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when breaking rules (go hard or go home)

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there are worse ways to spend one’s friday night than being dragged to a club by one’s two best friends, jungkook thinks. slicing off your entire finger while trying to cook would probably be worse. being mauled by a pack of wild dogs would definitely be worse. 

being out with just taehyung would be worse, because then he’d force jungkook to take shots with him in quick succession and join him on the dancefloor, or worse, one of the tables, or worse, one of the poles. which, don’t get him wrong, is a good time at the moment, but not the morning after when he wakes up on taehyung’s bathroom floor wearing only his boxer shorts and a pair of bunny ears, courtesy of taehyung, with two hundred new twitter notifications thanks to the pole dance video he posted last night, and an email from a shady online store in his inbox saying, Thank you for your purchase! Your purchase (32 leopard geckos) will be delivered within 5-10 business days

at least with jimin here, they have each other’s company and jungkook can take a breather. it’s not the worst way imaginable to spend his friday night, though he could definitely come up with better ones. like staying home playing video games. or staying home doing nothing at all.

jimin and taehyung did not accept playing video games as a valid reason to skip the club.

“it’ll be fun,” jimin coaxed, just like he does every time. “you’re only young once, jungkookie.”

jungkook rolled his eyes and didn’t mention that he’s only twenty and he’d have plenty of time to be young.

“what if i run into him?”

“you can’t not go places simply because you’re afraid of running into him,” taehyung said, “don’t let him limit you like that.”

“you sound like a column in a women’s magazine that gives dating advice and says stuff like ‘go hiking in the mountains to discover your inner worth’,” jungkook said.

“there’s nothing bad about sounding like a column in a women’s magazine,” taehyung said and patted at jungkook’s shoulder, “or taking a hike. to the club, with us.”

so here they are, making their way to the bar counter through a mass of tipsy people swaying to the tune of an upbeat pop song, because jimin and taehyung don’t take no for an answer and what taehyung said does, sadly, kind of make sense.

jungkook lets jimin buy him a drink, and swears to cut himself off after that.

“aaw,” jimin pouts, “we came out to drink, kookie. drink and dance. why the hell is the dancefloor empty?”

“it’s only ten thirty,” jungkook shrugs a shoulder, “i guess that’s why.”

they hang around the bar counter, sipping at their drinks and talking, and it’s not all bad. hanging out with jimin and taehyung is never bad. it’s the loudness and the crowdedness he dislikes about clubs. he’d have to get drunk to really enjoy it, and that tends to lead to some very bad decisions. also, recently, the chance of running into him.

after finishing his drink, jungkook excuses himself to the bathroom, leaving jimin and taehyung to order “something a bit spicy, and it’s an orange color, you know the one?” when he comes back, there’s a girl he doesn’t know at the counter instead of his friends, the dj is playing a beyoncé song, and the dancefloor isn’t empty anymore. it takes him approximately point two seconds to locate jimin and taehyung in the middle of it all, dancing the single ladies choreo to a song that is not single ladies. they are attracting more people to join them, and it’s hardly the first time the two have started an unintentional flash mob.

jungkook shakes his head, smiles nonetheless. he goes back to where he was sitting at the counter and orders a plain ice water. he sits with his back to the bar, elbows against the countertop, watches jimin and taehyung and waits for the moment they inevitably try to drag jungkook on the floor with them.

the girl next to him is giving him the eye, obvious enough for jungkook to notice, which means very obvious. jungkook isn’t looking to go home with anyone tonight, especially someone who’s drunker than he is, so he ignores her and hopes she realizes he isn’t interested.  while he’s busy not making eye contact with her, his gaze lands on something else. someone else.

“fuck me,” he mumbles as a first reaction.

it’s him, with his fucking mint hair and leather jacket and cat eyes, and jungkook spins around in his bar stool so fast he almost falls off. he clenches his jaw, prays he didn’t see him. he waits for a few painful moments; maybe he’s gone, maybe he went to another room. he doesn’t turn to look just yet.

“can i get you something?” the bartender asks him. jungkook glances at his glass of ice water, which just looks pathetic right now.

“fuck it,” he decides, “i might die tonight anyway.”

the bartender doesn’t even question it, just nods like he’s used to hearing shit like that, which he probably is, and pours the three shots jungkook orders.

“saw your ex or something?” the girl next to him asks when he’s in the middle of downing the third one.

“or something,” jungkook mumbles.

dude,” comes jimin’s voice, “what happened to cutting yourself off? not that i don’t approve. just slow down a bit, maybe.”

jimin flops down on the stool between jungkook and the girl, definitely to her irritation, taehyung’s arm around his neck.

“that plan changed when i saw min fucking yoongi,” jungkook says.

both jimin and taehyung’s eyes widen at the exact same second. it’s almost comical.

“oh, shit,” taehyung says unhelpfully.

“i told you,” jungkook hisses, “i told you i’d run into him.”

“hey, now,” jimin says, frowning, “it’s not our fault he happened to be at the same club at the same time.”

