Damn, Jungkook must have written down the wrong address.
“I’m so sorry,” he says to the taxi driver, fumbling to pull out his phone and scroll through his inbox to check the scribbled-down address against the one in the email he’d received a few days ago. “I probably missed off a digit somewhere, let me just-”
Huh. Nope, no mistake. This is the place.
Jungkook glances from his phone screen to the note in his hand, then out of the car window towards the huge, artfully designed security gates and the beautiful white mansion that lies beyond, surrounded by manicured trees and tropical palms and goddamn marble fountains.
It’s the kind of place Jungkook’s only ever seen in movies, where everyone walks around wearing Gucci and Armani and drinking champagne from crystal flutes. It doesn’t even look real. Jungkook’s pretty sure that the rabbit-shaped hedge over there is probably worth more than the entire sum of his worldly possessions.
“Well, son?” his driver prompts. “Is this the right address?”
“Sorry, yes, sorry,” Jungkook stutters intelligently, because his brain is still stuck on the whole my-new-employer-is-apparently-loaded situation. He glances at the fare meter above the rearview mirror and quickly hands over a fistful of bills. “Keep the change, thank you, sorry.”
He almost forgets to grab his carry-all in his haste to stumble from the taxi, blurting another apology with a quick bow as he reaches across the backseat to retrieve it, slinging the strap over one shoulder and his rucksack over the other. The driver looks amused rather than annoyed, so at least that’s something, but Jungkook still bows to him again for good measure as the man gives a cheerful wave and pulls away.
And now Jungkook’s all alone. Standing outside the towering gates with his carry-all of comfortable jeans and sweatpants and t-shirts (because cleaning and cooking wasn’t something he’d anticipated needing to dress up for), and his rucksack full of discount art supplies because his employer had promised he’d have plenty of free time in the evenings in the privacy of his own living space.
In a fucking mansion, apparently.
God, he really should’ve googled the location before coming, he’s so underdressed.
Standing here isn’t going to change his situation, though, and Jungkook would hate to be late and make a bad impression on the very first day of his ‘trial weekend’ . Mr Kim had indicated that they’d be interested in hiring him for the full summer if the trial period went smoothly, and Jungkook’s head is spinning just at the thought of what nine long weeks of steady employment will do to his dwindling savings account. Live-in housekeeping pays so much better than being hired through a third party company, as long as his employer agrees to the standard hourly rate set out by his union.
Even if Mr Kim’s ‘family of six’ turn out to be entitled and rude and difficult to work with, Jungkook is just going to grin and bear it for the sake of a semester or two where he doesn’t have to juggle two jobs around his studies just to pay rent and buy art supplies.
With a deep, steadying breath, Jungkook squares his shoulders, hikes the strap of his carry-all a little higher up, and strides over to the little intercom panel mounted on the pillar beside the closed gate, pressing the buzzer determinedly.
There’s a lengthy beat of silence, long enough that Jungkook begins debating whether or not he ought to press the button again, but wary about coming across as impatient if he does it too soon. Thankfully, the tiny speaker crackles to life before he has to commit to a decision.
“Kim residence, Senior Hottie speaking!”
Jungkook blinks at the cheerful (if somewhat unusual) greeting, and is just about to reply when there’s a faint thump from the other end of the line, and muffled voice heard can be heard saying in amused exasperation:
“Tae, oh my god, gimme the- thank you. This is why we don’t let you answer the door - hi there! Sorry about him, he’s not house trained yet.” Another muffled thump and a soft grunt, then a more casual, “How can we help you?”
The sheer peculiarity of the interaction successfully distracts Jungkook from the butterflies in his stomach, and he finds his nerves settling as he leans in a little closer to the intercom to introduce himself.
“Hi, I’m sorry to intrude,” he begins, because if there’s one thing he’s learned working in retail, it’s to always err on the side of caution and start with an apology. “My name is Jeon Jungkook, I’m a housekeeper, Mr Kim asked me to-”
“Jungkook-ssi!” the first voice blurts gleefully. “Wow, hyung never said you were so- ow! Jiminie...”
