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he brings the sun (to its knees)

Chapter Text

Jimin yanked on his white t-shirt, feeling the fabric stick slightly where he’d just wiped his own drying come off his stomach. Chanyeol had stretched out on his bed again after giving him the towel, one hand behind his head. With the other, Chanyeol lazily traced Jimin’s hipbone, his fingers playing under the edge of his shirt.

“Going so soon?” he asked teasingly. “We could go for round two if you wanted.”

Jimin stood to pull on his pants, feeling the warmth of Chanyeol’s hand drop away as he moved out of his reach. But he turned to give him a smirk as he buttoned his jeans. “Can’t get enough of me, Park?”

Chanyeol stuck out his tongue. “Only of your ass, Park,” he shot back, and Jimin laughed.

But he shook his head anyway. “I got an early morning class,” Jimin told him, the lie coming easily. He pulled on his shoes, not bothering to tie the laces. “Can’t be late.”

Chanyeol hummed and stretched, blinking slowly. The move reminded Jimin of a cat, and there’d definitely been something kind of animalistic about the way he’d been pounding into him just a few minutes earlier-

“Alright,” he said, and Jimin flushed as the words interrupted his train of thought. Thank God it was too dark for Chanyeol to see the way his cheeks were turning red. “See you later then.”

“Yeah. Later, Chanyeol.”

Jimin stepped out of his bedroom, sliding his phone out of his pocket. He squinted against the sudden blaze of light as the screen turned on, picking his way carefully through Chanyeol’s dark shared living room – his roommate, Sehun, was thankfully absent – as he flicked through his notifications.

 

7:28PM

taetae:  im going out for dinner w kook lol

taetae:  don’t wait up

taetae:  actually i can bring leftovers what do u want

 

8:49PM

taetae:   too late

taetae:   we’re coming home

taetae:  kook’s gonna sleep over btw

 

9:07PM

taetae:   WHERE ARE YOU

 

9:10PM

busan brat:   hyuNG IM AT UR DORM

busan brat:  also tae wants to know if ur ignoring him and if yes what he did

busan brat:  also tae lied he did bring u food

busan brat:  but if ur not home in like 2 mins im gonna eat it so

 

Still scrolling through the texts, Jimin barely looked up as he opened the door and let himself out. He locked it behind him, knowing Chanyeol’s roommate would have his own key, and glanced quickly down the corridor to check that it was empty before heading for the stairwell.

 

9:42PM

taetae:  JIMINNNIE

   

10:13PM

taetae:  where r u

taetae:  r u dead

 

10:47PM

taetae: LMAO OKAY NVMM JUST SAW UR SNAP STORY  

taetae:  SO UR W CHANYEOL HMM 

taetae:  i’d ask if the party was fun but we both know u didn’t stay long lmao

taetae:  be safe use a condom & stay hydrated 

 

Jimin’s gaze flicked to the top of his screen. It was almost 2AM – Tae’s last text had been over three hours ago. He tapped out a quick message in case his best friend was awake.

 

1:51AM

jiminnie:  yeah i was with yeol

jiminnie:  omw home

 

The texts didn’t deliver immediately, and Jimin wondered if Tae’s phone had run out of battery. He swiped back to the last screen and started to text Jungkook-

-and smacked straight into someone else.

“Ah, fuck!” Whoever it was yelped and reeled backwards, and Jimin tripped over himself doing the same. He fell on his ass – which, ow, fuck, he was still sore from Chanyeol – and couldn’t help his pained gasp.

The boy he’d run into had been holding a bunch of notebooks, and they’d tumbled out of his arms onto the floor. He dropped to his knees immediately to start scooping them up, almost frantically. “Can’t you watch where you’re fucking going?” he snapped.

Gingerly, ignoring the twinging pain in his backside, Jimin pushed himself onto his feet and tried to help collect the fallen books. “I’m- I’m so sorry,” he stammered awkwardly. “I just wasn’t looking and I didn’t see you-”

“Obviously,” the boy bit out, and then looked up. His eyes seemed to narrow as he glared at Jimin, who couldn’t help but shrink under the scrutiny. The boy had fluffy black hair tucked beneath a cap pierced with two rings, and was wrapped in a black hoodie. He didn’t look that much older than Jimin, but he did look very pissed off.

 His gaze flicked up, taking in Jimin’s appearance in turn – his untied shoes, smudged eyeliner, and messy hair. “You don’t live in this dorm,” he observed, and Jimin wanted to shrivel.

“Uh, no,” he stammered. “I was just leaving.”

Jimin held out the three small books he’d picked up, and straightened once the other boy had taken them. “Sorry,” he stammered, again, and ducked into the stairwell to flee.

The walk across campus was quiet, and Jimin was relieved when he didn’t run into anyone else. Of course, this was college – walks of shame were hardly noteworthy, but it was still embarrassing to be caught out by a stranger. It might have been a little more bearable if the other man had been coming from a similar hook-up, but Jimin doubted it – not with the number of books he’d had tucked under his arm.

It wasn’t long before he was home, out of the cold night air. The door unlocked with a quiet click as Jimin let himself into the dorm he shared with Taehyung. His bedroom door was closed – which meant Jungkook was sleeping in Tae’s bed – and Jimin took care to keep quiet as he picked his way across the living room to his own bedroom.

Jimin kicked off his shoes and fell face-first into his mattress, groaning quietly. He was exhausted, his body aching, and the unpleasant encounter with the stranger outside Chanyeol’s dorm had chased away his pleasant post-orgasmic buzz to leave embarrassment curdling in its place.

Internally kicking himself, Jimin sighed and rolled onto his back. When he checked the time on his phone, the screen lit up the darkness. It was almost twenty minutes since he’d started walking home.

Jimin flicked his phone on silent and plugged it in to charge. He should probably shower, but he couldn’t summon the energy. At least he knew he could sleep in tomorrow.

He’d lied to Chanyeol, earlier. He didn’t have a class – Jimin had just known that if he’d stayed any later, he probably would have ended up staying the whole night. On its own, it wasn’t a bad thing – Chanyeol was a good guy and Jimin liked him as a friend, not just as a fuck-buddy – but he didn’t want either of them to get the wrong idea. He’d been down that road before and it never worked out.

Sighing, Jimin closed his eyes and pushed his face into the pillow. He was so tired. He could just rest for a few minutes, and then he’d get back up and change out of his clothes, at least-

But within a few minutes, Jimin had fallen asleep.

 


  

Oh my God.

Yoongi winced, throwing an arm over his face as though he could hide from his memories. He couldn’t believe it. He was such an idiot.

He’d been on his way back from another late night in the music studio, where he’d been working on some new tracks with Namjoon and Hoseok. They were trying to come up with something better than anything they’d done before – which was why Yoongi had been carrying all his old lyric books, in case one of them held a scrap of inspiration for their new rap.

Those lyric books were worth more than their weight in gold to him – so when they’d been knocked out of his hands by some idiotic kid, he hadn’t hesitated to swear and snap at them.

Only that idiotic kid had been the fucking hottest guy Yoongi had ever seen.

He could only hope the other boy hadn’t noticed how Yoongi’s eyes had widened before he’d been able to control his expression. The combination of fluffy orange hair, a button nose, and the soft brown eyes had been cute as fuck – but then Yoongi had noticed a few other things.

The guy’s orange hair hadn’t just been fluffy – it had been a total mess. Add that to his dark, kiss-swollen lips and the hickey peeking out from under the collar of his shirt, and it was pretty clear that the innocent-looking boy had been doing some not-so-innocent things.

Ah, fuck. Who was he kidding? Yoongi rolled onto his back, cursing his own stupidity. He’d just seen the hottest guy of his life on a walk of shame after banging some other person that, unfortunately, was not Yoongi – and he’d had to further shove his foot in his mouth by swearing at him.

The guy had even been stammering out an apology, too. Fuck. Yoongi was so stupid.

At least he had three other unfortunate assholes to wallow in his misery with. Yoongi rolled onto his side, groping blindly for his phone on the nightstand before bringing up his friends’ group-chat.

 

GROUP CHAT: meme fuckers

2:03AM

d-boy:  im such a fucking idiot someone stab me

 

Despite the late hour, it wasn’t long before his friends replied.

 

j-hoe:  lmao

princess jin:  what happened?

joonie:  tru… why tho

 

Yoongi sighed, already regretting his decision, and started to type.

 

d-boy:  i just met the cutest fuckin guy

princess jin:  and ???

joonie:  how is this… an issue…

d-boy:  and i knocked him to the floor

d-boy:  and swore at him

d-boy:  plus

d-boy:  im p sure he was on his way home after dicking someone down so

d-boy:  he’s probably taken

 

The responses rolled in a few seconds later.

 

j-hoe:  LMAO

joonie:  well

joonie:  damn that sucks

princess jin:  lol

princess jin:  also that’s the most you’ve typed on this gc at once in weeks im amazed

j-hoe:  u done fucked up boy

 

When nothing more was forthcoming, Yoongi rolled his eyes.

 

d-boy:  ur all useless and i hate u

j-hoe:  at least our dumb asses didn’t insult our only chance at one true gay love

d-boy:  hoseok im writing u out of our next cypher

j-hoe:  F U CK

j-hoe:  PLS NO

joonie:  LMAO

princess jin:  can i take his place tho

d-boy:  yea

j-hoe: PLS  

j-hoe:  I TAKE IT BACK

j-hoe:  yoongi… in this difficult time, i can only sympathise w you… you have my deepest regrets and utmost support

d-boy: oh rlly?  

d-boy:  that’s what i thought

j-hoe:  i love u

j-hoe: ur my favourite hyung  

princess jin:  excuse me??

j-hoe : o shit

joonie:  um wtf

joonie:  hoseok how dare u

princess jin:  u better run

j-hoe:  bRB GOTTA BLAST

*j-hoe has left the chat*

 

Chapter Text

Jimin woke to a pillow being slapped down on his face. He made a strangled noise and held out a hand to stop the onslaught, hearing giggles erupt at his reaction. “Ow, what the – Taehyung?”

“Yah!” his best friend yelled, and emphasised it by hitting Jimin with the pillow again. He spluttered, shoving himself up the bed to get away. “Where the hell have you been!”

“I was – ow, damn it, Tae! – I was with Chanyeol! You knew that, you asshole,” he grumbled, finally managing to get a grip on the pillow and tug it out of Taehyung’s grasp. He stumbled as Jimin’s pull yanked him off balance, falling to his knees on Jimin’s bed.

He cackled as Jimin retaliated, swatting at his shoulder with the white pillow. A peal of bright laughter echoed him from the doorway, and Jimin looked up to see an amused Jungkook watching them both. Jimin hid a grin and called out a challenging, “What are you laughing at, brat?”

Before he could say anything, Jimin launched the pillow and giggled as it smacked into Jungkook’s face. The younger boy fell back, spluttering an indignant, “Hyung!

Jungkook tossed the pillow back, weakly, but all three were laughing too hard to continue the brief pillow-fight. Jimin flopped back onto his bed, turning to look at Taehyung as he caught his breath. “Why’d you wake me up?” he asked eventually. “I was gonna sleep in.”

“You did,” pointed out Jungkook. “It’s like, ten.”

“Oh.” The lively awakening had left energy buzzing under Jimin’s skin – but underneath that, he still felt tired. He stifled a yawn, rubbing a hand across his eyes. “Oops.”

For some, ten o’clock was a reasonable time to wake up – but Jimin usually rose many hours earlier to hit the gym and dance practice rooms. Not that he’d been planning on it, really, after his rendezvous with Chanyeol.

Taehyung slid off his bed. “Well, do you wanna come to breakfast?” he asked. “We were about to go until we realised you were still sleeping.”

Blinking blearily, Jimin nodded. “Yeah. I gotta have a shower first though.”

Taehyung snorted. “Good,” the younger boy said vehemently, and Jimin looked at him. “Well, I wasn’t gonna say anything, but you reek of Cha-”

“Yah, Kim Taehyung!” Jimin yelled, and tossed the pillow at him again. The other boy ran out of the room laughing hysterically, and Jimin was left in peace to slide out of bed and head towards the shower.

 


 

Twenty minutes later, Jimin was freshly-showered and clad in a soft grey sweater and dark jeans as the three friends made their way to the closest café, Brewed Awakening. It was cheap and only a short distance away from the dorm, which had made it one of their frequent haunts over the years.

The chill he’d noticed last night was still hanging in the morning air and Jimin was relieved when they finally stepped inside the warm café. He stepped into line behind Jungkook, eyeing the menu.

Soon, the broad-shouldered man behind the counter was smiling at Jimin. “What can I get for you?” he asked.

He must have been a recent hire, because Jimin didn’t recognise him. His gaze flicked down to read his name tag – Seokjin – before he answered. “A blueberry muffin and regular hot chocolate, please.”

“Name?” the server – Seokjin, Jimin reminded himself, because he made it a point to remember the staff of Brewed Awakening – asked him.

He gave it with a smile, and Seokjin quickly handed Jimin his change and his muffin before moving onto the next person in line. But he only had to wait a few minutes before his drink was done and Jimin could follow Jungkook to join Taehyung, who’d managed to nab one of the smaller tables at the back of the room.

“That’s a small breakfast,” he said as Jimin sat down, eyeing his food. Tae glanced at him, questioning. “Feeling okay?”

“Yeah.” Jimin gave him a small, reassuring smile. “I’m just not hungry right now. I’ll probably eat again after class, though.”

Taehyung accepted the explanation with a small nod and the conversation moved onto lighter things. They asked briefly about the frat party he’d been at the night before – though Tae had been right, and Jimin hadn’t been there long before leaving with Chanyeol – and he described some of the more ridiculous shenanigans he’d witnessed, most of them perpetrated by some Chinese kid he’d met called Jackson.

Eventually though, conversation waned and Jimin looked at the table as he asked, “So how did your date go?”

He felt, rather than saw, Jungkook and Taehyung exchange awkward glances across the table. But Taehyung spoke first. “It was really good,” he began. “The restaurant was so pretty. Actually, maybe all three of us should go back sometime.”

Jimin smiled pleasantly and nodded, like he was entertaining the idea – but he knew it wouldn’t happen. Shouldn’t happen, really.

There was nothing wrong with the fact that Jungkook and Taehyung were dating. It didn’t bother Jimin, and he was happy for them both. They’d started dating a little over a month ago, but it had all been smooth sailing and Jimin was pretty sure they’d be together forever.

He loved that his two best friends had found partners in each other. It was just that, well… Taehyung and Jungkook coming together had sort of squeezed Jimin out of the middle.

Jimin’s smile stayed fixed as Jungkook rattled off a sweet recount of what the restaurant had been like, but Taehyung interrupted after a minute or two. “Anyway, we’re boring,” he insisted, but softened the words with a squeeze to Jungkook’s hand. “What about you, huh? I mean, I know you went off with Chanyeol again last night…” He trailed off meaningfully.

That was the other thing, right there. The three of them had been friends for so long – and Jimin could tell that they both felt a little guilty about the situation, about how they’d so suddenly changed the dynamics of their three-way friendship. But now, as if to make up for it, Taehyung kept inventing romances for Jimin where they didn’t exist.

The latest, of course, was Chanyeol. Jimin could hardly deny that they were sleeping together – but he knew Taehyung was interpreting it as being significantly more romantic than it actually was. He and Chanyeol were just friends with benefits, and they’d been clear on that from the outset. But Jimin knew that it made Taehyung feel better to imagine that Jimin was tentatively courting a boyfriend of his own, so he had never corrected him. But he’d never confirmed it, either.

“Yeah, I did. We went back to his dorm, and I stayed really late.” The corner of Jimin’s mouth lifted as he remembered last night, and he took another sip of his hot chocolate before admitting what had happened. “Ran into someone while I was sneaking my way out, though.”

He recounted the story, laughing as Jungkook cringed from second-hand embarrassment. By the time he finished, their plates were empty and each boy was nursing the last dregs of their warm drinks. Jungkook was the first to stand, checking his watch.

“Well, I have class,” he said, and glanced between the two of them. “Wanna walk me to it?”

“Of course,” said Tae, but Jimin shook his head.

“Sorry, Kookie. I’m teaching a class at twelve and I gotta get ready.”

“Ooh, which one?”

“Hip-hop,” Jimin answered, with a small smile. “With the little kids.” It was one of his favourite classes to teach, at the little dancing school where he worked part-time. The boys and girls were all under twelve, and could barely control their bodies well enough to dance, but they were all sweet and hard-working.

“Ah, cute! Send me videos of them dancing,” begged Taehyung. “I can’t wait for their concert.”

“That’s illegal, Tae,” Jimin reminded him. “But I’ll tell them you’re coming to watch it.” Taehyung had been a common sight around the dance rooms – while not an actual teacher, he was good with kids and decent at dancing, too. So no one minded too much when he came to Jimin’s lessons.

Well, used to. The kids hadn’t seen Taehyung in a while, because most of his free time was spent with Jungkook. But they were dating, and Jimin didn’t begrudge them the time spent alone together.

It was a quick walk back to his dorm, where Jimin changed into his uniform; sweats, sneakers, and a sleeveless black shirt with DANCE INSTRUCTOR written across the chest and the school’s logo across his shoulders. With a loose jacket and his grey duffel bag slung across his chest, Jimin made it to the studio with fifteen minutes to spare.

The class before his was just finishing up, and Jimin stretched in the hallway as he waited. He was kind of excited to see the kids again – he’d had to take the past few weeks off work for his college exams, which meant that his class had been taught by a substitute. They were capable, of course, but Jimin had missed getting to talk to and teach his class.

It felt like no time at all before the previous class was shuffling out and Jimin entered the room, exchanging brief greetings with the departing instructor. He was just plugging his phone into the speakers, flicking to their warm-up playlist, when he was interrupted by the pattering of little feet.

“Jimin-ssi! You’re back!”

He turned, immediately crouching so that the little boy – one of his favourites, a small kid called Minjae – could talk to him on eye-level. He held his hand out for a high-five since, unfortunately, he wasn’t allowed to hug members of his class, and broke out into a huge grin as Minjae smacked it with his palm.

“Wow, you’ve gotten strong!” he said. “You must have worked hard while I was away.”

Puffing up with pride, Minjae nodded and went to open his mouth when more students arrived. Each of them ran up to Jimin immediately, giving him high-fives or just shrieking his name, and he laughed at the amused expressions of the parents.

Before long, his whole class was assembled and Jimin had to call them into order. They grouped around him in a messy, wide semi-circle as he took his seat on the floor at the front of the room and went straight into one of their first, easiest stretches.

“Okay, everyone, pay attention now!” he called. “We have to warm up properly before we dance, remember?”

There was a chorus of agreement and Jimin smiled to himself before shifting slightly to stretch out his other leg. “Okay, watch carefully now, we’re moving onto the next one…”

By the time Jimin was finished at the studio, it was almost four. He’d stayed a little longer with each of his three classes that day, trying to make up for the time that he’d been away. His students had still worked hard in his absence, but it was inevitable that they’d slack off with a different and temporary instructor. But their concert was only a few months away and Jimin was determined to have them give the best performances of their young lives.

Jimin locked the studio door behind him – there were no more classes in that room, at least today – and turned to find Hyeri, another one of the dance instructors, waiting for him.

“Hey Jimin,” she said, smiling. “Been a while since I’ve seen you around here.”

He laughed. “I know… exams were hell. How’d you go, by the way?”

Hyeri smiled and the two fell into conversation easily, walking together out of the building. She was shorter than Jimin, with her black hair styled in a messy ponytail, and dressed almost identically except for the fact that she was wearing tights instead of sweatpants. Before Jimin had dyed his hair orange, they’d looked similar enough to be siblings.

Their dorms were on opposite sides of campus, and they had to separate after a few minutes. Before they did, though, Hyeri got around to the question that Jimin knew she’d been waiting to ask.

“So… I haven’t seen Taehyung recently,” she began innocently, not quite looking at Jimin. “Is he still around?”

Jimin’s smile tightened imperceptibly but he didn’t let it fall. Hyeri was sweet, but she’d had eyes for Taehyung the second he’d walked into the studio at Jimin’s side – and not even the fact that he was taken was enough to dissuade her efforts. He was pretty sure that getting the scoop on Taehyung and Jungkook was one of the only reasons she talked to him, some days.

“Yeah, he’s just been pretty busy recently,” explained Jimin. “He’s coming to the concert, though. And bringing his boyfriend.”

The last part was a lie – though, Jungkook probably would come if either of them asked – but Hyeri seemed to pick up on the hint, a slight frown creasing her forehead. “Oh – Jungkook, right?” she asked.

“Yeah.” Jimin offered her a small, sympathetic smile. “They’re still going strong. Think their anniversary’s coming up, too.”

“How cute.” Hyeri returned his pleasant expression, but she was clearly disappointed.

They parted soon after that, and Jimin made his way back to the dorm alone. It was empty, too – he knew Taehyung had an afternoon lecture, and Jungkook had probably gone back to his dorm with his roommate, Yugyeom, after his class that morning.

He had the dorm to himself for the next few hours. Briefly, he entertained the thought of inviting Chanyeol over – but they’d been together last night, and Jimin wasn’t really feeling it, anyway. He was too tired from his late night, plus the three classes he’d just taught, to properly appreciate a spontaneous hook-up.

So, ignoring the hollow emptiness unfurling behind his ribcage at the thought of another few hours spent alone, Jimin curled up on his bed with his laptop and clicked onto Netflix.

Chapter Text

It was only a few days later when Jimin heard from Chanyeol again. His phone buzzed against his thigh where Jimin was curled up on his couch with Tae and Jungkook, watching the pilot episode of some new anime Jungkook had gotten into.

He slid his phone free and glanced at the screen.

 

9:58PM

chanyeol: hey u doing anything?

 

A smile pulled at the corners of Jimin’s mouth as he texted back.

 

jiminnie: no, just hanging w tae and jk

jiminnie: you wanna meet up?

chanyeol: yeah

chanyeol: my door’s unlocked

jiminnie: im coming

 

Both Taehyung and Jungkook looked up as Jimin stood, grabbing his white hoodie from the back of the couch. “Where are you going?” the latter asked, frowning slightly.

Jimin waved his phone in answer, not bothering to hide his grin. “Chanyeol texted.”

Jungkook harrumphed even as Taehyung laughed, looking pleased. “Well, don’t let us hold you back,” he said, and Jimin glanced down as his phone buzzed again.

 

chanyeol: yeah u will be ;)

 


 

Yoongi sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose as he squeezed his eyes shut. This new track was giving him trouble – he’d been working on it for months, but the words refused to come. He could hear the beat in his head but the actual lyrics kept eluding him.

“Fuck,” he mumbled finally, and pushed away from the studio computer. Yoongi had been holed up here for hours but he only had a few sentences to show for it. Namjoon was gonna be pissed, but he didn’t care – he was tired, and clearly working on it right now wasn’t doing anything for him.

He grabbed his bag and locked the studio behind him, stepping out into the dark campus. According to his phone, it was only ten-thirty – Yoongi hadn’t stayed at the studio nearly as long as he normally did, but when he couldn’t focus there was just no use. He’d go home and crash into bed, and maybe be a little more prepared for tomorrow.

A few minutes later, Yoongi was climbing the stairs to his dorm. The familiar sight brought to mind the embarrassing incident of a few days earlier, when he’d run into the impossibly hot guy on his way out, but the sting of regret had faded somewhat. He hadn’t seen the guy since, so it must have been a one-time thing. Yoongi had almost forgotten about it, really.

He dropped his bag to the floor as soon as he was inside his dorm, locking it and stumbling to his bed. Thankfully, Yoongi didn’t have a roommate – he used to, at the beginning of the semester, but the kid had dropped out pretty quickly. And the RA, after learning of Yoongi’s odd hours and some small bribery, hadn’t moved anyone else in.

Yoongi kicked off his shoes and got changed into his pyjamas, collapsing into bed as soon as he could. Maybe the string of late nights was finally getting to him – he hadn’t been in bed this early in ages. He let his eyes drift closed, feeling the comforting pull of sleep already dragging him under-

Ngh, fuck, Chanyeol-”

Yoongi’s eyes flew open. No fucking way.

There were a few moments of silence and Yoongi thought he’d imagined it. But then a low, muffled moan broke the night air and Yoongi briefly considered suffocating himself with a pillow.

Fucking hell. Yoongi just wanted to sleep, but his next-door-neighbour had decided to have really loud sex on the other side of their wall. Couldn’t they keep it down?

Yoongi rolled over and dragged a second pillow over his head, hoping it would muffle the sounds. And it did, kind of – but after a minute or two, he could still make out the squeak of bed springs and something harder that sounded vaguely like a headboard being pounded into their shared wall.

Fuck. Yoongi wondered briefly if it would be considered rude to bang on the wall between them and yell for his neighbours to keep it down.

But Yoongi was pretty sure he already had a reputation amongst his dorm for being a grumpy asshole – which he was, but he didn’t exactly need to encourage it. No, he could suck it up for one night.

Of course, there was also the other thing Yoongi was refusing to think about – the warm curl of arousal in his gut as he listened to the gasps and moans coming from next door. It wasn’t his fault, okay? Yoongi hadn’t had sex in a really long time, and he was tired, and fuck, but those small moans were just sinful.

He was already slightly hard just from listening to it.

But no, no. Yoongi wasn’t a pervert and he was not going to get off on the sound of his next-door-neighbour pounding his latest fling into the mattress. So he slid out of bed and retrieved his earphones, plugging them into his phone as he slipped back underneath the covers. He tapped on the most soothing playlist he had and turned up the volume as high as he could stand.

It took a long time – and sometimes, Yoongi could swear he heard noises beneath the music blasting in his ears – but finally, finally, he fell asleep.

 


 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a one-night stand.

Yoongi suffered through an entire week of being kept awake by his neighbour, and sometimes his music just didn’t cut it. It honestly didn’t seem to matter when he got home anymore, because he was almost always greeted by the same low moans and desperate gasps when he slid into bed.

It was really becoming a problem, and his friends had already noticed.

Namjoon eyed Yoongi as he slid into the seat opposite him at the café, raising one eyebrow at his dark expression. He seemed to take in his appearance – the bags under his eyes, the grumpy downturn of his mouth – and sighed. “Your neighbour still keeping you up?”

 “Unfortunately,” Yoongi grumbled, and laid his head down on the table pitifully. “Wake me up when you leave.”

Hoseok laughed, and patted Yoongi’s back in a show of comfort. “Cheer up, grumpy,” he said teasingly. “Just think of all the money you’re saving on porn.”

Yoongi shot him a glare but the younger boy just snorted. “Fuck you, Hoseok,” he mumbled, and turned his face away so he couldn’t see the blush on his cheeks.

Okay, so maybe he’d gotten off a couple of times just listening to them go at it. But Yoongi challenged anyone to listen to the sinfully dirty gasps and moans spilling out of the dorm next to his every night and not do the same.

There was the gentle clink as a mug was set down on the table and Yoongi glanced up to see Seokjin, who gave him a small smile. “Why don’t you just talk to your neighbour about it?” he pointed out, wiping his hands on his apron.

Seokjin’s new job at the Brewed Awakening was the only good thing in Yoongi’s life right now, because it meant that the sleep-deprived student had discounted access to coffee at all times – well, so long as he remained on Jin’s good side. It was for that reason that he offered a mere grunt instead of telling Jin his idea was stupid as he reached for the coffee.

 “Because,” he drawled, “I don’t know Chanyeol that well and it would be a little weird talking to him about his sex life.”

 “Weirder than listening to it every night?” Namjoon pointed out, and… well, okay, Yoongi couldn’t really argue with that.

 “I dunno. I guess I just don’t want to be that guy.” If his dorm already thought Yoongi was a bit of a grump, he had no desire to make them think he was a killjoy too. “Can’t I just… I don’t know, sleep at your place?”

Seokjin, the only one who could afford to live off-campus in his own apartment, snorted. “God, no. Besides, you already have a dorm to yourself – don’t throw that away just because some asshole can’t keep his dick in his pants.”

Hoseok and Namjoon both laughed, and even Yoongi grudgingly cracked a smile. “Fine,” he said finally. “If it happens again, I guess I’ll talk to him.”

“Good,” said Namjoon. “Then maybe finally we’ll get this new track done soon.”

Chapter Text

Teeth scraped against Jimin’s neck and he leaned back with a whine, baring his throat. Chanyeol hummed, pleased, and nipped lightly along the skin, sending trembles of pleasure down Jimin’s spine.

His hands skimmed down Jimin’s back to cup the curve of his ass, pressing them together. Jimin bit into his bottom lip as he rocked forward into the hard bulge in Chanyeol’s pants, needy and desperate.

“Fuck, Chanyeol, hurry up-”

He felt Chanyeol’s lips curl into a smile against his skin. “So impatient,” he murmured, and mouthed along the curve of Jimin’s jaw until he could nip at his earlobe with his teeth.

Jimin’s breath hitched and he leaned back into the pillow behind him so that he could shove a hand between them, groping for the front of Chanyeol’s jeans. He managed to undo his belt and wriggle his fingers beneath the waistband before the other boy caught his hand by the wrist, pulling it away gently with a tsk. “Not yet, Jimin,” he murmured, and reached up with his other hand to rub a thumb over Jimin’s hardened nipple. He keened, arching into the touch. “Gotta do something first.”

 “I’ll do anything,” Jimin breathed, and Chanyeol grinned. His teeth were a flash of white in the dark. “Just want your cock inside me.”

Fuck,” Chanyeol breathed, and leaned down to capture Jimin’s mouth. It was a hard kiss, his tongue sliding messily against Jimin’s, before he pulled back. “You’re so desperate, Jimin,” he breathed, and his hand drew up Jimin’s chest to hold his jaw. “So loud. Gotta find a way to shut you up,” he murmured, and slid two of his fingers between Jimin’s lips.

A broken moan flitted out of Jimin’s mouth at the intrusion. Chanyeol’s fingers were long and calloused, sliding roughly against his tongue. He sucked on the digits messily, curling his tongue around the tips, and heard Chanyeol’s breath hitch.

“Fuck,” he breathed again, and his fingers pressed down against Jimin’s wet tongue. He closed his eyes and leaned back, letting his fingertips rest on his plump bottom lip before dipping his chin to draw them back into his warm mouth.  Chanyeol nearly hissed, his pupils blown. “Jimin,” he said, after a moment, “I want you to suck me off.”

Jimin nodded and let his fingers slide out of his mouth with a slick pop. He shifted so that they could swap positions, Chanyeol lying against the pillows with Jimin nestled between his thighs.

He hadn’t taken his jeans off and Jimin unbuttoned them without hesitation, shoving the tight material just down to Chanyeol’s thighs. But he left his briefs where they were, leaning down until his mouth was hovering just above his bulge.

Jimin locked eyes with Chanyeol as he parted his lips, tongue sliding across to wet them slightly. Chanyeol’s gaze was dark and filled with want, and he slid his hand into Jimin’s hair just as he mouthed over the outline of his cock.

“Jimin,” he groaned, as he pressed his tongue against the growing wet spot in the fabric. His breath stuttered into a moan, Chanyeol’s head dropping back, and Jimin smirked.

He pulled back and hooked his fingers under the waistband, pulling them down until Chanyeol’s cock slapped against his stomach. Jimin’s gaze flashed to Chanyeol’s face as he paused, letting his warm breath roll over the head of his cock. Chanyeol’s teeth sank into his lower lip and he took a shuddering breath, his hips bucking slightly, already eager for the slick warmth of Jimin’s mouth.

Jimin leaned forward, pressing his lips against the underside of the head and Chanyeol moaned. He pulled back and replaced the touch with his tongue, and flicked the tip against the slit of Chanyeol’s cock.

Chanyeol moaned when he finally took him into his mouth, his hand fisting in Jimin’s hair until it was almost painful. Jimin kept going until he felt the head nudge the back of his throat and then pressed his tongue against the underside of his cock, his spit pooling in his mouth.

He drew back until the tip rested against his bottom lip and then sank down again, lips stretching over the thick cock. Chanyeol was one of the biggest guys he’d ever slept with, and he knew he couldn’t keep going for much longer before his jaw would start to ache.

But it wasn’t long before Jimin felt Chanyeol’s thighs tense under his hands. “Fuck, Jimin, I’m gonna come,” he gasped.

Jimin drew back, letting the cock slip from his mouth before replacing it with his hand. He pumped it in his fist a few times before Chanyeol came, spilling into his hand with a breathy moan.

They were both breathing hard when Chanyeol reached down between them to return the favour. Jimin pressed his forehead against Chanyeol’s neck, thrusting into his fist, his body trembling as the older boy brought him undone and twisted his wrist just the way Jimin liked until he came too, spilling onto Chanyeol’s bare chest.

It was a long moment before he could catch his breath and lean back, sliding onto unsteady feet. “Fuck,” Jimin breathed, and stumbled a little. “I’ll get a towel.”

Chanyeol grunted and Jimin returned quickly with a wet cloth to wipe them both down. “You better have more in you than that,” Jimin teased, and dropped next to him on the bed. Chanyeol stuttered a laugh as he continued, “You haven’t fucked me yet.”

“Give a man a minute to recover, would you?” he laughed. “You’re a freakin’ handful, Park Jimin.”

Pleased, Jimin smirked a little before straddling Chanyeol’s chest. He groaned, teasing, and Jimin pouted until Chanyeol reached up to slide a hand behind his neck and draw him into a kiss.

Jimin went pliant at the brush of his lips, parting his mouth until Chanyeol’s tongue could slide against his own. He moaned in the back of his throat as Chanyeol sucked on his tongue briefly, before pulling back. “Goddamn,” he said, and Jimin shivered as his warm hand traced his side. “I’m gonna have to buy you a freaking gag, aren’t I?”

Taken by surprise, Jimin laughed and lightly smacked Chanyeol’s shoulder. “You like it when I’m loud,” he accused lightly.

“True.” Chanyeol leaned back, his arms behind his head, and Jimin didn’t bother to hide how his gaze traced his muscles, from his biceps to the defined lines in his stomach. It was almost a pity that Tae was wrong and they weren’t doing more than just fucking – Chanyeol was a pretty good catch. “But my neighbours don’t.”

Caught off-guard, Jimin looked up with wide eyes. “What?

Chanyeol laughed at his expression. “Don’t freak out,” he said, after a second. “It’s just that one of them complained about us keeping him up at night.”

“Oh my God.” Jimin reddened and he covered his face with his hands, sliding off Chanyeol until he could collapse in the empty space next to him. Embarrassment prickled along his skin, turning sickeningly in his stomach. “Oh my God,” he said again, a little weakly.

Chanyeol was grinning as he turned on his side and pried Jimin’s hands away from his face. “Well, don’t get shy now,” he teased, and Jimin blushed even more. “What happened to you begging for my cock?”

Jimin squeaked indignantly and hit Chanyeol on the shoulder, which made the other boy laugh and roll out of his reach. “Shut up,” he spluttered. “Oh my God, I can’t believe this-”

“Dude, chill,” Chanyeol told him, but the corner of his mouth was still lifted. “There’s nothing we can do about it now.”

“Still, it’s embarrassing.” Jimin winced, thinking of all the things they might have overheard- “When did this even happen?”

Chanyeol shrugged, one hand scratching idly at his stomach. “Couple days ago, I think,” he said after a moment. “The morning after you last came over.”

Trying to remember if he’d said anything particularly humiliating that night, Jimin groaned and sat up on the bed, sliding his feet to the floor. “This is so embarrassing.”

“Who cares? It’s not like you know the guy,” pointed out Chanyeol. His lips twitched into a grin. “Even if he could recognise you by your moaning by now.”

Chanyeol ducked, laughing, as Jimin tossed his shirt at his face. He pulled it away in time to see Jimin stepping into his underwear and glancing around the room for the rest of his clothes. “Hey, wait, you’re leaving?”

“You ruined the mood,” Jimin said, and poked out his tongue. “I can’t have sex now that I know someone’s listening.”

Snorting, Chanyeol sat up. “He’s probably not even in the dorm, come on. Besides, if Sehun hasn’t complained yet, I’m pretty sure no one deserves to.”

That brought a small smile to Jimin’s face as he thought of the poor freshman that he and Chanyeol had sexiled on countless occasions. Still, he shook his head. “Nah. I should get back, anyway.”

“Jimin…” Chanyeol drew out his name as he pulled on his shirt and his pants, stuffing his feet into his shoes. “You know you want to stay.”

He rolled his eyes, patting his pockets to make sure he had his phone. “I’ll see you later, Chanyeol,” he promised. “I’m just a little weirded out right now.”

Suddenly Chanyeol’s face dropped a little, and he looked genuinely remorseful. “Sorry,” he said, “I shouldn’t have told you-”

 “No, I’m glad you did,” Jimin said quickly. He’d prefer to know about it, rather than being blissfully unaware – no matter how embarrassing it was.

 “Alright.” Chanyeol chewed on his lip for a second, and Jimin could tell he felt guilty. “Did you want me to walk you home?”

Jimin snorted. They’d never walked each other home, and it would be a little weird to start now. “I’m good,” he said, and stepped out of his room. “I’ll text you later, ‘kay?”

He was almost at the door before the silence broke and Jimin heard Chanyeol start to scramble out of bed. “Wait!” he called, but Jimin pretended not to hear and slipped out of his dorm.

Jimin was halfway to the stairwell when the door in front of it pushed open, and he saw a familiar head of black hair. The guy looked up and saw Jimin almost immediately, and his eyebrows lifted. “What are you-”

“Jimin!” Behind them both, Chanyeol burst into the corridor, the door to his dorm smacking against the wall. Jimin spun at the sound of his name, and his eyes widened.

Chanyeol hadn’t even taken the time to get dressed beyond pulling on his pair of briefs, and he stood half-naked in the hall with one hand outstretched towards Jimin. His brown hair was an absolute mess – just like Jimin’s, standing in tufts from where Chanyeol had yanked – and there was still a wet spot in his briefs. His gaze flickered between the pair of them, and – surprisingly – he had the grace to blush.

 “Well,” he said awkwardly, “at least you’ve met each other.”

Wait, what-

“Oh my God,” Jimin said, as it clicked.

Chanyeol’s cheeks flushed and he waved his outstretched hand a little weakly. “Jimin, Yoongi – Yoongi, Jimin,” he said quickly, stumbling over his words slightly. He took a step forward, and dropped something into Jimin’s hand. “He was just leaving, don’t worry.”

Jimin glanced down. He’d forgotten his keys – Chanyeol had chased after him so he wouldn’t be locked out of his dorm, and not to convince Jimin to stay. He flushed, and didn’t meet Chanyeol’s eye as he muttered a quiet, “Thank you.”

 “Nice to meet you,” the other boy – Yoongi – drawled after a moment of silence. “Properly, this time.”

Jimin glanced up, but as their gazes locked it occurred to him again that oh yeah, this random stranger had been listening to him have loud sex for, probably, as long as he’d been hooking up with Chanyeol. He blushed to the roots of his hair and dropped his gaze back to the floor immediately, feeling almost like he was going to pass out from humiliation. He mumbled something that sounded like yeah, you too, and then fled.

 

Chapter Text

It was only the next morning when Yoongi broke the devastating news. He cleared his throat delicately and all three boys looked up at him from where they were sitting in a circle on Namjoon’s floor with takeaway from a nearby diner.

 “So,” he began, stabbing at a piece of fruit with a fork. “Remember the cute boy I ran into like a week ago?”

 “The one you physically ran into?” Seokjin asked, at the same time as Hoseok rolled his eyes.

“You mean the one with bright orange hair and plump lips who looked like a cute angel that just got fucked, yes, we’ve been over this,” he said, and all the boys glanced at him. “What? You’ve talked about him, like, a hundred times – which is kinda weird for a dude you only met once, but whatever.”

“That’s true,” snickered Namjoon, but Yoongi interrupted.

“Twice,” he said.

Sensing a good story, Seokjin leaned forward with a smile. “Twice?” he prompted, and the others turned to look at Yoongi.

At least Yoongi couldn’t fault Seokjin’s instincts, he thought, and speared another piece of fruit. He didn’t look at his friends, and instead stared at the floor. “Well… remember how I was complaining about my neighbour fucking someone really loudly, every single night?”

To their credit, his friends caught on quickly. “No fucking way!” Namjoon yelled, as the other two howled with laughter.

“Oh my God, this is too good,” Hoseok spluttered, wiping away a tear as he giggled. “I can’t believe this.”

“Me neither,” said Yoongi, and Seokjin reached over to pat his shoulder comfortingly.

“At least you know he’s gay,” he offered.

Namjoon snickered, “And a bottom.”

 “Wait.” Hoseok stabbed the air with his fork, turning to Namjoon accusingly. “That hasn’t been confirmed yet!”

“Are you kidding?” Namjoon shot back. “Have you met Chanyeol? Have you seen him?”

“Treading on thin ice there, babe,” Seokjin interrupted, and it was Yoongi’s turn to laugh.

But Namjoon laughed too, knocking his boyfriend playfully with a shoulder. “Come on, Jin. You know what I mean.”

“Okay, fair,” Seokjin relented. “Chanyeol is a pretty fine specimen.”

“Not helping,” Yoongi grunted, and they both laughed at him.

Finally, Hoseok yelled, “Okay, enough!” Once they’d quietened down, he turned to Yoongi. “So, what happened? We need all the details, man.”

