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Lost and Found

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 “Hi,” Jungkook greets the maître d’ with a hesitant smile, his soft, black suit jacket folded across his arm. “I’m here for a reservation under the name of Jung Hoseok?”

“Oh,” she smiles as if the name rings a bells, nodding at Jungkook, before sliding open the doors to the restaurant. “Right this way, sir, he’s been waiting for you.”

“Thank you,” Jungkook murmurs, following a step behind the sure-footed woman, her heels making soft indents into the carpet under her feet as she strides forward with purpose. His gaze shifts from the floor to the surroundings, and his gaze flickers over to the expanse of people sitting in the ambient restaurant.

“Your reservations are for the rooftop restaurant. Would you like to take the elevator?” The woman asks, turning back to glance at Jungkook and his gaze jumps from the couple he’s walking by over to the woman in front.

“The stairs will be alright,” he tells her softly and she nods her head, smiling.

“Right this way, sir,” the woman turns left, and Jungkook sees a large spiral staircase come into view. Jungkook grips the railing tightly as they ascend up the stairs, the familiar feeling of dread settling in his stomach as he gets closer and closer to the top level. The nervous feeling in Jungkook’s stomach intensifies once they reach the final step, and he takes a deep breath, willing himself to be calm.

He eyes the patrons seated in the plush chairs, hearing light laughter to his right mixed with the clinking of wine glasses. He turns his head to look around, spotting a man sitting all by himself at a cozy, candle-lit table for two right by the window. The man’s wearing a dark coloured suit, body twisted as he looks out the window, and Jungkook glances at him from head to toe, taking in black, coiffed up hair, the stormy expression on the man’s face, and the long slender fingers that come out to scratch at his jaw lightly.

Something stirs in the pit of his stomach as the woman continues to lead him in the man’s direction, and Jungkook knows that he’s the one. He watches the man glance down at his watch, before turning to sit properly, gaze forward as he looks at the seat in front of him. Jungkook takes note of his features for the first time, taking in the pink, heart shaped lips, the slender nose, and the dark, almond shaped eyes that seem to be lined with the slightest hints of kohl.

The man, Hoseok, glances up as the woman and Jungkook approach his table, his gaze flitting briefly towards the woman, before resting on Jungkook. He almost freezes in his tracks, halting where he is, but something in his body makes him move forward and Jungkook can’t be gladder. He meets the other man’s curious stare, stiffening a little as the man blatantly eyes him up and down once, before glancing back at the woman as they reach the table.

“Your guest is here, sir,” the woman smiles, motioning forward for Jungkook to sit. “I’ll send somebody your way in a few minutes once you’re settled and ready to order.”

“Please do, thank you,” the man says with a smile, and his voice is deeper than Jungkook expects. It makes Jungkook wants to hear it once more, but he suppresses the urge.

The woman nods her head, before murmuring something that passes right over Jungkook’s head as he lets himself stare at the man in front of his a little, gaze shifting down to the table as soon as the man turns to look at him.

The man clears his throat and Jungkook looks away from the brown of the table up to the owner of the heart-shaped lips.

‘Be confident,’ Jungkook tells himself. ‘Be confident. You’re not just anybody. You’re Jeon Jungkook.’

“I’m Hoseok,” the man says, smiling just the slightest as he extends a hand forward. “Jung Hoseok.”

“Jeon Jungkook,” Jungkook says in reply, eyeing the extended hand, before ignoring the invitation and staring up at Hoseok.

He’s surprised when the man doesn’t scowl at his rudeness, merely letting out a low chuckle, “I know.”

“Mother described you as being sweet and very polite, albeit a little reserved,” Hoseok tilts his head, eyeing him up and down in a way that makes Jungkook break out into goosebumps, but Jungkook’s surprised to find that it’s not out of fear or disgust. “Clearly, she must have been mistaken.”

Jungkook lets out a small snort, looking away briefly, before turning his gaze to stare right at Hoseok. The stare does nothing to unnerve the man in front of him, however, and he’s a little surprised when Hoseok challenges him right back, refusing to break the eye contact. He watches as a slow smirk blooms across Hoseok’s lips, and Jungkook feels something very pleasant burst in the pit of his stomach even as his mind screams at him to be careful as he regards the person in front of him with faint interest. There’s something nice about someone holding his gaze, he thinks, instead of breaking away.

Their little moment is broken when a waiter steps up to their table, “Can I start you two gentlemen off with some wine?”

“Give us five minutes please, there might be no need for the wine,” Jungkook answers confidently, legs crossing at the knee. He takes pleasure in the surprised expression the waiter in unable to mask in time, before he nods, a little hesitant, a little dazed before he leaves.

Hoseok lets out a deep chuckle as the waiter scurries away and Jungkook turns to glance at him, watching him look back at him with something akin to interest. Jungkook’s disappointed at the expression, sighing as he looks out the window. Sometimes…sometimes the problem is that Jungkook’s too good, too enticing, and too attractive. He turns back, schooling his disappointed features, because Hoseok…Jung Hoseok, just like all the others, is also interested in him.

--

“I presume you know why we’re here,” Hoseok speaks up as the boy turns back to face him. There’s something very dissatisfied in the younger man’s gaze and it unsettles him, missing the fire he’s seen in those dark eyes seconds ago.

“I would be a fool to not know,” Jungkook responds quietly, and Hoseok smiles at how soft and smooth the other boy’s voice is.

“Jungkook-ssi,” he tests the name out of his tongue, and watches with glee how quickly the other boy’s head snaps up at his name, eyes a little wide. Hoseok chuckles when the younger looks at him, expression slipping from cool and confident to expose a bit of the real him, “you’re cute.”

There’s a scowl on the younger’s face, and Hoseok sees the fire spring back up when he laughs at his expression, “So would it be too much for me to presume you’re alright with this arrangement?”

“Oh, that’s new,” Jungkook says tilting his head mockingly, a saccharine sweet smile spread across his face, “I’ve never really had people ask me that before.”

Hoseok frowns, taking the expression in, pausing before responding, “Is that a no?”

“Would it matter?” Jungkook raises an eyebrow, before picking up the menu on the table, flipping through it casually as the frown on Hoseok face deepens. He watches the younger boy carefully, watches him fake nonchalance as his eyes drift over the menu, gaze pausing and giving a little approved nod when he spots something of interest. While the younger skims through the entire menu, Hoseok takes the time to observe him from head to toe.

He’s wearing a navy blue suit, the jacket of which is resting across the back of his chair, top two buttons of his white shirt undone. His gaze moves upwards and to the younger man’s face, gaze resting briefly upon cherry red lips, before they shift upwards to his nose and then to his dark eyes. His black bangs are covering his forehead, hair long enough to go past his eyebrows. The holes in both his earlobes hint to piercings and Hoseok’s surprised the boy’s not wearing any at the moment.

“It would matter,” Hoseok says after he’s taken in everything he can, and the boy looks up casually.

“Pardon?”

“I said it would matter. Whether it’s a yes or no, I would much rather…get into a relationship with someone who wants to rather than someone who doesn’t.”

Jungkook gives him an odd look, before a curious look takes over his face, and Hoseok watches him lean forward in anticipation, “Is that so? And if I said no?”

“Then, I’ll look for someone else. You’re not the last person on Earth, Jeon Jungkook. Nor am I dying to have you. So, is it a yes or a no?” Hoseok meets the other’s gaze head on, frowning when the boy lets out a defeated sigh.

“I don’t have a choice,” Jungkook says simply, placing the menu back on the table.

“If you don’t want to say no…” Hoseok gets cut off when the younger glares at him.

“Are you stupid? Do I have to spell it out for you? I said I don’t have a choice. It’s either a yes or a yes,” Jungkook grits his teeth, looking away, eyes angry and Hoseok watches in amusement as one of them twitches.

“And if you had a choice?”

“Then it would be a no. I’m not interested in you,” the answer’s so quick that Hoseok can’t help but feel a little offended.

“Ouch,” he says finally, smiling a little, lips widening when Jungkook snorts and lets loose a small smile of his own.

“Oh, so you do know how to smile,” Hoseok smirks when Jungkook rolls his eyes.

“Contrary to popular belief, I do,” Jungkook says, voice a little softer, and Hoseok can’t help but smile.

The waiter interrupts them before either of them can say anymore, “Are you ready to order?”

--

“If you don’t mind me asking,” Hoseok says a little hesitantly as he slices into his meat. “Why don’t you have a choice?”

Jungkook glances up from his own plate in surprise at that, looking up a little hesitantly, before shrugging, “I just don’t.”

“So if you can’t say no, what would happen if I say no?”

If Jungkook was surprised earlier, he’s even more surprised now as he looks up, staring at Hoseok with wide eyes. He meets the elder’s gaze and wonders briefly if he’s read the man wrong, “Why would you do that?”

“Like I said,” Hoseok takes a sip from his glass. “I would much rather have someone who was willing than someone who was not. It makes things a little easier you know.”

Jungkook ponders over that for a few seconds, before shrugging lightly, “They’ll find someone who won’t ask me if I’m okay with this, then. That’s what’ll happen.”

“How did you manage to avoid the people before me, then?” Hoseok looks curious and Jungkook’s allows himself to smile a little.

“The first one’s business was one the verge of bankruptcy, the second one had a kid, and the third one was a little too loose-moraled even for my dear mother. You’re the fourth, and perhaps the last. They’re confident they’ve found the one.”

“And so if I say no…”

Jungkook interrupts him before he can finish his sentence.

“So, if you say no,” he pauses to dab at his lips with his napkin, “then there will be a fifth and more if things don’t turn out as well as they want.”

“I see,” Hoseok responds quietly. “Do you want me to say no?”

“It doesn’t matter, I’m just a pawn. If not you, then someone else I don’t know,” Jungkook sounds nonchalant, uncaring, and Hoseok frowns, staring at little harder, trying to read the younger a little better.

“Would you prefer someone else over me?”

Jungkook laughs at his statement, looking at him in just the slightest bit of surprise, “You’re all the same to me. If you’re done with the questions and with your decision, I’d like to take my leave.”

“No dessert?” Hoseok asks, taking another sip of his drink.

“What are you offering? Most people’s offer for desserts haven’t been all that tempting,” Jungkook looks at him with a sickening smile and Hoseok’s stomach lurches.

“How does ice cream sound?”

Jungkook fixes him with a look of surprise, “Seriously?”

“Of course, but if you don’t want any, I don’t mind treating just myself.”

“Promise me convenience store ice cream, and we have a deal.”

--

Hoseok pauses briefly at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for Jungkook to fall in step with him, before offering the younger a hand. Jungkook eyes it with the same distaste as he had when they had met before walking past Hoseok.

They walk in sync, side by side, no words spoken between them as the door attendant bows at them before opening the door. Hoseok nods back, giving the attendant a small smile, turning to see Jungkook do the same, bowing his head a little.

“Mind if we take my car? Unless you’re more comfortable with your own?” Hoseok asks as they step outside into the cold autumn air, watching a slight chill run through the younger. He doesn’t offer his jacket in fear of offending the younger, watching the other think a little before nodding.

“I’ll let my driver know to head back home.”

“Of course, we don’t want him to know you’ve about to go eat at a convenience store now, can we?” Hoseok grins when Jungkook lets out a little chuckle, meeting his eyes.

“Sounds like a plan,” Jungkook says softly, and Hoseok watches him call his driver, taking in a soft tone, before turning back to him. “Let’s go?”

Hoseok nods, watching as the valet drives by with his car just at that moment. He takes the keys from the valet who bows at him as he gives him a small tip, before stepping forward to open up the passenger door.

Jungkook chuckles dryly, “And they say chivalry is dead.”

Hoseok laughs as he watches Jungkook slip into the car easily, closing the door shut after the other’s settled in before moving around to the driver’s side.

“Ready?” Hoseok asks as he presses the start button, buckling his seatbelt.

“Yeah,” Jungkook replies, turning to glance at Hoseok as he slips out of the restaurant’s parking lot.

“What?” Hoseok asks as he feels eyes boring into the side of his head, turning to glance at Jungkook who quickly looks away.

“Are you going to say no?” Jungkook asks and Hoseok just barely manages to catch the slight red tinting his cheeks in the darkness of the night.

“Do you want me to say no?” Hoseok throws back.

“That’s not what I asked, but like I said, if not you, then someone else.”

“Well, in that case, I guess it doesn’t really matter what I say, right?”

Hoseok greets Jungkook’s glare with a wide smile of his own, laughing when the younger rolls his eyes and huffs.

--

“Stay in the car, I’ll go get the ice cream. Any preference?” Hoseok asks as they park by a convenience store, the elder unbuckling his seatbelt. He waits, watching as Jungkook purses his lips in thought before shaking his head.

“Chocolate, please.”

“Got it,” Hoseok says with a smile. “I’m leaving the keys in or it’ll make a noise if you stay inside.”

“Okay,” Jungkook nods, watching the other exit the car, looking left and right for cars before crossing the road.

“Oh god,” he mumbles, hunching over head in his hands, before quickly pulling out his phone, seeing several unread text messages, all from a single person. His phone freezes before he clicks on the messaging app and said person’s face appears, his phone vibrating with a call. He glances at the store out of the rear view mirror before sliding the call button.

“Jimin?” Jungkook says into the receiver quietly, watching for Hoseok.

“Jungkook?” Jimin mumbles over the phone, mouth sounding full as his words come out a little unclear. “Why’re you whispering? How was it? Was he 40 like the last guy?”

“Uh, no, it’s actually still going,” Jungkook replies turning his head to make sure Hoseok wasn’t at the counter. “He’s not 40, but he’s older than us. Under 30 definitely.”

Jimin whistles over the phone, “Is he hot?”

“Shut up,” Jungkook groans. “He’s not. He’s ugly. Long face, small eyes, crooked nose, awkward smile, and a squeaky voice.”

“Damn, he must be really hot for you to lie like that,” Jimin laughs and Jungkook rolls his eyes.

“What do you want? Shit, he’s already at the counter!”

“Wait, you’re still with him? Isn’t the date supposed to be over by now?”

“Well, yeah, but we’re at this place for ice cream, so yeah.”

“WHOA THERE. Hold your horses Kook. He offered to take you out for ice cream and you said yes?”

“Uh, well, should I have said no?”

“Are you actually interested in him!?”

“What? NO! Of course not! He just offered ice cream.”

“And then what if he offers you to come over to his place and suck him off? You gonna say okay to that too?”

“Shut up, Jimin, do you think I would have said okay if he was gonna be that type?”

“What do you mean ‘if he was gonna be that type’? I know the type your mum picks out for you, and they ain’t the kind to take their dates for actual ice cream after dinner. Look just remember what I taught you okay? If he tries anything, just knee him where it hurts, run, and call me? Got it?”

“Jeez, yes I know. I’m fucking 25 years old, don’t treat me like a child.”

“But you’re still my little baby. Remember, it’s called a knee jerk reaction for a reason.”

“Oh, shut up, he’s coming! I’m hanging up now!”

“Are you coming over after?”

“Maybe, I’ll see. Bye!”

Jungkook slips his phone back into his pocket quickly as Hoseok approaches the car, opening the door quietly, before slipping inside, offering Jungkook the black plastic bag. He fishes through it quickly pulling out his own, before handing Hoseok his cone.

“Thanks,” Hoseok takes it from him, before pausing. “You’re okay with eating it here? Or do you prefer somewhere with a view?”

“Excuse me?”

“There’s a lookout really close by,” Hoseok says carefully. “If you want to. I don’t mean anything weird.”

“Oh, oh,” Jungkook looks down at the ice cream in hand. “It’ll melt though.”

“I’ll drive fast?” Hoseok reasons.

“No thank you, I’m fine here. Save the lookout for another date.”

“Oh?” Hoseok grins widely at that. “So you’re cool with this?”

“I never said with me,” Jungkook clarifies as he tears open his ice cream. “Could bring anyone.”

“Right, of course,” Hoseok says, grin still plastered across his lips, and Jungkook rolls his eyes.

“Well you know, better you, than someone 40 who’s got a different escort on his arm each night?”

Hoseok’s smile falls of and Jungkook chuckles as he unbuckles his seat belt, pulling his legs up, sitting cross legged in the spacious seat.

They spend the next few minutes in silence, the only sounds in the car of Hoseok biting into the biscuit and Jungkook’s slight groan at the coldness of his own ice cream.

“I never got to ask my mum, this,” Hoseok says mid bite, “but how old are you?”

“According to the certificate, I should be 25,” Jungkook says looking out the window, watching the people walk by them.

“Oh, right,” Hoseok says, stopping to chew the biscuit. “You’re adopted, right?”

Jungkook’s hand freezes and his body stiffens, before he composes himself and nods, “Yeah. Don’t have a real birth certificate.”

“I’m sorry,” Hoseok says quietly. “Sometimes I say things without thinking. Sorry.”

“It’s fine,” Jungkook shrugs, faking nonchalance. “It’s part of who I am, so why should I be bothered?”

“We’ve all got stuff we’re not proud of, Jungkook-ssi” Hoseok’s voice is softer than it’s been all evening. “There’s no harm in you having some either.”

Jungkook shrugs, “whatever, I’m over it. Are you almost done?”

“Yeah, sorry, it’ll just take a minute,” Hoseok says as he finishes off the last of his ice cream, throwing the wrapper in the black plastic bag. “Home?”

“Where else?” Jungkook asks, buckling his seatbelt back.

--

They pull into the driveway of Jungkook’s home shortly after 10, and Hoseok turns off the engine before looking at Jungkook a little expectantly.

It takes a few seconds for Jungkook to glance back at him, but he does eventually, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, I guess,” Hoseok responds fingers running through his hair, an action that draws Jungkook’s gaze.

Jungkook reaches for the door handle after he’s gathered his suit jacket, but he stops and turns, “have you made you decision?”

“Do you want me to say yes?” Hoseok asks, and watches as Jungkook scowls, rolling his eyes.

“It doesn’t matter, okay? I just want to know what you’re gonna say, so that I can have an excuse ready if it’s a no!”

“Would you…would you mind if I say yes instead?” Hoseok asks quietly, and Jungkook shrugs.

“I’ve told you already that it…”

“Jungkook-ssi!” Hoseok’s voice takes Jungkook by surprise and he almost flinches in his seat. “If you had a choice, and if I said yes, would you have any objections?”

Jungkook gulps, turning to look at Hoseok who’s looking at him a little angrily, “Well, yeah.”

“There, then, there’s your answer,” Hoseok says unlocking the door. “You can leave, my mum will let yours know tomorrow.”

“But,” Jungkook continues, fingering the door handle, before turning to face Hoseok, “since I don’t have a choice, I really wouldn’t mind if you said yes.”

Hoseok gapes at him a little, and Jungkook wills himself to smile just the slightest at the expression, “Good night.”

“Wait!” Hoseok grabs his wrist. “I’m going to tell my mum yes, then.”

Jungkook pretends to think it over for a second, before nodding, “Okay. Less work for me.”

Hoseok lets out a loud laugh, the elder’s body shaking with glee and he lets Jungkook’s wrist go. He steps outside, walking over to Jungkook’s side of the car, and opening the door.

“Is this gonna be a regular thing?” Jungkook asks motioning at the door as Hoseok closes it shut, before taking a step forward with him.

“Don’t worry, it’s just a first date thing. I’ll let you open and close your own doors next time.”

“Yeah? Pity,” Jungkook pretends to frown and is rewarded with another laugh.

“I had fun today, Jungkook. Do…do you mind if I call you just Jungkook?”

“It’s fine,” Jungkook nods his head, feeling heat rise to his cheeks a little.

“Okay, Jungkook, okay,” Hoseok says rolling the name around experimentally. “Do you want to exchange numbers? I would rather we discuss where to meet up and when privately rather than through our parents.”

“Uh, sure,” Jungkook pulls his phone out, flipping over to the page of a new contact and hands it over to Hoseok as the elder does the same.

He hovers over the name field for a few seconds, before simply entering his own and saving his number. Hoseok hands him his own back, and he stares down at the name and obnoxious number of hearts next to it, before looking up at Hoseok.

Hoseok laughs at his expression, “Your mum’s watching through the window, would you mind if I kiss your cheek? Let her know that I’m interested?”

“Uh,” Jungkook stutters, his cheeks colouring red, before nodding once, and he’ll next admit it but his eyes flutter shut when Hoseok’s lips press against his cheek. The elder’s pulls back seconds later, and Jungkook opens his eyes to find the other grinning at him.

“Have a goodnight, I’ll call you tomorrow if you don’t mind. I hope you’re not busy.”

“N-no,” Jungkook stumbles out, shaking his head. “I’m not busy. Just don’t call me insanely early. I’m a late sleeper.”

“I’ll keep that in mind for tomorrow and the future,” Hoseok teases with a grin, watching as Jungkook turns away, cheeks red enough to see even in the moonlight. “Do you want me to walk you to your door?”

“No, I’m fine, I’m good, thanks. I’ll…I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Yeah. Yeah. Gonna do that, okay. Goodnight. Sleep well,” Jungkook waves not meeting his eyes before he speed walks for the front door. He’s surprised when he turns to lock the door and sees Hoseok still standing there waiting for him to go inside. The elder waves at him, smiling brightly, and Jungkook finds his hand automatically lifting up, before he glares and shuts the door. If he smiles when he hears Hoseok’s loud laugh filter past the door, he doesn’t say it.

He rushes up the stairs and to his bedroom, making it to the window just in time to see Hoseok pulling out of the driveway and onto the lane.

He watches the car disappear out of view, before he hears a knock on the door. He turns quickly, bowing as his mother enters, taking a seat on a chair.

“I take it, it went well?” She says after a while, staring right at Jungkook, and he nods slowly.

“It did.”

“You like him?”

“He’s a good choice,” Jungkook says with practised ease.

“Of course he is,” she agrees, satisfied with the reply. “But do you like him?”

He’s surprised at the question, raising his head to meet her gaze, mouth a little open, “yes, I do. Thank you.”

“Good,” she says slowly, nodding. “That’s good. You’re picky so that’s good.”

Jungkook remains quiet at that, standing stiffly as she walks towards him. She reaches forward to fix his bangs a little and Jungkook’s heart clenches as he watches her do so with some concentration, “no matter what you might think, I do care about you, you know. I’ve raised you as my son after all. I’m happy you like him. Goodnight.”

Jungkook feels tears prick at his eyes when she leans up to kiss his forehead, before turning around to walk away. He crumples to the ground, hand against his mouth to block out his soft whimpers, once the door closes.

--

From: Hoseok (hyung) ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

11:01 p.m.

Goodnight Jungkook. Sleep well. I had fun today. :)

To: Hoseok

11:14 p.m.

Wow, your standards for fun must be really low. Goodnight. (Also, I removed all those hearts from your name, heh. >:D)

From: Hoseok

11:14 p.m.

:( I’ll call you tomorrow.

To: Hoseok

11:20 p.m.

At least wait a couple of minutes before texting back. Your desperation is showing.

From: Hoseok

11:23 p.m.

Oh, Jungkook, is that what you do to not appear smitten? How cute. There, I waited three minutes, happy?

To: Hoseok

11:25 p.m.

Plenty. I’m going to bed, now!

From: Hoseok

11:26 p.m.

‘Night. ♥

--

From: Jimin

11:30 p.m.

So, how’d it go?

11:35 p.m.

Jungkook?

11:39 p.m.

YAH JEON JUNGKOOK?!?!

11:39 p.m.

JUNGKOOOOOOOOK????

11:39 p.m.

Jungkookieeeee~

11:39 p.m.

Kookie, answer me!

11:40 p.m.

So, does that mean you’re not coming over? WAIT ARE YOU OVER AT THAT GUY’S PLACE RIGHT NOW? OMG DO YOU ACTUALLY LIKE HIM? WAIT SO IS HE LIKE HOT?

11:41 p.m.

WAIT HE’S NOT FORCING YOU TO DO ANYTHING RIGHT?

11:42 p.m.

JUNGKOOK I’M DYING HERE! RESPOND TO ME! WHAT’S HAPPENED? WHAT’S HAPPENING?

11:45 p.m.

If you don’t response in the next five minutes, I’m coming over. Even if your mother guns me down thinking I’m a thief, I’m coming over.

11:50 p.m.

I’m all dressed. I’m coming.

11:51 p.m.

I’m serious, I’m coming over.

11:51 p.m.

Please respond to me. You can’t be asleep! Are you playing video games???

11:51 p.m.

I swear to god Jungkook if you’re asleep right now…


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Chapter Text

Hoseok unlocks the door to his shared condominium quietly, wiping his shoes across the large, grey ‘Welcome’ mat right by the front door before placing his keys in the bowl on the console table inches away from the door.

“Hyung?” he calls out softly, peeking into the living room, but finds it empty, all the lights, save one, turned off. He frowns glancing at the clock, knowing it isn’t late enough for bedtime, but heads over to the second, occupied bedroom right next to his own.

The person of interest is lying right on the bed, dressed in loose knee-length black shorts and an obnoxiously pink t-shirt, one ankle over the other, reading a non-descript, black leather-bound book.

“Back so soon?” Seokjin asks, lifting his head for a brief glance as Hoseok steps inside, closing the door softly behind him.

“It’s not so soon,” Hoseok defends himself, as he walks closer to the bed. “It’s past 11.”

Seokjin smiles, patting the space next to him on the bed, before marking his spot in the book with his Mario bookmark and placing it on the side table.

“I’m cold,” Hoseok pouts and grins when Seokjin sighs, moving to slip underneath the covers with surprising grace, lifting the covers for Hoseok after. He slips in quietly, scooting close to the elder who makes a slight noise.

“I’m warm, Seokie, not so close,” Seokjin whines, but lets Hoseok invade his space either way.

“How’re you always so warm? Or does my blood just not circulate or something?” Hoseok complains, squirming to get comfortable. He settles his head on the curve of Seokjin shoulder, body turned to the side to face the elder who glares down at his close proximity.

Hoseok throws him a wide smile back, laughing when seconds later Seokjin wraps an arm around him.

“You seem to be in a good mood,” Seokjin comments offhandedly. “Did the date go well?”

Hoseok hums in response, eyes closing when Seokjin starts to caress his hair, “It was nice.”

“What’s his name? What he’s like?”

“Ever the gossiper, hyung. Ever the gossiper.”

“Seokie,” Seokjin stretches out the end of his name, tone bordering on whiny. “Tell me! Won’t you tell your favourite hyung?”

“Jungkook, that’s his name. He’s 25, and really good looking. Even more than you.”

Seokjin gasps audibly, feigning an offended expression as he glares down at Hoseok, “You did not just say that! I like that you’re honest, Seok, but you really shouldn’t say things like that to the person who feeds you.”

Hoseok hums in response, eyes drifting shut under Seokjin’s affectionate petting, “He’s wasn’t what I expected. Kind of reserved, but also kind of cute.”

“Yeah? You like him?”

Hoseok takes a few moments to answer, and Seokjin for a second fears the other’s fallen asleep, “I can see myself liking him in the future.”

“That’s good,” Seokjin whispers into his hair, pecking his forehead. “That’s always good to hear. So you’re happy then? With your mother’s choice?”

There’s a bit of a pause in their conversation, but then Hoseok nods into Seokjin’s shoulder, “Yes, I’m happy.”

“Good, good,” Seokjin says quietly, more to himself than to Hoseok, before gently nudging the other. “Go back to your own bed, Seok, we’ll talk about him tomorrow. You better introduce him to me.”

Hoseok mumbles something unintelligible, but Seokjin hears a murmured ‘later’ as he watches Hoseok nod his head, reluctantly leaving the warmth of his bed to head to his own.

“Don’t forget to change out of your clothes! I better not find you wearing this tomorrow morning when you wake up!” Seokjin shouts after Hoseok as he leaves the bedroom, but not before giving Seokjin a nonchalant, dismissive wave.

--

Jungkook wakes up with a groan right after he feels the impact of another body landing on top of him, jolting him awake.

“I hate you,” Jungkook mumbles, shaking to dislodge the body on top of his, but to no avail.

“Feeling’s mutual, Jeon-ssi. I hate you very, very much, too,” Jimin tells him, and Jungkook frowns when he hears genuine anger in the other’s voice. He can’t bring himself to ask anything, though, as he rubs his eyes grabbing his phone off the side table to check the time.

The relatively early time isn’t what catches his attention, though, not as much as the twenty-plus text messages, several missed calls, and a couple voicemails all from Jimin.

He lets out another groan turning to glance at Jimin, “who died?”

Jimin glares at him as he scoots off Jungkook’s back, “You did.”

Jungkook snorts, “okay?”

“Or at least I thought you did! Why do you sleep like the dead, Jungkookie? Do you know how worried I was? Do you know the kind of thoughts that ran through my mind? And for all the hours I spent worrying about you, you were lying in bed, sleeping. Could you not have shot me a single text? You said you were gonna after your date, but apparently this man is suddenly so much more important to you than your very best friend.”

“Are you done?” Jungkook raises an eyebrow, “It’s kinda too early for your theatrics.”

Jimin gasps, looking offended, “I’m sorry for worrying about you then! Jeez, and what for? Nothing! I’ll just leave then! Go find another best friend.”

“Sorry,” Jungkook calls out once Jimin’s almost at the door, making the elder halt, turning to him with wide eyes. “I should have told you what happened.”

“Did…did you just…?”

“Yes, now we shall never mention this again. You can go back home now, I’m fine, and in dire need of some more sleep.”

“Jungkookie!” Jimin yells with a grin as he bounces back into bed, cuddling up to Jungkook who pushes him away. “You do love me! Here I thought I was the only one, but you do love your hyung! You’re so cute, Kookie, I won’t ever leave you, don’t worry. You’ll be all alone without hyung, right?”

Jungkook kicks out a leg, pulling a repulsed face when Jimin sidles even closer after the hit, “Please let me sleep.”

“Not until you tell me why you didn’t text me back and tell me EVERYTHING that happened yesterday. What’s his name? Did he really only take you out for ice cream? Was he hot? Do you like him?”

“Hyung,” Jungkook whines, pouting at Jimin. “I need sleep. Please let me sleep for another hour, you know I need nine hours of sleep to function. You probably haven’t eaten, right? Go have breakfast downstairs, and then wake me up later, okay?”

“Aw, look at how cute you are when you’re trying to avoid my questions,” Jimin coos, pinching his cheeks. “Fine, hyung will go have breakfast. But once I’m done I will wake you up, and make you tell me everything!”

“Okay, whatever, go. Leave.”

--

“So, Jung Hoseok?” Jimin asks as he passes a cup of coffee to Jungkook, both of them seated by themselves at the kitchen island.

“Mhmm,” Jungkook nods, eyes still looking a little sleepy. “Jung Hoseok, second child and one and only son of Mr. and Mrs. Jung, owners of the Jung Corporation.”

“The amount of times you said Jung in that sentence…” Jimin trails off. “How old is he?”

“Dunno, I didn’t do a background check. I know he’s under 30, though, or at least he looks to be.”

“Is he hot?”

“God, how many times have you asked me that?”

“Well, you know, sometimes it helps if the person’s easy on the eyes, if nothing else,” Jimin wiggles his eyebrows when Jungkook shots him a dirty look.

“You’re so easy, I’m surprised you haven’t cheated on Yoongi hyung, already,” Jungkook mumbles around his toast, narrowly dodging the punch Jimin aims his way.

“Shut up, Kook! Why would I ever?”

“I don’t know, just something about you screams cheater to me,” Jungkook sticks his tongue out, laughing when Jimin glares at him. “I’m just kidding. He’s…okay looking, I suppose. Nothing too great, but not repulsive either.”

“Oooh, so his looks are Jeon Jungkook approved?” Jimin smiles when Jungkook snorts.

“I can't exactly afford to scrutinize the looks, you know, hyung. At this point, I’m just glad to have someone decent.”

Jimin frowns a little, “You deserve the world, Kookie, I’m really sorry it has to be that way.”

Jungkook shrugs, “That’s life, I suppose.”

A comfortable silence surrounds them as Jungkook eats, Jimin stealing a few bites every now and then.

“So, what happened yesterday?”

“Nothing much, I went to the place our parents had arranged, we had dinner, he offered dessert, we had some ice cream, and then he dropped me off home.”

“Kook, if I wanted the short version, I would have just texted you, you know. Details, give me the details,” Jimin sounds a little exasperated and Jungkook spares him a glance, before shrugging.

“That’s pretty much it.”

“Nothing else?”

“Not really.”

“I really hate how closed off you are, sometimes, making me do all the work,” Jimin sighs, chin resting on his hands folded across the counter.

“Sorry,” Jungkook mumbles, “what else do you wanna know?”

“What did you talk about? Was he funny? Do you like him? Did you kiss?”

 Jungkook sputters on his orange juice, coughing while Jimin simply grins up at him, “No. We did not kiss!”

“No?” Jimin tilts his head. “Shame.”

Jungkook snorts, “I don’t know about your ways, but I don’t kiss on the first date.”

“Not even on the cheek?” Jimin whispers, moving close enough for their breaths to intermingle. The events from the night before start to play at the forefront of his mind at Jimin’s mention, and the sudden colouring on his cheeks gives him away.

Jungkook ducks his head down, smiling playing at his lips, when Jimin gasps, “Are you kidding? He kissed you on the cheek? What's this guy tryna play at? I need to have a word with him! How dare he?! HOW DARE HE?!”

Jungkook looks up with a small smile, and wide eyes, “Why is that bad? If he kissed me on the cheek? Is that bad?”

Jimin deflates at that sentence, before he walks around and wraps Jungkook up in an embrace, “Don’t worry, hyung will protect you from all the big bad wolves, okay Kookie?”

“He’s not so bad,” Jungkook reasons, gently shoving away the elder.

“Yeah, well, no one kisses anyone on the cheek anymore. Life’s all “wham bam, thank you mam” nowadays. But don't worry, hyung's here for you. He'll protect you.”

Jungkook snorts at that, "With your height, I'll probably have to do all the protecting myself."

The punch to the arm that follows after from Jimin is hard enough to make Jungkook cry out in pain, shoving the elder away with his good arm before rubbing the bruising area.

"That outta teach you a lesson," Jimin scoffs, glaring. "Its not about the height; its about the build, okay?!"

"Yeah, okay," Jungkook croaks out, rubbing his arm gently, but he sounds sarcastic even to his own ears.

Jimin ignores the tone completely, though, "So, what did you say his name was? Jung Hoseok? Gosh, I wish I went to the stupid parties a little more. Maybe I would know who he was."

--

"So, how did it go?"

Hoseok smiles at his mother's straightforward nature, lips widening when he hears his sister ask the same question in the back.

There's a pregnant pause in the conversation when Hoseok doesn't immediately answer the question, but eventually he breathes out quietly, "Good. I enjoyed myself last night."

"Really?!" His sister screeches through the phone first and Hoseok laughs at her excitement, almost nodding before realizing she can't see him.

"Yeah noona, I liked him. It's a yes from me."

"See, I told you he would love him! I know my little brother best!"

Hoseok's mother laughs at the statement, "Yes, yes, honey, of course you do."

"How was he?"

Hoseok hums in response, pausing to look away from the paperwork on his desk, "Good. Better than I expected. He was reserved initially but I think he just needs to be coaxed out of his shell. Mum, if you call Mrs. Jeon today, then let her know that it's a yes from us."

"Oh," Hoseok's sister stretches out the word, cooing, "was he cute? He looked nice in the pictures, and mum said he looked good in person."

Hoseok laughs a little abashedly, "He was handsome, noona, very much so."

"That's a relief," his mother answers first. "The fact that you like him is very nice. I'll let her know we're interested immediately. This could be a really nice union between the Jeons and us, especially if you and Jungkook are genuinely fond of each other."

"Thanks, mum," Hoseok smiles to himself, reminiscing the events from the night before.

"I just hope they're interested as well," Hoseok's sister speaks up. "Aw, I can't wait for you two to get married, baby bro. It'd be great if he tells his mother yes as well!"

"Thanks noona," Hoseok says with sincerity, before frowning as he remembers what Jungkook had told him the night before. "I'm pretty positive they're interested, too, but I hope Jungkook also wants this."

"Don't worry about it, Hoseok," his mother consoles him. "If he isn't, then it'll be their loss not ours."

Hoseok pauses, wondering whether to tell her about Jungkook not quite having a choice, but decides against it - choosing to keep the conversations between him and Jungkook private for now. He hums in response instead, "I gotta go now, mum, I have work to do. But let me know what the Jeons said as soon as you find out, okay? Bye Noona, tell maehyung I said hi!"

Several repeated goodbyes later, Hoseok hangs up, smiling down at his phone fondly as he scrolls down to find Jungkook in his messaging history.

His fingers hover over the contact name, before pressing and opening up their conversation from last night. It's past noon and Hoseok wonders if Jungkook's awake already. He's about to click on the text box, about to type a simple hello, but an incoming message from Seokjin interrupts him.

To: Seokie

Are you free for lunch today? Say in about an hour?

To: Jin hyung

Yeah! Usual spot?

To: Seokie

Yup, see you in an hour. What did you say lover boy's name was again?

To: Jin hyung

Don't call him that! But it's Jungkook. Jeon Jungkook. :)

To: Seokie

Jeon Jungkook? As in THE Jeons? Isn't he the hidden son?

To: Jin hyung

You know about him? I've never heard of him before this! I didn't know Jeon Minchan had a younger brother!

To: Seokie

Not surprised for more than one reason.  He's kept pretty much under wraps and the parties he does attend are out of our social circle. Well, your social circle.

To: Jin hyung

Do you know him, hyung?

To: Seokie

Haven't ever talked to him, but I'm aware of who he is. Seen him a couple of times, too. The second son of the Jeons - illegitimate or adopted, depending on which part of town you listen to for your rumours. Time for your hyung to do some more digging, huh?

To: Jin hyung

Don’t use your powers for bad, hyung.

To: Seokie

Don't worry, Hoseok, I'm just looking to make sure he's safe. Gotta make sure I'm handing you off to the right people.

To: Jin hyung

First of all, hyung, you’re not “handing me off” to anyone. Secondly, hyung, no. I’ll find out what I’m meant to know in due time.

To: Seokie

Fine, as you wish, but if something goes wrong later, don't blame it on me, got it?

To: Jin hyung

I'll see you in an hour! Thank you! ♥

--

“So, am I ever going to get to meet this Jung Hoseok in person or what?” Jimin asks, tone casual, as they head back up to Jungkook’s room, the remainder of the house eerily quiet despite the servants bustling around.

“That depends. Are you still planning on setting him straight?” Jungkook grins, opening the door, and ignores the way Jimin raises an eyebrow.

“Well, well, well, aren’t we protective?”

“I’m not being protective, I’m just saying he’s not as bad as you might think,” Jungkook shrugs his shoulders. “Come to think of it, in my situation, he’s probably the best case scenario. Wanna play Just Dance?”

Jimin hums in response, watching the younger quietly as he goes about finding the right CD, “Maybe he is the best choice, or maybe he isn’t. What’s odd is how you’re jumping to his defense, though, because that’s so unlike the Jungkook I know.”

“Well, you know,” Jungkook shrugs, voice going quiet. He loads a familiar song, handing Jimin his respective remote. “I had fun yesterday, that’s all.”

“That’s the thing, I think,” Jimin says contemplatively, staring off at the wall for several seconds, looking deep in thought. He nods, standing up, as Jungkook flails his limbs to loosen them a bit, “That’s exactly it, Kookie.”

The song starts, but Jungkook pauses his movements, turning to eye Jimin curiously, “What do you mean?”

“Well, it’s like this, the last three people who your mum has suggested, and even the few people who you’ve been with have never really treated you all that well. Not as well as you’ve deserved. When you like somebody, Kookie, you might not express it as openly, but you do anything they ask of you. Maybe for that reason, or maybe for some other, the people in your life have never really treated you right.”

“You treat me right,” Jungkook offers quietly, game forgotten.

“Jungkook, we’re not lovers,” Jimin’s eyes stare the younger boy down hard. “You know perfectly well what I mean.”

“Joonie hyung –”

“I never knew him, so I can’t vouch for how he was or wasn’t, Kook, but you know that what I’m saying is correct. Not to say anything against this Hoseok guy’s character, but if I’m being quite frank, I think the only reason you’re so over the moon for him is because for the first time someone’s giving you proper attention.”

“Don’t you think you’re overacting regarding this issue, hyung?” Jungkook emphasizes the honorific, eyes and body in a defensive pose, arms crossed. “I’m not over the moon for him, I simply think he’s a decent human being. Plus, we might not even get anywhere beyond what we did yesterday, so maybe you should save this up for when we do.”

Jimin sighs, holding up a hand as an apology, “I don’t mean to offend you, Jungkook, but I’m simply suggesting. Don’t…wait, hold on, and give me a second to phrase this properly. Just…just don’t rush into this relationship, okay? If you and Hoseok get any further, I’ll be happy for you, especially since he sounds like a decent guy. But as your hyung, as your best friend, I’m a little afraid that you’ll give a little too much, a little too fast. Take it slow, okay? I’m not saying don’t give him a chance. What I’m simply saying is that…I guess what I’m really saying is that don’t fall in love too fast, okay? Just because he treats you right, doesn’t mean he’s deserving of the world, Jungkook, because everyone has an obligation to treat people like they matter. So, just because you’ve been a little deprived of that, doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve it. Remember that, okay?”

They stand watching each other for what seems like ages, before Jungkook looks down at the ground, nodding slowly, “I understand. Thank you for caring so much about me.”

Jimin lets loose a wide smile when Jungkook glances back at with a small smile, “Of course, but just remember, in a relationship with someone else or not, I’m the one who you love the most, okay?”

Jungkook laughs, shoving the arm that wraps around his shoulder away, “Yeah right, in your dreams.”

“In my dreams, indeed,” Jimin waggles his eyebrows at the younger, laughing loudly when Jungkook shoots him a disgusted look. “So, when do I get to meet this mysterious man who my little Jungkookie seems to be extremely taken with?”

“If you keep that behaviour up,” Jungkook throws a smirk at the shorter male, “never.”

--

To: Jungkook

1:31 p.m.

Hey, is it safe to assume you’re up?

From: Jungkook

1:35 p.m.

Not yet. Try again in a couple of hours.

To: Jungkook

1:36 p.m.

Good afternoon! :D

From: Jungkook

1:36 p.m.

…hi?

To: Jungkook

1:37 p.m.

Did you sleep well?

From: Jungkook

1:38 p.m.

No. :( I was very rudely waken up. :(

To: Jungkook

1:39 p.m.

By the sun?

From: Jungkook

1:39 p.m.

Something like that.

To: Jungkook

1:39 p.m.

Try an afternoon nap?

From: Jungkook

1:40 p.m.

I’m okay, it’s not so bad. What are you doing?

To: Jungkook

1:40 p.m.

Hyung is working to earn his daily wage! :D

From: Jungkook

1:41 p.m.

Clearly not.

To: Jungkook

1:41 p.m.

Heh. >:)

I’m out for lunch actually, with a hyung of mine.

From: Jungkook

1:43 p.m.

Is he that boring?

To: Jungkook

1:43 p.m.

LOL. Well, maybe a little. Don’t tell him I said that.

From: Jungkook

1:43 p.m.

Can I have his name, home address, and phone number, please?

To: Jungkook

1:44 p.m.

Oh, he’s here! I’m going to have to stop texting, or else he’ll confiscate my phone. :(

From: Jungkook

1:44 p.m.

Are you meeting a friend or your teacher?

To: Jungkook

1:45 p.m.

A bit of both? He used to tutor me, because I’m dumb like that.

From: Jungkook

1:45 p.m.

Wow, you admit it so openly. I’m impressed.

To: Jungkook

1:46 p.m.

I’m an impressive person, Jungkookie, but really I gotta go now. Hyung’s giving me a dirty look. If you don’t hear from me in the next two hours, assume the worst.

From: Jungkook

1:46 p.m.

If you don’t live, can I have your car?

To: Jungkook

1:48 p.m.

Wow, one date and you’re already eyeing my car?

From: Jungkook

1:48 p.m.

…did you just call me a gold digger?

 

“…who are you texting?”

Seokjin’s voice makes Hoseok look up, expression just a little wide eyes. After a moment’s pause, he smiles widely, heart shaped lips curving, “Oh, nobody, hyung, just someone…for some work. Sorry, I’ll put it away.”

The elder snorts, “You didn’t even say hi when I sat down or acknowledged my glare, you know.”

Hoseok laughs, flipping his phone to lay it screen down on the table, “It was nothing, hyung.”

“Was it Jungkook?” Seokjin raises an eyebrow, watching the younger carefully, taking in the way his eyes and lips curve at the name before he gives a short nod. “Wow, Seokie, you’re 28, not 18 years old. Why are you acting like a teenager with a crush?”

“It’s not like that!” Hoseok protests, shaking his head vehemently. “I was just texting him, okay? He could be my fiancé in a few days, hyung.”

Seokjin laughs quietly, shoulders shaking as he ducks his head, hand coming up to cover his mouth, “You’re acting like such a teenager, Hoseok, I don’t even know what to say.”

“Don’t say anything, and just order your lunch,” Hoseok glares, switching to a slight pout when Seokjin chuckles louder.

“Okay, fine, fine, hyung will,” Seokjin’s laughter curbs into a sigh. “I think I like this kid already. I want to meet him, yeah?”

“Shut up,” Hoseok mumbles, looking at a menu he’s familiar enough to recite without looking.

“I’m serious, I do want to. Also, next time, Seokie,” Seokjin leans forward and pinches at one of Hoseok’s cheeks, “don’t feel like you have to lie to me, okay?”

“I didn’t mean to,” Hoseok mumbles, swatting the elder’s hand away from his face, “…it just came out like that.”

“Aw, are you embarrassed?” Seokjin coos, leaning back in his seat, grinning widely. “That’s so cute, Hoseok!”

“Just order your food!” Hoseok flips the menu shut. “And you’re paying today!”

Seokjin guffaws, “As you wish, your highness. As you wish.”

--

“Who were you texting and why are you glaring at your phone?” Jimin asks from the doorway of the bedroom, startling Jungkook enough for the younger to jump a little.

“When did you get here?” Jungkook asks, looking up at Jimin with widened eyes.

“Um, in the morning?”

“No, like at the door!”

“Oh, that,” Jimin grins widely at Jungkook before stepping back inside. “While you were in the middle of texting and grinning like an idiot.”

“I wasn’t grinning like an idiot,” the younger mumbles, grabbing a bottle of juice from Jimin’s hands.

“Sure you weren’t,” Jimin nods.

“I wasn’t!”

“Yeah, right. I should’ve taken a picture.”

“Shut up.”

“Lemme venture a guess, Kookie, was it Hoseok?”

“Shut up.”

“It was, wasn’t it?” Jimin grins gleefully, launching himself onto Jungkook’s bed, scooting close to the younger who’s sitting with his phone still clutched tightly in his hand.

“So what if it was?”

Jimin ‘ooohs’ loud enough for Jungkook to hit him twice, just for good measure, breaking out into a laugh when the younger glares at him, “What did he say?”

“Nothing, we were just talking,” Jungkook mumbles, shoving his phone underneath his leg.

“Show me!”

“No!”

“Why not? I thought we shared everything!”

“Because you’re going to laugh at me! Also, because I don’t want to.”

Jimin snickers, “What kind of private conversation were you two having that you don’t want to let me see?”

“Shut up!”

Jimin moves back when Jungkook moves to hit him again, “Your vocabulary range is so high, Kook, I’m amazed.”

“Like you’re one to talk. Why are you here anyway? Don’t you have a boyfriend who wants to see you? Or did he dump you?”

Jimin chuckles, “He hasn’t, thank you for your concern. Look at you, blushing and trying to avoid the topic, Kook. Do you know that your ears are completely red right now?”

“Don’t you have a home to go to?” Jungkook huffs, swinging his legs over the bed to stand up. He turns to grab his phone once he’s standing, but within that moment, his phone is in Jimin’s hands.

“Got it!” Jimin yells triumphantly, grabbing the phones and shuffling off the bed, hurriedly. He makes a run for the door, heading for the bathroom down the hall.

“NO! Stop!” Jungkook runs after the elder. “Hyung! Stop! You can’t! This is an invasion of privacy!”

“I’ve seen you naked, there is no privacy between us!” Jimin yells, ducking quickly into the bathroom, locking the door. Jungkook bangs on the door as soon as he sinks to the ground, panting.

“YAH PARK JIMIN! OPEN THE DOOR!” Jungkook yells out trying to turn the knob but to no avail. His calls and threats go unanswered until a few minutes later, Jimin opens the door, phone in hand, eyebrow raised.

“Wow, seriously Kookie?”

“Shut up! Give it back to me!” Jungkook stomps his foot down, cheeks completely red when Jimin starts to laugh, moving forward to give the younger a hug.

“You’re such a cutie, Jungkook, such a cutie,” Jimin pulls away, offering the phone back to Jungkook who takes it harshly, not looking up to meet Jimin’s eyes. “I want to meet him.”

“What?” Jungkook looks up, moving his eyes from the open phone screen to Jimin.

Jimin nods, “Tell him I want to meet him.”

“Isn’t it a little soon?”

Jimin shakes his head, “Text him and let him know.”

Jungkook stares at the elder for a minute, before nodding, swiping across the black screen, “Okay.”

--

From: Jungkook

2:12 p.m.

Can you message me back when you see this?

To: Jungkook

3:04 p.m.

Hey! Everything okay?

From: Jungkook

3:10 p.m.

Er, yeah. How was lunch with your hyung?

To: Jungkook

3:11 p.m.

It was good! ^^

But about that, my hyung wants to meet you.

From: Jungkook

3:15 p.m.

Oh?

To: Jungkook

3:16 p.m.

You don’t have to right now, but just you know, maybe sometimes next week? I’ve already told my mum yes, and she said she would call your mum today.

From: Jungkook

3:17 p.m.

Ah, yeah, I understand…actually, a hyung of mine wants to meet you too.

To: Jungkook

3:18 p.m.

Ah, Minchan-ssi? I’ve met him a few times.

From: Jungkook

3:18 p.m.

No, not, not my real hyung. He’s a very close friend of mine. He wanted to meet you.

To: Jungkook

3:19 p.m.

Oh, I see. Well, if you’re up for it, then I am too! :)

From: Jungkook

3:20 p.m.

Are you free next week?

To: Jungkook

3:21 p.m.

I’m free for dinner on Monday or we can grab lunch on Tuesday?

From: Jungkook

3:23 p.m.

What works best for your hyung? I’m free for both times and Jimin hyung is too.

To: Jungkook

3:30 p.m.

Hyung says he would prefer Tuesday.

From: Jungkook

3:32 p.m.

Tuesday works then. Are you guys picking the place? Or should

To: Jungkook

3:25 p.m.

Seokjin hyung said he has a place in mind! It’s in the Entertainment District if that’s okay with you two?

From: Jungkook

3:26 p.m.

That works for us. Text me the address?

To: Jungkook

3:28 p.m.

Sure! :) So, I guess, see you Tuesday?

From: Jungkook

3:28 p.m.

Yeah, sounds like a plan.

To: Jungkook

3:29 p.m.

It’s a date! With two third wheels. ;)

From: Jungkook

3:29 p.m.

Heh, you wish.

To: Jungkook

3:30 p.m.

…hey, can I call you tonight? After I get off work?

From: Jungkook

3:31 p.m.

Yeah, sure!

To: Jungkook

3:31 p.m.

Great, wait for my call, okay? I gotta go now.

From: Jungkook

3:32 p.m.

Gotta go earn your daily wage? :P

To: Jungkook

3:33 p.m.

Haha, yeah, something like that. I’ll talk to you later. ♥

From: Jungkook

3:33 p.m.

Okay. :)

“So, Tuesday?” Jimin asks, watching the way Jungkook smiles down at his phone, hands paused.

“Yeah,” the younger, looking up at Jimin with a smile. “It’s a restaurant his hyung want to try out, in the entertainment district.”

Jimin nods, letting loose a small smile, “Sounds like a plan.”

He sits watching Jungkook let out a soft sigh, before closing his phone and placing it on the table, “So what do you want to do next?”

Jimin shrugs, “Yoongi hyung’s working late tonight, so he won’t be picking me up until 9 probably. I’m all yours for the day.”

“What a pity,” Jungkook shakes his head, frowning, only to get smacked with a pillow in turn.

“Oh, shut up, we all know how much you love me,” Jimin pouts. “You wanna go for a walk outside? Weather’s kinda nice. We can play some soccer or something.”

“Sure, not like I got anything better to do,” Jungkook shrugs, moving off the bed.

--

From: Seokie

3:30 p.m.

Tuesday works for them, hyung. Text me the address of the place so I can forward it to Jungkook?

To: Seokie

3:30 p.m.

What do you mean by “them”?

From: Seokie

3:31 p.m.

Oh, his hyung, a friend not Minchan, wanted to meet me, too. So, we figured to kill two birds with one stone.

To: Seokie

3:41 p.m.

Hmm, okay. I’ll text you the place’s name and address in a bit, okay?

From: Seokie

3:42 p.m.

Busy?

To: Seokie

3:57 p.m.

Yeah, something like that. I can’t wait to meet him.

Hoseok laughs as he looks down at the reply, before long fingers ghost over the on screen keyboard.

From: Seokie

3:58 p.m.

Me too, hyung. Me too.

After a few seconds of staring down at the response, Hoseok decides to delete the message instead of pressing send. He sighs, turning his phone screen off, flipping the phone over as he places it down on his desk.


If you'd like to say hi: Tumblr | Twitter

Chapter Text

 

“Jungkook?” There’s a knock on the door before a bold, familiar voice calls out his name, loud enough for both Jimin and him to stop in the midst their game.

“Come in,” he replies as Jimin pauses their game, the two turning to glance at the door in an oddly synchronized movement.

“How was your day?” His mother asks, entering the room, strides graceful and confident as she stops halfway to his bed. She smiles at Jungkook slightly, the corners of her cherry red lips lifting just the slightest, before her gaze moves over to Jimin, standing on Jungkook’s right, nodding at the boy in acknowledgement.

“Good,” Jungkook responds, voice soft as his mother moves to step forward, past the bed. “Do you want to sit down, eomma?”

Jimin watches the woman’s loose curls bounce as she shakes her head, her gaze zooming in on him, “No, no, I just came to ask Jimin if he was staying for dinner tonight.”

Jimin laughs, smiling widely as he nods, “I will! You can’t get rid of me that easily, auntie.”

Jungkook watches his mother laugh lightly, hand coming out to cover her mouth delicately, before she nods her head, “Of course, I wouldn’t dream of it. Have you gotten thinner, Jimin?”

“Have I?” Jimin asks feigning utter confusion as he looks down at his stomach, gently tapping his tummy. Jungkook snorts at the response, knowing how hard the other has been dieting in the last month and a half, the sound making Jimin turn his head to shoot Jungkook a mischievous grin. “Don’t I look better now, auntie?”

Jimin watches Jungkook’s mother look him up and down carefully, tilting her head slowly as if she’s pondering over something. He smiles tightly under her scrutinizing gaze, thinking to himself about how this is one aspect Jungkook and his mother differ in entirely. At the end, it comes down to theatrics, and from years of experience Jimin knows that Jungkook has no penchant for dramatic flair. Her finger comes out to tap against her own chin as she opens her mouth to finally speak, “I think you looked better before!”

Jimin laughs at the expected response, nodding his head at the tall woman standing in front of him, but doesn’t reply. It’s not worth it, after all, because Jimin’s treaded that line multiple times in the past and has always come back fruitless. They all have a stubborn streak, the Jeons that is – Jungkook included – and Jimin’s learned that particular last one the hard way. It’s not a quality that’s openly apparent in their behaviour, but it exists, and trying to sway them from their respective opinions is more than just difficult. 

Jungkook’s mother smiles, this time genuinely enough for Jimin to see a row of recently whitened teeth, “As long as you’re happy with how you look, Jimin, it shouldn’t matter what anyone thinks. Dinner will be served in an hour, so make sure you both come down without me having to call for you, alright?”

Jungkook nods as Jimin mock salutes, Mrs. Jeon nodding in acknowledgement before turning to leave. She pauses at the door, turning as if to say something, but Jungkook beats her to it, “Oh, eomma, is hyung back from Europe yet?”

The question seems to surprise her, although Jungkook can’t think of any reason why. She pauses, blinking twice, before shaking her head at her youngest son, “Not yet, he’ll be back around midnight. He called from the airport to say there was a flight delay. Ah, Jimin, will you be staying the night as well?”

“Oh no, Yoongi hyung will come pick me up at 9 tonight,” Jimin smiles watching her face carefully, but he sees no hint of the disdainful expression that Yoongi’s name brings to his own mother’s face. His smile widens as he appreciates her curious expression, heart feeling just a little lighter.

“Still together I see.”

Jimin nods firmly, shaking his head a little too fast as his smile widens, before he rubs the back of his neck a little awkwardly when Mrs. Jeon raises an eyebrow at his brightened up expression. “Ah, well, we moved in together recently.”

He glances back up, anticipating something close to a sneer or a downturn of lips, but what he merely sees is a blank face, an expression eerily similar to one he’s seen on Jungkook a handful of times. Despite that unreadable look, Jimin feels a little at ease, letting go of the breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding when Jungkook’s mother smiles, glancing down at his clasped hands. She seems to stare at him for a few seconds, almost as if thinking something, before she turns and walks towards him.

Jimin turns to his right, glancing at Jungkook, who’s already staring back at him before shrugging. When he turns to glance back at the younger boy’s mother, he finds her a few steps away from him. She comes closer, almost a little hesitantly, before she takes one of his tightly clasped hands, pulling it away and holds his larger hand in her smaller one.

Jimin hears a little chuckle from her, almost certain that it’s due to the matching wide eyed expression Jungkook and him are sporting, before she opens her mouth to speak, “That’s good. I’m happy to hear that you’re both still together. If you need any help settling in, make sure to let me know. Your mum will come around, don’t worry about it, Jimin, your father will make sure of it.”

Jimin stares at her, wide eyed, before he laughs a little in disbelief, before nodding his head as his eyes crinkle, “I’ll let you know, auntie, I’ll make sure to let you know if I need any help. Th-thank you.”

Jimin watches a little dazedly as the woman pulls her hand away, her mask of refinery slipping back on as he turns to glance at Jungkook who’s looking at his mother with an unreadable expression, one that Jimin deciphers as one of shock mixed with pleasant surprise.

“Oh by the way, Jungkook,” Mrs. Jeon speaks again, and Jimin’s attention drifts back to her, noticing an almost amused expression cross her face as she looks up her son, “the Jungs called me today.”

“Oh?” Jimin laughs a little at the way Jungkook’s eyes and mouth widen, taking a slight step back from the mother-son duo before bringing up a hand to cover his mouth to muffle the sound of his own chuckling. Jungkook’s mother’s gaze shifts to him for a few seconds, and Jimin glances back at her matching look of amusement.

She grins at him almost as if she knows what’s he’s thinking, before turning back to speak to her son, “They’re interested; Hoseok said yes.”

Neither Jimin nor Jungkook’s own mother miss the way Jungkook’s face splits into a grin at the statement, eyes shining, before the boy schools his features completely, “Ah, really? They said yes?”

Jimin settles for openly snickering at Jungkook’s attempt at a casual response, meeting Jungkook’s mother’s eyes when she turns to glance at him.

“They did,” the woman nods, changing gazes to glance at the window, “we’ll talk about it when your brother gets home.”

“Okay, eomma, we’ll be down for dinner in a bit,” Jungkook replies, shoving a fist into Jimin’s side when the boy doesn’t stop softly chuckling, even as his mother turns to walk away.

It’s only once she’s out the door that Jimin allows himself to burst into proper laughter, hunching over as he points at Jungkook, “You’re…you’re so obvious, Kookie! So, so obvious!”

Jungkook grabs a nearby cushion to fling it at his best friend, ears turning red, “Shut up! I am not!”

“Ah, really? The said yes?” Jimin mocks Jungkook’s earlier words. “As if you didn’t already know! I bet even your mother was inwardly laughing at you fake nonchalance.”

“Be quiet!” Jungkook snaps, turning to the game screen, unpausing the game with a furious press of a button, “do you want to finish playing or what?”

--

Hoseok opens the bathroom room with one hand, the other moving efficiently in various directions to dry his damp hair as he moves from the en-suite bathroom to his room. Spreading the damp cloth over the back of the chair after use, he moves towards his bed, remembering to grab his phone off the nightstand.

Once settled atop his bed, sitting up against the headboard, he eyes his phone's lock screen hesitantly, a smile playing on his lips as he remembers his conversation with Jungkook earlier in the day. Filled with a new vigor, he unlocks his phone, hitting the message icon at the bottom left of his screen, smiling as the app opens.

His conversation with Jungkook sits right in the middle of his inbox, and Hoseok notes with dismay the lack of a picture. Next time, he thinks as he clicks on Jungkook's name, next time I'll take one. He scrolls up through their previous messages, reading through them once just for the sake of amusement, feeling a little more confident with each text bubble.

Clicking on the text message box, he lets out a sudden laugh when he realizes his fingers are trembling, before moving to lean his head back against the wall, the crown of his head touching the painted surface as he wills himself to calm down. Fingers working deftly once he's a little more in control, he types out a quick message, typing and deleting before settling for something simple, pausing for a few seconds, before pressing send.

From: Hoseok

7:59 p.m.

hey, are you busy?

--

"I'm gonna go call Yoongi hyung, okay? Just need to make sure he's eaten and stuff," Jimin moves off the couch, gesturing to his phone as Jungkook nods, without looking up, busy with a new game on his phone. "I'll be outside in your balcony, okay?"

Jungkook snorts, looking up with a mischievous glint in his eye, raising an eyebrow when Jimin determinedly stares back at him, shoulders rolled back, the elder's body language daring him to say something else. He opens his mouth, ready to tease Jimin about his need for a private conversation, but chooses to stop instead, settling for a nonchalant shrug, eyes drifting back to his own phone, "Okay, sure."

He misses the look of surprise that crosses Jimin's face, and the way the elder stands and stares at him for a couple of seconds before shaking his head and walking away. Jungkook hears the sound of the balcony door opening and closing shut, the latch making a clicking sound to confirm Jimin being outside. As he stands out on the balcony, Jungkook raises his head to glance at him, eyeing Jimin’s rather envious form leaning against the railing before he presses a few buttons and brings the phone to his ear.

Game momentarily forgotten, Jungkook settles for watching his best friend - the way his eyes light up when his call gets picked up and the way he laughs at something undoubtedly sarcastic or cheesy Yoongi must have uttered through the other end. The happiness in the elder’s eyes make Jungkook think things, and he wonders if one day he’ll be able to achieve that sparkle in his eyes.

His attention is broken when he feels his phone vibrate and he takes his time to break his stare away from the shorter boy. Glancing down at the game, he stares at the phone a little dazedly before noticing the notification indicating a new message, just barely catching the sender's name right before it disappears.

He smiles as he opens the message, reading the contents before thinking them over, unfolding his legs from underneath him and bending them at the knees. Resting the back of his phone against the curve of his knees, he sends back a slow reply.

From: Jungkook

8:01 p.m.

Not quite. You?

The reply is almost instant and Jungkook lets himself grin a little, counting to ten before opening the conversation.

From: Hoseok

8:01 p.m.

Can I call you?

He catches himself nodding, laughing when he realizes what he's doing and that Hoseok can't exactly see him through the phone. He bites down his lip as he types out a simple 'yes', exiting the messaging app right after, waiting for the phone to start vibrating.

When a minute passes he glares at the screen anxiously, wondering why it's taking Hoseok so long, and just as he's about to text the elder, the phone rings, making him jump. He stares down at the generic contact photo, making a mental note to replace it with a photo soon, before sliding to answer the call.

--

Hoseok twiddles his thumbs nervously as he stares down at his phone, waiting for a response. Taking in a deep breath, he forces himself to look away when a minute passes, staring at the threaded grey curtains on his left, before shifting his gaze over to his dresser, a few feet away from his walk-in closet door.

The sudden vibration of his phone makes him jump, and he looks down with a smile, swiping quicker than humanly possible to unlock the screen. He lets out a small laugh, despite the fact that the answer is a simple yes, and nothing else. Hands shaking slightly again, he sets his phone down, taking several deep breaths before picking it back up and pressing the call button.

Bringing the phone to his ear, Hoseok feels a sudden rush of giddiness, bringing a palm up to cover his mouth to prevent himself from bursting into laughter. Jungkook picks up the phone on the second ring, and Hoseok’s greeted with a breathy, hello – take delight in how melodic the younger man’s voice sounds even over the phone.

“Hi,” Hoseok responds, cursing himself inwardly for acting like a 15 year old, talking to her crush, but he clears his throat.

Silence envelops him, as Jungkook doesn’t say anything else in response, and Hoseok keeps quiet himself as well. He blinks a few times, opening his mouth to say something, but the second he makes a sound, Jungkook does too on the other end.

“Oh,” a soft noise falls from Jungkook’s lips at the other end of the line, and Hoseok chuckles lightly, waiting for the younger to continue. Neither of them say anything though, the line falling silent again.

“How –”

“What –”

Hoseok lets out another laugh, Jungkook joining in this time with a soft giggle of his own when they speak over each other once again. Hoseok speaks up this time after their laughter dies down, feeling just a little more confident.

“What were you going to say?” He asks the younger, toying with the material of his bathrobe, feeling the rough material under his fingertips.

“Oh, nothing,” Jungkook says a few beats later, and Hoseok wonders what he’s doing. “I was just going to ask you how your day was.”

“It was the same as every other day,” Hoseok says with a smile, wondering if it can be heard through the phone. “The usual, you know. Work, work, and some more work.”

“Sounds fun,” Jungkook remarks casually, the sarcasm in his voice apparent enough to make Hoseok chuckle again.

“How was your day?” Hoseok asks, squirming to get a little more comfortable in bed.

“Uh, the usual, too, I suppose? Didn’t do a whole lot today.”

Hoseok catches himself nodding, before he realizes what he’s doing, “So…?”

“So…?”

“What are you doing right now?”

“Me?” Hoseok finds the way Jungkook’s voice rises at the end of the question adorable, and mentally yells at himself to get a grip.

“Yes, you, Jungkook, who else?”

“I’m not doing anything at all,” Jungkook replies, looking around his room, glancing at the walls, before settling for looking at Jimin outside, still on his phone. “Nothing at all, just talking to you right now. What are you doing, er, hyung?”

“Call me that,” Hoseok responds with a grin. “I like it.”

Jungkook presses a hand up to his cheeks when he feels the warm cascade over, before stuttering out a short, “O-oh, o-okay.”

“I’m not really doing anything either, just sitting on bed, talking to you.”

“Sounds nice.”

“It’s pleasant,” Hoseok responds. “This is really awkward isn’t it?”

“I’m sorry,” Jungkook sounds a little shy over on the other end of the line, “I’m not very good at small talk, or conversations over the phone.”

“Good thing you have me then, don’t you, Jungkookie?” Hoseok tests the nickname out of his tongue, laughing softly when he hears Jungkook sniffle at the other end. “I happen to be very good at both of those things.”

“Is that so?” Jungkook asks, voice sounding cocky, a little like the fiercer side of him Hoseok had seen last night. He wonders if the younger’s raising an eyebrow at the moment, before he hears Jungkook speak again, “Indulge me, then. Teach me your ways.”

“Oh, in that case, we’ll have to talk often, you know. So I can properly teach you everything you know. I don’t half-ass things,” Hoseok flirts shamelessly, glancing at his reflection in the mirror across from him, surprised to notice the stupid grin resting on his lips.

“Talk often, huh? Why do I feel like you’re oddly happy with that arrangement?” Jungkook cringes, eyes squeezing shut, wondering how lame Hoseok will find his response.

“Me? Happy with the arrangement? Of course not! That’s a ridiculous suggestion, Jungkookie, I am a very busy person, you know,” Hoseok muffles the following laughter with a fist, eyes crinkling out of happiness.

“Yes, of course,” Jungkook nods to himself, tone sardonic, “I know how busy you were are all day today. No time to have lunch with a friend, no time to text a random stranger, and certainly no time to be calling up said stranger.”

“Stranger?” Hoseok says in an incredulous tone, before realizing it is indeed closer to whatever label their relationship holds at the moment than he had realized. He covers it up smoothly, “well, of course, no time to call up a stranger, but you know if it’s my soon-to-be fiancé I’ll just have to make time, won’t I?”

Jungkook’s jaw drops at the blatant suggestion, and he takes a few seconds to recover, wondering exactly how red his cheeks and ears are at the moment. Sniffling a little, he takes a deep breath before responding, “Well, of course, if it’s your soon-to-be fiancé, you absolutely must make time.”

Hoseok laughs out loud at the response, and Jungkook joins in seconds later, ending it off in a sigh as the laughter dies down, “Attention demanding, aren’t we?”

“Oh, absolutely,” Jungkook can’t help but giggle a little, “I’ve been compared to a walking, talking nightmare. You’re going to have to work a lot harder from now on.”

Hoseok doesn’t say anything in response, and the smile on Jungkook’s face turns into a frown as he wonders if he’s said the wrong thing. He opens his mouth, about to say something, maybe even apologize, when Hoseok’s voice through the other end stops him.

“Don’t worry,” Hoseok’s voice is deeper than it was moments ago, husky yet soft, “I’ve got you. I like people who can keep me on my toes.”

Jungkook breathes out audibly, wondering how to respond to that, and how to stop that feeling in his stomach that keeps intensifying, “Good, that’s good. No disappointments or hidden surprises, then.”

“Pity,” Hoseok tilts his head, smirking at his own reflection in the mirror across from him, “I like surprises.”

“I suppose,” Jungkook glances down at his jeans, fingertips lightly running across the material, before he looks up. “Bet you’re not going to say the same about disappointments.”

“There’ll be no disappointments,” Hoseok says firmly, mouth set in a firm line. “Only surprises.”

Jungkook snorts, “A little too confident, aren’t we?”

“Absolutely not,” Hoseok grins brightly at nothing in particular, glancing at the door when he hears some noise from outside. “I just have faith in my ability to get along with everyone.”

“How boring,” Jungkook remarks, standing up to stretch out his legs, before starting to stroll leisurely around the room. “A little drama spices up life just the right bit, you know.”

“Well, now that I have you, I guess I don’t have to worry about that aspect, right?”

Jungkook lets out a loud giggle at that statement, hand coming out to cover his mouth when he realizes how alerting the sound is. He breathes out softly, continuing to walk around the room as the two fall into a comfortable silence.

“How old are you?” Jungkook asks out of the blue, startling Hoseok a little, but he smiles to himself as he answers.

“I’m 28, so three years older than you.”

Jungkook hums in response, “Tell me something about yourself.”

Hoseok smiles at the question, “I collect figurines, and I am a neat freak. Your turn. Tell me a little bit about yourself.”

The sound of soft laughter that greets Hoseok, makes his chest swell, and he waits as Jungkook hums, seemingly in thought.

“I…like to bake. I do it as stress relief sometimes – try out new recipes, make up recipes, mix up different flavours.”

“So you like to cook, then?” Hoseok shifts on his bed, bending forward until he’s lying on his stomach, phones pressed in the curve of his neck.

“I like to bake, not exactly cook,” Jungkook clarifies. “It’s just a hobby, though, nothing serious.”

“Of course, of course,” Hoseok nods. “It’s okay to not want to make your hobby into your career.”

Jungkook laughs, “As if they’d let me. How would your parents react if you wanted to tell them that instead of running the company, you wanted to be…I don’t know…that you wanted to be a dancer.”

“Right, of course,” Hoseok chuckles in response, nodding his head. “So, what is your career, then?”

“Well, I manage two small company subsidiaries and an eatery, which is really just more of a café. I have plans to expand, but we’ll see.”

“Is the restaurant a company brand?” Hoseok asks, eyebrows furrowing as he tries to remember what he knows of the Jeons. “I don’t remember reading about any café or restaurants.”

“You’ve done your research,” Jungkook laughs, wondering whether he should feel daunted by the fact that Hoseok had taken time to look into not just him, but his parents’ company. “But it’s not related to the company. I have full ownership of it.”

“That’s impressive,” Hoseok says, nodding his head. “Guess you did make your hobby into a career after all. Well, as much as you could, given the circumstances.”

Jungkook laughs in response, “Guess I did. What about you? What do you do?”

He rushes to his desk, opening up a webpage as Hoseok hums before responding, “Well, occasionally I do oversee some projects and launches, but mainly I work as the Finance Director. I did a double masters, though, both in finance and marketing.”

Jungkook nods his heads, before stuttering out a quick “o-oh” as he skims the pages giving him details about Hoseok, finding no real discrepancies.

“Sounds like fun?” Jungkook offers after a while, leaning back in his desk chair, staring at the disturbingly high-definition photos of Hoseok he sees on his monitor.

“That’s a debatable statement,” Hoseok smirks. “But I enjoy it, so it isn’t so bad.”

“Good, I suppose that’s a good thing,” Jungkook trails off, spinning around in his chair, staring down at the ground swirling around.

“So tell me a little bit about this café of yours, if I visit, do I get to see you in an apron covered in flour? Just like the dramas.”

Jungkook laughs out loud at that, eyes crinkling, not noticing Jimin stepping inside, or the balcony door clicking shut, attention elsewhere.

“Maybe if you’re lucky you will, although I can’t promise you the flour bit. Why cover myself in flour if I can stuff myself with cupcakes itself?”

Hoseok chuckles, but doesn’t say much more, “I like the sound of you in an apron.”

Giggling, Jungkook quirks his head to the side, “Do you now?”

Hoseok hums, “I like the sound of you in an apron very much.”

“Why are you talking to yourself?” Hoseok hears Seokjin’s voice talk over his own before he sees the elder step inside, clad in a baby blue sweater and some loose pair of jeans, holding a spatula while wearing his obnoxiously pink apron. “Wait, did you just say you like the sound of me in an apron?”

Hoseok clenches his eyes shut, willing himself not to groan, when Jungkook giggles and asks a question that he misses. He covers the bottom of his phone with his hand, “Hyung not now, please!”

“Oh, wait,” Seokjin laughs pointing at his phone with the wooden spoon. “You’re not!”

Hoseok shoots the elder a dirty look, especially when he makes his way further into the room, grinning a Cheshire grin Hoseok is all too familiar, “Not now, Seokjin hyung, please, not now.”

Seokjin ooohs, tilting his head innocently before pointing at his phone, “Seokie, are you talk to Jeon Jungkook right now?”

--

“Did you just giggle?”

Jungkook’s eyes widen, and he spins around in his chair in shock, when he hears Jimin’s incredulous voice, coming face-to-face with an equally wide-eyed Jimin.

“Uh...I…uh…no?” Jungkook stammers out, squeaking at the end, when Jimin’s gaze falls on the phone in his hand, a rather sinister grin taking over his best friend’s face.

Jungkookie!” Jimin’s voice is saccharine sweet and unnaturally high, making Jungkook cringe as he slides away from him a little, briefly wondering who Hoseok is talking to on the other end of the line. “Who are you talking to, Kookie and why were you giggling?”

Jungkook stares at the wide and peculiar smile still resting on his best friend’s face, gulping audibly, before stuttering out, “No one, really, and I wouldn’t call it giggling. Maybe laughter?”

Jimin crosses his arms, eyebrow raised, feet tapping, but when Jungkook doesn’t crack under the pressure, holding his gaze, he sighs, “Is it Hoseok?”

“So what if it is?” Jungkook asks defensively, sitting up straighter.

“Put it on speaker,” Jimin says firmly before gesturing to the couch. “Let’s go.”

Jungkook rolls his eyes, but does as asked, a little bit of excitement stemming from Jimin’s curiosity in Hoseok.

Both settled comfortably on the couch, Jungkook enables speaker mode only to be greeted with muffled voices, one of which his recognizes as Hoseok’s deep drawl.

“What’s going on?” Jimin asks Jungkook, looking up confused, and they’re both surprised when Hoseok responds instead.

“Just a second, Jungkook, I gotta deal with something.”

“O-oh, okay,” Jungkook replies, shrugging at Jimin when the elder looks at him curiously.

--

“Hyung, no, stop! You get to meet him Tuesday, okay? I’m having a conversation with him!” Hoseok tries to block Seokjin with an arm as he tries to come forward, and grab his phone.

“I don’t see the point when he’s on the other end of the line, already!” Seokjin protests. “Why are you hiding him from me? Do you think I’m going to scare him away?”

“Hyung, we were having a conversation! You’re interrupting!” Hoseok narrows his eyes, panting as he hops off the bed.

“I don’t care, it’s only for a few minutes, trust me. Hyung just wants to talk to him a little okay? You can go back to your giggling and flirting right after!”

“We weren’t giggling and flirting!”

“I could hear you down the hall, Seokie, don’t even bother lying to me. Now, go on, let me talk to him, or better yet, let’s do a video call!”

“Wait, wait, what?!” Hoseok looks at the elder a little incredulously. “How did a video call come about?!”

“Go on!” Seokjin urges him ignoring his outburst, waving around his spatula pointedly. “Ask him!”

“What?!”

“Jung Hoseok, ask him, now! Also, put him on speaker! Come on, come on!”

--

“Er,” Jungkook’s eyes narrow when Hoseok gulps, seemingly hesitant before speaking. “Jungkook?”

“Yeah?” He responds calmly, acutely aware of Jimin’s eyes on him, and the grin plastered on his face.

“So, er, remember that hyung of mine? The one who wanted to meet you? The one I went to lunch with today?”

“Yeah?” Jungkook answers unsurely, wondering where this is leading up to. He looks up when Jimin leans closer, both of them sharing a confused expression as they wait for Hoseok to say more.

“So, um, my hyung asked me to ask if you wanted to do, er, a video call, perhaps?”

Jungkook can’t help the response that slips out of his mouth, and he leans back quickly, hand covering him mouth once he’s uttered a sharp, “what?”

He can hear Hoseok mumbling something to someone, and as he looks up to glance at Jimin in panic, a new voice comes on over the phone, “Hi Jungkook! My name is Kim Seokjin, and I’m Seokie’s favourite hyung! Can we do a video call? I know we’re meeting Tuesday, but I kinda wanted to see you and maybe talk a little bit.”

Jungkook hears muffled protests in the back which sound very much like Hoseok’s mouth is being covered with a hand, but before he has a chance to reply, Jimin laughs and jumps in.

“I’m sorry, but Jungkookie’s not quite decent enough for a video call at the moment!”

Jungkook squeaks in protest, shoving the elder’s shoulder, “No! No, I’m decent! Perfectly decent! Sorry, that was my hyung, he’s a little stupid. Please ignore him.”

There’s pause on the other end of the line, as Jimin cackles at Jungkook’s reddened face, before the same unfamiliar voice comes in, “Actually, if we’re talking about indecency, it’s probably Hoseok who’s the least decent. He’s sitting here in just a bathrobe, you know.”

Jungkook laughs behind a hand when he hears Hoseok yell out an embarrassed ‘hyung!’ in the background, responding with a, “Oh, really? Is that so?”

He hears some shuffling around on the other line, and Jimin looks up at him with wide, amused eyes, when they hear Seokjin’s voice mutter over the phone, “Seokie, are you even wearing your boxers?”

The questions followed shortly by Hoseok’s shrieks and a yell of, “Don’t touch me! What are you doing?! Yes, I AM! Step away from me!”

Jungkook giggles a little as Jimin raises an eyebrow, before a notification for a video call lights up the screen, and he grabs the phone in hand. Jimin and he both shift until they’re sitting side to side, accepting the call, adjusting the phone to make sure they’re both captured in the frame.

The video on the other side is a little vague, and Jungkook tilts his head, trying to make sense of it when the camera suddenly shifts, and he’s greeted with a video of Hoseok, looking freshly showered, sitting in a bathrobe on a bed, looking grumpy, with a rather perky, good looking man sitting beside him, smile as widely as Hoseok is frowning.

The frown on Hoseok’s face eases up a little, Jungkook notices, as he seems to notice him on the other side of the call, saying a quick hello to him before shifting eyes just a fraction to look at Jimin, Jungkook assumes.

“Hi!” Jimin grins cheekily, waving, “I’m Park Jimin, Jungkookie’s best friend! You must be Jung Hoseok!”

“Er, yeah,” Hoseok nods, looking a little abashedly at the camera, rubbing the back of his neck, and Jungkook notices how the shoulder of his bathrobe shifts just a little, exposing a collarbone Jungkook pulls his gaze away from immediately.

“I’m Kim Seokjin!” the other guy greets them with a smile, and Jungkook notices the spatula he has in hand, and the apron. “You must be Jeon Jungkook, and you’re Park Jimin, right?”

Jimin grins, seemingly enjoying the situation, “the one and only.”

Seokjin laughs at the response, “Oh, well, I don’t know about that. I know another Park Jimin – a girl.”

Jimin fake gasps, and Jungkook inwardly feels a little insecure about his awkwardness and inability to make conversation, “I am offended! But don’t you worry, Seokjin-ssi, soon I’ll be the only Park Jimin you remember!”

Hoseok laughs at the response, and Jungkook’s gaze shifts to him, and the angle at which Hoseok gazes back at the camera makes him feel like they’re making eye contact.

“Are you hitting on me?” Seokjin asks, raising an eyebrow at the camera.

“Oh, you wish,” Jimin grins widely.

“Don’t I?” Seokjin sighs, laughing when the answer takes Jimin by surprise. “But enough about the two of us, so Jungkook-ssi, right?”

“Ah, yes,” Jungkook nods quickly, bowing his head, in greeting, “hello.”

“He’s cute,” Seokjin says, turning to Hoseok, and Jungkook clears his throat, feeling his ears turn red as Jimin cackles from beside him. “I think I like him.”

He watches Hoseok slowly turn to face Seokjin, eyebrow raised, before he speaks, voice husky, “…and your point is?”

“Aw, Seokie, don’t be mad!” Jungkook watches the way Seokjin pinches Hoseok’s cheek, the latter ducking as well as he can to avoid the touch. “I just wanted to see him and say hi.”

“You’ve seen him now,” Hoseok points out, calmly, hand pointing at the phone. “You’ve also said hi. You can go now, right hyung?”

Seokjin laughs, glancing mischievously at the camera, and it makes Jungkook wonder about their relationship a little, “You’re being really rude to Jimin-ssi right now, Hoseok. Telling him to leave like that.”

Hoseok purses his lips as Jimin laughs, and Jungkook rushes in, “Oh, no, don’t worry about it. We all need to be a little rude to Jimin. His ego is huge – gotta bring him down a notch. And honestly, if he hadn’t said it, I would’ve told Jimin off.”

Seokjin’s eyes seem to sparkle at his statement, as he feels a punch on his left arm from Jimin, but he’s unable to tear his gaze away from the unfamiliar man sitting beside Hoseok as he tilts his head innocently, “And told me off, too?”

Jungkook sputters at the statement, shaking his head, “Oh no, of course not! Feel free to stay and chat.”

“Don’t be rude, Kook, have I taught you nothing about manners?” Jimin chastises him good naturedly, giving him a shit-eating grin when he turns to glare at him.

Hoseok smiles, opening his mouth to say something, before his face suddenly turns into one of confusion, and he sniffs, “Hyung, do you smell something burning?”

“Oh my god, the food!” Seokjin gasps, dropping the phone, and momentarily Jungkook’s left staring at the ceiling as he hears someone, Seokjin without a doubt, shuffling out of the room, and Hoseok laughing in the background.

He turns to glance at Jimin who’s already looking at him with wide, but amused eyes. The view of the ceiling changes back to one of Hoseok’s face, and he grins at the two of them, the spark back in his eyes as he walks out of his room, “Let’s go see how the food looks!”

Jimin lets out a snicker, nudging Jungkook with his elbow, nodding almost in what seems to be approval and Jungkook doesn’t understand why, but he feels relief bubble through his veins, as he lets out a short, light laugh, the sound catching Hoseok’s attention. The elder goes from looking to where he’s headed to at the phone briefly, lips curling up when he watches Jungkook giggle.

“Switch the camera,” Jimin says into the phone, and Hoseok nods, before the screen changes to what he assumes is the kitchen. It’s a nice open-concept piece, and Jungkook watches with a chuckle as Seokjin frets around the place.

Seokjin turns to face them once Hoseok enters, turning to the boy to bemoan, “It’s all ruined, Seokie.”

Hoseok laughs in response, “That’s what you get for annoying me. I told you to mind your own business.”

When Seokjin looks up into the camera with a sad expression, Jungkook can’t help but feel bad, especially when the elder doesn’t respond, simply turning away to throw what was cooking into the trash can.

“What were you making?” Jungkook asks softly, turning to glance at Jimin whose phone vibrates.

“Nothing. Nothing special,” the reply comes seconds later once Jimin stands up, showing him a text from Yoongi telling him that he’s almost at Jungkook’s place.

“I’m really sorry to interrupt,” Jimin speaks before he can, and watches how the camera mode switches once more until he sees Hoseok only, “but I have to leave now. It’s was nice meeting you two, and I’ll see you on Tuesday!”

Hoseok waves goodbye before turning the camera to Seokjin who manages to muster a smile, and murmurs a goodbye as well. Jimin grins at the camera once more, before turning to Jungkook, leaning in to whisper in his ear, “Let me know how the rest goes, okay? I’m gonna go now, hyung’s almost here.”

“Do you want me to walk you down?” Jungkook asks after an affirmative nod.

“It’s fine, you keep talking, I’ll text you once I get home.”

Jungkook waves goodbye, laughing when Jimin presses a kiss to the side of his head, ruffling his hair, “Don’t do naughty things while I’m gone, okay, Kook?”

The sentence make Hoseok chuckle, whom Jungkook had momentarily forgotten was there, and he turns to shoot the camera a sheepish smile. He hears Seokjin’s voice ushering Hoseok away, telling him to go back to his room to continue his conversation, and he hears the soft exchange and mention of takeout between them.

“So,” Hoseok stretches out the word, as he walks back to his room, “that was my hyung. I’m sorry about the sudden video call, but he kept insisting.”

“Oh, it’s fine, it’s fine,” Jungkook waves a dismissive hand, blushing when he realizes exactly how open Hoseok’s bathrobe is as the elder settles back in bed, camera slipping down a little more than necessary. “I apologize for suddenly shoving Jimin hyung in, too.”

Hoseok merely smiles, shrugging, “Best friends. What’re you gonna do?”

Jungkooks nods, “Definitely.”

They settle into comfortable silence once more, and Jungkook watches Hoseok glance around his room, as if surveying for something, before focusing back on the camera, smiling when he finds Jungkook’s gaze set upon him.

“See something you like?” Hoseok raises an eyebrow and Jungkook’s instinctive response is to scoff even as he feels the colour rush to his cheeks. “Just for the record, Jungkook, I’m only wearing boxers underneath this robe. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.”

The wide, killer smiles that greets him and the two little dimples throw the balance in his world off momentarily, but Jungkook’s quick to recover, perching an elbow up on the back of the couch, tilting his head into his palm and aiming for his most attractive look, “Awfully full of yourself, aren’t you?”

“Hey, hey,” Hoseok grins back at him a little devilishly, “what’s wrong with a little bit of confidence, huh?”

He waggles his eyebrow, shifting his phone so the camera pans a little lower, and Jungkook forces himself to look away, scrunching his nose, but the colour in his cheeks don’t let him last long as Hoseok whistles lowly.

“Wait, Jungkook, are you blushing?”

The glare that Jungkook throws at him doesn’t work apparently, because the next thing he knows, Hoseok’s chortling, pausing only to utter disbelievingly, “Wow, you’re 25 years old and blushing at the sight of a slightly exposed chest?”

Jungkook huffs, rolling his eyes, but the way his lips curl up into a smile a little give him away, “I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.”

“Why, Jungkookie?” Hoseok places deliberate emphasis on the nickname, grinning a little wickedly, something Jungkook realizes he finds more attractive than he should. “Don’t you like what you see?”

“And if I say I don’t’?” Jungkook responds, enunciating each word clearly.

“Now that would be a shame wouldn’t it?” Hoseok settles into a new position, lying on his side, arm bent at the elbow, and head cradled in his palm as the other holds the phone so Jungkook has a clear view of him. “I guess I’ll just have to find somebody who appreciates this body of mine in that case.”

Jungkook blinks, before raising an inquisitive eyebrow at Hoseok, smirking, “Are you threatening me with a break up when we haven’t even gotten engaged yet?”

It’s apparent that the statement catches the elder by surprise, especially when Hoseok bursts into bright laughter, body shaking rhythmically as his eye close, heart-shaped, pink lips blooming.

“Actually,” Hoseok holds up a finger once he’s finished laughing and Jungkook has realized that he’s been smiling at his phone endlessly for the last several minutes, “they’re probably planning out our wedding as we speak.”

Jungkook’s eyebrows furrow, “So soon? Don’t we get engaged first?”

“Eh, I’m sure we will, but it’s all going to be quick I think,” Hoseok says, looking a little deep in thought.

“Why?” Jungkook asks, head tilting until it rests against the back of the couch, and he’s curled up against it.

Hoseok doesn’t respond for a couple of minutes, looking far away at something in his room, and Jungkook decides not to interrupt. He waits for the elder to look back at him, and once he does glance back at the screen, he shrugs, and the words that leave his mouth make Jungkook frown, “Trouble is brewing.”

“What?” Jungkook can’t help but asks, eyes narrowing, changing his expression to a blank one when Hoseok stares intently at the screen. “What do you mean trouble is brewing?”

The elder shrugs again, “I don’t know, but something is up. I…I really don’t know.”

Jungkook sees a hint of something he wishes he hadn’t seen, before he settles for an indifferent mask, voice quiet, “You don’t trust me.”

“How long have we known each other?” Hoseok asks him quietly.

“A day,” Jungkook says softly, eyes lowering when he realizes what he’s accused Hoseok of.

“A day’s not very long, is it, Jungkook?” Hoseok smiles at him rather warmly from the other side, and Jungkook holds his breath as he continues speaking. “But it’s not that at all, Jungkook. It isn’t about trust right now. If I didn’t want to tell you, I would let you know exactly that. I’m not the excuses kind of guy, nor do I like excuses. I especially don’t like being lied to. I’m being honest here, though, I genuinely don’t know. Sometimes…sometimes you’re just the last person to find out, you know? But maybe that’s for the best and just the way it’s meant to be.”

Jungkook thinks over the words calmly, and something in Hoseok’s eyes makes him nod, no feeling of being lied to arising in his chest. They sit in silence for several minutes, both of them contemplating something, before Jungkook clears his throat, breaking the silence.

Hoseok turns his gaze, eyes alert, when Jungkook speaks, “I just realized that I never really got to ask you this, hyung, but do you want to get married?” He tacks on the “to me?” internally in his own, not having the courage to say it out loud or hear the answer.

Hoseok pauses at the question, and Jungkook lets him, watching the wheels in his heads turn as he stares away in the same direction he had been looking at. It takes several minutes for him to speak again, and when he does, Jungkook listens intently.

“I do,” Hoseok says, picking his words carefully, nodding. “I really do, but…maybe not like this? I really have no qualms against getting married. I like the concept of it, and I want a family, kids, and what not. It’s just that I never quite imagines it happening like this, but things aren’t always what we want them to be like right? I mean…I like you Jungkook, really I do. Perhaps it isn’t quite the way I should considering we’re getting married, but I genuinely enjoy your company. We might not like each other yet, not the way we should as a soon-to-be married couple, but I can see this becoming something meaningful…maybe something worthy of marriage.”

Jungkook slowly lets out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding, understanding dawning that despite the “buts” and the pauses, what Hoseok had said was largely positive. He nods in response, smiling and watching the way the tension from Hoseok’s forehead eases along with his smile.

“Good,” he says quietly after a while, “that’s good to hear.”

Hoseok lets out a laugh, before sighing, “I should go, now. The food is probably almost here.”

“Isn’t it a little later for dinner?” Jungkook glances at the clock in his room, noticing it’s almost half past nine at night.

“It is, but Seokjin hyung and I always make sure to eat dinner together, even if the other arrives well past midnight.”

“That’s nice,” the younger says softly, smiling as Hoseok’s own lips settles into a grateful smile.

“I’ll text you a bit before I go to bed,” Hoseok says with a grin, and Jungkook laughs, nodding a little eagerly.

“Okay, I’ll wait for it.”

Hoseok’s deep chuckle startles him a little, especially at the way the elder gazes at him through the camera, “Alright then. I’ll talk to you later.”

Jungkook waves, smiling brightly, “bye!”

Hoseok nods in responds, giving him a little wave as well, before the screen disappears, and Jungkook has a sudden realization, cursing himself for not having taken a screenshot of Hoseok’s face.

“Ah well,” he says out loud to himself, falling back on the couch. “There’s always tomorrow.”


If you want to say hi, scream at me, or ask me random questions about my life or who I am: Tumblr | Twitter

Chapter Text

It’s almost midnight, Jungkook notices with a yawn, as he glares down at his phone whilst sitting in bed. The solution to his problem is simple, and all it involves is a single text message, except that he refuses to budge and he most certainly refuses to give in first.

He kicks his feet in bed, thrashing against the covers and messing them up, before huffing, grabbing his phone and placing it on the night stand, face down, making sure it’s on vibrate. He gets up reluctantly, with a sigh, heading over to the bathroom to conduct his nightly routine. It’s in the midst of brushing his teeth that he hears the familiar sound of vibration against the mango wood of his nightstand. He rushes out, toothbrush in hand, and uses the other to flip over the phone. The sender isn’t who he’s expecting, but they make him excited nevertheless as he swipes across the screen.

From: Channie hyung

12:05 a.m.

I come back home after three weeks, and you don’t even come down to say hi?

Jungkook laughs a little, trying to avoid the foam in his mouth from spilling down his shirt. Clenching the toothbrush between his teeth and lips, he sends back a quick reply, rushing back to the bathroom soon after.

From: Baby cuckoo

12:06 a.m.

Give me a break, I’m brushing my teeth. I’ll be down once I’m done.

From: Channie hyung

12:07 a.m.

Yes, your highness. I am honoured.

The reply is almost instant, but he misses it as he quickly finishes brushing his teeth, and rushes down the stairs. He tries the living room at first, but upon being greeted by only a few pieces of luggage, he heads back upstairs. The other rooms are empty, his parent’s bedroom included, and he frowns as he heads downstairs, trying for the kitchen. He almost walks past the closed, translucent glass doors of the drawing room before catching movement from inside.

“Why’re they there?” He asks no one in particular, knocking twice before sliding the door open gently.

He sees his mother and older brother sitting across from each other at the high, wooden antique table in the corner of the room once he opens the door, and his brother smiles at him from across, waving him inside. He grins back, glancing briefly at his mother who smiles at him as well. She looks happier, he notices almost instantly, before turning to close the doors, and remembers that of course she has reason to be, considering her eldest son has returned safely from an almost month long trip.

In a moment of pure bitterness, he can’t help but compare to how her behaviour had been last time he had returned from a trip abroad. The hug and simple ‘welcome back’ pale in comparison to the way she’s pouring her son tea, that she’s no doubt prepared herself, several plates of snacks and fruits decorating the table.

It’s all forgotten though the instant his brother smiles at him, gesturing for him to take the seat next to him. He grins back, pausing a little by his brother’s seat, before leaning down to give him a hug, whispering a quick welcome into his neck. He’s enveloped in warm arms, inhaling the scent of familiar cologne, before his brother ruffles his hair, and gestures with his head for him to sit.

“How was your trip, hyung?” Jungkook asks as soon as he’s sitting down, legs pulled up, and curled onto the seat.

“Do you want some tea or something to eat, Jungkook?” His mother asks, interrupting their conversation before it begins, and he eyes the stuff on the table, noticing more than a few favourites.

He sighs, regardless, and shakes his head, “I just brushed my teeth, but thank you, eomma.”

She laughs at him, watching the way he eyes the food, and he looks up in surprise at the sound. There’s a plate sitting in front of him before he knows it, and he can’t bring it in himself to say anything except thank you.

“The trip was good,” his brother answers between bites. “Nothing special, the usual.”

“Everything went smoothly?” His mother asks, leaning back in her chair, tucking a stray piece of hair behind her ear. It’s turning white Jungkook notices, and upon closer examination of her face, he realizes he can see signs of aging that he hadn’t noticed before. He thinks back to the woman who had him in awe ever since the first day she’d stepped foot in the orphanage Jungkook used to live in. Despite the disagreement and the issues with the caretakers, issues he was too young to understand, she had repeatedly told him every time that he would get to go home with her.

She’d brought his hopes up, and she hadn’t let him down in the slightest. Even after it had all been done and over with, even after he had finally found a place to call home, and even after the aura of perfection that had surrounded had faded and he’d become aware of the cracks and the chips, in a part of his mind, she still amazed him.

He had always considered her as invincible, his mother that is, but seeing her sit under the dim lighting of the closed off drawing off, the signs of aging in her skin and her emotions openly visible on her face, she looked anything but. Instead, she struck him as quite average – just a mother happy to be reunited with her child and not Wonder Woman like he’d always pictured her as being.

She glances at him when he stares for too long, and Jungkook’s quick to break away his gaze. The room falls silent as he does, and he’s not sure if it’s because he’s missed an entire snippet of conversation or due to his erratic behaviour.

“Are you okay?” his mother looks concerned, his brother as well, and he nods his head.

“Sorry, just got lost in my thoughts a little. I just…realized something weird, and it was strange. Yeah.”

“What did you realize?” Minchan, his older brother, cocks his head, looking at him curiously and Jungkook meets his eyes for a few seconds, before shaking his head.

“It was n-nothing,” he stammers out quickly. “Nothing too important. Just…I missed you, hyung.”

Minchan laughs at that, head thrown back as his eyes crinkle and his body shakes, “Did you now?”

Jungkook hums, a teasing grin playing on his lips as he tilts his head innocently, “Of course, hyung, why would I not?”

A snort later, Jungkook wonders if he’s succeeded in diverting attention from himself, but his mother’s lingering gaze tells him that isn’t so. His older brother yawning and stretching in his periphery pulls his eyes away from his mother sitting across from him, though, and she notices her eldest son’s actions as well as she smiles, leaning back in her chair, arms crossed, “Tired, Chan-ah?”

Minchan pouts a little, before nodding cutely, and Jungkook rolls him eyes, “Why don’t you act you age, hyung?”

“Well since you like to act like you’re 35, I figured I might as well act a little younger to balance things out, you know,” his brother gives him a saccharine sweet smile, one that matches his father’s smile almost down to the T.

Jungkook gasps at the response, “I do not act like I’m 35!”

“You do, baby cuckoo, sometimes you do.”

“Ah, hyung!” Jungkook allows him to whine a little, “why do you keep calling me that?! I’m not a cuckoo bird! They’re evil.”

Minchan laughs at that, ruffling his hair, “they’re not evil, cuckoo, it’s just in their nature to be that way. It’s the way they have to be in order to survive.”

“Are you calling me a parasite?” Jungkook raises an eyebrow, mouth pressed into a firm line, and turns when his mother laughs behind a hand. “I’m not a parasite.”

“That’s not how 12-year old me felt when you were first brought in,” Minchan purses his lips, trying to hold back a giggle when Jungkook’s mouth falls open.

“Wow, hyung, you’re getting old, aren’t you? Are you having trouble remembering? Who used to run after who exactly when we were kids? You were so annoying, always wanting to play with me!”

“Look, I’ve always wanted a younger sibling, okay?” His brother holds hands up in surrender, the smile he tried to hold back visible.

Jungkook snorts, arms crossing, “and of course, you got me, instead. What a disappointment, right?”

“You weren’t, Jungkook,” it’s his mother who speaks up, breaking up their quarrel, “you were never a disappointment. Minchan’s just teasing you.”

“Yeah, baby bro,” he turns to glance at his brother when the elder wraps an arm around his shoulder, “I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Jungkook smiles despite himself, “Of course, who wouldn’t be lucky to be related to me?”

“Exactly!” Minchan exclaims, and Jungkook laughs, rolling his eyes.

“Act your age, hyung.”

“Once you start acting yours Kook, but all of that aside,” Minchan’s gaze shifts from Jungkook to their mother, and asks, “What important thing did you say we had to discuss?”

“Ah, well,” his mother says slowly, turning her gaze to Jungkook as she does, “there’s a prospective marriage offer.”

Jungkook turns to gauge his older brother’s expression, frowning when he watches the way he stiffens, before sitting up straight, “from?”

“It’s not for you,” she says simply, and Minchan sighs in relief a little, before a surprised expression takes over.

He turns to glance at Jungkook, before sighing, staring at their mother with a displeased look, “again?”

Jungkook watches his mother’s face become blank before she nods, “again.”

“It’s not what you’re thinking, though,” his mother continues and Minchan looks at her questioningly, sitting up a little straighter, arms coming out to rest on the table.

“What do you mean?” He tilts his head, and Jungkook glances between the two of them, trying to intercept their mental conversation.

Mrs. Jeon smiles almost imperceptibly, before she speaks, “Jungkook likes him.”

Minchan’s shock is vastly apparent as he swivels his head to glance at his younger brother, “you do?!”

Jungkook doesn’t look back at him, knowing that his ears at the very least are a little red, “Well, he’s not bad, hyung.”

“Oh? OH?” Minchan laughs at his expressions, before turning to glance at his mother. “They’re okay people?”

“Yeah,” she nods. “We approached them, not the other way around.”

“That doesn’t mean anything, eomma,” he chides her, but his expressions seem brighter. “That’s good, though. It’s better than nothing. Kook, when’d you meet him?”

“Just yesterday,” Jungkook replies, glancing at his brother. “Why?”

“Nothing, nothing, just curious of how much happened while I was gone,” Minchan grins at his younger brother. “How old is he?”

“He’s 28,” Jungkook replies, smiling at his brother.

“Nice,” the elder says appreciatively, turning to his mother. “Are they interested?”

Minchan watches his mother nod, “They called me just today to say they were very happy with how everything went yesterday, and it’s a yes. It’s the Jung family, we worked with them for the United Towers project, remember?”

“Wait,” Minchan blinks, glancing at Jungkook, before turning to his mother, “Jung Hoseok?”

It’s Jungkook who answers him first with a quick ‘yes’, and watches his brother’s surprised face turn into a frown. His own face falls, especially when his brother scowls, “Are you sure it’s him?”

“Certainly,” his mother answers, frowning at her eldest son as well. “He’s the second child, and only son. You’ve met him and his older sister several times haven’t you?”

“Oh, yeah, I know him. I know him well,” his brother sighs, rubbing at his eyebrows with an index finger.

“What’s wrong, hyung?” Jungkook dares to ask first when his brother doesn’t elaborate.

“I don’t like him,” Minchan says simply. “He’s...I don't know. I don’t understand him at all.”

“What do you mean?” Jungkook watches his mother lean forward, and he feels a wave of disappointment wash over him when his brother continues.

“I don’t know, mum, but I don’t trust him. He strikes me as very two-faced."

“Nobody is a 100% good, Chan-ah, what exactly don’t you like about him? You can’t wear your heart on your sleeve in this world. Did he ever do something to you?”