“So punctual!” the second speaker (Jiminie?) amends loudly, and there’s a quiet oof like someone just got shoved. “Right on time, Jungkook-ssi. Come on in.”
The towering gates buzz as the electronic lock is released, swinging open before him in a way that might have been ominous if everything wasn’t so beautiful.
The grounds are well-kept and clearly tended to diligently, the edges of the lawn manicured into perfect, smooth curves, flower beds neatly presented, not a stray leaf or weed in sight, and as Jungkook wanders up the long pavestone path towards the mansion’s front entrance, he quashes down a niggling worry that Mr Kim might expect him to help with the upkeep of the gardens. Oh god, he hopes not. Jungkook hadn’t even managed to keep Moonbin’s potted plants alive when his roommate went away for a two week vacation, he definitely doesn’t have the knowledge and expertise to be a groundskeeper.
As he reaches the bottom step that leads up to the pillared entryway, the wide front door swings open, and out strides one of the most breathtakingly handsome men that Jungkook has ever laid eyes on.
His hair is a pale mint colour, boyishly styled, and even though he only seems to be wearing an expensive-looking grey bathrobe and flip-flops, he somehow still looks like Korea’s next top model.
Maybe he is. The man does live in a mansion, after all.
“Hi!” the handsome stranger greets, hurrying down the steps to shake Jungkook’s hand enthusiastically. “Kim Taehyung. Wow, you’re so much younger than I imagined.”
Jungkook almost says thank you on reflex, but manages to catch himself in time (that’s one humiliation avoided, at least), bowing politely as he shakes the man’s hand.
“I’m really looking forward to working for you,” he says, and it’s very definitely true now that he’s seen his new employer in person. “Thank you again for this opportunity, Mr Kim.”
Taehyung laughs and shakes his head, breaking the handshake to hold his hands up in a gesture of denial.
“Nonono, I’m not Mr Kim,” the man corrects, amused. Then he pauses, grins, and elaborates, “Well, I suppose technically I’m a Mr Kim - just not either of the ones who hired you.”
There were two Mr Kims involved in his employment? Which one had he been talking to via email? Both of them at once?
“Namjoon-hyung’s meeting ran a little later than scheduled,” a new voice adds, and Jungkook glances up to see another ethereally beautiful man standing in the open doorway, a tiny black-and-tan pomeranian cradled against his chest. “He sends his apologies, but he’ll be home soon.”
The newcomer is a little shorter than Taehyung, his hair a sandy sort of blond that compliments the hue of his silky embroidered jacket. He, too, looks like he could’ve just popped straight out of a magazine, and Jungkook tries very hard not to stare, because that would be rude. But good god, he’s seen heaven.
In their email correspondence, Mr Kim (whichever one of them it was) had described their home as a “modest property spacious enough to accommodate a family of six” , and Jungkook had naively assumed that meant he’d be working with multiple children , not fully grown adults. But if there’s more than one Kim, perhaps they’re all siblings?
“Park Jimin,” the man supplies brightly (okay, not siblings) , as he heads down the steps, passing the tiny pooch in his arms over to Taehyung so that he can offer Jungkook his own hand to shake. “I’ll leave all the contract-signing and legal stuff for Joon-hyung, but in the meantime, maybe we could give you a tour of the house?”
“That’d be great,” Jungkook agrees, and is greatly relieved that it doesn’t come across as too gushy. “Thank you, Jimin-ssi.”
Fuck, there’s something about being in close proximity with unfairly hot guys that really reduces him to a crushing high schooler, it’s mortifying. He always prides himself on being super professional in his housekeeping work, but right now he’s a stutter and a blush away from ruining everything.
“Call us hyung,” Taehyung encourages, then tilts his head to the side, considering. “At least...I’m assuming we’re your hyungs. But some people are just naturally baby-boy, y’know?”
Oh god, shut up brain, don’t go there, don’t do that to me.