Sighing – and, briefly, wondering why he kept offering himself up to his friends for utter humiliation – Yoongi recounted the story, beginning with his brief chat to Chanyeol and ending with the morning after the scene in the hallway, where a thankfully fully-clothed Chanyeol had knocked on his door to apologise.

 “Wait,” Hoseok cried out, as soon as he’d finished. “What did you say his name was?”

Yoongi, mentally rolling around in his own misery, sighed. “Jimin,” he said. “I only got his first name.”

Frowning, Seokjin stared into his food. “Why does that sound so familiar?” he asked absently.

But excitement had burst onto Hoseok’s face and he shot to a kneeling position. “And you said he had orange hair, right? And he was short?”

“Yeah,” confirmed Yoongi, feeling slightly suspicious. “Why?”

“Fuck! Yes!” Hoseok crowed with triumph, and punched the air. “Yoongi, I know this kid!”

“What,” Yoongi said flatly.

 “What,” Namjoon echoed.

Seokjin, the only one left with functioning upper brain functions, dropped his fork. “How?” he asked quickly.

 “He’s in my class!” Hoseok answered, excited. “Oh my God, I totally know him! He’s a dance major, like me! We talk all the time! Well, okay, not really, but-”

“Why the hell didn’t you mention this before?” asked Namjoon. “Dude, this is vital information!”

“I didn’t realise you meant Jimin,” Hoseok tried to explain. “I mean, God, he’s so cute and little – oh, well, actually, I guess you did mention that – but damn, I can’t believe he’s fucking Chanyeol…”

Yoongi made a strangled noise and leaned back. “Not helping.”

Undeterred, Hoseok scrambled over to his side, abandoning his plate. “Dude, this is so good!” he said excitedly. “I mean, I can totally introduce you two – well, actually, I guess you already know each other-”

 “Not helping,” Yoongi said, again.

 “-shut up, you know what I mean. I could get his number! I mean, I kind of talk to him already, but I don’t have his number, but I’m totally gonna get it and then I’m gonna give it to you and then-”

“Hoseok, breathe,” Seokjin interrupted, and the dancer finally stopped his rambling.

Amused, Namjoon glanced between them both. “I don’t usually say this, but Hoseok’s kind of right,” he said slowly. “He’s in prime position to help you get this guy.”

 “What does it matter?” Yoongi asked. “You guys are missing the most important bit – he’s with Chanyeol. They’re together. I’m not gonna break up a couple just because I think one of them is pretty.”

There was a moment of silence as they acknowledged his point, but then Hoseok hummed thoughtfully. “I don’t know if that’s necessarily true,” he said.

 “Which part?” asked Seokjin.

 “Being with Chanyeol.” He started fiddling with his water bottle, playing with the lid absently. “I’ve never seen him around the dance studio before.”

 “So?” Yoongi pointed out.

Hoseok rolled his eyes. “Well, if they were dating, surely I’d have seen them together at some point,” he argued. “So far, we only know for sure that they’re sleeping together. It could be platonic.”

 “Platonically sleeping together,” Yoongi echoed, and Namjoon snickered.

 “Shut up, you know what I mean.” Hoseok flicked at Yoongi’s arm. “As in, they might just be friends with benefits.”

 “Hoseok has a point,” Seokjin said slowly, and they all looked at him. “If you keep running into Jimin when he’s walking home after hooking up with Chanyeol…”

Namjoon caught on more quickly than Yoongi did. “If they were dating, he wouldn’t bother leaving – at least, not immediately.”

 “Exactly,” Seokjin confirmed.

Yoongi frowned thoughtfully. His friends were, surprisingly, making a good argument – he hadn’t thought about Jimin’s behaviour until Jin had pointed it out, but it was definitely more fuck-buddy than boyfriend behaviour. But before he could say anything, Seokjin spoke up again.

 “Well, there is one sure way to find out.” When they all looked at him expectantly, he turned to Hoseok. “Just ask him.”

At that, Hoseok spluttered. “And say what?” he cried. “’Hey, Jimin, I know we don’t talk much but my friend wants to bone you even though he knows you’re fucking Chanyeol and if you could clear up that whole situation for us, that’d be great’?”

 “I do not want to bone him,” Yoongi muttered rebelliously, even as the other two snorted with laughter.

 “Okay, but you’ve at least thought about it,” Hoseok teased, and Yoongi couldn’t really deny it.

 “Shut up,” he murmured instead, and flung a pillow at his friend.

 “Okay, okay,” Namjoon began placatingly, as their laughter started to quiet down. “We gotta make a plan for this.”

 “No, we really don’t,” Yoongi tried to say, but he was drowned out rather quickly by Seokjin and Hoseok’s enthusiastic agreement.

 “Come on, Yoongi,” pleaded Hoseok, as he continued to shake his head rather vehemently. “Let us get you a boyfriend.”

 “If I wanted one, I’d have one,” he pointed out. “Get yourself a boyfriend, Hoseok.”

The boy pulled a face. “The single life is for me, thank you very much, but it is not for you.”

 “Yoongi, you know you want to say yes,” teased Seokjin, his mouth curling into a smile. “You already said this kid is cute, and now you know he’s a good lay-”

 “So what do you have to lose?” Namjoon finished.

All three were looking at him expectantly. Finally, after a long-suffering silence, Yoongi exhaled and dropped his head.

 “You guys are assholes,” he accused. “But fine. You can help me try to date this poor fucker.”

Chapter Text

12:06AM

chanyeol: that was so awkward lmao

chanyeol: dw tho yoongi is really chill

chanyeol: he probably didn’t even care, jimin its fine

 

Jimin sighed, looking over the texts from earlier that morning. He still felt humiliated – it was bad enough that Chanyeol’s neighbour had actually complained, but then they’d literally had to run into him after the deed, as well.

It wasn’t Chanyeol’s fault, and he knew that, but he still felt a little weird about it all. He’d gone straight home after the embarrassing scene in the hallway and crawled into Taehyung’s bed for comforting reassurance from his friend.

He hadn’t really told Taehyung what had happened to upset him – just that it had to do with Chanyeol. It had probably given him the wrong idea but Jimin was too embarrassed to explain it fully. He hadn’t texted Chanyeol back yet, either, but he would eventually. As soon as he could think about what had happened without feeling humiliated.

Sighing again, Jimin locked the screen and slipped his phone back into his pocket. He could think about it later, he reasoned, as he pushed open the doors to the dance studio. As soon as his class was over.

As a dance major, these classes were undoubtedly his favourite. Jimin could see a few of his friends had arrived already and were stretching at the sides of the room. He made his way over quickly, dropping his duffel bag next to theirs.

For the ten minutes before class started, Jimin chatted quietly with his friends. Taemin and Jongin were the ones that he knew the best, having done performances together and hung out a few times, but the others were all familiar faces too.

The teacher arrived soon afterwards, and the class started. Jimin only got to check his phone again once it was over, a few hours later, but there were no new texts. He frowned and slipped it back into his bag.

As he turned, sliding the strap of his bag over his shoulder, someone bumped into Jimin and he stumbled slightly. Hands shot up to hold him steady, and the other person laughed lightly. “Oops! Sorry, Jimin, didn’t see you there.”

 “That’s okay.” Jimin turned to smile at the guy who’d knocked into him. It was one of the older guys in the class, with soft brown hair falling in a fringe over his forehead. “Hoseok, right?”

 “That’s me,” he said with a smile. But as Jimin started to turn away, Hoseok grabbed his arm. He looked back, a little startled. “Hey, we haven’t ever really talked before, have we?”

 “Um, not really,” Jimin said, shifting slightly. What did Hoseok want?

 “We should change that,” said Hoseok, and gave him a bright smile. “Wanna go get coffee?”

 “Uh, now?” he asked, and Hoseok nodded. Well, Jimin didn’t really have anything else to do. “Sure, I guess.”

 “Great!” Hoseok grabbed his wrist, pulling Jimin to the doors. “There’s this really good place on campus-”

 “Brewed Awakening?” asked Jimin, puzzled. It was the only place to get coffee on-campus. “Everyone knows that place.”

 “Uh, yeah. Anyway, my friend works there so I go all the time and-”

As Hoseok pulled Jimin through the studio doors, continuing to talk about his friend and the café, Jimin blanched. Because someone was waiting outside for him.

 “-the food’s really good, too, I promise – hey, what’s wrong?”

Jimin had stopped, which had in turn yanked Hoseok to a halt. He turned, squinting at Jimin, but the smaller boy wasn’t even looking at him.

He was looking at Chanyeol, who had been sitting on a nearby bench but was now walking towards them. He held two cups in his hands, both steaming, and gave Jimin a sheepish grin as he approached before glancing at Hoseok.

 “Hey. Can I steal him for a sec?”

Hoseok’s eyes narrowed. “That depends,” he said, rather stiffly. “Who are you?”

 “Chanyeol,” he offered, and then gave Hoseok a rueful smile as he wiggled the cups. “I’d shake your hand, but, uh…”

 “It’s okay, Hoseok. He’s a friend of mine.” Jimin turned to Chanyeol, adjusting the strap on his shoulder. “Sorry, Yeol, but I was just going to get coffee with Hoseok…”

 “Well, that’s awkward, because I brought you hot chocolate.” With that, Chanyeol pressed one of the cups into Jimin’s hands. Jimin wasn’t sure if he was imagining the slight smugness in his tone as he added, “I know you don’t like coffee.”

 “Oh. Thank you,” Jimin said, hesitantly accepting the cup. “Maybe, um, another time, Hoseok?”

If the boy was disgruntled, he didn’t show it. Hoseok gave him a small smile and started to back away. “Sure, Jimin. I’ll see you around, yeah?”

 “Okay. Bye, Hoseok.”

 “Nice to meet you,” added Chanyeol, and Jimin turned to punch him in the arm. “Ow! The fuck, Jimin?”

 “What was that about?”

 “Damn, a guy can’t be nice these days? Geez.”

Jimin scoffed. His words didn’t mean anything – Jimin had definitely not imagined the smug smile as Chanyeol had waved off the other boy. “Sure,” he said, and started to walk off.

 “Woah, hey, what are you doing? I came all this way to talk to you and you’re just gonna ignore me?” Chanyeol asked, walking quickly to catch up. Jimin tried to walk faster, but Chanyeol’s legs were longer – he kept up easily. “Jimin, seriously. I came to apologise.”

 “Oh.” Jimin stopped, so suddenly that Chanyeol bumped into him slightly. He whirled around, looking up at the other boy accusatorily even as he took a sip of the – admittedly, kind of delicious – hot chocolate. “Why?”

 “Seriously? For last night.”

Jimin frowned. “But you didn’t do anything.”

 “Then why were you ignoring my texts?” Okay, point. Jimin opened his mouth to say something but Chanyeol waved his hand, cutting him off. “No, I mean, I know it wasn’t really my fault – it was just a bad situation, but I know it made you feel embarrassed and weird. I should have told you about everything earlier, or at least while we weren’t in the middle of having sex.”

Chanyeol paused, but Jimin didn’t say anything for a moment. He fiddled with the underside of his cup for a second before speaking. “It was just as much my fault as it was yours,” he pointed out.

 “Yeah, but I didn’t make it easier for you, and I’m sorry for that.” Chanyeol tipped his head, giving him a small smile. “Am I forgiven?”

A rueful smile curled the edges of Jimin’s mouth. “Forgiven,” he agreed.

 “Nice.” Chanyeol held out his fist and, laughing, Jimin bumped it with his own. After a second he added, “You know, if we were actually dating, I’d probably kiss you right now.”

The blunt admission made Jimin laugh and he reeled back a little, his hand over his mouth. Chanyeol’s eyes were sparkling as he watched, his own smile growing.

 “You know what? Fuck it,” he said.

Jimin barely had time to close his eyes before Chanyeol’s lips were on his. His hand slid around Jimin’s jaw, cupping it gently as he deepened the kiss and parted his lips just enough to trace Jimin’s lip with his tongue. When he pulled back, Jimin realised he was a little breathless. “What was that for?”

 “No reason.” Chanyeol smirked. “You just looked cute.”

He could feel the light blush in his cheeks and Jimin looked away. “Give me some warning next time, would you?”

 “So there’s gonna be a next time, huh?” Chanyeol wiggled his eyebrows playfully. “Knew you liked it when I kissed you.”

 “If I didn’t, we wouldn’t be sleeping together, idiot,” Jimin pointed out, but it was fond. He shoved lightly at Chanyeol’s shoulder. “Now get out of here.”

Chanyeol laughed, but obediently walked away. Jimin smiled to himself as he walked in the opposite direction, still holding the warm drink that Chanyeol had given him.

 


 

GROUP CHAT: meme fuckers

10:23AM

j-hoe: SHIT

j-hoe: I HAVE BAD NEWS

princess jin: what happened??

princess jin: are u okay?

j-hoe: well

j-hoe: physically im unharmed

j-hoe: but emotionally…

d-boy: wtf did u do

j-hoe: stfu yoons-boy i was injured on the froNT LINES

j-hoe: FOR YOU I MIGHT ADD

d-boy: ???

joonie: tell us what happened

joonie: drama queen

princess jin: be nice joonie he has tea to spill

d-boy: lmao

j-hoe: well well well how the turns table

joonie: … pretty sure that’s not how it goes

j-hoe: whatever

j-hoe: anyways

j-hoe: so i was talking to jimin today and

d-boy: WHAT

d-boy: THE FUCK

princess jin: lol

d-boy: DID YOU DO

j-hoe: jfc calm dowN

j-hoe: actually don’t bc ur about to be even more upset lol

d-boy: ?????

joonie: seriously what happened?

j-hoe: well

j-hoe: to summarise

j-hoe: long story short

j-hoe: in fact, a highlights reel, if u will

princess jin: tell us !!!

d-boy: im going to snap ur neck if u don’t hurry tf up

j-hoe: yikes

j-hoe: anyway so jimin and i were gonna get coffee together

d-boy:

joonie: how does hoseok already have more game than yoongi lmao

j-hoe: but we couldn’t

j-hoe: bc guess who was waiting outside

princess jin: yoongi?

d-boy: obviously not

d-boy: dumbass

princess jin: :((

d-boy: who was it?

j-hoe: c h a n y e o l

joonie: oh shit

princess jin: oh shit

j-hoe: oh shit indeed

j-hoe: basically he came to talk to jimin

j-hoe: so i had to leave

j-hoe: but obviously

j-hoe: being the a+ sleuth that i am

d-boy: **nosy prick

j-hoe: stfu this was for ur benefit u dick

d-boy: … true

d-boy: continue

j-hoe: so i stuck around and i pretended to be on my phone but i was just watchin them

princess jin: as u do

joonie: casual

j-hoe: anyway i didn’t overhear much but i did hear chanyeol asking for forgiveness

j-hoe: so im guessing our boy jimin was mad at him for something

j-hoe: but then

princess jin: this is literally better than k-drama

d-boy: but then what ??

j-hoe: chanyeol kissed him

j-hoe: !!!!!!!!!!!

d-boy: what

joonie: wait seriously ???

joonie: i thought they were just fuck buddies

princess jin: yoongi r u okay

princess jin: someone check on him did he die

d-boy: tf no

princess jin: o thank god

d-boy: seriously tho

d-boy: what the fuck

j-hoe: yeah

j-hoe: in public and everything

j-hoe: so maybe we were wrong ?

joonie: well shit

joonie: this sucks

princess jin: okay but are we really gonna give up because of one tiny thing that we’re not even sure hoseok saw

j-hoe: um tf ??? i sAW

princess jin: yeah but is there anyone to confirm ur story

j-hoe: um… no

princess jin: good

princess jin: then we continue as normal

princess jin: until we know more

princess jin: okay ??

j-hoe: rude

j-hoe: but okay

joonie: okay

princess jin: yoongi ??

princess jin: ??

*d-boy has left the chat*

j-hoe: well… shit

Chapter Text

Min Yoongi was officially this close to losing his mind.

It never seemed to matter how early or late he left the studio at night, or how quickly he tried to run up the stairs to make it into his dorm. Someone, somewhere, was having a grand old time laughing at his expense – because Yoongi had run into Park Jimin every single day of that week.

The only thing that could be said for the situation was that they’d graduated from awkwardly avoiding eye contact to Jimin giving him a sheepish smile as he passed. The younger boy was clearly embarrassed about being caught out all the time, but evidently not enough to stop.

At least Yoongi didn’t have to listen to them going at it, anymore. Since he and Jimin consistently crossed paths on their way in and out, Yoongi no longer had to suffer through as many sleepless nights.

He still didn’t understand the relationship between Jimin and his neighbour – but, well, Yoongi had decided that it was none of his business. So what if the guy was good-looking? There were hundreds of other gay boys that were just as attractive, and about a thousand times more available.

Yoongi didn’t even want a boyfriend, anyway. His friends had been the ones that had pushed him towards Jimin.

Holding firmly to that thought, Yoongi slid his headphones over his ears. He had work to do.

 


 

It was almost midnight, and Jimin was drenched to the bone.

He hadn’t meant to stay so long at the dance studios – it was an accident! He’d gotten carried away practicing some of his choreography, and then he’d had an idea for a new dance that he’d just had to unravel before it slipped away from him. If he’d known how heavily it would be storming outside, he would have left hours earlier.

Huddling into the dark, wet fabric of his hoodie, Jimin darted from one piece of cover to the next. Travelling across campus like this was taking forever, and he was starting to shiver. If Jimin got sick from this, his dance teacher would be furious.

By the time he made it to his dorm, the storm had worsened. Rain lashed the streets in angry whips and lightning had started to light up the sky every few minutes. Jimin shook droplets of water out of his hair as he stumbled gratefully into his building, and headed straight for the stairs.

He was going to have the longest, hottest shower of his life – and then, probably, crawl into Taehyung’s bed to leech some of his body heat. Jimin was so cold he could barely feel his fingers.

Caught up in his thoughts, Jimin barely realised as he reached out to grasp the doorknob and his hand closed on something soft.

It registered a second later, and Jimin dropped his hand immediately. What the – a scrunchie? What was a scrunchie doing on his door? He and Tae didn’t even have long hair, what the hell-

Oh. Jimin blinked.

This was new. Taehyung had never sexiled him before.

Jimin pulled a face as soon as the thought occurred to him – because Taehyung meant Jungkook, and that was his two best friends, and that wasn’t really something he wanted to think about for too long-

His mind caught up a second later. Jimin being sexiled equalled Jimin having nowhere else to go, and he was kind of pissed about that – hadn’t they seen how badly it was storming outside?

A little at a loss for what to do, Jimin shoved his hands into his pockets and took a step back. He wondered if Taehyung would let him sneak inside to grab some warm clothes, or something, but then again he didn’t really want to know what was going on behind that door-

But where else could he go?

It was too weird to be standing outside of the door with at least a vague understanding of what was going on behind it, so Jimin walked to the end of the hall, chewing his lip thoughtfully. He could go back to the dance studios, maybe – but the heating was broken, and Jimin knew from experience that the hard wooden floors were a pain to sleep on. Plus he’d have to run all the way across campus again, and he’d probably be soaked through completely by the storm with no way to get his clothes dry.

Finally, Jimin realised he only had one possible place of refuge. He’d never stayed the night at Chanyeol’s before, but he didn’t have a choice.

As hard as it was to admit, Jimin simply didn’t have any other friends to turn to. 

His mind made up, Jimin made his way back down the stairs. His building was a twenty minute walk from Chanyeol’s – if he ran, he could probably make it in ten. Hopefully Chanyeol would let him borrow some clothes, because Jimin was going to be drenched.

Taehyung totally owed Jimin for this.

 


 

Yoongi tapped his pen against the page thoughtfully, his gaze unseeing as he ran over the lyrics in his mind. He’d given up working on their new track a few hours ago, because he had something a little more pressing to work on – the composition due for his class in just over nine hours.

The studio equipment was notoriously tricky during thunderstorms, and the electricity had a bad habit of blowing at just the wrong time. So Yoongi had taken his work home for the night – not that he had a lot more to do. The song was complete, and he was proud of how it had come together. It was just the lyrics that were giving him trouble. They didn’t seem right yet.

He wasn’t going to hand in anything that he wasn’t fully confident in. Yoongi had already planned to keep working through the night until he was finally satisfied.

Muttering the lyrics under his breath, Yoongi closed his eyes to visualise the dips and swells of the song. His headphones were on, but he wasn’t playing anything – they just cut out the noise of the thunderstorm, which was incredibly distracting.

But despite that, it wasn’t enough. Yoongi’s teeth clenched as claps of thunder interrupted his train of thought, sharp sounds that cut through his headphones.

Damn it. Yoongi closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. Please, for the love of God, just shut the fuck up-

“It’s me, open the door!”

Wait. Yoongi’s eyes snapped open. That wasn’t thunder, that was some inconsiderate asshole banging on a door in the hallway in the middle of the night-

Yoongi practically flew, stalking angrily to the front of his dorm until he could whip the door open so violently it cracked hard against the wall. “For the love of God,” he snapped, “can you shut the fuck up? I have a goddamn composition to write, you fucking asshole!”

As soon as he saw who was standing in the hallway, Yoongi realised his mistake.

It was Jimin.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“Oh my God,” Jimin said weakly.

Chanyeol’s neighbour – Yoongi, he remembered – was staring at him blankly. All the rage had dropped from his face in a split-second, and he was looking at Jimin with wide eyes.

As soon as Yoongi had burst out of his dorm, Jimin had dropped his hands from the door. He clung to the hem of his hoodie now – which was absolutely soaking wet, and sending little rivulets of water down his fingers – and tried not to look as scared as he was feeling. Chanyeol’s neighbour was terrifying. “I’m – I’m so s-sorry,” he stammered, feeling the blood drain from his face. “I didn’t m-mean to dis-disturb you.”

His heart was pounding, and not all of it from the way Jimin had just sprinted across campus like his last name was Uzumaki. He hadn’t managed to avoid the rain, though, and there was literally a puddle of water starting to pool beneath his sneakers from the way his clothes were dripping. Awkwardly, Jimin ran a hand through his hair, pushing his hood off his face.

God, he was stammering, too. It didn’t matter if it was because Jimin’s teeth were chattering so much he could hardly speak – he sounded like an absolute idiot, and Yoongi’s estimation of him had probably already dropped even more.

Of course, Jimin thought – a little bitterly – not that it could get much worse.

Finally, Yoongi spoke. “Chanyeol’s not home,” he said, glancing at the door Jimin had been pounding on. “Are you looking for him?”

Damn it. Jimin closed his eyes briefly, cursing quietly. He could feel a slight well of tears pricking at his eyelids, but he refused to let it fall – he was tired, wet, and emotional, but he still wasn’t going to cry. When he opened them again, Yoongi was still watching him, his expression unreadable. “Yeah,” he replied, and took a little comfort in the fact that his voice was no longer shaking. “Sorry, I just… I’ll come back later.”

His nose was starting to run and Jimin sniffed to clear it, wiping his hands briefly over his face. His hands were cold as ice. Maybe the café was open, or there was a 24/7 diner somewhere he could crawl into. It meant going back outside, back into the cold rain that was currently dripping down Jimin’s back, but he didn’t really have another choice.

He was halfway to the door when Yoongi called out after him. “Why are you here?” he asked suddenly, and Jimin turned, surprised. The other boy flushed slightly and Jimin got the impression he’d just blurted the question out. “I mean, you’re literally dripping water onto the carpet. Is that usually how you turn up to your hook-ups?”

It was Jimin’s turn to blush. Chanyeol’s neighbour thought he had turned up to have sex?

Well… based on their other encounters, Jimin supposed it was a fair assumption. But the question flustered him and Jimin felt his cheeks burn, feeling a hot spike of shame in his stomach. “No, oh my God, no,” he stammered. “My roommate sexiled me and I just needed somewhere to stay. It’s raining outside,” he added lamely, waving his hand as though to indicate the storm.

“Oh.” Yoongi shifted his weight, and the silence stretched between them. Jimin was just about to excuse himself when he spoke up again. “Um… do you wanna come in?” he offered, a little awkwardly.

As much as he’d appreciate having somewhere to stay, there were very few things Jimin wanted less in that moment than to spend an extended period of time with someone who probably hated his guts. He smiled weakly and shook his head. “Thanks, but it’s fine,” he told him. “I’ll just go find a, um, café or something.”

“At one in the morning?” Yoongi rolled his eyes, and stepped back so that there was space between him and the door. “Look, kid, I’m already awake and I’m doing a project. It’s not a big deal. If you can be quiet while I work, you can stay. Okay?”

 Jimin bit his lip, considering. He didn’t really want to – but he was beginning to realise he didn’t have any other choice.

In the end, Yoongi made it too tempting to turn down. He sighed. “You can even use my shower and borrow some clothes,” he added. “You look like you’re about two seconds from hypothermia.”

The wet edges of his sleeves were falling over his fingers and Jimin twisted them between his hands, feeling a little uncertain. But he gave Yoongi a small, grateful smile. “Okay.”

 


 

Yoongi exhaled loudly as he dropped into his chair, hearing the shower start running in the bathroom. He’d given Jimin one of his spare towels and then left a pile of clothes at the bathroom door. Was it weird to include underwear? Yoongi had no idea, but he’d included it anyway, and decided that it was Jimin’s problem now.

He pulled his notebook towards him, sliding his headphones back on. It cut out the sound of running water spraying the tiles, but did nothing to chase the thought of the orange-haired boy from his mind.

Fuck. Yoongi groaned, and dropped his head into his arms. The cute boy was in his dorm room, literally naked in his shower, and was soon to be wearing his clothes. How the hell had this even happened?

He couldn’t believe he’d accused Jimin of simply turning up to fuck Chanyeol, either. The words had leapt out of his mouth before he thought better of it, and Yoongi couldn’t believe he’d been such an asshole. At this point, he was kind of tempted to just duct tape his mouth shut around Jimin at all times.

Shaking his head in a rather useless attempt to clear his thoughts, Yoongi forced himself to focus on his composition. It was due in the morning and he couldn’t afford to fail.

It worked for a little bit. Yoongi couldn’t help the way his shoulders tensed when he heard Jimin walk into the room, his socked feet quiet against the floor – because yes, Yoongi had even included socks, and no, he didn’t know if that was weird. But the kid had looked half-drowned in the hallway and had been shivering violently enough to pull a muscle, so what else was he supposed to do?

But Jimin simply curled up silently on the couch. Yoongi wasn’t sure if he was going to try and sleep – his living room was dark, except for the lone lamp at his desk – but he didn’t try to make conversation either. After a few minutes of quiet, Yoongi’s tension eased and he kept working on his music. It started to flow a little easier after a while, and Yoongi almost forgot he wasn’t alone.

Eventually, Yoongi’s eyes started to droop. After the fourth time shaking himself awake, he resigned himself to needing a caffeine boost and stood up from his chair.

At the movement, Jimin glanced at him. He was curled against the arm of Yoongi’s couch, his face illuminated by the light of his phone. Yoongi’s grey sweatpants were slightly too big, and Jimin was practically swimming in his green hoodie, but he still gave Yoongi a small smile. “Finished your work?” he asked.

“I wish,” Yoongi grunted, and moved to the small kitchenette. “I’m surprised you’re still awake.”

Jimin hummed a soft agreement. “Can’t sleep,” he admitted.

Yoongi didn’t quite know what to say to that, so silence settled between them for a few minutes. He reached up to grab a mug from the cupboard and hesitated, his mind screaming say something! Awkwardly, he cleared his throat. “Um, you want anything? A coffee?” he asked.

“Thanks, but I don’t drink coffee.”

“Oh.” Yoongi opened a different cupboard, peering inside. “Well, I have hot chocolate somewhere…”

If he’d turned around, Yoongi would have seen Jimin’s sleepy smile. “I’ll have some of that, please.” Yoongi pulled down another mug and started making their drinks. In a few minutes they were ready, and he carried the mug to Jimin, who cupped it with both hands. “Thank you,” he murmured quietly.

Yoongi grunted. “Shove over.”

Obediently, Jimin pulled his legs to his chest and Yoongi fetched his notebook before sitting on the couch next to Jimin. The other boy watched him curiously as he sipped quietly as his drink, but didn’t ask about the sudden move.

The couch was comfier than his desk, okay-

“Are you a music major?” Jimin asked suddenly.

“Yeah.” Yoongi glanced at him as he crossed out one of the words. “You?”

Jimin’s smile was faint, but genuine. “Dance major,” he told him, and Yoongi bit his tongue to keep from saying, oh yeah, I knew that. Probably best not to mention it.

“Can you read music?” asked Yoongi, and tilted his notebook slightly so that Jimin could see it.

The shy smile he received made Yoongi slightly tempted to fling himself out of his third-story window. “Yeah,” Jimin told him. “I used to sing. But are you sure?” he asked, indicating the notebook. “Most writers are pretty private about their work.”

Yoongi shrugged. “Most writers have longer than a few hours to finish their composition, and I’m not gonna waste an opportunity to get someone to check over my work,” he explained.

Jimin sat up, and Yoongi could feel the warmth of his body bleeding through the space between them. He didn’t mind showing Jimin his composition – it was just an assessment, and not one of his actual works. Even his friends were hard-pressed to get glimpses before Yoongi was finished with the final product.

His breath caught slightly as Jimin shifted his legs underneath him, moving closer to Yoongi instead of simply pulling the notebook towards him. He ducked his head lower to read the page, his chin almost resting on Yoongi’s shoulder. After a moment, though, Jimin reached up – pushing his sleeve back – to run his finger underneath the lines as he read along. “Sorry,” he murmured, sounding a little embarrassed. “It’s been a while.”

Yoongi made a noncommittal noise, and simply watched him. God, this was torturous – the concentration on Jimin’s face coupled with the childish way he read the lines was doing funny things to his heart, and he didn’t really trust himself to speak.

After a few minutes, Jimin frowned and tapped the page. “I can’t hear this bit,” he said, frustrated. “Like, in my head.”

Yoongi opened his mouth to speak, to say something like – what, it doesn’t read well? But Jimin beat him to it. He turned to face him, pink lips set in a slight pout, and tilted his head.

“Can you sing it to me?”

 


 

 

Yoongi swallowed, his throat suddenly dry. “What?”

Jimin flushed, dropping his gaze. “Never mind,” he said quickly. “You don’t have to, I just-”

“No, no.” Yoongi cleared his throat, and tugged gently at the notebook so it was angled back towards him. His pulse felt a little weak. “You just surprised me, is all. I can show you.”

“Yeah?” Jimin’s face lit up.

“Yeah.” But then Yoongi looked back at him, eyes narrowed. “But don’t you dare laugh. I’m not a singer.”

At that, Jimin giggled, hiding his mouth behind his hand. “I won’t laugh,” he promised. His eyes had creased into small crescents filled with amusement. “I just want to hear it.”

Yoongi eyed him doubtfully, but he turned back to the book anyway. He tapped his fingers against his thigh, mimicking the beat of the song, and then started singing.

He was a rapper, not a vocalist, but Yoongi’s voice wasn’t unpleasant. In the quiet of the dorm room, his words spilled out into the darkness, low and just on the good side of raspy. Yoongi felt, more than saw, Jimin rest his head against the back of the couch as he listened silently. His eyes didn’t leave Yoongi.

As the song ended, Yoongi’s voice petered out. He glanced sideways at Jimin, and cleared his throat awkwardly. “That’s all I have,” he finished.

Jimin wasn’t smiling. But his face was glowing – all his attention had been focused on Yoongi, and he’d been utterly immersed in the music. As Yoongi spoke, he blinked slowly, bringing himself back to the present. “Woah,” was all he said.

Oh, God. He hated it. Yoongi frowned and muttered, “It’s a work in progress.”

“Are you kidding?” Jimin said excitedly. “Yoongi, that was- that was amazing. No wonder you’re a music major. I loved it.”

 Yoongi couldn’t help his smile. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Jimin was smiling back at him, and for a second, Yoongi forgot how they’d met. It was just the two of them curled together on the couch, alone in the darkness, with nothing between them but the music they were sharing in. Yoongi’s smile softened, and as he stared at Jimin, the other boy didn’t look away.

But then Jimin cleared his throat. “Are you submitting a recorded version, though?”

“What?”

“Of the composition.” Jimin broke his gaze, tapping at the notebook. “If not, you might want to change it slightly. I mean, it sounds incredible, but on the page it’s hard to grasp.”

The moment was gone. Yoongi looked back at his notebook and frowned. “You think?”

“I mean, it might just be because I’m not good at reading music, but yeah.”

“Hmm.” Thoughtful, Yoongi tilted his head to the side. “You might be right.”

And so the night went on. Yoongi was too proud to submit anything that wasn’t explicitly his own work, but Jimin was helpful. He pointed out the bits of the song that he liked, and the ones he didn’t understand, and between the two of them they wrangled it out into something a little easier to read, and a little more pleasant to listen to.

Yoongi had planned on pulling an all-nighter, but Jimin fell asleep at around four-thirty. One minute, he’d been listening to Yoongi’s voice as he went over a troublesome section of the song, and in the next, his head was pillowed on Yoongi’s shoulder and his breathing had slowed.

Oh my God. If only Hoseok was here to see this.

Gently, Yoongi shifted until Jimin was lying against the couch instead of on him. He moved quietly back to his desk to finish his work, ignoring the voice in the back of his head that was screaming over the fact the cute boy had literally fallen asleep on Yoongi’s couch.

Jimin slept quietly for hours, and Yoongi was just finishing up at eight-thirty when there was a series of frantic knocks at his door. Glancing at Jimin to check the noise hadn’t woken him – it hadn’t – Yoongi crossed quickly to the door.

“Shh!” he snapped, throwing it open.

Namjoon blinked at him. “What? Whatever, we gotta go – it’s due in half an hour, God, I knew you’d still be at home!”

“Calm down.” Yoongi stepped back, letting Namjoon into his dorm, as he rolled his eyes. “We have heaps of time. Besides, I’m ready.”

Namjoon muttered something under his breath that sounded vaguely like my ass, you are, and closed the door behind him. Yoongi saw the exact moment that his gaze fell on the figure curled on Yoongi’s couch, and his whole body froze.

“What the hell?” asked Namjoon. “Why is there a guy on your couch?”

“Keep your voice down, he’s asleep,” Yoongi hissed. Namjoon raised his eyebrows and Yoongi added, turning away from him. “That’s Jimin.”

“Wait. The Jimin?”

Yoongi whipped around to check if Jimin was awake and had heard him. Thankfully, he wasn’t, but he still levelled a heavy glare at Namjoon. “Yes,” he said shortly. “He just needed somewhere to crash.”

Namjoon looked impressed, and Yoongi left him standing next to the door as he hurried back to the desk. He scrawled something quickly on a spare sheet of paper and then dropped it onto the coffee table on Jimin’s right, ignoring Namjoon’s curious glances.

“Let’s go,” he said, grabbing the sheets of paper he’d printed his composition onto. “We can’t be late.”

Thankfully, Namjoon didn’t have anything else to comment, and simply followed him out of the dorm.

 


 

When Jimin woke up, he had no idea where he was.

Blinking blearily, he reached up to rub at his eyes with the heel of his hands. He didn’t have a hangover, so he probably hadn’t drunkenly hooked up with a stranger – plus he was wearing clothes, even if they weren’t his.

Then Jimin sat up a little straighter and saw a piece of paper left on the table. There were words written carelessly across the middle, so he pulled it towards him in case it was a note. It was.

Had to submit my composition and didn’t want to wake you. Thanks for the help.
-Yoongi

“Oh,” Jimin murmured softly, as memories of the night before came back to him. Yoongi had been kind enough to take him in after Jimin had been locked out of his dorm by Taehyung. Thank God, or Jimin probably would have ended up wandering the streets all night – even in the torrential downpour.

Smiling a little, Jimin straightened up on the couch. He hadn’t expected Yoongi to be so kind to him, especially after the awkward ways they’d met, but it was… nice. Jimin was pretty short on friends, but it seemed like he’d just made another one.

There wasn’t much he could do to repay Yoongi, so Jimin tried to straighten up the dorm as much as he could before he left. Though the night they’d spent together had been surprisingly relaxed, Jimin didn’t want to stick around long enough to find out if the lack of awkwardness was permanent.

He put his and Yoongi’s empty mugs in the sink and rinsed them out, before grabbing a pen off Yoongi’s desk. He printed a message as neatly as he could beneath Yoongi’s own note, before grabbing his wad of clothes and going to the door. He’d wash Yoongi’s and then return them later, because he really did not want to walk home in a damp outfit.

IOU. :)
- Jimin

Satisfied with how he’d left the dorm room, Jimin slipped out into the hallway. He locked the door behind him, certain that Yoongi would have a key.

“Jimin? What are you doing here?”

It was Chanyeol.

The other boy was at his door, probably having just arrived home from wherever he’d been the night before. Jimin dropped his hand immediately from Yoongi’s door, feeling guilt squirm in his stomach – which was ridiculous, because he hadn’t done anything wrong. “You’re back,” he blurted out.

Chanyeol raised an eyebrow. “Um, yeah…” His voice trailed off as his eyes flicked down to the too-long pants Jimin was wearing, and the sleeves hanging over his fingertips. “Are those Yoongi’s clothes?”

“Um, yeah.” Jimin, briefly, entertained the idea of running back inside Yoongi’s dorm to hide. But he’d already locked the door. “I tried to come over last night but you weren’t here, so I spent the night in his dorm.”

The explanation sounded a little weak, even to him, and Jimin felt his cheeks go pink. But why did he even care what Chanyeol thought?

But Chanyeol’s posture eased at the admittance. “Oh,” he said, with a small smile. He’d understood immediately. “Taehyung finally locked you out, huh?”

 Relieved, Jimin exhaled. “Yeah, in the middle of a thunderstorm,” he grumbled, and Chanyeol laughed.

“Give him hell, Park,” he suggested, and Jimin smirked.

“Oh, I will. Later, Yeol.”

“See you, Jimin.”

Chapter Text

Jimin’s phone had run out of battery some time during the night, but it flickered to life not long after he’d plugged it in. Jimin wandered back into his bedroom in time to hear it vibrate on the nightstand, seeing old texts appear on the screen.

 

9:25AM

taetae: jk and i have gone to the diner for breakfast~

taetae: come join us if u want !!

 

So that was why the dorm was empty. Jimin considered it briefly, but his stomach was achingly hollow and the prospect of a free meal – because he could definitely guilt Tae into buying it for him – was too good to pass up. He checked the time and texted back.

 

9:34AM

jiminnie: okay

jiminnie: can you order for me?

 

Tae texted back an affirmative as Jimin was wriggling into his jeans. He was too tired to change out of anything else, so he quickly tried to fix his hair before ducking out the door with his keys. It was a short walk to the diner they liked to frequent, and the bell tinkled as Jimin pushed open the door just a few minutes later.

He could see the back of Jungkook’s head in a booth to his right and Jimin walked towards them quickly, sliding in next to the younger boy with a smile. “Long time, no see, lovebirds,” he teased.

Jungkook choked on his pancake and Jimin had to thump him on the back a few times before he could speak, his cheeks red. “You’re such a dick, hyung,” he muttered, but his lips had twitched into a smile.

“This is yours,” Tae told him, sliding a plate across the table. It was a stack of pancakes drenched in maple syrup and liberally covered in pieces of fruit. Jimin took it gratefully. “So, where have you been?”

The words rubbed him the wrong way, but Jimin couldn’t pinpoint why. “What do you mean?” he asked, with a quizzical smile. “You were the one that locked me out.”

“Well, yeah.” Tae waved away that fact with a brief gesture. “But you didn’t get back until this morning!”

Jimin’s smile tightened, and it took a conscious effort to swallow past the sudden flare of bitterness in his throat. Why was Tae trying to make it sound like Jimin had chosen to stay away?

He’d been locked out of his dorm in the middle of the night, during a storm, with nowhere else to go – because his two best friends had been too busy fucking to think about where he was gonna go.

But Jimin couldn’t be bitter.

His friends were happy, right? And it wasn’t like they’d intentionally done it. Jimin himself had been responsible for sexiling Taehyung on multiple occasions – he could hardly fault him for doing the same.

So Jimin stole a sip of Jungkook’s drink – ew, it was coffee, he pulled a face at the bitterness – to save himself time before he had to answer. He smacked his lips as he put it back down, and met Taehyung’s gaze. “I went to Chanyeol’s dorm-”

“Again?” interrupted Jungkook, and picked a strawberry off Jimin’s plate in retaliation. “You’re always hanging out with him.”

“’Hanging out’,” Taehyung echoed, snickering. “Is that what we’re calling it now?”

Jimin flicked at Jungkook’s arm. “Well, where else was I supposed to go?” he pointed out. The words were a little harsher than he’d meant for them to be, but Jimin didn’t know how to soften them. He hadn’t even spent the night with Chanyeol, not that they were going to ask-

Luckily, Taehyung didn’t even seem to notice the slight edge in his tone. He was distracted, looking at Jimin oddly. “What happened to you being mad at him?” he asked. “You were pissed as hell a few days ago.”

Jungkook looked at them both questioningly. “What did he do?”

“Good question, Kookie. What did he do? You never explained.”

Jimin didn’t meet their eyes, choosing instead to shovel a piece of food into his mouth so he didn’t have to answer. He didn’t know what to say.

It felt like there was a yawning gap between Jimin and the two others, and it seemed to grow every day. He hadn’t realised just how little they knew about his life these days, and how much he’d kept them in the dark.