“and it’s certainly not our fault you decided to make out with him in a bathroom stall the last time we were clubbing,” taehyung adds.

jungkook groans. he feels like banging his head against the countertop, but that would probably get him thrown out. which actually isn’t such a bad outcome, all things considered.

“that last one is kind of your fault,” he says weakly, “you were there. you should’ve stopped me from making out with min fucking yoongi. it’s just common sense. what kind of friends are you.”

“well, you know, if you wanted to tap that, who are we to tell you what to do,” taehyung mumbles, barely audible. but jimin leans closer, a hand on jungkook’s arm, finally taking pity on him.

“alright,” he says, and actually sounds kind of concerned, “if you want, we’ll go home.”

jungkook is tempted to say yes. but he considers jimin and taehyung, who wanted a night out; considers the fact that they technically just got here, and the fact that leaving now would basically be running away.

“no, it’s alright,” he says, “we can stay. i’ll be okay.”

he’s not so sure he will be, but whatever.

“i’ll buy the next round,” says taehyung.

 

/

 

here’s the thing: jeon jungkook tends to fuck up when drunk, hence his complicated relationship with alcohol. sometimes this means purchasing thirty-two leopard geckos with his best friend. sometimes this means making out with the upperclassman with The Reputation™ in a bathroom stall.

when you’re a freshman, you learn a few things during the first couple of weeks, things that aren’t written down anywhere:

  1. you don’t pick more than one eight a.m. class per semester because you won’t be able to get up
  1. you don’t leave your laundry in the dryer overnight because it will get stolen
  1. you don’t get involved with min yoongi.

his reputation is ambiguous, really. no one really knows what it is exactly that he did. there are rumors, of course, some of them so extravagant and ridiculous they are sure to be just that: rumors. the rest of them: who knows. he stabbed another student on the courtyard. he stole a car and crashed it a few miles in. there’s an actual rumor he was gone for a year because he was in prison for arson.

the reputation extends to the people he always hangs out with, namjoon and hoseok, for some part, although from what jungkook gathers, they are a little more easily approachable. he’s even spoken to namjoon once. he was carrying a box full of live geckos, taking them to taehyung to be his problem, when namjoon came across him, cast a long, unreadable look at the box, and asked,

“are those live lizards?”

“yes,” jungkook said.

“cool,” namjoon said, and went on his way.

jungkook didn’t really care about any of it; he was aware of the rumors, was vaguely aware of who yoongi was, but mostly he just kept his distance and minded his own business and thought of yoongi as someone slightly scary and kind of hot. that was until he kissed him in a bathroom stall about a week ago. jungkook doesn’t know what happens to people who kiss min yoongi in bathroom stalls.

“it just doesn’t make any sense,” taehyung says, slouching on the three-person seat, his legs stretched across the entire length of it. “why do you think he wants to kill you? was the experience so horrible? are you that bad a kisser?”

“i’m not a bad kisser,” jungkook glares at him.

“i can confirm,” jimin raises a hand halfheartedly. when taehyung looks at him curiously, he smirks and adds, “spin the bottle at the pre-christmas party. you were busy wooing that freshman from the pottery class. missed out on the fun.”

“oh, yeah,” taehyung sighs. “mingyu. he had such nice hands. the reason i took pottery for that semester.”

“i don’t think he’ll kill me,” jungkook says. he’s got his chin propped on top of his folded arms, and he’s rolling an empty shot glass between his fingers. “i just think he might... you know. try.”

jimin cocks an eyebrow.

“aren’t you overreacting? i bet there are plenty of people who made out with min yoongi and lived. i mean, he was into it, right? you were both into it, so what’s the problem?”

the problem is that jungkook sort of, kind of, ditched him in the bathroom after making out with him, and he has no idea how yoongi feels about that. if he even remembers it at all. they were both drunk at the time, and for all jungkook knows, yoongi could be kissing people in bathrooms every other day and jungkook was just one of many. maybe he doesn’t remember. it would be better that way.

what happened was, he sort of came to his senses in the middle of it, so to speak. somewhere between yoongi’s nails scraping at his skin under his shirt and their hips pressed together. opening his eyes to see his own fingers tangled in mint green hair, and what settled in besides arousal was mild panic, an emotion that could be described as what the hell and fuck am i doing?

before that, yoongi was pushing him into the stall, or maybe jungkook was pulling, and there’s not much he remembers besides yoongi’s mouth, his tongue, jungkook’s back hitting the wall, the way yoongi gripped his waist. he remembers the sound yoongi made when jungkook bit into his lower lip, how it vibrated down his spine.

before that, the dancefloor, and that part’s even hazier; he’s not sure what he was doing on the floor in the first place, what yoongi was doing there. he’s not sure who approached who. obviously, his drunk self didn’t give a shit about the reputation surrounding min yoongi and the unwritten warning to stay away from him. all his drunk self cared about was how hot yoongi looked with sweat glistening on his skin and how his hands felt on jungkook. though he has a feeling jungkook might’ve been the handsier one.

the point is, he all but panicked, stuttered something about having to go find his friends, and before it got any further, pushed past yoongi and left, and now he regrets his entire life.

“and you haven’t talked to him since,” taehyung says.

