“I saw that.”
“You saw nothing.”
“You literally could not have been more obvious.”
“I don’t know, hyung.” Jeongguk rips the pastry in half, offering the bigger piece to Seokjin. “I think your eyes are failing you in your old age.”
Seokjin rolls his eyes. “If you want something, just tell me. You don’t have to take it off my plate.”
“Food tastes so much better when it’s stolen from you.”
Seokjin puts the pastry back on Jeongguk’s plate and stands, moving behind the counter to grab a cupcake out of the display. He puts the cupcake on Jeongguk’s plate.
“There.” Seokjin says. “Now I don’t have to feed you for a week.”
“Noooo,” Jeongguk whines. “I am but a poor college student. My mom will never forgive you if you let me starve. Gureum will never forgive you.”
“Fine, but only because of your dog.”
Jeongguk grins, winking quickly before he digs into the pastry. Seokjin’s break ends after a few more minutes and he takes his place behind the counter again as the afternoon rush picks up. Jeongguk doesn’t have any classes today, but Taehyung and Yoongi were having their date night so the apartment would be covered with roses or lit candles or whipped cream on the bed and Jeongguk really did not want to see that. He could probably call Jimin, but there was always the chance Jimin would spend the entire afternoon asking how Namjoon and Hoseok couldn’t notice his flirting.
He doesn’t mind hanging around the small cafe Seokjin worked at. It was a nice place, nestled on the third floor of a building on a busy street near Jeongguk’s university. He’d found the cafe in his first year of university after leaving the library when a group of students decided they weren’t going to be silent in the silent room, and Seokjin had taken pity on him, sleep-deprived and cram studying for an exam. He gave Jeongguk a cup of the best hot chocolate Jeongguk had ever tasted in his life and refused to take any money for it. Later that month, after Jeongguk had made it a habit of going to the cafe anytime he needed to study, Taehyung brought Jimin and Jeongguk to meet his boyfriend, and Jeongguk met Seokjin properly as Yoongi’s roommate.
Jeongguk always gave his seat up if the cafe got busy and ran out of tables, and Seokjin didn’t know it, but Jeongguk had been putting his extra change in the tip jar when Seokjin wasn’t looking to pay for the hot chocolate. He’d paid for it four years ago, but his extra change always goes to the tip jar.
The cafe stays steady for a few hours, most people coming in for a few cupcakes or pastries, college students ordering coffees with shots of espresso to get them through the night. A woman speaks with Seokjin for almost an hour about an elaborate cake she wants to order for her son’s birthday.
Jeongguk loses track of the time as he works on one of his papers, only realizing the cafe had cleared out for the night when Seugkwon, one of Seokjin’s coworkers, starts sweeping the floor.
“Shit,” Jeongguk slams his laptop shut. “I’ll go.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Seungkwon says. “Seokjin’s cleaning things down in the back, but he’ll be out soon.”
On nights like these, when Seokjin closes up the cafe and Jeongguk forgets he’s not supposed to stay so late, Jeongguk always helps clean up. Seokjin and the other workers will tell him over and over again that he doesn’t have to help, that he’s not in the way and not a bother, but Jeongguk doesn’t mind. Plus whenever he helps, the shop closes faster and Jeongguk gets to spend more time with Seokjin.
Seokjin walks out of the back, drying his hands on a towel. He spots Jeongguk and smiles. “Hungry?”
“Come to mine for dinner.”
Jeongguk waits outside while they count the register and finish locking up for the day, wishing he’d brought a jacket because it was definitely starting to get colder. Seokjin wears his apron beneath his jacket. He hands Jeongguk a container of scones and tarts.
“Extras,” Seokjin says, as they head for the subway. He doesn’t need to explain. Seokjin’s boss let her employees take home any of the extra food that hadn’t been sold by the end of the night, and Seokjin almost always gave Jeongguk a container of his own.
The subway is late but Jeongguk doesn’t mind. He talks about school and Seokjin asks about some of his old professors, some of whom Jeongguk has for his classes and some of whom he’s never met and he keeps telling Seokjin he’s not going to go introduce himself to a stranger just to tell said stranger that Seokjin says hi.
Jeongguk finishes the pastries before they even get to Seokjin’s apartment building, trailing behind as Seokjin enters the code and putting his shoes in his designated space.
Jeongguk looks up, following Seokjin’s gaze and finding candles on the table diving a fully prepared meal. Soft music plays from somewhere in the apartment. They share a confused look, glancing back at the table as Jimin comes from the bathroom.
“Oh, good. You’re home.” Jimin beams. “The food was starting to get cold.”
“Did you make this for Taehyung and Yoongi?” Seokjin asks. “It’s not their anniversary. And aren’t they at Taehyung’s apartment?”
“No, fuck them. Yoongi said no to a birthday threesome.”
“Don’t tell me this is another attempt to seduce Hoseok and Namjoon,” Seokjin says dryly. “I’ve already told you that you can’t fuck them in my house.”
“Morons,” Jimin rolls his eyes. “It’s for you two. Now sit down and eat before I eat it all myself.”
Jeongguk sits in the chair Seokjin pulls out for him. “Why did you make us dinner? And what’s with the candlelight.”
“I can’t do something nice for my friends?” Jimin asks.
“Not without an ulterior motive, usually.” Seokjin says. “I’m not helping you with Hoseok and Namjoon.”
“Me neither,” Jeongguk pipes up. “As much as I will marry Namjoon if I’m still single in twenty years, I did not need to see his dick when you-”
“Just! Eat your dinner.”
Seokjin catches Jeongguk’s gaze and rolls his eyes, Jeongguk snickering into his palm before they both pick up their chopsticks. Jimin stands with his back against the counter, watching them both closely. Jeongguk briefly wonders if he’d finally snapped and poisoned their food, but then they wouldn’t have enough people to play a good Among Us game, so he gives up on that idea. Seokjin puts his chopsticks down.
“I can’t eat with you just standing there.” Seokjin says. “Come eat with us.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“Jimin, I’m not eating another bite until you sit down.”
Sighing, Jimin takes a seat at one of the empty chairs and lets Seokjin fix him a plate from the serving dishes in the middle of the table. He gives Jeongguk a dirty look, and Jeongguk looks around to find where he asked, because he definitely hasn’t done anything to warrant that.
They’re honest to god fighting over who should do the dishes- Seokjin saying he’ll do them because Jimin cooked and Jimin saying he’ll do them without giving a reason as to why he doesn’t want Seokjin to stand up- when the door opens to Yoongi and Taehyung.
Jimin perks up. “How many?”
“Four.” Taehyung grins slyly, laughing as Yoongi elbows him in the stomach.
“I thought you guys were staying at our place,” Jeongguk says, as Taehyung plops down on Jimin’s lap and starts to eat.
“We were,” Taehyung agrees. “But Yoongi hyung missed Seokjin.”
“No, you -” Yoongi tugs Taehyung’s ear as he passes to take a free chair. “Burned dinner.”
“Jeongguk, help me with the dishes?”
“How did plan Freud go?” Taehyung is asking as Jeongguk starts to clear the plates.
“Damn. Back to the drawing board.”
