkook religiously for about two months now, ever since one of his videos popped up in his recommended when he was vegetating after a long day teaching. Though it wasn't something he'd usually click on, the boy in the thumbnail had caught his eye— he didn’t look like a typical beauty guru with his long, wavy hair and tattooed hands, dressed from head to toe in all black with an earful of silver rings hanging low on both sides. One video quickly turned into two, then five, then twenty— before he knew it he was up half the night binging almost everything he'd ever posted, and now two months later he's a dedicated subscriber with double alarms for Jeongguk’s regular upload times.

Jimin loves the makeup videos, adores how focused Jeongguk gets and how much his love for his craft really shines through when he's explaining a technique or showing off his favorite products. His favorite videos, though, are the low-key ones where Jeongguk vlogs about his day, when he’s barefaced in a long, soft t-shirt and films himself buying groceries and cooking dinner. He'd recently released a short travelog series from a trip to Japan he went on a few weeks ago, which consisted mostly of clips edited in time with music of him eating, drinking, and having fun with his friends. Jimin had watched that one more than he cares to admit.

(Despite what Taehyung seems to think, he absolutely does not have a crush on a youtuber. That’s ridiculous).

He doesn’t usually wear makeup out of the house because most of the time he doesn't leave except to teach ballet classes at the academy where he works and there's no use putting makeup on when he's going to sweat it all off. But tonight is a special occasion— Taehyung is dragging him out to a bar to finally meet his fwb, or as Jimin likes to call him his not-not-boyfriend, the elusive Min Yoongi who has been making more and more appearances in their conversations lately. Jimin has been dying to meet him for weeks, but Taehyung was reluctant, too afraid Jimin would ask him probing questions and make Yoongi uncomfortable. Apparently the not-not-boyfriend isn’t a big fan of commitment, hence thetitle. But Jimin had begged and pleaded and promised to be on his best behavior, so Taehyung reluctantly agreed, not able to resist Jimin's charms for long.

Going clubbing is something Jimin has never cared for, not even back in his college days when his whole life was dance, dance, dance. But now, even as a young professional at the age of twenty-seven, he prefers drinking wine at home in his PJs to the tune of a nice Netflix marathon rather than going out and grinding on sweaty strangers.

Jeongguk is just putting the final touches on his look, uncapping a velvety liquid lip and pressing the doefoot applicator to the center of his lips, when there’s a harsh knock on the bedroom door at his back. Taehyung’s voice filters through the wood, a sing-songed chorus of Jimin’s name at various pitches before it slams open so hard it bounces off the wall and Jimin startles, streaking black liner across his temple where he'd been putting the finishing touches on his wing.

“Fuck,” he whispers, plucking a makeup wipe from the pack by his mirror. “Come in!” he shouts, quickly snapping his laptop lid shut before Taehyung enters. Jeongguk’s voice is cut mid-laugh and Jimin already sort of misses the sound of it, having grown used to having his videos playing as ambient noise over the past few weeks. And also maybe when he’s having a hard time sleeping.

(He doesn’t have a crush. He doesn’t).

“We need to leave in like, five minutes so we don’t keep Yoongi wai— oh shit, wow,” Taehyung ends breathlessly. “You look hot.”

“You ruined the most perfect wing I’ve ever done,” Jimin huffs, tilting forward so he can use the makeup wipe on the edge of the black to cut it back sharp before reaching for his concealer to fix his skin around the edges.

“You still look hot,” Taehyung says with a shrug. “But honestly your face is just hot, so.”

Jimin rolls his eyes. “I just need to do my lips and then get dressed and we can leave. Wouldn’t want to keep your boyfriend waiting.”

“He’s not my— shut up.” He shuts Jimin’s bedroom door and crosses the room to kneel next to where Jimin is sitting, propping his elbows on the vanity. “Damn, you’re already getting so good at this,” he says, lifting a gentle hand to run the pad of his finger over one of the shining, delicate crystals placed just below his smoked-out lower lash line.

“It’s not too much?” Jimin rifles through his modest cup of lipsticks, settling on a nude that seems close to the one Jeongguk was applying right before he’d turned the video off. He uncaps the lid and wipes the excess off the tip before placing it in the middle of his lower lip, trying his best to keep his hand steady. “I never wear anything this dramatic and I’m afraid I look insane.”

“I already told you, you look hot. Don’t you dare take it off. Plus, we’re going to a club. Too much literally doesn’t exist.”

“I guess so.” Jimin tilts his head up and the gems under his eyes and the silver glitter liner he’d used to cut his crease shines under his vanity lighting. He’s hyper-aware of Taehyung at his left, staring at him with a little bit too much intensity. He glances nervously over at him, only growing even more suspicious when he sees the way his best friend’s lips are twisted into a little half smile, eyes glittering with mirth.

“What?”

“You’ve been practicing makeup a lot lately.”

“Just a little bit.” Jimin moves to his upper lip, smoothing the liquid over it, taking extra care around his cupid’s bow.

“Any reason for that?”

“Nope.”

“Nothing at all?”

“Not really.”

“No one at all?”

“I don’t talk to anyone but you?”

Taehyung pops his tongue, eyes following the movement of the applicator. Once Jimin is finally satisfied with his handiwork he twists the tube back together. “So if I were to open your laptop right now…”

Taehyung’s fingers skate over the vanity in the direction of his shut laptop. Jimin panics, immediately slamming his hand down over Taehyung’s to stop him from opening it, sending the lipstick tube in his hand flying to the floor with a clattering sound before it rolls innocently to Taehyung’s feet.

A beat passes where they do nothing but stare at each other. Taehyung’s grin grows wider and wider into something almost devilish that stretches across his entire face. Jimin’s heart hammers in his chest, realizing belatedly how suspicious his knee-jerk reaction was.

“Why can’t I open it?” Taehyung’s voice is lilted and teasing.

“I was watching porn,” Jimin deadpans.

“Bullshit. You wouldn’t care if it was porn.”

“Really, really weird porn. I’m talking tentacle monsters…”

“I literally bought you a monsterfucking doujin set for your last birthday.”

“...extreme furry stuff. Like, full fursuits, and those sheaths you put over your dick to make them huge and like a dragon’s, and—”

“Park Jimin.”

Jimin pauses mid sentence. “What.”

“Would you seriously rather me think you’re watching fursuit dragon dick porn than following one of glamkook’s makeup tutorials?”

Heat floods to Jimin’s cheeks. He hunches down to pick up the dropped lipstick tube to avoid looking Taehyung in the eyes. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“So if that’s not what you were doing, and since I already know you have a raging monsterfucking kink—”

“Can you stop saying that so loud? The window is open and we have neighbors. I’m part of the neighborhood activities council.”

“Please, I’m sure Mrs. Jung has a Bad Dragon hidden in the back of her closet just like the rest of us.”

“Taehyung,” Jimin groans. “I have to organize a Christmas bake sale with her in three weeks. I literally will not be able to look her in the eyes. Please stop.”

“Fine!” Taehyung throws his hands dramatically in mock annoyance. “Mrs. Jung’s sex toy collection aside—”

“Oh my god.”

“If I open this laptop right now, I won’t see Jeongguk’s face?”

Jimin shifts, wetting his lips. Taehyung can read him so well there's no sense in lying. “Okay, listen. I just wanted to try out one of the looks I happened to see the other day when I was looking for inspiration for the Swan Lake performance I’m doing with the kids at the end of the month. It has everything to do with his makeup skills, not him as a person. I don’t even care about his videos anymore. I’m over it.”

“So you only care about the makeup?”

“Yes.”

“Then why is he the only beauty guru you watch?”

Jimin pauses. “Um. He isn’t.”

“Name literally anyone else who isn’t him.”

Jimin clears his throat. “I don’t feel like it.”

“And if you only care about his makeup videos, then why do you watch his other ones? Like the Japan travelog?”

“It autoplayed when I was cooking. I left it on as background noise.”

“Why did you watch it six times?”

Jimin blinks, craning his neck to look around his room. “Do you have cameras in here or something?”

“My point is!” Taehyung stands, yanking Jimin’s laptop from the cord and crossing the room to Jimin’s bed with it cradled to his chest. Jimin doesn’t even bother trying to wrestle it back, knowing it’s a lost cause, so he just pulls his robe tighter around his middle and rises from his seat to choose an outfit from his closet. “You have a crush on glamkook. A big, fat, juicy crush. Admit it.”

“I do not.” He flings his closet open and tugs his favorite pair of jeans from the hanger, inky black that hugs his curves in all the right places with deep rips that travel up to the tops of his thighs. “I don’t even know him. He’s some guy on youtube. Whatever.”

“He’s not just some guy on youtube, though. He lives in Seoul, doesn’t he? You could meet him. You could run into him anywhere. At a coffee shop… on the street… in a bar…”

Jimin pauses with his fingertips hovering over a mesh shirt he was about to pull down. Taehyung’s tone is ringing all sorts of alarm bells in his head and he doesn’t like it. He whirls around, pointing an accusatory finger at his friend. “What are you planning?”

Taehyung doesn’t even react. He’s lying at the end of Jimin’s bed, head hanging upside-down with his laptop open on his chest. Jeongguk is quietly applying lipstick and then blinking sweetly at the camera as he says his outro. Taehyung flashes his eyes up to Jimin, looking awfully pleased with himself. “Me, planning something? I would never.”

Please don’t do anything embarrassing. Don’t DM him, don’t try to talk to him in any way, don’t stalk his social media, don’t do anything. I don’t want his inbox to be flooded with my dumbass friend trying to set him up on a date with me. He’s way out of my league and he probably gets tons of messages like that every single day so all you’ll be doing is annoying him.”

“Okay, first of all, shut the fuck up because literally no one is out of your league. You’re in your own goddamn league.” He points at the jeans slung over Jimin’s shoulder. “Even your ass is in its own league, especially when you wear those jeans.”

“Stop complimenting me, it makes it harder to pretend I’m mad at you.”

“And second of all, I wouldn’t do anything to embarrass you. Come on. We’re best friends, right?”

Jimin peels his robe off without even bothering to tell Taehyung to look away or close his eyes; they’ve walked in on each other doing unsavory things far too many times for it to matter anymore. “No. You’re a snake and I don’t trust you at all. You would literally stab me in the back without a second thought.”

Taehyung grips at his heart. “I’m wounded.”

“I didn’t know demons from the underworld can feel emotional pain.” Jimin shimmies his jeans over his hips before belting them tight and then slinks into his off-white nearly-sheer dress shirt, popping a couple extra buttons at the top to expose the golden line of his throat, dusted with fine-milled shimmer powder. He does a little spin to check himself out in the mirror, pretty satisfied with what he sees.

Taehyung is busy scrolling through Jeongguk’s account, letting out a low whistle when he sees all the red bars showing that Jimin has watched quite literally all of his videos. “Damn, you’re whipped whipped for this youtube boy.”

“Okay, let’s talk about something else now. Do I look good?”

Taehyung doesn’t even look up. “Yes.”

“Tae,” Jimin whines. “At least pretend to look first.”

“You always look good.” Taehyung glances up at him, still upside-down. “Stunning. Ethereal. Literally the hottest man I have ever met, seen, or been associated with. Please date me, I’ll only ask eleven times and that’s it.”

“Subtle.” Jimin grabs his wallet and hooks his keys around his finger. “Let’s go. Every time you mention Jeongguk tonight I’m going to give Yoongi a detail about what kind of wedding you want.”


The bar is already packed by the time they arrive even though it’s still early. It’s a dark, sticky-floored dive bar flooded with pulsing bass, the kind he hasn’t been to since he was a college student.

“Shouldn’t we have gone somewhere quieter? You know, where we can actually talk?” Jimin shouts over the music.

“Absolutely not,” Taehyung shouts back, cupping his hands around his mouth. “The less opportunity you and Yoongi have to speak to each other the better.”

It’s not until they manage to push through the crowd to reach the bartop that Jimin realizes why it’s so obnoxiously loud; there’s live music, a single man on stage rapping in a slow, velvety voice to a booming bass track.

“I thought Yoongi was here already,” Jimin shouts, flagging down the bartender and ordering two double shots of tequila. If he’s going to spend the evening in a college bar he needs to be at least twice as hammered as the people around him. “Where is he?”

“Right there,” Taehyung says with a shy little smile, jerking his head in the direction of the stage as he accepts his Long Island from the girl tending bar.

For some reason Yoongi’s face looks very, very familiar, but he can’t put his finger on why; Taehyung has shown him some photos before, but none of them have featured much of his face. His whole vibe just screams Taehyung’s type, too, the whole I’m small and kind of cute but will literally fucking stab you without warning thing. Jimin knows, because that’s his vibe, too.

He’s wearing a black leather jacket and skinny jeans, silver hair hanging loose around his ears. Black-painted fingers are wrapped around the mic he’s rapping into, eyes shut tight in concentration.

When Jimin looks back at Taehyung the hearts in his eyes are revolting.

“Wow, you’re far gone for this one,” Jimin says, clicking his tongue. He gratefully accepts his two shots from the bartender, curling one fist around each. “Has our Kim Taehyung finally found a man to… dare I say… settle down with?”

Taehyung tips back half his drink before slamming it back on the counter, but Long Islands go down so smooth Jimin knows his pinched expression isn’t from the liquor. “Just… please don’t say stuff like that around him, okay? He’s really… skittish.”

“Skittish?”

“Like, he made it excruciatingly clear that he has no interest in doing the—” he makes air quotes with his fingers. “Dating thing.”

Jimin brings the cool glass rim of his first shot to his lower lip. He lets his eyes drift over to the stage as he knocks back his first shot of the night. Yoongi is still up there but the beat he’s rapping along to is melodic and slow, bars rolling off his tongue almost like he’s singing rather than rapping.

“But is that what you want?” Jimin asks, wiping the back of his mouth with his hand.

Taehyung shrugs. “Dunno.”

“I can tell you like him a lot.”

“Yeah, well.” Taehyung’s laugh is a little bitter. “Maybe this is karma for all the guys who liked me a lot.”

Jimin laughs, too, but it’s forced. The air in the club is awkward, like there’s something churning under the surface. The energy is all wrong— for some reason he has a feeling this is going to be a bad night. If he were the protagonist in a novel it would probably be called foreshadowing.

Wanting the weird feeling to go away he knocks back his second shot, hissing at the burn and then tapping his nail against the rim to signal to the bartender that he’d like another.

“Woah, slow down.” Taehyung downs the rest of his drink and sets his glass next to Jimin’s shot glasses. “I didn’t think my unrequited love story was depressing enough to warrant binge drinking.”

“It’s not that.” Jimin glances back up to the stage. Yoongi’s set is over so he’ll probably head over to them soon. “I just feel weird. I’m nervous for some reason.”