“Well, no, but I just don’t like him, eomma. He was always so clipped and unrelenting when we worked together for the Towers project, and look how that project turned out. A real control freak.”

“But that was business, hyung, it doesn’t exactly mean he’s a bad person, does it?” Jungkook bites down on his tongue when his brother slowly turns to look at him.

"Excuse me?”

“I…I thought he was okay when we met. He wasn't reserved or unrelenting like you said,” Jungkook says meekly when his older brother stares him down, anger visible in his gaze.

“He’s already got you under wraps, doesn’t he? So easily swayed you are, little brother,” the tone of voice his brother takes on is more than just a little bit wicked.

“Minchan, don't talk to your brother that way!” Jungkook watches in surprise as his mother raises her voice, glaring down her eldest son. “We'll discuss this tomorrow when your father gets back.”

“I was the one who worked with him for a month, eomma, don’t you think I would know him better? I don’t want Jung Hoseok and me to be related under any circumstance, and I am sure he feels the same. Are you really going to trust Kook’s take on this? Don’t you know how easy he is? A few kind words and he’ll turn into your lap dog.”

"Minchan!" His mother's stern and disapproving tone of voice does nothing to appease the hurt he feels at the statement.

"Is that what you think of me, hyung?" Jungkook stares at his brother with betrayed eyes, eyes pricking with tears when his brother remains silent.

Minchan sighs, rubbing a hand against his face, "It isn't how I feel about you. It's just...look, cuckoo -"

"DON'T CALL ME THAT!" Jungkook yells, before he brings up a hand to cover his own mouth, watching the angry downturn of his older brother's lips as he stares back at him.

Jungkook feels the tears burn his eyes again when his brother makes no move to apologize or say anything, and he stands up hastily, hearing but not quite registering the way his mother scolds his older brother before calling after him. He strides out of the room, ignoring both them, sliding the door shut a little harshly. He dashes up the stairs, next, and into his room, slamming the door closed, before locking it for good measure. The tears burn until they finally spill over, hot tracks trailing down his cheeks.

His older brother’s statement repeats in his head, before Jimin’s words about giving too much a little too fast start to ring, and as he sniffles, trying to stop the onslaught of more tears, he starts to wonder if he really does have a problem. The blinking LED of his phone catches his attention, and he wipes at his tears with his sleeves, taking a deep breath, willing himself to not cry. His heart stutters when he suddenly thinks of who the multiple notifications might be because of, and he hesitates before swiping across the screen.

There’s a message from Minchan, the one he missed earlier, and he angrily presses on it to delete it, before going back to his inbox. There a few unread messages, two from Hoseok and six from Jimin.

He opens up the ones from his best friend first, unwillingly smiling when he scrolls up.

From: Jimin

12:14 a.m.

Hi.

12:14 a.m.

I can’t sleep :(

12:17 a.m.

Sing for me.

12:20 a.m.

Jungkookie~

12:23 a.m.

I really can’t sleep! Yoongi hyung's outside working. :(

12:31 a.m.

Help me!

With a shake of a head, Jungkook types out a quick reply.

From: Jungkook

12:33 a.m.

I have the cure for your illness: put your phone away and go cuddle that body pillow I bought you.

He smiles at his own reply, before moving over to his conversation with Hoseok.

From: Hoseok

12:11 a.m.

Are you still awake?

12:29 a.m.

I’m going to guess not. Sorry for not messaging you earlier, I had some last minute stuff to deal with. Sleep well, Jungkookie :) ♥

He bites his lip, looking at the time, and as he brings up his hand to wipe at his cheeks again, he decides to ignore the message.

His phone vibrates once more as he's about to place it back on the nightstand, but he doesn't open up the message or check who it’s from. Slipping under the covers after turning off the lights, he wills himself to go to sleep.

--

Hoseok’s alarm ringing shakes him out of his sleep, and he looks around dazed, as if he hasn’t been following the same routine for years now. A glance at the clock, and he falls back in bed, groaning as he uses his hand to blindly reach and turn the blaring alarm off, hoping Seokjin hasn’t woken up because of the noise. He stretches a little in bed, eyes slowly opening as he adjusts to the bright sunlight filtering into his room.

He stays in bed for a good fifteen minutes, staring at the light filtering through the drapes, content with laying and listening to the sound of birds chirping through his slightly open window. It’s a little cold for a summer morning, and he shivers a little as he curls into a slight ball, waiting for sleep’s hold on his mind and body to pass.

Seokjin’s asked him incredulously several times in their decades of having known each other why he likes waking up an hour before he really needs to be up, and he’s shrugged each time. It’s a habit, he says sometimes, waking up early that is. Sometimes he tells him that he likes watching the sunrise, but really it’s a rather simple reason. He likes the freedom of being able to lay in bed for a little while, of having the time to reorient his mind before he has to go out and face the world once again.

Halfway through his mind’s mindless musings as he stares out of his window, thoughts of a boy with dark hair, shining eyes, and a rather toothy smile come to his head. He turns over, picking his phone up, but is disappointed by the lack of notifications. He must still be asleep, Hoseok rationalizes, remembering how the younger had told him he was a late sleeper.

He shrugs regardless, typing out a quick ‘good morning’, pausing briefly and deciding to tack on a heart at the end of the message and pressing send. Smiling to himself, he places the phone back on the nightstand, unplugging the charger, before rolling out of bed, heading to the bathroom.

He returns freshly showered, towel wrapped around his waist, and heads to the closet looking for clothes to wear. In between the selection of his clothes, he hears his phone chime, eyebrows furrowing when he wonders who it is. He takes his time with picking out a dark grey suit, white shirt, and a black tie, no one significant coming to mind, but his eyes widen a little when he checks his phone.

He’s surprised by the fact that it’s Jungkook, glancing briefly at the clock on his bedside to affirm that it is indeed the time that he thinks it is. He’s about to reply, before he hesitates and presses the call button, instead. Pushing the call onto his Bluetooth, he fixes the ear piece into his ear before continuing to get dressed. It rings three times exactly, before Jungkook picks up, greeting him with a slightly sniffling voice.

--

Jungkook finds himself blinking away asleep to the sound of birds and cars at 7 a.m., surprising himself more than anyone else of the relatively early time, considering his usual habits of sleeping in until 11 a.m. He wonders why he’s up now, lying in bed, staring aimlessly at the ceiling, but when he finds himself unable to fall back asleep, he decides to leave his bed instead. There’s two blinking notifications on his phone, he notices upon his return from the bathroom, and chooses to ignore them both as he gets dressed.

The weather outside seems quite nice, and Jungkook finds himself wanting to go on a walk, eager to clear his mind of the thoughts that riddle it. There’s no note, nothing at all, he notices from his older brother, and the lack of apology both disappoints and upsets him. He checks the elder’s bedroom either way, finding him sleeping in his bed, one leg sticking out of the blanket, mouth slightly open. A quick survey of the room reveals things and clothes out of place, and it looks as if his brother tried to unpack but gave up halfway and went to sleep.

He heads downstairs after closing the door softly, surprised to find his mother and father both sitting at the kitchen island counter, in the middle of a soft discussion.

“Good morning,” he greets them, startling them both, no doubt. “Appa, when did you get here? I thought you were coming home tomorrow.”

“I was supposed to, but I caught an early flight,” his father smiles in his direction, gesturing to the single piece of luggage and carry on that sit by the door. “How are you, Jungkook?”

“Good, I’m good,” Jungkook smiles, turning to glance at his mother.

“I told him,” she answers his unspoken question with a knowing smile, turning to glance at her husband. They both share a look, a conversation that Jungkook, no matter how hard he tries, will not be able to understand.

‘You don’t always need love to form a connection,’ Jungkook remembers his mother saying as she had fixed his hair before he had left to meet suitor number one, a frown on his lips the entire time. He hadn’t said anything in response, but thinking back to Hoseok and their conversation last night, Jungkook starts to wonder if there was indeed truth in her statement.

He’s startled when both his parents clear their throats to get his attention, and his dad eyes him, “Are you going somewhere with someone, Kook?”

Jungkook shakes a head in response, lips quirking up, “No, the weather outside looked nice from my window, and so I thought I’d go for a walk. I’ll just be going then, you guys can carry on.”

“Wait a minute, son,” his dad calls out softly and it makes Jungkook turn before he even registers he’s doing it.

“Yeah, dad?”

“So, Jung Hoseok?”

A flush takes over his cheeks, one that won’t go away no matter how much he wills it to, and so he settles for a simple nod.

“I like him,” his dad says in approval. “I’ve met the Jungs a few times, apart from work, and they’re nice folks. I’ve met both the kids, and I like them. You’ve got good taste.”

“Thank you, appa,” Jungkook says softly, smiling and unsure of what else he can say in such a situation.

“I heard about what happened with Minchan,” his dad continues. “Don’t worry about it, okay, Kook? He’ll come around and see Hoseok for what the boy really is now. People change with time, and the Hoseok I’ve met is nothing but polite. I hope what Minchan said didn’t hurt you.”

“It’s fine,” Jungkook shakes his head. “Hyung didn’t mean it, I know. He just said it out of anger.”

When he looks up, he finds his father gazing at him with a proud face, before nodding, “That’s it, Kook. That’s it. Your mother and I will be meeting the Jungs soon to take this relationship further, so keep your schedule empty for the next few days okay?”

“I’ll call Mira tonight, actually,” his mother interrupts as she takes a sip of her coffee. “I told her it was a yes from us, already, and that I just wanted to wait for you to return before we scheduled a meeting to fix a date.”

“Did you let eomma know?” Jungkook’s hears his dad ask, and watches with curiosity as his mother freezes a little at the mention.

“Ah, I almost forgot about letting her know,” she says after a few seconds, shaking her head. “I’ll let her know, too.”

“Good, don’t forget her, okay?”

Jungkook excuses himself, before he gets further tangled into the conversation, and rushes out the door, once they nod in approval. He takes his phone out of his pocket, untangling his earbuds, before placing them in his ears and connecting them to his phone. He bites his lip as he sees the two new messages on his screen, and he sighs as he turns on his music.

The latest one is from Hoseok, wishing him a good morning alongside a heart, and despite his strong urge to ignore it after his argument with his brother yesterday, he can’t help but smile. Jungkook texts back a simple good morning, too, wondering if the other is a naturally early riser. The second message is from Jimin, and from the response and lack of messages after, Jungkook concludes that the boy had managed to fall asleep after all.

He walks aimlessly for quite a bit, strolling around his familiar neighbourhood, wondering if he should duck into a café and buy some breakfast each time he passes by shops smelling strongly of the aroma of coffee. He’s contemplating that decision when the music in his ears stop and his ringtone starts to play instead. Puzzled, he pulls his phone out of jacket pocket, only to find that it’s Hoseok. He lets it ring a few times, before he picks up, sniffling as a cold breeze hits him, uttering a soft ‘hello’.

--

“Good morning,” Hoseok greets him through the phone, and Jungkook has no trouble imagining the elder’s smiling face.

“Morning,” he replies, as he walks down a cobblestone alley, glancing at a man in a suit that dashes past him.

“You’re up early,” Hoseok comments after a few seconds, and he hears him fumble on the other end with something.

“Yeah,” Jungkook breathes out, sniffling again, as he turns a right, walking aimlessly. “I am.”

Hoseok pauses for several seconds, the line falling silent, before his voice comes through, a little concerned, “Is everything okay?”

Jungkook snorts, “It’s early.”

“It is,” Hoseok confirms. “But that isn’t really the answer to my question.”

“Everything’s fine, why wouldn’t it be?”

Hoseok picks his words carefully, frowning on the other end, “You don’t sound okay, Jungkook.”

“How would you know? It’s like you said, last night, we’ve only known each other for two days,” Jungkook asks a little bitterly, his brother’s words ringing in his head.

“I don’t know, I guess I’m perceptive?”

“Doubtful. Very doubtful.”

Hoseok sighs, wondering if he should try a different angle, “Alright, then, how about, what are you doing?”

Jungkook frowns a little at the change of subject, before he sighs, “Sorry, I’m not in a good mood, right now.”

“I figured, I’ll hang up then, sorry for disturbing you,” Hoseok voices come through, sound polite but reserved, and it upsets Jungkook a little.

“I’m out on a walk,” he says suddenly. “The weather looked nice outside.”

“That sounds pleasant, walks are good for clearing your head.”

“I’m hoping it helps, too,” Jungkook admits quietly. He spots a nearby shop, the smell of freshly baked goods making his stomach rumble. “What are you doing, hyung?”

“I’m getting dressed,” Hoseok responds, and he hears clearly the sound of a belt buckle. “I’ve got a meeting at 9 a.m.”

Jungkook makes a small sound, “Have fun, I guess?”

Hoseok laughs, “I’ll try, but I make no promises. How’s your walk going?”

“It’s on hold, now,” Jungkook says chuckling in response. “I’m heading over to a place to get breakfast. It all smells so good, hyung.”

“Where are you right now? Close to home?”

“I’m not really sure,” Jungkook looks around. “Somewhere close-by I think, I haven’t been walking long.”

“How’re you planning on getting home, then, Jungkook?”

“I’ll find a way, don’t I always?” He surveys the menu board, looking at his options, when Hoseok answers him back.

“I wouldn’t know, Jungkook, I wouldn’t know. What did you order?”

Jungkook smiles, “I haven’t yet, want to help me decide?”

Hoseok’s laughter this time sounds genuine, “Sure, what are your options?”

“Blueberry or fruit explosion?”

“For a drink?”

“No, a muffin.”

“Try blueberry,” Hoseok suggests. “I like blueberry muffins.”

“Fruit explosion, it is,” Jungkook announces. “Great, thanks.”

He’s rewarded with another chuckle before Hoseok mumbles, “You’re welcome, I guess.”

“Are you done getting dressed?” Jungkook stands in line, glancing at the display of baked goods by the counter, his mouth watering at the sight.

“Almost. Just working on my tie,” Hoseok’s response is bright. “There, all done, now.”

Jungkook smiles, “Have you had breakfast?”

“I’ll most likely order in something after my meeting.”

“You should just eat something on the way,” Jungkook informs. “Wouldn’t want your stomach to rumble in the middle of the meeting, right? Now that’d be embarrassing.”

“How kind of you to be so worried about me,” Hoseok’s voice drips with sarcasm, and Jungkook hears the unmistakable sound of the door open and closing. “Just a second, Jungkook.”

He hears Hoseok open another door, the elder’s voice calling out Seokjin’s name softly, before whispering, “Hyung, I’m leaving for work. Don’t you have to leave in an hour too?”

He stifles a laugh when he hears Seokjin curse on the other end of the line, fumbling around as Hoseok exits the room chuckling, “Sorry, about that, I was just waking up Seokjin hyung.”

“That’s okay, are you heading out now?”

Hoseok hums positively, “I just left the place, and am heading downstairs, now. Our call’s going to get disrupted in a few minutes one I enter the underground parking lot. Any last words?”

Jungkook laughs, “No, not quite. Have a good day, I guess?”

“Thank you,” Hoseok’s reply is soft. “Feeling better?”

“I am, thank you. Sorry about earlier.”

“It’s alright Jungkook, we all have our off moments. Get home safe, okay? Call me or well, I suppose, just call someone if you get lost.”

“I’ll be okay,” Jungkook says with a smile. “Don’t worry about me.”

Hoseok’s response is a chuckle, “Sorry, just text me once you get home, okay?”

“Wow, you’re already so demanding.”

“I’m not being demanding,” Hoseok complains, voice cutting off before coming back. “I just want to make sure you get home okay. Just text me once you do.”

“Don’t you feel like we text and talk a little too much for strangers who’ve just met two days ago?”

“Do we?” Hoseok’s eyebrows furrow. “I guess we do, but you know, we’re practically engaged.”

Jungkook laughs, “Even then, I feel like it’s a lot.”

“We can tone it down then, if you’d like. Listen, Jungkook, I’m entering the parking lot now, so I’m going to hang up alright? Before we get cut off. Text me if some goes wrong, okay?”

“Alright, bye hyung,” Jungkook almost waves, before realizing he’s on the phone, and manages to stop himself at the right time. He slips his phone back into the pocket with a smile, waiting at the side counter to pick up his order. Shaking his head when his brother’s words about Hoseok make their way back to him, he sighs, deciding that he’ll settle and make his own decisions about people this time around. Grabbing his order once it turns up, he grabs the paper bag and heads out of the shop. 

--

From: Jungkook

8:49 a.m.

Got home safe and sound. Do you need picture proof?

From: Hoseok

8:51 a.m.

Yes, please. :)

Jungkook bites his lips, cursing himself inwardly as he wonders why he offered such a thing. He opens up his phone camera, changing it to front facing mode, before chickening out and sending Hoseok a picture of his smoothie and muffin. His phone chimes with a reply almost instantly.

From: Hoseok

8:54 a.m.

That’s only proof that the muffin and smoothie got home safe. You’ve got six minutes before this meeting starts, Jungkook.

From: Jungkook

8:54 a.m.

…yes, of course. ‘Cause the food walked itself home without me?

From: Hoseok

8:55 a.m.

Your words, not mine. Five minutes, now.

Jungkook curses, clicking on his camera and changing it back to front facing mode. He snaps a picture of himself making a grumpy face, before deleting it when he deems it not good enough. He ponders for a few seconds, before huffing, as an idea strikes him.

He muses his hair up a little, giving it a slightly tousled look, before opening the zipper of his hoodie, making sure it seems like he’s wearing nothing underneath. Tearing a small piece of his muffin, he touches it to the tip of his tongue, giving the camera a smoldering look, before taking a picture.

“Oh gosh,” he mumbles to him continuously as he opens up the messaging app again. His phone buzzes as he’s in the process of attaching the image.

From: Hoseok

8:57 a.m.

Three more minutes, Jungkook, but I have to leave my office in a minute.

He pressed send as soon as the image finishes attaching, and then almost drops his phone down on the island counter.

“Oh god, oh god,” Jungkook fists one hand, the other running through his hair. “What the hell did I just send him?”

It takes a whole minute for his phone to buzz in reply, the entirety of which he spends fidgeting with his hands, having almost lost his appetite. The nervousness in the pit of his stomach intensifies when Hoseok responds, and his hands shake as he unlocks his phone.

From: Hoseok

8:59 a.m.

Fuck.

…wait, is that blueberry?

Jungkook lets out a loud laugh, as he hunches over the counter in laughter after reading the reply. He smiles to himself, relief coursing through his body and he types out a quick reply, wondering if Hoseok will be able to read it in time.

From: Jungkook

9:00 a.m.

Of all the things to focus on, hyung, of all the things to focus on.

(But yes, yes it is ♥)

Hoseok’s reply doesn’t come until around noon.

From: Hoseok

11:37 a.m.

Guess it’s time for a wallpaper change.

You know, I never really understood the kind of people who made their significant others their wallpapers, but I guess I’m starting to now.

From: Jungkook

11:40 a.m.

If you change your wallpaper, then I get to, as well. Eye for an eye, hyung.

Jungkook almost drops his phone when the picture does make its way into his inbox. Hoseok’s wearing a dark grey suit, the first two buttons of his shirt undone and the flaps of his button-down pulled apart to reveal his chest. His tie is unfastened, resting around his neck, and he’s smirking, thumb stroking his lower lip while the rest of his fingers rest against his chin.

He closes the image once he’s stared at it long enough, looking around warily as if looking for someone watching him over his shoulder.

He takes a deep breath before responding.

From: Jungkook

11:45 a.m.

I’m not making that my wallpaper…

From: Hoseok

11:45 a.m.

Pity. That’s a great picture of me.

From: Jungkook

11:46 a.m.

…you’re so…

From: Hoseok

11:47 a.m.

Attractive? Charming? Hot?

From: Jungkook

11:48 a.m.

Vain. Self-obsessed. Narcissistic.

From: Hoseok

11:49 a.m.

I guess I need to buy you a dictionary for your birthday.

Wait, when is your birthday?

From: Jungkook

11:50 a.m.

I’m not really sure. :)

No birth certificate, remember?

From: Hoseok

11:58 a.m.

Shit, I’m so sorry! I completely forgot! :(

From: Jungkook

12:00 p.m.

It’s fine. When is yours?

From: Hoseok

12:03 p.m.

February 18th. :(

I’m sorry again!

From: Jungkook

12:05 p.m.

I’ll mark it down!

Jungkook frowns when Hoseok doesn’t reply to the text, before putting his phone away. Even as the next morning comes and his inbox remains empty, he wonders if Hoseok’s taken his remark about talking less to heart.

--

“Oh shit, Kim Seokjin is not only tall but also extremely hot in real life,” Jimin says incredulously, staring ahead, and Jungkook frowns turning to glance at his best friend before following his gaze over to just beyond the glass doors of the restaurant they’re expected to arrive at in a few minutes. He spots a slightly familiar looking man, one he recognizes from a few nights ago, and he nods his head in agreement with Jimin as he takes in the elder’s well-fitted navy blue suit, coiffed up black hair, and soft features.

“This is really unfair, you know,” Jimin complains tugging at his sleeve a little, “why were looks not distributed fairly? I feel ugly and underdressed compared to him right now.”

Jungkook snorts, giving Jimin a sideways glance, “Speak for yourself. Also, can you not? You have a boyfriend – Yoongi hyung, need I remind you?”

Jimin rolls his eyes as they start to walk forward, closer to their destination, “I said he looked hot Kookie, not that I wanted to bang him. Yoongi hyung and I are perfectly happy, yeah?”

Jungkook stiffens a little when a few heads turn in their direction as Jimin speaks, and he chides the elder, “Can you not yell things like that out in public, please?”

The elder turns to him with a cheeky grin, before opening his mouth, ready to make noise. Jungkook smiles back sweetly, bringing up a heel and down onto Jimin’s toes, extracting a yelp out of the shorter man.

“Jungkook!”

“Act your age, please, and don’t do things or say things just to embarrass me, okay?” Jungkook glares right back at Jimin as the elder frowns at him. “And please, please, please, don’t flirt with Seokjin-ssi okay? You have a boyfriend, just remember him.”

“I wasn’t going to flirt with him, Kook, how low of an opinion do you have of me?” Jimin pouts as they approach the restaurant, a few steps away from the door. “Just because I appreciate the wine, doesn’t mean I want to taste it.”

Jungkook clamps down a tight hand around Jimin’s wrist, throwing the elder a sullen look, “Please, please don’t say things like that in front of them, okay?”

Jimin giggles as they enter the restaurant, hand in hand, walking towards Seokjin who stares at them a little before a bright smile takes over his face as he recognizes them.

“Park Jimin, am I correct?” he asks, pushing a hand forward in Jimin’s direction who takes it, giving it a firm shake along with a giggle.

“The one and only,” Jimin replies smirking as he takes a hand away, and Jungkook pinches the other’s back, hard, make him jump a little. Seokjin, luckily, doesn’t notice the movement, or if he does, he has the manners to not mention it for which Jungkook is infinitely glad.

He smiles when the elder turns to glance at him with a small smile, watching him for a few seconds, looking him up and down as if taking him in. The smile on Seokjin’s face widens a little, and Jungkook shifts a little under the slightly uncomfortable gaze, finding it harder to maintain his own smile, before bowing and murmuring a quick, “Hello, it’s nice to meet you, Seokijn-ssi.”

Seokjin nods his heads, offering Jungkook a handshake as well, and Jungkook takes it, “So you’re Jeon Jungkook, huh? It’s good to finally meet you in the flesh.”

“Likewise,” Jungkook says with a quick nod to the head.

“As wonderful as this union is, really it brings tears to my eyes, shall we move inside?” Jimin asks with a pointed smirk, gesturing towards the door with his head.

“Sure thing,” Seokjin says with a laugh. “Seokie’s running a little late, so I’m here to greet you two instead, let’s go in, hmm?”

It’s a modern establishment, Jungkook finds as he steps inside, the design and interior minimalistic and full of dark, bold colours. Their shoes make clacking sounds as they walk across the wooden floor, and Jungkook’s gaze admires the glass partitions running across the place giving the place a maze like feel. The place is furnished black tables with matching ivory grey chairs and bright lights that hang from the ceiling like little stars, and he spots on his walk to their table a wall of fame with signatures and autographs from seemingly dozens of celebrities. He stares in awe at the beauty of the place, turning to glance at Seokjin’s back, wondering how expensive the man’s taste must be.

He glances at Jimin, and as their eyes meet, Jimin gives him a look that makes it clear that the elder is just as impressed as he is. They share a smile, before striding forward a little faster towards Seokjin when they start to fall behind.

“I hope you had no trouble finding the place,” Seokjin says, throwing them both a smile over his shoulder, and they nod in response. “Sorry, about the last minute change in plans, but I heard some unsettling things about the place I’d meant to go try. So, I decided to go with a more familiar place instead.”

“That’s completely, okay,” Jimin responds for Jungkook. “This place looks good, are you a food critic by any chance?”

Seokjin laughs brightly as he stops by a table, gesturing for Jungkook and Jimin to take a seat, “Hardly, but I can appreciate and enjoy a good plate of food.”

“I see,” Jimin smiles, settling into the chair on Jungkook’s left.

“Sorry, Hoseokie will be here in just a bit, he’s less than five minutes away,” Seokjin shoots them both an apologetic smile. “Do you two want to look at the menus meanwhile? Seokie and I are quite familiar so we know what we’re ordering already.”

“Oh no, we’re fine, we’ll wait for him,” Jungkook shakes his head, just as Jimin reaches for the menu. They both stare at each other for a few seconds, before Jimin bursts into laughter, Jungkook joining soon after. “Or I guess we will decide right now.”

They pour over the menu together for a few minutes, glancing at the pictures accompanying the dish titles, occasionally consulting Seokjin for a bit of advice. Settling back in their seats once they’ve decided, Jungkook watches Seokjin gesture to the waiter, who comes over rather quickly, greeting them with a wider-than-normal smile.

“Welcome to Venture,” he greets them, taking time to smile at all of them before asking, “My name is Hyun Woo and I’ll be your server this afternoon. Would you like me to tell you about the specials for today?”

“Who’s in tonight?” Seokjin asks politely smiling, and Jimin turns to Jungkook, raising an eyebrow.

“It’s Chef Bertolini tonight, sir,” the waiter responds, and Seokjin ‘ah’s quietly. “Can I start you gentlemen off with some drinks?”

Orders placed, Seokjin turns to both of them with a smile and says, “They have a special chef come in to make a few signature dishes, a random day of the week. So if you’re in luck, you get to try some really delicious food, not that the regular menu isn’t great. But it’s a creative idea, isn’t it?”

Jimin smiles, nodding politely, “If it’s random, how did you know he was coming in today?”

Seokjin laughs, hand coming up to cover his mouth, “Asking all the right questions, aren’t we, Park Jimin? I just happened to know – my sources are confidential.”

Jungkook smiles at the elder, glancing to his left to find Jimin sporting the exact same expression.

“Ah, sorry, this is awkward, isn’t it?” Seokjin asks when a few minutes go by in silence, shifting around in his chair. “I’m not really good at making conversation with strangers.”

“That’s how I feel,” Jungkook admits quietly. “Jiminnie hyung’s the social butterfly between the two of us.”

Jimin laughs, shrugging, “Ah, well, you know, it comes with practice I suppose.”

Seokjin watches him for a few seconds, tilting his head, “Wait, Park! As in the cruise ship owners, right?”

Jimin’s eyes widen a little, and Jungkook smiles, taking a sip of his sparkling water, “How did you know?”

“I thought the name and face sounded and looked familiar when we talked before,” Seokjin says quietly, staring at Jimin a little harder. “It just clicked right now! Did you know you have your father’s smile? I’ve met him a few times, and I’m surprised it took me this long to put the pieces together. Almost the same disposition, too.”

Jimin’s grin widens, “I’ve been told that a few times. Where did you meet him?”

“Ah, I think, it was a company event and once at somebody’s wedding? Sorry, I don’t remember very well. I haven’t seen you around, though, not very much at least.”

“Oh,” Jungkook makes a soft noise, breaking their conversation, eyes trained on the door, as he sees Hoseok enter the restaurant, glancing around to find their table. He almost makes a move to raise a hand to get the elder’s attention, when their eyes meet. Hoseok’s grin brightens instantly upon spotting him, and he makes quick strides towards their table as Jimin nudges his thigh under the table, chuckling softly.

Jungkook smiles back as Hoseok makes his way to them, eyes shining bright with mirth, and Jungkook takes a few seconds to admire Hoseok. Hoseok’s lips spread into a smirk when his gaze remains on the elder, and a pleasant feeling bursts into the pit of his stomach as he watches him walk.

He’s wearing a black pinstriped suit, one that seemingly accentuates his legs, paired with a collared white shirt and no tie. His bangs fall across his forehead, hair loose and looking quite different from the slicked up hairstyle he’d been sporting at their blind date days ago. He likes it, Jungkook decides, as Hoseok slips into the chair next to Seokjin, the seat across from him.

“Hi,” he greets them all, eyes lingering for a few seconds longer on Jungkook.

“You’re late,” Seokjin tsks good-naturedly, shaking his head at Hoseok until the younger boy is laughing.

“I’m fashionably late,” Hoseok emphasizes with a shit-eating grin, and Jungkook hears Jimin laugh a little when Seokjin snorts and doesn’t say anything.

“Ah, sorry!” Hoseok exclaims, looking at Jimin with slightly wide eyes, standing and extending his hand a little, “I’m Jung Hoseok, nice to meet you.”

Jimin’s initial response is laughter, and only when Jungkook’s eyes widen and he nudges the elder, does he stand up, taking Hoseok’s hand in his, nodding and says, “Likewise, I’m Park Jimin.”

Hoseok frowns when Jimin lets go, traces of laughter still on his lips and in his eyes, “You’re making fun of me.”

“Definitely, I am,” Jimin nods affirmatively, giving Hoseok an innocent smile, even when Jungkook nudges his thigh again, pinching him harder than necessary.

Seokjin laughs at Hoseok’s expression, pulling him back down in his seat, “Sit, Seokie, sit.”

He pauses before gesturing to Jimin with a finger, and turning to glance at Hoseok, “I like this one.”

This one?” Jimin says incredulously. “I have a name, excuse you.”

“I’m not saying, you don’t,” Seokjin smiles and Jimin raises an eyebrow.

“Are you flirting with me, Seokjin-ssi?” Jimin asks, placing emphasis on Seokjin’s name, and Jungkook glances at his best friend in horror before turning to look at Seokjin.

He watches Seokjin laughs a little, before shrugging nonchalantly, “You can take it as you’d like, Jimin-ssi. You’re cute, you know.”

Jimin opens his mouth to say something, but Jungkook interrupts, turning to Seokjin, “I’m sorry to break this to you, but it’s best you don’t get attached, because this “cutie” is kind of taken.”

“What a shame,” Seokjin murmurs, taking a sip of his drink, but the smiles remains on his face. “I was kidding, by the way. I’m not into younger men or women.”

Hoseok makes an affirmative noise, “Hyung only dates older people; he likes to be taken care of instead of the other way around.”

“And you don’t think that someone younger could do that for you?” Jimin asks leaning back in his seat. “That’s a distorted viewpoint, no?”

“Are you offering, Jiminnie?” Seokjin leans forward, arms folding across the table as he raises an eyebrow, laughing when Jimin starts to cough, choking on nothing.

“What are you doing, hyung?” Hoseok sounds horrified, looking between Seokjin and Jimin, and Jungkook can’t help but mirror his expressions.

“Sorry,” Seokjin exclaims, leaning back as if someone had dumped cold water on him. “Sorry, this isn’t what we’re here for at all! I got carried away, didn’t I? So, Jungkookie, tell me a bit about yourself?”

“I – uh, is there something specific you’d like to know?” Jungkook asks, stammering a little at Seokjin’s gaze bores into him. He shifts in his seat a little, stilling only when Jimin clamps a hand down on his knee to stop him from fidgeting. The elder’s eyes seem to see right through him as they observe him, and his gaze turns towards Hoseok when he lightly pushes at Seokjin’s shoulders, telling him to stop. Their eyes meet for a few seconds, and Jungkook feels his cheeks and ears heat up when Hoseok winks at him and laughs at his response.

“Nothing at all, just tell me anything you’d like about yourself. What do you do? What did you study? What’s your passion?” Seokjin stirs his straw around his drink.

“Uh, well, I like to bake? I’m really not that interesting a person,” Jungkook wracks his brain to try to come up with something when Jimin interrupts with a smile.

“He’s nervous, I think,” Jimin says in a soft voice, glancing at Jungkook with a comforting smile, “why don’t we focus on something else for now? Let the conversation flow a little more naturally? Jungkookie doesn’t like being the center of attention.”

“That’s understandable,” Seokjin gives him a small smile. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to put you on the spot like that.”

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” Jungkook waves a hand when Seokjin’s expression turns apologetic. “It’s not you, it’s just how I am.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” Seokjin shakes his head. “I used to hate social gatherings when I was younger, too. Just ask Seokie. Everything can be a hiding place was my motto.”

Jungkook laughs, trying to imagine Seokjin as a kid trying to avoid people, and is hit with a memory of himself, barely six years old at a party, standing beside his mother, hands clutching at her pretty purple dress. Everyone had cooed at him, he remembers, leaning down to pinch him cheeks, touch his hair and what not.

He smiles when he remembers how his brother had rescued him, gathering him in his arms, and taking him away with the excuse to eat something. He’d spent the entire night with his brother, who’d introduced Jungkook to his friends, one of whom had aptly shown him enough tricks to have Jungkook believe that the guy was indeed a magician. The thought of his brother, who hadn’t talked to him yet, makes him feel a pang in his heart, and he smiles ruefully to avoid any suspicion.

He tunes into the conversation, right as Seokjin starts to describe to an rather eager Jimin how he’d been scarred at the age of 11 when he had tried to hide in an otherwise occupied closet, and turns to glance at Hoseok who’s watching him curiously. The other raises an eyebrow as if silently asking him a question and Jungkook shakes his head with a smile. Hoseok lets it go surprisingly easy, and Jungkook breathes out a sigh of relief.

“Oh, I almost forgot!” Jungkook exclaims, grabbing the small gift bag from beside his feet. He places it on the table, pushing it forward, in Hoseok and Seokjin’s direction. “Here you go.”

“What is this?” Seokjin asks, peering into the bag, and Jungkook smiles, glancing at Hoseok before answering.

“Chocolates from Europe, they’re really good!”

Seokjin gasps, reaching in and grabbing a rather big bar of Swiss chocolate, “For us?”

“Ah, yes, my hyung just came back from a trip in Europe, and he usually brings quite a lot back,” Jungkook smiles. “I really like the one you’re holding. It’s so good!”

Seokjin turns to stare at Hoseok with his mouth open, and Hoseok laughs, using his fingers to close it shut, “Careful, hyung, wouldn’t want to catch any flies in that mouth of yours, would you?”

“I love him,” Seokjin breathes out, laughing as he places the chocolate back inside. “I approve. I completely and fully approve. I will officiate your wedding. Yes, let’s do this.”

“That was awfully easy,” Jimin remarks, laughing at Seokjin’s amazement, turning to look at Jungkook. “Wasn’t it?”

“Incredibly,” Jungkook responds, laughing quietly, meeting Hoseok’s eyes and winking.

Hoseok laughs, eyes crinkling, especially when Jungkook mouths ‘your turn’.

--

“…wait, so you guys rented out the entire place for the entire night just for yourselves?” Jimin looks between Hoseok and Seokjin a little incredulously, twirling his pasta around the fork.

“No, no,” Hoseok shakes his head, glancing at Jungkook, happy to see him immersed in the conversation. “It wasn’t just us, it was us and a group of friends. Just two people would have been crazy wouldn’t it be?”

“Oh, yeah, for sure,” Jungkook mutters under his breath. “But how did they even let you?”

“I have no clue,” Hoseok raises both hands defensively, “that was all Seokjin hyung, but it was honestly the best birthday ever. Really memorable.”

“Well, you know,” Seokjin gestures with his spoon, turning to glance at Hoseok with a smile, “it was your 25th birthday.”

“But that’s even weirder,” Jimin scrunches his nose, taking a bite of his food. “Imagine a bunch of 25 year olds renting out an amusement park for one of their birthday and playing around all night. Why don’t you just go there during the day like normal people?”

“Oh, come on, everything’s a lot more fun at night with a bunch of friends and no crowd,” Seokjin reasons. “It was a really good place, you know. We were thinking of doing an adventure park for my 30th birthday, but the night could be an issue for that. Are you telling me you wouldn’t do the same for Jungkook’s 25th birthday?”

“Well, one, he’s already 25, and second of all, no, probably not. At least not an amusement park.”

“Yeah, then what kind of a place?” Hoseok asks, raising both eyebrows, watching the way Jimin’s lips curve into a slow smile and he glances at his best friend.

“Maybe a strip club?” Jimin lets out a loud laugh when Jungkook sputters on his food, coughs hacking through his entire being as he chokes on his food. He thumps the younger’s body several times, smiling innocently when Jungkook shoots him a dark glare.

“That’s an interesting idea,” Seokjin comments, watching them, before exchanging a look with Hoseok. “A very interesting idea, but aren’t you in a relationship?”

“It’s not for me,” Jimin clarifies, “it’s for Kook.”

“Right, of course,” Hoseok grins a little devilishly, sharing a smile with Jimin.

“‘Just because I appreciate the wine, doesn’t mean I want to taste it’ were his words earlier,” Jungkook tells Seokjin, giving Jimin a sideways glance. “I’m surprised he’s still in a relationship considering what his attitude is like.”

“His earlier words?” Seokjin says with a bemused expression. “In what context exactly?”

Jungkook’s eyes widen, and he blinks unnaturally fast, “Uh, no context?”

Jimin laughs, bringing a hand to his lips, before smirking at Seokjin, “It’s a secret.”

“A –” Seokjin pauses, glancing up at the man that appears by Jimin’s chair suddenly, peering at him.

“Jiminnie?” The man’s voice is deep, eyes extremely cat-like, and Seokjin watches his lips curve into a gummy smile when Jimin turns rapidly.

“Yoongi hyung?” It’s Jungkook who speaks up first, looking at the stranger incredulously.

“Hey, Kookie, how have you been?” Hoseok watches the man named Yoongi reach forward to ruffle Jungkook’s hair, the younger smiling in response.

“Good, hyung, I haven’t seen you in so long! Why are you always so busy?”

Yoongi laughs, shrugging, “Work? Gotta do that every now and then, don’t we?”

“What are you doing here?” Jimin still looks a little in shock.

“I should be asking you that, baby, what are you doing here?” Yoongi raises a playful eyebrow, smiling when Jimin laughs in response, reaching for his hands, soft fingers tangling with his calloused ones.

“Remember, I told you I was meeting with Jungkook and a few other people?”

Yoongi hums, “Yes, but I remember that was at a place downtown, no? Am I remembering wrong?”

“There was a change of plans,” Jimin frowns. “I left you a note on the fridge last night, you missed it didn’t you?”

Yoongi laughs, “I must have, dolcezza, I must have.”

Jimin reddens, Seokjin notices with a smile at the foreign nickname, before he shakes his head, smile playing on his lips, “Why are you here, hyungnim?”

“I’m sampling the food and planning a menu,” Yoongi responds, glancing over at Seokjin and Hoseok who’re both looking at him curiously. “They’re the bride’s favourite place.”

“Someone wants to cater their wedding with this restaurant’s food?” Jungkook’s eyes are a little wide.

Yoongi hums, “It was a pain getting them to agree, but money has people doing splits even when they can’t, doesn’t it?”

Jungkook gives the elder a soft smile, “I guess so.”

“So that’s why,” Jimin mutters, grabbing a napkin, offering it to Yoongi. “You’ve got something by your lips.”

Jungkook laughs when Yoongi hands Jimin the napkin back, bending down cheekily, offering his face to the younger who dabs at the spot delicately, shaking with slight laughter. Hoseok smiles at the apparent display of affection, exchanging a soft smile with Jungkook who glances at him. He watches Jimin say ‘all done’ quietly, balling up the napkin and doesn’t miss the way Yoongi slips the napkin out of the younger’s hand without as much as a word.

“Ah, I should introduce you,” Jimin says all of a sudden, when Yoongi stands there for a few seconds, shifting on his feet a little awkwardly. “Hyung, this is Jung Hoseok-ssi, he’s…ah, well, he’s Jungkook fiancé; or rather, fiancé-to-be, right Kook? And this is Kim Seokjin-ssi, he’s Hoseok hyung’s friend.”

Yoongi’s eyes widen and he looks at Hoseok in surprise before glancing at Jimin, “Fiancé? He doesn’t look –”

 Seokjin almost misses the imperceptible way Jimin squeezes Yoongi’s hand, giving him just the slightest shake of the head, before Yoongi stops, lips pursued.

“Ah, really?” He smiles instead, glancing at Jungkook as if searching for something, which he seems to find after a few seconds of wandering. The smile on his lips turns genuine, eyes crinkling as he offers Hoseok a polite handshake. “Sorry, I wasn’t aware, or I would have greeted you earlier. Jiminnie forgot to mention it to me, I suppose.”

“That’s alright,” Hoseok smiles pleasantly, shaking Yoongi’s hand. “I’m Jung Hoseok, nice to meet you.”

“Min Yoongi,” Yoongi says as he pulls his hand away.

“Min?” Seokjin tilts his head, “oh, are you related to the Mins with the publishing press by any chance?”

“What?” Yoongi blinks at him a few times, before letting out a loud laugh. “Oh, no no. I’m not – uh, I’m not…I don’t really own anything like that.”

“No? Not that Min? Then which one? I’m afraid I’m not familiar.”

Yoongi looks at him a little awkwardly, grateful when Jimin speaks for him, “He’s not…uh, he’s not some sort of heir, if that’s what you mean.”

Hoseok glances at Yoongi again, as if looking at him in a new light, but the pleasantness of his smile doesn’t change, “Self-made, then?”

“Something like that,” Yoongi replies, grins at Hoseok, before glancing at Jungkook, who turns to meet his eyes when he senses a gaze on the side of his head. He nods at the younger, delighted in the way the younger blushes and mouths a ‘thank you.’

“Oh,” Seokjin looks surprised, eyeing Yoongi curiously, “I see.”

“Not everyone’s born with a silver spoon in their mouth,” Yoongi smiles at him politely, and Seokjin shakes his head.

“Oh no, I apologize if I’ve offended you,” Seokjin shakes his head. “That wasn’t my intention. Truly. I was just surprised, still am, but am a little more in awe now.”

“Awe?” Yoongi looks at the elder surprised, and Seokjin smiles, humming.

“What do you do, then?” The elder leans forward, elbows on the table.

“I run an event management company,” Yoongi responds after a few seconds.

“A wedding planner?” Hoseok asks.

“Not quite,” Yoongi shakes his head. “We do weddings, but rarely, it’s mostly corporate events, team building events and conferences, but sometimes for a few special requests, we do handle some private and personal events.”

“Corporate, huh? What’s the biggest event your company has managed?” Seokjin asks, eyebrows furrowing.

“When we started off, we handled between 50 and 200 guests, but over the years we’ve expanded,” Yoongi starts off, pausing his explanation when he realizes what he’s saying. “But that wasn’t the question, sorry. The largest event we’ve done was around 1000 people, and it actually quite recent.”

“That’s quite a few people,” Seokjin murmurs. “How many weeks in advance do you usually need to be booked to make the proper arrangements?”

“Oh,” Yoongi’s eyes light up slightly, before he reaches into his back pocket, pulling out his wallet. He takes out a business card, handing it to Seokjin, “Drop by my office if you’re interested, Seokjin-ssi, and we can discuss something. I don’t want to interrupt your lunch.”

“It’s a little urgent, that’s why,” Seokjin smiles sheepishly, “will you be available tomorrow?”

“We have a day-long event tomorrow,” Yoongi smiles apologetically. “But if you have time after, you can come visit later today? I should be back in office in an hour or two. We’re located close by here.”

“That sounds perfect, thank you,” Seokjin smiles, placing the business card inside his coat pocket, turning to glances at Jimin who’s looking up at Yoongi with a proud gaze.

“Ah, I’ll leave you guys as it is, then, wouldn’t want to interrupt your lunch any longer,” Yoongi flashes them all a pleasant smile, turning to look at Jungkook. “Thanks for considering hyung so important and not letting him know about the fact that you’re getting engaged.”

“It’s not confirmed, yet, I mean – well, it is, but I don’t know when it is,” Jungkook stutters a little, shooting Yoongi a winning smile. “I thought Jiminnie hyung would’ve told you already, anyway.”

“I thought so, too, but apparently, Jiminnie doesn’t like to tell me anything anymore. Just leaves me notes on the fridge?” Yoongi raises an eyebrow at the younger sitting right beside him, smiling delightedly when Jimin bursts into sweet laughter, turning to him a little cutely and apologizing.

Yoongi shakes his head in response, “Oh, Jungkookie, how busy is Golden?”

“Not particularly?” Jungkook offers.

“Great, do you think you’ll be able to help with a birthday party for next week? I know that it’s really short notice, but it’s a small event and my usual people don’t want to take on such a small event.”

Jungkook frowns, “How big is small?”

“No more than 60 people, promise!”

Jungkook smiles, “Come by Thursday then, Seungie has an off day, but I’ll ask him to come in. Do you have a menu in mind?”

“Not flavours, necessarily, but we do have an idea about what we want.”

“Eh, it works either way, I suppose,” Jungkook shrugs, giving Yoongi a small smile.

“Great, thanks! Anyway, I should leave now, my partner’s probably wondering what happened to me,” Yoongi smiles. “It was really nice meeting the two of you.”

“Likewise,” Seokjin smiles, offering a handshake, following shortly by Hoseok doing the same.

“Bye Jungkook, bye Jimin,” Yoongi leans down to kiss his lover’s cheek, but Jimin turns his head just at the right time, joining their lips briefly.

“Bye hyung!” He waves cheekily, “come home early today, okay?”

Yoongi’s laughter is clear, and he tilts Jimin’s chin up to kiss him once more, before leaving with a wink, “Don’t wait up for me, dolcezza.”

“What does that mean?” Hoseok asks once Yoongi leaves.

Jimin shrugs, “I don’t really know. It’s a lot more fun not knowing.”

Jungkook snorts, “It’s been 10 years, aren’t you even a little bit curious?”

Jimin laughs, glancing at Jungkook with eyes full of happiness, “Not in the slightest, Kook. Not in the slightest.”

“That’s a long time,” Seokjin remarks quietly, looking at Jimin with an admiring gaze, “to be together for 10 years under such circumstances, that’s remarkable.”

“It is a very long time,” Jimin smiles, looking pleased. “Thank you.”


If you want to scream at me or talk to me (or ask me about the phone sex convo that JungHope will be having): Tumblr | Twitter

Chapter Text

“Shall we get going?” Seokjin asks Jimin and Jungkook as silence fills the table, turning to glance at Hoseok, who looks down at his watch.

“I was about to say,” the younger boy remarks. “You have to go meet with Yoongi-ssi, don’t you, hyung?”

Seokjin nods, gesturing to the waiter for the bill when Jimin and Jungkook nod their approval. He watches Jungkook reach into his back pocket for a wallet, and stops him, “I’m covering the bill, Jungkook. We’re not splitting.”

“Oh no, let me, Seokjin-ssi,” Jungkook pulls out a black card, a little surprised when Hoseok doesn’t offer to cover as well. “I’ll pay for our lunch.”

“Call me hyung, Jungkook,” Seokjin gives him a dismissal wave, “and it’s fine. I invited you for lunch, so I should be the one paying. If you want to pay, then you can invite us the next time.”

Jungkook looks at Hoseok briefly for help, but when the elder shakes his head and gives him a small smile, understanding his intention, he leans back in his seat, “Alright, hyung, I’ll invite you next time, then.”

“Pick a good place, hm?” Seokjin gives him a mischievous grin, and Jungkook can’t help but laugh and shake his head affirmatively. He turns to Jimin, raising an eyebrow at the proud smile that rests on his face. He’s surprised, body automatically moving back when Jimin brings a hand up and curves it around his cheek, still smiling fondly.

“All grown up, aren’t you Kook? Offering to pay for our lunch, about to get engaged, and what not?”

Jungkook grasps Jimin’s wrist, pulling his hand away from his cheek gently before glancing over at Seokjin and Hoseok to find the former sporting an amused smile while the latter meets his gaze with a soft smile of his own.

He gives them a sheepish glance, tightening his grip on Jimin’s wrist, before leaning in close to mumble harshly in the older man’s ear, “Can you not? This is not the time for you to be getting sentimental!”

“Aw, but Jungkookie,” Jimin coos, bringing him close into a bone-crushing hug, and Jungkook closes his eyes, taking a deep breath, when he realizes that Jimin is completely aware of exactly what he’s doing. He pinches the elder’s side, tickling him a little, smiling innocently when Jimin yelps, jumping in his seat before letting out a short high-pitched laugh and letting him go.

“Well, aren’t you two cute?” Seokjin looks over at them, smiling, before exchanging a meaningful look with Hoseok. “I don’t think Seokie and I were ever this cute.”

“You weren’t, hyung,” Hoseok scoffs, before bringing his hands under his chin, and tilting his head cutely. “But I always was, and still am.”

“Now, now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” Jungkook grins teasingly at Hoseok, glancing at Seokjin when the man let’s out a small genuine laugh, covered by a hand.

“I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, Seok, but I’m completely sold on this kid. He’s the one.”

Hoseok chuckles, glancing over at Jungkook who’s blushing at the compliment, the red deepening when Jimin coos at him and pinches his cheek. The waiter interrupts their little moment, handing Seokjin the little leather booklet with the bill inside, giving all of them a polite smile. 

Jungkook watches the elder place his card inside, handing it back to the waiter, before eyeing his watch and turning to Jimin, "Would you mind telling me around where Yoongi-ssi's office is? I'm not too familiar with the area, and don't want to be late."

"Oh," Jimin glances at Jungkook, before offering, "would you like me to take you there, instead? I don't really mind."

"No, no," Seokjin shakes his head. "That's fine, you can just direct me. You and Jungkook are going home together, aren't you?"

"It'll be fine," Jimin says with a smile, turning to glance at Hoseok and winking. "Hoseok hyung can just take him back, no?"

Hoseok laughs without meaning to, catching on, and glances at Jungkook, who lets out a deep sigh, glaring at his best friend.

Seokjin smiles as well, turning to Jungkook, "If you're alright with that arrangement?"

"Don't you have to go back to work?" Jungkook turns to glance at Hoseok, the elder nodding in response.

"I do, but I can drop you off, it'll be okay if you're fine with it."

"Great!" Jimin chirps, hands clasped together. "It's settled. I'll take you to Yoongi hyung's office right after this, then?"

"Please and thank you, but really I don't mind going by myself if it's an inconvenience," Seokjin gives Hoseok a sideways glance when the younger pinches his arm and mutters softly "just go with him, okay?"

If Jimin catches Hoseok's words he doesn't say anything, smiling before turning to grab his coat from the back of the chair, "Don't worry about it, Seokjin-ssi, I'm always up for visiting Yoongi hyung's office and distracting him from his work."

--

Seokjin hums appreciatively at the weather outside, the slight breeze negating the warm temperature, leaving him content in just his button up shirt without the suit jacket. He turns to glance at Jimin, watching the way the boy smiles at a passing by child, waving at him when he stares at Jimin, before asking softly, “A fan of kids?”

Jimin’s eyes brighten up instantly when he turns to give Seokjin a surprised look, “How did you know?”

“You’re staring and smiling at every one that passes by,” Seokjin shrugs slightly. “I almost feel a little afraid. Like I could be aiding a potential kidnapping any second now.”

Jimin laughs heartily, shaking his head, “Don’t be afraid. Not too much, anyway. But yes, to answer your earlier question, I do like kids a lot.”

Seokjin nods, turning to glance at his companion, shortening his strides to match the younger’s, “How many would you say would be ideal?”

“Oh, that’s a tough one,” Jimin says contemplatively, shoving his hands into the pocket of his jeans, gait leisurely as they turn the corner, passing by a small stationary shop. “I would like three, I think. Not too big, but not too small either.”

“That sounds like a nice size. Any preference for gender?”

“Not particularly. Yoongi hyung wants twin girls – I have no clue why. But he insists on them.”

“Have you considered adopting?” Seokjin suggests, “I actually know this place that’s pretty good – I did a report on them recently, and know the people running it quite well.”

“Ah, do you?” Jimin doesn’t meet his gaze, voice lowering a little as he drifts off towards the end of a sentence. “I don’t think we’re ready yet, but I’ll let you know when we are.”

“Oh, yeah, of course, busy with life and work, huh? Most couples usually wait to adopt until they’re 30 or so with stable careers, too.”

Jimin hums, choosing not to respond to the statement or mentioning his mother and her dislike towards Yoongi. It doesn’t make for a good conversation topic, that much he knows, especially not with strangers. Seokjin doesn’t comment on the silence or the lack of a response, perhaps understanding Jimin’s unwillingness to divulge into further detail.

“So, what do you do?” Jimin asks all of a sudden as they’re trekking up an uphill sidewalk and Seokjin glances away from the sleek black car that passes by them towards the younger.

“Ever heard of the Kims?”

Jimin lets out a loud laugh at that, snorting, “Oh, yeah, I’ve heard of plenty. But which Kim are you? The lesser known ones or the better known ones?”

Seokjin smirks, “Take a guess.”

“Guessing from the way you carry yourself, I would say the better known ones, but prove me wrong,” Jimin smiles, turning to see the man smiling as he takes small steps forward.

“Close, but not quite. I’m the lesser known Kim from a better known Kim,” Seokjin’s Cheshire grin is picture worthy, and Jimin allows himself to admire the look.

“Tell me more, hyungnim, tell me more. We’re almost brothers-in-law, you know.”

“The news corporation Kim,” Seokjin divulges him with no more information. “The youngest son.”

Jimin ‘ah’s while wracking his brain to remember everything he could about that particular family, “Do you work for the company?”

“Occasionally, but more often I’m out on the field than in an office.”

“That can’t possibly pay too well,” Jimin remarks, glancing at the man out of the corner of his eyes, “but I guess being the youngest son has its perks?”

“You’re definitely right about the fact that it doesn’t pay too well, but that’s not my main source of work.”

“Then, what is?”

“Aren’t you just a curious little thing?” Seokjin’s grin is pleasant but closed off, and Jimin frowns a little at the way it seems almost taunting. “It’s confidential, so I can’t really say much.”

Jimin snorts, “What? Do you work as a spy for the government?”

“The possibilities are endless, aren’t they?”

“Like keeping secrets, don’t you hyung?” Jimin asks casually, looking away from Seokjin when the elder turns to glance at him with a raised eyebrow. “So you can pretend to be mysterious?”

Seokjin lets out a small laugh at that, staring ahead at the tinted glass building that he recognizes as their destination, before replying rather cryptically, “I might strike you as otherwise, but we – the Kims – we’re truth tellers, Jiminnie.”

Jimin stops where he is, watching Seokjin walk forward a few steps before turning to look back at him. The elder raises an eyebrow in question, and Jimin shakes his head, quickening his pace to catch up to him.

’Interesting,’ he thinks at the elder pushes the glass door at the building entrance, holding it for him to pass through, ‘how interesting.’

They stride across the lobby relatively quickly, shoes making clicking sounds against the tiled floor as they turn left, towards the elevator. Jimin glances at the taller man out of the corner of his eye when he pulls out his phone, texting someone.

“Busy?” He asks when Seokjin slips the phone back into his back pocket, looking a little distressed, before shaking his head.

Jimin makes a non-committal sound, nodding his head as if in understanding. They wait together in silence, Seokjin glancing around the place curiously, before asking, “What floor is his office on?”

“The 16th,” Jimin chirps back, glancing up to see which what floor the elevator was currently on. He shifts around awkwardly on his feet, never a big fan of silence, before turning to glance at Seokjin who he finds is already staring at him. They both speak at once, stopping simultaneously as well when they hear the other say something. Jimin pauses, gesturing for Seokjin to continue, who rubs the back of his neck rather uncomfortably.

“Oh, no, it was nothing important,” Seokjin clarifies, attention temporarily diverted by the sound the elevator makes as it arrives. The doors open and they both step aside to let the few people inside through before moving forward and into the spacious lift. Seokjin reaches forward to press the button for the 16th floor, and then turns to lean with his back to the glass wall of the elevator.

“What is Jungkook like?”

Jimin’s eyebrows rise up to his hairline at the question, and his eyes narrow as he wonders if he’s heard the right thing, “Excuse me?”

“I’m just wondering,” Seokjin says, hands make odd gestures. “What he’s like? To see if Hoseokie and him will be a good match.”

“As long they’re happy with each other, I’m sure they’ll be fine,” Jimin says with a polite smile. “It’s really none of our business.”

Seokjin lets out a small laugh, “I’ve offended you.”

Jimin elects to remain quiet, glancing at the corner of the elevator to find them with still several floors to go.

“I feel the need to apologize, but my intention wasn’t malicious by any means,” Seokjin says four floors away from their destination. “I’m simply wondering what his personality is like. Hoseok’s a bit of a handful, especially when he’s sick. Also a bit of a workaholic, but he’s a good person. I’m sure I sound biased, and I probably am a little, but I was just curious. What’s Jungkook like truly?”

“My Jungkook’s not any less great,” Jimin says finally, once they exit the elevator, the elder following him blindly down the hallway. “I really don’t think you have any reason to be concerned. He’s exactly like what he showed you today. They’ll be fine together, don’t worry. Curiosity killed the cat, you know.”

Seokjin’s lips purse, and even as they enter the office, the elder doesn’t say anything in response. Jimin nods at the few employees in their cubicle, smiling at one of them and waving a little, before asking, “Is Yoongi hyung in?”

“He’s not back yet,” the brown-haired guy says in response, “but you can go sit in his office while you wait, I’m sure.”

Jimin nods, heading down the hall, and stopping at the door at the end on the right. He gestures for Seokjin to step inside, closing the door behind him. He settles himself on the couch, watching how Seokjin doesn’t follow, seating himself on the chair in front of the rather large brown desk that sits by the window, taking up half the width of the room.

Seokjin stays as he is, and Jimin pulls out his phone, only to be interrupted by the elder turning around rather swiftly, “You’re making me feel like I’ve committed some sort of crime.”

Jimin’s first instinct is to laugh, and so he does, pocketing his phone back, tilting his head at Seokjin, “What do you mean?”

“I was asking you about Jungkook only because I wanted to know what kind of person my best friend was marrying, okay?”

Jimin’s expression softens a little and he sighs, “I understand that, really I do. I want to know what kind of person my best friend is marrying, too –”

“I can tell you that!” Seokjin responds, swiveling around in the chair, and wheeling it towards Jimin. “I’ve known Hoseok for a very long time. There’s no one better to ask than me.”

“You didn’t let me finish,” Jimin frowns. “I’m curious, too, but I think it’s better if we make an opinion of the other person ourselves rather than ask other people. I’ve met Hoseok hyung for now, and I like him. Just knowing that, and knowing that he’s good is enough for me for now, you know?”

Seokjin doesn’t say anything for an entire minute, staring at him rather unnervingly, “People usually aren’t usually as good as they seem at first glance.”

“That’s a rather cynical view of the world, isn’t it?”

Seokjin takes a deep breath, looking away, but he nods slowly, “Yes, it is. Sorry, occupational hazard, I guess. Most of the people I meet and work with are fairly untrustworthy.”

Jimin smiles, chucking softly, “Now you’re making me curious as to what you really do.”

Seokjin lets out a laugh, crossing his legs at the knee. He rests his head against the curve of his palm, looking straight into Jimin’s eyes for several seconds, looking deep in thought, before smirking, “Curiosity killed the cat, don’t you know, Park Jimin?”

Jimin’s not sure how to respond, especially not when Seokjin winks at him after he remain speechless for several seconds, turning around, and sliding himself back to the desk. He’s about to say something to the elder when the door opens, Yoongi greeting him with a small, gummy smile, proceeding to speak into his Bluetooth ear piece.

Jimin smiles back, especially when Yoongi stops by the couch, wiggling his fingers at him and gesturing for him to come forward and take a seat at the unoccupied chair by the desk. He stands up, following Yoongi, and plopping himself down in the seat next to Seokjin. The elder’s eyes are on Yoongi, he notices, standing up to shake his hand in lieu of a vocal greeting.

“Give me a few minutes,” Yoongi whispers, quietly, hand coming up to cover his ear piece, and Seokjin nods.

“Take your time,” Seokjin smiles at him, making a hand gesture for him to continue on.

Yoongi sends a grateful smile Seokjin’s way, reaching into his drawer for a booklet and a pamphlet, handing them over. Opening the pamphlet up, Seokjin’s eyes skim through the writing, glancing at the venue suggestions, menus and past event photos. He picks up the booklet next, reading over the company profile and individuals involved, before moving over to the services section, turning the pages slowly.

He glances up when Yoongi starts to speak, altering between looking at a few papers and his computer screen, “Ask them about their popular dishes and if they serve traditional Korean dishes, too. It’ll be nice to have both traditional and foreign cuisine items, for both the type of people who’re adventurous with their food and for the ones who prefer to stick to things they know. Also, make sure each dish has both Korean and English labels for all the foreign guests and a list of ingredients for any allergens or dietary restrictions.”

Seokjin turns to glance at Jimin when he notices the younger lean forward to rest his chin on top of his arms on the desk, staring intently at Yoongi with a smile on his face. He turns away, not missing the way Yoongi rolls his eyes at Jimin, before he chuckles to himself, wondering if this is what love is supposed to be like.

“Alright, great,” Yoongi says finally. “Send me a copy of the finalized menu once the interim gets approved, and keep me updated if there’s an issue.”

Seokjin sits up straighter when Yoongi says goodbye, placing his phone on the table, and turning to him with an apologetic look, “Something came up, suddenly, I apologize.”

“Oh no, don’t worry about it. I’m the one who should apologize for such short notice,” Seokjin smiles at Yoongi. “Thank you for meeting me while you’re busy.”

“That’s not a problem at all,” Yoongi smiles, leaning back in his seat. “So, what can I do for you?”

“Ah, well, there’s a company event that I was meant to be arranging,” Seokjin starts off slowly. “It’s quite small – only about 100 guests – but I realized a few days ago that I might need help sorting details out.”

“Oh, we can help you with that,” Yoongi nods, sliding closer to the desk, fingers clicking the mouse. “How far did you get with it? Or rather, first of all, when is the event?”

“It’s exactly two weeks from now,” Seokjin pulls out his phone. “I have the venue booked and all guests have received the invite. There’s still a few days left for them to RSVP, but I’m not really satisfied with any of the caterers I’ve talked to. Also, while the venue has been settled, additional things haven’t been. Like the wait staff, security, valet parking and what not.”

Yoongi rolls back, grabbing the calendar off the small desk behind his large one, “You’re in luck, I’m free that day, so I’ll take your event on personally – if you decide to choose us that is. Let’s sort out the bigger details today, and see if our company works for you. If it does, I’ll be happy to take you on.”

“That sounds good,” Seokjin nods his head eagerly, shifting to glance at Jimin who shifts in his seat, yawning and pulling his legs up.

“Babe,” Yoongi’s voice turns soft, but he doesn’t look up to glance at Jimin. “This might take a while. Do you plan on sitting here like that for the rest of the day?”

Jimin smiles, humming in response, “Why hyung, do I make you nervous?”

Yoongi snorts, looking up finally to smile at Jimin, “Worse. You’re distracting.”

Seokjin smiles when Jimin shrugs, “Oh well.”

“How do you feel about weddings, dolcezza?” Yoongi says after a while, when Jimin doesn’t move, head now resting on a hand perched on the chair.

“Depends. Is it mine or someone else’s?” Jimin answers cheekily, smiling at Seokjin when the elder starts to laugh softly, trying to cover it up behind a cough and a hand.

Yoongi’s eyes glitter with amusement, “Not yours, that’s for sure. Do you want to go see Hyukkie for a bit? He’s planning a cruise ship wedding reception, and you might be able to help.”

Jimin unfolds his legs, nodding, “Sure, I’ll go over to Hyuk’s right now. Do I get compensation?”

Yoongi laughs, offering Jimin a gummy smile, “Anything you want, love, anything you want.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Jimin says cheekily, turning to say goodbye to Seokjin who reciprocates the farewell.

Seokjin turns around to glance at Jimin as the younger exits, his earlier carefree expression replaced with some more serious – something more sombre. He turns to Yoongi’s who’s looking at him with a slightly raised eyebrow, “Is there something wrong?”

“No, no,” Seokjin replies with a shake of a hand, smiling reassuringly as Yoongi. “So, the event…?”

--

Jungkook clears his throat as him and Hoseok walk side-by-side, silence surrounding them. His mind itches for him to say something, to strike up conversation and fill the slightly awkward silence. He opens his mouth, about to ask about the elder’s day, and he’s not quite sure why but nervousness takes over, causing him to close his mouth and press his lips together. He glances out of the corner of his eye to watch Hoseok stare at the shops and a passerby, not saying a word, seemingly enjoying the silence.

“What time do you have to be back at work?” Jungkook asks finally, voice quiet, upper body turned to his right to look at Hoseok. He smiles a small smile when Hoseok turns to grin at him teasingly.

“Don’t worry about it, Jungkook,” Hoseok response is swift, voice firm as he looks away from Jungkook.

Jungkook frowns, before humming looking straight ahead, eyes lowering to look at the concrete sidewalk, still a little wet from last night’s heavy rain. Hoseok shifts closer to him, their hands almost brushing, when a small group of high schoolers pass by them, the narrow sidewalk not large enough to accommodate all of them. Jungkook gulps when their hands touch again, and he can feel Hoseok’s hand twitch against his, before the elder coughs, pulling it away.

Jungkook smiles a little at the embarrassed blush colouring the elder’s cheek, turning his gaze to the side to look at Hoseok, staring long enough to have the other man look back.

“What is it?” Hoseok asks with a furrow of eyebrows, before shoving both his hands in his pocket, creating creases in his black pinstriped suit pants.

“You can do it, you know,” Jungkook says with a blush of his own, glancing at Hoseok shyly, and smiles when Hoseok tilts his head at him. He reaches across with a hand, curling his long fingers around Hoseok’s left wrist, gently pulling his hand out of his pocket.

The elder understands immediately, letting out an embarrassed laugh, hand coming up to card through his hair, before cursing softly under his breath. He lets out a deep sigh, before turning to Jungkook, “We’re acting like a bunch of teenagers, aren’t we?”

“We are,” Jungkook laughs, nodding in response nevertheless, a little disappointed when Hoseok doesn’t pull his hand into his own. He wonders what the other’s hands will feels like – if they’ll be smaller or larger than his own, if their fingers will slot together as perfectly as they say in all the romance novels, if they’ll emanate heat or be cold to touch.

“I just,” Hoseok rubs at his neck, glancing down at their shoes, before meeting Jungkook’s eyes, “don’t know what’s too much and what’s not right now in terms to touching.”

“You’ve kissed me on the cheek already, might I remind you,” Jungkook says letting out a soft breath, feet kicking away a rock on the sidewalk as they turn a left, towards a destination he’s not aware of. “I’m sure you can hold my hand without me protesting.”

“Really? So you won’t yell for help or punch me if I do?”

Jungkook snickers at the mental image the words give him, and he turns to Hoseok with bright eyes, “Well, you know, I’ll try not to.”

Hoseok’s chuckle is deep and throaty at his response, and Jungkook tries his hardest to stare ahead at the tar road and not burst into a wide smile when slightly warm fingers tangle with own, squeezing softly.

“I’m glad,” Hoseok says after a while, tugging Jungkook subconsciously closer, “Really glad.”

“Where are we going?” Jungkook asks, looking around the narrow, down-hill alleyway they’re in, moving slowly, hands swinging between their bodies.

“I don’t know,” Hoseok murmurs back. “I was just going wherever you were.”

Jungkook laughs, turning to smile, eyes crinkling, at Hoseok, grinning before exclaiming, “Really, cause that’s what I’ve been doing!”

“Do you want to get dessert? Something sweet?” Hoseok asks, looking around as they exit the alley onto a rather wide road, food shops and cafés littering the street as far as he can go. “Do you have a sweet tooth?”

Jungkook hums, nodding, and holding the index finger and thumb of his other hand an inch apart, “Just a smidgen.”

“What do you want to have, then? I see a gelato place across the road, and a bakery a little further down. Anything you see that you like?” Hoseok stares up the uphill road before glancing around, his suit jacket swinging around along with his head.

Considering his options, Jungkook bites the inside of his cheek, “You’re sure I’m not keeping you away from your work?”

Hoseok laughs, stepping a little further back and pulling Jungkook with him to give a couple with a stroller space to pass by on the narrow sidewalk, “Not unwillingly you’re not. I’ll stay late if there’s an issue tonight, alright? Let’s enjoy for now.”

“If you’re sure…” Jungkook breathes out, before turning to glance at the gelato shop and starting to walk towards the road crossing a few meters away. “Let’s get some gelato, then.”

Hoseok turns to shoot him a wide grin, squeezing his hand softly, “Great. Let’s do it!”

They walk in silence that strikes Jungkook as comfortable now, mind no longer panicking about saying something or making conversation. His eyes wander around the street, and he makes a soft sound, tugging Hoseok closer by the hand when a rather fast going cyclist whizzes past them, narrowly missing Hoseok and raising a hand in apology as he passes by. The elder slams right into his side when he tugs causing them both to stumble to their left, Hoseok’s other hand flying up to steady himself on Jungkook’s shoulder as he nearly misses his footing. 

“Oh wow, that was like something out of a drama,” Hoseok says when they both gather themselves, grinning to his left at Jungkook, their hands still linked tightly. Jungkook’s cheeks flush and he pushes Hoseok a little farther away from him when the elder maintains the shortened distance. “You just saved me.”

“It was nothing,” he mumbles quietly, and watches the way Hoseok’s bright laugh takes over his entire being, causing him to shake, before both hands come down to curl around Jungkook’s right hand, body resting against Jungkook’s arm.

He leans his head down against Jungkook’s shoulder, batting his eyelashes as he tilts his head up, “It wasn’t nothing – you’re my hero, my angel.”

Jungkook pushes him away again, adopting a scowl that threatens to turn into a smile, “Don’t be ridiculous.”

Hoseok laughs, pulling away, and untangles their fingers to raise his hand and rub the tip of Jungkook’s ear, “I love the way you go all red sometimes.”

“I don’t go red,” Jungkook frowns, ducking away from Hoseok’s caressing hand, pinching the elder’s side spitefully when he starts to laugh again.

“You do, angel, you do,” Hoseok smiles, and walks forward, turning to glance at Jungkook and then beckoning the scowling boy forward towards himself with an open hand.

Jungkook rolls his eyes, but slots their fingers together, “I’m not an angel.”

“Oh, you’re my angel,” Hoseok voice is sugary sweet, as his tilts his head and gives Jungkook’s another unbashful bat of eyelashes.

Jungkook can’t help but laugh this time, though, rolling his eyes, “I remember, for Halloween, when I was in third grade, Jiminnie hyung and I dressed up as a devil and an angel. They were such good costumes, but we had to stop trick-or-treating, because we ran out of bags for the candy.”

“Do you have pictures of it?” Hoseok presses the button for the road crossing, both of them pausing in their walk to wait for the streetlight to turn red.

Jungkook nods, shifting his weight onto one leg, “Yeah, we do – at home.”

“Mhm, and did you dress up as the angel or the devil?”

The stop sign turns green, and Hoseok starts to walk first, Jungkook following naturally. He remains quiet, glancing at the drivers in the cars that had stopped by, until they get past the zebra crossing, “I… was the angel.”

His response is greeted with a low chuckle, and Jungkook purses his lips to avoid himself from breaking out into a grin as well. Hoseok doesn’t say anything in response, but the punctuated “ha!” rests in the air between them. They pull into the shop moments later, and Hoseok turns around to admire the classy décor as Jungkook browses the menu, their hands still tightly linked together.

The walls alternate between black and antique white, framed pictures of food hanging in a row on the rightmost wall. There’s an Italian quote on the black wall behind the counter, inscribed in pretty, white cursive, and he glances at the arched passageway which connect the counter to the seating area. The seating looks luxurious, tall chairs around sturdy tables and bold coloured leather couches and booths taking up most of the space within the area. It’s not an very open seating area, but it also doesn’t strike Hoseok as too full.

Dragging his gaze away from the couch, he can’t help but smile inwardly, when Jungkook drags him closer to the counter, surveying the menu board with narrowed, squinty eyes.

“Do you need glasses?” Hoseok asks, startling Jungkook, and causing the younger turn to look at him surprised.

“Uh, no?” Jungkook says hesitantly, avoiding Hoseok’s gaze but grinning when the elder snorts and rolls his eyes at him, the lie obvious.

“See anything you like?” Hoseok asks after a while, watching the way Jungkook presses his free hand against the glass, looking down at the gelato flavours.

“I think, I want the green tea chocolate swirl,” Jungkook responds after a while, turning to Hoseok with a smile. “What are you going to buy, hyung?”

“I think I’ll go with the strawberry yoghurt,” Hoseok says, turning them both towards the awaiting girl at the counter, smiling as he places the order. Jungkook’s quick to offer to pay, but Hoseok hushes him.

“You can pay next time, let me treat you this time around,” Hoseok says as he taps his card, pocketing it and waiting for the receipt and order.

“But you bought the ice cream last Thursday and Seokjin hyung paid for lunch today too,” Jungkook frowns. “Plus, it was my idea to come here, so I should have been the one to pay.”

“Yeah, but I asked you if you wanted dessert, so really I should have been the one to pay, which I did. So, hush,” Hoseok squeezes his hand and gives him a soft smile. “I’m sure you’ll have plenty of opportunities in the future to pay, hmm?”

Jungkook’s lips turn down slightly, but he doesn’t protest in response, instead looking past the counter to watch the girl prepare their orders, propping up a small waffle into the side of Hoseok’s gelato and two chocolate filled rolled wafers in Jungkook’s. They both smile at her gratefully when she brings their order over, directing them to a smaller counter off to the side with spoons and napkins. Hoseok grabs both of their cups, letting go of Jungkook’s hand, and the younger grabs a handful of napkins and two spoons, inserting the long white cutlery into the cups that Hoseok is holding by the base.

They walk through the arched pillar and settle themselves into a table of two, Hoseok placing both cups on the table, before pulling out his chair and sitting down. He glances down at their orders, smiling up at Jungkook, meeting the younger’s gaze, “Looks good.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook inclines his head in agreement, sitting down, and then pulls his own concoction towards himself, pulling the spoon wedged between the smooth gelato scoop out, and dipping it back in to gather some on the surface. He brings the spoon to his lips eagerly, placing it into his mouth, feeling the burst of rich flavour on his tongue. He hums appreciatively, licking the spoon clean, the white plastic utensil in his mouth when he looks up to find Hoseok watching him with an amused eyebrow raised.

“It’s good. Mine is good,” he says, when Hoseok’s gaze doesn’t divert. “You should try yours.”

Hoseok nods, shaking his head a little as if trying to dispel certain thoughts, before taking a bite out of his own, “Oh, it is nice!”

“You want to try some of mine?” Jungkook pushes his cup forward after he’s taken another bite, smiling widely at Hoseok when the elder nods, pushing his own cup toward towards Jungkook.

They both reach forward to grab the other’s spoons, before catching on, and glancing up, slight tension in the air.

“Uh – oh,” Hoseok shifts forward in his seat and holds out Jungkook’s slightly green spoon, from the remnants of his green tea gelato, over for him. “Here.”

“It’s fine,” Jungkook shakes his head, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly, “you can use my spoon, I don’t want to contaminate the strawberry gelato.”

“Okay,” Hoseok nods, not meeting his gaze, before gesturing towards his own spoon. “You can use my spoon, too, I don’t mind.”

They both raise the spoons to their lips simultaneously, and Jungkook feels a little conscious about licking the spoon clean, but he does it either way, enjoying the way Hoseok’s eyes follow the movement. He grins at the elder, nodding appreciatively, “I like it, not as much as my own, though.”

Hoseok laughs, tongue coming out to flick against the concave side of the younger’s spoon, “Alright then, hand it back over.”

Jungkook pushes the cup back with his left hand, holding out the spoon with the other hand, a smile playing on his lips, and watches Hoseok do the same. They sit in silence for a few minutes, only the sound of their quiet eating being heard.

Hoseok watches Jungkook as discretely as he can, watching the way the younger plunges into his ice cream, making slight slurping noises as he licks his spoon clean after every bite humming appreciatively. He ducks his head down when Jungkook glances at him, picking up his waffle and slathering a bit of the gelato on the corner. He looks up only once he’s taken a bite of it, smiling at Jungkook, and gesturing for him to try some of the fresh, warm waffle.

Jungkook breaks off a bit with his own fingers, groaning a little at how good the soft waffle tastes. Hoseok raises an eyebrow again at his more-than-suggestive noise, and the younger can’t help but chuckle at the way the elder eyes him. He shrugs in response, holding out his rolled wafer for Hoseok, cheeks warming when Hoseok leans forward and bits one end off, head tilting back to prevent the wafer from slipping out of his mouth.

“Are you coming Thursday?” Hoseok asks, once he’s almost the entire way through his two scoops, settling back in his seat comfortably. Jungkook looks at him with a surprised expression, and he watches him resettle in his seat, pulling his legs up and sitting cross legged in the chair.

“What are you doing?” He asks with a bemused smile, gesturing to Jungkook’s posture.

“It’s comfortable,” the younger pouts before admitting, “and a really bad habit of mine.”

Hoseok chuckles, shaking his head, and looking up when Jungkook asks him a question.

“Oh, Thursday? With our parents? Don’t I have to?”

“Ah, well, yes, I suppose,” Hoseok nods. “How else are my parents going to meet you?”

“Exactly,” Jungkook punctuates the sentence with his plastic spoon. “I’m pretty sure I heard my mum discussing wedding invitations and dates last night with your mum.”

“Oh yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised,” Hoseok smiles, moving in his seat, numb from sitting in the same position for too long.

“Remember what you said a few nights ago? About them wanting to get everything done quick?” Jungkook looks up at Hoseok with a question in his eyes.

Hoseok hums, leaning forward, elbows resting on the table, “Yeah, they’re planning to get us engaged in two weeks if I’m not mistaken.”

“Oh,” Jungkook’s eyes widen a little and he looks down at the table, before glancing up again, “wait! Two weeks?”

“That’s what it seems like.”

“Oh – I…I didn’t know,” Jungkook frowns a little, turning to Hoseok with a hesitant expression. “Isn’t that a little too soon? Two weeks isn’t a lot of time. So much work goes into an engagement, you know? People, food, decorations, venue, rings, clothes, and what not. Isn’t two weeks too short? You haven’t even met my mum or dad’s side of the family, nor have I met yours.”

Hoseok shrugs, “I’ve learned in the 28 years of my life to not mess with a mother on a mission. They work in ways I’ll never understand. I won’t be surprised if they get everything done in a week.”

“Oh,” Jungkook slumps a little. “Right. They’re planning the wedding, aren’t they?”

“Does that bother you? The fact that they’re planning out your wedding?” Hoseok reaches forward to take Jungkook’s hand in his own, taking the younger’s fingers in his hold.

“Not that much, I guess,” Jungkook’s voice in unsure as he contemplates the question. “But I’d like to be told as things happen or get decided, you know.”

“That’s understandable,” Hoseok nods in agreement, fingers tightening around Jungkook. “Maybe you should let your mother know? She might just be thinking that you’re okay with her making all the decisions.”

“It’s not that I mind that,” Jungkook moves forward in his seat, closer to the table and Hoseok. “But it’s just…”

“I know what you mean,” Hoseok’s smile is comforting laced with a hint of something else, eyes sparkling almost. “Everyone’s like that, aren’t they? They have dreams or expectations in regards to their wedding. I can understand that. It’s your first and hopefully only wedding, you know, it should meet your standards and expectations. You don’t exactly get to do this twice.”

Jungkook smiles, before giving Hoseok a teasing grin, “Well, you know, I might. It all depends.”

Hoseok laughs along with him, looking completely nonchalant about the words, but when the elder’s grip tightens on his hand, it makes Jungkook’s stomach do a flip.

“Let’s hope there’s no second one, though,” Hoseok says after a while, sighing softly.

Jungkook hums, nodding, watching the elder get lost in his thoughts. They stay quiet, until Hoseok glances up and asks, “Do you have any expectations? Any dreams you had in regards to your wedding? Or maybe your significant other?”

Hoseok’s heart drops when the younger snorts, looking away from him and muttering a soft, “No, no expectations. Especially not in terms of my husband. Just happy just to have someone close to my age who’s not some sort of crazy.”

Not knowing what else to say, Hoseok falls silent, before letting go of Jungkook’s hand. The younger looks up at him in surprise, a slight look of hurt crossing his face, but it disappears when Hoseok shifts to slot their fingers together. The younger’s gaze falls to their hands, watching the way Hoseok’s fingers urge closer before coming down to press the upside of his hand. He smiles a little, looking up when Hoseok speaks up.

“And have you found him? Found someone decent?”

Jungkook looks away, pressing his lips to prevent himself from smiling or grinning too widely. His other hand comes up to cover his mouth and he pretends to cough a little before answering, “No, not quite. But I’ll have to make do with what I have, I guess. Pity, isn’t it?”

Hoseok’s laughter fills his ears, even as he ducks his head down to prevent the elder from seeing the smile playing on his lips and the slight flush of his cheeks. When he glances back up, Hoseok’s looking at him with such a strange expression that he stays as he is, meeting the elder’s gaze. They sit there, staring at each other for a few seconds, before Hoseok leans forward, placing a bit of pressure on their tangled hands. Using the thumb and index finger of his other hand, he tilts up Jungkook’s chin, the younger freezing where he is, until he feels soft lips press against his cheek for a few seconds before Hoseok pulls back, clearing his throat.

His cheeks are a little red, too, Jungkook notices with a pleased smile, but the look on his face is confident when he glances at the younger, “It’s a challenge, then – to change your opinion.”

Jungkook laughs, leaning back in his chair, pulling back his hand, and nods, “Alright, it is.”

Hoseok’s smile takes a more sombre turn, “But nothing else? No expectations apart someone normal?

Jungkook purses his lips in thought, before shaking his head. Hoseok doesn’t say anything in response, and Jungkook breathes out a slight sigh of relief, knowing he wouldn’t be able to answer any questions the elder might have asked. Instead, he puts on a smile on his face, “What about you, hyung? Do you have any dreams?”

Hoseok’s chuckle is soft, and he stares at Jungkook for an unnervingly long amount of time, until the younger gulps. He looks away, then, looking contemplative of Jungkook’s question, before nodding, and Jungkook can’t help the disappointed expression that crosses his face.

‘Of course,’ he thinks, ‘why wouldn’t he have them?’

“I do,” Hoseok says then, verbalizing the answer, making Jungkook’s heart drop a little. He leans back in his chair, crossing his arms, “but they don’t matter anymore.”

At Jungkook’s confused expression, he smiles, and says quietly, ducking to glance at his hands on the table, “I’m happy with where we stand right now. I’m surprised at my own feelings, too, probably as much as you are, but I’ve been surprisingly content these last few days. So, whatever I wished for, whatever I expected from all of this, it doesn’t really matter.”

Jungkook stares at him for the longest time, and even after Hoseok looks back up and meets his gaze, the younger continues to stare at him with a rather surprised expression. The sound of chatter surrounds them, and only after an entire minute passes does Jungkook says something, voice quiet but incredulous, “Really?”

Hoseok’s smile is small yet genuine, and he scoots forward in his seat and gestures for Jungkook’s hand. The younger moves his arm forward, still looking a little dazed, and watches the way Hoseok holds onto his hand, bringing it to his lips and pressing a kiss to the center of his palm, “Yes.”

Jungkook can’t help but look away from Hoseok’s burning gaze, and the elder continues to speak even as he turns his gaze away, eyes pricking, as the heel of his hand comes up to press against his trembling lips, “We’re not in love, Jungkook…I know that. We’re not anywhere close to being in love, either. We might not even be attracted to each romantically, yet, but I do like you and I enjoy your company more than I expected. We’ll cross those bridges eventually, I’m sure, at least I hope so…but for now, I’m satisfied with where we stand. I wouldn’t even mind if our relationship stays like this our entire life, you know. That’s the feeling I have, in general, and even though it confuses the hell out of me, it doesn’t…it doesn’t scare me.”

Jungkook curses softly under his breath, looking back down at Hoseok, sucking in a deep breath when Hoseok gives him a comforting smile and squeezes his hand. He looks away, bringing up the hand not intertwined with Hoseok’s and pressing the heel of it under his eyes, no tears falling, “Okay.”

“Okay?” Hoseok raises an eyebrow, pretending he doesn’t see the slight dampness of Jungkook’s eyelashes, “That’s it?”

Jungkook nods, letting out a small laugh, “Yeah, okay…okay?”

Hoseok presses his lips to Jungkook’s fingers when the younger doesn’t look up to meet his gaze, staring down at the table, and says softly, “I’m glad you’re okay with this, angel.”

The nickname makes Jungkook burst into quiet laughter, and he glances up at Hoseok with surprised eyes, watching the way the elder’s pink, heart shaped lips seem to bloom, “Are you going to call me that from now on?”

Hoseok hums affirmatively, smiling, “Until something better comes along. It’s either that or my hero, although I suppose saviour works too.”

Jungkook snorts at the response, rolling his eyes, and is rewarded with another smile from Hoseok.

“What…” Jungkook takes a deep breath, looking up to meet Hoseok’s gaze, “what expectations did you have?”

Hoseok smiles reassuringly, squeezing his hand, “It doesn’t matter anymore.”

“Tell me.”

Hoseok shrugs, looking away abashedly, “Just…someone who I loved and who loved me back? Who I could share my thoughts and feelings with and who would consider me important enough to do the same. Someone I could depend on and trust with my life. It’s really all the clichés, if you ask me.”

Jungkook breathes out audibly, looking away and nodding as he runs the words through his mind, thinking, ‘I can do that. I think I can do that.’

“It’s nice, I think,” he says instead when Hoseok looks at him expectantly, “maybe a little cheesy, but it’s sweet. No other dreams?”

Hoseok laughs, looking relieved, before leaning away and pulling his hand away from Jungkook’s, “No…well, actually no, nothing in particular.”

“What is it?” Jungkook urges him, swirling around his slightly melted gelato with his right hand, taking a few bites.

Hoseok seems to hesitate, and Jungkook gives him his full attention, encouraging him, “I’ve…I’ve always wanted to get married by the sea.”

“By the sea?” Jungkook tilts his head, looking curious.

“Yeah,” Hoseok chuckles, diverting his gaze. “I just…I don’t know why, but I think that would be really romantic, you know? A beach wedding.”

“Oh,” Jungkook breathes out, considering. “You could suggest it to our mothers, if you want. I have no qualms with it.”

Hoseok laughs at that, shaking his head, “I can’t. It’s not a feasible option anyway. We tend to have big wedding on my side of the family, with at least 400 or so guests. And even if you guys only invite half that many people, we can’t possible have a 600 people wedding on a beach.”

“I guess in terms of numbers, it doesn’t make sense,” Jungkook nods his head in understand.

“Yeah, and we never know about the weather. I know they’re some places that have clubhouses, but still, I don’t think it’ll work out.”

“You’ve looked into it,” Jungkook remarks with surprised eyes.

“Shh,” Hoseok brings up a finger to his lips, smiling impishly, “I’ve looked into it in an embarrassing amount of detail.”

Jungkook laughs, nodding his head, watching Hoseok finish up the last of his dessert, licking the spoon thoroughly, before pushing the cup away. He opens his mouth to say something, when Hoseok’s phone starts to ring, and the elder frowns, reaching for it, picking up the call.

“Hey,” he watches Hoseok speak up into the phone, before turning to glance at his watch and cursing. “Shit, okay, okay, I’ll be there. Thanks for letting me know and giving me a warning.”

Hoseok nods, standing up with his empty cup and heading over to toss it in the single garbage bin in the entire area, heading back to their table, “Yeah, don’t worry, I’ll be there in time. I still have an hour, and I’m not too far. Alright, bye.”

Jungkook raises knowing eyebrow when Hoseok turns to give him a sheepish smile, “Lemme guess, you finally have to go back to work.”

“There’s someone coming in for a meeting, but in my defense, it was arranged just today without my knowledge. They’re quite important, though, and...” Hoseok glances down at his watch before looking back up at Jungkook, “will you mind waiting in my office? I can drop you off after?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Jungkook says with a wave of a hand, picking up his own finished cup, and tossing it away. “I can go home by myself. I’m 25, might I remind you.”

“Yeah, I know,” Hoseok leads him out, with a warm hand on his back, “but I told you I’d drop you off, didn’t I?”

“It’s fine,” Jungkook waves a dismissive hand as they step outside, turning to face Hoseok. “I can take the bus home.”

“The bus?” Hoseok sounds a little incredulous, and Jungkook can’t help but laugh, pulling out his phone to find the quickest route.

“Um, Jungkook?” Hoseok sounds concerned when Jungkook doesn’t answer him, and Jungkook hums, glancing at the elder nonchalantly.

“Yes?”

“You were kidding right?”

“I’m not,” Jungkook says with a shake of the head. “I’ll take the bus home, don’t worry. I’ve ridden it enough times by now to not get lost.”

Hoseok gapes at him a little before shaking his head, “How about I send you off in a taxi, yeah?”

“It’s fine, the bus stop is close by,” Jungkook smiles. “You can head back to your office, and I’ll go over to the bus stop, okay, hyung?”

Hoseok grabs his wrist, when he turns away to leave after waving, “Wait, wait, what?”

Jungkook stares at him, “Hyung, I’ll take the bus home, okay? You’re busy, it’s fine.”

“Let me…let me at least walk you to your bus stop,” Hoseok stammers out, unsure of what else to say and watches Jungkook look at him hesitantly.

“Aren’t you running late?”

“No, no,” Hoseok shakes his head. “I have an hour, and my office isn’t more than 20 minutes away by car. I parked mine by the restaurant before we decided to go for a walk instead.”

Jungkook bites at his lips, before nodding, “Okay, but just to the bus stop then, it’s close to the restaurant we were at.”

Hoseok smiles, walking beside Jungkook, watching him glance at his phone occasionally for directions. He speaks after several minutes of silence, “Isn’t it daunting?”

“What is?” Jungkook glances at him curiously.

“The transit system. There’s so many lines and circles on the map, and not to mention all the different buses and bus routes,” Hoseok glances at the younger boy out of the corner of his eye.

Jungkook laughs at the statement, turning to him, “I thought that too the first time. I guess it is a bit daunting at first, but it gets easier the more you use it. I used to use it a lot back in high school, and the training stuck with me I guess. It’s not easy, but it’s manageable.”

Hoseok raises an eyebrow once they reach the bus shelter, and Jungkook elects to sit down inside, while the elder stands, leaning against the advertisement on the side, “Used it in high school?”

Jungkook hums, nodding, and glancing off to his left to check for any buses in sight, “Yeah, I used to take the bus after school.”

Hoseok stays silent for several seconds, body stiff and an odd expression crossing his face, “You didn’t have someone who came to pick you up?”

“Oh,” Jungkook shakes his head at the misunderstanding. “It wasn’t like that. I told the driver to not come pick me up after school, and to not tell my parents.”

“Why?” Hoseok’s voice is incredulous, as if he can’t understand why Jungkook would want to do that.

Jungkook shrugs, “The house was usually empty then, my parents were working, and my brother was living abroad. During middle school, hyung used to be there, so it wasn’t as boring, but then he left when I entered high school. It was a little lonely, I guess, so I usually wandered around a bit – Seoul is such a big city. I always knew that it was, but until you actually start to look outside of your neighbourhood, the fact doesn’t quite sink in, you know.”

“So, you would just take the bus and go random places?” Hoseok asks, tilting his head, but his tone is curious and not unpleasant.

“Yeah,” Jungkook smiles. “It’s actually a lot more fun than you might think. I know it sounds scary, and really, it was initially. I got lost a lot, but slowly things got easier, the routes easier to learn, and more fun.”

“Who taught you? All of this?”

Jungkook laughs, looking away for a few seconds, to glance at the bus that pulls in.

“Oh, it’s here,” Hoseok stands up straight, gesturing towards the large yellow vehicle, and then frowns when Jungkook doesn’t stand up.

“That’s not the right one,” Jungkook says with a soft smile. “This one’s going to take me all around downtown but not outside.”

“Oh,” Hoseok glances back at the bus and then at Jungkook. “Oh, I see.”

“Yoongi hyung,” Jungkook says after a few minutes, stretching out his legs, “he showed me how to do it. I put him through so much trouble, because of it, though. I used to end up in such strange places at the beginning, and then I wouldn’t know how to get home. He always came to find me, though, Yoongi hyung, even with Jiminnie hyung at times. Sometimes, he’d help me find my way back by phone, and sometimes he had to come find me personally, because I’d ended up somewhere completely unknown.”

“And that didn’t deter you? Getting lost is scary, no?”

“It is,” Jungkook nods. “Definitely. But it didn’t deter me. You discover a lot of things if you get lost, you know, there’s a lot waiting to be found.”

“Do you miss it?” Hoseok asks after a while, giving him a knowing look.

“I wouldn’t say miss…” Jungkook trails off. “It was an enjoyable experience, though. I don’t get to do it as often, now.”

When Hoseok doesn’t say anything in response, Jungkook looks up, and watches Hoseok hold out a hand for him. He takes it, intertwining their fingers, waiting for Hoseok to speak, “You like it.”

“Hm?”

“Wandering around – you like that.”

“I guess, yeah,” Jungkook nods looking down at their interlinked hands, before glancing up. “Haven’t done it in a while.”

“No?” Hoseok’s smile is mysterious, “Are you sure about that?”

Jungkook’s eyes narrow in confusion, “What do you mean?”

The elder chuckles, turning to glance at the cars that drive by, “Remember Saturday morning? Your walk?”

“That was just a walk,” Jungkook shakes his head. “I was just…walking around.”

“You didn’t know where you were when I asked,” Hoseok says simply. “It’s alright, you know. If you like to do it – it’s fine.”

Jungkook looks away, mulling over the incident, before shrugging, “I guess it was that. I didn’t think of it in that way. It was just supposed to be a walk.”

Hoseok takes a step closer to where’s sitting, squeezing his hand gently, before pulling away. Jungkook looks up at him quizzically, watching the way Hoseok sighs, looking to be deep in the thought as he stares down at him.

It takes minutes for Hoseok to speak up, and when he does it’s littered with pauses, like he’s trying to find the right words, “In the future…if you ever feel lost or…tired of wandering around, come find me, hm?”

Jungkook stares up at him, surprised, before bursting into a soft smile, nodding slowly and looking away, “Okay…okay, I’ll remember that.”

The blue bus stops in front of them, seconds later, and Jungkook stands up, unknowingly tugging Hoseok along. The doors open and he turns to glance at Hoseok, waving after pulling hand away, “Bye hyung.”

Hoseok waves in response, letting him go with a smile, “Text me once you’re home.”

“With picture proof?” Jungkook says with a smile as he takes a step onto the bus, turning around his upper body, and barely catches the elder’s response without the bus driver glaring him down.

“With picture proof,” Hoseok nods, giving him a teasing grin, and winking. They lock gazes and even as Jungkook walks inside the bus, Hoseok’s eyes remain on him. He settles in an empty seat by the window, glancing down at the elder who waves at him once again. The bus moves forward with a slight hitch, and when Jungkook turns his head to glance at the shelter, he finds Hoseok standing there still, watching the bus until it disappears out of his view.

Jungkook lets out a soft sigh and a small smile plays on his lips at he glances down at his hand, the skin on it still tingling in all the places where the warmth of Hoseok’s hand had touched his, much like his heart.

--

Jimin keys in the code for his place, hearing a click, and then turns the doorknob to open the door. He’s startled when he glances up upon stepping foot inside, jumping before clutching at his erratically beating heart, eyes closed tightly, “You scared me!”

“Did I?” Yoongi asks, the picture of nonchalance as he tilts his head innocently, crossing his arms as he leans against the wall a few feet away from the door. Jimin rolls his eyes in response, hand still over his chest as he sits down on the floor to tug off his boots.

“Why are you standing there like a creeper, hyung?” Jimin asks with a bright, mischievous smile, looking away from his shoes and up towards Yoongi from his place on the floor by the shoe rack.

“I don’t know, dolcezza, why am I home before you?” Yoongi asks, tone serious, but Jimin can imagine can imagine the hint of a smile at the corner of the elder’s chapped lips.

Jimin shrugs in response, pretending to be uncaring even when he wishes to laugh, standing up and walking away, “I don’t really know.”

Yoongi tugs him back by his belt loops, settling him between his parted and shaking his head at Jimin, “You’re such a work of art, don’t you know?”

Jimin laughs, hands coming around Yoongi’s neck, running through the little hairs at the nape of his neck while the elder’s hands settle around his hips, thumbs slipping underneath his shirt to caress the skin there, “What kind of art? Like a Picasso?”

“Maybe an imitation Picasso,” Yoongi responds, grinning when Jimin mocks gasps, hand coming out to cover his mouth.

The expression drops almost as quickly as it takes its place, and Jimin leans forward, “Wait, have you been waiting here all this time? How did you know when I was coming in?”

Yoongi’s smile is sheepish and embarrassed as he admits, “I might’ve been watching the lobby watch channel the entire time until you got here.”

Jimin’s laughter is mocking and bright as he hits Yoongi’s chest a few times, shaking with mirth, eyes tearing at the corner. He lets out a soft sigh once finished laughing, smiling at the way Yoongi starts to glare at him, “You can’t be serious!”

“I said ‘might’ve’, didn’t I?”

“Wow, you’re such an obsessive stalker hyung,” Jimin grins at him.  

Yoongi rolls his eyes, leaning forward to press a kiss against his lips, “Where’d you go? Can you believe I came home before you?”

“At least now you know what it feels like,” Jimin whispers back, closing his eyes as he gives the elder a quick peck, fingers trailing higher up in Yoongi’s hair. He smiles against the familiar lips when Yoongi pulls him closer and tightens his legs around Jimin’s form, the younger leaning back a little to meet Yoongi’s dark, cat-like eyes.

“So, it was punishment, then?” Yoongi asks, pressing his lips to the side of Jimin’s jaw, tracing his way to his ear, sucking on his ear lobe, tongue peeking out to flick at Jimin’s earring.

“No, it wasn’t,” Jimin admits, “I lost track of time. I couldn’t possibly punish you when I know you’ve been taking on as many projects as you can to save up for our wedding.”

Yoongi sighs against him at the words, body sagging as he rests his head in the crook of Jimin’s neck, humming appreciatively when Jimin starts to caress his hair.

“If your mum agrees,” the elder whispers moments later, warm breath making the skin around Jimin’s shoulder break out into goosebumps, “I want to give you best goddamn wedding ever. You deserve that, you know. I don’t want to give her another reason to complain.”

“Hyung,” Jimin’s voice is soft, and he moves his arms to hug Yoongi tighter, “you could give me a wedding with just the two of us in attendance, and I would still love you.”

“But your mother won’t be satisfied, right?” Yoongi pulls back to stare at him, hand coming up to gently smooth his thumb against Jimin’s cheek.

“She wouldn’t be,” Jimin admits. “But you’re not marrying her, but me, okay? Plus, might I remind you that we’re technically already married. Do you want to make it extra showy so she doesn’t catch on?”

Yoongi laughs into Jimin’s neck, body shaking, “I’m aware, dolcezza, I’m perfectly aware, but what your mother doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”

Jimin joins into the laughter this time, pressing his lips against Yoongi’s firmly, sighing and opening his mouth when Yoongi runs his tongue across Jimin’s lower lip, hand moving up to hold Jimin’s face. They break apart seconds later, and Jimin leans his head down this time, eyes closing when Yoongi turns his face to press his lips against Jimin’s hairline.

“I made dinner,” Yoongi whispers a few moments later, “you want to go get changed?”

Jimin sighs appreciatively, “You’re everything I ever need, hyung. What have I even done to deserve you?”

“Dunno,” Yoongi sounds contemplative, “must’ve saved a country or something in your past life. I wonder, though, what have I ever done to have to deserve this though.”

Jimin hits the elder’s stomach, but can’t stop himself from laughing, “Don’t be mean to me! I’ve put up with you for 11 years, already, I don’t deserve this.”

Yoongi snorts, caressing his hair, “Might I remind you, sweetheart, that you did it all willingly.”

“Worst mistake of my life,” Jimin whispers into the elder’s neck, regretting his words when Yoongi stiffens a little, tightening his hold on the younger.

“Sometimes I feel like that, too. After all your mum does have a point, you know, I might not be able to make you happy” Yoongi whispers into his hair, looking down when Jimin lifts his head up, glaring. Fingers wraps around the back of his neck, and Jimin pulls him down into a heated kiss.

“Say that ever again, and I swear to god, I’ll actually leave you.”

Yoongi laughs, “Alright, alright. I won’t.”

“Your punishment is to give me a bath and get me changed,” Jimin huffs, leaning away and crossing his arms in response. He tries his hardest to appear angry, but when Yoongi whistles, eyeing him up and down with a wolfish grin, Jimin can’t help the heat that rushes to his cheeks.

“Eleven years and I can still get you as red as a tomato with just a look, huh?” Yoongi’s voice is soft, and his expression endearing as he presses a kiss to his forehead. “We must be doing something right. But alright, I accept the punishment. Not that it’s really one...but whatever helps you get through the day.”

Jimin laughs a little when Yoongi tugs him towards the bedroom, feet following the elder automatically.

--

Jimin seats himself in the chair on Yoongi’s left once the table is set, and starts by scooping some pasta onto his plate as Yoongi starts with the salad, “I got an offer today.”

“An offer?” Yoongi glances at him with a confused expression, passing him the salad scooper while take the utensil out of his hand.

“The studio I volunteer at for free weekly lessons is actually looking for a dance instructor since one of their staff members is leaving. They asked me if I was interested,” Jimin says by way of explanation, stabbing at the penne pasta pieces with his fork and bringing it to his lips.

“Did you tell them yes?”

“Not yet. I didn’t decline, because I’m definitely interested, but I’m looking for a more full-time position.”

“A full-time position?” Yoongi’s eyebrows scrunch together and he regards Jimin with a confused expression. “Since when?”

“A few days ago,” Jimin admits with a sheepish smile. “I want to contribute and help you out in saving up. It’s not fair that you do it all by yourself.”

“Baby, I’m alright,” Yoongi tangles their hands together, squeezing softly. “Really, I am. You contribute on the mortgage payments for this place, anyway. So, it’s alright, okay? If you feel like you want a full-time position just to help me out, then don’t bother. But if you want to work, then go for it.”

“I’m 27 years old, hyung,” Jimin says with a self-deprecating smile. “Relying on my parent’s income to live by without a full-time job. It was fun at first, but I…I don’t want to live this way.”