Jeongguk falters as Seokjin rolls his sleeves up, staring at sarm (Seokjin Arm) until Seokjin hands him a plate to dry. Jeongguk resolutely does not think about how much he loves mundane little tasks like this, washing dishes or folding laundry or helping move the furniture around so Seokjin can vacuum underneath everything on the day he deep cleans the apartment. It’s so bare minimum, loving someone because they look sexy cleaning the dishes, but Jeongguk can’t help it. He thinks Seokjin could wear a trashbag and still look sexy as fuck.
“How far do you think we’d get if we ran?”
Jeongguk hums. “Remember when Jimin tried to wake up early to buy Taehyung’s birthday present and Taehyung woke up across the city and met him outside the store? We wouldn’t get far.”
“Damn.” Taehyung opens the fridge, dancing out of the way of the water Seokjin splashes at him. “Go away. You’re not allowed in my kitchen after what you and Yoongi did.”
Taehyung grins. “Relax, we’ve done worse in the bathroom. We want brownies.”
“I don’t have any weed.”
“How dare you assume I would taint the sanctity of a delicious brownie with your devil leaves.” Taehyung pauses. “And Jimin already offered his.”
Jeongguk spends the night squished between Yoongi and Seokjin on the couch, laughing at Jimin and Taehyung trying to recreate the way they met so many years ago. A whole meet cute. Taehyung’s dog had gotten off his leash in the rain and ran up to Jimin. Jeongguk had honestly thought they would end up together, but the two of them swore up and down that their string was a nice platonic pink, whatever that meant, and Taehyung and Yoongi got together a few years later.
Speaking of Yoongi. Jeongguk gets sleepy when he’s high, so after a quick shower using Seokjin’s body wash and shampoo and a long peruse of Seokjin’s silk pajama sets, Jeongguk crawls into Yoongi’s bed and cuddles up next to Yoongi. Taehyung tries to kick him out but Yoongi’s always had a soft spot for Jeongguk, so Taehyung crowds in anyway even though the bed was far too small for three people.
“If we were both frogs would you let me sit on your lily pad?”
“Why are we both frogs?” Yoongi asks, his head down on the table.
Taehyung strokes his fingers through Yoongi’s hair. “Just answer the question.”
“Hey, Jeongguk?” Seokjin calls over the counter.
“You can drown.”
“That was your first mistake.”
“It’s okay, Jeongguk-ah.” Yoongi blindly grapples for Jeongguk’s hand. “You can share my lily pad.”
Jeongguk throws a balled up piece of paper at Seokjin. “At least Yoomfi hyung loves me.”
“I pay him to.”
“What about me?” Taehyung drapes his body over Yoongi’s. “You’ll kick me off your lily pad for Jeongguk? He’d make a terrible frog.”
“Fuck you, I’d make a great frog.”
“Okay, none of this is helping my art block.” Yoongi tries to sit up, but he’s held down by Taehyung’s weight. “Tae, baby. I need to get up.”
“No, you had to leave early this morning. I want more cuddles.”
“Baby, I have a client soon.”
Taehyung begrudgingly lets Yoongi up, pursing his lips for a kiss before Yoongi turns back to his sketchbook. Yoongi’s client was a girl coming in to get the last of her sleeve tattoos done, and she’d already gone through the design fully with Yoongi, but he was always trying to sketch out new ideas for new and returning clients.
The shop Yoongi worked at was tucked away on a side street, nondescript outside but bright on the inside. Most of the people who came in for tattoos or piercings knew of the place through word of mouth or the agonizing process of messaging the page on Instagram and setting up an appointment and only receiving the address of the shop a few hours before the appointment.
Jeongguk sits at one of the tattoo stations with his own sketchbooks. Seokjin was behind the front counter, answering the phone if it rang because the girl who worked there called out sick. Yoongi’s station was the room in the back, but as long as Jeongguk didn’t open any of the needles or ink, he was allowed to sit in any of the open stations to draw.
Jeongguk wasn’t majoring in art, but he’d always been drawn to it. Yoongi had caught him sketching a few months ago and asked if he could hang some of them up in the shop as possible tattoos for customers. Jeongguk had been hesitant, but his friends encouraged it and Jeongguk would get a cut of the cost of the tattoo anytime one of his designs was chosen, so he’d agreed.
One of his pieces was chosen almost immediately as Yoongi tattooed one of them on his forearm with a few others. Jeongguk loves it, loves looking at it, and thinks if he wasn’t already so grossly in love with Seokjin he might be in love with Yoongi for it.
Yoongi’s client shows up a little late and apologizes furiously, but Yoongi tells her not to worry. Seokjin tugs on his coat, and tosses Jeongguk his hoodie.
“Are you staying?” Seokjin asks.
“Yeah,” Taehyung plays a game on his phone. “We have dinner plans.”
“Should I stay out of the apartment tonight?” Jeongguk asks.
“Unless you want to hear some very colorful swear words, I’d recommend it.”
Jeongguk makes a face and follows Seokjin out of the shop. The evening is chilly, and they pass several groups of friends heading to bars or out for dinner..
Seokjin looks at him as they wait for the bus. “Do you have any assignments to do?”
“What are you, my dad?”
“I could be. You don’t know the inner workings of time travel.”
“You’re so weird.”
“That’s no way to speak to your father.”
Jeongguk laughs, throwing his arm around Seokjin’s neck to pull him into a selfie. He gets a message from Jimin as he’s editing the picture with several emojis before he posts it to his Twitter. “Jimin hyung wants us to go play laser tag.”
Groaning, Seokjin pays both their fares on the bus before Jeongguk can reach for his t-money card. “I have to open at the cafe tomorrow.”
“Just one game?” Jeongguk asks, putting on his best pout.
“Fine. One game.”
They get to the laser tag arena as Jimin, Hoseok, and Namjoon are just finishing putting their own vests on. Most of the people there were far younger than them, and Jeongguk can see the life physically drain from Seokjin when he realizes that.
“Jesus fuck.” Jimin tosses each of them a vest, ignoring the scandalized look that a mom sends his way. “What took you so long?”
“Blame the public transportation system,” Jeongguk says.
“I’ll be sure to mention it in my diary tonight. You guys are on our team.”
Jeongguk has no idea how Jimin managed to skew the teams so that it’s a bunch of college students and a graduate against kids, but he does it. Jimin ditches them as soon as the buzzer goes off, and Jeongguk feels no remorse as he dives and rolls across the floor, climbing halfway up the blocks and walls that are set up throughout the room. Kids aim at him and Jeongguk flips over them, laughing maniacally.
The first round is an easy win, but they let the kids win in the second round. Jeongguk loses track of Jimin early in the third round, then he can’t find Namjoon, and as a kid shoots him once out of the three lives they each get, he realizes he can’t see Hoseok, either. Frowning, Jeongguk takes refuge behind a couple large blocks.
He sees Seokjin across the room, weaving through the kids before he climbs over one of the blocks and away from the kids. Seokjin spots Jeongguk, and crawls to close the distance between them.
“I can’t see Jimin or the others,” Jeongguk says, as Seokjin sits next to him.
“Me neither,” Seokjin says. “And there’s no way Jimin would lose to children.”
Jeongguk glances around the edge of the block, jerking back as one of the kids tries for a head shot. “We’re pinned.”
“This is not how I wanted to go,” Seokjin laments. “I want to die sucking Gordon Ramsey’s dick or I’m not dying at all.”