“Come on, Jiminnie,” Taehyung whined. He drew his lips into a small pout, like he was trying to butter Jimin up by doing some aegyo, but the older boy was too annoyed to be affected. “Stop keeping secrets.”

Secrets?

If Taehyung had ever actually made a concentrated effort to ask what was going on, Jimin would have told him. Jungkook, too. But they hadn’t.

The two longest and most meaningful friendships of Jimin’s life were crashing and burning because these days his two best friends only ever fucking thought about each other-

But suddenly, the hard bubble of anger in Jimin’s chest seemed to pop. In its place, a sickening rope of guilt started to twist.

He was being bitter and rude, and – above all – he was heaping blame on Jungkook and Taehyung that they didn’t deserve. It wasn’t their fault.

It was Jimin’s and he knew it.

He was keeping secrets. Jimin had been distancing himself from his two best friends for almost the entire month since they’d started dating. They didn’t care as much about him anymore and the only person Jimin could blame for that was himself.

Jimin knew he should tell them. But, in that moment, the idea of explaining it all exhausted him beyond words.

Explaining how he hadn’t been angry at Chanyeol, he’d been embarrassed; and how he’d gone to Chanyeol’s for a place to stay but even then, he hadn’t actually been there when Jimin had needed him – the one moment when he’d wanted a friend and not just benefits. Jimin had spent the night with a stranger because he wasn’t entirely sure if there was anyone he could call a friend anymore.

His eyes were burning and Jimin’s grip on the silverware had become painful. There was an aching hole in his chest and Jimin was the only one responsible for putting it there.

“Jimin?” Tae’s voice was soft. “Is everything okay?”

No. Suddenly the feeling was overwhelming. Jimin half-slid, half-fell out of the booth, pulling a few notes from his wallet. His hands were shaking as he dropped them onto the table and Jimin barely noticed that the tears had started to spill over his cheeks. Tae and Jungkook were watching with wide eyes.

“I-I’m sorry,” he stammered, and backed away from the table. “I can’t, I can’t-” Someone bumped into his back and Jimin nearly jumped out of his skin, glancing behind him before looking wildly back at his friends. When had it gotten so hard to breathe?

“Jimin-”

His breath was tearing up his insides and Jimin thought he might throw up. I’m sorry, he tried to say, but there wasn’t enough breath left in his lungs and if he tried to keep talking Jimin was seriously going to pass out.

So Jimin turned on his heel and ran out.

 


 

“So,” Namjoon began, with faux-innocence. “What was Jimin really doing in your dorm last night?”

Yoongi sighed. He’d known the second he’d opened the door to Namjoon that he’d regret it – and he did. Profusely. Because the other boy refused to let it go. “He was doing exactly what I said he was doing the last time you asked,” he drawled. “He needed a place to stay. I gave him one. End of story.”

Namjoon hummed as they ascended the steps into the studio, where they were recording that day. After a second, he chuckled, and admitted, “You know, I totally thought you were exaggerating over how cute he was. But damn, I was so wrong.”

Ignoring the slight possessive twinge in his chest – which, what the hell – Yoongi grunted. “Don’t doubt me next time,” he said simply.

“Did you get his number?” asked Namjoon, holding the door open as they slipped inside the building.

“Nope.”

“Are you gonna see him again?”

Yoongi thought of the note he’d found on his coffee table that morning, the neat IOU and smiley face written in Jimin’s hand. “Dunno,” he lied. “Are you out of questions yet?”

“Not even close.” Namjoon threw him a teasing grin. “When are you gonna tell the guys?”

At that, Yoongi scoffed. “I’m not. You’re all way too invested in this, and I’m not about to fuel the fire.”

“Hey, you agreed to it,” Namjoon pointed out. “You literally asked us to do this for you. If there’s anyone to blame, it’s you.”

Well… okay, that wasn’t entirely false. Still. It wasn’t like Yoongi was going to admit it.

Before they could say anything else, both of their phones buzzed at the same time. The notification was followed by a flood of others in rapid succession, and the pair threw each other equally confused looks as they dug their phones out of their pockets.

 

GROUP CHAT: meme fuckers

10:43AM

princess jin: so like

princess jin: i don’t mean to alarm anyone

princess jin: but uh

princess jin: yoongi

princess jin: im pretty sure your jimin is at the café rn

princess jin: and im also pretty sure he’s been crying

princess jin: and may or may not be currently having an anxiety attack at one of the back tables

princess jin: what do i do??

 


 

The worst part about realising you had no friends, Jimin decided, was that you had nowhere to go.

His panic had receded somewhat the further he’d gotten away from the diner. Jimin had stumbled home only long enough to retrieve his phone, which he’d left plugged in to charge, before heading back out. He couldn’t face Taehyung or Jungkook any time soon, and so the dorm was the last place he wanted to be.

Jimin kept his head down and his hood up as he walked aimlessly around campus, struggling to bring his breathing back under control. His eyes burned and he knew he looked like a total mess, so he tried to avoid eye contact with everyone he passed.

After about twenty minutes, though, Jimin’s legs felt like they might collapse and he knew he needed to sit down somewhere. He was thankful that he managed to pass by the Brewed Awakening as the thought occurred to him, so he could head straight inside.

It was too late for the pre-class rush and too early for lunch, so the café was almost empty. Unfortunately, he knew from experience that they wouldn’t permit non-customers to use the tables, so Jimin stepped up to the counter.

His voice was scratchy and Jimin had to clear his throat twice before it sounded halfway normal. He ordered his usual hot chocolate, and only recognised the guy working behind the counter as he was handing over his change. “Seokjin, right?”

The guy barely looked up. “Yep,” he confirmed, and glanced up to give Jimin a small smile. It faltered almost immediately and Jimin didn’t need to guess why. He’d always been an ugly crier. “Um, can I grab your name? For the order.”

“Jimin,” he said. His gaze had dropped to the counter and he missed how Seokjin’s shoulders stiffened.

As soon as his drink was ready, Jimin took it to the table furthest from the door. His body ached all over as he dropped into the chair, his hands still wrapped around the warm cup, and let himself sink into the seat.

God, he thought blearily. He’d fucked up so bad.

The panic had come on so quickly that all his defences had been down. It had been years since Jimin had had an attack like that, and he didn’t like the fact that they were returning.

But thinking of how he’d panicked in the diner made his heart beat faster and Jimin dug his nails into his palm, feeling the ache start to crawl up his throat again. He tried desperately to think of something, anything else, but the tremulous feeling in his chest was still shaking his ribcage. It wasn’t long before Jimin’s vision was smeared by more tears and he took a shuddering breath, moving one hand over his eyes while he tried to blink them away.

He needed to calm down. But thinking of how he needed to calm down only made it worse, and it wasn’t long before Jimin was finding it hard to breathe again.

Get a grip, he tried to tell himself, but his mind was too weak and the thought only made him feel worse. How the hell was he gonna explain himself to Taehyung and Jungkook? They deserved to know why he’d run out on them but Jimin didn’t think he could even try without shaking apart.

He took a deep breath and then another, holding them in his chest until the trembling in his hands started to ease. Jimin wiped a hand over his eyes, smearing wetness across his face, and tried to take a sip of his drink. The warmth was soothing, but his hands were still unsteady.

Two attacks in public in less than an hour. Shame curled in Jimin’s stomach and he surreptitiously glanced around the café, trying to see if anyone had noticed his near-breakdown. But the two workers weren’t looking at him – one leaning on the counter, the other texting frantically on his phone – and the three customers were absorbed in their own lives.

What he needed was a distraction – to get out of his head. Jimin shifted slightly so he could pull out his phone from his pocket.

There were, of course, a mass of texts from Taehyung and Jungkook. Jimin didn’t read them, and skipped down to the contact below theirs in his messages. But, surprisingly, Chanyeol had already messaged him a while ago.

Successfully distracted, Jimin took another sip of his drink and opened the texts. Chanyeol must have sent them while he’d been wandering around campus.

 

10:22AM

chanyeol: hey

chanyeol: so kris from the basketball team is throwing a house party tonight

chanyeol: there’s gonna be a lot of people and a lot of booze lol

chanyeol: you want in?

 

Jimin wondered, briefly, if Chanyeol was an angel sent from Heaven. Then he texted back, fingers flying over the screen.

 

10:46AM

jiminnie: god yes

jiminnie: but um

jiminnie: can i get ready at yours?

 

Chanyeol’s reply was nearly instant.

 

chanyeol: ofc

chanyeol: come over whenever

 

Jimin hesitated, and then typed another question. He didn’t give himself time to deliberate before he pressed send.

 

jiminnie: can i come like… now

chanyeol: i guess?? lol

chanyeol: im in class rn but sehun should be there

chanyeol: he’ll let u in

 

Jimin typed back a quick thank-you and stood, his chair scraping harshly against the wooden floorboards. He turned to the workers staring at him from behind the counter. “Can I get this to go?”

 

Chapter Text

Jimin widened his eyes, staring himself down in the mirror as he ran the black pencil along his water line. He smudged it out a little as soon as he was done, stepping back to see the full effect. When he did, he smiled.

He’d gone home before heading to Chanyeol’s dorm, and it hadn’t taken long to pick up an outfit plus the few articles of makeup he liked to use. Jimin had spent the next few hours at Chanyeol’s dorm, playing video games with his roommate until Chanyeol’s class had ended. They’d taken it as their cue to start getting ready once he’d arrived home, since there were only a few hours before the party started.

Thankfully, the redness and puffy skin from Jimin’s earlier breakdown had faded. He’d applied a bit of concealer, cream, and eyeliner after changing into his outfit, and Jimin kind of felt like a whole new person.

His thighs and ass were hugged tightly in the ripped skinny jeans he’d picked out, and he’d paired it with a black shirt and choker. The ensemble made his hair bright and stunning in comparison, and Jimin felt a little smug as he looked in the mirror. He looked damn good, and he knew it.

Jimin hadn’t hesitated to borrow Chanyeol’s deodorant and cologne, and he wondered if the older boy would notice. Then again, as he stepped out of the bathroom and saw the way Chanyeol’s gaze raked him from head to toe, he seemed pretty preoccupied noticing other things.

“Ready to go?” asked Jimin, and Sehun held out a beer.

“Almost,” he said, as Jimin accepted it and took a long drink. “Party started a while ago. I say we give it a little longer to blow up before we head over.”

Finally, Chanyeol seemed to tear his gaze away. “Agreed,” he said, as Jimin smirked into his drink. “Anyone up for another round of Mario Kart?”

 


 

By the time they arrived, the house party was in full swing. The bass thundered in Jimin’s chest like a second heartbeat as he climbed the stairs, following Chanyeol and Sehun as they weaved their way through the crowd of drunken college students.

Once they’d greeted Kris – a guy taller than Chanyeol, with sharp features and a cold expression that, surprisingly, didn’t hesitate to crack into a smile once he saw them – Sehun seemed to melt away from the pair, heading towards the cluster of people dancing in the center of the room.

Jimin stood on his tiptoes to yell in Chanyeol’s ear, watching the boy leave. “Where’s he going?”

Chanyeol shrugged, eyeing Sehun’s rapidly disappearing back, before he dipped his head to answer. His lips brushed Jimin’s ear as he spoke, and he could barely hide his shiver. “Probably to find his boyfriend,” explained Chanyeol. “You want a drink?”

Boyfriend? Jimin blinked, taken off-guard. He hadn’t even known Sehun was gay, or at least attracted to guys. But it did explain why he was so easy-going over being constantly locked out of his own dorm – he probably used all that extra time as an excuse to go visit said boyfriend.

But Chanyeol was waiting for an answer and so Jimin shook the thoughts out of his head, giving his friend a quick smile. “Yeah.”

In no time at all, Chanyeol was pressing a red cup into his hands. Whatever was inside sloshed over the edges and Jimin swore, but Chanyeol simply steered them both to the sides of the room where it was less crowded. He looked around the room, dark gaze searching the faces of people around them, as Jimin took his first sip of the drink.

As he swallowed, Chanyeol dipped his head until his lips were brushing the shell of Jimin’s ear. “I’m gonna go find Kyungsoo,” he said, naming one of his friends that Jimin only knew in passing. “Are you good?”

Jimin hesitated, his gaze flicking upwards to meet Chanyeol’s. They’d only just gotten to the party, and he was already being abandoned?

But Chanyeol was his fuckbuddy, not his babysitter, and after a moment to absorb the blow, Jimin forced his lips to twitch upwards into a smile. “I’m not a baby, Yeol,” he drawled, ignoring the sudden emptiness in his chest. “I can take care of myself. Go talk to your friends.”

Chanyeol glanced at him sideways, as though he’d caught the unexpected sharpness of Jimin’s words – but whatever he thought, he didn’t pursue it. “You sure?” he asked, and Jimin rolled his eyes.

Maybe it was just irritation at Chanyeol’s abrupt dismissal of him, but Jimin suddenly wanted the other boy gone. “I’m sure,” he said flatly.

“Alright. Come find me when you want to leave.”

With that, Chanyeol disappeared. Jimin stayed where he was for a while, just soaking in the atmosphere – the smell of cheap beer, the pumping music, and the hot swell of bodies moving together – but then his cup ran dry. Time to relocate.

His balance was off a little as he made his way to the kitchen he’d spotted earlier, and Jimin wondered what was in the drink Chanyeol had given him. He hadn’t even thought to ask.

There were a few people in the kitchen, lining the benches, but to his surprise Jimin already knew one of them. “Hyeri?”

It took the girl a little longer to recognise him from where she was sitting on the countertop, legs swaying. Then she cracked a huge smile. “Jimin! You’re here! Guys, this is Jimin and he’s my friend. We teach classes together!”

If the way she slurred his name was any indication, she’d been at the party for a while. Jimin smiled as she made grabby hands and moved closer until she could reel him in, almost between her thighs. “I didn’t realise you were friends with Kris.”

Hyeri blinked. “Who?”

Oh. Someone must have brought her here. Jimin didn’t resist as she stole his cup and peered into it, seemingly disgruntled when she found it empty. “Did you come with anyone?” he asked.

“Mhmm.” She nodded, her hands trailing up Jimin’s arms until she was cupping his cheeks. She patted them absently and then twisted, picking up another red cup from the counter. This time, it seemed to be full. “My boyfriend brought me. Hey, have you met him?”

Hyeri had a boyfriend now? Huh. Maybe she really had moved on from Taehyung. When Jimin shook his head, she gasped.

“Nooo! Come on, you have to meet him!” Hyeri tried to hop off the counter, but it was more of a slowed tumble until Jimin grabbed her by the waist, holding her steady. Some of the drink in her cup spilled over, splattering his arm. “Let’s go!” She grabbed his wrist and started to lead them towards the room Jimin had just come from. “He’s a dancer too,” she said excitedly, even though Jimin could barely hear her over the music. “And he’s soo cute, come on, you’re gonna love him-”

Hyeri giggled as she nearly crashed into a few people, neatly pulling past a rather grossly intertwined couple and towards the people dancing. “Oops,” she muttered, and Jimin had to stifle a laugh.

Finally they seemed to reach the centre of the writhing mass and Hyeri paused, standing on her tiptoes to look around. “Where is – ooh! Wonho!” When no one responded, Hyeri jumped up and down, waving her arm. “Wonho!”

Someone turned around. The pulsing lights lit up his face and Hyeri grinned, pulling at his wrist until her boyfriend stumbled towards them. “Wonho, this is Jimin! He’s my friend from the dance studio-”

As she continued to ramble, Wonho’s gaze flickered to Jimin. Hyeri had done well, Jimin had to admit – her boyfriend’s dark hair was parted over his forehead, and he’d rolled up his long white sleeves to just below the elbow. The outfit exaggerated his muscles, the swell of his biceps, and Jimin found his gaze wandering before he could help it.

When he finally managed to catch himself, Wonho was watching him with his tongue between his teeth and eyes dark. “You wanna dance?” he asked, and for a second Jimin thought he was talking to him.

But Hyeri nodded, giggling, and caught her boyfriend by the waist. Her dark hair swung as she leaned into him, glancing back over her shoulder at Jimin to give him a bright smile. “Bye, Jimin!”

Taking the dismissal for what it was, Jimin took one last look at Wonho – who was still watching him, despite the way his hands rested on Hyeri’s waist – and then went back the way he’d been led. He didn’t know how long he’d been at the party, but Jimin still wasn’t sufficiently buzzed and he wanted to fix that ASAP.

Luckily, other party-goers were far too happy to refill Jimin’s cup once he made his way back to the kitchen and the keg of beer tucked in its corner. Other than Hyeri and Chanyeol, the party was full of unfamiliar faces – but Jimin couldn’t really say that he minded. He stayed in the kitchen for a while, talking and laughing with the small group that had gathered there, stumbling more and more over his words with each progressive refill.

Jimin had lost count of how many drinks he’d had when someone stood in front of him. It took a second for their face to swim into focus. “Tae… Taemin?”

The boy from his dance class grinned, his teeth a flash of white. “What the hell are you doing in here, Chim?” yelled Taemin. “Why aren’t you dancing?”

Jimin laughed, tipping his head back. “I dunno, I dunno if I can stand, man.”

Snorting, Taemin pulled him off the counter. Jimin stumbled straight into his arms, giggling a little, but Taemin only straightened him up and held onto his hand. “Jongin’s here too, with his boyfriend!”

“Well, let’s go,” Jimin slurred, and followed Taemin back into the living room. He only stumbled twice on the way, and felt ridiculously proud of himself. He wasn’t even that drunk, see? He was walking in straight lines and everything. Once they were nestled within the crowd, Taemin let go of Jimin’s hand. The beat of the music settled under his skin, an electric pulse, and Jimin started to dance.

Dancing in a studio was incomparable to dancing in a crowd at a party or a club, but Jimin was pretty proud that he was damn good at both. Laughter spilled out of him as he moved to the music, his eyes closed and body swinging. At some point, Sehun and Jongin had joined them – something about boyfriends clicked in his head, but Jimin wouldn’t realise it until later – and having a small, equally skilled crowd to party with made the night infinitely more fun.

Jimin was dipping in time to the music, swaying in a way that he knew made his ass look incredible, when calloused hands slid over his hipbones, someone aligning themselves behind him. It was a guy – the slight hardness pressing into his back was kind of unmistakable, really – and Jimin’s lips twitched into a smirk as he pressed backwards into the touch. He felt a hard chest mould against his back and Jimin let his right hand slide up theirs, following the line of their body until he was cupping the back of their neck, pressing their bodies together.

He felt it as the guy dipped his head, lips grazing the shell of Jimin’s ear. The full-body shiver didn’t go unnoticed, and the hands on his hips tightened. “Your ass is sinful,” they growled, and the voice was somehow familiar. But Jimin couldn’t place it immediately so he just hummed, grinding back hard enough to hear the guy’s quick intake of breath.

“Fuck,” they murmured, breathless, and Jimin almost purred. He loved the things he could do to other people – make them want, make them wild. His teeth sank into his lip, a low gasp building in his throat, as whoever it was started trailing kisses down his neck.

His hips stuttered, body faltering, as teeth scraped against his pulse. The guy behind him made a small, triumphant sound and closed his lips over the spot. Jimin felt the first flick of tongue against skin and he melted, eyes sliding shut as he tilted his chin to bare his neck.

They took advantage, sucking harder on his skin, and Jimin felt his dick start to pay attention. There was no mistaking the curl of arousal in his stomach as he ground back against the stranger, breath catching in his throat. Shit. Whatever hickey they left was going to be insane, but Jimin didn’t even care.

His fingers slid up, tangling in the guy’s hair, and Jimin ground back against him one last time as the stranger finally released his neck. His hands had found their way under Jimin’s shirt, warm against his skin, and they tightened slightly on his hips as Jimin turned around to see them face to face.

Swaying slightly, Jimin tried to place him. He knew this guy, didn’t he? Something about the way his dark hair fell over his forehead rang bells in the back of his mind.

His dick was hard against Jimin’s thigh and the crushing crowd pressed them together. Jimin stumbled slightly and the guy’s grip on him tightened, and finally it clicked. “Wonho?” he murmured.

Wonho’s grin was sharp. “Hey, Jimin,” he said, his voice slow and soft like syrup. His hands dipped a little lower, and Jimin felt them smooth over the curve of his ass. “God, I wanted to do this since I first saw you.”

This was a bad idea. Why was it a bad idea? Jimin couldn’t remember, and he frowned slightly even as he pulled Wonho closer. They were both covered in a thin layer of sweat and Wonho’s neck was slightly sticky as Jimin dragged his hand down, and then over Wonho’s chest. It was firm and warm beneath his touch, and Jimin hooked his fingers in his belt loops.

His mind felt like it was turning in a sticky pool of honey, too slow to grasp what was going on. He had to think. There was something he was forgetting, something important-

Then Wonho dipped his head, slanting his mouth over Jimin’s, and he forgot to think of anything at all.

Chapter Text

Wonho tasted like cheap beer. But his mouth was warm and his tongue rather insistent, so Jimin parted his lips and let Wonho lick inside the cave of his mouth. One of his hands moved from the curve of Jimin’s ass, sliding around his hip to cup his groin instead and Jimin moaned brokenly, rocking into the pressure.

Electricity spiked up Jimin’s spine and he pulled back a little for air. But Wonho went with him, teeth scraping lightly against Jimin’s lower lip. His hips dragged against Jimin’s and he inhaled sharply, surprised. But the friction was delicious and Jimin rocked back against him, eager.

“…Wonho?”

For a second, the soft voice didn’t register. Wonho’s tongue was sliding against his and Jimin was lost in the sensation, pushing eagerly into the hand that was just dipping below his waistband. But then it hit him and Jimin jerked away, eyes wide.

Hyeri.

“Oh my God,” he said weakly. Jimin’s head whipped back towards Wonho, who was running a tongue over his lip as he met Hyeri’s gaze, and then back towards his friend. “Oh my God,” he said, again. The blood drained from his face.

Hyeri’s bottom lip was trembling and she looked a breath away from bursting into tears. All three of them were utterly still, an eye in the storm that was the raging party around them. “Wonho,” she said again, and this time Hyeri’s voice broke.

Wonho said nothing – and it was too much for her. Hyeri’s expression shattered and she turned on her heel, disappearing into the crowd. Jimin’s eyes widened.

“Shit, fuck, damn it-” He had to go after her, he had to apologise, he had to calm her down or do something to make up for the fact that Jimin had just been making out with her boyfriend.

A hand caught on his wrist and Jimin whirled. “Where are you going?” asked Wonho, and his gaze flicked down to the obvious tent in Jimin’s pants. “We’re not done yet.”

Jimin didn’t think. He pulled back his fist and slammed it, hard, into Wonho’s jaw. It sent the other boy reeling, knocking into at least three other people before hitting the floor. But Jimin just glared. “Yes, we fucking are,” he spat, and then went after Hyeri.

She’d barrelled through the crowd and straight onto the porch, leaving the front door swinging behind her. Jimin pushed through it, stumbling slightly over the step, and called her name. “Hyeri!”

The porch wasn’t empty, and there were at least six people watching as Hyeri whirled on him. “What, Jimin?” she spat venomously. “What the fuck do you want?”

For some reason, it hadn’t clicked until just then that Hyeri might be mad at him – upset over what had happened, yes, but not angry. Jimin was beginning to realise that was a mistake as her eyes narrowed, fists clenched at her sides, and took a step towards him.

“Woah.” Jimin held up his hands. Okay, maybe he wasn’t as sober as he thought he was – the move nearly overbalanced him. “I just, I just wanted to say I’m sorry-”

“Really, Jimin?” Hyeri scoffed. “That’s all you wanna say when you just fucking made out with my boyfriend?

Her words ended in a screech and Jimin winced. There was a soft ooh from behind him, undoubtedly from one of the spectators, and Jimin shook his head frantically. “I know, I know,” he said quickly, “I forgot who he was and I just, I wasn’t thinking, Hyeri, please-”

She’d been standing on the ground below the porch but at that, she stomped back up the stairs. Jimin thought briefly about making a tactical retreat but it was too late – she was in his face already. “You know what, Jimin?” she said, and her voice was calmer. Jimin relaxed slightly, not recognising its cruel edge. “I’m not even surprised.”

“Hyeri, what do you-”

“You’re such a fucking slut, Jimin,” she hissed, and he flinched back almost violently. “I never should have introduced you to Wonho. I should have known you’d shove his hands down your pants the first chance you got!”

Her voice was venomous. Jimin reeled, feeling as though he’d been slapped. “Hyeri-”

Man-whore,” she accused, and it was like a blow to the stomach. Then she stepped back, away from him, and threw him one last poisonous look. “Go fuck yourself, Jimin - or find someone else to do it for you. God knows you’re good at that.”

The words were like knives and Jimin didn’t know how much more he could take. He reached out for her arm, his voice soft. “Hyeri, please.”

Hyeri’s hand cracked across his face. Pain spiked through his cheek and Jimin cried out, jerking backwards. “Leave me alone!” yelled Hyeri, and then she stormed off.

There were a few sniggers behind him and Jimin knew his audience was more than amused by what had happened. But his cheek stung, and his eyes were starting to well with tears, and all he could feel was the shame, rancid and hot, starting to swirl in his stomach. He’d fucked up. He’d fucked up so bad, and the horrific nature of what he’d done was starting to make his head swim.

Suddenly unsteady, Jimin sat down heavily on the porch. Maybe he should just go home.

But then he remembered what was waiting for him – Taehyung and Jungkook. They’d be expecting answers for his behaviour, and Jimin just didn’t know how to give one to them.

His eyes burned with a fresh wave of tears and Jimin dropped his head into his hands. Was there anything he didn’t fuck up? Any friendship left that he had yet to burn?

Suddenly, Chanyeol’s words from earlier echoed in his mind. Come find me when you want to leave.

Well, he still had one friend, at least. Jimin wobbled to his feet, avoiding the curious gazes of the partiers still gathered on the porch, and wandered back inside. He’d find Chanyeol, and then he’d go back to his place and finally pass out.

Maybe then Jimin could finally leave this mess behind him.

 


 

“-the melody’s fine, I think we just have to tweak the backing vocals a little more. Seokjin’s probably free, we can rope him into doing it.”

Yoongi grunted to let Hoseok know he was still listening, and moved carefully so that the box he was holding didn’t scrape against the railing. “Watch the corners.”

Carefully, Hoseok shifted his grip and moved with Yoongi until they were once again parallel to the stairwell. “Also, though God knows Seokjin’s voice is literally better than multiple orgasms, I’m starting to think that we should consider looking for a second vocalist.”

“Why?” Fuck, this box was heavy. Yoongi readjusted his hold on it as best he could without dropping the damn thing, and took a deep breath. They were on the second floor. Only one more to go, and then he’d reach his dorm. Finally.

Hoseok shrugged, but carefully. Yoongi took another step up and Hoseok grimaced as he took the extra weight. “Well, there are three rappers, right? It doesn’t make sense to just have one vocalist. We should balance it out a little more.”

“I guess.” Yoongi considered it as they turned the next corner. “How would we find anyone else though?”

“Dunno. Finding Seokjin was miracle enough, honestly.”

At that, Yoongi had to agree. It was damn lucky that Namjoon had been dating the vocalist when the three rappers had started working on tracks together, or they might never have found someone with a voice as talented as his. “We’ll think about it later,” he grunted eventually. “First we gotta get through this fuckin’ stack.”

Hoseok huffed a laugh. They both knew that sorting through the contents of the box – a series of hard-drives, old laptops, and a USB or two – was going to take them almost all night.

The music studios were being closed over the upcoming break for remodelling, and that meant they’d have nowhere to work on their tracks. Luckily, their music professor had connections to an independently-owned studio near the campus – and she’d promised to put in a good word for them if they helped her out by re-organising old assessments and hand-ins. They’d agreed rather eagerly – even without the promise of a working space over the break, there was a good chance they’d be inspired by the old projects they went through.

Finally, they reached the landing. Yoongi bit his lip as he manoeuvred some of the box’s weight onto his hip, freeing up one hand to pull open the door. As soon as he did, familiar voices spilled into the stairwell.

“But Chanyeol, I don’t wanna-”

A quiet murmur cut off the petulant whine and Yoongi looked back at Hoseok, his eyebrows shooting up his forehead. Hoseok looked just as surprised – it was almost 2AM, what the hell were Jimin and Chanyeol doing in the hallway?

After a moment, Hoseok shrugged and nudged the box against Yoongi’s stomach. Who cares, he was saying. Let’s just get this into your dorm.

Fair enough. Subconsciously, Yoongi braced himself for whatever he was about to see, and then swung the door wide to step into the hall.

Huh. It was, somehow, both exactly what he’d prepared for, and nothing at all what he’d expected.

Jimin had his back against the wall next to Chanyeol’s dorm. The older boy was leaning over him, forearm braced against the wall as he spoke in quiet, soft tones. His posture was relaxed, not predatory, but his left hand was curled around Jimin’s hip and something in the back of Yoongi’s mind growled at the sight. Jimin was pouting at Chanyeol’s shoes, and after a second, Chanyeol lifted his hand to tap the bottom of Jimin’s chin until the boy looked up, meeting his gaze.

Yoongi glanced back at Hoseok, who was openly watching the pair. He looked back at Yoongi, shooting him a quizzical look, before focusing back on the two students.

He felt as confused as Hoseok looked. Just that afternoon, Seokjin had seen Jimin crying and breaking down in his coffee shop – and here he was now, with Chanyeol in the halls? 

Yoongi still remembered the ridiculous panic that had seized him when he’d read the text messages. He’d almost turned on his heel to run to the café before Namjoon had caught his arm, holding him back to let Seokjin deal with the situation. Annoyed, but realising how weird it would be to randomly turn up looking for Jimin, he’d settled for spamming the older boy with messages urging him to do something.

Seokjin had been about to cross the café and sit down with Jimin to ask him what was wrong when suddenly, he’d stopped texting. It was only a minute later when he reported that Jimin had left in a hurry, before he could approach him, but it had felt like an hour.

Yoongi had assumed he’d gone home. To find him here, at 2AM, was a little bit of a shock.

Jimin looked up at Chanyeol, his eyes wide. Chanyeol’s head started to dip-

-and Yoongi dropped the box.

Chanyeol jerked away from Jimin at the sudden booming noise and Yoongi had to suppress a grin. “Morning, Chanyeol,” he said pleasantly.

He could feel the wide-eyed look Hoseok was giving him, but Yoongi ignored it. Chanyeol blinked at him. “Oh, Yoongi, hey… It’s like, 1AM,” he added, sounding confused.

“2AM, actually,” Hoseok corrected, just to be an asshole.

Chanyeol had dropped his arm from the wall, but his body was still blocking Jimin. Yoongi watched as the smaller boy squirmed out from behind him, and felt his heart pound at the blinding smile he was given when Jimin caught sight of him. It chased away the sadness that Yoongi had glimpsed, briefly, as the younger boy called his name.

Yoongi thoughts stuttered dumbly at the sight of Jimin’s delighted expression, but managed to give him a small smile. “Hey, Jimin.”

Hoseok shifted awkwardly next to him. “Hi,” he added, and Jimin’s gaze moved to him.

“Hoseok!” he cried, and treated the boy with another blindingly beautiful smile. “You’re here!”

Jimin wriggled his way out of the cage of Chanyeol’s body and stumbled towards them. A giggle spilled out of his mouth as he tripped over his own feet and almost went sprawling, catching himself at the last second. “Oops,” he laughed.

Jimin, Yoongi realised rather belatedly, was fucking smashed.

He glanced back at Chanyeol, gaze suddenly calculating. He wasn’t as obviously drunk, but Yoongi had a feeling that it wasn’t because he’d had any less than Jimin. As Yoongi’s gaze looked over his neighbour carefully, noting his clouded gaze and the way his whole body was resting against the wall as though for support, he realised that – if anything – Chanyeol was probably more affected than Jimin, not less. He’d already gone past Jimin’s excitedly bubbly stage, and was well into the next one.

Yoongi was distracted by his thoughts as, still laughing, Jimin collapsed into Hoseok’s arms. The smell of sweat and cheap beer hit him a second later and Yoongi almost reeled backwards. “Oh my God,” Hoseok muttered, blinking rapidly, and Yoongi had to agree. Had Jimin gone swimming in alcohol or something? He positively reeked.

“Jimin, you’re drunk,” Yoongi said, but not unkindly. Jimin turned to look at him from Hoseok’s arm, scrunching his nose in distaste.

“I am not,” he declared vehemently. “Could a drunk person do this?

Jimin pushed Hoseok away and took a step back, preparing to do… well, something. But the boy tripped over his own feet and landed on his ass with a small gasp. He looked around himself, as though absolutely stunned by what had happened, and then glanced back at Yoongi. “Okay, I’m a little drunk,” he admitted, and held out his hand. Sticking out his tongue, Jimin squeezed his thumb and pointer finger together until there was just a breath of space between them. “But only a little bit.”

Beside him, Hoseok huffed a laugh. He stepped forward and held out his hands, pulling Jimin gently to his feet. “Come on, kid,” he said, and Yoongi wasn’t imagining the fondness in his voice. “You need to have some water and go to bed.”

“I can’t,” Jimin said immediately, shaking his head. “I can’t.”

 Yoongi rolled his eyes. “Sure you can,” he said. He glanced at Chanyeol. “He’s staying at yours, right?”

“No,” Chanyeol said, at the same time Jimin complained, “He won’t let me.”

Chanyeol yawned, turning to face Jimin. “You gotta go home, man,” he slurred. “Tae’s probably worried about you.”

For some reason, Jimin’s eyes looked glassy. Hoseok and Yoongi exchanged equally confused glances. “I can’t,” he said again, and Jimin sounded absolutely miserable. “I can’t go home.”

A dull thunk drew Yoongi’s attention back to the scene in front of him, and he looked over to see Chanyeol had dropped his head – rather heavily – against the wooden frame of his door. “I think I’m gonna throw up,” he confessed, staring blearily at his shoes.

Jimin’s nose wrinkled at the warning and he took a step away from Chanyeol, neatly dragging Hoseok with him. Yoongi exchanged a brief look of disbelief with his friend, and then moved to Chanyeol’s side to gently peel his neighbour away from the door.

“Okay,” he began, taking the keys from Chanyeol’s hand and quickly unlocking the door. “Honestly, getting that shit out of your system the fast way would probably be good for you.” Chanyeol started to sway on his feet and Yoongi grunted, holding him around the waist – why did his neighbour have to be so goddamn tall – and sighed again. “Come on.”

He’d never been inside Chanyeol’s dorm before, but the layout was identical to his own and Yoongi dragged the taller boy towards the bathroom. He could hear Hoseok following, murmuring quiet reassurances to Jimin as he led the boy to the couch.

Chanyeol groaned as Yoongi flicked on the bathroom lights, dramatically throwing an arm over his eyes. The move nearly overbalanced them both and Yoongi cursed, clutching at the wall for support. “Fucking hell, Chanyeol, don’t do that,” he huffed, glancing irritably at his drunk neighbour.

Hoseok entered the bathroom with painkillers and a large glass of water just as Yoongi had managed to drape Chanyeol’s body over the toilet. He placed them on the floor within Chanyeol’s reach, and then turned to Yoongi with amusement written all over his face.

“They’re so wasted,” he whispered, sounding absolutely delighted. “I can’t believe it.”

Yeah, a drunk mess was hilarious so long as it was someone else. Yoongi huffed a soft laugh under his breath – though, really, he found Hoseok’s amusement a lot more entertaining than Chanyeol’s current state. “Dumb kid,” he said, but the words were soft. “Doesn’t know his limits yet.”

Hoseok hummed, about to say something – but it was at that moment that Chanyeol retched, his entire body shuddering as he vomited into the toilet.

“Gross,” muttered Hoseok, but he crouched down next to Chanyeol and patted his back sympathetically. “Feeling better?”

Chanyeol’s only response was a pitiful moan, quickly cut off by another gag. Hoseok pulled another face, but didn’t move away or lift his hand.

Yoongi had never been good with sickness, so he left Hoseok to it and padded back out into the living room. He was halfway to the couch when Jimin shifted, peering at him with wide eyes. “Is Yeol okay?” he asked.

“He’ll be fine,” Yoongi told him. “He just had too much to drink.”

Jimin sniffed, nodding sombrely. “Okay,” he said, voice soft. “Does he need… I mean, do you want me to-”

Whatever he’d been about to say was cut off by Hoseok’s loud sigh as he exited the bathroom, closing the door behind him. “He just threw up on himself,” he explained, in answer to their curious looks. “Jimin, which bedroom is his? I’ll get a change of clothes for him.”

“That – um, that one,” Jimin said, indicating the room to Yoongi’s right.

“Thanks,” Hoseok muttered, and went inside.

Silence rolled over the room again, almost oppressive in the darkness, but Yoongi barely noticed. He was too busy watching as Jimin curled in on himself, his expression falling quickly as he hunched over and pressed his hands to his stomach.

Yoongi walked over, his footsteps silent on the carpet floor, and his hand was cupping the back of Jimin’s neck before he thought twice about it. “Everything okay, kid?” he asked softly.

Jimin tensed under his hand, and slowly lifted his head to meet Yoongi’s gaze. Without the lights on, it was too hard to see his expression – Yoongi could only just make out the creased lines in his forehead, the troubled pout to his lips. For a second, Yoongi thought he saw something like tears in Jimin’s eyes.

Hoseok chose that time to re-enter the room, and Jimin jerked away from his hand. Yoongi left it hanging in the air for a moment, surprised, before letting it fall back to his side.

He didn’t seem to have noticed anything, but Hoseok jerked his head in a clear indication for Yoongi to approach him as he hesitated outside the bathroom door. Yoongi glanced at Jimin and then went over, shoving his hands into his pockets. “What?”

Hoseok didn’t waste time. “Chanyeol’s going to need a shower,” he began, “and then I’m going to try to put him in bed – granted he doesn’t, I dunno, choke on his own puke or something. But Jimin needs a shower, too – I love the kid, but he smells pretty bad right now. And there’s only one bathroom here. We’re gonna have to divide and conquer.”

“And… you want me to take Jimin?” said Yoongi, hesitating.

“Yeah.” Hoseok gave Yoongi a small smile, and indicated the bathroom behind him with a jerk of his chin. “I’m better at dealing with this kind of stuff, anyway. Besides, you can owe me later.”

But Yoongi still faltered, giving Hoseok an uneasy glance. “Are you sure?” he asked. Taking care of Chanyeol alone probably wouldn’t be an easy task.

Hoseok twisted the door handle, half-stepping inside the bathroom. “Go. I’ve got this,” he murmured, his voice soft. He glanced between Yoongi and Jimin, and lowered his voice. “He needs you, Yoongi.”

With those parting words, Hoseok shut the door behind him. Yoongi heard him say something quietly to Chanyeol once he was inside, reassuring and kind.

And then Yoongi and Jimin were left alone.

Chapter Text

Silence swelled at the heart of the room, a quiet and slumbering calm that could only ever be experienced in the early hours of the morning when most of the world slept on. Yoongi took a deep breath, and then turned to face the boy still curled on the couch.

Jimin was staring at his hands, clasped together in his lap, but he looked up when Yoongi padded over to stand in front of him. He blinked, focusing, and then gave a soft smile as he murmured, “Yoongi-hyung.”

His slow reaction, though, was an uncomfortable reminder of Jimin’s current state of inebriation. Yoongi sighed internally and tilted his head to the side, indicating the door. “Come on, kid,” he said softly. “We’re gonna move to my dorm, okay?”

Jimin scrunched his nose, kicking his feet together, and said, “Okay.” He reached out for Yoongi’s hands, which he gave unthinkingly, and then rose slowly to a standing position. Yoongi clutched tighter reflexively as Jimin rocked back on his heels, his legs a little unsteady. “I don’t think I can stand by myself,” admitted Jimin, his voice low and embarrassed.

“Okay.” Yoongi cleared his throat, and readjusted them both until Jimin’s arms were wrapped around his middle. He ignored the sudden tightness in his chest as Jimin’s head came to rest against his shoulder, his body a long line of warmth against Yoongi’s front. “Keep hold of me, yeah?”

Yoongi felt Jimin nod against his chest, his small fists tightening in the soft fabric of Yoongi’s shirt. The smaller boy felt boneless in his arms – like if Yoongi wasn’t holding him up, he’d probably melt onto the floor.

It was a difficult and slow process to manoeuvre them both towards the door and down the hallway, pausing only for Yoongi to dig his keys out of his pocket. He didn’t bother turning on the lights, his hands too full with Jimin, as he let them both inside and steered Jimin further into the dorm.

“I wanna go to sleep,” Jimin mumbled, a quiet confession beneath Yoongi’s chin. He glanced down, felt his lips brush against the top of Jimin’s head, and jerked away quickly before the drunken boy noticed. He didn’t, of course, but that fact did nothing to slow Yoongi’s heart from its rapid pace.

Some of the messier tufts of Jimin’s hair were still tickling his chin, though, and Yoongi smoothed them down absently. “Not yet,” he told him, and started to unwrap Jimin’s octopus-like grip from around his waist. With his support gone, the smaller boy sat down rather heavily on the couch. “I’m going to let you take the bed tonight, but only if you’re clean.”

“I’m clean,” came Jimin’s mumbled protest, but Yoongi wasn’t paying attention. He crossed back to the front door, ducking out briefly to drag the heavy box inside that he and Hoseok had left out in the hallway, before shutting it behind him. Yoongi left it unlocked, though, in case Hoseok needed to come into his dorm.