“If that’s your reason, I’ll support you completely,” Yoongi nods his head. “But don’t do it just to help me out. We’re financially okay – maybe not great – but we’re okay.”

Jimin scowls a little, “You won’t let me help out, will you?”

“Not with the wedding fund, no,” Yoongi’s voice is firm.

Jimin stares at Yoongi for several seconds, and when the elder doesn’t deter, he starts to pout, “You’re unfair.”

Dolcezza, this is my contribution to the wedding, okay? You can’t add to it.”

“It’s more than enough to pay for half of a wedding, no matter how extravagant you’re planning on getting.”

“Trust me, darling, I’ve done wedding planning – it gets expensive, alright? Just trust me on this one, Jimin, I really would not be happy if you tried to contribute to my half of it.”

“Alright,” Jimin nods, pulling his right hand out of Yoongi’s once he realizes he can’t eat with his left. He takes a bite of the salad, enjoying their crunch, “I hope eomma comes around soon enough.”

“We should go visit her,” Yoongi sips at his water. “Your parents’ wedding anniversary is coming up, isn’t it?”

“How in the world do you remember these things better than me?” Jimin looks amazed, smiling when Yoongi starts to laugh, almost choking on his food.

“Dunno,” Yoongi shrugs. “Guess I just remember everything you tell me.”

Jimin snorts, rolling his eyes, “Yeah right, you wish, Min Yoongi. You wish.”

“But we should go,” Yoongi says, taking a second helping of pasta. “My mum’s been asking me about you, too.”

“Oh yeah, eomma called me yesterday and we talked for quite a while.”

Yoongi blinks at Jimin, “Have you always called my mum eomma?”

Jimin smiles, nodding, “It’s been a while. Have you really not noticed?”

“It’s not fair, you know,” Yoongi frowns. “This is why she likes you better than me.”

“What can I say?” Jimin’s smile is smug. “I’m like the ideal child – very desirable.”

Yoongi snorts, “Not even gonna comment on that.”

He remembers something, and he wraps his hand around Jimin’s arm to get his attention, “Also Jungkook? He’s getting married? Since when?”

Jimin hums, “Very recently. They had a date – Hoseok hyung and Kook – last Thursday and on Friday Hoseok hyung’s mum called and said they were happy with the arrangement.”

“And Jungkook?”

“Oh, Jungkook’s definitely happy – I mean comparatively speaking Hoseok hyung’s almost like a deity,” Jimin frowns. “The first two weren’t so bad – the first one particularly, although he had a kid. But that last bastard was crazy and – ugh no, I’m over this. I don’t want to even talk about him.”

“Was he the escort one?” Yoongi rubs a comforting hand against Jimin’s shoulder, and the younger turns to nod at him, taking another bite of his food, almost done.

Yoongi looks deep in thought, “So, he’s all good then? This Hoseok guy?”

“Yeah,” Jimin nods. “I met him today, and honestly, he seemed decent – like an actual human being.”

Yoongi laughs at the younger’s choice of words, “I’m glad. As long as Jungkook likes him and is happy, we can’t ask for more.”

Jimin hums, smiling, leaning back in his seat, “I think he’s really happy with Hoseok. It’s only been a few days, but they’ve been surprisingly comfortable with each other. I sometimes think about the way we used to be at the very beginning, and Kook is nothing like either of us.”

Yoongi’s chuckle is deep, as he stands up with his plate, gesturing for Jimin’s plate, “Well, when we got together, you were 16 and I was 18. I’m pretty sure being teenagers doubles the amount of awkwardness just as a rule by itself.”

Jimin’s laugh follows him through to the kitchen where he dumps the plates in the kitchen, hearing Jimin enter after pushing the chairs in and grabbing the pasta dish and salad bowl.

“I’ll go bring the glasses,” Yoongi replies, and Jimin nods grabbing two containers, to place the leftover food inside.

“You always make too much,” Jimin frowns when Yoongi returns. “Should I pack this for your lunch tomorrow?”

“Sure,” Yoongi drops a kiss against his cheek. “Thank you.”

“What time are you heading out?” Jimin asks after a while as Yoongi washes the dirty dishes and wipes them with a cloth before placing them on the drying rack.

“Around 6 I think,” Yoongi sighs deeply. “So, I wake up around 5 in the morning.”

“I hate when you leave early in the morning,” Jimin admits after a few beats. “I always wake up earlier than usual on those days feeling cold”

Yoongi smiles, turning to lean against the counter, and pulling Jimin between his legs, “Sorry, but work is work.”

“I know, don’t apologize, it makes me feel bad,” Jimin plays with a loose thread on Yoongi’s worn out grey shirt.

“How about I tuck that body pillow Kook got you after I leave? To keep you warm?”

Jimin laughs, pressing a kiss to chapped lips, “The pillow’s going to be cold too, but okay, maybe it’ll help.”

“Wow,” Yoongi says all of a sudden, looking off to the side, and Jimin’s faze follows through to see what he’s looking at. “I’m so easily replaceable.”

Jimin’s laughter is bright as he presses closer to Yoongi, giving him a proper kiss, before pulling away, “Too bad I can’t do that with a body pillow.”

“Oddly enough, that makes me feel better.”

“Let’s go brush our teeth,” Jimin says pecking Yoongi, “you should sleep soon if you want to wake up in time.”

“Okay,” Yoongi nods his head, letting Jimin pull him over to the bathroom.

The bathroom is down the hall, door slightly ajar, and Jimin slips inside first, pulling his hand out of Yoongi’s hold to grab both of their toothbrushes, handing Yoongi his own. The elder grabs the toothpaste in the meanwhile, placing a small amount of both his and Jimin’s brushes and then putting it back on the counter.

They brush their teeth quietly, Jimin wiggling his eyebrows when Yoongi’s eyes drift over to him. He laughs a little in response, rolling his eyes, the expression enough to make Jimin laugh a little, almost spitting out the foam inside his mouth. Once done, they rinse their mouths with a bit of water, and then turn to glance at each other as if they haven’t been doing the same routine for months.

Jimin presses their lips together, licking around Yoongi’s mouth when the older indulges him.

“Minty?” Yoongi asks, pulling away wiping at his lips.

Jimin hums, grabbing a small round tub of cream off the counter, uncapping it. Yoongi hugs him from behind tightly, arms looping around his abdomen, as he uses two fingers to swipe at the nearly full cream tub, and placing a stripe across both of his cheeks. Yoongi laughs at the way he looks, and Jimin frowns, turning his head to the side to glance at his face.

“What’re you laughing at?”

“You look funny when you do that,” Yoongi grins at him teasingly, eyes scrunching shut when Jimin rubs a finger full of cream across his left cheek.

“There, now you look funny, too!”

Yoongi makes a noise of protest, hold around Jimin loosening for a few seconds, before it tightens again and he rest his chin on Jimin’s shoulder, watching him massage the cream onto his face. They lock eyes silently, and Yoongi’s right hand comes up to press against Jimin’s right jaw, tilting his head towards him and pressing another kiss to his lips.

Jimin’s the one to protest this time, elbowing Yoongi, “Wait, wait. Let me finish this first.”

Yoongi huffs but lets Jimin continue, raising an eyebrow when the younger turns in his arms and his hands come up to rub the cream into Yoongi’s skin, “I don’t understand why you don’t take care of your skin, hyung, especially with how sensitive it is.”

“It’s because I have you to do it for me,” Yoongi’s answer is cheeky and his eyes close, when Jimin grabs the cream again and places small amount around his cheekbones and forehead. He hums satisfied even as Jimin huffs at his earlier statement.

“Honestly, you’re so demanding, I need some sort of award to have been together with you for so long.”

Jimin’s admittedly surprised when Yoongi doesn’t respond with a snarky statement of any sort, instead humming in agreement, “I’ll give you anything you ask me for, if I’m being honest, just for staying with me for so long.”

Smiling, the younger pats his cheeks, letting Yoongi know to open his eyes, “Really now?”

Yoongi hums, “Yeah, anything you ask for. Provided it’s not illegal.”

Jimin laughs, slotting their lips together for a few seconds, “Thank you, but I don’t need anything.”

“If you insist,” Yoongi hugs him close. “I don’t think I’ve told you this before, but did you know I thought you would leave me the day after we got married.”

“What?” Jimin’s voice is incredulous and he pushes as Yoongi’s chest to look at his face.

The elder doesn’t meet his eyes, looking anywhere but, except that he nods, “Yup. I mean, we weren’t exactly in the sanest of our minds when we decided to get hitched. I still don’t know who our witnesses were.”

Jimin laughs into his shoulder, “I don’t either, but it was fun, you know.”

“I wouldn’t describe it as fun, dolcezza,” Yoongi frowns. “I didn’t sleep that entire night, thinking you’d wake up, remember what we’d done, and then leave me.”

“You know hyung,” Jimin trails blunt fingers down Yoongi’s chest, “when someone’s been together with you for eight years, they might not be as unwillingly to marry you if you do pop the question.”

“I know,” Yoongi says, breathing out a puff of air. “But I was still worried. Some people don’t want that, you know? They don’t want to get married and are content with just being together. I thought you’d leave me and tell your mother. You don’t even know what kind of scenarios ran through my head that night.”

“You trust me so much, I’m amazed,” Jimin replies with a sardonic tone and a smirk that makes Yoongi laugh and kiss him. “I’ll always be here, you know, no matter what your crazy mind wants to believe.”

Yoongi hugs him tightly, “You’ve always been here, by my side, haven’t you, dolcezza?”

Jimin hums, unsure of how to answer, except to return the hug.

“That time when I got fired, and the time when my dad had a heart attack. I remember you stayed the entire night with me that day even though you had to leave for an exam the day. And that time when I had to get my appendix removed. Even…even when they found all that stuff in my locker and almost expelled me,” Yoongi’s arms tighten a little more, but Jimin doesn’t feel uncomfortable or like he’s suffocating – quite the opposite. “I really thought they would kick me out. I was just a scholarship student after all, but you didn’t even waver in the slightest. I still don’t know how you got that kid to admit what he did…”

“Some things are better left unsaid,” Jimin says interrupting him. “It’s all in the past, hyung, if I started to count the things you’ve done for me, we’d be here all night.”

Yoongi pulls away, searching Jimin’s eyes before curving his hand against Jimin’s cheek and pressing their lips together as Jimin’s eyes flutter close. They kiss slowly, much softer than they’ve had all day, and as Yoongi runs his tongue across Jimin’s lower lip, the younger sighs into it, opening his mouth. He tastes nothing but the strong flavour of their minty toothpaste on the elder’s tongue, but it’s a familiar sensation.

Yoongi pulls away after a while, coming back for one more peck, before smiling, “We should head to bed, sweetheart.”

Jimin nods in agreement before a playful look takes over his face, “You know, if you’re really grateful, you should carry me to bed.”

Yoongi laughs, flicking his forehead, but it’s followed by a soft, “Should I?”

Jimin hums affirmatively, head moving to nod eagerly, “Take me to my prince charming, horsey.”

“Babe,” Yoongi pulls Jimin flush against him, eyes darkening slightly as his thumbs press into Jimin’s hips, “I’m your prince charming, knight in shining armour, and your horse, understood?”

Jimin opens his mouth, about to respond, when Yoongi presses a hand against his lips to shush him, announcing with a smile, “Essentially, I’m your everything.”

Yoongi bursts into laughter, Jimin’s favourite kind of smile taking over his face as he chuckles at Jimin’s disdainful expression.

“Wow, how long did it take you to come up with that?”

Yoongi shoots him a shit-eating grin, “Just a few seconds. Wow, I’m really good, aren’t I?”

“I suddenly can’t remember why I even married you,” Jimin rolls his eyes, tugging Yoongi out of the bathroom before turning off the lights with a flick of a switch.

“Well, it’s too late for regrets now, we’ve been married for a while,” Yoongi says as he hugs the younger’s back and waddles with him over to their room. “I’m pretty sure you can’t protest anymore.”

“What if I want to get divorced then? That’s still a possibility,” Jimin catches a glimpse of themselves in a nearby full length mirror, and smiles at how in love they look.

“I suppose so,” Yoongi says, mulling over the thought, “Except that in order to get divorced you need to be living separately for an entire year, and since you’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like to live with me, I don’t quite think you can go back.”

“Really?” Jimin sounds a little surprised. “Separated for a year?”

Yoongi hums, letting go and stepping beside him, turning his head to glance at him, “Why? Are you considering it?”

Jimin strokes his chin thoughtfully, before shaking his head, “No, not really. That’s too long.”

“What a shame,” Yoongi grins at him playfully, winking.

Jimin agrees as he pulls away the covers from his side of the bed, slipping in easily, before cuddling up to Yoongi, who accepts him with open arms, “What a shame, indeed.”


A/N: This is actually only 2/3 of what this chapter was supposed to be about. Even that last scene was a struggle for me to fit in, but I did it either way ‘cause I told a bunch of people that I’d put Yoonmin in here. I’m sorry if the chapter is a little disappointing or weird, and I hope the next one is better. :(

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Chapter Text

From: Hoseok

Good morning! ♥

From: Jungkook

Hi. :)

From: Hoseok

I have a question.

From: Jungkook

Ask away!

From: Hoseok

What are your mum’s favourite flavours?

From: Jungkook

What?

From: Hoseok

Sorry, sorry! Flowers***

From: Jungkook

Uh…let me ask her.

From: Hoseok

Nonono! Don’t ask her!

From: Jungkook

Oh…it is supposed to be a surprise?

From: Hoseok

Well, I thought I would bring her flowers…since it’s the first time I’m meeting her. Or is that too forward? Wait, your dad doesn’t hate stripes, right?

From: Jungkook

Uh…no? He wears them occasionally. I’m not sure about what flowers my mum likes best, though.

From: Hoseok

Oh…hmm. Is she a flower person?

From: Jungkook

Yes! She is, but she always changes things around all the time.

From: Hoseok

How about lilies? Most people like lilies, right?

From: Jungkook

I guess?

From: Hoseok

:(

Is your mum the type of person who’d know flower meanings?

From: Jungkook

Most likely. Okay, so lilies can mean birth and motherhood which is fine I suppose, but it can also signify high eroticism and sexuality.

From: Hoseok.

O_o

Okay, so no lilies. Hey Jungkook, you want some lilies?

From: Jungkook

Shut up…

From: Hoseok

No? Okay…how about I get her freesias?

From: Jungkook

Freesias mean trust, innocence, and friendship, so not a bad choice.

From: Hoseok

Yeah, what about tulips?

From: Jungkook

Depends on colour apparently. Yellow can mean cheerful thoughts. White for forgiveness and red for pure love.

From: Hoseok

You want red tulips?

From: Jungkook

From: Hoseok

Hehe ♥

How about narcissus?

From: Jungkook

Look it up yourself, hyung. -_-

From: Hoseok

But, but…

From: Jungkook

Happiness and future prosperity.

From: Hoseok

That sounds good. What about baby’s breath?

From: Jungkook

Undying or everlasting love. How about chrysanthemums or carnations? Aren’t those typical mother’s day flowers?

From: Hoseok

Oh! That’s a good idea!

From: Jungkook

I’m full of good ideas. :D

All done, then?

From: Hoseok

How about poinsettias?

From: Jungkook

Oh my god.

From: Hoseok

Fine! Fine! I’ve decided.

From: Jungkook

On…?

From: Hoseok

Daisies and hyacinths!

From: Jungkook

…where the hell did those come from?

From: Hoseok

The lady at the counter said that daisies can mean new beginnings and hyacinths mean sincerity. :)

Sorry for bothering you, I’m kind of indecisive. ♥

I’ll see you in a few hours?

From: Jungkook

Yeah…should I get your mum flowers, too?

From: Hoseok

Go for it! Just don’t bring the same ones as me, I guess.

From: Jungkook

Okay! I’m going to go buy them, now. I’ll see you later!

From: Hoseok

Later. ♥

--

From: Jungkook

Hyung? ♥♥♥♥

From: Jimin

ಠ_ಠ

From: Jungkook

Hehe ♥

From: Jimin

What do you want?

From: Jungkook

Do you remember when you met Yoongi hyung’s parents? For the first time?

From: Jimin

…yes. Why?

From: Jungkook

Did you give them a gift?

From: Jimin

Jungkook, I was 17.

From: Jungkook

So, you didn’t?

From: Jimin

Not the first time I met them, why? Are you meeting Hoseok hyung’s parents soon?

From: Jungkook

Yeah…today. Hyung bought stuff for mine, but I didn’t even think of buying his parents anything.

From: Jimin

Haha, loser.

From: Jungkook

:(

From: Jimin

Ha!

From: Jungkook

HELP ME, HYUNG!

From: Jimin

Don’t wanna.

From: Jungkook

Hyuuuuuuung? Please, please, please? :(((((((

From: Jimin

What do I get in return?

From: Jungkook

My love?

From: Jimin

Already have that.

From: Jungkook

I wouldn’t be so sure.

From: Jimin

:O

From: Jungkook

Pleeeeease?

From: Jimin

I’m not tempted to help yet.

From: Jungkook

You made me resort to this.

From: Jimin

?

From: Jungkook

I won’t tell Yoongi hyung what you’re planning for your anniversary if you help me.

From: Jimin

YOU WOULDN’T.

From: Jungkook

Try me.

From: Jimin

Gdi, Jeon. Fine, fine. Do you know what you’re getting them?

From: Jungkook

No. :(

Why would I ask for your help if I did?

From: Jimin

…hm. Get his dad a watch, I guess. Guys are easy. For his mom, maybe perfume?

From: Jungkook

I don’t want to call her smelly, though.

From: Jimin

WTF, Jeon.

From: Jungkook

Doesn’t giving someone perfume mean that you think they smell?

From: Jimin

No! What even, Kook, what even?

From: Jungkook

I thought I read that somewhere...

From: Jimin

Thank god you’re into men, Kook. Thank god.

From: Jungkook

Okay, so perfume and flowers?

From: Jimin

Flowers are a good idea! You want me to come with you?

From: Jungkook

Yes, please! Thank you! ♥

From: Jimin

Whatever. If Yoongi hyung finds out anything, we’re never speaking again. Ever.

From: Jungkook

Okay! ♥

From: Jimin

Since when did you use all these hearts?

From: Jungkook

Dunno. I’ll see you in an hour?

From: Jimin

‘Kay. Pick me up?

From: Jungkook

Sure. It’s a date. ;)

From: Jimin

Don’t you wish, kid? Don’t you wish?

From: Jungkook

You sounded like Yoongi hyung when you said that. :O

--

Jungkook glances towards the wooden doors as they slide open and Hoseok walks inside, dressed in a crisp navy suit, white shirt, and patterned dark tie. He smiles up at him, especially when the elder catches his eye and grins, softly padding to his spot beside his mother, across from Jungkook.

He bows a complete 90 degrees at Jungkook’s parents, greeting them, before taking a seat onto the floor of their private room in the Japanese restaurant, “Hello.”

Jungkook’s parents greet him back, but Jungkook settles for smiling, the elder giving him a nod in acknowledgement.

Hoseok presents the bouquet to Jungkook’s mother, chuckling when she looks delighted at the flowers and pulls him in for a hug, pressing a firm kiss to his cheek, “Thank you, Hoseok, these are lovely.”

“Oh no, it’s my pleasure,” Hoseok waves a dismissive hand, handing both her and her husband their respective bags. “These are for you.”

“Oh my, you came prepared, didn’t you?” She gives him a small smile, reaching into the bag and pulling out the black box inside. Jungkook spares the bracelet inside a brief glance as her mother ‘oooh’s at it, before reaching back for his own bags, and handing them over to Hoseok’s parents, who seem just as delighted at their gifts.

“It’s not a very strong scent,” Jungkook informs Hoseok’s mother with a smile. “I wasn’t too sure what kind you liked, so I went with something simple and floral.”

“Oh, this is lovely!” Hoseok’s mother gestures for him to come forward in a hug as well, and Jungkook fumbles a little before reaching forward and pressing close. “Thank you so much!”

“Did you two plan this together?” Hoseok’s father is the first to ask, grinning at his son, and Jungkook’s startled at how similar their smiles are, despite Hoseok’s looks matching his mother.

“No, we didn’t plan it, although Jungkook did help me decide what flowers to get his mother,” Hoseok turns to give Jungkook a small smile, settling down on the cushion beside his mother. He makes a soft noise reaching into his coat, catching Jungkook’s attention their parents set about putting their gifts back inside their bags. When the younger turns to look at him, he finds Hoseok reaching into the pocket inside his coat and pulling out two wrapped single stemmed lilacs – one purple and one white – beaming at Jungkook.

Jungkook raises an eyebrow at the purple and white flowers, biting the inside of his cheek before looking up to stare at Hoseok with a slightly disdainful expression. The elder laughs in response, chuckling softly, but continues to hold the flowers for Jungkook, “These are for you.”

“I’m not taking these,” Jungkook shakes his head, pressing his lips to prevent himself from grinning, trying to look dissatisfied but failing. He wracks his brain trying to remember if they discussed lilacs at any point during their discussion, wondering what they mean, when Hoseok wiggles them in front of him.

“Take them, angel.”

Jungkook’s eyes widen at the nickname and he casually sneaks a peak to find both of their parents staring between the two of them. None of them comment on the nickname, even as Jungkook’s cheeks start to heat up, from the combinations of Hoseok’s words and the staring. His mother nudges him in the side, her voice soft when she speaks, “Take them, Jungkook. You shouldn’t refuse flowers given to you out of love.”

Hoseok’s laughter is soft when Jungkook huffs a little, looking up at Hoseok with an expression that he hopes conveys his hatred for the flowers, before accepting them, bringing them up to his nose. They smell pleasant and sweet, he notes, and even though his voice is soft in response, everyone hears him, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Hoseok says just as softly, grinning at him, even as he rolls his eyes and lays the flowers on the table, touching them softly.

Jungkook looks up as their parents start to converse, discussing children and how quickly they grow up, before trying to pull out his phone as stealthily as he can. Hiding it under the table, he unlocks the screen while looking up, making sure to nod and smile at all the right times. His mother’s fingers press against his wrist right at that moment, stilling his hand, and when he turns to look at her, she smiles.

“Purple lilacs,” she turns her head to whisper in his ear, “are the first signs of love. The white ones mean youthfulness and innocence.”

Jungkook glances at her as she turns away, giving him a small smile and a pat on the knee, but not before telling him softly, “I like him.”

--

“I know we’ve been discussing their engagement and wedding prospectively since early this week, Hyunseo, but we really do like Jungkook,” Hoseok’s mother reaches forward with her hand, smiling when Jungkook’s mother extends her own, joining their hands. “We’ve met him and Hoseok’s met him several times, now, and I think we’re really happy with this match. From us, it’s a definitive yes.”

Jungkook watches his mother and father exchange a glance, smiling at each other, before his mother turns to look at him and then Hoseok. She nods after a few seconds, gracing Hoseok’s mother with a smile of her own, “We feel the same way, Mira; it’s a green light from us, too. We’ve known each other for a while now, our kids like each other, so there’s nothing else to say anymore. Hoseok’s absolutely lovely and Jungkook’s happy with him, and from my viewpoint, as a mother, there’s nothing more I could ask for.”

“That’s great!” Hoseok’s parents exchange smiles, before his mother turns to glance at Hoseok, squeezing his hand softly. “I know it’s extremely rushed, but we did want to get them engaged and married as soon as possible.”

Hoseok’s father clears his throat, “I should probably explain, but my father is extremely sick at the moment, with not a lot of time left, and he really wanted to see one of his grandchildren get married before he passed away. It’s a little unfair of us to put this on Hoseok’s shoulders, but I wanted to give my dad this at least. He’s of a good age to get married, and now that we’ve found someone good for him, we really do want to go ahead as quickly as possible.”

Jungkook’s eyes drift away to Hoseok who nods along with his father’s explanation, not turning to meet Jungkook’s glance. He watches the elder carefully, looking for signs of hesitance, regret – anything, really – but when he finds nothing negative, he starts to smile unwillingly, chest suddenly feeling at ease.

“That’s understandable,” Jungkook’s hears his father say in response, turning to glance at him when he does, voice deep and firm. “We don’t have anything against it, but I do think we should keep the engagement a small affair if it’s so soon. I don’t want to burden any business clients to attend on such short notice.”

“Oh, of course, we agree completely!” Hoseok’s mother nods eagerly. “We feel the same way – we’re only inviting family and very close friends to the engagement, but the wedding will be a large affair. Hyunseo and I talked about, earlier this week, but we’re thinking about holding the engagement in two weeks from now and then wedding two weeks after that. Don’t worry about the details, we can of course sort those out.”

“That sounds fair,” Jungkook’s mother nods. “We can get the cards printed by the end of this weekend most likely if we can finalize our guest list in time, Mira.”

“Oh yes, yes, we can!” Hoseok’s mother nods frantically. “I’ve talked to a few places as well who do last minute bookings, and our hotel ballrooms are available as well for that weekend.”

Jungkook nods his head slowly, glancing over at Hoseok who’s watching him, waggling his eyebrows when Jungkook stares for a little too long. He shakes in head in response, but is interrupted by his mother, who touches his knee, “Why don’t we let the kids go for now? They look restless and quite bored. I’m sure we can sort out the preparations among the four – well most likely two – of us.”

Their fathers laugh and Jungkook smiles out of courtesy as well, turning to glance at Hoseok’s who’s already shifting positions, “Oh yes, we should go. Jungkook has a prior appointment, anyway, don’t you?”

“Ah, well,” Jungkook glances down at the clock on his phone. “I do, but…”

“Great then,” Hoseok interrupts, smiling at him widely. “We should get going.”

Hoseok’s mother laughs at her child’s antics, smacking the back of his calf lightly, turning to Jungkook, “He’s such a handful, sometimes.”

“Come on,” Hoseok urges him, grabbing the two lilacs beside Jungkook’s phone, before offering him a hand once he’s standing up.

“Jeez,” Jungkook mutters, shaking his head, unfolding his laps to stand up.

“Trust me, the longer we stay here, the more we get pulled into all of this planning,” Hoseok pretend-whispers with a smile, leaning close. “Not that I don’t want to help, but I think it’s better I just leave it to the people who you have experience and all.”

Jungkook rolls his eyes standing up, bowing once again to Hoseok’s parents. He reaches forward to offer the elder’s father a handshake and then leans down to hug his mother, who presses a kiss against his cheek. Hoseok does the same, he notices, waving a quick goodbye to his own parents as well.

Jungkook turns to say farewell to his parents, telling them he’ll see them at home later, and when he turns Hoseok hands him the two lilacs with a grin.

“I’m throwing these out as soon as we step out this room,” Jungkook informs him with a shit-eating grin, turning to glance at his parents when all four burst into synchronous laughter.

Hoseok’s smile doesn’t falter in the slightest, and he chuckles, “Yeah, sure. We’ll see about that. I’m sure you’re going to take these home, press these between the pages of a book, and keep them forever.”

Jungkook raises an eyebrow at that, before shrugging, “Who am I to shatter someone’s dreams?”

Hoseok laughs, extended a hand towards him, and Jungkook takes it, joining their fingers, before he turns to wave again to his parents, bowing at Hoseok’s parents.

“Hoseok?” They both turn when Hoseok’s mother speaks firmly, “Once you have time, compile and give me a list of any friends you want to be inviting, alright?”

“Jungkook, you too,” Jungkook’s mother adds on, and they both nod quickly before Hoseok tugs him out of the room, sliding the door open, and then closing it with a quick “bye! have fun”

“You’re ridiculous,” Jungkook mutters, grabbing the lilacs out of Hoseok’s hand as the elder slips his feet into his shoes, smacking him once in the chest. “Why did you bring me flowers?”

“What?” Hoseok looks at him with wide, innocent eyes. “Why can’t I bring you flowers?”

“I’m not a girl!” Jungkook informs him, reaching down to straighten out the back of his shoe. “And on top of that, as if that wasn’t enough, you just had to slip in the nickname?”

Hoseok’s chuckle is bright and full of mirth, reverberating even as Jungkook stands up and the elder links their hands again, “I bet they found it cute.”

“Oh god,” Jungkook mutters, pulling his hand away, leaning against the wall beside the room and covering his face with his hands, “that was so embarrassing.”

Hoseok laughs, pulling his hands away from his face, “It was fine.”

“I should’ve accepted the flowers outright, shouldn’t I have?” Jungkook asks in a small voice, looking up at Hoseok, his slumped position making Hoseok tower over him. “That was really rude of me, wasn’t it?”

“It’s fine, you were surprised,” Hoseok brings up a hand, rubbing his thumb against Jungkook’s cheekbones in a comforting gesture, before leaning down to press a kiss against his left cheek. “My parents liked you.”

“You think so?” Jungkook asks again, looking up at him with unsure eyes.

Hoseok hums affirmatively, “They wouldn’t have said yes if they didn’t. Now, come on, let’s go.”

Jungkook lets him lead him outside of the establishment, following behind, the flowers clutched tightly in his hand, “I’m still going to throw these away.”

“No, you’re not,” Hoseok shakes his head, sounding confident as they step out onto the street. “Did you bring your car?”

“No, I parked it by Golden – my eatery; there were no parking spots near here.”

“Is the place close by?”

“Yeah,” Jungkook nods, leading Hoseok in the direction of the café. “It’s a 10-minute walk, but I still have about 40 minutes until I have to meet Yoongi hyung.”

Hoseok nods, “When’s the event?”

“Next Wednesday,” Jungkook responds. “Wait, do you want to go back to your car?”

“It’s fine,” the elder waves a hand, “I’ll go once you go meet Yoongi-ssi.”

“Ah, where do you wanna go then, hyung?”

“Wherever you want. You know the area best, anyway.”

Jungkook hums thinking of a destination, swinging their hands a little, before his gaze fall down onto the flowers still in his hands, “I really ought to throw these away.”

Hoseok turns to glance at him, “How hurtful. I give you flowers as a token of my love, and the only thing you can think of is to throw them away? Such upsetting words, angel, such upsetting words.”

“I didn’t know you had a penchant for dramatic flair,” Jungkook smiles, meeting Hoseok’s gaze, and when the elder merely shakes his head, huffing and looking away, he can’t help but burst into a laugh.

He leans his head down a little and presses his lips against Hoseok’s cheek, “There. Does that help with your ego?”

Hoseok’s lips upturn slightly at the corner, and Jungkook watches his struggle to remain upset, before nodding, “Maybe a little. But just a little.”

Jungkook bursts into laughter, body rocking forward a little, before he sighs softly, bringing the flowers up to his nose, “They smell nice, thank you.”

He’s surprised when Hoseok kisses his cheek again, “You’re welcome.”

A thought strikes him, and he takes a small step away as he says, “You can’t keep doing that, you know. We’re not even.”

“Keep doing what?” Hoseok’s eyebrows furrow when he turns to glance at his confused, shoulders hunching inwards.

“Yeah! I mean, I’ve only kissed you on the cheek once, but you’ve already kissed me several times now. One was the first night –”

“– another was on Tuesday when we went to the ice cream parlor,” Hoseok adds.

Jungkook nods, “And another one today as well.”

“Well, three to one isn’t a bad ratio, you know,” Hoseok grins at him, smiling widening when Jungkook shakes his head.

“Oh no, three to one is a very bad ratio. Two to one is maybe okay, but three to one is terrible.”

“Kissing isn’t some sort of competition, sweetheart,” Hoseok’s surprised at how easily the endearment slips off his tongue and he smiles when Jungkook stiffens only for a few seconds before relaxing again. “You don’t give a kiss in exchange for one.”

“True,” Jungkook nods his head, “but it’s still unfair.”

“No one counts kisses, plus, what relationship is actually equal?”

“I know they aren’t usually,” Jungkook agrees making vague hand gestures, “but that doesn’t mean we can’t make ours that way.”

“So, what then? You’re going to kiss my cheek twice now to get equal?” Hoseok raises an eyebrow, stopping in their walk, pausing Jungkook along with him.

“Well, not now, I’ll do it naturally,” Jungkook says with slightly flushed cheeks, not meeting his eyes. “But eventually, yes, I’m going to get equal.”

Taking that opportunity, Hoseok tilts the younger’s chin a little before pressing his lips against his cheeks again. “Four to one, now. How’re you going to beat that?”

Jungkook gapes at him, before his eyes fire up, and Hoseok sees the slightest glimpse of the feisty boy he’d seen on their first meeting, “That’s not fair! You can’t keep kissing me like that!”

“But I can,” Hoseok says with a shrug, aware of how lame the comeback is, but it makes Jungkook sputter in his words, trying to gather his wits as Hoseok smirks at him.

“Fine, then, if you insist on being unfair,” Jungkook scoffs, before leaning down and pressing a kiss to Hoseok’s other cheek, reddening when the elder starts to laugh at his behaviour.

“You’re being really petty right now, you know,” Hoseok says with a smile, and Jungkook rolls his eyes.

“You’re the one being petty, but hey, it’s four to two, now, and I guess that’s not too bad a ratio.”

Hoseok smiles, starting to walk again and tugging Jungkook along. He turns, facing Jungkook and walking backwards while their hands remained joined, eyes twinkling with mischief, “Hey, you know what’s worth three cheek kisses?”

Jungkook tilts his head, smiling as he asks sarcastically, “What?”

Hoseok taps at his lower lip with his free hand, “A kiss on the lips.”

Jungkook bursts into laughter, Hoseok smiling along with him, “Getting ahead of yourself, aren’t you, hyung?”

The elder stops in his tracks, Jungkook nearly colliding into his body, “No, I’m serious. One kiss on the lips and your total kiss balance thing will automatically be higher than mine by one kiss. Then it’ll be my turn to make up to you.”

“Don’t you wish I’d kiss you on the lips?” Jungkook rolls his eyes, starting to walk, smiling when Hoseok continues walking backwards. “But there’s a flaw with your logic.”

“A flaw? Pray do tell what it is,” the smile of Hoseok’s face is permanent by now, and Jungkook wonders if the expression on his face looks similar.

“If I kiss you on the lips, then technically both of us kiss. So won’t we both be getting three kisses added to our balance? That’ll still put you higher than me.”

Hoseok pauses, looking down at their feet as he thinks, before he snaps, “New rule: whoever initiates gets five kisses for well making the first move, and the other person gets two kisses. There.”

“What if the other person responds, doesn’t that mean they deserve five as well?”

“Respond as in if we start like making out or something?”

“Yeah, I guess like that,” Jungkook nods, surprised at how impassive he feels both of their expression to be.

“We can do a 10 to 7 for that? I mean the initiator should get 10, because you know they instigate it, and while the other is important for responding and keeping it going, I don’t think they should get more than 7.”

“I’m still not going to kiss you on the lips,” Jungkook replies offhandedly. “Not happening.”

“Aw,” Hoseok frowns, whining. “You got my hopes up.”

“Maybe later,” Jungkook says with a consoling smile, patting Hoseok’s shoulder sympathetically. “Although, I make no promises.”

They walk in silence for a few minutes, hands swinging between them, as big smiles etch their faces. Hoseok’s the first one to interrupt, “So, does that mean I’m winning then?”

“Nobody’s winning,” Jungkook rolls his eyes. “You’re just ahead of me.”

“But that means I’m winning,” Hoseok clarifies. “Does that mean I get to crowned like kiss king or something?”

“No, you don’t, that’s weird.”

Jungkook frowns when Hoseok starts to laugh at him, turning to barely coherently say, “Do you hear yourself when you talk sometimes?”

“What?” Jungkook looks defensive, even when Hoseok reaches to stroke his cheek.

“Between the two of us, exactly who started this kissing war?”

“It’s not a kissing war!” Jungkook yells a little loudly, ducking his head in embarrassment when several passersby and people from the sidewalk across turn to look at him oddly.

“You’re cute, you know,” Hoseok smiles, bringing their intertwined hands up and planting a soft kiss on Jungkook’s skin.

The younger colours, before his eyes light up, “Oh! These too!”

Hoseok groans exasperatedly, “No, angel, we’re not doing this on hand kisses as well.”

“Too late now,” Jungkook smirks before it falters, “wait, I don’t even remember how many times you’ve kissed my hand.”

Hoseok indulges him despite declining earlier, “Well, once just now…”

“You did it once in the gelato shop, too? Or was that twice? Thrice?”

“I have no clue,” Hoseok shakes his head. “Nobody told me I had to keep track of these, because my fiancé would be the crazy kind.”

“I’m not the crazy kind,” Jungkook mumbles, lips pouting a little. “I just want us to be on equal standings.”

“Through making sure we kiss each other the same number of times?” Hoseok’s eyebrow raise is skeptical, before he rubs his thumbs against the top of Jungkook’s hand. “It’s fine, angel, let’s do it. It’ll be fun.”

Jungkook snorts but doesn’t disagree, “Where are we going exactly?”

“Dunno,” Hoseok looks around. “Know where we are by any chance?”

“Oh, there’s a park nearby,” Jungkook announces after looking for a distinguishing landmark. “Do you want to go there?”

“A kid’s playground or like an actual big park?” Hoseok asks, and then nods when the younger answers with the former. “Do you think there might be kids there?”

“I reckon not,” Jungkook shakes his head, tugging Hoseok in the right direction when he makes a wrong turn. “It’s still school hours.”

“True,” Hoseok responds quietly, letting Jungkook lead him.

--

Jungkook starts to guffaw, almost collapsing on the ground out of the sheer force of his laughter and clutching his sides tightly when he sees Hoseok slide down the kiddy slide, being launched off the end at the end until he flies a good two feet away and lands on the sandy ground on his butt, screaming the entire way.

Jungkook’s eyes start to tear up when Hoseok looks at him with a shocked expression, eyes wide and frightened, breathing audibly. The elder starts to frown, pouting when the younger continues to laugh at him, pointing his finger as he does.

Hoseok blinks, shocked, groaning when the pain in his butt catches up to him and he thrashes his foot to make some sand fly in Jungkook’s direction, missing completely, “That wasn’t funny, Jungkook! That wasn’t funny, okay? That hurt!”

Jungkook doesn’t stop laughing, shaking his head to signify his disagreement, before he points between Hoseok and the slide, making a clear arc shape and stuttering out between laughs, “You…you…you freaking flew, hyung!”

Hoseok stands up with a huff, kicking more sand at Jungkook, smiling triumphantly when the younger scoots backwards, laughter curbing. He rubs at his behind when Jungkook sighs softly, looking up at his with beaming eyes, “That kinda hurt.”

“What do you mean that hurt? You landed on your ass.”

“Still!” Hoseok frowns. “I flew in the air!”

“You weren’t more than a foot off the ground!”

“A foot is a lot, okay?”

Jungkook smiles when Hoseok huffs, walking away from him even as he reaches out for the elder’s ankle with a hand. He starts to laugh again, gesturing for Hoseok’s butt when the elder turns to glare at him, “You’ve got a little something there. I wouldn’t recommend you go back to work like that.”

“Shut up,” Hoseok rolls his eyes, dusting his pants, before moving off to the grassy area and walking over to the swings, “I don’t like you.”

“Too late now,” Jungkook smirks getting up and dusting himself off. “We’re getting engaged in two weeks.”

Hoseok frowns, shooting him another glare, but Jungkook notices how he doesn’t say anything about breaking the engagement, smiling widely at the realization.

“Hyung?” He calls out softly, when Hoseok leans against the swing bars, pulling his phone out.

“What?” Hoseok’s voice is cold and it makes Jungkook smile as he walks over to him, watching him tap away on his phone, seemingly replying to a text.

“Are you okay?”

“How nice of you to be concerned,” Hoseok mutters and he laughs in response.

“Well, I wouldn’t want to be widowed before my wedding, right?”

Hoseok’s glare isn’t as piercing as he expects, but rather soft, and he smiles back at the elder in response. He moves closer, standing beside the elder, turned in a way that Hoseok’s side faces him. Making use of the opportunity presented to him, he presses a lingering kiss to just the corner of the other’s mouth, nearly pressing against his lips.

Hoseok doesn’t turn to glance at him, but his voice sounds huskier as he says while texting on his phone, “Don’t do that if you don’t plan on following through, angel.”

“Okay,” Jungkook replies softly, leaning down to rest his chin on Hoseok shoulder, legs spread to prevent straining his back. He closes his eyes, trying to discreetly breathe in the scent of the other man, before asking, “Do you still feel hurt?”

“It’s fine, now,” Hoseok’s voice is quiet, and he turns to look at Jungkook with an undistinguishable expression when Jungkook moves away, standing to his full height, a few inches taller than the elder.

“Tell me something about yourself,” Jungkook says softly when the other continues to stare at him. He’s the first one to break their gaze, glancing over at Hoseok’s hair which is right at his eye level, brushing away a small leaf he spots on there, wondering how it ended up there.

Hoseok doesn’t respond, sighing out softly and leaning his head back, when Jungkook starts to run his fingers through his hair, parting it softly. He wonders if he’s being too forward all of sudden, unsure of exactly where their boundaries lie, before Hoseok’s voice breaks his thoughts, “If someone touches my hair, it makes me sleepy.”

“Really?” Jungkook asks, halting his hands, and watches Hoseok turn to glance at him with slightly hooded eyes, and nod.

“Oh,” Jungkook can’t help but say. “Sorry.”

“’Tis fine,” Hoseok waves a hand at him, before asking. “Your turn. Tell me something about yourself.”

Jungkook hums for a while, stepping away and taking a seat in the swing right beside Hoseok, “Well, I like to collect coins.”

“Coins?”

“Yeah,” Jungkook smiles up at the elder. “I try to collect the entire set from each country I’ve visited or any place my family has.”

He spins around in the swing, looking up to watch the way the metallic chain tangle and swirl around each other, until he spins the other way. Hoseok nods, moving to plop himself in the swing beside Jungkook, pocketing his phone and turning the swing until he faces Jungkook, “That’s quite interesting.”

They sit quietly, facing each other, and the elder mimics his movement when Jungkook tilts his head to lean it against the metal chain, “Tell me something else.”

“Something else? Like what?” Hoseok asks.

“Something no one else knows maybe?” Jungkook suggests.

“So, a secret, essentially?” Hoseok’s eyes glitter with amusement, and he uses his foot to give Jungkook’s swing some momentum and make it spin 360 degrees until the younger is facing him again.

Jungkook plants his feet on the ground firmly to maintain the position, before shrugging, “How about something that very few people know, then?”

Hoseok thinks for a few minutes, sucking in a deep breath when he thinks of something and turns to Jungkook with bright, mischievous eyes, “Something very few people know?”

Jungkook nods his head eagerly, sitting up straight and trying to move his swing closer to the elder when Hoseok does the same.

Hoseok pauses, bringing a hand up to cover his mouth and when he pulls it away, Jungkook’s surprised to find him smiling. He leans forward conspiratorially, “You can’t tell anyone this.”

“Okay,” Jungkook finds himself smiling at the prospective of a secret, watching Hoseok look at his with unsure eyes for a few seconds.

“No one at all, Jungkook – not Jimin, not your parents, no one in your family, okay?”

Excitement bubbles through the younger’s veins and he nods his head again, “I won’t.”

He watches Hoseok take a deep breath, still looking a little bit wary, and hesitance crossing his face. He lets out a puff of air, before holding out a pinky finger, offering it to Jungkook, “Pinky promise you won’t tell anyone? I want to trust you, Jungkook, I really do, so please don’t break the promise.”

Jungkook links their pinky fingers together, watching the way their thumbs press together afterwards, and when Hoseok moves to pull his hand away, he reaches forward and tangles their fingers together, “I promise I won’t tell anyone you don’t want me to.”

Hoseok’s eyes clear up at that statement, and he gives Jungkook a resolute and firm nod, before looking around, and saying, “I have a tongue piercing.”

What?” Jungkook tries not to be too loud, bringing a hand up to cover his mouth, staring at the elder with wide eyes. “You – what?

Hoseok chuckles pulling his closer by the ankles, “You can’t tell anybody, okay? No one knows. Not even Seokjin hyung – absolutely no one, except for you and one other person.”

“You don’t,” Jungkook shakes his head. “Prove it to me.”

Hoseok hops off his swing, standing in front of Jungkook, squatting until his head is only an inch above Jungkook and the younger tilts his head up to look at him, “Okay, so I don’t know if you can see it, since it’s a small hole.”

Jungkook stares with wide eyes as Hoseok sticks out his tongue, mouth falling open when he sees the hint of what Hoseok’s referring to. The elder pulls his tongue back in, looking down at his hesitantly, “Did you see it?”

Jungkook’s mouth is wide open still, but he nods, not trusting himself to speak, unable to get the image of Hoseok with a tongue piercing out of his mind. The elder calls out his name when he doesn’t say anything for an entire minute, just staring up at him.

It’s only when a thumb comes up to caress his cheekbone and he hears the familiar nickname roll off Hoseok’s tongue – Hoseok pierced tongue – that he manages to stutter out “What…why…HOW?”

Hoseok chuckles, tilting his head up, “It was two years ago – I, well, I met this guy – my ex-boyfriend – at my high school reunion party, right? I’d just gotten out of a very long relationship at that time, and um, we hung the entire night together. Basically, we were drunk and playing around with a bunch of other people, and the next thing I knew I was sitting in a tattoo shop and some guy was sticking a needle through my tongue.”

“How did you hide it?” Jungkook’s asks with widened eyes, hands coming up to clutch at Hoseok’s suit to steady him when the elder sways a little.

“You have no idea, Jungkook, you have no idea. It wasn’t too painful, but it was tricky to talk normally. Hyung got so worried because he thought something happened, and I didn’t know how to explain it to him,” Hoseok leans his head down, pressing his forehead into Jungkook’s shoulder. “God, I’ve never told anyone this.”

“Wow,” Jungkook breathes out, “wow. Do you wear them?”

Hoseok grins, looking up at him, “only sometimes. But really small ones usually and not very often. The guy told me it would close up if I was worried, and to just let it be. But apparently everyone’s tongue is different, because mine did not even after months. It’s not…so bad, though, you know? I mean I try to wear something a night or so every few weeks to maintain the piercing, which isn’t much of a hassle.”

“Oh my god,” Jungkook mutters to him, even as Hoseok steps away with a laugh, sitting back down in his swing, “so nobody knows?”

“No one, except you and the guy who dragged me there. I had to take two weeks off work, Jungkook, you don’t even understand how much I hated him in that moment. I had to do all my work from home! But at the end, I guess it’s not so bad.”

Jungkook stares at Hoseok, looking lost, and when Hoseok sticks his tongue out teasingly, he covers his own mouth with a hand, laughing softly behind the hand. Hoseok looks relieved when he finally does laugh, and the grateful smile the elder shoots him, make him grin.

He leans back in his swing, holding onto the chain as he continues to stare at Hoseok, “Well, fuck.”

Hoseok’s laughter is bright in response, especially when he stands up and leans down to lands a smooch on the younger’s cheek. Jungkook flushes when he starts to think about what a barbell would feel like until he realizes that Hoseok wouldn’t be licking his cheek under any circumstance.

“Thank you,” the elder says softly, tilting Jungkook’s head up by the chin using his index finger. “For not freaking out, but I guess you deserved to know whether or not your fiancé has a tongue piercing.”

“I should thank you for telling me instead,” he mumbles back looking at the ground, kicking up some sand with the front of his shoes. “And here I thought my desire to get gauges was bad.”

“Oh?” Hoseok looks surprised at the new information, ‘ah’-ing when Jungkook nods.

“But it’s not professional,” Jungkook pouts, and Hoseok nods in understanding.

“Tell me about it.”

“That’s really cool, though,” Jungkook says with a grin. “Do you own a lot of different kind of barbells and rings?”

Hoseok shakes his head, smiling back at Jungkook, “A very pitiful amount, actually. Also, five kisses to three now.”

“I’m going to catch up,” Jungkook says with a smile. “Just wait.”

Hoseok hums, giving the younger an amused look, before pulling out his phone, “Should we head over to your café?”

“Sure!” Jungkook chirps, standing up at the same time at Hoseok, letting his swing settle back into it’s original position. They walk side by side out of the park, and Jungkook slips theirs hands together after Hoseok makes no move to do so, citing, “It’ll be easier for me to guide you.”

Hoseok nods, laughing, “Of course, sweetheart, of course. That the only reason why?”

“Yup!” Jungkook replies. “You’re the clingy type, not me.”

Gasping, the elder holds his free hand to his heart, “I am not clingy!”

“You’re always holding my hand,” Jungkook points out. “Of course you are.”

“Well, I’m sorry for trying to hold my fiancé’s hand,” Hoseok mutters, trying to pull his hand out of the hold, smiling when Jungkook’s grip tightens and he doesn’t let him.

“We’re technically not engaged yet,” Jungkook points. “So, you’re constantly trying to hold a stranger’s hand.”

“You’re not a stranger,” Hoseok says quietly. “I know we don’t have a label for this yet, but you’re closer to a friend than a stranger – especially now that you know about my tongue piercing.”

“I think it’s a lot easier to tell strangers secrets, though, no?” Jungkook asks, looking at his curiously. “They’re not connected to your life in the slightest, so telling them something is almost like whispering one of your secrets to the wind.”

“How poetic,” the elder remarks. “I see what you mean, though, and I guess I do agree. So, would you say that you’re not a clingy person?”

“Nope,” Jungkook shakes his head, popping the ‘p’, “not in the slightest.”

“But you don’t mind it, right?” Hoseok clarifies, gesturing to their linked hands. “Don’t mind this?”

Jungkook pauses for a few seconds, considering, before shaking his head and locking eyes with Hoseok, “I suppose not. I don’t feel weird or uncomfortable when you do it.”

Hoseok hums, nodding, “You’re just bad at initiating physical contact, then. But it doesn’t unsettle you.”

Jungkook nods in agreement and smiles when Hoseok winks at him, “Don’t worry, sweetheart, I’ll ease you right into it with time.”

Snorting, Jungkook humours the elder, “Sure, be my guest.”

“Gladly.”

They reach Jungkook’s café in almost record time, ten minutes early, but when Jungkook peeks inside, he finds Yoongi already sitting there at a table, legs crossed at the knee, earpiece in as he types and talks at the exact same time. The chair beside him is empty but pushed back and Jungkook looks at the counter to find a familiar head of dark red hair assisting with the work despite it being his off day.

Hoseok walks inside with him, hand-in-hand, glancing around, and then turning to Jungkook when the younger speaks up, “They’re both already here, earlier than me.”

“Ah,” Hoseok says simply, looking around and spotting Yoongi who’s looking at them curiously. He bows his head slightly when Yoongi gives him a nod of acknowledgement before turning to smile at Jungkook, who waves briefly.

Jungkook gestures towards Hoseok and the counter when Yoongi raises a quizzical eyebrow at him as he starts to walk away from the table instead of towards. The elder nods in understanding, and Jungkook pulls Hoseok towards the display, “See anything you like?”

Hoseok turns to stare at him, smirking as he gives Jungkook a pointed look, chuckling when Jungkook huffs, rolling his eyes to mask his smile. Jungkook changes the direction of the elder’s gaze, turning his face towards the display stand with a hand under his jaw, “Eyes over there, darling, eyes over there. Do you think your colleagues have already had lunch?”

He smiles when the elder tugs him closer, and suddenly the hand that was connected to his rests politely on his waist, not too low and not too high, “Most likely, but we’re having a meeting to work on this one project together, so I should probably take something over.”

“How many people?”

“Ten.”

Jungkook hums in response, mentally calculating and making decisions.

“What would you recommend?” Hoseok asks softly, eyeing everything on display, gaze settling on the small pastries that take up an entire row. He doesn’t notice when they move forward to the counter, not even when Jungkook starts to place an order for him, the items on his list far more abundant than anything he’s intended.

His head snaps up when the cashier gives them their total of ₩116,800 and his heads snaps to look at Jungkook with widened eyes who gestures with his credit card, wallet already out.

“Wait, wait,” he interrupts, waving his hand. “Let me pay, hold on.”

“Too late,” Jungkook says with a smile, inserting his car and keying in his pin number before Hoseok can even pull out his wallet.

“Jungkook!” Hoseok exclaims softly, when the younger joins their hands and tugs him over to the side counter. “What did you do?”

“I ordered stuff for you and the people you work with,” Jungkook says with a smile, bringing up his other hand to press against the corner of Hoseok’s lips, trying to turn them up into a grin. “This is the part where you say ‘thank you’.”

“What did you even order?” Hoseok asks, looking at the woman preparing their order incredulously. “I was just going to grab a couple of donuts or something, god!”

Jungkook frowns, “That’s lame. Value your employees more.”

“I do value them!” Hoseok exclaims.

“It’s not much,” Jungkook shakes his head. “It’s ‘cause there’s eleven people including you. I only spent around ₩10,000 per person. Just drinks, granola with yogurt and berries, and a handful of pastries.”

“You’re crazy,” Hoseok whispers to him, still looking dazed.

“You have a tongue piercing,” Jungkook whispers back softly into Hoseok’s ear.

“Touché.”

Hoseok looks at him with a smile when he starts to laugh quietly, “I still think I should have paid.”

Jungkook huffs, giving Hoseok another peck on the cheek, “Hush now; five to four now.”

Hoseok laughs, “Maybe I should let you pay more often if you’re going to shush me like that.”

“You should,” Jungkook nods, letting go of Hoseok’s hand when he sees the girl working the counter move towards them with a variety of items.

“I’m going to look ridiculous with all of this food,” Hoseok pouts, once Jungkook slips behind the counter, reaching down to grab a bag.

“No, you won’t,” Jungkook responds, simply, “because I’m going to bag all of this for you in a single bad.”

“What about the drinks, then?” Hoseok asks leaning against the high counter, gesturing towards the medium sized ice coffees he sees resting against the counter. “I’m going to look weird carrying eleven drinks.”

“You’re going to be travelling most of the way in a car, anyway. So, suck it up, hyung,” comes Jungkook’s swift response as he starts to insert drinks into the cardboard holder with six spots.

“…okay, will do.”

“There, all done,” Jungkook announces once he’s finished with everything, grabbing the bag off the counter, and watching Hoseok hold both drink containers in one hand before gesturing for the bag.

“Oh,” Jungkook looks upset when he glances up at Hoseok. “I’m so stupid. I should’ve given you the drinks in the 12-cup container. That would be so much more convenient to carry!”

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” Hoseok shakes his head, “this is fine.”

“Do you want me to switch?” the younger asks, biting his lip. “I can switch it for you. You’re not running late, right?”

“No, no, don’t worry,” Hoseok shakes his head when he realizes he can’t do the same with his hand. “I don’t want you to waste cups. I’ll suck it up, like you said.”

Jungkook frowns at his choice of words, but when Hoseok insists, he lets it go, walking the elder to the door, holding it open.

“Should I walk you to your car?” He asks as Hoseok says goodbye.

“No, please, it’s fine, Jungkook. I’m okay, alright? Go back inside and continue on with what you needed to get done.”

Jungkook stares at him for a few seconds, before he nods, taking a step forward to kiss Hoseok’s cheek in farewell, whispering goodbye in the elder’s ear but not before whispering, “We’re all even now.”

Hoseok laughs, tilting his head at Jungkook when the younger steps back with a grin, “Only if you don’t count the hand kisses.”

When Jungkook gapes at him, he spins around, walking back to his car, and turns only when he’s a few meters away. The younger is still standing by the door, watching and waving once Hoseok catches his eye.

Letting out a happy sigh once Hoseok’s out of view, Jungkook heads back inside, trying his hardest not to blush at the way Yoongi and Seung, the café’s manager, give him an amused eyebrow raise.

“Had fun, Jungkook?” Seung’s the first one to asks. “Clearing half of the store’s food stock for that stranger?”

“Yes, I did,” Jungkook nods, “you should sell as much as you can when opportunity comes knocking, you know.”

Yoongi laughs at that, ruffling his hair, saying proudly, “Good job, Kookie.”

“Really?” Seung is still skeptical. “Then why did you pay for the order?”

“That’s still a sale,” Jungkook mutters, ducking his head down, not wanting to meet either of their gazes. He grabs the few pieces of paper on the table, glancing over them, pressing his lips together when Seung snorts at his shyness.

“You looked happy,” Yoongi says out of the blue, and Jungkook looks up at him, nodding with a smile.

“I am.”

“Nothing to complain about, then,” Yoongi announces, sitting up in his seat, glancing at the café’s manager, “shall we get started? We’re all right on time.”

“Sure,” Jungkook answers for the other man, standing up to move his chair closer to the table.

“Actually, just a second,” Yoongi says, “let me hit the bathroom first. I’ve had way too much coffee today.”

Jungkook nods, eyeing the large caffeinated drink that still rests in the elder’s spot, before turning to Seung, “Also, for your kind information, that guy wasn’t a stranger.”

“Boyfriend, then?” the manager asks, waggling his eyebrows.

“Almost fiancé,” Jungkook admits with a shy grin. “We get engaged in two weeks.”

“What the fuck, Kook?” Seung shots forward in his chair, leaning close to Jungkook. “Why don’t I know about this!?”

“I kinda just found out, today,” Jungkook tells the other quietly.

“Arranged?”

“Yeah,” Jungkook nods, “but I like him.”

“That’s good,” Seung gives him a genuine smile, patting Jungkook’s cheek with a warm smile. “That’s really good.”

--

Jungkook’s phone buzzes in the midst of their discussion on ideal cupcake flavours for an 8 year-old’s birthday party, and when he opens it, he finds it to be from Hoseok with a picture attached. There’s a group of ten people sitting along a large board room table, it seems, papers and files scattered all around, and Jungkook spots all the foods and drinks he’d just packed sitting either in the middle of the table or in the hands of the people. They’re all smiling at the camera, a mixture of both men and women – some young, some aged – and Jungkook’s heart swells at knowing he’s caused this.

From: Hoseok

Thank you. ♥

A second message pops up seconds later, and this one’s of Hoseok, biting at his lips as he poses with a pastry in hand. Jungkook presses his lips together to prevent himself from smiling, once he clicks on the picture to enlarge it. He stares at the image for a few seconds, saving it, before rolling his eyes, smile playing on his lips as he wonders if he should start to expect such images from Hoseok and prevent himself from being surprised anymore.

From: Jungkook

I hope you didn’t take that second picture in front of your staff.

From: Hoseok

Would you be jealous if I had?

From: Jungkook

I just don’t want you to scar them…or scare them away.

From: Hoseok

With my beauty? Impossible.

From: Jungkook

Beauty is a nice word for it.

From: Hoseok

:D

From: Jungkook

Go back to your meeting. Have fun. ♥

From: Hoseok

I might be staying late today, so don’t wait up for me tonight, okay?

From: Jungkook

Since when have I “waited up” for you?

From: Hoseok

It’s never too early to get a head start on such things, you know?

From: Jungkook

Go do your work.

From: Hoseok


Please come say hi, I miss my anons: Tumblr | Twitter

Chapter Text

“Jung Hoseok speaking,” the greeting on the other end of the line makes Jungkook blink twice, before an amused smile flickers across his face and he shifts to lie on his stomach in his bed, pressing the phone closer to his ear.

“Really, is that so?” He says with a small laugh, and a few moments pass before he hears back a response – a chuckle.

“Oh – Jungkook, sorry, I was expecting someone else,” Hoseok explains with the hint of a smile in his voice. He enables his phone’s speaker mode before leaning back in his desk chair, glancing at the clock in his office, arms stretched out wide as a yawn escapes him. He grips the edge of the desk with his fingers, propelling himself forward, closer to the desk, and then glances down at his phone, lips quirking up at the rather suggestive picture of Jungkook that covers half his screen.

“Are you still at work?” Jungkook asks with a frown, glancing over at wall clock in his room, noticing the fact that it’s almost half past ten.

“Yeah, need to get some stuff done,” Hoseok responds without missing a beat, his voice being accompanied by the rustling of papers and the sound of a pen clicking. “Why’d you call?”

“No reason,” Jungkook shrugs to himself, fiddling with his bedsheets as he answers, “Just called.”

“Aw, did you miss me, angel? We just talked yesterday, you know,” Hoseok teases him, laughing when Jungkook snorts in response, most likely rolling his eyes.

“I didn’t miss you,” Jungkook says in a very matter-of-fact way, “I was wondering if your mum told you about the dates?”

“The dates?” Hoseok sounds confused, “what dates?”

“The dates for our engagement and wedding? Eomma said that they were aiming for the engagement to be two weeks from now, so on Saturday, and the wedding date is set for a week after that on Sunday.”

“The next Sunday?” Hoseok’s voice is a little perplexed. “As in three weeks from now?”

“Yeah, they’ve put in a booking request already, I think, and I’m going with my mum tomorrow to pick out invite cards. Why, is that a problem?”

“It’s sooner than I was expecting,” Hoseok admits after a while, voice sounding tired and drained all of a sudden. It’s not hard for Jungkook to imagine Hoseok slumped over a desk or running a hand through his hair, especially when the elder continues, “I thought the wedding would be a month later, at the very least.”

“Oh,” Jungkook says quietly, staring at the wall calendar in his room where he’s marked the dates in red ink – the non-erasable kind. “Maybe you should tell your mum? I’m surprised she didn’t run it by you.”

The other end of the line is quiet for several seconds, and Jungkook suspects he’s on speaker due to the feedback loop of the background noises.

“She did text me, apparently,” Hoseok says with a sigh. “I can do Sunday – that’s not the issue. It’s just…I thought I had a bit more time.”

Jungkook holds the phone between his ear and shoulder gingerly, staring down at his hands, in particular at the ring finger of his left hand, tracing with a blunt fingernail the place where a ring will be resting two weeks from now. His voice is quiet when he responds, “Having second thoughts?”

“Of course not!” Hoseok’s voice is adamant, sounding offended. “Why would you even suggest that?”

“Then, what is it, hyung? You were the one who told me they wanted to get it all done quickly in the first place.”

“I know,” Hoseok lets out another deep sigh, folding his arms on the table and resting his chin on it, eyes closing. “It’s just that I want to take some time off after we get married – thought we’d take a trip somewhere, like most couples do, you know? So, I wanted to sort out any major things or projects that needed to be done before then. Quarterly closing is at the end of September, too, and that’ll mean cutting the trip short if they even approve my leave.”

Jungkook hums, “We can always postpone the trip, I don’t mind, you know.”

“I don’t want to postpone it, though,” Hoseok responds, and Jungkook smiles at the whine in his voice, wondering if the elder is pouting.

“Then, you should probably get back to work,” Jungkook says with a short laugh. “Don’t stay there too late, though.”

“Do you mind staying on line for a bit?” Hoseok says instead of a farewell. “Just for a little bit, I promise. I need to take a break from all of this for a bit.”

“I don’t want to disturb you, though.”

“You won’t be, I’ll turn on the video, so the silence isn’t so awkward, yeah? You won’t even have to talk to me!”

Jungkook chuckles at that, “You just want to show off how much you’re working to me, don’t you?”

“Aw, darn, you’re quick,” Hoseok’s voice is teasing, but it doesn’t stop him from pressing for a video call. He waits, staring down at his screen, and in a few seconds, the contact picture changes to a video of Jungkook lying in bed, on his stomach. He’s wearing a loose black shirt that hangs off one of his shoulder, exposing his collarbone, hair slightly damp and falling across his forehead, covering his eyebrows.

“Lookin’ good,” Hoseok grins at the screen, winking before adjusting his position, and resting the phone against his rectangular paper weight, fiddling with it until he’s satisfied with the angle of the video.

“Thanks, but I know,” Jungkook grins back, holding the phone with both hands, watching the way the neck of his shirt dips lower when he moves a little further back to fit into view.

Hoseok hums, watching him for a few seconds with a knowing smile, before he shakes his head, eyes turning away from the screen and to the papers on his desk.

“What?” Jungkook asks with furrowed eyebrows, questioning his gaze.

“Nothing,” Hoseok says in reply, sparing Jungkook a glance and a smile. “Nothing at all.”

“Tell me,” Jungkook insists, frowning when Hoseok doesn’t respond.

They sit in silence for a few minutes, Hoseok’s gaze and attention turning back to his papers, while Jungkook takes the moment to admire the elder’s features, humming softly under his breath.

His gaze trails over the coiffed up black hair that his hands itch to tousle, and he smiles when he remembers Hoseok’s admittance of hands running through his hair making him sleepy. Drifting down lower past Hoseok’s forehead, he settles himself in the furrow of the elder’s eyebrows, admiring the slight traces of black around the elder’s eyes and the surprising long length of his lashes. His eyes travel along the curve of the elder’s nose, next, and Jungkook can’t help but chuckle at the sight of protruding apple cheeks and the little dimples that appear when Hoseok makes a confused expression, staring down at his work with narrowed eyes.

Jungkook jumps slightly when he hears Hoseok say something as soon as his gaze drops to the elder’s heart-shaped lips, attention flickers back to the elder’s eyes as his own widen when he thinks he’s being called out for staring. He breathes out a soft sigh of relief, however, when he finds Hoseok’s gaze settled onto a spot in the room instead of on him, and his eyes drops back down, watching the way the elder’s pink lips curve into a genuine smile. He watches them move when Hoseok says his goodbyes and gives a small wave to someone Jungkook assumes is standing by his office door.

Jungkook ducks his eyes away towards his bedsheet when Hoseok turns away to looks at him, and he misses the smile that flickers across the elder’s lips when he catches Jungkook in the action of looking away. When he glances back up once he thinks it’s safe to do so, he’s startled to find Hoseok watching him with his head titled to the side out of curiosity. He gives the elder a small smile, the smile turning into a yawn soon enough making Hoseok yawn as well when Jungkook’s unable to cover it up with a hand in time. Jungkook lets loose a small laugh after he wipes at his eyes, tears having pooled at the corners as a result of yawning, and he gives Hoseok a sheepish grin, whose eyes are slightly teary as well.

They exchange a smile and a look but no words, and Jungkook’s eyes remain on the elder even as Hoseok breaks eye contact. He watches the elder stretch his arms out, leaning back in his chair, before tilting his head backwards as well, enough to give the younger a good look at his neck. With his eyes closed, Hoseok lets out a loud sigh, startling Jungkook when he suddenly sits up straight and raises his hands in the air, exclaiming, “Ah, let’s get through one more!”

“Are you the last one left in office?” Jungkook asks after a while of silence, eyes drifting over the background of the video, noticing a familiar looking painting in the corner of the room.

He smiles when Hoseok nods, eyes determined and gaze firm as he glances down at his paperwork, before looking up to give Jungkook a small wink, “Just you and me on this floor, now, angel.”

Jungkook presses his lips together, trying to hold back a laugh, particularly when Hoseok wiggles his eyebrow at him suggestively and lets loose a small laugh. Shaking his head, he looks away, but finds his gaze drifting back to the video, particularly when Hoseok resumes his work, staring down at his desk in concentration while one of his hands comes up to loosen his tie. He tugs it off seconds later, unbuttoning the first few buttons of his shirt, airing himself as he waves one of the collars.

“Can I ask you something?” Jungkook asks in an unsure voice after several minutes have passed, and Hoseok nods eagerly.

“Go ahead, go ahead. You don’t have to ask.”

“Just making sure I’m not disturbing you.”

“You could never disturb me,” comes Hoseok’s suave reply, uttered without even as much as looking in Jungkook’s direction. “Not even if you tried.”

“Is that a challenge?” Jungkook tips his head forward at Hoseok, eyes mischievous. “I believe that is a challenge, Jung Hoseok-ssi.”

Hoseok laughs in response, “Only if you don’t want a honeymoon, darling.”

Jungkook sputters on the other end, “We – uh – well…”

“That’s what I thought,” Hoseok grins at the camera, watching Jungkook expectantly. “Did you have a place in mind?”

“I haven’t really, um,” Jungkook looks away from the camera, coughing slightly, before he glances back up to see that his cheeks don’t look terribly red in the video. “I haven’t really thought about that.”

“No?” Hoseok hums, turning his gaze away. “Hm, maybe we don’t need to go then.”

Jungkook gapes at the elder, who looks at him silently, waiting for him to protest. He doesn’t however, knowing exactly what the elder’s game plan is, and nods instead with a wide smile, “You know what? Yeah, it’ll be fine! There’s not a lot of places I want to visit anyway that I haven’t already. I should just save up that money and buy myself something. Or maybe go somewhere with Jiminnie hyung?”

Hoseok stares at Jungkook impassively for a few seconds, before his expression turns amused and he leans forward closer, raising an eyebrow, “Yeah? You’re going to go on a trip with your best friend for your honeymoon?”

Jungkook nods, looking at Hoseok innocently, “Trips with best friends are the best kind, honestly. Why, hyung, is there a problem if I do?”

The elder’s lips settle into a firm line, trying to curb the hints of a smile, before he gives Jungkook a curt shake of the head, “No, not at all. It’ll be easier for me anyway, I guess. Don’t have to work so hard to get everything done before our wedding then.”

“Great! It works out for both of us,” Jungkook says with a smile, staring Hoseok down, waiting for the elder to protest, determined to not be the first one to break. “Jiminnie hyung and I always wanted to go on a trip to Jeju-do, anyway.”

“Good. I’m glad,” Hoseok says in a monotone voice, and Jungkook’s shoulders contract inwards as he tries to not break out into laughter when the elder looks away and opens up a new file with a sarcastic eye roll.

An entire minute passes until Jungkook speaks again, “Anyways, while I’m glad that’s sorted out, there’s another thing we need to talk about. I know our mums are planning most of the things themselves, but I think that maybe we should probably go look for the rings ourselves?”

Hoseok doesn’t respond for an entire minute, reading over the file he’s just opened, only nodding in acknowledgement, but Jungkook waits, watching the elder scribble something. He looks up a few seconds after he’s finished writing, and Jungkook’s pleased to note that Hoseok’s eyes are brighter than they had been moments ago, “Yeah, that’s a good idea. We should do that! When are you free?”

Jungkook shrugs his shoulders, “It’s probably better if we work around your schedule, I’m not particularly in demand in office or at Golden. I only go there for a routine check up and work a shift once or twice or week.”

“Hm, let me get back to you then. I think I’ll be better with a weekend date, because the weekdays leading up to closing week get progressively busier.”

“What day is it today?” Jungkook asks with a raised eyebrow.

“Saturday, why?”

“If you’re staying at work until 11 on a Saturday, do you even go home on weekdays?”

Hoseok laughs, resting his chin in the curve of his palm as he stares at Jungkook, “Are you worried about me?”

“Nope! Just wondering if you’ll ever even be home,” Jungkook chirps back. “Not worried in the slightest.”

“Right, of course. Remember that project I had a meeting with my team about on Thursday?” Hoseok asks, pausing to take a sip of the coffee that Jungkook just notices on his desk. “We want to wrap it up by mid-next week, and there’s a few glitches that still needed to be sorted out, so it’s just for this weekend that I’m still here. I’ll be free for the next one most likely.”

“Even if you try to get everything done before our wedding?” Jungkook asks with a frown. “I feel like you’re just going to overwork yourself, hyung.”

“Oh, but why would I be overworking myself?” Hoseok asks with a practised tilt of the head. “We’re not going on a honeymoon, anyway, right? No need to rush, then.”

Jungkook bites the inside of his cheek, before he turns to stare down Hoseok with a rather unimpressed face. He continues to glare until the elder bursts into genuine laughter, looking at him with a mixture of fondness and happiness.

“So, I guess we’re doing the honeymoon trip after all?” Hoseok asks with an eyebrow wiggle, picking up a sticky note pad and scribbling something on it.

Jungkook gives Hoseok a pointed look, “Yes.”

Hoseok laughs again, sighing out softly, “You don’t mind if I pick a place, right?”

Jungkook hums, nodding, “Surprise me.”

“Oh,” Hoseok says quietly, shaking his head before grinning at Jungkook. “Oh, angel, you’re going to wish you hadn’t said that.”

Jungkook shrugs, “I like adventures – unplanned ones especially.”

“I’m the opposite, I think,” Hoseok admits after a while, the back of the pen in his mouth as he looks at somewhere far away in his room. Jungkook turns his gaze to the screen, taking the time to admire the way the elder looks in a button down dress shirt and takes note of his words. “I like to be notified of what’s going on. Maybe not so much as knowing what we’re going to be doing every minute but a general itinerary at the least.”

“Would you say you’re controlling a person, then?” Jungkook bemuses, partly to himself and partly to Hoseok, who gives the question some thought.

“Maybe a little? I just have a habit of getting worried, I guess. It’s not as bad as you might think, I promise. I’m not going to put a tracking chip on you or demand you tell me where you are every second of your day. But just, maybe, let me know if you have plans to go somewhere if you ever do – that much is reasonable right?”

Jungkook smiles, snorting after, “It seems reasonable now, but I guess I’ll find out if it actually is, later.”

“That, you will,” Hoseok returns his smile with one of his own, before he links his fingers and stretches him arms out, looking around. “You know what? I think I’m going to wrap up here. I can’t do this anymore.”

“Sorry,” Jungkook says as he watches Hoseok sorts through his stuff, “I didn’t mean to be distracting.”

“No, no, you weren’t,” Hoseok shakes his head, standing up and disappearing out of view, “Plus, I asked you to stay on line. I think I need sleep anyway – the words are starting to blur and my eyes are watering.”

Jungkook nods, watching the screen quietly for the next several minutes, Hoseok dashing in and out of it with the microphone catching the sound of cabinets and drawers opening and papers rustling. The elder hums under his breath softly, occasionally murmuring things to himself as he tidies his desk, and it makes Jungkook break out into a smile as he watches him.

Jungkook’s surprised, then, when Hoseok disappears for an entire minute and upon returning, doesn’t continue to bustle around; instead, he slumps down in his chair, the force of his weight sending the chair rolling backwards a bit. He doesn’t make a move to come closer to the camera after, just sits there with his elbow perched on top of the arm rest, and head resting in the curve of his palm. They look at each other silently, until Jungkook breaks it, eyes questioning when Hoseok doesn’t say anything, only continues to stare at him, “What is it, hyung?”

It’s a few beats later when Hoseok responds, clearing his throat and sitting back up properly, “I was just thinking, you know, about the fact that we get engaged in two weeks and married in three.”

Jungkook nods in agreement, “We do.”

“It just…it feels a little surreal,” Hoseok quietly confesses a few seconds later, in his brightly lit office, not meeting Jungkook’s gaze. “It’s been a week and two days exactly since I first met you, and in less than double that time, you’re going to be my fiancé and in less than triple, you’ll be my husband.”

“It’s an important title isn’t it?” Jungkook nods with a smile watching Hoseok slowly turn to look at him and give him a soft smile.

Hoseok lets out a huff of air, next, running a hand through his hair, and nodding, “Arguably, it’s the most important one.”

“And it’s going to belong to a person you’ve known for barely a month. I know what you mean, hyung,” Jungkook smiles a knowing smile. “If you think about it, logically, shouldn’t you give the title to someone you’ve known for a long time – someone you can trust with your whole heart and being?”

“Yeah,” Hoseok nods, and a pleased smile graces his face when he meets Jungkook’s eyes. “But, strangely enough, it doesn’t feel wrong, you know? The fact that you’ll be my husband and not anyone else; rather it makes me kind of happy, even.”

Jungkook lets out a small chuckle, ducking his head down to hide the embarrassed flush on his cheeks, and when he looks up, he finds Hoseok watching him curiously, as if waiting to gauge his response. His voice drops to a whisper that seems to echo in the quiet of Hoseok’s office, and he shifts closer to his phone, “I see.”

Hoseok waits for the younger to continue even when Jungkook looks away from the camera, staring out his window, “Even though I don’t want to admit this, the thought kind of makes me feel…just the slightest bit giddy, too.”

“God, “I could kiss you right now,” Hoseok sighs out an entire minute later, running a hand through his hair, mussing it up, and the words make Jungkook’s heart flutter.

“Yeah, well,” Jungkook shrugs, unsure of what else to say, but unable to hide his smile.

Hoseok hums, tone casual, “Hey, we’re still even, right?”

Jungkook giggles at the question, body shaking, and he nods as his eyes curve into half crescents, “Yeah, we’re still even.”

“Not for long, though, not for very long.”

Jungkook rolls his eyes at Hoseok’s smirk, muttering sarcastically, “Can’t wait.”

“Oh, I bet,” Hoseok’s grin is mischievous, widening when Jungkook chuckles. “But I’m curious – do I get anything if I win?”

Jungkook hums, pausing to consider the question, looking up at his ceiling in thought, “You could, but my issue is when exactly do we determine which one of us won? When we get divorced?”

“So, essentially never, then?” Hoseok supplies with a small grin.

“Well, you don’t know that,” Jungkook shrugs nonchalantly. “We could be a terrible pair – you might not be able to stand living with me or vice versa. Hence, the possibility of a divorce is always up on a table.”

Hoseok shakes his head, then, sighing, before he clasps his head, and says softly, “I think that approaching marriage with a divorce already in mind is the worst mindset to have, honestly.”

Jungkook raises an eyebrow at the statement, “Divorce is a possibility in every marriage, hyung.”

“I understand that,” Hoseok gestures with his hands, leaning back and looking away from the screen. “But it’s sort of like this, angel – say you and your friends decide to go bungee jumping one time, right? And the thought of it is exciting, but at the same time, it scares you a lot, too. In that sort of situation, a lot of people think things like “oh I don’t have to do this if I don’t want to”, right?”

Jungkook nods when Hoseok stops, pausing for his response.

“People, generally, tend to say things like that to themselves to make the experience easier. Even just thinking that they can just not do the action if they really don’t feel like it at the end makes the whole thing more tolerable. And in that sort of situation, that sort of thought process is okay – I don’t see a problem. But I don’t think that you should do that same thing when you choose to get married to somebody. You know the thought that “oh if it doesn’t work out or if it’s not as much fun or if we have a fight, I can always just divorce them”? I think that thinking something like that makes someone just a lot less likely to put in as much effort into a marriage if divorce wasn’t a possibility. Do you get what I’m saying?”

“I do, I do,” Jungkook nods. “I understand that, but sometimes a divorce is necessary.”

“I agree with that,” Hoseok affirms. “I definitely agree with that – I’m not anti-divorce, at all. But I just think that going into a marriage with the possibility of a divorce already looming at the back of your mind is just not the best type of intention to have. You should instead get married with the intention of staying together with that person forever, and make a conscious effort to fulfill that requirement, you know?”

Jungkook nods in understanding, until a smile breaks out onto his face and he looks at Hoseok with a twinkle in his eye, “I guess that means that our kissing war will never end, then?”

“I thought it wasn’t a kissing war?” Hoseok smirks, raising an eyebrow.

Jungkook shrugs, laughing, “Guess you don’t get anything if you win then.”

“Well, maybe not anything. If your aggravation at us not being even was anything to go by, my tilting the scales in my favour will probably bring me enough pleasure to make it feel like a win.”

“You’re ridiculous,” Jungkook rolls his eyes, unable to wipe off the smile on his lips.

“Yet here you are, unconditionally and irrevocably in love with me,” Hoseok gives him a shit-eating grin that widens when Jungkook bites the inside of his cheek.

“…did you just quote Bella Swan at me?”

“Yup!”

Jungkook glares at his screen, but it’s much softer than he intends for it to be, “Quote Twilight at me ever again, and...”

Hoseok raises an eyebrow challengingly, “And what, angel?”

The elder laughs when Jungkook sputters slightly, looking for the right words, “Something terrible, okay?”

Hoseok nods mockingly at that, “Okay, love, okay.”

“Well, I’d threaten to not marry you, but I’d be getting the shorter end of the stick in that case. Plus, you wouldn’t really care.”

Jungkook’s surprised at the way the elder’s eyes narrow at his statement, a disapproving look on his face before he says, “You’d be surprised, Jungkook. You’d be surprised by how much I might.”

The younger goes silent at that, stilling as well as he stares at the screen only hearing the hum of the air conditioner in the background of Hoseok’s office as the two of them stare at each other. Quietly, he asks, “Yeah?”

Hoseok gives him a rather closed off look that Jungkook has trouble deciphering, before ducking away from the younger’s eyes, “Yeah.”

Coughing to dissipate up the tension that suddenly envelopes them, the elder continues, “I should probably hang up now.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook agrees, breaking out of his trance and sniffling audibly before pulling at the collar of shirt when an incoming breeze coming through the open window makes him shiver slightly. “You should go home now. Are you going to ask them to push the wedding for later?”

Hoseok shakes his head, “We don’t know how much longer my grandfather has, so I think I’ll go with whatever my mum suggests. I’ll handle the workload, don’t worry about it.”

Jungkook hums, before he’s struck with a thought, and he meets Hoseok’s eyes through the screen, “Can I meet him?”

Hoseok glances at him, surprised, before he nods, “I’ll take you soon, I promise – before the engagement for sure. It’d be bad if that’s the first day you meet him or any of my family, right? Although, I’m not quite sure if he’ll be able to attend the engagement.”

“Are you close to him, hyung?”

“Yeah,” Hoseok nods his head, looking up in the air, pondering the question. “Yeah, I am, but I’ve always been a lot closer to my grandmother, I guess. What about you? Which one are you closer to?”

Jungkook snorts, “Can neither be my answer?”

Hoseok frowns, eyebrows furrowed as he tilts his head, “Why neither, angel?”

Jungkook shrugs, lips pressed into a firm line, and Hoseok knows not to press on the issue further, “Just neither.”

Hoseok takes a deep breath, “You should go to sleep now, I can see your eyes closing.”

Jungkook gives him a soft smile, eyelids falling shut when he leans his chin down to rest against the mattress, “I should, probably.”

Hoseok smiles as he watches him, about to say farewell when Jungkook’s eyes shoot open, “Oh! Can you text me Seokjin hyung’s number?”

“Sure,” Hoseok nods, just the smallest bit startled, “may I ask why?”

“No, you may not,” Jungkook says cheekily, shifting to lie down on his back, holding his phone up, smiling at how flattering the new angle is.

Hoseok snorts, but doesn’t insist, “Okay, I’m going to hang up now and head out alright?”

“Okay, goodnight, hyung,” Jungkook waves sleepily. “Let me know once you’re home, alright?”

Hoseok smiles as he nods affirmatively, waving in response before pressing the end call button. He scrolls through his contacts right after, sending Jungkook the number he’d requested along with a simple “don’t misuse it” message. He glances at Jungkook’s contact picture once he’s sent it, staring for a few seconds, and lets out an embarrassed chuckle after his thumb comes up to stroke the picture of the younger on his screen.

He breathes out a surprised huff of air, feeling his cheeks flush red at what he’d just subconsciously done, before pocketing his phone. Grabbing his laptop bag, he places his discarded tie inside, and then slips on his coat quietly. His phone vibrates in his pocket as he stands up and heads for the elevator, but he doesn’t check the notification until he’s inside his car, buckled and ready to head out.

From: Jungkook

Thank you! Rest up now, okay?

Goodnight. ♥

He stares at the message for several seconds, wrists resting against the steering wheel and fingers holding his phone. An idea strikes him and he laughs before he texts Jungkook back.

From: Hoseok

Will it be weird if I change your name to “fiancé” in my phone?

From: Jungkook

Definitely. “Fiancé-to-be” might be less weird. ;)

From: Hoseok

Oh, you’re so funny…ha ha ha.

From: Jungkook

Aren’t I? Thank you, I do try. ^^

From: Hoseok

How about Jungkookie~?

From: Jungkook

If you want to.

From: Hoseok

Hmm, hubby?

From: Jungkook

Too forward for now. Try again in three weeks? :)

From: Hoseok

I don’t like you.

Oh!

From: Jungkook

Oh?

From: Hoseok

:D

From: Jungkook

You made it something strange, didn’t you? ¬_¬

From: Hoseok

:D

From: Jungkook

Hyung! Tell me!

Hyung?

Hyuuuung?

Tell me!

I’m not marrying you if you don’t.

From: Hoseok

You’re too in love with me to say no to our marriage. ^^

From: Jungkook

You’re delusional. Now, tell me.

From: Hoseok

Goodnight. ♥

From: Jungkook

Fine. I’m going to change your name, too, then.

From: Hoseok

To what? The love of my life?

From: Jungkook

Don’t you wish?

From: Hoseok

I do, angel, I do.

From: Jungkook

…oh. Oh?

From: Hoseok

Such a clever little thing. ♥

From: Jungkook

…you’re now called the bane of my existence. :)

From: Hoseok

Such flattering words. Oh, how you make me blush.

From: Jungkook

…why am I marrying you?

From: Hoseok

‘Cause I’m the love of your life. Now go to sleep.

From: Jungkook

Keep dreaming, hyung, keep dreaming. Drive safely. ♥

From: Hoseok

Sweet dreams. ♥

(Dream of me.)

From: Jungkook

No, thank you. I don’t want any nightmares. :)

From: Hoseok

I’ll dream of you then. ;)

From: Jungkook

(*゚ロ゚)

From: Hoseok

(◡‿◡✿)

From: Jungkook

(‘-’*)

--

“Do you want anything to eat or drink, Kook?” Jimin’s voice calls out from the kitchen, and Jungkook responds negatively, settling himself back on the couch, pulling his legs up and sitting cross legged.

“You sure?” Jimin asks, head peeking out from the kitchen.

Jungkook waves him off with a hand, “I have a dinner date later anyway, don’t worry.”

Jimin smirks at him, wiggling his eyebrows as he steps out of the kitchen to take a seat on the couch perpendicular to Jungkook’s, “Oh, with who? Hoseok hyung?”

“Uh, no,” Jungkook shakes his head, laughing with Jimin’s expression turns from suggestive to mildly surprised to shocked.

“Wait, what?” Jimin frowns at him, lips downturned, eyes upset. “So, the engagement didn’t work out? But I thought both you and your parents were good with it. Was it hyung’s parents? Did they say something to you?”

Jungkook shakes his head and hands frantically at the misunderstanding, “No, no, it’s fine. We’re getting engaged in two weeks, but my dinner’s with Seokjin hyung. I wanted to repay him for last Tuesday, anyway.”

“Ah,” Jimin drawls out as he leans back against the sofa, arms crossed. “Kim Seokjin, huh?”

“The one and only,” Jungkook says with a grin, before reaching into the small bag he has with him and pulling out a dark navy blue envelope with gold foil embossing. “Also here.”

“What’s this?” Jimin asks, even though he suspects he knows what it is, if Jungkook’s smile is anything to go by. He glances down at his and Yoongi’s names printed in pretty, gold foiled cursive, and then looks up to ask, “Wedding invite?”

Jungkook nods, ducking away from Jimin’s knowing gaze and smiles when the elder starts to chuckle at his shyness, cheeks flushed, “Yeah.”

Jimin doesn’t say anything else, and Jungkook carefully lifts his head, watching his best friend open up the letter gingerly, handling it carefully to avoid any rips. Jimin makes a quiet sound of approval when he pulls out the invite, eyes roaming over the letters quickly, smile widening as his gazes narrows to pinpoint the grooms’ names, printed in a rose gold, different from the black of the remaining invitation. He frowns when he catches the date and he looks up at Jungkook, “In three weeks?”

Jungkook shrugs, nodding, pulling his legs up, bent at the knees, and wraps his arms around them, “Yeah, they’re in a hurry. Hyung’s grandfather isn’t in too great a condition, so they want to do it as soon as they can.”

Jimin nods in understanding, smiling again, “Well, I’m coming for sure, and I know Yoongi hyung will be as well. He’s free that Sunday.”

“That’s good,” Jungkook grins, nodding eagerly. “I know it’s so soon, so I wasn’t sure if he could, but I really, really want him to be there.”

Jimin hums, “Are you giving all the wedding invitations out by hand?”

Jungkook shakes his head, “Oh no, only the personal ones.”

“Ah, and there’s no engagement, then, I guess”

“Oh,” Jungkook’s eyes widen. “I almost forgot about that one!”

Jimin laughs, shaking his head, watching the younger boy pull out a second envelope, this time a plain white one with red lace flowers that spread upwards from the bottom left corner. He grins at this one, “Did you pick this out?”

Jungkook’s eyes curve into half moons, “Can you tell?”

“Oh yes,” Jimin drawls out. “I bet even Yoongi will be able to.”

“I just like red, alright?”

“I can see that,” Jimin says quietly, opening up the envelope just as carefully, running his fingers over the red lace flowers, smiling. “I like this one a lot.”

He skims through the second invitation, biting the inside of his cheek and Jungkook frowns when he looks away, seemingly in thought. Standing up, Jimin walks into the kitchen, Jungkook following after, knowing the elder’s most likely going to go through the calendar that Yoongi and Jimin keep attached to their fridge.

“You both have to be available,” Jungkook says with a worried tone of voice once he enters. “Hyung, you have to be there, okay? You can’t miss my engagement.”

“Don’t worry, no one’s missing anything,” Jimin gives Jungkook’s arm a reassuring pat. “The event I was thinking of is the day before. We’ll be fine with Saturday.”

Jungkook breathes out a sigh of relief from where he stands behind Jimin, leaning forward to rest his chin against the older man’s shoulder. He runs his eyes through the calendar littered with black and blue handwriting – the latter of which he recognizes as being Jimin’s. His eyebrows furrow as he points to the Tuesday before his engagement, “Why does it say Seokjin hyung’s name here?”

Jimin hums, leaning back into the younger’s warmth, “Remember he wanted to meet with Yoongi hyung for something?”

“Oh,” Jungkook breathes out, nodding, “I see, I see.”

They stand there quietly, and Jungkook digs his chin into Jimin’s shoulder when the elder starts to mark the two dates on the calendar and turns asks the younger, “When do you wanna celebrate your birthday this year?”

Jungkook laughs, shrugging, “I don’t know, it’s your turn to pick a random day.”

“Shall we pick your wedding day?” Jimin asks with a grin, turning his face to glance at Jungkook who snorts, leaning away and giving the elder’s shoulder a slight shove. He laughs when the younger turns away, walking back out into the living room, and settles himself in his old spot.

“Eomma went today to invite your mum,” Jungkook says after a while of silence, lifting his gaze from the chocolate brown coffee table in front of him over to his best friend. He watches Jimin carefully, noting the way he stiffens slightly, obviously taken a little by surprise. He murmurs a soft “oh” eyes drifting away from Jungkook just as his fingernails start to graze against the material of jeans.

Jungkook frowns when a faraway look takes over Jimin’s eyes, the elder’s eyes fixated on an empty corner of the room.

“Hyung?” He interrupts, making Jimin jump a little as he breaks out of his reverie. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Jimin gives him a small smile, trying his best to make it appear genuine. “I mean I wasn’t exactly not expecting her to be there.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook nods, unsure of what else to say. “Have you talked to her recently?”

“Pretty recently,” Jimin mutters, running a frustrated hand through his hair. “Just yesterday as a matter of fact.”

“I take it that it didn’t go well?”

Jimin shakes his head, eyes burning up as he starts to remember the incident, and he brings up a hand to press against his eyes, “I don’t understand what her problem is with Yoongi hyung, Jungkook. He’s…he’s a good person, isn’t he? He’s good and he makes me happy. It’s not like he’s some random guy whom I just started dating yesterday. We’ve known each other for over a decade now, and he’s never hurt me enough for me to ever regret this whole thing, and I…I just don’t understand Jungkook. What is it that he’s lacking? Is money really that big of a deal?”

Jungkook moves off his seat, walking forward to sit beside Jimin, rubbing the elder’s back soothingly and stiffening when Jimin pulls him into a hug, relaxing moments later, “I think it’s stupid, too, but I guess your mum thinks you can do better?”

It’s the wrong thing to say, apparently, if the way Jimin clutches onto him tighter, fresh tears flowing down his cheeks, is anything to go by. Jungkook rubs his back comfortingly, “It’s okay, hyung. It’ll be okay.”

“No, it won’t be!” Jimin exclaims pushing himself away. “She won’t ever accept him, will she? What hasn’t hyung done to convince her? So what if his parents aren’t filthy rich? He’s come so, so far, Jungkook, hyung’s worked so hard and become so successful. So what if his income doesn’t match my parents’? It sure as hell is more than mine.”

Jungkook purses his lips, watching his best friend wipe away tears, before glaring, “Can you tell me someone else you know in our circle of friends who was able to do so much on their own two feet without any help from their parents? But no, she just won’t acknowledge his efforts, and it hurts him so much, Jungkook. It embarrasses me that he has to see this awful side of my parents and put up with it. He could’ve so easily just upped and left, you know? Found someone else, and –”

“Stop, okay?” Jungkook puts a hand on Jimin’s arm, shaking his head. “Don’t say things like that, Jimin, just don’t. It’s not good for you to create thoughts and doubts in your mind like that. Hyung hates it when you go down that particular road, don’t you know?”

Jimin sighs, bringing up a hand to rub at his eyes and the tear tracks on his cheeks, “I know, but I just…she’s so awful to him, Jungkook. So, so awful, and I just…I can’t stand watching him be humiliated like that. He’s my husband, Jungkook, and I know that she doesn’t know that, but she treats him like he’s some sort of…some sort of nefarious criminal, and I just…I can’t handle it anymore.”

“Hyung,” Jungkook starts off softly, picking his words carefully. “Maybe, just maybe it’s time to move on now? How long are you two going to wait for your mother to come around?”

Jimin nods, sniffling, “I was…I think the same thing, but hyung – he wants to try still.”

Jungkook rubs the other’s back comforting, before asking in a small voice, “Do you want another hug? It’s over my daily quota, but I’ll make an exception for you.”

He smiles when Jimin laughs, eyes still glistening as he gives Jungkook an adoring look, and pulling him into a tight hug, “I love you, Jungkook. I love you so much.”

“Doesn’t everyone?” Jungkook asks, burying his face in the elder’s shoulder, smiling against his skin. “I’m kind of irresistible I guess.”

He yelps when Jimin pinches his side, both of them bursting into laughter as their eyes meet. Jimin links their hands seconds later as Jungkook slumps down to rest his head against the elder’s shoulder, sighing out softly, “I hope that Hoseok hyung makes you very, very happy, and that you can do the same for him.”

“Thank you,” Jungkook whispers against Jimin’s neck, hiding his reddened cheeks into the other’s shoulder. Fingers come to card through the hair at the back of his head, and Jungkook lets out a content sigh as Jimin and him continue to sit in silence.

“It’s hard, you know,” Jimin says quietly against his hair, after a while, “living with another person. Hyung and I have spent most of our married life living apart, and so we were really eager to finally move in together. But despite that, we still had a lot of difficulties, and I just want you to remember that. It’s not easy adjusting to someone else, no matter how well you know them, no matter how much you love them. Fights every now and then will always happen, but just…just be willing to talk it out, Jungkook, alright? Don’t hold a grudge over something petty and don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ll have the winning hand each time. It’s all about compromise and letting the other have their way sometimes.”

Jungkook hums in response, nodding his head, “I’ll try my best.”

--

Both Jimin and Jungkook pause in the midst of their discussion, turning to glance at the door when they hear it open. Jimin gives Yoongi a smile as he enters which turns into a chuckle that Jungkook and him share when the elder eyes both of them with an amused expression, silently raising an eyebrow as he removes his shoes.

 “So much love in the air,” Yoongi mutters partly out loud and partly to himself as he walks into the living room, eyeing their snuggled up position distastefully, and then leaning against the back of the couch, resting his weight on his forearms, “I think I’m going to be sick.”

“You’re just jealous,” Jungkook says cheekily, sticking out a tongue at Yoongi. He frowns internally when he notices the two seemingly recent cuts on the elder’s face – one near his eyebrow and another by his cheekbone – but continues, “Jealous that Jiminnie hyung loves me more.”

“Hey, hey,” Yoongi raises his hands defensively, smug grin in place, “who exactly did your precious Jiminnie hyung marry?”

“It’s okay,” Jungkook waves a casual, dismissive hand in the elder’s direction, “we all make mistakes sometimes. It’s not as if they can’t be amended.”

Yoongi’s mouth falls open and he turns to look at Jimin who’s laughing, seemingly enjoying their exchange, eyes drifting to the pieces of mail in Yoongi’s hands. When Jimin makes it obvious that he won’t say anything in his defense, Yoongi huffs, “Well, just to let you know, Jiminnie and I have already discussed this and this is going to hurt you, kid, but the divorce ain’t happening.”

“Aw,” Jungkook sticks his lower lip out, glancing up at Jimin, who’s still grinning widely between the two of them, “really?”

Jimin pretends to contemplate, “Well, you know, being separated for an entire year might be hard.”

Yoongi gives Jungkook a pointed look, making a shooing motion “Mhm, now scamper off home wrecker.”

Jungkook laughs but untangles himself from Jimin either way, moving over to sit on the other couch. Yoongi takes his previous spot on the sofa, after, wrapping an arm around Jimin’s waist and pulling his lover closer into his side. Jungkook can’t help but smile at the way Jimin willingly leans his head onto Yoongi’s chest, until the elder places his index finger under the younger’s chin and tilts his face up to give Jimin a small peck.

“Have you been making my Jiminnie cry?” Yoongi turns and asks Jungkook with narrowed eyes when he pulls away, heart soaring when Jimin giggles into his shoulder, wrapping his arm around the elder’s waist.

“What? Me?” Jungkook points a finger to himself, looking surprised at the accusation, “no!”

“You sure about that kid?” Yoongi’s lips are curved into a familiar gummy smile, but Jungkook doesn’t miss the seriousness in his eyes.

Jungkook huffs as he rolls his eyes, crossing his arms across his chest defensively, “You’re the one making him cry!”

Jimin laughs, interrupting both of them, “Neither of you are making me cry, alright? Now, play nice.”

“But baby, I always play nice,” Yoongi gives Jimin a cheeky smile, gums showing. Jimin rolls his eyes in response, but he can’t help but cup the elder’s face, thumbs tracing over the red marks on his face, and pulling him down into a kiss.

The two of them giggle when Jungkook starts to groan from across the room, “Go be disgusting when I’m not here! Do you have to do this in front of me?”

Yoongi hums affirmatively, “Just so you’re aware of your place, Kookie.”

Jungkook gapes at the statement, before he bursts into a surprised laugh, “I can’t believe you just said that, hyung.”

The elder’s about to respond when something catches his eyes, and he leans forward to pick up the two envelopes lying on the coffee table, Jimin’s body automatically moving along with him, “What’s this?”

“Oh, they’re invites,” Jungkook sits up properly at the question, “you can come right, hyung?”

Yoongi flips through the envelopes, “Engagement and wedding, both?

Jungkook nods, “They’re really close together.”

Yoongi ‘ah’s, reading through, eyes widening a little when he looks at the date, “That’s really soon, don’t you think so?”

Jungkook shrugs ambiguously, “It is, but it’s something that can’t be helped.”

Yoongi nods in understanding, running his fingers over the gold foil on the wedding card, looking up to glance at Jimin when the younger’s fingers come up to rest on top of the elder’s. Jungkook’s heart aches a little when he watches both Yoongi and Jimin glance at each, sharing a private smile laced with a bit of sadness as they turn to look at the wedding invitation together.

“We’ll be there,” Yoongi’s voice breaks his thoughts and he jumps a little, before nodding.

“I’m glad, hyung. I hope you’re not too busy.”

--

Jungkook knocks on the black door gingerly, before opening it slightly and peeking his head inside, calling out, “Yoongi hyung?”

The person in question emerges from the closet, looking a little concerned, “Jungkook?”

The younger nods, slipping himself half inside the room, before pausing to ask, “Can I come in?”

Yoongi laughs at this, walking forward to ruffle his hair, before tugging him inside the room by the arm, “Come in, come in.”

Jungkook lets himself be led inside, and sits down on the edge of the bed when Yoongi leads him there and pushes slightly against his shoulder. The elder grabs the desk chair in the room, rolling it forward and closer to the younger, before sitting down, legs crossed at the knee, “Spill.”

“Spill?”

Yoongi rolls his eyes, rephrasing his earlier statement, “What is it?”

Yoongi leans back in his seat, watching the younger look down at his hands, twiddling his thumbs, before looking up unsurely, “Can I ask you for a favour?”

“Who’d you kill, kid?” The elder raises an eyebrow, grinning when Jungkook’s head snaps up, giving him a deer-in-headlights look that quickly turns defensive.

“Ah, hyung!” Jungkook whines, settling himself more comfortably onto the bed, “I didn’t kill anyone.”

“Are you planning on, then?” Yoongi raises an amused eyebrow, laughing when Jungkook huffs exasperatedly, running a hand through his hair. “Okay, okay, I’m kidding, Jungkook. But your entry right there was extremely shady.”

He smiles when Jungkook pouts a little, sticking his lower lip out purposefully, “You’re mean to me.”

“The world isn’t exactly nice,” Yoongi shrugs at the statement. “I’m just giving you a whiff of reality. What is it, though?”

Jungkook doesn’t meet his eyes for several seconds, running the heel of his palms across his jeans up and down, before suddenly looking up and asking, “Do you arrange private events, hyung?”

Yoongi’s eyebrows rise up to his hairline, and he doesn’t bother schooling his expression when Jungkook stares up at him expectantly, the younger having hunched closer into himself after the question. He clears his throat before he asks, “How private, Kook?”

“Um,” Jungkook’s cheeks redden at the implication, but when he looks up, his eyes are rather confident, “two people private?”

Yoongi bites his lips, ruffling his own hair, before rolling his chair closer to Jungkook, “When?”

Jungkook looks surprised at the acceptance, and Yoongi wonders if the younger had expected him to say no or outright decline the request, “Really?”

Yoongi nods, “It’ll depend on how soon you want it though.”

“In almost three weeks,” Jungkook says, not meeting his gaze and fiddling with his fingers. “The date of the wedding if I’m being exact.”

Yoongi lets loose a small laugh, and he grins at Jungkook brightly when the younger looks up at him shyly, before glowering, “Don’t make fun of me.”

“You’re so cute,” Yoongi says with another laugh, leaning back in his chair and nodding. “I can do something for you for that day. Did you have something in mind already?”

Jungkook perks up suddenly, nodding eagerly, “I do, hyung. I just don’t know how to go about getting everything done properly. I could try, but I don’t want to screw anything up.”

“That’s understandable,” Yoongi nods, giving him an endearing look, before leaning forward to kiss the top of Jungkook’s head, especially when the younger hunches into himself shyly, “you really like him, don’t you?”

Jungkook takes a while to respond, and when he does, he shrugs, “I don’t know if I’d say that, but I wanted to do something for him.”

“That’s fine,” Yoongi rubs at his arm reassuringly, “do you want to tell me what you had in mind?”

Jungkook opens his mouth and then pauses before closing it shut, “Can I actually come talk to you on the day of that kid’s birthday party? I have to leave in a little bit for dinner with Seokjin hyung – you know him, right?”

Yoongi nods, pausing to consider, “Sure, that should be okay. We can discuss things then, I guess.”

Jungkook’s eyes twinkle, “Thank you, hyung. I know it must be short notice, so, really, thank you.”

“Don’t worry about it, Jungkook, considering it hyung’s wedding gift to you.”

Jungkook frowns as the implications of the statement catch up to him, and he shakes his head, grabbing Yoongi’s wrist when the elder moves to get up, “Wait, no, no, hyung. I’m paying for this.”

Yoongi gives him a small smile, “It’s alright, Jungkook, hyung will take care of it, alright?”