Jeongguk falters. “Why Gordon Ramsey?”
“So I can tell him the meat’s underdone.”
“Yeah, I’m gonna go die to the kids now.”
“Jeongguk, wait.” Seokjin takes his hand, waiting until Jeongguk looks at him. His skin is sweaty from exertion, their chests heaving and breath mingling in the space between them. Jeongguk’s fingers itch to brush the hair away from Seokjin’s forehead, their faces so close that he’d only need to lean forward a tiny bit to kiss him- “If you don’t come back, I’m taking your Ryan figurine.”
“Oh, no you don’t. That’s going to Namjoon’s and my daughter.”
“I’m taking it anyway just for that comment.”
Jeongguk shifts his weight to his feet and crouches. “On three.”
They put up a valiant effort, but they’re heavily outnumbered by tiny children with runny noses who cough with their mouths open and look like they won’t hesitate to bite ankles, so it doesn’t take long until they’re both hit three times and the match comes to an end.
“I’m gonna kill Jimin,” Seokjin says as they’re returning the equipment. Despite his words, he kneels to help one of the boys tie his shoes and zip his jacket and Jeongguk just fucking short circuits right there in the hallway.
Jimin and the others are waiting outside the building sharing some tteokbokki from a nearby vendor. Jimin grins when he spots them. “Well?”
“Well, we lost.” Seokjin takes the tteokbokki and hands it to Jeongguk. “No thanks to you losers.”
“What? No, who the fuck cares.” Jimin presses, “ Well? ”
“Well what? ” Jeongguk asks around a mouthful of food. “I’m pretty sure three of those kids sneezed on my face and one of them called me dad.”
“Don’t think it worked, Min.” Namjoon laughs. “Back to the drawing board.”
Jimin groans. “I hate it here.”
“Jimin hyung, can I stay at yours tonight? Taehyung and Yoomfi hyung are defiling the apartment again.”
Jimin perks up. “Why don’t you spend the night with Seokjin?”
“He has to be up early to open the cafe.”
“So, I’m not interested in being woken before dawn.”
“Fair,” Jimin agrees. “Yeah, come to mine. I need help waxing my ass, anyway.”
“Please tell me he’s joking,” Seokjin begs.
“Hey, I got your text. What’s up?” Seokjin sits across from Jeongguk at the small table he’d claimed when he finished his classes hours ago and had been sitting with his head down for some time.
“Can we get hot pot?” Jeongguk asks, his voice muffled by his books.
“That’s what your emergency text was about?”
“Let me see what you’re working on.” Seokjin is gentle as he takes the textbooks from beneath Jeongguk’s head. He looks for only a second before he slams them shut. “Yup, we’re getting hot pot.”
“You have to stand up so we can get there.”
It takes all of Jeongguk’s strength to lift his head off the table, blinking when his books and laptop are gone and he briefly wonders if someone came by and stole all his stuff, but he sees Seokjin zipping his backpack shut. He tries to take his bag back as they leave but Seokjin won’t hand it over, simply takes the scarf from his own neck and wraps it around Jeongguk’s neck while berating him for not dressing warmer.
The restaurant is warm and the table they sit at is tucked in the corner, Seokjin ordering for both of them because they come here so often they know exactly what to get. Jeongguk doesn’t want to think about anything other than cooking his veggies and the crazy amount of meat Seokjin ordered for them to share.
“How are your classes going?”
Jeongguk shrugs, dipping his meat in some sauce. “You know. Soul sucking as always.”
“Right.” Seokjin puts some veggies in Jeongguk’s soup. “You should take a break.”
“Midterms are coming up.”
“That doesn’t mean you can’t take a break.”
Jeongguk laughs quietly, taking a drink of his soda. “I appreciate the thought, hyung. But I have to pass and this economics class is kicking my ass.”
“Then I’ll help you study.”
“You don’t know economics.”
Seokjin raises an eyebrow. “I’m planning on opening my own cafe, Koo. You think I could do that without researching economics? I majored in business.”
“Right.” Jeongguk stares at his soup. He knew that already. He’d offered some years ago to be Seokjin’s first employee if need be, and told Seokjin he wouldn’t even need to be paid. Taehyung called him obvious for that, and yet Jeongguk has still not gotten Seokjin’s tongue in his throat. “Sorry, I know. My brain is fried.”
“Do you have any assignments due tomorrow?”
“Uh.” Jeongguk counts the days on his fingers and checks his palm, running through his classes for the rest of the week. “Just one. But it’s a short online quiz for a chapter I read today.”
“You’ll relax after you submit it.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“Because I will literally drown you in the tub if I have to.”
Jeongguk’s cheeks burn and he gives up on protesting because once Seokjin gets his mind on something, it’s next to impossible to contest him. He spends the rest of the meal thinking about what Seokjin meant by threatening to drown him in the tub which only makes him think about being in the tub with Seokjin and whether he’d be allowed to touch-
Nope. Jeongguk shakes his head and shoves a large piece of meat into his mouth to try and dispel the thoughts. His crush could easily be hidden, but not if he sits there and daydreams about taking a bath with Seokjin.
Seokjin pays before Jeongguk can offer and carries Jeongguk’s backpack to the subway, his hand on Jeongguk’s shoulder to push him to sit on the couch once they get to the apartment.
“Do your quiz.” Seokjin hands over his backpack. “I’ll draw a bath.”
Jeongguk finishes his quiz with only a minor breakdown over his place in the universe, flopping onto his side and thinking he could fall asleep like this. Seokjin pokes him out of his doze.
“Go away, the sweet release is calling me.”
“Oh, no. You’re not getting out of this existence before me.” Seokjin pokes him again. “Come on, your bath is getting cold.”
Jeongguk thought that was just a joke, but he follows Seokjin to the bathroom. The bath is drawn, steam emanating from the water, and it’s covered in bubbles and a bath bomb Seokjin says he stole from Yoongi. He puts some towels next to the sink and plays soft music from a bluetooth speaker.
“Hyung, I just need a nap-”
Seokjin grabs the hem of Jeongguk’s shirt and tugs it over his head.
Jeongguk straight up squeaks , grabbing his shirt and shoving Seokjin out of the bathroom. Seokjin just laughs from outside, and Jeongguk wonders if his crush would go away if he murdered Seokjin.
He briefly contemplates just sitting on the floor for a little while, but the bath does look inviting and his muscles ache from the gym and carrying the weight of knowing the universe is ever expanding and they’ll never know if it ends. After triple checking that the door was locked, Jeongguk strips out of his clothes and folds them on the counter.
He can’t help the groan that tumbles from his lips as he sinks into the bath, submerging himself almost entirely. The water is hot enough to be slightly uncomfortable, but Jeongguk quickly adjusts to it. The bath bomb smells nice and Jeongguk sighs, tipping his head back.
Jeongguk would be more than willing to stay in the bath forever and forget about the rest of the world, but unfortunately the water eventually starts to cool and the bath bomb residue sticks to his skin. He ducks his head beneath the water for a few more minutes of warmth before he stands, using the showerhead to rinse the bubbles and soap from his skin. After drying off and running a towel over his hair, Jeongguk finds a pair of Seokjin’s silk pajamas on the floor outside the door.
“Oh, good. You didn’t drown.” Seokjin sets two mugs on the coffee table. “Come here, JK.”