When he turned back around, Jimin had hunched over into the same position as earlier. Something almost like sadness stirred in Yoongi’s chest, and he remembered what Hoseok had retrieved for Chanyeol – the water and painkillers.

The earlier Jimin had them, the better he’d feel in the morning. Yoongi rolled his lips between his teeth and then padded towards the kitchen to retrieve them. It wasn’t much, he thought, but it was a start.

 


 

“Here, Jimin. You need to take these.”

The words floated slowly through the fog clouding Jimin’s mind, and he guessed – from the concern on Yoongi’s face – that it took longer than it should have for him to blink, process the words, and look up at him. The older boy was holding out his hands, offering a large glass of water and two small pills.

Yoongi handed him the water first and then, as Jimin started taking small sips, grabbed his other hand to carefully tip the painkillers into his palm. “You’ll thank me later,” he said, and Jimin obediently brought them to his mouth.

His mouth was uncomfortably dry, and Jimin hadn’t realised how thirsty he was. It wasn’t long until he had drained it all, with Yoongi watching patiently to then remove the glass from his hand and place it on the coffee table.

“You good?” he asked, and Jimin nodded slowly.

He… he had to do something, didn’t he? Jimin frowned, struggling to remember, and then sighed as it occurred to him. “Shower?”

“Mhmm. You need a hand again?”

“I think… yeah.” Jimin reached up, taking hold of Yoongi again, and clung to him tightly. “Are you coming in with me?” he asked, his voice sleepy and tired.

Jimin wondered if he was imagining it when he felt Yoongi tense underneath his hands. Then the moment passed, and Jimin glanced up at him. There were no lights on, and the dorm was filled only with vague shapes formed by the streetlights outside the windows. In the darkness, Yoongi’s expression was unreadable. “No, Jimin.”

“Oh.” Jimin reached out to push the bathroom door open as they approached and Yoongi shoved them both inside, fumbling for the light switch.

Jimin made a small, pained noise in the back of his throat as they flickered on, and Yoongi turned them off quickly. “Sorry, sorry,” he murmured, shushing Jimin quickly. Then he pushed Jimin gently towards the toilet tucked in the corner. “Sit down.”

He lowered the lid and sat on it heavily, watching as Yoongi leaned into the shower to twist the tap. It groaned and then a spray of water hit the tiles, splashing slightly against Yoongi’s outstretched arm.

Jimin was going to have a shower and that meant he had to be naked, right? The fact occurred to Jimin slowly and he glanced down, wriggling his toes inside his black boots. He should probably take those off, then.

He was distracted from the thought as Yoongi knelt in front of him, his large hands sliding down Jimin’s legs. “Gotta take these off,” he muttered, as though he’d heard what Jimin was thinking, and his fingers slid down to wrap around the back of Jimin’s ankle. He untied the laces with a few sharp pulls and then tugged off his shoe, placing it gently on the bathroom floor.

Yoongi was so nice, and such a good friend. Jimin didn’t deserve him.

The thought stung and Jimin sniffed, tucking his hands under his thighs. Tears were starting to well up in his eyes again. “Yoongi?” he asked, quietly.

“Mm?” The other shoe came off as easily as the first and Yoongi straightened, reaching for Jimin’s belt. He stopped at the look on Jimin’s face, his hands coming to rest on the other boy’s thighs. “What’s wrong?”

Jimin bit his lip, and felt the slow warmth of the first few tears rolling down his cheeks. “I kissed Wonho,” he confessed, and it felt like the most shameful three words to ever come from his mouth. But he kept going. “He was Hyeri’s boyfriend and I kissed him, Yoongi. I kissed him.”

A shadow crossed Yoongi’s face, but it was gone too fast for Jimin to see properly. But Yoongi tilted his head, and his eyes were a little sadder, a little less shiny, as he gave Jimin a soft look. “Oh, Jimin,” he murmured.

A small sob broke from Jimin’s mouth and he keeled forward, into Yoongi’s chest. The other boy’s arms came up around him immediately, pulling him closer, until Jimin’s forehead was tucked against his collarbone. His shoulders shook as Jimin cried, the sound barely muffled by the running shower, until Yoongi’s white t-shirt was damp with his tears.

The sounds coming out of Jimin’s mouth eventually resolved themselves to words. “I’m so bad, Yoongi,” he told him, and his throat ached with the weight of its truth. “I’m not good. I ran away from Tae and Kookie and th-then I kissed someone else’s boyfriend-”

“Shh, Jimin, hey-”

But the words were rolling out of him now. “My best friends are dating and I can’t even be happy for them, Yoongi, I can’t. I want to but they’re leaving me behind and I j-just can’t do it, I hate it, I want them to break up I can’t do it I can’t lose them both-”

Yoongi’s hand had crept up the back of his head, tangling in his hair, and the pain was almost grounding as Jimin sobbed into his shoulder. “Hyeri called me a slut,” he blubbered, and the memory brought a fresh wave of tears. “S-she said I was a whore and it’s true, Yoongi, it’s true, the only thing I’m good at is f-fucking and it’s all I’m good for, I just ruin everything-

It was all too much. Jimin broke off and cried bitterly into Yoongi’s shoulder, unable to even form words. He was vaguely aware of Yoongi making small, soothing noises as his grip on Jimin tightened – and suddenly he was being pulled into Yoongi’s lap, down on the bathroom floor.

Yoongi’s arms were still wrapped around him like a vice and Jimin felt like it was the only thing keeping him contained. His whole body was wracked with the strength of his sobbing and it stole Jimin’s breath, until all he could do was hiccup into Yoongi’s chest and feel the gritty ache in his eyes from the tears.

Eventually, once the worst of his sobbing had ceased, Yoongi pulled back just enough so that he could rest his forehead against Jimin’s and meet his eyes. “You’re not a slut, Jimin,” he said firmly, and the hand in Jimin’s hair slid down to curl tightly around the back of his neck. “You’re not any of those things, okay?”

Jimin sniffled, and Yoongi’s other hand lifted to hold the side of his face. His thumb brushed gently over Jimin’s cheek, wiping away the tears still clinging to his skin. “You’re a good person,” he said earnestly, and Jimin was trapped in his hands – forced to listen to the comforting words washing over him, to see the warmth in his eyes. “Sometimes you feel bad things, or you do bad things, but the fact that you’re crying over them now just shows how good you are. Okay?”

His head was pounding – from the beer, the tears, or some combination thereof – and Jimin’s eyes slid closed. “I…I can’t,” he said miserably, but he couldn’t finish the rest of the sentence; I can’t believe that. Yoongi didn’t have to ask him what he meant.

“It’s okay,” Yoongi murmured, and the older boy hesitated. In the darkness of the dim bathroom, Jimin thought he could see a growing flush on Yoongi’s cheeks. “You’re okay,” he said softly, and Jimin felt lips brush gently against his forehead.

Jimin couldn’t help but lean into the touch and its warm comfort. The affection was a soothing balm over the jagged aches in his chest, and he soaked it in for as long as he could. Jimin pulled back after a moment though, sniffing, and opened his eyes.

Yoongi was watching him, something gentle and kind in his gaze. Jimin wet his lips with his tongue, absently, and saw Yoongi glance down at the movement. His cheeks pinked even more and then he seemed to remember himself, lifting his gaze back up. There was something new in his eyes, something hungry, and it vanished just as quickly as it had appeared.

But Jimin had already seen it.

Oh, he thought, a little faintly. Oh.

The words resolved themselves in his mouth. “Oh,” Jimin said, in a soft breath that rolled over his lips.

Yoongi wanted him.

Jimin could see it in his eyes. It was the same way that Chanyeol had looked at him when Jimin had stepped out of his bathroom in skin-tight jeans and smudged eyeliner; the same way Wonho had looked him up and down, Jimin’s lips swollen from his teeth, and said, we’re not done yet.

Yoongi was wanting and Jimin was wanted. He could almost forget they weren’t the same thing.

There was only one way that this would end. Jimin breathed in, ignoring the part of his chest that had already begun crumbling, and leaned in. Yoongi’s eyes slid shut. Jimin’s head tilted automatically, the beginnings of a pendulum swing – it was inevitable, with time -  and felt their lips brush-

-and Yoongi jerked back. “Don’t.”

Silence.

It overwhelmed the room, stretching between them as Jimin opened his eyes. Yoongi couldn’t meet his gaze and Jimin took a deep, shuddering breath.

He was empty, he was hollow. There was nothing left inside of him to give.

“Okay,” Yoongi said softly. His voice was unsteady. “Okay.”

Slowly, Yoongi let his hands drop from Jimin’s sides, and leaned back as though to put some distance between them. Jimin stared at a spot in the bathroom tiles just over Yoongi’s shoulder, unwilling to meet his eyes. He was still sitting in Yoongi’s lap.

 “Do you still want to have a shower?” Yoongi asked.

For a long moment, Jimin did nothing; a marionette whose strings had just been cut. Then he nodded, slowly, not trusting himself to speak.

“Alright,” Yoongi said. He was speaking hesitantly, like Jimin was a wild animal that had been cornered and could possibly lash out. He didn’t think anything was further from the truth. “I’m going to get you some clean clothes, okay? Shower while I’m gone.”

After a moment of hesitation, Jimin nodded again. Yoongi seemed hyper-aware of his uncertainty and moved slowly, guiding Jimin with the lightest of touches until he was no longer settled on Yoongi’s lap. He drew to his feet, cautiously, and seemed almost as though he was about to say something. But then Yoongi bit his lip and slipped out of the door instead.

The shower was still running. It had never stopped, the spray beating relentlessly against the tiles.

Jimin was supposed to be having a shower. Yoongi had told him to. The thoughts clicked together awkwardly in his head and Jimin wobbled to his feet, one hand dragging along the wall for balance, and lowered himself carefully inside the tub.

It wasn’t warm, which was unsurprising with how long it had already been running. But it wasn’t unbearably cold and Jimin tipped his head back, clinging to the sides of the tub for balance, and let the water run through his hair. It was starting to soak through his clothes, too, the fabric wet and increasingly uncomfortable.

Eventually, Jimin got tired of the strain in his arms, and leaned back to curl up against the sides of the tub. He drew his knees to his chest, holding them tightly as his body started to shiver. The shower continued to spray over his body, a cool and gentle rain that plastered his orange hair to his forehead and sent little rivulets running down his jaw.

Dimly, Jimin became aware of a dull knocking sound. He ignored it, parting his lips slightly to taste the stream of water running past his mouth, and let his eyes slide closed. He was so tired, Jimin thought, the words foggy with weariness. All he wanted to do was go to sleep.

“-min? Jimin!”

The urgent cry was quickly followed by a sharp shake to his shoulder and Jimin made an irritated noise, slapping the hand away. “Leave me alone,” he mumbled. “I’m sleeping.”

A shaky laugh. “Park Jimin, I am going to beat your ass. Don’t you ever scare me like that again.”

He cracked his eyes open to see Yoongi leaning over the side of the tub, grinning widely. Jimin huffed. “Go away.”

“Yeah, right. Like I’m gonna make that mistake again,” scoffed Yoongi. He grabbed Jimin’s wrists and pulled him into an upright position, ignoring his petulant whine, and muttered under his breath. “I can’t believe you got in the shower with your clothes on. Man, what the hell.”

He felt Yoongi’s hands patting around his hips and frowned, glancing down. Yoongi was carefully undoing his belt, and then sliding the black leather through the buckle until he could pull it free from the loops in Jimin’s ripped jeans.

“Relax,” Yoongi told him, dropping said belt on the bathroom floor. Jimin hadn’t even realised how much he’d tensed until Yoongi had pointed it out. “I have clothes for you, but you really need to get out of these ones. Especially now that they’re wet.”

I don’t understand, Jimin wanted to say. He couldn’t reconcile so many images in his head – Yoongi’s dark eyes following the movement of his tongue, the firm don’t that had pulled them apart, the wide grin at Jimin’s shower predicament and now this; his careless, casual removal of Jimin’s clothes. It didn’t fit.  

The words spilled out of his mouth before Jimin could stop them. “I don’t know what you want from me,” he said quietly.

Yoongi’s hands stilled, and a long moment passed before he could meet Jimin’s eyes. It was with a forced lightness when he finally did, deliberately misinterpreting the question. “I want you to sit up,” he instructed. “And follow my instructions, okay?”

Water was still falling around Jimin’s shoulders, and some of the spray was landing on Yoongi. He wished he could take the words back. “Okay,” he said instead, and obeyed him numbly.

Yoongi’s touch was light as he reached for the hem of Jimin’s black shirt, dragging it over his head. He kept his gaze very firmly level with Jimin’s eyes as he reached up to remove his choker next, and Jimin dipped his head to make it easier. Yoongi fumbled with the clasp only slightly before the black material was sliding free of Jimin’s throat.

He swatted Yoongi’s hands away when the older boy reached for his jeans, undoing them himself with unsteady hands. They were hard to peel off his legs, the wet denim almost suctioned to his skin, but Jimin managed.

Yoongi reached for his hand, turning it palm up, and squeezed something cold onto it. “Soap,” he explained, and Jimin nodded. He rubbed it all over his body, feeling slightly comforted by the soft smell – it was familiar, like Yoongi himself – and then washed the suds off. Yoongi soon caught his attention again with a tap to the arm. “Toothpaste,” he said, and handed over a small tube. “You can use your finger.”

Obediently, Jimin grabbed it and squeezed a thin line along his pointer finger before bringing it to his mouth to rub it over his teeth. It wasn’t perfect, but it got the taste of cheap beer out of his mouth. Jimin cupped his hands under the spray and brought it to his mouth to swish around. He spat out the white foam and ran his tongue along his teeth, pleased by the fresh taste of mint.

“Done?” asked Yoongi, and he reached up to twist the tap once Jimin nodded. He handed over a towel once Jimin had clambered clumsily out of the tub, and Jimin started to dry himself off gratefully. He didn’t mind his current state of undress – though he was glad that Yoongi hadn’t made a move to remove his briefs – especially since he had the feeling it bothered Yoongi more than it did him, but he was still quick to get changed into the clothes Yoongi had brought in.

Yoongi had walked out to give him some privacy while he changed and Jimin was sitting on the edge of the tub, rubbing his hair dry with the towel, when he returned. The clothes he’d gotten for Jimin consisted of soft grey sweatpants and a giant black shirt, and he’d retrieved an equally over-sized hoodie to wear over it. Jimin had had to roll the pant legs several times until his feet finally poked out from the ends, and he gave Yoongi an unimpressed look.

“These are way too big to be yours,” he pointed out.

Yoongi smiled sheepishly, but – more than anything – he seemed relieved that Jimin had initiated conversation at all. “Sorry,” he said, “they’re not mine. My friend Namjoon keeps leaving his stuff here, and his clothes are usually warmer than mine, so.” He shrugged.

Jimin nodded, unsure of what to say next. The cold shower had sobered him considerately, but he still felt… removed. Like Jimin was one step back from the world that kept spinning on around him. After a moment, Yoongi cleared his throat and broke the silence.

“My bedroom’s over here,” he said, and led Jimin out of the bathroom towards another door at the side of the room. “You can take the bed, I’ll sleep on the couch.”

 A small part of Jimin wanted to protest. But his head was swimming and the alcohol was starting to make him feel sick – and that wasn’t even thinking about the weird uncertainty that Yoongi had churned up in his gut.

He couldn’t summon the energy to argue with Yoongi, and so Jimin simply swallowed and dipped his chin. “Okay. Goodnight, hyung.”

They didn’t look at each other as they passed. Yoong murmured, “Goodnight, Jimin.”

Chapter Text

The door clicked shut behind Jimin’s back and Yoongi’s breath left him in a rush.

Oh, my God, he thought, a little dazed. Yoongi hadn’t realised how tense he’d been, how his body had been so tightly-wound. He dropped, suddenly boneless, onto the couch and buried his head into his hands.

Jimin had kissed him.

Jimin had kissed him.

And Yoongi had pushed him away.

He didn’t regret it, though. Yoongi couldn’t ever bring himself to regret that – not when Jimin had been so clearly emotionally devastated and under the influence. Who knew if he would even remember it in the morning?

But the rationality of it all didn’t stop Yoongi’s head from spinning. He just… He didn’t know what to think. Everything had happened so fast – Jimin’s confession, his crying, Yoongi’s flustered attempt at reassurance. The kiss.

Yoongi groaned, dragging his hands down his face. God, this was such a mess.

Yoongi’s head was a roiling mess of emotions and half-formed judgements, and he thought he’d sooner drown before making sense of it all. He needed to talk to someone, to let the confusion inside him spill out before it exploded.

Hoseok was busy next door, and Namjoon would only offer frustratingly philosophical quotes that in no way helped him. That left Seokjin, if his hyung was even awake.

Yoongi grabbed his phone from the table and then flopped into the couch, curling into a small ball as he tapped in his passcode. The light illuminated his face and Yoongi squinted irritably, dragging the blanket over his shoulders as he turned it down.

He opened a private chat, hesitated, and then slowly typed out a message.

 

3:09AM

d-boy: hyung…

d-boy: please be awake

 

The texts delivered quickly but there was no response. Yoongi sighed, resigning himself to a long night alone with his restlessly churning mind, and started to put the phone down. It lit back up a second later and he grabbed at it quickly.

 

princess jin: what the fuck ???

princess jin: you should be asleep

princess jin: go to bed u baby

 

Biting his lip, Yoongi decided to break the news quickly.

 

d-boy: i can’t hyung

d-boy: jimin’s in my dorm and he’s drunk as fuck

d-boy: and he tried to kiss me

d-boy: i don’t know what to do hyung

d-boy: please

 

His phone was heavy in his hand as Yoongi waited for a reply. For some reason, his chest felt tight and his breathing was starting to come a little faster. Please, he thought desperately, knuckles white around the sides of his phone. Hyung, I need you.

Seokjin didn’t reply. But his contact lit up Yoongi’s screen a split-second later and relief burst in Yoongi’s chest as he tapped the green call icon, bringing it to his ear immediately.

“Are you okay?” was Seokjin’s first question, and Yoongi couldn’t help the sudden sting of tears.

What the fuck, he thought, desperately – why the hell was he crying? Yoongi told himself to get a grip and tried to stop his voice from trembling, but wasn’t quite successful. “No,” he admitted, clenching his phone tightly.

 Yoongi heard Seokjin’s slow intake of breath, like he was trying to calm himself. “Okay,” the older boy murmured, “what happened?”

“I, I don’t…” Yoongi trailed off, rubbing agitated fingers over his forehead. “I don’t know, hyung. He was crying, and then he kissed me, and I told him to stop.”

“He was crying?” Seokjin echoed. “What… okay, no, nevermind. Tell me what’s happening right now. Where are you and where is he? And where the fuck is Hoseok – didn’t he go home with you?”

“Jimin’s in my bed,” mumbled Yoongi. “I let him take it, because… I don’t know. He’s drunk and upset and I don’t mind sleeping on the couch.”

“And Hoseok?” prompted Seokjin.

“Next door,” Yoongi answered. “He’s taking care of Chanyeol, making sure he doesn’t choke on his vomit or something. I don’t know.”

There was a pause, and Yoongi heard Seokjin inhale slowly. “So you’re alone in the dorm with him,” he said, unnecessarily. “Do you want me to come over?”

“No, no, I just…” Yoongi felt overwhelmed. His voice was very small when he said, “I just wanted to talk to you.”

A low exhale, and Yoongi thought he heard Seokjin sigh something that sounded like his name. He swallowed past the lump in his throat. “Everything’s going to be fine,” Seokjin told him quietly. “I promise, okay?”

“Okay.” Yoongi closed his eyes. “But, hyung… what do I…” He trailed off, uncertain.

Luckily, Seokjin knew what he meant without asking. “Nothing,” he said firmly. “Go to bed. There’s nothing you can do tonight, and it will be better to wait until tomorrow to deal with it all, okay? I can come over in the morning, if you want. How does breakfast sound?”

The smooth, reassuring tone of his voice was just what Yoongi had needed. A small part of him hated the fact that he was leaning on Seokjin so heavily, but the rest of him simply ached with gratitude for his support. “Thank you,” he managed, his voice small.

Seokjin hummed, a wordless acknowledgement. “Are you going to be able to go to sleep now?”

A small huff of laughter escaped his lips. “Depends. Are you going to offer me a bedtime story, hyung?” asked Yoongi.

“Or a lullaby,” teased Seokjin, and Yoongi couldn’t help but smile.

“I’m good. Thank you.” Yoongi hesitated, staring at his feet, and then added on a small, “Goodnight, hyung. Love you.”

He could almost hear Seokjin’s smile through the phone. “I love you too, Yoongi. Sleep well, and I’ll see you in the morning, okay?”

“Okay.”

They hung up and Yoongi placed his phone face-down on the table. When he curled back up on the couch, drawing the blanket up to his chin, his chest felt lighter than it had in weeks.

 


 

For the second time in as many mornings, Jimin awoke with no idea where he was.

Sunlight streamed into the room, trailing warm bars of light against his cheek. Jimin inhaled through his nose, sleep still clinging to his mind, and rolled over to press his face against the pillow.

It was soft, and smelled… unfamiliar, but good. He scrunched his nose, rubbing his cheek slightly against the fabric, and let out a soft exhale.

A burst of musical laughter spilled in from another room, and Jimin’s eyes snapped open.

He shot straight up in the bed, alarm ringing through his body when he didn’t recognise the sheets. They were black and soft, with a warm and comforting duvet that Jimin swore he’d never seen before.

His heart started to pound and Jimin scrambled out of the bed. Memories slammed into him like waves – running from his best friends, finding solace at Chanyeol’s dorm, the party, the dancing, Wonho, Hyeri-

- oh, God. Wonho.

Ice slid down Jimin’s spine. He remembered the feel of Wonho’s mouth, the slick warmth and taste of cheap beer lying heavy on the other boy’s tongue. But that was all, right? Surely, he hadn’t gone home with Hyeri’s boyfriend-

At least he was still wearing clothes, Jimin noted, though they were definitely not his. He plucked at the loose fabric with numb fingers, his heart pounding against the cage of his chest, and tried to soothe himself with the thought.

Then he remembered.

The slap of Hyeri’s hand against his cheek. The sting of tears. Stumbling home with Chanyeol after finding his friend fresh from a keg stand, and begging him for a place to stay. Spilling out the reasons why he couldn’t go home when Chanyeol said no, and the desperation in his voice as he’d pleaded with him.

Being interrupted by Hoseok and Yoongi in the hallway. Stumbling his way towards them. Chanyeol’s dorm. Yoongi. Yoongi’s dorm, and then his bathroom. The sudden fear and shame that had struck his chest. Crying into Yoongi’s chest and feeling the softest kiss against his forehead.

Yoongi’s eyes on his lips. Leaning forward to bring their mouths together. Warmth, soft pressure – and then a harsh don’t as Yoongi pulled away.

Numbness. Yoongi, gone. The shower. Yoongi. Clothes. Yoongi. The living room. Yoongi. The bedroom. Yoongi, Yoongi, Yoongi.

Jimin wanted to throw up.

Hunched over, Jimin pressed his hands against his mouth and willed himself to force down the nausea. The other boy probably hated Jimin right now. He couldn’t believe what he’d done. Jimin had fucked up everything.

He barely noticed when his body started to shake. But the hot slide of tears against his palm couldn’t go unnoticed and Jimin sucked in a deep breath, trying to calm himself.

This was ridiculous. He needed to pull himself together before Yoongi walked in to check on him, or something.

It was a long time before Jimin managed to rein himself in, taking the anxiety spilling out of every pore and forcing it into a tight bubble behind his ribcage. He couldn’t hide inside Yoongi’s bedroom forever, and it was better to face whatever was waiting for him on his own terms.

There was no mirror in the bedroom, though, so Jimin just had to cross his fingers that his eyes weren’t too red-rimmed or his face too blotchy. Yoongi had already seen him at a low point the night before – Jimin didn’t have much pride to cling to, at this point, but he was clutching at what scraps remained.

Jimin hesitated in front of the door, but didn’t let himself linger for long before reaching out to grasp the doorknob. The metal was cold underneath his small fingers, and Jimin turned it slowly, pulling the door just open enough to slip through the small gap.

There were two boys in the kitchen, and they both had their backs to him. Yoongi was perched on one of the chairs pushed up to the island in the middle of the kitchen, his elbows resting on the table as he leaned forward.

At first, Jimin thought the other male might have been Hoseok, but his guess was quickly proven wrong. The dancer’s shoulders weren’t anywhere near as broad as that, and the unfamiliar boy seemed taller, too. He was making something, Jimin guessed, one hand on a pan while the other wielded a spatula.

Said boy glanced over his shoulder to throw a comment at Yoongi, but paused when his eyes fell on Jimin. Pink lips curled into a small smile, his gaze warm. “Good morning,” the boy said brightly. Something about him seemed… familiar, but Jimin couldn’t place it. “You’re Jimin, right?”

Wordlessly, Jimin nodded, his fingers twisted nervously in the hem of his borrowed hoodie. Plastic creaked as Yoongi turned in his chair, looking at Jimin. “Hey,” he said, and Jimin’s breath caught slightly in his chest.

Yoongi’s voice was slightly deeper in the mornings, he noted, but it wasn’t enough to distract him from the small thread of anxiety twisting in his stomach-

Yoongi tilted his head, indicating the empty seat next to him. “You hungry?”

Jimin hesitated, glancing between the two other boys, but their body language was relaxed and welcoming. Some of his uneasiness faded and Jimin padded forward, his footsteps soft. “Yeah... um, thank you,” he murmured, and cleared his throat when the words came out a little rough with sleep. His gaze flickered back to the other boy. “Sorry, have we met?”

“We have,” he told him, but gave Jimin a small smile to show he wasn’t offended. “I’m Seokjin. I work at the campus café.”

“Oh, of course!” The realisation startled Jimin, but he gave Seokjin a crooked smile. He slid onto the chair next to Yoongi, one hand bracing himself against the table. “I knew you looked familiar, but I couldn’t place it.”

Seokjin’s smile seemed to warm by a few degrees. “Hot chocolate and a blueberry muffin,” he recited, almost in sing-song, and Jimin’s cheeks pinked when the older boy gave him a wink. “I always remember our regulars.”

Seokjin turned away, whatever he was cooking demanding his attention again, and Jimin finally let his eyes slide over to Yoongi. The other boy wasn’t watching him, but his gaze found Jimin’s face as soon as he began to speak. “Thank you,” said Jimin softly, “for letting me stay.”

The edge of Yoongi’s mouth curled. “Any time,” he said. “You’re no trouble, Jimin.”

Jimin tried to smile back, but the words soured in his stomach. No trouble? Had Yoongi forgotten what had happened last night?

He’s trying to be nice, Jimin chided himself.

Uncertainty still thrummed in the pit of his stomach, but Jimin managed to give Yoongi a grateful smile. The older boy’s hair was messy in the morning, Jimin noted, and realised rather belatedly that his own probably wasn’t a pretty sight. He reached up to pat down any errant strands self-consciously, and turned back to Seokjin.

“So, what’s your major?” he asked politely.

“Drama,” answered Seokjin, and Jimin made a small noise of interest. That was Taehyung’s major, too.

“Are you enjoying it?”

“Most days,” Seokjin laughed. “Sometimes, though, it can be a real pain in the ass-”

Conversation between them was easy. Seokjin was easy to talk to, and when discussion of his major waned, he was quick to turn the questions on Jimin to keep the flow of conversation steady. Yoongi interjected occasionally, mostly with dry remarks or sly comments, but he was mostly quiet.

It was during one of his rare interruptions that Jimin turned his head to look at Yoongi fully, rather than quick glances, and his gaze lingered. Yoongi’s black hair curled slightly just in front of his ears, endearingly, and provided an attractive contrast to the pale softness of his skin. His eyelashes were long too, Jimin realised, particularly for a boy, and from there his gaze lowered to trace the soft slope of Yoongi’s nose.

It led him down to the soft, pink curve of Yoongi’s lips. He had a way of pouting while he was speaking, Jimin realised, and an amused smile curved his mouth once he’d noticed.

He’d kissed those lips, Jimin thought suddenly. He’d felt them, warm and pliant, against his own.

“Hey, Jimin, can you put a pot of coffee on? I feel like having a cup, and I’m sure Yoongi will want some too.”

Seokjin’s words startled Jimin out of his daze, and he glanced guiltily towards the older boy. Seokjin was looking at him with a pleasant smile, but it still brought an embarrassed flush to Jimin’s cheeks. Just how long had the older boy been watching him?

Jimin mumbled an affirmative and slid off the chair, biting his lip once his bare feet made contact with the cold floor. But the coffee pot was easy to spot on the kitchen bench, next to Yoongi’s fridge, and Jimin grabbed it quickly. He set it up quickly and then placed it back on its stand, only just tuning back into the conversation when he was finished.

“Do you think Hoseok is awake yet?” Seokjin was asking. “He’ll probably be hungry, too. Maybe one of us should go knock on the door.”

“I can,” Jimin offered, the words tumbling out of his mouth before he’d thought it through. Both of the older boys turned to look at him, and Jimin’s cheeks pinked, his fingers twisting in the bottom fabric of his hoodie. “I think I left my phone next door, so I need to go over there anyway.”

“Oh, okay.” Seokjin glanced at Yoongi, then back at Jimin. “Well, if you don’t mind.”

“Thanks, Jimin.” Yoongi gave him another smile, and Jimin reminded himself not to look at his lips – the lips he’d kissed – before he nodded back.

Thankfully, Hoseok had left Chanyeol’s dorm unlocked. In less than a minute, Jimin was slipping inside the dorm and closing the door quietly behind him.

Sunlight was streaming through the windows, but neither boy was anywhere to be seen. Chanyeol was probably still sleeping off his hangover, and Hoseok wasn’t on the couch – which meant he’d probably crashed in Sehun’s room. Jimin crept over to it and rapped his knuckles quietly on the door before pushing it open.

There was a lump beneath the bedcovers. Jimin quietly called out, “Hoseok?” and the older boy’s head appeared from among the mess.

“Jimin?” he said, his voice rough with sleep. “What are you…”

“Yoongi and Seokjin sent me,” answered Jimin. Hoseok’s face brightened at the name, so Jimin assumed he’d guessed correctly that they also knew each other. “They’re making breakfast next door.”

“Oh, cool.” Hoseok swung his legs off the bed, bounding quickly onto his feet. He must have already been awake, Jimin thought – that, or he was one hell of a morning person. “Let me check on Chanyeol, first, and then we’ll go over.”

Jimin waited in the living room while Hoseok dealt with Chanyeol, fiddling with the phone that he’d collected from the couch. It must have fallen out of his pocket when Hoseok had left him there last night. He’d shut it down last night, and the phone was slow to turn back on again.

He didn’t have a chance to check it before Hoseok emerged from Chanyeol’s room a second later. “Well, he’s not dead,” the dancer said brightly, but then he flashed Jimin an amused smirk. “Though he probably wishes he was. I don’t envy that hangover at all.”

Laughing under his breath, Jimin followed Hoseok back to Yoongi’s dorm. Chanyeol had always been the work-hard-play-harder type, and he wasn’t really surprised that his friend had pretty much drunk himself under the table.

Seokjin and Yoongi were conversing quietly as the two others entered, though he glanced up to give Hoseok a warm greeting. Jimin slid back onto the seat he’d abandoned as they spoke, discreetly fishing his phone out of his pocket to flick through the mass of texts that he’d glimpsed earlier. The first ones he read were from Taehyung, sent almost right after Jimin had abandoned both him and Jungkook in the diner.

 

10:24AM

taetae: jimin????

taetae: ???????

taetae: where are you

taetae: i know you don’t want to talk right now but im worried

taetae: jiminnie

 

Jimin rolled his lips between his teeth, feeling his stomach shrink in shame, and skipped through some of the texts. He didn’t want to read them all. Jimin scrolled down, skimming past more pleas to talk, until he reached some of the ones from last night.

 

11:43PM

taetae: im sorry

taetae: jiminie please stop ignoring me

taetae: im sorry

taetae: can we talk

taetae: jimin

taetae: are you coming home

taetae: jiminnie i haven’t seen you since this morning please

taetae: where are you

 

Jimin shouldn’t have left Taehyung like that. Not without saying something, anything, about where he was going and if he was okay. If their positions were reversed, Jimin knew he would have been absolutely sick with worry, and it wasn’t fair to Taehyung to leave him in a similar position.

But there were more texts, from approximately seven hours ago.

 

1:13AM

taetae: i don’t know where you are but i hope you’re okay

taetae: please come home

taetae: jungkook wanted to stay but i didn’t let him

taetae: so its just me

taetae: i hope ur okay jimin

taetae: text me

 

Taehyung must have fallen asleep not long after that, because there were no new texts. Before he replied, Jimin swiped back to go through the missed messages from Jungkook. Much of it was the same, though at a lesser quantity – he hadn’t spammed the way Taehyung had, perhaps guessing that it had been useless.

He went back to his conversation with Taehyung, thumbs hesitating over the screen.

“Hey, Jimin, everything okay?” It was Hoseok.

His head shot up, and Jimin locked his phone screen hastily. “Yeah, yeah,” he said quickly, nodding at the three boys who were watching him with concern. Jimin wondered how long he’d been zoned out for, reading Taehyung’s messages. Wondered what expression he’d had on his face – if he’d looked sad, or simply worried.

Jimin’s gaze fell on Seokjin’s warm brown eyes, and – suddenly – he remembered.

Seokjin wasn’t just any server at Brewed Awakening. He’d been there the previous morning, when Jimin had stumbled in shaking from anxiety and the cold. He’d been the one that had served Jimin at the counter – the one that had looked him in the face and done a double-take at his red-rimmed eyes.

The realisation made his head spin, but looking at Seokjin, Jimin knew that it was too late. The older boy had already recognised him – and, judging from the pitying tilt to his mouth, he’d realised that Jimin had only just figured it out.

Hoseok asked, “Are you sure?” The words snapped Jimin out of his thoughts and he dropped his gaze to the kitchen counter, trying to ignore the way the blood was draining from his face.

“I’m sure,” he said, slowly, and tried to sound like he meant it. He sat, quiet and small, as the three other boys talked loudly around him. Seokjin had been making a huge stack of pancakes and it didn’t take long, between the four of them, for the pile of food to disappear.

Seokjin had a high, squeaking laugh and he cracked himself up often with puns that left the other two boys groaning. Jimin’s misery was curdling in his stomach and so he couldn’t bring himself to laugh, but he tried to smile – to keep up the thin veneer of being okay, which had almost grown impossible with his realisation of who Seokjin was.

His awkwardness around Seokjin, unfortunately, was not enough to distract Jimin from his newfound shyness around Yoongi. Jimin had been nervous and uncertain, at first, but that had quickly faded once he realised the other boy wasn’t going to make a big deal out of what had happened the night before. The relief of that realisation, though, hadn’t taken long to fade.

Because Yoongi was pretending like nothing had even happened. Jimin kept sneaking him glances, peering at the relaxed expression on his face, but it never slipped – not even when their gazes met. If Jimin didn’t know that Yoongi had been sober last night, he would have assumed that the older boy didn’t remember that Jimin had kissed him.

The uncertainty of it all made Jimin’s stomach twist uncomfortably. He couldn’t shake the feeling that it meant Yoongi was hiding something – anger, disgust, or something even worse.

What if he hated Jimin now?

Don’t think that, he chided himself, forcing the thought away almost as quickly as it had come. Yoongi had been kind to Jimin, even when he was a stranger, and helped him when he’d needed it the most. He didn’t deserve the self-loathing inside Jimin’s head that was already trying to poison their friendship. He was worth more than that.

So Jimin forced himself to forget the thoughts, and refocused on the conversation around him. He would leave Yoongi’s dorm soon, he promised himself, because he didn’t want to overstay his welcome – and, even if he did, Jimin had a class to teach later at the studios.

But for now, Jimin could let himself stay for a while and pretend that everything was okay.

 


 

After Jimin left his dorm, Hoseok was quick to excuse himself and head back to Chanyeol next door. It left Yoongi and Seokjin alone in the dorm for the first time since the older had arrived that morning.

“Are you going to tell Hoseok?” was Seokjin’s first question, as he cleared the bench of plates. Jimin had rinsed his and placed it in the sink before he’d left, but Hoseok and Yoongi had simply left theirs.

Yoongi sighed, staring down at the counter. He felt drained – keeping up the illusion of a calm and easy-going exterior for Jimin that morning had been hard. But he still knew the answer to Seokjin’s question without hesitating. “Yeah,” answered Yoongi. “Of course.”

He hadn’t kept secrets from his friends in a long time, and Yoongi wasn’t going to head down that path again. He knew better.

Seokjin hummed, running water over the plates in the sink. When Yoongi stood to help him, he waved the other boy away with an impatient flap of his hand. “Sit back down,” he told him firmly. “You’re exhausted, Yoongi. I can deal with this.”

Grunting – and hoping the vague noise properly conveyed his gratitude – Yoongi dropped back into the chair. The silence stretched between them for a long moment, broken only by the sound of Seokjin cleaning up breakfast, until Yoongi spoke again. “Do you think he remembers it?”

Seokjin hesitated, and then turned to look at Yoongi properly. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “He didn’t seem confused about where he was when he came out of your room, so he probably remembers at least a little from last night. But he didn’t mention anything… though, that could have been because I was here. I’m not sure, Yoongi. I’d have a better idea if I’d seen how drunk he was last night, but I didn’t, so… you’d have to ask Hoseok.”

“Ask me what?”

Yoongi glanced up as his dongsaeng swept into the room, closing the front door behind him with a careless flick of his hand. A small smile was playing around his mouth, so Yoongi ignored his question for the moment in favour of asking his own. “How’s Chanyeol doing?”

Hoseok laughed. “Honestly? He’s so fuckin’ out of it, the kid’s probably still a little drunk. It’s kind of cute, actually.”

The description didn’t go unnoticed, and the two hyungs exchanged brief looks of amusement. “Cute, huh?” teased Seokjin.

Hoseok rolled his eyes, dropping onto the stool next to Yoongi. “Yep,” he said, unashamed, and swivelled to face Yoongi. “So, what did you want to ask?”

Oh, Christ. Yoongi had planned to tell Hoseok, but he hadn’t planned on doing it so soon. He hesitated, then slid off the stool again, heading for the coffee pot. “Coffee?” he asked. If he was going to go through the details of last night, he needed to be distracted by doing something with his hands.

“Sure,” said Seokjin, at the same time as Hoseok narrowed his eyes.

“Yes, but you’re not changing the subject, hyung,” he countered. “What’s up?”

“Hoseok, can you dry these dishes?” interrupted Seokjin. “Grab a towel.”

Grumbling, Hoseok slid off his chair. He pointed an accusatory finger at Yoongi as he passed, grabbing the hand towel as he passed. “You’re not getting away that easy.”

“I wasn’t trying to.” Calmly, Yoongi measured out the grounds, and pulled down three mugs from the cupboard before he turned back to face his friends.

Seokjin was focused on scrubbing the dishes in the sink, but Hoseok was watching him, even as he dried the wet plate in his hands. “Okay,” Hoseok said suddenly, “Not to sound weird or anything, but you’re kind of scaring me now. Did something happen?”

“Yeah.” Yoongi leaned backwards slightly, bracing himself on the bench, and decided to just spit it out. “Jimin kissed me last night.”

Hoseok spluttered, a sound that quickly turned to a yelp as he dropped the plate in his hands. Seokjin screeched in surprise as it clattered back into the full sink, splattering the older boy with soapy water. “Oh my God, hyung-”

Hobi!” Jin yelled, dismayed. He grabbed the towel out of Hoseok’s limp hands and smacked him in the shoulder with it. “This is Namjoon’s shirt!”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” shrieked Hoseok, cowering as Seokjin whipped him with the towel. “But – hyung, stop it! – Yoongi-”

Yoongi was watching them both with a raised eyebrow. “You good?” he asked eventually.

Seokjin huffed, flicking the towel at Hoseok’s face for a final time, and then turned back to the sink. “Yes,” he said, sounding dignified.

“Well, I’m not,” Hoseok grumbled, ripping the towel off his face. “I need – I need details, man! You can’t just drop that bomb on me!”

The coffee was ready. Yoongi filled their cups and slid them across to his two friends, picking his own up with both hands and sliding back into his former seat at the kitchen island. “Calm down,” he said evenly. “I’m going to tell you everything.”

Seokjin handed Hoseok the last plate and removed the plug from the sink, letting the water drain as he dried off his hands and picked up his coffee. Hoseok took it without comment, barely glancing away from Yoongi. “God damn, I am such a good wingman,” he said smugly. “I can’t believe you kissed already.” He flashed Yoongi a triumphant smile before turning back to the matter at hand. “But, anyway, what does this have to do with asking me something?”

“We want to know if you think Jimin will remember it,” supplied Seokjin, watching them both over the rim of his cup as he took a sip. “Or if he was too drunk.”

“Ah.” Hoseok nodded in understanding, drying off the plate’s edges. “Well, I guess he was pretty drunk… I don’t know, depends how far it went.”

At that, Seokjin made a noise of interest. “You haven’t told me that either,” he said, turning to Yoongi. “How far did it go?”

“Wait, you knew already?” Hoseok threw his free hand in the air, exasperated. “Why am I always the last one to know these things?”

“Namjoon still doesn’t know,” pointed out Yoongi, and Seokjin laughed.