“I was born in ‘97,” Jungkook provides, as evenly as he can manage, fiddling with the strap of his carry-all.
Jimin smiles at him warmly. “We’re both a few years older than that. Don’t worry, we’ll keep an eye out for you, I’m sure you’ll settle in quickly. Here, let me take your bags.”
Politely ignoring Jungkook’s reassurances that he doesn’t have to, Jimin shoulders the duffel and backpack and presses a hand to the small of Jungkook’s back to guide the younger man towards the open front door.
“Let’s go drop off your things first,” Taehyung suggests, leaning down to set the pomeranian on the ground once they’re inside and sliding a pair of new-looking house slippers towards Jungkook as the student steps out of his shoes. “Your rooms are in the east wing - we figured you might appreciate a little more privacy. Also, Joon-hyung mentioned you’re an art student? The lighting’s much better on that side of the property, and the sunsets are always beautiful.
Jungkook feels touched by the thoughtful gesture, but his mind quickly rewinds and focuses on the word rooms.
Rooms as in plural? Like, more than one?
Not only has Jungkook been given a huge suite with a king size bed and adjoining full-sized bathroom, but he has his own sitting room and mini-kitchen leading off from it with a huge TV and plush couches and even a fridge full of drinks and snacks.
“Obviously you’re more than welcome to share meals with us and prepare food in the main kitchen,” Jimin reassures him. “But Jin-hyung wanted to make sure you had the option to eat in private if you wanted to. You’re not gonna be on the clock 24/7, after all, and you’re more than entitled to a little downtime. Oh, speaking of, do you like games? The arcade room’s just down the hall, c’mon…”
The whole mansion is incredible.
And even though a part of Jungkook is already bracing himself for the significant workload of having so many different rooms to clean, he’s excited by that prospect too. Maybe it’s kinda sad, but there’s something about cleaning that Jungkook finds so satisfying - the inner thrill of tackling a mess head-on and coming out the victor never gets old. Not that there’s anything remotely dirty or unkempt about the Kim mansion - clearly Jungkook isn’t the first domestic help they’ve hired, either that or the occupants have all been working hard to keep the place scrupulously clean. Other than a faint sheen of dust here and there above doorways and around lampshades, there isn’t anything that urgently needs his attention.
The kitchen though, holy fuck. It’s a baking Instagramer’s wet dream.
An eight-hob stovetop? Multiple ovens? Half a dozen fancy kitchen gadgets in the same shade of baby blue - a standing mixer, blender, toaster, food processor, kettle, rice cooker, compact grill, juicer...even the coffee machine matches the rest of the kitchen. It’s clearly been designed with love and care, and Jungkook wants to spread himself out over that loooong shiny marble island and kiss it.
If he woke up one day with ten million won in his bank account, this is for sure the exact kitchen he’d build for himself.
“So this is kinda Yoongi-hyung’s space,” Taehyung explains, hopping up to sit on the counter and plucking a red grape from the huge, quite-possibly-made-of-crystal fruit bowl beside him. “He and Jin-hyung usually do all the cooking, the rest of us aren’t allowed near anything potentially flammable because apparently we can’t be trusted. We’ve never hired a live-in housekeeper before, but with the hyungs being so busy lately, we’ve mostly been living off delivery food and salads.”
Jungkook doesn’t think that sounds like a terrible calamity at all (judging by their house, the Kims can probably afford the Premium sets from the best restaurants), but he understands that it isn’t quite the same as sitting down together to enjoy a home-cooked meal. Even in his own tiny apartment, Jungkook and his roommates try to cook and eat together most nights, sitting cross-legged around the coffee table with their knees bumping against each other. Well... Jungkook does most of the food-prep, because he likes to micromanage in the kitchen, while Yugyeom and Eunwoo hype him up and Moonbin cheerfully volunteers himself to be a taste-tester.