A little sleepy, Jeongguk sits on the floor between Seokjin’s legs with a mug of hot chocolate in his hands. Seokjin uses the hairdryer he must have taken from the bathroom earlier and dries Jeongguk’s hair, his fingers soft as they stroke through the strands.
“Oh, how adorable. Hyung, get my camera.”
“Let them be, Taehyung.”
“No, I don’t think I will.”
Jeongguk mumbles something against Seokjin’s thigh, his head resting there as his eyes droop. Seokjin finishes with his hair but continues playing with it, petting through Jeongguk’s hair as he plays a movie he knows Jeongguk likes.
Taehyung sits on the floor next to Jeongguk, draping a blanket over both of them with a knowing grin on his face. Jeongguk elbows him, but it lacks any real strength.
He doesn’t remember falling asleep, but Jeongguk wakes briefly when Seokjin lightly shakes his shoulder and helps him to his feet. Seokjin guides Jeongguk to his room, pulling back the covers on his bed and bringing them up to Jeongguk’s neck. Jeongguk wants to ask him to stay, but he knows not to cross that line, so instead he watches Seokjin leave with a little wave and falls asleep surrounded by Seokjin’s soft scent.
Jimin bursts through the front door wearing a cape with no shirt. “How much?”
“Sorry?” Jeongguk manages to keep from spilling nail polish on Taehyung’s foot. “Why are you in a cape?”
“What?” Jimin looks down. “Oh. Another failed attempt at seducing Hoseok and Namjoon but that’s not important right now. How much?”
Taehyung sighs, flipping through the book he’d been reading when Jeongguk decided to paint his toenails. “I thought we agreed to wait a couple more years before we did this.”
“I can’t wait that long. The edging is killing me.”
Jeongguk blows gently on Taehyung’s big toe to dry the polish. “What are you two talking about now?”
“Jeongguk.” Jimin drapes his cape over the back of the couch and grabs Taehyung’s discarded hoodie to wear instead. “What will it cost to get you to confess to Seokjin? I’m willing to offer up all the savings I totally didn’t earn by stripping.”
Taehyung laughs, throwing his head back, but Jeongguk doesn’t reply. He knows what Jimin means. He knows that Jimin and Taehyung and the rest of their friends have wanted Jeongguk to confess to Seokjin for months, but he just can’t do it. He’s never been able to even try. Anytime he thinks about confessing to Seokjin, he just thinks about the years between them, how he’s still in university and Seokjin is preparing to open his own cafe. He thinks about Seokjin, whenever the seven of them would get a little drunk and talk about the future, mentioning that he has a type and remembers staring a little miserably at himself in the mirror because he doesn’t look like Seokjin’s type.
He would love to confess. He would love to get it over with, to finally get the words out because sometimes Jeongguk felt on the edge of overflowing. He loved Seokjin. He loved Seokjin like the waves loved the shore, rising up to meet the sand again and again because it just couldn’t get enough.
Jeongguk loved when Seokjin would randomly FaceTime him while making dinner. Loved how Seokjin always seemed to be able to tell when Jeongguk needed a break from everything- whether that meant distracting him from assignments or turning the conversation away from a topic that Jeongguk wasn’t enjoying. There was only one person Jeongguk would wake up early for, and Seokjin always had a muffin ready for him on the days Jeongguk came into the cafe before class.
To him, Seokjin was a role model and an absolute blessing of a best friend. He was there whenever Jeongguk needed him and for whatever reason. Jeongguk had loved him for years and knew there was very little that Seokjin could do to make Jeongguk stop loving him.
But for how resolute Jeongguk was, he also knew that Seokjin didn’t like him back.
“Hyung,” Jeongguk sighs, interrupting Taehyung and Jimin’s bickering. Apparently Taehyung wanted a spring wedding and Jimin didn’t want to get married when his allergies would be kicking his ass. If Jeongguk didn’t know them so well, he’d genuinely think they planned to get married. “I’m not taking your money.”
“So, you’ll do it for free?” Jimin asks. “Fuckin’ finally.”
“No,” Jeongguk grabs the top coat nail polish. “I’m not going to do it at all. Seokjin hyung doesn’t like me that way. I’d rather not get my heart broken, thank you very much.”
Jimin is quiet for a few minutes, looking at Jeongguk with an expression he can’t quite decipher. Jimin is rarely so silent. “You don’t know that your heart will get broken.”
“And you don’t know that it won’t.” Jeongguk tightens the caps on all the nail polish. “I’m perfectly happy just being friends with Seokjin.”
Jimin leans forward on the couch. “But, Jeongguk- where are you going?”
“The cafe. Don’t wait up for me.”
Seokjin is behind the counter when Jeongguk finally gets to the cafe, laughing at something Seungkwon says. His smile widens when he spots Jeongguk, who must look a mess after getting caught in a light snowstorm while walking to the subway.
“Hey, you.” Seokjin greets him over the register. “I wasn’t expecting you tonight.”
“Too many thoughts?”
“Yeah,” Jeongguk sighs. He sits at one of the small tables. “Too many thoughts.”
“Here.” Seokjin slides a plate with a scone onto the table, smiling gently.
“Is it poisoned?”
The cafe stays pretty quiet for the night, so Seokjin spends most of the next few hours sitting across from Jeongguk at the table while Seungkwon works the register. Normally, Jeongguk would protest and urge Seokjin to get back to work, but he’s still thinking about what Jimin said and his heart still hurts a little bit. Maybe it’s greedy, but he wants Seokjin close to him.
Seokjin walks him home after they close up the cafe, once again scolding Jeongguk for only leaving the house in a sweater. Jeongguk argues that it’s not that cold while his nose is red and his hands shake. Seokjin just rolls his eyes, pulls Jeongguk into a long hug, and tells him to get warm inside.
Despite Jeongguk’s words when he left, Taehyung and Jimin are still awake when he gets home. They apologize a dozen times even as Jeongguk reassures them again and again that it’s okay, he forgives them. They still insist on cuddling him.
“You got the text, too?”
“Yeah.” Jeongguk looks from his phone to Seokjin, who looks just as confused as he is. “Where are the others?”
Jeongguk had been leaving the gym when he got a text from Namjoon saying he needed Jeongguk’s help at the park immediately. With a location included, Jeongguk hadn’t even stopped home to drop his gym bag before he arrived at the park. He’d expected to at least see Namjoon, but fifteen minutes later it was still only the two of them.
“Should we… go?” Jeongguk asks.
Seokjin hangs up his phone again. “Namjoon’s not answering. He literally told me he was dying. Now I’m going to look like an asshole if he pulls this shit again and he’s actually dying.”
“Well, I need a shower.”
“Yeah, you do. You reek.”
“Hyung, give me a big, sweaty hug.”
“No.” Seokjin tries to escape, but Jeongguk gets his arms around Seokjin’s body and holds on tight. “Thanks. I will be perishing now.”
The adrenaline from practically running to the park after his workout had all but worn off, and Jeongguk was starting to shiver beneath his sweatpants and zip-up. He wants one of the baths Seokjin makes, but he doesn’t want to ask for it.
Just as the two of them are deciding to leave and hunt down Namjoon for this, Taehyung appears at the entrance to the park. He walks right past them, ignoring their questions. He’s carrying a violin case, and Jeongguk and Seokjin share a confused look as Taehyung opens the case and produces his violin.