“No, you’re not,” Jungkook’s voice is firm, eyes disapproving. “I am going to be the one paying for this and your…labour costs, whatever you call them. Treat me like you would any other customer, alright, hyung?”

Yoongi presses his lips together firmly, “Jungkook, don’t worry about the money, okay? Just let me know what you want to get done and I’ll do it.”

Jungkook sighs, standing up, “You don’t understand, hyung. I want this to be something from me – not something that someone else decided to do for us as a wedding gift. It’s not going to be the same if you pay for it, so please, please let me?”

The elder watches him carefully, nodding his head at the younger’s words after a while, and runs a hand through his hair, “I see what you mean…okay, let’s do this your way.”

Jungkook grins brightly at the answer, “Thank you.”

Yoongi nods his head, taking a step back to let Jungkook move and exit the room, but he’s surprised when the younger remains as he is. He raises an eyebrow when Jungkook starts to play with his fingers, body language stiff, and when he looks up to meet Yoongi’s gaze there seem to be a question on the tip of his tongue. Yoongi sighs, before straightening up and asking, “What is it, Kook?”

The younger gulps audibly, “I don’t know if it’s my place to ask you this, but…those cuts, are they from yesterday? When you went over to visit Jimin hyung’s parents?”

Yoongi turns at the question, walking away to his closet as he chooses not to respond. He closes his eyes, turning to frown at Jungkook when the younger follows after him, calling out his name, “Yoongi hyung!”

“They are, aren’t they?” Jungkook gives him a sad look, lips turned down.

“Is that why Jiminnie was crying?” Yoongi asks in a soft voice, lifting his head up to meet Jungkook’s eyes. He scratches at the tip of his eyebrow when the younger nods quietly, not saying a word, and lets out a loud huff of air.

“Hyung,” Jungkook begins, grabbing his wrist when he moves to leave again, “it hurt him, you know? It really hurts Jiminnie to have to watch you go through all of this, and I know that you’ve been vying for his mother’s approval, but sometimes you don’t always get what you want. I know that I don’t know as much as you do about the entire thing, but maybe, just maybe it’s time to let this go?”

Yoongi pulls his hand out of Jungkook’s hold gently, resting a comforting hand on the younger’s forearm, before shaking his head, “Not yet, it isn’t. I’m okay, Jungkook, really, I’m fine, alright?”

“But hyung,” Jungkook protests, “even Jimin hyung thinks that you should just…I don’t know, but maybe just go ahead with anything you wanted to do together without waiting for his mum to be okay with this.”

“Jungkook,” Yoongi’s voice is firm and Jungkook stills where he is when the elder’s bore into his, gazing at him fiercely. “Drop it.”

Jungkook sighs in response, nodding his head and taking a step back, watching Yoongi for a few seconds as he runs a hand through his air, sighing out loudly. He remains where he is, listening intently when Yoongi continues, “It’s just…Kookie, I feel like I stole her child from her.”

Of all the things he expects Yoongi to say, it isn’t this, and he gapes at the elder, looking every bit startled at the admittance, “Hyung?”

“Jiminnie’s always been closer to his mother, you know?” Yoongi says with a smile that’s laced with self-loathing. “And I split them apart like that, because Jimin liked me and his mother didn’t. I can’t…I can’t just stop trying, Jungkook. Not when I know that I’m the reason they’re so estranged from each other now. So, please, don’t ask me to accept things for what they are and move on. I just…I can’t.”

“Hyung,” Jungkook pauses, gulping audibly, before he nods in understanding. “I know what you mean, hyung. I understand, but still, it’s been 11 years.”

“I know, Kookie,” Yoongi lets out a deep sigh, running a hand down his face, “I know.”

Jungkook doesn’t know what else to do except nod, and so he does. He takes a step back, ready to exit the room, before a thought hits him and he turns around, “Do you…do you want me to ask my mum to talk to her? They’re close friends.”

“His dad’s already been trying for months now,” Yoongi replies with a shrug. “I don’t know if other people talking to her will help until she’s ready to accept us…accept me.”

“I’ll ask her either way,” Jungkook says after a while, turning around to face Yoongi. “It can’t hurt, right?”

The elder lets out a soft chuckle at that, nodding, “I guess so. An opinion from someone not directly involved might help…or it might make things worse. Not that I think they can get any worse than what they are right now.”

“Don’t worry, hyung,” Jungkook says softly. “I’ll try to help.”

“Thank you,” Yoongi replies after a few beats, looking up to meet Jungkook’s gaze. “For everything, Jungkook.”

Jungkook nods, giving the elder a grin, and when he stands there by the door for too long, Yoongi raises an eyebrow.

“While I don’t personally mind changing in front of you,” the elder says, throwing a smirk in Jungkook’s direction as his hand reaches for the first button on his dress shirt, “Jimin might.”

Yoongi’s laughter follows Jungkook as he high tails out of the room, wrenching the room door wide open and leaving it as is as he powerwalks over to the kitchen where Jimin currently is.

“Why do you look so red?” The elder asks, turning away from the onions on the cutting board to look at him, and raising an eyebrow.

“No reason,” Jungkook squeaks out, rubbing at his face. “No reason at all.”

Jimin chuckles, “Did Yoongi hyung say something?”

“He offered to change in front of me.”

“He did what now?”

“Yeah, but don’t worry, I ran out of there,” Jungkook grins when Jimin presses his lips together, looking back towards the kitchen entrance almost as if looking for Yoongi. “I also have to go now.”

“Yeah?” Jimin’s gaze settles back onto him and the elder gives him a small smile with a nod. “Alright, have fun with Seokjin hyung.”

Jungkook nods slowly, but stays where he is, watching Jimin quietly. The elder’s voice breaks him out of his trance, “Aren’t you going?”

Jungkook clears his throat, shifting his weight on his feet awkwardly, before saying quietly, “I also have to ask you something.”

“Ask me something?” Jimin stops in the midst of chopping, pointing at himself with the knife, an action that makes Jungkook frown, “what do you need to ask me?”

“Well…” Jungkook trails off, making vague hand gestures, “I mean, you might already be expecting this…”

He looks up, watching the elder’s face quietly, and by the way it brightens a few seconds after his statement affirms Jungkook’s earlier doubt. The younger scowls when Jimin pretends to be oblivious, shaking his head, “No, I have no idea what you’re about to ask me.”

“Really, hyung? Really?” Jungkook raises a sarcastic eyebrow, hand on his hip, glaring when Jimin nods, widening his eyes just the slightest to make himself look innocent.

“I have no idea, Jungkookie, no idea at all.”

“You do, too!” Jungkook exclaims, pointing an accusatory finger at Jimin. “And since you already do, can’t you just tell me your answer?”

“I’m not a mind reader, Jungkook,” Jimin grins cheekily. “I have no clue what you’re asking me.”

The younger huffs, crossing his arms, before he leans back against the counter and lets out a sigh. Bringing up a hand to run through his hair, he pouts, “Don’t make me say it.”

“But, darling, if you don’t say it, how will hyung know?” Jimin asks, trying to look oblivious, but it’s obvious that he’s not with the way he giggles when Jungkook’s eyes narrow at him.

“Fine, fine,” Jungkook rolls his eyes, standing up straight. He clears his throat, joining both his hands together and looks at Jimin sincerely as he asks in a quiet voice, “Jiminnie hyung, will you be my best man?”

Jimin lets out a rather high pitched laugh at his question, dropping his knife on the cutting board and bringing younger in for a hug, “Oh, Jungkookie, hyung will! Very happily so.”

“Okay,” Jungkook says quietly, cheeks red when Jimin pulls away and coos at him.

“My Jungkookie’s all grown up, my goodness,” Jimin pinches his cheek, ducking away from Jungkook when the younger steps forward threateningly. “I thought you’d chicken out and not ask me! I got so worried right now when you told me you were leaving! I thought maybe you had someone else in mind!”

Jungkook scoffs, “Who else would I ask?”

“I don’t know,” Jimin shrugs. “You know a lot of people. For all I know, you might have just gone in to ask Yoongi to be your best man.”

Jungkook smiles mischievously, “Well, I kind of did, and he said he didn’t want to hurt your feelings by saying yes. So, I asked you – my second choice.”

Jimin gapes at him for a few seconds, before Jungkook’s grin catches up to him and he points the knife at the younger, “I swear to God, Jeon, I hate you!”

Jungkook lets out a loud laugh, chuckling at how non-threatening the elder looked in his apron, a pout on his lips. He smiles fondly at Jimin, “No, but seriously, did you actually think I would ask someone else over you?”

“Well, I don’t know,” Jimin grimaces. “You might have had someone else in mind – what about Seung? He runs your café for you and you’re both really close, too.”

“Eh,” Jungkook shrugs nonchalantly. “I still think we’re closer.”

“Good to know,” Jimin says with a smile. “Shouldn’t you go now, though? You wouldn’t wanna be late, right?”

“Oh, right!” Jungkook stands up straight, glancing down at his watch. “Seokjin hyung’s probably left for the restaurant already.”

“How come you don’t take me out for dinner like that?” Jimin asks all of a sudden, making the younger laugh again.

Jungkook steps forward to pinch the elder’s cheeks, smiling when Jimin swats him away, “That’s ‘cause you have a husband to take you out for dinner all you want, okay? Go ask him!”

Jimin rolls his eyes at the response but bids him farewell, walking him to the door and locking it once Jungkook’s out the door. 


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Chapter Text

“Home!” Hoseok calls out, locking the door, peeking around the corner to find Seokjin sitting on the large black, leather section, back towards Hoseok, hunched over something. The elder turns around to look at him making a sound of acknowledgement, as the younger pulls off his shoes, sheds his coat and loosens his tie, walking towards the couch.

“Open your mouth and close your eyes,” Seokjin says as Hoseok passes by him and he obliges, bending forward and parting his lips to allow the elder to place something on his tongue. He straightens back up and opens his eyes when Seokjin taps against his chin, a signal for him to close his mouth, and Hoseok chews quietly, pulls off his tie from around his neck, and starting to unbutton his shirt.

“Oh!” He makes a soft noise of approval when the sweet flavour hits his tongue, and he glances at Seokjin in surprise, glancing at the big bar of chocolate in his lap, covered in gold foil. Seokjin grins up at him, nodding in agreement.

“They’re good, aren’t they?” Seokjin asks, breaking off a piece for himself, and popping it into his mouth.

“More. Gimme more, gimme more,” Hoseok leans back down, smiling when the elder laughs at his use of an overly cute tone, and places another square of chocolate between his lips. “New store?”

“No, not at all,” Seokjin shakes his head as he folds the gold foil back over the exposed chocolate, slipping it into is cover. “This is one of the ones that Jungkook gave us.”

“Really?” Hoseok asks as he chews, eyeing the blue and gold label on the chocolate bar, that Seokjin turns around to glance at. “It’s really good!”

“Isn’t it?” Seokjin says with a smile. “I like Jungkook, a lot.”

Hoseok grins, depositing the mail in his hand in Seokjin lap, “I do, too, hyung.”

Seokjin hums, “Anything for me?”

“Not particularly, just bills. I’m going to go change, alright?”

The elder nods, shooing him away, sorting through the pieces of mail, “Wait! Should I warm up dinner?”

“Yes, please, I’m really, really hungry!” Hoseok calls out, voice sounding distant, making Seokjin grin. He stands up, mail and chocolate both in hand, and deposits the unopened envelopes on the dining table while placing the other ones in their respective place in the mail holder. He heads back into the kitchen, returning the chocolate to the compartment in the fridge where the remainder of them rest, and starts to hum as he starts getting dinner heated up.

Hoseok joins him minutes later, whistling as he enters, grabbing two plates, placemats, and sets of cutlery.

“I’ve already had dinner, Seok,” Seokjin turns his head to give the younger a small smile, “just grab a plate for yourself.”

“What?” Hoseok looks surprised, looking at Seokjin with wide eyes before an apologetic look takes over. “Sorry, did I make you wait too long?”

Seokjin shakes his head, gently taking the plate from Hoseok’s hands, “I had a dinner date with Jungkook, remember? I told you this last night.”

“Oh,” Hoseok breathes out, watching Seokjin scoop some rice and chicken onto his plate. “I guess I forgot.”

Seokjin hums, handing the plate back over to the younger and then leading them over to the dining table.

“So, how did it go?” Hoseok asks, laying the placemat and cutlery on the table, seating himself in the chair opposite to the elder. “Had fun?”

“Yeah,” Seokjin nods. “A surprising amount of fun. It wasn’t as awkward as I imagined it being – he’s not hard to talk to and listens very intently to things you have to say. It’s a nice change, especially from you, who likes to interrupt me all the time.”

“A stamp of approval from you, then?” Hoseok teases, grinning at Seokjin who laughs, covering his mouth, before nodding.

“Definite approval. I like him, Seokie, I think he’ll be really good for you,” Seokjin sighs, watching Hoseok dive into his food without a second thought, nodding along with him.

They spend a few minutes in silence, Seokjin humming under his breath, going through the remainder of the mail, “I invited him to the anniversary dinner, by the way.”

“You did?” That catches Hoseok’s attention and he coughs a little, thumping at his chest to dislodge any food that might be stuck in his throat.

“Slowly, Seok, slowly, the food isn’t running away anywhere,” Seokjin chides him, making Hoseok laughs and mutters “you’re such a mom” under his breath. “But yes, I did. I talked to your mum about it, and we thought it’d be a good starting platform for you both to show that you’re together. The engagement is a few days after that, so it’ll just help reiterate that.”

Hoseok looks thoughtful as he pushes the rice around his plate, before nodding, “Yeah, you’re right. It’s a small gathering, anyway, right? That ought to work for us.”

Seokjin hums, watching him eat for a little while, before he murmurs softly, “I’m going to miss you, Seokie.”

The words catch the younger’s attention who pauses in the midst of eating to stare up at Seokjin, “What do you mean, hyung? I’m not going anywhere. Are you…are you going somewhere?”

Seokjin smiles, leaning forward to pick off the piece of rice stuck to the corner of Hoseok’s lips, “I’ll have to move out soon, kiddo. As much fun as it might be to impose on you and Jungkook, I’d much rather not.”

The realization seems to hit Hoseok right at that moment, and he reaches forward to grab the elder’s wrist, “Wait, don’t go.”

The laugh that bubbles out of Seokjin is a little bit sad, and Hoseok finds his own eyes tearing up when Seokjin tilts his head back, looking up to blink away the tears. The elder sniffles a little, and then laughs again, dabbing at the corner of his eyes as a tear slips, “What? You want me to stay in the same house as a newlywed couple?”

“Ah, but hyung,” Hoseok whines, wiping at his own eyes with his sleeve, “I…I don’t want you to go.”

“I don’t want to either,” Seokjin admits with a nod, reaching forward to pull Hoseok in an awkward hug, before pressing his lips to the younger’s cheeks. “But we know there’s nothing we can do about it. Either you move out or I do, and quite frankly, it’s easier on you and Jungkook if I do.”

Hoseok grabs both of Seokjin’s hand at the end of the sentence, and the elder chuckles at their odd position, holding hands across the dining table, “I love you, hyung.”

“I love you, too, Seokie, I love you so much,” Seokjin says with a laugh, ruffling the younger’s hair. “I can’t believe you’re getting married before me.”

Hoseok snorts at the statement, not letting Seokjin go even when he tries to pull his hands away, “Please, we all know you’re not getting married. Not anytime soon – maybe not ever.”

“Ah, well,” Seokjin shrugs. “Just haven’t found the right person yet, I suppose.”

Hoseok nods, looking solemn, “Nobody’s good enough for you, hyung. No one.”

Seokjin’s giggle at the words makes Hoseok laugh as well, “I’m going to miss living with you, talking to you, watching bad movies with you, and making fun of people after all the parties with you.”

“I’m going to miss your cooking,” Hoseok hiccups in the midst of his sentence, pouting when Seokjin laughs.

“That’s it?”

“That’s pretty much it,” Hoseok grins cheekily, laughing when Seokjin gasps, offended.

“How rude.”

“Well, we can still watch bad movies together, we can still talk to each other, and I don’t think we’ll ever stop making fun of people after all the parties,” Hoseok shrugs, voice getting softer with each word. “It’s just…we won’t be living together anymore.”

Seokjin hums, rubbing at his nose, “I guess it’s not so bad. I mean we never really lived together for that long, right? Just around six or seven years?”

Hoseok lowers his head, staring down at the table as he murmurs, “That’s a very long time.”

“Yes, but if you think about it, we’ll living apart for a lot longer. I’ve known you since you were born – so that’s 28 years. And since we’ve only lived together for about six or seven years, we’ve lived apart for a good for three quarters of our lives almost.”

“I guess…”

“Don’t worry about it,” Seokjin pats the top of Hoseok’s hand gently. “You’ll have Jungkook now, won’t you?”

Seokjin’s surprised when Hoseok looks up at him, tears cascading down the younger’s protruding cheeks, “Are you trying to make me feel guilty about getting married?”

“No, no,” he waves his hands frantically, handing the younger a napkin, “I’m not.”

“Good,” Hoseok says in an adamant tone, and he brings his sleeve-covered palms to wipe at his teary eyes. “I’m going to miss seeing you every day, hyung.”

Seokjin presses his lips together in a firm line, looking up at the ceiling for a few seconds. Hoseok holds his hand at that moment, “It’ll be okay, hyung. I promise I’ll try to make time for you each week.”

“But it won’t be the same, right?” Seokjin asks softly, meeting the younger’s eyes, and he smiles a little when Hoseok nods tearfully, rubbing at his eyes again when a new set of tears starts to fall. Hoseok starts to make soft noises as he starts to cry and the elder lets him. He smiles when Hoseok ducks his head down to try to hide the fact that he’s crying, settling for simply rubbing the top of Hoseok’s hand gently. The younger boy holds on to his fingers as he hiccups, rubbing furiously at his cheeks, and it makes Seokjin press his lips together to not ruin the moment by laughing.

“Alright, okay,” Seokjin pulls his hand away with a wide grin, making Hoseok protest, “not to interrupt your crying fest, Seok, but I think this might be a good time for me to tell you that I’m kind of moving in on this floor, two doors down from our place. So, um…surprise!”

There’s silence around them for a few seconds after his announcement, and Seokjin does his absolute best to not laugh when Hoseok’s head snaps up and he gapes at the elder with his mouth wide open, looking like a fish out of water, “You…what?!

Seokjin lets himself burst into laughter, then, nodding and grinning widely at a now angry Hoseok, before reaching forward to wipe at the younger’s cheeks, “I went to ask this morning to see if there were any available places in either this or the other tower, and the person said that there’s going to be a clearing on this floor by the end of this week and I can move in within another. So, yeah. I wasn’t sure when to tell you, but now seemed like a good time.”

Hoseok glares at him threateningly, crossing his arms, “I…I can’t believe that you just…you made me lose my appetite over this!”

The elder doesn’t know what to do apart from laugh, and he leans forward, hands clasped, “I was really good, wasn’t I, Hoseokie? I had you fooled, didn’t I? I looked really sad, right? I’m so good! I can’t believe I managed to make myself cry right there. I’m so talented, Hoseokie, that sometimes I impress even myself.”

“I kind of hate you right now, and don’t really want to see you,” Hoseok deadpans, making Seokjin laugh harder.

“But despite that, you still think I was good right? Wow! How did I manage to cry just at the right times? I amaze myself!”

Hoseok huffs, “Are you done complimenting yourself?”

“For now, yes, but try me again in a few minutes, I’ll be ready,” Seokjin smiles winningly, reaching forward to scoop some food in a spoon and presses the tip against the younger’s lips. “Come on, open up, and finish your food.”

“I still hate you,” Hoseok announces, but lets Seokjin feed him nevertheless. “You’re so cruel! I was genuinely sad you know?”

“I know, I know, but I just wanted to see how you would react,” Seokjin grins when Hoseok pouts.

“That doesn’t make it any better. I hate you, hyung. I take back everything I said before!” Hoseok opens his mouth again when Seokjin tries to feed him another bite.

“You don’t hate me, Hoseok.”

“I do, too! How would you know?”

“Well, I’m going to be your best man, so you know, you can’t hate me,” Seokjin shrugs, giving the younger a smug grin.

“I never even asked you to be my best man!”

“You don’t have to,” Seokjin grins. “I already know you’re going to.”

Hoseok huffs, crossing his arms, “Not anymore, I’m not!”

Seokjin rolls his eyes, but indulges the younger either way, “How about I make it up to you?”

“With what?”

“A movie marathon? I’ll also let you sleep in my bed with me for tonight.”

Hoseok lets loose a small smile, “If you think I’m going to forgive you with just that, you’re going to have to work a lot harder, hyung. I’m not interested yet.”

 “Ah, I guess you’re also not interested in me telling you what Jungkook said about you, then?”

Hoseok’s eyes widen, “You talked about me?”

“Yeah, but I guess it doesn’t really matter anymore, right? ‘Cause you hate me.”

Seokjin’s quick to drop the spoon onto the plate, get up, and run when he sees the dangerous look in Hoseok’s eye before the younger starts to chase after him, their shouts and laughter filling the relatively quiet suite.

--

Hoseok slips under Seokjin’s covers, sinking into the softness of the bed, and turns to face the elder, “You know, I’ve never had any trouble sleeping in your bed. It’s strange, isn’t it, hyung?”

Seokjin snorts, “Considering how I have to pet your hair for a continuous half hour every time for you to finally fall asleep, I wouldn’t say you never had any trouble.”

Hoseok giggles when the elder offers his arm, and he uses it as his pillow, wrapping the duvet tighter around himself. Familiar fingers start to run through his hair, and he can’t help but sigh out at the pleasant feeling from the touch. They settle into a comfortable rhythm – Seokjin caressing Hoseok’s hair as he reads in the soft light of the night light, not stopping until Hoseok’s breaths even out, becoming softer.

He lets out a soft sigh, placing his bookmark against the page, and turns to put the book back on his night stand when Hoseok’s phone buzzes a few times. Curiosity gets the better of him, and he reaches over, picking it up and pressing the home button. The lock screen alerts him about three new messages from Jungkook and he smiles as he places the phone back on the side table.

From: Seokjin

Seokie’s asleep, Jungkook. :)

From: Jungkook

Oh, sorry! Thanks for letting me know, hyung.

Seokjin smiles at the message, before opening the camera app and turning it on front-facing mode. He takes a quick picture of the younger boy after turning on the other bedside lamp for more lighting which is a bit of a struggle with Hoseok still lying on his arm. He attaches it one he’s satisfied, and presses send, before a thought hits him.

From: Seokjin

Sorry, I hope you don’t mind! Hoseok gets really cuddly when he’s sleepy. It’s nothing weird, I swear.

He bites his lip as he waits for Jungkook’s response, anxiously eyeing his messages and opening the picture he’d taken to examine it deeming it not too bad. Hoseok’s lying with his head on Seokjin’s arm in a navy blue long sleeved shirt, covered by his black and white duvet up to his chest. There’s a bit of drool escaping the corner of his mouth, and Seokjin can’t help but laugh at it before his eyes roam over the younger’s rather long black bangs and the way they fall across his eyes. His phone buzzes at an incoming notification and Seokjin’s quick to turn back to the conversation, scrolling down to see Jungkook’s message.

From: Jungkook

Don’t worry about it, hyungnim! Jiminnie hyung’s kind of like this, too. Enough to make Yoongi hyung jealous, haha. :3

From: Jungkook

Also, I needed a decent picture of Hoseok hyung anyway, so thank you. All the ones he’s sent me are not very useable as a contact photo.

Seokjin lets out a soft laugh at the two new messages, eyes darting towards Hoseok when the younger stirs, and he stares at his screen in awe, wondering if Jungkook even knows what he’s implying.

From: Seokjin

Not very useable? Like nudes?

From: Jungkook

Omg, no! No no no no! Not like that at all!

From: Seokjin

Then like what?

From: Jungkook

We’re not having this conversation, hyungnim.

From: Seokjin

Are they kinky?

From: Jungkook

:O

From: Seokjin

No?

From: Jungkook

Ohmygod.

From: Seokjin

Haha, I’m just messing with you. Go to sleep, it’s late, Jungkook. :)

From: Jungkook

Okay…

From: Seokjin

So, no nudes, but were they at least like half-nudes?

From: Jungkook

Hyung!

From: Seokjin

Heh. Alright, alright. Hyung won’t bother you anymore.

(Although, I can’t help but notice that you didn’t deny the fact that the photos were kinky or half-nudes)

From: Jungkook

Goodnight, hyung.

From: Seokjin

You know what’s strange, Jungkook? The fact that people tend to take both denial and silence as affirmation, but curiously enough, they also take affirmation as affirmation. Isn’t that just plain weird?

From: Jungkook

From: Seokjin

:)

--

Jungkook settles himself into the chair outside on his balcony, wrapping his throw tighter around himself to keep in the body heat that threatens to escape. It’s not a particularly cold night, and the soft, brown and white patterned throw blanket does exactly what he wants it to. Hoseok usually texts him around this time each night, and so he waits, patiently for his phone to vibrate.

He stares up at the dark night sky as he does, trying to count the barely visible stars. The lights from the houses around him and the buildings in the distance make it challenging to see the dimly lit stars, but he tries regardless. It’s a quiet night, and Jungkook basks in the silence, appreciating it as he glances around his neighbourhood.

When half an hour passes, and there’s no sign of any incoming text, Jungkook starts to get a little uneasy, always having been a bit of a worrier. Regardless, he lets it all pass, phone still clutched tightly between slightly cold fingers.

It’s only when an hour has gone by that he starts to wonder if something went wrong as he looks down at the clock on the corner of the screen. He shrugs, reassuring himself with thoughts of how Hoseok might be busy, before he gives in, and unlocks his phone.

His fingers hover over the on screen keyboard as he stares at their conversation from two nights ago, and then starts to scroll up instead. They text each other regularly, he realizes as he reads through their old conversations, unable to stop himself from smiling at some of the things Hoseok’s said. Instead of texting a quick ‘hello’ today, however, he clicks on Hoseok’s photo, before pressing the green phone button beside his cell phone number. He smiles as he hears the familiar ringtone, and then waits.

The phone’s picked up on the fifth ring, and what he hears isn’t what he’s expecting. Hoseok’s voice sounds rough, much deeper than usual, as he growls out a low, “what?”

Jungkook's eyes widen a little at the tone, and he pulls the phone away from his ear to make sure he's called the right person, "Uh, hello?"

He hears some fumbling on the other line, before Hoseok's voice, huskier than usual, comes back, this time a little softer, "Jungkook? What happened? Is everything okay?"

"O-oh, uh, nothing, I just...wanted to call you to see what you were doing?" His voice sounds a little higher at the end, making what he intended to be a statement come out as a question.

There some more shifting on the other end before Hoseok speaks, "Shit, sorry, I didn't know it was you who called. I didn't mean to snap at you, but the call woke me up and..."

Jungkook interrupts his little rant, glancing at the clock, "Oh, sorry! I thought you were going to be awake since we usually text around this time. You didn't so I thought maybe you forgot and decided to call you instead. Sorry –"

"No, no, it's fine, really. Actually, I forgot to tell you," Hoseok apologizes, and Jungkook can hear the gruffness in his tone. "I'm not in Seoul right now. I'm in Sydney, because of an issue with a contractor. It was a really last minute complication.”

"Oh," Jungkook doesn't know what else to say as he fiddles with the hem of his shirt. "I'm sorry, I didn't know at all. Go back to sleep, hyung, I didn't mean to wake you up."

Hoseok voice comes out resigned but a little more awake, "No, no, don't apologize, it all happened so fast, I had no time to let you know. Before I knew it, I was on a plane without my wits about me."

"It's okay, it’s okay! I mean you have no obligation to tell me such things. Not yet, at least," Jungkook says with a grin, trying to lighten up the atmosphere. He hears a deep laugh from the other end, and it makes his stomach do a swoop at how attractive it sounds to his ears.

Hoseok sighs softly, and Jungkook smiles, "Rough day?"

"Yeah," the response comes after a while. "Some people are just so difficult. I flew over here on such short notice, dropped everything to meet them at their insistence, and then they showed up more than two hours late. On top of that the issue wasn't even our sides' fault. I guess between the events of the day, it completely slipped my mind to let you know."

"It's okay, don't worry about it," Jungkook reassures Hoseok, hearing the tiredness and frustration in the elder's voice. "Sorry I woke you up. I'll hang up now, okay? Go back to sleep and just let me know when you're flying back."

"No, no, stay," Hoseok insists and Jungkook frowns.

"Hyung, you need to sleep, okay? The jet lag and tiredness is going to make you cranky tomorrow otherwise. We'll talk later."

"We’re only an hour apart, so there’s no jet lag, but it takes me time to fall asleep," Hoseok explains with a yawn. "Just talk to me for a bit, okay? I'll let you know once I'm sleepy enough to hang up."

Jungkook bites his lip, debating with himself, before letting out a sigh, and getting more comfortable in his seat, "Alright then, just for a bit."

When Hoseok lets out a content sigh, he can picture the soft, small smile on the elder's lips so easily he scares himself a little.

The line falls silent between them and it's only once an entire minute passes that Hoseok urges him, "Talk, love. Talk to me."

Jungkook reddens at the nickname, catching himself nodding, before he speaks, "Did the thing get resolved?"

Hoseok hums, speaking soft enough that Jungkook has to strain his ears to her him, "More or less."

"That's good. Are you gonna fly back tomorrow or explore the place a bit more?"

"I'm flying out the day after tomorrow for now. The deal’s finalized, so I guess I’ll do a bit of exploring. Do you want anything from Sydney?"

Jungkook laughs lightly, "Of course not, but thank you. You should look around if you haven't seen the city before, it's really nice."

"I actually haven't been here before," Hoseok confesses softly. "Maybe I'll walk around tomorrow. See the opera house? Climb the harbour bridge?"

"Did you bring along a jacket?" Jungkook asks laughing, glancing up at the few stars in the night sky as he listens to Hoseok's soft breathing. "It a little chilly there in August."

"I forgot."

Jungkook smiles to himself, "Go buy one before you go walking around the city or climbing any bridges. You'll catch a cold otherwise."

"Okay," Hoseok's voice is soft, breathing slower than before, and Jungkook's about to suggest hanging up when the elder interrupts him, "How was your day?"

"My day?" Jungkook wonders why he's surprised at the question but he hums before he answers. "It was good. Better than your day I can say for sure."

Hoseok laughs softly, and Jungkook finds himself smiling, "How did the event you were catering for Yoongi-ssi go?"

Jungkook frowns, "How did you know that was today?"

"You said it was on Thursday, I think? Sorry, was I not supposed to know?"

"No, no. I'm just surprised you remember," Jungkook says softly, enjoying the way the outdoor breeze ruffles his hair. He extends his legs, stretching them out as he waits for Hoseok to respond.

"If I'm being honest, I’m surprised I remember, too. So, it went well, then?”

Jungkook smiles, "Yeah, it did. We made little cupcakes for the kids, of several different colours, but we switched around the flavours. The kids looked delighted when they bit into a yellow cupcake and realized it was actually chocolate."

Hoseok laughs, "Creative. Did you change it up for the adults too?"

"No, we made those boring. I'm sure they were wondering why all the kids were giggling as they ate."

"What if they thought you had spiked it or something? Although a bunch of giggling kids sounds cute."

Jungkook snorts, "It’s fine, what they don't know won't hurt them."

"Devious, aren't we, angel?" Hoseok says after a while and the way he drawls out the nickname, voice husky as he does makes pleasure shoot through Jungkook's body all the way to his toes.

"You’re going to keep calling me that forever, aren’t you?"

Hoseok hums affirmatively in response, before the line falls silent. Jungkook's eyebrows furrow when he hears rustling on the other end, and he asks, "What are you doing?"

"Just trying to get comfortable," Hoseok responds.

"Is the bed hard?" Jungkook asks when there's some more movement.

"A little. I'm kind of cold, too. Are you in bed right now?"

"No," Jungkook's gaze drifts to the road as he watches a car drive by and stop at a house a few doors down and across. "I'm out on my balcony."

"Hopefully with a jacket?"

"I've got a throw, don't worry about it," he answers with a smile.

"Good, good. Enjoying the night sky?"

"I am, what are you looking at?"

"The curtains pulled across the window of my suite."

Jungkook laughs at the description, "So you're lying in a hard bed, cold, staring at the curtains in your room?"

"A sad image, isn't it? But they should really invest in warmer blankets, I'm cold even under covers."

"Did you pack any layers?"

Hoseok yawns, "Barely. It was all very rushed. I don’t wear clothes to bed anyway when I sleep by myself, it’s uncomfortable."

"But if you’re cold, you should. Wait, does that mean you’re not wearing anything under the covers?"

Hoseok doesn't say anything for a while and Jungkook thinks he's fallen asleep until he speaks, tone teasing, "So, correct me if I'm wrong, but is this the part of the conversation where we have phone sex?"

Jungkook sputters, knowing that despite his words, the context was not in the slightest suggestive. He grins though as his cheeks become warm, and he responds in a nonchalant tone, "I...don't think you're awake enough for that."

Hoseok's bright laughter greets his ears and he bursts into a small laugh as well when Hoseok shows no indication of stopping.

“What a pity," Hoseok murmurs into the phone. "Although I don't mind the half-assed half asleep kinda sex either."

Jungkook shakes his head, "Sorry, but I don't half-ass anything."

“Must be tough,” Hoseok says after a while, voice soft.

“It is,” Jungkook admits quietly.

“You should sleep now,” he reiterates once Hoseok’s breaths start to become softer and slower.

“Okay,” the elder’s voice is quiet. “You should as well.”

“Maybe in a bit,” Jungkook starts to stand, leaning on the balcony railing, silently watching a small family of three walk by their house, the kid swinging between her parents happily.

“Are you excited?” Hoseok asks after a while, voice laced with sleep, words mumbled.

“Excited for?”

“Next weekend.”

“Oh,” Jungkook says softly as the realization dawns upon him, “our engagement?”

“Yeah.”

“I am,” Jungkook smiles to himself, “are you?”

“A little more than I should be.”

He’s not quite sure why but the simple reply makes his heart feel lighter, and as he yawns, he remembers something, “If you’re okay with it, can we go ring shopping this weekend?”

Hoseok hums, “Let’s go when I come back. I also have to buy an outfit. Apparently, I have to wear something new.”

Jungkook laughs, “What were you going to wear before? Sweats and a shirt?”

“That was the plan,” Hoseok says with a quiet laugh, and Jungkook smiles.

“We can go look for something when we go look for the rings if you’d like. I mean we can’t have you showing up in drabs, can we? I’m already the better looking one out of the two of us, we can’t also have me be the one that’s better dressed, right?”

Hoseok’s laughter makes him pause, especially with how genuine it sounds, and the elder takes his silence as a sign to speak, continuing in a raspy voice, “Of course, Jungkookie, we really can’t have that, can we? We should buy matching outfits, you know, show up in couple clothing for our own engagement! It’ll be fun.”

“Uh…” Jungkook trails off before settling for a simple, “let’s leave the couple clothing for after the wedding.”

Hoseok’s soft laughter surrounds him once again, before he sighs out softly, eyes drooping, “Alright.”

“Go to sleep, hyung, I’m going to hang up, now,” Jungkook utters quietly, and is greeted by nothing but the sound of soft breaths.

“Okay, goodnight,” he hears just as he’s about to pull the phone away.

“Goodnight,” Jungkook says in response, smiling. “Sleep well.”

There’s only a hum in response and nothing else before Jungkook hangs up, smiling to himself as he stares down at his phone. He stands up straight, stretching a little as a yawn escapes him. Grabbing the throw, he opens the balcony door, closing and locking the door softly. He’s surprised when he sees his brother sitting on the couch in his room, almost watching him, knees pulled up.

Minchan smiles when Jungkook stares at him with a deer in headlights expression and stands up, “I came in to talk a bit earlier, but you were busy talking. Was it Hoseok?”

Jungkook nods, not meeting his brother’s eyes, fingers fisting in the throw.

“I see,” the elder murmurs, “I didn’t mean to intrude or startle you.”

“You were in my room, hyung,” Jungkook tilts his head, staring up at his brother.

“Sorry,” Minchan looks genuinely apologetic as he looks down at the ground. “I really…Jungkook you’re important to me, you know that right?”

“I suppose,” Jungkook responds, before turning away, and tossing his phone onto his bed. His fingers start to make quick work of the throw, folding the soft material and he walks around the room to his closet.

“Adopted or not, you’re my baby brother, Kook. I really do love you,” Minchan reiterates, standing by the bed, watching him.

“You have a funny way of showing that,” Jungkook replies simply, before he grabs clothes to change into for the night.

“I’m sorry,” his brother says simply, and when Jungkook turns, he sees sincerity in his expression. “I shouldn’t have said that, and I was in the wrong. But Kook, I was just trying to look out for you, you know. I just don’t want you to get hurt.”

“What if it isn’t Hoseok but you that’s hurting me, hyung?” Jungkook knows he shouldn’t push the issue than it already has been, but he wants to settle it instead of avoid it.

“I’m sorry that you feel that way,” Minchan’s voice sounds a little hollow and when Jungkook turns to glance at his brother, he feels a pang in his own heart. They’ve always been close, and despite the fights and the misunderstandings, Jungkook knows that his brother wouldn’t do a thing to purposely hurt him. “You really like him, don’t you, cuckoo?”

At the mention of the old nickname, Jungkook cracks, unable to find it in himself to stay mad, “I really do, hyung, and I’ve tried. I’ve really tried to see the qualities you’ve mentioned, but I can’t. Not in him. He’s good to me, hyung, he’s genuinely a good person. Jiminnie likes him too, and even eomma thinks he’s great. Won’t you give him another chance?”

He watches his elder brother smile a little, “I actually came to talk to you about that. I…I guess if you like him that much, then I’m willingly to try and start over with him. I still don’t like him very much, but if he’s the guy my baby brother is going to get engaged to, if he’s guy you like, then I’m willing to be open minded and give him another chance.”

Jungkook bursts into a wide smile, reaching forward to give him older brother a hug as he feels tears prick at his eyes, “Hyung, I love you.”

“Yeah, yeah, I love you, too,” Minchan replies, feeling his own eyes get a little wet. “I can’t believe you’re getting married, Kook. Who knew it’d be you before me?”

“You have to work on that personality of yours,” Jungkook says stepping back as he looks at his brother under a scrutinizing gaze, “or else how exactly do you plan on finding someone willing enough to actually put up with you.”

Minchan laughs, ruffling his hair, “Such a brat.”

“Since when is that new?” Jungkook wiggles his eyebrows, before a more sombre look takes place. “Why don’t you like him hyung? I really want you to like him.”

“I just…we didn’t get along,” Minchan takes a seat on the bed, running his hand across the bed covers as he stares down at them. “I’m sure if you ask him about me, he’ll say the exact same –”

“He didn’t,” Jungkook responds simply, catching his elder brother by surprise. “I asked him and he didn’t.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, hyung, I…I asked him about you, and he didn’t say anything like that.”

“Well, of course, you’re my brother,” Minchan reasons, “I mean it’s indecent behaviour if you start shit-talking someone else’s brother in front of them, especially if you’re going to marry said person.”

“That’s not what I’m saying though, hyung,” Jungkook sits down cross-legged on the bed, facing his brother’s side, “You know what he said to me, hyung? At first he was a little stiff about the topic, but then you know what he said? He said that you probably don’t have a very high opinion of him, because of the way he had been when you two had worked together on the project together.”

Minchan’s eyes narrow, and he mimics Jungkook’s position, “What else?”

“Hyung, he told me that it was his first big project that he was asked to lead on the company’s behalf by his grandfather. He said that they gave him that responsibility, trusted him to make sure everything went smoothly, and so he was under a lot of pressure and stress to make things right.”

“Pressure and stress aren’t excuses for someone to act like a dick, Kook.”

Jungkook nods, “I know, I know, hyung, but he admits that he acted like one, he admits to it. That was the reason why he was such a control freak, and acted the way he did. He said that the way he behaved with you wasn’t how he normally is, but when everything fell through, he felt even worse for having been so controlling for nothing.”

“He could’ve apologized, but he never did,” Minchan points out.

“He wanted to,” Jungkook smiles softly, “but he said he was embarrassed.”

His older brother snorts, rolling his eyes, “What a lovely excuse. Are you really falling for this?”

“But hyung, he said he wanted to rectify his mistake, and apologize to you for his behaviour. Isn’t that good hyung? Better late than never, right? At least he recognizes that he’s done something wrong, and he wants to make things better.”

“It’s because he likes you,” Minchan mutters quietly, watching the way his little brother’s face falls.

“Shouldn’t that be a good thing, hyung? The fact that he wants to make amends because he likes me enough?”

Minchan pauses, before he nods softly, ducking away from his younger brother’s gaze, “He genuinely said that? He wants to apologize?”

Jungkook nods furiously, knowing that despite the exterior, his older brother’s incredibly soft hearted, “He said if you’re up for it, he’d like to meet you and apologize. Start off fresh again?”

Minchan snorts, looking up at Jungkook, “Now he’s making me look like the bad guy in front of my own brother.”

Jungkook laughs, understanding the resignation in his brother’s attitude, and reaches forward to give him a hug, “Hyung, nobody can make you look bad in my eyes, okay? No one except you, yourself. Plus, now I know that you weren’t mistaken, and he really had acted like a jerk towards my older brother. Do you want me to get a bit of revenge on him for you?”

The laughter than envelops the two brothers makes Jungkook’s heart soar, especially when his older brother ruffles his hair, “Shall we do that?”

Jungkook grins widely, and Minchan nods in admittance, “I’ll meet him and hear him out. He’s going to be my brother in-law after all, I should give him a second chance.”

“Thank you,” Jungkook says with a grateful smile, and watches his brother nod in acknowledgment.

“Tell him to meet me for lunch tomorrow, then. I’ll go over to his office if he’d like,” Minchan says with an approving smile.

“Oh, he’s in Sydney right now, hyung. Something happened at work, he said, so he had to rush there. He’s coming back the day after tomorrow, so you guys can maybe do on lunch on the weekend? We have to go pick out rings then, anyway, so you can meet with him?”

The raised eyebrow makes the top of Jungkook’s ears red, but his brother doesn’t comment on it, “I want to meet him one-on-one, Kook, just so I can threaten him and all without you around.”

Jungkook laughs, giving his elder brother a thumbs up, “Sounds like a plan! You can go for lunch, and then I’ll meet with him after the two of you are done. Provided he still wants to get engaged.”

Minchan grins back at him, lips upturned approvingly, “Now, that’s the Jungkook I know!”

--

Jungkook stands by the cash register, leaning his weight on one hip, watching his co-worker blend together several different fruits into a smoothie for one of the few customers that still remain in the eatery. He smiles when his co-worker turns around to glance at him, and the man, a school friend of his, raises an eyebrow, “Do you have nothing better to do apart from watching me?”

“Nope!” Jungkook chirps back, laughing when the guy glares at him.

“Working with you is so uncomfortable.”

“You should be careful, Seungie,” Jungkook warns him with a smile. “I can fire you.”

“You can’t fire me, Kook, I run your business for you,” Seung smiles at Jungkook, flashing his dimples, before he hands the customer their drink, bidding them a good night.

“Such confidence,” Jungkook whistles, watching the man roll his eyes and snort.

“I’m going to the back to clean up any messes there might be. You good up here?”

Jungkook mock salutes him, turning around to face the front when the man disappears into the back. Pulling out his phone from the pocket of his jeans, he does a quick search of all flights landing at both the airports today. There’s only two of them coming from Sydney, Jungkook realizes, one of them having landed already. He sighs, glancing at the time, wondering if it’s Hoseok’s plane that had landed or not.

He glances up when a customer walks, a middle-aged woman, dressed in a business suit who asks for a large black coffee, before handing him exact change. He smiles as he punches in her order, wondering if she’s from one of the offices nestled inside the commercial buildings that surround his place.

“Pulling an all-nighter?” He asks her, as he hands her the receipt, and she cracks a small smile, red lips curling up and cold demeanour vanishing. A kind words sometimes goes a long way, he remembers one of his favourites professors having told him during a rather off topic discussion, and the memory brings a smile to his face.

“Yeah, something like that,” the woman sighs, rubbing at her temples, stray strands of hair coming untucked out of her tight up-do. “We’ve got a lot to finish.”

“Undoubtedly,” he responds with a smile, gesturing to the side. “Why don’t you go stand over the side counter? I’ll be right there with your coffee.”

He grabs a variety of cookies from the display shelves, several recently added flavours making the cut, making sure they’re all warm and soft. He places them carefully inside a box, readying the woman’s coffee and walking over to where she stands.

“Here you go, have a good night!” He says to grab her attention, and she turns to him with a smile, eyebrows furrowing when she notices the box.

“Oh, I didn’t order these,” she takes her coffee from his hand, pushing the box back.

“It’s alright,” he smiles picking up the box and offering it to her. “It’s on the house.”

“Oh, let me pay for it at least,” she insists with a shake of the head.

“We’re closing in an hour,” he explains, “and there’s only two of us working. These will go to waste, if I don’t give them to you. It’s all right. You guys will need the energy if you’re pulling an all-nighter.”

“Thank you, so much,” she smiles warmly, before grabbing her wallet and pulling out a few bills. She tucks them all into the donation jar he’s placed on the side counter, and smiles, “There, now I don’t feel guilty anymore.”

Jungkook laughs, patting the nearly full jar, “Thank you very much.”

“Where does it go?” She asks, putting her wallet in her handbag as she grabs the box and her drink.

“Well, we match the donations and they go to a local orphanage,” Jungkook smiles.

“That’s amazing. Thank you once again for the cookies, I’m sure they’ll be much appreciated,” she gives him a nod of the head, before turning around to exit the door, pushing it open with her shoulder.

Jungkook watches her go with a smile, before turning to head back to the front counter. He bends down to pick up a stray napkin, and misses the face of the person who walks into the store and stands at the front counter, waiting for him.

Depositing the napkin in the trash, he turns at the sound of the bell next to the cash register being rung, and proceeds to greet the customer, “Hi! Welcome to – Hoseok?”

Hoseok laughs at his incredulous expression, gazing right into his eyes, before looking him up and down appreciatively, whistling lowly. He leans forward on the counter, eyes glinting mischievously, a look that makes Jungkook break out into a smile, “Well, I guess I finally got to see you in an apron. Pity that there’s no flour, though.”

Jungkook grins back, pressing closer to the counter, voice lowering to almost a whisper, “I’m sure there’s some flour in the back. I can always go get some.”

Hoseok’s eyes shine at his remark, and he gives Jungkook an affectionate look, before leaning forward and pressing his palm against Jungkook’s cheek. The action startles the younger, and his eyes widen, even more when Hoseok’s face inches forward as well. He closes his eyes when Hoseok’s lips are centimeters away, but the elder changes his mind, tilting his head and pressing his lips to Jungkook’s cheek instead whispering a soft ‘I missed you’ in his ear shortly after.

He pulls away with a laugh, especially when Jungkook’s eyes shoot open, and he glances to see if anyone else is watching them. Hoseok’s index finger trace against his red cheekbones, whispering a quick ‘pretty’, before pulling them back, grinning when Jungkook glares at him, “1 to 0, angel.”

The younger’s glare softens when Hoseok lets out a hefty sigh and looks up at the menu, looking at all of his options, eyes running over the writing. There are dark circles around the elder’s eyes, he notices, and despite the smiling eyes, his face shows hints of exhaustion. He’s slouching a little, resting his weight on the counter, and Jungkook’s expression turns into a slight frown when Hoseok lets out a soft sound of pain when he straightens up.

“Did you sleep?” He can’t help but ask, when Hoseok’s eyes blink a little fast, and he turns to glance at the food left in the display.

“Not very well,” Hoseok admits quietly, speaking slowly. “I have trouble sleeping in unfamiliar beds.”

“Really?” Jungkook looks surprised at the admission, and watches the way the elder smiles softly and nods. “You seemed to sleep fine the night I called you.”

“Exhaustion, I suppose. Also, your voice is very soothing, did you know?” Hoseok’s grin brightens up slightly when Jungkook huffs at him, rolling his eyes.

“I think, I’ll take a cheese croissant, and a large coffee, two creams and two sugars please.”

“Coffee?” Jungkook frowns, “do you plan to stay awake all night?”

Hoseok smiles, shaking his head, pulling a few bills out, “I just need some caffeine in my system, angel. What’s the total?”

“It’s fine, you don’t have to pay,” Jungkook shakes his head. “You can just go stand over there.”

“I don’t want to rob you of your money, how much?” Hoseok glances up at the menu board.

“You’re not robbing me, trust me. Just let me cover this, okay, hyung?”

Hoseok stares at him for a few seconds, before sighing and putting away his wallet, “Alright, thank you.”

The grin Jungkook shoots him is bright, and he watches the younger pick out the biggest croissant left, taking it to heat it up, no doubt. He turns, examining the place, smiling as his gaze travels over the handful of customers hanging around the place, quiet conversations and whispers serving as background noise. He admires the place, and the cozy but a tad warm atmosphere. Loosening his tie, he settles for taking it off, rolling it and putting it in the pocket inside his coat. He sheds his suit jacket soon after, unbuttoning the first two buttons of his shirt and airing himself a little before rolling up his sleeves.

“Are you planning on doing some sort of a strip show here?” Jungkook asks from behind him, making Hoseok turns in surprise. “Because I’ll have to get you arrested for public indecency if that’s the case.”

Hoseok chuckles, “You’d enjoy the show though, as I’m sure multiple others would. I was just loosening up a little, it’s a little warm in here.”

“Do you want to go sit out in the outdoor area? We usually don’t let people use it an hour before closing time, but I can probably let you through, if you’d like?”

“Oh, do I get special privileges here now?” Hoseok waggles his eyebrows, laughing when Jungkook rolls his eyes, pushing forward a paper bag and a drink. He frowns looking at the orange smoothie, “I asked for coffee, Jungkook.”

“You won’t be able to sleep if I gave you a large coffee, hyung, and you already look like you’re on the brink of exhaustion. The smoothie’s got some sugar in it, too. It’ll wake you up without keeping you awake.”

Hoseok stares at him for a few seconds, before sighing and murmuring softly, “You’re right, thank you.”

Jungkook smiles widely at that, “If you do want to sit outside, just go through that door on your left. I’ll be there in a bit.”

Hoseok gives him a nod and a grateful smile, turning to glance at the outdoor patio, before grinning cheekily, “Oh, it’ll be like a private date.”

Jungkook rolls his eyes as watches him go, opening the door with a bit of a struggle, before settling in the spot Jungkook secretly considers his favourite. He smiles, jumping a little, when a hand touches his shoulder. He turns around swiftly, eyes wide, staring back at Seung who’s watching him with a smile, “Is that him? Your fiancé?”

Jungkook relaxes, smiling and nodding, “It is.”

The man smiles, gesturing towards Hoseok with his head, “Go ahead, sit with him. I’ll handle the counter and close for you, tonight.”

Jungkook grins at the man, “Thanks Seungie, you’re the best!”

“Like I haven’t heard that one before,” the man rolls his eyes at Jungkook, but there’s a smile present on his face.

Removing his apron, Jungkook’s about to head out, before he pauses, “Hey, should I take some cake over?”

“Didn’t he buy something?” Seung frowns, glancing over at Hoseok.

“He did, but I don’t think he’s eaten dinner. Should I take some cake? We don’t have any light lunch items left, do we?”

“I can always whip up a quick wrap or something if you’d like?” Seung offers. “Or if you wanna take a dessert item, take some Swiss roll, it’s light and not too heavy.”

Jungkook nods, “One or two?”

“Take one. If he looks hungry still, go for a late dinner or something. There’s a nice noodle shop a few blocks down. Do you want me to make you a drink, as well?”

“It’s fine,” Jungkook smiles, grabbing a second straw, two forks, and some napkins. “Sharing is caring, right?”

--

Jungkook settles himself across from Hoseok, placing the rather large slice of Swiss roll between them, and placing a fork beside the elder. Hoseok raises an eyebrow when Jungkook places the second straw in his mango-orange smoothie and takes a rather large sip.

“Well, that was quite forward of you,” Hoseok remarks when Jungkook raises an eyebrow after Hoseok stares at him a little too long.

Jungkook laughs, shrugging, taking a small bite out of his cake, “It’s just how I am.”

Hoseok smiles, pushing forward his bitten into cheese croissant, “If you try some of this, I’ll eat some of your pretty looking cake.”

Jungkook grins back, bringing the flaky, crescent shaped pastry to his lips and takes a small bite. He places it back over the napkin laid out on the table and tilts his head back to try to catch the bits that fall out of his mouth, “Your turn.”

Hoseok smiles, staring at him with an unidentified expression, before ducking his head down, letting out a soft, low chuckle making Jungkook stare at him in puzzlement. When the elder glances back up, the look is gone, and he’s reaching for the napkins on the table, reaching forward to dab at Jungkook’s mouth, “You’re such a messy eater.”

“I’m not,” Jungkook frowns, grabbing the napkin, their hands briefly touching. A shiver goes through him all of a sudden as a rather chilly breeze surrounds them, “Aren’t you cold, hyung?”

Hoseok glances up at him, shaking his head, “I’m not cold at all. Do you want my jacket?”

Jungkook denies the offering, “No, no, it’s fine. It’s not that bad. I’m okay.”

“Are you sure?” Hoseok frowns, glancing at him. “You can have it if you’d like.”

“It’s not that cold,” Jungkook smiles in what he hopes is a reassuring manner, but Hoseok’s eyes narrow anyway, before he reaches forward, grasping Jungkook’s hand.

“I have cold hands,” Jungkook reasons when Hoseok frowns, and he stares in confusion, when Hoseok doesn’t respond, simply electing to pull the sleeve of his button down up.

“You’re not cold?” Hoseok asks, raising an eyebrow and Jungkook nods in return.

“Jungkook, you’ve broken out into goosebumps,” Hoseok doesn’t let Jungkook refuse, shoving the coat into his hands. “Here, take my jacket. I don’t want you to catch a fever, okay?”

Jungkook sighs resigned, slipping it on, bringing his head down as subtly as he can to smell the scent of the elder’s cologne without Hoseok noticing, “Thank you.”

They eat in a comfortable silence for the next several minutes, Jungkook slowing down when he notices how slowly Hoseok’s chewing his food, as if every bite is hard to swallow. They make eye contact only when both of them reach for the drink at the same time, and Jungkook pulls his hand away, Hoseok mimicking his movement.

“Here, go ahead,” Hoseok pushes the drink in his direction, and Jungkook shakes his head, taking a small bite of Swiss roll.

Hoseok contemplates offering the drink again, before he shrugs, and brings it to his lips, taking a sip.

Jungkook makes a soft noise, “That was my straw.”

“Oh?” Hoseok glances at the two identical straws sitting in the cup. “Are you sure?”

“I think so?” Jungkook tilts his head curiously. “Was it not?”

Hoseok stares at the straws for a few seconds, and then Jungkook’s eyes widen when he shrugs defiantly and plucks one of them out, sucking at the end to catch any excess liquid before tossing it into a nearby trash can.

“Less of a problem now, don’t you think so, angel?” Hoseok’s grin is teasing, especially as he takes another sip from the sole straw in the drink cup, before offering it to him. “Here, do you want some?”

Jungkook finds his cheeks colouring, wondering if the red is visible in the moonlight, and reaches for the drink confidently, bring it to his lips, “You’re right – less of a hassle.”

He grins at Hoseok once he’s taken a rather large gulp, placing the drink back down to where it rested on the table previously.

“You look tired,” he comments after a while, placing his fork down, pulling his legs up and sitting cross legged on the wide bench.

“I feel like death,” Hoseok says in a rather tired voice. “I was fine when I entered the store, but the more I eat and drink, the more I feel like falling asleep.”

“Why did you come here, then, hyung?” Jungkook tilts his head, watching Hoseok’s eyes droop a little, before the elder shrugs, reaching for another sip of the smoothie. “Why didn’t you go home?”

“I don’t know,” Hoseok responds after several minutes, stretching his arms out, shirt riding up. “Just felt like seeing you.”

Jungkook snorts, watching the elder carefully, eyes running over his slightly disheveled hair, tired face and well-fitted clothes, “We talked two nights ago.”

“But I last saw you almost a week ago, you know,” Hoseok smiles at him softly. “Talking and texting isn’t the same as seeing somebody and conversing with then face-to-face.”

Jungkook giggles a little, “You sound old when you say things like that.”

Hoseok give him a soft smile when he laughs, but doesn’t say anything else in response.

“Are you going to drive home by yourself, after?” Jungkook initiates conversation, looking down briefly as he scratches at his knee.

Hoseok hums, “I drove here, so I have to drive back too. I wanted to drop by your place, actually. I bought your parents something. Do you want me to take you home?”

“Come tomorrow,” Jungkook tells him. “You look in really bad shape, hyung. Should I drive you to your place instead? I can call the driver to pick me up from there after.”

“I can’t go tomorrow,” Hoseok sighs, rubbing his temples. “There’s more issues with the contract, and I don’t even know if I can go with you to look for rings, either. I might have to ask my noona to do it for me.”

Jungkook’s face falls and he asks in soft voice, “Really?”

“I’m sorry,” Hoseok looks apologetic. “Remember how I said the issue got resolved?”

Jungkook hums, waiting for him to continue.

“Well, there was a slight disagreement over something else the next day, and at the end they pulled out of the partnership. I didn’t even get to enjoy the city.”

“Isn’t that a contract violation?”

“We hadn’t signed a contract just yet. That’s why I went to appease them so there were no further complications. They were going to come next week, and we were going to sign them, but they informed me that they would be pulling out just before I flew back. Such a waste of a trip. They just wanted to make me dance around their fingers to emphasize the power they hold over us, I swear.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Jungkook says a little unsurely, seeing the stress markings appear across Hoseok’s temple. “What’s going to happen now?”

“We’ll have to find someone else,” Hoseok sighs. “Don’t worry about it too much. The worst bit is that I promised my noona that I would handle the project in her stead. She’s…she’s expecting a child, and her last pregnancy wasn’t as smooth as it should’ve been. The doctor said it was due to the stress and her overworking herself, so I didn’t want it to happen again. But I’m just going to cause her more worries than she would have had if she’d taken this project on herself.”

Jungkook stays quiet, watching Hoseok beat himself up over the loss as he stabs at the remainder of the Swiss roll on the table. He reaches forward as an afterthought, gently pulling the fork out of Hoseok’s right hand, and locking his fingers with Hoseok’s own instead, “It’ll be okay, hyung. Don’t you think you should sleep on it instead of diving right into work to fix the problem? A clear mind will help you focus and find a solution easier, you know.”

Hoseok doesn’t glance up to meet his eyes, staring down at their joined hands for several minutes, but when he looks up, he looks a little more at ease, smile just a smidgen brighter, “Thank you.”

Jungkook nods in response, giving him a soft, shy smile, “Do you want to talk about it more? It helps to get things off your chest.”

Hoseok shakes his head, tightening his grip on Jungkook’s fingers when the younger tries to pull away, “No, but stay please.”

They remain like that, sitting on the outdoor bench, holding hands, and after a while Jungkook tilts his head up to look up at the night sky, trying to look for more stars. Hoseok watches him whilst he does that, Jungkook feeling the gaze of his eyes boring into him, but he doesn’t comment on it or meet the elder’s gaze, opting to act oblivious.

“We should go back inside,” Jungkook says after a while, when the chill starts to seep through his bones, squeezing Hoseok’s warm hand gently. He stands up when the elder’s hold on him loosen, and he carefully extracts his hand out of the hold, missing the warmth of the elder’s hand once their fingers are untangled. He grabs their drink taking one last gulp of it, and then offering the rest to Hoseok, “Finish it.”

Hoseok doesn’t grab the drink from his hand, simply leaning forward to wrap his lips around the straw and draining the remainder of the slush left making Jungkook smile. The elder stands up as well after, although a little unsteadily, holding on the edge of the table top, before slipping out of the narrow space between the bench and the table. When he glances up, Jungkook’s holding out a fork with the remainder of the Swiss roll, “This too.”

He laughs at the demand, fingers gently curling around Jungkook’s wrist to steady his hand, before eating up the last bit the younger holds out for him. “Anything else I need to finish?”

Jungkook smiles, shaking his head, before reaching forward to pat Hoseok’s hair teasingly, “That’s all. Good boy.”

A snort follows his statement, and he gathers their things, wiping the bench with a couple of napkins before gathering everything together and tossing it into the trash, except for the unused napkins. He slips Hoseok’s jacket off his shoulders, handing it back to him as they make their way inside, murmuring a soft ‘thank you.’

Hoseok accepts the jacket quietly, but slips his fingers into Jungkook’s once he does, holding onto the younger’s hand firmly. They walk back inside, and Jungkook glancing at the clock when he notices the lack of customers in the shop.

“Do you wanna head out, Jungkook? I’ll close for you tonight,” Seung smiles, coming out of the kitchen, bowing slightly towards Hoseok.

The elder offers a shake of the hand, “I’m Hoseok, nice to meet you.”

“I’m Seung, and it might be a little early, but congratulations!”

Hoseok laughs, murmuring a soft ‘thank you’ before turning to Jungkook, who smiles as well, “I’m going to head out then, Seungie, you don’t mind closing, right?”

The man waves a hand, “I’ve done it too many times, already, it’s alright. Go home, you must be tired having to cover double shifts.”

“It’s okay, I enjoy it,” Jungkook smiles regardless. “We’ll head out then, alright? Make sure to write down the closing count, Seungie.”

“Will do,” Seung mock salutes him, before ushering them both towards the door. “Go on, enjoy the rest of your night.”

--

“I’ll drive,” Jungkook holds out a hand, asking for Hoseok’s keys, smiling when the elder eyes him warily. “I just don’t want us to get into an accident.”

“Be careful,” Hoseok says, begrudgingly handing over the keys, before stroking the top of his car a little possessively. “My baby’s sensitive to strangers.”

Jungkook snorts, “Oh, you’re “one of those”.”

One of those?” Hoseok raises an eyebrow, waiting for him to unlock the car.

“Oh, this feels nice,” Jungkook says as he slips into the driver’s seat, glancing at Hoseok, buckling himself into the passenger seat. “I like it.”

“Remember how you were eyeing my car that one time we talked? When you thought I accused you of being a gold digger?” Hoseok looks at him teasingly. “Should I be worried?”

Jungkook laughs, holding up his index finger and thumb, both a cm apart, “Maybe a little.”

Hoseok lets out a soft laugh, settling comfortably, and saying, “Don’t drop me off home. Take me to yours. I want to give your parents their things. It’s not too late, right?”

Jungkook eyes the clock, “It isn’t that late, but are you sure? I think you should go home, and meet with them when you’re a little more alert and a lot less stressed.”

“It’s fine,” Hoseok waves a hand. “I’m okay. Let’s just go there, okay?”

Jungkook purses his lips, revving up the engine, “Are you absolutely sure?”

“Positive,” Hoseok responds, leaning his head against the window. “If I fall asleep, wake me up, alright?”


Where I am currently accepting bribes to update ('cause sleepover next chapter): Tumblr | Twitter

Chapter Text

Needless to say, Hoseok doesn’t quite fall asleep in the car, only shifting around uncomfortably as much as his seatbelt allows him to. Jungkook glances at the elder out of the corner of his eye for a second when Hoseok lets out a soft sigh, rolling his shoulders before tilting his body to the side, head resting against the glass windows.

“Do you want me to turn on some music?” Jungkook asks after a while, making sure to keep his gaze on the road when the elder keeps on moving around and distracting him. Hoseok grunts, and the younger frowns, not bothering to fiddle with the dials. They ride in relative silence, Jungkook choosing to remain quiet to give the elder some space. He glances at him out of the corner of his eye a few times, hesitant and wondering, before letting out a deep breath and slipping his fingers into Hoseok’s.

The elder turns to look at him at the action, a small smile dancing across heart shaped lips, and he makes a noise at the back of the throat when Jungkook tries to pull away, thinking he’s disrupting Hoseok. The younger looks at him for a brief second, a question in his eyes, and when Hoseok nods, he doesn’t try to pull away anymore.

“Are you okay?” Jungkook questions when he notices the look of discomfort on the elder’s face, coming to a slow stop at a red light, feeling Hoseok squeeze his hand gently in reassurance.

Pulling his jacket closer around him, Hoseok nods, “I’m okay, just a little cold.”

They quietly hold hands the entire way back, Jungkook driving and Hoseok twitching relentlessly in his seat. It causes a frown to make its way across Jungkook’s lips particularly when the elder doesn’t engage him in conversation like he normally does or makes a move to say anything. His mind reasons with him, reminding him that the elder might be tired from his trip, chalking the silence up to exhaustion, but it doesn’t make the journey home any less unsettling.

Jungkook pulls the car into the driveway shortly after, having found the highway rather empty, and he stays in his seat, biting his lips as he glances at Hoseok who seems to have finally fallen asleep. Not wanting to disturb the man, but also knowing there’s no way he can remain in the car the whole night, he unbuckles his seatbelt, before gently shaking the elder’s shoulder, “We’re here, hyung.”

Hoseok jumps at his voice, turning to glance at him with glazed over eyes, and Jungkook opens his mouth to say something when Hoseok looks away from him, glancing around. The younger gives him a few seconds to gather himself, before Hoseok realizes where he is, and nods, moving to unbuckle his seatbelt. Jungkook steps out of the car a few seconds before Hoseok, watching the elder do it in sluggish movements. He rests his chin against the top of the car, watching Hoseok stretch around, yawning but looking a little more awake. The younger turns his head when the other man opens the backseat door, and pull out three identical bags. Noticing how Hoseok shudders before closing the door, Jungkook frowns, “Are you still cold?”

“Yeah, it feels chilly, now,” Hoseok says in a slightly hoarse voice before clearing his throat to get rid of the gruffness. “I think the car was a little cold.”

“It felt fine to me,” Jungkook’s lips downturn, but he locks the car once Hoseok’s done, and follows the elder to the front door of his home, remembering suddenly the last time Hoseok had been over to drop him off after their first meeting. He thinks of that night’s events, running them through his head, and smiles when he wonders how that Jungkook would have reacted if someone had told him he’s actually come to like Hoseok in less than two weeks. Despite being in his thoughts Jungkook’s reflexes are still lightening fast, and when Hoseok stumbles a little on the cobblestone walk to the front door, Jungkook’s quick to grab onto the elder’s elbow, not able to smile when Hoseok laughs at himself.

“Have I always been this clumsy?”

Jungkook doesn’t answer him, walking forward slowly, hand still resting on the elder’s elbow until Hoseok shrugs him off gently. Once they ascend up the front steps, the younger moves forward to unlock the front door, before stepping aside to let Hoseok enter. They both slip off their shoes and put on slippers quietly, until Hoseok turns to look at Jungkook expectantly, waiting for him to lead the way. Jungkook tries to pry the bags out of his hand, but at Hoseok’s refusal, he sighs and takes the elder over to sit in the drawing room, “I’ll be right back. Do you want something to eat or drink?”

Hoseok answers him with a shake of a head, letting out a soft sigh of relief as he sinks into a rather soft sofa, pulling the cushion from behind him to his lap. He waves Jungkook off, “I’m okay, thanks. Although maybe a glass of water? My throat feels a little parched.”

Jungkook returns with not only water, but also his parents and elder brother, giving Hoseok the glass, which the elder stands to place on the table, before bowing to greet Jungkook’s parents.

“I hope I’m not interrupting anything or coming too late,” Hoseok smiles, offering Jungkook’s father a hand to shake, before stepping forward to kiss his mother on the cheek. He offers Minchan a hand as well, and Jungkook smiles when his brother albeit a little reluctantly takes it.

“It’s completely alright, sit down, sit down,” Jungkook’s father urges him with a smile. “You should come visit us occasionally you know, especially around this time, because we’re all idle.”

“Ah,” Hoseok says softly, nodding his head, blinking a little fast, “I will, I will for sure.”

“Hoseok?” Jungkook hears his mother say a little worriedly when the elder looks a little dazed, shaking his head. “Are you okay?”

Hoseok stares at her confused, before he nods, “Yes, yes, of course, I’m completely alright.”

“Are you sure? You don’t look so good,” Jungkook watches his mother, step forward, placing a hand against Hoseok’s cheek. “Hoseok, you’re quite warm.”

“Oh, I’m sure it’s nothing,” Hoseok waves her off. “I feel fine, really.”

“Let me go get the thermometer,” she insists. “I think you’re sick.”

“I can’t be,” Hoseok shakes his head, before he sighs, running a hand across his face, looking after her as she leaves the room. Jungkook steps forward, hesitant, before he places a hand against Hoseok’s forehead, lips curving up when Hoseok leans into the touch.

“You’re burning up,” he says softly, watching a distressed look cross over Hoseok’s face. “You felt fine earlier, though.”

“I don’t have time to be sick,” the elder mutters mostly to himself, turning to glance at Jungkook’s father when he laughs at his statement.

“I felt that way when I was younger, too, but don’t worry too much, son, it all works out at the end. Travelling makes you a little vulnerable anyway. I’m sure it’s just a small virus, nothing that medicine, a couple of days of rest, and some sleep won’t fix.”

Hoseok smiles ruefully at Jungkook’s father, and Jungkook frowns at how artificial it looks, “Of course, sir. I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Don’t worry too much about work, okay?” Jungkook’s father reiterates. “It’s all a constant cycle of ups and downs, you know.”

Jungkook’s mother returns right at that moment, holding a thermometer, and Hoseok laughs a little, eyes crinkling around the corner when she pushes at his shoulder to seat him down, before asking him to open his mouth.

“I’m 28, eomeonim, I think I can do this myself,” Hoseok insists, taking the digital device from her hand, and placing it in his mouth. They all wait around him for a minute, standing in a rather closed off semi circle around his seat, until the thermometer beeps, and Jungkook’s mother pulls it out of his mouth before Hoseok can even reach up for it.

“Oh, you’ve definitely got a fever,” she remarks, glancing up at him. “39.5 degrees.”

Hoseok blinks a few times, and then says mostly to delude himself, “That’s not so bad, right? Just a couple of degrees above normal.”

Minchan snorts, finally speaking up, “That’s a high fever, actually. Not something you can dance around in.”

“That’s good, then, that I don’t intend to dance around,” Hoseok says with a teasing grin, and Jungkook’s heart swells when his brother smiles at the response.

Minchan glances at him right at that moment, giving his younger brother a small smile too, before turning back to Hoseok, “Who wants to see you dance around, anyway?”

“Oh, plenty of people,” Hoseok remarks with a grin. “I’m sure you’d be delighted as well, hyungnim.”

“That’s enough, boys,” Jungkook’s mother chides them with a small smile, before turning to Hoseok with a more serious face. “Why don’t you stay here tonight? I don’t think you’re in a condition where you can drive home right now. Instead of worrying us and putting additional stress on your already sick body, why don’t you sleep in our guest room, hmm?”

“Oh no,” Hoseok stands up, with a shake of the head, “I couldn’t possibly. I’m actually not feeling so ill, and I think I can drive home safe.”

Jungkook makes a soft noise of disapproval at that, one that doesn’t go unnoticed by anyone.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Hoseok,” Jungkook watches his mother shake her head, relief filling him when she insists. “Call up your parents and tell them you’re staying over at our place. We’re family now anyway, aren’t we? You live halfway across town, and I don’t think you should be driving home with such a high fever.”

“Oh, I don’t live with my parents,” Hoseok says softly. “I have a place closer to the office with a hyung of mine, and it’s not as far as my parent’s residence. I’ll be alright, really.”

“Still,” Jungkook’s father speaks up this time, standing up straighter, and Jungkook knows that there’s no way Hoseok will be able to say no to that. “You should just stay the night, son. We have a few empty rooms, so it’s really not a problem. Why don’t you call up your housemate, and let him know instead? I’m sure Minchan or Jungkook can lend you a change of clothes, and if you’re hungry, we have plenty to eat as well. It’s really not an inconvenience for us.”

Hoseok bites his lip, glancing at Jungkook, who stares right back and gives Hoseok a small nod to convey his feeling about the matter. The elder sighs when the younger does, “Alright. Please excuse me while I go call up my hyung, then.”

They usher him off, Jungkook pausing before following after him silently, not missing the way his brother raises an eyebrow at him as he exits close on Hoseok’s heels.

Hoseok heads out of the drawing room, turning around when he senses someone following him. He smiles when he notices it’s Jungkook and asks, “What are you doing?”

“Just making sure you don’t collapse or anything,” Jungkook says innocently. “Do you need to get something from the car by the way? Toothbrush or something?”

“That’s a good idea,” Hoseok remarks, gesturing towards the door. “Lead the way.”

 Jungkook strides forward, turning to see Hoseok having pulled out his phone, in the middle of dialing Seokjin’s number, no doubt. He opens the front door and waits, letting the elder exit first before following after. They descend down the steps they had just ascended minutes ago, and Jungkook lets loose a small smile at the cool night weather, a small breeze fluttering his hair as they walk over to Hoseok’s car.

“Hi hyung,” Hoseok smiles briefly, gesturing for Jungkook to open the trunk of the car as his calls gets picked. “Yeah, I landed fine and everything’s okay. But, uh, listen? So, I’m over at Jungkook’s place right now, and I might have a slight fever?”

“It’s not slight,” Jungkook chimes in, stepping close to Hoseok to make sure his voice carries through to Seokjin. “It’s a lot more than slight.”

Hoseok playfully glares at him, reaching into a small bag laying in the side of the trunk for a set of keys and using them to unlock his suitcase, “No, hyung, I’m fine. It’s not so bad, but they’re kind of keeping me hostage now. And so I don’t think I’ll be coming home tonight. Yeah, no, hyung, I’m serious it’s not bad. But they’re insisting that I stay, and to be very honest, I’m a little tired, too.”

Jungkook stands there, eyes trained on Hoseok, watching the elder hum and occasionally nod as he unzips his suitcase, “Yeah, it’s the safer option, so I’m staying the night, okay? Don’t wait up for me. Have you eaten already?”

Jungkook listens to the conversation intently, turning to lean against the back of the car. He stares off at the house across from his, seeing the light flicker on in the room on the left. Enjoying the night weather as Hoseok digs around for his stuff, he wonders why he suddenly feels such a rush of happiness at the prospect of the elder staying over. He tilts his head towards the other man, glancing briefly and smiling when Hoseok laughs at something Seokjin says, “Sorry, hyung, you should go eat now, okay? Yeah, goodnight, I’m going to hang up now. What? Jungkook? Oh, okay.”

He looks at the elder a little surprised when he offers him his phone, but Hoseok only shrugs when he sends him a questioning glance. Jungkook takes the phone in his hand gingerly, his mind running through a million possibilities of what Seokjin might want to say to him. They all fall away as soon as he presses the cellular device to his ear, and he doesn’t quite know what to do except greet the elder on the other end of the line.

“Hi hyung,” Jungkook says quietly, delivery unsure. “How are you?’

Jungkook forces himself to think of their meeting earlier in the week to reassure himself, remembering the familiar man who he had an enjoyable dinner with. By the time Seokjin responds, voice sounding amused at his odd tone, he’s feeling significantly less nervous, “I’m good, Jungkook, I’m good. How about you?”

“Perfectly alright,” Jungkook chirps back, watching Hoseok pick out a cotton shirt and sweatpants along with a bag he assumes contains his travel kit, “what’s up?”

“How bad is it? Does he look really sick?”

Jungkook lets out a small chuckle at the worried tone, the concern in the other’s voice putting him even more at ease, “Yeah, a little, but don’t worry too much. We’ll take care of him.”

Seokjin’s laugh is light at his response, “Alright then, I’m going to hold you onto that, Jungkook. If you two haven’t had dinner and he refuses to eat anything, make him chicken soup. He’ll drift to the kitchen on his own two feet without you having to call for him.”

Jungkook can’t help but let out a loud chuckle at the image Seokjin’s paints for him, and it’s clear to him that his grin is wider than normal when Hoseok turns to give him a quizzical glance, “Noted, hyung. Anything else?”

“Hmm, Seokie sometimes behaves a little erratically when he has a fever, so just be mindful of that. He’s normally talkative, no doubt about it, but fevers make him somehow even chattier. It’s not anything too weird, but every now and then he’ll say some thing that won’t really make any sense. Don’t ask him what he means if he does, just nod and say okay. I say this not for him, Jungkook, but for your own sanity.”

Jungkook doesn’t know whether to smile or nod his head seriously at the information he’s being entrusted with. He settles for the safer and former option, though, when Hoseok nudges him a little at his silence, and replies calmly, “Okay hyung, I will.”

“Thanks Jungkook! I’ll leave him to you, then? Have a good night, alright. Sleep well. Not that I expect it to, but if his condition gets worse, call me, okay?”

“I will, hyung, don’t worry,” Jungkook reassures the elder as much as he can, smiling when Seokjin finally bids him goodbye and hangs up.

“What’d he say?” Hoseok questions him after a while when Jungkook remains quiet, staring down at Hoseok’s phone. The elder’s voice seems to snap him out of whatever thoughts he was having however, and Jungkook quietly hands Hoseok his phone back after he finishes zipping up his suitcase.

“Just that I should take care of you,” Jungkook smiles, watching Hoseok shiver as he grabs a small duffle bag which he hopes holds clean clothes, and shrugs when the elder eyes him warily, closing the trunk.

“Right, and did he repeat that on loop for the entire five minutes you two were talking?”

“Yup!” Jungkook’s grin is cheeky as he nods. He reaches for Hoseok’s wrist before the elder can ask him anything else, and drags him back to the house, turning around to give Hoseok another smile when they’re almost by the front steps, a softer one this time. “Now, let’s go in, before you get even more sick.”

“Have you eaten?” Jungkook asks Hoseok as they re-enter the house, walking almost hand in hand to the drawing room. He turns when he senses a gaze on his face and wiggles his eyebrows when Hoseok continues to stare at him amusedly.

“Were you not the one who paid for my croissant and smoothie?” Hoseok asks, pausing at the entrance of the drawing room when the younger comes to a halt right outside the doors as well.

Jungkook frowns at his statement, “Don’t tell me that was your dinner.”

“Okay,” Hoseok grins up at him, “it was my dinner and lunch.”

“You didn’t eat on the plane?”

“I wanted sleep not food, then.”

Jungkook grimaces, shaking his head, before he shoves Hoseok towards the doors to the drawing, “Go inside, hyung, I’ll be right back.”

“Hey, where’re you going?” Hoseok calls out after his disappearing form, smiling when the younger waves a dismissive hand at him, not even bothering to turn around. He scoffs when Jungkook disappears from his view, and takes a deep breath before crossing the threshold of the room that holds the younger man’s father and brother only.

--

Jungkook enters the kitchen with a surprising amount of vigor that more than subsides when he sees his mother inside, speaking quietly to the cook, who’s cutting up a few fruits. His mother glances at him from the corner of the room upon his entrance, and he looks between the two of them before finally addressing the cook, “Can you make some chicken soup?”

The cook looks between him and his mother, a little unsure of whose instructions to follow. Jungkook’s mother makes the poor woman’s job easier when she turns to Jungkook, arms crossed, not defensively but in a rather lax manner, “Chicken soup at this time of the day, Jungkook?”

Her son doesn’t meet her gaze, eyes dropping as he clutches his hands behind his back. When he looks up, he finds her looking at him with a softness in her gaze that wasn’t there moments ago. Despite that, his reply is meek, “It’s not for me, eomma.”

“Hoseok?”

Jungkook nods, looking up to meet his eyes, “Seokjin hyung – the person he lives with? They’re both really close friends, and he told me that Hoseok hyung likes chicken soup. He hasn’t really eaten lunch, and had a croissant for dinner, so I thought maybe…”

His mother watches him for an entire minute, her gaze unnerving him enough to make him twitch in his spot, before she gestures towards the fruits on the table, “I think for tonight, these should be sufficient, Jungkook. Chicken soup from scratch takes nearly two hours to make, and I think it’s best if we give him medicine and let him sleep the fever off, alright?”

“Oh, okay.”

Jungkook stands there awkwardly after murmuring his response, glancing at the cook out of the corner of his eye to see her giving him a slightly pitiful look. His frown deepens at the reaction, but he nods his head at his mother, not meeting her gaze before he turns around on his heel and leaves.

 She calls out after him softly once he’s almost at the door, “I’ll make sure it’s ready for him tomorrow morning for breakfast, alright?”

“But he might not be sick then,” Jungkook can’t help but mutter, turning to glance at his mother. It shocks him and his mother both slightly, to see his sudden confidence, and when she smiles at him it ticks him off. “He might want to have proper food, then.”

“Jungkook,” his mother says again, and this time it’s not only her expression that’s compassionate but also her voice. “I can ask the cook to make him soup, but it’ll take two hours. It’s already nearly ten p.m., do you want him to stay up almost until midnight just so he can have soup?”

She smiles when Jungkook bites his lip, contemplating, before shaking his head, finally glancing up at her.

“You know I’m not stopping them from making soup just so Hoseok doesn’t get to eat, right?”

“…yeah.”

“Good, keep that in mind, Jungkook. I know you might think otherwise, but he shouldn’t be eating this late anyway. The fruits will do him good, too, alright?”

Jungkook nods his head reluctantly, looking up to meet his mother’s eyes once again, “Okay. Thank you.”

“Go back inside, then. Your father’s probably telling Hoseok one boring story after another, and he’s probably wondering where you went. I’ll be there in a bit, alright?”

“I’ll wait for you, eomma,” Jungkook says, walking back inside and taking a seat on the counter. It surprises his mother, his statement, if the way her eyes widens slightly at his action is anything to go by. She smiles, though, a few seconds later, pleased, and when she brings up a hesitant and slightly shaky hand to run through his hair, Jungkook lets her without ducking away from the touch.

--

They find Hoseok in the middle of a laugh once they head back to the drawing room, a servant behind them wheeling over a small bar cart that holds plates, utensils, and the fruits the cook had laboured over for the last twenty minutes. As the servant places the plates on the table in front of them, Jungkook turns to raise an eyebrow at his elder brother who’s directly in view. Minchan rolls his eyes at him good-naturedly, gesturing towards their dad with his shoulders. Jungkook nods in response, lips moving to mouth ‘ah’ at his brother, understanding dawning, when he hears his dad reiterate one of the set of stories he tells everyone when he meets them for the first time.

Jungkook watches his mother take a seat next to his father as the servant places the variety of cut up fruits on the table in front of them, and Jungkook follows her, taking his seat beside Hoseok on the love seat the elder currently occupies.

Jungkook’s mother gestures for Hoseok to take some of the sweet offerings that lay in front and the elder gives her a small smile, “I’ll take some in a bit.”

He lets out a small laugh when she narrows her eyes at him, and reassures her he will when she looks to insist. Hoseok gives her a winning smile, white teeth on display when she nods at him, letting out a resigned sigh.

“Oh!” Hoseok exclaims, suddenly sitting up straighter in his seat. “I completely forgot the reason I came here!”

Despite the smile on his face as he looks at Jungkook’s family, the younger boy can’t help but notice the exhaustion that lines Hoseok’s face, and the way his voice sounds more tired than earlier, fatigue’s apparent in both the elder’s face and body language. Hoseok reaches down to grab the bags that rest by his feet, before standing up, and offering them to their respective intended individuals, “Fall’s almost here, isn’t it? These jackets caught my eye when I was doing some window shopping in Sydney, and I thought they’d make a nice gift.”

He smiles at Jungkook’s parents, giving his brother a small smile as well, as they take the gift bags from his hand, continuing as he sits back down beside Jungkook, “It’s not much, but I hope you like them.”

Minchan can’t help but snort, peeking inside his bag curiously, “Was there a buy two, get one free sale on these?”

“Minchan!” His mother’s voice is chiding, her eyes narrowed into a harsh glare as she stares down her eldest son. She presses her lips together when the boy in question gives her a grin and a dismissive hand wave, and turning to Hoseok, she apologizes quickly, “I’m sorry for his behaviour, Hoseok, these are lovely!”

“I was just kidding, mother,” Minchan says with a small laugh turning to look at Hoseok who looks back at him with a slightly awkward expression, unsure of whether he should laugh or remain quiet. “You knew that didn’t you, Hoseok?”

Jungkook glares at his older brother, too, when he turns to spare him a glance, frowning after to show his disapproval at his brother’s action. His brows furrow further, however, when Minchan does nothing but carelessly shrug at him, looking back into his bag.

“Ah, it’s alright,” Hoseok rubs the back of his neck, looking down at the table in front of him as he lets out an awkward laugh. “It must seem like that, right? There wasn’t, though, in case you’re interested.”

“They’re great,” Jungkook’s father says with a smile to relieve the younger man a bit, before giving his oldest son a stern, sideways glance. “Thank you for the gift, Hoseok. I’ll be using it this autumn I’m sure. It works out quite well, actually, because I had been telling Hyunseo this entire week of needing to go buy myself a new fall jacket. But now the jacket’s walked itself to me, so thank you.”

“Thank you, sir,” Hoseok’s smile is genuine, and he turns to glance at Jungkook whose lips are downturned when he feels a gaze at the side of his head. He lifts his eyebrows up in question to ask the younger why he’s frowning, but Jungkook shakes his head, gesturing to the tray of assorted foods on the table.

Jungkook’s lips quirk up a little when Hoseok nods, and finally grabs himself a plate, adding a little bit of everything on it. He glances away from the elder and towards his brother when Minchan moves forward to take some as well, mimicking Hoseok’s actions. His older brother sends him a wide smile in return for his glower, shrugging his shoulders to show how unaffected he is, before moving to sit back in his seat.

“You didn’t buy a jacket for my little brother?” Minchan asks as he takes a small bite of the melon, turning to glance at his mother when she catches his eye in his periphery. She’s holding the jacket up to her face, eyeing it carefully before bringing it down, fingers running across the material of the coat.

Hoseok smiles softly, glancing at Jungkook, a look that Minchan doesn’t quite miss as he turns away from his parents, “I got him something else actually.”

The statement makes Jungkook’s eyebrows rise up, but there’s a smile playing on his lips, Minchan notices, as he silently asks Hoseok what it is. He’s never been a good mouth reader, but he understands perfectly well when Hoseok mouths ‘later’ to Jungkook, his younger brother giving the man a small nod. Minchan can’t help but snort a little at their interaction, observing the way Hoseok quietly nudges his nearly-full plate towards Jungkook next, gesturing towards the watermelons and asking for Jungkook to try some.

He scoffs to himself, wondering if they’re already on the basis on using the same utensil, when Jungkook holds out a waiting hand for Hoseok’s fork and the other man passes it over to his younger brother without a question. Out of the corner of his eye, Minchan can feel his mother watching the exchange as well, and she turns to look at him almost the same time as he does, their father obliviously folding up his jacket in between the two of them.

Minchan raises an eyebrow questioningly at his mother, as if asking her why she’s looking at him, and she gives him a knowing smile, and a look that says ‘as if you don’t already know’. He nods his head at her in acknowledgement, smiling before turning to glance back at Hoseok and Jungkook as they silently eat from the same platter.

“Thank you, Hoseok,” his mother speaks up last, folding up her jacket with a small smile, and Minchan wonders if there’s a double meaning buried somewhere in between her words. He’s learned to never take her words at face value, but he wonders if he’s imagining the innuendo when she continues, “This is such a lovely colour, and I can’t wait to show off to my friends what my son-in-law got me!”

Hoseok can’t help the way he almost giggles at her words, shoulders hunching inwards as his body shakes and he ducks his head briefly to cover his mouth.  lifting it back up and nodding at Jungkook’s mother, “Thank you, eomeonim, the pleasure’s all mine.”

Minchan rolls his eyes at the display, but finds himself thanking the younger as well, “It’s nice – the jacket. I’m not sure about the colour, but it’s quite nice.”

“I suppose that’s better than anything I expected,” Hoseok says with a shrug, finally taking a sip of the water Jungkook had brought him. His statement makes Minchan lean forward looking interested all of sudden, eyebrows raised inquisitively.

“And what exactly did you expect, brother-in-law?”

Hoseok lets out a small laugh at the title, meeting Minchan’s eyes, and answering confidently, “Nothing that I didn’t deserve.”

Jungkook lets out a small cough, trying to break up the tension that suddenly settles in the room, and it seems to work if the way both his brother and Hoseok glance at him and shift in their seats is anything to go by.

“Hoseok, why don’t you have some more?” Jungkook’s glad for his father interrupting and gesturing towards the table in front of them. “You’ve hardly had anything.”

“No, no,” Hoseok’s eyes are wide, “I’ve tried everything. I’m quite full actually.”

“Are you sure you don’t want anymore?” Jungkook’s mother insists. “Don’t hold back or think of yourself as a guest here. You’re family now, alright?”

Hoseok covers his mouth and laugh up with a hand, “I’m not sure why, but hearing that makes me oddly happy.”

Jungkook smiles when the statement makes his parents laugh and exchange a look with each other. He glances at his brother who’s shaking his head in disbelief, as if he’s having a hard time believing Hoseok’s words, but Jungkook can still see the hints of a smile on Minchan’s face.

It makes him grin, too, that despite the prior reservation his older brother has towards Hoseok, he’s not quite as opposed to the idea of them getting married anymore.

They chat amongst themselves for a good half an hour, Hoseok and Jungkook’s parents carrying out most of the conversation with Minchan and Jungkook bringing up the ends through occasional participation. Their plates and the food laid out in front of them is taken away during that time, replaced with cups of tea for all of them.

“Ah, I hope this doesn’t keep me up at night,” Hoseok says with a small chuckle as he reaches forward for his cup and saucer, holding it gingerly.

“Don’t worry,” Jungkook’s mother assures him quietly. “Yours is herbal – it’ll help with your fever and to sleep.”

“Oh, thank you,” Hoseok says gratefully, taking a small sip, careful not to make too much noise.

“Jungkook give him some medicine and take him to the guest room once you’re both done, alright?” His father advices him, settling back into the sofa. “It’s almost 10:30 at night, and sleep is the best remedy.”

Nodding his head in acknowledgement, Jungkook’s quick to down the tea instead of taking his time to savour it. The liquid isn’t hot enough to burn his tongue, but he feels his throat become warm as the fluid descends down his esophagus. He’s surprised, though, that despite his speed, Hoseok finishes his cup before him, and patiently awaits the younger to catch up.

They’re exchange an awkward glance when Jungkook places his cup and saucer back on the table, wondering how to bring up the topic of heading to bed to Jungkook’s parents but they’re saved when Jungkook’s father notices it first. He urges them to go ahead of the rest of them, and they both bid a quick goodnight before ducking out of the room.

Jungkook leads Hoseok out of the room, and towards the medicine cabinet, pulling out a pill and heading to the kitchen. He watches the elder’s gaze flit through the room as he pours a glass of water, the maid currently in the kitchen nervously bustling around them, asking them if they need anything else.

“Are both the guest bedrooms clean?” Jungkook asks her once he hands Hoseok a small glass of water which the elder slowly gulps down.

The woman’s eyes widen, and Jungkook wonders if she’s new when she shakes her head, “We striped them bare today, would you like me to go prepare the bed right now?”

“Just give us the stuff,” Jungkook waves a dismissive hand, “it’s fine.”

“Oh, it’ll be alright,” she insists and Hoseok watches amused as the younger boy gestures for her to get the bedding. “I’ll go make both of them right now.”

Jungkook follows after her, and Hoseok takes it as his signal to start walking as well. The younger boy pauses him by the staircase, telling him to wait there, before he disappears behind the staircase and follows after the woman who’d been nervously wringing her hands the entire day.

--

Jungkook returns with a multitude of things, a few minutes later, all of them piled neatly on top of the underside of his arms, making a tower long enough that Hoseok can’t quite see his face behind it.

“Need any help?” Hoseok asks teasingly, placing a hand on the younger’s arm when he almost walks by him.

Jungkook peeks from behind the pillows, giving Hoseok a bit of a grateful smile, and nods his head, “Can you grab the pillows? I didn’t think there’d be this much stuff.”

The elder nods at his response, grabbing the three pillows on top, and smiles at Jungkook when he can finally see the younger’s face again. He pauses for a few moments, before placing the pillows back in Jungkook’s arms and slings his duffel bag around his body to free his hands. Tucking the two sleeping pillows under his left arm, he holds the third one in his left hand, and turns to smile at Jungkook, “Upstairs?”

Jungkook nods at him, moving the bedsheets and quilt in a manner so they rest tightly against his chest, held there by his right arm. He dashes up the first few steps, before noticing Hoseok lingering back, standing there watching him go, and turns back with a small sigh. When he reaches the last step, he leans down to slip his left hand in Hoseok’s right, tugging the elder forward with him, “Come on, what are you waiting for?”

“Not sure,” Hoseok’s reply comes from behind him, voice quiet, but when Jungkook turns to give him a puzzling look, the elder shakes his head at him.

Jungkook shrugs, walking up the remaining steps, letting go of Hoseok’s hand once they reach the final step, and turns left, beckoning the elder towards him when Hoseok takes his time to follow. He pauses where he is, letting the other man catch up, before asking, “We have two guest rooms, which one do you want?”

Hoseok smiles, tangling their fingers again, the action making Jungkook smile inwardly, before the elder winks at him and replies, “Whichever one’s closest to you.”

Shaking his head, Jungkook leads him away, turning to glance at the elder who’s a step behind him with a mischievous smile, “Just for that, I’m going to take you to the one farther away from me.”

“Aw, don’t you want me close by, angel?” the cute tone of voice Hoseok adopts makes the younger cringe. “I’m sick, you know. What if I need you at night?”

“What would you need me for?” Jungkook asks, pulling his hand away from the elder’s hold to turn the doorknob and push open the room door. “Plus, it’s just a fever – I’m sure it’ll go down.”

Hoseok shakes his head disappointedly, but there’s humour in his eyes as he does, turning to Jungkook and huffing, “You don’t even care about me the slightest bit, do you?”

“Nope!” Jungkook chirps, depositing the sheets in hand onto the bed right in the middle of the room, before turning to gently tug the pillows out from under Hoseok’s arms and his hand as the elder turns around to look at the room.

It’s fully furnished, Hoseok notices first, with the exception of the unmade bed, painted in a calming blue and complementary white. The bed sits right in the center of the room, the air conditioner placed right above it, and they’re both the first things that come in sight when he enters the room. Upon closer inspection, though, Hoseok notices a closet at the side of the room, a few feet to the left of the bed, along with a small seating area on his left. There’s a dresser on his right, too, but his attention is diverted back to Jungkook when the younger speaks and turns on the air conditioning.

“It’s a little warm in here, right?” Jungkook turns to ask him and Hoseok smiles at him, amused.

“I feel kind of cold, actually. Fever, remember?” Hoseok tells him, laughing when the younger rushes to turn off the air conditioner at his statement. Jungkook scowls at him when he starts to laugh, but Hoseok simply gives him another smile, “You can turn it on fan mode in case I feel warm once the fever goes down.”

Looking around the room, he gives Jungkook a hesitant look, “Where can I change?”

“Oh, let me take you to the bathroom,” Jungkook turns towards the door, before asking. “Do you need a change of clothes too, hyung?”

“No, it’s fine,” Hoseok says with a shake of a head, depositing his duffle bag atop the settee and unzipping it. “I have some clothes from the travel.”

“Are they clean? I can always get you a fresh set if you’d like,” Jungkook asks from behind him, hovering quietly by the door. “It’s really not a hassle.”

Hoseok bites the inside of his cheek, turning to give Jungkook a contemplative look at he runs a hand through his hair, “Actually, that’ll be good, I’m going to hop into the shower really quick, too?”

“Sure,” Jungkook beams, “I’ll get you a new toothbrush, unless you have yours?”

“I’ve got mine,” Hoseok smiles, holding up the item in question. Jungkook nods at him, standing there staring back until Hoseok raises a teasing eyebrow, “So, the clothes, angel?”

“Right!” Jungkook snaps his fingers, grinning a little as blood rushes to his cheeks. He opens the door, turning back to say, “I’ll be back in just a bit.”

Hoseok nods before following after him, and once by the door, peeks out the room, his upper body crossing the threshold. He watches Jungkook enter a room several meters away, and lets out a small laugh at the fact that despite being a tad bit far, it’s still the closest room to Hoseok’s. He grins cheekily when Jungkook re-emerges with clothes in hand and teases the younger, “What was all of that about you putting me in the room farthest away from yours?”

A series of emotions run across the younger’s face as he stands there, looking back at Hoseok with his mouth slightly open. His expression shifts from surprised to petulant to awkward before he finally shrugs shyly, giving Hoseok a bit of an embarrassed look as he shoves the clothes in the elder’s awaiting arms. Jungkook huffs, pausing for a few seconds, before he shrugs again, and this time it looks vaguely uncaring, almost the nonchalance that Hoseok knows the younger is trying to aim for, “Well, you know.”

Hoseok hums, taking a step forward and closer to the younger, watching the way Jungkook’s eyes widen as the distance between them closes. The clothes and the elder’s arm are the only things serving as a barrier between their bodies, and Hoseok tilts his head a fraction of an inch, eyes glinting mischievously, “Know what angel?”

“You’re faking it, aren’t you?” comes the younger’s response after a few beats. “You’re not actually sick are you? With the way you’re acting, you can’t possibly be.”

“What can I do? A fever isn’t enough to beat my sense of humour,” Hoseok laughs, leaning forward until his chin is resting against Jungkook’s shoulder, the clothes and his arm serving as a barrier between their bodies. He continues again, but in a much softer tone this time, “It’s just a fever, Jungkook. I’m not exactly dying.”

“I know,” Jungkook replies just as quietly, voice almost a whisper with how close the elder’s ear is to his mouth. His body automatically stiffens when the elder hums against him, warm breath ticking the skin of his neck, and in a moment of pure courage, he turns his face and quickly plants a kiss against the top of Hoseok’s ear, the touch so fleeting it makes Hoseok wonder if he’d imagined it. The way Jungkook’s cheeks colour, however, are unmistakable, and when the elder raises a teasing eyebrow, Jungkook looks away from him, opting to act oblivious before clearing his throat, “You should go shower. You smell bad.”

“I just showered this morning!” Hoseok gapes, pushing away from Jungkook using his hands on the younger’s shoulder as leverage. The lips that had touched his ear are completely forgotten, but he can’t help but break out into a smile at the way Jungkook’s eyes twinkle at his response, the younger letting out a small laugh. He rolls his eyes at the younger’s glee, pressing his lips to keep them from spreading as well, “But fine, I’ll go do it again. Anything to please your highness.”

Jungkook smiles following a few steps after him, until Hoseok twists his upper body, and asks with a smirk, “Are you going to come inside with me and watch me shower?”

“What? No!” Jungkook exclaims, and stops where he is immediately, a horrified expression taking over. He glares at Hoseok who continues to smirk back at him, before rolling his eyes, “I just wanted to show you where the towels and the bathrobes were. They’re in the cabinet under the sink.”

“Got it,” Hoseok winks at him twisting around on his heel until he’s completely facing Jungkook, and he shoots the younger a smile before making a shooing motion, “now go, hyung needs to shower. Unless you’d like to come inside and watch me, which while I don’t mind might be a tad bit too forward considering we’re not even engaged.”

Jungkook aims for his darkest glower, “No thank you, I’d rather not go blind. I’ll be in my room if you need me.”

Hoseok’s laugh follows him all the way to his bedroom, before he slams the door shut, turning to glance at the mirror which shows clearly hints of a smile playing on his lips. He shakes his head, letting out another huff of air, before staring up at his ceiling, wondering why he even pushed for Hoseok to stay over at their place.

--

Hoseok re-enters his room for the night with his dirty clothes in one hand, the other steadily towel-drying his wet hair and is met with an unexpected sight. He leans against the doorframe, lips curving up as he hears Jungkook mutter to himself, hands trying desperately to keep the fitted bedsheet in place.

“What are you doing?” The elder finally asks, closing the door behind him, and he’s pleased when his voice makes Jungkook jump, eyes wide when he turns around to glance at Hoseok standing by the door.

“Uh,” Jungkook responds a few beats too late, gesturing towards the bed and the bed sheets. “This.”

“What is this?” Hoseok asks, before he turns and walks over to the settee where his overnight bag rests, neatly folding and place the clothes inside.

“Do you want me to get those washed for you for tomorrow morning?” Jungkook asks, glad for a sudden change in topic of conversation. He turns to eye the fitted sheet he’d been struggling with for the last 10 minutes distastefully, and when he looks back, he’s surprised that Hoseok’s eyes are on him.

“Who should I give them to?” Hoseok asks. “If I wanted them washed.”

“I can go give it,” Jungkook moves forward, hands extended in a sign for the elder to hand over the stuff to him, and frowns when Hoseok shakes his head at his request.

“It’s fine. Just let me know where to go, since you seem clearly very busy here,” Hoseok gives him a cheeky grin which widens when Jungkook huffs and rolls his eyes.

“Go past the stairs in the same direction I did, and keep walking. Knock on the first door on your right, and let the person know you want them washed and ironed for tomorrow morning.”

“Okay,” Hoseok beams, grabbing his clothes in hand, before turning to give Jungkook a pointed look. “Meanwhile you have fun here.”

When the elder returns from his trip, he finds Jungkook struggling much the same as he had been earlier, huffing before glaring down at the bedding. He looks a second away from screaming, and Hoseok can’t help but silently chuckle as he stands by the door watching his almost-fiancé glower down at a piece of fabric.

It’s nice, he thinks, as he takes a step inside the room, and the fact that he can almost imagine Jungkook and him doing this together in his actual bedroom gives him a very pleasant feeling in the pit of his stomach. He stops silently admiring the younger when Jungkook turns to give him an upset look.

“Help,” they younger boy pleads softly, and despite Hoseok’s brain telling him otherwise, his feet cross the distance between their bodies until he’s standing right by Jungkook. He smiles when Jungkook gives him a curious look, before twisting to the side and pecking the younger’s cheek.

“You’re a lot cuter than you look to be, you know?”

Jungkook’s scowl darkens, and he rolls his eyes at Hoseok’s behaviour, pushing him away, “Just get the other side of this goddamn sheet, okay?”

“As you wish,” Hoseok laughs, gaze drifting to the way Jungkook shakes his head and lets loose a small smile when he thinks the elder isn’t looking.

“So, do you know what to do with this?” The elder asks, walking over to the other side and reaching forward for the corner of the fitted sheet.

“I don’t know for sure how,” Jungkook mutters, “but I figure this goes around the mattress, so just do that.”

--

“Don’t let go!” Hoseok exclaims at Jungkook. “Don’t let go of the other corner!”

“Well, I’m sorry! But my arms are not wide enough to span across this entire bed!” comes the heated reply, before Jungkook finally lets out a gentle scream and takes a step back. “I can’t do this!”

“No, wait, wait, okay, hold on,” Hoseok holds up both hands, trying to calm the younger who starts to look increasingly ticked off. “Just…let’s regroup and rethink.”