“Don’t worry, I’ll tell him. Doesn’t feel like the kind of thing you can spill over the group chat, does it?”

Yoongi agreed with a hum. “Thanks.”

“Anyway, go back to the story. I wanna hear it from the beginning,” demanded Hoseok.

Yoongi recounted what had happened with minimal flair, staring into the depths of his swirling brown coffee. Seokjin and Hoseok were quiet as they listened, nursing their own cups. He hesitated only once he’d gotten to the part where Jimin had been in his lap, crying into his chest, and Yoongi had kissed his forehead.

Relaying it like that felt… embarrassing, almost, and Yoongi felt his cheeks flush. But Hoseok and Seokjin said nothing until he stumbled over his words again, describing how Jimin had leaned down to press their lips together and Yoongi had almost, almost, let it happen.

But he’d pushed Jimin away instead and the younger boy had looked devastated.

“I think it’s good that you did,” Seokjin said, when Yoongi said nothing for a few moments. “I mean… he was obviously upset. Doing anything with him would almost have been taking advantage.”

Hoseok nodded fiercely. “I agree,” he said, voice firm. “You did the right thing.”

It didn’t feel like the right thing – not when Yoongi thought of how empty Jimin’s eyes had looked after he’d put space between them. But… he still couldn’t bring himself to regret it.

But Yoongi shrugged, pushing the moral considerations aside for the moment, and went on. He trailed off once he got to the part where Jimin had disappeared into his bedroom and Yoongi had settled onto the couch to call Seokjin.

“Damn,” Hoseok murmured, after a long moment. “You had a hell of a night, that’s for sure.”

Yoongi huffed. Understatement. “What do you think?” he asked, glancing up at Hoseok. “Do you think he’d remember it?”

Hoseok pressed his lips together, considering. “I’m sorry, Yoongi… but I don’t think so,” he said finally, the words hesitant. “I mean, once you get to the crying stage, you’re pretty far gone… and I mean, if he was at the party with Chanyeol – judging by how drunk he is, I’m sure Jimin would’ve been about the same. He was probably just better at holding it.”

Yoongi deflated slightly at Hoseok’s words. “Are you sure?” he asked, and his voice was quiet.

Seokjin sighed. “I agree with Hoseok,” he said gently. “I don’t think he remembers anything – especially since he didn’t seem that uncomfortable this morning… though, I did catch him staring at you a couple times.”

Yoongi’s head shot up. “What?”

Laughing, Seokjin nodded vehemently. “Yeah. I mean, he might have just been focused on listening to you but there were some definite heart-eyes going on, man.”

Yoongi’s laugh was a little strangled. “Don’t make shit up, hyung.”

“You think I would?” challenged Seokjin, two which both of his dongsaengs chorused an immediate yes. He huffed and rolled his eyes.

“Anyway,” Hoseok stressed, once the three had stopped laughing. “The kiss plus those heart eyes? I don’t know about you guys, but to me that’s equalling at least some feelings on Jimin’s part.”

Yoongi grimaced. “You didn’t hear him last night. I don’t think feelings had anything to do with it.” Seokjin and Hoseok looked at him curiously, but Yoongi didn’t elaborate. Jimin may have been drunk while he was doing it, but he’d still confided in Yoongi – and he wasn’t going to break that trust. He shook his head in answer to their unspoken question.

“Okay,” Hoseok said, slowly. “If it wasn’t emotionally-driven, then… well. It’s probably less likely that he’d remember.” Then he hesitated, biting his lip, and added, “But… I mean, do you really want him to?”

“I don’t know.” Yoongi bit his lip. On the one hand, if he could have chosen how their first kiss happened, he wouldn’t have wanted it to be while Jimin was drunk and crying on his bathroom floor.

But on the other hand, it felt dishonest to hide it from him.

As though he could feel Yoongi’s inner turmoil, Seokjin reached out to place a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “Chin up, Yoongi,” he said, his voice soft and warm. “I’m sure it will work out.”

Yeah. Yoongi wanted to believe that, too.

 


 

The dance studio loomed in front of Jimin, a monster hunched over the busy side street. Jimin inhaled slowly as he stepped up to the front doors, hiding his own trepidation as he entered.

After exchanging brief greetings with the woman at reception, Jimin headed upstairs to his class. He was twenty minutes early, but it was fine – no one used the room before him, so Jimin could just take his time setting up.

He’d managed to successfully avoid Taehyung, somehow, as he’d swung by the dorm to pick up his uniform after leaving Yoongi’s building. The younger boy had been absent and Jimin wondered if he was with Jungkook. The thought of his two friends made him wince, and Jimin felt a weight settle at the bottom of his stomach – the tension between them was another problem waiting for Jimin to deal with, on top of everything else.

Thinking of it all made Jimin want to run head-first into the studio wall, so he firmly pushed it from his mind. One thing at a time, he reminded himself, dropping his duffel bag at the front of the studio room.

Jimin warmed himself up, and was re-familiarising himself with the steps of the dance when the first of the children arrived. He greeted them all with warm smiles, as he usually did, careful not to let the full extent of his exhaustion show.

It was good, though, to be around the children again. Their eagerness and excitement made him smile, lifting some of the weariness from his bones, and Jimin was glad that he hadn’t called in sick the way he’d considered doing.

Their concert was only a few weeks away, now, and so the focus of the class was on fixing small mistakes rather than teaching them the moves. Jimin ran them through the dance as much as he could, going over the small sections that they had trouble with, and the time seemed to fly by.

Jimin was on the floor helping Minjae with one of his shoulder stands when he heard the studio door open. The class was nearly over so Jimin ignored it, assuming it was the teacher running the next class, until one of the girls screeched happily. “Hyeri-ssi!”

Oh, fuck. Jimin’s heel smacked the floor as he fell out of the shoulder stand he’d been demonstrating, twisting on his back to look at the door.

It was, in fact, Hyeri. Some of Jimin’s students had immediately rushed over to her, happily chanting her name – particularly the ones that, Jimin knew, also did ballet with her on Thursdays. She was smiling, already crouched down so she could talk to them on eye-level.

Jimin sat up, careful to keep up a mask of professionalism. Hyeri was ruffling the children’s hair, but her eyes lifted to Jimin’s after a moment and their gazes caught. For a second, Jimin couldn’t breathe – but then the corner of her mouth lifted in a small, sad smile.

Whatever had brought Hyeri to his classroom, it wasn’t anger. Jimin felt the tension bleed out of him.

“Yah, what are you kids doing? Jimin-ssi’s class isn’t over yet!” Hyeri scolded gently, and the kids ran giggling back to the centre of the room.

Jimin glanced over his shoulder at the clock. It was nearly 1:25pm, which meant he should be starting their warm-down anyway. He said as much to Hyeri, who was still hovering by the door, and then followed up with an uncertain smile and patted the floor next to him. “Do you want to help us stretch?”

“Sure.” Hyeri joined him at the front of the room, and together they led the children through a gentle routine. Having a partner meant they could do more fun stretches too, like when Hyeri and Jimin sat opposite each other with straight legs, and held hands to pull each other down to press their chests against their legs. The children were appropriately awed as they folded neatly in half with the move.

It was fun, almost, and Jimin felt the uncertainty between them easing. It helped that they both knew to remain professional in front of the class, but Jimin doubted she would have searched him out just to yell at him again.

Hyeri waited cross-legged on the floor as Jimin met the parents at the door to pick up their children, exchanging pleasantries and quick greetings. As the number of kids remaining dwindled, Jimin heard her pad over to wait next to him, saying goodbye to the few children that she also taught.  

Once they were alone, Jimin shut the door and turned to face her. “Hyeri, I-”

He was cut off as Hyeri flung her arms around his neck, clinging tightly to his chest. Jimin staggered slightly, his arms automatically coming up to return her embrace as he felt the girl bury her head against his shoulder.

“I’m so sorry, Jimin,” she babbled. “I’m so, so sorry, I can’t-” She hiccupped and cut herself off, her smaller frame shaking in Jimin’s arms.

“Woah, woah.” Jimin didn’t really know what he’d been expecting, but it certainly wasn’t this. He pulled back a little until he could see the girl’s face, pushing a strand of black hair behind her ear. “Hyeri, why are you apologising?”

Hyeri ran her fingers under her eyes, scrubbing away the remnants of tears. It was the first close look Jimin had gotten at her face. She was wearing more makeup than usual, and her eyes were puffy – she’d clearly been trying to cover up what could have been an entire night of crying. Jimin’s heart squeezed inside his chest.

Closing her eyes, Hyeri sniffed slightly and managed to wrangle herself under control again. “For last night,” she said, and looked up to blink at Jimin with watery eyes. “I shouldn’t have yelled at you, or hit you, or said all the mean things that I did.”

Jimin gave her a sad smile. “I deserved what you said, Hyeri. I kissed your boyfriend.”

“No,” Hyeri said stubbornly. “You didn’t – Wonho kissed you, not the other way around. And– and I knew that, but I was just so upset-

Her breathing was quickening again and Jimin’s heart ached. She was wrong, because it was his fault – Wonho may have kissed him, but Jimin had kissed back. He’d done this to Hyeri. “It’s okay,” he murmured.

Hyeri shook her head, voice suddenly fierce; “No, it’s not. My – I mean, Wonho is a cheating dickhead and this isn’t even the first time it’s happened, he just promised me it would be the last time and I believed him.”

Jimin blinked. “Wait, what?”

Nodding miserably, Hyeri sniffed. “We only started dating, like, a month ago – but we’ve fought so much because he just keeps hooking up at parties. Girls, guys, it doesn’t matter. He just keeps doing it.”

It was no wonder that she’d lashed out at Jimin, he thought. Hyeri must have been at her breaking point with Wonho, and he’d just been the unfortunate final straw. “Why the hell did you stay with him?”

“I don’t know,” Hyeri admitted, sounding lost. She was staring at the ground between them. “I just… I guess I thought, you know, that this is all there is. That I couldn’t find someone better.”

For a reason Jimin couldn’t place, the words hit him hard. He pulled Hyeri close again, pressing his cheek against her hair, and hugged her tightly. “Don’t think that,” he told her firmly. “You are so beautiful and kind, and there’s someone out there just waiting to love you. Okay?”

Hyeri nodded against his chest. “Okay,” she echoed, the sound slightly muffled.

When Jimin pulled back, she gave him a watery smile. But he didn’t let go of her, not yet. “For what it’s worth,” he said, slowly, “I’m really sorry about what happened. I was drunk, but that’s not an excuse, and I shouldn’t have done it. I’m really sorry, Hyeri.”

“Thank you, Jimin. I know you didn’t mean it, but still – thank you.” She squeezed his hands reassuringly. Jimin moved away, grabbing his duffel bag and preparing to leave, but her voice stopped him. “Actually, there’s something else I wanted to ask you.”

“Yeah?”

“Are you free tomorrow night?”

Jimin glanced over his shoulder, confused, but mentally calculated in his head. It would be a weeknight, but the Monday was a public holiday and he didn’t have any classes. “Um, yeah, I think. Why?”

“My friend Mark is throwing a party,” she explained, and then giggled. “Or, well – his boyfriend is throwing it at Mark’s house. Anyway, I was wondering if you wanted to come – and of course, Taehyung and his boyfriend are welcome as well.” Hyeri lifted a shoulder in a small shrug, running her hand uncertainly through her hair. “Maybe we can end this party a little nicer than our last one, yeah?”

It was a peace offering. Jimin smiled, lifting his bag over his shoulder. “Of course,” he told Hyeri. “We’ll be there.”

 


 

Well, that was one problem down. Jimin sighed as he left the dance studio building, his duffel bag hooked over his shoulder. He’d promised Hyeri without thinking.

But it didn’t matter. Jimin needed to make things right with his friends, anyway, and now he just had more motivation to do so.

It was time to face Taehyung and Jungkook.

Chapter Text

GROUP CHAT: meme fuckers

5:57PM

joonie: listen up hoes

joonie: be ready at 10 okay

j-hoe: uh

j-hoe: okay ??

d-boy: wtf

d-boy: what for

joonie: sorry

joonie: someone’s gonna have to translate for me

joonie: i don’t speak parseltongue

j-hoe: OIJSDOIFJSDFIO

j-hoe: N AM JOO N ADOSIFJ

d-boy: ???

j-hoe: I CNAT FUCKIGN BREAHTE

d-boy: what

j-hoe: HE’SS CLALING U A FCKINN G SNAKEE AJHAJJAJJAJA

 d-boy: …………

d-boy: blocked

princess jin: lol babe

princess jin: that was a good one

d-boy: shut the fuck up

d-boy: namjoon that was weak and we all know it

joonie: srry i cant read suddenly i don’t know

j-hoe: accept it yoongi u just got roasted by the weakest man in this squad

joonie: excuse me????

j-hoe: *WEAKEST TOASTER

j-hoe: **ROASTER

joonie: ...i can accept that

d-boy: …anyways

d-boy: what r we getting ready for?

joonie: alright

joonie: u guys remember jackson??

j-hoe: no

princess jin: no

d-boy: no

joonie: my chinese friend

princess jin: ohh ya

j-hoe: omg i love that guy

d-boy: u have friends?

joonie: … anyway

joonie: he’s throwing a party at his bf’s house

j-hoe: ooh who?? do we know him

joonie: idk

joonie: i haven’t met him

joonie: his name’s mark or something

joonie: anyway that’s not the point

joonie: jackson invited me and guess who gets to +1 all ya antisocial asses

d-boy: no

j-hoe: YAY

princess jin: oooh im excited

princess jin: yoongi don’t be a baby

princess jin: at least come for the free beer

d-boy:

d-boy: i’ll consider it

j-hoe: YAY YAY YAY

d-boy: ugh

 


 

Jimin went to Jungkook’s dorm first but only his roommate, Yugyeom, was there. He was happy enough to talk to Jimin, though, and told him that Jungkook was probably at the gym.

It would probably have been easier to find Taehyung first, or to just wait for Jungkook at his dorm. But dealing with the maknae would be easier than dealing with Taehyung, and Jimin wanted to find him before he lost his nerve.

That was how Jimin found himself at the gym a little over an hour after leaving the dance studio, searching the place for his dongsaeng. It took him a few minutes to spot the familiar head of dark hair, and Jimin dropped his duffel bag at the side of the room before walking over to the bench press.

Jungkook was laid out flat on his back, his chest and biceps tense as he did his reps. If not for the tension between them, Jimin would have stopped to take a slightly pervy snapchat for Taehyung.

As it was, Jimin kept walking until he was standing behind Jungkook’s head. A muscle in Jungkook’s jaw clenched as he lifted the weights again, straightening his arms, and his brown gaze flicked upwards.

Shock flickered across his face and Jungkook spluttered as he nearly dropped the bar. “Hyung?”

Jimin’s hands shot out, taking some of the weight of the bar to help Jungkook. “Careful, Jungkookie.” Damn, it was heavy – how much did this kid lift? He still managed to give his dongsaeng a small, shy smile as he helped him place it back on the bar. “Hi.”

Jungkook sat up as soon as he could, twisting on the bench to face Jimin. “What are you doing here? I- hyung, what the-”

“I wanted to talk to you,” Jimin said, his voice calm as he cut off Jungkook’s helpless rambling. “Come on, you don’t have to stop on my account. Want me to spot?”

At that, Jungkook rolled his eyes. “Dropping it was an accident, hyung.” But Jimin still saw the small smile curving his mouth as he laid back down, reaching for the bar again. Jimin pretended to be useful, his hands hovering underneath as Jungkook took the weight of it again with a small grunt.

Once Jungkook had settled back into his rhythm again, Jimin spoke. “I’m sorry,” he murmured, and watched Jungkook’s gaze flash back to him. He said nothing, though, continuing to work out as Jimin talked. “I shouldn’t have run out on you and Taehyung yesterday, and I definitely shouldn’t have avoided you this whole time.”

When Jungkook spoke, his words were soft despite the roughness of his breathing – Jimin’s fault, probably, for making them discuss things while he was in the middle of a workout. “It’s not just your fault, hyung,” he said. “We pushed you.”

Jimin shrugged. “Yeah, but… I mean, what Taehyung said was true. I’ve been isolating myself from you guys for a while now. I want to change that.”

Jungkook accepted the words with a short nod. “Are you gonna talk to Taehyung?” he asked.

“Yeah. I’m gonna go back to the dorm after this, actually. I just wanted to talk to you first.”

Something flashed in Jungkook’s eyes and he smirked, the corner of his mouth curling. “Because you love me more, right, hyung?”

“Brat.” Jimin reached down to flick his forehead and Jungkook giggled, his arms shaking slightly as he did another rep. “I just wanted to make sure that we’re okay. I mean, I’ll explain more when the three of us are together, but… yeah. I just wanted to make sure of that, first.”

“So you want me to come over once I’m done here?” Jungkook asked.

“Yeah,” answered Jimin. “You don’t have anywhere else to be, right?”

“Nah.” Jungkook stretched upwards and Jimin took the hint, helping him place the bar back on its stand. He sat up as soon as he was free of the weight and Jimin moved around the machine to sit on the bench in front of him. Jungkook shook his sweaty hair out of his eyes, and regarded Jimin with a serious look. “I’m really glad you’re okay, hyung.”

Warmth bled into Jimin’s chest. He reached forward and pulled Jungkook into his arms, ignoring his sweaty skin, and murmured into his hair. “I’m glad, too.”

Jungkook suffered through the hug for a long moment before pulling back, his cheeks slightly pink and eyes shy. Jimin tried not to laugh. “Now get out of here and go talk to Tae,” he said, pushing lightly at Jimin’s chest. “Before this gets any gayer.”

Jimin snickered. “Shut your bisexual ass, Kookie. I don’t think I need to remind you that you have a boyfriend,” he said, and ruffled Jungkook’s hair as he stood. “You’re as gay as it gets.”

“Key word being bisexual, hyung,” emphasised Jungkook, blowing his hair out of his eyes with a quick huff. But he hid a smile as he lay back down, reaching for the bars again. “Later.”

His talk with Jungkook had reassured him, and Jimin left the gym with a far lighter heart than the one he’d walked in with. It was a short walk back to his dorm on campus, but Jimin’s chest soon felt tight with anxiety again as he drew closer.

He tried to shove the feeling away as he slid his key into the lock, turning the small silver metal until he felt it click under his hand. Jimin pushed open the door, careful to lift it slightly up on the hinges so that it wouldn’t creak, and slipped into his dorm room.

The room beyond was quiet, like the whole building was watching Jimin enter with bated breath. He carefully shut the door behind him and took a step forward so he could toe off his shoes, and nudge them next to the door. The duffel bag that he’d kept tucked under his arm got dropped unceremoniously on the couch as Jimin passed, making his silent way to Taehyung’s room.

The door was wide open, and the room beyond was dark despite the time. Taehyung had closed all his curtains, leaving only thin strips of afternoon light to disturb the comforting darkness. He usually napped during the afternoon, and Jimin was relieved that he wasn’t too late. He much preferred the idea of waking Tae up by crawling into his bed rather than having opened the door of their dorm to find him waiting on the couch, worried and expectant.

His best friend was a shapeless lump underneath the blanket. Jimin said nothing as he lifted the corner of the covers and crawled in next to him, moving until he was cuddled right up against the younger boy.

Taehyung inhaled deeply through his nose and made a small inquisitive noise as he turned on his side. “Jimin?” he asked, his voice sleepy and soft.

“Yeah,” mumbled Jimin, burying into his warmth. Taehyung opened his arms immediately, letting Jimin curl against him, his arms around Taehyung’s chest and head tucked underneath his chin.

“You’re back.” Taehyung nuzzled into the side of Jimin’s temple, and huffed a warm breath against the skin as he spoke again. “I was worried, Jiminnie.”

Unbidden, tears were suddenly stinging at Jimin’s eyes. He didn’t know if it was the exhaustion or the gentle rebuke in his best friend’s voice, but he buried his head against Taehyung’s collarbone and had to fight against the building ache in his chest. “I know,” he said, and, humiliatingly, Jimin’s voice broke.

Taehyung’s arms tightened around him. “Later,” he promised, seeming to sense that Jimin couldn’t talk about it yet. He pulled Jimin even closer, as though the two boys could become one, and whispered against his temple. “I’m just glad you’re home, Jiminnie.”

Me too. But Jimin couldn’t push the words beyond the sudden ache in his throat. He nodded into Taehyung’s chest instead, feeling the first of his tears spill over onto his cheeks.

They soaked into Taehyung’s shirt, but his best friend said nothing. He kept running his fingers through Jimin’s orange hair, the movement soft and soothing. Exhausted and emotionally spent, it wasn’t long until Jimin fell asleep too, secure in the warm arms of his best friend and the knowledge that everything would be okay between them.

 


 

Jimin spent the rest of the weekend holed up inside his dorm with Taehyung and Jungkook. For the first few hours, neither of them tried to bring up the anxiety attack that Jimin had had at the diner. The closest they’d come to it was when Jungkook had arrived at their dorm and Jimin had been able to apologise to them both at the same time, for leaving them abruptly and cutting off contact.

“I’m sorry,” Jimin had murmured, but the words were soon muffled against Jungkook’s chest as he hugged him. Taehyung joined the hug too, and all three boys clung to each other tightly for as long as they could stand.

“Please don’t apologise for that,” Tae had murmured, quiet and comforting in his ear. “It’s not your fault.”

Taehyung and Jungkook had curled up on either side of Jimin on the couch while they watched Studio Ghibli movies, the warmth of their skin a reassuring balm to the anxiety threading through Jimin’s chest. They’d ordered pizza and ate it on the floor, switching the films for video games once they got bored.

But as darkness fell across the campus and the night drew close again, the weight of the conversation that all three of them were waiting to have finally became too much. Jimin lowered his plate of pizza to the floor, catching their attention, and the words spilled out of him.

Well, mostly.

He wasn’t going to make them feel guilty over their own relationship – Jimin’s jealousy issues were his own problem, and he could deal with them alone. Being smothered in their affection for an entire day straight had helped, obviously, and Jimin knew he was going to clutch tight to the warmth they’d kindled in his chest for weeks.

He couldn’t get away with not addressing the issue at all, after having an anxiety attack in front of them just that previous Friday, but Jimin skirted around the issue as much as he could.

Instead, Jimin told them a half-truth – that he hadn’t realised how much he’d been keeping from them, and that the distance between them had scared him. He added that he’d been a little sleep-deprived and overly emotional after spending the night in a stranger’s dorm, which hadn’t helped.

Before they could ask too much about it, Jimin told them about the party – about Wonho, Hyeri, and how she’d spat slut and man-whore in his face after finding him making out with her boyfriend. Insults that – Jimin admitted, in a small voice – quite frankly, he deserved.

Taehyung had squeezed his knee reassuringly but Jimin hadn’t stopped. He’d told them about going home with Chanyeol only to meet Hoseok and Yoongi in the hallway, the two boys that Jimin barely even knew dropping everything to take care of them.

His voice grew smaller, and smaller, as Jimin described the way he’d drunkenly fallen apart in Yoongi’s bathroom. How he’d held him without judgement and pressed a reassuring kiss into his forehead, and Jimin had known that he’d wanted something more.

But it hadn’t been just lust in Yoongi’s eyes. Jimin should have seen the pity, too – and if he had, maybe he wouldn’t have chased away one of the most selfless friends he’d ever had.

And the worst part was that Jimin knew why he’d kissed Yoongi. It was simple, really.

He’d kissed Yoongi because Jimin knew that Yoongi wanted him to. That had been the only thought in his mind as he’d pressed their lips together.

Jimin had fallen in love, over and over again, with people that didn’t want him. He’d learned the hard way that most guys only saw his body – his defined stomach, his sharp jaw, his toned thighs. No one had ever wanted Jimin for anything more, and he’d started to think that maybe no one would. He’d given up dating for that exact reason, turning to people like Chanyeol for stress relief instead of love.

But now Yoongi saw, and wanted, something different from him. Something beyond a drunken fuck.

But Jimin didn’t know if he had anything else to give.

 


 

The dorm was quiet, nestled in the darkness as the college campus slumbered. It was dark but for the flashes of light coming from the television, playing over their faces in strips of colour as Jimin and Taehyung watched with sleepy, unfocused eyes. Jungkook was curled between them, breathing softly in sleep, his head pillowed on Jimin’s thigh and the fingers of his left hand loosely intertwined with Taehyung’s. Jimin glanced down, a fond smile curling his mouth, as he lifted his hand to run soothing fingers through Jungkook’s soft brown hair.

There was no noise but for their soft breathing, and the quiet murmur of the anime they had been watching. Jimin had zoned out for most of it, his mind foggy and cloud-wreathed in sleep, and he barely remembered what the plot had been.

When Jimin looked up, still absently playing with the maknae’s hair, Taehyung was watching him. His head was pillowed on the back of the couch as he stared at Jimin, something sad and wistful in the beautiful brown of his eyes.

Jimin rested his head against the back of the couch, too, and met his eyes. “Taehyung?” he asked quietly.

For a long, drawn-out moment, his friend didn’t respond. Then Taehyung let out a soft exhale, the corners of his mouth turning down. “I’m sorry, Jimin.”

Jimin huffed a soft laugh under his breath, his lips curving into a comforting smile. Taehyung had already apologised for everything Jimin had wanted him to. There was nothing else to forgive. “What for?”

“This.” Taehyung glanced down, at his and Jungkook’s interlocked hands, and then let his gaze trail upwards to where Jimin was playing with his boyfriend’s hair. He rubbed a thumb over the back of Jungkook’s knuckles – softly, tenderly – and then met Jimin’s gaze again. This time there were tears glimmering in his eyes, and Jimin’s stomach dropped to his feet at the sight of the guilt in his best friend’s face. “I love him, Jimin. And I know- I know it hurts you, because you feel like you’re losing us, but-” Taehyung’s voice broke, and the first tear rolled down his cheek. “I love him, Jimin. And I don’t know how to stop.”

Jimin’s heart ached. “Taehyung,” he breathed, and reached out. His best friend folded instantly into his arms, his whole body shaking, and wrapped his arms around Jimin as he buried his face against his neck. Jimin could feel the wetness of Taehyung’s tears on his skin as he held him close, murmuring soft and wordless comforts into his hair.

When the worst of Taehyung’s shaking eased, Jimin pulled away just enough to press their foreheads together, his right hand lifting to cup Taehyung’s jaw. His friend took a deep, shuddering breath as Jimin rubbed over his cheek with his thumb, brushing away the tears. Taehyung pressed into the touch, sniffing.

There was a soft, calming warmth spreading through Jimin’s chest, even despite his friend’s distress. Words came easily to his tongue. “I love you, Kim Taehyung,” murmured Jimin, holding the side of his friend’s face, “and I love Jungkook, too. I love the both of you so much, and I’d never trade our friendship for anything in the entire world. But you know what? There’s one thing that I love more.”

Taehyung’s breath was shaky but he still managed to speak, mumbling into the air between them. “If you say something stupid, I’m going to hit you.”

Jimin laughed softly, and nudged Taehyung’s forehead softly with his own. “The thing I love more,” he said slowly, “is that my two best friends found love in each other. That I know they’re always going to be happy, because they’re the best people that I know, and they’re going to spend their whole lives together.”

“Together, and with you,” Taehyung insisted. He pulled away slightly so that he could meet Jimin’s gaze, his own firm despite the glistening sheen of tears. “You can’t get rid of us that easily, Park Jimin.”

A small smile curved Jimin’s mouth. “I know,” he said softly.

Taehyung sniffed and nodded, satisfied, as he pulled back to his side of the couch while being careful not to disturb Jungkook. They were lucky the kid was a heavy sleeper, Jimin thought privately, running his fingers through the boy’s hair again. But he looked up when Taehyung said his name again. “Jiminnie?”

“Yeah?”

“You’re gonna find someone,” Taehyung promised him, the words heavy in the night air. “Like how I found Jungkook, and how Jungkook found me. You’re gonna find someone and they’re going to really love you.”

Jimin blinked, staring at his friend wordlessly. It was a long moment before he managed to speak. “I know, Tae.”

“Good.” Taehyung settled back against the side of the couch, lifting Jungkook’s feet into his lap so that he could stretch out with more room. “I hope you find them soon.”

For a second, Jimin thought of pale skin and soft black hair. He thought of quiet, and comfort, and of pouty pink lips. Jimin smiled softly, a little sadly, down at Jungkook’s head of dark hair, and he thought of Yoongi.

And then the moment was gone, and Jimin’s heart ached for a reason that he couldn’t even name. He stared down at his lap and stayed quiet for a few minutes, gathering the courage to speak – but by the time he did, Taehyung was almost certainly asleep. “Me too, Tae,” he said quietly. “Me too.”

Chapter Text

“What the hell, hyung, why are you wearing so many layers?

Scowling, Yoongi pulled the edges of his sleeves over his hand. “Shut the fuck up, Joon,” he said. “It’s cold, okay?”

“We’re literally going to a house party,” his dongsaeng argued. “I’m pretty sure you’ll survive without a hoodie and a bomber jacket-”

“Damn, Namjoon, let him live,” complained Hoseok. “Can we leave already?”

“Depends,” Yoongi muttered irritably, “on whether Seokjin can ever find his goddamn way out of the bathroom-”

His hyung chose that moment to sweep out of said bathroom, throwing Yoongi a dirty look as he did so. “Try me and I’ll revoke your food privileges for a month, Min,” he hissed, reaching for the denim jacket that he’d left on the arm of the couch.

Yoongi held up his hands, instantly submissive. “I take it back.”

“That’s what I thought.” Seokjin threw him a smug smile as he shrugged on his jacket, though the look quickly softened as he turned to the other boys. “Thanks for waiting. Are we all ready to leave?”

“Have been for the past ten minutes, babe.” Namjoon wrapped his arm around Seokjin’s waist as soon as his boyfriend was close enough, leading him to the door. “Let’s go.”

“This party’s going to be fun,” Hoseok whispered excitedly to Yoongi, as they followed the two other boys to the door. “I can feel it.”

Yoongi rolled his eyes. “You say that every time,” he pointed out. “But yeah, let’s hope so.”

 


 

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” asked Taehyung, threading his fingers between Jimin’s to hold his hand. Jimin glanced at his friend and squeezed his hand reassuringly, noting absently that Tae’s other hand was tucked into Jungkook’s back pocket.

“Not really,” he answered, and Jungkook snorted. “But I promised Hyeri that we’d come.”

“I don’t even know this girl,” complained Jungkook, shoving his hands into his armpits. “What if she tries to fight me for Taehyung’s love?”

The other boys laughed. “If she’s going to fight anyone, it’ll be me,” Jimin pointed out.

Taehyung hummed, letting go of them both so that he could skip a little further down the path. “I think the party’s going to be fun,” he declared, and spun on his heel to throw his arms in the air as he faced them. “I can’t wait to get drunk and dance.”

“If you get on top of a table again, I’m not pulling you down,” Jimin warned him, but he was laughing. His mind felt light and calm, which was undoubtedly due to their pregaming, and he found that he was also looking forward to the party. After the stress of the past few days, it would be fun to let loose a little with his friends.

Taehyung laughed and turned to his boyfriend, clasping his hands in front of his chest. “Jungkookie?”

Jungkook snorted. “Dude, I’d join you.”

That sent all three of them into giggles again, as they stumbled along the path. They were distracted quickly though once Jungkook heard music in the distance, his head perking up and face brightening.

“Is that the party?” asked Taehyung.

“I think so.” Jungkook grinned, his teeth a white flash in the darkness. “Race you there?”

The other boys were dumb and drunk enough to agree, and all three soon sprinted off in the direction of the pounding music. Jimin kept laughing, making himself breathless, and Taehyung wasn’t much better – Jungkook beat both of them easily, though he would likely have done so sober too. He was waiting at the end of the street when the other two caught up to him, eyes bright.

Taehyung shrieked over being abandoned and leapt on Jungkook’s back, locking his legs around his waist. Jungkook stumbled at the sudden weight, but carried Taehyung almost effortlessly once he was settled. “Not my fault you don’t have more stamina, Tae-”

Jimin spluttered and smacked his hands over his ears, as Taehyung howled with laughter from Jungkook’s back. “I really did not need to hear that, Kookie,” he whined dramatically, and Jungkook gave him an unrepentant grin.

He led the way to the front of the house with his two friends trailing behind him. It was obvious which one it was, even if Hyeri hadn’t texted him the address earlier – pulsing lights flashed from its windows, music from inside shaking the ground, and small groups of people spilling out onto the front of the lawn.

Jimin ran a finger beneath the silver chain and pendant lying on his collarbone to make sure it hadn’t twisted, and then pushed open the front door. He glanced over his shoulder in time to see Taehyung slide off Jungkook’s back, his wobbly landing settled by Jungkook’s hand on the small of his back, and gave them both an encouraging grin.

Inside was chaos. Jimin paused at the doorway, trying to see the layout of the house through the mass of people. There was a stairwell to his right, against the edges of the wall, but in front of that there was a doorway to a darkened room. The wide open space to Jimin’s left, with a writhing crowd of people, was undoubtedly the dance floor – but he could also spot a hallway at the very back of the room, which likely led to a kitchen and the backyard.

Well, he’d found Hyeri in Kris’ kitchen at the last party. It was worth a shot.

Jimin led the way, conscious of Taehyung’s fist wrapped in the back of his white shirt. The crowd around them was sweat-slicked and dense, and Jimin thought idly that Hyeri’s friends must have been pretty popular on the campus. But it wasn’t long before he was stumbling into the hallway, Jungkook and Taehyung trailing behind him, and he simply followed the crowd of people.

Instead of leading him to a kitchen, it led Jimin down another hallway until the three boys were spilling into the backyard. It was full of people, and a fire pit glowed in one corner. Jimin frowned, about to turn around, when someone called his name. He spun back to look for them.

“Jimin!” Hyeri called again, waving her hands. She was over by the fence with a small group of people, clad in a tight black dress and clutching a bottle in one hand. Jimin grinned and made his way over to her, stepping easily into her arms as she reached out for a hug. “I’m so glad you made it!”

“Glad we could,” answered Jimin, and kissed her on the cheek as he stepped back. He left his hand around her waist as he turned to wave over Taehyung and Jungkook. “You know Tae, and this is his boyfriend,” he said, introducing them quickly.

“Jungkook, right?” Hyeri gave him a small smile, and Jungkook answered with a small nod. “It’s lovely to meet you.”

In turn, Hyeri introduced the three of them to the small group of girls she’d been chatting with. They exchanged pleasantries and then Hyeri waved the three boys in the directions of the drinks, which they headed to eagerly.

Jimin had just opened his beer when someone called Jungkook’s name. All three looked up as Yugyeom bounced towards them, his grin bright and welcoming. “Woah, I didn’t know you guys were coming!” he said excitedly, and exchanged some kind of complicated handshake with his roommate that left both younger boys grinning. “You guys know Mark-hyung? Or, well, I guess this is technically Jackson’s party.” Yugyeom snickered.

Jimin was saved from a blank-faced answer of who? when Yugyeom tugged on Jungkook’s hand before any of them could reply, chattering excitedly about introducing Jungkook to some of his other friends. He left them with a grin, looking relaxed and happy, and so Jimin and Taehyung let him go without a fuss.

“Bam-Bam’s over here, come on,” was the last thing they heard as Yugyeom pulled Jungkook away.

Jimin turned back to Taehyung, who was watching his boyfriend disappear with an amused expression. “You don’t think that’s a drug, do you?” he asked. When Jimin spluttered with laughter, Taehyung smiled too, his eyes sparkling. “I’m kidding,” he added, even though Jimin already knew. “Mostly.”

They waited in the backyard to down their drinks, feeling their minds slip further and further into the realm of being pleasantly buzzed, until Jimin declared that it was time to dance. Taehyung let him take his hand and lead them both back inside the house, towards the closely-packed crowd dancing together in what must have been the living room.

The song was one they both knew, with a fast rhythm and deep bass. Jimin fell into the music easily, feeling the thrum of the beat pass through his bloodstream, moving in sync with Taehyung beside him. Jimin lost track of time, but eventually Jungkook rejoined them – he slipped in between the crowd to slot into place behind Taehyung, his hands settling onto his boyfriend’s hips.

It was impossible to know how long he’d been dancing by the time Jimin decided he needed a break, his skin sticky with sweat and his breathing hard. Taehyung and Jungkook had long since given up on actually dancing, the former having turned neatly in his boyfriend’s arms to start making out instead. They swayed only slightly with the beat of the music, Taehyung’s hand fisted in Jungkook’s hair. It was probably best to leave them to it, Jimin thought.

He broke his way free of the crowd, stumbling only slightly. Jimin wasn’t drunk, but he was getting there, and his balance was slightly off once he no longer had the support of a crowd around him. His throat was almost unbearably dry though, so Jimin headed back towards the backyard and the line of coolers he’d spotted. Most probably held beer but surely someone had thought to provide soft drink, or something.

 


 

The party was loud and full of people, just like every other college house party that Yoongi had ever attended. He wondered briefly why he’d even bothered coming, and lifted the can of beer to his mouth.

It tasted bitter but Yoongi didn’t grimace, swallowing quickly and letting the cold can come to rest on his thigh. He and the rest of the boys had managed to nab a bunch of chairs towards one end of the backyard, close enough to the fire pit that they weren’t likely to freeze – after, of course, Namjoon had dragged them all over to say hi to Jackson and his boyfriend. Yoongi’s brain had started hurting once he’d tried to keep up with the rapid-fire mix of Korean and English that Namjoon, Jackson and Mark had immediately launched into, so he’d excused himself rather quickly to return to Seokjin and Hoseok.

Well, Hoseok had left to get more drinks, so at the moment it was just Seokjin. He was nursing his own beer, the light of the fire reflecting from his gold dangly earrings, and watching Namjoon talk to his friends with a small smile.

“Your boyfriend abandoned us,” he said sulkily, kicking at the leg of Seokjin’s chair. “I thought this party was going to be fun.”

His hyung looked over, amused. “Just because the rest of us are an antisocial mess doesn’t mean Joonie has to be,” he said. “Besides, we’ve only been here for like an hour.”

An hour. Yoongi’s eyes threatened to roll back into his head as he slumped further down in his chair, acutely aware of his own suffering. Seokjin snorted with laughter as he pouted, running his thumb along the condensation gathering at the side of the can.

“Well, well, well.” Hoseok’s voice rang out, clear as a bell. “Look who I found.”

Yoongi glanced up and froze.

Hoseok was standing in front of them, his arm slung around Jimin’s shoulders. The younger boy was tucked neatly into Hoseok’s side, the skin of his cheeks flushed pink, and smiling shyly at both Yoongi and Seokjin. He had his own can dangling from his fingertips.

God, he looked… Yoongi’s mouth went a little dry. Jimin’s orange hair was artfully messy, parted over his forehead. Black jeans hugged tightly to his legs, his thighs, beneath a white v-necked shirt. He was sweaty, Yoongi realised, and the material clung to his skin. Something glittered in the expanse of skin revealed by the dip in his shirt, and Yoongi realised that it was a silver necklace.

“Jimin,” he said, and watched the younger boy’s brown eyes flit to his. “What are you doing here?”

“Um, I’m here with my friends,” answered Jimin. “I was dancing with them before, but then I got thirsty, so-”

“You’re not the only one,” giggled Seokjin, under his breath. Jimin cast him a confused smile, as though he hadn’t quite heard what he said.

Yoongi, however, had – and he subtly flipped Seokjin off by pretending to scratch at the back of his head. Hoseok carried on Jimin’s story without pause. “He was getting a drink and I ran into him,” he supplied, squeezing Jimin’s shoulder reassuringly. “So I told him to join us.”

Jimin smiled at Hoseok, who gave him a grin in return, before aiming the expression at the other boys. “I hope that’s okay,” he said.

“Of course it is.” Yoongi inclined his head slightly to indicate Namjoon’s empty seat, to the right of his own. “You want to sit down?”

Jimin nodded and fell into the seat gratefully, careful not to spill his drink, as Hoseok moved past him to sit in his own chair. The four boys sat in comfortable silence, eyeing the party around him, as they sipped at their drinks. Yoongi frowned when he looked at Jimin’s again.

“Is that beer?” he asked suddenly, and Jimin turned to look at him. “How much have you had?”

Jimin flushed slightly, looking embarrassed, and Hoseok stifled a giggle. “It’s Coke,” he said, and tilted his wrist so that Yoongi could see the label. “I haven’t drunk that much yet, don’t worry. I’m not looking to get another shitty hangover this weekend.”

Ah. Yoongi shouldn’t have said anything. He felt stupid as he muttered an, “Oh,” and let his gaze fall back to his own lap.

 


 

Jimin bit the inside of his cheek, watching Yoongi closely as the older boy nodded disinterestedly at his answer and turned away from him. He’d thought the other boy was concerned for him – especially after how Friday night had gone – but it had probably just been a polite question. He tried to stifle the disappointment in his chest as he took another sip of his Coke, abruptly wishing that it was something stronger.

Suddenly, Jimin’s phone buzzed. He slouched to shove a hand into his pocket and pull it free, squinting against the sudden bright display.

 

11:34PM

taetae: JJIMINNI E WHERE ARE UIO

taetae: IM LSOT

 

His eyebrow arched as Jimin tucked the can between his thighs to reply, thumbs darting across the screen. He knew Taehyung probably wasn’t as drunk as his typing skills suggested – years of experience had taught him that of all the abilities that disappeared once Taehyung had alcohol, coherent texting was the first.