“did you see me having heartfelt conversations with min yoongi before this? of course i haven’t ta-“ jungkook’s sentence is cut short as he ducks under the table. the shot glass spins on the table.

“is he gone?” he hisses.

“nah, he’s hanging around,” jimin says, “i’ll tell you when.”

is this what rock bottom feels like, jungkook wonders while staring blankly at jimin’s knees.

“uh-oh,” taehyung says, “code red. code mint? he’s coming over.”

what.”

“can i help you?” comes jimin’s voice. jungkook knows this tone; it’s defensive and slightly cautionary. it’s sort of nice to hear jimin use that tone for him, even if he thinks jungkook’s overreacting.

“is he okay?” yoongi’s low, scratchy voice is so, so recognizable, no matter where they are. he sounds vaguely amused.

jungkook wants to die. he thinks about flipping the table and making a run for it. instead, he straightens up, slowly, and takes a breath.

“just lost my... dignity,” he finishes, and suppresses the urge to bury his face in his hands. he forces himself to look at yoongi. he hopes it’s not too evident in the dim lights that his face is burning up. yoongi looks like he always does, unreadable. intimidating. (and good. jungkook’s pretty sure that’s a part of why he’s so intimidating.) except now jungkook is certain he can see a ghost of a smile playing on his lips.

“did you find it?” yoongi asks.

“must’ve left it at home,” jungkook mumbles, and the corner of yoongi’s mouth really does quirk.

“hope you find it,” yoongi says, tilting his head, “jeon jungkook. see you around.”

jungkook actually forgets how breathing works for a moment. he stares at yoongi’s back as he leaves and joins someone; hoseok, he thinks vaguely.

“fuck,” he voices his thoughts, “what the fuck.”

“so,” jimin says. he’s leaning his chin on his palm and grinning, like jungkook didn’t just have a near-death experience. “he knows you. probably remembers you made out. interesting.”

“i’m fucked,” jungkook says and slumps down in his seat, “he wants to kill me. did you hear how he said that? see you around?”

“oh yeah,” taehyung says, “with murderous intent. i could practically hear the bloodlust. you’re dead, come monday.”

“i’m serious,” jungkook says, and grabs a coaster off the table and throws it at taehyung. “and he knows my name. he probably knows where i live.”

“i still think you’re overreacting,” taehyung muses.

“let’s drink to kookie’s memory,” jimin says, raising a mostly empty glass of coke and whiskey, “i’m gonna miss you. i’ll go get more shots for everyone.”

“you guys are the worst friends ever,” jungkook grumbles, but drinks everything jimin sets in front of him, anyway.

 

/

 

“we should... we should, you know what, we should ask jin,” jimin says and sways dangerously before grabbing onto taehyung for support.

“shit, you’re right,” taehyung breathes, “jin has all the answers. he’ll tell you what to do.”

“i don’t know,” jungkook says. he has to concentrate surprisingly hard on walking straight. it’s not helping that it’s dark and his sense of direction is pretty much gone. he’s pretty sure they are somewhere near jimin’s apartment. maybe. “jin is like, important. he’s like a real adult now. he has that... thing.”

“a job?” taehyung suggests, and jungkook makes fingers guns at him.

“no, we should call, i miss jin,” jimin says, and comes to an abrupt stop in the middle of the sidewalk. “let me just... where the fuck is my phone?”

“it’s in your hand,” jungkook snorts, and then laughs so hard he has to crouch down, because it’s so fucking funny for some reason. jimin joins him, straight up plopping on his ass on the ground.

“i’m calling, i’m calling,” he says, thumbing at his phone clumsily, and then holds it at an arm’s length. “it’s a video call, get in here.”

the line rings for a while; taehyung imitates the sound, which just makes them laugh all over again. then seokjin’s face pops up.

“the fuck?” he says.

“JIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN,” they all go in unison.

“it’s like, three a.m. what are -“ seokjin squints at them. “are you sitting in the middle of the goddamn road?”

“yes,” jimin says, “you look so handsome, hyung. so handsome. doesn’t he?”

“so handsome,” taehyung echoes. “are you lying on a bed?”

“what is this,” seokjin says, looking kind of wary, kind of pained, “did y’all call me for phone sex?”

“sure, why not,” jimin says, and jungkook grabs his arm and directs the phone at himself.

“hyung, i have a problem,” he says. seokjin raises an eyebrow.

“i can tell you have some problems,” he says, and jungkook decides to ignore it.

“i kissed someone i shouldn’t have, hyung,” jungkook says, “and now he wants me dead.”

“what -“

jimin pushes into the frame.

“ok, so here’s what happened. jungkook and yoongi, sitting in a tree. k-i-s-g-i -“

“what the fuck are you spelling,” taehyung interrupts, and jimin makes an offended noise.

“you do it better,” he says, and the two get caught up in a spontaneous spelling bee. jungkook takes the phone out of jimin’s hand.

“what do i do, hyung,” he whines. “i’ve been avoiding him but i ran into him today and he knows my name and he’s so scary, and hot, like he’s scarily hot, and i kinda want to make out with him again but that’s like, so stupid because people say he’s stabbed people and.”

jungkook stops abruptly and just stares at the road blankly because he lost his train of thought. he registers the sound of seokjin clearing his throat.