“I know, but,” Jungkook pouts, finally glancing away from the bed to stare at Hoseok and making vague hand gestures, “if I hold the left corner in place, then my right one comes off! And if I try to go fix my right one then the other one comes off! We’ve been struggling with this for the last ten minutes, hyung!”

“There has to be a better way to do this,” the elder mutters, pulling out his phone, and typing in the words “how to make a bed” in the search bar.

“And I don’t even know what to do with all of those!” Jungkook yells pointing to the pile of bedding that sits on the sofa innocently staring back at him. “I swear my bedding doesn’t have this many components! Not even in the winter!”

Hoseok eyes the younger as he collapses onto to the bed, looking tired as he brings up one arm to rest across his eyes, chest heaving. Jungkook turns to glance at him when he senses a gaze on him, and says quietly, “and I’m not even the one sick.”

“I feel better now, actually,” Hoseok gives him a comforting smile, turning back to his phone. He almost jumps in surprise when he senses a movement in his periphery, finding Jungkook inches away from him, sitting up on the bed on his knees.

He gives the boy a quizzical look that quickly falls away when Jungkook brings his hand up and touches his palm to Hoseok’s forehead. He watches the boy touch his own forehead with his other hand, before frowning, “You’re still warm, though.”

“I feel a lot better, though,” Hoseok insists when Jungkook moves his hands away, pressing his fingertips against the corner of the younger’s lips and pushing them up. “Seriously.”

“Okay,” Jungkook all but shrugs, gaze drifting down to the barely made bed he’s currently sitting on.

“One more time?” Hoseok asks hopefully, smiling when Jungkook lets out a groan, falling backwards onto bed. “Come on, one more time.”

“Any tips?”

“Well for one, I think we’re putting it on wrong. This is apparently the shorter side, so we have to flip it 90 degrees.”

Jungkook gives Hoseok a puzzled look, “Excuse me?”

“Just do it, angel.”

Jungkook huffs before rolling off the bed, landing unfairly smoothly on his feet, and then helps Hoseok flip the sheet over. The elder hums once they turn, glancing at his phone, and then placing it onto the side table beside him, “Instead of opposing corners like before, lets try getting the adjacent corners around the mattress first and then moving to the other ones.”

Jungkook sighs, but nods his head to show his agreement. They both take a deep breath in sync, turning to pull and tuck the fitted sheet under adjacent sides of the mattress. Hoseok looks up at Jungkook once they’re done, having slipped the sheet underneath the mattress tightly, and they share a look, both knowing exactly what the other is thinking.

“Run on the count of three?” Jungkook asks, as his hand remains around the tucked sheet, in the space between the mattress and the bed frame.

Hoseok nods in response, both of them reaching over to grab the other corner of the fitted sheet, “Alright. One. Two. Three!”

Hoseok lets out a loud laugh as him and Jungkook run in the other direction determinedly, pulling the other end of the sheet smoothly with them. The younger joins him in the laughter when they look back to find the other corner hasn’t yet slipped out, before quickly tucking in the one in their hand.

“Oh my goodness,” Jungkook sounds amazed as he stares up at Hoseok with wide, awe-filled eyes. “We actually did it!”

“Yeah!” Hoseok exclaims, leaning forward across the mattress and offering a high five to the younger, while the other one rests on top of the sheet to hold his body up.

“Don’t crease it!” Jungkook chides the elder, but returns the high-five with a smile anyway.

“Jeez, okay, okay. Alright, so this says flat sheet is next.”

“Which one’s that?”

Hoseok grins, moving over to sort through the items and picks up the black and white stripe patterned bed sheet, “Here it is. This one should be a lot easier.”

“Good,” Jungkook says with a sigh of relief, hands on hips. “I could use something easy. How is making a bed this much work?”

Hoseok lets out a small laugh at the younger’s annoyed attitude, “Oh, sweetheart, we’re just getting started.”

--

“Will the quilt be too much?” Jungkook ponders out loud, eyeing the bedspread, before turning to Hoseok who shakes his head.

“It’s fine,” the elder shrugs his concern off with the wave of a hand, taking a step back to admire their handiwork. “Hey, we did a good job.”

Jungkook laughs, bending down and resting his hands on his knees, eyes trained on the bed before turning to Hoseok, “Yeah, we did.”

Hoseok nods his head, eyeing the non-creased black and white, patterned quilt that they’ve laid out and folded an inch below the pillows. The white coverlet and striped flat sheet peek out from underneath it, before being crowded by the sleeping pillows that are settled against the headboard.

“It looks almost professional, if I do say so myself.”

“It doesn’t,” Jungkook’s response is lightening quick.

“Hush. But now I don’t want to ruin it by sleeping on it.”

The door opening makes them both turn around in surprise, and Jungkook’s eyes widen when he sees his mother enter a few seconds later.

“You’re both still up?” She asks, looking between them, standing on opposite sides of the room by the bed. Her gaze narrows and settles on Hoseok, “Hoseok, why aren’t you sleeping, yet, hm?”

“Oh, we, uh,” Hoseok gestures towards the bed lamely, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly as he smiles, “we were making the bed. It, uh, took a while.”

Jungkook sees his mother’s eyebrows rise to her hairline, before amusement takes over her face that he can see her try very hard to hide. She looks between the two of them again, crossing her arms as she sighs and asks, “Should I ask why you two were making the bed?”

“I thought it wouldn’t be too hard,” Jungkook admits shyly. “So, I told the maid it was fine, and that we’d handle it.”

“Oh dear,” she murmurs to herself, hand coming out to hold the doorknob as she eyes the bed. Raising a single eyebrow, she’s not quite sure who to direct the question at, “How long did this masterpiece take you two?”

Hoseok laughs, clearing his throat as he eyes his watch, “Not long? Time is of course relative.”

When she doesn’t look impressed by his response, he smiles winningly, teeth and dimple on display. It makes her scoff, but he sees the hints of a smile peeking out from the corner of her lips, “I suppose it does look half decent for two people who’ve probably never made their beds.”

“Doesn’t it?” Hoseok marvels as well, grinning at her. “It looks nice, right, eomeonim?”

“I wouldn’t go as far as saying nice,” she says slowly, turning to smirk at Hoseok who pouts at her response. “But it seems sleep-able.”

“Sleep-able,” Hoseok murmurs to himself as if he’s thinking over the word and then nods. “Good, that’s what we were aiming for!”

“Go to bed, both of you,” she shakes her head good-naturedly. “Especially you, Hoseok, alright?”

“Yes, ma’am!”

“How’s your fever?” she asks moving forward and pressing the back of her hand to Hoseok’s forehead before moving it to touch his cheek. “Hm, it’s gone a little down, but you’re still warm to touch.”

“I’ll be okay,” Hoseok assures her with a smile, “really. It takes more than a fever to bring me down.”

“That’s good, then,” she murmurs. “Good that my son isn’t marrying someone who can’t even tackle a fever.”

Hoseok laughs loudly, body rocking forward at her words, before he nods in agreement, “Of course, of course. Don’t worry, eomeonim, your son is in good hands, I promise.”

Jungkook’s mother laughs, before she looks up and smiles at Hoseok. There’s a scary hue to her grin, however, he notices as her lips curve up and she says, “You don’t need to promise me anything, honey. If Jungkook isn’t in good hands, I’ll make sure you don’t end up in good ones, either.”

Hoseok’s mouth drops open and he turns to stare at Jungkook who’s staring at his mother wide-eyed as well, “I believe that was a direct threat on my life from your mother, Jungkook.”

Jungkook doesn’t know how to respond to either of them, especially not when his mother laughs again and cups Hoseok’s cheek, “Well you’ve earned that much, I think, Hoseok.”

Her words make the elder laugh as he grins back at her wide, and salutes, “I’m glad, eomeonim, I’m really glad.”

“Go to sleep both of you, alright?” She reiterates, looking between the two of them. “I’m going to come back and check in an hour, and you both better be under covers, alright? And by covers, I mean your separate ones.”

“Eomma!” Jungkook exclaims at the implication, but she simply laughs off his reaction, bidding both of them goodnight as she exits the room.

“I really like your mum,” Hoseok tells him with a small smile as he lifts up the coverlet and quilt and slips under the covers, sinking into the softness and letting out a relaxed sigh. His eyes close and he takes a deep breath, but doesn’t sound any closer to sleep as he murmurs, “Yeah, I quite like her.”

Jungkook hums, nodding at his words, and stands there a little unsurely, not certain whether he should say goodnight or simply leave.

“What are you waiting for, angel?” Hoseok’s voice breaks him out of his reverie as he starts to think about what to say before leaving.

“Oh, uh, nothing,” Jungkook shakes his head and his hands, before turning and walking towards the door. He turns back once he reaches the end of the bed, “Goodnight, hyung.”

Hoseok hums in response, nodding as he watches Jungkook, “Sleep well, angel.”

“You too.”

“Well,” Hoseok moves himself onto his back, settling the coverlet around his tighter. “I’ll try.”

The words make Jungkook pause, and he turns around to lock gazes with Hoseok again. They silently stare at each other in the light of the room, Jungkook’s eyes roaming over his face, taking in not only his features but also the fatigue visible between the lines. Unsettled by the sight, he asks in a soft voice, “Do you…do you think you’ll be able to sleep tonight?”

Hoseok moves up a little, settling himself on his elbows so he can look at Jungkook standing by the edge of the bed easier, “I’m not sure. Maybe not, but I’ll try.”

Jungkook stays where he is at the response, staring back at Hoseok, who meets his gaze. It’s the elder who breaks the silence first, “What are you waiting for, sweetheart?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Go sleep, okay? Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.”

Jungkook doesn’t look convinced, eyebrows pulled down, “Are you sure?”

“Of course,” Hoseok waves a hand, sitting up and pushing the cover off his chest. “It’s just one more night, anyway.”

“Are you going to work tomorrow?” Jungkook asks, biting his lips, afraid of the response.

Hoseok hums affirmatively, nodding his head and giving Jungkook a small smile, “I am. I’ve called a meeting at 10, so I’ll need to.”

“Oh.”

The elder slips back into bed, turning onto his side, and curls his arm under his head. He lets his eyes fall shut and waits to hear the telltale signs of footsteps, the sound of a goodnight or even of a door closing, but when it doesn’t come even after a whole minute passes, he frowns. Cracking open an eye, he raises his head off the pillow and finds Jungkook still standing there, watching him, hands behind his back.

“Jungkook?” His voice is soft, the name a question.

The younger boy doesn’t respond for a few seconds, opening and closing his mouth hesitantly, before he finally asks in such a small voice, Hoseok has to strain his ears to hear him, “Do you…do you want me to stay with you until you fall asleep?”

Hoseok lets himself smile as his head falls back onto the bed, and he shakes it, “No, Jungkook. It’s alright. Don’t lose sleep because of me.”

Jungkook walks forward, gait and voice both a little determined, “But I’m a late sleeper, anyway, hyung.”

Taking a deep breath, the elder gives Jungkook a look, “Honestly, I don’t think it’ll help. Go sleep, okay?”

Jungkook pauses, voice hesitant as he tilts his head and asks, “Not even if I run my fingers through your hair?”

Hoseok can’t bring himself to look surprised, not even when Jungkook continues.

“You said someone touching or caressing your hair made you sleepy, right?”

“It does.”

“Well, do you want me to do it, then?” Jungkook offers, eyes hopeful as he looks down at Hoseok curled up on the bed.

“Do you want to do it?” Hoseok throws back at him, tilting his chin to look up at the younger boy standing by his bed.

“I do if you want me to,” Jungkook answers, and Hoseok can’t help but press the side of his face into the pillow, trying to hide his smile. The action makes Jungkook beam as well, lips widening to show teeth when Hoseok turns his face to look at him.

Please.”

Something very pleasant curls in Jungkook’s belly at how needy the request sounds, despite being intended as a simply statement. It makes him feel wanted and it makes him smile as he climbs up the bed once Hoseok scoots to the side. Resting his back against the headboard, he sits with his legs folded to the side, feet dangling off the edge of the bed and knee inches away from Hoseok’s head, resting on a pillow.

Pulling the sleeping pillow behind him in his lap, Jungkook raises a hesitant hand and lays it on top of Hoseok’s head, letting his fingers sink into the silky strands of black. Hoseok makes a soft noise of approval in the back of his throat when he starts to run his fingers through the elder’s hair, parting and playing with it gently. Jungkook leans forward to take a peek and smiles when he finds Hoseok’s eyes close, expression completely at ease as he enjoys the touch.

It makes Jungkook chuckle, and when he does, Hoseok hums at him in question.

“Who even likes being touched this much while they’re sleeping?”

“I do,” Hoseok says quietly, lips tugging down.

Jungkook’s fingers continue their journey across Hoseok’s hair, sorting through the tangles and going all the way to the back of his head, before making their way back. He tries to be as gentle and soothing as possible, and when Hoseok practically purrs under his touch, he can’t help but grin. Leaning forward again, he observes the elder’s face as he continues to card through his black locks.

He pauses where he is for a few seconds, hand not stopping, before twisting his body towards the right and planting a kiss against the elder’s exposed cheek. His lips smacking against skin makes a soft sound in the quiet room when he does, and he pulls back, sighing out in relief when Hoseok doesn’t say anything, thinking the elder must be asleep.

“Gonna try to molest me while I’m trying to sleep, angel?” Hoseok asks after an entire minute has passed, and the question makes Jungkook laugh, cheeks heating up at the words.

“No, not at all,” Jungkook wills himself to sound as calm as the elder does, “it’s to get even for the day.”

Hoseok hums, “I think you owe me a lot more than just one kiss to make up for it.”

“I know,” Jungkook admits, twisting Hoseok’s straight hair between his fingers, being careful not to tug or be harsh, “but there’s still half an hour to midnight.”

“Going to be Cinderella now?”

“Maybe.”

Jungkook smiles when Hoseok shakes his head under his touch, pausing his hand where it is when Hoseok’s hand comes to settle against the side of Jungkook’s knee. The elder, places his palm flat against the younger’s sweatpants, before he shifts closer to Jungkook and places the side of his head on Jungkook’s thigh, cheek against the younger’s knee.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting comfortable,” Hoseok replies cheekily, but his voice is deep, sound a little sleepy.

Jungkook doesn’t protest the change in position and the additional weight resting on his thighs, starting to stroke the elder’s hair again when Hoseok makes a small noise to nudge him into continuing. While running his fingers through the elder’s hair, he adds his fingernails to the mix, scratching Hoseok’s scalp lightly as he does.

The noise Hoseok makes at the new sensation, something between a groan and a moan, makes Jungkook let out a spluttered laugh, surprised.

“God,” the elder groans again when Jungkook repeats the movement, “that feels so good. It’s like you were born to do this, Jungkook.”

Jungkook snorts loudly, “Born to stroke your hair, huh? Yeah, right.”

“Well, would you like to stroke something else?” Hoseok tilts his head to smirk up at Jungkook, eyes shining brightly.

Jungkook’s mouth drops open at the innuendo, his fingers ceasing action, before he huffs and looks away from Hoseok, cheeks colouring, “I can’t believe you just that.”

“Well, why not?” Hoseok asks, shifting a little so he doesn’t have to crane his neck to give Jungkook a naughty smile. He shrugs against the younger’s leg, “We’re going to get married soon, you know. There’s going to so much more of these.”

Jungkook bites the inside of his cheek, eyebrow raised when Hoseok wiggles his own suggestively and gives the younger a wink. Flicking the elder’s forehead light earns him a soft complaint, one that Jungkook shakes his head at, “You sure like reiterating that.”

“Reiterating what?”

“You know,” Jungkook starts his petting once again, “the fact that we’re getting married.”

“Well,” Hoseok looks contemplative as he switches gaze to settle on the wall across from him, “just getting you used to it, I guess. So once the wedding rolls around you don’t think of me as Hoseok – stranger extraordinaire – but rather as Hoseok, your husband.”

“Yeah?” Jungkook looks amused by the response. “Maybe I should, too, then. So, you don’t think of me as Jungkook, the stranger with magical hands –”

Hoseok makes an unappeased sound, looking up at Jungkook with a sombre look, “– actually, I prefer Jeon Jungkook, the stranger with good stroke game, but to each their own, I suppose.”

“Oh my god,” Jungkook wails, pulling his hands out of Hoseok’s hair.

“Don’t stop, don’t stop,” Hoseok groans loudly, moaning gutturally a few seconds later, when Jungkook does remove his hand, “Jungkook, don’t stop, I’m close!”

Jungkook slaps the elder’s shoulder hard, wide-eyed, “Oh my god! Shut up! What if someone hears you?!”

Hoseok laughs, rubbing at the spot Jungkook had smacked him, “What? I meant sleep. Don’t stop, I close to falling asleep.”

“I know!” Jungkook exclaims, bending his body closer to Hoseok’s face, voice dropping to a whisper.

“Okay,” the elder nods playfully, “just makes sure you’re not thinking of weird things.”

“You started it!” Jungkook yells softly, biting his lips before taking a deep breath and fanning his face with his hand. He looks away from Hoseok, staring at the wall on his left, hoping that no one heard Hoseok’s yelling.

His attention drifts back to the man with his head on his thighs at the sound of a soft chuckle, the same man who has his head tilted back to look at Jungkook, crown of his head pressing into Jungkook’s thighs. Jungkook doesn’t move his eyes even when a hand comes up to cup his cheek, and instead leans into the touch of the warm hand. Hoseok strokes his red cheeks, thumb caressing his cheekbone as the elder partly whispers, “Upside down and flushed is a pretty look on you.”

“Everything,” Jungkook’s breaths stutter when the hand on his cheek moves down and fingers start to move across the edge of his lower lip, “is a good look on me.”

Hoseok’s eyes don’t move away from his, but the elder shifts so his head instead of being backwards is on the side, cheek pressed against the side of the Jungkook’s knees. The younger gulps when the hand on his face moves towards his ear and then around to the back of his head. Fingertips press gently into the crown of his head, guiding him to lower his face, and he does so without a complaint until he’s hunched over a little uncomfortably nearly bent in half, chin almost touching his own lap.

However, Jungkook doesn’t protest, eyes fluttering close when soft lips press against the corner of his mouth and start to trail towards his ear. He lets out a soft sigh when they linger on his cheek, and he wonders if they’re following the trail of red on his face. It’s Hoseok looking for permission, however, and when the elder senses no hesitance in the younger boy, he moves towards the younger’s ear. Jungkook can feel the heart-shaped lips smile against his skin as they do, and he wonders if Hoseok can hear his heart because of their close proximity.

The lips press against his earlobe next, staying there for a few seconds, and what they whisper next has Jungkook shuddering inwardly, “Unfairly true.”

Jungkook’s lips curve up when he recognizes the elder responding to his earlier comment, and it makes him open his eyes and turn his head to meet Hoseok’s. They stare at each other for a few seconds, Jungkook’s gaze dropping down to the elder’s lips, feeling his warm breath over his own. Hoseok doesn’t move forward, however, not in the way Jungkook expects him to; instead he aims a little lower, pressing his lips against Jungkook’s chin. He pauses pulling back, gauging Jungkook’s expression to the kiss.

It pleases him, Hoseok finds, to find the younger boy staring back at him with the same look he imagines himself to be sporting. Hoseok’s gaze bores into his, and when his eyes drop down again to Hoseok’s lips, he notices that the other man’s eyes do too this time. Their faces are not very far apart, perhaps a little oddly angled for a kiss, but with only a few inches between them.

Jungkook sees a question in Hoseok’s eyes, but likes the fact that the elder doesn’t verbally ask anything. He smiles, catching Hoseok a little off guard, but when he closes his eyes next and tilts his chin, jutting lips out towards Hoseok, the elder’s quick to pick up on his permission. He hears rather than sees Hoseok take in a deep breath, and when a hand comes to rest against his cheek to angle his head better, he starts to inch forward slowly.

Two sharp knocks on the door makes both of their eyes snap open, and Jungkook only has a millisecond to take in how close their lips were – perhaps a centimeter – before he finds himself scrambling off the bed, standing a good three feet away from the bedframe by the time the door opens.

--

Hoseok’s shocked to say in the least at the knock, and he rushes to move back but Jungkook beats him to it as he flies off the bed. The side of his head makes contact with the bed by the time he even realizes what’s happening, and he turns to glances at Jungkook who looks just as shocked as he feels. Schooling his features, he aims for a sleepy look as he sits up properly in bed, looking towards the door that opens slowly and Jungkook’s older brother peeks his head through curiously.

Hoseok exchanges a glance with Jungkook who he’s surprised looks so calm, it makes him wonder if he’d dreamed up their almost-kiss entirely. He turns back to the intruder at the door, bowing his head at Minchan in greeting who looks between the two of them, but not with suspicious eyes, “Eomma asked me to check on you two.”

“Oh, we, uh,” Jungkook stutters in his words, before gesturing towards Hoseok, “hyung couldn’t sleep.”

Minchan frowns, “Oh.”

“It’s nothing big, it’s fine,” Hoseok shakes a dismissive hand. “I’ll be okay.”

“The bed’s very comfortable,” Minchan crosses his arms, as if trying to figure out the problem. “Did you sleep on the plane here?”

“Hardly,” Hoseok confesses, ruffling his hair, eyes going to Jungkook as he remembers the younger’s hands being there. “I’m sure I’ll fall asleep in a bit.”

Minchan hums, nodding slowly, but doesn’t look convinced, “Well, if you’re not sleeping right now, would you like to step outside with me for a bit?”

“Hyung, no,” Jungkook shakes his head, voice adamant. “This can wait, can’t it?”

“He’s the one not sleeping, though,” Minchan points in Hoseok’s vague direction.

“Hyung,” Jungkook fixes his brother with a stare. “Later.”

“Jeez, okay, cuckoo, no need to unsheathe your claws at me,” Minchan gives his brother a wide grin, stepping forward to ruffle his hair and laughing when Jungkook tries to duck away from his touch. “I’m not going to hurt your poor little fiancé.”

“I didn’t say you would,” Jungkook reasons, clutching his brother’s right forearm in both his hands, and letting out a small whine when Minchan uses his other to mess up his hair. “Ah, hyung!”

“Already so protective, huh?” Minchan pulls his arm out of Jungkook’s hold who starts to pout up at him, before slinging it around the younger’s shoulder. He pulls his younger brother close and into his side, turning to look at Hoseok with a blank face.

Their little display makes Hoseok break out into a small smile, but it dims as soon as Minchan directs hard eyes right at him.

“I’m not being protective, hyung!” Jungkook exclaims, oblivious to their tense stare, and tilts his head up to look at his brother, “I’m just –”

Minchan’s voice cuts him off, before the man grins a little threateningly at Hoseok, “I’m going to keep my eye on you, Jung. This is my brother we’re talking about, alright?”

Jungkook’s mouth snaps shut, and he can’t bring himself to say anything, only quietly looking between his brother and Hoseok. He rubs at Minchan’s back soothingly, and smiles into his brother’s shoulder, hiding half his face into the man’s cotton shirt as he looks back at Hoseok when the elder speaks up.

“Of course, I don’t expect anything less, hyungnim. I’ll try not to disappoint, but it might get a little boring if I’m all good,” Hoseok smiles his most pleasant smile, eyes curving into crescents when Minchan snorts but not unpleasantly.

He watches the other man turn to press a kiss into his younger brother’s hair silently, before turning back to Hoseok, “I’ll let you sleep well for tonight, but I make no promises for any of the other ones.”

“Looking forward to it.”

Jungkook laughs at their exchange, bringing a hand to wrap around his older brother’s waist, and hugging him close. Minchan turns to look down at him at the action, “You should go to sleep, too, cuckoo. Don’t ruin your sleep like that.”

“Okay,” Jungkook nods his head, before turning his brother around by the shoulders, and pushing him out of the room. “You go sleep too, hyung. You have a breakfast date tomorrow, don’t you?”

“Don’t remind me,” Minchan mutters, but he exits the room at the end, waving goodbye to Jungkook and giving Hoseok a small nod.

Jungkook leans against the door as it closes, body slumped as he looks straight at Hoseok who’s watching him quietly. Hoseok’s lips curve up after a few seconds, tone cheeky, “Wow, thank god for the knock, huh?”

Breathing through his nose, the younger shakes his head in disbelief, unable to believe how close everything that just happened had been. He walks forward, not meeting Hoseok’s gaze, and lets out a very audible breath, “I can’t even believe that just happened.”

“Yeah?” Hoseok turns to rest his body on his side, one arm bent at the elbow, and head resting in the curve of his palm. “You look oddly happy, though. Maybe happy isn’t the right word, but you looked like you enjoyed what just happened. Was the experience of your brother almost finding out thrilling?”

Jungkook huffs, shooting Hoseok a glare when he wiggles his eyebrows teasingly, “I’m not even going to answer that.”

“Why not?” Hoseok whines, before he falls forward, lying flat on his stomach while his face is turned towards Jungkook standing by the edge of the bed. He stretches his arms out as far as it goes, wiggling his fingers at Jungkook enticingly, “Come back, please. I was almost asleep.”

“So, you have a habit of almost kissing people when you’re almost asleep? Should I be worried about promiscuity?” Jungkook asks sarcastically, but he assumes his previous position on the bed.

“Not really.”

Hoseok doesn’t sidle closer this time, remaining on his side of the bed even when Jungkook’s fingers start to play with his hair, and the younger boy’s not quite sure why it disappoints him. Feeling a little guilty at his words, and at the way Hoseok doesn’t say anything more, sinking deeper to sleep under his ministrations, Jungkook opens and closes his mouth several times to say something.

He knows it would be best for him to try and let Hoseok finally sleep, but he still wracks his brain to think of something to show the elder his words earlier were playful. It’s a habit of his, he finds, to say things he doesn’t mean when he’s upset or angry. It’s something Jimin has pointed out to him, and it’s something that had sometimes led to bigger than necessary fights between the two of them as well.

Jungkook’s not quite sure, though, why he’s a little ticked off. They were both equal participants in what almost happened, and he knows he doesn’t quite regret what his brother interrupted. He feels a little daunted, not embarrassed, though, he finds after a bit of searching, at the prospect of their brother finding them in the middle of a kiss. It makes him wonder if it’s just his brother, however, or people in general, and he tries to picture what he would have done if it had been his mother who had interrupted.

It fills him with the same feeling, the thought of either his mother or father interrupting, and it unsettles him, unsure of why he feels that way. He doesn’t quite know why he wants to hide his happiness from them or maybe even the world in general, but it’s a bit of deep-seated fear. Happiness had never really been his for very long periods of time, especially not when he tried to share it with others. It makes a sense of dread fill him up, and the urge to hide everything grips him stronger.

Unknowingly his fingers tighten in Hoseok’s hair, and when the elder makes a soft noise, he jumps, letting go. He’s glad when Hoseok opens his eyes and doesn’t say anything after a look at his surprised face. He decides to keep the relationship blossoming between them to himself for a while longer, knowing that beyond a certain point, he won’t quite be able to hide it from anyone. But for now, he chooses to keep the happiness and the pleasant feelings accompanying their encounters between Hoseok and himself.

His body moves on his own accord, and he reaches down to press another kiss, an unknowingly grateful one, against Hoseok’s cheek. He doesn’t whisper ‘thank you’, though, only pulls away, and reaches for the elder’s hair again. He smiles down at Hoseok when the other looks up at him questioningly, and his grin widens when the elder asks, “Still trying to get even?”

Jungkook shakes his head, knowing the answer makes Hoseok curious even though he doesn’t ask, only nods satisfied, “Good, ‘cause it’s already midnight. I’ve already won yesterday by a landslide.”

Jungkook hums, scratching lightly with blunt fingernails Hoseok’s scalp, and he leans down to press another kiss on the elder’s cheek. This time, however, he doesn’t stop there, and instead adds, “Doesn’t mean that I can’t win today.”

Hoseok lets out a soft laugh, one that’s quiet but filled with relief and happiness. Jungkook lets him reach forward for his free hand, and smiles when the elder intertwines their fingers. Jungkook’s a little amazed at the fact that he understands what Hoseok’s trying to convey when the other man squeezes his hand comfortingly, but a part of his brain makes him question whether he truly is or if he’s trying to make this seem like something greater than it is.

“You’ve got pretty fingers,” Hoseok’s groggy voice makes him turn his attention back to the person lying inches away from him, drifting down to their joined hands when the elder starts to play with them, his eyes remaining closed.

Jungkook hums in acknowledgement, “Is that you or the fever talking?”

“The fever, angel. Of course, the fever.”

“So, you, then,” Jungkook grins as he removes his hand from Hoseok’s hair and presses it against the elder’s forehead. “Because your fever’s gone down.”

Hoseok makes a noise that Jungkook guesses is meant to be a sound of protest, but doesn’t say anything else. Jungkook continues his ministrations, smiling to himself when he leans down to take another peek at Hoseok’s face and sees him looking sound asleep. Just to be careful, however, he doesn’t stop caressing the elder’s locks until a good ten minutes later. Hoseok doesn’t stir or wake up when he finally does pull away, but Jungkook doesn’t take any chances and makes sure to leave the bed as quietly as possible.

He hovers by the edge as Hoseok sleeps soundly, before picking his phone off the side table, and opening the camera app to take two pictures. Jungkook leans forward to press another kiss against Hoseok’s cheek, and then chooses to press a second one against the other’s hair. He wipes at the elder’s forehead with a tissue from the side table, able to see a small layer of sweat accumulated by the front. Picking up the AC remote, he lowers the temperature of the room by a degree, noticing Hoseok’s discomfort as the warmth. After adjusting the quilt around Hoseok’s curled up body, he’s ready to walk away when a thought hits him.

He takes another picture of Hoseok, but this time a full body shot, and sends it to Seokjin smiling.

From: Jungkook

It took a while, but he’s finally asleep, hyung. I hope you’re too! :)

From: Seokjin

Okay, so you’ve passed level 1 of my test. Now, you’re just going to have to pass the remainder before I let you have Hoseok.

From: Jungkook

Just out of curiosity, how many levels are there exactly?

From: Seokjin

An infinite amount. :D

From: Jungkook

Hm, maybe I should look for someone else.

From: Seokjin

My poor baby, he’ll be so heartbroken. :(

From: Jungkook

He’ll live.

From: Seokjin

Probably not what you should say to me if you want to marry Hoseok.

From: Jungkook

Probably not, but I’m still not over the nudes thing.

From: Seokjin

Whyy? It was an honest question!

From: Jungkook

Next time, ask your ‘poor baby’ all these honest questions.

From: Seokjin

Hey! That’s a good idea! I should.

From: Jungkook

Go sleep, hyung. Goodnight.

From: Seokjin

Night, Jungkookie. Sleep well. :)

--

Jungkook exits his room with a smile, one that fades when he encounters his mother in the hallway, a few steps away from his door. She gives him a smile and asks, “Did he finally fall asleep? Channie told me he was having trouble.”

Nodding, Jungkook replies, “He just did a few minutes ago, eomma. I’m going to sleep now, too. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight,” she bids him, watching him cross the distance between Hoseok’s room and his own. He thinks she isn’t going to say anything else, but she does right as he touches his doorknob, “You like him a lot, don’t you?”

He can’t bring himself to say anything, not even nod at her, so he stands there, not meeting her gaze.

“It’s okay to say you do, you know,” His mother continues smiling at his hesitance. “It’s fine if you do.”

Jungkook shrugs in response, back rigid, “I also liked the guy with the kid a lot. He was nice, you know.”

His mother frowns, but Jungkook doesn’t lift his head up to see it, tensing when she says, “No you didn’t. Not the way you like Hoseok.”

“What would you know, eomma?”

The woman’s face falls as he looks up at her, and he feels a twinge of guilt in his heart, “It’s not like you ever bother to ask me for my opinion or ever truly care if I like them, anyway. Just shuffle me off from one to the other, expecting me to follow through.”

“Jungkook –”

“Why does it matter anyway? If I like hyung or not?” Jungkook continues, and he knows in that instant, that he’ll regret everything he’s going to say. He knows he will, but he can’t stop himself or his anger from speaking, “Do you care because you like taking away things that make me happy? Is that why you’re asking?”

“That’s absurd, Jungkook!” She exclaims, trying her best not to raise her voice or wake anyone up. “How can even think of such a thing? I’ve raised you as my son and I love you.”

“You shouldn’t have taken pity on me,” Jungkook says after her outburst. “You shouldn’t have tried to pull me out of that orphanage. Any other kid would have done, you know? But once Jeon Hyunseo makes up her mind nothing can stop her, right? You shouldn’t have chosen me, you should have picked someone else and made their life. Although, I’m not quite sure I’d want to wish this sort of life upon anyone.”

Jungkook takes a bit of pleasure in the way his mother’s face contorts and the slight quiver in her voice as she asks, “So that’s what you think of me?”

Shrugging, Jungkook plays with the doorknob, eyes drifting down to the piece of metal, “I don’t know what I think of you, eomma. Honestly, I don’t. I know how I should feel about you, but I don’t know how I actually do.”

“You don’t even think I love you, do you?” His mother’s voice is bold but no louder than a whisper, and it makes Jungkook feel ashamed for some reason, gaze dropping to his feet.

“I don’t know, eomma. I don’t know if you actually do.”

“So, you think that me adopting you because I didn’t love you? You think that me fighting and begging and pleading with your father’s mother for an entire year just to bring you in the family was because I didn’t love you? You think that me dropping my entire career to stay at home just to raise you when I didn’t even do that for my own biological son was because I didn’t love you? You think that me bending myself backwards for your dad’s entire family just so they’d even consider accepting you was because I didn’t love you?”

“Were the blind marriage meetings also out of love, eomma?” Jungkook asks, looking back up to observe the woman’s facial expression. He feels his own eyes tear up when his mother looks back at him with damp eyes that look a few seconds away from spilling. “Were all the taunts and harsh words I had to deal with from appa’s family also a sign of your love? Not sending me to the same schools that hyung and the entire Jeon family kids attend – was that also out of love? Pulling me out a place which while underserved and maybe not as great as here was still a home for me a sign of your love too? Was refusing to let me join the company after I fast-tracked my masters, and only giving me two small subsidiaries to take care of so people wouldn’t point fingers also out of love? Tell me, eomma, was it? You must really love me if that’s the case.”

“Of course,” his mother nods his head, daintily wiping the single tear that slips out of her left eye. “You must think that. Alright, I’ll stay out of your hair, then. You think I do everything because I hate you, right? I guess from now on, I won’t. This whole marriage thing – you hate it, right Jungkook? You think I’m doing this, because I hate you, right? Alright, we’ll cancel it then. You don’t want to get married? Great, I’ll let Hoseok and his family know tomorrow morning that we’re cancelling it.”

“Eomma!” Jungkook’s head snaps up at the threat, eyes close to watering. “You won’t!”

“Oh, but that’s what you want me to do, don’t you Jungkook?” His mother continues again, wiping at another tear that falls. Jungkook’s gaze drifts momentarily when the door to the bedroom beside him and the one further away opens, his father and brother both peeking out with confused faces. They head towards him and his mother in near sync when they notice what’s going on.

“Eomma?” Minchan’s first to reach them, putting a hand on his mother’s shoulder. “What happened? Why are you crying?”

Jungkook rubs at his own eyes with the top of his hand as the tears drip down his cheeks. His mother turns to shake her head at her eldest son, “Nothing, Chan-ah, Jungkook thinks that everything I do is because I hate him, so I’m trying to lessen what I do for him. Let’s go meet the Jungs tomorrow and let them know we’re cancelling the engagement, okay?”

“Eomma!” Jungkook wails this time, hands wiping furiously at his cheeks. “Stop!”

“Hey, hey,” his father steps in, putting comforting hands on his mother’s shoulder. “Let’s not make rash decisions. Nobody’s cancelling anything. What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” his mother continues. “I’m just trying to right my wrongs. I’ve put Jungkook through a lot of bad things haven’t I? I’ve ruined his whole life, and I’m just trying to fix it. He doesn’t want to get married so I’m trying to stop that from happening is all. He said he doesn’t even like Hoseok.”

The words make Jungkook cry harder, and he’s grateful when his brother steps forward to gather him into a hug. Digging his head into his brother’s shoulder he weeps, grateful when Minchan shakes his head at their father, telling him that he’ll talk to Jungkook.

“Nothing’s getting cancelled, okay?” His older brother whispers in his hair. “Don’t worry, eomma won’t cancel a thing.”

He clutches the material of his brother’s shirt tighter, cries getting louder even when Minchan rubs his back soothingly, “Appa just go with eomma and talk to her, okay? I’ll take care of Jungkook, don’t worry.”

He follows his brother wordlessly, with the exception of the sobbing noises and hiccups in between that escape his mouth, letting the elder lead him back into his room. The door is closed behind him, and Jungkook thinks he hears a lock click, before his brother pulls him towards his bed, sitting down on it and pulling Jungkook between his legs.

He wipes at his tears furiously, but they don’t stop coming, not even when his brother says, “Cuckoo, Hoseok’s asleep in the other room, and if you keep going like this, you’re going to wake him up. He just fell asleep didn’t he?”

The words make him cry even harder at the mention, and his brother sighs when he slumps forward into his awaiting arms, rubbing his back soothing, whispering reassuring words in his ears. When his cries start to soften, Minchan makes Jungkook stand straight, reaching up to wipe away the tears staining the younger’s cheeks, before asking, “Now, what happened?”

Jungkook shakes his head, eyes looking like they’ll spill over again any second, “Nothing.”

“Really? So you’re standing in front of me bawling your eyes out for no reason?” Minchan’s voice isn’t stern but it’s comforting and Jungkook reaches up to wipe away at his face before nodding again.

“Jungkook-ah, tell hyung what’s wrong,” Minchan insists, using his name instead of a nickname like he normally does. It makes Jungkook whimper and he shakes his head again, resistant.

“I think the last time I saw you properly cry was when I came back after I spent two years abroad, but even then it was only for like a minute.”

“I’m not a crier.”

“Yeah, you’re not,” Minchan admits softly, “never have been, never will be. So, come on, won’t you tell hyung what’s wrong now?”

Jungkook shakes his head at the question, breath stuttering as a fresh wave of tears start to make their way down his cheek and his cries start up again.

Minchan lets out a hefty sigh, reaching up to dab at the corner of Jungkook’s eyes with the corner of his sleeve, “Did eomma say something to you?”

Jungkook sniffles, appreciative of how his brother words the question – asking him what their mother did to him and not the other way. He’s about to shake his head again, but when Minchan makes a noise of disapproval and says “don’t lie or I’m leaving right now” Jungkook nods instead.

“And what did she say?”

“That she loved me.”

Jungkook pouts when his brother laughs and asks, “Is that why you’re crying?”

“No,” Jungkook wrings his hands in the shoulder of his brother’s shirt, quietly admitting, “we had a fight.”

“About whether she loved you or not?”

Jungkook nods, not meeting his brother’s eyes.

“And you said you don’t think she does?”

Jungkook nods again, trying to curl up into himself as best as he could while standing to avoid his brother gaze.

“Good.”

The words make his head snap up, and he stares wide-eyed at Minchan before he stutters out, “W-what?”

“The fact that you let her know how you feel,” Minchan clarifies with a smile, “that’s good.”

“That’s not – you shouldn’t say that,” Jungkook frowns. “Shouldn’t you tell me that I was wrong instead?”

“No, why should I? Maybe you’re not. Maybe eomma really doesn’t love you.”

Jungkook’s lower lip trembles and he asks quietly, “You think so too, right?”

“No, I don’t,” Minchan shakes his head. “Despite that, while there are some things that are out of her control, I think there are others that she could have handled better. But Jungkook, she’s only human, too, you know.”

“I don’t get what you’re trying to tell me.”

Minchan laughs before he looks away and run a hand through his hair, “I’m trying to tell you a lot of things. Or rather, there’s a lot of things that you don’t know that I want to tell you, Kook, but I have no idea how to say them. But just know this much, you weren’t a mistake or a whim, okay? Eomma adopted you not because she felt a sudden need to be someone’s saviour – she did it because she really liked you. Ask me and appa how much she talked about you the entire year leading up to your adoption – just ask us and we’ll tell you.”

“There were a lot of issues around the adoption, and neither me nor appa understood why she kept pushing for it despite obstacle after obstacle. But she insisted that she’d promised to herself that she would get you out of there, and so she needed to. I know there have been things that have happened that weren’t pleasant or things that no mother should ever put her child through, but no one’s perfect okay?”

“But, hyung –”

“– I know, Jungkook, I know. Not everything can be explained that way, but at least some things okay?”

“So,” Jungkook sniffles looking down at his hands, “what you’re saying was that I was wrong?”

Minchan sighs, pulling the younger boy into an embrace, “No, not quite wrong, but the way you handled it was wrong. Eomma was in the wrong, too, though. I know you’re not biologically related but she has that habit, too. To run her mouth without thought when she’s angry or upset. Actually, I think we all do. Maybe it’s a family thing.”

“Should I apologize?” Jungkook asks meekly. “I said some mean things.”

Minchan smiles up at him, wiping at the tear tracks on his cheeks, “I think that would make her very happy.”

“But it doesn’t solve the problem, does it?”

“You’ll have to talk to each other, instead of dancing around the topic like eomma and you have up until now to resolve the issue,” Minchan advises him, standing up and kissing Jungkook’s forehead. “Understand?”

Jungkook nods, giving his brother another hug, “Thank you.”

Minchan nods against him, pressing another kiss into his hair, “Sleep for now, you can talk to her in the morning, okay?”

“Should I give her some more time? Will tomorrow morning be too soon?” Jungkook asks again.

“Jungkook,” there’s a warning in his brother’s tone. “Tomorrow morning, okay? Appa isn’t home at all tomorrow, and I’m not here in the morning.”

“But what if what just happened happens again?”

Minchan lets out a puff of air, thinking, “Alright, fine, wait until I get back then.”

Jungkook nods his head in understanding, wiping at his nose, before taking a step away from his brother, “Thank you, hyung.”

His brother hums, patting his back reassuringly, “Sleep well, Kook.”

Jungkook slips under his covers once his brother closes the door behind him, turning the lights off on his way. Lying on his side, he runs through the entire argument in his head several times, thinking of everything his mother had said to him and what he’d responded back with. He stops, however, when the tears start to well up again, burning his eyes, and he forces himself to think of pleasant thoughts as he plays with the edge of his coverlet.

He’s surprised at how afraid his mother’s threat to break the engagement makes him, and tries to imagine undoing every moment he and Hoseok have spent. A sense of something like a mix of yearning and melancholy takes over him when he thinks of erasing those memories and replacing them with something else; or someone else. He’s not sure how to feel about this realization or of how immensely affected he’s been by Hoseok’s presence in his life.

Somewhere in the back of his mind he hears Jimin’s voice warning him to not rush into anything too quickly, to take his time, and when he tries to think back to his and Hoseok’s last two weeks together, he wonders if indeed he did rush it. He thinks about that for a very long time, thinks about it until sleep claims him, but even when he’s dangling on the edge of consciousness he can’t help but think that maybe it’s not rushing if they both know exactly what they and the other wants from this relationship. Perhaps it’s not rushing but simply mutual understanding and the laws of attraction doing their bidding.

 One thing’s for certain, however, and that is that he doesn’t regret it. He knows that even if given the chance to take things slower, he wouldn’t take it. It might be a little fast for someone else, Jungkook thinks as his eyes close, but for him their pace is satisfying. Maybe even thrilling like Hoseok had said earlier.

‘Yeah…thrilling’ is the last thought in Jungkook’s mind before he succumbs to the hold of sleep.

--

Glancing at the clock when he wakes up the next morning, Jungkook’s surprised it’s nearly 10 in the morning. He brings up a hand to wipe at his eyes, and finally notices the piece of paper his left hand is curled gently around. Frowning, he sits up, wondering where it came from, and looks at the door for a few seconds. It’s closed, like it had been last night before he went to sleep, and curiosity gets the better of him as he reaches to unfold the letter. He lets out a small laugh when his gaze falls onto the bottom of the paper, lips curving up when he sees it’s been signed by Hoseok.

Falling back onto his bed, Jungkook covers his eyes with his left hand, unable to stop himself from smiling as he remembers yesterday’s events. The smile gets progressively dimmer as his argument with his mother comes back to his mind, and he lets out a soft sigh when his brother’s words echo through his head. Placing the letter gently under his pillow, he reaches for his phone, not at all surprised to find a message waiting for him.

From: Hoseok

Good morning sleeping beauty!

From: Jungkook

A letter? Really?

From: Hoseok

What? I thought it’d be nice. :)

From: Jungkook

You could have just texted me…

From: Hoseok

But it wouldn’t have made you smile like the letter did.

From: Jungkook

The letter didn’t make me smile.

From: Hoseok

You must have not read it then.

From: Jungkook

From: Hoseok

Have you read it?

From: Jungkook

Not yet, actually.

From: Hoseok

Of course, I figured.

From: Jungkook

Why? Is there something in there that’ll get a reaction out of me?

From: Hoseok

No, I don’t think so. I just thought it’d be nice, though, to leave you one instead of a text.

From: Jungkook

You’re such a romantic, hyung.

From: Hoseok

For you, angel, only for you. ♥

From: Jungkook

Blegh. Wait, aren’t you in a meeting?

From: Hoseok

It’s starting soon, I’m in the conference room. :)

From: Jungkook

Oh.

From: Hoseok

Mhmm.

From: Jungkook

I’ll leave you to it, then. Have fun!

From: Hoseok

I shall try. Talk to you later. ♥

From: Jungkook

Bye! ♥


If you'd like to say hi: Tumblr | Twitter

Chapter Text

“Are you leaving?” a groggy voice asks from behind Yoongi, and he turns around to look at his husband lying in bed, blinking wearily up at him.

“Morning dolcezza,” he greets Jimin, leaning down to press his lips against the younger boy’s chapped ones, even when Jimin protests with a squeak and tries to duck away from the kiss.

The glare Jimin directs his way when he manages to steal a peck from the boy has no bite or anger to it, and he laughs when the younger switches tactics and looks up to pout at him instead.

“Why are you awake?” he asks as the boy watches him with drooping eyelids, eyes fighting to stay open. He reaches down to open the box of cufflinks sitting on the side table which had been a gift from Jimin in celebration of the first contract he’d scored with a small, marketing firm.

The cufflinks are round in shape with a black background and studded with silver – one cufflink reading out the monogram Y and the other the monogram J. He smiles as he puts them on, remembering the day Jimin had gifted them and had told him about his original plan with the gift.

“I wanted to get your initials, hyung, but they didn’t have a M or a G!” A 21-year old Jimin had said with a big frown, lower lip trembling as he’d sat on the couch, facing Yoongi, and had opened the box for his boyfriend with hesitant hands. “I didn’t know what else to do, so, I just got my own name for the other one. I’m sorry.”

Yoongi had stared down at the pretty things in the velvet box with amazed eyes, before he’d looked up to meet Jimin’s unsure gaze, “Are these for me?”

“Who else would they be for, hyung?” Jimin had asked with a smile, leaning the side of his head against the back of the couch, and watched his boyfriend stare down at his gift with wide eyes. “I’m sorry that I got a J.”

Yoongi had shushed him by lunging forward for a kiss, the force of his body making Jimin stumble back into the arm rest of the couch as Yoongi had hovered over him, cupping his cheek tenderly. The box had lain between their bodies, still open and resting on Jimin’s stomach until Yoongi had reached down to pick it up, looking over the cufflinks admiringly. The elder had swooped down for another kiss, one that had made Jimin giggle, before breaking it off and pressing his lips to the younger’s forehead, murmuring a soft thank you.

Yoongi had tried to rest his weight on his arm as he traced the Y and J with his right, index finger, but Jimin had sensed his struggle, wrapping his own arms around the elder’s waist and pulled Yoongi right down into his own chest. It hadn’t been a comfortable position, but neither of them had cared in the slightest, especially not when Yoongi had gathered the younger boy underneath him into a tight hug, “Thank you, thank you so much.”

“Congratulations on your first client,” Jimin had said in reply, joining their lips once again when Yoongi had looked up at him with shining eyes. “I hope you do really well.”

“I don’t know,” Jimin says with a yawn, watching Yoongi insert the J cufflink into his right sleeve, before glancing at the clock on the wall across from him. “It’s not that early though, it’s almost ten. You’re leaving late today.”

“It’s Saturday, sweetheart. I always leave later on Saturdays,” Yoongi leans down to press another kiss in Jimin’s hair, one that makes the younger boy sigh out pleasantly. Jimin grabs at Yoongi’s collar when he tries to move back, however, almost making the elder stumble, but Yoongi manages to brace himself with a hand against the mattress.

Jimin captures his lips in another kiss this time, and it causes the elder to smile, the sensation of butterflies in his stomach filling him. The younger pulls away first, dropping back against the pillow, and holds out a hand as he demands, “Tie.”

“You want to tie my tie?” Yoongi asks for clarification, chuckling with Jimin nods and pushes at his shoulders to get him to get moving. Yoongi does as he is asked to, with a snort, grabbing his striped tie off the chair, and walking back to the bed, handing it to Jimin who reaches for it with his eyes closed.

He grins in amusement when the younger boy doesn’t even bother to sit up, instead reaching for Yoongi’s wrist and tugging his body down, until Jimin can slip his hands around Yoongi’s neck with ease while still lying down. Yoongi rolls his eyes when the younger boy cracks an eye open, the other scrunched shut as he lifts up the collar of Yoongi’s button down.

Dolcezza,” Yoongi begins, putting both hands on the bed to avoid falling forward onto the younger boy when Jimin shifts sideways.

Jimin hums in response, fingers coming out to smooth the tie, before adjusting it so it’s uneven around Yoongi’s neck.

“It’s going to come out crooked if you keep going at it at that angle,” Yoongi warns Jimin with a smile, lips widening when the younger boy looks up at him contemplatively, focused eyes blinking fast. Jimin nods at the observation, and finally sits up, legs bent at the knees and making a w-position. Yoongi marvels at his flexibility for a few seconds, before shifting himself so he’s leaning directly in front of Jimin.

The younger rubs at his eyes a few times, mouth opening to let out a yawn, but when Yoongi’s hands come up to do his own tie, Jimin slaps them away, growling, “Mine.”

“Alright, alright, love, but can you hurry a little? I’m running late.”

Jimin nods, hands rushing as he makes a knot and pushes it up, closer towards Yoongi’s neck. The elder gives him another kiss on the forehead, murmuring a soft thank you, before turning back to the chair where his socks and shoes rest.

Jimin tilts his head to the side, calmly watching his husband get dressed, and when Yoongi turns to give him another smile and stands up, he does too. He reaches for the elder’s coat before Yoongi can, and holds out the suit jacket for him to wear. He smoothens out the material of the jacket, before fisting his hands in the lapels, holding onto Yoongi tightly, and asks, “Are you coming home late today?”

Yoongi pulls him into a hug, one that Jimin eagerly leans into, resting him head against Yoongi’s shoulder, taking in his musky scent. The elder drops a kiss against his forehead, hands carding through the hairs at the nape of his neck, “Go back to sleep if you’re tired.”

Jimin shakes his head, denying feeling any exhaustion, and Yoongi nods against his head, cheek resting against the younger’s hair as they stand in an embrace in the middle of his room for an entire minute. A glance at the clock tells Yoongi to start rushing if he wants to make it to work on time, and so he pulls away reluctantly, patting Jimin’s butt, “I’ll be home in most likely a couple of hours, okay?”

“A couple?” Jimin’s eyes widen at the information as he takes a step away from Yoongi, but then proceeds to follow his husband out to the living room. “You’re not staying the whole day today?”

“Not today, love,” Yoongi says with a smile, turning back to glance at the younger boy trailing after him. Jimin takes a seat onto the arm rest of the sofa, watching Yoongi pack his laptop into his work bag. He rubs at his eyes as Yoongi bustles around the place grabbing things here and there, a few files and papers scattered on the dining table where he’d chosen to work last night.

“Are you just going to the office or meeting with a client?”

“Office for two hours only, and then I’m meeting Jungkook for lunch at 12:30.”

“Jungkook? My Jungkook? Without me?” Jimin looks startled, and he stands up with wide eyes. “Why are you two meeting behind my back?”

“Hey, why can’t I meet with Jungkook by myself?” Yoongi looks amused, leaning his elbows on the back of a dining table chair. “Hm?”

Jimin pouts, “I mean…what for?”

“Stuff,” the elder teases, sticking out his tongue, the image making Jimin smile even though he doesn’t want to.

“Tell me!”

“Sorry, babe, but it’s confidential information,” Yoongi grins widely when Jimin frowns at him. “It’s part of my policy to not share.”

“Part of your policy, huh?” Jimin shifts his weight to one leg, cocking an eyebrow. “So, he’s hiring you then? For an event?”

“My lips are sealed,” Yoongi repeats, walking forward and dropping a kiss against Jimin’s forehead. “I’ll be back after lunch with Kook, okay? Probably around 3. I don’t have any other meetings today.”

“So, you won’t tell me?” Jimin asks with sad eyes, and Yoongi gives him another endearing look before cupping his cheek and kissing him.

“It’s not my story to tell, sweetheart. You know how Jungkook is about things, right? He’s shy, so let him be a little more comfortable, a little more confident with the idea, okay? I’m sure that you’ll be the first one he tells once he’s ready to share.”

Jimin nods in understanding, “Okay, sorry.”

“Don’t be,” Yoongi squeezes Jimin’s hand softly. “Alright, now I really have to go.”

“Be home by three, please.”

“Why?”

Jimin grins widely at his husband, tilting his head, and he takes a step back, dancing away, when Yoongi subconsciously reaches for him, “Let’s play a game, hyung.”

“A game?” Yoongi looks curious mimicking Jimin’s stance.

Jimin hums, beaming at the elder, but there’s a bit of a sinful curl to his lips, “If you make it home before three o’ clock, hyung, I’ll give you a surprise.”

“What kind of a surprise?” Yoongi looks both skeptical and interested at the same time.

Jimin lets out a small, teasing laugh as he looks at Yoongi, not answering the question. He tugs at the edge of his shirt, pulling the material off, and tosses it onto the couch, “I’m going to shower, hyung. Have a good day, okay?”

Yoongi tries his best to appear unaffected as Jimin sways past him, but then the younger stops, turning back and crossing the meter between them until he’s pressed against Yoongi. Jimin tilts his head to give the elder a mouthy kiss, one that Yoongi returns with fervor as a hand runs down his clothed chest. Jimin breaks away first, taking a step back and then smiles innocently, “Three o’ clock, hyung. Don’t be late.”

--

Jungkook peeks into his parents’ bedroom to find it empty, and can’t help but breathe out a sigh of relief. He knows checking the place is absolutely futile, his mum and dad both preferring to be downstairs than in their rooms during the day, but he figures he needs some build up before he confronts his mother.

He lets a small squeak when he turns around and finds his brother standing there leaning against the wall, watching him.

“What’re you doing, cuckoo?”

“Looking for eomma.”

“In her room?”

Jungkook can’t help the way his cheeks redden at the question and he shrugs, embarrassed, “Gotta start somewhere, hyung.”

“You’re such a kid, Jungkook. Such a kid,” Minchan murmurs before ruffling his hair. “She’s downstairs. In the living room. Go, and don’t stall.”

“I thought I acted older than I was,” Jungkook mutters, running a hand through his hair to smoothen it, before letting out a deep sigh. He walks to the staircase slowly, even contemplates heading back to his room or his brother’s to stall a bit of time, but then the events from last night come rushing back.

“This whole marriage thing – you hate it, right Jungkook? You think I’m doing this, because I hate you, right? Alright, we’ll cancel it then. You don’t want to get married? Great, I’ll let Hoseok and his family know tomorrow morning that we’re cancelling it.”

He thinks to the unread letter still lying under his pillow, and draws in a resolute breath before making his way down the steps. Exactly how Minchan had described it, he finds his mother in the living room, with what seems like a few bags.

She’s dressed up, he notices when he first steps in the room, her hair done and sporting a flowy sundress. He wonders why she is, eyebrows furrow in wonder, but he tries to make himself smile when his mother turns around to glance at the intruder. She stares at him for a few seconds, before looking away, gaze ducking away from her own son.

Jungkook’s not sure if that’s a good sign or a bad one, but with the way his heart clenches a little at the action, he starts to lean towards the latter. He opens his mouth to call her out, but she beats him to it first.

Still with her back turned and fiddling with the bags in front of her, she asks, “You’re awake?”

“Yeah,” he replies quietly, taking a few steps closer until he stands hardly two feet away from her, able to reach out and touch her arm if he wanted to. “Eomma.”

She hums in response to his question, moving away from her spot and over to the other end of the coffee table, creating distance between them.

“Eomma,” he says again, voice even quieter than before, but laced with an emotion that makes her look up.

“What is it?”

“You’re not…you’re not going to cancel it, right? You’re not going to go meet Hoseok hyung’s family, right?” he stutters out quietly, worry and fear gracing his features, but he stops at the end of the sentence when his mother smiles bitterly, tilting her head.

He’s surprised to see that there’s a sudden dampness to her eyes, “So this is what it’s about? That’s all you’re worried about after last night?”

Jungkook understands her implications immediately, and he opens and closes his mouth several times, before looking down at his slippers. He twitches in his spot, before he looks up and shakes his head, “No. That’s not all.”

“Really?”

He gulps, remaining where he is and avoiding his mother’s gaze, “I’m sorry for everything I said to you last night. I was…out of line.”

“Your behaviour wasn’t what upset me, Jungkook. But the fact that everything you said last night was representative of how you feel about me really hurts,” his mother says softly, sinking down into one of the seats, but not without grace.

He looks up at her after a few seconds, and asks, “Eomma, can I ask you a question? Did you…did you adopt me because you actually liked me?”

“Yes,” she replies without missing a beat, and Jungkook stills where he is.

“You wanted me?” he asks again for clarification. “It wasn’t just that you wanted another kid? Wanted to help somebody in need?”

“If I wanted another kid, we could have tried for another child,” she reminds him politely. “And if I truly wanted to help someone in need, there are hundreds of organizations looking for donations and volunteers at any given moment, Jungkook.”

“But,” Jungkook falters in his tracks, pausing and looking around as if the words he’s looking for are buried somewhere within the walls that surround him. “Why? Why me?”

His mother pauses at the questions and looks at him silently for several minutes. Her eyes graze over his entire being, looking for the answer, but comes up empty handed. She shrugs finally, tilting her head and smiling, “I don’t know. I guess you were cute.”

Jungkook gapes at her statement, before he finds himself unknowingly chuckling, bringing up a hand to cover his mouth when the sound gets louder. He lets out a soft sigh after he’s done, and lifts his head to find his mother smiling at him. A sobering look takes over him, and it in turns reflects on his mother’s. She crosses her legs at the knees, making a slight protruding bump visible underneath the material of her dress, and waits for him to continue.

“Then why?” he asks in a soft voice. “The things I said last night wasn’t even everything, eomma. Why did you make me go through all of that? I thought…at first I’d accepted it as my fate as the adopted child. I thought that maybe you just adopted me because you…you wanted to make someone’s life a little easier. Love wasn’t necessary, but then you tell me all of this and I don’t understand. You were and have been so unfair the entire time, eomma.”

His mother takes a deep breath, not meeting his gaze, and Jungkook for a brief second wonders if she’s ashamed, “There are some things that are out of my control, Jungkook. I never wanted to make you go through terrible things. I didn’t do any of this because I hated you, but you have to understand that there are some things that I simply get no say in.”

“Appa?” Jungkook asks after a while. “Was it him? Did he ask you to put me in a different school? Did he –”

“No,” his mother answers him quickly, cutting him off. “It wasn’t your father, necessarily. Please don’t ask me of the details, and I’m sorry that I can’t give you a better explanation. I really hope you understand, though, that I really do love you, Jungkook.”

“I don’t know, eomma,” he shifts around on his foot uneasily. “Considering everything, that’s just a little hard to believe.”

His mother doesn’t speak up for the longest time, and then when she finally does, she says something that stuns him, “I’m sorry, Jungkook, but this, right now, is your chance, okay? This is your chance for freedom, and I’ll make sure to give it you. I promise you that I’ll let you have this, so please just put up with it for a bit longer, okay? I know you’ve been doing that for years now, but just, please don’t hate me anymore and put up with it for just a bit longer.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Jungkookie,” she says softly, and Jungkook stills in his place, momentarily stunned by his mother’s use of an affectionate nickname for the first in almost decades. “Just bear with it for a few more days, okay? I know you might think that I insisted on you getting married before your brother did, because I don’t love you, but that’s not the truth. I’m sorry that I don’t know how else to fix the mess I’ve created of your life apart from this way. But this is your chance, Jungkook, this is your chance to get away from the Jeons. Run and don’t ever look back, baby, just run and don’t ever look back. I’m promise I’ll get you away from all of them.”

“Eomma,” he can’t help but utter the words in shock, understanding dawning as tears spring to his eyes, especially when she stands up and straightens out her dress. She crosses the distance between them, and even without her gesturing towards him, he falls into her arms.

“I’m…sorry,” he cries in her shoulder, tightening his arms around the woman who’s now much smaller than him than she used to be. “I’m sorry for…everything I said last night.”

“It’s okay,” she replies, rubbing his back. “Eomma said some bad things, too, didn’t she? I’ve done some really awful things so far, haven’t I? But I promise, I promise I’ll make up for them, now. I’m glad…I’m glad we found Hoseok, Jungkook, and I swear that I’ll fight anyone who stands in the way of you two getting married.”

Jungkook pulls back at her words, sniffling even as her hands come up to wipe at his cheeks, “What do you mean? I thought we were getting married for sure.”

“You are,” she says softly. “You are, but…he hasn’t met everyone yet, has he? We have to make sure your grandmother approves, Jungkook. She’s the elder in her family, and we both know your father won’t do anything without her consent, no matter how much he wants to. So, now we have to make sure she likes him.”

Jungkook sniffles, wiping at his nose, tears burning his eyes again, “But she’ll never say yes to him. She’ll never say yes if she thinks I like him even the slightest. She hates me!”

“Don’t worry about that,” his mother assures him a second time. “Don’t worry about that, Jungkook. Your eomma’s going to make sure this marriage, happens, okay? I promise. Trust me.”

Jungkook eyes her warily, expression guarded, but he sees a hint of the fierce woman he’d come to know the first time he’d met her as a child. Over the years, she’d simmered down into someone almost gentle, but right at this moment, Jungkook sees that same woman from 21 years ago again. The spark in her eyes and the confidence on her face has him nodding, albeit a little hesitantly, “Okay eomma. I…I trust you.”

“Go have breakfast,” she tells him as he steps away, wiping his eyes. “And after you’re done, go and take these over to the Jungs, okay?”

“The Jungs?” he asks glancing at the bags set atop the coffee table. “What are these?”

“Marriage is about more than the person you’re marrying, Jungkook,” she explains quietly. “You have to considers a lot of other people than just Hoseok now, okay? He’s already started doing it, you know. Despite being sick and despite it just being a work trip, he still came over last night to gives us those jackets he bought for us. It doesn’t matter whether we liked them or not, what mattered was that we were in his thoughts, Jungkook. I know you’re a few years younger than he is, but you have to start doing the same, too, okay? These are for his family. I’ve labelled them, so you know which one to give to whom, but I’m not always going to be around to do these things for you, alright?”

Jungkook nods his head, reaching forward and picking up the bags to look through them, when his mother speaks up again, grabbing his attention, “Typically we tend to give gifts to the groom and his family during the wedding and after, but in some families it’s done a little differently. I guess the Jungs are one of them.”

“I knew about the during,” Jungkook informs his mother quietly, peeking into the bag that holds Hoseok’s name. “But I didn’t know you did it before and after, too.”

His mother smiles a little, “We don’t tend to do too much before, actually, or well I should say that the Jeons don’t.”

Jungkook looks at his mother questioningly, “What do you mean?”

“Your father told me this, and I thought he was joking at first, but turns out this is actually quite serious,” his mother’s eyes take on an amused glint as she sits back down in her sofa. “But before your cousin got married, I wanted to buy the bride-to-be a few things after the engagement, just because that’s always the way my mother did things. Your father, however, refused to let me.”

“How come?”

“Turns out, broken engagements are common in their family, and so he didn’t want me “wasting money” on a relationship that wasn’t even going to make it to marriage.”

Jungkook blinks a few times, “But we’ve got so much money, I’m sure people might be more inclined to marry into a family if they get treated nicely.”

“Precisely why I found it hilarious,” his mother confides with a furtive smile. “But don’t tell him I said that, okay?”

Jungkook grins at his mother, nodding, “Okay, eomma. I’ll try not to.”

Try?”

“I want something in return, though.”

His mother’s mouth falls open, before she looks at him with fond eyes, “I think that this is the first time you’ve asked me for something. Perhaps in your own roundabout way, but still the first time you’ve asked me for something.”

“Oh, look at you two smiling at each other,” Minchan interrupts at that exact second, coming up from behind Jungkook and swinging an arm around his shoulder. “Made up so quickly? I thought it would last for days.”

“He’s not stubborn and a grudge-holder like you, Chan-ah, that’s why,” his mother teases her eldest son who gapes at her.

“Wow, eomma, stubbornness is a family trait we all share, how have you not noticed it in Jungkookie? Is it ‘cause you like him better? Is that why you’re so blind to his faults?”

“And if I do?” Jungkook grins at his mother’s response, turning to glance at his brother who huffs.

“Fine, I don’t like you either, eomma. Just for the record, the only reason your favourite son didn’t hold a grudge is because I told him not to.”

“Yeah, well,” their mother shrugs vaguely. “I’m sure if someone told you to not hold a grudge against me you still wouldn’t listen to them.”

“You’re mean,” Minchan pouts, before sticking out at his tongue.

“How are over 30, hyung?” Jungkook can’t help but interject, laughing when his older brother points his tongue at him.

“You two stay here, I’m going to go change,” their mother interrupts them as they both stick their tongues out at each other.

“But eomma, why are you changing? You look really pretty today,” Minchan gives her a wide smile, full of teeth, and it turns into a chuckle when she glares at him and shakes her head.

“Jungkook, make sure to visit your in-laws and give these things, okay?” she calls out, heading out of the living room, and Jungkook responds affirmatively.

“I’m meeting Yoongi hyung for lunch in a few hours, I’ll go after that, eomma.”

She nods her head, before she pauses, remembering something, and heads back into the room.

“Ah, Chan-ah,” she calls out her oldest son’s name, but her amused tone makes both Jungkook and Minchan turn to look at her.

“Yes?” Minchan gives her a questioning glance

“See, eomma doesn’t know too much about the trends of today,” Jungkook’s eyebrows furrow as he watches his mother speak with a twinkle in her eye, her gaze fixed on Jungkook despite addressing her other son, “but do kids these days really leave each other love letters?”

Jungkook’s mouth drops open, and he stares at his mother with wide eyes, forgetting to blink. His gaze remains on his mother who tilts her head at him curiously, not even registering the way his brother’s turns to glance at him.

“I don’t know, eomma,” Minchan smirks, before he chuckles and pinches Jungkook’s cheek, “what do you think, cuckoo? I’ve personally never gotten a handwritten love letter. Have you?”

Jungkook presses his lips into a firm line, and makes a negative sound, shaking his head, “No, never gotten one. I don’t think so.”

“Really now?” his mother asks, raising an eyebrow, before she nods, clasping her hands together. “Because I saw something very curious this morning, but of course Jungkook would know best.”

Minchan lets out a whopping laugh, turning to glance between Jungkook and his mother, “You actually caught Hoseok in the act of it?”

Jungkook looks at her horrified, cheeks tinted with red, and he silently wishes for the ground to swallow him up.

His mother smiles mischievously, “Well I did see something, Chan-ah, but I must be mistaken. Maybe I need to get my eyes checked?”

Minchan lets out a loud, hollering sound, turning to Jungkook, “What did it say, cuckoo? What did he feel the need to write you that he couldn’t have texted?”

“Nothing,” Jungkook huffs out finally, turning away from both of them, and pretends to look through the bags.

“Ah, I guess I was wrong, then,” Jungkook presses his palms to his cheeks when his mother continues. “But you know what else I saw, Chan-ah?”

“What else did you see, eomma?” Minchan goads her on good-naturedly, leaning over to ruffle Jungkook’s hair.

The younger boy finally turns at the comment and he whines, “Eomma, no!”

She pays him no attention, perching onto the edge of the couch, “Oh, Chan-ah, you should have been there. I couldn’t find Hoseok in the morning, so naturally I went and checked Jungkook’s room, and oh my!”

“Eomma!” Jungkook protests again, shaking his head and taking a step closer.

“Hey, we’re family, you’re supposed to share this stuff with us, Jungkook,” Minchan pats his back soothingly, laughing when his younger brother pushes him away.

“He was standing by Jungkook’s bedside, you know,” his mother continues, taking on the tone of voice she’d used to tell them stories when they were younger, “when I walked in.”

“Oh?” Minchan looks at his mother gleefully.

Jungkook lets out a small wail, “Can we not? Please?”

“Well, he didn’t notice me at first, but I saw him tuck the letter into Jungkook’s left hand. Did you know your brothers sleeps with his hands fisted? Well he does, poor Hoseok struggled a bit. But once he was done, he leaned over and kissed Jungkook –”

“I’M LEAVING!” Jungkook announces loudly, interrupted his mother’s story, but Minchan pulls him back with a cackle, holding him there even as he protests viscerally and makes loud noises.

“Where did he kiss cuckoo, eomma?”

“Well, just the cheek, which was disappointing,” Hyunseo laughs as she watches her youngest son let out another cry, covering his steadily reddening face with his hands, “but then he petted Jungkook’s hair, too. Too bad Hoseok noticed me after that, because then he got really red, said a few words, which were too incoherent for me to understand, and then almost ran out of the room.”

“Is it done?” Jungkook asks in a small voice, glaring at his mother. “Are you done, eomma?”

His mother nods happily, chirping, “Of course. It’s just that your father left before I could tell him, and the thing was nagging at me all day. I just had to share it with someone, you see.”

“I’m glad it was me, eomma,” Minchan says from behind Jungkook, laughing when the younger boy tries to elbow his stomach.

“Anyways,” their mother stands up, again, “now I really should go get changed.”

“Wasn’t that a cute story, Kook?” Minchan teases Jungkook once again, pinching his still-red cheeks.

“Shut up,” Jungkook grumbles under his breath, running a hand through his hair and letting out a deep breath.

“How much do you think she’s spent?” Minchan asks after a while, changing the topic as he glances at the bags. “A million won or more? Wait, can you even buy stuff for four people in that little money?”

Jungkook shrugs, as his brother checks the contents of each bag, “It’s probably more three million, I think. The stuff for hyung’s mother and sister looks expensive.”

“Yeah,” Minchan agrees, before turning to Jungkook. “Should I come with you?”

“Uh,” Jungkook falters, glancing down at the things and then back up at his brother. “Well, I’m meeting Yoongi hyung first, and then going, so it’ll be awkward if you’re there. Maybe next time?”

Minchan rolls his eyes, ruffling his hair, “So protective. I’m not going to eat him.”

Jungkook laughs, “I know, hyung, just…give him some time?”

--

Jungkook parks the car in the unfamiliar driveway, stepping out of the vehicle and looking around the extensive garden surrounding the place. He takes a deep breath, opening the door to the backseat and then pulls out the four bags his mother had left for him to take. Walking the remainder of the way to the front steps, Jungkook checks the front door number with the address his mother had given him, despite knowing he’s in the right place.

He gathers all the bags in one hand, before reaching forward and ringing the bell. Someone opens up the door a few seconds later, a servant who blinks up at him calmly, and Jungkook’s unsure of what to say or how to introduce himself.

“Hi,” he says quietly. “Is eomeonim inside?”

He can’t help but smile at the way the small woman’s eyes widen at his words, and she ushers him inside. Leading him to the drawing room, she bows as he sits down, “I’ll go get the Mistress right now.”

“Thank you,” Jungkook makes sure to call out, smiling when it brings a smile to the middle-aged woman’s face.

He looks around the cozy, well-furnished room, eyes roaming over the decorative pieces and paintings that occupy the room. His gaze settles onto the four identical, thin, dark brown vases perched onto the window sill, each holding different coloured florals.

His attention is pulled away when the door slides open, and he sees Hoseok’s mother walk inside, a big smile on her face.

“Jungkook?” She exclaims, reaching over to pull him into a warm hug that he hesitates to returns. She moves away, however, before he has a chance to even wrap his arms around her, “How are you, honey? It’s such a pleasant surprise to see you.”

“I’m good, eomeonim, how are you?” he asks in reply, sitting down when she ushers him back down onto the couch, taking a seat beside him.

“Even better now that you’re here,” the woman tells him, letting out a small laugh that makes Jungkook unknowingly smile. “So, how come you decided to drop by?”

“Oh, I,” Jungkook stumbles over his words, before pulling the bags from beside his feet and placing the on the table. “Hyung bought my parents and my hyung jackets, so we thought it would be nice to return the favour.”

“Oh, Jungkook, you didn’t have to!” Hoseok’s mother tells him with bright eyes, before she glances at the bags. “Are these from you specifically?”

“Well, my mother, more specifically,” Jungkook admits under her knowing gaze.

“That’s very nice of her,” the woman says softly. “Hold on, let me go get Hoseok and his noona, as well.”

“Oh, hyung’s here?”

“Yes, just a second, Jungkook,” the woman gives him another smile, squeezing his hand reassuringly, before she leaves the room.

He sits there, a little awkwardly, moving back and forth, fiddling his hands as he waits. His head snaps towards the door when it slides open, and he can’t help the smile that springs onto his lips when Hoseok walks inside.

“Hey,” the elder greets him with a surprised look, “what are you doing here?”

Jungkook doesn’t know why he stands up, but he does, shrugging in response to Hoseok’s question, “Just here.”

“To see me?” Hoseok asks, tilting his head to the side, and putting his hands under his chin.

Jungkook snorts back a laugh, “You wish.”

“I do, angel, I do,” Hoseok grins at him, walking forward to shorten the distance between them. He eyes the bags settled by Jungkook’s feet, “What are those?”

“Stuff.”

“Stuff?”

“It’s for your family and you,” Jungkook reveals when Hoseok raises a questioning eyebrow at his evasiveness.

“Are you trying to one up me?” Hoseok asks with a laugh, twisting his body to press a kiss against Jungkook’s cheek.

“That was unnecessary,” Jungkook says with a frown, “but no, my mother is trying to one up you.”

Hoseok’s cheek colour at the mention of his mother, and Jungkook grins, wondering if it’s because of what happened in the morning, “Why are you turning red?”

“I am?” Hoseok asks, patting his cheeks. “I’m naturally red.”

Jungkook lets out a loud laugh, and this time he leans forward mischievously, tracing the red on Hoseok’s cheeks with his thumb. He presses a quick kiss to the colour and then shakes his head, “No, you’re not.”

“Whatever, angel,” Hoseok mutters, but Jungkook can tell how pleased he is. “So, this is all from eomeonim and not from you?”

“Yup,” Jungkook chirps, “I got you a little something else.”

“Did you know? And what would that be exactly?”

“You’ll find out once I find out what you got me,” Jungkook gives Hoseok a grin, and the two turn to glance towards the entrance when a woman walks inside.

“Jeon Jungkook?” The woman he assumes is Hoseok’s sister asks him, staring at him with a wide smile. She looks very similar to her brother, Jungkook notices right off the bat, and so he steps forward, nodding his head and returning her smile. She picks up on the slight hesitance in his posture remarkably easily, and hovers a few steps away, not leaning in for a hug. “It’s nice to finally meet the boy my brother’s oh-so-taken with.”

“Noona!” Hoseok semi-shrieks behind him, and Jungkook laughs, turning around to give Hoseok a wink.

“Well, I tend to have that effect on people,” Jungkook beams at the woman, who laughs at his response, and finally extends her arms, as if asking for permission for a hug. He steps forward, giving her a small hug, and laughs when she holds on to him tightly.

“You should hug family properly at least,” she chides him, before reaching out to pinch his cheeks. The action makes him blush, and she coos, “Wow, he’s so cute, Seok-ah.”

Jungkook flushes at the compliment, murmuring a soft thanks before he pulls away, putting a bit of distance between them. The doors open for a fourth time, and Jungkook glances towards them as Hoseok’s mother and a little girl walk back inside.

“Hey Rohee, come here,” Hoseok crouches onto the floor, gesturing towards the little girl who bounds up happily into his arms. “Rohee, this is Jungkook.”

“Hi,” Jungkook raises his hand to wave at the girl who peeks at him shyly, face buried in Hoseok’s shoulder. She stares at him for a few seconds, before hesitantly waving back.

“This is my daughter, Rohee,” Hoseok’s sister handles the introduction, the girl’s head snapping towards her mother at her name. “Rohee, sweetheart, say hi to him.”

“Hi,” the little girl says quietly, and Jungkook lets out a small laugh when she turns her face away right after, whispering something in Hoseok’s ear.

“Who is he?” Hoseok echoes her words, the girl looking at him shyly again. “This is Jungkook. Remember how I told you I was getting married, Rohee? This is him.”

“Oh,” the girl says softly, and when her expression switches into a glare, Jungkook’s unsure how to react. She turns to Hoseok and in a firm voice says, “No.”

“No?” Hoseok laughs, pecking her nose, the action making the girl in his arms giggle. “You don’t want to marry him?”

“No,” the girl repeats. “You can marry me.”

Jungkook can’t help the laugh that makes it way out of him, and his eyes gleam with happiness when he glances at Hoseok who’s looking at him fondly, “It seems like our story’s going to be a forbidden one.”

“Isn’t that right, angel?” Hoseok replies with a wink, before turning to the girl in his arms and nodding. “Alright, if Rohee doesn’t want me to marry him, then I won’t.”

“You don’t like him?” Hoseok’s older sister asks her daughter, holding her arms out towards the little girl. She holds her against her hip, and Jungkook tries to smile when Rohee’s gaze directs towards him.

“He’s okay,” the girl replies seriously, turning to her mother.

“Ah, Jungkook,” Hoseok’s mother interrupts them all, “why are you standing? You can sit, you know.”

He nods at her, sitting back down, raising an eyebrow when Hoseok takes the seat next to him and grins at him secretively.

“These are for you and abeonim,” Jungkook says finally as a silence descends over them, checking the tags his mother had placed on the tags, before handing two to Hoseok’s mother. “I hope you like them.”

“And these,” he picks up another two bags, holding them out to Hoseok’s older sister, “are for you, Rohee, and your husband, noona. You don’t mind if I call you that, right?”

“No, no, of course not,” the woman’s quick to reassure him, taking the bags from him gratefully. She opens one of them, taking a peek inside, and lets out a soft gasp. “Oh, I like what I see already!”

“Oh, your mother has good taste,” Hoseok’s mother tells Jungkook with a smile. “Dawon-ah is very particular about her things.”

“That’s good then,” Jungkook smiles, and then passes the last bag to Hoseok, “And this for one is for you, hyung.”

“Thank you,” Hoseok says quietly, taking the bag from him, and Jungkook glares at the elder when he holds his hand instead of the bag. There’s mirth dancing in Hoseok’s eyes when he does, and he gives him a teasing grin before taking the gift from his hand.

Jungkook shifts back into his seat, and catches Hoseok’s sister watching him. He smiles at her, hoping it conveys what it is that she’s looking for, and when she gives him a nod and a small smile, he feels a little lighter. He gives Hoseok a small, sideways glance, and then turns his gaze back to the remaining occupants of the room.

The word family echoes somewhere in the back of his mind, and as Hoseok’s mother addresses him, asking him about his day, he gives himself a silent nod of acknowledgment.

‘Yeah’, he thinks. ‘Family.’

--

“So, what did you get me?” Hoseok asks, after they exit the drawing room, having been ushered outside by Hoseok’s mother to go look around the house. “I don’t see anything.”

“What did you get me?” Jungkook throws back, “I don’t see anything either.”

Hoseok doesn’t say anything, leading him out of the house, and Jungkook’s eyebrows furrow at the silence from the elder. He opens his mouth, about to say something, when Hoseok interrupts, “You want to know?”

“Sure, why not?” Jungkook replies, nonchalantly, skipping down the front steps. Hoseok holds out his hand, wiggling his fingers, and Jungkook joins his own hand with the elder’s with a smile. They walk around the house, past the driveway where Jungkook’s car is parked, and he wonders where Hoseok is taking him.

“You’re lucky I didn’t go home,” Hoseok tells him shifting his hold on Jungkook’s hands so that their fingers are now intertwined. “Or you would have had to wait for your gift.”

Jungkook hums, curiosity getting the better of him, as him and Hoseok walk over to where the elder’s car is parked. He stands to the side as Hoseok unlocks the trunk, and then pulls something out of a smaller suitcase.

Jungkook can see the hesitance in his shoulders as he shuts the trunk, turning around to look at Jungkook a little nervously, “Alright, so, this isn’t really much.”

Hoseok fumbles with the box in hand, before he stops and takes a deep breath. He pulls Jungkook closer to him by the wrist, until the younger is standing right in front of him, head tilted down to glance at the object in Hoseok’s hand.

“Okay, so remember that day when you told me you wanted gauges? Wait don’t misunderstand, I mean, these aren’t gauges, because like you said not professional, but I remember noticing how your ears were pierced the day we met. Um, again, it’s not much, and they apparently don’t make a lot of earrings for men, because…well, I don’t really know why. But, uh, I got you these.”

Jungkook stares at Hoseok with a surprised look in his eyes and mouth parted when the elder looks up to finally meet his gaze, and Hoseok’s suddenly not sure how to feel about the emotions swirling in the younger’s eyes. He’s surprised Jungkook didn’t interrupt his rambling earlier and had instead patiently stood there and listened. He feels a little more confident when Jungkook’s gaze leaves him and drops back down at the box in hand, holding two pairs of studs and a pair of earrings, “There’s three, because I wasn’t sure which one to pick and thought you might like variety. I actually also saw these other ones and they were of an angel, which was so fitting. But the thing was that they were, uh, a little feminine. I remember how you said you weren’t a girl and didn’t like the flowers, so…”

Jungkook interrupts him, “…I liked the flowers.”

“What?”

“I, uh, I mean –” Jungkook stutters, unsure of what to say as Hoseok stares at him expectantly, until the elder’s lip curve up into a smirk. “The flowers weren’t bad.”

“Oh? So you liked them?”

“No,” Jungkook says firmly, rolling his eyes, but then turns to take the box from Hoseok’s hands. “So, earrings?”

“Yes, so I got you this. I thought you might not have a lot of different ones, because I’ve only seen you wear that one pair twice. But now I think about it, that was really stupid on my part, because it’s not like you couldn’t afford more if you wanted more.”

“This is ridiculous,” Jungkook looks up to tell Hoseok after a few seconds, touching the studs with his right index finger.

Hoseok’s face falls at the words, and his smile dims, “Oh. I…um, I’m sorry. I don’t have any sort of sense when it comes to picking out these. Sorry, I can take you next time, so you can choose something you like? I should’ve just gotten you a jacket, shouldn’t I have? I don’t know why I –”

“That’s not what I meant,” Jungkook says with a small smile, lifting his head to look at Hoseok. He closes the box of earrings, slipping it into his pocket, and gives Hoseok a short peck on the cheek, “Thank you for these, I like them. Do you want your gift now?”

“Oh,” Hoseok blinks at him, before he nods, “if you have it on you.”

Jungkook grins at the elder, leaning closer, “Can we go somewhere less open? You might not want people to know about this.”

Hoseok raises a suggestive eyebrow at that, one that Jungkook laughs at, “Somewhere private? You want to go up to my room?”

“Sure,” Jungkook nods. “Let’s go.”

Hoseok leads him back inside the house quickly, and they dash up the stairs, hand-in-hand, Jungkook secretly relieved that no one notices the two of them heading upstairs. Hoseok directs him to his room quietly, before he turns, and gives Jungkook a narrow-eyed look, “Wait, I haven’t seen your room. Should I take you to the guest bedroom instead?”

Jungkook laughs, rolling his eyes, “Really, so you’re telling me my mother put that letter in my hand while I was sleeping?”

Hoseok colours at the mention, especially when Jungkook leans forward and continues, “And you’re telling me that it was my mother who kissed my cheek while I was asleep?”

“How did you know about that?” Hoseok’s wide-eyed, turning the doorknob and pulling them both inside.

“Eomma told me,” Jungkook reveals with a groan as they slip inside Hoseok’s room. “Do you know how humiliating that was?”

“Do you know how humiliating her catching me kissing your cheek was?” Hoseok cocks an eyebrow. “It was much worse than whatever you went through, alright?”

“Well, then, maybe you shouldn’t have done it,” Jungkook points out, taking a seat on the bed, hand stroking the quilt under him. He takes a quick look around the room that’s painted in a mix of dark and neutral colours, most of the furniture hues of brown. Hoseok stands in front of him, watching him take in his surroundings, smiling when Jungkook pulls his legs up onto the bed, sitting cross-legged. “So, this is your room?”

“My childhood room, yes,” Hoseok admits, suddenly a little conscious. “You haven’t seen the other one yet, right?”

“I saw a bit of it from that video call,” Jungkook replies, meeting the elder’s gaze. “But otherwise no, I haven’t.”

“So, what did you get me?” Hoseok holds out a hand, making the younger boy smile.

It’s Jungkook’s turn to hesitate this time as he reaches into the inside pocket of his rain jacket, “Okay so, the reason I said it was ridiculous was because of this…hold on.”

Hoseok raises an eyebrow when Jungkook tugs at his wrist until he’s sitting on the bed, facing Jungkook, and then pulls out some decorative tissue paper, “Sorry they’re just wrapped up like this, but the box was too big and I didn’t want to risk carrying it. It was hard to disguise the bump it created.”

Hoseok’s mouth drops open when Jungkook unwraps the paper for him, holding it out in his palm, “Holy shit. You –”

“Yeah.”

“You actually –”

“Yeah.”

Hoseok picks up one of the tongue piercings in front of him, a long silver one with a purplish-blue ball at the end, holding it between his index finger and thumb, twisting it around, before staring up at Jungkook with wide eyes.

“You know what the best part about that one is?” Jungkook asks with a bright smile. “Its glow in the dark!”

“Oh my god.”

“Yeah!” Jungkook nods his head eagerly. “That one’s my favourite.”

“I…you…” Hoseok stutters in his words, staring up at Jungkook with a strange look. “You got me a glow-in-the-dark tongue ring.”

Jungkook hesitates, before he nods, unsure what to make of Hoseok’s emotionless voice. He lips curve down disappointedly when Hoseok says no more, and he says softly, “I’m sorry. Do you not like it? I thought you liked wearing them.”

“I, sometimes, do,” Hoseok replies, still not meeting his gaze, before putting barbell in hand back down in Jungkook’s palm. He picks up the black and silver on this time, and then looks up at Jungkook to reiterate, “Jungkook, you got me two tongue rings.”

Jungkook hunches into himself, muttering out a soft, “Sorry.”

Hoseok looks up at him in surprise, several emotions flicking through his eyes, before he repeats again in a soft voice, “You’re amazing, you know?”

Jungkook head snaps up at the compliment, “What?”

The elder laughs, shoulder quaking as he grins at Jungkook widely, eyes curved into crescents, “Sweetheart, you got me barbells, one of which glows in the dark!”

“Wait,” Jungkook hesitates, asking for clarification, “so, do you like them or not?”

“I like them!” Hoseok tells him with a laugh, taking the piece of tissue from his hands. “I really like them!”

“Yeah?”

“Just don’t expect me to wear them in public, alright?”

Jungkook gives the elder a teasing grin, “That’s alright. I don’t want you to. You can always just wear them in private, solely for me.”

Hoseok’s mouth drops open at the words, and he stares at the younger with new eyes, “Well, then, angel, aren’t we possessive?”

Jungkook has the hardest time curbing down his grin, especially when Hoseok says, “If I wasn’t before, I swear I’m in love with you now.”

“Why’d you respond like that, then?” Jungkook asks, hitting Hoseok’s shoulder. “You scared me! I thought you hated them.”

“I was just playing with you,” Hoseok reveals with a grin. “Although if I’m being honest, I was not expecting this, and you just really surprised me.”

“So, you actually do like them?” Jungkook asks again in a small voice.

Hoseok hums, looking up, “Yeah, enough that I could totally kiss you right now.”

“If you put that on, I might even let you.”

Chuckling, Hoseok shakes his head, “That’ll have to wait then.”

He stares at the barbells in hand again, hold tightening on the tissue paper, “You’re something else, Jungkook. You’re really something else.”

Jungkook’s toes curl in pleasure at Hoseok’s tone of voice, a mixture of awe and surprise. He leans forward to press a kiss onto Hoseok’s cheek, surprising the elder, “You’re welcome.”

“Ah, I forgot to say thank you,” Hoseok grins sheepishly, before he drops a kiss on Jungkook’s cheek as well. “What’s the score?”

“I’m winning,” Jungkook informs him.

“Yes, I’m aware, but by how much?”

Jungkook shrugs, “You’re not winning today, so don’t bother keep track.”

“Is that a challenge, angel?”

“Not really, I’m just letting you know.”

Jungkook watches Hoseok stand up, looking around before finding a small box and placing both tongue rings wrapped up in tissue inside. He tucks it in the pocket of his jacket that’s lying on a chair in the corner of the room, and moves back to take a seat on the bed. He scoots upwards, until he’s lying down on the mattress, leaning up on his elbows and staring at Jungkook.

“I still can’t believe it.”

“Why not?” Jungkook asks, turning to face Hoseok, back towards the door. His pulls his legs up, wrapping his arms around them before resting his chin on his knees.

“I don’t know,” Hoseok shrugs, turning onto his side, weight resting on an elbow. “I guess, because nobody knows about it, so I just never expected to get one as a gift.”

Jungkook hums in understanding, “I’m happy you like it.”

“Do you like your earrings? Sorry, it’s a lame gift, isn’t it? Especially compared to yours.”

“It’s not,” Jungkook insists with an honest smile. “I do like them. I’ve never gotten any as a gift either.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

They stay on Hoseok’s bed in silence, just content to be watching each other, until Jungkook smiles, “You look relaxed today, maybe even happier.”

“Do I?” Hoseok smiles at the observation.

“Yeah, much more than yesterday. You were really stressed out and exhausted then, but maybe it was also the fever that made you look tired.”

“What can I say?” Hoseok stares up at the ceiling, lips curved up mysteriously. “Maybe I just slept very well last night.”

Jungkook’s not quite sure why the words make him so happy, a pleasant feeling rising in his abdomen, before he nods his head, “Could’ve been that. A good night’s sleep works wonders, sometimes.”

Hoseok meets his grin with one of his own, but doesn’t say much else about the topic.

“The meeting went well, too,” he divulges a few minutes later, tracing unknown patterns into his quilt as Jungkook’s eyes follow his fingers. “Not all is lost yet; there’s still some hope.”

“There’ll always be hope,” Jungkook says in reply. “Pandora’s box, remember?”

Hoseok snorts, before he pats the space beside him, “You want to lie down?”

Jungkook shakes his head, “I shouldn’t.”

“Fair enough.”

--

Hoseok’s mother pauses in the doorway after she opens the door quietly, finding both her son and Jungkook lying on bed on their stomachs, shoulders touching. She hovers where she is, before smiling and taking a picture of the two with her phone.

Not wanting to interrupt, but needing to, she walks inside the room, closing the door behind her softly. They don’t turn around to glance at her, both of them seemingly immersed in playing a game on their phones. Jungkook lets out a small laugh, elbowing Hoseok’s forearm as he exclaims, “I’m going to win this round, too!”

“Best 3 out of 5!” Hoseok says in response, voice tense but happy, enough to make the woman smile at the two of them.

Jungkook suddenly sits up on his knees, both of them completely oblivious to her presence, and shouts “Come on, come on, come on!”

“No! Best 3 out of 5!” Hoseok yells first, turning to glare at Jungkook, but the process of him turning his head makes him aware of his mother’s presence. “Ah, eomma?”

Jungkook’s head snaps around so fast, it makes Mira laugh, the chuckle becoming louder when she takes in Jungkook’s wide-eyed, shocked expression. He turns around quickly, slipping off the bed with ease, and bows at her.

His head turns to glance at Hoseok when the elder chuckles, glaring when he notices that Hoseok’s laughing at him.

“What are you boys doing?” Mira asks, moving to take a seat on the chair. Hoseok stands up finally, off the bed in seconds, and pull his coat off the chair from behind her, giving her a smile when her eyes narrow at her behaviour.

“We were just playing around,” Hoseok says with a smile, laying his jacket on the bed, and then sitting beside it. “Jungkook beat me.”

“Good job, Jungkook” she tells Jungkook who laughs and ducks his head at the praise. “Are you going to stay for dinner?”

“Not today, eomeonim,” Jungkook shakes his head quickly, glancing at the time on his phone. “But maybe another day?”

“Of course, don’t worry about it,” the woman gives him a reassuring smile. “I was only asking.”

“I was thinking actually, though,” Hoseok’s mother says again, gaze fixed on Jungkook, “in the midst of all these preparations, we’ve forgotten to introduce both of you to each other’s respective families, haven’t we?”

“Oh, yeah, uncle was asking me about him,” Hoseok interjects, turning to Jungkook and patting the space beside him, the younger sitting down on the bed. “We should probably do that before the engagement.”

Hoseok’s mother laughs, nodding, “Yes, we should. Jungkook, are there any days that you’re free to come over for the evening and maybe even stay the night?”

Jungkook turns to glance at Hoseok, before looking at the elder’s mother, “Maybe we should work around hyung’s schedule, actually? I’m alright with any day except Tuesday and Friday.”

“Oh, Tuesday is Seokjin’s event isn’t it?” Mira asks her son who nods in confirmation. “Hoseok, what works for you, then?”

Hoseok hums at the question, “If you don’t mind me showing up around 9ish, then I’m okay with Wednesday.”

His mother tuts at her response, “You can’t even spare a day, Hoseok?”

“I’m really busy this week and next, eomma,” Hoseok says with a frown. “How about I leave office early the day I have to go meet Jungkook’s family? Will that be okay?”

“Why don’t we do a single day, then?” Jungkook asks looking between mother and son. “Both our families can meet the same day.”

“We’ll have to book a place for that, then,” Mira says with a small frown, “and I want the gathering to be a little intimate so we can all get to know you.”

“Maybe we can do family introductions at the engagement, eomma? There’s not a lot of people coming to that, mostly family and family friends, right?”

Jungkook glances at the elder, “That’s not a bad idea.”

“I guess meeting on the day of the engagement will have to be one of the shortcomings if we want to get everything done quickly,” the woman says contemplatively. “Jungkook, I’ll talk to your mum and see if she’s alright with Hoseok meeting your family on Thursday. So, you can spend Wednesday with us, and maybe even stay overnight? Then come Thursday, Hoseok can meet your family and stay the night if necessary? Does that work for both of you?”

Hoseok and Jungkook glance at each other, before nodding.

“I just hope it works out for our families, too,” Jungkook adds.

“Don’t worry about that, honey,” Hoseok’s mother gives him a smile. “You can’t please or cater to everyone all at once. Whoever can’t make it on Wednesday will get to meet you this Saturday.”

Jungkook smiles at her, nodding his head, feeling a bit of relief at her words.

“Alright, now don’t spend your entire time holed up in a room,” the woman says standing up, turning to her son. “Hoseok, have you shown him the garden? I told you to take him around the house, not around your room. Go get some fresh air, okay?”

Jungkook laughs at Hoseok’s mother’s nagging, teasing Hoseok, “Yeah, hyung, why don’t you show me the house instead of your room?”

Hoseok tilts his head innocently, “But angel, you’re the one who wanted to go somewhere,” leaning closer to Jungkook, the elder whispers loud enough for his mother to hear, “private.”

Jungkook’s face is shocked and he looks at Hoseok’s mother who’s staring at both of them with wide-open eyes and an amused smile.

“Okay, then,” she murmurs quietly, standing up, “if that is what you two wanted to get up to.”

“No, it’s not like that!” Jungkook says suddenly, standing up after her, and she waves a dismissive hand.

“It’s okay, honey, it’s okay. I understand how kids are these days, don’t worry. Just try not to go too far until after the wedding, alright?”

Jungkook blanches at her words while Hoseok lets out a loud laugh, giving his mother a flying kiss, “Eomma, I love you!”

The woman laughs and takes a step towards Jungkook, pinching his cheeks, “I’m just teasing you, darling. I hope you don’t mind. Does my son give you a lot of trouble? If he does, you should come and tell me, okay? I’ll set him straight for you.”

“Ah,” Jungkook stands there, awkwardly smiling at the woman looking at him expectantly, before turning to glance at Hoseok, “he’s not that bad, yet. He gets me nice things to make up for it.”

“You shouldn’t be swayed so easily by pretty things, Jungkook.”

Jungkook grins at Hoseok who’s smiling at him softly, “I shouldn’t be, but I can’t help it.”

Hoseok raises a hand to his chest, before he falls backwards on the bed dramatically, swooning, “Oh, my heart – that was a direct hit, angel.”

Jungkook blushes at the nickname, but then turns back to Hoseok’s mother who’s watching the two of them with an affectionate smile. He places a comforting hand against the forearm, “Hyung’s not too much trouble, eomeonim. It’s nothing I can’t handle. You should worry about the other way around.”

The woman cups his cheek, giving him an adoring glance, “That ought to be good for him – keep him on his toes, alright? I’m going to count on you to do that.”

Jungkook mock salutes her with a laugh, “Yes, ma’am.”

“Call me eomma from now on,” she says quietly, turning to glance at Hoseok who’s watching their exchange with a look of satisfaction. “Call me eomma, alright?”

Nodding, Jungkook smiles, “Okay…eomma.”

Hoseok’s mother’s eyes shine when he says the word and he watches in amazement as she wipes away a tear at the corner of her eyes, “I can’t believe Hoseok’s going to get married.”

“Eomma,” the elder whines from his position, before moving up and over to gather the woman in a hug. “Why are you always crying?”

“Don’t be mean to your mother,” the woman chides and presses a kiss to his forehead, Hoseok immediately ducking his head to let her reach him easier. “And these are happy tears, okay?”

Jungkook takes a step away letting the two have their moment, and he’s surprised at the contrast in their relationship and the one between him and his own mother. He wonders if it’s because Hoseok’s older, two years from thirty, that despite being the younger son he’s the one wiping his mother’s tears and holding her steady. Whereas, with him, it’s still the other way around, his mother being the one who’s looking after him, fighting his battles, and protecting him.

Maybe it’s the family dynamics, too, he thinks. He’s certain that Hoseok most likely has not had the sort of aunts and uncles that’s he’s faced. Or perhaps, a thought at the back of his mind nags at him, or perhaps it’s because Hoseok has matured, stepping into the shoes he needs to be filling, while Jungkook hasn’t; instead, remaining the same child who’d been pulled out of a familiar orphanage and placed in an unfamiliar home, one he’d never been able to adapt and fit into.

-

“We got that swing,” Hoseok reveals as he pulls Jungkook gently after him, their hands linked, “for my seventh birthday. I don’t know why they bought me such a large porch swing, but they bought me one.”

Jungkook hums, walking towards it, before breaking away from Hoseok’s hold and sitting down, “It looks surprisingly new for something so old.”

“Doesn’t it? They had work done on it, I remember, but I used to love this thing a lot,” Hoseok takes the seat next to Jungkook carefully, making sure it’ll hold both of their combined weights before letting himself go. “I used to fall asleep in it often – I think it must’ve been the swinging motion.”

Jungkook nods his head, looking around the garden as they sit in silence, and looking up when he hears a particularly loud bird chirp, “I should probably head home soon.”

Hoseok agrees with a hum, turning to glance at the younger boy, “What are you doing tomorrow?”

“I don’t have anything planned,” Jungkook replies, leaning his head back against the back of the swing, and turning his face until he faces Hoseok. He tries to curl his legs up onto the swing, but when it rocks unsteadily under the weight, he settles them back on the ground. “Are we really not going ring shopping?”

A hesitant look crosses Hoseok’s face before he shakes his head, “I’m sorry, Jungkook, I don’t think I can go with you. I’m in office tomorrow as well, and the malls will probably close by the time I make it home. If you want, though, my noona can go with you?”

Jungkook turns away from him, biting the inside of his cheek, “I know she can, but I just wanted to run the rings by you before I bought them. So that I don’t end up picking something you hate.”

“Oh,” the sound that falls from Hoseok’s lips is soft. “Do you want to browse through online catalogues then? A lot of places have those. We can look over them, and I’ll let you know the ones I like, and you can let me know which ones you like.”

Jungkook hums, but doesn’t say anything else in reply, staring straight ahead as they rock in the swing back and forth.

Hoseok places a hand against the back of the swing, and leans forward to peck the younger’s cheek. The action causes Jungkook to finally look at him, partly in surprise, “I’m sorry I can’t go.”

Jungkook shrugs, and then shakes his head, “It’s fine, don’t be. You’re busy, I understand. It’s not your fault.”

“Yeah,” Hoseok trails off, before he reaches forward for Jungkook’s hands, playing with his fingers as the younger boy watches their hands, contrasting their skin tones.

“I’ll go with my mum and buy something, then,” Jungkook says after a while, Hoseok looking up to glance at him. “For the rings, I mean. Who’re you going to go with?”

Hoseok purses his lips in thought, “Why don’t you go first and then let me know if there’s any you see you like? Or maybe go through an online catalogue? If you find something you like, I’ll buy it for you, and that’ll be that. If not, then I’ll probably look through one with eomma and noona and pick. But I’d really like it if you could send me something you like.”

“It’ll save time for you won’t it?” Jungkook asks quietly, and Hoseok looks for any hint of bitterness in his tone.

“I’m sorry,” Hoseok says again once he doesn’t find any, only disappointment. “But yeah it will, immensely.”

“I’ll go and find something for both of us, then,” Jungkook squeezes Hoseok’s hand, smiling when the elder finally lifts his head up to peek at his expression. “Do you mind if I select a few for you, and then ask you to pick one from them? It’ll reassure me that I’m getting something you want, unless you already have a certain design in mind?”

Hoseok’s smile is genuine as he stares back at Jungkook, and he pulls the younger boy’s hand up, bringing it to his lips, “Thank you. I don’t have anything in mind, so send me as many pictures as you want, I promise I’ll try to respond promptly.”

“Promptly,” Jungkook says with a teasing grin, leaning forward and scrunching his nose at Hoseok. “So professional.”

Hoseok laughs, crossing the distance between their faces and pecking Jungkook’s nose, “So cute.”

“You’re not going to win today,” Jungkook says in a matter-of-fact tone, before leaning forward to press a kiss against Hoseok’s cheek. He lingers against the elder’s skin for a second, before giving him another kiss, murmuring, “Just in case.”

“I won’t, huh?” Hoseok doesn’t make a move to retaliate, perching his elbow against the back of the swing and resting his head in the curve of his palm.

Jungkook smiles at how content Hoseok looks as he stares at him, and nods his head, “We’re only counting cheek kisses, remember.”

“I forget sometimes,” Hoseok says with a smile, moving forward to place a kiss on the underside of Jungkook’s jaw. “There’s so much surface area to cover.”