“There’s nothing to be nervous about! We’ll just chill and have a few drinks, maybe dance a little bit, and go home. I’ll probably stay at Yoongi’s place tonight so you can have the apartment to yourself.”

Jimin nods, zoning out. Truthfully, he doesn’t really like having the apartment to himself. He loves living with someone, loves having Taehyung around. They’ve lived together since college, and while the two of them have had their share of flings and one night stands being paraded in and out of their place, at the end of the day they’ve always returned to it together. But lately Taehyung is spending more and more time at Yoongi’s place, and since he’s been reluctant to bring Yoongi over to their shared apartment he feels a little bit like Taehyung is slipping away from him.

The bartender sets another shot right under his nose and Jimin doesn’t even blink before he downs that, too, and before JImin knows it Yoongi is joining them.

“Hi, babe,” Taehyung practically coos. Jimin chokes on his own tongue, eyes darting wildly between them as he watches Tae wrap his arm posessively around Yoongi’s middle, bring his other arm around the front to link his hands together at his hip. It’s cute because Taehyung is so much broader and taller than Yoongi is but he acts like he’s smaller, the way he curls into him and bats his eyelashes when Yoongi presses a subtle kiss to the base of his neck.

“Hi,” Jimin says, trying to snap the two of them out of the little bubble they made around themselves. “I’m Jimin.”

Yoongi nods. “Heard a lot about you. Yoongi.” He wraps his hands around a dark bottle of beer that the bartender places in front of him without even being asked. “I get beers free of charge. Help yourself, just give them my name.”

“I’m good, not much of a beer drinker,” Jimin replies, flicking the edge of his empty shot glass.

“No problem, offer’s there if you want it.” He darts his tongue into the corner of his mouth and twists to glance around the club like he’s looking for someone.”Hey, Tae, have you seen—”

“No!” Taehyung shouts a little too quickly. Yoongi and Jimin both whip their heads around to look at him, narrowing their eyes. “I haven’t seen your hat, babe. It’s probably in the back with your other stuff.”

Yoongi furrows his eyebrows. “I wasn’t gonna ask about my hat, I was wondering if you’ve seen—”

“Of course we saw you set! You did an amazing job. A born performer.”

Jimin steals the second half of Taehyung’s Long Island because he’s clearly not drinking it and Jimin is ninety percent less drunk than he wants to be. “Come on, Tae, let him finish his sente—”

Ironically, it’s Jimin’s sentence that doesn’t get finished. Because what he sees next, or rather who he sees next, has him feeling like he stepped straight into a dream.

Or rather, a fucking nightmare.

“Yoongi hyung!” An achingly familiar figure pushes gently through the crowd at Yoongi’s back. He’s tall, taller than Jimin, broad-shouldered with brown waves falling loosely over his ears and nearly to his shoulders. He claps a heavily tattooed hand onto Yoongi’s shoulder, beaming. “Your set was amazing tonight, I’m so glad I had a chance to come and see you perform.”

And… Jimin is frozen. Jimin is frozen because fucking glamkook just showed up in the middle of the bar, glamkook is greeting Taehyung like they’re long-time friends, and glamkook is looking Jimin’s way and, oh god, what the fuck.

“I.” Jimin says.

“Hi,” Jeongguk says sweetly. His voice sounds different in person than it does through his laptop, rougher around the edges and less lilted and practiced. “You must be Taehyung’s friend?”

Jimin blinks. He uses all of the mental energy he has left to muster what he hopes is a telepathic message to Taehyung that says I’ll snap your fucking neck in the middle of this bar, don’t test me, and we are absolutely going to talk about this later. But based off the way Taehyung is already nosing at Yoongi’s neck like an animal in heat tips Jimin off that he’s probably not getting the message.

“Yeah,” Jimin says, his voice coming out too breathless. “Jimin. Nice to meet you.”

His pulse beats so hard in his neck he swears it must be visible through his skin. He’s suddenly hyper-aware of the fact that he’s wearing a full face of amateur makeup in front of an actual makeup artist, but if that wasn’t already humiliating enough it’s a look he followed from said makeup artist’s tutorial.

“Jeongguk,” he replies, holding his hand out for Jimin to shake. His eyes flash down to it and it’s all too familiar, the same tattooed hand which is usually gripping a little pink sponge that he bounces expertly over his skin or swooping a powder brush loaded with highlighter over his cheekbones.

It hits Jimin that Jeongguk is a real person. A living, breathing, inhumanly hot person who lives in the real world rather than some kind of alien from an alternate universe inside his laptop who exists for the sole purpose of teaching him how to contour.

He somehow manages to shake his hand without having a mental breakdown, all the while chanting a silent mantra in his head for the floor to please open up and swallow him whole which unfortunately goes unanswered. His hand is larger, warmer, rougher that Jimin expected— it envelops his own almost twice over. He feels vaguely like he might throw up.

“Well, this has been sufficiently awkward,” Yoongi says, downing the rest of his beer. “Wanna grab a table?”

“Actually, I think I might go home,” Jimin says. Taehyung shoots him a betrayed look, eyebrows raised.

“Already? It’s so early.” Jeongguk leans a little closer and Jimin instinctively shrinks back.

“I have to teach an early class tomorrow.”

It’s a bold-faced lie— The ballet classes Jimin teaches don’t start until the middle of the afternoon on a Monday, the only early days being on weekends.

Jeongguk is just about to say something else when Taehyung untangles himself from the mess of limbs that make up him and Yoongi and launches himself at Jimin instead, latching onto his arm. “Why don’t you two go get a table? I need to talk to Jimin alone for a second.”

Jimin starts to protest but Jeongguk and Yoongi don’t, grabbing their beers and disappearing through the crowd off to a darker corner of the bar.

The second they’re out of sight, Jimin turns on Taehyung, raising his drink menacingly. “You have five minutes to explain yourself.”

Taehyung clears his throat, tapping his nails nervously on the bartop. “Hey, isn’t it a weird coincidence that Jeonngguk is here?” he says finally, laughing nervously. “Seriously, wow, what are the odds? Of all places he could possibly be? And he’s Yoongi’s roommate? Let me tell you, I wasn’t expecting this—”

“I’m leaving.”

“No! Okay, wait, I can tell the truth, I promise,” Taehyung pleads.

“Four and a half minutes.”

Taehyung takes a deep breath. “Okay, so I knew you wouldn’t come if you knew he was here and I really wanted to introduce you two because he’s actually really sweet and you haven’t been on a date in, like, two years, so—”

Jimin presses his fingers to his temples, taking a deep breath in and out. “Depressing dating history aside, just tell me how long you’ve known him and anything I need to know. Like what you’ve told him about me.”

“You know, maybe we should order another round of drinks before I explain…” Taehyung catches the bartender’s eye and points at Jimin’s empty glass, holding up two fingers and shooting her a wink. “But first of all, relax. I promise I never told him anything about you, not that you’re a fan of his videos or anything like that. He has no idea. I’m not that chaotic.”

“Debatable, but okay.”

“Okay, so, I actually knew him… since before you ever watched one of his videos…” He trails off when Jimin shoots daggers at him, shifting in his barstool. “You know what, maybe we don’t have to talk about this right now.”

“We’re talking about it. Talk.”

Taehyung gratefully accepts the glasses filled with bright red liquid that the bartender beings them and pushes both drinks toward Jimin, who immediately pulls the straw to the corner of his lips and takes a deep drink, tasting bitter cold cranberry on his tongue.

“So one day when Yoongi was over at our place when you were at work—”

“You invite him over when I’m not there? On purpose? So we don't run into each other?”

“Uhh… no? Okay listen, that’s besides the point! We were watching videos on your laptop—”

“You’re really not helping your case here."

“Do you want me to explain or not?”

Jimin sighs, stabbing angrily at the ice in his glass with his straw. “Fine. Go.”

“So your recommended was full of beauty videos since you’d been trying to find a look to copy for your Swan Lake performance, and Yoongi saw them and mentioned that his roommate is a beauty youtuber, and a pretty big one at that. And I was like shit, okay, that’s cool, and we watched a few of his videos. Yoongi is in a few of them— I’m surprised you didn’t recognize him.”

Jimin thinks back and realizes that must be why Yoongi looked vaguely familiar to him. “I don’t really pay attention to anyone but Jeongguk,” he admits sheepishly.

“Oh,” Taehyung coos. “Cute.”

"Is that all?"

“I mean, I guess. I think his videos got suggested to you after that because we’d watched some of them already. When you started watching him I was going to tell you I know him but by the time I realized you were already, like, madly in love with him and… okay to be honest I still could have told you but I also thought it would be really funny to introduce you like this and see your reaction.”

“I’m going in your room later and destroying your entire manga collection.”

“It was Yoongi’s idea!” Taehyung throws his hands up defensively. “He literally worships chaos.”

Jimin rolls his eyes, sinking back in his barstool and stabbing at the ice in his drink. “You two really are perfect for each other, I guess.”

“Right, that’s what I’m saying,” Taehyung groans. “Try telling him that, though.”

Jimin bites his bottom lip, internally battling with himself because he’s still pretty pissed at Taehyung but at the same time he doesn’t want to ditch him with Yoongi when he’s clearly not having as easy of a time dealing with their fwb situation as he’s letting on. Not only that, but leaving now would leave Jeongguk third wheeling all night and he wouldn’t wish that kind of hell on anyone.

"Okay, you know what, I'll stay. But only for an hour or two."

Taehyung lights up. “Really? You’re not mad?”

“Oh, I’m pissed,” Jimin says, pushing his straw aside and knocking back the rest of his first drink before promptly pulling the second one up to his lips. “I’m gonna get you back for this so fucking hard. But I’ll stay tonight.” He jams a finger into Taehyung’s chest. “You could have at least told me to take my makeup off, you fucker, I’m literally wearing something from his tutorial.”

Taehyung snorts. “Yeah, I didn’t even plan that. Texted Yoongi on the way over and he laughed so hard he couldn’t stop coughing. Said he thought he was gonna damage his throat and not be able to perform.”

"Do I really want the two of you to get together? I think having one Taehyung in my life is plenty."

They grab another round of drinks (Jimin takes at least two more shots before he agrees to leave the bar, going on drink… six? seven? despite Taehyung’s pleas for him to stop). He knows he needs to be good and drunk before he can face Jeongguk and expect to reasonably pretend like he has no idea who he is for an entire evening.

Yoongi and Jeongguk are deep in conversation in a tucked-away corner booth when they approach.

“Okay, how about this,” Jeongguk is saying, waving the near-empty beer bottle in his hand around emphatically. “Petite asian twink wearing the most iconic makeup trends of 2019.”

Yoongi scrubs his hand over his face, sucking a breath between his teeth. Jimin relates to him on a spiritual level; he has a feeling Jeongguk is his Taehyung. “Can we go one night. One single night. Just one. Without the clickbait video ideas that, for some reason, creep closer and closer to becoming pornhub titles with each passing day?‘

“So does that mean you volunteer to be my model?”

“We’re back!” Taehyung exclaims. He slides into the booth next to Yoongi and pushes a rocks glass filled with smooth amber whisky in front of him, winding his arm around Yoongi’s waist. Yoongi’s hand immediately slides to Taehyung’s thigh, long fingers splaying over his knee. “Jimin is staying.”

Jeongguk whips his head around and regards Jimin with a sparkle in his eyes, corners of his lips curved into a pleasant smile. Jimin returns it as best he can, but the cocktail of nerves and tequila in his stomach is making him more than a little bit nauseous. He stares down at the empty booth seat next to Jeongguk where he’s clearly expected to sit, gauging just how close together they’ll have to be.

“Is that for me?” Jeongguk asks, pointing at the bottle dangling from between Jimin’s fingers.

“Oh, right. Yeah.” Jimin sets it down and shifts awkwardly from foot to foot, swaying a little before realizing he needs to sit down, the double tequila shots he’d just had hitting him like a freight train.

Their thighs press hot together and Jimin’s throat feels a little tighter. For some reason glamkook is a real person is the only thing his half-drunk brain seems to be able to focus on, the weight and heat of his thigh pressing almost suffocatingly against his knee a constant reminder of it. He keeps his eyes focused on a knot in the wooden table, avoiding eye contact.

It’s weird because Jimin has never been the type to get nervous around men. He’s always been somewhat of a natural flirt, and he’s had more than his fair share of men wrapped around his finger over the years. But he’s still pretty shaken by the realization that Jeongguk is here, sitting right next to him in the middle of a sticky-floored college bar in the middle of Seoul.

“Your makeup looks really nice,” Jeongguk says. Jimin startles, his voice much closer than he’d expect, and when his eyes snap over to his seatmate he’s leaned down a little bit, soft strands of wavy hair falling over his dark eyes. Jimin swallows, his throat feeling tight. “Did you do it yourself?”

“Oh.” Jimin’s cheeks flood with warmth when he remembers what he’s wearing. He’d almost managed to forget. “Uh, yeah. I did.”

Jeongguk’s eyes are glittering— they catch the light of the low neon club lights, like a sky of stars. “Where did you learn?”

His voice somehow sounds so loud despite all the noise and chaos around him, like Jeongguk is the only person in the bar. It’s a little too much for him— he glances over at Taehyung for some backup but regrets it almost immediately when he sees his friend and his not-not-boyfriend attached by the mouth like the earth has a limited oxygen supply and the only way to survive is to suck the air from each other’s lungs.

“I taught myself,” he answers as flippantly as possible. He finds himself actually hoping his makeup skills are amateur enough that he wasn’t able to pull off Jeongguk’s tutorial well enough for him to recognize it at any capacity.

“Pretty good for self-taught.” Jeongguk smiles. “Do you watch youtube tutorials?”

Jimin opens his mouth and shuts it again, his thoughts racing far too fast for how sluggish his brain really wants to move under the influence of so much tequila. “No?” he responds.

“No?”

“Nope. I uh. I didn’t even know there were makeup tutorials on youtube. News to me!”

He hates himself.

Jeongguk raises his eyebrows. “You should check them out,” he says. His tone is even and conversational. “There’s lots of good artists on there. I’m a makeup artist, actually.”

“Oh?” Jimin hopes the feigned surprise in his tone sounds genuine to Jeongguk because it sure as hell doesn’t to his own ears. “You’re not wearing any, though. I never would have guessed.”

Jeongguk shifts in the booth so his back is against the wall and his leg is curled up on the booth seat, calf pressed to the side of Jimin’s thigh. He takes a long, deep swig of his beer like he’s deep in thought but his lips are curled in amusement. “I test looks on myself but I’m not big on wearing everyday makeup. I prefer to be on the outside of the chair.”