He had started taking lessons about a year ago, but he usually practiced when Jeongguk was out of the apartment, so he had no idea what level Taehyung was at. Taehyung starts to play a soft, smooth melody.
“Uh, Taehyung?” Seokjin approaches him, Jeongguk trailing behind. “Mind telling us what’s going on?”
“Just follow the path, hyung.”
Jeongguk glances at the entrance to the park and then to the footpath again. What he’d thought were just some petals that had fallen off nearby flowers turned out to be enough rose petals to line the walkway and guide Seokjin and Jeongguk deeper into the park. Taehyung follows them, playing the song with practiced ease.
“I think it’s finally happened, JK. I think our friends have lost their minds.”
“Who puts this much effort into something like this?”
“Probably Jimin,” Seokjin says. “I’ll bet he asked Taehyung to serenade as does some weird mating ritual and we need to be the witnesses.”
“I’ve seen Jimin’s ass once and that’s more than enough.”
“Are you cold?”
“What?” Jeongguk looks at Seokjin, surprised by the sudden shift in conversation. “I came from the gym. All my sweat cooled.”
“Take my coat.”
“I’ve got two more layers, it’s fine.”
The rose petals lead them to a grassy area within the park, where a picnic is set up on a red blanket. There’s a basket full of fruits and foods, some paper plates, and even a box of chocolate covered strawberries. There isn’t, however, a sign of Jimin, Namjoon, or Hoseok.
Jeongguk turns to Taehyung. “Should we just wait here for Jimin, or…?”
“It’s for you.”
“For us?” Seokjin asks, looking just as confused as Jeongguk. “Why would you guys set this up for us?”
“Just enjoy your meal. I also take requests but I won’t play WAP because it gives me a boner.”
Jeongguk groans. “We should just do it. He once stood outside Jimin’s door for eight hours when, according to him, Jimin’s vibes were off but Jimin didn’t want to talk. There’s no telling how long he’ll keep us here.”
“Fine, but I’m eating all the strawberries.”
Seokjin doesn’t eat them all. They end up sharing the food and the bottle of champagne that was hidden in the basket, offering some champagne and food to Taehyung as the evening draws on and he continues to play for them. Had they not been so engrossed in each other, Jeongguk and Seokjin might have seen Yoongi, Hoseok, Jimin, and Namjoon watching them from behind a few trees, their hopeful looks dissipating as the picnic quickly dissolves into a foodfight.
“Seokjin hyung, what’s a four letter word for ‘peck’?”
“Nice. Jeongguk, what’s a six letter word for ‘somebody’?”
“Uh.” Jeongguk looks around the room, at Taehyung, Jimin, and Yoongi sitting nonchalantly at the table. Seokjin was on the couch with him, the two of them engrossed in a pretty competitive Mario Kart tournament with serious bragging rights on the line. Namjoon sat on the floor, working on a composition, while Hoseok scrolled through his phone. “Person?”
“Perfect. Back to you, hyung. Four letter word for ‘beside’?”
Seokjin hits Jeongguk with a blue shell and passes him. “Next.”
“Right again. Jeongguk, last word. Three letters, opposite of ‘me.’”
“Wow, you guys are just so good -”
“‘Kiss person next you?’” Seokjin recites. “Those are some odd words, let me see that crossword.”
“Nope!” Jimin tosses it to Taehyung, who quickly puts the papers beneath his ass. “Oh, shit. It disappeared.”
Seokjin and Jeongguk share a concerned look as Jimin slams his head onto the table.
“Let’s play spin the bottle.”
“Oh, come on.” Seokjin rolls his head along the back of the couch, resting it on Jeongguk’s shoulder. “That’s so juvenile.”
“Sounds to me like you’re scared.”
“Fuck you. I’m in.”
Jimin looks to Jeongguk. “Koo?”
If Seokjin was in, Jeongguk was definitely in. He probably shouldn’t, because spin the bottle led to kissing and there was always the chance that Jeongguk could spin it and end up kissing Seokjin and then he wouldn’t want to stop kissing Seokjin and then Seokjin would think he was weird and their friendship would end. Or Jeongguk could end up landing on Taehyung, but Taehyung used too much tongue and Jeongguk wasn’t in the mood for that.
The look Jimin fixes on Namjoon and Hoseok as they join everyone on the floor has Jeongguk believing this whole thing is another set up. He looks like he’s one minute away from devouring both of them where they sit. Jeongguk sits between Yoongi and Taehyung and hopes this is all over soon.
Usually when they all get together and drink someone loses their pants and there’s always a good chance of finding one of them trying to summon a demon to get out of an important exam. Tonight, Jimin is surprisingly calm and focused as he spins the bottle and lands on Jeongguk. They settle on a cheek kiss and Jeongguk spins next.
His heart pounds so loudly in his chest he worries that all of his friends can hear it, his gaze fixed on the bottle as he both hopes that the bottle lands on Seokjin and prays that it doesn’t. It lands on Yoongi, who tilts Jeongguk’s head to the side to press a soft kiss to the corner of his mouth.
It goes on like that. Hoseok and Namjoon kiss for so long that Taehyung has to sit between them to break them up. Taehyung lands on Jimin and eagerly cups his face between his hands to kiss him. Yoongi and Seokjin kiss each other’s hands.
Jeongguk spins again, and gets a kiss on the cheek from Namjoon.
“This thing must be broken,” Jimin mutters, after Jeongguk spins for a fourth time and ends up getting another kiss from Yoongi. “Taehyung did you… do the thing?”
“Of course I did the thing,” Taehyung says. He’s sitting behind Yoongi now, wrapping Yoongi in a warm hug. “He must not be spinning it right.”
“Whatever, I’m drinking all the soju.”
“Cool, I’m gonna kiss my super sexy boyfriend.”
Jimin gasps, throwing a discarded plastic cup at Taehyung. “Low blow, bro.”
Snickering, Taehyung pulls Yoongi onto his lap and Namjoon and Hoseok crowd Hoseok’s phone to watch a video. Jeongguk stares at the ceiling and tries to tune out the kissing noises. He wonders if he should just crawl into Yoongi’s bed or if he should call a taxi to go home, when Seokjin leans against the couch with him.
“I made this for you.”
He places something in Jeongguk’s hand. It’s a cookie with Jeongguk’s face decorated in frosting.
“Hyung, this is amazing.”
“You think so?”
“Holy shit, yeah.”
“I want to sell them when I open my place.” Seokjin touches Jeongguk’s wrist. “Maybe not with people’s faces, but designs and stuff.”
“I almost don’t want to eat it.”
“You better eat it. I spent way too long on that recipe for it to be wasted.”
Jeongguk ends up breaking the cookie in half and offering one piece to Seokjin. Their friends get more and more drunk as the night goes on, but Jeongguk is content to sit against the couch with Seokjin and sketch out some of the ideas he has for cookies.
“Confess to Seokjin.”
“You want to confess to Seokjin.”
“You will confess to Seokjin.”
“I will give you five hundred dollars to confess to Seokjin.”
“You don’t have five hundred dollars.”
“Damn, you don’t have to be so loud about it.”
“Taehyung, what are you doing?”
“Trying to hypnotize Jeongguk into confessing to Seokjin.”