The younger gapes at him when Hoseok leans back with a twinkle in his eyes, giving Jungkook a smirk when he flushes.

“I love how easily you turn red, I don’t know why,” Hoseok says in something akin to amazement, detaching his fingers from Jungkook’s hold and tracing it across the younger’s cheek.

Jungkook makes a noise of protest, ducking away from the touch, and moves back an inch to put distance between them.

“Where’re you running off to, angel?”

“I should go home,” Jungkook says in reply, but doesn’t stand up, something that amuses Hoseok a lot.

“Perhaps. You’ve been here nearly two hours.”

“Two hours?” Jungkook looks down at his phone surprised, eyes wide when he realizes Hoseok’s right. “Yeah, I should probably go say goodbye to your family and then get going.”

“Do you have something to do?”

Jungkook shakes his head negatively, “Not particularly, but I don’t want to overstay my welcome. That would be rude.”

Hoseok laughs at his words, before standing up and gesturing for Jungkook to take his hand. He pulls the younger boy up when Jungkook does, and they walk back to the house silently, their hands swinging in between them.

--

From: Jungkook

I have a plan.

From: Hoseok

Hello to you, too, my love. How are you this lovely Sunday morning?

From: Jungkook

Hi. I have a plan.

From: Hoseok

Yes?

From: Jungkook

Are you busy?

From: Hoseok

Just leaving for office in a few minutes.

From: Jungkook

Oh, can you call me on the way there?

From: Hoseok

So, you can distract me and cause accidents?

From: Jungkook

Not even engaged, and I already have so much power over you?

From: Hoseok

I’m easily won over.

From: Jungkook

Was it the glow-in-the-dark piercings?

From: Hoseok

Might have been.

From: Jungkook

Oh!

From: Hoseok

?

From: Jungkook

I haven’t read the letter still!

From: Hoseok

So forgetful, angel. I’m hurt.

From: Jungkook

I’m going to read it. Call me on your way if it’s not too bothersome, okay?

Or can you text me during your lunch break, hyung. You do take a lunch break, right?

From: Hoseok

…I do have a lunch break, thank you for your concern.

From: Jungkook

Great, talk to you then. :) ♥

From: Hoseok

Alright, wait for my call. ♥

--

Jungkook turns to place his phone down beside him, the clothes that Hoseok had worn to bed two nights ago resting on the edge of his bed, folded up neatly. Reaching underneath a sleeping pillow, he pulls out the letter he’d tucked under there yesterday morning.

He smiles, the feeling of anticipation making him shiver, before he gingerly opens up the letter. As he does, he wonders where Hoseok had gotten the piece of paper or the pen that’s been used from, until he lets out a small laugh, realizing the elder’s source. He gets up from the bed, letter still clutched in hand, and moves to the other end of his room, where his barely-used desk sits. He sees a yellow sticky note stuck to the dead center of the table, marveling at the fact that he hadn’t noticed it earlier, and peels it off, letting loose a small chuckle.

Angel,

Sorry for stealing some paper and borrowing a pen, but I figured since the paper and ink were both going to make their way back to you, anyway, it would be okay to.

Hoseok Husband-to-be

There’s a small, red heart scrawled next to the phrase ‘husband-to-be’ and it makes Jungkook smiles really widely as he traces over the drawing, finding the fact that Hoseok had specifically used a different coloured pen to make the heart really cute. It makes him glace up at his pen holder, eyeing the blue and red fine-tip liners that Hoseok had used to write and make the heart, respectively; both colours innocently blinking back to him.

He peels the note off his desk carefully, and then wonders what to do with it. He doesn’t have anywhere in particular where he keeps special papers, until he looks around and his gaze falls on something. There’s a small photo album that he keeps on his bookshelf, one that holds a few photos, but not much else.

He plucks it off the bookcase, flipping through it casually, smiling down at the pictures of him and Jimin mostly, Yoongi and a few other people making the occasional appearance. He looks to where the last picture is, noting the date beside it, surprised that it dates back to over a year ago.

Jungkook fits the yellow sticky note under the empty plastic sleeve for the next photo, and then picks up the blue pen to scrawl yesterday’s date on it. He stares down at it for a few seconds, something looking to be amiss, before he laughs and picks up the red pen, scrawling a heart next to the description.

He places the photo album back where he got it from, and then takes a seat on his bed again, re-opening the letter.

Dear Jungkook,

So, this is kind of my third piece of paper already, but you know what? I’m too tired to care adout about making mistakes anymore. It’s kind of too early in the morning for me to be writng writing legibly anyway, so please excuse the errors. You’re probably wondering why I’m writing this letter, and if I’m being honest, so am I. But it just…kind of didn’t feel right leaving without saying anything, you know? I’m aware that sounds cheesy, but honestly, it felt weird. I probably should have just texted you that I was leaving, and I’m going to regret this whole letter so much later, but whatever.

I’m not really sure of what to write to you, apart from, ‘hey, I’m leaving for work’, which sounds a lot more domestic than whatever it is that I’m aiming for. I’m not sure why I’m still writing. I’m genuinely contemplating just keeping this letter to myself and leaving without letting you know, but now that I’ve come this far without making any mistakes, I don’t want all that work to go to wste waste. GDI.

You know why writing letters is so hard? Because I’m so used to getting a response back before I have to say something else, but right now, this is just a collection of me rambling to you. I, also, want to say thank you for last night. Not just for insisting that I stay over at your place (although maybe I just thank your mother for that), but also for staying with me until I fell asleep last night. I, sometimes, also have trouble sleeping when I’m stressed out, and after what happened with the contractors, I wasn’t expected to get much sleep, but you honestly helped a lot. So, again, thank you for doing that for me. You really didn’t have to, and I don’t understand why you would want to just sit there and stroke someone’s hair for an hour, but thank you.

I don’t want to use a second piece of paper, so I’m going to stop my letter, here, alright?

Love,

Hoseok

Jungkook reads the letter over twice before he falls into his bed with a laugh, eyes skimming over the round, slightly illegible handwriting. Regardless of being a little hard to read, he can’t help but find it cute, and he smiles down at it, turning to lie on his stomach. He doesn’t want to acknowledge it, but the contents of the letter make his heart flutter. There’s a slightly loopy smile on his face, and he can practically feel the happiness radiating off himself.

He marvels at how right Hoseok had been yesterday, even if he had been joking at how the letter would make Jungkook smile. Staring down at the piece of paper stolen from his own desk, he wonders what Hoseok did of the remaining two that he had claimed to use. Jungkook moves off his bed once again, checking the waste basket that sits by his desk and finds the papers there, torn up twice.

He pauses, wondering if Hoseok left them there on purpose so he could find them or if the elder didn’t think he would actually look to check. It confounds him, the question, and he’s suddenly not quite sure what type of person Hoseok would be. He wants to say the elder’s personality is simple, and that he hadn’t considered Jungkook looking for the papers. However, a bigger part of his mind tells him otherwise. It laughs at his naivety and tells him that Hoseok left those papers in the waste basket instead of taking them with him, because he wanted them to be found by Jungkook.

He gulps, picking them out of the trash, and reads through both, Hoseok having barely scribbled a sentence on each before he’d stopped because of a mistake. It makes him smile though, one of them having started off exaggeratedly cute while the other one was a lot sharper than the elder’s usual tone. He saves the pieces with writing, dumping the rest back into the waste basket and then tucks all of them inside the photo album as well, right above the sticky note.

Picking up his phone, Jungkook sends a quick text, receiving a reply almost half an hour later.

From: Jungkook

So, I read the letter.

From: Hoseok

And?

From: Jungkook

And nothing. I read all the letters, actually.

From: Hoseok

Ah. You looked for those, hm?

From: Jungkook

Yeah, I did.

Did you think I wouldn’t?

From: Hoseok

Honestly? I wasn’t sure what I should expect.

Anyways, I have to go. Let’s talk at lunch? :)

From: Jungkook

Okay. Have a good day.

From: Hoseok

Thank you ♥

--

Hoseok presses the green button next to Jungkook’s cell phone number with a smile, and then rests his phone against the paper weight, reminding him of the night the younger boy had called him while he was still in his office. He opens up his box of lunch from the café downstairs, penne pasta with strawberry salad at the side.

He frowns at his phone when the call goes to Jungkook’s voicemail, and puts his fork back down, wondering if he should call again. Waiting it out seems a slightly better option in his mind at the moment, so he does that, closing up the box, and leaning back against his chair. There’s a smatter of files and papers against his desk, and he stretches his arms wide, looking around to take all of them in.

His hands start organizing everything automatically without him knowing, and while he’s sorting through his stack of loose leafs, his phone rings. Dropping them to the side, he smiles at the photo of Jungkook, and swipes across the screen.

“Hello?”

“Sorry,” Jungkook’s voice sounds happy despite him apologizing. “I was on the phone with Yoongi hyung earlier when you called.”

“Oh. Talked about anything interesting?” Hoseok asks, trying to balance his phone between his shoulder and ear while opening up his lunch again.

“Yes, of course. Something very interesting.”

“Really now?” Hoseok leans forward in his seat. “About what?”

“Something,” Jungkook says with a laugh. “It was private talk.”

“Already keeping secrets, hm?”

“So many you can’t uncover them all in a lifetime,” Jungkook grins into the receiver, but when Hoseok doesn’t laugh in response, his smile falls.

“Secrets aren’t good for the soul,” Hoseok’s voice is quiet, soft even. “They’re burdensome.”

 Jungkook hums, unsure of what to say in response, “Are you eating lunch right now?”

“I am, have you eaten already?”

“No, I’m going to go later, after this,” Jungkook informs Hoseok, shifting around to lie on his stomach, remembering the night he’d talked to Hoseok when he’d stayed back late at work. “Do you want to video call, hyung? It’ll be easier for you to eat.”

“Sure,” Hoseok chirps back. “Are you decent?”

Jungkook snorts at the question, “More than you’d been that night. Just a bathrobe, really?”

“Hey, a bathrobe and boxers. Also, how was I supposed to know that hyung would want to do a video call, huh?”

“It doesn’t matter; you should’ve have been better dressed.”

“Just wait until we’re married, angel, I’m going to walk around naked all the time,” Hoseok threatens with a grin. “Okay, going to video call, now.”

He presses the button, waiting a few seconds, until Jungkook comes on screen again, lips curved up just the slightest into a smile.

“Feels like déjà vu,” the younger tells him and it makes Hoseok nod his head.

“It does,” he replies, eyes flitting over Jungkook’s clothed form. He tilts his head curiously as he notices something, and asks, “Hey, are those my clothes?”

“No?” Jungkook replies, looking down, and then his head snaps up, cheeks flushing. “They were never yours.”

“No, they weren’t,” Hoseok agrees, a twinkle in his eye. “But they’re what I wore to bed on Friday.”

“I needed to take a shower,” Jungkook explains, waving one hand in a gesture that Hoseok supposes is asking him to infer the rest.

“Ah, and they just happened to be there, closest to you?”

Jungkook bites his lower lip, but the embarrassed smile on his face doesn’t go away, “Yes, that’s exactly it. Honestly, they were just there, on my bed. One of the maids probably put them there after washing them, so, I figured why bother looking for anything else.”

Hoseok hums, nodding as he takes a bite of his lunch, “I see.”

“Why are trying to shame me for wearing my own clothes?” Jungkook asks with a frown, but Hoseok laughs him off.

“I’m not shaming you, angel, I’m just asking. So, your plan…?”

“Ah, yes!” Jungkook brightens up, and he sits up, lifting the phone with him so that Hoseok’s not left with a view of just his legs and abdomen. “So, I was looking over a bunch of catalogues for rings like you asked me to, and I actually found about this mall.”

“Mall?” Hoseok raises an eyebrow, waving his fork around. “What kind of mall?”

“It’s a recently-opened overnight mall,” Jungkook explains with a wide smile. “Although it’s a little far, it seems pretty high-end.”

“An overnight mall? What’s that?”

“So, remember, how you said that you finished work late, right?” Jungkook looks hesitant as he explains, so Hoseok tries to give the younger a reassuring smile and nod. “And that it was too late to go shopping?”

“Oh,” Hoseok chews slowly. “It stays open overnight?”

“Yeah!” Jungkook smiles widely. “If you’re not too tired one of the days, do you think you would like to come with me to select a ring?”

“Does it only stay open overnight? I can’t imagine it attracting a lot of customers that way.”

Jungkook shakes his head, “It’s open regular hours all week, but stays open overnight three days a week – all weekdays. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Do any work for you?”

Hoseok contemplates his option, and seeing the eagerness and hope in Jungkook’s eyes, he can’t help but say yes, “Sure, Jungkook. I’ll go with you.”

“Really?” Jungkook looks surprised, but then his face splits into a wide smile and Hoseok can’t bring but think he made the right choice.

“Yeah, why not? I was concerned about the timings, otherwise I don’t have a problem going ring shopping with you. It might even be fun.”

Hoseok’s heart soars when Jungkook lets out a loud laugh, body rocking forward, and he smiles when the younger nods, “Okay, hyung! You won’t be too tired from the workday, right?”

“I’ll be okay, angel, I’ll be alright.”

Jungkook’s cheeks redden at the word, and when he nods shyly at Hoseok through the camera, eyes barely looking up into the camera, Hoseok can’t help but feel more at ease than he has in days.

“Plus if I’m too tired, I’m sure you can just carry me around, right?” Hoseok grins mischievously through a mouthful of food. His smile widens when Jungkook nods at him instead of rolling his eyes.

“That’s all I had to say,” Jungkook says after a while of silence, shifting on his bed and sitting against the headboard.

Hoseok nods, looking up from his pasta, “If you’re bored of me now, you can hang up.”

Jungkook laughs, head thrown back, an action that makes the pout on Hoseok’s lips slip, “Can I, hyung?”

Huffing, Hoseok rolls his eyes back when Jungkook grins at him amusedly, “Whatever you want, angel. Who am I to stop you?”

“Well, my almost fiancé, or husband-to-be as you like to put it,” Jungkook replies cheekily. “That gives you some power over me.”

Hoseok frowns, “I don’t want power over you, though. I want you to not go, not because I make you do so, but because you don’t want to.”

“Oh, such sweet words,” Jungkook teases, sobering up a few seconds later. “Thank you.”

“For?”

Jungkook shrugs ambiguously, “Dunno. Just, thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Hoseok replies, looking around before blowing him a kiss.

“Who were you looking for?” the younger raises an eyebrow.

“Just making sure blinds were closed,” Hoseok grins. “Oh, you should down to my office some time. I’ve seen Golden already.”

Jungkook nods his head, “Your office and the place you and Seokjin hyung.”

“Oh,” Hoseok makes a soft sound. “There, too.”

“Speaking of Seokjin hyung, how is he?”

“He’s good. How’s Jimin?”

Jungkook makes a soft sound, remembering suddenly how he’d barely talked to his best friend since Tuesday, “He’s alright. Not great, but okay.”

Hoseok’s eyebrows furrow at the information, “Everything alright?”

The younger lets out a deep sigh, “Just…life.”

“Let me know if there’s anyway I can help, then,” Hoseok says softly, watching the slightly distressed expression appear on Jungkook’s face.

“I will,” Jungkook nods, but there’s still a faraway look in his eyes. “When does your break end?”

“So eager to hang up?”

“No, no, just wondering.”

“I still have about half an hour,” Hoseok gives him a smile. “If you have something to do, I don’t want to stop you.”

“I just realized that I haven’t talked to Jimin in a few days, even though I’ve been meaning to,” Jungkook admits sheepishly. “Especially with everything happening so quickly.”

“Go.”

“No, it’s okay. I’ll keep you company until your lunch ends,” Jungkook shakes his head, insistent, but Hoseok can see the restlessness in his face.

“If you don’t hang up, Jungkook, then I will. I can see you’re worried, and I prefer to talk to you when you can focus your entire attention on me.”

Jungkook snorts, “How egocentric.”

Hoseok winks at him, “Just the way I am, love. Go and call Jimin, alright? I’ll be fine.”

“Yeah?” Jungkook still sounds unsure.

“Remember that I’ve spent more days having lunch in my office with my laptop, than I’ve spent with you on the other end of the phone.”

“Yes, I know, but now that I’m here, should you still have to?”

Hoseok’s mouth drops open at the word, and Jungkook ducks his head down when the elder’s gaze starts to pierce through him, his body feeling warm. Hoseok’s tone is teasing when he speaks up next, but Jungkook can’t help but feel like the elder’s trying to mask his feelings with it, “Yeah? So you’re going to keep me company for lunch every day then, angel?”

Jungkook shrugs his shoulder, “If you want me to. I’m sure I can spare you an hour a day.”

Hoseok doesn’t laugh, continuing to stare at him, before he shakes his head, a soft smile taking over, “You’re something else. Jungkook, go. I don’t mind.”

“You sure?”

“Positive. Goodbye, I’ll talk to you later, sweetheart?”

Jungkook nods, waving, “Bye.”

--

From: Jungkook

Hi!

From: Jimin

I’m sorry, who’s this?

From: Jungkook

Jungkookie~

From: Jimin

Jungkookie, who?

From: Jungkook

Hyung, did you already forget about me? :(

(Unless we’re playing the knock knock game.)

From: Jimin

Not as easily as you forgot about me.

(No, we’re not.)

From: Jungkook

:O I didn’t! There was just a lot going on…

(Good, because I had no idea what to say next.)

From: Jimin

Okay.

From: Jungkook

Jiminnie?

Jiminnie hyung?

Jimin?

Jiminniiiiiiiie?

Jiminnie hyung, the one who’s my favourite person in the whole wide universe?

From: Jimin

What?

From: Jungkook

Do you want to go out with me today?

From: Jimin

Maybe I don’t. Maybe I got tired of chasing after you.

From: Jungkook

Does that mean it’s my turn to chase you around?

From: Jimin

…that might be a start.

From: Jungkook

Great! You want to go for lunch today?

From: Jimin

Don’t you have lunch with your parents every Sunday afternoon?

From: Jungkook

I figured I can miss one for you.

From: Jimin

Oh, really? I’m more important than family now?

From: Jungkook

You are my family.

From: Jimin

You were always a bit of a sweet talker. ¬_¬

From: Jungkook

Heh. Kookie’s still got game. :D

From: Jimin

From: Jungkook

From: Jimin

What time?

From: Jungkook

I can come pick you up whenever you’re ready.

From: Jimin

Just me?

From: Jungkook

Who else?

From: Jimin

Idk. Yoongi hyung? You’ve talked to him more this week than you’ve talked to me.

From: Jungkook

Just you, this time, then. When do you want me to come pick you up?

From: Jimin

Half an hour?

From: Jungkook

Okay! We’ll go to your favourite place.

From: Jimin

You’re paying?

From: Jungkook

Of course. I’ll even keep you entertained with interesting gossip and conversation.

From: Jimin

ɾ⚈▿⚈ɹ

My hero. I think I’m in love.

From: Jungkook

As long as I don’t get threatening messages from Yoongi hyung, I am okay with that.

From: Jimin

What about Hoseok hyung? Will I be getting threatening messages from him?

From: Jungkook

Ha. No, probably not.

From: Jimin

Just a matter of time, then.

From: Jungkook

Maybe. Maybe not. Go get ready, okay?

From: Jimin

Okay!


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Chapter Text

Hoseok peers down at his phone curiously when it rings just as he’s about to tuck it into his pocket, suitcase in hand, ready to leave his office. He smiles when he notices Jungkook’s name and contact picture covering his screen, and swipes across to pick up.

“Hello?”

“Hyung, are you still at work?”

“Yes, just about to leave actually. Why?” Hoseok hits the lights on his way out of his room, closing the door behind him gently. He nods to a few of the workers still in their cubicles who all look up and greet him.

Don’t stay too late. He mouths at the three of them who all nods their heads and give him smiles before he exits.

“Ah, great! Come down to the lobby please!”

Hoseok’s eyebrows pull downwards as he walks to the elevator, “Down to the lobby?”

“Yes, please,” Jungkook chirps on the other end of the line. “I’ll wait for you, okay?”

“Jungkook, wait –” Hoseok blinks as he hears the dial tone, pulling his phone away from his ear to realize Jungkook’s already hung up. Shaking his head as a fond smile makes its way onto his lips, he boards the elevators as soon as the doors open, pressing the button for the ground floor instead of the basement.

He wonders why the younger is here or how he found the place, pondering over the topic until the elevator chimes and lets him off on the ground floor. Hoseok steps out of the lift with a little hesitance, eyes roaming over the expanse of the lobby, the sounds of heels clacking and quiet chatter greeting him as he walks forward. His gaze doesn’t roam for too long when he spots a familiar looking figure sitting on a set of couches in a rather far corner of the place, near the doorway.

The red beanie isn’t quite a familiar sight on Jungkook, but the brown hair and hunched over body is unmistakably his. There’s an amiable smile on Hoseok’s face as he walks closer to the other boy, leaning over to the side to confirm whether or not his earlier guess had been correct. Once close enough to the nearly empty seats, Hoseok stands a foot away and calls out, “Jungkook?”

The boy in question turns around in surprise before a grin makes it way onto his face, and he stands up, beaming at Hoseok, “Ah, I thought you left.”

“You told me to come down to the lobby, and you thought I would leave you?” Hoseok raises an eyebrow, looking amused.

“No,” Jungkook says sheepishly, before his hands come up to self-consciously tug at his earlobes. Hoseok’s eyes drift towards them, and he can’t help the way his heart flutters in his chest at the sight of Jungkook wearing the black and silver earrings he’d gifted.

The ‘oh’ that falls from Hoseok’s lips at the observance is soft, and Jungkook’s gaze moves from the floor to the elder’s face. They share a look, barely a few seconds long, but then Jungkook smiles at him and Hoseok feels himself become full with a feeling of satisfaction. He doesn’t comment on or verbalize the fact that’s Jungkook’s sporting his gift at the moment, finding no need to when they both realize exactly what’s running through the other’s mind; instead, Hoseok only smiles back at Jungkook.

Jungkook looks rather satisfied by Hoseok’s lack of move to draw attention to the jewelry, and he beams in response, “You’re all done for the day, right hyung?”

Hoseok nods, looking around as he feels a few people glance at the two of them, standing in the corner of the lobby, “What are you doing here, Jungkook?”

It’s Jungkook’s turn to notice the looks as well, and he hesitates before answers, “Do you want to go somewhere with me?”

“Go where, angel?”

“Nowhere and everywhere,” Jungkook responds back, before extending a hand. “You want to come with me?”

“Depends on where we’re going,” Hoseok says simply with a smile that makes Jungkook frown and pull his hand back.

“Don’t you trust me?”

“Ah, pulling out the classic drama lines, are we?” There’s a teasing grin on the elder’s face and despite not wanting to, Jungkook lets loose a small smile of his own.

“You told me to come find you,” Jungkook says finally, after a while of them looking at each other and ducking away to look at the crowd in silence. “You told me to come find you if I got tired of wandering around. So, I came.”

A flicker of something crosses Hoseok’s face, the look disappearing too quickly for Jungkook to have time to decipher it. It’s replaced, next, by a look of surprise, and then finally one of satisfaction, “I did.”

Jungkook holds out his hand rather hesitantly this time, as if afraid of a second rejection, before he asks again, “I’m tired of wandering around, so, will you come with me this time?”

Hoseok notices the uncertainty in his behaviour almost instantly, and gives the younger a reassuring smile before he intertwines their fingers. The action makes Jungkook’s lips widen, eyes curved into half moons while his teeth peek out from behind his lips.

“Okay, I’ll go with you. Do you have a destination in mind?” Hoseok asks softly to which Jungkook nods affirmatively.

“I do.”

“We’re not going to go there by car, are we?”

Jungkook laughs and shakes his head, “Nope.”

“You didn’t come here by car either, did you?”

“Nope.”

“Alright, so I’ll have to drop you off home at the end of the day?”

Jungkook reaches down to press a kiss against Hoseok’s cheek, “Only if you want to.”

Hoseok shakes his head knowingly, especially when Jungkook starts to giggle against him, shoulder nudging the elder’s playfully.

“I’m not letting you win today,” Hoseok announces, unable to help himself from grinning at the brightly smiling boy in front of him. “I went easy on you yesterday.”

“We’ll see, hyung, we’ll see,” Jungkook waves a dismissive hand. “Let’s go?”

“Wait, am I supposed to go like this?” Hoseok gestures towards his suit, tie, and dress shoes, before glancing at Jungkook, the younger boy wearing dark, rinsed jeans, a red and black hoodie, paired with a bright red beanie and black shoes.

“Why not?” Jungkook frowns, taking a step way, to look at Hoseok. “You look fine to me.”

“Won’t I be a little overdressed?”

The statement makes Jungkook chuckle, “Overdressed for what? There’s all sorts of people taking the public transportation.”

“I know, but…” Hoseok trails off, pouting. “We look weird together.”

“What?” Jungkook’s face scrunches up in confusion.

“If we go like this, I’m going to look like I’m taking my little brother around town,” Hoseok says hesitantly, lips pulled down as he glances between his and Jungkook’s clothes.

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Jungkook hits the elder’s shoulder with a loud laugh. “I’m 25 not 15, and we look absolutely nothing alike.”

“I don’t know,” Hoseok shrugs, taking a step back. “I want to change. I think there’s a store nearby?”

Jungkook rolls his eyes good naturedly, “So self-conscious.”

Hoseok puckers his lips, reaching up to press a wet kiss against Jungkook’s cheek, “With you next to me, angel, I just have to be.”

The younger reddens but manages to pull off a disgruntled look, “Such a flirt.”

“For you only, my love,” Hoseok winks, before pulling Jungkook in the opposite direction of the revolving door. “Let me go drop off my suitcase in my car, and then we’ll head over to the shop, alright?”

“Do you want to head over to the place by car, actually?” Hoseok asks once they’re walking towards the elevators, hands locked together. “I can park it near the store, and drop off my clothes in there too before you take me on an adventure.”

Jungkook hums affirmatively at the question, “Sure. I don’t mind that.”

--

Hoseok pulls at the glass door leading into the shop and holds it open for Jungkook who gives him a smile before he walks inside. An attendant in the shop greets them with a bow, catching both of them by surprise, not having noticed her standing right by the door before.

“Good evening! Is there anything you’d like help in finding, today?” The woman asks, a big smile painted on her face.

“We’re just going to look around,” Jungkook replies first, before he nods at the woman. “Thank you.”

The woman nods in understanding, and steps away to let them roam around. Hoseok tugs Jungkook behind him, spotting folded denim jeans slotted into cubicles that run from the bottom of the floor to a good 7 feet off the ground, “I see jeans!”

Jungkook lets himself be led towards the section, and he slips out of Hoseok’s hold when the elder starts to look around for one in his size. He browses through the selection of shirts near the denim, frowning at how they’re almost all button down and a little too professional. Turning to glance at Hoseok, he finds the elder still busy and walks a little further into the shop, eyes roaming through their collection of sweatshirts, t-shirts, and jackets.

He bites his lips, picking a few out that he likes, and then walks back to where Hoseok is, finding the elder looking around in confusion, “Ah, there you are. I thought you’d run off on me.”

Jungkook grins, “I contemplated it, but then decided against it.”

“I’m glad,” Hoseok smiles. “The wedding’s in two weeks.”

“That’s plenty of time for me to change my mind,” Jungkook chuckles at the way Hoseok gapes. “Here, do you want to go try these on?”

“Sure,” Hoseok’s narrowed eyes turn into crescents as he nods while taking the clothes from Jungkook’s hands. He pauses after, and looks up at the younger hesitantly, “Hey, you mind doing me a favour? I just remembered that I have a pair of running shoes in my car. Can you get those for me?”

Jungkook nods, gesturing from the elder’s car keys, “You change, I’ll go bring those for you. Where are they?”

“They should be on the floor of the backseat,” Hoseok digs into his pants for the keys, tossing them to the younger.

Jungkook nods once again before turning around, and exiting the shop. The car’s parked relatively close to the place, and it doesn’t take him long to find the shoes once he opens the backdoor. Heading back into the shop, he stops where the assistant stands outside the change rooms, gesturing to the inside, “Uh, which room is he in?”

“Oh,” the woman looks down at the box he has in hand, before asking, “would you like me to give them to him?”

“Uh, sure, just slide them under the door, I guess,” he says, and the woman nods, opening the box to check what’s inside.

“Just to make sure,” she says when Jungkook eyes her, and his cheeks flush at having been caught before he nods, taking a step away. He walks around the store aimlessly, browsing through some items when another attendant comes up to ask him if he needs any help.

“Ah, no,” he shakes his head, giving her a smile. “I’m just looking around, thank you.”

She nods her head, stepping away, and Jungkook breathes a sigh of relief. Several minutes pass by without the elder showing up, and when he turns around to go check what’s taking Hoseok so long, the other man exits the change rooms right at that moment.

Good? Hoseok mouths at him, grinning when Jungkook’s eyes rake him up and down, before the younger boy nods in response. Jungkook watches Hoseok turns to gesture towards the woman standing by the change room, gesturing towards the clothes he’s wearing and the one in hand. She replies with a nod, says something, before giving him a smile and walking off.

Jungkook tilts his head in question, but Hoseok doesn’t explain, merely shaking his head. The woman returns with scissors this time, and Jungkook smiles when Hoseok crouches a little for her so she can cut the tags off his clothes. The grin on his face widens when Hoseok’s hand stops her when she goes to remove the one from his jeans, located inside of the denim.

He laughs at the thought of Hoseok’s uncomfortableness at her reaching in, and takes a small step forward to help before he sees Hoseok take the scissors in his own hand. The elder’s face scrunches in concentration, but then a snip later, he’s handing the tag over to the woman who takes all of the tags and his work clothes over to the front counter.

Hoseok walks over to him finally, a big smile resting on his face, “Hey, we kind of match.”

Jungkook glances down at the elder’s dark jeans, black shoes, and navy blue and red zip-up before he nods, “Just kind of.”

Hoseok grins widely at him, “Great, now I don’t have to worry about people thinking I’m taking my little brother around.”

“They were never going to think that,” Jungkook rolls his smile, but there’s a smile on his face. “But yes, now they certainly won’t.”

Hoseok nods in response, and he turns to face the mirror that’s behind Jungkook, fixing his clothes and hair. The younger turns around to face the glass as well, standing a step behind Hoseok, eyes trained on the elder. Hoseok’s hands pause in their movement, surprised, when Jungkook starts to lean in, stopping only once his mouth is by Hoseok’s ear, “What do you think they’re going to think when they look at us now, hyung?”

The elder observes the two of them standing together in the mirror, half of Hoseok’s back against Jungkook’s chest. His gaze travels down to take in all of them, their coordinated clothing, before looking up to rake in the bright expression on their faces. There’s a slight note of a question on Jungkook’s face and a hint of concentration on Hoseok’s, but overall, they still look content.

Hoseok smirks, a devilish look overtaking his eyes as he turns his face and tilts his head up, lips hovering right by Jungkook’s ear, “Maybe a pair of cute boyfriends?”

Jungkook laughs at the response, ducking his head shyly, and his breath cascades over the elder’s shoulder making Hoseok smile at him through the mirror. Hoseok continues to grin, looking straight ahead at the mirror to watch the chuckling boy until Jungkook looks up to meet his gaze. The younger’s eyes sparkle before he hunches forward, turns his face, and places a peck on Hoseok’s cheek, “Especially after this.”

Hoseok grins, nodding his head in agreement, and his hand moves back, guided by what he sees in the mirror, and slips into Jungkook’s, “Especially after that.”

When Jungkook straightens up, he notices in the mirror two of the shop attendants who are looking their way. He turns to glance at them, but they’re quick to change the direction of their gazes. The two women avoid eye contact but he can still see them discussing something as they smile privately together and sneak occasional glances at the two of them. He knows they’re talking about him and Hoseok, but he’s distracted when he feels his hand being squeezed gently and turns to look at Hoseok.

“Let’s go pay?” Hoseok tilts his head at him, before turning back to the mirror to adjust his zip up. Jungkook watches him do so, eyes flicking over to the glass to continue watching, and in a very detached manner his mind comments on how happy he looks.

He leans past the elder when something catches his eye, and he grabs the black snapback that rests on the display beside the mirror alongside a few other hats and beanies. He positions himself behind Hoseok once he’s grabbed the cap, the elder eyeing him curiously, and he reaches to fixes the black snapback onto Hoseok’s head backwards. He nods once he’s done, looking satisfied, “There, now it’s all complete.”

Hoseok grins, taking off the cap to peel off the price tag sticker, and then puts it back on. He tugs Jungkook down a centimeter using their still joined hands, turning to give his cheek a quick peck, and murmurs, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” the younger beams, before Hoseok starts to pull his across the room and over to the check-out counter.

“This, too, please,” he tells the cashier, placing the price sticker in hand onto the table, smiling when the teenager scans it in, glancing up at him a little nervously. “First day?”

This makes the kid smile a smidgen, and he nods in reply, “Your clothes are over in that bag.”

Hoseok glances towards where the cashier had pointed, stepping around Jungkook who’s leaning against the counter, fiddling with the small, little trinkets they have on a display stand. He picks up the bag holding his clothes and dress shoes, adjusting the straps between his fingers when Jungkook snorts at something. His eyes automatically drift to what Jungkook’s fingers are playing with, a pair of beaded couple bracelets, both of which read ‘His ♥’ in white on all black, wooden, round beads.

Hoseok grins at the piece of jewelry, and he surprises Jungkook when he reaches for a set, tossing them to the cashier, “Sorry, but this too, please!”

The teenager glances down at the item, looks up at the two of them, and then nods with a laugh. Jungkook turns to Hoseok with a glare after the look from the younger boy, leaning close and groaning in his neck, “You’re so embarrassing.”

“What?” Hoseok whispers turning his head to face Jungkook, mere inches between their lips. “It was cute, and you liked it, so I bought it.”

“He just laughed at us,” Jungkook grits out. “We probably look ridiculous buying couple bracelets.”

“Why?” Hoseok whines. “What’s wrong with that?”

“We’re not 17, hyung,” Jungkook chides the elder. “I’m 25 and you’re nearly 30. We probably look like a bunch of old people trying to act young.”

Hoseok can’t help but laugh at Jungkook’s irked tone of voice, and he pinches the younger’s cheek, “You’re so cute when you’re irritated, angel.”

Jungkook ducks away from his touch, rubbing his cheek, “We just got judged by a barely 18-year old, you know. Imagine two almost thirty-year olds buying couple bracelets.”

“I think it’s cute, though,” Hoseok protests. “Plus, it’s not about how old you are, it’s about how old you feel.”

Hoseok pauses, pulling out his wallet to hand the cashier his card when Jungkook leans in close, “Oh, is that what you tell yourself so you can feel less old, hyung?”

“Totally,” Hoseok laughs, before kissing the younger on the cheek. “You should try it sometime.”

Jungkook reddens at the kiss, especially when the teenager handing Hoseok’s card back to him openly gawks at them. Hoseok waves the cashier off when he reaches for a bag for the bracelets, and opens the plastic wrapped packaging around the jewelry, “Just give me the receipt, please.”

The younger boy nods, waiting as the piece of paper prints out, and Jungkook tries not to feel too self-conscious when the teenager eyes them again. His attention is ripped away, however, when he feels Hoseok touch his hand, and a few seconds later, smooth wooden beads slide down his right hand until they rest against the skin of his wrist.

He tries his hardest not to blush when Hoseok pulls the other bracelet around his left hand, and beams up at Jungkook, “There, now we totally look like cute boyfriends.”

Jungkook’s quick to lean forward and snatch the receipt from the younger boy as he hands it over to them. Eager to escape, he tugs Hoseok out of the shop as quickly as he can, determined to do it before the teenager could laugh at them any further, “Easy there, angel, easy. You’re going to pull my hand off if you continue like that.”

“I’m not,” Jungkook throws back, glaring at the elder. He lets Hoseok go, nevertheless, and then shakes his right wrist at the elder, the beads in clear view, “I’m going to throw this bracelet away once I get home, okay?”

“Just like you did with the flowers?” Hoseok teases, grinning at Jungkook, and then kisses the younger’s flushed left cheek. He leans towards Jungkook’s ears next, warm breath cascading over the skin stretched over cartilage, “You can pretend all you want, babe, but I know you love it.”

He presses a second kiss against Jungkook’s cheek, surprised at the fact that the younger hasn’t pulled away yet, “Also, I think I’m officially winning, now.”

Jungkook shakes his head, looking up at the sky miserably, “This was a mistake. I miscalculated this whole marriage thing.”

“Didn’t ya, angel?” Hoseok laughs, stepping away from Jungkook to unlock his car and drop off the clothing bags inside. “Now, I don’t mind you wallowing in self-pity, but can you lead us to wherever we’re going while doing so?”

Jungkook frowns, eyes widening when Hoseok steps back towards him and smacks his butt, turning to wink at him after, “Let’s get moving, babe.”

The younger’s mouth drops open when Hoseok’s laughter floats away from him, the elder starting to walk ahead, and he calls out, “You’re going in the wrong direction!”

“Oh, where is the right direction then?” Hoseok stops, turning around, and his eyes automatically start to narrow at the way Jungkook’s talking slow steps back, a small grin forming on the younger’s face.

He opens his mouth to call out Jungkook’s name, but at that exact same moment, the younger turns and start to run. Jungkook laughs as soon as he does, and Hoseok’s surprised at the way his legs give chase after the younger. Jungkook barrels down the sidewalk, smoothly avoiding anyone who steps in his way, and Hoseok curses, bowing his head and calling out an apology when he accidentally hits somebody’s shoulder.

He doesn’t have the time to stop and apologize properly, so he continues to sprint, eyes darting around the area to looking for a blur of red and black. His heart pounds in his chest as he starts to think he’s lost Jungkook, but then he spots him almost a block down, ducking into an alley a few seconds later.

Sweat beading against his forehead and lungs begging for air, Hoseok pushes himself to run faster, feet barely even touching the asphalt of the sidewalk as he struggles to catch up to Jungkook. He manages to close the distance between them a little with his effort, adrenaline pumping through his veins while his mind starts to wonder why the younger boy had decided to start running in the first place.

Hoseok tilts his head to the side, legs and heart thumping as hard as they can, until he finally spots Jungkook again, the younger coming to a far too gentle and easy stop by a bus shelter across from a bakery. Hoseok skids to a stop as well, finally, a few meters away from where Jungkook stands and leans down to rest his hand against his knees, panting. His mouth drops open, lungs panting for air, and he watches Jungkook laugh at him from where he stands.

The younger boy finally stops chuckling once Hoseok finally stands up straight, glare still in place, even as Jungkook starts to walk in his direction. They have a few curious onlookers, but for the most part, people walk by them, ignoring them entirely. Hoseok shakes his head at the smile playing on the younger’s lips, especially when Hoseok makes no move to shorten the distance between them. He waits for Jungkook to walk back to him, the younger boy making sure to do it as leisurely as possible.

“Out of breath already?” The younger teases poking the elder’s flushed, pink cheeks, but Hoseok can hear him breathing a little heavily as well.

Shaking his head and throwing a glare, Hoseok walks past him making sure to nudge the younger’s shoulder with his own. The childish action makes Jungkook smile, and he follows after the elder eagerly, wrapping his fingers around Hoseok’s wrist, “Had fun, hyung?”

“Not at all.”

“Aw,” Jungkook coos, moving forward and turning himself until he’s walking backwards in front of Hoseok, still holding the other man’s wrist. He smiles brightly when Hoseok eyes him suspiciously, “Really? I thought it was fun.”

“That makes one of us,” Hoseok mutters, pulling his hand out of Jungkook’s. “A warning would have been nice. I almost lost you.”

“You’re out of shape,” Jungkook recovers quickly and teases Hoseok, reaching forward for the elder’s hand again and giving it a gentle squeeze. “Also, I would’ve come back to look for you.”

“Yeah, right,” Hoseok rolls his eyes. “You probably would have left me.”

“I wouldn’t have,” Jungkook confesses quietly, turning until he’s walking beside Hoseok instead of backwards and in front of him. When Hoseok doesn’t say anything in response, however, he leans down to press a kiss against protruding apple cheeks, “I’m sorry for worrying you.”

Hoseok turns to glance at him, dark eyes boring into Jungkook’s, before the elder’s features soften, “Don’t be sorry. I just can’t believe how badly I lost to you right now.”

Jungkook smiles at the statement, stopping beside the bus stop, swinging together his and Hoseok’s joined hands, “Not a fan of losing, huh?”

“Nope,” Hoseok shakes his head, finally smiling.

“Oh, well, that’s a pity,” Jungkook says, pressing another kiss to Hoseok’s cheek. He turns to glance at a pair of giggling girls in the corner, flashing both a smile as they stare at him, before turning back to Hoseok, “You’re going to be losing a whole lot from now on.”

“Is that so?” Hoseok raises a challenging eyebrow, and pulls his hand out of Jungkook’s hold, taking a step forward. He grips the younger’s chin between his thumb and the side of his index finger, before tilting Jungkook’s face downwards, closer to his own.

The touch isn’t rough, but it isn’t gentle either as the two stare each other down, breaths intermingling as a spark ignites between them. Jungkook’s gaze shifts from Hoseok’s eyes down to his heart shaped lips, before darting back up. Hoseok’s dark eyes bore into his accordingly, the elder catching the movement of Jungkook’s eyes, before his own drop down to glance at the younger’s pink mouth.

There’s a slight feeling of tension in the air, and Jungkook’s breath catches in his throat when Hoseok leans closer. His eyes flutter close, the world around him disappearing, but he only feels warm breath on his own lips as Hoseok whispers, “I can very easily take the lead again, you know?”

Jungkook eyes fly open at the words, and he finds his lips parting subconsciously before he nods awkwardly, chin still in Hoseok’s grasp, “Yeah, you could.”

Hoseok smirks at him, as if completely aware of the effect he has on the younger, and then pulls away with a snort, “Too bad I’m already winning, though. Score’s 5 to 4, angel – my lead.”

Jungkook tries to quell down the disappointment that bubbles up in his chest once Hoseok finally releases the hold he has on his face and takes a step back. The younger boy ‘ah’s quietly, and moves a few steps back as well, before he turns to face the road instead of the elder. He glances around, glad to find nobody gawking at them, and only turns to Hoseok once the elder lets out a deep chuckle, the sound making the tips of his ears red.

“Disappointed?” Hoseok teases, mouth close to Jungkook’s ear.

Jungkook rolls his eyes and snorts, turning to raise an eyebrow, “At?”

Hoseok’s smile is knowing before he shrugs, “Nothing. Nothing at all, angel.”

They stand together, side by side, quietly, Jungkook stiffening and relaxing once Hoseok’s thumb starts to rub circles in the back of his hand. He turns to glance at the elder furtively, but the touch seems to be nothing but an unconscious habit. Jungkook lets himself lean against Hoseok as he pulls out his phone to check the time.

“It’s getting dark,” Hoseok murmurs to him, looking up at the sky, and frowns a little. Jungkook nods beside him in affirmation.

“It is.”

“Are we going somewhere safe?”

Jungkook lets out a small laugh, “We’ll be okay, hyung. Don’t worry.”

Hoseok glances at him for a few seconds, before he nods, seemingly satisfied, “How did you know what time I’d be done, by the way? That was an almost uncanny coincidence.”

“It was, but I’d called to ask Seokjin hyung what time you came home these days. You were done earlier than I expected.”

“Yeah,” Hoseok trails off. “I have work I can finish from home today, and wanted to go earlier.”

“Ah, so not slacking off?” Jungkook teases.

“Of course not!” Hoseok exclaims, pretending to look mortified at the suggestion. “I have a honeymoon that I need a two week leave for.”

Jungkook makes an amazed sound, “A two-week leave, huh?”

Hoseok smirks at the younger, “Of course. My fiancé deserves the best he can get.”

“What a lucky guy,” Jungkook grins, squeezing Hoseok’s hand. “Where are we going?”

“The location is a surprise,” Hoseok bops the younger’s nose teasingly.

Jungkook laughs and nods, not feeling the need to say much else. He glances at the sky again, before leaning over the sidewalk to see if there’s a bus in sight.

“Oh!” Hoseok makes a soft noise, letting go of Jungkook’s hand to feel around for his wallet. “I need money, don’t I? To use the bus? How much will it cost?”

Jungkook laughs at the elder’s frantic behaviour, and waves his hand, “Don’t worry, I’ll cover you. It isn’t a lot, okay?”

“Wait, are you sure?” Hoseok frowns. “I have ₩10 000.”

“That’s way too much, and I don’t know if the bus driver will have the right change for you. So, let it be okay? I’ll pay for you.”

Hoseok gives Jungkook a hesitant glance, before he nods his head, pulling Jungkook fingers between his own, “Alright.”

“Thank you,” Jungkook takes the opportunity to drop another kiss, grinning at Hoseok. “There, we’re all even, now.”

--

Hoseok boards the bus behind Jungkook, watching the younger boy tap his card twice against the scanner before he climbs up the last step and walks inside. Jungkook turns, and gestures for Hoseok to come closer, extending his hand out for the elder to take. Hoseok glances around the large vehicle while he links their hands and gets pulled further inside by Jungkook before they stop by an empty seat.

“You should sit down,” Jungkook tells him, grabbing the pole running across the top of the bus horizontally with one hand while the other holds on to Hoseok’s elbow.

“No, it’s fine,” Hoseok shakes his head, mimicking Jungkook’s stance and grabbing the bar above his head. “I think I’ll stand, too.”

Jungkook throws him a worried look, “I don’t think that’s a good idea, hyung. Bus rides aren’t exactly known to be smooth. Haven’t you watched the dramas?”

It makes Hoseok laugh lightly, other hand coming up to cover his mouth as the bus starts moving again, “Falling on you is kind of what I’m aiming for, though.”

Jungkook glowers but there’s no bite to it, “Sit down, hyung. Please.”

“Fine, fine,” Hoseok mumbles as he feels himself rock a little unsteadily once the bus picks up speed. He turns, plopping down into the single seat, and then glances up at Jungkook who’s looking down at him. “Better?”

Jungkook gives him a bright smile and a nod, hand shifting to hold the handles a little tighter when the bus lurches. He parts his legs further, bending his knees slightly for a better sense of balance. Despite that, he stumbles forward when the bus comes to a rather shaky halt, sending him gripping for the back of Hoseok’s seat to steady himself.

The elder raises an eyebrow at this, and it makes Jungkook blush and wonder if he’s out of practice.

“Here,” Hoseok offers a hand with a cheeky grin. “I’ll hold on to you so you don’t fall.”

Jungkook snorts, eyeing the offering, “Like you could hold my weight. I’d probably fall on you instead.”

“Hey, I don’t mind that.”

Jungkook rolls his eyes at the mischievous twinkle in Hoseok’s eyes, but he presses their palms together nevertheless. The elder squeezes his hand gently, looking out of the window to observe the steadily setting sun, and Jungkook is surprised when the hold around his hand tightens each time the bus jerks, steadying him throughout the entire ride.

--

Jungkook’s staring out of the window, the bus starting to move after pausing at a stop, when Hoseok stands up all of a sudden. He turns to look at the elder surprised, but finds him waving a middle-aged woman laden with groceries their way. The woman thanks him profusely for the seat, and Jungkook smiles at the way Hoseok beams at her and waves a dismissive hand.

Hoseok moves around him to grip the handle beside Jungkook, and the younger can’t help but say, “Already learning good bus etiquette, huh?”

The comment makes the elder laugh, eyes shining, “What can I say? I’m a quick learner.”

Jungkook hums, “I’m sure. A couple of trips and you’ll probably be ready to go on your own adventures.”

Hoseok shrugs, “I think they’ll be more fun with you, though.”

“You say that now, Jung Hoseok-ssi, you say that now. Soon enough, you’ll be sneaking off by yourself, though.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes, but doesn’t say much else, mimicking Jungkook’s body posture to maintain his balance, “So, where are we going exactly, angel?”

“You’ll find out once we get there,” Jungkook smiles.

“Not gonna tell me, are you?”

“Nope,” Jungkook’s smile widens. “It’s not really wandering around if you know where you’re going you know.”

The bus lurches once again, making Hoseok stumble before he catches himself, narrowly avoiding barrelling forward into Jungkook. He grins cheekily at the younger’s worried look, Jungkook’s hand hovering mid-air to grab onto him if necessary, “Hey, Jungkook, should I hold onto you? Isn’t that how the dramas go?”

The words make Jungkook pull his extended hand back towards his own body hastily, and he rolls his eyes at the elder, “Just hold the pole. You’ll be fine.”

“Aw, are you sure?” Hoseok’s laughter tickles his ears, before Jungkook feels lips being pressed against his unsuspecting cheek.

“Did you have to do that with so many people around?” Jungkook leans in close to whisper, feeling the gaze of the woman Hoseok had offered his seat to on them. He smiles at her hesitantly when she gives them a polite smile.

“Of course, angel,” Hoseok whispers back, before he presses himself closer and wraps his arm around Jungkook’s waist. “There’s these three girls sitting in the back of the bus that have been ogling you since we got onto the bus. I think that kiss should make the point that you’re taken nicely.”

Jungkook’s cheeks redden, and he shifts, trying to discreetly turn to glance behind him at the women Hoseok had been referring to. A hand wraps around his jaw, and before he even gets to look over his shoulder, Hoseok’s gently turning his back to face the elder, “Hey, hey, eyes on me only, angel.”

The younger boy can’t help but giggle at the statement and the pretend glare Hoseok throws his way. He makes a face at the elder, nose scrunched up cutely and teeth peeking out as he smiles. Hoseok copies his expressions as soon as he does, laughing along with him as they both stand there in a semi-crowded bus making odd faces at each other.

--

“Alright,” Hoseok looks around the rather crowded place, people of all shapes and sizes making their way around, a single focus to all of their minds. He hunches closer to Jungkook who’s guiding him forward when somebody shoves him and he barely manages to catch himself. Leaning into closer to the younger, he raises his voice a notch, “So, where to from here?”

Jungkook intertwines their hands and grips Hoseok’s tightly, continuing to walk forward as he replies, “Don’t let go of my hand, okay? The subway is going to be fairly crowded and I don’t want to lose you. We’re going to get onto the Line 2 train, and will get off in exactly six stops. I’ll remind you at the second last stop to get off at the next one okay?”

Hoseok nods his head, staying close to Jungkook as they get swept up in the crowd, “This is a lot more people than I imagined.”

The younger boy snorts, “Did you imagine an empty subway station?”

“Well, no, but definitely less crowded. This is borderline scary.”

Jungkook hums, getting onto the escalator, Hoseok a step below him, “The subway system can be daunting, but when you have Jeon Jungkook next to you, there’s nothing to worry about.”

Hoseok scoffs at the statement, leaning in close, “Life can be daunting, but when you have Jung Hoseok next to you, there’s nothing to worry about.”

The elder’s straight-faced delivery makes Jungkook laughs, even as he murmurs, “Gosh.”

“You bring out the flirt in me, angel, what can we do?” Hoseok all but laughs as they step off the escalator walking towards the platform. They find themselves a spot near the tracks, careful not to step too close to the edge.

“What’s the score right now?” Jungkook asks just after he plants a kiss against Hoseok’s cheek, catching the elder by surprise. “It’s all tied, now, right?”

Hoseok rolls his eyes, but nods, “It is. Six all.”

“Okay,” Jungkook hums in thought, before he presses another kiss.

Hoseok raises an eyebrow at this one, but doesn’t say much else. Jungkook laughs at he takes in the elder’s skeptical expression, before giving the elder another peck.

“Now you’re not even trying to get us on equal standing,” Hoseok complains, but there’s amusement dancing across his face. “Now you’re just blatantly trying to win.”

“Isn’t that what we’ve been trying to do since day one?” Jungkook asks with a mischievous smile, before he leans across and kisses Hoseok’s other cheek, deciding to give the neglected side of the elder’s face some love, too.

“Have we been?” Hoseok looks entertained. “I thought we were trying to make our relationship equal.”

Jungkook shrugs, “You give me cheat kisses all the time. I only think it’s fair if I return the favour.”

“Cheat kisses?” Hoseok’s voice is incredulous as he says the words, making air quotes with his free hand. “My goodness, angel, you’re adorable.”

“Am not,” Jungkook scrunches up his nose at the compliment. “Also, it’s a three-point lead right now.”

“It is,” Hoseok agrees, mentally calculating.

Jungkook leans in close and Hoseok thinks he’s going to push for another kiss, but instead the younger asks him, “Hey, you know what’s worth three cheek kisses? A kiss on the lips.”

Hoseok’s eyebrows shoot up to his hairline, “Are you using my own lines against me, angel?”

“You bet I am,” Jungkook giggles brightly, attracting a few onlookers.

Hoseok shakes his head in disbelief, “I never thought I’d never live to see the day you’d try to get me to kiss you.”

“I’m not trying anything. I’m just sayin’, you know,” Jungkook points out, trying to keep his tone of voice matter-of-fact, but the knowing smirk on Hoseok’s face has him bursting into more laughter.

“Sure thing, angel, sure thing.”

“Yes, exactly,” Jungkook leans in close, aiming for a fourth peck.

“Seriously?” Hoseok looks actually shocked this time, leaning away from the younger to eye him.

“What? That wasn’t a cheat kiss.”

“No?’

“Of course,” Jungkook’s eyes sparkle. “There’s this man in the corner who’s been ogling at you since we stepped onto the platform. I think that kiss should make the point that you’re taken nicely.”

Hoseok’s face colours in disbelief, mouth dropping open at the retort, “Now, you’re just mocking me, love.”

“How do you know?” Jungkook challenges, chest puffing out in defence. Hoseok glares, before he turns his head or rather, tries to.

The younger’s free hand against his cheek blocks him from completely turning and looking, and Jungkook grins as he gently shifts Hoseok’s face back until the elder’s gaze is settled on him, “Hey, hey, eyes on me only.”

Hoseok’s breath hitches as the playfulness dancing in Jungkook’s eyes, and he’s momentarily distracted by the train arriving. They step into the cart quietly, Jungkook pressed against the glass that’s perpendicular to the door and Hoseok leaning onto him.

“So, that’s how we’re going to play, huh, darling?” Hoseok smirks, tilting his head to the side.

Jungkook’s smile doesn’t falter, even as he leans in close, “If you want to, hyung.”

Hoseok takes a deep breath through his nose, and presses further into the younger’s body. Jungkook’s one hand clutches the right pocket of his zip up, while the other holds onto the pole beside their body. He chances a look around when one of Hoseok’s hand moves up to settle against his hip, but finds nobody looking in their direction, every one either too busy trying to stand still, sleeping, or too engrossed in their phones to notice them.

Hoseok’s other hand moves to tilts his face down once more, their lips hovering close together, “So, at the minimum we’re talking a proper kiss and another one of the cheek to get even, right?”

The elder’s eyes are dark and demanding, and it makes something hot curl into the pit of Jungkook’s belly. He dares Hoseok by leaning in closer, “Yeah, or you could do two proper kisses and take the lead.

The response clearly isn’t what Hoseok is expecting, not if the way his body shakes with laughter is any indication. Heart shaped lips bloom into a smile, and Hoseok pulls Jungkook closer into a hug, “My goodness, angel.”

“What?” Jungkook sounds perturbed. Lips press against the side of neck, moving up to press against the hook of the earring in his left earlobe, before finally settling against his cheek firmly. The kiss makes a slight smacking sound as Hoseok pulls away, and Jungkook’s eyes flit over the elder’s face as he does.

There’s a blush readily forming on both of their faces, and Jungkook catches someone staring at them out of the corner of his eye. He pays them no heed, however, not when Hoseok speaks up, “I like this Jungkook.”

“Huh?”

“I really like this Jungkook. The one who’s playful and mischievous but rolls his eyes when I try to flirt with him. The one who glares and mocks couple bracelets, but turns red when I buy him one. The same one who also tried to solicit a make out session, but blushes when I as much as kiss him on the cheek in public. Yeah, I really like this Jungkook.”

Jungkook snorts at the lines, raising a skeptical eyebrow, “What about the rest? You don’t like the rest?”

“Well,” Hoseok pauses in thought, looking to be genuinely contemplating the question. “I do like them. Maybe not as much as I like this one, but I certainly don’t dislike them.”

“No?”

Hoseok pulls the hand gripping onto the material of his hoodie up to his lips, “Not in the slightest. I’m sure with time, I can even learn to like them all as much.”

When Jungkook gives him a shy look, Hoseok’s smile widens before he leans up to whisper, “Oh yeah, as long as this Jungkook can be mine, I could totally learn to love the rest of them, too.”

Jungkook raises a challenging eyebrow, “Really now?”

They’re both momentarily distracted when Jungkook looks up suddenly as the incoming stop is announced. His eyes widen and he tugs at Hoseok’s hand, “This is our stop.”

They get off hastily but without a struggle, located close to the door. Jungkook guides them out of the subway station with ease, this one far less crowded than the last one, and it’s only once they make it outside that either of them speak up.

“It’s just a short walk from here. Barely four minutes.”

Hoseok nods, looking around the unfamiliar area before glancing up at the dissipating light in the sky, “Are we going to take long? I think it’ll be dark soon.”

“Not too long,” Jungkook reassures him as they start to cross. “We’ll probably get back to your car after dark, though.”

Hoseok hums, before he remembers something, “Also to answer your earlier question about loving the rest, yes, I’m sure I can.”

Jungkook snorts at the reminder, turning to glance at Hoseok who’s walking with him hand-in-hand, “Even the one who’ll throw away your flowers?”

“Of course,” Hoseok nods, smiling but not looking at Jungkook. “I mean he still accepted the lame earrings I got him and even wore them to make me feel better.”

Jungkook smiles to himself at the praise, “And what about the one who’ll reject your couple bracelets?”

“Oh, I could love him! He’s the one who’s been insisting we go buy rings together, after all. I’m sure he’s a pleasant person.”

“How about the one who gets angry sometimes and behaves irrationally?”

Hoseok thinks about that one for a few seconds, trying to remember when Jungkook had behaved that way. A particular Saturday morning comes to his mind, remembering the way Jungkook had been just the slightest bit snappy. It makes him smile, the fact that the younger still remembers the day and regrets his actions, “Of course, angel. He apologized and sent me this great half nude of him eating a blueberry muffin. It’s even my contact picture for him, now. How do you expect me to dislike this guy?”

“That wasn’t a half nude!”

“Your zipper was so far down I could see the whole of your collarbones!” Hoseok exclaims back, eyes widening when he hears a giggle from across the street. Jungkook’s face is dusted the lightest shade of pink once he turns back, and Hoseok gives the younger an apologetic look.

They continue walking hand-in-hand, until a few seconds later Jungkook’s step start to slow, before stopping completely outside of a non-discrete, brick building. Hoseok looks around in confusion, wondering what the place is, especially when Jungkook reaches forward to ring the doorbell.

“Then, how about…” the younger starts off in a soft voice, gaze on his shoes before it settles onto the iron grill door in front of them. Hoseok turns to glance at him, waiting patiently until Jungkook turns to look at him with a blank face.

The younger’s eyes are absolutely empty, face also devoid of any emotion, and acting on pure instinct, Hoseok tangles their fingers together, squeezing reassuringly. His grip slackens, however, when Jungkook gives him a rueful smile, “How about the Jungkook who doesn’t even know what his birthdate is? Think you could love him, too?”


Currently accepting bribes to make them kiss for real: Tumblr | Twitter

Chapter Text

“How about the Jungkook who doesn’t even know what his birthdate is? Think you could love him, too?”

Hoseok’s face softens and he opens his mouth to say something back, but the iron door opens right at that moment, the old metal making a creaking sound loud enough to grab the elder’s attention. He tightens his hold on Jungkook’s hand, however, squeezing the younger’s fingers reassuringly to try and get across the message that ‘yes, yes he could love that Jungkook, too’.

“Hello,” there’s a middle-aged woman who opens the door, smiling at Jungkook warmly before she turns to peer at Hoseok curiously.

“Is ahjumma in today?” Jungkook asks with a smile.

“She’s here, yes,” the woman nods her head and ushers both of them inside. “Come on in, Jungkook-ah. Have you been well these days?”

“I have been, thank you,” Jungkook thanks her politely, and he walks inside without any hesitance, tugging Hoseok behind him. “How are you doing? Have you been taking care of yourself? How’s Mihyun noona?”

Hoseok’s surprised at the warmth and ease that exudes from the younger boy and he follows after him as they step past a playground and into a moderate sized house.

“We’re both good, we’re both good,” the woman assures them with a laugh, turning around to give Jungkook a big smile as she leads them inside. “I heard you came by last week as well?”

“I did,” Jungkook confirms. “I had to give ahjumma something personally.”

“Ah, you’re in luck then today,” The woman informs him brightly. “If you’d come a bit later, you’d have missed her.”

“Oh,” Jungkook’s voice is soft, and he pauses once they stop outside of a room. He turns and thanks the middle-aged woman and when her eyes roam over Hoseok, drifting down to their joined hands, Hoseok can’t help but give her a short bow in thanks as well. “I’ll take it from here. Thank you, ahjumma, take care.”

The woman gives the younger boy a smile, patting his arm affectionately, and turns to give Hoseok a curt nod as well. Once she turns around, making her way back down the hallway they’d come from, Jungkook knocks firmly on the wooden door in front of them. His knuckles make sharp contact with the material of the door twice, and he pulls his hand away, waiting for acknowledgement.

Hoseok stays quiet, glancing between Jungkook and the door, unsure of whether or not he should say something. He observes Jungkook out of the corner of his eye, the younger looking oddly at ease and comfortable in this unfamiliar location. They enter the room once they hear a voice call them inside, and Hoseok walks in behind Jungkook, looking around the space curiously.

There’s a woman, in her late-50s, if Hoseok were to venture a guess, sitting behind a desk, glasses perched on the bridge of her nose. She glances up at them as they enter, and her face brightens a fair bit as she spots Jungkook entering.

“Jungkook-ah! What a pleasant surprise,” the woman stands up from her chair, pushing it back, and walks around the desk towards them. “I heard you came to visit me last week?”

“I did,” Jungkook smiles, giving her a small bow. “How are you?”

“I’m well, thank you,” the woman assures him, gesturing to the sofas in the corner of the room. “Come on, sit down with me for a bit.”

Hoseok looks around the room as they walk over to the seating area, taking in the paintings and group portraits hanging on the wall. Some are in black and white, consisting of dozens of kids in a variety of clothing, while others are in colour. There’s a bookcase behind the large three-seater couch, and more picture frames and albums take up space on those shelves than actual books.

He pulls his hand out of Jungkook’s as they sit down on the love seat and the woman takes a seat on the floral wingback chair beside them. Hoseok watches as Jungkook pulls out an envelope from the pocket of his hoodie, and he recognizes their wedding invite instantly. He turns to glance at the younger boy, but Jungkook doesn’t turn to look at him. He does, however, reach for Hoseok’s hand without looking, the elder moving to intertwine their fingers when Jungkook does.

“I came to give you this,” Jungkook presents the navy blue and gold envelope to the woman, who takes it carefully, gaze flickering towards Hoseok for the briefest second. She glances down at the invite, fingers running across the gold embossing before she slips out the cardstock from inside the envelope.

She reads through it quickly – gaze flitting over the words – and finally looks up at Jungkook with a soft smile, “You’re getting married, Jungkook-ah?”

The younger boy’s tongue peeks out to wet his lips before he nods slowly, turning to glance at Hoseok and then back at the woman sitting in front of them, “I am. It’s a little short notice, I understand, but it would make me really happy if you could come.”

Hoseok clears his throat, pulling his hand out of Jungkook’s hold, and stands up. His body bends into a 45-degree bow before he straightens himself and offers the unfamiliar woman a courteous smile, “I’m Jung Hoseok. It’s nice to meet you.”

The woman nods at him, gesturing for him to take a seat again, and Hoseok does so, smoothening out his shirt once he’s seated. There’s no disapproval or discontentment in her expression, Hoseok notices as she holds his gaze for a few seconds, but here eyes are definitely guarded. Jungkook’s watching him too, he realizes once the woman looks away, and he raises his eyebrows up once in question when the younger boy’s gaze doesn’t drift away from him. In response, Jungkook shakes his head, but Hoseok can see the hint of something on the tip of the younger’s tongue.

“Congratulations,” the woman interrupts Hoseok’s train of thoughts and he shifts his eyes from Jungkook to her. They both nod their heads in unison, thanking her in complete sync, something that makes her laugh. “I didn’t even know you were seeing someone Jungkook.”

“Ah, well,” the younger boy rubs the back of his neck awkwardly. “It’s arranged.”

The woman’s lips press into a line and she blinks, turning to spare Hoseok a glance, “Is that so? I wasn’t aware your mother was looking to get you married. She never mentioned anything when she came by last month.”

Jungkook’s unsure of what to say, so he nods, looking down at the floor, “It just sort of happened.”

The woman hums, placing the invite card back into the navy blue envelope.

“Will you and ahjussi be coming?” Jungkook asks her quietly, smiling when the woman nods.

“Of course, Jungkook. We have no reason to not attend.”

Jungkook beams, “Okay. I’m glad.”

“Would you two like something to eat or drink? Tea, maybe?”

“I’m okay,” Jungkook shakes his head, turning to Hoseok who’s sitting there quietly, “Do you want anything, hyung?”

“I’m alright as well,” Hoseok gives him a smile, extending it over to the woman. The woman nods her head before she gets up with a bright smile. Hoseok watches her walk over to a cupboard placed in the corner of the room by the desk and is surprised when Jungkook suddenly starts to laugh. He glances at the younger boy curiously, before turning back to the woman, who’s pulled out a set of keys and is opening a cupboard.

“Ah, ahjumma, I’m not a child anymore,” Jungkook protests as Hoseok watches her pulls out a metallic tin from the top shelf of the cupboard. She closes the cupboard door only part way, and then walks back to them, opening the lid of the container.

Extending it over to Hoseok first, the woman smiles when he peers inside curiously, letting out a small laugh to see it full of different candies. The woman waves the circular, metallic tin at him, gesturing for him to take one, “I always give the kids one on special occasions or if they do something good. Would you like one?”

Hoseok grins at her brightly, nodding his head, before he reaches inside for an orange lollipop, turning to glance at Jungkook as the younger boy hums, sifting around the tin with his fingers before settling on a fruit flavoured hard candy. They chorus thank you as she closes the container, and walks back to the cabinet. Hoseok turns to give Jungkook a grin as the younger boy rips open the packaging for his sweet, popping the candy into his mouth soon after.

Jungkook turns to glance at him, smiling back as he catches Hoseok watching him, before gesturing for the lollipop, “Aren’t you gonna eat it?”

“Later,” Hoseok tells him. “You shouldn’t talk with food in your mouth.”

Jungkook snorts at him, rolling his eyes, and something in his expression makes Hoseok reach forward to give him a kiss on the cheek. The younger boy’s eyes widen and it makes Hoseok smile, looking away from Jungkook’s round eyes to glance at the woman who’s standing by her desk, watching them. She starts to walk as soon as Hoseok’s gaze meets her, and he wonders if she would have stayed there to observe them for longer if he hadn’t looked in her direction.

When Jungkook turns to look at her once she sits back down, Hoseok opts for switching the lollipop into his left hand and slips his right one into Jungkook’s left hand. He squeezes Jungkook’s fingers between his own, and the calming gesture makes the younger boy smile softly.

“Have you been busy lately?” Jungkook asks, shifting the candy to the corner of his mouth, sucking on it softly, trying not to make any noise.

“Yes,” the woman nods, crossing her legs at the knee and adjusting her skirt. “We got two new kids last week, a pair of twins. They’re kind of young, school-going age, but still young. I’ve been getting them enrolled and sorting through tons of paperwork. They’ve been very quiet, too, throughout the whole process, and won’t talk to anyone but each other.”

“Oh,” Jungkook says softly, absentmindedly playing with the fingers clasped between his own. “How old are they?”

“They’re five years old,” the woman informs them, watching both Jungkook and Hoseok nod sympathetically.

They sit in silence for a few minutes, only the humming of the fan being heard, until a knock on the door interrupts them. Hoseok turns back to glance at the door, and the woman who had guided them steps inside, wringing her hands together, “The social worker is here to see you, Director.”

“Oh, send her in, send her in.”

Jungkook stands up, Hoseok following seconds after, “We’ll go then, ahjumma, you seem busy. I’ll come visit again soon.”

“Make sure you do,” the woman smiles, standing up and patting Jungkook’s shoulder. She gives Hoseok a polite nod of farewell as well, before guiding them both outside.

“Do you mind if I walk around the place for a bit?” Jungkook asks her just as they’re about to leave, and the woman shakes her head.

“Of course not. Go visit the kids. They’ll be happy to see you I’m sure.”

“Alright,” Jungkook waves and gives her a smile. “I’ll see you at the wedding then?”

The woman hums, returning his grin.

“Goodbye,” Jungkook and Hoseok both say in unison, bowing their heads as they leave and then giving her a short wave that the woman returns.

--

They walk down the corridor hand-in-hand, Hoseok swinging their arms gently as he slowly lets his eyes roam over the framed pictures, of different sizes and colours, that line the walls they walk by.

“Hey, hey, wait,” he halts Jungkook in his path, and then heads closer to a faded, picture of three kids standing side by side, the colours of the image soft and vintage looking. He gestures to the youngest child in the picture, holding a small plush and grinning widely, front teeth jutting out, and then turns to glance at Jungkook who’s trying his hardest not to smile, “Isn’t that you?”

Jungkook pretends to peer at the picture frame, before he shakes his head, “No, I don’t think so.”

Hoseok’s eyes narrow and when Jungkook cracks a grin, the elder scrunches his nose at him, “That’s you, isn’t it?”

Jungkook nods his head, eyes drifting from Hoseok’s face to the picture, “That’s me. I’m surprised you recognized me from that far.”

Hoseok rubs the back of his neck at the moment, cheeks flushing at the observation, “I guess I was looking intently.”

Jungkook hums, squeezing the elder’s hands gently, “If you say so.”

Hoseok turns his head to glance at the younger boy, Jungkook shifting his face to look at him at the same time, “Is this where you grew up?”

“Hardly,” Jungkook shakes his head. “I was five when I was adopted, and I think I was transferred to this orphanage from the old one when I was around 2. So, give or take, I spent only three or so years here.”

“Oh, transferred?” Hoseok says softly before asking, “Which one are you originally from?”

“I never asked or clarified, but I don’t think it was in Seoul. Maybe Busan?” Jungkook bites his lips, gaze shifting to their joined hands when Hoseok starts to rub circles in the back of his hand subconsciously. “Why?”

“No reason,” Hoseok shrugs, pulling Jungkook away from the picture and continuing their walk down the hall. “Just asking. Do you come here often?”

“I try to visit and volunteer once every few weeks,” Jungkook reveals. “I have to come once a month, anyway, to forward the donations.”

Hoseok hums, thinking Jungkook’s words over, “How have you been volunteering here?”

“Since high school. Sometimes with eomma, sometimes with hyung, and sometimes by myself.”

“Ah,” Hoseok says as if something’s dawned on him. “Is that how your mum came across you?”

“Yeah, she’s been coming here since after she got married I think.”

Hoseok nods his head, slowly, looking around, “Where are all the kids, by the way? It’s surprisingly quiet.”

“It’s dinner time,” Jungkook grins at him. “They’re all in the dining hall right now. Do you want to go see them?”

Hoseok gives the younger boy a soft smile, “Lead me?”

Jungkook nods, returning the elder’s smile with a small one of his own, before pulling Hoseok after him, navigating his way down a familiar maze of corridors to end up in front of a set of big, wooden brown doors. He pulls himself out of Hoseok’s hold, turning to face the elder, back against the door, “There're quite a few kids, okay? Don’t be startled if they all stare at you.”

“I’ll be fine,” Hoseok tells Jungkook with a roll of his eyes, patting the younger’s cheek. “It can’t be worse than having to do a presentation in front of the board of directors.”

Jungkook grins at his example, leaning down to press a kiss against Hoseok’s cheek, “Probably not.”

He opens the door slowly, peeking his head in before slipping his body through the narrow crack and gesturing for Hoseok to do the same. Jungkook lets out a small laugh when more than twenty heads manage to turn and stare at him in perfect synchronization, more than a few smiles blooming as he steps further into the room.

He turns, tugging Hoseok inside when the elder seems to hesitate by the entrance, and then waves at the kids who all sit on the floor, around four sets of long, low wooden tables.

“Jungkook hyung!” One of the boys shouts finally, waving back frantically, just as a few other kids – a mixture of boys and girls – call out Jungkook’s name. Their friendliness brings a smile to Hoseok’s face, and his gaze drifts over the entire room, settling on the two adults that are sitting with the kids – a man and a woman. He gives them all a curt bow, before turning to glance at Jungkook’s who’s already moved away from his side and further into the room, currently sitting in a crouch behind three kids who are talking to him animatedly.

Hoseok shifts his weight on his feet, unable to help but feel a little awkward standing by himself at the entrance of the room while being stared at by several of the kids. He tries for a smile, waving at the barely seven-year-old girl who’s watching him with piercing eyes, and chuckles a little when the child quickly looks away after being caught. The boy next to her, however, a little older at perhaps nearly nine or ten doesn’t look away and instead waves hesitantly back.

Feeling a surge of confidence, Hoseok walks over to the table they’re seated at, sitting down cross-legged by the edge of it. He offers the boy a hand, smiling widely when the child looks at his hand, blinking confusedly.

“I’m Hoseok,” he prompts, retracting his hand. “What’s your name?”

“My name is Kwanggu,” the boy points to his chest, and Hoseok coos internally at his slight lisp before turning to the girl.

“How about you, princess?”

“Minhee doesn’t speak,” the boy informs him solemnly, scooping some rice into his mouth right after and turning away.

“Oh,” Hoseok trails off, surprised. He paints on a bright smile, seconds later, grinning at the girl who’s still watching him intently, “Minhee’s a really pretty name.”

He’s overjoyed when the girl gives him a smile in return and reaches forward to pat her head affectionately. She ducks away shyly from his touch, and Hoseok laughs in response. He looks to his left, glancing at the two teenage girls sitting opposite of Minhee and Kwanggu, and smiles at them too, waving when they stare at him curiously.

“Are you Jungkook oppa’s friend?” One of the girls watches him with narrowed eyes, but the look isn’t suspicious in the slightest.

Hoseok pauses to think, before nodding, “I’m a friend, yes. A special kind of friend.”

“Special like Jimin hyung?” The other one inquires around a mouthful of food.

Hoseok smiles to himself, “Not quite. Maybe more special?”

“That’s not true,” Jungkook’s voice interrupts them from behind, and Hoseok turns to glance at the younger boy as he squats down beside him. There’s a mischievous tint to Jungkook’s grin, and it makes Hoseok smile subconsciously, “He’s not special at all.”

“Really now, darling?” Hoseok drawls out the endearment teasingly and admires the flush on Jungkook’s cheeks as the two girls giggle loudly. “Nothing special at all?”

Jungkook’s surprised when an arm wraps around his waist, and he’s pulled down from his crouch onto the floor, landing flush against Hoseok’s side. The elder laughs as he looks down at Jungkook’s shocked expression, before the younger pushes his away with a glare, gritting out, “Can you not do that in front of the kids?”

“Would you prefer I do something like this in front of the adults, then?” Hoseok teases, laughing when Jungkook huffs and avoids his eyes completely. He turns away to glance at the kids seated in front of them, all of them looking between them until the oldest girl starts to snicker.

“Ah, that sort of special friend,” she says with a twinkle in her eye, winking at Hoseok who gives her a delighted laugh, wrapping an arm around Jungkook’s shoulder who can’t help but laugh as well.

Jungkook shakes his head at her, standing up, and pulling Hoseok along as well, “Come with me for a bit.”

Hoseok nods, letting Jungkook lead him around the table, and turns to waves goodbye to the kids. He falls in step with the younger soon after, murmuring quietly, “You should’ve told me we were coming here, I would’ve bought the kids something.”

Jungkook raises an eyebrow, “Bought them what?”

Hoseok shrugs, “Dunno, something I guess. Well, I guess there’s always next time.”

Jungkook stops in his tracks for a few seconds, but when Hoseok turns back to look at him quizzically he shakes his head, opting to remain quiet. Leading the elder to where the two caretakers sit, Jungkook takes a seat on the floor, pulling Hoseok down along with him.

Hoseok follows Jungkook’s example when the younger greets the two elders, and smiles at them as warmly as he can while Jungkook introduces him.

“Oh my goodness,” the woman exclaims, looking at Hoseok with a new kind of smile that Hoseok returns with one of his own. “I can’t believe you’re getting married, Jungkook-ah!”

“Ah, yeah, it’s hard for me to believe, too,” Jungkook lets out a small awkward laugh, rubbing the back of his neck as he looks down at the floor. “But I am. This is Hoseok hyung.”

Taking that as his cue, Hoseok offers a small bow to both the man and the woman who’re looking at him with eyes full of curiosity, “I’m Jung Hoseok. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Oh, he’s so good looking and well-mannered,” the woman gushes quietly to herself. “Please take care of our Jungkookie.”

“Yes, of course,” Hoseok nods, glancing at Jungkook. “Of course, I will.”

“Congratulations,” the man speaks up, at last, offering them both a smile. “It’s nice to hear that you’re getting married, Jungkook.”

Jungkook grins, trying to hide the smile behind a hand, “Thank you.”

His smile widens on his own when Hoseok links their hands together, and he chances a glance at the elder who’s already looking at him. Jungkook feels contentment when he sees the same happiness he feels echoed back in Hoseok’s eyes, and his heart catches in his throat when Hoseok gives him a soft, knowing smile.

They excuse themselves after a few minutes of polite conversation, neither quite sure what to talk about with the man or the woman. Jungkook waves goodbye to all the kids as he leaves, smiling when Hoseok pulls away from him to go and personally say farewell to the children he’d been sitting with earlier. There’s a quiet, mutual mixture of relief, hesitance, and pleasure surrounding them as they exit the dining hall, closing the door behind them quietly.

They walk down the corridor, hand-in-hand, without saying anything or even looking at each other until they’re halfway through and suddenly Hoseok lets out a small giggle. Jungkook looks at him curiously at the sound of the elder’s happiness, his lips stretching outwards when Hoseok’s lets out another sputtering laugh and hunches forward, eventually falling into a crouch on the ground. His laughter is infectious, Jungkook realizes, as he finds himself suddenly giggling as well, eyes curved into crescents and fingers still intertwined tightly with the elder, holding him up.

Hoseok looks up at him in the midst of a laugh, heart-shaped lips stretched wide to expose a row of perfect, white teeth, and eyes shining with mirth. The elder gives him a secretive glance, one that would make any outsider think they’re laughing because of a secret. The look they share makes Jungkook’s heart catch in his throat, and he pauses in his laughter suddenly, able to feel his own heart rate increasing. Hoseok’s giggling gets quieter, too, at the sudden shift in atmosphere, until the laughter curves itself into a soft sigh.

There’s something akin to relief on Jungkook’s face, Hoseok finds as he stares up at the younger boy from his almost kneeling position on the ground. Jungkook looks like he wants to say something and so Hoseok remains quiet, letting the younger speak. Whatever it is, though, it never comes, and Hoseok watches, with a disappointed smile, as the younger boy shakes his head, clears his throat, and then looks away.

Hoseok stands, tugging Jungkook closer, “What is it?”

Jungkook presses his lips together, shaking his head again, “Nothing. I was just thinking.”

“About?”

“Why you started laughing all of a sudden,” Jungkook says as an excuse.

Hoseok’s eyes search Jungkook’s thoroughly, trying to find a hint or a clue that’ll let him into the younger’s thoughts, but his search is fruitless. Jungkook’s mask is fitted too tightly, and Hoseok’s hand itches to yank it off. He doesn’t, however, do so. Hoseok doesn’t push further, and instead shrugs his shoulders, ducking his own gaze away from the younger boy’s as well.

“No particular reason.”

Jungkook snorts, tilting his head, “So you just randomly decided to have a laughing fit in the middle of the hallway?”

Hoseok hums affirmatively, smiling wide, “Yes, and you joined me, angel, might I remind you.”

“That’s ‘cause of how funny you looked while laughing,” Jungkook points out, a teasing grin playing on his lips.

“It’s okay, you don’t have to lie,” Hoseok waves a dismissive hand. “I know how ethereal I looked.”

Jungkook laughs softly, and then nods mockingly, humoring the elder, “Of course. So ethereal that I think I should start calling you angel, instead.”

Hoseok chuckles, leaning forward to press a lingering kiss against Jungkook’s cheek, “Get your own clever nickname.”

“How is angel a clever nickname?” Jungkook protests, starting to walk again alongside Hoseok.

“I think it’s clever,” Hoseok says in response, pulling Jungkook closer by the hand, and then turns to give the younger a slow, meaningful once-over. “Very apt.”

Jungkook’s mouth drops opens, but instead of saying anything in response, he just sighs, shaking his head, and then lets out a small laugh, “What am I going to do with you?”

“I can’t wait to find out,” Hoseok winks, grinning wildly when Jungkook presses his lips together in a firm line and the younger boy’s cheeks flush. The elder chuckles, tightening his grip on Jungkook’s fingers, and then sighs softly. He sneaks a glance at Jungkook through the corner of his eyes, noticing the small smile playing on the younger’s lips, and then asks in a hesitant tone, “Can I ask you something?”

The younger’s eyebrows furrow at the question, and he turns to glance at Hoseok, nodding a few seconds later. Jungkook’s eyebrows draw closer together when Hoseok doesn’t say anything, looking deep in thought, as they step out into the veranda, a few meters away from the garden and the playground at the entrance of the orphanage.

Hoseok lets go of Jungkook’s hand, coming to a stop, and then turns to face the younger boy who’s looking at him with apprehensive eyes, “Why’d you bring me here?”

The trepidation in the younger’s eyes turns quickly into a look of hurt and defensiveness, but it’s replaced by blankness in the span of seconds. Hoseok doesn’t miss any of the emotions, however, and steps closer to hold Jungkook’s hands, “Don’t misunderstand, Jungkook. I don’t mean it the way you’re thinking. I just want to know if there was a reason you asked me to accompany you.”

Jungkook looks back at Hoseok impassively, “I told you I got tired of wandering around.”

“This wasn’t you wandering around. This was you with a destination and a purpose in mind.”

Jungkook bites his lip and then shrugs, “I don’t know. There were multiple reasons I guess.”

“Like what?”

“I wanted the staff to meet you.”  

“Fair enough,” Hoseok nods. “Anything else?”

Jungkook purses his lips, eyes narrowing, “Is there something that you’re looking to hear?”

Hoseok blinks, “No, not really. I genuinely just want to know.”

“Why? What’s going to change if you find out, huh?” Jungkook crosses his arms, and Hoseok frowns.

“Nothing’s going to change, Jungkook.”

“Then why bother asking? I brought you here with me because I felt like it. You don’t have to come along from now on if you don’t want to.”

“Hey,” Hoseok’s fingers curl around Jungkook’s wrist firmly, halting the younger boy when he makes a move to walk away. “You’re being unfair right now. I can understand it’s a sensitive topic –”

“– then why are you pressing for more?” Jungkook asks, cutting him off, before turning around and pulling his arm out of Hoseok’s reach.

He’s greeted with hard eyes rather than an apologetic face, and Hoseok breaks eye contact with him, nodding, “Alright, I won’t. Let’s go home then.”

Jungkook frowns when Hoseok walks past him, not turning around to look back at him, and reiterates his earlier words, “You’re being unfair right now.”

Hoseok turns, hands shoved into the pocket of his jeans, and raises a challenging eyebrow, “How so?”

“If I don’t want to discuss something, then shouldn’t you drop the subject instead of asking me the same thing repeatedly?”

Hoseok bites the inside of his cheek, looking away and nodding, “Yeah. Sorry.”

“Can you at least try and sound sincere?” Jungkook takes two steps forward.

“I’m sorry Jeon Jungkook-ssi. I was in the wrong completely. Would you like me to bow down to you in apology?” Hoseok says sarcastically, voice monotone but loud enough to carry across to Jungkook.

The younger boy scowls at Hoseok, scoffing, before walking past Hoseok, making sure to shove him in the shoulder as he does.

Hoseok closes his eyes tightly, sighing, before turning around and catching up to Jungkook who’s rapidly stalking away, “Wait!”

Jungkook stops only when he feels a firm grip on his elbow, and then turns around, looking at Hoseok expectantly, “What?”

“I didn’t mean that. I’m sorry. That was completely out of line.”

“Which part?” Jungkook raises a single eyebrow quietly.

“All of it, sorry,” Hoseok apologizes, ruffling his hair and looking down at the ground. “Sorry, I just…I don’t know why I kept insisting on why.”

Jungkook observes the elder for a few seconds, and when Hoseok looks up again with a hesitant smile, he gives a small nod, “It’s okay.”

Hoseok’s fingers move from around his elbow down to intertwine with his own, and the elder smiles, “Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Jungkook nods, but his lips are still set in a firm line. “I just…”

Hoseok waits patiently, watching the younger boy look around the entire garden and then at the relatively large house behind it. He squeezes his hand gently, “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

Jungkook lets out a deep breath, before he shrugs and says quietly, “I kind of wanted to remind you where I came from.”

Hoseok grip tightens on his hand, before he pulls Jungkook forward into a hug, “That doesn’t matter to me, but thank you anyway. I can’t make a promise for every time, but in the future, I’ll try to visit this place with you as often as I can whenever you plan on going.”

Jungkook smiles into the elder’s shoulder, wrapping his arms around Hoseok’s waist, “Okay.”

Hoseok pulls away, face serious, “Are we okay?”

The younger boy nods, reflecting Hoseok’s expression, “Yeah.”

Smiling, the elder says quietly, “Hey, I think we just had our first fight.”

Jungkook shakes his head with a smile, rolling his eyes and stepping back from Hoseok’s embrace, “And it was all your fault, hyung.”

“Are you looking for a second one, angel?” Hoseok teases.

The younger chuckles, lips parting to reveal white teeth, before his gaze settles on something behind Hoseok. His eyes brighten, and he turns to Hoseok, “Do you want me to show you something?”

“Changing the topic?” Hoseok laughs when Jungkook huffs, and then drags his forward by the hand, taking him to the small swing set behind him.

Pointing down at the left most swing, Jungkook says, “This is my seat.”

Hoseok blinks, tilting his head, “Your seat?”

Jungkook grins and hums, “Yup, mine. It has my name on it, after all. At the bottom.”

The elder lets out a surprised, whopping laugh, and watches the younger boy turn over the black rubber seat, a worn out, yellow piece of masking tape attached at the bottom. There’s a faded bit of writing, an odd green-brown colour, on the strip, though, and Hoseok peers at it closely, making out Jungkook’s first name on there after a bit of squinting. The handwriting is shaky and messy, clearly that of a very young child.

“Wow,” Hoseok breathes out softly, touching the rough piece of tape that’s dried up and stuck tightly to the rubber seat. “How old is this?”

“Probably a little over 20 or so years,” Jungkook replies as Hoseok stands back up. “Putting this on here is probably one of my only memories of this place.”

“Yeah?” Hoseok smiles and then turns to sit down on the swing. “Tell me about it, then.”

Jungkook leans his head against the frame of the swing, watching Hoseok rock back and forth gently before glancing up worriedly when the swing creaks, “It’s nothing interesting. One of the older boys wouldn’t let me use the swing, and said something about how it wasn’t mine because it’s not like it had my name on it. So I remember after dinner that afternoon, I came outside with a marker and tried to write my name on it. The marker was black, though, and didn’t show up at all.”

Hoseok laughs, leaning his head against the chains holding the seat up, “So you tried masking tape instead?”

“Well, the tape was a suggestion from someone else,” Jungkook’s smile is bright. He has a faraway look in his eyes, “I can’t remember his name or his face all that well. He only stayed with us for a few months, but I remember he saw me trying to write my name and told me to stick some tape on first. He even offered to write my name on there for me.”

“Smart. Do you remember anything else?” Hoseok peers up at Jungkook, taking note of the lost look in the younger’s eyes.

Jungkook shakes his head after a few minutes, “Not a lot. Just little things, here and there. Some childhood memories did come back to me when I used to volunteer during high school, but they were nothing special. They’re mostly of the kids, of eomma when she’d visit me sometimes, and a few of my things. There was this…ah, never mind.”

“What is it?” Hoseok asks with a smile, tugging on Jungkook’s hand. “You have to tell me now. I’m curious.”

“Maybe another time,” Jungkook lips widen, his smile mysterious as he looks up at the fading sky, and then turns back to Hoseok, “Should we head back?”

Hoseok stares back at him for a few seconds and then lets the matter go, standing back up with a nod, “Yeah, let’s go.”

Jungkook extends his hand out for the elder to take and then walks them over to the front door.

“Thank you,” Hoseok says softly, once they step out of the orphanage, crossing the threshold hand-in-hand. “For bringing me here – whatever the reason.”

Jungkook smiles and turns his head to press his lips against Hoseok’s cheek firmly instead of saying anything in response.

--

Hoseok descends from the bus onto the sidewalk behind Jungkook, landing on his feet with a thud, and then turns to the younger boy, “Off to the car and then home?”

Jungkook smiles and nods, taking the elder’s hand in his own, and starts to lead them back, “I’d suggest elsewhere, but you’re probably tired and have work to do.”

“Well, I’m not that tired,” Hoseok suggests blatantly, grinning when Jungkook chuckles, shaking his head and dragging him in the right direction.

“You have work to do, though, and I don’t want you to fall behind,” Jungkook says after a while, rubbing circles in the back of the other man’s hand subconsciously.

“Are you that eager for a honeymoon, angel?” Hoseok’s eyes are bright and full of mischief, his smile turning into loud laughter when Jungkook fixes him with a firm glare.

“No, I’m not.”

“Sure,” Hoseok coos, before leaning closer to press a kiss against Jungkook’s cheek. “Are you keeping score?”

“Kind of,” Jungkook tells him with a smile. “I’m winning by two, but don’t know about the total.”

Hoseok hums, nodding and then turns to face the alleyway they’re walking down. Darkness surrounds them with the exception of the light filtering in from the street lights, and Hoseok sighs, looking around. A cold breeze flutters his hair, sweeping into the material of his zip up, and he smiles at how nice it feels.

“Hey, what time is it?”

Jungkook gives Hoseok an odd look, before pulling out his phone, “Almost 8:30, why?”

“Oh,” Hoseok says softly, before tightening his hold on Jungkook’s hand and starts to run.

“What are you doing?” Jungkook yells out as they sprint forward, but he keeps pace with the elder, feet pounding against the asphalt as they run together, narrowly dodging the people in their way. He doesn’t get an answer in response, and Jungkook frowns at the elder’s quietness.

Hoseok lets go of him as they near the bumper of the car, pulling out his keys and pressing a button. Jungkook looks at the elder, a confused expression on his face, but he has no time to stop or say anything especially when Hoseok hurriedly waves him away towards the passenger seat, “Get in, get in!”

Jungkook does as is asked of him, strapping himself in quickly as he can while Hoseok’s hands fumble with his own seatbelt. The younger stays quiet, still frowning slightly, and watches as Hoseok pulls out of the parking spot with unexpected haste, eyes constantly drifting over to the center console. He doesn’t speak until they’re out of the parking lot, and Hoseok looks a little more relaxed, “Hyung, where are we going?”

Hoseok gives him a furtive glance, licking his lips as he checks the rear view mirror, and then changes lane, pressing down on the accelerator, “Somewhere I promised to take you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jungkook asks, tone borderline whiny as he glares at Hoseok.

The elder laughs at him, inadvertently reaching for the younger’s hand, “You’ll find out if we make it in time.”

Jungkook huffs, leaning back in his seat, and decides to trust the elder this time.

--

“It’s 8:45,” the woman dressed in all white tells them with a hesitant smile as she hands over two dark blue and white paper wristbands. “Visiting hours are over at 9 o’ clock. Please make sure to wrap up your visit before then, because the nurses will be making rounds and checking each room. Only one person is allowed to stay overnight with the patient.”

“Yes, of course, we’ll be quick,” Hoseok beams at her, turning around to face Jungkook, and winds the paper around the younger’s wrist gently. He gives the boy a quick smile, especially when Jungkook stares at him curiously and nervously, and then turns to give a swift wave to the woman behind the glass screen. “Let’s go.”

“Why are we at a hospital?” Jungkook asks, following on Hoseok’s heels as the elder leads them around to the elevators.

“You don’t remember?” Hoseok asks honestly.

The younger boy blinks for a few seconds, looking away in thought, before he clamps his hand around Hoseok’s forearm in surprise as he remembers something, “Your grandfather?”

Hoseok nods, pulling him into the empty elevator, and presses the button for the 17th floor, “We only have fifteen minutes, so we have to hurry.”

“Wait, no, wait,” Jungkook scrambles to find the right words. “Are you seriously taking me over to introduce me to your grandfather like this?”

Hoseok gives the younger a funny look, “What do you mean?”

“I mean, I’m not ready!” Jungkook exclaims. “Look at what we’re wearing!”

“I think we look fine,” Hoseok frowns, turning to glance at the mirror. “Yeah, we look fine. Don’t worry, my grandfather has seen me in worse condition.”

“Okay, but I can’t make a first impression like this!”

“You’ll be fine!”

Jungkook bites the inside of his cheek, “Fine, then afterwards let’s drive over to my grandmother’s place. I’ll introduce you to them like this.”

Hoseok opens his mouth to respond, and then closes it, smiling, “Okay, I see what you mean, but it’s too late now.”

“No, it isn’t,” Jungkook protests, pressing the ground floor button. “Let’s turn back, and come again tomorrow, okay? I’m not going in there empty handed, either.”

“Ah,” Hoseok ruffles his hair. “It’s fine, don’t worry, okay? Come on, let’s just go.”

“Hyung!”

“I promise, angel, everything will be fine,” Hoseok tries to give Jungkook a reassuring smile, before pulling the younger out of the elevator. They pass through the security door, showing the man standing by their wristbands, and Hoseok drags the younger boy to the right room despite his continuous complaints and protests.

Jungkook digs his heels into the ground, surprised at the way Hoseok’s still able to pull his forward, “Hyung, wait, no! This isn’t fair. I need more warning than this.”

Hoseok stops in front of one of the many white, plain looking door, the number 1719 written the frame. Turning to face Jungkook, he puts on his best smile, taking the younger’s hands in his, “It’ll be okay. We won’t get a chance to meet him again until after the engagement, Jungkook. Can we please go in and see him?”

The younger boy sags, defeat apparent in his shoulder when the elder looks at him expectantly, “He won’t think I’m rude if I show up without even flowers?”

“Harabeoji won’t even notice,” Hoseok gives him a soft smile. “I bet he’ll be delighted to just meet you.”

“What do I say then?” Jungkook asks quietly, biting his lips. “I don’t know how to make small talk, especially not with strangers.”

“Just introduce yourself, and tell him what you do, okay? It’s okay if the meeting is awkward, as long as you meet him, alright? Harabeoji’s not a big talker anyway. He usually kicks me out within the first half hour whenever I go visit him, claiming he’s bored of me. I think you’ll be fine.”

Jungkook gulps, looking even more worried, but then nods his head when Hoseok squeezes his hand reassuringly, looking expectant, “Okay, let’s go in. But if this causes a problem or creates trouble, I’m blaming you.”

“It’s okay, we can just run away and get married if he doesn’t like you!” Hoseok chirps, laughing when Jungkook hits him in the shoulder, and reaches forward for the doorknob.

“Wait, is that a possibility?”

“Too late now,” Hoseok grins, opening the door, and walking inside, pulling Jungkook behind him.

--

The smell of illness and antiseptic that had been in the hallway dissipates as soon as Jungkook steps into the private room, peeking over the elder’s shoulder from behind him. He gulps as Hoseok drags him closer gently, smiling at the lack of resistance in Jungkook’s movements. Jungkook looks at the bed in the center of the room hesitantly, eyes flitting over to the woman sitting beside it, her back facing them.

She turns when she hears footsteps, and Jungkook doesn’t miss the surprise on her face as her eyes look with his. He bows a full 90 degrees, and then stands up, gripping Hoseok’s hand tighter when the elder drags his further into the room. He peers around the woman’s shoulder, spotting an elderly man lying in bed, his skin pale and wrinkly.

“Halmeoni,” Hoseok says softly, pulling Jungkook closer to stand beside him rather than behind. “This is Jungkook. Jeon Jungkook. Eomma told you about him, right? We’re getting engaged this Saturday.”

“Wow, Hoseok-ah,” the woman says with a smile. “You were quick to remember us, weren’t you?”

“No, no,” Hoseok shakes his head, grinning. “It’s not like that –”

Jungkook turns towards the man lying in bed, when he raises a shaky hand, interrupting their conversation, “Hoseok-ah?”

Hoseok lets go of Jungkook’s hand, stepping forward and taking the old man’s hand in his own, “Harabeoji, I came to see you, and I brought someone along.”

Jungkook waves timidly when the older man’s eyes shift from past his grandson over to him, and then he mentally smacks him at the odd gesture. Clearing his throat, he steps forward instead, moving over to stand beside Hoseok and gives the man lying in the hospital bed a small bow, “Uh, hello.”

“This is Jungkook, harabeoji,” Hoseok comes to his rescue, wrapping an arm loosely around Jungkook’s waist, and the younger lets go of the breath he’d been holding. “Remember I told you that I was getting married? This is him, harabeoji. This is Jungkook.”

Jungkook smiles when the older man’s gaze shifts towards him, curious and a little dazed. He sits down in the chair beside the bed, and clears his throat, shifting to the edge of the seat, “H-harabeoji, how are you?”

He bites his lips nervously when the older man doesn’t say anything, only stares at him, and flinches when Hoseok runs a comforting hand down his back, “Ask him again, Jungkook.”

Jungkook glances at Hoseok and then nods, repeating his earlier question. He’s greeted with a nod this time from the older man, who’s looking between him and Hoseok. Jungkook beams especially when the elder man follows his nod with a soft “okay.”

“They’re getting married,” Hoseok’s grandmother reiterates slowly, stepping around them and moving over to the other side of the bed. She takes her husband’s hand and gestures towards Jungkook. “This is Jungkook.”

Hoseok’s grandfather nods again, speaking slowly, “I know. Hoseok told me.”

Jungkook smiles, especially when Hoseok laughs and asks, “Are you happy that he came to visit you, harabeoji? Remember you wanted to meet him earlier?”

Freezing in his seat at the question, Jungkook’s breath hitches, and he only breathes out a sigh of relief when the older man nods, looking at him and then back at Hoseok, “Yes. I am.”

Glancing down at his phone, Hoseok smiles, taking his grandfather’s hand again, “It’s time for us to leave now, but I’ll bring Jungkook with me again, okay?”

Jungkook bows again, and then reaches forward for the older man’s hand. He places his other hand on top of Hoseok’s grandfather’s hand, locking it between his own gently, and smiles softly, “I’ll come again, harabeoji.”

The older man nods and Jungkook smiles when he feels his hand being gripped and very, very lightly squeezed, “Okay.”

Jungkook steps away from the man’s bedside, and bows at Hoseok’s grandmother, who reaches for him. He steps forward when he does and is surprised when she pats his cheek and strokes his hair lightly, “Thank you for coming.”

Jungkook nods with a small smile, “I’ll come again soon. It was nice to meet you.”

The woman nods, smiling, and then looks over his shoulder at Hoseok who’s come to stand behind Jungkook. The younger boy steps to the side and watches the elder hug and whisper something to his grandmother. The woman glances at him and whispers something back quietly, Jungkook’s cheeks colouring when he realizes they’re talking about him.

“Right?” Hoseok says out loud, turning to give Jungkook a teasing grin. He laughs when the younger boy’s eyes narrow and start to glare at him in response. “Anyway, halmeoni, we’re going to go now, there are only two minutes left.”

“Alright,” the woman nods and gives Jungkook a wide smile. “Thank you for coming again, Jungkook. I hope you come visit more often.”

“I will, I will,” Jungkook promises and then looks towards Hoseok who’s moved towards the door and is looking at him with a grateful grin. He returns the smile and is greeted by Hoseok’s extended hand in response.

“Let’s go, angel?” The elder asks, wiggling his fingers, laughing when Jungkook’s cheeks colour and the younger boy rushes forward, eager to escape. They exit quietly with a wave, almost bumping into the nurse who’s two steps away from their door. She gives them a small smile and then slips into the room.

“Can you not?” Jungkook asks exasperatedly, pulling his hand out of Hoseok.

“Can I not what?”

“Can you not call me that in front of your family?” Jungkook clarifies, looking irked.

“But why?” Hoseok whines, nodding at the man standing by the entrance to the private room compound. “You don’t want me to call you that in front of the kids, but you also don’t like it when I call you that in front of the adults.”

Jungkook opens his mouth to reply when Hoseok ‘ah’s loudly, as if he’s just realized something. Leaning closer after pressing the elevator button, the elder whispers, “Oh, I get it. You only want me to call you that in private? Do you want it to be our own little thing, angel?”

Hoseok yelps loudly when Jungkook brings the heel of his foot down on his toes and complains when the younger boy grips his hand tightly and drags him inside the elevator cart once the doors open.

“Ow! That hurt!” Hoseok complains, playfully glaring as he leans against the side of the elevator.

“Good,” Jungkook says in response, crossing his arms. He ruffles his hair, “I can’t believe I said yes to a person like you.”

Hoseok laughs good-naturedly, and then his voice softens, “Thank you for coming with me, even if I had to drag you all the way to the door.”

Jungkook cracks a smile, nodding, “You’re welcome. Thank you for bringing me, even if you had to drag me all the way to the door.”

Hoseok presses his lips together and looks way, trying to hide his smile from Jungkook. He opts for nodding in response instead and is surprised when Jungkook shortens the distance between them, stepping forward. Leaning back against the mirror behind him, Hoseok crosses his arms and tilts his head back to meet the younger’s eyes, “Yes?”

Jungkook pauses where he is, tongue darting out to lick his lips, before he shakes his head, “Never mind. Nothing.”

“Tell me,” Hoseok reaches forward and grabs his wrist when Jungkook makes a move to step back.

“Maybe another time,” Jungkook says for the second time that day and chuckles when Hoseok frowns at him. He leans down to peck the elder’s cheek, “Promise.”

Reluctantly, Hoseok lets him go after, turning to exit the elevator as the door opens. He waits for Jungkook and takes the younger’s hand in his, “That’s a lot of “maybe another time” don’t you think so?”

Jungkook laughs, peeling the sticky wristband from around his arm and depositing it in the trash can they pass by, “It’s only twice, hyung. Plus, we have our whole lives ahead of us, don’t we? You don’t want us to get bored of each other before we even get married, do you?”

Hoseok snorts, and is about to respond when Jungkook’s cell phone rings. The younger releases his hand, picking up the call and pressing the phone to his ear, “Hey hyung. No, I’m still with Hoseok hyung, why?”