“Sure, makes sense.” Jimin swallows down the bile that threatens to rise in his throat. He’s pissed at himself because he’s so nervous when there’s really no reason to be. He’s just having a conversation. Jeongguk is a normal person, his best friend’s not-not-boyfriend’s friend and roommate. No big deal. No problem. “I’m just an amateur so there's probably so much wrong. Don't judge me too harshly."

Jeongguk waves his hand dismissively. “I told you it’s good. The metallic liner cut crease is really beautiful.” He leans forward suddenly and Jimin resists the urge to shrink back, shutting his eyes slightly so Jeongguk can admire his work. His eyes scan his face, flitting from the lids down to his lips. When it seems like he’s had a good enough look Jimin expects him to pull back but he doesn’t, their faces so close together Jimin can smell the bitter bite of beer on his tongue. “I think it’d be hard for anything to look bad on you even if you tried, though.”

And, oh.

Jeongguk is flirting with him.

He blinks, caught off guard. Jeongguk is flirting with him. The way their legs are pressed hot together, the way Jeongguk is blinking slow and leaning in close. He smells good, warm and homey like spice and...nutmeg? and it’s a little overwhelming but at least familiar. Jimin is good at flirting. Jimin can do flirting.

Especially drunk Jimin.

Jimin forces himself to tamp down his nerves, wrapping his fingers around the little black straw in his drink and pressing it to his bottom lip without drinking, flicking his tongue against the tip. Jeongguk’s eyes flit down to watch the movement and Jimin doesn’t miss the way his cheeks brush the slightest shade of poppy red.

“You flatter me,” he replies coolly, shifting forward until he and Jeongguk are only inches apart. The liquor is really starting to hit him now, pulsing through his veins and making him a little dizzy in a good way, in the best way.

Jeongguk looks across the booth and Jimin follows his eyes but they both instantly regret it— Taehyung’s chin is slick with spit and the way their hands are moving under the table is indecent at best.

Jeongguk laughs brightly, turning his focus back on Jimin. He props his temple on his fist, letting a lock of hair fall over his fingers. “Looks like it’s just me and you tonight.”

“Seems like it,” Jimin says. “When your best friend is Taehyung, you get used to it.” He pushes his straw aside from his finger and knocks the rest of his drink back until the ice crashes against his teeth and, oh, he’s really feeling it now, the liquor all hitting fast and hard at once and emboldening him. The booth suddenly feels too cramped and the club too big to be stuck in this corner all night.

Jeongguk seems to sense Jimin’s sudden anstiness because he jerks his head toward the heart of the club where the music is louder, bodies twisting in time with the beat and the pulsing neon lights. “Wanna go dance?”

“Are you sure about that?” Jimin asks, saccharine sweet. “Makeup might be your territory, but dancing happens to be mine.”

Jeongguk looks genuinely taken aback. “You’re a dancer?”

Jimin giggles in lieu of an answer, twisting his body to slink out of the booth and holding a hand out for Jeongguk to take. “Why don’t you come see for yourself?”


It’s hot.

It’s too hot, almost, bodies twisted and pressed together so close it’s almost claustrophobic, as if everyone around them is moving together like the push and pull of a tide. Sweat drips from Jimin’s temples and pools in his clavicle and he tilts his head back back to show off the golden shine of his throat, head lolling back onto Jeongguk's shoulder. Rough hands find his hips and dig into his hipbones hard enough to feel but not enough to hurt, guiding Jimin's hips to grind back against his own. Jimin is so emboldened by liquor he can't find it in himself to feel shame as he drags the swell of his ass down the front of Jeongguk's zipper, their bodies pressed together it's hard to tell where he ends and Jeongguk begins.

They've been dancing for at least half an hour— it had started innocent and playful, a bit awkward as it always is when two strangers are still feeling each other out, but Jimin learned quickly that Jeongguk is actually a great dancer. They'd slowly gotten more into it, the lights getting lower and the music in the club growing slower and more sultry. He's still not sure how they ended up like this, though, Jeongguk's cock half-hard and pressed against the swell of his ass, grinding together in a way that's too slow for the music playing. Jimin is dizzy, dizzy and drunk; the low pink lights bathe the club in light and dark all at once. Jeongguk isn't the only one who's half hard, Jimin's cock starting to stiffen uncomfortably in his too-tight jeans, craving friction.

He's all that forgotten how nervous he was earlier. Hell, he's all but forgotten who he even is at this point— Jeongguk tips his head forward to hook his chin over Jimin's shoulder, soft tendrils of hair ghosting over his temples. "You definitely weren't kidding about being a dancer," he whispers, lips close enough for Jimin to still hear him clear as day.

Jimin giggles, turning his cheek inward until his lips are just inches from Jeongguk's throat. He rolls his hips back particularly slow, savoring the way Jeongguk shudders out a breath that blows hot into his ear. His fingers twitch against Jimin's dress shirt before finally growing bold and untucking the edge from his belt, sliding hot palms up to his bare waist.

“I wouldn’t call this dancing, sweetheart,” Jimin replies, reaching backwards to drag his nails down from Jeongguk's shoulders down to his hips, gripping them hard and holding them close and still for Jimin to grind his hips back in slow circles. He doesn't know what's gotten into him— it might be the alcohol or the atmosphere or just that fact that glamkook is huffing cute little groans into his ear every time Jimin slides his ass over his cock, but he's already hazy with lust and want, like a hot buzzing under his skin driving his body before his brain can catch up.

"Fuck," Jeongguk gasps, jerking his hips forward. He doesn't even seem to care about the music anymore, far more interested in chasing building pleasure. His cock has to be fully hard now and Jimin can feel how big he is even through his jeans, mouth watering at the thought of taking him home. Jeongguk's hands travel further up until they're sliding over his ribcage and it fills Jimin's mind with thoughts about how Jeongguk could probably pick him up like this, could probably throw him around like a ragdoll and fuck him up against the wall just how he likes. He moans, pushing up on his tiptoes so his lips can reach the base of Jeongguk's throat, lips brushing featherlight over his pulse point. The golden column of skin above his neckline shines with sweat and Jimin has to stop himself from licking a wet stripe up to his jaw just to get a taste. "You're so..."

“I’m so?”

Jeongguk runs his tongue over his bottom lip and Jimin nearly chases his tongue with his own, desperate to turn and wind his arms around Jeongguk's neck to seal their lips together, wanting to know how he tastes, how he kisses, if he's rough and sloppy with teeth and tongue or teasing and coy, pulling back and making Jimin take what he wants from him.

Fuck, Jimin is really hard.

Jimin wants.

“There’s a lot I wanna say,” Jeongguk murmurs. He drags his nose over Jimin’s jawline, breath chilling the sheen of sweat on his skin. “But I think we should get out of here first.”

Somewhere, the non-drunk, rational part of Jimin’s brain is chirping that maybe he shouldn’t, that maybe Jeongguk should know first that Jimin is deceiving him and he know exactly who he is and that he’s literally a fan, and oh god, is Jimin a fucking beauty guru groupie?

But then Jeongguk finally presses his lips, so soft he must use some kind of cream or something, goddamn, down to the base of his throat and then grazes his teeth over his collarbone and Jimin’s a fucking goner, cock jerking in interest against his zipper as he melts into Jeongguk’s chest and drags his hips back, moaning hotly into his ear.

“Your place or mine?”

“Mine’s far.”

“Mine’s close. Let’s go.”

They don’t even bother saying goodbye to Taehyung and Yoongi, don’t even know if they’re still at the club or if they also left or maybe just dipped into the club bathroom, which is honestly more Taehyung’s style.

All shame goes out the window once they’re in the cab. Jimin hardly even has the door shut before Jeongguk has his fingers hooked in his belt loops and he's dragging him onto his lap, using firm hands to pull his thighs open and seat him directly on his lap so Jimin’s cock is pressed into the dip between his hip and abdomen. Jimin shudders at the contact he’s been craving, rutting downward and gasping against Jeongguk’s mouth— now that they’re finally face to face he wastes no time in winding his arms around his neck and pushing their lips together. The kiss is heated from the beginning, spit-slick and tongue against tongue, teeth dragging over lips and hands tangled in hair.

When they pull apart for air Jeongguk’s eyes are glassy and the chestnut tendrils framing his face are messy from Jimin’s fingers.

“I think your makeup looks even prettier like this,” Jeongguk says, all breath and gravel and want. He cups Jimin’s jaw in his palm and drags his thumb through the lipstick to smear it down to his chin, the pad coming back nude pink. “All messy."

Jimin’s eyes flutter shut and he grinds his hips down, lips falling open in a silent moan. Jeongguk snakes his hand up Jimin’s back under his shirt and curls his fingers into the hair at his nape, forcing his head down to swallow him in another kiss.

“You think you can wreck me even more?” Jimin gasps when they pull apart for air, bracing his palms against Jeongguk’s shoulders. “Gonna fuck me so good my mascara runs all down my face?”

Jeongguk’s eyes darken and Jimin feels his cock pulse against his thigh, and oh, Jeongguk likes that, he notes— figures the makeup artist would have a thing for that.

By the time they reach Jimin’s place he feels like he could come from a light breeze and he’s painfully desperate to get Jeongguk inside. He drags him backwards, lips dragging down from his mouth to the base of his throat, sucking a deep purple bruise there. The front patio light blares on when they step underneath it, and some tiny part of Jimin registers that he’s probably giving nosy old Mrs. Jung quite the show right now, but he’s far too gone in lust and liquor to care. Sober Jimin is gonna have a hell of a bake sale.

Jimin is so wasted he can hardly even punch the security code in when they reach the front door. Jeongguk is impatient, incessantly running his hands up and down Jimin’s body, dragging his fingers over the front of his zipper and pinching at his button like he can’t wait to get his clothes off. He’s whispering in his ear, unintelligible slurs about how pretty he is, how he can’t wait to taste him, to feel him, to see how he looks sprawled out underneath him—

Jimin straight up whines when Jeongguk nips at his earlobe and darts his tongue out hot to soothe over the bite. He falls forward, hitting the entire number pad with his palm to the tune of a piercing beep that echoes far too loud for one in the morning on his quiet suburban street.

Something about the noise rips Jimin out of his lust-induced haze for long enough that it’s like his consciousness snaps back to his body, like the weight of the situation is suddenly sinking bone-deep. The air suddenly feels too cold against his sweat-damp clothes, like fever chills— the street feels large and empty and his porch suffocating. He stumbles, doubling over as a wave of nausea crashes into his stomach like a wave.

Jeongguk immediately pulls back, keeping one still hand on Jimin’s waist to hold him steady. The now-empty space where their bodies were pressed together bites bitter winter chill into his skin.

“Are you okay?” Jeongguk asks gently. “You don’t look good.”

Jimin clears his throat and swallows, trying to tamp down the bile threatening to spill up into his mouth. The sidewalk beneath his feet swims and he curls his toes like he’s trying to weld his boots into the cement to keep himself steady.

“I’m okay,” he croaks, gulping down a lungful of icy air as saliva pools under his tongue. He pulls off the number pad and places a steadying palm against his front door. “Just a little dizzy spell.”

“You drank a lot.” Jeongguk steps to the side but he keeps a firm hand on the small of Jimin’s back. “What’s your door code?”

“101395,” Jimin responds. Jeongguk has the code punched in just a second later and his door clicks open with a pleasant beep. “Thanks. Sorry.”

“Hey, don’t apologize.” Jeongguk rubs the pads of his fingers in soothing circles over Jimin’s lower back. “Just wanna make sure you’re okay.”

Jimin nods, steadying himself with his hand gripping the doorframe as he steps over the threshold into his house. It’s dark and empty, meaning Taehyung and Yoongi thankfully aren’t here— they’d both brought home guys to fuck on the same night before and seeing as how they share a wall it had gotten a little too intimate for even them and they'd vowed after that to avoid it at all costs. He flips on the entryway switch, bathing half the room in pale warm light.

Jimin is still nauseous but he’s also still half-hard in his jeans and he can’t decide if he wants to curl into bed with a bucket or take Jeongguk upstairs to fuck him until he cries.  He smooths his hands down over his wrinkly button-down and bites his tongue until his eyes water, trying to ground himself in something to force away the nauseating cocktail of tequila and vodka in his stomach.

When he looks back at Jeongguk his eyes are big and swimming with concern, lips popped open. It’s unbelievably endearing— Jeongguk is so fucking cute.

Jimin really fucking wants him.

“Upstairs?” Jimin asks, holding out a hand.

Jeongguk hesitates, brows pinching in the middle. He glances around the room, eyes flitting from the stairs back to Jimin’s face. “Are you sure?”

“If you still want to. I’m okay.”

Jeongguk hesitates for another moment and it makes Jimin’s heart drop in his stomach, worried that he made things too awkward and ruined the mood and now Jeongguk doesn’t want him anymore— but then Jeongguk’s concern melts into a shy smile and he nods, sliding his fingers into Jimin’s outstretched hand and allowing himself to be guided upstairs.

“You can say no if you want,” Jimin teases when they’re almost at the top.

Jeongguk barks out a laugh so loud it startles him. “God, as if I’d ever give up a chance with you. Do you even realize how gorgeous you are, Jimin?”

“Oh,” Jimin breathes, making sure to keep his face angled away so Jeongguk can’t see the redness in his cheeks until they’re well inside his room with the door shut, all dark except for the pale slice of moonlight filtering through his sheer curtains and the ambient glow of nosy old Mrs. Jung’s Christmas lights.

He twirls around, pressing Jeongguk against his bedroom door and loosely pinning his wrists at his sides, slinking close until his nose is nearly to his neck.

“So,” he whispers.

“So,” Jeongguk replies, staring down at him. His eyes are shining even in the dark, looking impossibly bright and clear.

“You’re so pretty,” Jimin breathes, his liquor-addled brain unable to stop the words from coming out unannounced. "Prettier in person."

Jeongguk looks like he's trying to hold back laughter but it doesn't spill past his lips.

"Thank you," he whispers, pulling his wrists free from Jimin's grip and raising his hand to push Jimin’s hair off his forehead. He drags his knuckles down his temples and jaw, stopping finally to splay his hand loosely around Jimin’s neck, middle finger lying flat over his pulse point. "Tell me what you want to do."

Jimin doesn’t answer at first, chooses instead to wind his arms around Jeongguk’s neck so he can shift forward to press his cock against Jeongguk's thigh to bring himself back to full hardness, huffing a gentle moan between them. Jeongguk darts forward to seal their lips together like he wants to swallow it, like he could somehow savor the taste of Jimin’s noises if he wanted to. "Just wanna feel your hands on me," Jimin gasps. "I don't know- anything."

Jeongguk pulls away, hands curled in around Jimin’s cheeks, gaze dripping with reverence. “You wanna know what I want?”

Jimin lolls his head back when he ruts forward, already getting drunk off the pleasure again. He thinks Jeongguk could ask him to do just about anything right now and he’d do it.