Yoongi crosses the room and takes the stopwatch that Taehyung had been dangling in front of Jeongguk’s face. He looks a little annoyed to have found them in his room in the tattoo shop, but neither of them had touched any of his supplies or needles. Jeongguk had only wanted to sketch out a few new ideas when Taehyung found him there.
Pocketing the watch, Yoongi turns on his heel and takes Taehyung’s face in his hands. “Taehyung, baby. Light of my life. I know you want to help, but you guys have to stop with all this…” He pauses, glancing at Jeongguk. “Extra stuff. If Jeongguk doesn’t want to confess, he doesn’t have to.”
“This is why Yoomfi hyung is my favorite.” Jeongguk says, shading part of the pattern he’d been working on.
“After everything I did for you?” Taehyung holds a hand to his heart, wounded. “I birthed you from my own loins and this is how you repay me.”
Jeongguk splutters. “Stop saying that!”
“Are these new designs?” Yoongi asks, looking through the papers Jeongguk had scattered over his desk. “They’re really amazing.”
“Thanks, hyung. I like the snake the best.”
“I still think you should quit that business major and just come work here with me,” Yoongi says. “Who needs business, I’ll provide for you.”
Taehyung gasps. “What about me? ”
“You can be there too, I guess.”
Taehyung puts on his best pout, but breaks easily as Yoongi coos over him and presses kisses to the top of his head until Taehyung laughs and bats him away. Yoongi has to move them around a bit to start preparing for an appointment.
“I appreciate that,” Jeongguk says. “But I could never be a tattoo artist. Knowing that whatever I put on someone’s skin will stay there forever is way too much pressure.”
“You should let me tattoo you, hyung.” Taehyung uses his legs to spin his chair. “I’ll put a picture of my ass on your ass.”
“We’re breaking up.”
The door to Yoongi’s studio slams open and makes all of them jump. Yoongi drops his ink and curses loudly. Seokjin stands in the doorway, his eyes wide and chest heaving.
“Suran said…” Seokjin pants, looking at each of them in turn. “She said Yoongi was piercing Jeongguk’s nipples back here.”
“Well,” Yoongi says slowly. “I’m not.”
“You sure look excited to see Jeongguk’s nipples, hyung.” Taehyung leans forward in his chair, a grin on his lips.
“I-I’m not,” Seokjin pauses. “I was coming to preserve Jeongguk’s innocence.”
“Innocence,” Taehyung snorts. “If you saw even half of his toy drawer at the apartment-”
Jeongguk leaps out of his chair, tackling Taehyung to the ground before he can finish his sentence. Taehyung screeches, trying to crawl away, but Jeongguk has him pinned pretty easily.
“Jeongguk, please don’t kill my boyfriend.”
“So you’re not getting your nipples pierced?” Seokjin asks.
Jeongguk tries not to read too much into his tone, tries not to delude himself into thinking Seokjin sounds disappointed that he won’t get to see Jeongguk with a needle through his nipple.
“Fuck, no.” Jeongguk sits on Taehyung, Taehyung shouting about being the hyung and demanding respect, blah blah. “That shit hurts.”
“Right.” Seokjin runs a hand through his hair. “Right, well. Um. Lunch? Want to get lunch?”
“I’m coming, too.” Taehyung brushes the dirt off his shirt and pants. “You owe me after nearly murdering me in cold blood.”
Taehyung chases him out of the shop, both of them pausing to bow to Suran before they leave, Seokjin following behind with an amused expression.
On the day when Seokjin works the morning shift, Jeongguk will meet him at the cafe after his classes are done. He should really stay in the library today to study for his last midterm, but he looks forward to this extra meeting with Seokjin every week. So Jeongguk packs up his things and loops his scarf around his neck because Seokjin threatened to kick his ass if he didn’t start dressing properly for the weather.
The subway is crowded with exhausted uni students and young children babbling excitedly to their parents. The cafe was the opposite way from the university to Jeongguk’s apartment, but he didn’t mind the extra time on the subway or the longer walks so long as Seokjin was there with him.
Jeongguk tugs his mask and hat on as the subway reaches his stop, taking the stairs two at a time. He spots Seokjin easily, as Seokjin is leaving the cafe and waving back to his coworkers. He carries a small box that Jeongguk knows contains pastries that he paid for because it’s too early to be taking the ones that didn’t sell for the day.
He sees Jeongguk and a grin spreads over his cheeks.
Jeongguk can’t wait. He jogs across the street and weaves through the people on the sidewalk to get to Seokjin faster.
“Hey, you.” Seokjin looks tired but glad to see him, his cheeks pink from the cold. “Hope you’re hungry.”
They fall into step together, Jeongguk munching on the pastries and listening with his entire body as Seokjin talks about his day.
The front door opens and shuts but Jeongguk doesn’t move from his cocoon of blankets. The day was cold with snow, so Jeongguk had wrapped himself in blankets and queued up several movies and had no plans to move for the rest of the day. He deserved it after finishing his midterms, so he’d ignored the texts from Jimin asking to meet up and pulled the blankets over his head.
He expects to hear Taehyung or Jimin, but whoever was here was quiet. Jeongguk briefly wonders if this is how he’ll be murdered, but all of them had the codes to each other’s apartments. There was a list of six names before the possibility of murder.
His bedroom door creaks open. “Jeongguk-ah?”
“Seokjin hyung?” Jeongguk pokes his head out of his blankets. “What are you doing here?”
“Do I need a reason to visit my favorite dongsaeng?”
“I don’t have any food.”
“I’ll order us something tonight.” Seokjin shuts the door with a soft noise. “Got room in there for one more?”
Jeongguk scoots over from the middle of the bed, pulling down the covers so Seokjin can join. He’s freezing from his time spent outside, and Jeongguk hisses as Seokjin presses his cold toes and cold fingers to Jeongguk’s sides.
“I’ll cut your fingers off,” Jeongguk threatens, trying to escape the cold touch.
“Then how will I make cookies with your face on them?”
“Sounds like a you problem.”
Seokjin laughs, lying on his side next to Jeongguk. “I just got caught in another one of Jimin’s elaborate seducing schemes.”
“Ah,” Jeongguk hums. “That must have been what his text was about. What was it this time?”
“A carriage ride through the park,” Seokjin says dryly. “Neither Hoseok or Namjoon were either there. Why can’t he just talk to them like a normal person?”
“He’s afraid they don’t feel the same way.” Jeongguk says, the words feeling like stones dropped on a still pond.
“It’s clear they care about him,” Seokjin continues. “It’s hard seeing Jimin pine so hard.”
“Yeah,” Jeongguk agrees.
“What are you watching?” Seokjin asks to change the subject, resting his head on his folded hands on the pillow.
Seokjin grins. “To be expected. I’ll admit, you definitely got me to enjoy the Iron Man movies, but the rest of it is just so much. You have to watch thirty movies just to understand one of them? No, thanks. I’ll stick to watching Robert Downey Jr. go through incredible character development-”
Jeongguk closes the distance between them.
Seokjin makes a surprised noise, his lips motionless against Jeongguk.