Smiling to himself, Hoseok turns to wiggle his eyebrows at Jungkook who rolls his eyes and turns back to the conversation, “Hm, I’ll be home in maybe a few hours? Yes, hyung, a few hours. So, don’t wait up for me, alright? Yeah, okay, bye.”

“Ooh,” Hoseok stretches out the word as soon as Jungkook hangs up, pressing a button to unlock the car. “So I have you for a few more hours now?”

Jungkook snorts, slipping into the car, and tugging at his seatbelt as Hoseok continues to talk.

“Should we make good use of our few hours, angel? Get dinner and maybe something later?” Hoseok asks, tone rather excited.

“Don’t you have work to do?” Jungkook raises an eyebrow,

“Of course, I do,” Hoseok gives him a shit-eating grin. “But you, my love, are far more important than work.”

Jungkook snorts back a laugh, making an unattractive sound, “Are you flirting with me right now, hyung?”

“Babe, I’m always flirting with you. You just don’t notice it. Dense and a heartbreaker – just my luck.”

Jungkook chuckles, reaching to the side to stroke Hoseok’s hair, “There, there.”

“Do you want to cause an accident?” Hoseok gives him a pointed look, shrugging his hand out of his hair.

Jungkook only grins in response, turning away from Hoseok to stare out the passenger window. He’s interrupted from his staring when Hoseok exits out of the hospital complex and onto the main road, “So, anywhere you’d like to go right now?”

“Hyung,” Jungkook frowns, voice serious. “Don’t you have work to do? I thought you were busy.”

Hoseok makes a noise of disapproval, “Well, I am, but it’s fine. I need a break anyway. I worked very hard the whole of last week.”

“So you’re going to slack off this week?”

“Not slack off,” Hoseok frowns. “Just going to take a break to do something I want to do.”

“But we have the party tomorrow, too,” Jungkook reasons, taking Hoseok’s hand when the distress in the elder’s eyebrows doesn’t fade away.

Hoseok pouts, chancing a look at Jungkook when they stop a red light, “But that’s not really fun. The atmosphere at those sort of parties is always a little too stiff and refined for me to enjoy. Everyone wants to discuss work there, anyway.”

Jungkook sighs, giving in and nodding, “Not that I would know, but okay, I suppose. Dinner, then?”

“Yeah, dinner sounds good,” Hoseok gives the younger a quick smile.

“Where are we going? Hopefully nowhere fancy.”

Hoseok hums, turning to Jungkook with twinkling eyes, “I’ll tell you in exchange for a kiss.”

Jungkook can’t help but laugh, “That’s okay. I’ll just wait and find out, I guess.”

“See this?” Hoseok presses his index finger into Jungkook’s palm. “I try so hard to flirt with you, but you don’t even look in my direction.”

Shaking his head, Hoseok lets out a soft sigh, and is surprised when Jungkook presses a kiss against his cheek, “There, happy?”

Hoseok gives the younger boy a disappointed look, “Ah, you shouldn’t give in that easily.”

Jungkook’s mouth drops open, “But you’re the one who was complaining!”

“Still. You shouldn’t give in that easily,” Hoseok points out. “See, if I was in your place, I would’ve said something more along the lines of “how about I give you two kisses and you let me decide on the restaurant?””

Jungkook presses his lips together, and directs a glare that Hoseok misses, eyes on the road, “Unfortunately, since it is impossible to date your own self, I’m kind of all you’ve got, hyung. So, you either take it or you leave it.”

Hoseok looks contemplative as he hums for a few seconds, “Guess I’ll take it.”

“Good choice.”

--

“Wait,” Hoseok gives Jungkook a mischievous grin, placing his fingers over the curve of the younger’s fingers to stop him where he is. Stepping out of the car hurriedly, he crosses over to the other side, and opens Jungkook’s door for him, cackling when the younger boy sighs and gives him a defeated look.

“Feel likes déjà vu, doesn’t it?” Hoseok asks, closing the door once Jungkook’s stepped outside, and then leaning against it.

Jungkook hums in response, the cold, night breeze fluttering his hair and making him wrap his arms around himself, “But I thought you said that night that the door opening was a one-time thing.”

“Yeah, but your mum’s watching, and I want to make a good impression,” Hoseok flutters his eyelashes cheekily. “Make her think I’m the greatest son-in-law she can ever have.”

Jungkook doesn’t respond, biting his tongue to prevent himself from saying something stupid like “she already does”. He simply nods his head, giving Hoseok a smile as he rocks back on his heels, “That’s good. You should work hard for her approval.”

Hoseok hums in response, staring at Jungkook who looks around, not meeting his eyes. His gaze drops down when Jungkook extends his hand, “Want to walk around the garden for a bit?”

He takes the younger boy’s hand with a wide smile, and nods his head gently, letting Jungkook lead him over to their lawn. “Hey?”

“Hm?”

“Do you want me to pick you up tomorrow?”

“For the party?” Jungkook turns to give Hoseok a curious look. He shakes his head when the elder nods, “No, I’m going with Jiminnie hyung.”

“Are you driving?”

“Nope, Yoongi hyung is,” Jungkook shakes his head again.

Hoseok nods his head slowly, thinking, “I’ll have to drop you back, though, right? Seokjin hyung told me to go without him, so I’m assuming Yoongi-ssi will be stayed back as well.”

“Ah, well, I suppose,” Jungkook shrugs. “I can always wait for them to finish. It’s not a problem.”

“No, it’s okay, I don’t mind.”

“Up to you.”

Hoseok nods, swinging their hands together back and forth, before stopping and looking around the garden. He gives Jungkook a soft smile, when the younger stops, staring at him expectantly, “Wanna sit?”

“On the grass?” Jungkook’s eyes are round as he glances down at the green turf underneath his shoes. He looks up at the sky next, eyes drifting around to find the moon, before turning back to Hoseok and gesturing downwards, “Here? As in outside?”

Hoseok nods eagerly and then moves to sit cross-legged on the sod, pulling Jungkook down with him who hesitates before plopping himself down.

“This is weird,” the younger tells him, turning his face to the right to glance at Hoseok, and then bends his legs at the knee.

“Not that weird,” Hoseok protests, shifting unless he’s sitting cross-legged and facing Jungkook’s side, knee pressed against the side of the younger’s hip. “Wow, your mother is a very persistent woman.”

Jungkook sputters out a laugh, giving Hoseok a look of amusement, “Is she still watching?”

“Oh, of course, she is, love,” Hoseok responds in a very matter-of-fact tone of voice, and Jungkook watches the elder look up over his head. “She even switched windows to get a better view of us.”

Jungkook laughs behind a hand, peeking up at Hoseok who’s trying to stop himself from smiling, “Really?”

“Oh yes,” Hoseok hums softly, meeting the younger’s eyes and smiling amusedly. “Do you think she’ll stop watching us if I give you a kiss? Maybe give us some privacy?”

Jungkook rolls his eyes when the elder laughs and reaches forward, twisting his upper body, to press a kiss against Hoseok’s left cheek, “Did it work?”

“Oh, I didn’t mean there, angel,” Hoseok clarifies, eyes twinkling. “You wanna aim a little more to the right?”

Jungkook gives Hoseok an innocent look, and then pecks the elder close to his left ear, “How was that? Better?”

“Not your right, babe,” Hoseok brings up a hand, fingers pointing towards his left cheek before moving and stopping in front of his lips. “My right.”

“Ah, okay,” Jungkook nods in understanding and presses his lips against Hoseok’s right cheek, this time, pulling back with a giggle. “How’s that? Was that “right” enough?”

Hoseok tries to not laugh at the joke, and narrows his eyes instead, frowning playfully, “Are you playing with me, right now?”

“Oh, absolutely,” Jungkook confirms.

“I hate you.”

Jungkook shakes his head, denying the statement, “No, you don’t.”

“Oh, she left!” Hoseok exclaims suddenly, causing Jungkook to turn around in surprise. He meets his mother’s eyes straight through the window when he does, embarrassment colouring him when soft lips press against his own cheek.

“Ha! Gotcha!” The elder laughs, grinning widely when Jungkook makes a loud noise of disapproval.

“I locked eyes with her, hyung!”

“It’s good to look your mother into the eyes every now and then, darling.”

“I thought she was gone, though,” Jungkook covers his face. “Oh god.”

“Should I wave to her?” Hoseok teases, laughing, and yelps when Jungkook reaches forward to pinch his side hard.

“I hate you so much.”

“Just a matter of time,” Hoseok grins. “And then you’ll be telling me how much you love me.”

“I’ll never.”

“Never?”

“Ever.”

“Wanna bet on it?” Hoseok raises a challenging eyebrow.

“No,” Jungkook scowls. “I can’t believe you lied to me like that.”

“Such a harsh accusation,” Hoseok laughs. “I don’t see what the problem is, though? You kissed me three times whilst knowing that she was watching us.”

“Yeah, but it’s different when I look at her and acknowledge that I know she’s there.”

Hoseok snorts, “I’m sure she knew that you knew because she knew that I knew.”

Jungkook shakes his head from side-to-side trying to dispel the earlier image of his mother watching them, and glares when Hoseok pulls out his phone, “Don’t you dare take a picture.”

“Ah, I wasn’t really going to, initially,” Hoseok confesses. “But that’s a great idea.”

Jungkook makes a face, shaking his head.

“Hey, if you give me a real smile, I’ll give you a real kiss in return,” Hoseok bargains, laughing at the withering look directed his way.

“That’d be a waste of a smile,” Jungkook tells him pointedly.

“Aw,” Hoseok’s lips quirk down. “You don’t want a kiss from me?”

Jungkook licks his lips, blinking when Hoseok’s gaze drops down to his mouth, “Not like that.”

“Then how?”

“I don’t know,” Jungkook shrugs. “Just not like that.”

“Ah,” Hoseok leans back on his wrists, pocketing his phone. “A closet romantic, are we?”

Jungkook shakes his head, rolling his eyes when the elder wiggles his eyebrows, “Not a closet romantic, but since it’s the first one…it’d be nice if it was…um, uh –”

“– a little special?” Hoseok offers, lips set in a straight line.

Jungkook ducks his head, playing with the grass underneath his fingers, unsure of what to make of Hoseok’s guarded expression. Slowly, however, he raises his head to meet the elder’s eyes and nods, “Not special in the whole arranging-an-entire-event sort of sense, but perhaps at least a little more meaningful that your earlier suggestion.”

Hoseok hums in response, smiling, but his face quickly falls when Jungkook looks down at his lap again, asking softly, “Are you laughing at me on the inside?”

“No. No, not at all, Jungkook. I swear.”

There’s something earnest and sincere in Hoseok’s tone of voice, and it makes the younger look at him and nod, “Okay.”

Hoseok leans forward to press a lingering kiss against Jungkook’s cheek, whispering, “I’d love to give you a proper goodnight kiss, but that will have to do for now. It’s getting late, so go inside, alright? I’m going to go home.”

Shifting until he’s sitting up in a crouch, Hoseok rests his weight onto the balls of his feet, meeting Jungkook’s eyes. When the younger boy stares at him for a little too long, round eyes barely blinking, Hoseok smiles and traces the curve of his cheek, “Whatcha staring at, love?”

Jungkook tilts his head to the side, smiling, “You.”

The answer makes Hoseok laugh lightly, and he places a hand on Jungkook’s knee to stabilize himself when his body rocks unsteadily, “Oh my, so forward.”

Jungkook only grins back at him in response, and the soft, genuine curve of the younger’s lips makes something very pleasant rise in the pit of his stomach.

The satisfying feeling washes over him slowly, and he leans forward to press his lips against Jungkook’s forehead, “You should go inside. It’s nearly midnight, angel.”

Jungkook nods in agreement, raising a hand to trace his finger down Hoseok’s nose, surprising the elder. Hoseok goes almost cross-eyed trying to follow the trail of the younger’s hand, and asks, “What are you doing?”

“Did you know that I actually kind of genuinely like you?”

Hoseok laughs, “Do you now?”

Jungkook nods eagerly, finger pads pressed against the mole right above Hoseok’s upper lip, “I think so.”

Tilting his head back just the slightest, Hoseok presses his lips against Jungkook’s hand, “Well, I actually kind of genuinely like you, too.”

Jungkook laughs, looking off to the side, and asks quietly, “Even after everything I showed you, today?”

Hoseok’s eyebrows draw together in confusion, and he stares at Jungkook’s now-blank face confused, “What do you mean?”

Jungkook shrugs, leaning back on his wrists, “I don’t know. What do I mean, hyung?”

Hoseok’s bites at the area inside of his mouth, right under his lips, and stares back at the younger boy whose gaze doesn’t break away. There’s something about the sourness and insecurity in Jungkook’s expression that takes him back to their very first meeting, running through their blind date in his mind. His features soften, and he nods his head, “Yes, even after everything today. That sort of thing doesn’t matter to me, alright love?”

Jungkook presses his lips together, and Hoseok feels like he’s given the wrong answer. His mouth drops open, however, when the younger boy mumbles softly, “Maybe it should matter, though. Even if it’s just a little.”

“You past is your past, Jungkook,” the elder’s voice is firm, eyes boring into Jungkook’s. “There’s nothing you can do to change it, and I see absolutely no reason to hold such a thing against you.”

“Well, maybe you should.”

Hoseok narrows his eyes, tone sharp, “Why?”

Jungkook snorts, and then shrugs, fingers running through the grass underneath him, “I don’t know. Even if they don’t show it, people usually do. Some are even obvious about it.”

“Well, you clearly haven’t been surrounding yourself with very good people, then, darling.”

Shaking his head, Jungkook raises his gaze, “But everyone’s like that, hyung. Way before I bought and established Golden, I tried to find work outside of our company, you know? Just a small source of income. It was more to prove to myself and my family that I was capable and could do it without their help than the money. But out of the four interviews I landed before I gave up, three of them explicitly asked about my family background and nearly admitted to my face that they were rejecting me because I was an orphan – no matter if I’d been adopted or not.”

“I’ve,” Jungkook takes a deep breath, continuing, “I’ve tried to ignore it, too. Tried to play oblivious and pretend I don’t notice, but it’s hard, you know. Some people are able to do it – they’re able to live their lives without caring – but I’m not that sort of person, hyung. It’s hard for me to not feel and notice the stares. The events that I’m allowed to attend, I try to skip out on those, too, you know. I used to complain a lot when I was younger, over why hyung could go and I could. But it didn’t take long for me to realize that it was for my own good. I could do it when I was younger, but the older you get, the more self-conscious you become of all the stares.”

Hoseok purses his lips, trying to think of something to say, “Well, it’s a good thing, then, that I like being the center of attention.”

He almost apologizes for his remark, until Jungkook bursts into laughter, looking up at him, “I retract my earlier statement. Instead of kind of I actually genuinely like you. I do.”

Grinning Hoseok, presses a kiss against his cheek, “Good. Unless you don’t want to come, once we get married, I’m going to take you with me everywhere, okay?”

“Everywhere?” Jungkook raises his head.

“Everything,” Hoseok confirms.

“You shouldn't,” Jungkook replies with a wide smile, tone sounding matter-of-fact and rehearsed. “Orphans bring bad luck.”

Hoseok stills where he is, mouth falling open, before his eyes narrow, turning into slits when Jungkook avoids his gaze. Gritting his teeth, he asks quietly, “Who the fuck told you that?”

Jungkook doesn’t even flinch or react to the curse, only looking up with a smile.

“Jungkook,” Hoseok’s voice is dead-serious, deeper than it had been minutes ago. “Who told you that?”

Puffing out his cheeks, Jungkook lets out a breath of air slowly, voice quiet “It’s a very common saying, hyung.”

Hoseok sits back down on the grass, lips pressed together so tightly they turn white, and he ruffles his hair, not glancing at Jungkook. Shifting, he mimics Jungkook’s position, bending his legs at the knee and then rests his elbows on top of them, “I still stand by my original point.”

“Which was?”

“That I don’t care about whether or not you’re…adopted.”

“That’s a nice thought, I suppose,” Jungkook sounds skeptical. “I hope you still think that after we’re married.”

“I will,” Hoseok tells him seriously.

Jungkook’s tongue darts out to lick his dry lips, “We shall see.”

“You don’t trust me?”

“It’s not just you. People are generally quite fickle, I’ve found.”

“You know,” Hoseok scoots closer to the younger boy, “I’ve known this entire thing since the very beginning, right? I didn’t walk into this relationship blindly.”

Jungkook hums and nods, looking down at his lap. He’s startled when fingers come out to touch the bottom of his chin, raising his head gently.

“I’ve agreed to this, okay? I’m not backing out,” Hoseok informs him quietly. “Don’t treat this as a shortcoming, because it’s not.”

“What’s your point?”

“That the fact that you’re adopted doesn’t matter to me.”

“You’ve said that already.”

“Yeah, and I’m going to keep reiterating it until you finally understand. I’m choosing you whilst knowing everything and without being coerced into the decision. Don’t treat this as if I’m getting the shorter end of the stick or something.”

“But you are,” Jungkook protests meekly.

“You’re so stubborn,” Hoseok huffs. “But just to let you know, I’m going to marry you, anyway, because I want to. Nothing’s going to change that. Okay? I don’t know that kind of people you’ve been around, but none of this matters to me. I’m not going to change my decision, nor is my family.”

Jungkook bites the inside of his cheek for a few seconds, thinking, and then turns to Hoseok, “You mean that, hyung?”

“I do.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

Hoseok snorts, dropping a kiss on Jungkook’s cheek, “You’re welcome, I guess.”

“I’m still winning I’ll have you know,” Jungkook points out.

“Of course, sweetheart, I’m perfectly aware.”

“You can’t sweet talk me into taking a lead,” Jungkook tells Hoseok. “I’m not stupid.”

Laughing, Hoseok nods, “Okay.”

Narrowing his eyes, Jungkook asks, “Are you looking down on me?”

“Okay,” Hoseok stands up easily. “I think we need to get you to bed, angel. You’re acting strange now.”

Jungkook grins teasingly, rubbing the grass under him with both hands, “But I’m very comfortable here.”

Raising a questioning eyebrow at the younger’s smile, Hoseok holds out a hand for Jungkook to take, “Up.”

Jungkook eyes the extended hand distastefully, before shaking his head, “Don’t feel like it.”

“But you can’t sleep out here.”

“Why not?” Jungkook asks seriously. “This is my house, and I can sleep wherever I want. If you don’t like it, you can always carry me inside and upstairs.”

“Ask me that after we get married,” Hoseok says with a snort. “I have no faith in your faithfulness. So, for now, you gotta head up on your own two legs.”

Jungkook laughs, head thrown back, “Wow, no trust at all.”

“None at all,” Hoseok confirms.

“Please,” Jungkook waves a dismissive hand. “I couldn’t say no to this marriage.”

“Aw, because you’re hopelessly in love with me?”

“No, because I have no choice,” Jungkook says glumly, taking Hoseok’s hand and standing up.

“I’ve been meaning to ask about that.”

“Don’t.”

Hoseok presses his lips together, staring at Jungkook who looks at him blankly, and then smiles at the younger, “Let me guess ‘maybe another time’? Alright then, I shall wait for you – forever if necessary.”

Jungkook’s face split into a grin, and he laughs at the exaggerated words, “Such a charmer, aren’t we?”

Hoseok smirks, shrugging, “Well, maybe a tad bit.”

“I wonder how many of your words are real and how many are fake.”

“Well, you gotta marry me to find out,” Hoseok wiggles his eyebrows, surprised when Jungkook takes a step forward, closing the distance between them. He can see the few acne scars and blemishes the younger’s skin, tilting his head back the slightest to accommodate their height difference and look Jungkook in the eye.

“Yeah?” The younger asks softly, fingers tugging at the drawstring of Hoseok’s zip up gently, leaning closer.

“Yeah,” Hoseok confirms, eyes dropping to Jungkook’s pink lips before he whispers, “You know I’m going to win if I do this, right? And it’ll be nothing special.”

Jungkook nods, closing his eyes, and then waits expectantly, “I know.”

Instead of closing the distance in response, Hoseok takes a step back, hearing a lock click and a door open from his left. He takes a step back, surprising Jungkook whose eyes fly open as he grips the drawstring of Hoseok’s hoodie tighter to keep him there.

The unmistakable sound of footsteps make the younger turn back but he keeps his fingers tight around the Hoseok’s zip-up, only letting go when the elder’s hand frantically comes up to tug the string out of his hold, surprised at the strength of his grip.

“I kind of hate your brother,” Hoseok whispers quickly as Minchan steps into view, descending the front steps quickly. “This is the second time.”

“What’re you two doing? Gonna spend the night out here, cuckoo?” Minchan halts where he is, taking in the fierce glare on Jungkook’s face once he starts to step closer. Shoving his hands in the pocket of his sweatpants, he looks between the two of them quietly.

“Yeah, hyung, I am,” Jungkook answers firmly, face serious. “I’m going to sleep out here, so just go back in now, okay? Go back to bed.”

Hoseok shakes his head, stepping off the grass onto the driveway, and pulling Jungkook along, “No, you’re not. The mosquitoes are going to have a field day with you out here.”

“Good,” Jungkook deadpans. “You should be selfless and give to others sometimes. Even if they’re parasites.”

Minchan raises an eyebrow, reaching forward to touch Jungkook’s forehead, “Are you okay?”

“Perfectly fine,” Jungkook chirps. “So, you can go back in.”

Minchan smirks, looking between the two with a glint in his eye, “Why? So you two can get up to stuff out here?”

Hoseok sputters, especially when Jungkook nods and grins, “Of course, hyung. We imported the softest grass, didn’t we? Hoseok hyung and I are going to make very good use of it.”

“He doesn’t mean that,” Hoseok rushes in quickly, looking between the two brothers wide-eyes. “I think he’s sleepy.”

“Oh, but I do,” Jungkook grins widely. “See I don’t know if you can feel it with your clothes on, but against just skin that grass is really, really soft.”

“Well then,” Minchan tongues at the inside of his cheek, glancing at Hoseok who’s steadily turning red.

“I, uh, I think you should take him to his room,” Hoseok advises Minchan, glancing at Jungkook briefly to fix him with a glare that the younger boy outright giggles at. “Meanwhile, I’m going to get going.”

“Aw, so soon?” Jungkook asks, leaning down to rest his cheek against his brother’s shoulder and grins at Hoseok teasingly. “But you haven’t even tried the grass. Feel it!”

Minchan shakes Jungkook off his arm, “Go upstairs, Kook, stop bothering him or he’ll going to run away.”

Hoseok’s heart lightens immensely when Jungkook laughs brightly and shakes his head at his brother, “He won’t.”

Nevertheless, the younger boy nods, giving Hoseok a brief wave, before turning around to leave. Looking over his shoulder, he yells, “Remember that I won today because you were too chicken to take the lead! Night!”

Hoseok laughs, coughing and trying to hide it behind a hand when Minchan raises an eyebrow at the statement, looking at him curiously. Pressing his lips together, he shakes his head, calling out a quick goodnight to Jungkook. He turns to Minchan, giving the elder a mock salute, and then nodding his head, “Alright then, goodnight! My car’s right there, and I’m going to…go.” 

“Ah, actually,” the older man’s voice stops him in his tracks. “If you have a few minutes to spare, would you like to talk?”

Hoseok purses his lips and the nods, turning to gesture towards the lawn mischievously, “Over there, on the grass?”

Minchan tries to not smile, shaking his head and sighing, “No, inside. That wasn’t funny.”

“Jungkook would’ve found it funny.”

“Well, it’s a good thing you’re marrying him and not me,” Minchan remarks, rolling his eyes and gesturing towards the open front door.

“That would’ve been a disaster,” Hoseok admits, walking ahead, Minchan following on his heels closely.

Chapter Text

Yoongi twists the handle of his office door without an upwards glance, face buried in the file in hand, and is genuinely surprised when he looks up and is greeted by the sight of Jimin sitting in his office chair. The younger boy’s staring down at his phone with the utmost concentration, sleeves pulled over his palms while his fingers tap away at the screen frantically. Yoongi smiles at the image in front of him, leaning against the closed door, and clears his throat when his husband doesn’t notice him.

“Oh!” Jimin exclaims as he looks up with a wide grin, making a throaty sound of surprise once their eyes meet. Propping his elbows up against the glass top of Yoongi’s desk, he rests his chin on top of the back of his hands, “You’re back!”

Yoongi’s pleased at the attention directed towards him and nods, loosening his tie and unbuttoning the top button. He tries for nonchalance but his face betrays his surprise at seeing Jimin, “I am. What’re you here, dolcezza?”

Jimin shrugs nonchalantly, leaning back comfortably in the office chair as if he owns the place, and looks around the room proudly, “Nothing. Just making use of my conjugal visiting rights, since you’ve decided to lock yourself up in your office.”

“Your conjugal visiting rights?” Yoongi quirks an eyebrow says each word slowly and carefully, moving forward to drop the file onto the low, wide, brown coffee table that’s nestled between two long, black, leather couches at the side of the room. He eyes the closed containers of food resting on the table with a smile, and then turns to face his husband when he responds with an affirmative hum. “Do you even know what those are?”

“Of course I know what they are,” Jimin says in a matter-of-fact tone, eyes appreciatively raking over Yoongi’s defined torso in his fitted white shirt.

Both of Yoongi’s eyebrows rise up to his hairline, “So, you’re here for the sex, then?”

“The sex?” There’s a flicker of surprise on Jimin’s face and his eyebrows furrow. “What do you mean?”

Yoongi snorts, giving Jimin an amused look, “Conjugal visits are usually arranged for inmates to have sex with their partners.”

“Really? Is that so?” Jimin’s eyes gleam with a mischievousness Yoongi hasn’t seen in a long time. “You know that’s not a bad idea.”

Jimin’s laughter sounds throughout the whole room when Yoongi snorts and shakes his head in disbelief, removing his jacket and placing it onto the coat rack in the corner of the room. When he walks over to his desk, Jimin automatically swivels the chair around to face him and grins as Yoongi beckons for him to move.

“Jimin.”

“Yes?” Jimin sing-songs, clasping his hands together and crossing his legs at the knee.

“Out,” Yoongi snaps his fingers, a playful smile on his lips, and gestures towards the couches. “I have work to do. You can sit there, yeah?”

Jimin crosses his arms defiantly, slumping in the chair and places his feet firmly against the ground, “Don’t want to. I like this chair better.”

“Don’t be a brat.” Yoongi drops a kiss against his hair. “Now, come on. The more you stall me, the later we get to go home.”

“You always come home late, anyway.” Jimin frowns at the mention, lips curving into a pout as he tugs at the triangular bottom of Yoongi’s necktie. “You can’t threaten me with that, because I’m used to it.”

Tilting the younger’s face up by the chin, Yoongi joins their lips briefly, “I told you I’d be staying late today, though, didn’t I? I also told you why I’d be staying late, dolcezza.”

“I know,” Jimin meets his eyes, “but just because you tell me beforehand doesn’t mean that I’m okay with it.”

Sighing, Yoongi apologizes softly, caressing Jimin’s cheekbone, “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t say sorry. It makes me feel bad,” Jimin whispers, before standing up. He places his hands on top of his husband’s shoulders, turning him around, and then pushes Yoongi down until he’s seated in the office chair. “There, happy?”

“Immensely,” Yoongi says with a smile, grabbing Jimin’s hand and kissing the center of his palm. He gestures towards the two chairs in front of his desk, facing him, and turns to the boy, “You wanna bring one of those chairs over here and sit next to me?”

Jimin nods, but instead of grabbing one, he heads for the couches, “Have you eaten?”

“No,” Yoongi admits sheepishly while turning on his monitor. “But I’m really hungry. Have you eaten?”

Jimin turns to face him, purses his lips discontentedly and shakes his head, “That’s what I thought, and no I haven’t either.”

“You can’t give me that look then.” Yoongi frowns at Jimin. “Go on ahead and eat, okay? I’ll join you later.”

“Or how about you take a break from work and eat, instead?”

“No, can’t do. There’s some stuff that needs to be finished as soon as possible,” Yoongi declines the offer, glancing at his computer screen and riffling through the papers on his desk. “I’ll join you later. Start without me, I don’t mind.”

“I’ll just wait too, then.” Jimin shrugs, settling back on the couch and crossing his arms nonchalantly. “We’ll eat together.”

Dolcezza, eat. It’s already past 9.”

“Which is exactly what I’m saying.” Jimin gives Yoongi a pointed look.

Yoongi sighs, shaking his head, and tuts under his breath but doesn’t protest knowing Jimin can be just as stubborn as him if not more. He looks away from the younger, biting back a smile when Jimin huffs loudly after a few moments, trying to get his attention.

“You’re really not going to eat?”

“Baby, I have to finish this,” Yoongi explains calmly. “Afterwards, I’ll join you. For now, I’ll just watch you eat, okay?”

He looks up to glance at his husband once an entire minute has passed and Jimin hasn’t made any move to say anything in response. Meeting Jimin’s gaze, Yoongi find the younger boy watching him intently and wiggles his eyebrows once silently in question. His frowns in confusion when Jimin suddenly stands up without saying anything, picking up the food-laden containers as well as a pair of utensils, and walks over to the desk.

Yoongi watches him distractedly, especially when Jimin places the food on one of the two empty chairs sitting in front of his desk. The younger boy maneuvers the second empty seat to the space beside Yoongi’s chair, and then carefully lifts the one with the food and moves it beside the other one.

“Just because you’re too busy to eat with your own hands,” Jimin announces, plopping himself down into the empty chair and pulling it closer to Yoongi, “doesn’t mean you can’t eat at all. I’ll feed you, okay?”

His eyes shine with affection as he takes in the younger’s words, and he watches Jimin remove the lid from one of the containers, lift up a square piece of zucchini pancake, and hold it towards his lips. Yoongi leans forwards to take the bite-sized piece into his mouth, and then chews slowly, quietly observing Jimin as he picks up a portion for himself and eats it thoughtfully, humming and nodding to himself appreciatively at the flavour.

Yoongi surprises Jimin when he presses nimble fingers against the downwards slope of the younger’s jaw, turning Jimin’s face towards his own and gives the younger boy a sweet, grateful kiss that’s returned with a smile and a giggle.

“I love you,” Yoongi whispers against Jimin’s lips, the younger’s eyes slowly opening after his confession. He pries the chopsticks out of his husband’s hand, lifting a piece of kimbap with them and holds the food out, smiling when Jimin accepts the offering but bites only half of it off. Yoongi eats the other half himself and hands the cutlery back to Jimin who accepts them readily. “What? No ‘I love you, too’?”

Jimin smiles innocently, shaking his head, “No, not tonight.”

“Such a terrible husband,” Yoongi teases back around his mouthful of food, turning to his screen.

“Yes, of course. I’m such a terrible husband for bringing you food when you forget to eat,” Jimin rolls his eyes. He scoops up a bit of rice for Yoongi a little too forcefully, and waits for the elder to turn towards him after swallowing his current mouthful.

“In all honesty,” Yoongi confesses, turning away from his screen, mouth instinctively opening as stainless steel makes contact with his lips. “I didn’t forget.”

“Oh?” Jimin narrows his eyes, pulling the spoon away from Yoongi’s awaiting lips before he has a chance to take a bite. “So you were skipping dinner purposely, then?”

Laughing at the younger’s accusing tone of voice, Yoongi grabs the wrist that’s holding the spoon and gives Jimin the smile he knows makes the younger weak. Once he’s gathered the last grain of rice off the utensil, he smiles, murmuring, “Maybe. And look how wonderfully I was rewarded for my patience.”

“You’re terrible, you know?” Jimin scoffs, pointed chopsticks punctuating his statement. “I should just divorce you, take half of your assets, and run away.”

“Darling,” Yoongi presses his lips together, trying to prevent himself from laughing. “I get half of your assets, too, you know that right? I won’t be the one losing in the end.”

Jimin mouth parts unceremoniously and he blinks rapidly, thinking over the words before letting out a defeated sigh as he realizes Yoongi’s right. He glares when the elder sends a teasing, gummy smile his way. Yoongi’s lips stretch further into a smile when Jimin huffs in annoyance, and he gestures towards the untouched beef patties. “I want to try those.”

Begrudgingly, Jimin lifts one up to his husband’s lips, and makes a repulsed face when Yoongi pulls the entire patty into his mouth and then opens his mouth, pointing to the still solid food, “Want to try some?”

--

“Done?” Jimin asks, eyes teary as he stares at Yoongi’s computer screen, eyes flitting over the multiple windows open, filling up the screen. Yoongi hums affirmatively, reaching back for his hand without looking, and then turns to give his husband a soft look.

“So, are you going to tell me what you really came for or no?”

Jimin gives the older man a strange look, leaning to the side to rest his cheek against Yoongi’s shoulder, “I came to give you food.”

“And nothing else?” Yoongi murmurs against his hair, pressing a quick kiss onto his forehead, playing with his fingers while listening to Jimin breathe against him softly.

The humming air conditioner is the only sound in the room for a while, before Jimin takes Yoongi’s larger hand in between his smaller one. He strokes gently the back of the elder’s hand, fingers moving away to run across the surface of each of Yoongi’s digits, and then looks up seriously, “Hyung, let’s stop.”

The confusion on Yoongi’s face at Jimin’s odd gesture turns into something else – something almost akin to fright – before being replaced by a mask the younger’s learned to be able to read. Yoongi’s face is straight, but Jimin can notice the little signs – the imperceptibly widened eyes, the slight curl to his lips, and the way Yoongi’s holds his breath as he asks, “Stop what?”

Jimin looks to the ground, taking a deep breath, before turning Yoongi’s chair until the elder faces him and then rolls his own forward until their knees knock together. “Everything. Let’s tell everyone we’re married or better yet, let’s just get married in front of them.”

Yoongi’s body relaxes at the words, but despite that, there’s an uneasiness running through his veins, “We will, dolcezza, once your mother gives us the green light.”

“No,” Jimin says firmly, leaving no room for an argument, and then repeats himself for good measure. “No. I don’t want to wait for her anymore. I’m not going to wait for her anymore.”

Yoongi pulls his hands out of Jimin’s hold, tilting his head just the slightest as his eyes take in his husband’s face, scrutinizing every inch of it. He speaks a few moments later, asking in a voice that’s laced with curiosity, “Why all of this suddenly?”

Jimin stills and then shrugs stiffly, “I’ve just…I’ve been thinking, hyung…about everything that’s happened. Honestly speaking, what eomma did that night was the last straw for me, hyung. I’m not willing to put up with her treating you like this anymore. Who knows? Maybe it’ll take us getting married for her to come around and accept you?”

Yoongi stiffens at the mention, “And if she hates me even more after?”

“Then so be it. She can give me advice on my life choices, but she can’t dictate my life for me.”

“Baby –” Yoongi starts off but stops when Jimin shakes his head.

“Hyung, I’m tired,” the younger boy says softly, rejoining their hands and squeezing Yoongi’s fingers between his own. “I’m tired to this whole game. If she doesn’t approve, then I’m not willing to wait until she does anymore. You know as well as I do that that might never happen, and if we drag this on any longer, it’ll be too late. I want to live a happily married life, hyung. I want to introduce you to the rest of my family, I want you to come with me to all the events I’m invited to, I want –”

“– and we can do that,” Yoongi says reassuringly, but stops when Jimin shakes his head.

“Hyung,” Jimin swallows thickly, “I want to introduce you as my husband to all my friends and colleagues and every time we meet someone new. Can we do that too? I want kids, hyung. At the very least, I want two kids. Can we do that, as well?”

“Jimin,” Yoongi says softly, pulling away, “you know that’s not possible.”

He can only stare, horrified, as the younger boy looks up with a quivering bottom lip, “Why not?”

“Jimin –” Yoongi starts off again, but then stops, running a frustrated hand through his hair. “Your mum…”

“I don’t care what she thinks!” Jimin shouts finally, slamming his hand down against Yoongi’s armrest, making the elder jump in surprise. The younger boy looks as startled afterwards by his own outburst as Yoongi feels, but he continues after taking a deep breath, sniffling slightly as he speaks, “I just…I don’t care, hyung. Not anymore. I just…I can’t bring it in me to even be bothered by her disapproval anymore. I really can’t.”

Yoongi sighs, and opens his arms to pulls the younger boy forward when Jimin brings his fist up to rub at his teary eyes, “I’m sorry.”

“I don’t…want an apology,” Jimin murmurs into his shoulder, on the verge of tears. “I just want a normal life. I want a husband I’m not forced to hide, because of my mother.”

“I’m sorry,” Yoongi says again, unsure of what else to say.

Jimin cries a little louder at that, whole body wracking with sobs as Yoongi holds him close. He’s leaning forward at an awkward angle, wetting the material of Yoongi’s shirt, but neither of them can bring themselves to care at the particular moment. Yoongi rubs the younger’s back soothingly, murmuring soft nothings and apologies into his ear until his wails cease, transforming into little hiccups instead.

He reaches forward to wipe Jimin’s tears when the younger boy leans away, and is shocked when his hand is swatted away, “Hyung, I’m serious. I’m not going to let you brush away this topic anymore. I want us to get married. Not in secret, but for real in front of friends and whatever family is willing to attend.”

Yoongi sighs, “I don’t have a choice, do I?”

Jimin bristles at the statement, and he looks at Yoongi with hurt eyes, “Do you think I’m pushing you into a corner?”

“I don’t know, but it certainly feels like it.”

Jimin’s lips quiver again and his eyes shine with more unshed tears, “I’m sorry that you feel that way, but it seems like we want different things from life, hyung. If that’s the case, then maybe we should re-evaluate everything.”

“Re-evaluate everything?” Yoongi raises an eyebrow, crossing his arms. “As in separation and then divorce?”

Jimin folds into himself at the elder’s piercing glare, and he plays with a loose thread on his ripped jeans, “I’m not…I’m not threatening you or asking you for a divorce, hyung. All I’m saying is that I’m tired…I’m tired of playing this game by myself. We’ve prepared our best defenses, we’ve devised multiple strategies, we’ve readied all our weapons, but if the opponent never shows up to the battlefield, we shouldn’t fight each other. We should just advance forward.”

“Jimin?”

“I can’t do this anymore, hyung. I really can’t. It didn’t bother me before, but now? Now, I really, really can’t stand telling people you’re my boyfriend instead of my husband. I’m sorry, but I can’t take it anymore. I’m really sorry,” the younger boy says softly, staring down at his thighs without looking up even once.

It breaks Yoongi’s heart to hear the boy apologize for such a request, for something that Yoongi realizes he undoubtedly deserves. Looking at Jimin, unable to look up, Yoongi’s heart clenches, and he takes a deep breath, remembering Jungkook’s words at the same time.

It’s a split second decision that he makes, one that might have disastrous consequences, but seeing the way everything his husband had been suffering for the last few months due to his stubbornness, Yoongi considers it to be worth it. He decides to give in to Jimin’s request, agrees to let both of them live an easier life, consequences be damned.

“Jimin?”

Yoongi’s call goes unnoticed, and he presses his lips together when Jimin refuses to meet his eyes. He tries again, this time in a softer tone.

Dolcezza, look at me?”

Jimin lifts his face up hesitantly, afraid of what he’ll see on Yoongi’s features, but is surprised by the understanding and the comfort that shines through past everything else making it ways across his husband’s face. Taking a deep breath, the elder gestures for Jimin’s hand, and smiles when the younger boy links their fingers looking bewildered.

“You’re sure about this?” He asks slowly. “You’re sure that thirty years down the line you won’t regret this?”

“I won’t,” Jimin swears, sitting up straight and looking at Yoongi with pleading eyes. “You can’t live life fearing mistakes and regrets, hyung. I want this. I really, really want this. And if I do regret it later on then don’t worry, because you’ll be right there and will get to tell me ‘I told you so’. Won’t that fun?”

Yoongi fixes him with a disbelieving stare before a smile filters past his façade and he laughs, tugging Jimin forward for a short kiss, stroking his cheek until the younger boy melts against him. Leaning away, he squeezes his husband’s hand softly between his larger one, “Okay.”

Jimin’s eyes widen impossibly and he looks at Yoongi with his mouth hanging open, “Okay?”

Nodding, Yoongi smiles, “Okay.”

Jimin rises out of his chair and moves forward to kiss him with such force, it sends Yoongi’s chair reeling backwards, hitting the small desk situated perpendicular to his larger office desk. He laughs against the younger boy’s lips in response, pulling him into his lap, and is surprised when Jimin suddenly leans away.

“Wait, okay to what?” Jimin asks, eyes narrowing suspiciously.

Grinning, Yoongi gives him a short peck, “Not the divorce bit.”

“Oh, thank goodness,” Jimin slumps against him, fitting his head into the curve of Yoongi’s neck. “I was worried for a second.”

“Such little faith, dolcezza.”

“Well, can you blame me?”

Yoongi laughs, looking down at a smiling Jimin, “Yeah, I can. But, I have a condition.”

“Oh no,” Jimin mock-whispers into his shoulder, laughing when Yoongi hits his back playfully.

“Stop hiding and look at me, will you?” Yoongi asks with a well-meaning pinch to Jimin’s backside when the boy refuses to lean away from him.

Sighing, Jimin sits up, “Looking at you now.”

Yoongi takes a deep breath, rubbing circles into Jimin’s hand, “I want to try until the end of the year. We got married January 23rd, right?”

Jimin nods affirmatively.

“And today is…August 20th,” Yoongi sends a cursory glance to the calendar behind him. “Let’s do it like this: give me two months. Two months – so until October 20th – and if by then your mum still hasn’t agreed then we’ll go book a hall and print invites for a January 23rd wedding. Sound good?”

“Hyung, those two months won’t do us any good,” Jimin tries to reason.

“They might not,” Yoongi agrees with a nod, “but does it matter? We’ve got to wait until January 23rd to get married anyway, right?”

“So, the same day as our actual marriage?”

Yoongi raises an amused eyebrow, “Why, love? Do you want two different wedding anniversary dates? One real and one for formalities?”

“Uh, yes? It’ll be twice the fun?” Jimin giggles when Yoongi shakes his head up at him. “Alright, January 23rd it is, then. But promise I only have to wait two more months?”

Yoongi seals the promise with a kiss, “Two months only.”

--

From: Jungkook

Asleep yet?

From: Jimin

Nope. What’s up?

From: Jungkook

Nothing much. How was your day?

From: Jimin

Shouldn’t I be asking you that?

From: Jungkook

Humour me?

From: Jimin

Alright. My day was good. Very good in fact.

From: Jungkook

Did something happen?

From: Jimin

Yup.

From: Jungkook

What?

From: Jimin

Not telling. :)

From: Jungkook

Why not? :(

From: Jimin

‘Cause I don’t want to.

From: Jungkook

You’re not allowed to keep secrets.

From: Jimin

Such a hypocrite.

From: Jungkook

When did I keep a secret from you?

From: Jimin

Did you think you could hire my husband behind my back and I wouldn’t notice?

From: Jungkook

I…uh…oh.

From: Jimin

That’s what I thought.

From: Jungkook

Um, did Yoongi hyung tell you why?

From: Jimin

Did you think he would?

From: Jungkook

No.

From: Jimin

He didn’t.

From: Jungkook

I was going to tell you…eventually.

From: Jimin

I’m not mad, Kook. Some things are hard to share. I understand that.

From: Jungkook

So you’re not gonna tell me what happened today?

From: Jimin

Nope. Not yet, but try me again in a few months.

From: Jungkook

…okay?

From: Jimin

:)

From: Jungkook

You’re weird.

From: Jimin

Thanks. So, how was your day?

From: Jungkook

Mm, it was good.

From: Jimin

Yeah? Did you end up actually taking him to the orphanage?

From: Jungkook

I did.

From: Jimin

And?

From: Jungkook

And…?

From: Jimin

From: Jungkook

:)

From: Jimin

How did he handle it? Was he surprised? Was he shocked? Did he ask you why? Did anything happen?

From: Jungkook

Surprised at the fact that I brought him to an orphanage, maybe.

From: Jimin

But not at the fact that you’re adopted?

From: Jungkook

Oh, he knew about that already. Since the first date, actually.

From: Jimin

Wait, seriously???

From: Jungkook

You didn’t know? He knew since before we even met.

From: Jimin

Then why’d you want to take him there? I thought it was to tell him that!

From: Jungkook

No, it was because I wanted to remind him what he was stepping into.

From: Jimin

What do you mean by that?

From: Jungkook

What do you think I mean by that?

From: Jimin

You’re ridiculous, Jungkook. You’re an idiot and an over thinker, you know that? Why do you always assume the worst in people?

From: Jungkook

Because I’ve learned that that’s the safest option.

From: Jimin

Jungkook, does Hoseok hyung seem like that type of person to you? Why would that stuff even matter to him or anyone who wants to marry you?

From: Jungkook

Those are easy things to say, hyung, but that sort of stuff does matter to people and their families. It scares me how much faith you have in people.

From: Jimin

So, you don’t trust him?

From: Jungkook

I didn’t say that.

From: Jimin

You implied it, Kook.

From: Jungkook

I didn’t mean that, then. I do trust him…kind of. For how long I’ve known him, I maybe trust him too much. It’s just…human nature, I guess? I don’t know how to explain it to you.

From: Jimin

/sigh/

Alright and how did he fare in this test of yours? Did he take it well or did he freak out like you were expecting him to?

From: Jungkook

It wasn’t a test, and I wasn’t really expecting anything, actually. But…he took it well. Really well.

From: Jimin

Yeah?

From: Jungkook

Yeah.

From: Jimin

That’s a relief. I’m glad and happy. Really happy.

From: Jungkook

I still don’t think he knows what he’s getting himself into though.

From: Jimin

Let it go, Kook. Please.

From: Jungkook

Yeah, I know, I know. I’m working on that…

From: Jimin

Good.

From: Jungkook

Thanks?

From: Jimin

I’m here for you, alright?

From: Jungkook

I know. Thank you.

I’m…I’m here for you too, if you want to talk about anything.

From: Jimin

(●♡∀♡)

From: Jungkook

I’m going to go sleep now, alright? Should I come over to your place tomorrow so Yoongi hyung has an easier time picking us up?

From: Jimin

Yeah, please do. Are you going to bring your car?

From: Jungkook

No, I’ll get the driver to drive me. Hoseok hyung’s dropping me off home after the party, so I’ll have to double back to your place if I bring the car.

From: Jimin

Okay, that’s good! I was going to stay behind with Yoongi hyung, and was worried you’d have to as well.

From: Jungkook

I’m sure Hoseok hyung won’t mind dropping you off as well, if you want.

From: Jimin

No, no, that’s fine. I don’t mind.

From: Jungkook

Alright, your call. Goodnight!

From: Jimin

Night.

Also, come over earlier tomorrow. You’ve been too busy with Hoseok hyung lately. I’m jealous.

From: Jungkook

Ha. Okay, I will.

From: Jimin

You’re not working opening shift tomorrow, right?

From: Jungkook

No, I switched to the Wednesday morning one.

From: Jimin

Okay, good. Come around noon. I’ll make lunch?

From: Jungkook

Sounds good. :)

--

“Cuckoo, are you still sleeping?” Minchan asks in a soft voice, sticking his head through the crack between the door and doorframe of Jungkook’s bedroom. He peers at the bed, eyeing the lump lying in the middle and the feet and black hair peeking from the edges of the comforter. Shaking his head fondly, he walks forward towards the bedframe, picking up the grey hoodie lying aimlessly on the carpet. Picking up the piece of clothing, he slings it over the back of a chair in the room, murmuring, “What a messy kid.”

 He sits down on the mattress, a few inches from where his younger brother lies, and then checks his phone for the time. Curving a gentle hand around Jungkook’s shoulder, Minchan softly shakes his to wake him up. There’s no response from the younger boy, and it makes him sigh in defeat, repeating the action except a little harder this time.

Jungkook finally stirs a little, shaking the hand off his bicep in the haze of sleep, and then lets out a small, unintelligible groan. Turning to lie on his back, he stretches his feet, making a highly suggestive noise, before his eyes fall shut and he nearly falls back asleep. Minchan, realizing how he’s nearly on his way back to slumbering, pats his cheek twice and shakes his shoulder.

Making another sound of discomfort, Jungkook shifts onto his side again and tries to open his eyes. Blinking wearily up at his older brother, he croaks out, “Hyung?”

“It’s nearly 6:30, Kook,” Minchan tells him by way of explanation, a comforting hand running through his hair. “Don’t you have to get ready for work?”

Jungkook shakes his head, shifting closer to the warmth of his older brother’s body, murmuring, “Not today. Tomorrow.”

“But today’s a Tuesday,” Minchan’s eyebrows furrow, hand lifting out of Jungkook’s hair and then returning when the younger boy makes a noise of protest.

“I know,” Jungkook tells him after a few seconds pass, sleep’s hold on him became a little looser. “I switched to tomorrow because of the party.”

“You know the party’s in the evening, right?”

Nodding, the younger boy says, “I know, but still. I didn’t want to be tired.”

A soft chuckle escapes from Minchan from above it, and the sound that surrounds him makes Jungkook smile into his bedspread, “Alright, as you wish. Hyung’s going to go ready for work, okay? Go back to sleep.”

“Okay,” Jungkook replies softly, ready to fall back asleep but the hand running through his hair doesn’t stop or ease away. He looks up, opening his eyes when a few minutes pass and the added weight on his bed doesn’t shift away. “Hyung?”

“If anyone says anything, tell me, okay?” Minchan’s voice is barely a whisper. “I won’t be there this time, I know, but let me know if anyone says anything at all.”

“I’ll be fine,” Jungkook assures him with a smile, reaching for his older brother’s hand. “I’m not going alone, anyway. Hoseok hyung will be there as will Jiminnie. Yoongi hyung will be too, in a way, and don’t worry Seokjin hyung is really nice. I’ll be okay.”

“Like having people around has ever stopped anyone.” His older brother snorts. “Do you have any idea of who’ll be attending?”

“No,” Jungkook shakes his head, eyes lowering as he tries to think, but comes back empty handed. Suddenly feeling wide awake, he sends his brother a reassuring smile, “I doubt anyone will even know who I am there.”

“Maybe,” Minchan says with a nod and an absentminded hum, looking deep in thought. They remain the way they are for several minutes, each lost in their own thoughts.

“Is it…” Jungkook pauses, wondering whether to complete his sentence or not. He takes a deep breath, eyes dropping to their linked hands, and continues when his older brother directs a curious gaze towards him, “Is sharing the same blood really that big of deal? Must we, in order to be brothers?”

Minchan sighs, stroking Jungkook’s cheek until the younger boy raises his eyes to look at him, “I don’t think so, but guess it must be with the way everyone acts.”

“That sucks,” Jungkook mutters, blowing out a huff of air.

“It does, doesn’t it?”

“Fix it for me.” The younger boy’s voice is demanding, lips curled into a pout.

Shaking his head, he sends a fond smile in Jungkook’s direction, ruffling his hair, “I’ll try to, but meanwhile have fun tonight, okay?”

“I’ll try to.” Jungkook’s promise is an echo of the other man’s words, and he breaks away from his older brother’s gaze with a smile. “You should go get ready now or you’ll be late and will try to blame it on me.”

“Well, it kind of will be your fault,” Minchan reasons, gesturing with his hand towards Jungkook. “It’s because I tried to wake you up that I was late.”

“Who told you to wake me up, huh?” Jungkook asks, pointing his chin out defiantly.

“Aren’t you the one complaining every Tuesday morning about how I don’t wake you up despite knowing that you have work early in the morning?”

“Me?” Jungkook points a finger at himself, eyes wide and innocent. “That’s not me at all. You must have me confused with some other brother of yours.”

“Is that so?” Minchan raises an amused eyebrow, eyeing the smile dancing along his younger brother’s lips. He leans down to press their foreheads together, “Because last time I checked, I only had one annoying little brother.”

Jungkook laughs, pushing Minchan away and scoots backwards a few centimeters, “You never know, you might have other ones.”

“What are you trying to imply about our parents, cuckoo?”

“No! Not like that,” Jungkook rushes to correct, but can’t help himself from laughing at the way Minchan wiggles his eyebrows. “I mean like adoptive ones.”

“Nice save, but I’m going to tell appa and eomma what you think,” Minchan says with smirk, laughing when Jungkook pouts at him.

“It’s too early for this, hyung.” Jungkook says with a huff, closing his eyes. “I’m going back to sleep.”

“Okay, sleep.” Lips press against his forehead and his quirked down expression eases up a little. He smiles, opening his eyes to watch his older brother leave the room and then closes them once again as the door closes, letting the tiredness whisk him away.

--

“Hello?” Jungkook says into his phone with a smile, shifting from his back onto his side.

“Good morning,” Hoseok’s voice filters through to his ear, the cheeriness in his tone taking Jungkook by surprise. “Sleep well?”

“Yeah, mostly,” Jungkook replies, pressing his lips together. “Did you?”

“I did.”

“That’s good.”

“Yeah, so, whatcha wearin’?”

“Excuse me?” Jungkook’s voice sounds a little startled and it makes Hoseok chuckle on the other end.

“What?” The elder plays innocent.

“Clothes. I’m wearing clothes.”

“I see. Those are nice to wear. They’re also nice to not wear, but, you know, that’s just my opinion,” Hoseok says with a grin, the mischievous in his tone making Jungkook’s heart thud affectionately in his chest.

Shaking his head to himself, Jungkook sighs, unable to stop his lips from curling into a wide smile, “Keep your opinions to yourself, hyung. Why’d you ask, though?”

“No particular reason,” Hoseok says offhandedly. “I just felt bad for the phone sex you ended up missing out on last week ‘cause of my sleepiness.”

“Don’t worry,” Jungkook tries to sound as reassuring as possible while trying not to laugh. “I’m over it.”

“Aw, well, that’s a pity.”

“Indeed it is. Now, why’d you actually call?”

“Do I need a reason to call you?” Hoseok asks curiously. “Can’t it just be because I missed you? Because I wanted to start my day with hearing your voice? Because I –”

“I’m hanging up on you,” Jungkook deadpans, interrupting the other man’s monolouge. “Go do your work.”

“Alright, alright. I’ll see you tonight, angel,” Hoseok promises. “What time will you get there?”

“We’ll probably be there before 6, I think.” Jungkook bites his lip in thought. “What time will you arrive?”

“I’m hoping to be there as soon as it starts, too, or else Seokjin hyung isn’t going to be very happy. I’ll see you in a few hours then, I guess?”

“Yeah, you will,” Jungkook promises with a smile. “Bye.”

“Bye.”

--

“Seokjin-ah!” An unfamiliar voice calls out loudly, causing Yoongi to pause in the midst of his conversation with the older man and turn to stare at the ballroom door where two tall, red-haired men appear. They’re both dressed in crisp, clean, matching navy blue suits, and Yoongi tilts his head to the side just the slightest when he realizes they’re twins, faces almost identical save the small mole one of them sports near his lips. “The place looks good!”

Yoongi turns to glance at Seokjin once he’s done observing the twins, and sees the older man dip his head into a grateful nod before smiling at the two men that are currently making their way towards them. “Thank you. I didn’t know you were going to come early.”

“Well, we thought we’d help you out with the greetings,” the taller of the two says with a picturesque smile, slipping an arm around Seokjin’s shoulder to give him a sideways hug, and gives Yoongi a courteous smile. The second man stands a few steps away but does turn his head to give Yoongi a nod of acknowledgement as well, one that he returns. “We could do at least that much for you, right?”

“Appa sent you, didn’t he? He doesn’t trust me, does he?” Seokjin’s eyes narrow and he glances between the twins suspiciously. Yoongi looks between the three of them oddly after the revelation, trying to find a shred of resemblance between them and Seokjin, but comes back empty-handed.

They’ve got different eyes, smaller and a lighter brown compared to Seokjin’s round, dark brown eyes, upturned and sharper noses, and not quite the full lips that Seokjin sports. Yoongi turns away when one of the twins turns to look at him out of curiosity, and peers down at the papers in hand instead, embarrassed to have been caught staring.  

He glances back up just in time to see one of the brothers give Seokjin an affable smile, “He didn’t. We came on our own free will, but if you want we can definitely leave and come back later with everyone else.”

Seokjin’s lips press together and he shakes his head a little too eagerly, “It’s okay. You can just stay. It doesn’t make sense for you to leave and come back since your place is far away from here, anyway.”

The twin who’s going his arm wrapped around Seokjin’s shoulder moves away a step, and Yoongi’s surprised at the sudden panic that flickers across his client’s face as the brother speaks, “Well, we don’t have to go home. Jae and I can always just sit around at a nearby café until you’re ready for us.”

“Hyung, please,” Seokjin’s voice has the slightest bit of a whine to it, and he flickers his gaze briefly towards Yoongi, embarrassed at having been heard speaking in that manner. The other man is courteous enough to duck his head down and keep a straight face, pretending to have not heard Seokjin speak, and it makes him feel a tiniest bit better until his brothers steal his attention.

“That’s what we thought. Now since you seem busy here and the guests don’t arrive until a little bit later, why don’t you just guide us to where the food is?”

Yoongi does his absolute best to hold back his laugh especially when Seokjin sends a piercing glare in the direction of his twin brothers, causing them to take a step back, hold up their hands in defence, and simultaneously chuckle, “Okay, okay, chill, Jinnie. We were just kidding. How come the family sense of humour skipped you?”

“Maybe I got switched at birth,” Seokjin mutters under his breath, taking the papers in Yoongi’s hold into his own hand.

“Hm, that is a possibility,” one of the brothers says contemplatively, rubbing the bottom of his chin thoughtfully. They both laugh when Seokjin gives them an unimpressed look, responding to his look with a smile, “Okay, okay, we’ll stop.”

Seokjin smiles, shaking his head, and then checks his watch, “It’s almost time for the people to arrive. Hyung, can you wait for me by the doors? I’m going to quickly check up on everything and then join you, okay?”

Nodding their heads, one of the brothers gives Seokjin a mock salute while the other a small wave, and then turn to give Yoongi a nod of acknowledgement before they leave.

“Brothers?” Yoongi asks for clarification once the men are out of earshot, turning to Seokjin with a smile.

“Yeah,” Seokjin nods with a small grin, flipping through the list in hand. He looks a lot more relaxed suddenly, Yoongi finds, no trace of the nervousness he’d been trying to cap during the last hour visible, and his eyebrows furrow a little, surprised at how much his brothers’ presence changed him. “Older brothers.”

Yoongi hums, nodding, “I was surprised for a few seconds. They don’t look like you at all even though siblings usually have some sort of a resemblance.”

He watches Seokjin lick his lips, eyes trained on the sheet of paper, but the older man nods in agreement after a while, nevertheless, “We’re blood brothers – not half.”

“Oh, that…I didn’t mean that,” Yoongi rushes to clarify, cursing his curiosity inwardly.

“It’s fine,” Seokjin waves a dismissive hand, handing Yoongi back the list with a smile. “We get that a lot. I take after my mother’s side of the family, but they look a lot more like my father’s brothers.”

“I see,” Yoongi nods hastily, taking the guest list out of Seokjin’s hands. He opens his mouth to apologize again when they both start to walk, but the older man beats him to it.

“Don’t worry. You must’ve been surprised, after all. I’m much better looking, aren’t I?”

Yoongi raises an eyebrow at the mischievous twinkle in Seokjin’s eyes, and the older man’s relaxed and laid-back demeanor takes him by surprise again. He purses his lips mockingly, though, and nods, “Since you’re the one who’ll be signing my pay cheque, of course. Undeniably better looking.”

Seokjin laughs, surprised by Yoongi’s response, and then gives the shorter man a nod, “Money tends to have that effect. Either way, thank you for helping me out with this on such short notice. I’ll leave things to you, then; I trust you’ll do well.”

“We’ll do our best to make sure everything’s running smoothly,” Yoongi assures, the rehearsed words falling from his lips without him even noticing, but there’s utter sincerity behind them as he meets Seokjin’s eyes. “For now, you can just focus on greeting the guests. I’ll make sure refreshments are served until 7, and then we’ll shift to the other ballroom for the main event and dinner.”

“Let me know if something goes wrong and your team’s unable to handle it,” Seokjin pats Yoongi’s arm, waiting for the shorter man to nod in approval, and when he does, he turns around and walks away.

--

Seokjin tilts his head to the side, watching the unfamiliar person who’s standing by one of the long tables of nibbles eyeing the items in front of him thoughtfully with furrowed eyebrows. The man is tall, perhaps a little taller than Seokjin, dressed in an expensive, black suit that shows off his long legs and very well-proportioned body.

Walking closer, he can hear the man humming something under his breathe, reaching forward for a mini jacket potato and then turning it around to examine it with the pair of tongs in his hands. He chews the food thoughtfully, making an appreciative sound and it fills Seokjin with a small sense of pride when the man nods his head at the food item.

Approaching the table, Seokjin picks up a small plate for himself, and grabs the set of tongs placed by the spicy, seasoned shrimps. He watches the other man out of the corner of his eyes, pretending to be staring at the food when the other male lifts his head to look at him. He only glances up at the unfamiliar person when he makes soft sound, gesturing towards the salver Seokjin’s tongs are hovering over.

“Careful,” the man’s voice is deep, smooth like honey, and the hooded gaze that flickers between the food and him make Seokjin pause where he is. It takes him a few seconds to register the fact that he man is speaking to him in English, a British accent lilting his words and lending them the authority to stun Seokjin momentarily. “It’s a little spicy.”

“Sorry?” Seokjin finds himself saying back in English, despite having understood what the man had been telling him.

It makes the man smile a little, however, hints of two deep dimples appearing in his cheeks after Seokjin finishes speaking. Switching to Korean, the man reiterates his earlier words in a language more familiar to Seokjin, “I said be careful. It’s a little spicy.”

“Ah, yes,” Seokjin nods his head, still in a slight daze, replying back in Korean once he has his wits about him. “I understood that. Sorry, I was just a little startled by the switch in language.”

“Oh, that’s quite alright.” The man waves him off with a smile. “Admittedly, however, I’m a little bit surprised you understood me.”

Seokjin smiles, shrugging carefully, “One of my many talents.”

“Is that so?” The man asks in English, raising an eyebrow. “Tell me about more, then.”

Seokjin laughs, looking away from the inviting and interested gaze directed his way, and he places his platter down onto the table. Extending a hand, he introduces himself in English, careful not to stutter, “I’m Seokjin Kim. I don’t believe we’ve met, before, however.”

“Indeed we haven’t,” the man says in reply, affirming his belief and offers back a solid handshake. “My name’s Namjoon. Kim Namjoon.”

Seokjin nods his head, mentally running through the guest list to try to remember if he’d invited somebody by that name to the anniversary party. He paints on a polite smile when his brain comes back with no information on a person with that name, and he asks, “Did you just come to Korea recently?”

“Yes,” Namjoon confirms for him with a nod. “I did. For the first time in nearly fifteen years.”

“Oh, that’s a long time,” Seokjin remarks, making a sound of amazement. “No wonder I didn’t recognize you.”

There’s a playful smile that makes it way onto the other man’s full lips, and uneasiness curls in Seokjin’s stomach when the man only nods in response, “Don’t worry, Kim Seokjin-ssi. I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of me from now on.”

Taking a step away when Seokjin’s lips form a thin line, Namjoon bares his most pleasant smile but there’s a curl of something wicked to it, “I’ll take my leave then. See you around.”

Seokjin watches the man go, walking with enough grace and confidence to make Seokjin think that he owns the place. His eyes narrow when the man heads towards a very familiar figures, and Seokjin’s eyes widen when the man presses a kiss against his older sister’s cheek.  The man whispers something in her ear by way of greeting as he eases himself into the circle she’s entertaining, and it’s only then, that Seokjin spots the gold wristband around the man’s wrist tagging him as someone’s ‘plus one’.

--

Seokjin puts on a wide smile as he greets Jimin and Jungkook, “Well, aren’t you two early?”

“Hi,” Jungkook says with a warm smile, moving to the side to allow Seokjin to slot himself into their little group. “We are.”

“We’re fashionably early,” Jimin informs Seokjin with a grin. “We thought you might appreciate it.”

“I do, Jiminnie, I do,” Seokjin returns the grin with one of his own, making Jungkook raise an eyebrow at the nickname. “Thank you for coming.”

“You’re welcome.” Jimin’s the only one who responds, turning to glance at Jungkook who adopts a quick smile and echoes the same sentiment.

“Have you two tried the appetizers yet? Yoongi was singing praises about the caterers we hired, and I didn’t believe him at all until I sampled their stuff. They’re honestly amazing,” Seokjin gushes, giving Jungkook a sideways glance when he realizes the boy’s attention is diverted to his phone.

“We haven’t yet,” Jimin answers for the two, also turning to his best friend. “Jungkook, do you want to go?”

“Huh?” Jungkook looks up, surprised when his name is called. It makes both Seokjin and Jimin laugh at the startled face he pulls, and he blushes slightly at being caught.

“Is it Hoseok?” Seokjin teases good-naturedly.

“Sorry,” Jungkook apologizes and then nods. “He was just texting to tell me that he’s just arrived.”

Seokjin pulls out his own cellphone from inside his suit jacket, glancing at the screen and turns to Jungkook with almost an accusatory tone, “I asked him where he was, too, but he never replied to me.”

It catches Jungkook by surprise, that much is surprise, and only when Seokjin and Jimin burst into synchronized laughter does he understand that they’re making fun of him.

Jimin speaks for him, turning to Seokjin, “You might as well forget your best friend, hyung. He’s all Jungkook’s now.”

“No, no,” the boy in question shakes his head. “It isn’t like that. Maybe he just forgot to reply to it.”

“It’s kind of sad,” Seokjin laments, sighing dramatically. “Seokie and I used to so close before Jungkook came along, but now he doesn’t even bother to reply to my messages.”

Backpedaling off Seokjin, Jimin adds on, “Kook and I used to be like that too, until Hoseok hyung came along, you know. I feel like I’ve lost my best friend. He forgets to talk to me in days now, because he’s too busy with Hoseok hyung.”

Jungkook groans, closing his eyes, as the other two continue to tirade, Seokjin turning to Jimin to ask, “Do you want to be my Hoseok-replacement?”

“Only if you’ll be my Jungkook-replacement,” Jimin counters with a wide smile.

“That’s very funny. Ha ha ha, I’m laughing. You two are hilarious. Now, are we done?” Jungkook says, making a face at Jimin.

Seokjin laughs, feeling an urge to mess with the annoyed boy’s hair, but he wonders if that’ll ruffle his feathers a little too much, “I was just kidding, Jungkook-ah. Don’t worry, I understand what new relationships are like.”

“He just texted me to say he was almost here,” Jungkook tries to defend himself in a small voice. “I’m sorry he didn’t reply to your message.”

“Don’t apologize, Kook,” Jimin bumps shoulders with him good-naturedly. “You have more right than Seokjin hyung, anyway, don’t you? Well in a few days you will, being his fiancé and all.”

The statement puts a damper on Seokjin’s mood, but he brushes it away with a smile and a nod, “Of course, but in a few days. Until then Hoseok’s all mine.”

“Since when was I yours, hyung?” A familiar voice interrupts their conversation, slipping into their circle between Seokjin and Jungkook. Hoseok drops a small kiss against Jungkook’s cheek upon appearing, wrapping an arm around his waist, and sends a smiles and a nod of acknowledgement Jimin’s way who smiles and nods back.

“Since always,” Seokjin replies back with an easy smile, eyeing the fitted black velvet suit the younger is wearing, the kohl around his eyes making them pop up. “You’re surprisingly on time today.”

“Only for Jungkook,” Hoseok teases, looking around cautiously before sticking his tongue out. “Don’t be mistaken. It wasn’t for you.”

Jungkook can’t help the small laugh that bubbles out of him at the response, and gives Seokjin an apologetic grin when the elder playfully glares at him.

“It’s okay. I have Jimin now, and look he isn’t too absorbed in his boyfriend to spend time with me.” Seokjin throws right back, wrapping an arm around Jimin. “Right, Jiminnie?”

“Of course, hyung!” Jimin chirps back, leaning into Seokjin’s touch.

“He’s cuter, too!” Seokjin shows off proudly.

“We’ll see how much time he’s willing to spend with you once he gets married, hyung,” Hoseok scrunches his nose at Seokjin, frowning.

“I don’t think that’s going to change anything,” Jimin says, trying to hold back a laugh, but is unable to stop himself with Jungkook chuckles, the two sharing a knowing look.

“You say that now, Jimin, but you’ll see later on,” Hoseok warns him, and then looks around. “Is it alright if I take Jungkook around to introduce him to other people, hyung?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Seokjin sobers up instantly, nodding his head and pulling away from Jimin. “Go do that, because I don’t know if there’ll be time at the main event.”

“They’re seated, aren’t they?” Hoseok asks, checking the time on his phone. “Who are we sitting with?”

“I’ve placed all of us together with a couple of other people,” Seokjin assures him with a wave of the hand. “Go on, okay? If you need anything, I’ll be around or if I’m not then I’ll make sure Yoongi’s on the floor.”

“Alright, I’ll see you around,” Hoseok gives Seokjin a small wave, before breaking away from Jungkook a few seconds to give the older man a hug. It takes Seokjin by surprise, that much is apparent, especially when Hoseok whispers, “Good luck with the speech. Don’t be nervous, you’ll be great, okay?”

Seokjin laughs, eyes twinkling with happiness, “Thank you. Guess you did come early for me.”

“You keep dreaming that,” Hoseok says waving goodbye to both Seokjin and Jimin and then whisks Jungkook away.

“Hyung’s afraid of public speaking?” Jungkook asks by way of confirmation as they walk away. “I would’ve never guessed from what I know of him.”

“Yeah,” Hoseok nods his head, turning to meet Jungkook’s eyes. “He’s a force to be reckoned with, but I guess everyone has fears, right?”

Jungkook nods in agreement and then turns to Hoseok to asks, “What’s your fear?”

It extracts a genuine laugh out of the elder who turns to peck the younger boy’s cheek fondly, murmuring, “Wouldn’t you like to know, angel?”

“You don’t have to tell me,” Jungkook shrugs nonchalantly but the curiosity in his eyes is still visible. “I was just asking.”

“I have a lot of fears,” Hoseok confesses quietly. “Heights would be one. What about you?”

Jungkook ponders over the answer given to him and then thinks about the question.

‘Me too.’ He almost confesses, but bites down his tongue in time before he can say something like ‘I have a lot of fears too. Losing you is one of them, it seems, as I’ve discovered recently.’

Keeping his tone light, he makes a thinking sound, and then says, “Spiders, I think?”

“Ah, nasty creatures,” Hoseok shudders shaking his head. “Definitely a fear of mine too. Alright, see that group over there? The one with that lady in the red and silver dress?”

“Yeah?” Jungkook nods, turning to face Hoseok to let him know he’s giving him his full attention.

“Okay, that’s one of our company’s major shareholders. Her husband died recently and oddly enough left most if not all of his assets for his wife instead of his son, who standing right there beside her. Word on the street is that…”

“You sound like a gossip magazine,” Jungkook remarks with a laugh, interrupting Hoseok, and grins when the older man rolls his eyes, but not exasperatedly.

“Blame Seokjin hyung. He’s a bit of a story teller, and I’m just subconsciously repeating his words,” Hoseok says with a pout. “Come on I’ll just take you to meet them since you’re clearly going to make fun of me if I tell you about them.”

“How about you tell me all the juicy details of their lives after I meet them?” Jungkook offers, squeezing the warm hand that slips into his own as they stride forwards towards the group of people Hoseok had pointed out earlier. “After all, we have all the time in the world after this to gossip about people.”

“Ah, just my type. But okay, sounds good,” Hoseok says even as he waves hello to a few people who spot him from far away.

--

“I think we’ve covered almost everyone,” Hoseok says, glancing around the room, trying to find anyone he hadn’t introduced Jungkook to already. He turns his attention to the younger boy who belatedly nods in response, looking a little overwhelmed. “You okay, angel?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Jungkook smiles, but there’s a strain to his lips. The hour had gone a lot better than he’d been expecting, only receiving a few curious looks when he’d mentioned his family, but the amount of new faces he had to converse with had taken a toll on him. “Sorry, that was a lot more people I’m used to meeting in the span of an hour.”

“Sorry about that,” Hoseok gives his hand a squeeze. “Do you want to take a break? I can do introductions after the main event, too? Most people hang around for at least a bit before heading off even if tomorrow is a workday.”

“A break sounds nice,” Jungkook says in agreement. He looks over the elder’s shoulder, surprised to spot Seokjin and Jimin deep in conversation with a few other people and wonders if the two had gone around together like him and Hoseok had. Looking away from them, he looks at Hoseok in question, “I’m kind of hungry, too. Can we check out the appetizers? Seokjin hyung said they were really good.”

“Sure.” Hoseok places a hand on the small of his back, guiding him over to the nearest table in the room when he suddenly directs Jungkook in another direction. “Just a second, one last person, okay?”

Jungkook makes a soft noise but lets himself be led forward, and is surprised when he looks up to see who he’s being led towards. The tall stature, salt-pepper hair, and lopsided smile make him falter in his steps, and he partly freezes where is. Hoseok stops along with him, giving him a curious glance, “Angel? Come on, it’s just one more person. He’s kind of important, too.”

“Han Ji Gun-ssi?” Jungkook asks for confirmation with round eyes.

“You know him? How?” Hoseok looks startled at the information, expression guarded when he sees the way Jungkook looks back at him. The younger boy doesn’t answer his question, only stares at him nervously, and it makes Hoseok pause, saying in a softer tone, “Jungkook?”

Licking his lips nervously, Jungkook hand moves forward to clasp around Hoseok’s wrist, “Remember the first day we met and how I told you…”

“Well, would you look at who it is,” the older man interrupts them, breaking away from his group to walking towards Hoseok and Jungkook. He smiles a Cheshire grin, gaze lingering on Jungkook whose face is fixed with a polite smile, and then turns to Hoseok. “So, you were the one who stole this little one away from me.”

“Pardon?” Hoseok’s words are ones of pure surprise, a little slow to make the connection, but it doesn’t take him long with what happens next.

“Didn’t you know, Hoseok-ah?” The man asks with a genial smile, lifting a hand to trace his index finger lightly against the underside of Jungkook’s jaw. Hoseok’s surprised at the gesture, even more at the fact that Jungkook doesn’t flinch in the slightest – only smiles. “Remember the boy I told to you about? This is him.”

The man’s fingers move from Jungkook’s jaw to his cheek, and something ugly flares inside of Hoseok’s stomach. He tightens his fingers around the younger boy’s wrist, barely able to restrain himself from tugging Jungkook away from the older man’s fingers and into his side or better yet, behind him. The older man directs a knowing smile in Hoseok’s direction at that, noticing the way his body stiffens, and the hand lifted in the air to touch Jungkook, remains exactly where it is.

His eyes narrow when a blunt fingernail drags down Jungkook’s cheek, trailing down areas Hoseok’s certain he’s mapped with his lips over the last week, and he breathes a sigh of relief when its moves away to fall back to the older man’s side. “I believe I mentioned him to you, Hoseok-ah. This is Jungkook, the boy who was almost mine.”

It’s Jungkook who takes control of the conversation, reacting first, “Good evening. Have you been well?”

“I have been, although I have to admit that I was offended with how your family handling everything. I can accept rejection, but in such a manner, Jungkook?”

“I apologize,” Jungkook bows his head down, keeping it there for a few seconds before raising it.

“It’s alright, I suppose,” the man says with an unaffected shrug, but then raises a hand to trace Jungkook’s cheekbone. “I really thought we had something special, though.”

Both Hoseok and Jungkook remain silent at the statement, neither knowing quite how to react to it. It’s Hoseok who apologizes this time, linking his fingers with Jungkook’s and pulling the younger boy a little closer. The difference is just that of a few centimeters, but it doesn’t go unnoticed, not by any of them.

“As long as you’re Hoseok-ah, I suppose I am, too.”

“Thank you,” they both speak in unison, turning to glance at each other after they do. Jungkook squeezes Hoseok’s hand softly, giving him a smile, which widens when Hoseok returns it with one of his own. It’s strained, Hoseok’s smile, but it’s better than the blank face he’d been sporting earlier.

“When’s the wedding?” The older man asks, looking between them, as a woman, who Jungkook is certain is younger than him, joins their circle. She wraps an arm around the man, body flush against his own, and sends a charming smile in both Hoseok and Jungkook’s direction.

“It’s in a week and a half,” Hoseok speaks up finally. “I hope you’ll be able to make it.”

“Of course, I’ll be there for sure.” The man promises with a lopsided grin. “I wouldn’t want to miss a wedding that could potentially have been mine.”

Hoseok’s smile becomes tighter as does his hold on Jungkook, but he doesn’t say anything except lets out a small chuckle, “If you’ll excuse us now, sir, I have to take Jungkook around to introduce him to a few other people.”

“Oh, yes, of course, of course, don’t let me hold you back. Go on, he has a lot of people to meet doesn’t he?”

“Yes, thank you understanding. We’ll see you around,” Hoseok says with a smile he hopes looks sincere.

“It was nice meeting you again,” Jungkook adds in, and then gives the older man a nod when he smiles a tad bit leeringly in his direction.

“Let’s go, love,” Hoseok voice is soft against his ear. “We’ve got a lot of people to meet, don’t we?”

“Yeah,” Jungkook agrees, almost unable to look away from the older man still smiling at him for a few seconds. He’s glad for the way Hoseok pulls him away, unsure if he would’ve been able to do it on his own two legs. He lets out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding once they’re a good distance away, but he turns around just in case to check if they’re being watched, letting out a sigh of relief when he sees the older man occupied with the much younger woman on his side.

“Shit.” Hoseok cursing snaps Jungkook back to reality, and he turns back to the elder with a small grin.

“Tell me about it.”

“I can’t…I can’t believe he had the audacity to do that in front of me,” Hoseok grits out through his teeth, glancing back at the older man, anger brimming in his eyes and body nearly shaking. “I, God, I wish I’d known beforehand about it. Could’ve prevented the entire thing that just happened.”

“It would’ve had to happen one day, though,” Jungkook points out quietly, rubbing small circles into the back of Hoseok’s hand with his thumb.

“I know.” Hoseok’s voice is soft, sounding defeated, “But I would’ve like to be better prepared.”

“Sorry, I should’ve told you earlier, but –”

“No, no, don’t apologize. This isn’t your fault. Sorry, I’m just really –” Hoseok pauses, shaking his head to dispel the images swimming around in his brain “– I don’t know why I’m like this all of a sudden, but I really, really didn’t like the way he touched you. I can’t believe he actually said all that shit and touched you like that while I was standing right there. Right next to you.”

“He’s not a man who knows about boundaries,” Jungkook tells him softly.

There’s a flicker of something dark in Hoseok’s eyes, but it’s gone soon after, “How long did you…see him for?”

“Two months.”

Shit,” Hoseok curses again, closing his eyes.

Jungkook snorts back a laugh all of sudden, “I didn’t know you were such a potty mouth.”

“Only when I’m angry,” Hoseok admits with a smile. “Are you…okay? I wish I could’ve stopped him from doing all that. I’m really sorry.”

“You had no control over it, and I’m fine, really. It didn’t bother me as much as it bothered you, I think.”

“You didn’t even flinch, angel,” Hoseok replies, partly in amazement and partly in shock. “I was really surprised. I…God, I can’t believe I just stood there like an idiot while he touched your cheek like that.”

“It’s okay.” Jungkook gives him a reassuring smile and then leans forward conspiratorially, “You can always kiss it better.”

Hoseok throws his head back as he laughs, attracting the attention of a few individuals standing near them, but he can’t bring himself to care. Once they look away, he presses three kisses in quick succession to Jungkook’s right cheek, “Guess it’ll be my win tonight, then, huh?”

“If it’s just one day, I might not mind,” Jungkook shrugs, giving Hoseok a comforting smile. “I have a lot of days left to catch up.”

“Sorry, I didn’t do much for you back there,” Hoseok apologizes again. “You must have been uncomfortable, right?”

“It’s okay,” the younger boy says reassuringly. “I’m over it. Now, can we go try out the food? I’m hungry and I doubt dinner will be served any time soon.”

The hesitance on Hoseok’s face doesn’t fade away completely, but it does ease up, and he lets Jungkook lead him over to the tables of food.

--

“How do you feel about not going home for a bit?” Hoseok asks, slipping his hand into Jungkook’s and intertwining their fingers as they wait for the valet to come back with his car. The night air is cool, chatter surrounding them as the remainder of the people from the party all wait for their cars – some of them standing outside the hotel door while others stay inside the lobby.

“Where would be go, then?” Jungkook asks with a smile, squeezing the older man’s hand, and stepping forward when Hoseok moves forward as his car arrives. He opens the passenger door for Jungkook first, smiling when it makes the younger boy laugh, cheeks slightly tinted with red that’s barely visible in the moonlight.

“Remember our first date?” Hoseok asks, as he ducks into the car, putting on his seatbelt and changing gears. “The one at the restaurant?”

“Yeah, I do,” Jungkook replies, eyes furrowed in confusion

“Remember I offered to take you to the lookout after we bought ice cream that day, but you said to could save that for another date?” There’s a smile playing on the elder’s lips as he drives, Jungkook notices when he turns to glance at Hoseok. 

Jungkook stares at him for a little longer than necessary, admiring his features and the way they appear in the dim glow of the streetlights lining the road they’re driving on. Turning his head away when Hoseok turns to glance at him, he nods, “I like that idea.”

“Ice cream or no ice cream?” Hoseok offers with a smile.

“Ice cream, please,” Jungkook laughs, sharing a grin with Hoseok, body slumping back against the seat.

Quietness surrounds them after Hoseok hums in agreement, and a feeling of contentment and calmness washes over Jungkook. He lets warm, familiar fingers thread through his own, looking out the window and biting his lips to hold back the giddy smile that threatens to break out on his face. They don’t say much, but the silence that hangs between them isn’t awkward but rather comfortable.

Parking by the exact same convenience store that they’d gone to last time, Hoseok makes a move to get out, unbuckling his seatbelt, when Jungkook does the same. The younger boy turns to give him a smile at his confusion, “I’ll come, too.”

--

“What flavour do you want?” Hoseok asks quietly, leading them to the back of the store where the freezers are kept.

“Chocolate. What are you going to get?”

Opening the freezer with his free hand, Hoseok makes a thoughtful sound, “Maybe vanilla or something fruit flavoured.”

“Oh,” Jungkook makes a soft noise at the back of his throat, catching the elder’s attention and making him pause. “Are you one of those people? The ones who think vanilla tastes better than chocolate?”

“Not just vanilla, babe.” Hoseok pecks Jungkook’s cheek. “I think a lot of things taste better. Don’t tell me you’re one of those people who think chocolate reigns supreme over everything else.”

Gasping dramatically, Jungkook brings his free hand to his chest, narrowing his eyes when Hoseok laughs and gives him another kiss, murmuring a soft ‘cute’, “I think I’ve said yes to marrying the wrong person?”

“Yeah?” There’s a challenge in Hoseok’s eyes, looking away momentarily to grab one chocolate and one strawberry flavoured ice cream. “And what’re you going to do about that?”

“Well, that depends,” Jungkook leans down to whisper in his ear.

“On?”

“On whether or not he buys me chocolate ice cream.”

With a small chuckle, Hoseok drags him to the counter, depositing both ice creams and a bill big enough to cover the costs on the counter, “Is that so?”

Humming, Jungkook picks up the treat after the clerk’s finished ringing both up, “Of course, because if he does, then who am I to protest?”

Grabbing the black bag and the change from the cashier, Hoseok leads them out, “You’re see easy to please, angel.”

Jungkook laughs, cheeks colouring as they watch for traffic before crossing the road, “I suppose, but I wouldn’t bank on that observation.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Hoseok replies easily, unlocking the car and letting go of Jungkook’s hand.

--

“Wait, no, stay still,” Hoseok touches the underside of Jungkook’s wrist to keep him where he is when the younger boy makes a move to open his own door. “I’ll get it for you.”

“I can open my own doors,” Jungkook insists with a huff, but his lips continue to stretch further even as Hoseok waves him off. “I thought you were going to stop doing this.”

“One last time,” Hoseok says with a bright grin of his own, exiting the car and walking around the front to get to Jungkook’s door. The younger boy watches him with an amused grin the entire time, shaking his head when Hoseok finally opens the door for him and then offers his hand.

“You try so hard, don’t you?” Jungkook tilts to the side, eyeing the hand and then Hoseok with fond eyes.

The question makes the older man smile, and he ducks his head down and into the car to plant a kiss against the younger boy’s nose before unbuckling the younger’s seatbelt, “For you, angel, the hardest.”

Grabbing the elder’s hand when Hoseok makes a move to back away, Jungkook stops him where he is, face hovering inches away from his own, “I know what this is about.”

“What do you mean?” There’s confusion dancing across Hoseok’s face, head tilted, and it makes Jungkook falter for a few seconds.

Smirking nevertheless, Jungkook shifts his right hand to grab the elder’s chin between his thumb and index finger, and tilts his face down, “So much effort for a kiss, huh?”

There’s a flicker of surprise in the other man’s expressions before Hoseok starts to laugh, head automatically moving backwards and hitting the roof of the car.

“Careful,” Jungkook murmurs, pulling Hoseok down and caressing the back of his head gingerly even as the man continues to shake softly in laughter, pausing only briefly to make a sound of slight pain.

“It looks like I’ve been found out,” Hoseok remarks, eyes shining with laughter still. “Are you flattered by my efforts?”

“Maybe slightly,” Jungkook admits quietly.

Smiling, Hoseok gestures for the younger boy’s hand, “Now, are you going to come out on your own two feet or will I have to carry you out?”

Snorting, Jungkook teases the other man, “Like you could lift me.”

“I’m stronger than I look, angel.” There’s a warning buried deep within Hoseok’s words, but it gets lost somewhere in the charming smile he throws at Jungkook.

“So am I, hyung.”

Humming, Hoseok lets his eyes trail down Jungkook’s seated form appreciatively, “I still think I could take you, though. You’re a little built –”

“Just a little?” Jungkook asks with a bright smile and eyes twinkling with laughter.

“Well, I think so.” Hoseok clarifies before his face mimics Jungkook’s confident smile. “But feel free to take off your shirt and prove me otherwise.”

Jungkook lets out a loud laugh, looking away for a brief second, before his finger reaches up to undo the top button of his shirt and he smirks, “Should I?”

There’s shock on Hoseok’s face at the daring action but it’s quickly replaced by amusement, and the elder reaches forward to remove Jungkook’s hand from his shirt. Doing back up the button Jungkook had just undone, he says, “Maybe not in public, love, but I do have a backseat and tinted windows if you really want to show me what’s under that shirt.”

Jungkook chuckles at the suggestion, body hunching forward, and covers his mouth with a hand to muffle the sound as lips press against his cheek and Hoseok whispers, “Come on, angel, out of the car we go.”

“Okay.” The younger boy agrees easily, and then cups Hoseok’s cheek, pulling him closer, “But first –”

The older man stares into his eyes for a few seconds, but when the space between them amounts to only a few centimeters, Hoseok’s eyes flutter close automatically. Holding back his giggle, Jungkook plants a wet kiss against the elder’s nose, and ducks underneath his arm quickly to slip out of the car.

It only takes Hoseok seconds to react, grabbing Jungkook’s arm gently, and he pushes the still-giggling boy against the car. He pins the younger boy there using his hips, hands resting on each side of Jungkook’s torso, flat against the car window’s glass. Hoseok’s glare turns into an amused grin when he takes in Jungkook’s mischievous facial expression and the way his hands, curled into fists, try to cover up his smile, and he rolls his eyes, “You’re just full of mixed signals, aren’t you?”

“Mixed signals?” Jungkook pretends to look appalled at the suggestion, leaning forward to loop his arms around Hoseok’s neck. The hands on either side of his chest move down to rest against his waist, Hoseok’s thumbs subconsciously stroking his hip bones, and the action sends a small shiver through his body. Ignoring it though, he tries his best to look at Hoseok with his most innocent expression.

“Yes, mixed signals,” Hoseok confirms. “Leaning in for a kiss half the time and then taking a step away the other half as if my touch repulses you.”

Pecking Hoseok’s cheek in apology, Jungkook smiles, “It doesn’t repulse me.”

Sighing, Hoseok’s shoulders slump in defeat, “I know.”

“Then, they’re not really mixed signals, are they?” Jungkook asks, voice barely a whisper, as he leans forward to touch their foreheads. Their breaths intermingle, faces close enough for Jungkook to see the imperfections in the elder’s skin that aren’t visible on first glance. He traces the kohl-rimmed eyes, able to count each individual eyelash that fans across the elder’s cheek when Hoseok’s eyes flutter close.

“I’m tired of dancing around,” Hoseok says softly.

“I know,” Jungkook replies. “Isn’t that why you brought me here?”

Hoseok’s eyes fly open at the accusation, and he looks at Jungkook with slightly hurt eyes. The hands on Jungkook’s waist loosen, and it makes him wonder if he’s said something wrong until the elder speaks, “Don’t say it like that.”

“Say it like what?”

“Like…” Hoseok pauses to find the right words. “Like I brought you here just for a kiss.”

“Didn’t you?” Jungkook tilts his head, smiling.

“No. I wasn’t thinking about it until you mentioned it,” Hoseok admits quietly.

“Really?”

“I like spending time with you,” Hoseok says with a serious face, “even if you have an awful personality.”

“I have an amazing personality,” Jungkook counters with a grin, lips stretching wider when the smile reflects onto Hoseok’s face.

“You’re delusional, but seriously speaking, if you want to set boundaries, you can do that. I really don’t mind. I’d rather you be comfortable with what we do, than try to play around when you’re not okay with us doing something.”

Jungkook raises an eyebrow in surprise, looking at Hoseok with an odd expression when the elder finishes speaking, “You think I don’t want to kiss you?”

“Do you?” Hoseok counters, uncertainty reflecting in his eyes.

“Are you seriously asking me that?”

“I don’t know,” Hoseok shrugs, looking away. “Sometimes I think you do, but other times I think you don’t. You didn’t exactly react very well after we almost got caught the first time.”

Jungkook’s breath hitches after the reminder, and his voice softens as he asks, “You know I’m just playing around with you right?”

“Yes, but in what sense?” Hoseok asks again for clarification.

“Wow, you’re an idiot.”

“I am not,” Hoseok insists and takes a step away to which Jungkook reacts by immediately pulling him back between his legs. “I’m just trying to be considerate.”

“You’re fun to rile up you know?”

“Hey! Don’t be mean to your…to your –” Hoseok pauses, grappling to find the right words to describe himself.

“ – to my…?” Jungkook prompts him with a smile, watching confusion dance across the other man’s face as he slips deep into thought.

“I don’t know,” Hoseok shrugs, blinking rapidly once he re-emerges. There’s a small grin on his face, though, as he asks dramatically, “What am I? What are we?”

His tone of voice makes Jungkook chuckle, ducking his head down to muffle his laughter into Hoseok’s shoulder. Hoseok turns his face to the left just the slightest bit, mouth slotted right by Jungkook’s ear, who’s still quaking in his arms, “What should I refer to myself as? Fiancé-to-be seems like a mouthful since we haven’t gotten engaged or married yet, but I don’t know if we’re dating.”

“Dating, huh?” Jungkook asks, standing up straight and then leaning back against the car.

Hoseok hums, “Well, technically speaking, I never asked you out.”

“Well, why didn’t you?” Jungkook asks, leaning closer, hunching down to make his and Hoseok’s face at eyelevel.

“Do you want me to?” Hoseok smirks, wiggling his eyebrows.

Jungkook smiles, leaning away, and then shrugs his shoulders nonchalantly, “We get engaged in four days. You’ll have a title soon enough.”

“That didn’t answer me question, darling,” Hoseok informs him.

“That was my intention, sweetheart.” Jungkook’s grin is bright and teasing, his tone hesitant as he tacks on the endearment at the end of the sentence.

Hoseok makes a soft sound as the word, gazing at him with such adoration, it makes Jungkook’s stomach fill with butterflies. They stand there, staring at each other for almost an entire minute, breaking away only to glance in sync at the black car that drives by them. Turning back to Jungkook, the elder asks, “What were we talking about again?”

“Kissing,” Jungkook says with a pointed smile. “Our usual topic of conversation as it seems.”

“Sorry,” Hoseok looks sincere as he apologizes, ducking his head to hide his grin, and Jungkook’s amazed at the slight colour on the elder’s cheeks. He brings up a hand to touch Hoseok’s face, seemingly startling the other man when he does. Hoseok leans into his touch, however, a few seconds later, eyebrows going up in question once to ask Jungkook what he’s doing.

The unspoken question between them makes the younger boy snap out of the trance he’d been caught up in, and he shakes his head absentmindedly. Leaning forward, he presses a kiss against apple cheeks, pecking the colour to try to distract from the traces of red on his own skin. The atmosphere shifts when he moves back and Hoseok speaks up, “So, kissing is okay? Because that’s all I managed to get from that last few minutes.”

“Yes,” Jungkook nods his head. “I’ll let you know what’s not okay as we go. So, just keep trying, okay?”

Hoseok’s eyes narrow when the younger boy smiles innocently and pats his head mockingly, the smile turning into laughter at the elder’s facial expression.

“Why can’t you just tell me all at once what’s okay and what’s not? Make my life easier,” Hoseok suggests.

“Should I?” Jungkook’s eyes sparkle as he’s hit with an idea, and upon the serious nod the elder gives him, he bites back a smile. Humming to himself thoughtfully, he leans back, as if observing Hoseok, taking him in. He crosses his arms against his chest, the action extracting a chuckle out of the elder, as his eyes move down Hoseok’s forehead, tracing the slope of his nose, and the delicate curl of his lips.

Clearing his throat, Jungkook feigns seriousness, making a sound as if he’s deep in thought. He brings up his right thumb to stroke the underside of the elder’s chin, and then tilts his head and lowers it to press his lips against the side of Hoseok’s neck.

It thrills Jungkook when the other man’s breath stutters as a result of his action, and with a burst of sudden confidence, he gently moves away the collar of Hoseok’s shirt to nose at and press a kiss at the base of his neck. Feeling Hoseok’s heart beat thud under his lips, he whispers, “This is okay.”

“Jungkook,” Hoseok’s voice is a warning, lower and deeper than it was moments ago, fingers tightening around his hips, but Jungkook pays no heed to it. He treks his way up with his nose, leaving behind a trail of flushed skin in his wake and then traces the underside of Hoseok’s jaw with his lips. He pauses at the bottom of the elder’s ear lobe, scraping it with his teeth almost as an after thought.

“This is okay as well,” he says, the words making Hoseok’s blood pound in his ears and extracting a soft noise of appreciation.

“Jungkook.” The other man growls his name when he traces the shell of Hoseok’s ear with a flick of his tongue, and the huskiness of the sound makes heat pool at the bottom of his stomach, pulse quickening when the elder’s grip on his waist tightens.

Jungkook leans away at the touch, giving Hoseok a disarming smile, and says, “That’s okay, too.”

“Do you know what you’re doing?” The elder’s words hang dangerously in the air between them, and Jungkook opts to respond with a nod, tongue feeling heavy all of a sudden. There’s something piercing and intrusive in the way Hoseok stares at him, but Jungkook doesn’t back down from his darkened gaze, meeting his eyes confidently.

When Hoseok doesn’t say anything else or tries to stop him when he leans back into the elder’s space, Jungkook smiles and gives both of his protruding cheeks a soft kiss. It’s familiar territory for them and he’s both genuinely surprised and pleased at how quickly Hoseok tightly strung, rigid body relaxes against him against his own, “This is okay, too.”

A snort and then a smile greet him when he moves away to take in Hoseok’s face, and the quirk of the other man’s lips have him feeling lighter than he had moments ago. In response, Jungkook cups Hoseok’s face between his hands to press his lips to the tip of the elder’s nose and then tip toes to reach his forehead. Giggling a little when Hoseok holds onto his waist to stabilize him after he rocks a little unsteadily, he whispers against the elder’s hair, “These are good, too.”

Leaning back down to rest on his heels, Jungkook smiles teasingly, “I think that’s all the places, right? We’ve covered all grounds.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Hoseok replies, voice and smile tinted with a hint of something devilish that excites Jungkook.

Jungkook leans back against the car, letting Hoseok, despite his smaller stature, crowd him against the painted metal. They’re pressed together tightly, no space between their chests in the slightest as Hoseok’s hand presses against the back of the younger boy’s head, tilting his face down until it’s within the reach of the elder’s lips.

He challenges Jungkook through his eyes, tilting his own head up until their mouths rest mere inches apart. Warm air fans across the younger boy’s face and his breath stutters when Hoseok’s gaze drops down to his red lips and he asks, “Is this okay, too?”

Jungkook expects Hoseok to kiss him, to meld their lips together without waiting for a response, but he doesn’t. He maintains his distance, a rather small and minor distance that either of them can overcome in less than a second, but a distance nevertheless. The knowledge fills Jungkook with a very pleasant feeling, heart fluttering along with the butterflies in his stomach.

Closing his eyes, he whispers a soft ‘yes, and then waits in anticipation. His eyes fly open, however, when Hoseok laughs against him instead of closing the distance, body shaking as he presses his forehead into Jungkook’s shoulder. Jungkook tries to ignore the disappointment steadily filling him, and he glares at Hoseok with annoyed eyes, looking cross as he asks, “What?”

“Nothing,” Hoseok’s smile is bright. “Noted. Thanks for clearing that up for me.”

Hoseok makes a move to step away, the warmth of his body no longer surrounding Jungkook, but the younger boy pulls him back, “Where are you going?”

“Gonna get the ice cream,” Hoseok responds, grin still in place. “Wouldn’t want it to melt now, would we?”

“This isn’t funny,” Jungkook informs him, crossing his arms.

“What isn’t?” Hoseok asks, opening the passenger door. He’s startled when Jungkook pulls his hand off the top of the car door, and then slams it shut, shifting until he’s blocking the door handle with his body.

“Hyung.” Jungkook’s voice is serious as he straightens up, taking a step away from the car and closer to Hoseok.

“Jungkook.” Hoseok mimics his tone of voice and his posture, straightening his shoulders and taking a step forward to shorten the distance between them. They stare each other down, Hoseok with an affable smile on his face while Jungkook’s eyes narrow with each passing second.

The wind picks up as they stand there peering, the air around them feeling charged and full of tension as they continue to lock eyes, neither willing to give up to be the first to glance away. Jungkook loses, however, gaze unknowingly flitting down to eye Hoseok’s pink, heart-shaped lips when a tongue peeks out to run across and wet them.

Everything happens suddenly after that, within a matter of seconds or perhaps less. Jungkook barely has time to catch his footing before he finds himself being shoved backwards, not quite gently, body pressed against the cool car exterior by the force of another as those same lips he’d been eyeing earlier descend onto his own.


If you'd like to (gently) scream at me: Tumblr | Twitter

Chapter Text

Jungkook’s eyes widen a fraction as his back hits the passenger door window and Hoseok crowds him against the car with his lithe body, their chests pressed tightly against each other’s - close enough for Jungkook to be able to feel the other man sucking in a deep breath - before Hoseok captures his lips in a swift move. The younger boy’s eyes flutter close as their mouths press together, body stiffening for a few seconds out of surprise before relaxing, and he feels slight pressure against his lips just as one of Hoseok’s hands tightens around his hip and the other cups his cheek firmly to keep him in place.

 

Jungkook returns the kiss as soon as his body registers it and overcomes the shock, face tipping down to make it easier for Hoseok, while his hands move on their own accord - one clutching and clinging tightly onto the lapel of Hoseok’s suit jacket to keep him there and the other resting flat against the plane of Hoseok’s chest, able to make out the faint thud of the heart steadily beating underneath his fingers.

 

Tilting his head back, Hoseok moves his mouth against Jungkook’s gingerly once the younger boy finally responds to him, kissing back harder than Hoseok had expected him to. A spark ignites inside of him and heat shoots through his veins at the slightly desperate way the boy grapples forward for him, leaning off the car and onto Hoseok, hands seemingly itching to pull his body closer despite the meager distance between them. The flame burns brighter with each passing second, and despite every part of Hoseok’s body screaming at him to pull Jungkook closer and kiss the living daylights out of him, he holds back and doesn’t take any more than he’s being given. Instead, he kisses the boy slowly at first, slightly chapped lips moving against each other hesitantly, gently eases Jungkook in until the younger boy completely melts against him, sighing into the kiss.

 

It’s not hard for him to pick up on and even harder for him to not revel in Jungkook’s eagerness as they kiss despite the hesitance and the slight stiffness that had been apparent in his body language when their lips had met initially. Briefly, Hoseok wonders if Jungkook can feel the way his heart picks up pace, beating irregularly under the boy’s firmly placed hand - singing a tune it hasn’t sung in a long time. However, Hoseok’s wildly beating heart positively stutters - lurching, stopping, and then restarting again - when Jungkook makes a soft, appreciative sound at the back of his throat - halfway been a moan and a whine. Picking up on the hint, Hoseok tilts his head to the side experimentally, breaking away just for a brief second, before recapturing Jungkook’s plump lips with his own.

 

Desire and lust both pool in the pit of Jungkook’s stomach as the older man suckles onto his bottom lip, their spit-slick mouths colliding in a beautiful rhythm, and he tightens his hold on the other man’s jacket, not wanting Hoseok to pull away. The older man doesn’t seem to have any intention of doing so, Jungkook soon figures out, especially when Hoseok continues to kiss him, breaking away for a brief second only to slant his head in the other direction, aiming for a deeper angle. Jungkook takes the initiative this time, reaching forward to slot their mouths together before Hoseok can, and pulls the other man’s upper lip into his mouth, sucking, before nipping at it lightly, extracting a small chuckle out of his betrothed.

 

Eagerly, he swallows up the sound of laughter that escape Hoseok, letting it fill him, and then presses forward with his lips a little harder when the other man doesn’t make a move to take their kiss any further, ignoring the familiar burn in his lungs as a result of the lack of air. He wonders what’s holding Hoseok back, especially when the hand around his hip tightens almost in warning as he tries to push closer. Hoseok’s thumb starts to rub small circles in the area right above his hip bone, almost subconsciously, as if trying to soothe Jungkook, but the motion only serves to make the skin underneath heat up. The touch also, however, after a brief section of hesitation gives Jungkook the confidence to work up the courage to run his tongue across Hoseok’s lower lip, asking for silent permission to be let in.

 

Instead of opening up under his insistence, Hoseok’s mouth pulls away from him, and Jungkook, having not expected it, almost falls forward, lips automatically chasing after the older man’s. His eyes fly open in surprise when it happens, feeling as if he’s been doused with a bucket of cold water, and upon opening them, his gaze finds Hoseok’s - black orbs staring back at him with an indescribable emotion brimming within them. Hoseok’s eyes flit over his face for a few seconds as they stand there staring at each other, drinking in his expression before dropping down back to his shiny, swollen, thoroughly-kissed lips. They’re both panting, Jungkook notices almost belatedly, listening to Hoseok’s slightly ragged breathing mixed with his own, and the knowledge that he’s reduced the other man to this state makes Jungkook’s knees weak, feeling an odd need to do it again.