He makes a mental note to check up on the guys tonight. They’ve apparently organised a cooking schedule between the three of them, and today is Binnie’s turn, so that probably means a lot of rice, grilled sausage, several store-bought banchan, and chocolate milk for dessert. Moonbin is a man of simple tastes, so that’ll probably be his go-to menu for the whole summer, god help the others.
Maybe Jungkook should’ve left them a book of written recipes.
“What sort of food does everyone like to eat?” Jungkook queries, already daydreaming about all the cakes and pastries he could bake in this veritable Eden of a kitchen. “No wait, any allergies? Foods I should avoid?”
“Shellfish,” Taehyung supplies, now halfway through munching on a banana. “It’s not a serious allergy, but Joon-hyung tries not to eat it. He’s fine with lobster, though. You want some fruit, Jungkookie?”
The student shakes his head with a polite ‘no, thank you’ , trying not to openly stare at the way Taehyung’s cheeks bulge as he eats, mentally slapping himself for allowing his thoughts to veer off in such an unprofessional direction.
Taehyung kicks his heel lightly against the smooth wood-paneled wall of the marble island, and a compartment immediately pops open beside his dangling leg. Taehyung shoves the rest of the banana into his mouth and drops the peel into the open unit, nudging it closed again with his foot. Jungkook startles when something within the island begins to whir mechanically.
“It’s just the compost drawer,” Jimin reassures him with a smile. “I know it’s a little loud, but it works a lot quicker than the old one used to.”
Jungkook mentally adds compost-making-gadgets to the mental list of things he needs to research tonight in order to come across as a competent housekeeper.
Taehyung hops down from his perch, still chewing on his snack, and wanders over to the fridge on the far side of the kitchen. It’s a huge, shiny, double-doored unit, easily eight feet high and almost as wide. Jungkook thinks longingly of all the Tupperwares he could store in that thing without needing to play a dangerous game of Jenga whenever he needed to take something out (they have a tally chart back home to see which one of them knocks everything over most often - invariably it’s Binnie). Seriously, Jungkook could make so much banchan. All the banchan.
“We should’ve done a grocery order yesterday,” Taehyung bemoans, holding both fridge doors wide open and sighing despondently at the contents within. “There’s not a lot to work with. Don’t worry about cooking anything today, Jungkookie, we’ll just order delivery.”
Jungkook has crossed the room to peek over the man’s shoulder, his eyes widening a little as he spies all the fresh produce sitting untouched. A full shelf of vegetables and packaged kimchi, another of assorted berries in various punnets, and is that a plastic-wrapped tray of lamb chops tucked away at the back there? Jungkook can already think of several delicious meals he could cook with those ingredients, provided the Kims own a few herbs and spices. Given all the overhead cupboards that line the walls above the marble countertops, he assumes they at least have salt and pepper, maybe some chilli flakes.
“Jin-hyung’s gonna be mad if he finds out we had pizza for breakfast again,” Jimin reminds his mint-haired companion, coming over to hug Taehyung from behind, resting his chin on the other’s shoulder.
“You haven’t eaten yet?” Jungkook asks, surprised.
As someone with a crazy-fast metabolism who gets hungry every few hours, the thought of skipping a meal is abhorrent. He won’t even let Yugyeom or Binnie leave the apartment in the morning without something to munch on their way to school (he tends to make big batches of banana muffins for that very purpose).
The older men both shrug in unison.
“Tae works most nights,” Jimin explains casually. “And I usually stay up to keep him company, so you probably won’t see much of us before noon.”
Jungkook nods, making a note of that, too. If Taehyung’s going to be working long hours overnight, it might be best to have a few meals and snacks pre-prepped in the fridge, ready to go whenever the man has time for a break, but nothing too spicy or greasy that could give him heartburn.
“How about brunch?” he suggests, smiling as he spies the open bread bin on the countertop to the left of the refrigerator. “I could make French toast?”
Taehyung spins around on the spot, almost catapulting Jimin from his back in his enthusiasm. “Really?”