“uh,” he says, a slight frown on his face, “okay. can’t say i one hundred percent understood that, but i think we’ve, um, all kissed people we shouldn’t have. it’s an awkward situation, but everything works out just fine in the end. wait, you said he stabbed people? the fuck kinda people are you making out with, jeon?”

“the min yoongi kind,” jungkook sighs. he’s starting to feel sleepy. jimin and taehyung, on his left, are arguing over how to spell voyeurism. “he might be an arsonist. or not. i don’t know.”

“okay, jeez, um. i trust you, jungkook. follow your heart, by all means, but look out for yourself, yeah? i don’t want to look at the news and see that you’ve been found dead with a stab wound or whatever.”

“you’re so smart, hyung,” jungkook says, “i miss you. how’s your job thingie in ulsan?”

the corner of seokjin’s mouth curls upwards.

“my job thingie is fine. keeps me busy but my boss likes me. i miss all of you, too. now get your drunk asses home, and text me when you get there safe.” he rolls his eyes. “and tell them it’s v-o-y-e-u-r-i-s-m.”

 

/

 

jungkook wakes up in jimin’s bed, half on top of taehyung and with jimin’s elbow digging into his ribs, but it’s still an upgrade from taehyung’s bathroom floor. bits and pieces of his late night convo with seokjin come back to him as he digs out his phone from under his ass and sees a text from seokjin.

jin [09:23]
about this arsonist guy - tread carefully i guess. if your heart desires him, go for it, but find out whether hes a good guy first
a guy is supposed to mess up your underwear not your makeup lol

if your heart - what? what the fuck did he say to seokjin last night? (he’s not even going to acknowledge the underwear comment.)

me [09:52]
no no no hyung
i dont like him like that
i shouldnt have kissed him
the only reason i brought him up is cause im kinda worried because of his reputation

jin [09:54]
oh really?
i just kind of assumed bc you mentioned wanting to make out with him again

he did what now. jungkook stares at the phone screen like he’s trying to burn holes in it.

me [09:55]
i did not
i dont

jin [09:56]
oh, well, i mustve misheard

me [09:56]
you mustve

he throws his phone onto the foot of the bed and groans so loudly jimin stirs.

“what? what is it? are you dying?”

“kind of,” jungkook mumbles.

“okay,” jimin says and goes back to sleep.

 

/

 

luckily, seokjin doesn’t mention it again; and because jungkook has no memory of saying anything like that, he can easily pretend it never happened. it was just his drunk self talking. the same drunk self that went and made out with min yoongi in a bathroom stall. obviously, he isn’t to be trusted.

still: he wants to find out about yoongi. not for reasons seokjin thinks, but simply to assess whether his life is in danger.

he kind of wants to make an online survey called have you ever been drunk and made out with min yoongi? and then inquire the people who said yes what sort of consequences the action had. jimin and taehyung tell him to go for it, which means it’s a bad idea, so he doesn’t.

what he does is ask around.

“have you ever talked to min yoongi?”

his english partner looks up from her coursework she’d been staring at blankly instead of doing, and gives him a vaguely bored look.

“min yoongi? why on earth would i talk to min yoongi?”

jungkook can only shrug helplessly.

“my friend told me, though,” she says, “that a friend of her friend once tried to say good morning to him, and he knocked the coffee out of her hand and threatened to kill her.”

“really,” jungkook says tonelessly.

“really,” she nods solemnly.

all of the answers he gets bear similarities to each other. a friend of a friend told me... i heard from a classmate, who heard from his friend, who heard from the guy who sells hotteok down the 23rd...

all they did was bump into him, and they apologized for it, but min yoongi started beating them up and set their house on fire! or they asked him how his weekend was, and min yoongi spat in their face and keyed their car! or i saw min yoongi behind a burger king at four a.m., he was hiding a dead body in the dumpster and he told me i was next.

the last one was from a guy in jungkook’s life drawing class, who was visibly stoned.

it’s a useless effort. jungkook doubts any of these people have ever actually interacted with yoongi. the guy remains an enigma.

sometimes the crowd parts like the red sea when yoongi walks through, but somehow he doesn’t strike jungkook as someone who’d go through the trouble of keying someone’s car just because they talked to him. only once does jungkook witness him using any sort of physical force; the guy is spitting something not in yoongi’s, but in namjoon’s direction, and yoongi has him against the wall by the front of his shirt before he can react. the what the fuck did you say to him is growled in a low voice that makes the hairs on jungkook’s arms stand up.

yoongi is terrifying at that moment, but jungkook gets the impression that he’s not angry for himself.