"Mm?"

“Wanna eat you out so bad.” Jeongguk drags his palms down to Jimin’s waist and buries his nose into the crook of his neck, breathing the words straight against Jimin’s body. “Wanna taste you. Want you all wet and shaking from my tongue.”

Jimin whines. He hasn’t been eaten out in years, can hardly even remember what it feels like— the idea of being naked and spread out on his bed with Jeongguk’s tongue and fingers fucking into his ass has him fully hard again, the inside of his jeans growing uncomfortably sticky when a hot spurt of sticky precum drools from his slit.

“Please,” is all Jimin manages to gasp.

Jeongguk curses under his breath, digging his fingers in until his nails bite at the skin of his waist, and then he’s straight up lifting him. Jimin is out of breath, feeling like his world has just been tilted on its axis, his head spinning with want and liquor and the idea that holy shit, Jeongguk can fucking lift him. He wraps his legs around his waist and curls his fingers into Jeongguk’s hair, desperately mashing their lips together in a sloppy, wet kiss, squirming in his grasp with the unbridled need to rut his cock against something or have Jeongguk inside him as soon as humanly possible.

When they reach the bed Jeongguk breaks the kiss with a slick pop, dragging his tongue over Jimin’s chin though the mess of lipstick and sticky drool smeared there. When his knees hit the frame he drops Jimin onto the bed and Jimin bounces with a small giggle, hands fisting the sheets.

And.

He isn’t sure exactly what triggers it, maybe something like everything being too much and the dizziness still sort of aching there in the corner of his mind and begging for him to acknowledge it, but being manhandled around seems to make his nausea rush back up to his throat full-force. He bites at his lip and curls his hands into the sheets, breathing harshly through his nose in an attempt to push it back down as Jeongguk pulls his shoes off and tosses them over to the side of the bed, as he slips his belt out of the loops and sinks one knee into the mattress.

Just as Jeongguk is about to lower himself on top of Jimin, finally giving him what he’s been craving for the past hour and a half at least, he feels the telltale saliva start filling his mouth and he panics, clamping one hand over his mouth and scrambling off the bed as bile climbs up his throat.

Jeongguk leaps backwards and watches helplessly as Jimin bends over and vomits all over his boots.


“I threw up all over his shoes,” Jimin groans.

“You should still text him,” Taehyung replies, poking at the takeout Pad Thai container balanced on the table between them. “He left you his number.”

“Yeah, because he probably wants to send me a fucking cleaning bill.” Jimin buries his face in his hands, rubbing his fingers over his temples. He has a horrible pounding migraine from his crippling, anxiety-inducing hangover and Taehyung’s lunch is just about to send him into another round of getting sick. “I threw up on his shoes. How did he even get home?”

“If you really think about it.” Taehyung shoves another forkful of noodles into his mouth. “This is a great story to tell your future children.”

Jimin sighs deeply, pressing the heels of his hands over his eyes. “You think lying by omission, binge drinking, dry humping in two, no— three public spaces, followed by drinking-induced vomiting on a pair of fucking doc martens is a good story to tell a human child?”

Taehyung cocks his head. “Yeah?”

Jimin doesn’t even feel like arguing today. He has to teach a class in fifteen minutes and the kids are all stressed to the roots of their hair over their upcoming Swan Lake performance. He doesn’t think he can handle more on top of his crippling hangover. This is why he doesn’t fucking drink.

“It doesn’t matter. I’m not texting him. I also haven’t chewed you out for last night yet but you better believe I’m going to get you back for this the second I can stand without almost passing out.”

“Come on, Jimin. So you threw up instead of sucking his dick. So wha—”

“Taehyung!” Jimin slams his hand down on the table, rattling Taehyung’s flatware. “This is a very prestigious ballet academy. Where I teach children. Small, impressionable children. Please. Your language filter.”

“Sorry.” Taehyung swallows his bite, already loading up another forkful. He leans forward, lowering his voice. “As I was saying, you just threw up instead of sucking his d-i-c—”

“Spelling it doesn’t make it better!”

Taehyung furrows his eyebrows, pausing with his fork poised halfway to his mouth. He turns to look out the large one-way mirror at the front of the office that gives a view of the studio Jimin teaches in. The students are already starting to filter in, some unpacking their bags and a few already stretching on the barre.

“Are those kids even old enough to spell?”

“They’re twelve.”

Taehyung shrugs. “All kids under eighteen are, like, the same vague indistinguishable age in my brain,” he says. “That’s not the point. My point is, you have a crush on Jeongguk—”

“—I really don’t—”

“And he’s clearly into you, too, or else he wouldn’t have shamelessly flirted with you and grinded on you in a club, and he definitely wouldn’t have gone back to your place and still left you his number even after you ruined his shoes. So. Just text him. Yoongi and I have a bet going and I don’t want to lose again. He always wins."

Jimin plucks the extra fork from the table and sticks it into the Pad Thai, twirling it around and pulling a forkful of noodles out that he lets hover in the air so he can inspect it and decide if his stomach feels stable enough to eat it.

“Crippling embarrassment aside, I wouldn’t call him anyway. It would have been fine if we hooked up once and never spoke of it again, but first of all I’m not interested in a relationship and second of all it’s just… weird, you know? I was thinking about it last night and even when I was drunk it felt wrong somehow. Like I was lying by omission because I’m literally his fan and I pretended like I had no idea who he was. I would be uncomfortable with that if I was him.”

Taehyung clicks his tongue. “I really don’t think he would care if you just talked to him about it. Jeongguk isn’t like that, he’s really genuine and he’d understand that you were just surprised because Yoongi and I sprung him on you. He’d probably have a good laugh about it.”

Jimin shakes his head. “I don’t really want to be the butt of a big joke, Tae,” he says. “Plus, I don’t want to complicate whatever is going on between you and Yoongi. It’s not happening. I’m sorry, but he’ll be fine.”

Taehyung opens his mouth again like he really wants to argue but he clamps it shut just as fast, clearly deciding it isn’t worth it. He knows how stubborn Jimin is once he’s decided something, and he’s clearly accepted that Jimin is serious about this.

Taehyung eats his lunch quickly and packs up to leave just as Jimin’s three o’clock class starts (he begs Taehyung to please, please at least pull his hoodie over his neck to hide the smattering of deep purple bruises all over his neck. He really doesn’t want to get fired).

His students this year are a dream, and he can’t help but feel a bit sad as he watches them run through their Swan Lake performance. His classes will be coming to an end soon and all that will be left is costume fittings and dress rehearsals, and then after that he’ll have a new batch of kids to teach when spring rolls around again. The room is full of energy as Jimin walks around to help correct their form or show them how to do run through something they’re struggling with, but for the most part they’ve already gotten the routines down as well as they ever will.

Jimin will perform, too, a short one-song contemporary dance at the very end of the ballet as the instructor of the academy. He does it every year but it’s always different— this year he’ll be doing a Black Swan inspired piece where he plays both the dark and light swan, his costume half black and half white with a cape of cascading feathers down his back as he struggles with himself in a fight to the death. It’s a lot different than the floaty, whimsical numbers he usually does, and the closer it gets the more nervous he becomes.

As much as he wants to go home and sleep off his liquor-induced nightmare, once his students have filtered out of the class (some of the parents bringing by handmade Christmas cookies and other goodies to celebrate the season, much to his delight), he locks the doors and flips through his playlist to find the song he’ll be performing to, tugging his hoodie off his head and tossing it into a corner.

He watches himself in the mirror as he goes through his stretches with the music blaring through the speakers, loosening his muscles as he slips into the music. Jimin always tries to match his body language and expression to the character he's performing as, but seeing as how this particular number is one where he needs to show two contrasting sides he’s been struggling a little bit more than usual. He braces his hands on the barre, lifting his leg with a pointed toe and bending in half, doubling over until his hair falls forward and he’s staring at himself straight-on in the mirror. A thin ring of black is still smudged into his waterline, a concrete reminder of his poor decisions from last night.

Sighing, he lets the music loop back to the beginning and gets into position.


Once the studio stinks of last night’s bender and he’s run through the routine so many times he thinks he might collapse if he goes through it again, Jimin packs up his backs and locks the studio up tight before leaving in search of something greasy to soak up the remaining liquor in his stomach before heading home to binge movies with Taehyung, who oh-so-graciously offered to not fuck Yoongi tonight so they can spend some time together.

His notifications screen shows that Jeongguk has posted a new video— Recreating an old makeup look! and while maybe before last night he probably would have sat on the ground outside the studio just to watch it before heading home, this time he’s not so sure if he’s ready to watch yet and instead swipes the notification away, navigating to Taehyung’s text instead.

Taehyung
jimin
jiomin
jimink
oh my god i know your class has been out for an hour and a half WHERE ARE YOU

Jimin
woah hi? i was practicing my solo
 is everything okay? did you set something on fire again

Taehyung
no!
jesus that was one time

Jimin
three times

Taehyung
damn i forgot hobi ratted me out for the other two
okay listen
did you watch jeongguk’s video yet?

Jimin
no, wasn’t going to
i'm gonna grab greasy american food on the way home what do you want

Taehyung
you already know

Jimin
enough mozzarella sticks to feed a small village, got it

Taehyung
this is why you’re my soulmate
but no! don’t distract me with mozzarella sticks
you need to watch the video
ACTUALLY WAIT
DON’T WATCH IT
COME HOME FIRST I WANT TO SEE YOUR REACTION PLEASE

Jimin
fine
see you in 25

 


When Jimin steps through the front door, too many mozzarella sticks in hand for just two people, Taehyung is already perched on the couch with Jeongguk’s new video cast onto the television and paused.

Jimin unwinds his scarf from around his neck and kicks off his boots, dropping the bag of deep fried cheese unceremoniously onto the coffee table. “Can I shower first?”

“No,” Taehyung says, already hitting play.

The video is as familiar as it ever is. Jeongguk is freshly showered, skin scrubbed pink and hair still a little bit damp, curling into loose ringlets at the ends. He’s sitting in a very well-lit room with an inky black background, piles of colorful palettes and sponges and brushes scattered on the table in front of him. He launches into his intro and Jimin curls into the edge of the couch, plucking a lukewarm mozzarella stick from the bag. He can’t help but let his eyes dart down to Jeongguk’s neck, feeling a bit of relief that Jeongguk had covered up the hickey Jimin had sucked into his neck before rolling the camera.

“He’s really hot,” Taehyung says around a mouthful of cheese. “Too bad you puked instead of fucking him.”

“How often are you going to bring that up?” Jimin whines. “That’s like, the fifth time today.”

“Many more to come, my friend.”

Jimin had noticed last night that Jeongguk’s voice sounds different on camera than off. When he’s recording his voice is a little bit higher, a little more lilted, kind of like a phone or customer service voice. His mind drifts back how breathless and full of gravel he’d sounded last night, whispering hot and damp into Jimin’s ear about how he wants him to fall apart on his tongue...

“This part! This part!” Taehyung chants, bouncing excitedly on the couch. “Pay attention.”

Today, as the title probably already told you, I’ll be recreating one of my old makeup tutorials. I know it’s kind of a boring video - I’m sorry! I have a lot of exciting things planned for the holiday season, but to be honest I was out late last night and I’m a little bit hung over. He laughs.

“Is that it?” Jimin asks, biting off another hunk of cheese. “He mentioned last night? Is it really that exci—”

The makeup look he’s recreating flashes on the screen in the corner and Jimin’s heart drops into his stomach like a rock.

Taehyung is positively delighted. He can’t stop giggling, shoving mozzarella sticks into his mouth like he hasn’t eaten in weeks. “Spoke a little too soon,” he teases.

This is actually one of my favorite looks I’ve ever done, but I was a brand new makeup artist when I did this one and I think I can update the look a little bit. I also recently had a little bit of inspiration to revisit this particular look…

“This is not. Fucking happening,” Jimin says.

“Oh it sure is. Oh it sure, sure is.”

It’s like a trainwreck Jimin can’t seem to look away from as Jeongguk starts pulling out the products he’ll need to recreate the look, the look, the very one Jimin had pressed, brushed and sprayed onto his own goddamn face not even twenty-four hours ago before meeting Jeongguk himself.

“It’s a coincidence, right?” Jimin asks. He knows it’s not, but maybe Taehyung will humor him for once in his life and tell him what he wants to hear.

“Nope,” he singsongs. “He knew.”

Jimin groans, curling into the couch and pulling a pillow over his head. “Death, please take me,” he whines, voice muffled by fabric. “Please, all I ask if that you make it quick. Anything would be better than the pure, white-hot emotional torment I’m experiencing right now.”

“It gets worse,” Taehyung says cheerfully, fishing in the grease-stained paper bag for more food. “Ooh, you got onion rings!”

I was really into cutting creases with metallic liner back then. I think it was a stepping stone for me, because once you learn how to use the liner to outline your lid you really get the hang of doing a true cut crease look. If you can do this, you can do anything. Jeongguk swatches a bit of metallic silver glitter over the back of his hand before leaning in to his hand mirror and drawing a thin outline of his lids over the smoked-out black shadow he’s already applied while Jimin was panicking. This eye look can be worn to a lot of occasions— a holiday party comes to mind, but any kind of nightlife will do. I think if I saw a cute guy at a club slaying a glitter lined cut crease with a wing that could make me bleed and crystals under his eyes I’d be a goner, you know?

“Oh no,” Jimin says.

“Oh yes,” Taehyung replies.

Jeongguk glances up at the camera giving it a small, knowing smile. Jimin is hit with a strong wave of deja-vu, thinking back to the same way Jeongguk had looked at him last night. He’s looking at Jimin.

Hypothetically, if I were to meet a really hot guy at a club wearing this look, like I was just saying, I’d definitely flirt with him and try to take him home. And, once again this is all hypothetical, please remember, if they happened to throw up all over my three hundred dollar combat boots right before we were about to hook up and then passed out, I think I would still really want him to text me with the number I left on his hypothetical nightstand.

Jimin is literally frozen in shock. He can’t even think of a sarcastic comment to make. He thinks he might actually be broken.

I think I’d also like to remind him of how much a gentleman hypothetical me is, leaving him a glass of water and advil on his nightstand before going home. Hypothetically.

The screen goes dark. “That’s it, the rest is boring makeup stuff,” Taehyung says.

Jimin stares, unblinking, at the dark screen. He’s having a hard time registering that he still exists on the mortal plane.

“It’s possible he… wasn’t talking about me?” Jimin says after what’s probably been a good solid five minutes.

Taehyung stands, brushing the crumbs from his shirt and wadding up the paper bag to take to the kitchen trash. Jimin can’t even find it in him to be mad that Taehyung ate all of their food and all Jimin got was half a mozzarella stick because to be honest he doesn’t think he could eat even if he tried.