“You don’t have to,” Jimin adds, righting himself and fixing his clothes. “Joon-hyung hasn’t even gone over the contract yet, I wouldn’t want you to work before you’ve had a chance to discuss-”
“Shhh, he said French toast,” Taehyung whispers urgently, cupping a hand over Jimin’s mouth as hugs the shorter man from behind. “Don’t betray me.”
Jimin rolls his eyes, but he’s clearly smiling behind the silencing palm.
“I don’t mind, Jimin-ssi,” Jungkook reassures, then catches Taehyung’s pout and amends, “Ah, J-Jimin-hyung, sorry. It’ll only take a few minutes. If you could maybe show me where you keep your plates? Oh, and do you have any sugar?”
The Kims, apparently, have everything.
There’s an entire pantry of dried and tinned goods hidden behind an aesthetically disguised wall of art, and it’s basically like a grocery store right here in the kitchen. There are multiple kinds of flours, numerous types of rice and lentils and split peas in airtight plastic containers, various jars of pickled and sugared fruits lined up neatly along shelves (courtesy of Yoongi or Jin, Jungkook presumes, since the kitchen is apparently their domain), and so many herbs and spices and pastes and stock powders that Jungkook hasn’t even heard of all of them. He wants to make a home for himself right here, in this well-stocked pantry.
Putting aside his brimming excitement ( god, just think of all the wonderful, complex recipes he can try out over the next eight weeks), Jungkook quickly gathers the vanilla, cinnamon and fine sugar he needs to make French toast, then goes to wash his hands in the sink. There’s a pink apron hanging up from a hook beside the wall-mounted knife rack, and he dons it quickly, pushing his sleeves up as he goes to grab the eggs, cream and strawberries from the fridge.
“You mind if we stick around?” Jimin asks. Taehyung has already hopped back up onto the marble island to watch him keenly. “We can go if it bothers you-”
“Of course,” Jungkook hurries to reassure, shooting them both a quick smile, already getting into the flow of things. “I don’t mind, hyung.”
Chopping board out, strawberries washed in the pretty baby-blue sieve, a perfectly sharpened knife slicing through the fruit quickly, the steady thunk-thunk a familiar and comforting sound. It’s impossible to feel nervous when he’s cooking; it’s something Jungkook just loves. Besides, he’s used to having an audience - trying to bully his flatmates out of the kitchen back home is always an impossible feat.
The strawberries go into the (fucking beautiful and probably very expensive) pan with a little sugar and water, and after a quick mix he leaves them on a low heat to gently warm up and soften. With Jimin’s help he locates a mixing bowl and a whisk, and soon has his batter of eggs and cream and sugar and flavourings whipped up to a lovely froth.
“Namjoon-hyung’s almost home,” Jimin pipes up. “Is there enough to fix him a little something, too?”
The blond is standing at the kitchen island now between Taehyung’s parted thighs, leaning back against his mint-haired companion, phone in hand as he lets himself be cuddled. Jungkook doesn’t want to put a label on their relationship, because he’s just as tactile with his own friends, but the way Taehyung is nuzzling against the side of Jimin’s head and pressing sweet little kisses to the shell of his ear suggests it might be something a little more than platonic.
Jungkook tries not to let himself think about that. His inner gay does not need any further excuses to think longingly about his new employers, they’re already hot enough to challenge his professionalism at every turn.
“Sure, there’ll be plenty,” he answers cheerfully. He gives the remaining half-carton of cream a contemplative glance, then goes looking for another mixing bowl to make some sweetened whipped cream to top the strawberries.
There’s so much space in this kitchen. Jungkook is used to turning around and bumping into something or someone in the tiny box-room of a kitchen back in his own apartment. Mass-baking sessions generally require military-level planning and precision, and usually he has to mix the ingredients on the coffee table in the living room and balance the cooling racks on various flat surfaces around the apartment because of the lack of available worktop space in the kitchen.
God, even the bread is high quality. Thick-cut and super soft, and fuck, Jungkook would literally shove a whole piece in his mouth right now if he was back home.