 

jiminnie: im in the backyard near the firepit w yoongi-hyung and his friends

jiminnie: come join

 

Jimin glanced up, tuning back into the conversation around him, but it wasn’t long before he looked up to see his two friends heading straight for him. Taehyung was leading Jungkook by the hand, a wide grin on his face. “Jiminnie!” he yelled, across the yard.

Belatedly, it occurred to him that he probably should have asked the other boys before inviting Taehyung and Jungkook over – but, then again, it was a party. Jimin grinned back as Taehyung stumbled into their little circle, immediately throwing himself into Jimin’s lap. Jungkook hovered at the edges of the circle, a little more awkwardly.

“Who’s this?” asked Hoseok, perking up.

Taehyung’s head shot up and he squirmed in Jimin’s lap, rolling over until his back was laid across Jimin’s thighs, his legs kicked over the arm rests. “I’m Taehyung,” he announced dramatically, “and my best friend – my Jimbo, my little jam jar, my Chimchim – abandoned me on the dance floor.”

Jimin flushed at the proliferation of nicknames, and shoved gently at Taehyung’s shoulder. “Leaving you to make out with your boyfriend is not abandoning you,” he countered.

The other boys’ attention flew to Jungkook, who raised his hand shyly. “Hi,” he said. “Jungkook. The boyfriend.”

“Do you guys want a seat?” asked Hoseok, immediately standing to go gather some more spare chairs. Taehyung pulled himself into an actual sitting position astride Jimin’s lap as his boyfriend nodded and went with Hoseok.

Jimin’s hands lifted automatically to Taehyung’s waist, steadying him, as he turned to look at the other boys. But they waited until Hoseok and Jungkook had returned, with three chairs to add to the circle, before they introduced themselves.

When Yoongi identified himself, Taehyung’s eyes glittered. He leaned forward on Jimin’s lap, since he had yet to relocate, and grinned widely. “So you’re the one that kept catching Jimin after he’d done the nasty-”

Jimin spluttered and shoved Taehyung off his lap, yelling his name indignantly. The younger boy fell to the ground howling with laughter, causing a few other giggles to erupt from around the circle. Jungkook reached down to help pull his boyfriend up and into his own seat as Jimin flushed, the embarrassment hot beneath his skin. “Shut up, Tae,” he muttered, sinking down into his seat.

When he dared to look up at Yoongi, he found that the other boy wasn’t looking at Taehyung. He was watching Jimin, the corners of his mouth curved into a tiny smile. There was… amusement there, and something like fondness, too – it gave Jimin the courage to smile back at him, a little sheepish, despite the pink in his cheeks.

Seokjin was watching Jungkook wrestle Taehyung into his seat with a grin. “How long have you two been dating?” he asked.

“Um… two and half months, I think?” Jungkook looked to Taehyung, who shrugged. They were both shitty at keeping track of dates.

“What?” Seokjin looked surprised, and Jimin glanced at his friends, wondering what the other boy saw. “But you guys are so comfortable with each other already.”

“Oh, yeah, we’ve been friends for years,” Taehyung answered, and he beamed at his boyfriend. “Before we got together, the sexual tension was unbearable.” He waggled his eyebrows.

Jimin groaned into his hands as the other boys burst into laughter at Taehyung’s blunt honesty. On the one hand, he was glad that they were getting along – but on the other, Taehyung really needed to learn the definition of TMI. Jungkook shot Jimin a pained look, and he knew that the younger boy was also feeling embarrassed.

Luckily, a tall blond guy appeared before Taehyung could launch into any further discussion about their sex lives. He was grinning from ear to ear as he walked behind Seokjin’s chair, squeezing his shoulder in passing before he dropped into the empty seat next to him. “Hey,” he said. “Who are you guys?”

Jimin, Taehyung, and Jungkook introduced themselves quickly, and the other guy explained that he was Namjoon, Seokjin’s boyfriend. After that, the boys fell into easy discussion. Jimin mostly stayed quiet, occasionally drinking his Coke as he listened to the other boys tell stories and chat easily. Taehyung, Hoseok, and Namjoon seemed to be carrying most of the conversation, with increasing participation from Jungkook as his beer bottle drained.

Jimin wasn’t the only quiet one though. Yoongi and Seokjin, to his left, seemed to be having their own silent conversation entirely through meaningful glances at each other. Jimin had given up on trying to figure out what they were discussing.

The buzz from his earlier drinking had faded, and Jimin felt quiet and empty, as though he was separated from the other boys by some invisible wall. The conscious realisation only made him feel worse but Jimin didn’t know how to re-enter the conversation, even if he’d wanted to. He took another sip of his drink, feeling the sugar bubble on his tongue, and resigned himself to the hollow feeling instead. It was something he was starting to get used to, anyway.

He watched as Namjoon debated something heatedly with Taehyung and Hoseok, his face alight with passion. But even despite the rapid-fire way he spilled his words, he still had one hand stretched across to hold Seokjin’s. The older boy was playing with Namjoon’s fingers absently.

Jungkook cackled suddenly at something Namjoon had said, and Jimin’s attention switched to the maknae. His cheeks were flushed, undoubtedly from the alcohol, but his large eyes were bright and happy. Taehyung poked at one of his pink cheeks and cooed, giggling when Jungkook lightly smacked his hand away. He apologised with a smacking kiss to Jungkook’s cheek, who scrunched his nose and laughed, embarrassed by the drunken affection.

Something settled inside Jimin’s empty ribcage, a dull echo of understanding. He recognised the hollow feeling, now. Watching the two couples interact had brought it to the surface – and, unexpectedly, Taehyung’s words from the other night floated into his mind.

You’re gonna find someone, his best friend had murmured. And they’re going to really love you. But in that moment, Jimin had never felt more alone. The aching isolation was creeping up his chest, wrapping one cold hand over his heart and the other around his throat.

Me too, Tae, Jimin had said. He’d thought of Yoongi and wished, with all his heart, that his best friend was right. But he wasn’t.

Jimin’s gaze slid to the side, landing on Yoongi to his left. He was slouched in his chair, beer can balanced on his thigh, and staring into the fire. He seemed to be ignoring Seokjin’s pointed glances, given by the frustration on the older boy’s face.

Taehyung had been wrong because here they were – at a party together, days after Jimin had broken down and pressed their mouths together, and nothing had changed. Yoongi was pretending that it hadn’t even happened.

Jimin was, as ever, alone.

Chapter Text

Suddenly Jimin just couldn’t be there anymore. He bit his lip and stood, abruptly drawing the eyes of the other boys. “Oh, where are you going?” asked Taehyung.

“I’m gonna get another drink,” Jimin muttered, the excuse coming easily. He avoided their eyes as he asked, “Anyone want a refill?”

“We’re good,” answered Seokjin. Jimin nodded before anyone else could chime in, squeezing out between the chairs. Stepping away from the warmth of the fire sent cold fingers running down his bared arms and Jimin shivered slightly, but pushed away the thin desire to return threading through his chest.

A pair of girls, giggling and clinging to each other, stumbled past Jimin and he paused slightly to let them pass. Then he was at the drinks table, a low sigh falling from his lips as he ran a hand through his hair, leaving the orange strands ruffled and messy. He’d wanted something strong earlier, but logic was rearing its head again now that he was away from the inexplicable sadness that Yoongi stirred in his gut. 

A small pair of hands slid around Jimin’s hips before he could decide, fingers lacing together over his belly button as the girl they belonged to giggled and pressed her face against his shoulder. “Jiminnie,” sang Hyeri, hugging him tightly. “Are you having fun?”

He turned in her grip, grinning down at her. It was nice of Hyeri to check in on him, even if she was very much drunk while doing so. “Yeah,” Jimin lied, reaching up to brush some of her behind her ear. He left his hand resting on her warm cheek, a reassuring touch. “Are you?”

“Mmhmm.” Hyeri smiled, pressing her cheek into his hand. “I was just about to go dance with So-Eun. Do you want to come?”

Jimin hesitated. But Hyeri was blinking up at him, waiting, and so he chanced a quick glance towards his group of friends.

They were still huddled in their circle, the firelight flickering across their relaxed faces. Taehyung seemed to have moved into Jungkook’s lap, the younger boy’s arms loosely around his waist, though they were still talking to Namjoon. Hoseok and Seokjin were talking with some others that had wandered over, smiles bright. And then there was Yoongi, his dark gaze resting on Jimin.

It sent a thrill up his spine and Jimin’s breath caught. He couldn’t quite tell if he was right, if Yoongi was staring at him – from such a distance, in the dark, it was almost impossible to say for sure. But something in his gut told him that Yoongi’s eyes were on his.

Something hot curled in the bottom of his stomach and Jimin’s grip tightened on Hyeri. He bit his lip, his chest uncomfortably tight, and turned back to his friend. Yoongi hadn’t moved.

“Yeah,” he answered. “Let’s go.”

Hyeri grinned and took his hand, pulling him after her as she skipped towards the house. For a heart-stopping moment, Jimin wondered if Yoongi would call after him – if any of his friends would notice his disappearance and look up, maybe yell his name. But no one did, and Jimin ignored the way that the realisation seemed to scrape something out of his ribcage.

Just as they stepped inside the house, Hyeri smacked into someone’s chest and reeled backwards into Jimin. He grunted, taking her weight as she squeaked in surprise. “Woah,” said a familiar voice, and Jimin glanced up into Sehun’s face. “Sorry about – oh, Jimin!”

 Hyeri found her feet again and Jimin grinned up at the taller boy. “Hey, Sehun. I didn’t know you’d be here.”

“Same for you, man.” Sehun lifted his cup to his mouth, taking a quick drink and nodding as Jimin introduced Hyeri. She treated Sehun to a bright smile, which he returned a little more cautiously, before turning back to Jimin. “Hey, are you looking for Chanyeol? Cos I think he’s-”

“Chanyeol’s here?” interrupted Jimin, raising his eyebrows. Sehun nodded, and Jimin said, “Oh.”

“Who?” asked Hyeri, as Sehun helpfully elaborated, “He’s somewhere round here, dunno.” He glanced at Hyeri before shrugging loosely, the liquid in his cup almost sloshing over the rim. “Good luck finding him.”

“Thanks, Sehun.” For a second, Jimin entertained the idea – but he knew that Chanyeol wasn’t the one he wanted. He hadn’t even spoken to the older boy since the last party they’d been at together…

Well, maybe he should check in with Chanyeol. Just to see how he was.

As Sehun separated from them and continued down the hall, Hyeri unashamedly turned to watch him leave. “Now, who was that,” she purred, lips curling into a smirk, despite the fact that Jimin had literally just told her his name during their conversation. “And why didn’t you introduce us earlier?”

Yikes. Jimin patted her sympathetically on the shoulder and said, “He’s taken, Hyeri.”

Her face fell. “Shit.” It was hard not to laugh as Hyeri pouted after Sehun’s disappearing back, before spinning on her heel and determinedly grasping Jimin’s hand again. “Whatever,” she said dismissively. “Let’s just dance already.”

Only a few minutes later, Hyeri had managed to find her friend in the crowd and drag all three of them to the centre of the dance floor in the next room. So-Eun was one of the girls that Jimin had been introduced to earlier, with prettily curved eyes and a sweet smile. Jimin expected her to feel out of place between the two experienced dancers, but So-Eun could hold her own – she danced, her moves smooth and strong, at Jimin’s side without hesitation. He couldn’t help but shoot her an impressed smile when their eyes met.

She grinned back. Hyeri started singing, drawing their attention, as she ran her hand through her hair, down her neck, and over her chest and stomach. Her hips swayed and Jimin narrowed his eyes accusingly, recognising the stolen move from a choreography another teacher at their studio had put together. Hyeri winked at him, unrepentant.

Jimin grinned, his earlier melancholy forgotten, as he mirrored her move and slid easily into the dance’s next move. Giggles filled the space between them as Hyeri followed, moving in sync with him. They didn’t keep it going for long – neither of them knew the choreography well enough, if they were honest – but it was fun while it lasted. So-Eun clutched at Hyeri’s hand as they finished, laughing brightly. “You have to teach me that!” she cried.

Hyeri grinned happily, clutching at her friend, and Jimin decided it was time to leave. He’d been waiting for a moment to slip away, knowing that his friends were probably wondering where he’d gotten to by now. Jimin left the two girls after saying he was getting too hot in the crowded room, and made his escape.

He made it to the side of the room eventually, squeezing out from between the crowd as it got less dense near the staircase. Jimin was close to the doorway of the dark room he’d noticed earlier and he wondered if there was a different way through to the backyard. Worth a chance, he decided, and made a beeline for it.

The door was open, the room beyond lit only by the flashing lights of the dance room and the occasional flick of a lighter. Jimin had only just stepped inside when he was hit by the smell of smoke, warm and cloying and thick.

“Jimin?” someone called, and he recognised Chanyeol’s voice. It took a second longer for Jimin to spot him, curled up on the couch next to a girl with a pipe in her hands. She was holding a lighter in her right hand underneath the bowl, stubby fingers with chipped paint flicking unsuccessfully to light a flame.  

 Jimin hesitated, staring at her. He’d been looking to find a way back to his friends but now that he’d found Chanyeol, he wasn’t in as much of a hurry to return to them. He looked at Chanyeol, who patted the couch next to him. Jimin didn’t hesitate. “Sehun said you were here,” he said, falling into the empty seat next to the other boy. “Why are you sitting in the dark?”

“Aesthetic,” the girl muttered, and Chanyeol snickered. Someone else laughed and Jimin realised there were other people in the room as well, sitting on couches or on the floor, almost disappearing in the shadows. He’d found the stoners den, it seemed, and was unsurprised that Chanyeol was among them.

“Light’s broken,” answered Chanyeol. He grunted as the girl passed the pipe to him, accepting the lighter with deft fingers. Jimin waited in silence as he took a hit, holding the smoke in his lungs as he tilted his head against the back of the couch. Then he exhaled and turned his head to look at Jimin. “Want some?”

It wouldn’t be his first time, but Jimin still shook his head. He preferred to stick to alcohol. “I’m good,” he said, and Chanyeol passed it to someone on the floor instead.

When he sat back again, Chanyeol’s left hand came to rest on Jimin’s thigh. “Haven’t seen you in a few days,” he noted, gaze flicking up and down Jimin’s figure. “You alright?”

Jimin was curled against the back of the couch, sitting sideways on the seat. He met Chanyeol’s eyes and shrugged. “Not really.”

Chanyeol pulled a sympathetic face. “Wanna talk about it?” he asked, and Jimin tried not to smile. Chanyeol really was a good guy, he thought, and he was glad that they were friends. The benefits had been few and far between these days, but… strangely, Jimin didn’t really mind.

He didn’t need to consider the question, though. “No,” answered Jimin, and threw Chanyeol a small smile to soften the refusal. “Thanks, though.”

Chanyeol shrugged. On his other side, someone passed the pipe back to the girl next to him. “So, what are you doing here?” he asked instead, changing the conversation. “You’re not friends with these guys.”

“Friend of the host invited me, I guess. Figured it would be fun. You?”

“I crashed,” Chanyeol said bluntly. “Heard someone would be here, wanted to find him.”

“Did you?” asked Jimin, curious.

“No.” There was a brief break in their conversation as Chanyeol took the pipe from the girl, taking a hit before passing it on. “Don’t even know his fuckin’ name.”

Jimin frowned. “How do you not know his name?”

Chanyeol opened his mouth to answer, but Jimin’s phone buzzed, interrupting him before he could speak. He ran his tongue over his lips, watching Jimin instead, as he pulled his phone out of his pocket and squinted at the bright screen.

 

12:48AM

taetae: Jimin, where are you?

 

Jimin rolled his lips between his teeth, uncertain. But after a minute of staring blankly at the message, he locked the screen and slipped it back into his pocket. Taehyung might be looking for him, but Jimin didn’t want to be found. Not yet, at least.

But thinking about Taehyung made him think about the group that he’d left behind at the fire pit, and… and Yoongi. The image of the older boy brought back the empty feeling from earlier, but he didn’t want it. Yoongi didn’t care about him – at least, not the way Jimin wanted him to.

No one did.

The harsh realisation brought tears to his eyes and Jimin lifted his jaw, staring determinedly at the ceiling until he could blink them away. A warm thumb brushed over his cheek, comforting, and he recognised Chanyeol’s touch without looking. The thought made him smile, even if it did tremble.

“I know what’ll make you feel better,” murmured Chanyeol. He patted Jimin’s cheek once and then withdrew his hand, and Jimin heard the flick of metal. Then he took a breath. “Open your mouth.”

He knew what Chanyeol was going to do. Jimin hesitated, wondering if he should stop him, if he should pull away – but, he realised, he didn’t want to. It may have been a bad idea, but Jimin didn’t care. The aching hollow of his chest was on the verge of swallowing up his heart and all Jimin wanted was for someone to make it hurt a little less, even if it was just for a moment.

Even as Jimin thought it, he knew he was lying to himself. He didn’t want someone, he wanted Yoongi – he wanted pale skin and smooth black hair, the quiet comfort of the other boy’s presence. He wanted to feel the softness of Yoongi’s lips against his again. Most of all, he wanted the other boy to want it, just as badly as Jimin did.

But Jimin had already kissed him, and Yoongi had pushed him away.

Barely breathing, Jimin parted his lips. The dark ceiling was swimming through a sheen of tears, but he couldn’t blink or they’d fall. He heard Chanyeol’s slow intake of breath, and then his warm hand was back on his jaw. An unspoken instruction to turn his head.

Obedient, Jimin closed his eyes – the spilling tears could have cut scars down his cheeks – and let Chanyeol exhale the smoke into his mouth.

He took a deep breath, taking it in slowly. Their lips weren’t touching, but Jimin could feel the space between them. It was electric. He held it in his lungs, feeling his chest warm, wondering if he was imagining it. Jimin hadn’t done this in so long. Finally, he exhaled, the smoke coming out in a small cloud as he opened his eyes. Chanyeol was smiling at him. “Better?”

No. Jimin was better, slightly, but not because of the weed – he was better because of the calming almost-touch of Chanyeol’s mouth, the warmth of another person’s body on his. It was intimacy that he craved, love and affection – and he’d take it in any form.

Chanyeol couldn’t have known that. He was still watching Jimin, the warmth in his eyes clear despite the darkness. He was waiting for an answer, hopeful and kind – he’d wanted to help Jimin, and he had, even if it wasn’t the way he’d intended.

But Jimin just didn’t want to feel alone anymore.

It was familiar, easy, to throw one leg over Chanyeol’s and slide into his lap, straddling his thighs. Jimin barely had time to see Chanyeol’s brief expression of surprise before he dipped his head, bringing their mouths together. Chanyeol tasted like smoke, but Jimin didn’t care – he slid his hands up the older boy’s arms, coming to rest on his neck, as he parted his lips and let Chanyeol lick inside his mouth. His left hand had come up automatically to hold his waist, but the other was starting to slide up Jimin’s thigh, bringing them closer together.

Unthinkingly, Jimin rolled his hips forward and Chanyeol groaned into his mouth. Someone behind them snorted with laughter but Jimin didn’t care, tilting his head to deepen the kiss. He let Chanyeol’s hand slide up underneath his white shirt, smoothing over his abdomen, and felt his breath hitch when the other boy nipped lightly at his bottom lip.

His phone buzzed again but Jimin ignored it, feeling the familiar warmth building in his gut as Chanyeol’s other hand smoothed over his ass and squeezed. He felt so solid underneath Jimin, something real and familiar – it was easy, mindless, to remember which way he liked to tilt his head, the way he liked Jimin to press forward into every touch.

It was… routine, Jimin realised. He couldn’t get lost in the sensation of kissing Chanyeol anymore. He could let his body fall into the old rhythm, the familiar give and take – but, he realised bitterly, it wasn’t exciting. Chanyeol’s mouth didn’t mesmerize his, and the curl of his tongue didn’t make Jimin’s heart race.

He was still attracted to Chanyeol, obviously – but his touch didn’t burn Jimin’s skin the way it used to. He couldn’t make Jimin forget everything messy and tangled inside of his head.

Regret twisted in his stomach as Jimin pulled back, letting his hands drop back to Chanyeol’s stomach. He didn’t resist as Jimin put distance between them, eyes sliding open as he ran his tongue over his lips. “What was that for?” Chanyeol asked, smile wry.

Jimin returned his smile, a little more ruefully. He wondered if Chanyeol could feel the changes between them now, too. But as he opened his mouth to answer, the girl on Chanyeol’s side laughed derisively, her gaze fixed on the open doorway. “Enjoying the free show?” she snickered, and Jimin glanced over his shoulder to see who she was talking to.

His stomach dropped to his feet.

It was Yoongi.

 


 

Yoongi watched Jimin walk away, a small thread of regret twisting through his stomach as any inclination towards conversation died on his tongue. He rolled his lips between his teeth and finally looked away from the other boy, slouching even more into his seat. He chanced a glance at Seokjin, knowing the older boy would already be watching him.

He was, of course, the line of his mouth thin and judgemental. You dumb fuck, he mouthed, and Yoongi rolled his eyes. He’d talk to Jimin when the younger boy returned. It wasn’t a big deal.

It had been weird though – uncomfortable, almost – to sit there in silence and say nothing as he’d watched the sadness creep over Jimin’s face before he’d excused himself. Yoongi felt guilty, like he should have done something – and he kind of wished that he had. Maybe then Jimin wouldn’t have walked away so easily.

Disappointed, but trying to ignore it, Yoongi glanced back in the direction that Jimin had disappeared in. He found his silhouette a second later, leaning back against the drinks table as he talked to some girl. Her arms were wrapped around his waist, and his were gently cupping the side of her face as they spoke earnestly.

Yoongi frowned, a cold tension bleeding into his stomach. What the hell was Jimin doing?

Someone cleared their throat and Yoongi looked over to see that Seokjin had followed his gaze, finding Jimin’s figure in the darkness. He drew Taehyung’s attention with the noise, indicating his best friend with a tilt of his chin. “Hey, Taehyung,” began Seokjin. “Who’s Jimin talking to?”

Jimin’s best friend squirmed in his chair, looking over his shoulder. He squinted for a second before his face relaxed, and he turned back to them both with an easy smile. “That’s Hyeri,” he announced, “Jiminnie’s friend. She’s the one who invited us here.”

Jin made a satisfied noise, and Yoongi didn’t have to look over to know that he was being treated to yet another significant look from his hyung. But before any of them could say anything else, Jungkook grabbed at his boyfriend, pulling Taehyung into his lap protectively. “Is she coming over here?” the maknae asked. “Is she gonna fight me?”

“Why would she fight you?” asked Namjoon, curious, as Taehyung snorted with laughter and hit at Jungkook’s shoulder.

“No, you dummy,” Tae informed Jungkook, before turning to Namjoon and trailing one hand down his body in answer. “Hyeri wants a piece of this, so Jungkook’s worried she’ll challenge him to a duel-”

Hoseok burst into laughter, cutting off the rest of Taehyung’s sentence. The younger boy grinned back at him happily, cheeks slightly pink. Underneath him, Jungkook rolled his eyes but didn’t argue with his boyfriend.

“Good to know,” murmured Seokjin, just low enough for Yoongi to hear. He threw his hyung a dirty look as he continued, “Isn’t it, Yoongi?”

Yoongi didn’t reply. But his eyes wandered back to Jimin again, and he was still staring when the other boy looked up. Their gazes met and Yoongi froze, caught – but Jimin only watched him quietly for a second before turning back to Hyeri. He said something to her and the girl reached for his hand, pulling Jimin towards the house.

Okay, now Yoongi was annoyed. Who was this girl to drag Jimin away from his friends? The low buzz of irritation swept underneath his skin as Yoongi watched her cling tightly to Jimin’s hand, keeping him close, as she tugged him after her.

A muscle in Yoongi’s jaw twitched and he looked away as the pair disappeared. Jimin would be back soon, he reasoned. All of his friends were in the backyard, so Jimin didn’t have a reason to stay away. Yoongi could talk to him when he returned.

But after half an hour, there was still no sign of him. Yoongi had grown increasingly irritated as the time passed, checking his phone every few minutes. He’d finished his beer and was halfway through another one by the time Taehyung commented on his friend’s absence again, sitting up on Jungkook’s lap to crane his neck and look out over the yard.

“Where’s Jiminnie?” he said, pouting. “He should be back by now.”

He’d only gone to get a drink, supposedly – Jimin should have been back at least twenty minutes ago. “Maybe someone should text him,” Hoseok suggested, and met Yoongi’s eye. They both knew he was thinking about what had happened to Jimin at the last party he’d been to. “Just to make sure he’s alright. Yoongi, do you have his number?”

“No,” he answered, and gave a small shrug. “He never gave it to me.”

“Here.” Taehyung wriggled on Jungkook’s lap again – Yoongi felt a brief flash of pity for the younger boy – and dug his hand into his jeans, pulling out his phone with a flourish. “You can use mine!” He rattled off his passcode happily, tossing it into Yoongi’s lap.

Yoongi hesitated, but he wasn’t going to argue. He exchanged a quick glance with Seokjin, who nodded encouragingly, before picking up the phone and tapping in the numbers Taehyung had recited. He managed to find his text messaging app easily enough, and Jimin was listed as the second most recent conversation.

 

12:48AM

taetae: Jimin, where are you?

 

Yoongi waited, but there was no response. Jimin didn’t even have his read receipts on, so there was no way to know if the other boy had even gotten the text. He rolled his lips between his teeth, thoughtful, and then made an impulsive decision. Fuck it, Yoongi thought, texting a message to tell Jimin to stay where he was, because Taehyung – supposedly – was looking for him. “I’m going to go find him,” he announced, standing up.

Taehyung held out his hand and Yoongi dropped his phone back into it. “He’s probably dancing,” the younger boy said helpfully. “Good luck!”

“Do you want me to come with you?” asked Namjoon, but Yoongi should his head.

“Nah. I’ll be back soon.” And, hopefully, not dragging a drunken Jimin behind him. That Hyeri had looked like a bad influence, Yoongi thought sourly.

 He crossed the yard quickly, making a beeline straight for the doorway inside. Yoongi checked the kitchen as he passed, but Jimin wasn’t inside – so he kept walking, heading for the dance floor like Taehyung had told him. He managed to squeeze into a free space at the side of the wall, using his vantage point to search the crowd – but Jimin’s bright orange hair was pretty obvious, and Yoongi couldn’t see it shining anywhere underneath the flashing lights. He swallowed his disappointment and chose to check upstairs, pushing through the mass towards the staircase. It was hard to manoeuvre between the closely packed crowd, and Yoongi ended up emerging closer to the front door than by the staircase. He squirmed his way to the side of the crowd, against the wall where he could move easier, and started heading for it again.

There was a dark room on his right, and Yoongi glanced inside as he passed. And then he stumbled, his heart flipping over inside his chest, because Jimin’s orange hair was unmistakable and he was right there.

He faltered, blood turning cold, as he realised that Jimin was straddling someone’s lap. The younger boy was pressed chest-to-chest against someone else on the couch, hips rocking slowly against theirs, as he made out with them. Yoongi saw a glimpse of his pink tongue, tracing the other boy’s mouth, and felt the shock burst inside his head like an explosion of white noise.

After a lifetime, an eternity, Jimin finally pulled back and Yoongi recognised the boy he’d been kissing. It was Chanyeol, again, and Yoongi felt like someone had reached inside his chest to squeeze his heart with a cold hand. Chanyeol licked his lips, murmuring something in the air between him and Jimin, and Yoongi was frozen.

Then someone let out a bark of laughter, and Yoongi realised his mistake. Jimin and Chanyeol weren’t alone in the room, and Yoongi’s silhouette at the door was hardly unobtrusive. “Enjoying the free show?” some girl cackled, and Yoongi – for a split second – thought that he should turn to run.

But it was too late. She’d spoken too loudly, and Jimin was already turning to see the object of her taunt. Their eyes met and Yoongi watched Jimin’s face fall, his eyes going wide. “Y-Yoongi,” he stuttered, face pale. “I-”

Yoongi’s expression shut down, all the emotion sliding from his face. He couldn’t help but wonder if he’d imagined the way Jimin flinched at its disappearance. “Jimin,” he said, voice even, somehow, despite the way his chest was collapsing. “Taehyung’s looking for you,” he lied, and jerked his head to the side.

 


 

“Oh.” The word left Jimin in a shaky exhale as he rose from Chanyeol’s lap, finding his balance on unsteady legs. He narrowly avoided stumbling as he took a few steps to Yoongi’s side, all the blood draining from his face.

“Hey, Yoongi,” called Chanyeol, and Jimin saw the older boy’s eyes flicker towards his neighbour. But a muscle ticked in his jaw and Yoongi pretended he didn’t hear, one hand closing around Jimin’s wrist as soon as he was close enough. He’s angry, Jimin realised, and the thought made his stomach shrivel. He’s really angry.

Yoongi’s grip on his wrist tightened almost to the point of pain and he yanked Jimin after him, striding out of the room. Someone’s laughter followed them as Yoongi dragged him through the crowd, his long fingers a chain around Jimin’s wrist. He pushed through the crowd without care, and Jimin had to move quickly to keep up.

But the shock was slowly giving way to something else inside Jimin’s chest. The embarrassment curled inside his stomach, fuelling something hotter, and after a second Jimin realised it was his own anger. What the hell was Yoongi doing? The seething thought flared with Jimin’s guilt, his shame, and he tried to shove both of the negative feelings away while clutching the bright-hot fury to his chest.

It was close to boiling over by the time they’d crossed the room, making it into the empty hallway. Jimin yanked his wrist free and stepped away from Yoongi as the other boy whirled, glaring heatedly. “What was that for?” he snapped, clutching at his aching wrist.

Yoongi’s eyes flashed and he took a step closer, the rage almost rolling off him. He didn’t answer. “What the fuck was that, Jimin?” he growled instead, and took a step closer. Jimin backed up to keep the distance between them, his back hitting the wall. “You go to get a drink and I find you making out with Chanyeol?

Anger snapped behind his sternum and Jimin snarled, shoving at Yoongi’s chest. “So?” he challenged, glaring up at the older boy. “Why do you care, Yoongi?”

“I care,” he snapped back, “about you making dumb decisions that you’re going to regret! I don’t know why you keep making these choices-”

  “Shut up,” Jimin hissed, cutting him off. “How do you fucking know I decided to kiss him, hm? Maybe Chanyeol kissed me-”

“Because I know you, Jimin,” Yoongi snapped, and the words were like a slap. Jimin felt them echo inside his chest, a numbing pain, as Yoongi seemed to realise the harshness of what he’d said. He looked Jimin up and down, hesitant, and tried to save it – “You were on his lap, Jimin. It’s not a hard guess.”

Jimin ignored his second sentence completely. “You know me,” he repeated, and tried not to let the hurt show – but his anger had completely deflated, leaving only the acidic cocktail of guilt and shame in his stomach. Tears welled in his eyes again and Jimin couldn’t look at Yoongi directly, so he stared at the empty wall of the corridor opposite. “Right.” He tried to laugh, and it came out wet and weak – “Know what, Yoongi? That I’m just a fucking slut who throws myself at people when I’m upset?”

Yoongi shook his head. “That’s not what I meant, Jimin-”

“Isn’t it?” The prickling in his eyes got to be too much and Jimin blinked, sending another wave of tears spilling over his cheeks. But he could finally meet Yoongi’s eyes, so he did. “Whatever, Yoongi. Just because some people actually fucking like it when I kiss them, you asshole-”

His voice broke and Jimin couldn’t continue. He choked off the rest of his sentence, shaking his head suddenly. But when he opened his eyes, Yoongi was staring at him – something had burst to life in his eyes, a shock of understanding. He wasn’t angry anymore, Jimin thought. No, he looked guilty. “Jimin,” he breathed. “I didn’t- oh, God, I didn’t know you remembered that-”

Jimin laughed again, but the sound was wet and hurt. “Like I’d forget.” He sniffed, rubbing the heel of his hand over his tear-slicked cheeks, and took an unsteady breath. “Whatever, Yoongi. Leave me alone.”

He pushed again at Yoongi’s chest, and in his surprise, the older boy actually stumbled back. It gave Jimin the room to squeeze out from between him and the wall, continuing down the corridor towards the backyard. He made it all the way into the backyard before he heard Yoongi move, calling his name. “Jimin-!”

Someone crashed into his chest and Jimin nearly fell over, hands going up automatically to catch the other person. “Shit, watch out – Hyeri?

She clung to Jimin’s shirt, the white material fisted in her hands, as she cried – great, heaving sobs against his chest. Shock raced over his skin and Jimin clutched her tightly on reflex, shushing her quickly as he pulled them both to the side, away from the light that spilled out of the open doorway into the backyard. As soon as they were slightly more secluded, Jimin pulled back so that he could look at her face. Hyeri’s eye makeup was running in black streaks down her cheeks, her eyes shining with even more unshed tears.

The fury and misery from earlier had completely faded, leaving only a burning concern for the girl in front of him. “Hyeri, what’s wrong?” he asked. She didn’t seem to notice the tears on Jimin’s cheeks, and he wiped them away quickly before she could.

The question brought a fresh wave of tears and Hyeri started blubbering into her hands, her shoulders shaking. Jimin panicked and wrapped his arms around her, pressing her head against his chest again in as comforting a hug as he could manage. He stroked her hair until her sobs started easing, and Hyeri lifted her head once it had slowed to the occasional sniffle. “Wonho’s here,” she admitted, her dark eyes finding his. “I just ran into him.”

Jimin tensed slightly at the news, but Hyeri just scrunched her nose and wormed a hand free to wipe at her tears. “Shit,” Jimin said, quietly, when it became clear that she wasn’t going to elaborate. “Did he… I mean, what-”

He broke off as Jimin realised that Hyeri was looking over his shoulder. Jimin followed her line of sight, and saw that Yoongi had joined them – he must have seen Jimin pull her away from the doorway after they ran into each other. He wasn’t saying anything, hands tucked into his pockets. Jimin tensed slightly, but Yoongi looked… worried. Protective, even. He wasn’t going to pull Jimin away just to restart their own argument.

“It’s okay, you can talk about it in front of him,” Jimin said, answering her unspoken question. Yoongi looked at him, and Jimin resisted the urge to look away as he added, “He’s a friend.”

Yoongi’s expression didn’t change, and Jimin looked away. Hyeri was nodding, wiping under her eyes again, and her voice trembled as she spoke. “He grabbed my ass,” she began, and Jimin watched the tears well in her eyes again. “And he asked, he asked if I wanted to go upstairs and I think he wanted to have sex – and I said no, we’re not together anymore, and I shook him off but he said it didn’t matter, and breaking up was a mistake and he just-”

She broke off and started crying into her hands again. Jimin murmured wordless comfort and stroked her hair, trying to be reassuring, as the noise of her sobbing filled the quiet space around them. When she started to settle down again, Jimin spoke. “Wonho’s a dickhead,” he said flatly, and Hyeri choked on a small laugh. “He doesn’t even deserve you crying over him, Hyeri, he’s just being such an asshole and you’re a thousand times better off without him. I promise, okay?”

Hyeri nodded, sniffling, but she was still blinking back tears. “What if I run into him again?” she asked, voice small. “I don’t know if I can-”

“Come with us,” Yoongi interrupted, and they both turned to look at him. “We’ll take you to our friends. Wonho won’t start anything if you’re surrounded by us.”

“And if he does,” Jimin said slowly, turning back to Hyeri, “Jungkook can beat him up. Sound good?”

Hyeri smiled a little, and started patting down the wetness still on her cheeks. “Okay,” she mumbled. “I just need to fix my makeup, I guess… um, do either of you have tissues?”

“Here,” Yoongi said, and pulled a small packet from the pocket of his bomber. She gave him a small smile, ripping the first tissue free and swiping it under her eyes. Jimin watched as she cleaned herself up easily, like the movements were practiced – it made his heart ache a little to wonder how many times she’d cried like this before. She managed to wipe off the black streaks and smudged the rest of her eyeliner out enough that it looked like an intentional smokey eye. In the darkness of the backyard, no one would notice that she’d been crying.

“Ready?” Jimin asked, taking the used tissues from her hands and shoving them into his own pockets so that she wouldn’t have to carry them. Hyeri smiled at him gratefully.

“Wait,” Yoongi said firmly, looking at Hyeri. “You should rehydrate. Drinking and crying is a bad mix.”

Hyeri nodded, accepting the detour, and Jimin took her hand as they walked towards the coolers. It was a selfish thought, but Jimin was almost grateful for what had brought Hyeri to tears. Having someone to look after, to protect, forced Jimin not to think about the reasons he wanted to cry. He could shove the entire mess of emotion to the back of his mind, and deal with it later.

Jimin left Yoongi and Hyeri a small distance away from the drinks table, trusting the older boy to keep her calm. But footsteps soon followed him and Jimin clenched his jaw, some of the earlier anger returning, as Yoongi spoke. “Jimin-”

“No,” he said flatly. Jimin straightened, fingers of his right hand wrapped around a cold bottle of water, and turned to face Yoongi. “No. I don’t want to talk. Right now, I’m dealing with Hyeri.”

Yoongi stared at him, seemingly a little lost for words. Then he nodded. “Okay,” he accepted, and took a step back. “But can we talk later, please?”

Jimin opened his mouth to answer when he heard a laugh from behind them. The voice that followed was too familiar.

“Changed your mind, Ri? I knew you’d come to find me.”

Jimin slammed the cooler door shut and was back at Hyeri’s side in an instant. He didn’t even spare Wonho a glance as he pushed the water bottle into her hands, whirling to face the taller boy. “Get the fuck away from her,” he hissed, shoving at Wonho’s chest. A heated surge of protective anger had ignited inside his throat and Jimin glared, spotting the dark bruise on his jaw that he’d left from their last encounter. “Unless you want a repeat of Friday night.”

For a second, Wonho looked shocked by the interruption, but recognition soon clicked into place once he got a good look at Jimin’s face. His expression instantly turned to a smug derisiveness, and his gaze flicked from Jimin’s head to his feet, and then back again. Jimin knew what was coming before Wonho even spoke, and his stomach shrank. “Friday night?” Wonho repeated, smirking. He lifted his eyebrows once, dropping his eyes to Jimin’s crotch, and then spoke again. “If you wanted a repeat, sweetheart, all you had to do was ask.”

“Oh, fuck off,” Yoongi spat, and Jimin turned to see that he’d stomped over. “You know that’s not what he meant.”

Before anyone could reply, Hyeri bodily shoved Jimin out of the way. She threw the entire contents of her water bottle over Wonho, soaking him instantly, and he stumbled back once Hyeri threw the emptied plastic at his face. “You fucking asshole,” she snarled, clenching her fists by her side as Wonho spluttered and wiped at his face. “Don’t you dare speak to either of us like that, not after what you did-”

“Woah, what the fuck is going on here?”

Their dramatic scene had drawn attention. Jimin glanced up and saw the hosts of the party, Jackson and Mark, striding over. Jackson’s normally happy face was drawn in an indignant scowl, and his yell had made others look over. Jimin’s throat tightened as three other boys – all taller than Jimin – emerged at Wonho’s side, sizing up Jimin and Yoongi. Hyeri didn’t even merit a second glance, and that pissed off Jimin even more.

“Shownu,” Mark called, once they were closer. He was talking to one of Wonho’s friends, who looked up at the call of his name. “What the hell-”

“This bitch just attacked me,” Wonho spat, throwing Hyeri a venomous look as he wiped his eyes free from the spray. “Someone needs to put her on a leash-”

Hyeri moved so fast that Jimin didn’t even have a hope of holding her back. She yelled wordlessly, the sound furious, and hit the side of Wonho’s face with a hard fist.

Stunned, Jimin could only watch as Wonho staggered backwards. Then his brain kicked into gear and Jimin leapt forward to grab Hyeri’s arms, pulling her back as she spewed vicious insults towards her ex-boyfriend.

“What the fuck!” he yelled, reeling, hands flying up to cover his face. “Hyeri, you psychotic bitch-”

“Don’t call her that,” snapped Yoongi, and Jimin glanced at him. His throat tightened at the sight of Yoongi’s dark, furious glare, but it was aimed at Wonho.

They were only drawing more attention with the fighting. Jimin glanced beyond Mark and Jackson, who seemed wide-eyed at the explosion of violence, and found his friends. Taehyung and Jungkook were running over, closely followed by Yoongi’s friends. Shit. Taehyung was definitely a punch-first-ask-questions-later guy when it came to protecting his friends, and the situation would undoubtedly escalate.

Hyeri was breathing heavily, and Jimin tightened his grip on her shoulders. He didn’t think she would try anything else, but it was best not to find out.

“You deserved that,” Yoongi was saying, and he stepped forward. “Now get the fuck out of here before Mark and Jackson call the cops, you piece of shit.”

Wonho looked angrily between Yoongi and the two others before his eyes narrowed again. He glanced meaningfully at the large boys standing at his shoulder, before looking back. “You sure you wanna be on their side?” he hissed, but the threat turned into condescension as Yoongi stepped protectively in front of Hyeri and Jimin. “Oh, right. I see now. Which one of them are you fucking, huh?”

“You piece of shit.” Hyeri snarled. “Not everything’s about sex, sometimes it’s fucking human decency-”

 Yoongi turned to look at her as Hyeri spat venom, but somehow, his gaze locked with Jimin’s. He could only stare back, wordless and desperate, as he tried to hold Hyeri back from another assault.