“Jimin, I don’t call you a massive idiot very often, but if you don’t text him after that then now is one of those times where I’m gonna have to.”

“I’m burning his number.”

Taehyung pokes his head through the kitchen door. “I’m sorry, what the fuck did you just say to me?”

“How can I text him? He just made everything worse ? I was actually thinking about offering to text him to pay for the cleaning bill or a new pair of shoes for the ones I ruined but how can I face him now knowing that he knew I was lying the entire night? No way. No fucking way.”

“Jimin,” Taehyung whines, crossing the room and crawling up to the couch, pulling Jimin into a koala-like embrace. “He’s funny, hot, interested, and clearly flirting with you. What’s not to like?”

“I made a fool of myself for an entire night. There’s plenty of funny, hot, and interested guys who don’t think I’m a massive idiot. No thanks.”

“But… making a fool of yourself is literally the best way to form relationships? That’s like, the entire basis of our friendship.”

“I’m gonna shower off the rest of my vodka sweat and go to bed early,” Jimin sighs, untangling himself from Taehyung. “I’m not texting him!” he shouts right before he slams his bedroom door.


The next time Jeongguk posts a video, Jimin is at home trying to fight off post-nap drowsiness with a cup of coffee curled in his hands, Taehyung watching some drama on TV with his head lying in Jimin's lap. They both jump when the notification rings out.

DIY BEAUTY HACK - HOW TO GET VOMIT OFF YOUR DOC MARTENS (tip: i threw them away).

"He literally lives to torment me. He's a demon sent from the underworld determined to remind me every single day of my misgivings," Jimin says, slurping at his coffee.

"Hey, that isn't fair," Taehyung says with a pout. "That's my job."

*

 

The weekend comes and goes and on Monday, yet another video from Jeongguk is posted. This time he's in class.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS MAKEUP TRANSFORMATIONS - TURNING MYSELF INTO SASUKE (looking for my naruto) (not clickbait)

One of his students happens to be behind him when he swipes the notification away and spends the rest of the class asking Jimin if he likes Naruto and if they can introduce some ninja elements to their Swan Lake performance.

*

It doesn't take long for Jeongguk to get a little more obvious with the titles, much to Jimin's amusement.

Perfect look to get the hot guy you met at the club to text you! (please)

“Please Jimin,” Taehyung pleads later that evening. “This is the saddest thing I have ever seen. The man got a taste of the forbidden fruit and now he’s addicted to its sweet nectar.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?”

“Your ass, Jimin. Your ass.”

*

When Friday rolls around again, Jimin already has his phone in his hand at three o’clock, waiting for the notification.

It takes so long he thinks maybe Jeongguk is busy and not posting a video today, or maybe he just gave up, but just as he’s about to lock it at 3:02 the notification pops up.

(555-321-2359) (my real number) (in case you lost it) (non jimins don’t interact)

Jimin gapes at his phone, eyes scanning the title.

 

Jimin
is that his real fucking number

Taehyung
?

Jimin
look at jeongguk’s video

Taehyung
wait hold on let me ask yoongi
LMAO YOONGI SAID YES
PARK JIMIN PLEASE YOU HAVE TO TEXT HIM. PLEASE

Jimin
did he seriously just doxx himself to the entire internet
including his 12 million subscribers just to publicly beg me to text him
after i not only lied to him but also puked on his shoes

Taehyung
humiliation kink
nice

Jimin
if there’s ever a time for you to be serious it’s right now

Taehyung
oh shit
wait i haven’t been serious in a long time but i can do this
okay listen. i think jeongguk is… well. right now he seems kind of fucking crazy and honestly i’ve never seen a man beg for cock quite as intensely as this (to be fair this is your cock we’re talking about so it’s valid) (please date me)
BUT
i think he’s a genuinely really nice guy who thinks you two hit it off and he’s going about courting you in a very public and very insane way but he’s putting himself out there and i respect that
even if you’re just going to reject him you should at least text him

Jimin
fuck
i forgot how wise serious taehyung is
i’m texting him

Taehyung
FINALLY THE GAYS WON I WAS STARTING TO BELIEVE IN HOMOPHOBIA AGAIN
when you two finally hook up please tell me how big his dick is i'm 99% positive he's packing


Jimin
oh he's fucking huge i felt it even through his jeans

Taehyung
for the love of god what are you waiting for TEXT HIM OR I'LL DO IT FOR YOU


It takes Jimin nearly three hours to work up the courage to text Jeongguk.

He types a dozen different messages ranging from “hey” to “please let me cashapp you money for your shoes" but deletes all of them as he goes about his routine. He's resigned himself to just texting in the morning but when he grabs his phone to plug it in for the night he decides to just do it and get it over with.

Jimin
are you a fucking idiot

It takes Jeongguk a while to answer. Jimin scrolls through videos on his laptop and then flips through the channels on the television, fighting sleep even though it’s far past his usual bedtime. He starts to think Jeongguk isn’t going to text him back at all, which would make a lot of sense considering his phone is probably going off so much it's either turned off or self-destructed.

Jeongguk
as a matter of fact i am. do you happen to like idiots by any chance?

Jimin blinks down at his notification wall for a second but then he finds himself smiling, curling deeper into his blankets and pulling the phone up to his chest.

Jimin
almost exclusively
but seriously why did you do that

Jeongguk
well it worked so i guess i still won in the end

Jimin
wait
how do you even know i’m the real jimin right now
WAIT
are you texting back all the hundreds of people who text you hoping one of them is me because i think that might be a little too crazy for my blood


Jeongguk
as much as i kinda want to say yes because that sounds like a movie worthy romance plot, no
i’ve had your number in my phone for like a week (taehyung gave it to me) (he told me not to tell you) so i was just waiting for the actual you to text me which to be honest i didn’t think was going to happen
but in the meantime i’ve been entertaining myself with some of the texts my fans have sent me
wanna hear some


Jimin
i’ve never wanted to hear anything more in my entire life


Jeongguk
last night i had a dream you punched me in the throat and when i woke up i cried because it wasn’t real


Jimin
heterosexuals are so fucking weird


Jeongguk
facts
anyways i’m changing my number tomorrow because in hindsight this was a terrible idea and my phone is a million degrees because it hasn’t stopped going off for three hours
and i kinda hope you’ll still allow me to keep your number and maybe text you back because i might be a moron but i really like talking to you


Jimin
hmm
if you’ve had my number for a week why didn’t you just text me first
why do all this


Jeongguk
because you didn’t give me permission and i didn’t want to invade your privacy
i’d much prefer to violate my own privacy by doxxing myself to the entire internet


Jimin
that’s weirdly sweet
listen i really need to go to bed because tomorrow is a really big day
but
you can keep my number


Jeongguk
how to score the hot guy you met at the club in 5 easy steps - not clickbait

Jimin
what?


Jeongguk
nothing. gn jimin


The following day is the Swan Lake performance, and Jimin is sick with nerves.

He’s not positive if he’s nervous for his students or because of his own part, which admittedly is a small little thing at the end of the show and not what most people in the audience are here for (barring his own friends and family). The kids are all buzzing with anxious energy and it’s been an uphill battle trying to calm them down all day, only getting worse as the day goes on.

Up until a couple hours til showtime Jimin is kept busy the entire day, first going through the final stage rehearsal and then helping the kids get into costume and doing all kinds of little things like running around to do finishing touches on the set and direct the staff on what they need to do. By the time everything is in place and the kids are getting ready to go on stage Jimin is exhausted. He collapses into a chair in the back dressing room, facing his bag of makeup supplies with a heavy groan. He needs to get ready but he’s not sure if he has the energy to do that in any capacity right now. In fact, doing his solo performance later sounds like an impossible task.

He slides his phone out of his jeans pocket and sees a few texts from an unknown number, and he almost re-locks and pockets it before remembering that Jeongguk probably has his new phone by now.

Jeongguk
how’s the big day going

Jimin
tbh terrible
i’m so exhausted and i have a lot to do, i spent the past three hours getting the kids ready and now i need to get ready but all i want to do is nap in this chair

Jeongguk
hmm
what do you still need to do to get ready?

Jimin
hair, makeup, costume
hair is easy, costume takes an ungodly amount of re-arranging, but makeup takes forever especially since i’m still an amateur
please do a prayer to bless me with your makeup abilities for now
i promise i won’t steal them forever

Jeongguk
uh
i mean i don’t know if this is a weird thing to offer
but i could… come? do your makeup?
only if you want me to i don’t want to invade your space or anything i recognize that i’ve already been doing the most

Jimin traces his fingernail over the dressing room counter as he mulls over Jeongguk’s texts. On one hand, he’s not really sure if he’s ready to face Jeongguk yet— his ears still burn hot with embarrassment when he thinks about the night they met a couple of weeks ago.

But… the idea of being able to relax while getting his makeup done by a (very cute) (very talented) makeup artist while he tries to melt away some of the day’s stress sounds really nice.

And… maybe avoiding Jeongguk for this long because of his own embarrassment is kind of a him problem and continuing to avoid him really isn’t going to do anything.

He bites his lip as he taps in his reply and deletes it, then taps it in and deletes it again.

Jimin
here’s my location
[x]

He closes his eyes before he hits send and then locks his phone, nearly tossing it onto the counter in front of him. A little wave of panic washes over him when he realizes he just invited Jeongguk to come over right now, that he just willingly invited yet another layer of stress onto an already highly stressful day, and he’s starting to think maybe he’s a little bit of a masochist.

An indiscernible amount of time passes before he gets a text from the staff asking him if they can let a Jeon Jeongguk who’s asking for him inside the building and he replies giving the okay. After he hits send he sits back in his chair, trying to force himself to relax despite his heart hammering in his chest and palms pressed flat and clammy against his jeans as he waits for the inevitable knock at the door.

When it finally comes he still startles despite expecting it. He’s not sure why he’s so nervous to see Jeongguk again but he’s starting to wonder if feeling sort of like he’s going to be sick is just going to be his permanent state of being around him forever.

“Come in!” he shouts, and the doorknob twists open.

Jeongguk pokes his head in, looking so familiar and yet not. Jimin is still having a little bit of a tough time reconciling Jeon Jeongguk with his online persona glamkook, and while they’re obviously the same person he still feels so different like this. Jeongguk shuffles through the door, shoulders curled in like he’s trying to make himself smaller than he really is. He’s dressed in simple dark sweatpants and a big black hoodie, barefaced with a pair of sunglasses perched on his hair. A huge professional makeup kit dangles from his fingers, and based off the way Jeongguk grunts when he swings it up onto the counter it must be very weighty.

“Hi,” Jimin says, dropping his eyes to the ground and kicking at the tile.

He watches Jeongguk’s feet (he’s wearing boots nearly identical to the ones he wore that night at the club, Jimin notes in embarrassment) as he circles the chair.

“Hi,” Jeongguk replies, his voice kind of small. “I heard someone’s in need of a makeup artist?”

“My savior,” Jimin replies. “Nice shoes.”

“Thanks, they’re brand new.” Jeongguk says cheekily. “Just got ‘em last week.”

Jimin groans in embarrassment, doubling over to bury his face in his hands. "I don't know why I even brought it up. I'm still so embarrassed I want to die."

Jeongguk laughs so loud it bounces off the walls around them. “I’m just teasing, I’ll stop. Makeup.”

“Makeup,” Jimin agrees.

Jeongguk takes his time unpacking his supplies, occasionally grabbing a bottle or powder and asking Jimin permission to swatch it on the back of his wrist to check color matches.

“So tell me about what kind of look you’re going for,” Jeongguk says as he pulls out a palette and flips it open before frowning and shoving it back in the bag. “Something simple and pretty, or a full crazy costume look?”

“Uh.” Jimin hadn’t really thought about it. “Whatever is easiest for you?”

“Nothing is hard, the only issue is time. When’s your performance?”

Jimin glances down at his phone. “In about two hours.”

Jeongguk finishes pulling out supplies and positions himself in front of Jimin’s chair, spinning it around to face him. “Tilt your chin up,” he says, and Jimin complies.

Making eye contact like this in such a small space has Jimin reeling. It instantly shocks lightbulb memories back of two weeks ago, Jeongguk grinding on him with hooded eyes, Jeongguk’s hands, hot and warm, wrapping around his wrist and lifting him up to toss him down on the bed…

He clears his throat, hoping his cheeks don’t look as red as they feel.

“What kind of vibe is Swan Lake?” Jeongguk asks, pouring two different foundation colors on a little glass panel and then using a small brush to mix them together. He swatches a bit of it on Jimin’s jawline and hums before starting to brush it all over his face. “Like, the mood.”

“You’ve never seen Swan Lake?”

“Nah. Never been to any kind of ballet before. Not really my vibe.”

Jimin does a quick look of Jeongguk up-and-down, his long-sleeved shirt, tattooes scrawled on his hands and the big, heavy throat-stomping boots laced onto his feet.

“Fair,” he says. "But to be extra fair, part of the reason I clicked your video for the first time was because of your whole… look, I guess? The thumbnail caught me off guard. You don’t really seem like the type to be a makeup artist. But after I watched for a while it started to… make sense? It feels very you, somehow. It made me realize makeup can be for anyone. To be honest, sort of inspired me to start trying out makeup, too."

Jeongguk busies himself with running a small pink beautyblender sponge under the faucet and Jimin realizes that he was supposed to be fucking wetting them this whole time. No wonder Jeongguk's always blend like a dream and his don't work for shit. When he turns back to Jimin he has a small, pleased smile playing on his lips.

“First of all, I’m glad we’re at the point where you admit you watch my videos,” Jeongguk says. He slides a finger under Jimin’s chin and uses it to gently tilt his face up as he starts rolling and bouncing the beautyblender over his skin to even out the foundation. “Have you kept up with my recent uploads?”

“Sure have. Good luck on that guy you’re pursuing. He seems like a tough one to crack.”

Jeongguk throws his head back and laughs, then, washing over the room. “He actually finally texted me the other day. Thank god. My fans were starting to get pissed at my crazy video titles. I think he’s worth it, though, so it’s whatever.”

“Oh yeah?” Jimin follows Jeongguk's movement as he dabs a bit more foundation on the panel and adds it to Jimin's jawline. “How do you know he’s worth it?”

“Just a feeling I have.” He crouches in front of the chair so his head is chest level to blend around his neck and jaw and Jimin can’t help but stare down at him, eyes scanning his soft brown waves to his big, sparkling eyes, bright and focused, lips popped open in concentration. He has a little mole under his lower lip. It’s cute. “He’s really funny, beautiful, talented… I mean to be fair we didn’t have a whole lot of time to talk the night we met but. Sometimes you just know.”