The excess juice from the strawberries has thickened to a lovely shiny syrup after a few minutes of gentle simmering, and Jungkook takes the pan off the heat and half-submerges it in a sink of cold water to help the berries cool quickly as he warms up a frying pan, dropping in a generous knob of butter. He hears feet padding closer across the kitchen, but doesn’t turn around because he’s cooking and the last thing he wants to do is brown the toast too much. The batter-soaked bread goes into the pan, butter sizzling beneath it, and Jungkook can already anticipate the taste of the finished product. It’s something he makes as an occasional weekend treat, although rarely with such fancy ingredients. Strawberries are expensive, after all, and powdered sugar and jam can be just as delicious if the toast itself is good.
“That looks amazing,” Taehyung enthuses from right beside him, as Jungkook neatly flips the two slices over with his spatula to reveal their lightly browned undersides. “Can I do anything to help? Ooh, let me grab the plates.”
Jungkook sends him a grateful smile, briefly leaving the toast in the pan to give his cooling strawberries a quick stir, careful not to slosh the water in the sink over the sides of the pot. Another minute and they’ll be cool enough to serve.
As Taehyung sets down four plates on the worktop beside the stove, Jungkook tilts his head curiously.
“Is someone else home?”
“Yoongi-hyung usually is,” Jimin pipes up from where he’s peering into the sink with an intrigued expression, “but SM’s trying to withhold royalties again, so he’s in a meeting with his lawyer.”
“Hyung’s a freelance producer,” Taehyung elaborates. “He mostly steers clear of the Big Three these days, but some of his original songs are still selling albums and certain labels have a tendency to ‘forget’ to pay him for it.”
Jungkook hums in interest, but doesn’t want to press for details, even though he’s super curious as to which songs Yoongi had a hand in writing. He loves music, and listens to a fair few artists from big companies, so there’s a chance he might’ve heard some of Yoongi’s work before. It seems rude to interrogate Jimin and Taehyung about it, though. He’ll just add it to the mental list of things he needs to look up on his phone later.
“Then who’s the fourth plate for?” he asks, confused, using the spatula to lift up the toast take a peek at the underside to see if it’s ready yet.
Taehyung laughs and lightly nudges him in the side. “For you, silly. Aren’t you gonna eat too?”
Oh. Jungkook hadn’t even thought they’d want him to...
He feels his cheeks flush as he hums in acknowledgement, and hopes they’ll assume it’s from the heat of the pan, busying himself serving up the first pieces of French toast onto two plates. The bread is so thick that one slice each seems sufficient to start with, and there’s going to be plenty of batter left anyway, so he can always make seconds if Jimin and Taehyung enjoy it.
Jungkook tops each slice with a fine sprinkling of sugar, then a generous heap of strawberries and syrup, and lastly with a dollop of fluffy whipped cream, before turning to present the finished plates with a smile.
“Yes! Thank you!” Taehyung enthuses, immediately hurrying over with his plate to sit on one of the bartools on the other side of the long kitchen island, opening a concealed drawer there to pull out enough cutlery for all of them.
Jungkook drops another knob of butter into the pan, and turns to reach for the mixing bowl of batter-soaked bread, surreptitiously glancing back towards Jimin and Taehyung as they cut into their food and take the first bite. Jungkook isn’t vain, he doesn’t need to be praised for his cooking skills, but he can’t deny that the most satisfying part about cooking for other people is seeing their enjoyment when he’s done a good job.
“Ohmuhguh,” Taehyung moans, his mouth still full, head tipped back and eyes rolled heavenwards. “Kookie, baby, let’s get married.”
His blush returns full force even as he grins and turns back towards the stove, satisfaction a thrumming warmth in his chest as he drops two more slices into the pan and goes to rewash his hands. The cool water does very little to lessen the burning in his cheeks at the truly obscene noises of pleasure and appreciation that Taehyung is making on the other side of the kitchen, but he can’t deny that he enjoys hearing them. Even if it is making his mind go in very unprofessional directions.