Something unnamed rose in Jimin’s throat, the tightness in his chest easing slightly as Yoongi looked at him. His eyebrows were drawn slightly in concern – for Jimin – and for a moment, Jimin forgot why he’d ever wanted Yoongi to leave him alone.

But they hadn’t been subtle enough – if they’d even tried at all. Jimin heard the contempt in Wonho’s voice as he scoffed. “It’s him, isn’t it? I knew it.” Wonho gave a sharp bark of laughter. “Well, shit, I sure hope you enjoy sloppy seconds-”

Yoongi’s fist crashed into Wonho’s jaw, and the taller boy hit the ground.

Shock burst through Jimin’s veins, a cold shot in his blood, as he watched Yoongi hiss and shake out his fist, stepping away from Wonho.

He was still on the ground. Yoongi had knocked him out cold.

The violence exploded.

Hyeri ripped herself free from his hands, yelling, and launched herself towards Wonho. One of his friends stepped forward to stop her and became her next target. As soon as Hyeri was fighting, the others intervened – and Jimin barely had time for the horror to drop in his stomach, watching them head towards him and Yoongi, before his friends arrived.

Taehyung threw himself into the growing fight, closely followed by Jungkook. The violent mass grew exponentially as people ran to separate them, but it only got worse. Jimin found himself being dragged out of the way, Yoongi’s hand on his, but it was too late. An errant elbow hit him hard, sending pain spiking up his cheekbone, and Jimin cried out.

The rest of the fight he could only remember in flashing images. Seokjin, teeth bared as he punched someone in the face, Namjoon trying desperately to pull him back. Blood smeared underneath Taehyung’s nose as he yelled. Someone trying to yank Hyeri’s hair and receiving a knee to the balls for their efforts.

It was over even more quickly than it had begun. Mark and Jackson, with the help of Jungkook and Yoongi’s friends – because Taehyung was not being helpful, no matter how much he protested against Namjoon restraining him – had managed to subdue the few that were actively fighting, rather than defending themselves.

If it had been a dramatic scene before, it was an entire spectacle now. Everyone had gotten involved, somehow – either fighting or helping out. But Jimin only had eyes for Yoongi.

“Is- Is your hand okay?” he found himself asking, stepping forward. They were close to the fence, separated from the people trying to clean up the brief fight, since Yoongi had tried to pull them out of the way as much as possible.

Yoongi nodded as Jimin reached out tentatively, taking Yoongi’s right hand gently between his. The knuckles had split from the punch, but they weren’t bleeding too badly. Jimin lifted his gaze from the red splatter and met Yoongi’s eyes again. “Are you okay, Jimin?” he asked. Yoongi’s hand came up to cup the side of Jimin’s neck, a sudden warmth.

He nodded, rolling his lips between his teeth. But it was a lie. He felt – shaky, and his body kept trembling, but Jimin didn’t know why. He leaned into Yoongi’s hand, the only support keeping him upright. Yoongi’s expression softened as he glanced down, feeling the tremors in Jimin’s hand.

“I think you might be in a bit of shock,” he said, kindly, and Jimin nodded jerkily. That made sense. He felt a pressure on his waist and glanced down to see Yoongi pushing him down, gently, until Jimin sat heavily on the grass. “Here. You need a jacket.”

Jimin didn’t move as Yoongi pulled back, shrugging off his bomber jacket, and slipped it around Jimin’s shoulders. “Won’t you be cold?” he asked quietly, and managed to push his arms through the sleeves.

“Nah. I have a hoodie as well.” He smiled as Jimin looked up, seeing that it was true.

Before either of them could say anything else, Taehyung skidded to a stop next to them both. “Holy shit,” he said, breathless. “Jiminnie, are you okay?”

He must have freed himself from Namjoon, somehow, but Jimin wasn’t complaining as his best friend wrapped his arms around him. He was surrounded by warmth before he could even answer Taehyung’s question, and Jimin let himself sink into it, clutching tightly to Taehyung’s forearms. The other boys arrived a second behind.

Jungkook immediately dropped to his knees, his hand resting on Jimin’s back. The other four boys surrounded them in a loose circle, already looking to Yoongi for answers. “How the hell did that happen?” asked one of them, and Jimin thought it was probably Namjoon.

Yoongi answered them, quietly, but Jimin didn’t listen. The shock was starting to bleed out of his system, and it left him feeling drained. A sudden exhaustion had taken hold of his limbs and Jimin let his head rest on his knees.

He’d probably feel embarrassed about this later, when he had enough energy to care.

Jimin looked up when someone crouched in front of him, meeting Yoongi’s dark, kind eyes. He looked smaller in just his hoodie, but the thought was quickly dismissed when Jimin remembered how easily he’d knocked out Wonho with a single punch.

“How are you feeling?” he asked softly.

“Better,” murmured Jimin. He felt Taehyung and Jungkook ease back a little, exchanging glances over his head. “Thank you.”

“I’m gonna go check on Hyeri, ‘kay, Jiminnie?” Taehyung told him. “I’ll find out if she’s okay. Come on, Kookie.”

Jungkook complied quickly, squeezing Jimin’s shoulder once before he stood up to follow Taehyung. Jimin drew Yoongi’s jacket closer around him as his two friends left, sniffling slightly. Yoongi’s friends had also migrated slightly away from them. Namjoon was talking to Mark and and Jimin spared a moment to pray that he and Yoongi weren’t going to get into trouble for what had happened.

God. Everything had happened so fast. Jimin felt like his brain was still catching up with it all, his senses muted and detached from the world around him while he tried to process what had just gone down. Yoongi was sitting in front of him, but the silence between them wasn’t uncomfortable despite the fact that just minutes ago, they’d been yelling at each other. He seemed to understand that Jimin needed the quiet. 

But Jimin was still grateful that he was there.

Eventually, though, Jimin sniffed and looked up at Yoongi. “I want to leave,” he said quietly. The party, the people, the fight… it was all too much. Jimin needed to get away.

Yoongi nodded, like he’d expected it. “You want me to get Taehyung and Jungkook?”

“No.” The word came out of his mouth before Jimin even knew what he was saying. Surprised by himself, he blinked a little, and then met Yoongi’s gaze again. His voice was soft. “No, I don’t want them right now.”

“Okay,” accepted Yoongi, easily. “What do you want?”

I don’t know, Jimin almost said, but the words weren’t quite true. He took a slow, shuddering breath as he thought it through.

Jimin wanted safety. He wanted reassurance, and comfort, and a familiar space that didn’t make his chest feel constricted by the role he was supposed to play. He wanted somewhere that made it easier to breathe.

“Your dorm.” The words spilled out on his breath, soft, and Jimin looked up to meet Yoongi’s gaze slowly.

Jimin didn’t let himself think about the weirdness of the request, of the possibility that Yoongi would turn him away – he only bit his lip and thought of all the times that Yoongi had opened his door when Jimin had needed it the most.   

“Please, hyung.” Jimin swallowed against the lump in his throat, and didn’t let his gaze fall. Just minutes earlier, they’d been yelling at each other – the viciousness of their fight, however brief, still made Jimin’s stomach shrink. But he knew what he wanted; what he needed. “Can I stay in your dorm tonight?”

Yoongi was watching him quietly, something unreadable in his eyes. He waited until the pressure in Jimin’s chest was about to burst before he let a soft smile curve his mouth, and held out his hand. “Okay, Jimin,” he said, and helped the younger boy to his feet. “Let’s go.”

Chapter Text

The walk back to Yoongi’s dorm was quiet, the two boys slowly making their way through the college campus. Yoongi made sure to keep his pace slow and even, careful not to rush Jimin, and staying close to the younger boy’s shoulder. He kept glancing at him out of the corner of his eye.

Jimin was walking with his head down and his hands buried in the pockets of Yoongi’s bomber jacket, shoulders slightly hunched. He was glad that Jimin was still wearing his jacket – the campus was cold and dark, illuminated only by the light of the distant moon, and Jimin would have been shivering in his white t-shirt otherwise.

Though there was a good chance that Jimin wouldn’t have noticed the cold at all, given how out of it he still seemed. From what he could see from Jimin’s eyes, the boy’s gaze was slightly unfocused – Yoongi had to wonder if he was still processing what had happened. He wouldn’t be surprised. Everything had happened so fast – Yoongi was still trying to understand it himself.

Yoongi knew who he’d hit, though. It didn’t take a genius to piece together what Jimin had told him on Friday night with the spluttered “Hyeri!” and the girl’s wild accusations of cheating and sex. The angry guy had been Wonho, the guy Jimin had kissed, and Hyeri was the girl that had yelled at and slut-shamed him for it. They seemed to have made up, considering that Jimin had been protecting her, but that simple fact did nothing to scrape away the memory of Jimin crying into Yoongi’s chest over the venom she’d spat at him.

He still had questions over what had happened – not just about the fight, either, but their heated argument in the hallway and all that had come before it. But Yoongi knew better than to voice them, at least for now. He swallowed the words hesitating on his tongue and simply kept pace with Jimin instead, hoping his silent presence was support enough.

Jimin hadn’t offered any explanations yet – but then again, Yoongi thought, maybe the other boy didn’t need to. He remembered what had happened between them, and he’d known that Yoongi did, too. This whole time, he’d thought that Yoongi was simply ignoring what happened… out of disgust, anger, or something worse.

Yoongi’s heart sank a little at the thought.

What a mess, Yoongi thought silently, rolling his bottom lip between his teeth. He knew how he felt about Jimin. He could remember all too easily the ache in his throat as Jimin had cried bitter tears into his chest, his arms tight around the younger boy like a desperate shield. The dryness in his mouth when he’d seen Jimin at the party, eyes bright and skin glowing, and the jealousy writhing in his stomach as he’d watched Jimin on Chanyeol’s lap. The protectiveness he’d felt when Wonho had tried to degrade him, the soft warmth when Jimin had immediately reached out to check his hand after Yoongi had punched him – and the flood of relief, of affection, when Jimin had asked to spend the night with him. The chaos of emotion spun in his chest whenever he turned to glance at Jimin, and Yoongi was tired of denying it.

Yoongi had been falling in love with Jimin since the first time he’d met him, and he was in over his head now.

If only he could know what Jimin was feeling. There were so many mixed signals, it was overwhelming – every time he was confident in his understanding of the other boy, Jimin did something to throw him completely off-balance. The kiss; the murmured, “I don’t know what you want from me”; the hook-up with Chanyeol; the anger as he’d spat, “some people actually fucking like it when I kiss them”; the fragile hope in his eyes as he’d asked to spend the night. It could mean nothing, or everything – Yoongi just didn’t know.

And then, wasn’t it selfish to even be thinking these things? Jimin was in the middle of a bad situation and he’d asked for Yoongi’s help. Getting answers from the other boy could wait – tonight, Yoongi just needed to make sure that Jimin was okay. Yoongi could put it all aside and focus on being there for Jimin when he needed it, when he wanted it – when he’d asked for it.

It was impossible to fix people, but Jimin wasn’t broken. Yoongi only wished Jimin could see that.

 


 

The silence between them wasn’t uncomfortable, which Jimin was grateful for. He huddled further into Yoongi’s bomber jacket, thankful for its warmth as the night air nipped at his fingers and left teasing touches on his cheeks. He wondered, briefly, if Yoongi was feeling the cold as keenly as he was. But the older boy was relaxed at Jimin’s side, thumbs tucked casually in the front pockets of his jeans.

Jimin wanted to step closer, to press against Yoongi’s side and feel the older boy’s warmth. But he resisted the temptation, barely – he didn’t want to push his luck any further than it had already stretched tonight.

Instead, he stayed mute until they reached Yoongi’s dorm, the older boy pushing into the stairwell to lead the way up. Jimin let the door fall shut behind him and followed Yoongi up the stairs, holding loosely to the cold handrail.

In no time at all, Yoongi was unlocking the door to his dorm. He led the way inside, carelessly throwing his keys onto the couch. Jimin followed a little more slowly as Yoongi padded into the kitchen, making a beeline straight for the cupboards above the sink. “Hot chocolate, right?” asked the older boy, without turning, and Jimin glanced at his back. “That’s what you had last time.”

A small smile flickered over Jimin’s mouth and he glanced down to hide, it, pulling the edges of Yoongi’s bomber jacket down over his hands. It was such a small thing, remembering that Jimin liked to drink hot chocolate – but the thought set a small warmth glowing in Jimin’s chest, regardless; one that he didn’t know how to name. “Yes, please,” he said, and Yoongi grunted. “Did you need help, or…?”

A huff of laughter. “This is kind of a one-man job, but thanks,” answered Yoongi. Then he glanced over his shoulder at Jimin. “You wanna grab the duvet from my bed and bring it to the couch? The heating’s kind of shitty, so we’ll need it.”

Jimin nodded. He remembered where Yoongi’s bedroom was, having slept there fairly recently, and it was easy to strip the black duvet from the bed. He bundled it in his arms and carried it back to the living room, settling it over the couch. “You’re not going to sleep?” he asked, curious.

“Nah.” Metal clinked as Yoongi tapped a spoon against the side of their cups before tossing it into the sink, ignoring the resulting clatter. “Not unless you are.”

He said it so… easily. Like the concept of leaving Jimin alone hadn’t even occurred to him. That strange warmth flared in his chest again as Jimin stared at Yoongi, taken aback, before he managed to wipe the surprise from his face in case the other boy turned around. There was no hiding the pink flush of his cheeks though, so Jimin ducked his chin and willed it to disappear.

Jimin knew that Yoongi was caring. He’d shown his kindness almost every day that Jimin had known him, offering his space and his time and his comfort before Jimin had even needed to ask. But Jimin didn’t know if he could ever get used to such casual, thoughtless affection. It set his heart racing even now, and Jimin couldn’t quite look Yoongi in the eye as he passed by him, heading to the opposite side of the couch.

“Thank you,” he murmured, as Yoongi pressed the warm mug into his hands and took a seat on the opposite side of the couch. He stretched his legs out onto the cushions between them and Jimin copied him, curling up on the cushions beneath the duvet until he could feel the soles of Yoongi’s bare feet pressed against his calves.

Jimin glanced down, making sure his mug didn’t spill as he settled, and blinked. Two marshmallows, one white and one pink, were bobbing in the warm brown liquid. They’d already started melting deliciously across the surface, a froth of swirling colour. It made him smile, and Jimin cupped both hands around the warm sides of the mug as he took his first sip. He held the hot liquid in his mouth for a second, letting the rich taste of chocolate cover his tongue, before letting it trickle down his throat. It was delicious, and comforting, just like the first one Yoongi had made him.

Marshmallow had smeared across his top lip and Jimin licked it off absently, glancing back at Yoongi. The silence between them was comfortable and he let his gaze linger, watching as Yoongi sipped at his own drink. He had one arm resting on the back of the couch, black hoodie sleeve shoved up to the elbow. In the soft lighting, his pale skin was beautiful.

Jimin’s cheeks warmed and he glanced away before Yoongi could catch him staring. The funny feeling in his chest from earlier had returned and he took another drink to distract himself, hoping that Yoongi wouldn’t be able to see his pink blush.

“Hey, Jimin.” He looked up at the quiet call of his gaze, meeting Yoongi’s soft gaze from across the couch. As soon as their eyes met, Yoongi took a deep breath, like he was steeling himself. “I want to apologise.”

“What?” Jimin blinked, his mug dropping slowly to rest on his thigh. “What for?”

Yoongi grimaced, shifting slightly. “For hitting Wonho,” he said, slowly, and Jimin tilted his head in question. “Well, not really – ah, fuck. Okay. I’m not sorry that I hit him, but if I interfered when I shouldn’t have, or if I possibly made things worse for you by getting involved… for that, I’m sorry.”

“Oh.” A small, relieved smile flitted over Jimin’s face and he shook his head. “No, Yoongi, please don’t apologise for that. Hell, I should be thanking you – I’m glad you hit him.”

“Yeah?” Yoongi grinned suddenly, his teeth a flash of white. He looked pleased. “Good. Fucker deserved worse.”

“Yeah.” Yoongi’s glee made him smile, but talking about Wonho made Jimin feel a little unstable, a little shaken. So, he brushed the thoughts aside, focusing on something a little more positive as he forced a smile. “I don’t think he’ll be bothering Hyeri again.”

“Or you,” pointed out Yoongi.

The two words made Jimin’s smile falter. He couldn’t hide the sadness in his eyes, as the aching loneliness from earlier swelled inside his chest again, so Jimin dropped his gaze. He couldn’t hold Yoongi’s eyes.

“Yeah, well…” Trailing off, Jimin shrugged, ignoring the unsteady feeling in his chest. It felt like his ribcage was crumbling, each breath a building hurt. “I deserved it.”

If he’d looked up, he would have seen Yoongi’s frown. “No, Jimin,” he said, and his voice was firm. “You didn’t. That shit he was saying wasn’t true, and it wasn’t fair to you.”

Jimin’s slow intake of breath was shaky. He tried to muster a smile, but it didn’t hold – he rolled his lips between his teeth instead. There were tears prickling at the edges of his vision, but he wouldn’t let them fall. “Please don’t say that,” he said quietly, clutching his mug. “I don’t… You know, Yoongi. He called me… sloppy seconds, and I-” Jimin’s breath hitched. “Yoongi, I am.

He couldn’t hold them back anymore. The tears slid down his cheeks, a river of hurt – Jimin hadn’t known it would feel like this. Just a few days ago, Jimin had fallen apart on Yoongi’s floor. Words like slut and man-whore had torn him up on the inside, made him cry bitterly into Yoongi’s chest. He’d been devastated, but he didn’t feel like that now.

No. He felt upset, but he was calm. Accepting. Wonho’s cruelty surrounded him like a hurricane, but Jimin was in the eye of the storm.

Maybe that was the difference the truth made.

The thought brought a fresh wave of tears and Jimin sniffed, wiping the mess of tears from his cheeks with the back of his hands. Yoongi was looking at him with wide eyes, momentarily stunned – Jimin took advantage of his silence. “Sorry,” he mumbled, in a voice thick with tears, and tried to give Yoongi a smile that acknowledged how ridiculous and pathetic he was being. “Seems like all I do these days is cry.”

“Jimin…” For a moment, Yoongi seemed lost for words. Then, as Jimin watched, a wave of anger seemed to slide over him – he saw it settle in Yoongi’s eyes, above the sudden tension in his jaw. He leaned forward to grab Jimin’s hand, a sudden reassuring touch. “Don’t tell me you actually believe what Wonho said to you. He’s wrong, Jimin. He was just trying to get to you – why the hell would you believe him? I mean, God, you only kissed the guy-”

Slowly, Jimin shook his head. “It’s not just him, Yoongi,” he admitted, and the words carved up the inside of his throat like knives. “It’s- it’s Chanyeol, and-” He broke off, not wanting to go any further. He didn’t need – didn’t want – Yoongi to know about all the people that Jimin had been with. The people that Jimin had let push him into their beds, had let them touch and grab and do anything, anything, just for a few minutes where he didn’t have to feel alone. Then he was hit by the most painful thought of all, an arcing arrow ripping straight through his chest. “-and, and it’s you, Yoongi!”

As soon as the words had torn themselves free, Jimin felt Yoongi’s hands turn to stone on his skin. He trembled beneath the weight of it, beneath the fear, as he felt Yoongi’s shock rip viscerally through him. Then he spoke, the words quiet but firm. “Jimin,” said Yoongi, carefully. “What do you mean?”

Oh, God. Admitting it to himself and Yoongi in the same breath had been hard enough, but to explain – the shame of it all nearly bowled him over. Jimin set his mug carefully on the table and curled in on himself, drawing away from Yoongi’s touch. He pulled his knees to his chest and tried to brace himself. “On Friday night,” he said softly, “I kissed you, Yoongi.”

The older boy sucked in a slow breath, his eyes wide, but Jimin couldn’t look at him. He knew now what he hadn’t before – that Yoongi had thought he hadn’t remembered, and had kept quiet to save Jimin’s pride. But it didn’t make it hurt any less. He let his gaze rest slightly over Yoongi’s left shoulder, unable to look him in the eye as a horrible nausea climbed up the inside of his throat. “Jimin,” breathed Yoongi, I-”

“And I did it,” interrupted Jimin, the words spilling out of him, “because you wanted me to. I saw it in your eyes, and I just – I just acted. I didn’t even think about it.” He blinked, slowly, and felt another slow wave of tears slide down his cheeks. He couldn’t even look at Yoongi.

But he didn’t have to. Jimin shuddered, his eyes sliding shut, as a soft hand landed on his jaw. Yoongi’s thumb brushed gently under his eye to wipe away the tears on his cheeks, an achingly tender touch. Slowly, Jimin opened his eyes.

Yoongi’s gaze was soft, and warm. In that moment, Jimin didn’t know why he’d ever felt afraid. “I didn’t know you remembered that,” he said again, quietly; an echo of the words he’d spilled to Jimin in the darkened hallway. The words ached as they settled inside Jimin’s chest like a secret – something Yoongi had been carrying, afraid of, for the past two days. He couldn’t look away from Yoongi’s face. “I… God, Jimin, I should have brought it up with you – but I was stupid, and I was afraid.”

Jimin felt like his heart had stopped beating. “Of what?” he breathed.

“You,” admitted Yoongi, quietly, painfully – the confession unfurled in the air between them, something fragile and soft. “Of the way you felt. I didn’t know if you wanted me, or just wanted anyone. And I don’t- I don’t mean that you’re a slut, Jimin – God, I’d never think that. Just because you enjoy being with people doesn’t mean you should be ashamed of that. But…” Yoongi’s voice trailed off and he licked his lips carefully, and Jimin could almost feel the delicacy with which he was trying to choose his next words. “I don’t think you’re a slut, Jimin, but I do think that, sometimes, you feel like you have to… buy people, with your body. That you have to give them something, for them to spend time with you, and your body – the things you can do for them – are the only things worth giving. The only value you have.”

Such gently-spoken words had never hurt so much to hear. Jimin couldn’t look away from Yoongi, though he was made speechless by the stunning pain in his chest. It hurt, like the words were trying to rip him asunder – or like Yoongi’s honesty, his blunt, aching honesty, had reached out through the air between them to wrap a brutal hand around Jimin’s throat.

But it hurt all the more because Jimin knew it was true.

He couldn’t deny it, any of it – Yoongi had reached inside his chest and ripped out his heart, blood-slick and beating, and thrown it between them like a bomb. The truth was raw and agonising, laid out bare for the both of them. Jimin couldn’t run from it anymore.

Was this always what Yoongi had thought of him?

But before the thoughts could drown him, Yoongi spoke again. “I was scared of the way you felt because I don’t want to be… anyone to you.” When Jimin finally managed to lift his gaze, Yoongi’s eyes were on his – something inside them dark and urgent, like he needed Jimin to understand. To believe. “I want to be someone to you, Jimin,” he said softly, and Jimin almost couldn’t breathe. “I want to be yours.”

Jimin stared at him, speechless, the words and the meaning behind them overwhelming him.

And then, humiliatingly, he burst into tears.

Chapter Text

Shock rippled through Yoongi like a wave, tying his tongue and leaving the older boy speechless as Jimin’s whole body was wracked with sobs. For a moment, he was frozen – could only watch as the younger boy cried – but then Yoongi let his hand slide down from Jimin’s jaw, moving to cup the side of his neck instead, and gently pulled him forward. Jimin collapsed into his arms. As though he didn’t have the strength to hold himself up anymore.

Soft, quiet murmurs of wordless comfort fell from his mouth, whispered into Jimin’s soft hair as he hid his face against Yoongi’s neck. His hands, which before had been covering his face, fisted tightly in Yoongi’s shirt. “It’s okay, Jiminnie,” he breathed, a gentle ache settling inside his chest. “It’s okay, you’re okay.”

He could feel the younger boy shaking, feel the wet slide of his tears against his neck. Yoongi shifted slightly so that Jimin could lie more comfortably on his chest as he held him tightly. The material of Jimin’s jacket – well, Yoongi’s jacket – had bunched uncomfortably under his arms, but Jimin didn’t seem to have noticed. He just pressed himself closer to Yoongi, trembling under the weight of his tears.

Eventually, Yoongi freed his left hand so that he could run his fingers through Jimin’s hair. By that point, the younger boy’s crying had eased slightly – Yoongi could only hear his hitched breathing, and the occasional sniffle. Jimin’s head was resting on his shoulder, face still hidden, but Yoongi could feel the cold slope of his nose pressed against Yoongi’s neck. But the rest of Jimin’s body, pressed against him from neck to thigh, was a warm and welcome weight.

His bright orange hair was soft and smooth, tangling unhappily around Yoongi’s fingers on each soothing stroke. Once, he paused to run his thumb over the smooth shell of Jimin’s ear, carefully avoiding his piercings, and felt the tension in his body slightly unwind. Yoongi did it again, gently.

When Jimin finally spoke, his voice was rough – scratched raw by his heaving sobs. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, and Yoongi felt the words as a huff of air beneath his chin.

He hummed, playing with a strand of Jimin’s hair. “You don’t have anything to apologise for.”

Jimin absorbed that without saying anything, his breathing still unsteady. He was quiet for a long time, until Yoongi thought he might have fallen asleep, but then he shifted slightly on top of Yoongi and released his hand from the soft material of his shirt. Jimin let his palm lie flat on Yoongi’s chest instead, at the centre of his ribcage. Yoongi wondered, idly, if he could feel his heartbeat.

It was… slow, which Yoongi hadn’t expected. Not after confessing to Jimin. But instead of fear, Yoongi felt calm. Accepting. Telling Jimin how he had felt had been an inevitability, he realised now. He would always have loved him.

And even if Jimin didn’t feel the same, it would be enough to know that he knew. That Yoongi had told him, and he’d tried, and he’d given everything to have Jimin in his arms.

But… he hadn’t said anything, yet, and Yoongi wasn’t going to push him. He had no idea how the other boy felt – and, slowly, the realisation unfurling inside his mind, Yoongi realised that Jimin might not know either.

So, before he could say anything, Yoongi murmured, “You don’t have to answer me, you know.” He rubbed his thumb reassuringly over the side of Jimin’s hip, his skin warm and soft. “If you don’t know how to, yet.”

For a moment, Yoongi thought he hadn’t been heard. But then Jimin shifted, pulling back slightly until he could stare up at Yoongi. He turned his head, looking back at Jimin to meet his wide brown eyes. Jimin’s lips had parted slightly in surprise. “What?”

Yoongi let a soft smile curl over his mouth. “I’ve waited a long time to tell you how I feel, Jimin,” he answered gently. “I don’t mind waiting a little longer to hear your answer.”

“But, Yoongi…” Jimin’s eyes were still wide but he pushed himself up, carefully, with the hand he’d braced on Yoongi’s chest. It made his heart do a funny skip to have Jimin curled between his thighs, one of Yoongi’s hands resting absently on the side of his hip to keep the younger boy steady. “I…”

“It’s okay, Jimin,” Yoongi reassured him. It would be asking far too much for Jimin to answer him now, after all that had happened. Unthinkingly, he reached forward, right hand extending to brush some of Jimin’s soft hair behind his ear. “I don’t want to push you. A lot went down tonight, and I-”

But Jimin caught his hand before it could make contact, small fingers taking him by the wrist. He turned Yoongi’s hand over quickly, glancing up at the older boy in dismay. Yoongi was surprised, too, his sentence forgotten, until he realised his split knuckles were still covered in drying blood. “Yoongi,” he breathed. “Your hand- I forgot, I-”

“It’s okay, Jimin.” But Yoongi didn’t pull his hand away, letting in rest in the other boy’s gentle grip. “It doesn’t hurt.”

Jimin bit his lip, looking worried – and, somehow, guilty. “But still,” he said, “we should clean it – um, do you have a first-aid kit somewhere?”

 


 

“Under the kitchen sink,” Yoongi answered, but Jimin barely heard him. His fingers were long and beautifully formed – it jarred him, now, to see them covered in blood and bruising. The perfect elegance brutalised by violence.

And he did it for you, Jimin reminded himself. The thought caught in his throat, and Jimin couldn’t quite bring himself to meet Yoongi’s eyes.

“Come on,” Jimin murmured, and rose carefully from the couch. He led the way to the kitchen, Yoongi’s hand still caught gently in his grip. The older boy hopped onto the bench beside the sink as Jimin searched through the cupboards, finally pulling out the first aid kit after a few moments of rummaging.

Yoongi watched silently as Jimin unzipped the small red bag, pulling each item inside out to examine. The weight of his gaze made Jimin nervous, almost, his heart rising inside his throat. You don’t have to answer me, Yoongi had said, if you don’t know how to, yet.

But I do, Jimin had wanted to say. The words had caught inside his throat, held back by the unexplainable fear inside his head.

It wasn’t that he didn’t believe Yoongi. He did – Jimin had known how Yoongi felt about him since the first time they’d kissed. But he hadn’t picked up on everything.

Because it wasn’t lust that he’d seen in Yoongi’s eyes, not really. It was more than that.

But why?

It was that question that weighed heavily on his mind as Jimin carefully opened a package of alcohol wipes. “This might sting,” he said softly, in warning, and waited for the older boy to nod before gently cleaning his blood-covered knuckles.

He just didn’t understand. Yoongi was so kind and thoughtful, so caring – everything that Jimin wasn’t. He was selfish, and thoughtless, and he hurt people without thinking. He’d hurt Kookie and Tae, he’d hurt Hyeri, and he’d hurt Yoongi.

Jimin wanted Yoongi. He knew he did. As he smoothed ointment over Yoongi’s knuckles and gently wrapped his hand, there was no uncertainty behind the thought. He wanted to hold Yoongi, to run his hands through his hair, to kiss him and hold his hand and wrap himself in the warm affection of Yoongi’s heart. Jimin wanted to care for him, too, to bask in that love and return it tenfold. He wanted, he wanted, he wanted.

But he knew that he didn’t deserve it. Yoongi was made for someone far better than him.

Yoongi’s voice was low and teasing, an easy distraction in the dark. The hollowness threatening to swallow up his heart retreated, holding its breath, as Jimin looked up to meet Yoongi’s eyes. “You’re pretty good at playing nurse, Jiminnie,” he told him.

A light flush bloomed on his cheeks, tinging them with pink. He blinked and glanced down, an embarrassed warmth threading through his sternum. “It’s, um, because of dancing,” he explained quietly, with a small shrug. “We learn to patch ourselves up pretty fast.”

“Well,” Yoongi murmured, a small smile curving his mouth. “I’m grateful. Thank you, Jimin.”

And then, like before, he reached forward – with his left hand, this time. Jimin’s breath caught as Yoongi delicately tucked a strand of hair behind his ear, his thumb brushing against the softness of Jimin’s cheek. He could feel Yoongi’s touch like each finger was a live wire, sending tiny bolts of electricity dancing across his skin. Jimin’s cheek was warm with the ghost of his touch.

Then Yoongi seemed to realise what he was doing, understanding blooming across his face along with a slightly horrified expression. “I’m sorry,” he said quickly, pulling his hand back. “I wasn’t thinking-”

Jimin wasn’t thinking, either. Before Yoongi could pull his hand away, he turned his cheek, leaning into the older boy’s touch.

Yoongi’s hand was warm. That was Jimin’s first thought, as his eyes slid shut and his heart trembled inside his chest. He could feel Yoongi’s thumb just below the curve of his cheekbone, long fingers ending in a tender touch behind his jaw.

His skin was soft with only the smallest hint of callouses. Jimin pressed into the warmth, feeling the rougher skin of Yoongi’s thumb dragging gently across his skin, as he slowly lifted his right hand. It settled gently over the back of Yoongi’s hand, holding him in place.

Slowly, Jimin let his eyelids slide open. Yoongi was staring at him, stunned, his dark and shining eyes blown wide. “Jimin,” he breathed, and then paused. Wordless.

Jimin didn’t know what to say, either. But he knew what he wanted. He turned his head, slowly, and pressed his lips against the graceful curve of Yoongi’s wrist. A kiss, gentle as a butterfly’s touch.

He heard Yoongi’s slow intake of breath, felt his pulse jump. Jimin retreated enough that he could speak, running his wet tongue over his lips, but tightened his hold on the older boy’s hand. “I have my answer, Yoongi,” he murmured. “I know what I want.”

Something overwhelming was building inside his chest. It was gratefulness, affection, desire – but also so much more. Jimin knew that he didn’t deserve Yoongi, wasn’t good enough. But he wanted to be.

Jimin had never been skilled with words, and certainly not the way that Yoongi was. So, instead of speaking, he leaned forward – and did what he’d been thinking of almost constantly over the past two days.

He kissed Yoongi.

 


 

Jimin’s lips were achingly soft as they pressed against Yoongi’s. He couldn’t breathe for a moment, his entire body frozen as he felt the tender touch of Jimin’s mouth against his. He felt the younger boy hesitate, almost pulling back. But then Yoongi’s shock broke its hold, desire swelling inside his chest, and he chased after Jimin’s mouth, and then they were- then they were kissing.

He felt Jimin shiver as Yoongi traced his plump bottom lip with his tongue, mouth parting slightly in invitation. He leaned down into Jimin, tilted his head to press their mouths more firmly together and felt the younger boy respond, pushing back just as eagerly. When Yoongi drew back for breath, Jimin followed – and suddenly the younger boy had his hands bunched in the front of Yoongi’s shirt as they traded kisses.

God, it was amazing, it was- incredible. Yoongi felt like he’d never get tired of kissing Jimin, of feeling the wet slide of his tongue. He could feel the movement of Jimin’s jaw under his other hand, fingers digging lightly into the back of his skull, keeping the pair pressed together as Jimin’s breath hitched.

Jimin’s body was so warm between Yoongi’s thighs, but a voice of reason – sounding suspiciously like Seokjin – was wailing in the back of his head. It was for that reason only that Yoongi finally managed to pull back, his breathing heavy as Jimin pressed their foreheads together. His plump lips were red, swollen from kissing, and shining slightly with spit. It was a Herculean effort not to bring their mouths together again.

“Jimin,” Yoongi said slowly, heavily – his chest was still heaving, because Jimin had kissed him until he was breathless. The thought made his stomach squirm happily. “I… shit, Jimin, I-”

“I know,” breathed Jimin, and he smiled before pressing a reassuring kiss against Yoongi’s lips. Then he drew back slightly, enough that Yoongi could see him clearly. He’d asked earlier how much Jimin had had to drink, and the younger boy had been completely sober – Yoongi could see that he still was, now. Jimin’s hands slid onto his shoulders, lacing tightly behind Yoongi’s neck. “I know.”

Jimin drew him into another kiss, deep and slow. Yoongi’s hands slid under the edge of Jimin’s t-shirt, over his hips, until they were smoothing over the warm expanse of his sides. Jimin hummed appreciatively and pressed himself into Yoongi’s touch, curling his tongue inside Yoongi’s mouth.

The dorm was silent but for the wet sounds of their mouths moving together and the quiet breaths taken in the shared space between them. Jimin pulled back slightly to breathe and Yoongi took it as a sign, leaning back slightly. “I want this,” he murmured, and drew small, reassuring circles on Jimin’s jaw with his thumb. “But I don’t want to take advantage of you, Jimin.”

Jimin looked at him, dark eyes warm. “You’re not,” he insisted, and Yoongi felt warmth under his jaw as Jimin cupped the side of his face. A mirror of each other, as Jimin brought their foreheads together again. “I want this too.”

Jimin reached up to kiss him again but Yoongi turned his face so that the brief brush of lips landed on his cheek. He looked back as Jimin pulled away with a rueful smile, running his tongue briefly over his lips.

He knew Jimin was sensitive and insecure, and the last thing he wanted to do was convince the other boy that Yoongi didn’t want him, that he hadn’t meant what he said. So, he gave in, just for a second, and gave Jimin a chaste kiss while he lifted his hand to hold the other boy’s face again, rubbing a thumb over his cheek reassuringly. “I really, really want this, Jimin,” he said quietly, and noted the small smile that lifted the sides of Jimin’s mouth. The younger boy said nothing though, his dark eyes fixed on Yoongi’s. “But I want to do it right. So, I think we should sleep on this, and talk about more in the morning, okay? A lot happened tonight.”

For a second, Jimin did nothing – but then he glanced down at Yoongi’s mouth again, unconsciously touching his tongue to his lip, before looking back up at his eyes. “You’re saying I don’t get to kiss you until tomorrow morning?” he said, and Yoongi nearly laughed at the plaintive whine in his voice.

“Sorry, Jiminnie.”

A brief smirk flashed over Jimin’s face before he leaned in again. “Just one more, then-”

Jimin’s mouth was warm and wet, and Yoongi was too willing. They traded soft kisses, Jimin’s fingers curling in the short hairs at the back of Yoongi’s neck, until Yoongi finally managed to break away again. “You’re terrible for my self-control, Jiminnie,” he murmured, and the younger boy had the decency to blush.

He still smiled though, despite his pink cheeks. “You like it,” teased Jimin.

“Too much,” Yoongi agreed, his gaze warm. He regarded Jimin for another long moment, revelling in the warmth of him, before finally sighing and nudging for Jimin to move back. “Come on, we should sleep.”

“Am I sleeping in your bed with you, hyung?” For the first time, Jimin’s voice sounded hesitant.

Yoongi hesitated, too. “I, um,” he began, and then faltered. “I can sleep on the couch. You take the bed.”

“Don’t be ridiculous.” Jimin looked at Yoongi, then the doorway to his bedroom, and then back again. He seemed hesitant and Yoongi’s stomach swooped, because he knew what Jimin was going to suggest- “It’s a double bed,” he murmured. “We can both fit.”

A pink flush started to creep up Yoongi’s neck. “Jimin, that’s-”

“Come on. It’s not a big deal, right?” Jimin reached for his hand and pulled it free from Yoongi’s lap, giving it a tired tug. “I’m sure the bed is a thousand times more comfortable than the couch, anyway.”

Well, Yoongi could hardly pretend otherwise, but he was still hesitant. “Are you sure, Jimin? I don’t want to move too fast, or-”

“Hyung,” Jimin interrupted, and Yoongi grew quiet. There was a teasing smile playing around Jimin’s mouth now, and it spelled trouble. “Are you saying you can’t keep your hands to yourself?”

He started giggling as Yoongi blushed, stuttering a denial. Finally, Yoongi gave up on explaining himself, and settled for swatting the younger boy’s shoulder. “Yah, you little brat,” he huffed, and slid off the bench. “You can sleep on the floor.”

Still giggling, Jimin moved back to the couch and bundled the duvet into his arms. He threw Yoongi a smile as he did, which made his cheeks plump and his eyes almost disappear. Yoongi felt a flood of warmth inside his chest. “Empty threats,” he said teasingly, and Yoongi huffed but didn’t argue as Jimin led the way into the bedroom.

Yoongi gave Jimin more of his spare pyjamas, knowing the other boy would be uncomfortable if he stayed in his jeans – though, at this rate, Jimin was going to be cleaning out his entire wardrobe. He brushed his teeth quickly and Jimin followed him into the bathroom to do the same, using just his finger and toothpaste again. Yoongi had the brief thought that Jimin should get a toothbrush specifically for Yoongi’s dorm, but then he blushed, suddenly grateful that they hadn’t turned on the bathroom lights.

Crawling into bed first, Jimin took the left side. “Come here and go to sleep, hyung,” he murmured softly, patting the space next to him, as he nestled into the blanket.

Yoongi hesitated, again, before sliding in carefully next to Jimin. It was a double bed but it wasn’t spacious, and he could feel the heat of the younger boy radiating onto his right side. Jimin had already fisted his hands into the duvet, pulling it to his chin, as Yoongi wriggled beneath the blankets. “Are you warm enough, Jiminnie?” he asked quietly.

Jimin smiled without opening his eyes. “Yes, hyung,” he answered back. “Now stop talking and go to sleep.”

Yoongi huffed. “Fine. Goodnight, you ungrateful brat,” he murmured, teasingly, and Jimin’s mouth twitched into a smile.

The younger boy was still facing him as Yoongi settled onto his side, one arm beneath his head and the other tucked between his thighs, the way he usually slept. Jimin’s voice was the last thing he heard before he drifted into sleep, his whispered words warm in the quiet darkness. “Goodnight, hyung.”

Chapter Text

When Jimin’s mind finally resurfaced from the warm embrace of sleep, he knew exactly where he was.

The bed was delightfully soft, and the space beneath the sheets kept cosy by their combined body heat. He inhaled slowly through his nose, mouth twitching with a small smile as he recognised Yoongi’s clean scent. Drowsily, he fisted a hand in the duvet to bring it back to his chin.

He was warm and comfortable, and Jimin never wanted to leave. Yoongi was a ball of warmth beside him and Jimin rolled over, sleepily pressing closer to the older boy and the heat radiating from his curled body.

Jimin’s cheeks flushed as he realised, embarrassingly, that he’d literally snuggled up to the older boy. He blinked, eyesight slowly sliding into focus, as he searched Yoongi’s face for a sign that the older boy was awake.

Fortunately, he was still sleeping, one hand pressed beneath his cheek and the other resting in the space between them. Jimin’s mouth curled into a sleepy smile as he watched Yoongi in silence, admiring the way his dark eyelashes fanned over his pale cheeks. Pink lips were nestled in a small pout and Jimin was reminded of the way he’d noticed Yoongi’s tendency to do that while he talked, too, just a few days ago – the second time he’d spent the night at Yoongi’s dorm.