“Well, maybe you shouldn’t get your hopes up,” Jimin says, smiling when Jeongguk nervously glances up at him. “I have a feeling he’s pretty embarrassed after what happened. Might take him a while to feel comfortable around you."

Jeongguk wipes his hands off on a cloth and starts digging through his kit again. “Embarrassed? Why would he be embarrassed?”

Jimin scoffs. “Didn’t you say he got wasted, threw himself at you, and then threw up on your shoes? Sounds like a pretty good reason to be mortified to me.”

“Don’t forget how he pretended he wasn’t wearing makeup from my own tutorial the entire night even though I knew the second I saw him.”

Jimin starts to get up out of the chair. “That’s it, I’m leaving.”

“Wait!” Jeongguk is laughing again, eyes curled into soft crescents. “I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Sit.”

Jimin giggles, collapsing back in the chair. "Let's talk about something other than my crippling embarrassment," he says, and Jeongguk nods, holding up his hands in an okay sign before twisting open a tub of loose powder and dipping the sponge into it. "How did you get into makeup?"

“Hold that thought for a sec. I'm still trying to figure out what to do here— what does your costume look like?”

“Have you ever seen the movie Black Swan ?”

Jeongguk clutches his hand over his heart. “How can you even ask me that? Of course I’ve seen Black Swan. Iconic. Iconic and gay.”

“The movie wasn’t really that gay. Isn't it actually sort of fetishizing to make two hot girls make out so all the straight guys want to watch it?"

“It was kinda gay and that’s good enough for me. Stop ruining it.” He pops open an eye palette, eyes darting over it. “So your dance is Black Swan inspired?”

“Yeah. The kids are doing classic Swan Lake— which is very icy. Frosty, blue. Think Elsa but less singing and more dancing. So I could have elements like that, but my solo is a separate thing— wait, here.”

Jeongguk steps aside so Jimin can grab his phone, scrolling quickly through his camera roll until he finds a photo of the costume. It’s a leotard split down the middle in half black and half white, a long, cascading cape of feathers sewn down the back. His tights and shoes will be dark black, a shining silver tiara perched on his hair featuring two arched swans curled into each other.

“Oh, shit,” Jeongguk says, pinching his fingers to zoom in on certain parts. “This is stunning. I’m so inspired by this— can I?” he asks, holding his hand out, and Jimin hands his phone over.

“You can swipe through, there are a few zoom-ins.”

Jeongguk does, his eyes big and interested as he looks. “Okay. So you’re both the white swan and black swan, then. An internal struggle.”

Jimin snaps his fingers. “Yes! Exactly.”

Jeongguk keeps Jimin’s phone on and sets it aside so he can use it for reference and then he digs through his bag for a big, dusty palette, one that he's clearly used a lot. When he pops it open it’s not actually eyeshadow, but big blocks of very pigmented creme face paints.

Jimin raises his eyebrows and Jeongguk must sense his apprehension because he sets the palette aside, plucking a clean beautyblender from his kit. "Don't be nervous. Trust me."

Jimin nods, trying his best to relax back in his chair. Jeongguk is a professional; no matter what he does it'll undoubtedly be better than whatever Jimin can do and in probably half the time.

"Should I keep my eyes open or closed?"

“Closed for now.”

Having his eyes closed makes everything more intense somehow. He can feel how close Jeongguk is, hyper aware of the heat from their legs pressed together and his huffs of hot breath ghosting over his skin. His heart starts beating a little bit faster in the dead silent room and he prays he can’t hear it.

“To answer your earlier question, I didn’t get into makeup until I was in high school,” he says. His breath smells vaguely like sweet apple and it’s surprisingly pleasant. “Being the token goth gay wasn’t exactly the easiest school experience, so naturally I just became the token gay friend to all the girls on campus. I was actually more into traditional art than makeup originally.”

“Art? What kind of art?”

Jeongguk pulls back and Jimin tentatively opens his eyes to find Jeongguk pushing up his shirt sleeve to expose a smattering of tattoos in all shapes and colors. Jimin’s lips pop open in surprise and he leans forward to get a better look. “Wow,” he breathes. “I thought you only had them on your hand.” He lifts his hand, hovering, until Jeongguk nods and Jimin presses his fingertips against the ink, smoothing over the slightly raised surface. “They’re so pretty.”

“I designed this whole sleeve myself,” Jeongguk says, turning his forearm over and letting Jimin’s hands drag over his skin. It’s all a beautiful concoction of design and color, some words, too— a skeleton hand takes up the center, blocky lettering reading rather be dead than cool beside it. “I wanted to be a tattoo artist. But then all my girl friends in school saw my art and begged me to do their makeup for Halloween and stuff like that.” He laughs. “And I loved it. It’s fun. It’s an art form, right? But my canvas is a face, a person. I have the ability to transform someone into something beautiful or something scary, anything really. I loved it so much I ended up going to beauty school and here I am. Sometimes I wonder how my life would have been if I’d gone down another path, but I don’t regret ending up here.”

Jimin’s eyes linger on Jeongguk’s tattoos until he pushes his sleeve back down and grabs another brush, dipping it into an icy, frosted white. Jimin re-closes his eyes and only a second passes before he feels the cool paint sliding under his eyebrow.

“I feel the same way about teaching,” Jimin says. Jeongguk hums to show he’s listening, urging Jimin to continue. “I wanted to be a professional dancer. I was put in ballet practically straight out of the womb— my mom jokes that I knew how to dance before I learned how to walk.” He smiles at the memory. “I was apparently a prodigy, or whatever. I don’t think I was really ever that good. I got into a great dance school but the pressure hit me like a brick. It was awful.”

“Tilt your head up,” Jeongguk urges gently and Jimin complies. The soft brush immediately goes back to brushing soothing circles over his lid. “Keep talking, though.”

“I didn’t think I was cut out for professional dancing. It’s a toxic thing, you know? This constant need to look perfect, to dance perfect, to be perfect. Your entire life is chasing an unobtainable standard. My instructors were ruthless— I saw some of my classmates do awful things to themselves in the name of perfection. I started picking up bad habits, too. It was scary. I didn’t like the way it made me feel.” He chokes out a nervous laugh. “Wow, I’m so sorry, you're not my therapist. I'll shut up."

“No.” Jeongguk’s voice is quiet. “I want to know. Really. Tell me about it.”

Jimin swallows, his throat tight. If he hasn’t scared Jeongguk off by now he’s surely well on his way and the thought scares him a little bit, but Jeongguk seems genuinely interested so he musters up the courage to keep talking. “Um. Okay. Well… once I realized that dancing isn’t what I want to do, I decided maybe I could teach. Like I said, my instructors were awful. Ballet instructors are notoriously ruthless. I don’t know if ballet just attracts that type of person or if it’s something that just gets passed down from teacher to student, but I wanted to break it. I wanted to guide them, to be a mentor, to be a comfort and a warmth. Even if they struggle before or after me, if I can help them feel safer and more confident for a short time then that’s a win to me.”

It takes Jimin a second to realize Jeongguk has stopped moving his brushes. He sits there for a second with his eyes closed, fidgeting, wondering if Jeongguk got sick of his sad monologue and left. But when he cracks an eye open to check he’s still there, knelt in front of the chair, eyes clear and focused on Jimin’s face.

He fidgets under the intensity of his gaze, so close in the small, cramped room.

“That’s really beautiful,” Jeongguk whispers, and then he clears his throat. His eyes look unusually clear. "Sorry, I got a little choked up. I just- I know teaching can be thankless, you know? And it might not mean much, but thank you. On behalf of all of those kids who need a person like you in their life."

Jimin nods. "Thank you," he says quietly.

“I’m almost done with the eyes and after that I’ll just do some simple finishing touches, but I'll keep it basic. I want the eyes to steal the show."

“Sounds great,” Jimin says. He curls his hands into the sleeves of his oversized hoodie, throat thick. He wonders if maybe he said too much, got too dark and open and intense too fast. It’s something he tends to do often, something he’s been trying to stop himself from doing. He bites his lip and Jeongguk tuts at him, saying he needs to put lipstick on him later so he can't chew up his mouth.

They finish the makeup in relative silence except for Jeongguk’s gentle guidance for Jimin to tilt his head or close his eyes or look up or down. Before long Jeongguk is tucking his supplies back in his kit and whirling the chair back around so Jimin can look in the mirror.

His reaction at first is pure, ice-cold shock.

He doesn’t even look like the same person— Jeongguk has transformed his face into something sharper, more intense. An inky, dark black mask has been drawn over his eyes, nearly blacking them out, curled at the edges like the intricate markings of a swan. Frosty highlight sits high on his cheekbones, glittering with hundreds of points of light when he moves his head, and his lipstick is split completely in two colors, bright cherry read on the white swan’s side and deep black on the dark swan’s side.

He blinks at himself. His lashes are thick and heavy and all the paint around his eyes feels a bit tight and uncomfortable but he still thinks he’d never take it off if he didn’t have to.

“Wow,” he breathes finally when he realizes he hasn’t reacted yet. He pulls himself out of the chair to get a closer look at Jeongguk’s work, pressing his nose nearly to the mirror above the counter, eyes darting wildly all over his face. He looks almost eerily inhuman, and it’s so, so perfect he would probably cry if it wouldn’t destroy everything. He looks up to meet Jeongguk’s gaze in the mirror, at a loss for words.

"You like it?"

"I love it," Jimin gasps. "It's... art."

Jeongguk ducks his head sheepishly. “It’s nothing.”

Jimin whirls around, shaking his head. “It’s everything. Thank you. Thank you so much.” He feels a little choked up all of a sudden. “I don’t even know what to say.” He looks down at his phone; nearly an hour and a half has passed and it’s time for the show to start soon. He needs to go check on the kids to make sure they haven’t destroyed their costumes while he was away. “How much?”

Jeongguk an eyebrow. “How much what?”

Jimin huffs. “How much ? Like, how much should I pay you?”

Jeongguk blinks. “You don’t have to pay me.”

“I am abso-fucking-lutely paying you, Jeongguk. You’re a professional and this is amazing and you came over here on such short notice. My wallet is over—”

“No.” Jeongguk curls his hand into the sleeve of his hoodie. “I uh. I really don’t want repayment. Please. It was a favor.”

Jimin sighs. He steals another glance in the mirror- he can't seem to stop looking at himself. The makeup is so, so pretty and he'll feel awful if he can't pay Jeongguk for it in some way.

“Can I do something? Anything? I really want to pay you for your work. Please.”

Jeongguk starts putting his makeup supplies away in silence, like he’s thinking, and for a second Jimin thinks maybe he’s offended him. But then he looks up, fingers pinched around the zipper.

“I could, um.” His throat bobs with the force of his swallow. “Stay?”

Jimin cocks his head. “Stay?”

Jeongguk seems resolved in making eye contact with his bag. “I’d uh. Like to watch the show. If that’s okay.”

“Oh.” Jimin blinks. “You want a ticket to the show? That’s all?”

Jeongguk pauses, then nods.

It’s like someone cracked a glowstick in his chest— head floods into his fingers and toes despite it being freezing in the cramped little dressing room of tile and concrete.

Jeongguk wants to watch him perform.

Jeongguk, despite Jimin’s drunken antics and tendency to reveal too much of himself too fast and his nervous, flighty panicked response when anything good happens to him— wants to stay. He’s still interested.

It’s a lot.

There’s a weighted silence while the two of them seem to adjust their expectations all at once, like something in their dynamic has shifted. It’s so tangible Jimin can feel it, and he wonders if Jeongguk can feel it, too.

“I’ll get you a seat in the front,” he says.

Jeongguk's smile is brighter than the stage lights.


The kids’ performance is perfect. He knew it would be— this is probably the most talented bunch of students he’s ever had (not that he favors them for their skills, but it surely made his life a lot easier) and the crowd eats it up. Everything down to positioning and set movement is flawless, and Jimin’s heart swells with pride as he watches it from the sidelines.

Before long it comes time for his solo to start and he has to step away during the end to get into costume, which is a little bit of a process, but after a lot of tucking and pinning and stuffing he’s finally ready.

Looking at himself in the mirror is like seeing an entirely different person. The cape of feathers, black on his left and white on his right, reaches nearly to the heels of his feet. The makeup, sharp and cold and stern, masterfully applied— it’s just.

It’s perfect.

When he steps out on stage, the crowd goes hushed. The lone spotlight follows him to center stage where he gets into position— one foot in front of the other, head tucked like a swan, arms spread in an arc with the cape of feathers hanging delicately beneath them.

When he looks up he sees Jeongguk; sat in a seat near the stage, eyes wide, lips parted. They lock eyes.

Beautiful, he thinks he sees Jeongguk whisper just as the lights cut and the music starts.

He leaps.


Jimin steps off the stage after his performance, still buzzing from adrenaline and nerves but above everything else pride— the crowd is thundering loudly at his back, the entire theater on their feet in a standing ovation. He’s giddy, unable to wipe the smile off his face the entire time he scrubs the sweat from his body in the shower and dries quickly to throw on a simple hoodie and sweatpants. He leaves the makeup on, a little smudged from sweat and steam but otherwise intact. When he glances in the mirror he giggles at the juxtaposition of his lounge clothes against the sharp angles of his makeup but can’t bring himself to wash off Jeongguk’s beautiful hard work.

It takes him only ten minutes at most to get cleaned up and changed, and yet when he opens the dressing room door to the long, cold hallway, sweet steam from his shower tumbling out behind him, he nearly trips over himself in surprise when his eyes fall on Jeongguk right outside the door, leaning against the wall across the hall.

“Hi,” Jeongguk breathes, pocketing his phone and stepping toward Jimin like he’s eager to get closer to him. It seems for a second like he's going to reach out and pull him into a hug but he hesitates and stops himself.

“Hey,” Jimin replies, slinging his bag over his shoulder. “You waited for me?”

Jeongguk wets his lips, tugging at the hem of his hoodie nervously. “Yeah, I- sorry, is that okay?”

“Yeah,” Jimin says, and he really means it. “Yeah, it’s okay.”

Jeongguk is practically beaming. He fists his hand into his own sleeve and kicks at the tiled hallway with the toe of his boot. “You were incredible. I was standing here trying to think of all the things I wanted to say, like all these big grand metaphors about how you move like water and you looked like an ethereal being like some kind of... sprite or fairy or something? But now that you’re standing here my brain is short circuiting so. Basically uh. Very good. Incredible, really. Breathtaking."

Jimin slaps his hands over his cheeks to hide his blush, realizing belatedly that Jeongguk probably can’t even see it under the thick layer of makeup he’s wearing. “It was nothing,” he murmurs. “Thank you.”

“If that’s nothing then I don’t think I can handle what you consider something.” Jeongguk holds out his hand. “You wanna go somewhere?"