 

/

 

taehyung hits him with a series of texts at eight thirty in the morning on a saturday, which is not unusual, but still a terrible way to wake up. taehyung texts him this early if he has to work a morning shift at the café he part-times at, or if he’s stayed up all night playing video games or watching conspiracy theory videos on youtube.

tae [8:31]
KOOOOOOOKIIEEEEEE
KOOOKIE
KOOK

tae [8:32]
PLS TELL ME UR AWAKE
KOOKIEEEEEEE

tae [8:33]
ILL GIVE U 2 MINUTES THEN ILL CALL

me [8:34]
god
what do u want

tae [8:34]
GOOD UR AWAKE
listen i need a favor

me [8:35]
no 

tae [8:35]
i kno u dont mean that
cos u love me so much
and ud do anything 4 me <3

me [8:36]
im gonna strangle u

tae [8:36]
kinky
anyway heres the thing
so someone finally bought the remaining lizards off our hands (YAYYY)
or well bought 3 of them which leaves us w 2 but i rlly think they could become a part of our family

me [8:37]
whats the favor tae
im falling back asleep

tae [8:38]
ok so we agreed id deliver them today around 2
but i just got called in to work an extra shift at the café
cos like half the employees are sick (hungover)
so i cant make it at 2......pls be the lizard delivery guy in my place?

me [8:39]
cant u drop them off earlier

tae [8:39]
2 is the only time good for them
please :(
pleaaseeeeeeeee

me [8:40]
fine

tae [8:41]
YAY
their place is not far!! just pick up the lizards at my place u have my key
ill text u their address

that’s how jungkook ends up carrying a boxful of geckos from point a to point b for the second time, which is already too many times for one lifetime. it’s a ten minute walk to the address taehyung texted him, and all he can think about the entire time is how this scenario plays like a deterrent example of what happens when you go drinking with taehyung. you end up hauling a box of lizards across the campus. it’s like some sort of a weird walk of shame.

it’s when he’s at the front door staring at the door phone that he realizes taehyung didn’t even tell him the name of the recipient. he at least knows the apartment number, and pushes the correct button with his thumb. there’s crackling from the speaker, and a slightly distorted voice:

“hello?”

“i have your lizards,” jungkook blurts, and grimaces right after. why did he word it like it’s a hostage situation? this is what happens when he doesn’t practice what to say beforehand.

there’s a particularly loud crackle that might be a chuckle.

“that’s great.” the voice sounds kind of wry. it vaguely reminds jungkook of something. “come on in.”

the door opens with a click, and jungkook walks in, takes the elevator to the seventh floor. the apartment door doesn’t have a name on it either. he secures the box against his hip and raps his knuckles against the door a few times, because there’s a layer of duct tape over the doorbell.

after a short while, footsteps; the door opens, and jungkook very nearly drops the box.

“are you fucking kidding me.” he one hundred percent did not mean to say that out loud.

yoongi looks like he could say the same thing. he looks like he was about to speak, but now his mouth is just hanging slightly open. they stare at each other, and jungkook’s life flashes before his eyes. this is how i die, in min yoongi’s hallway surrounded by geckos. he really fucking hopes he didn’t say that one out loud.

“yeah, uh.” yoongi licks his lips, and his voice guides jungkook back to the moment. “you have the geckos?”

“yeah,” jungkook manages.

yoongi’s hand comes up to scratch at the back of his neck. he looks at jungkook through his bangs.

“come in.”

are you fucking serious, jungkook wants to ask, first yoongi, and then himself, when his foot steps over the threshold like jungkook’s not in control of it at all. he’s clutching at the box with both hands as he follows yoongi into a small living room.

yoongi is mumbling something about the mess, but jungkook can’t really process what he’s saying. he’s slightly shell-shocked. he thinks his hands are sweating. then yoongi turns to him; and jungkook takes everything in, for the first time.

it’s surreal. jungkook’s only ever seen him with the fucking leather jacket on; now yoongi is wearing pajama pants with bears on them and a white t-shirt that’s almost slipping off one shoulder. his hair is a mess, but not a controlled mess like usually, he really looks like he just crawled out of bed not five minutes ago. the living room is - bright, with off-white walls. a bit cramped with a brown couch, a keyboard, a computer set up by the wall, a bunch of amps.

he’s not sure what he thought min yoongi’s living conditions to be like, but he’s pretty sure it’s not this. there’s a lot to focus on, but right now jungkook can’t process anything beyond the fact that there’s a gigantic kumamon plushie sat in the corner of the couch. jungkook stares, and it stares back at him with big, lifeless eyes.

“you can just put them on the table,” yoongi says, and jungkook almost jumps. he’s rummaging through a bag, probably looking for his wallet, and jungkook goes to lower the box onto the coffee table. he lets out a breath as he does.

“this your part time job, jeon jungkook?” yoongi’s voice comes right behind him. “delivering exotic pets?”

“the guy who sold them to you is my friend,” jungkook says, trying not to get caught up in the way his name sounds coming out of yoongi’s mouth, “it’s a long story, but we actually got them together. and there were thirty-two of them.”

yoongi lets out a surprised laugh; it’s more like a particularly hard breath released through his nose, but it’s basically the same thing.

“so you like lizards?” jungkook doesn’t know why the fuck he’s still talking; maybe it’s the fact that yoongi seems confusingly non-threatening.

yoongi crouches down next to jungkook and peers into the see-through container. he taps at the plastic, and a gecko raises its head lazily.