It felt impossible that only a couple of days had passed since then. Jimin uncurled his fingers from the blanket and reached out unthinkingly for Yoongi’s hand, slipping their fingers together.

Yoongi’s hands were bigger than Jimin’s, but not by much. He played absently with Yoongi’s fingers, mind still threaded with the white haze of sleep, and content to do nothing else while he lay there.

He squeaked when, without warning, Yoongi’s grip tightened on his. Jimin’s eyes flashed to the older boy’s face and he saw the smirk briefly curling his mouth, though Yoongi’s eyes were still shut. “It’s rude to stare at someone while they’re sleeping,” he murmured softly, and Jimin flushed.

Yoongi’s voice was deep and raspy with sleep. It was kind of hard to put his thoughts together after hearing it. “I was not staring,” Jimin protested weakly. “I-”

“Mhmm.”

Jimin’s flush deepened. “Shut up.”

He could feel Yoongi’s silent laughter shaking the bed. He still hadn’t opened his eyes, though, and Jimin was grateful. It meant that he could ignore the pink blush on his cheeks as he let go of Yoongi’s hand, rolling onto his stomach and pushing himself up onto his left elbow.

Yoongi made a small, displeased noise as their fingers slipped apart, but his eyelids slid open to watch Jimin rearrange himself on the bed. He was silent, but Jimin could already feel a nervous energy stirring inside his stomach; a restless energy that burned away any remnants of drowsiness.

Finally, Yoongi spoke, but only as Jimin leaned over him, balancing himself with his right hand next to Yoongi’s shoulder. “What are you doing?” he asked, voice soft, as Jimin’s gaze searched his face. Sleepiness still clung to Yoongi, caught in the slow, mindless expressions of his face – but Jimin could see it fading, replaced by something more alert. More interested.

“It’s morning,” Jimin explained, a wry smile twisting the corners of his mouth. His earlier shyness was gone, chased away by the steady warmth inside his chest that seemed to ignite whenever he was in Yoongi’s presence. The duvet slipped from his shoulders as Jimin shifted slightly, eyes caught on the gentle pink of the older boy’s mouth. He let his gaze rest there, intentions clear, before glancing back at Yoongi’s wide brown eyes.

But Yoongi still didn’t seem to understand, so Jimin tilted his head to the side and spoke again, his voice low. “It’s morning,” he repeated, and couldn’t help the grin that spread over his face. “I get to kiss you again.”

Yoongi’s cheeks turned pink, his eyes wide and mouth slightly parted in surprise. He was startled, Jimin realised, a little pleased by his reaction – he waited until Yoongi’s gaze dipped, glancing at Jimin’s lips, before he leaned in. Satisfaction purred inside his chest-

-and Yoongi clapped a hand over his mouth.

Jimin raised an eyebrow as Yoongi flushed, his palm warm against Jimin’s mouth. “Morning breath,” he explained, stuttering slightly over the words, and shifted his hand so that it was cupping the side of Jimin’s jaw instead. “Sorry.”

Instead of pulling back, Jimin giggled. Yoongi started to smile, too, as he felt the tremors of Jimin’s amusement where their bodies pressed together. “You’re ridiculous,” Jimin accused eventually, tilting his head to press into Yoongi’s palm.

It was a mirror of what he’d done last night. Jimin knew the memory was replaying in Yoongi’s head, too, from the way he fell silent for a moment, gaze contemplative as it traced Jimin’s expression.

But neither of them said anything. They let the moment stay soft, unspoken, as Yoongi brushed his thumb gently over Jimin’s cheek. The fond warmth in his gaze made Jimin’s stomach squirm. “Do you want breakfast?” asked Yoongi eventually, and Jimin nodded against his palm. “Okay. I can start cooking while you have a shower first, if you want.”

Jimin hummed appreciatively. “Okay.”

But neither of them moved. Their legs were tangled together beneath the duvet, chests brushing each other and Yoongi’s hand still warm on Jimin’s jaw. Everywhere they touched, it felt like Jimin’s nerves had multiplied – he was hyperaware of the brush of Yoongi’s skin. He never wanted to pull away.

They couldn’t stay like this forever though and Jimin eventually, regretfully, pulled away. He’d folded his clothes from the night before and he picked them up after sliding out from between the sheets, already missing the warmth of Yoongi’s body heat. “I’ll be quick,” he promised, and padded towards the bathroom.

 


 

Jimin was not quick.

Yoongi didn’t mind, though. He stayed in bed a little longer, listening to the bathroom door click shut and the spray of water start. But the bed felt colder without Jimin pressed up next to him, and Yoongi – for once – wasn’t tempted to stay beneath the covers. By the time he got out of bed, Jimin had been in the bathroom for only a few minutes.

Coffee was the first thing on his agenda, though Yoongi wasn’t really sure if he even needed it. He felt wide-awake, simply from Jimin’s presence – the warmth of his body pressed against Yoongi’s, the surprisingly wicked glint in his eye. It was a different side of Jimin that he wasn’t quite used to seeing, and it had woken Yoongi up more quickly than a cup of caffeine ever would.

Jimin’s words were still echoing in the back of his head, making sure that Yoongi’s pink blush was now somewhat permanent. It’s morning, he’d said. I get to kiss you again.

God, Yoongi was so head-over-heels for this boy. It had only been a split second of panic that had allowed him to stop Jimin – as much as he didn’t really want to push the other boy away. But he had to.

They had to take it slow. Yoongi knew that, and had to keep reminding himself of it. As much as he had wanted to pull Jimin down on top of him, to bring their mouths together, he knew that they couldn’t. Not yet, anyway.

There was still so much between them that they needed to talk about.

It wasn’t… scary, though, the way that Yoongi had thought it might have been. He wasn’t afraid anymore. He’d kissed Jimin, felt the soft pliant touch of his lips, and known that the other boy meant it. Yoongi had gotten all that he’d hoped for and more, because Jimin wanted him, too.

The thought was enough to put a smile on his face, alone in his kitchen, as Yoongi started to prepare their breakfast. He wasn’t the greatest cook, but he was no slouch either. It felt… domestic, too. For Yoongi to be preparing omelettes as Jimin showered, having spent the night together and woken up in the same bed. It felt nice.

Halfway through his breakfast preparations, Yoongi realised he’d left his phone in the bedroom. It wasn’t important, really, but he knew one of his friends might be wanting to contact him, particularly after the events of the night before. So, he left the omelettes alone for a moment and padded back to his bedroom, grabbing his phone from the nightstand.

It was on his way back that a sound caught his attention, and Yoongi nearly tripped over his own feet as he passed the bathroom door. It was quiet, and soft – barely able to be heard – but Jimin was singing.

Yoongi didn’t recognise the song. The tune was vaguely familiar, but the lyrics were in English – a language that he knew Jimin didn’t speak but had somehow memorised most of the words in regardless.

His voice, soft and gentle, dipped in and out of song, occasionally resorting to a simple hum when he’d forgotten the lyrics. But Jimin’s voice was so high and sweet, Yoongi felt stunned – the words fluttered through the bathroom door, a gentle caress of sound.

Memory sparked inside his head, a conversation from weeks ago replaying in his mind. Certainty settled inside his stomach, a thin frisson of excitement winding its way up to his chest with the realisation. He’d found it.

Fingers numb with the thrill, Yoongi unlocked his phone screen and swiped to one of his apps. And then, his heart beating fast, Yoongi pressed record.

 


 

Jimin dried his hair roughly, styling it without care before hanging up the towel on the back of the door. He was grateful that his clothes from the night before were still mostly clean, and he’d accidentally left his phone inside the pocket of his jeans, too. Thankfully, it hadn’t run out of battery during the night, and Jimin sent a quick text to his group chat as he brushed his teeth.

 

GROUP CHAT: sin squad

9:01AM

jiminnie: are you guys awake yet ??

 

Luckily, his friends didn’t leave him waiting long.

 

taetae: no

busan brat: he’s lying

busan brat: obviously

taetae: mm ya u caught me

taetae: in fact we haven’t slept at all

taetae: bet u can’t guess why

jiminnie: spare my virgin ears u nasties

busan brat: “virgin”

busan brat: lmao

taetae: both of u are incorrect

jiminnie: no one even tried 2 guess

taetae: well

taetae: our magnificent maknae

taetae: the golden jeon jungkook

taetae: was fucking

busan brat: don’t you dare

jiminnie: oh god

taetae: throwing up ALL NIGHT

jiminnie: oh

taetae: bc he can’t hold his alcohol

busan brat:

busan brat: u said u wouldn’t tell him

jiminnie: LMAO

taetae: sorry kookie

taetae: 95z loyalty

 

Jimin laughed softly, shoving his phone back into his pocket as he replaced the spare toothbrush back in its holder. If Tae and Jungkook hadn’t slept much, then they’d probably want to spend as much time lying around in bed as possible. Jimin knew they’d eventually ask him to come home – even though he’d gone off with Yoongi, which they had known, they’d still be worried about him after what had happened. But their exhaustion meant that Jimin had at least an hour or two before he was expected to leave Yoongi’s dorm.

The time alone in the shower had given him space to think in a more level-headed way than he’d been able to with Yoongi’s warm, comforting body lying next to his. It was a good thing that Yoongi had stopped Jimin from kissing him, weakly excused as the intervention had been – Jimin knew that a few kisses didn’t magically make a relationship. Especially not when they’d gotten off to such an unusual start.

But… there could be a relationship, now. It was on the table. Yoongi had said that he wanted it, and Jimin knew that he did. He wanted to be with Yoongi, and now he finally could.

The thought glowed warmly in his chest as Jimin finally stepped out of the bathroom, immediately hit by the smell of cooking oil. Yoongi had his back to Jimin, keeping careful watch over whatever he was cooking in the pan, and Jimin had no compunctions about softening his footsteps as he entered the kitchen. Yoongi startled as Jimin stepped behind him, hands on his waist as he pressed his chest to the older boy’s back. “What are you making?”

Jimin had to stretch a little to hook his chin over Yoongi’s shoulder, blinking down into the pan. “Omelettes,” Yoongi confirmed, after a moment, and Jimin felt his slight hesitation before he gently leaned into Jimin’s touch. Careful and slow, as always, but the warmth it lit inside Jimin’s chest had him hiding a smile in Yoongi’s shoulder. “They’re nearly done.”

“I’ll take over while you shower,” offered Jimin. He stepped back to let Yoongi move away from the stove, their fingers brushing as Yoongi handed over the spatula.

“Be right back,” he promised, and ruffled Jimin’s hair right before he stepped away.

Jimin rolled his lips between his teeth, fighting a smile as he turned back to the stove. God, his heart was going to explode. The affectionate gesture, small as it had been – and they’d even kissed before, Jesus, Jimin was such a loser – set butterflies loose in his stomach.

Calm down, he told himself, and then struggled to follow his own instruction.

Fortunately, Yoongi didn’t take long. Jimin had plated the omelettes and set them on his kitchen bench, next to what he assumed was Yoongi’s coffee, when the older boy returned. At first, conversation between them was easy and simple – Jimin even complimented Yoongi’s cooking, for which he received a dry, “Why do you sound surprised, you brat?”

But the conversation they were waiting to have loomed in the back of both of their minds and it wasn’t long before Yoongi, it seemed, decided to bite the bullet.

He set his fork down slowly, metal clinking against the side of the plate. “Jimin,” he said heavily, and the younger boy started to feel nervous, even though they’d both been waiting for the discussion. “We need to talk about last night. And everything else.”

“I know.” Jimin set his fork down, too, giving Yoongi his full attention. “I don’t regret it, and I don’t take it back. I meant what I said to you, Yoongi. I want it, too.”

A brief smile – and, Jimin thought, some relief – crossed Yoongi’s face. He gave Jimin a small smile. “Good,” he said. “But… we should still talk. About what we want, specifically, and maybe some other things, too.”

“Other things?” Jimin tilted his head to the side. “Like what?”

Yoongi sighed, perhaps having hoped that Jimin wouldn’t have picked up on his wording. But he didn’t avoid the question. “Last night…” he began, slowly. “You know, already, obviously – but I saw you kissing Chanyeol. And I know that you guys are something – I mean, hell, that’s how we met – but I’m worried, I guess. It’s not that I don’t believe that you want this, Jimin, I do,” Yoongi added quickly, reassuringly. “But I don’t know what you have with him, and I don’t know if the two of you will want something, too.”

It took Jimin a moment to wade through Yoongi’s rambled thought process, but when he did, the meaning was surprisingly clear. “You want to be exclusive,” he guessed, and Yoongi let out a breath of air. He nodded. “And you don’t know if Chanyeol will get in the way of that.”

“Yeah.”

Jimin reached for Yoongi’s hand, pulling it into his lap and threading their fingers together. This question, he was glad, was easy to answer. “Chanyeol and I have only ever been friends,” he began, voice steady and reassuring. “I mean, we’ve slept together, but it was… platonic,” he finished, lamely. “God, that sounds stupid. I mean-”

But Yoongi interrupted. “Platonically sleeping together,” he echoed, and there was a grin on his face. Jimin couldn’t help but laugh, and swatted at his arm.

“Don’t make fun of me,” he said, but the effect was ruined somewhat by his laughter.

Yoongi just shook his head, grinning. “No, it’s just… ah, never mind. I’ll tell you later.”

Jimin huffed, but let it go. “But, if it helps, when I kissed Chanyeol last night… I realised that it wasn’t what I wanted anymore. He wasn’t what I wanted. I think he realised that, too, but… I’ll talk to him, and make it clear.”

The laughter had disappeared from Yoongi’s face, replaced by something more pensive. “If he wasn’t what you wanted, why did you go to him?”

“I don’t know,” Jimin answered, truthfully. “I was upset and Chanyeol was just… there.”

Yoongi didn’t break his gaze. “So was I.”

The three words felt like a blow to the stomach, and Jimin’s shoulders fell. “I know,” he replied, quietly. “But I thought… I thought you were angry at me. I didn’t think that you felt the same way.”

“I do.” Yoongi squeezed Jimin’s hand. “I promise.”

Talking about the night before had made him a little melancholy, but Yoongi’s reassurance was enough reason for Jimin to try and push it aside. “I know,” he said, and mustered a small smile.

 


 

They talked for what felt like hours. Yoongi’s coffee had gone cold and they’d relocated to the couch for more comfortable seating. Jimin had asked him, once, when it was that he’d first started feeling that way about him – and Yoongi had told him truthfully that he’d thought he was attractive from the moment they’d bumped into each other in the hallway, though it hadn’t taken long for more genuine feelings to develop as well.

They’d talked about other things, too. It was bizarrely fascinating to hear what Jimin had thought, his experience of their every interaction – the knowledge colouring his memories of each event, making his own understanding more amusing. He was a little embarrassed, but not really surprised, to hear that Jimin had first been intimidated by him.

Eventually, though, Yoongi could feel one more question weighing heavily on Jimin’s mind. It was obvious from the way he kept hesitating before he spoke, something contemplative and hopeful behind his brown eyes. Yoongi waited for him to voice it patiently.

He did. “Yoongi,” Jimin began hesitantly, playing nervously with the fingers of Yoongi’s hand. It was a cute habit, he thought, and one that Yoongi didn’t mind at all. “Does this mean that we’re… dating? Officially?”

His nervousness was endearing. A small smile curved Yoongi’s mouth as he tilted his head to the side and answered, “Not yet.” Jimin’s head shot up, eyes wide and worried, and he stifled a laugh before continuing. “I haven’t asked yet.”

Jimin’s look of worry turned to surprise, but Yoongi didn’t wait for him to speak. “Park Jimin,” he began, softly. “Do you want to be my boyfriend?”

The beaming smile that broke across Jimin’s face was brighter than the sun. “Yes, Min Yoongi,” he answered, and leaned forward. “I really do.”

Yoongi couldn’t have waited for another second. A pure, bright happiness burst in his chest as he captured Jimin’s mouth, eyes sliding closed.

It was perfect, and it was all that he’d been waiting for. Jimin was his.

 


 

Jimin couldn’t stay forever, and Yoongi finally had to let him go back to his own dorm. But they dragged it out as long as they could – Yoongi walked Jimin back to his dorm, and they spent a few more precious minutes trading kisses at the door before Yoongi finally let him go.

But Yoongi didn’t go back to his dorm immediately, even though it was a public holiday and there were no classes. Instead, he called Hoseok, and told him unceremoniously that he was coming over before ending the call.

Excitement was bubbling inside his chest again. He hadn’t mentioned it to Jimin, in case it didn’t work out, but something inside of Yoongi was telling him that it would.

He made it to Hoseok’s dorm in record time. Before long, the dancer was letting Yoongi inside the door, turning to him with one eyebrow raised. “What’s got you so hyped up?” he asked, curious. “Did you drink too much coffee before you came? Oh, and where’s Ji-”

Yoongi waved away all his questions. “Listen to me,” he said, and fished his phone out of his pocket. He unlocked the screen and swiped back to his audio recording app, a triumphant grin already painted across his face. “I think I’ve found our second vocalist.”

And then, on the clip he’d recorded of Jimin singing in the shower, he hit play.

Chapter Text

Jimin’s lips were still tingling with the electric, ghostly remnants of Yoongi’s kisses as he unlocked his door and stepped into the dorm. He leaned against the door to close it, feeling the lock click gently under his hand as his fingers fluttered to his mouth. A small smile curled at its corners. If he pressed down gently enough, it felt like Yoongi’s lips were still on his.

A curious voice drew Jimin out of his infatuated thoughts. “Jimin?” called Taehyung. “Is that you?”

Shrugging out of his jacket, Jimin threw it on the couch as he made his way to Tae’s room. “It’s me,” he confirmed. “Is Jungkook awake?”

“I think he wishes he wasn’t.” Taehyung glanced up at Jimin as he entered the room, without pausing his gentle massage of Jungkook’s ankles. The younger boy was sprawled sideways on Taehyung’s bed, his hair a ruffled mess and feet perched in his boyfriend’s lap. He looked pale and worn out, one arm thrown over his eyes to block out the light.

A thread of pity wound through his chest. Jimin tried not to jostle Jungkook too much as he climbed into his best friend’s bed, gently manoeuvring the younger boy by the shoulders until his head was in Jimin’s lap. Jungkook made a briefly disgruntled noise of complaint at the movement, but quietened once Jimin threaded soothing fingers through his hair. “How are you feeling, Jungkookie?”

“Like I’m going to break up with Tae.” Half-heartedly, Jungkook pulled his foot back to shove at his boyfriend’s stomach. “Asshole.”

“Not if I break up with you first,” Taehyung shot back. He stuck his tongue out at Jungkook and muttered, “Baby.”

For a second, it seemed like Jungkook was going to lurch out of Jimin’s lap to slug Taehyung in the arm. But such a sudden movement proved too much for him and Jungkook huffed instead, turning over to press his face petulantly into Jimin’s thigh. “I hate him,” he complained.

Jimin petted his hair sympathetically, and threw Taehyung a disapproving look. “I can’t believe you let him keep drinking after I left,” he said. “Besides… didn’t the fight, like, ruin the party?”

“He’s not a baby,” protested Taehyung, despite his insult of choice just a few seconds ago. “And hello, how can you even ask? We had to toast your victory, obviously.”

“Obviously,” Jimin echoed. A smile tugged at his mouth, until Jungkook lifted his arm enough to throw an outraged look at Taehyung.

“Bullshit, Tae,” he said heatedly. “Jimin, he challenged Namjoon to a fuckin’ drinking contest and, obviously, I had to take his place-”

All traces of annoyance disappeared from Taehyung’s face, replaced by something absurdly proud. “You should have seen it, Chim,” he said gleefully. “Jungkook was my knight in shining armour – well, actually, he was a little sweaty, but-”

Jimin laughed as Jungkook groaned, dramatically throwing his arm back over his eyes. “I could have died,” he stated blearily. “Namjoon is a giant. You suck, Tae.”

Taehyung started giggling and leaned over, wriggling his hands under Jungkook’s elbow to try and pry his arm away from his face. “Awww, my precious baby boy is embarrassed-”

Jungkook tried to shove him away. “Shut up,” he hissed, but Jimin could see the pink flush across his cheeks.

“Wait, so you lost?” asked Jimin, a little awed. He’d never seen Jungkook lose any competition before, much less a drinking one. The boy had an alcohol tolerance higher than all of his grades combined.

Jungkook didn’t say anything but Taehyung cackled, and that was enough of an answer for Jimin, who started laughing. Eventually the maknae had enough of their teasing and started shoving them away, cheeks flushed.

The brief tussle quickly descended into a full-blown wrestling match, with the two older boys ganging up on Jungkook. Yelling in triumph, they finally managed to wrestle him into submission – with Jimin planted firmly on his chest, while Taehyung clutched to his legs like a smug barnacle. At some point, they’d started laughing, and Jungkook was a little breathless as he gasped out, “Mercy!”

“What was that?” Jimin asked innocently, and then stuck his fingers into Jungkook’s armpit. A little wiggle of his fingers had the younger boy shrieking with laughter and trying to buck them both off, wriggling around desperately.

“Mercy – ah, mercy!”

Finally, Jimin relented, smirking down at Jungkook. “And what should we claim as our prize, Tae?”

His head popped up next to Jimin’s shoulder, teeth bared in an evil grin. “Jungkook has to suck my-”

Tae.

Taehyung sighed. “Fine. A kiss, then.”

Jungkook scrunched up his nose but didn’t protest, so Jimin swooped down to smack an obnoxiously wet kiss on his cheek. It made Jungkook giggle a little, until Taehyung took his place and started peppering his boyfriend’s face with kisses.

Jimin moved back to give Taehyung room, and almost immediately regretted it. Tae bent his head and captured Jungkook’s mouth in a kiss, a real one, that was wet and messy and unnecessarily loud. Jimin pulled a face as Jungkook reciprocated enthusiastically, holding a scandalised hand in front of his eyes. “Jesus, you two, get a room-”

“We did,” grunted Jungkook, between presses of Taehyung’s mouth. “You’re in it.”

Jimin squawked indignantly and Taehyung started laughing, pulling back from Jungkook. “Sorry, sorry,” he said, giving Jimin an apologetic grin. “Couldn’t help myself.”

He huffed, but couldn’t fake irritation for long. Jimin’s best friends were so in love, it was a little nauseating – but he was happy now, too, and it wasn’t hard to witness their affection anymore. It was more… heart-warming, actually. Jimin was proud of them.

But if he left Jungkook and Taehyung alone, they probably wouldn’t emerge from the bedroom until midday. “Breakfast?” Jimin suggested, sliding off the bed. “I think we have food in the cupboard.”

“Loser makes breakfast!” declared Taehyung, and Jungkook huffed.

“Sure, gloat about beating up the hungover guy,” he drawled, following the pair into the kitchen. Jungkook heaved himself up onto a stool and Taehyung flitted back to his side immediately, reaching out to rub his back.

“You took those painkillers I gave you, right?” Taehyung asked, as Jimin started searching through the fridge. He’d already eaten, so – despite Taehyung’s earlier claim – he could make breakfast for his friends.

He dimly heard Jungkook grunt something in reply, but Jimin wasn’t paying much attention. The other two boys kept in quiet conversation as Jimin started a pot of coffee for them both, and finally placed a half-empty box of cereal on the counter, along with two bowls. “It’s all we have, I think,” he said, a little apologetically.

Jungkook was already pouring the cereal into his bowl. “Thanks, hyung.”

For a few minutes there was no conversation, just the noisy crunching of the two boys eating. Once the coffee was ready, Jimin poured it into three cups and slid their two across the counter, the wide collar of his shirt shifting as he extended his arm.

Jimin had brought his mug to his mouth, ready to take a sip, when he realised that Taehyung’s eyes were fixed on the newly-exposed part of his collarbone. “What?”

Jungkook looked up at his voice and glanced at Taehyung, who was still gaping like a fish. Then he followed Taehyung’s gaze to Jimin’s neck, and promptly dropped his spoon. It splattered milk everywhere, leaving a wet arc on Jungkook’s white pyjama shirt.

A little unsettled, Jimin lifted his mug until it was covering that part of his body from their view. Then he glanced down, anxious to know what they’d seen. But it was too high on his skin to see. “What is it?”

“Is that,” began Taehyung, and his voice became a little shrill, “a hickey?

Jungkook made a strangled noise and reached out towards Jimin, who backed out of his reach. “Uh, no,” he answered, flustered, arching his neck back to try and peer down at the possible mark. Had Yoongi seriously left a hickey? Jimin hadn’t even noticed.

The thought of Yoongi’s mouth on his skin, marking him, sent a bolt of heat through his stomach. He must have left it when they’d been making out in his kitchen the night before, and Jimin blushed at the thought.

“You hesitated,” pointed out Jungkook, his eyes wide. “Oh, my God, that is a hickey-”

Jimin bit his lip, unsure of how to respond. Of course, he’d been planning to tell them – especially now that he and Yoongi were actually dating – but he hadn’t really envisioned the reveal happening like this.

Taehyung finally managed to drag his gaze up from Jimin’s collarbones to his eyes. “Did you – I mean, who? Who did that to you?”

Jimin frowned. Taehyung seemed a little panicked, not excited – which was confusing. He decided to just spill everything. “It was Yoongi,” admitted Jimin. “After he took me to his dorm, we-”

Taehyung’s stool screeched as he shot to his feet, the line of his jaw suddenly hard. “Did he take advantage of you?” he demanded. “I know he defended your honour, but Jimin, you were upset – that’s not consent! I’m going to kick his ass,” Taehyung spat. “Jungkook, let’s go-”

“No!” Jimin waved his hands desperately, rounding the counter as fast as he could to stand between Taehyung and the door. “That’s not what happened!”

“Oh.” Abruptly, Taehyung sat back down, though he continued to stare suspiciously at Jimin. “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure,” he assured him, exasperated.

There was a small clink as Jungkook picked up his spoon to shovel more cereal into his mouth, totally at ease. “So, what happened?” he asked, thoughtlessly spraying pieces of food over the counter.

Jimin eyed him, but decided not to push his friends’ patience. “Well,” he began, slowly, struggling to put the pieces of his thoughts together. “Yoongi and I are dating now. Surprise?”

Jungkook’s forehead thumped against the counter as Taehyung shrieked, in what could only really be described as some kind of triumphant pterodactyl screech. “I FUCKING KNEW IT,” he yelled. “I FUCKING KNEW IT!”

“You did not,” Jimin protested. “It literally only happened, like, this morning-

“Details,” Taehyung said dismissively, with a wave of his hand. “I knew there was something going on between you two. Hoseok and I were talking about it last night-”

“Wait, what?” demanded Jimin. “You guys were talking about us?”

“Duh. I mean, you didn’t see how moody he was when you left the group, or how much he asked about you! And, obviously, he also knocked out that guy to protect you,” explained Taehyung, as though it had been obvious. “Of course, he’s in love with you.”

Jimin made a strangled noise. “Okay, in love is a little too much,” he said quickly. “This whole dating thing is pretty new, actually, so-”

“Okay, Jimin.” Taehyung reached forward to pat his hand – a little sympathetically, like he knew Jimin couldn’t quite keep up with him. “Okay.”

Jimin spluttered. “Tae, I’m serious-”

“Anyway,” Taehyung said loudly, talking over him. “What happened?”

Resisting the urge to further pursue Taehyung’s comment, Jimin sighed. But it didn’t take long for his mood to lift – the thought of Yoongi made his heart swell, a warm tenderness beating inside his chest. Taehyung sat patiently as Jimin began the story – a little haltingly at first, but his confidence building with every word. He’d already told them most of it, just a few days ago, but this time Jimin didn’t hide the depths of his feelings for Yoongi. He didn’t hide his feelings of shame, of loneliness, that Yoongi had always managed to chase away.

Jimin told them how Yoongi had become a source of warmth in Jimin’s life; a steady haven in a storm. He told them of the older boy’s kindness, of his care and his comfort, and the way he always treated Jimin so considerately, like he was someone worth being gentle to.

He spoke about Yoongi’s steady belief in him, and of the way that he made Jimin want to be worthy of that conviction. But most of all, Jimin spoke about the way he felt about Yoongi: the warmth, the trust, the endless yearning to be near him.

Maybe Taehyung was right, Jimin realised in a distant part of his mind. He couldn’t speak for Yoongi, but he knew for himself – he loved and was in love with Min Yoongi, and Jimin never wanted to let him go.

When he finally stopped speaking, Taehyung was silent for a while. Jimin waited in nervous silence until a slow smile spread across his best friend’s face and Taehyung said, gently, “I’m really proud of you, Jimin.”

Gratefulness surged inside his chest. “Me too, Tae,” Jimin said, and started to smile.

They were both interrupted by a brief sniffle, and the two boys turned in shock to look at Jungkook – who, Jimin realised, had been face-down on the bench ever since Jimin had declared his relationship with Yoongi.

“Jungkook,” he began, disbelieving. “Are you… are you crying?

“No,” came the answer, in a voice thick with tears. Taehyung shot Jimin a mildly panicked look that was quickly wiped off his face when Jungkook lifted his head, revealing splotchy cheeks and wet eyes. “I’m just… allergic… to you assholes.”

Taehyung started to sputter a laugh until Jungkook whipped his head to shoot him a look so venomous that he shut his mouth immediately. But Jimin wasn’t so easily dissuaded. “Aw, Kookie,” he said, rounding the counter. Jungkook resisted at first as Jimin wrapped his arms around his shoulders, pulling the maknae into his chest, but then he reluctantly eased into the embrace. “Are you crying because of me and Yoongi?”

The nape of Jungkook’s neck was warm under Jimin’s hand, and he rubbed his thumb comfortingly across the skin there. Finally, Jungkook admitted, “I’m just... relieved. And happy for you, hyung.”

Jimin went quiet as Jungkook looked up at him, big brown eyes earnestly fixed on his. It had been a pretty long time since he’d seen Jungkook brought to tears over something, and a part of him was touched that he was seeing it again – and that it was for him. “I know you’ve been really lonely, hyung, and I know you’ve been sad sometimes,” confessed Jungkook. Speechless, Jimin rubbed his thumb over Jungkook’s cheekbone, a reassuring touch. I don’t feel that way anymore, he wanted to say, but Jungkook spoke again before he could. “I hope he makes you happy, hyung, because you deserve it. I’m glad you have him now.”

On the other side of Jungkook, Taehyung was also speechless – but Jimin glanced at him and saw a glimmer of wetness in his eyes. Wordless, Jimin pulled Jungkook into his chest again and reached out for Taehyung, drawing him into a tight hug. “Jungkookie,” he murmured, as his two best friends clutched at him tightly. “Thank you.”

The real answer, they all knew, was in the warm undertone of his words.

He does, Jimin was saying. And I do.

 


 

“Oh my God,” said Hoseok. He was staring at Yoongi with wide eyes. “Oh my God,” he said, again.

“I know,” Yoongi answered. There was a triumphant grin pulling at his mouth and Yoongi didn’t even try to resist it. “Dude, I know.”

Hoseok took a few steps away from him, one hand slowly covering his mouth, and then started to pace the length of his dorm. Yoongi locked his phone and slipped it back inside his pocket, feeling smug. He didn’t say anything else, though. Yoongi could practically see the wheels turning in Hoseok’s mind.

“We’d need to rework it,” Hoseok said eventually, and Yoongi nodded immediately. “We didn’t… we didn’t write it for two vocalists, it would sound weird.”

“Agreed,” Yoongi said, following Hoseok’s quick pace around the room with his eyes. “We should split up the verses more, too. Get them to alternate.”

Hoseok viciously stabbed a finger in his direction. “And to harmonise,” he added, and bobbed his head sharply. “At the bridge? Yeah.”

Yoongi opened his mouth, about to say more, when Hoseok abruptly stopped and wheeled around to face him. “When do you think Jimin can come in?” he asked quickly. “I mean, I know we have time, but we should get it moving as quickly as possible. Have you showed Namjoon this yet? We need to show Nam-”

“Woah, hold on.” Yoongi held up his hands and Hoseok turned to stare at him. “I haven’t, uh, actually told Jimin yet. I just wanted to run it by you first.”

Hoseok’s eyes nearly bulged out of his head. “You haven’t- ? Oh my God, Yoongi.” Very, very slowly, he raised his hand and pinched the bridge of his nose with two delicate fingers. “What the fuck, dude.”

“I know, I know. I just… wanted to get an objective opinion, you know?” Yoongi huffed, running his hand through his hair distractedly. “I mean, I think his voice is fuckin’ amazing, but I’m his boyfriend now so I guess that kinda comes with the territory, and I didn’t wanna-”

“What?”

Yoongi sighed. “I didn’t want to bring him into the studio and get his hopes up just for you and Namjoon to turn him away, you know?”

“No,” Hoseok choked out, waving his hands around. He looked vaguely like he was about to have a stroke. Yoongi frowned, and wondered if he should grab his phone to prepare for calling an ambulance. “No, no, no, not that bit – excuse me, Yoongi, but did you just say Park Jimin is your fucking boyfriend?!”

Oh. Yoongi blinked, and said blithely, “Did I forget to mention that?”

Hoseok’s face turned an alarming shade of purple and then he started yelling, running over to give Yoongi a hug. Yoongi suffered through the tight embrace for as long as he could stand, but Hoseok soon pulled off to whip out his own phone and start texting. “Oh my God, you asshole, fuckin’ Min Yoongi, I cannot believe,” he was muttering. But he kept shooting Yoongi tiny little grins, so Yoongi didn’t think he was too mad about it.

But his curiosity did get the better of him. “Who are you texting?” Yoongi asked.

“Taehyung, obviously.”

“Tae- you mean, Jimin’s friend, Taehyung? That Taehyung?”

“No, the one from my fuckin’ yoga class.” Hoseok rolled his eyes. “Yes, that Taehyung.”

“What the- how do you even have his number?”

“Not important.” Hoseok sent a final text and then threw his phone onto the couch, bounding over to give Yoongi another insufferably tight hug. Yoongi pulled a face, but Hoseok only squeezed him tighter. “I’m proud of you,” he said finally, pulling back with a huge grin. “But I really gotta know. Who asked?”

“Who asked…?” Then it clicked and Yoongi said, “Oh. I did, I guess. Technically.”

Hoseok whooped, thumping him on the back before spinning away to perform some kind of radical victory dance around the edges of the room. “Fuck yeah!” he yelled. “That’s my boy!”

Watching him, Yoongi let out a long-suffering sigh. But he couldn’t deny the pride that was swelling inside of his chest, alongside the bright bubble of happiness that had been there since last night.

“Wooo!” Hoseok yelled, punching the air. Then he turned to look at Yoongi with a feral grin. “Celebrate with me, man! Fuck yeah!”

Yoongi didn’t yell. But he did let a small, pleased smile start to curve around the edges of his mouth as he thought, fuck yeah.

 


 

Jimin slid into the empty seat at Brewed Awakening, throwing a genuine smile to the boy seated opposite him. It had been cold outside, on his way there, and his cheeks were lightly flushed. But the café was warm, and the look in his friend’s eyes even more so. “Thanks for coming, Chanyeol.”

“Any time, Jimin. You know that.” Chanyeol’s responding smile was kind, and a small part of Jimin’s heart squeezed regrettably at the conversation they were about to have. That sensation doubled as Chanyeol slid a mug across the table, moving slowly so as not to spill the drink inside. “I got you a hot chocolate while I was waiting.”

Jimin pushed back the long sleeve of his coat – it was Yoongi’s, and one of the many articles of clothing that he had yet to return – and accepted it gratefully. He leaned down to take a sip, the warm curls of steam pushing against his cheeks.

There was a gentle clink as Chanyeol set his own mug down on the table, shifting comfortably so that his arm rested along the edge of the table. For a moment, it reminded Jimin of Yoongi – of the way he’d stretched out the night before, his arm along the back of the couch, pale skin illuminated in the soft light. “So, what did you want to talk about?” Chanyeol asked, and Jimin blinked, interrupted from the memory of Yoongi’s smooth forearm. His gaze flickered up from his drink to see that Chanyeol was watching him. “It sounded like it was urgent.”

“Oh… I mean, yeah, it is?” Jimin flushed when Chanyeol raised an eyebrow at the accidental inflection and shook his head, struggling to phrase the answer. “I mean, it’s not… urgent, really, but it’s important to me and to someone else so… I wanted to deal with it quickly. You know?”

Understanding flickered in Chanyeol’s eyes and he tilted his head, a small and wry smile beginning to pull at the side of his mouth. “Yeah, I get you,” he said, and took another sip of his coffee. When Jimin hesitated to continue, he nudged Jimin’s shin gently with his foot beneath the table. “Come on, Park,” he prodded, with a small whine. “Spill the beans.”

This was, somehow, so much harder than Jimin had imagined it would be. He took a little breath, steeling himself, and managed to say, “It’s Yoongi.”

Chanyeol’s mouth quirked again, like he was trying not to smile. “What about him?”

“I’m… ah, well, we’re…” Jimin sighed, scratching the back of his neck awkwardly, and decided that there was no easy way to say it. “We’re dating now,” he confessed, finally, and brought his hand down to tap nervously at the sides of his mug with the tips of his fingers. It was a moment before he could gather the courage to meet Chanyeol’s eyes.

He needn’t have worried about Chanyeol’s reaction. The other boy was grinning widely. His eyes were warm, fond – and, bizarrely, a little proud. “Yeah?” he asked, and nudged Jimin with his foot again. “Congrats, dude. That’s awesome.”

Relief flooded Jimin’s chest. He couldn’t help but smile, ducking his chin slightly when his cheeks started to pink. “Yeah,” he agreed, slowly, letting the words marinate in his mind. He felt a little giddy, actually. Chanyeol was only the third person he’d told. “It is pretty awesome.”

For a few moments, Jimin just sat in silence, revelling in the warm feeling that was spreading through his chest. He and Yoongi were dating now.

He didn’t think he’d ever get tired of saying it.

Finally, Chanyeol brought him back to the moment. “So, is that all you wanted to tell me?” he asked, and Jimin startled slightly.

“Oh. Um, not really.” Jimin cleared his throat, sitting a little straighter, and tried not to blush when he met Chanyeol’s eyes. “Yoongi, obviously, knows about us – you know, what we were to each other and… he’s not threatened by it, really, but-”

“He wants to know that it’s over?” guessed Chanyeol, and Jimin nodded. He relaxed slightly when Chanyeol laughed, the sound warm and genuinely mirthful. “It’s all good, dude. We were only ever casual, right? It’s not like either one of us ever caught feelings.”

Carefully, Jimin bit his lip, and hesitantly looked up to meet Chanyeol’s gaze. The easy expression on his face tightened as Jimin looked at him. “Are you sure?” he asked softly.

For a second, there was a tiny furrow between Chanyeol’s eyebrows. But he didn’t reply immediately, and for some reason that eased Jimin’s fear – no matter what Chanyeol said, it was going to be the truth. He inhaled slowly through his nose, examining Jimin’s face, and then seemed to come to an answer. When he finally spoke, the words were carefully chosen.

“I was never in love with you, Jimin,” admitted Chanyeol. He tilted his head to the side, his eyes not leaving Jimin’s, and a small, sad smile twisted his mouth. “But I think I could have been. If you’d let me.”

The words made Jimin’s breath catch in his throat. For a second, he thought he could see how it might have been – how they might have been, if Jimin had never crashed into Yoongi that night.

Jimin could see himself in Chanyeol’s bed, his resolve to never spend the night gradually weakening with the warmth of Chanyeol’s body next to his. Chanyeol picking him up from dance practices with hot chocolate in his hands, and a small smile on his mouth. Parties spent at Chanyeol’s side, and afternoons in his dorm. Jimin could see how, in another universe, they could have been more.

But it wasn’t what Jimin wanted.

For a second, Jimin couldn’t breathe – and then the tension in his chest collapsed, and he abruptly stood from his chair to round the table and draw Chanyeol into a hug. The older boy saw him coming easily and stood to intercept him. His much longer arms wrapped comfortingly around Jimin as he buried his face into Chanyeol’s chest. He was shaking, and he didn’t know why, but Chanyeol held him tightly and the trembling soon eased.

“Thank you,” he managed eventually, but the words were too soft. Jimin squeezed his eyes shut and tried again. “Thank you, Chanyeol.”

The older boy, his friend, understood Jimin perfectly. He could feel Chanyeol’s heart beating steadily under the warm expanse of his chest as he pressed a gentle kiss to the top of Jimin’s head. There was a proud smile in his voice as Chanyeol murmured, “Any time, Jimin.”

 


 

The bell above the door of Brewed Awakening tinkled as Jimin stepped out into the cold air. He had left Chanyeol inside, who’d said he was going to stay in the warmth for a while.

Jimin couldn’t stop smiling. He exhaled slowly, letting the warm feelings in his heart permeate his entire body. The conversation with Chanyeol had gone better than Jimin had even hoped. Chanyeol’s last question was still ringing in his ears, too, and Jimin was almost grateful for it.

It had been a small request, and one that Jimin was happy to oblige to. If it brought Chanyeol any degree of happiness like the kind he’d given Jimin, then he was glad.

The thought retreated from his mind as Jimin hesitated, unsure of his path – should he head back to his dorm, or to Yoongi’s? Before he could make up his mind, his phone buzzed in his pocket and he patted himself down quickly, before finding and pulling it out of his pocket. An instant smile flitted over his face as soon as Jimin saw the screen.

 

11:56AM

yoongi-hyung <3: jiminnie

yoongi-hyung <3: come meet me at the studio?