 

Hoseok’s eyes jump back up to his own for a brief second, questioning and surprised, when Jungkook’s tongue darts out to lick his already wet lips, and he enjoys the way the other man’s gaze falls back down, milliseconds later, tracing the path his tongue makes. Filled with a renewed confidence, Jungkook meets Hoseok’s unsure gaze with a steady one of his own, seeing in the other man’s eyes an uncertainty that most certainly hadn’t been there before. He’s not sure exactly what it is that has Hoseok looking that way, but Jungkook itches to ease the slight tension between his brows. Finally understanding that there’ll be no further movement until he initiates it, the boy leans his head to the side a small fraction, pointing his chin out, and closes his eyes after taking in a deep breath.

 

Jungkook’s grateful at how readily Hoseok picks up on the hint and the permission in his body language, joining their lips once again. Mouths locked together and desire surging through both of their veins, it only takes moments for their second kiss to take an almost feverish turn. They kiss hungrily this time around, lips trying to devour each other while they both compete to coax out some sort of a sound from the other - to break the other first.

 

Neither of them hesitate or keep the pace slow, finding their rhythm almost instantly as their mouths tangle once again. There’s neediness and a touch of wantonness to their kiss the second time around, and Jungkook feels the desperation and the desire all the way to his bones especially in the near despairing way Hoseok tries to pull him closer. The hand that had before been cupped around his cheek now rests against his shoulder and the one around his hip is flat against the small of his back, pushing Jungkook into Hoseok’s chest and pulling him further away from the car behind him.

 

Jungkook tightens his hold on Hoseok when he shifts, and then proceeds to kiss the older man harder, nipping at his lower lip again, begging. Hoseok nearly smiles into their kiss at the sense of urgency the younger boy exudes, able to pick up on his slight frustration, and deliberately slows the kiss down into something softer, teasing. It isn’t enough for Jungkook, the younger boy’s body language and the way in which he responds to each touch making the point loud and clear.

 

Caressing the clothed skin of the boy’s back with his palm gingerly, Hoseok basks in the knowledge of the small shiver that goes through Jungkook’s body and the way the boy’s spine arches under his touch. Jungkook makes a whining sound at the back of his throat as his hands drift back down to map the curve of the boy’s spine, and Hoseok, delighted by the reaction, finally decides to let Jungkook into his mouth.

 

Sighing into the kiss when Hoseok finally gives in and opens his mouth, Jungkook tightens his hold on the older man, fingers fisting in the expensive material of Hoseok’s shirt. He feels a jolt of liquid heat shoot through his bloodstream, almost as if he’s been injected with it, when the tips of their tongues touch, brushing against each other tenderly, and he sags against the elder at the wonderful sensation, knees giving in.

 

Hoseok loops at arm around his waist to keep him steady when he does, and Jungkook pulls away from the kiss, embarrassed by his own reaction. His cheeks are flushed, breath coming out in short pants and feeling a little lightheaded, but he doesn’t have much time to ponder over anything, Hoseok only giving him a few seconds to catch his breath and overcome his embarrassment before swooping forward to kiss him again.

 

The elder guides him backwards, pressing him against the car to keep him there and steady, and then leans upwards to brush their mouths together again. Jungkook’s easy to coax into parting his lips, Hoseok is quick to find out, not having to try very hard to get the boy to open up under him again. He guides his tongue forward gentler than last time, confident but wary in the way it makes contact with Jungkook’s.

 

He pauses for a millisecond, tightening his hold on the younger boy and letting him adjust before prodding forward, eager to taste more. After a moment of hesitance, Jungkook responds back immediately, a little shy but not any less enthusiastic, and they both swirls their tongues together. There’s the taste of the cake they’d been served at the party for dessert on Jungkook’s tongue, along with a hint of something else that Hoseok can’t quite pick up on.

 

Hoseok feels his way around slowly, taking his time, and soon enough starts to feel that familiar sensation of his lungs burning, desperate for air. The hot and heavy feeling in the pit of his stomach intensifies when Jungkook, tired of him playing around, takes matters in his own hand and challenges him, taking control of the kiss. Hoseok smiles inwardly, letting him take over, content to sit back and be led. He enjoys what Jungkook shows him as the younger boy explores his mouth and especially likes the way Jungkook shudders against him as he drags one hand down slowly between their bodies, tracing his way from the boy’s shoulder to his stomach.

 

They break apart seconds later, breathing heavily and audibly, and when Hoseok finally opens his eyes, he finds Jungkook gazing at him with bright eyes, hints of a small smile playing on his lips. Hoseok lets out a soft chuckle at the way the younger boy’s eyes shine, Jungkook’s face splitting into a grin in response, and before they know it, they’re both laughing softly, Jungkook ducking forward to hide his flushed face into the other man’s shoulder. Hoseok holds him close, as close as he can with Jungkook’s hands still between their bodies, wrapping an arm around the younger boy’s waist until they both stop quaking with laughter.

 

Hoseok pulls away from the hug first, leaning back to take in the red crowding around the younger boy’s cheeks and his lips bloom into a smile as soon as Jungkook meets his eyes shyly. They stare at each other for a few seconds, and just for the heck for it, just knowing that he can do it whenever he wants to, Hoseok leans forwards and presses their lips together again for a brief second. Jungkook is fully grinning by the time he pulls away, and his quirked up lips make Hoseok smile.

 

“So,” he says, tilting his head forward, foreheads touching, “how well did that measure up to your expectations of a first kiss?”

 

Jungkook smiles at him for the smallest of seconds, amusement and mischief dancing in his eyes, but even then, Hoseok doesn’t quite expect it when the younger boy, instead of answering the question, dives forward, merely kissing him back in response. Hoseok’s taken by surprise, mouth parting without Jungkook having to prod or beg, and he inwardly smiles at how much advantage the younger boy takes of that, brushing their tongues together the second he enters. Shuffling closer to Jungkook until he’s snugly fitted in between the boy’s taller, longer legs, he leans onto him, cupping both of the boy’s cheeks between his palms and kisses him back with as much fervor as he can manage.

 

 Jungkook pauses momentarily at the change in pace and intensity, but it only takes him moments to overcome the change, swirling their tongues together and challenging Hoseok to take back control of the kiss. Their mouths move against each other in a strangely familiar rhythm, but the urgency from their previous kiss and the desire to caress and cover as much surface area as possible is gone; instead this time they kiss languidly, teasing and testing the other.

 

Hoseok enjoys the small noises Jungkook lets loose, and curls his tongue around the boy’s before licking around his mouth to try to find ways to coax more sounds out of him. Jungkook, not one to be left behind, picks up on his technique quick enough, and Hoseok nearly freezes at how loud of a moan the boy’s able to extract out of him when he licks the roof of his mouth. Wanting to indulge the boy further but unable to ignore the need for air anymore, he breaks the kiss first, Jungkook chasing after his mouth automatically. Pressing his lips firmly against the younger boy’s for a final peck to satisfy and appease Jungkook, Hoseok leans back to look him in the eye, smiling at the fact that the boy didn’t want to end their kiss despite being just as out of breath as him.

 

Panting, Jungkook’s gaze drops down to the hand that comes up to wipe away at Hoseok’s wet and swollen mouth - the older man’s eyebrows furrowing at the slightly reddish tint that comes away, standing out against his honey-coloured skin. His insides heat up and liquefy when Hoseok’s eyes slowly lift to meet his, a single eyebrow quirking up at the colour, and Jungkook’s momentarily stunned at how much of an effect that single action has on him, leaving him tongue-tied - only able to stare back and think about how attractive Hoseok had looked wiping his thoroughly-kissed mouth with the back of his hand.

 

Jungkook’s quick to recover, however, for as soon as Hoseok opens his mouth to inquire about the colour, he dives forward to kiss the older man again, distracting him. Hoseok chuckles against his lips and the sound makes Jungkook smile into the kiss, butterflies fluttering in his stomach. Embers crackle in the pits of stomach as he swallows up the husky sound, tinted with amusement, and Jungkook tilts his head to avoid their noses from bumping against each other awkwardly. He pulls Hoseok’s lower lip between his mouth, nipping and tugging at the the flesh eagerly, and makes an involuntary disappointed sound when Hoseok pulls away.

 

“Easy there angel,” Hoseok murmurs softly against his lips, a gentle hand moving up and down his side comfortingly, “I’m not going anywhere.”

 

Embarrassment fills Jungkook at the knowing way Hoseok smirks back at him, but he pretends to be unfazed. Aiming for a nonchalant smile, he shrugs, “I know. I’m just, you know, trying to make up for the past missed opportunities.”

 

Hoseok laughs partly out of surprise and partly due to Jungkook’s excuse, leaning forward to give the boy a gentle peck, “I feel like between the two of us, that line should definitely be mine.”

 

Jungkook grins at him with shining eyes, before stepping forward and flipping them around. He presses Hoseok against the car, pins him there using his hips, standing in between the other man’s parted legs. He catches the older man by surprise, and the knowledge makes the smile on his lips stretch into a full-blown grin. Hoseok stares at him with slightly widened eyes and Jungkook tries his hardest to not laugh at his startled expression, leaning down to whisper in the older man’s ear, “In that case, we could switch roles for tonight?”

 

Hoseok’s eyebrows rise to his hairline at the statement, but Jungkook doesn’t catch the change in facial expression, pressing his lips gently to the skin behind the older man’s ear and trailing soft butterfly kisses down the long column of his neck. Hoseok’s grip on his waist tightens when he reaches the base of the older man’s neck, and the older man asks almost belatedly, “What?”

 

Jungkook lets out a slight chuckle at the part confusion and part disbelief in Hoseok’s voice, and then leans back and wiggles his eyebrows, “What?”

 

Hoseok stares up at him with an indecipherable expression, but there’s tension between his eyebrows, as if he’s concentrating on something really hard. Jungkook smiles at him disarmingly, and is pleased by how easily the older man’s eyes turn from guarded and unsure into something fond yet heated. The hands settled around Jungkook’s waist move - one curving around his shoulder while the other tilts his head down and then tangles into the hair at the back of his head.

 

He’s being kissed before he knows it, Hoseok shifting to loop both of his arms around Jungkook’s neck, pulling his face down further. Both of the older man’s hands curl into his hair tugging at the strands lightly as a tongue swipes across his lower lip, barely waiting for him to open up before thrusting inside of his hot, awaiting mouth. Hoseok doesn’t surrender to him, refuses to give him control for even a millisecond as he explores Jungkook’s mouth enthusiastically, licks around without a care and tangles their tongues lustfully.

 

Jungkook doesn’t challenge him, preferring not to fight a losing battle, and instead allows himself to enjoy the older man’s touch. The sensations that Hoseok sends coursing through him make him weak in the knees, feeling lightheaded and dizzy the longer they kiss. He lets out a needy whine which quickly turns into a loud, drawn out moan when Hoseok sucks on his tongue.

 

His groan startles the older man, making Hoseok freeze and break away, both of them coming away breathing a lot harder from the kiss. Hoseok looks up at him with round, startled eyes, body tense, as if he’s not quite sure what just happened. There’s a look of hesitance in his eyes, and Jungkook decides he doesn’t like it. He’s about to lean forward to recapture the older man’s mouth, to demand more, when Hoseok speaks, “Sorry, I - er - didn’t mean to be so…aggressive.”

 

Jungkook smirks, leans forward teasingly, and whispers, “You call that aggressive? That was pretty tame. How about I show you aggressive?”

 

“Excuse me?” Hoseok raises a challenging, skeptical eyebrow at the statement, and something about the look makes Jungkook blush,  bursting into embarrassed laughter. He leans forward, ducking to hide his face into the older man’s shoulder as his entire body quakes with mirth. He lets out a pleased sigh into Hoseok’s neck when arms wrap around him, encasing his larger frame. “I can’t believe you just said that.”

 

“Why not?”

 

Hoseok’s arms tighten further, squeezing him in a hug, making Jungkook splutter with laughter. He expects fingers to brush against his sides, tickling him, but it never comes; instead Hoseok whispers into his hair, “We’re going to have so much fun, sweetheart. I promise.”

 

Jungkook peeks up at the older man, one hand fisted into Hoseok’s shirt, and asks, “Are we?”

 

Hoseok smiles at him, nods, and kisses his forehead, “Yes, we are. For now, let’s ease off a bit, hm? I don’t want to go too fast and ruin everything.”

 

It’s only then that Jungkook notices that Hoseok’s body is still not completely relaxed, and it makes the younger boy’s heart hurt a little at how careful and gentle the older man is trying to be with him. Standing up straight, he bumps their foreheads lightly and then leans back, “We only kissed, though.”

 

“Oh, I wouldn’t call that only kissing, love.” Hoseok disagrees, crossing his arms. “I think it’s pretty safe to say we made out.”

 

Jungkook grins, “Kissing. Making out. Same difference.”

 

Hardly.”

 

The younger boy rolls his eyes, but relents anyway. Bringing up both hands to cup the older man’s cheeks, he gives Hoseok a soft, reassuring peck, “You might not think so, but I can handle a lot more than just that, okay?”

 

Hoseok purses his lips as if he doesn’t quite agree, eyes searching Jungkook’s for something the younger boy hopes he’s able to find. When the older man eventually yields, eyes downcast for a few seconds as he nods his head and murmurs a soft “alright”, it makes Jungkook smile.

 

Still grinning, he presses forward and gives Hoseok another peck, catching the older man by surprise. Hoseok’s mouth opens to say something, “What -” but Jungkook interrupts him with another kiss, chuckling and continues to foil Hoseok’s efforts with more.

 

“Hey-”

 

Kiss.

 

“Jung-”

 

Kiss.

 

“Ang-”

 

Kiss.

 

Hey-”

 

Hoseok brings a hand up to cover Jungkook’s mouth when the boy tries to kiss him again, and gives him a playfully exasperated look, “What are you doing?”

 

Jungkook moves his hand away, and swiftly leans forward to give Hoseok one last kiss. At the exasperated eye roll he receives, he sends the older man a beaming smile, teeth peeking out from between his lips, “There. I think I should be back in lead, now.”

 

Hoseok groans, but there’s a smile dancing at the corner of his lips as he shakes his hands, “Are we still doing this?”

 

Jungkook nods his head, making an affirmative sound, and bops Hoseok’s nose, “Of course! And you’re falling behind.”

 

Hoseok covers Jungkook’s lips with his hands again when the younger boy tries to land another kiss on his mouth. He laughs when Jungkook kisses his hand instead, pulling it away, “I’m surprised you didn’t lick it.”

 

Jungkook grins, “I don’t think we’re far enough in our relationship for me to lick your hand without thinking twice.”

 

Raising an eyebrow, Hoseok tilts his head to side inquiringly, and strokes the underside of the younger boy’s jaw with his thumb, a touch Jungkook leans into, “Really now? So you can lick around the inside of my mouth without a second thought but can’t do the same for my hand?”

 

Jungkook presses his lips together to prevent himself from laughing, and he nods his head even as he feels his cheeks heat up, wondering if the red is as visible in the moonlight as it is in the day time. Ducking his head when Hoseok laughs at him, he presses his face into the crook of the older man’s neck, mouthing a soft “shut up” against the clothed skin.

 

Hoseok smiles, rubbing the younger boy’s back soothingly, “Alright, so first kiss done. What milestone is next?”

 

Jungkook chuckles mischievously before leaning back to wiggle his eyebrows suggestively at the older man. He giggles when Hoseok’s mouth drops open, jaw slack as he stares at Jungkook with new eyes. Joining into the younger boy’s laughter, Hoseok shakes his head, muttering, “God, you’re breathtaking.”

 

“Thanks, I know.”

 

“Guess this trip didn’t go to waste after all,” Hoseok says with a smile, looking at Jungkook with fond eyes.

 

Jungkook looks at him with wide eyes, tone accusatory, “So you did bring me here for a kiss!”

 

Hoseok grins, reaching up to give his betrothed a smooch right on the lips.

 

“Hyung-”

 

Kiss.

 

“Wait-”

 

Kiss.

 

“Stop-”

 

Kiss.

 

Would you-”

 

Hoseok outright laughs against his lips as he captures his mouth into another kiss this time. Pulling away, he gives Jungkook a look that shows how pleased he is with himself.

 

Jungkook narrows his eyes, glaring, “Are you done?”

 

“Depends. Do you want to talk more?”

 

Scrunching his nose and rolling his eyes, Jungkook begrudgingly shakes his head, lips tugging downward when Hoseok makes a soft noise, halfway between a snort and a laugh.

 

“Good boy,” Hoseok grins a Cheshire grin, patting his head condescendingly and Jungkook ducks away from the touch.

 

“It wasn’t that special, by the way,” He announces sourly.

 

Hoseok tilts his head, “What?”

 

“The kiss. Wasn’t as special as I wanted it to be.”

 

Hoseok raises an eyebrow, daring Jungkook to say more. He crosses his arms, leaning back onto the vehicle Jungkook had him pressed against minutes ago. He gives the boy a smoldering look, “Is that so?”

 

“Yes,” Jungkook says defiantly, rising on his tiptoes to give Hoseok a playful haughty look. There’s a blush cascading across his cheeks, however, Hoseok can still tell in the light of the few street lamps that are around him. When Hoseok tilts his head at him knowingly, not looking away, Jungkook seems to shrink into himself, and adds on almost shyly, “I’ll give you points on technique though.”

 

Hoseok throws his head back to laugh, and he reaches forward for Jungkook’s hand, twining their fingers together, “So, I’m being graded on technique now?”

 

Jungkook nods with a smile and he tells Hoseok in a very matter-of-fact way, “You’re being graded on everything.”

 

“Am I?” Hoseok pulls the boy back between his legs, unaware of when Jungkook had stepped away. Tracing the boy’s cheekbones with his thumbs he asks, “Alright, so what are my numbers then?”

 

Jungkook looks extremely pleased at the attention and Hoseok’s attempt to humour him. He leans into the touch of the other man’s hand, subconsciously humming appreciatively as Hoseok strokes the tips of his ears, and responds, “Depends on the category.”

 

“Personality?” Hoseok asks, watching as Jungkook’s smile widens.

 

“Not looks first?”

 

“Didn’t wanna seem conceited,” Hoseok shrugs, dropping his arms to the side. Jungkook looks disappointed by the loss of contact, but doesn’t say anything in response.

 

“On good days, personality is a B.” Jungkook declares with a small smile, the grin widening when Hoseok frowns.

 

Just a B?”

 

Jungkook laughs, quirking up an eyebrow, “Disappointed?”

 

“Immensely!” Hoseok stands up straight, looking at Jungkook in disbelief. This offended expression on his face makes the younger boy giggle, and Hoseok allows himself a small smile for that. “After all, I pride myself in being an absolute joy to be around.”

 

“Er, yeah…” Jungkook trails off, shaking his head, “that’s not true.”

 

Hoseok pouts, lips only easing up when the boy standing in front of him laughs, bending to give one of the dimples above his lips a quick peck, “Fine. How about looks then? Let me guess, a B as well?”

 

“Just a B?” Jungkook asks with a smile and a tilt of the head. “Not higher?”

 

Hoseok shrugs, pondering for a few seconds, and then shakes his head, “No, I think a B is a pretty safe bet.”

 

Jungkook smiles, and leans onto the older man, chin resting against Hoseok’s shoulder. Arms come up to wrap around his waist and he turns his head to the left, pressing a kiss against the side of Hoseok’s neck, and then murmurs, “Well, I’ll be generous then. I’ll give you an A-minus.”

 

The arms enclosed around his larger frame tighten, and Hoseok tips his head down to whisper into his ear, voice low and a raspy, making the dying embers in his stomach flare up, “Darling, giving me a B-plus would’ve been you being generous. An A-minus just mean that you’re in love.”

 

Jungkook presses his lips together to prevent himself from smiling widely, and instead shakes his head, forehead pressing further into Hoseok’s shoulder, “No, definitely not love.”

 

“No?” Hoseok turns to peek at the boy currently hiding within his neck.

 

“No.” Jungkook’s voice is muffled but his words are unmistakable.

 

“Not yet, I guess,” Hoseok says, half to himself, a wide grin playing on his lips. Rubbing the boy’s back reassuringly and soothingly, he asks, “So, what’s my grade for kissing technique?”

 

Jungkook lifts his head with a laugh, and gives Hoseok a quick peck on the cheek, “Ask me another time.”

 

“Why not now?” Hoseok frowns.

 

“Cause we have our whole lives ahead of us,” Jungkook reminds him with a soft smile. “Wouldn’t want things to get boring early on, right?”

 

“But you don’t know that,” Hoseok points out. “What if I die a month from now? Then I’ll never get to find out any of those answers. Do you want that? Want me to die without knowing?”

 

“Don’t say that!” Jungkook exclaims, his voice loud enough to startle himself.

 

Not picking up on the distress in the younger boy’s tone of voice, Hoseok continues, “Hey, it’s a possibility. Matter of fact, I could die tonight and then you’ll never-”

 

“Stop!”

 

Taken aback, Hoseok looks at the Jungkook surprise, mouth immediately closing when he sees the mixture of fear and anger in the younger boy’s eyes. Jungkook breaks their stare, glancing off to the side, and his tense body only relaxes slightly once he takes a step away.

 

“Sorry. I didn’t…didn’t mean to snap, but you’re not…you’re not supposed to say things like that.” Jungkook explains, making small hand gestures as he peeks up at Hoseok for a few seconds to take in his expression.

 

“They’re just words, Jungkook,” Hoseok tries to reason. “I was just kidding.”

 

“I know,” Jungkook lowers his gaze. “But you still shouldn’t say unpleasant things like that so easily. You never know when one of them might come true.”

 

“I suppose,” Hoseok tips his head in acknowledgment, “but I don’t think my saying that will make it come true if it isn’t meant to. I don’t think anyone dies until it’s their time to die.”

 

Jungkook kicks at the ground with the toe of his shoes, and says in a quiet voice, “I guess, but I was always taught to not say things like that, because they could come true.”

 

Hoseok makes a soft sound, “Alright, I won’t it in that case.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

Curving a gentle hand around the younger boy’s cheek when he still doesn’t look up, Hoseok lifts Jungkook’s face up, “Hey, I didn’t mean to upset you, alright? Don’t worry, if it was up to me, anyway, I’d stay with you forever.”

 

Jungkook snorts, but there’s no hiding the smile that takes over his face at Hoseok’s words. He reaches up for the hand resting around his face and links their fingers before muttering, “So cheesy.”

 

“You betcha, angel,” Hoseok teases, leaning forward. “You betcha. Now, are you going to take points off for ending the night on a sour note?”

 

Jungkook’s eyes are bright and full of mischief as he pretends to contemplate, “In exchange for a kiss, I might not.”

 

Hoseok laughs, leaning forward to pepper the boy’s face with kisses, “Jeez, I feel like I’ve created a monster. I don’t even know how you held yourself back all those past days.”

 

“Shut up,” Jungkook makes a face at the mocking tone of voice Hoseok takes on, but is rewarded with a chuckle. “And I meant a proper kiss.”

 

“Gladly,” Hoseok whispers before leaning up on his tip toes to press his lips against the younger, eyes fluttering shut as soon as their mouths touch. The kiss is softer, slower than their last few, and Hoseok gives the boy a few moments before he tries to pry his mouth open. Their kiss is unhurried, tender, and Jungkook drowns in it, in the affection, not wanting it to end.

 

They break apart regrettably for air, and when Jungkook licks his wet, swollen, lips while making thorough eye contact with Hoseok, the older man lets out a groan murmuring, “Oh, don’t do that. Please don’t do that again.”

 

“Why?” Jungkook plays innocent, repeating the motions, and this times adds a soft moan at the end. He laughs when Hoseok closes his eyes, face scrunched up as if in pain, and whispers, “Does it bother you, hyung?”

 

He’s only greeted with the older man’s eyes flying open, glare in place, but there’s no bite to it. Rather, the glower makes him chuckle, and he pecks Hoseok’s dimples once again.

 

Shaking his head and pulling Jungkook’s larger hand into his own, Hoseok gives the younger boy a smile, “Anyways, let’s go! I brought you here to enjoy the view, after all.”

 

Pressing Hoseok back against the car, Jungkook gives the man what he hopes is a smoldering look. Tracing a blunt fingernail down the older man’s cheek, he says with a smirk, “I am enjoying the view right now.”

 

Hoseok goes through a range of facial expressions, and even though Jungkook tries his best not to laugh, he can’t help sputtering a little when the older man goes slack-jawed, eyes round.

 

“Was that -” Hoseok pauses, mouth closing shut, before he opens it again, “did you just flirt with me?”

 

Reminded of their conversation from the day before, Jungkook smiles, “Or maybe I’m always trying to flirt with you, but you just don’t realize it.”

 

Hoseok gives him a skeptical look, “Yeah, okay. Now, let’s go look at the real view.”

 

“You mean me?” Jungkook says from behind the older man who’s currently dragging him to the front of the car. He smiles when Hoseok snorts at his statement and says defensively, “What? I’m clearly the better looking out of the two of us.”

 

“Well, no argument there,” Hoseok gives him a smile, stopping by the hood of the car, and then seats himself on top of the bonnet, legs hanging off the edge.

 

Jungkook stands in between them, “Nothing at all?”

 

Hoseok chuckles, bopping his nose fondly, “Nope.”

 

“So easy.”

 

“Just for you,” Hoseok winks and then makes a surprised sound as he remembers something, “Oh, can you do me a favour? Can you get the ice cream from inside? I totally forgot about it!”

 

“Uh, yeah, sure. Keys?” Jungkook nods, holding his hand out for the keys. He watches Hoseok peel off his jacket, reaching into the inside pocket and handing both the coat and the keys to Jungkook, dangling the key chain on the edge of his index finger.

 

“You can just leave my jacket inside,” Hoseok tells him, rolling up his sleeves and loosening his tie. He hands the neck tie over to Jungkook as well and gives him a beaming smile, “This too, please.”

 

“Keep the jacket, just in case you feel cold later,” Jungkook tells him with a smile, draping the fabric across Hoseok’s lap. Hoseok gives him a small smile and nodding, before pulling feet up on top of the hood, scooting to the left to make space for Jungkook to sit down beside him.

 

Jungkook raises an eyebrow at that, asking, “Will it be okay for me to put my feet up on here? I thought your baby was too precious for that sort of treatment.”

 

Hoseok beams at him with a playful smile dancing on his lips, extending a hand out, he tugs Jungkook closer to the car, “It’s fine. After all, I now have a new, prettier baby to worry about, don’t I?”

 

The butterflies in the pit of his stomach return as Hoseok finishes speaking, flapping their wings wilder than they’ve done all night, and Jungkook stands there staring at the older man, tongue tied. He doesn’t know how to do anything except blink, cheeks heating up as the words catch up to his brain.

 

“Wow,” Hoseok murmurs softly with a teasing smile, tracing the flush all the way down to Jungkook’s neck with his eyes. He laughs and thumbs at Jungkook’s cheek, finding his round-eyed, perplexed expression captivating. “And you know what, the new one even changes colours to a gorgeous red sometimes.”

 

Jungkook doesn’t intend for the whimper that slips out of him, and when Hoseok smirks at the sound, he tugs his hand away, marching to the passenger door of the car with a huff. He turns his attention onto the tie in his hand, rolling it up slowly before tossing it inside the car, trying not to focus on the way his insides are burning, heart stuttering at Hoseok’s words.

 

“You can take your time to recover, love, I’m not going anywhere,” Hoseok calls out after him, “but before the ice cream melts, please?”

 

Jungkook turns to give Hoseok the dirtiest glare he can muster, trying his best to quell down the affection bubbling inside of him as well as the smile threatening to break out on his face. He grabs the bag of ice cream a little aggressively, closing the car door harder than necessary.

 

Walking back to the front of the car, he’s greeted by Hoseok giving him a shit-eating, knowing grin. His glower darkens when the older man chuckles, and asks sweetly, “All done, angel?”

 

“Shut up,” is all that Jungkook manages to mutter, before he looks at Hoseok who’s now sitting near the edge, again. Looking up, he asks, “Move over. Where do I sit?”

 

Hoseok laughs and parts his legs, tapping to the space in between, “You wanna sit in my lap?”

 

Rolling his eyes and trying not to smile, Jungkook points, “That’s not your lap. That’s called sitting between your legs.”

 

“Ah, you must really want to sit in my lap, don’t you?”

 

Jungkook balks, a surprised noise making its way out of him, “No! Why would I?”

 

“You sure, babe?” Hoseok wiggles his eyebrows. “It can be arranged.”

 

“Just move.”

 

Hoseok chuckles but does as asked, taking the ice cream from Jungkook’s hand and handing the chocolate one over to the boy once he’s all settled. They open up their treats in sync, turning to give each other small smiles before lapping at their cones. They both make matching, pleased sounds as the sweet flavour hits their tongues, and Jungkook smiles at Hoseok at the corner of his eye.

 

Crossing his legs, he turns towards Hoseok who’s sitting with his legs bent at the knees, feet flat against the bonnet. Jungkook holds his cone out for the older man, “Do you want to try some?”

 

Hoseok looks at him slightly in surprise, but he nods nevertheless, handing his own strawberry ice cream over to Jungkook, to let the boy taste it. They both hesitate for a few seconds, before Jungkook, shrugging, licks a stripe up, nodding at himself at the flavour, “It’s good, but nothing beats chocolate.”

 

Hoseok follows his example, and then smiles, “You keep thinking that sweetheart, you keep thinking that.”

 

“I will, thank you very much,” Jungkook replies, taking back his ice cream back once the older man holds it out for him.

 

They both fall silent after that, eating the sweet treat quietly as they stare at the gorgeous view in front of them. The view from the edge of the cliff is breathtaking the city looking alive, light up by hundreds and thousands of lights, and the air seems fresher.

 

“It’s pretty isn’t it?” Hoseok breathes out a while later, turning to glance at the amazed expression on Jungkook’s face.

 

“Yeah,” the boy says with a nod, giving Hoseok a soft smile. “It’s a pity you can’t see the stars with all those lights, though.”

 

“It is. The stars have their own kind beauty, don’t they? We can go stargazing some day if you’d like,” Hoseok offers gently. “Could head to a more rural part of the country.”

 

“Yeah?” Jungkook looks excited at the prospect. “Can we?”

 

Hoseok nods at his eagerness, “If you want to.”

 

“Yes, please,” Jungkook nods. “I’d like that. I’d really like that.”

 

“Your wish is my command,” Hoseok says theatrically, extracting a small laugh out of Jungkook who scoots closer, linking their fingers.

 

“Thank you.”

 

Nimble fingers press against Jungkook’s jaw, turning his head to face Hoseok, and then lips press against his own, remaining as they are for a few seconds. Hoseok pulls away after, and with a smile says, “You’re welcome.”

 

Jungkook’s grin knows no bounds, even as he tries to hide out it spills, stretching farther when Hoseok squeezes his hand gently. Trying to keep his expressions in control, he turn to the older man nonchalantly, and asks with a mischievous expression, “So, how many people have you brought there with you before?”

 

Hoseok raises a single eyebrow at him, lips pressed together, before he pulls his hand away. He curls both hands into fists, and then starts to count on his fingers silently, opening a finger after each number. Jungkook watches him, eyebrows furrowing lower when Hoseok moves onto his second hand. His frown deepens when the older man reaches ten and starts counting by closing his fingers instead.

 

He hits Hoseok’s shoulder with a glare as he approached 15, and asks, “Are you playing with me?”

 

Hoseok gives him a playful grin, before nodding his head, “Uh huh. I am.”

 

Rolling his eyes, Jungkook asks again, “How many?”

 

Smiling softly, Hoseok asks, “Why does it matter?”

 

“It doesn’t,” Jungkook responds after a few moments of thinking, “but I still want to know.”

 

“Honestly?”

 

“Honestly.”

 

“No one yet, except you. And hopefully no one after, except you.”

 

Jungkook scoffs, rolling his eyes, “That’s a lie.”

 

Hoseok’s smile is teasing, “Well, I’m not a seer so I don’t know if I’ll bring anyone here after you.”

 

“That isn’t what I meant,” Jungkook mutters, looking away from Hoseok. “You must have brought at least someone here before.”

 

“Not as a date, I haven’t,” Hoseok’s confession is soft and sincere enough to make Jungkook pause.

 

“Why not?” He questions the older man instead.

 

“Dunno, never got the chance to,” Hoseok shrugs, leaning back on his wrists. “I haven’t dated around a whole lot, especially not in recent years.”

 

“Really? Why not?” Jungkook finds it hard to mask his surprise at the statement, and he stares at Hoseok for a few long seconds.

 

Hoseok shrugs and deflects the question, “Been busy with work and what not. I was kind of nervous, you know, for our first date. How about you, though? Have you dated around a lot?”

 

Jungkook pauses, and then making a vague hand gesture, “Before this whole marriage thing, I did a little. On and off, here and there. Nothing too serious but not exactly nothing either.”

 

“Ah,” Hoseok nods his eyes, looking away from Jungkook and staring straight ahead instead. “I see. I’m pretty sure I can count the number of relationships I’ve had on one hand.”

 

Jungkook stares at the older man with wide eyes, “Really? Just one hand?”

 

Hoseok laughs at the phrase, turning to Jungkook with twinkling eyes, “Yup! Surprised?”

 

“A little,” Jungkook admits with a small nod. “I’d have pegged you as the type to have dated around a fair bit.”

 

“Well, I haven’t. The relationships I’ve had, however, have been fairly long lasting.”

 

“How long was the shortest one?” Jungkook turns his body to the side, facing Hoseok.

 

Hoseok makes a soft thinking noise, and then says, “A year and a few months, I think?”

 

“Wow,” Jungkook looks surprised. “I think that’s longer than my longest relationship.”

 

The older man laughs and then shrugs, voice slightly higher than earlier, “I don’t think I could ever be the type to have a fling. I get very invested in relationships. It’s a flaw,. I’m also high maintenance, which definitely doesn’t help.”

 

The last statement takes Jungkook by surprise, and a few seconds pass before he mumbles softly, reaching for Hoseok’s hand, “I don’t think you’re high maintenance.”

 

Hoseok smiles at him, but there’s a hint of self-deprecation to it, especially as he pinches Jungkook’s chin between his thumb and index finger, “Maybe not right now. I’ll ask you that again in a year, angel, and then let’s see where you stand.”

 

“Sure,” Jungkook shrugs, unaffected, and temporarily pauses, looking at the city before turning back to gaze at Hoseok with sincere eyes. “You can ask me again, but I just think that some troubles are worth it.”

 

Hoseok stares at him for a few seconds before the softest of smiles takes over his face, and Jungkook finds his own lips curving into a grin in response. The older man breaks away first, still smiling, looking down at their joined hands.

 

“How long has it been,” Jungkook pauses, “since you last dated someone? You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”

 

Hoseok hums, thinking, “No, it’s fine. Been about 3 or so years I think.”

 

“Really?” Jungkook’s voice is full of disbelief. “That’s a long while!”

 

“It is,” Hoseok nods his head.

 

“You couldn’t have been busy the entirety of the three years, hyung. Why so long?” Jungkook asks, a look of curiosity on his face.

 

Hoseok turns to give him a secretive grin and then says in a gentle voice, “I’ve been waiting for you to show up in my life, you see. You took your sweet time, but at least you’re finally here.”

 

Jungkook’s breath catches in his throat, and he can’t do anything except stare at Hoseok, heartbeat pounding in his ears. The words, despite having a playful edge to them, still make his toes curl in pleasure and he asks with a raised eyebrow, “Is that so?”

 

“Yeah,” Hoseok nods, grinning. “Are you doubting me?”

 

It takes Jungkook a few moments to answer, eyes flickering across Hoseok’s entire face, taking in all of his features, the obviously teasing expression on his face, and the fondness in his eyes. His voice is a whisper when he responds, “I should be, but no, I’m not.”

 

His eyes close even before Hoseok’s arm settles at the back of his neck to pull him closer for a kiss. He sighs and opens his mouth underneath the older man’s almost the second their lips touch. Hoseok doesn’t tease him this time, slipping him tongue into his mouth gently. They kiss softly, expressing through it words and emotions neither are quite sure how to voice out. When they break apart, cheeks flushed, Jungkook gives Hoseok a breathtaking smile, glowing with happiness.

 

Jungkook chases after his lips again seconds later, and Hoseok laughs, leaning away to make it harder for the younger boy, “Jeez, how long have you been starved for, love?”

 

The boy laughs, ducking his head, and leans the side of his head against Hoseok’s shoulder. Softly he confesses, “For the nice kind of kisses, it’s been a while since I’ve last had a good relationship. But not too long for the not-so-nice kind of kisses.”

 

Hoseok’s body stiffens at the revelation and Jungkook tilts his head back to peek up at his face. They make eye contact, staring at each other, Jungkook in question and Hoseok searching. An arm wraps around Jungkook’s waist, pulling his into Hoseok’s side as the man asks, “Was…he one of them?”

 

“Who?” Jungkook’s eyebrows furrow and when he takes in Hoseok’s tightened lips, the identity of the person in question dawns on him.

 

“Ah,” he makes a soft sound, but says nothing else, only smiling up at Hoseok.

 

“Jungkook?”

 

Jungkook looks away from Hoseok’s face, still smiling without answering the question. He brings up a hand to run it across the fabric of the older man’s coat, the clothing item still laying in his lap like Jungkook had left it. He feels Hoseok sigh against him, warm breath tickling the skin of Jungkook’s forehead.

 

“I’m going to pretend that it was with someone you liked, then, and that they were just really bad at kissing.”

 

Jungkook snorts, and then nods him head, accepting Hoseok’s explanation, “Alright. You do that.”

 

Hoseok’s body freezes at his tone of voice, his fingers halting from running up and down the younger boy’s side. He takes a deep breath, asking, “Was it…was it at least…consensual?”

 

Jungkook doesn’t respond, sighing audibly and stretching out his legs, not even looking up to meet Hoseok’s gaze. The lack of an answer from the younger boy both fills Hoseok with a sense of dread and makes his blood boil fingers tightening around Jungkook’s hip, “You’re not going to say anything about this, are you?”

 

Finally shifting in his hold, Jungkook tilts his head back and says with a smile, “I just don’t see anything worth talking about here. Some things aren’t important enough to share, you know.”

 

“Not important enough? Should you be the judge of that?” Hoseok raises an eyebrow, and it makes Jungkook frown.

 

“Yes,” the younger boy says in a matter-of-fact tone. “Since it concerns me, I definitely think so.”

 

Hoseok doesn’t respond, but his lips, pressed into a tight line, don’t make it hard to guess how he feels about the topic.

 

“Hyung,” Jungkook sits up straight, looking the older man right in the eye, “it’s not that I’m withholding information from you -”

 

“- lemme guess, we have our whole lives ahead of us, so you’ll tell me later?” Hoseok interrupts him with a raised eyebrow.

 

Jungkook’s mouth drops open and then snaps shut, “That was rude.”

 

Hoseok stares at him, and then sighs, looking away, “I’m sorry, but it’s just…I just…I don’t know.”

 

Jungkook watches the older man frown and run a frustrated hand in his hair, gripping and tugging at the strands roughly, “I just…I really didn’t like what happened today, especially not the way he eyed you. So, I want to know. I want to know the extent of things.”

 

“What are you going to do by knowing?” Jungkook asks, tilting his head to the side. “It’s not like you can change anything that’s happened. I just don’t see a point in dwelling in the past when there’s nothing to learn from it.”

 

“Nothing to learn from it?” Hoseok looks at him incredulously. “I think there’s a lot to learn and definitely a lot that could’ve been prevented if I’d known.”

 

Jungkook snorts, rolling his eyes and crossing his arms, “What could you have done? Avoided him the entire night? Fine, let’s say you could’ve, but what about the rest of the meetings? Don’t you think he’d notice and say something?”

 

“Alright, that’s a fair point, but I still think I could have definitely handled the situation today better if I’d known.”

 

“So, what? You’re embarrassed at the way you just stood there and stared at him with your mouth open? Is that what this is about?” Jungkook’s lips curl into a sneer.

 

Hoseok blinks at him for a few seconds, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, “I think we’ve gone off topic. That isn’t what I meant Jungkook.”

 

Jungkook stares at his hands for a few seconds, before he nods his head and looks up, expression easing, “Hyung, look, I know that you’re worried and concerned, but what’s done is done. I’m over it and I see no reason to keep bringing it up and discussing it when everything in relation to it has ended. There’s no point in us talking about it when we both know nothing good is going to come out of it except the two of us getting angry at each other.”

 

“I just want to be aware of what happened and the extent of what went on. Is me asking my future husband about this an unreasonable request?” Hoseok presses forward, despite the rational part of his telling him to stop and ease off.

 

Jungkook bites at the insides of his cheeks, looking displeased, “Considering the fact that your future husband has only known you for a total of two weeks and that he doesn’t want to discuss it, I think so, yes. It is an unreasonable request.”

 

Hoseok reaches forward for Jungkook’s hand, a touch the younger boy becomes rigid under, “Angel, I don’t mean anything bad. I just…I like you okay? And I want to be someone who you can share things that concern and bother you with.”

 

Jungkook meets Hoseok’s gaze with an unimpressed look, “Well then instead of forcing me to tell you things, why don’t you try becoming someone I can actually feel comfortable sharing things with?!”

 

Hoseok pulls his hand away from Jungkook’s as if he’s been burned, and after staring at the boy for a while, he mutters out, “Fine. Sorry. Whatever.”

 

“Yeah, whatever,” Jungkook echoes back at him, turning his body away from Hoseok. There’s a bitter taste on his tongue and his fists clench into the material of his dress pants when he sees Hoseok slide off the bonnet and onto the ground, coat in one hand and grabbing the black plastic bag with the other to throw it over into a nearby trash can.

 

He follows in the older man’s footsteps, hopping off and onto the ground, walking over to the passenger door and standing them hesitantly. There’s still a bit of anger in his veins and he’s not quite sure how to get rid of it. Hoseok unlocks the car for him without as much as looking in his direction, and Jungkook feels the sudden urge to throw a tantrum and shout that it isn’t his fault.

 

Remaining quiet, however, Jungkook gets inside the car, buckling up right as Hoseok opens his own door to get inside. The vehicle comes to life with a soft purr as Hoseok presses the start button, backing out of their parking spot, and they both ride back home in silence the rest of the way, neither trying to talk or make amends.

 

--

 

“Hey,” Minchan greets Jungkook with a smile from his place on the couch in the small living room on the second floor, laptop resting against his thighs. “How was the party?”

 

“It was fine,” Jungkook responds without meeting his brother’s gaze and shedding his coat, throwing it over the three-seater resting perpendicular to the love seat Minchan is currently sitting in.

 

The older man shakes his head, putting his laptop aside, and then stands up, picking up his younger brother’s discarded clothing and following after him, “You didn’t invite Hoseok in for tea or something?”

 

“No,” Jungkook mumbles, loosening his tie. “Why would I?”

 

Minchan raises an eyebrow, “Did something happen? Someone say something?”

 

“No, what would they even say?” Jungkook makes a face, opening the door to his room and flinging his tie in a random direction.

 

“Jeez, this kid has no manners,” Minchan mutters, draping Jungkook’s suit jacket over a chair. He stares at his younger brother for a few seconds, taking in his sour mood, and leans against the back of the chair, “So, why are you acting like a sulky kid throwing a tantrum for?”

 

“I’m not!” Jungkook exclaims, glaring at his older brother who laughs.

 

Minchan gives Jungkook a shit-eating grin as he says, “Could you not bear to part with your beloved for the night? Is that why you’re in such a sour mood? Or is this sulking cause you two had a fight?”

 

“Get out,” Jungkook’s voice is emotionless as he points towards the door, gesturing towards it with his head seconds later. “Hyung, get out.”

 

Minchan’s face schools into a neutral expression and he stands up straight, “What? Did you two seriously have a fight?”

 

Jungkook takes a deep breath, “Hyung, either you leave by yourself or I kick you out. Please don’t make this hard. We’ll talk tomorrow, okay?”

 

Pursing his lips in annoyance, his older brother obliges, and Jungkook feels a wave of relief wash over him, “Fine, but we’re talking first thing tomorrow morning.”

 

“Okay, fine, whatever. Goodnight.”

 

“Night,” Minchan gives Jungkook a small wave, before stepping closer and ruffling his hair reassuringly, “It’ll be fine, I’m sure. The man likes you. Genuinely likes you.”

 

Jungkook doesn’t say anything, only stares at him in response, until Minchan, unnerved, raise his hands defensively, “Alright, I’m leaving, I’m leaving.”

 

Encountering their mother right outside the door, standing there hesitantly, Minchan wiggles his eyebrows at her, closing the door behind him, “Did you need something from Jungkook? I don’t think now is the best time to ask him for anything.”

 

“Why? What happened?” The woman’s eyebrows furrow, glancing between her oldest son and the door. “Did something happen?”

 

Slinging at arm around her shoulder and gently guiding her over to her bedroom, Minchan says, “Just some good ol’ trouble in paradise, eomma. I’m afraid your son and son-in-law had a fight.”

 

“Who had a fight?” His father asks, exiting the bathroom, looking between the two of them.

 

“Jungkook and Hoseok?” Hyunseo ignores her husband’s question, turning to her oldest son. “Are you sure? That doesn’t seem likely.”

 

Minchan frowns, “Why not? They’re two people - of course they can have disagreements.”

 

“Are you sure? They seemed very close last night when Hoseok dropped him off.”

 

Minchan stares at his mother, briefly meeting his father’s gaze who gives him a knowing look, “Were you watching them again?”

 

“That’s not the point. The point is how bad is it?” Hyunseo asks, looking at her son with serious eyes. “Is he upset?”

 

“I don’t think it’s too bad,” the man replies, but there’s uncertainty in the tone of his voice. “Cuckoo seemed more angry than hurt which means that whatever happened was bad but not too bad.”

 

“Should I talk to him?” Hyunseo asks, looking between her husband and son.

 

“Uh, yeah, definitely not,” her husband gives her a pointed look. “For now, we go to sleep and if they still haven’t resolved their issue before Friday, then you can step in, okay?”

 

“I don’t think waiting that long is a good idea, though.”

 

“Eomma,” Minchan starts off and then stops, shaking his head. “Let’s leave it for tonight, okay? I’ll talk to him tomorrow.”

 

“Channie’s right, let’s leave it for now, Hyunseo. We can discuss it tomorrow. Jungkook’s going over to meet his in-laws then isn’t he?”

 

“That’s what I’m worried about!”

 

“Eomma, it’ll be fine, okay?” Minchan says reassuringly. “Don’t worry, they’ll be fine.”

 

--

 

Jungkook’s unlocking the door to Golden the next morning when he gets the message, the chiming of his ring tone echoing throughout the empty cafe. Putting his stuff down on a nearby table, he fishes for his phone, reaching his back pocket to pull it out.

 

From: Yoongi hyung

Congrats.

 

From: Jungkook

Um, thanks? Kind of early, don’t you think?

 

From: Yoongi hyung

Ah, so you haven’t seen it yet?

 

From: Jungkook

Haven’t seen what?

 

From: Yoongi hyung

How does it feel to be the topic of high society conversation?

 

From: Jungkook

What?? Isn’t it too early for you to be talking in riddles?

 

From: Yoongi hyung

You’re in the paper, Kook.

 

From: Jungkook

I’m WHAT? Please tell me you’re joking.

 

From: Yoongi hyung

I’m joking?

Not really though, you are. But not like on the front page or anything. Just worthy enough for a small article in the gossip section. Had fun on your date last night, did you?

 

From: Jungkook

Shit. What paper?

 

From: Yoongi hyung

I’ll send you the article link. Jimin’s going to be in for a surprise when he wakes up, although I can’t seem to decide on whether he’ll want to create a scrapbook with photos of you two after or threaten Hoseok through letters written using newspaper headline clippings...

 

From: Jungkook

That isn’t funny.

 

From: Yoongi hyung

It’s plenty funny. You just don’t have a sense of humour. Anyways, hyung is off to do work now, have a good day!


If you'd like to (gently) scream at me: Tumblr | Twitter

Also, um, listen, someone made fanart based on the last scene from the last chapter and it's kind of really hot. (x)

Chapter Text

Jungkook chews on his lips nervously as he stares down at the article he’s been sneaking glances at all morning long. He’s glad Seung had given him a break and sent him to the break room for a while considering how much he’d been spacing out all morning, pure muscle memory the only reason he’d managed to not screw up any orders.

Leaning forward and hunching over the white counter at the side of the room, Jungkook continues to stare down at his phone. He’s read the barely 500-words long report at least fifty times now, and is pretty sure he’s spent more than half his shift so far staring at the set of four, surprisingly high definition photos of him and Hoseok from last night.

There’s one of them standing by the car, him leaning against it, arms resting at his sides, while Hoseok stands between his legs, back to the camera, both of them caught mid-laugh. The photo manages to capture both the affection dancing in his eyes and the mirth plainly visible across his face. Despite the fear, the dread, and the uncomfortableness seeping through him at the prospect of hundreds and thousands and possibly millions of eyes seeing these images, a part of Jungkook feels the slightest bit happy, the slightest bit giddy, while looking at the photograph.

The second one has their positions reversed, Hoseok leaning against the car and looking at Jungkook with widened, surprised eyes as he leans forward to whisper in the older man’s ear. It brings a smile to his face, remembering how taken aback the other man had been initially when he’d flipped them around. He closes his eyes as he starts to smile and then sighs, trying not to get swept away by the way the images make him feel.

They’re all beautiful shots, he’ll give it that, but he rather wishes they weren’t visible so publicly. The dread that had been muted by the butterflies in his stomach resurface once again, and he bites at his lips out of habit while flicking down the article to look at the other two photos as if he hasn’t already memorized them by heart.

The third one is his absolute favourite, Jungkook finds, and he can’t help but be taken aback every time he looks at it. Neither of their faces are clearly visible in the photograph, the two of them sitting atop the hood of the car with their backs to the camera. Only their side profiles are captured, both Hoseok and his faces turned towards each other.

There’s no mistaking the smiles dancing across their faces as they grin at each other, however, and the city lights ahead of them only help illuminate that fact. It’s an oddly candid yet picturesque photo and even though he’s already got a watermarked, mediocre quality version saved on his phone, Jungkook knows he’d pay good money to get his hands on the original copy.

The fourth and last one is the image Jungkook is least comfortable with. While it isn’t quite a shot of them mid-kiss, it still has the two of them still sitting atop the bonnet, eyes closed, lips puckered, and leaning towards each other. The uncomfortable feeling from earlier returns, settling in the bottom of his stomach, and Jungkook hurriedly turns off his screen as he engages in a full body shudder, dropping his phone onto the granite counter. He takes in and lets out a deep breath through his nose, willing himself to stay calm, and then lets out a loud groan as his head falls forward, forehead meeting his arm.

“Jungkook?”

Seung’s voice startles him and makes him jump, standing up straight and turning around to face the other man. There’s confusion and a hint of worry on his friend’s face as he looks back at him and Jungkook knows he must make a strange picture. He sags backwards against the counter, head lowering and asks, “Yeah?”

“Are you okay?”

Jungkook lifts his head up, without answering, and stares at Seung long enough to unnerve the other man. They lock gazes and stay that way for almost an entire minute without speaking, until the other man sighs, and tilts his head, prompting again “Jungkook? Are you okay?”

This time, Jungkook shakes his head, turning around and away from his friend’s piercing gaze. Placing his hands flat against the counter, he hunches over, shaking his head, and feels a wave of nausea wash over him. He flinches when a hand lands against his shoulder, and then turns around to look at Seung when he feels his body being turned.

“What’s wrong?” Seung asks in a low voice, leaning against his side, elbow perched atop the granite surface. “If you’re not feeling well, you should go home. I can manage it here.”

Jungkook takes a deep breath, and then shakes his head, biting his lip before asking, “Can I show you something?”

“Yeah, sure,” Seung nods readily. “What is it?”

“Let’s go into the office,” Jungkook whispers, grabbing the other man’s arm and leading him out of the break room and into the back. Seung follows after him without complaint, and sit down into the large, black rolling chair once directed by Jungkook.

“Have you read the news this morning?”

“Um,” Seung scratches the back of his head, “not really. Just caught the headlines as I was coming here, why?”

“You’ll see.” Jungkook types a few words into the search bar, navigating through the website, and then opens up the article he’s sure he’s got memorized by now. Seung’s eyes widen as he looks at the screen, skimming over the headline and the subtitle, and then his mouth twitches just the slightest – a movement Jungkook doesn’t miss.

“Don’t laugh, Seung-ah! This isn’t funny!”

“I’m not laughing! I’m not laughing!” Seung protests, putting his hands up in the air, but there’s a smile on his face. “I swear I’m not laughing!”

“Don’t smile, either, then! It isn’t funny!” Jungkook frowns, but there’s a bit of tension that eases off his chest as Seung bites down at his lips to prevent himself from smiling or laughing. Glaring when his friend peeks up at him innocently, Jungkook huffs, rubbing at the corners of his temple.

“Is this what’s got you so worried?” Seung asks, hand cradling his chin as he rests his elbow against the arm rest of the chair. There’s a big smile on his face as he stares up at Jungkook, and the boy instantly regrets his decision to show him anything.

“Don’t laugh!” Jungkook complains, pouting down.

“I’m not laughing! But look, it’s so cute!” Seung points defensively at the screen. “How do you not expect me to smile, huh? It’s cute and I’m glad he makes you happy! Can’t I be happy for you?”

“Then am I overreacting?!”

Seung takes a deep breath, skimming through the entire article with a serious face. He pauses to look at the images for a little while, and then turns to Jungkook, “It’s a positively written article, Kook-ah. It isn’t malicious nor does it attract the wrong sort of attention. They didn’t even post a picture of you two kissing – a pity if you ask me. So, what’s the problem, hm?”

“It was a private moment!” Jungkook counters with a frown, glaring at the screen. “I don’t want it to be up there for everyone to see. You know I don’t like this sort of stuff. Could they not have just…just…”

“What? Printed a marriage announcement between the two of you in the paper?” Seung teases. “What century are you living in? People need pictures these days, don’t you know?”

“Still,” Jungkook protests, and then sinks down into the chair in front of desk Seung is sitting behind. “I just…I don’t want anyone to find out. Is that so wrong?”

“Why not, Jungkook?” Seung’s face is concerned as he turns off the computer screen. He leans forward, “Nothing bad will come out of it, okay?”

Jungkook doesn’t meet his gaze, still staring down in his lap, wringing his hands together. “Still, I don’t want them to know.”

“Who exactly is them?” Seung crosses his arms, knowing he’s hit the nail on the head when Jungkook looks up, drawing in a shaky breath through his nose.

“Everyone.”

“Bullshit.”

Jungkook’s eyes snap to his at the lightning-quick response, and when Seung raises an eyebrow, daring Jungkook to challenge, the boy curls into himself. Playing with the frayed threads on his ripped jeans, he stays quiet for several seconds, before lifting his head up, “It’s embarrassing, okay? I don’t care about people I don’t know, but this was a private moment between Hoseok and I, and I don’t want to share it with people. Is that wrong?”

“No, definitely not,” Seung assures him. “It isn’t, but life hardly goes the way you want it to. Look, on the bright side, the photos aren’t even that risqué. I look at them and I see two people who looks to be in love and are enjoying some time together. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know what happened, but I know they could have chosen worse photographs, couldn’t they have, Jungkook?”

Jungkook bites his lips, thinking back to last night and the way they’d kissed each other, devoured the other’s lips until they couldn’t breathe, and how their hands had roamed, albeit a little shyly. He tries not to smile, tries not to blush when the memories come flooding back, and only manages a weak nod to Seung’s question, “Yeah.”

“Well, then?”

“I don’t care if it could’ve been worse, Seung-ah,” Jungkook explains, pulling his legs up on the chair. “What I care about is the fact that there are these pictures up there on the internet of the two of us in what is a moment that I don’t want anyone except Hoseok and I to know about. I don’t want to share my life or our relationship this way. I want to at least know what’s going on between us instead of having people prod and ask before I can even figure that out.”

“I understand that, Kook-ah, but what’s done is done. There’s no use crying over spilt milk. Maybe you could get the article removed, but there’s not much to do about this beyond that. People have seen it, they’ve read it, and they now know that you and Jung Hoseok are in a relationship, soon to be married. Don’t freak out over it, okay? I know it feels like you’re being put under the spotlight, but this’ll be over in a day or two. Some other gossip will come out – a man cheating on his wife of 20 years or a woman leaving behind her husband and kids to run off with her love – and you’ll be forgotten, okay?”

Jungkook sighs, leaning back against the chair and nods his head quietly.

“I know you don’t like attention unless it’s from specific people it seems,” Seung’s lips curve into a smirk when he receives a glare for the implications between his words, “but at least it’s positive sort of attention and not anything negative, okay? Just remember that and the fact that it’ll be over in less than 48 hours. I’m not saying that this is good necessarily, but it could’ve been worse. Let that thought help you.”

“Okay,” Jungkook’s voice is meek, but he doesn’t take the advice lightly. The ugly and odd feeling twisting inside his stomach starts to ease up, and he nods his head, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Seung’s grin is bright and wide, two small dimples accenting his smile. He leans forward, clasping his hands together, “Now, for the most important question, which of these four images should I make our desktop background?”

“I’m going to fire you!” Jungkook threatens just as the other man starts to laugh loudly, his angry expression too hard for his friend to resist. “I swear I’m going to fire you, Seung-ah.”

“Okay, okay,” Seung holds his hand up in defense, and then stands up. “Now, let’s go. The kids are probably all slacking off without us around.”

“Thanks again,” Jungkook says softly, as he closes the office door behind him.

“Don’t worry about it,” Seung shrugs, and turns to smile at him. “Have you talked to your secret lover about this?”

“He’s not my secret lover!” Jungkook frowns. “We’re getting engaged. There’s nothing secret about it, okay?”

“Yeah, especially not after that article, am I right?” Seung gestures back at their office with a thumb and an immensely proud grin and Jungkook musters his dirtiest glare in response. “So, have you talked to your betrothed about that article. What did he say? Did he like the pictures?”

“No,” Jungkook rolls his eyes, diverting towards the break room to grab his phone.

“He didn’t like them either?” Seung’s mouth forms a small ‘o’.

“No, I mean I haven’t talked to him about it,” Jungkook clarifies, glancing down at his phone to find a new message from Jimin waiting for him.

 

From: Jimin

Where you are you right now?

From: Jungkook

Uh, at Golden, why?

 

“Why not?” Seung frowns at him as they walk back to the front. “Oh, he must be busy with a meeting?”

“Dunno,” Jungkook responds with a shrug, typing at his phone. “He might be. He might not be. I don’t really know.”

 

From: Jimin

We need to talk.

From: Jungkook

About?

From: Jimin

I’ll pick you up once your shift’s over. Are you going home or directly to Hoseok hyung’s?

From: Jungkook

Home first, but only to shower and grab a bag.

 

“What the hell, Jungkook?” Seung’s voice makes him look up at surprise.

“What?” Jungkook looks a little annoying.

Pinching the bridge of his nose, Seung closes his eyes and asks, “Are you two fighting? Over this article?”

“Not over this article,” Jungkook responds quietly, barely meeting his friend’s gaze, and then glances down when his phone vibrates. He looks up without checking the message and sighs, “Over something else.”

Seung gives him a look of defeat, nodding his head, “You should talk to him, okay? Don’t stall an argument unnecessarily, especially when it’s nothing something serious.”

“What would you know about whether it was serious or not?” Jungkook questions him accusingly, folding his arms across his chest.

Seung snorts, “I don’t know, man, you two looked happy in those pictures, so I’m just guessing it wasn’t something big. I don’t mean to ruffle your feathers, but talk to him, okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, I will,” Jungkook nods his head. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to snap.”

“It’s fine, I was outta line anyway,” Seung gives him a small smile. “I’m gonna go to back and check what’s taking Hayoung so long, alright? Handle the front for me?”

“Sure,” Jungkook nods his head readily, swiping across the screen of his phone.

 

 From: Jimin

Perfect. I’ll drop you off there.

From: Jungkook

Why?

Hyung?

Hyung???

What do we need to talk about?

Is this about the article? I can explain.

From: Jimin

You better. See you in a few.

--

“So?” Jimin prompts Jungkook, taking a seat on the younger boy’s bed and pulling his legs up to sit cross legged.

“So, what?” Jungkook answers back without looking at him. He rummages through his closet, grabbing a soft, loose, grey and maroon woolen sweater and a fitted pale red button down, “Which one?”

“Uh,” Jimin squints at the two pieces of clothing being held up for a few seconds. “I don’t know. The sweater screams soft and cuddly boyfriend, but the shirt screams mature and responsible boyfriend, which one are you aiming for?”

Jungkook blinks at him, “I just want to look nice.”

Jimin tilts his head and then points at the sweater, “That one, then. Sweaters aren’t really your style, but I think dress shirts are even less your style.”

“Okay, thanks,” Jungkook nods, setting the sweater off to the side along with his navy blue slacks.

“So, are you gonna explain to me what happened last night or not?”

“What’s there to explain? Didn’t you read the article?” Jungkook asks, emptying the pockets of his jeans. “We went to the lookout after the party yesterday, and I don’t know how they knew we were going there but someone snapped pictures of us and posted them.”

Jimin stays quiet and it prompts Jungkook to turn back to glance at him. They stare at each for a few seconds, and then the older man shifts positions, leaning back on his wrists, and asks, “Did you have fun?”

Jungkook watches him intently for a few seconds before he turns back around and nods, “Yeah, mostly.”

“You didn’t tell me about it,” Jimin’s voice is soft but accusing.

“Sorry,” Jungkook mumbles and takes a seat on the bed. Sincerity shines through his expression as he speaks, “I had an early shift this morning so I didn’t have time to tell you anything.”

“What about last night?”

Jungkook plays with his bedspread for a little while, and then looks up, “I wasn’t in the mood to discuss it. You’d ask me a hundred question and –”

Jimin snorts, “Am I that annoying? Do you think I would have pressed you if you didn’t want to talk?”

“No,” Jungkook sighs, shaking his head, and then lifts his head to meet Jimin’s gaze.

He bites at his lips out of his habit, and Jimin tilts his head, narrowing his eyes “Did something happen last night, Jungkook?”

“Hoseok hyung and I kind of had a fight,” Jungkook confesses. “I wouldn’t say it was his fault nor will I say it was my fault, but the night didn’t really end on a good note. I didn’t want to talk to anyone after that. I even yelled at hyung once I came home.”

“Do you want to talk about it now?” Jimin offers. He leans around Jungkook, glancing at the clock. “What time do you have to be there?”

“It doesn’t really matter – as soon as I can was what eomeonim told me,” Jungkook tells him and pulls his legs up on the bed. “I just – I don’t know how it escalated so far, but we haven’t talked since. He usually texts me in the mornings and at nights, but he didn’t last night and today.”

Jimin tangles his fingers through Jungkook’s hair gently, “What happened? What did you fight over?”

“It was just – kind of stupid, but we had an argument over this issue at the orphanage too,” Jungkook confesses, leaning his weight onto one hand.

“You didn’t tell me about that one, either.”

“It’s ‘cause it was over before it started. We both apologized and he said he’d respect my space –”

“– respect your space?” Jimin repeats, placing special emphasis on the last word. His eyes narrow and he pulls his hand out of Jungkook’s hair, curling it into a fist. “What did he do?”

“Not like that,” Jungkook rushes to clarify and then cracks a small smile, “not like that at all, okay? He kissed me for the first time yesterday after all those weeks and then didn’t even let us make out properly ‘cause he thought he –”

“– excuse me?” Jimin raises an eyebrow, interrupting him, but the hardness on his face is gone. He looks rather amused by the revelation, and Jungkook coughs.

“Um, did I say that out loud?”

“Yes,” Jimin tells him with a nod of the head and a steadily widening smile. “Care to share more?”

Jungkook bites at his lower lip to curb his grin and then shakes his head frantically, “Not really.”

Shifting until he’s facing Jungkook properly, Jimin rests his elbows on his knees, and rests his chin on top of his hands. There’s a sombre expression colouring his features, and he asks Jungkook softly, “So, what happened then last night?”

“Yesterday, while hyung was taking me around to meet people, we, uh, we met the last guy eomma picked, and, uh, yeah,” Jungkook waves his hands.

“How did Hoseok hyung react?” Jimin’s eyes are wide. “Did he know?”

“Not exactly. He knew him and he knew that I’d seen people in the past, but not that he’d been one of them. He was…fine. A little surprised and stiff when he found out, and then later disappointed in himself for not handling the situation better but overall it was fine.”

“Did that man say anything lecherous? Did he touch you weird?” Jimin’s lips curl into an ugly sneer at the thought and he holds onto Jungkook’s wrist.

“Well, nothing particularly bad,” Jungkook explains gently. “Just touched my cheek, but he did make some off-hand comments. Nothing too bad, though. We greeted him, Hoseok hyung apologized –”

“Apologized?” Jimin’s face is incredulous.

“For “stealing” me from him,” Jungkook rolls his eyes, emphasizing the word with air quotes, and then frowns. “It was the safer route – appease him rather than instigate him, you know? Either way, it was fine, we left him after a few minutes. It was just that when we were at the lookout and talking that the topic of him came up.”

Jungkook pauses to take a deep breath, and then continues to explain, “Hyung wanted to know what happened, how long I saw him for, and the extent of everything.”

“And he got angry once he found out? Is that why you fought?” Jimin interrupts him.

“Well, no,” Jungkook shakes his head. “I didn’t – I didn’t tell him anything. I just don’t see the point in dwelling in the past when it’s all over, hyung. And I just don’t feel like there’s anything to discuss. I’ve moved on and don’t want to discuss what happened, especially not this early on. I’ve known him for barely 3 weeks, I can’t tell him every thing and every secret under the sun just because he’s asked me to.”

“Hey, hey,” Jimin rubs soothing circles in the inside of Jungkook’s wrist with his thumb. “It’s okay. It’s fine. You don’t have to justify your decision, alright? Don’t get angry. If you weren’t comfortable sharing, then you weren’t. End of discussion. Did Hoseok hyung push you to tell him more?”

“Well initially, he kind of did and asked if it was wrong for him to want to know. It’s just that we’ve had this discussion before about sharing and not sharing several times before. I’m just – I’m not someone who can open myself up on command, hyung,” Jungkook justifies, fisting his hands in his jeans. “It – I don’t know. But I got kind of angry and said some stuff, and he got angry back. Then, yeah, we just went home without talking it out.”

“But if you weren’t comfortable sharing, then he shouldn’t have pushed you,” Jimin tells him calmly.

“I know,” Jungkook falls forward, head landed in the crook of Jimin’s neck. “He just…I think he just wanted to know so he could protect me.”

In a softer voice, Jungkook continues, his tone clear that he’s got a smile playing on his lips, “He said…he said that he likes me, and that he wants to become someone I can share my worries with.”

“Now you’re defending him, Kook,” Jimin tells him softly in his ear, petting his hair gently.

“I know! Aren’t I stupid?” Jungkook bemoans softly.

“Not stupid,” Jimin shakes his head. “It just means that you understand where he’s coming from, and you understand where you’re coming from. It’s not a bad thing, but a good thing. Tell him this. Tell him that you understand that he wants to take care you and to protect you, but that you need time. You need time to build you trust and to form the kind of relationship he wants. Tell him that you like him and that you want this as much as he does, but that you need more time. Okay?”

Jungkook nods his head, “Okay, but I just don’t want to fight him.”

“I know, you don’t, Kook-ah. Conflict isn’t a part of your nature, and I’m sure Hoseok hyung knows that too. You have to handle this argument carefully, alright? It’ll impact all your future ones.”

“Do I have to talk to him first, though? Why isn’t he calling me, instead?” Jungkook frowns.

Jimin sighs, “I’ve told you this before, but you apologizing first doesn’t make you the less important one in the relationship. Although I might be biased, I do think that it was more hyung’s fault this time around, but at least his intentions were in the right place.”

“Right.”

“Maybe, Kook-ah, maybe you should wait until tonight? You’re seeing him right?”

“Yeah,” Jungkook sits up, nodding. “I am. I think…I think I’m going to talk to him, then. Face-to-face instead of over text.”

“Alright, sounds good. Do you think he’s read the article?”

Jungkook purses his lips, thinking, and then shrugs, “I’m not sure. If…if he had, don’t you think he might’ve messaged me?”

“Or,” Jimin lifts a hand, palm facing the ceiling, “he has, and he’s spent all day thinking about how to text you and what to say? Maybe he’s fiddling with his phone as we speak, typing and then delete an apology text.”

Jungkook’s lips stretch further and further as Jimin keeps talking, even ducking his head down to hide the colour cascading his cheeks. At the end, however, Jungkook snorts but there’s no mistaking the fondness in his eyes as he murmurs softly, “I’m sure it’s nothing like that.”

“Well, you know his best, so I suppose,” Jimin agree easily with a grin. “Were you surprised – by the article?”

“Yeah,” Jungkook nods his head and a frown makes its way on his face. “Immensely. I didn’t know anyone was there.”

Nodding, Jimin remarks, “I’m surprised you’re not freaking out, now. I expected you to.”

“I did freak out,” Jungkook tells him, tilting his head to the side and smile. “But Seungie gave me the talk already.”

“Is that so? He’s trying to steal my place in your life, now? You know, I never liked him.”

Jungkook laughs at the comment, body rocking forward, and he pats Jimin’s head gently but condescendingly, “He’s too tall to fit into your space, don’t worry.”

“Yah,” Jimin mutters threateningly, but doesn’t say much else. Pulling his phone out of his pocket when it buzzes instead, he swipes across the screen, the phone opening to the article Jungkook had spent his morning obsessing over. Jungkook leans over his shoulder to glance at the images once again, and Jimin smiles, flickering through them, “Favourite one?”

Jungkook pauses and makes a thinking sound, even though he knows the answer. He reaches forward to scroll down, and points at the second last image, “This one.”

Jimin grins brightly, turning his head to face Jungkook and asks, “Did you save it?”

Jungkook gives the other boy an unimpressed look, especially when the older man starts to laugh at him, “No! Of course not!”

“Really?” Jimin teases him. “Didn’t even consider saving it?”

“No!” Jungkook repeats again, but the tips of his ears start to turn red causing Jimin to laugh.

“Alright, now go shower, and then tell me all about your date, okay?”

“Okay, okay” Jungkook slides off the bed, glancing at the clock. “I’ll be out in a bit!”

--

From: Channie hyung

(・о・)

From: Jungkook

?

From: Channie hyung

(°o°;)

From: Jungkook

??

From: Channie hyung

⊙▂⊙

From: Jungkook

Oh.

From: Channie hyung

ಠ_ಠ

From: Jungkook

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

From: Channie hyung

Σ(・口・)

From: Jungkook

( ⊙‿⊙)

From: Channie hyung

( ●__ ●)

From: Jungkook

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

From: Channie hyung

(゚□゚*)

--

“Ah, Jungkook-ah, you came,” Dawon greets Jungkook with a smile, walking towards the driveway from the garden, her daughter in tow. She reaches out to give him a hug, and Jungkook returns it, albeit a little stiffly at first.

“I did. Hi, noona,” Jungkook grins at her, nodding his head, and then bends down to greet the little girl hiding behind her mother’s legs. “Hey Rohee, remember me?”

The girl stares at him for a few seconds, before she nods her head shyly, and Jungkook ruffles her hair gently. He laughs when she swats away his arm, and then stands up to glance at Hoseok’s sister. He’s taken aback by how much the woman looks like her brother, and a sense of relief fills him once he takes in her nearly identical smile.

“Come on in, then,” the woman leads him forward with a gentle hand placed on the back of his bicep. “They’ve all been waiting for you since this morning.”

“All?” Jungkook squeaks out, clearing his throat when his voice cracks. The sound makes Dawon laugh and she opens the front door, ushering both her daughter and him inside.

“Yes, all. There’s quite a few of them, so be careful, alright?” Jungkook’s taken aback once again when the woman smiles, Hoseok’s face flickering into his mind. She pats his arm gently, “Don’t worry, noona will be around the entire time. If they bother you too much, I’ll rescue you, okay?”

Jungkook nods his head, letting out a small chuckle, “Okay, noona, I’ll count on you then.”

Stepping into the drawing room, Jungkook pauses in his footsteps when seven faces all turn to look at him. He freezes, eyes flitting around and taking in the all-woman ensemble. It’s not what he’s expecting and he bows low to greet them, before settling his gaze onto Hoseok’s mother.

He jumps and then relaxes when he feels a touch against his back, Hoseok’s sister whispering a soft “easy, relax, okay?” next to him. Nodding his head, Jungkook sneaks a glance at her, her mannerisms reminding him of Hoseok. He smiles at her a little stiffly, and turns to greet Hoseok’s mother when she walks to him.

He’s being swept up in the smaller woman’s embrace before he knows it, and before he can even remember to hug her back, she plants a soft kiss against his cheek, “You came, Jungkook-ah! How was work? Busy?”

“A little,” Jungkook tells her with a smile. “Nothing I couldn’t handle.”

The woman laughs as if he’s told her a joke, and nods her head eagerly, “Alright, why don’t you go drop your bag off in Hoseok’s room for now, and then come back down? Have you eaten or should I make you something?”

“Oh no, I’ve eaten, don’t worry,” Jungkook shakes his head frantically.

“Are you sure?” The woman asks, eyes narrowed.

He’s rescued when Dawon puts a hand against his back, and speaks up, “Eomma, I’m gonna take him upstairs to show his Hoseok’s room so he can put his stuff away, okay? You can attack him once he comes back.”

“Well, I’m sure he’s already familiar with that room,” The older wo man teases Jungkook with a pointed look that makes him blush, but nods her head in acceptance nevertheless, letting them leave.

“I thought you were going to rescue me,” Jungkook says accusingly once they’re outside, and then instantly bites his tongue, wondering why he feels comfortable enough to tease her. The woman laughs however, brushing him off and it makes Jungkook smile.

“I did rescue you, didn’t I, Jungkook-ah?” Dawon throws right back, smiling at him widely. “Now, come on, let’s go put your bag away. Don’t be scared of them, okay? I know it’s a lot of people, but they don’t bite.”

“I’ll try,” Jungkook nods back at her.

“If anything bothers you, just tell me, okay?” The woman tells him softly as they ascend the stairs. “Seokie told me to look after you, today, so tell me if there’s a problem.”

The knowledge takes him by surprise and he freezes in his places before remembering to move. Softly, he asks, “Hyung did?”

“Uh huh,” Dawon nods her head, giving him a secretive smile. She pulls her cell phone out of the pocket of her jeans, waving it in front of him, “Wanna know exactly what he said?”

Jungkook’s mouth drops open and he looks up at her with shining eyes. He gulps and then asks, “Should you be revealing that?”

Dawon laughs, pulling him forward with a hand around his elbow. He follows her, a little disappointed that he didn’t say yes. Dropping his bag on top of the chair near the dresser, he turns ready to head down when the older woman gives him a teasing smile and takes a seat on the bed.

“Noona,” she reads in a clear voice, “can I ask you for a favour?”

She pauses, grinning at Jungkook when the boy stares at her in anticipation. Leaning forward, she whispers, “Want to know more?”

Jungkook’s mouth drops open, and he looks away, grinning. Taking a deep breath, he turns back and nods shyly, eliciting a laugh out of the older woman. Crossing her legs, she continues, “I’m not sure if I’ll be able to come home by 5 today. I’ll try to, but an urgent meeting popped up, so I might be a little late. Do you think you could watch over Jungkook for me and make sure he’s comfortable while I’m not there? You know how our family gets, right? Please, noona? I love you!”

Jungkook doesn’t even bother to try to curb the grin that stretches across his face, and he makes a soft sound of surprise when the woman finishes reading, looking up at him. She smiles at him, standing up and pats his cheeks, “Consider me as your Hoseok replacement until my brother comes home, okay?”

“Okay, noona,” Jungkook nods, smiling widely.

“Now, come on, the women are all probably wondering where the cute boy from earlier went,” Dawon winks at him, patting his butt, and then laughs when Jungkook’s mouth drops open, cheeks heating up. She pinches his face, murmuring excitedly, “Ah, you’re so cute, Jungkook-ah!”

“You two are so alike,” Jungkook mutters under his breath, following after her.

Dawon hums, turning to grin at him, “I picked you out for him, you know?”

“You did?” Jungkook asks, surprised. He smiles when the woman nods, responding coolly, “You’ve got good taste, then.”

The woman laughs loudly as they descend the steps, her laughter carrying through the hallway. She turns to smile at him as they approach the drawing room, “I can see why he likes you so much.”

Jungkook grins back at her, sharing a look, before she gestures towards the door, “Ready to be devoured alive?”

--

“Hoseok-ah! What took you so long?”

Hoseok’s head snaps up, glancing at his mother in surprise, before he gives her a sheepish smile, slipping his feet into the soft house slippers, “Sorry?”

“It’s almost nine o’ clock!” The woman glares, her hands on her hips and tone chiding. “Do you know how long everyone’s been waiting for you? Every single person showed up on time, except you.”

“Eomma,” the man whines, wrapping an arm around her shoulder and turning her around gently. “Sorry, but I told you already I’m really busy. I’m going to leave work early tomorrow, so I had –”

Hoseok stops mid-sentence, pausing where he is, when Jungkook appears, stepping out of the kitchen in a rather rushed movement and stopping in front of them, looking at Hoseok in surprise. He stares back at the younger boy who’s also looking at him silently, blinking his big, brown eyes at Hoseok.

“I don’t care how busy you were, Hoseok-ah,” his mother continues, taking advantage of the interruption. “Do you know how long Jungkook’s been waiting for you? He’s been checking the front door every 10 minutes since 6 o’ clock!”

Jungkook opens his mouth rapidly to deny the statement, glancing at Hoseok’s mother with colour blooming on his cheeks, but the older man beats him to it.

“Eh, I’m sure that’s not true, eomma,” Hoseok murmurs, not meeting Jungkook’s gaze. He pretends to check his watch, trying his best to ignore the younger boy, and asks, turning to his mother, “Have you guys eaten, already?”

The woman purses her lips, glancing between Jungkook and Hoseok, not missing the hurt that flashes across the younger boy’s face before he schools his expression, biting the inside of his cheek. Stepping away from her son’s embrace, she tells Hoseok calmly, “All the men have – they couldn’t wait beyond eight for you. They came back from work tired and hungry”

Turning to his mother, he pecks her cheek in apology, “I’m sorry, eomma, I’m going to go change now, okay? I’ll be down to eat in just a bit.”

“Okay,” she nods. “You and Jungkook both can eat with me and the rest of the woman. He’s their new favourite, now.”

Jungkook gives her a smile as she walks back inside the kitchen, and when he looks up, he finds Hoseok watching him. There’s hesitance in the older man’s features, but also surprise colouring his face as he asks softly, “You haven’t eaten?”

Jungkook stares at him for a few unnerving seconds, tongue pressed against his cheek, and it makes Hoseok feel the sudden need to apologize. The younger boy looks away just as he’s about to, hands clasped behind his back, and then rocks on his heels before informing the older man softly, “I was waiting for you.”

“Oh,” Hoseok’s response is just as quiet and he shoves his hands into the pocket of his slacks. “Sorry, I didn’t know. You should’ve messaged me.”

Jungkook snorts, rolling his eyes. He looks straight into Hoseok’s eyes, anger and hurt both visible within them, “No thanks. I’d rather you come back earlier because you want to see me rather than because I asked you to.”

Hoseok presses his lips together when the younger boy swivels around on the heel of his foot, walking away in the direction of the kitchen. He bites his tongue, cursing himself inwardly, and is about to call out Jungkook’s name when his sister emerges, looking at him oddly.

“Did you two fight?” She asks, eyes narrowing, but her tone leaves no room for doubt.

“Yeah,” Hoseok admits under her piercing gaze, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. “Last night. It was my fault.”

“Have you talked to him?”

Shaking his head, Hoseok replies, “No. Haven’t had time to. I didn’t want to text him sorry.”

“Everyone’s been all over him since he’s arrived,” the woman tells him gently, patting his cheek. “He’s been taking it well, but I suggest you take him away for a little while, maybe for a walk once you’ve eaten? It’ll give him a breather, and you’ll get your chance to apologize, okay?”

Hoseok smiles at her, giving her a quick hug, and then nods his head, “Okay, noona. Thank you.”

“Seok-ah,” she stops him gently, grabbing his wrist, and then tilts her head. “Did you know about the article that got published today?”

Hoseok nods his head, frowning, “Uh, I saw it. Why?”

“Do you know who was behind it?”

“Should I?” Hoseok’s frown deepens.

“Eomma,” Dawon tells him plainly. “It was meant to be pictures of you two from the anniversary gala Seokjin organized, but then they found a better venue.”

Hoseok closes his eyes, letting out a deep sigh, and tilts his head to side. Taking several small breaths, he opens his eyes and asks, “Was Seokjin hyung in on it?”

“As far as I know, no. But check with him. It would make sense if he was.”

Hoseok looks incredibly displeased at the information, and he looks up, staring past the kitchen doorway and glances inside. He sees his mother bustling around with a few servants before his eyes catch Jungkook’s who’s sitting beside his aunt but watching him instead.

He looks back at the younger boy, Jungkook glancing away after being caught, and it makes Hoseok smile inwardly. Looking back at his sister, he asks, “Did the family read it?”

“All of them,” Dawon gives him a pointed look. “They passed it around between them, and had a hell of a time teasing Jungkook.”

“Oh jeez,” Hoseok rubs at his forehead. “He doesn’t like attention like that. He’s a bit of a private person.”

“Yeah, I figured. Don’t worry I told them off. But you know how some of our uncles are. Don’t know when to stop even if they mean well. Anyways, enough of this, go get changed okay? And talk to Jungkook later.”

“Okay, will do!” Hoseok mock salutes, before rushing up the stairs and into his room. Smiling as he glances at Jungkook’s bag resting on the chair, he grabs a fresh set of clothes before hopping into the shower. He rushes through changing, not bothering to dry his hair too much, and then bounds down the stairs, stomach growling.

He can hear his youngest aunt’s voice as he nears the dining room able to make out the end of her question.

“– like our Hoseok?”

He grins, rolling his eyes and shaking his head. He steps inside just in time to see Jungkook shrug in response, back facing Hoseok as he speaks, “He’s good to me. Most of the time. Not always, but most of the time.”

Hoseok’s face falls at the reply, and he slows his gait as he walks in. His appearance makes his youngest aunt’s eyes brighten and lips stretch into a grin as she exclaims, “Hoseok-ah! Just the person we were looking for! I hear you’re only good to Jungkook sometimes. How come?”

Jungkook’s head whips around to look at him, eyes widened in surprise, and Hoseok stares at him for a few seconds, face blank. The younger boy opens his mouth, and Hoseok wonders what he looks so guilty.

“I didn’t say sometimes,” Jungkook clarifies, speaking mostly to Hoseok. “I said most of the time.”

“That’s fair, then,” Hoseok nods his head, taking the empty seat beside Jungkook and smiling at his aunt. “Jungkook’s only good to me most of the time, too.”

He doesn’t turn his head to meet the younger boy’s gaze, but he can easily picture the kind of expression Jungkook would be wearing. Glancing at the boy only once Jungkook looks away, Hoseok feels his heart melt at the closed off, disappointed, oddly timid expression the younger is sporting.

He turns his head when his oldest aunt ‘oooh’s at the two of them, leaning forward teasingly, “Trouble in paradise, Hoseok-ah?”

“Please, have you not seen the photos?” His mother’s only sister speaks him in response, looking at Hoseok with a glint in her eyes. “I bet they’re playing with us so we don’t ask them more questions. Isn’t that right?”

Hoseok stares at her and then lets his gaze roam slowly over the rest of the women in the room. Leaning back in his seat, he sighs and asks, “Is this how you’ve all been acting the whole day?”

“It’s been worse,” his mother informs him with a smile, interrupting. “I won’t be surprised if Jungkook doesn’t want to marry you anymore.”

“Hey,” Hoseok’s mother’s sister holds up her hands. “He’s going to marry Hoseok, not one of us. I’m sure he can put up with a few questions from us for Hoseok’s sake. Or is my sister, right, Jungkook-ah? You don’t wanna marry our Hoseok anymore?”

Jungkook’s about to answer when warm fingers slip through his own, surprising him enough to go quiet and turn his head to face Hoseok. Taking advantage of the situation, the older man speaks up, “He still wants to marry me, thank you very much for your concern. Now, if you could all just focus on your food, and stop harassing my fiancé, I would greatly appreciate that.”

He smiles when his youngest aunt’s wife whistles lowly, murmuring, “Protective, huh?”

“It’s okay,” Jungkook replies, and Hoseok can feel the hesitance with which the younger boy intertwines his fingers with Hoseok’s. “Hyung still hasn’t met my family yet. I can guarantee you, they’re worse.”

“Some troubles,” Hoseok replies quietly, repeating the younger boy’s words from last night, “are worth it.”

He misses the smile that flickers across Jungkook’s face, too busy giving his aunts, who look ready to simultaneously coo and tease Jungkook, more dirty looks, but he doesn’t miss the way the younger boy squeezes his hand back in relief only reluctantly letting go to let Hoseok eat.

--

“Hey,” Hoseok’s voice tickles the hair on the nape of his neck as an arm wraps around his waist, and Jungkook pauses in step, turning to the side to glance at the older man who steps next to him. Hoseok gives him a hesitant smile, his face easing when Jungkook gives him a small smile back, and asks, “Do you want to come take a walk with me for a bit? Get away from the family for a little while?”

Jungkook nods a little too eagerly, and it makes Hoseok chuckles. He nods in acceptance, reaching out to takes the younger boy’s hand, when his dad appears, stopping him, “What are you two doing here? The rest of the family is gathered in the living room and talking. Come on, now.”

“Appa, we’re going to take a quick walk,” Hoseok explains, trying to communicate with his father through his eyes. “We’ll be back in a bit okay?”

“Hoseok-ah,” his father sighs good naturedly. “You two are going to have the rest of your lives to go take walks. Come and sit down with us for tonight, alright? I know you want to spend time alone, but the point of today is for Jungkook to meet your family.”

“He’s met all of them already. They’re going to miss him if I pull him aside for fifteen minutes.”

His dad frowns, before he changes tactics, looking at Jungkook who’s looking between the two with slightly widened eyes, “Come on, Jungkook-ah, let’s go to the living room.”

Hoseok glares at his father, especially when Jungkook has no option but to nod in acceptance, following after the older man. The younger boy turns to laugh at him when Hoseok stays rooted to the spot, and the sour expression on Hoseok’s face only eases up when Jungkook reaches back for his arm, pulling him along.

--

“Have you talked to him, yet?” Dawon asks as he takes Rohee who’s fallen asleep in Hoseok’s arm from him and tucks the girl into the bed.

“I tried, but they won’t let him out of their sight for a single second,” Hoseok complains. “Are you and hyung taking this room?”

“No, I’m sharing this with auntie,” Dawon shakes her head, glancing at her brother. “He’s going to share the guest room with Jungkook, since Jungkook and auntie can’t share a bed.”

“Can’t Jungkook sleep in my bed instead?”

He laughs quietly when his sister whacks him with a pillow, rolling her eyes, “Yeah, go ahead and suggest that to our parents, why don’t you? I’m sure they’ll be thrilled at the arrangement.”

“I don’t see what the problem is, though,” Hoseok complains playfully. “We’re getting married next weekend.”

“After you get married, you can sleep together in your bed, okay? For now, let’s stay under separate covers.”

“Okay, okay,” Hoseok holds his hands up, but there’s a pout on his face. “I asked Seokjin hyung, by the way. He said he didn’t know about it, but it’s possible that his mother talked to someone in his family.”

“Have you talked to Jungkook about it?” Dawon asks, taking Hoseok by the hand and leading him out of the room. She closes the door behind her softly, and turns to her brother, the two of them walking down the hall side by side.

“If they’d let him go, maybe I’d have a chance to,” Hoseok reminds her exasperatedly. “I can barely even look at him without someone pulling him in the other direction!”

Dawon laughs, patting his shoulder, “It’s okay. It’s what’s family’s like.  What can you do?”

“Have to keep reminding myself that they’re family,” Hoseok mutters, making his sister laugh as they descend the stairs to rejoin the group sitting in the living room.

--

Jungkook jumps in the air when he opens the bathroom door and finds Hoseok standing there, leaning against the doorframe, playing something on his phone. The older man pockets the devices as soon as the door opens, giving him a small smile, and asks, “So, about that walk…?”

The question makes him grin, and he tilts his head to the side, quietly appraising Hoseok. The older man’s dressed far more casually than he’s seen him dressed – in grey sweats, and a loose navy blue pullover. His hair is falling forward gently, almost falling into his eyes, and Jungkook marvels at how soft it looks.

“Jungkook?”

“Yes, sorry?” He snaps out of his thoughts, eyes wide as he glances at Hoseok who’s smirking at him.

“See something you like?”

Jungkook rolls his eyes and walks past Hoseok, mostly to prevent the older man from noticing the colour blooming across his cheeks. Hoseok follows him back to his room, pausing only when he sees his sister’s husband getting ready for bed as well, “Oh, hyung.”

The older man smiles at him mischievously, “Thought you’d get to be all alone with Jungkook?”

“No, of course not,” Hoseok shakes his head a little to strongly. “I was just wishing him goodnight.”

“Uh huh, I’m sure,” the man murmurs with a smile. “So, if you’re done, you can go back to bed, Hoseok-ah. Goodnight. Hyung’s tired, hm?”

“Ah, yes, of course,” Hoseok nods his head, and then with one glance at a smiling Jungkook slips out of the room.

“Sorry, was that too much?” The tall, older man asks Jungkook once Hoseok’s left – his eyes twinkling with mirth.

Jungkook hesitates before he grins back, shaking his head, “It was just right.”

The man winks, laughing, and points at the bed, “Do you prefer a certain side of the bed?”

“No, not at all,” Jungkook shakes his head. “You can go ahead and pick, hyungnim.”

“I’ll do just that, then,” the older man smiles at him warmly before slipping into the right side of the bed. “Goodnight, Jungkook-ah.”

--

Yoongi crawls into bed, wrapping himself around Jimin’s curled up form, and presses a kiss against the nape of the younger boy’s bed. He smiles when his husband snuggles back against him, turning his face to give him a short kiss, and rests his head against Jimin’s shoulder when the boy shifts back into his old position.

“What are you doing?” Yoongi’s deep timbre voice floats into Jimin’s ear, the older man’s warm breath making his skin break out into goosebumps as thin arms wrap around his middle securely. The touch makes Jimin smile, and he shakes his head.

“Waiting to see if Jungkook’s going to give me any updates. He’s probably asleep by now, isn’t he?”

“What would he be updating you about this time of the night?” Yoongi asks frowning, and then pulls Jimin’s phone out of his grasp. He turns back, placing the phone on the nightstand, and smiles when Jimin turns to face him, a wide smile on the younger boy’s face.

“He went to meet his in-laws today,” Jimin tells him softly, tilting his head back to ask his husband for a kiss. Yoongi hums against his mouth, making the younger boy feel vibrations against his lips, and Jimin giggles quietly at the sensation. The sound makes Yoongi smile before he locks their lips together, running his tongue across Jimin’s lower lip to ask for entrance.

“Did he say anything at all today?” Yoongi asks him after they part regrettably for air minutes later, and Jimin frowns at him.

“Don’t think about another man while you’re kissing me.”

Yoongi laughs, changing positions until Jimin’s on his back, and he’s hovering over him, balanced on steady arms, “Then make me forget everyone except you, dolcezza.”

“Gladly,” Jimin responds with a giggle, wrapping his arms around Yoongi’s neck. “You don’t even have to ask.”

--

Hoseok shifts onto his side restlessly, glancing at the clock to check the time. He frowns when he realizes it’s midnight, and then gets up with a sigh. He walks out of his room, looking around the hall to see if anyone’s awake. They aren’t, he knows for sure, and after heading downstairs to grab a quick drink, he walks back up but doesn’t head to his own room.

Standing outside for a little the guest room Jungkook and his brother-in-law are currently sharing, Hoseok ponders over a lot of things. He runs through the entire sequence of events from last night, not having had the time yesterday or today to do it. Picking up and dissecting every bit he remembers, he tries to think of a proper apology, tries to think of better words to express himself.

It’s funny, he thinks, how he’d woken up this morning with a strong resolve to not repeat his past mistakes and forgive and forgot as easily as he’s done with his previous significant others. Yet, now, here he is, standing right outside the room Jungkook’s currently sleeping inside, his entire body itching to talk things out with the younger boy.

He lets out a deep breath, leaning against the wall, and lets himself feel a small amount of relief at the knowledge that Jungkook, at the very least had forgiven him and wants to make up as much as he did. He smiles as he remembers the eager way with which Jungkook has rushed outside once he’s returned home, and his insides flutter at the knowledge that the boy had waited for him to return home before agreeing to have dinner.

His smile widens, the feeling of Jungkook’s fingers between his own, warming up his insides, and he tries his best to not chuckle out of the happiness that fills him up. He sinks onto the ground by the door, thinking about the boy and how glad he feels to be getting engaged to him. Affection grips him the longer he thinks about Jungkook, and in a moment purely driven by emotion, he stands up and opens the door separating him and the younger boy.

He steps inside quietly, leaving the door ajar, and then pauses halfway to the bed. Jungkook’s lying on the left side of the bed, curled onto his side, both hands under his head. Drowning in his large white shirt, Hoseok can do nothing but stare, and briefly wonders if this is what infatuation feels like. He grins to himself, and then steps forward, walking around and crouching down by Jungkook’s side of the bed.

His knees crack as he bends down, and he freezes in place, waiting for either of the two men in the room to stir. Breathing out a sigh of relief, he turns his attention back to the boy sleeping in front of him, and then lifts up a hand to gently curve it around Jungkook’s cheek. The boy doesn’t even stir or shift, even when Hoseok’s thumb softly traces his cheekbone.

Placing both his hands against the bed, he rests his chin on top of them, his face inches away from Jungkook’s. He smiles even as the vague thought that his behaviour might be remotely creepy hit him, and marvels at how easy it would be for him to reach forward and kiss the boy. Jungkook shifts in the midst of his thoughts, and Hoseok jerks back quickly, falling backwards, flat on his ass.

He muffles his giggle against his fist, and then stands up, scrambling back down when his brother-in-law shifts on the bed, groaning a little. Hoseok crouches beside the bed, making sure to bend over and hide himself until the older man’s settled back and his breathing returns back to normal. He peeks up past Jungkook’s body to make sure that the other man’s asleep before he takes the risk of sitting up properly.

Cupping the boy’s cheek, he plants a soft kiss against Jungkook’s forehead, and the feeling of wanting to talk to the boy returns again. He sighs wistfully, fingers caressing the boy’s hair gently, sorting through all the tangles. Jungkook shifts his head at a particularly difficult one, and Hoseok freezes in place when his hand automatically shifts in the opposite direction – pulling the boy’s hair with him.

Jungkook’s eyes open, and the boy blinks confusedly, staring at him as if he’s a foreign creature. He peers at him oddly, trying to focus while his eyes adjust to the lack of light, and just as Jungkook opens his mouth, about to say something, Hoseok, in a moment of panic, covers his mouth. Raising a hand to his lips, he motions at the younger boy to stay quiet, and then breathes out in relief when Jungkook doesn’t make a move to make a sound – understanding him.

Panicking and not quite sure what to do, Hoseok slips one arm under Jungkook’s head, the other going under his knees, and then regrets the actions instantly.

What the fuck?” He hears Jungkook whispers into his neck frantically, the boy’s arms still coming up to wrap around his neck. Hoseok smiles internally at that, carrying the boy out of the room with a bit of a struggle as fast as he can while Jungkook mutters in into his pullover, “Hyung? What the hell? What are we doing?”

Hoseok hushes him gently, and then carries the boy into his room, kicking the door closed with his leg. It shuts harder than he intends to, but Hoseok figures it doesn’t matter anymore as he deposits Jungkook into his bed.

“Am I dreaming?” Jungkook questions in a frantic tone of voice, looking at Hoseok with wide eyes. He reaches out to touch the older man’s face, “I’m dreaming, aren’t I?”

Hoseok laughs, grabbing the boy’s hand, and shakes his head, “You’re not. Hi?”

“What the hell, hyung!” Jungkook pushes against his shoulder, rubbing at his eyes, but the oddity of the entire situation wakes him right up. “What were you thinking?”

“Not really sure,” Hoseok answers with a shrug, and takes a seat on his bed across from Jungkook. He smiles when the boy closes his eyes and starts to murmur to himself about having such vivid dreams, and then locks their hands together, “I wanted to talk to you.”

“So, you woke me up and carried me out of the room?” Jungkook’s eyes fly open accusingly. “You couldn’t wait until tomorrow?”

“Sorry,” Hoseok’s apology is soft, hand reaching forward to play with Jungkook’s fingers. “Are you upset?”

“Won’t be if you explain yourself,” Jungkook tells him with a sigh.

Hoseok nods, pulling a leg up onto the bed, and smiles when Jungkook mimics his position, sleepiness colouring his eyes, “I wanted to apologize.”

“Hyung,” Jungkook’s voice is soft, eyes softer. “You could’ve done it in the morning.”

“I know, but I wanted to apologize and talk. I was…I was out of line yesterday.” Hanging his head, Hoseok takes a deep breath and then continues, “I shouldn’t have pushed you unnecessarily even though you’d specifically told me that you didn’t want to talk about it. I just…I just wanted to know so I could make sure nothing like that happens in the future.”

Jungkook’s heart melts, and he joins their hands, adding, “Nothing like that is going to happen in the future, because I’ll be marrying you, okay?”

Hoseok nods, looking up to give him a smile, but his face takes on a more sombre look, “I know I promised you Monday that I wouldn’t push you and make you tell me things if you weren’t okay, but I promise this time I’ll stick to that. It’s just a coping mechanism, I think? Gather all the info you can and then devise ways to get to the outcome you want, you know?”

Jungkook smiles fondly, tilting his head to the side, “You can apply the same rules to relationships too, hyung.”

“I know that now,” Hoseok mutters, rolling his eyes, and he looks up surprised when Jungkook laughs at him.

“Thank you,” the boy murmurs, and then shifts closer. “I want to say sorry, too. I shouldn’t have said what I said, but – no hold on, let me speak. I just – I thought about this hard, hyung, and I don’t think that what you’re asking of me is unreasonable. The only problem I have is that this is too soon, do you understand?”

Hoseok looks at him, and then nods his head, “Yeah.”

“I swear,” Jungkook promises, squeezing Hoseok’s hand tightly. “I swear I’ll tell you things one day, and I know me asking you to push things for later is annoying –”

“It’s not annoying,” Hoseok tells him softly.

Jungkook smiles at the confession, “Regardless, hyung, I swear. I’ll tell you one day, but just not right now. I need more time. I want to get to know you better. I trust you, hyung, please don’t think I don’t. But this all too fast for me.”

Pursing his lips, Jungkook clarifies, “And I don’t mean the kissing, that was long overdue.”

Laughing Hoseok cups his cheek, and presses their lips together in a chaste kiss, “Good, I’m glad. I don’t think I can’t not kiss you.”

Jungkook grins, “Glad we’re on the same page.”

“Me too,” Hoseok confesses. They sit there and smile at each other, before Jungkook remembers something.

“Hyung, did you see that article?”

Hoseok sighs, nodding his head, “I did. When’d you see it?”

“This morning. Yoongi hyung messaged me about it,” Jungkook bites his lips nervously, chewing on the flesh. “When did you?”

“This morning as well.”

“Oh,” Jungkook’s voice is soft. “You didn’t text me.”

“You didn’t text me either,” Hoseok throws back. “I actually wanted to, but I didn’t know what to say or if you wanted to talk to me.”

Jungkook nods his head in understanding, lowering his gaze and smiling briefly when he remembers Jimin’s words for this afternoon. He glances up, covering his yawn up with the hand not currently tangles with Hoseok’s and says, “We should go to sleep, now. You have to go to work tomorrow. We’ll talk later about the rest of this later, okay?”

“About that,” Hoseok starts off with a smile, leaning forward conspiratorially, “how do you feel about going with me somewhere?”

Jungkook’s eyes widen, and he stares at Hoseok dumbly before asking, “Right now?”

“Yeah,” Hoseok nods his head, excitedly.

“You’re crazy,” Jungkook tells him. “Go to sleep.”

“But if you don’t go, I don’t think we can get engaged this weekend, angel.”

Jungkook quirks an eyebrow “Are you threatening me?”

Hoseok laughs, bringing Jungkook’s hand up to kiss it, “Not at all, but if we don’t go right now, we might not have any rings to exchange this Saturday.”

--

Seokjin hovers outside the oak wooden door for a few seconds, hand extending towards the door handle but unable to find the courage within him to grip it and enter the room. He turns back, surprised when he hears a soft chuckle from behind him and he freezes in his spot when he sees his older sister standing there.

She’s got her arms at her side and her head tilted to the side curiously as a small smile stretches across her pink lips. After looking at him for a few unnerving seconds, her smile widens, and she straightens her head, asking, “Seokjin-ah, are you still scared of me?”

Seokjin swallows, mustering up his best nonchalant expression, and shakes his head, “I’d knocked and you hadn’t responded, noona. I wasn’t sure if it was because you wanted me to stay outside or because you didn’t hear me.”

“Is that so?” The woman’s lips stretch wider, and she steps forward, Seokjin moving aside to give her space. She opens the door and turns back to him, smiling again, “You’re awfully considerate, Jin-ah. How did a family like us end up with a child like you, hm?”

Seokjin stares back at her, leaving the question unanswered, and his response seems to amuse her even more as she walks into the room, chuckling as she goes. He follows her inside, and then closes the door behind him softly. Walking up to her desk, he takes a seat in the chair, careful to sit without his back to the edge.

Pushing the file in his hand forward, he speaks up, “Here’s what you asked for, noona. Is there anything else you needed?”

“Not particularly, but stay here for a bit, alright? I want to review this.”

Seokjin nods his head, sitting with his back straight. He crosses his legs and watches his sister skim through the file slowly, flipping through the pages slowly. Seokjin’s content with sitting there quietly, but she glances up at him after a few minutes, asking casually, “How’s work going for you?”

“It’s been fine, same as usual,” Seokjin tells her quietly.

“You’re climbing your way up, I heard,” the woman says without glancing up. “Do you still take on any case they give you, or have you finally become more selective considering how in demand you are, baby brother?”

“I’ve become a bit more selective,” Seokjin admits, glancing down at his hands in his laps. “But I’m still far from being as important as it seems like you think I am, noona.”

“Is that so?” The woman leans back in her chair, dropping her pen onto the desk, and quirks an eyebrow at him. “So, all this praise about well my baby brother is doing is nothing but a mere exaggeration.”

“Yes.”

The woman smiles, nodding her head, and Seokjin blinks at the pride on her face, “It’s good to downplay yourself, Seokjin-ah. It seems like you’ve learned well.”

Silence descends upon them again, until Seokjin interrup