“I do,” Jimin says without hesitating, meeting Jeongguk halfway and twisting their fingers together. "As long as that somewhere doesn't involve alcohol or dancing or anything like that."

"Fine by me," Jeongguk says. "I don't even like clubbing, anyway."

"Yeah, you'd think if Taehyung and Yoongi were trying to set us up they'd pick somewhere to drag us that we actually like."

Jeongguk snaps his fingers. "Or maybe that was their plan all along. Force us into going somewhere we hate so we'll want to leave. Preferably together."

Jimin nods his head slowly. "Well, can't really be mad at them, I guess?" Jimin says, swinging their hands up to show off the way they're clasped together with a bright smile.

"Nope. Definitely can't."

*

Jimin learns during their first date that Jeongguk hates chocolate but loves fruit; that when he finds something really funny he throws his head back and stomps his feet; that he does two-hundred and forty push-ups a day (the last one makes Jimin nearly choke on his latte).

They have their first kiss, or rather their first real kiss, under a piece of mistletoe that hangs innocently outside of the cafe they pop into for coffee and dessert. Jeongguk notices it first, making a show of looking up but then shrinking back like he’s afraid of pressuring Jimin into doing something he doesn’t want to do.

But Jimin just laughs, wrapping his hands around Jeongguk's waist and pulling their bodies together, pushing up on his tiptoes to press their lips together in a sweet, chaste kiss. Jeongguk is warm even through all their winter layers, lips tasting of the passionfruit tea he’d just drank. He pulls back and giggles against Jeongguk’s lips when he sees him blinking at him, eyes all big and bright and shining, and, oh.

Jimin likes him very, very much.

They get a few weird looks as they walk around the city with their pinkies hooked together, and while Jimin is offended at first he realizes finally when he catches their reflection in a window that he’s still wearing the Black Swan makeup.

["I look ridiculous,” he gasps, doubling over with laughter that turns quickly into silent tears streaming down his face that come away black when he wipes them away. I thought they were being homophobic or something. I’m such an idiot.”

“You don’t look ridiculous,” Jeongguk says. “You look so pretty. You get prettier every time I see you.”

“We’ve only met up like two times,” Jimin points out.

“Yeah, and you’ve gotten prettier every time.”

“What about the tenth time? The twentieth? The one hundredth? How will I get prettier every single time?”

Jeongguk loops his fingers into Jimin’s belt loops, tugging him closer until their thighs press together and dips down to press a kiss to the corner of his mouth. “You want to see me a hundred more times?” he whispers against his lips, a teasing lilt to his voice.

“Keep sweet talking me just like that and I’d say your odds are pretty good.”]

*

They do go on a second date. And a third, and a fifth.

That fifth date happens to fall on Christmas Eve, when Jeongguk takes Jimin out to a nice dinner followed by ice skating and a stroll around the city where they walk hand-in-hand until their legs ache and the chill has soaked straight through their clothes to the bone. Both of them are reluctant to call it a night but it gets to the point where they have to, and so they call a cab to take them home.

"I guess this is goodnight, then?" Jimin asks when they arrive at Jeongguk's place, leaning in so he can see Jeongguk's face in the dark backseat. Their uber driver leans back in his seat, scrolling idly through the phone attached to his dashboard. The plan is to drop Jeongguk off at his apartment, which was closer to where they were walking around downtown, and then take Jimin home after that.

"Yeah," Jeongguk says, not even trying to hide the disappointment in his voice. He shifts to unbuckle his seatbelt, jacket rustling in the quiet car. "Call me when you get home so I know you got back safe?"

Jimin hums. He untangles their fingers but doesn't move his hand, tracing patterns into Jeongguk's palm. The driver in the front seat glances up at them in the mirror with a slightly annoyed expression because their wishy-washy love bullshit is probably wasting his gas.

"Okay." Jimin says.

Jeongguk leans in first, pausing just before he reaches Jimin's lips like he's not sure if he's allowed to kiss him— which is funny, considering how ever since they started casually dating they've spent a good chunk of that time kissing, taking turns pulling each other into every other alley downtown to pin wrists again cold brick and kiss like they haven't in years when it's only been minutes. Jimin has already figured out what Jeongguk likes, loves the way he squirms when Jimin runs the tip of his tongue over the roof of his mouth or drags his teeth over his bottom lip.

They kiss until they've probably far crossed the line from goodbye and into inappropriate territory— when they part their poor driver appears to be typing random letters into his notes app for something to do with his hands. He pulls away, wrinkling his nose at the loss of Jeongguk's body heat.

Jeongguk wraps his fingers around the car door handle but then he pauses, twisting his seat to look at Jimin. His heart leaps, hoping Jeongguk is going to ask him to if they can do something again soon, or maybe ask if they can do something else tonight. It's nearing midnight but Jimin is still antsy, not wanting to go home quite yet.

"Listen," Jeongguk says, grip around the door tightening. "I don't want you to think I'm trying to pressure you to do anything because I'm really not, but I had a great time tonight and I'd really love if you'd come upstairs and hang out with me a little longer? We can just watch a movie or something."

"God, yes, finally," Jimin sighs, already grabbing his bag from the floorboard. "I didn't want to invite myself up but I've been trying to hint and stall for like, five minutes."

The uber driver clears his throat. "It's been at least seven and a half," he says.

Jimin laughs brightly, fishing his wallet out of his coat pocket and tugging a twenty from the folds. He leans over the front seat and holds it out, tucking it into his hand when he goes to take it. "For dealing with our bullshit for seven and a half minutes," he says. "Happy holidays."

Jeongguk's apartment is nice and spacious, with plush carpet that feels nice against Jimin's toes when he strips off his ice cold boots and socks. It's warm and the couch is big and loaded with blankets, and the first thing he does once he strips off his outerwear is launch himself at it, curling into the corner and pulling a big plush throw blanket all the way up to his shoulders.

Jeongguk watches him with a grin while he takes off his coat and gloves, too, dropping his keys on the end table. "By all means, make yourself comfortable," he says. "Remote's there, go ahead and turn on Netflix and put something on and I'll check if Yoongi's home."

Jimin nods, darting his hand out from under the blanket to grab the remote and then promptly curling it back inside to the warmth. Jeongguk's apartment smells homey and nice and he already feels so comfortable around him it's hard to believe they've only been seeing each other for a couple of weeks.

"Yoongi hyung?" Jeongguk calls as he walks down the hall. "Yoongi, are you home?"

"Probably at my place," Jimin calls, curling deeper into the blanket when the familiar red Netflix screen pops up on the television. "Ever since he and Taehyung finally realized they're like, in love with each other they seem to have made it a mission to fuck all over our furniture. Unfortunately when I'm still at home. And sometimes using said furniture."

Jeongguk hops over the back of the couch and Jimin startles, nearly flinging the remote.

"I'm cold. Share the blanket?"

Jimin shakes his head, pulling the edge up until it's over his nose. "Get your own blanket," he says, muffled by the fabric.

"That is my blanket."

"Finders keepers."

Jeongguk whines, pushing closer to Jimin until their bodies are pressed together. Suddenly Jimin feels a searing cold on his ankle and he jerks the blanket back, gasping when he sees Jeongguk's cold foot pressed against his leg.

"Stop putting your cold feet on me!" He shoves Jeongguk's foot away and tucks himself under the blanket, folding the edges under his body so Jeongguk can't squirm his way underneath. "I was thinking about sharing but now I refuse."

Jeongguk crawls on top of burrito-blanket-Jimin, wrapping his arms around the bundle of fur and blonde hair. Jimin struggles to push him off but Jeongguk is much stronger than him so it doesn't really work, and the wrestling match eventually devolves into both of them laughing until tears stream down their face as Jimin tries to wiggle and squirm out of Jeongguk's vice grip around the blanket until he finally gets too tired and gives up, pushing his feet out of the bottom and giving Jeongguk access.

"I surrender!" Jimin cries out. "Show mercy."

Jeongguk happily joins Jimin, crawling under the blanket until their bodies are pressed together. He even tucks his ice cold toes under Jimin's own and Jimin bites his tongue when he feels the urge to complain, actually enjoying how good it feels to have Jeongguk cuddled up so close to him.

"Jeonggukie," Jimin sing-songs, shifting against the edge of the couch to wrap his arms around Jeongguk's waist, burying his face in his neck. "Kiss me."

One of the things he loves about Jeongguk is that even though they're always playful, always give each other a hard time for this or that and joke in a way that's more teasing than anything, Jeongguk never withholds affection when Jimin asks for it. The moment the words are out of his mouth Jeongguk is already shifting to pull Jimin halfway in his lap, winding a loose arm around his middle to hold him steady and bringing the other to the back of his neck, guiding Jimin's neck down to press their lips together.

Jimin thinks he could kiss Jeongguk every second of every day for the rest of his life and he wouldn't have a thing to complain about. There's just something about the way he feels against him that has him feel so wholly content. He brings his fingers to Jeongguk's cheek and presses his palm to his jaw, tilting his head to get a better angle to deepen the kiss, tentatively sliding his tongue over the seam of Jeongguk's mouth.

They kiss slow, lazy, languid; they kiss like they have nowhere to be, nothing to do except get lost in each other. Jimin skirts his fingers down Jeongguk's cheeks to his neck, running his knuckles over the sharp cut of his jawline before dragging his nails toward his collarbone, resting a hand on his chest.

They pull apart and come together again, and when Jimin opens his eyes he sees Jeongguk's eyes are open.

Jimin giggles against his lips, curling his hand into Jeongguk's collar. "You're watching me?" he whispers, nosing against his cheek.

"Mm." Jeongguk shifts underneath him, lifting Jimin just slightly until he's seated full on his lap. "Sometimes I find it hard to believe you're real and I have to double check to make sure."

Jimin turns his cheek to Jeongguk's cheek, pretending to huff in annoyance but really feeling his heartbeat speed up at the compliment. Jeongguk always says such sweet things sometimes he's not even sure if he deserves it after the immature way he'd acted before when Jeongguk had just been trying to reach out because he liked him; he'd let his own embarrassment get the better of him. They've already talked about it, of course, and Jeongguk has no hard feelings, but still. Jimin still doesn't feel like he's done anything to warrant this level of affection.

"You're always flattering me," Jimin half-whines. He curls his fingers into Jeongguk's hair. It's extra soft today; Jeongguk had been sent a fancy PR package of hair products to try and they make him smell sort of like coconut and his hair all shiny and soft. "Less flattering, more kissing."

"That can be arranged," Jeongguk says, eyes fluttering shut as he tips his head up for Jimin to lean in and kiss him again. But Jimin doesn't lean in right away, chooses instead to run the side of his thumb down his nose and over his eyebrow, tracing his features. He dips down and pecks the little mole under his lip and Jeongguk smiles against his nose.

When they kiss again it's a little bit more heated but still languid; Jimin plants his knees on either side of Jeongguk's legs and laces their fingers together, pinning his hands against the back of the couch so he can get a better angle to lick slowly into Jeongguk's mouth.

It doesn't take long before he feels Jeongguk starting to grow hard beneath him, pressed hot against the inside of his thigh. He pulls back from the kiss, dragging his teeth over Jeongguk's lower lip before pecking the corner of his mouth. The berry lipstick he'd been wearing tonight is smeared messily over Jeongguk's chin and he can't help but find it really, really hot.

"Sorry," Jeongguk says breathlessly, wiggling his hips. His ears are a little red like he's embarrassed and Jimin isn't sure why until he jerks his head down toward where their hips are pressed together. "Don't think it means I need to do anything other than make out- we don't have to do anything else. I'm fine with just this."

"Oh." Jimin unthreads their fingers and presses his palms to Jeongguk's shoulders instead, dipping his head to kiss the spot behind his earlobe before dragging his lips all the way down his neck to the collar of his shirt. He shifts, pressing his thigh ever-so-slightly down onto his cock. Jeongguk hisses, fingers flying to Jimin's hips under the blanket and squeezing like he's trying to ground himself. "You don't want to do anything else? That's too bad. We have this whole apartment to ourselves and it'd be such a waste to not take advantage of it."

"I." Jeongguk clears his throat. "Wait, I just meant- I didn't want to pressure you but I."

Jimin giggles. "I got you baby," he says, teasing his fingers around the hem of his shirt. "Is this okay?"

Jeongguk nods vigorously.

Jimin pulls Jeongguk's shirt off and then follows with his own, tossing them in a pile on the ground. When he leans forward to kiss him again Jimin sighs into it, in love with the feeling of skin on skin underneath the soft blanket hung around his shoulders. The room is quiet and dark, the only light the soft red glow at his back and the little Christmas tree beside it, casting a pretty glow on the side of Jeongguk's face that dances over his hair when he tilts his head.

Jeongguk can't seem to get enough of feeling Jimin's body as they slide their lips together, running his hot palms over his waist and dragging his fingernails up and down his back. It doesn't take long before they're both fully hard, cocks pressed together through the restrictive fabric of their jeans.

It's strange because Jimin is usually so desperate when he gets this worked up, wants nothing more to slide his cock into a wet mouth or fuck into his fist to chase his release, but with Jeongguk it's different. He savors all the moans that spill from his lips when he shifts just right in his lap, loves finding all the spots on his body that make Jeongguk shudder under his hands and curl his fingers into Jimin's skin.

"Jimin," Jeongguk says into Jimin's mouth, curling a hand in his hair to pull them apart. "Need you."

"What do you wanna do, baby?" Jimin asks, ghosting his fingers over Jeongguk's waistband. "Anything you want."

"Mm." Jeongguk's eyes are glassy but he's still focused on Jimin. He leans back on his elbows and lifts his hips, lolling his head back when his cock presses against the swell of Jimin's ass. "Remember what I said the night we met?"

JImin had tried to block most of that night out; but when he thinks back to the things Jeongguk had been whispering in his ear as they shamelessly rutted against each other one thing sticks out in his mind.

His heart beats a little harder when he remembers how Jeongguk had told him he wants to eat him out; thinking about getting down on all fours while Jeongguk works his tongue in and out of him already has him reeling.

"Fuck," he gasps, hands flying down to the button on his jeans. Jeongguk smiles, batting his hands away and popping it open himself. "You still want to?"

"Been thinking about it." Jeongguk pulls Jimin's zipper down and Jimin gasps at the relief on his aching cock, pushing up into Jeongguk's hand. The cool air bites at the patch of wet precum on the front of his underwear. "Is that okay, baby? Can I eat you out?"

"God, stop saying that or I'm gonna come before we even get to that point." Jimin lifts up on his knees so Jeongguk can shimmy his pants down to his knees. He hesitates for a second with his fingers wrapped around Jimin's waistband, giving him a second to back out, but when Jimin nods it's all Jeongguk needs to pull them down.

His cock springs free, slapping against his belly and smearing a little pool of precum against his navel. Jeongguk runs his tongue over his bottom lip, eyes hazy with want.