Pulling back almost immediately, Jeongguk’s cheeks burn as he stumbles over his words. “Shit, sorry. Fuck. Pretend that didn’t happen. Just you talking about the movies, and I just-”
Seokjin’s hand is soft on Jeongguk’s cheek as he pulls him into a gentle kiss. The noise Jeongguk lets out is something akin to a squeak and is embarrassing as fuck, but Seokjin doesn’t seem to mind. His lips are soft and warm against Jeongguk, kissing him until they need to pull back to breathe.
They share a look, Seokjin’s eyes burning with something fierce. And Jeongguk, so full of longing and love for the man in his bed, kisses him again.
He doesn’t hold back this time, putting everything he feels into the kiss. Seokjin meets him easily, recovering from the force and kissing Jeongguk back just as hard. Jeongguk thinks it will end with this, with these few stolen kisses under his bed covers and they’ll never talk about it again, a secret between them that no one needs to know about, but again and again their lips meet, Seokjin’s tongue tracing the seam of Jeongguk’s lips until he opens, allowing Seokjin entrance.
If asked, Jeongguk wouldn’t be able to recall who moved first. One second, there’s a reasonable amount of space between them and in the next second, Seokjin has an arm around Jeongguk’s waist and Jeongguk’s leg wraps around his hip. Jeongguk doesn’t want to think about this moment, doesn’t want to contemplate the meaning behind every touch and every kiss and the soft sighs Seokjin breathes against his lips. He just wants to live in this instant, wants to commit the feel of Seokjin’s lips to memory.
Seokjin shifts his weight, waiting for any response from Jeongguk before he rolls them over to settle between Jeongguk’s legs.
And this. This is a little more real. He could pretend the soft kisses were a beautiful dream, but Seokjin is warm on top of him, his weight a delicious pressure, and Jeongguk feels dizzy as he runs his hands over Seokjin’s shoulders. This is how far it will go, Jeongguk tries to reassure himself.
He lets out a whine as Seokjin breaks the kiss, earning a soft smile and a kiss to his cheek. Instead, Seokjin drags his lips across Jeongguk’s jaw and to his neck, paying particular attention to a spot that makes Jeongguk’s hips kick and a moan fall from his lips. Their hands meet as Seokjin moves to tug off Jeongguk’s shirt, pulling his own off when Jeongguk asks.
They kiss again, Seokjin’s skin warm beneath his fingers. Jeongguk has seen him shirtless before, but this is different. This is Seokjin weighing down on him, Seokjin’s chest heaving against his, and Jeongguk’s hands daring to travel down Seokjin’s stomach to tease at the hem of his underwear. The skin disappears beneath Jeongguk’s hands as Seokjin kisses down his chest, his hands and lips drawing soft patterns along Jeongguk’s exposed skin.
Jeongguk can’t help the desperate noise he makes when Seokjin touches the hem of his sweatpants. “Can I?”
Jeongguk shivers a little as Seokjin tugs off his pants and boxers, feeling exposed and small in a way he can’t get enough of. Seokjin notices, adjusting the blankets around them as he traverses further down Jeongguk’s body. After a tantalizing, achingly long few minutes spent marking up his thighs, Seokjin pauses.
“Is this okay?”
Jeongguk looks down at him, hovering over Jeongguk’s hard cock and Jeongguk feels helpless. “Of course.”
Seokjin’s mouth is warm and wet around Jeongguk, taking him in deep and then sucking at the tip. Jeongguk fists his hands in the sheets, eyes glued to Seokjin because he doesn’t want to miss a single second of this, is still convinced this might be a dream because he truly can’t believe Seokjin is sucking his dick. It feels like everything Jeongguk has ever wanted, and he never wants this moment to end.
Just as Jeongguk can feel his release building in his gut, his body tensing and arms shaking, Seokjin pulls off. He smirks knowingly at the sound Jeongguk lets out. “You want to just do this? You can come in my mouth.”
“I want you,” Jeongguk blurts out, before he can rethink the words.
Seokjin looks surprised, licking his lips. “Are you sure? We don’t have to.”
“I want to,” Jeongguk reassures him. He laces his fingers in Seokjin’s hair to tug him into a kiss. “I’m sure.”
“Have you done this before?”
Jeongguk rolls his eyes. “I’ve had a boyfriend.”
“I am just checking, no need to get snippy.”
“How can I not-” Jeongguk tries to thrust up into the hold Seokjin has on his cock, all to no avail. “When you’re taking forever to fuck me?”
Seokjin just laughs, pressing a kiss to the tip of Jeongguk’s nose. He finds lube and condoms in Jeongguk’s dresser, thankfully avoiding the drawer that Taehyung had warned him about. Jeongguk shakes his head. He absolutely does not want to be thinking about Taehyung right now. Seokjin tugs his own pants and boxers off before rejoining Jeongguk on the bed, the two of them falling into an easy kiss as they settle together.
Despite Jeongguk’s words, Seokjin is slow and methodical as he fingers Jeongguk open. He continuously asks if Jeongguk is okay, if it’s too much, or if he’s hurting at all. Jeongguk assures him again and again that he’s fine, he knows what he likes and he’ll tell Seokjin if something doesn’t feel right, but still Seokjin takes his time adding fingers until he’s got three of them curling inside of Jeongguk and pressing insistently against his prostate.
Seokjin pauses again after he rolls on the condom, staring into Jeongguk’s eyes. He brushes the hair out of Jeongguk’s eyes, whispering, “Hey.”
“Hey yourself.” Jeongguk throws his arms around Seokjin’s shoulders. “You gonna fuck me anytime soon? I’m not getting any younger here.”
Jeongguk snorts, spreading his legs further as Seokjin lines up at his entrance. He had a remark on the tip of his tongue but it died as Seokjin pushed in, his cock stretching Jeongguk more than his fingers had. It takes a few minutes for Jeongguk to adjust, Seokjin kissing him and whispering sweet words to him.
“Good?” Seokjin asks, his arms straining where they’re propped on either side of Jeongguk’s head.
“Good. You can move.”
Seokjin kisses him as he builds a pace that has Jeongguk moaning, throwing his head back as he matches Seokjin’s movements. In his loneliest moments, Jeongguk has imagined this. He’s imagined what it would be like if he was ever lucky enough to have Seokjin like this, but not even his fantasies could have prepared him for this. Seokjin’s thrusts are even and deep, hitting his prostate and making him see stars.
Cursing as Seokjin grips Jeongguk’s thigh and hikes it up his hip to thrust deeper, Jeongguk claws at Seokjin’s back, meeting his thrusts.
His eyes fall shut but every time they do so Jeongguk forces them back open. He doesn’t want to miss a second of this. Seokjin’s hair flops into his eyes, his skin slick with sweat and his breathing uneven against Jeongguk’s neck.
Seokjin drops a hand to Jeongguk’s cock, swallowing down his moan as Jeongguk cries out, his body thrashing from the stimulation. But he doesn’t tell Seokjin to stop, the pleasure thrumming like electricity beneath his veins. He wishes this moment could last forever, wishes he could live here in Seokjin’s arms, feel Seokjin deep inside of him always, kiss Seokjin with everything he is.
His orgasm takes him by surprise as Seokjin strokes him off, biting hard on Seokjin’s bottom lip as he spills white between their bodies. He feels Seokjin pause, but he wraps his arms tight around him and encourages Seokjin to keep moving, his body shaking from the overstimulation until Seokjin comes with a moan of his name.