“got them for namjoon, actually,” he says, “it’s his birthday tomorrow. he’s been talking about wanting to get lizards for some damn reason. he better appreciate this, ‘cause he still owes me for breaking my doorbell.”

he turns to jungkook, then, and holds out some bills.

“70,000 won, like we agreed.”

jungkook takes the money, but doesn’t get up. he hesitates.

“i didn’t know you knew who i was.” when you kissed me at the club, he doesn’t say, but the implication is there, anyway.

yoongi looks at him with an odd look in his eyes. the silence stretches on. before, jungkook would’ve thought eye contact with min yoongi lasting more than five seconds meant certain death, but now he can’t look away.

“well, i did,” yoongi says finally. he doesn’t elaborate on how he knew jungkook, and jungkook wants to ask, but he’s too nervous and the words get stuck in his throat.

he’s just holding the money awkwardly, now, and he thinks he should go. he should already have left, right after receiving the money, because you don’t get involved with min yoongi. that’s the unwritten rule. right now, though, it’s hard to remember why it’s a rule.

“aren’t you going to ask me if it’s true i was in prison for a year for robbing a 7/11 at gunpoint?” yoongi asks as jungkook’s finally gravitating towards the door. there’s a hint of a smirk on his lips, and a strange sort of glint in his eyes as he looks at jungkook.

jungkook licks his lips.

“i heard it was arson,” he says.

yoongi actually smiles, then, wide and gummy and genuine, and it takes 1. jungkook by surprise and 2. his breath away. he can’t believe this is the same min yoongi everyone’s warned to steer clear of. he looks... adorable. it’s fucking jungkook up.

“ah,” yoongi says, “can’t keep up with the trends.”

jungkook lets out a laugh; doesn’t mean to, but it spills out of him anyway. yoongi’s smile has developed into a smaller, lopsided one, but it’s still there. it looks strangely warm and it’s making jungkook feel weird things.

he does ask something.

“did you ever threaten to kill someone for saying good morning to you?”

yoongi makes a thoughtful face.

“might’ve,” he says, “if it was early enough and i hadn’t had coffee yet.”

jungkook really has no idea what the hell to think about min yoongi.

 

/

 

jungkook strides straight to taehyung’s place, and begins pounding at his door with a fist, because taehyung sure as hell isn’t at work.

“you better open up, kim taehyung,” he says loudly enough to be heard through the door, “if you like having all your limbs attached.”

there’s some clattering, a thud; then taehyung opens the door. just enough to peek at jungkook through the chink.

“kookie, hey, how are you, so glad to see you.” there’s a real contradiction between his words and the way he’s holding the door barely open. jungkook narrows his eyes at him, and taehyung makes a face. “i can explain, please don’t kill me.”

“you almost got me killed,” jungkook says and uses a bit of upper body strength to push through the door. taehyung merely dances out of the way. so maybe it’s a bit of an overstatement, since yoongi didn’t actually attempt to murder him, but taehyung still caused him a great deal of stress.

“see, but you’re still alive. ow, ow ow ow.” taehyung squirms out of his reach as jungkook goes to twist his nipple through his shirt. “calm down. let me explain.”

“you knew the recipient was min yoongi,” jungkook huffs, “you knowingly sent me into the bear’s den.”

taehyung frowns slightly.

“isn’t it the lion’s den?"

god, jungkook’s still thinking about the bear pajamas and the kumamon plushie. he groans, throws himself down on taehyung’s couch.

“how could you do that to me,” he complains. “you weren’t even really at the café, were you.”

“i was,” taehyung says. pauses. “drinking hot chocolate and watching anime, but still.”

“why did you send me there? why were you trying to get me killed?”

“i didn’t believe for a second you would be killed. okay, i thought there was like a twenty percent chance, but that’s a small risk to take.”

“unbelievable.”

taehyung sits down on the couch with jungkook, but cautiously as far away from him as possible. seems like he knows what’s good for him.

“since he didn’t kill you,” he says, “what did he do? how was he?”

how was yoongi? jungkook stares at the space in front of him blankly and bites at his fingernails.

“different,” he says, “but at the same time... like he was just himself. i think he just woke up like fifteen minutes ago. like, he had a bedhead and pajamas on. he wasn’t... intimidating like usually. not really. he joked about the rumors. he smiled. i’ve never seen him smile like that.”

god, the face taehyung’s making. smiling like he knows something jungkook doesn’t. it’s pissing him off to no end. he grabs a pillow off the couch and flings it at taehyung’s face.

“shut the fuck up, taehyung.”

“i didn’t even say anything,” taehyung says, but he rarely has to, thanks to his expressive face. “he didn’t mention the kiss?”

no. whatever it is you’re trying to do,” jungkook says, “stop.”

“i swear i’m not doing anything,” taehyung throws his hands in the air. “just didn’t feel like taking the lizards to yoongi myself. don’t get involved with him and all that. and since you’ve already made out with him, you’re pretty much already screwed, so.”

“yeah, thanks,” jungkook mumbles, and slides further down on the couch.

“your face was really red just now, by the way,” taehyung says, and then lets out a high-pitched scream and covers his chest as jungkook lunges at him.