"Gorgeous," Jeongguk mumbles. He guides Jimin to plant his hands on the back of the couch and pull up so his cock is level with Jeongguk's mouth and Jimin does, feeling a little embarrassed at being so on display when Jeongguk is still wearing jeans but a little too overcome with lust to care.

The first touch of Jeongguk's hand on his cock has Jimin nearly collapsing back down onto his lap— he groans, head lolling forward which gives him a better view of Jeongguk's long, tattooed fingers tugging his cock, stroking up and down and twisting his wrist at the head. The slide is dry but it still feels so good that Jimin is seeing stars, shaking with the effort of not bucking his hips forward to fuck into Jeongguk's fist.

Jeongguk dips his head forward and smears the precum drooling from Jimin's slit over his lips, darting his tongue out to taste it. When he tilts his head back to look JImin in the eyes there's still a drop of it clinging to his lips and, fuck, Jimin is a goner. He dips down to lick the droplet from his lips and pecks Jeongguk on the lips while he's at it.

"Get comfortable," Jeongguk whispers, running his hands down Jimin's thighs and shifting him to lay down on the couch beside him. "I need to go grab some stuff."

Jimin nods, laying back and shimmying his jeans and underwear the rest of the way off. He watches Jeongguk climb off the couch and disappear down the hallway. His cock is painfully hard and he has to resist the urge to reach down and stroke it, not caring about getting off unless it's Jeongguk making him feel good.

When Jeongguk returns his jeans are off and he's just in boxers, a condom packet and a bottle of lube clutched in his hands which he tosses onto the coffee table before lowering himself on top of Jimin and pressing their lips together again.

The kiss is needy, desperate, wet; Jimin whines when Jeongguk's abdomen presses against his cock and he ruts up against him, out of his mind with want and anticipation.

"Shh, baby, I've got you," Jeongguk says. "Turn over on your stomach."

Jimin does as he's told, rolling over on his stomach and getting on all fours, elbows pressed to the couch and knees planted firmly. He arches his back to put his ass on display.

Jeongguk curses behind him and then Jimin feels his hands cupping both cheeks, fingers massaging into the skin.

"Your ass is fucking perfect," Jeongguk's voice is full of gravel and want. "Gonna make you come from my tongue and then I'm gonna fuck you into this couch. How's that sound, baby?"

Jimin moans, arching his back impossibly lower, spreading his ass so Jeongguk can see his hole. "Please. Please,"

The pop of the lube cap has chills scattering over his skin and Jimin's breath hitches in his throat from anticipation- there's the telltale slick sound of lube pouring from the bottle. Jimin turns to watch and the sight has him reeling again; Jeongguk is on his knees behind him, and even though he's still wearing underwear Jimin can see how fucking huge he is through the thin material and the thought of having all of that inside of him has saliva pooling in his mouth. Jeongguk warms the lube and then he presses a slick hand to his ass to hold him open, one finger teasing against his rim.

The slide is a little tough because Jimin hasn't taken anything but his own fingers in a while, and only when he has the time; but Jeongguk is patient, working him open with plenty of lube and patience, coaxing Jimin into relaxing with a soothing hand rubbing his lower back and soft words of praise whispered into the quiet room. It doesn't take long before Jeongguk is two fingers deep and the stretch is tight but delicious; Jeongguk's fingers are longer than his own and can hit deeper inside of him.

He's so far gone just from being fingered that he'd nearly forgotten that Jeongguk is only working him up to take his tongue, jolting back to reality when the couch dips and he feels Jeongguk's hair brushing at his inner thighs. He squirms, pushing back toward his face, not even caring how desperate he seems.

"I swear I could come just from touching you," Jeongguk gasps against Jimin's asscheek, breath ghosting against his hole. "You're so sexy, god Jimin, do you even know what you do to me? Do you know?"

"Please," Jimin begs, and he knows he's whining now but he wants Jeongguk's tongue in his ass so bad he feels like he might die without it, like his chest is burning. "Please eat me out, please, I've- I've been so patient but it hurts, I want it so bad. Need it so bad."

Jeongguk digs his fingers into Jimin's ass until it nearly hurts, nails biting at the skin. "You have been good and patient, baby. Begging so well for me, too." Jeongguk presses his lips to Jimin's rim and Jimin jolts, legs shaking with the force of his want. He feels frantic, curling his hands into the blanket and pushing back against Jeongguk's mouth.

Jeongguk uses his thumb to press against Jimin's hole to ease the slide of his tongue inside, and the first brush of the wet heat sliding inside of him has Jimin writhing, whimpering so loud it echoes off the walls. Precum drools messily from his red cock, dripping messily onto the couch below as Jeongguk starts sliding his fingers in and out of his hole in tandem with his tongue, going deeper each time he goes back in. Jimin is going wild, tears streaming down his face as he clamps his thighs together, jerking his hips forward helplessly with his body's desire for his cock to be touched.

Jeongguk grabs one of Jimin's legs and rolls him so Jimin is on his side instead, lifting his leg and hooking it over his shoulder, tongue still buried deep inside of him. This angle makes him feel more exposed, his cock bouncing uselessly against his belly as Jeongguk works his tongue in and out, the air around them filled with filthy wet noises.

"J-J-Jeongguk," Jimin manages to gasp. He clamps his thighs around Jeongguk's head and curls a hand into his hair, shaking as his back arches off the couch. Jeongguk doesn't let up, sliding a second finger in with the first. It's too much and yet not enough, his cock feels like it's on fire because it needs to be touched so badly. He's whining, practically throwing a fit because he doesn't know what to do with himself and Jeongguk's tongue feels so, so good. "I wanna come, I wanna come so bad—"

Jeongguk slaps Jimin's ass with his free hand and then spreads it open, pushing his tongue deeper. Jimin would probably be pouting if he wasn't so fucking worked up, knowing what Jeongguk is telling him - so come from my tongue, then.

But it's not that easy, Jimin has never come untouched before and he doesn't know if he can do it, and, fuck, Jeongguk curls his fingers and presses against his prostate and Jimin nearly screams, probably waking Jeongguk's next door neighbors but he really doesn't give a fuck. He uncurls his fingers from Jeongguk's hair and slides them toward his cock, knowing he only needs to jerk it a couple times before he'll be coming, splattering white all over his chest—

But Jeongguk stops him, grabbing Jimin's wrist and pinning it to the couch at his hip. It's too hot, too much, heat coils hot in his stomach but he can't push himself over the edge without touching his cock and he knows the high whining noises coming from his lips are desperate but he can't help it.

Jeongguk pushes forward, then, unpinning JImin's wrist and using that hand to push Jimin's leg all the way to his chest, spreading his ass open impossibly wider. At this angle Jimin can see the movement of Jeongguk's mouth, the way his tongue is buried so deep in his ass Jeongguk's lips are wrapped all the way around his hole, long tattooed fingers aiding the slide. It's so fucking slick and wet and dirty, and fuck, something about seeing it happen, about seeing Jeongguk eating him out so fucking good has the coil in his stomach curling tighter, tighter, tighter, and then it snaps.

Jimin's spine goes rigid when he comes, cock spurting messy white all over his chest. Jeongguk tongue fucks him through his orgasm, only pulling back once Jimin is shaking from sensitivity and his entire navel is dripping wet with milky white.

"Jimin, Jimin," Jeongguk chants when he pulls off JImin's ass. His eyes are wild and his lips are slick and bright red, swollen to twice their normal size. "I need- need to fuck you. Need to fuck you right now."

"Fuck me, then," Jimin moans. His leg is still pressed nearly to his chest even though Jeongguk isn't holding it anymore, courtesy of his dancer's flexibilty. He knows how dirty he must look like this, hole loose and wet with his own release smeared all over his skin, dripping over the curves of his waist and onto the couch below. Jeongguk is looking at him like he's a fucking wet dream, movements harsh and jerky as he stumbles in his haste to pull his boxers off.

His cock is even bigger than Jimin thought it'd be and he groans when he sees it; it's curved at the end and an angry red, dripping wet with precum.

He fumbles with the condom but Jimin stops him. "I haven't fucked anyone in two years," he says. "Clean."

Jeongguk tosses the condom on the ground and collapses on top of Jimin. "Me too. Fuck, thank god, wanna feel how wet you are."

He grips JImin's leg behind his knee and presses his hips flush against the back of Jimin's thigh, slicking his cock up with leftover lube on his hands and then he's pushing in.

Jeongguk is so big it knocks the fucking air out of Jimin's lungs; the stretch burns but in a good way, in the best way. Jeongguk is already moaning before he's even fully seated inside, hips jerking and fingers massaging at Jimin's thigh. "Tight," he grits out through his teeth. "Wet, fuck, I won't last long."

Once he's fully seated inside he waits for Jimin to say it's okay to move but his face says it's taking everything in him to not fuck into him. Jimin makes him wait for a few extra seconds before he finally arches his back, lifting his leg to hook it full over Jeongguk's shoulder.

"Baby," he croons.

"Yeah?" Jeongguk's voice is mostly breath. He sounds wrecked. He looks wrecked.

"Ruin me."

It's like something snaps in Jeongguk; he pulls his cock out and then slams his hips forward so hard it pushes Jimin up the couch. He fucks into Jimin hard, fast, dirty; he praises Jimin through gritted teeth and bites at his skin with firm grips tipped with nails. Jimin fucking loves it, loves how well Jeongguk's cock fills him up, loves how Jeongguk simply moves him into a new position when he wants to fuck him at another angle.

"You're so big," Jimin gasps. He didn't think he'd be able to come again but the pleasure starts mounting, cock starting to re-harden. The way Jeongguk's cock is curved means he hits his prostate every time he fucks inside of him and it has Jimin squirming with both oversensitivity and pleasure. "I'm so full. Never felt so full. Love it, fucking love it."

Jeongguk is too far gone to even respond, hips stuttering as he chases his release; he wraps his hand around Jimin's leg to push him full onto his back, reaching between their sweat-slick bodies to jerk Jimin's cock in time with his thrusts.

"Think I can come again," Jimin says. "Keep going, just like that, just like that-"

Jeongguk fucks like he means it, fucks like he wants to have Jimin feeling it for days after. He slams his hips forward a few more times, sweat dripping from the ends of his hair onto Jimin's face, and one particularly brutal thrust against his prostate has Jimin's second orgasm punched out of him— he squirms, gasping in surprise as his cock weakly dribbles mostly-clear liquid, thighs clamping around Jeongguk's waist.

"Baby, baby," Jimin moans. "You gonna come?"

"Yeah. Close. So close. Gonna-"

"Come on my face. Please come on my face, can you do that? Can you come on hyung's face?"

"Oh, fuck, fuck, yeah- yeah I'm coming, fuck Jimin I'm coming-" Jimin feels the first spurt of Jeongguk's come flood inside of him right as he pulls out, climbing up the couch to sit on Jimin's chest and shoving his cock against his lips, rutting forward to fuck into his fist as he spills milky hot come all over JImin's thick lips, chanting his name like a mantra.

It takes a few minutes for them to come down from that, tangling their limbs together, breaths heavy and loud. Jeongguk drags his finger through the cum on Jimin's lips up to his cheeks where black mascara tear tracks run halfway down his face.

"Your makeup is so wrecked," Jeongguk groans. "God, you look perfect."

They take a hot shower together and clean up the couch to the best of their ability, hoping Yoongi won't be able to tell how badly they'd defiled it. Jimin thinks they should leave it a mess as revenge for fuckpocalypse that's been taking place at his and Taehyung's place, but he changes his mind when Jeongguk reminds him how scary they are, especially now that they're working together.

Once they're freshly showered and properly cleaned up, Jeongguk takes Jimin to his filming room.

It's surreal seeing it behind the camera, but it's also not as glamorous as Jimin had previously thought. It's a nearly empty office filled with nothing but a table and filming equipment aside from a back wall stacked with boxes upon boxes of PR packages. The familiar black background is just a cheap backdrop only half the size of the wall.

He steps around the table, running his fingers over the chair and then flopping down into it.

"Hi there. It's me again, glamkook, and today I'm gonna teach you how to do a simple smokey eye," Jimin says to the camera.

Jeongguk throws his head back in laughter. "What are you doing?" he asks, stepping behind the camera to flip the lights on along with the record button.

"I spent so long watching your videos before we got together," Jimin says, shrugging. "I wanted to see what it's like."

"We could film one together, if you want?" Jeongguk asks. He walks around the table and flips the ring light on, making Jimin squint.

Jimin's eyes widen. "Right now?"

"Sure, why not? We could do one of those videos where you do my makeup. You're hot, charming and funny. My fans will love you. I think they already ship us but they don't know much about you except the things I've said in my videos, so..."

"Yeah, let's film right now," Jimin says, nodding. "I need to change their opinion of me. Like, now."

*

Jimin is at Jeongguk's place a week later later when he's putting the finishing touches on the video they recorded together. Jeongguk has been editing all day so Jimin is sprawled out over his bed on his laptop, scrolling instagram and trying to decide if they should order Italian or Chinese for dinner.

"Almost done," Jeongguk says, tapping away on his keyboard. "Then we can do something fun. Sorry, you're probably bored. I do most of my editing on Fridays so I'll be free for the whole weekend after this."

"It doesn't bother me," Jimin replies, making a face at a photo of Taehyung and Yoongi when he scrolls past. "Did you figure out a title for the video?"

"Hmm." Jeongguk rolls back in his chair, tapping at his desk. When Jimin peeks over his shoulder he can see the video is almost done uploading. "Hot twink does my makeup?"

Jimin chokes. "Absolutely not."

"Sorry. Hot twink does my makeup - not clickbait."

"You literally made it worse."

"Guy I railed last night does my makeup."

Jimin scrubs his hands over his face, exasperated. "How do you have several million subscribers? These are horrible."

Jeongguk's smile is so wide it curls his eyes into little crescents. "Sorry. Guy who railed me last night does my makeup."

Jimin blushes. "More accurate, but still no."

"I guess the original title I came up with will have to do, then," Jeongguk says, shrugging. "Oh well."

Jimin's phone chirps and he grabs it, figuring it's Taehyung telling him he's sexiled for the third night in a row. It doesn't really matter anymore because he was planning on staying at Jeongguk's for most of the weekend, anyway.

He pauses when he sees that it isn't Taehyung at all but glamkook's subscriber notification letting him know he uploaded a new video.

My boyfriend does my makeup.

Jimin blinks down at it, turning to peer over his shoulder with a confused expression. "Wait, but I'm not your boyfr—"

He cuts himself off when he sees Jeongguk, staring at him with an intense look in his eyes and his hands clasped nervously in his lap.

"Oh," Jimin breathes, heart leaping up into his throat.

The title stays.