“Stop being weird, it’s his first day,” Jimin chides, audibly amused, and there’s a light smack as he presumably thumps Taehyung. “No but seriously, Jungkookie, this is so good. You could make us French toast every day and we’d all be happy. Hobi-hyung’s gonna love this.”
“Ooh, take a picture,” Tae enthuses, his mouth still full. “Put it in the group chat, I wanna make him jealous.”
What follows is an extensive debate about lighting and angles and filters, and Jungkook finds his fluttering heartbeat calming gradually as they stop talking about him, although the pleasant warmth from Jimin’s praise still lingers even as he refocuses his attention on the pan. When the next two pieces of French toast are about done and Namjoon still hasn’t arrived, Jungkook turns glance across the kitchen to where his current diners are just finishing their last bite.
“Would you like another slice? These two are done. I can make a fresh batch for Namjoon-ssi so that it’s still hot when he-”
Taehyung is across the kitchen in a matter of seconds, plate in hand, grinning eagerly as he bounces on his toes. His bathrobe has fallen open a little, revealing a teasing peak of his toned upper torso, and Jungkook has to force his eyes to stay up because he is a guest in their home and he will not be creepy on his first day.
“You should have the other one,” Jimin tries to insist, as Jungkook heaps more strawberries and cream onto Taehyung’s slice. “I can wait until Joon-hyung gets home. I’ll fix us all some coffee. Or would you prefer something cold, Kookie? We’ve got juice, soda, Evian... ”
“Coffee would be great, thank you,” Jungkook replies, smiling at the familiar nickname (all his close friends call him Kook or Kookie, it’s what he’s used to), and quickly goes to retrieve Jimin’s plate while the blond is busy at the fancy coffee machine. “And it’s okay, hyung, I don’t wanna let the bread soak for too long. You have this piece.”
He has the toast plated and topped and back on the marble island by Jimin’s phone before the man can argue otherwise. Jimin looks like he wants to protest some more, but then thinks better of it and sends Jungkook a sweet smile and a thank-you instead.
Considering he only met the two men less than an hour ago, Jungkook feels surprisingly comfortable in their presence, listening to them chat about new fabrics and accessories for their ‘next project’. Usually it takes him a week or so to really get used to new people, but both Jimin and Taehyung have treated him with such easy warmth that it’s hard not to feel comfortable. Also, his brimming excitement for this beautifully-furnished, fully-equipped kitchen definitely benches any reservations he’d previously held about becoming the Kims’ live-in housekeeper. Honestly, he’d cook here for free.
Well, no. He does need the money. But he’s far more open to the possibility of lowering his hourly rate now that he knows he’s going to be living and working in such luxury for the whole summer.
Distantly, there’s a faint chiming sound.
“That must be Joon-hyung,” says Jimin, a forkful of strawberries paused halfway to his mouth. “He probably forgot his security fob again.”
Taehyung stuffs the last bite of toast into his mouth, garbles a barely-intelligible “I’ll get it!” and hops down from his barstool to hurry out of the kitchen.
Jungkook feels the faintest flutterings of those initial nervous butterflies make themselves known again at the prospect of meeting Mr Kim, the one who’s apparently been in charge of the whole hiring process. He isn’t sure what the man’s relationship is with Tae and Jimin, whether they’re friends or blood-relatives or lovers, but those details aren’t perhaps necessary for Jungkook to do a good job as their housekeeper. He’s just...curious. Because most of the families he’s cleaned and cooked for in the past have been important businessmen with young kids and big apartments, or rich socialites with spoiled cats and dogs who need feeding and walking while the owner goes about their work-free day; having six adults within the same household (albeit a mansion big enough to easily count as four separate properties) is a dynamic he hasn’t worked with before, so he isn’t sure what to expect.
Although, if the ‘hyungs’ are as chill and down-to-earth as Jimin and Taehyung have been so far, he doubts he has anything to worry about.