 

/

 

jungkook is not falling for min yoongi. what kind of a person would do that to themselves, really. min yoongi is not the type you fall in love with; that’s the general idea, that’s what everyone tells jungkook, and when he sees him around campus glaring daggers at people with his leather jacket and an aura that could freeze you, jungkook is inclined to believe them.

but then he immediately thinks about the bear pajamas and the way he smiled, and his heart does something very strange and worrisome. he feels drawn to yoongi, and that can’t be good.

don’t get involved with min yoongi, the third unwritten rule says. that ship has sailed, jungkook thinks. taehyung was right. he’s already screwed. in what way, he isn’t sure yet.

jungkook is about to pour his coffee in the cafeteria, when the casual chattering is suddenly replaced by cautious murmuring. jungkook watches with confusion as the line behind him disperses, like the people just collectively decided they didn’t want coffee after all. the reason for this is min yoongi, who’s all languid movements and indifferent looks as he walks to the self-serve coffee, like the crowd didn’t just do the weirdest imitation of a flock of antelopes fleeing from a hyena.

right, yoongi is intimidating - he stabbed someone, someone in the cafeteria whispers to their friend a little bit too loudly - but all jungkook can see is the way yoongi’s expression changes ever so slightly as he looks at jungkook, the only one who stayed where he was, the interested quirk of his eyebrow and the ghost of a smirk on his lips.

“i’m trying to get coffee, here,” yoongi says.

“so am i,” jungkook says, “get in line.”

is this what people mean by flirting with death? a couple of weeks ago he was hiding from yoongi under the table at a club, and now he’s, what? talking back at him like he has a death wish? because he saw him in his pajamas once?

yoongi just looks at him, and looks at him, and jungkook’s holding his breath; then his expression melts, almost imperceptibly, but it does; he tilts his head, the corners of his mouth curling upwards, and says,

“i’ll get that for you. i never did tip you for bringing me the lizards. namjoon loved them, by the way.”

so yoongi pays for both their coffees. their shoulders brush as yoongi extends his arm to give the cashier his card.

“thanks,” jungkook mumbles, and keeps his eyes trained on his coffee instead of yoongi, suddenly unable to make eye contact with him.

“don’t mention it,” yoongi says, his voice low and quiet and pleasant, and saunters away.

jungkook is not falling for min yoongi. who would do that to themselves, he thinks, but with more uncertainty than before.

 

/

 

jungkook launches Mission: Who The Fuck Is Min Yoongi? not because he’s interested, not because he likes him, but because he’s curious. there’s the min yoongi who makes crowds disperse with a single glance, and then there’s the min yoongi who smiles at jungkook with all his teeth and his gums showing and pays for his coffee. anyone would be intrigued.

to jimin and taehyung, he says he just wants to get to the bottom of the Min Yoongi Mystery to establish whether his life is still in danger because of the bathroom stall incident. they’re not buying it.

“you made out with him like, a month ago,” jimin says, leaning back against taehyung, who’s making small braids into his orange hair for reasons unclear to jungkook, his tongue poking out of the corner of his mouth in concentration.  “and he still hasn’t mentioned it to you. i think if he wanted to kill you, he would’ve done it already. ooh! unless you think it’s going to happen again.”

“it’s not going to happen again,” jungkook glares at him. seokjin’s text has been haunting him all this time, and he persistently pushes it into the far back of his mind, once again.

“could it be you’re actually disappointed he hasn’t mentioned it?” taehyung says, taking his eyes off jimin’s hair to waggle his eyebrows at jungkook.

jungkook inhales sharply and clenches his jaw. he’s not disappointed. he just... maybe thought something would happen. he’s not sure what. thought that yoongi would bring it up, at least. he knows who jungkook is. he kissed him knowing who he was. but he didn’t bring it up, not when they met at the club, not when jungkook was over at his place, not when he paid for his coffee at the cafeteria.

maybe the truth is, in the end, that it didn’t matter. maybe yoongi has already forgotten about it. jungkook is not disappointed. he’s not. his chest didn’t get the memo. there’s a hollow ache, but it’s ignorable.

“i just want to find out whether he really is as dangerous as everyone says,” he says, his finger tapping a fast-paced rhythm against his knee. it’s mostly the truth.

“okay,” taehyung says, and jungkook’s not sure if it’s to him or jimin, whose hair now looks positively ridiculous with a bunch of small braids sticking out of it. taehyung claps his hands together. “we’ll help you, then.”

“i hope you appreciate our sacrifice,” jimin says solemnly, “it’s a dangerous mission. we could stumble upon some dark secret that’ll get us killed.”

“i can’t take you seriously with that hair,” jungkook says.

“Mission: Who The Fuck Is Min Yoongi? launched,” taehyung says. “can i play the x-files theme song?”

“no,” jungkook says, and taehyung plays it anyway.

 

/

 

it’s not like stalking someone; it’s merely acquiring information that’s completely public through light investigation. it’s perfectly non-creepy and totally acceptable.