They stay together like that for a few minutes, foreheads pressed together as they come down from their highs. Jeongguk waits as long as he can before he opens his eyes, half expecting Seokjin not to be there and the whole thing to have been an elaborate wet dream, but Seokjin is there. Seokjin is there, wiping the come from Jeongguk’s belly with a discarded shirt. Seokjin is there, kissing Jeongguk’s cheek.
“You can shower first,” Jeongguk says, after a few minutes pass without either of them saying a thing. “If you want.”
Seokjin kisses him softly. “Okay.”
After Seokjin showers and finds some clothes in Jeongguk’s dresser, Jeongguk takes his own shower. He rushes through it and then pauses as he stares at himself in the mirror. He takes in the marks on his neck, pressing them with his fingers, and he smiles.
“Oh. You’re leaving?”
Seokjin is at the door as Jeongguk leaves the bathroom, one foot in a shoe. He looks sheepish, as if caught doing something he shouldn’t be. “I didn’t think you’d want me to stay.”
Jeongguk frowns. “Why not?”
“Friends don’t exactly… do what we just did.”
“Taehyung and Jimin had sex.”
“That was once,” Seokjin says. “And it was before Taehyung and Yoongi got together.”
“So, I just-”
“I like you,” Jeongguk says. He holds onto the towel around his waist and he squares his shoulders, watching the surprise on Seokjin’s face. “A lot. Love you, even. I just… I just wanted you to know, in case this is the end of anything between us.”
“You love me?” Seokjin breathes.
“Yeah. But I know I’m younger and I’m not your type-”
“At the Christmas party a couple years ago. You said your type.”
Seokjin shakes his head, a small smile on his lips. “Jeongguk, that was a joke. A stupid joke between Yoongi, Namjoon, and I. Types are stupid and even if they weren’t, you’re already everything I could ever want.”
“Of course you are.” Seokjin toes off his shoe and moves across the room, closing the distance between them. “Jeongguk, I love you, too.”
“Holy shit .” Jeongguk reaches for Seokjin’s hands and never wants to let go. “I hope you know I’m going to kiss you all the time from now on.”
“I wouldn’t expect anything else,” Seokjin says, as Jeongguk surges onto his toes to kiss him. “Can you please go get dressed?”
“Why? It’s not anything you haven’t seen before.”
“Because you’re sexy and distracting and Yoongi keeps texting to ask when I’ll be home to make dinner.”
Jeongguk laughs, but he kisses Seokjin once more before jogging into his bedroom to change. Seokjin invites him for dinner and they briefly wonder how they’ll go about telling their friends about their relationship.
“If only it was this easy for Jimin,” Jeongguk sighs, sitting on the floor to tie up his shoes.
“Maybe we should try to set them up.” Seokjin says, staring down at them. “Make dinner for them and invite them all over.”
Jeongguk laughs quietly. “That sounds a lot like what Jimin was doing to us.”
They both freeze.
“You don’t think…” Seokjin says slowly. “The park, the laser tag. The weird crosswords.”
“Oh, my God.” Jeongguk holds his head in his hands. “They’ve been trying to set us up together this whole time? ”
“I’m just upset we didn’t figure it out sooner.” Seokjin helps him to his feet. “We should mess with them. Maybe you should burst into tears the next time Jimin tries something with us.”
“Honestly?” Jeongguk intertwines their fingers. “I think the simple act of me kissing you would send Jimin hyung into cardiac arrest.”
“Sounds hilarious. I’m in.”
They walk to the subway with their hands interlocked, scheming together for how to get back at their friends for the months of awkward meetups and (in hindsight) completely obvious date opportunities.
“Hey, Jimin hyung?”
“What’s up, Jeongguk?”
“I’m thinking about asking this girl in my economics class out on a date. How do you think I should do it?”
Jimin shares a look with Taehyung. Before, Jeongguk wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but now that it’s been a few days since he and Seokjin got together and they know what their friends had been trying to do, every stolen look means something different. Even Namjoon and Hoseok look a little concerned.
Jimin clears his throat. “What about Seokjin hyung?”
Jeongguk makes a show of sighing deeply, sagging so far on the couch that he slips down onto the floor. “Nothing’s ever going to happen with him. Might as well try with someone else, right?”
“You should still try with Seokjin,” Taehyung says quickly. “You can- you can go horseback riding. Or invite him to movie night at our place.”
“You never want to have movie night at our place,” Jeongguk says.
Taehyung pays that no mind. “I’ll make you special cookies!”
“Sorry we’re late.” The door opens, Seokjin and Yoongi walking through. “Yoongi took forever at the flower stand.”
“I wanted the perfect bouquet for Taehyung,” Yoongi grumbles. “Sue me.”
Jeongguk stands up, doing his best to hide his grin as he approaches Seokjin. After putting the groceries down, Seokjin gets his arms around Jeongguk’s waist and meets him for a kiss.
There’s complete silence behind them when they break apart.
Yoongi is the first to speak. “When did you guys figure it out?”
“A few days ago,” Seokjin replies, holding Jeongguk close. “You guys were so fucking obvious.”
“And yet, it still took you months.” Namjoon replies.
“When did this happen?” Jimin demands. “Because I swear if I paid all that money for the magician last month-”
“Only a couple days,” Jeongguk assures him.
“Damn.” Taehyung melts into the couch. “Now what am I supposed to do with my time?”
“Focus on our relationship?” Yoongi suggests.
“Too unrealistic, stick to BDSM like the rest of us.” Taehyung sighs, quickly kissing Yoongi’s cheek as a thanks for the flowers. “I guess I could start scheming to make Namjoon and Hoseok realize Jimin’s in love with them- oops.”
“I’ll kill you,” Jimin hisses.
Jeongguk hides his laugh in his palm, Seokjin’s fingers in their hair as Namjoon and Hoseok share a look. Taehyung tries to hide behind Yoongi and Jimin looks about two seconds away from running away from all of them.
“You…” Hoseok says slowly, looking from Namjoon to Jimin. “You actually like us? We thought this was all just an elaborate way to ask for a threesome.”
Jimin cracks his knuckles. “Well, I mean. It would be a threesome, technically. But a love threesome.”
“You really love us?” Namjoon asks.
“Yeah,” Jimin sighs. “Yeah, I really do.”
Hoseok groans. “Why didn’t you just say so?”
“What?” Jimin looks at Taehyung, who provides a very unhelpful thumbs-up. “What are you saying?”
“We’re saying we’ve liked you for ages,” Namjoon says. “We just thought you only wanted sex.”
“I want sex,” Jimin agrees. “But I want everything else that comes with it. I love you guys, and I want to be with you.”
“Oh, Jimin.” Hoseok lunges across the floor to take Hoseok’s hands. “We can talk about the details when we’re alone but, of course. We love you.”
“I think this calls for a celebratory dinner,” Seokjin says. Taehyung is cheering and playing We Are The Champions from his phone as Jimin, Namjoon, and Hoseok share careful kisses. “Help me in the kitchen, JK?”
Jeongguk nods. “Of course.”
Jeongguk rocks onto his toes to press a lingering kiss to Seokjin’s lips, the two of them working together to start dinner as their friends laugh behind them. And maybe Jeongguk does a little more staring at Seokjin’s forearms and stealing kisses instead of cooking, but no one needs to know.