Jungkook is just adding a thick blob of whipped cream to the neatly-presented plate of French toast and strawberries when he hears footsteps approaching, and turns in time to see a tall, broad-shouldered figure stride into the room.
He maybe forgets to breathe for a moment.
Mr Kim is wearing a dark, clearly-tailored suit jacket over a tight-fitting white turtleneck, looking like the definition of business casual even though Jungkook’s sure the price of that turtleneck alone probably exceeds the balance in his savings account. And then there’s the oval-lensed glasses, the stylishly coiffed blond hair, the goddamn dimple popping in the man’s left cheek as he smiles towards Jungkook.
He daddy as fuck.
Jungkook wasn’t ready for that. He’s gay and he’s weak and he has certain preferences, goddammit. Mr Kim being even hotter than Taehyung and Jimin wasn’t a possibility that had entered his mind even for a second. And yet there he is, the epitome of handsome himself, smiling warmly at Jungkook as he allows Taehyung to pull him by the hand across the kitchen.
“Hyung, look!” Taehyung preens, gesturing towards the plated French toast. “Look what he made! Kookie’s a genius, and we’re keeping him.”
“That’s for Jungkook-ssi to decide,” Namjoon reminds the younger Kim patiently, clearly accustomed to Taehyung’s special brand of enthusiasm. He gives Jungkook his full attention, offering his hand with another dimpled smile. “Kim Namjoon. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you in person.”
“Likewise, Mr Kim,” Jungkook returns, bowing as he shakes the man’s hand.
Namjoon claps him gently on the shoulder. “Please, call me hyung. I want you to feel comfortable in our home for the time that you’re with us, however long that might be.”
Of course...the trial period. Jungkook had gotten so wrapped up in dreaming about all the meals and desserts he could make in this wonderful kitchen that he’d almost forgotten about the fact that Mr Kim could very well let him go in a few days’ time if his performance is deemed to be subpar.
Oh god, he hopes he isn’t expected to do any gardening, that’ll doom him for sure.
He sees Namjoon’s gaze flicker across to the French toast, and feels a pulse of relief at temporarily having something to impress his new employer with. Perhaps if he cooks and bakes well enough, the man will overlook the fact that he can’t keep plants alive.
He really, really wants to impress Kim Namjoon.
“You arrived home just in time,” Jungkook tells him with as much confidence as he can muster in the face of someone so daddy, turning to grab one of the plates and offer it to Namjoon with a smile. “If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to cook for you, please just let me know.”
Namjoon stares at him for half a beat, lips parted slightly like he’s going to say something, before he blinks and reaches out to accept the plate with another warm, dimpled smile (oh god, Jungkook’s not gonna survive the summer at this rate) and a murmur of thanks.
“I made coffee,” Jimin pipes up from across the kitchen. “Come and sit down, hyung. You too, Jungkookie.”
Shyly, he collects his own plate and follows after Taehyung and Namjoon to join them at the kitchen island. He doesn’t intend to sit down next to Mr Kim, but they leave a gap for him right in the middle, and Jimin pats the seat invitingly so it would be rude to go to another seat instead.
Don’t blush. Eat your food. Act normal. They’re being nice, stop making it weird.
Namjoon lifts a forkful of toast and fruit and cream to his mouth and both Jimin and Taehyung lean forwards in their seats to watch him expectantly.
The elder Kim pauses mid-chew, then gives a low, rumbling hum of appreciation, and it lights a fire somewhere deep inside Jungkook that makes him feel tingly all over.
“Right?” Taehyung agrees, grinning. “I told you he’s a genius.”
“Mm,” Namjoon hums, nodding as he cuts another bite, finally swallowing his mouthful to add, “Damn, that’s good, Jungkookie.”
Jungkook stuffs French toast into his own mouth to keep from making noises, because fuck, being praised for his cooking always makes him happy, but those words coming from Kim Namjoon are making him think of something else entirely.
Yep. Definitely not going to survive the summer.
Hope you enjoyed the first chapter! Let me know your thoughts, fam!
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