“it’s really difficult to get anything on this guy,” jimin says, finger gliding on the touchpad of his laptop. he’s lying on his stomach on his bedroom floor, mainly because jungkook and taehyung claimed his bed. “his facebook profile just looks like someone else made it for him. he has never updated it.”

figures that jimin and taehyung would rate a task’s difficulty based on whether the information can be found on facebook.

“you could just, you know. go talk to him,” taehyung shrugs.

“you don’t just walk up to min yoongi and talk to him,” jungkook says.

“you already have, though,” taehyung says.

“i haven’t,” jungkook says, “the first time i was drunk, so that doesn’t count. the second time i was drunk and not the one doing the walking up to. the third time i was dirtily tricked into taking the lizards to him. and the fourth time he walked up to me, again, technically.”

“sure sounds like he walks up to you a lot,” jimin comments, and jungkook doesn’t know what that’s supposed to mean.

“have you tried asking around, then?” taehyung asks, counting the options with his fingers.

“everyone tells the same kind of stories,” jungkook says wearily, “min yoongi knifed my friend behind the administration building, stole his cat, and fucked his girlfriend. all anyone knows is rumors.”

“do you think lots of guys blame it on min yoongi when their girlfriends leave them because of their weak dick game,” taehyung ponders.

“oh. oh! i have something.” jimin leans closer to the laptop screen. “min yoongi doesn’t have anything on his facebook, but jung hoseok does. he’s one of yoongi’s closest friends, right? he studies dance. i didn’t know that. he’s older than me, so we don’t take the same classes.”

both jungkook and taehyung slide off the bed and lean over jimin’s shoulders to get a look. it’s a bit crowded.

“does he have pictures with yoongi,” jungkook asks. jimin and taehyung give him matching looks. “what? we’re trying to find out what he’s like, right?”

“sure,” jimin says, training his eyes back on the screen, “that’s why you want to see his pictures.”

jungkook elbows him, which causes a miniature domino effect that ends with taehyung yelping and falling on his stomach.

hoseok doesn’t have many pictures with yoongi. in the ones that he has, you can barely tell it’s yoongi; either only the top of his head is showing, or his face is covered by a mask and a cap. there’s one picture; it’s two years old, hoseok has yoongi drawn close with an arm around his neck, and yoongi is smiling and biting down on his lip in a truly disrespectful manner.

“he had blonde hair?” jungkook asks, a bit dazed.

“oh, yeah,” jimin says, “me and tae’s freshman year, so you weren’t here yet. was kinda hot, honestly speaking.”

“yeah,” jungkook says, and stares at the picture long enough for jimin and taehyung to break into giggles.

“ugh,” he says, “namjoon, try namjoon.”

namjoon’s profile is almost as hopeless as yoongi’s, but he does have some pictures, at least. they are surprisingly artsy, and jungkook smacks taehyung’s hand away when he wants to look at namjoon’s scenery photos instead of looking for ones with yoongi.

there’s one in black and white, with yoongi’s profile illuminated by a computer screen at what seems to be a recording studio. the picture is peaceful, somehow. yoongi looks focused on what he’s doing, like he’s not even aware his picture’s being taken.

“does he major in music production?” jungkook asks, suddenly realizing he doesn’t even know that much.

“something to do with music,” jimin shrugs, “could be production.”

ending their facebook non-stalking session, they conclude that min yoongi is a cryptid.

“time for phase two,” jimin says in an official tone of voice, and takes a long breath that he holds for a dramatic effect.  “i’m going to make contact with hoseok.”

“no, jimin,” jungkook says, because he has a bad feeling about this.

“yes, jimin,” jimin says, “it’s a good plan, kookie. i’ll find out when he’s at the dance studio, approach him, and ask him if yoongi ever talks about you.”

no, jimin,” jungkook says with considerably more fervor.

“fine, i’ll ask him if yoongi has ever talked about murdering you,” jimin rolls his eyes.

“this whole thing was a bad idea,” jungkook groans, and gets down on his stomach and lowers his face into his folded arms to the tune of the x-files theme song.

 

/

 

lots of things happen next week. jimin talks to hoseok on tuesday. he talks to him on wednesday and thursday. as if the whole situation isn’t already odd enough, on thursday evening, jimin tells jungkook that hoseok invited them to a house party. at his house. this friday.

“i asked if i could bring friends, and he told me to bring as many as i like,” jimin says on the phone.

“i knew you made friends fast,” jungkook says, “but what the hell, jimin.”

“i know,” jimin says excitedly, “hoseok’s super chill. or not chill, really, more like a ball of unrestrained energy and sunshine. he’s totally not what i expected. and he’s such a good dancer, he’s amazing, and he basically never leaves the studio, i don’t know how i’ve never run into him before -“

“jimin,” jungkook interrupts, “you weren’t supposed to develop a crush on yoongi’s friend.”

“i’m not crushing,” jimin says. there’s a slight pause. “okay, maybe a little bit, but how could i not, seriously, you can’t blame me -“

“did you even, you know.” jungkook quirks an eyebrow, part amused, part exasperated. “find anything on yoongi?”

“oh. well, he did mention him,” jimin says, which means he forgot about Mission: Who The Fuck Is Min Yoongi? completely. “he said he’s coming to the party.”

great. absolutely great.

“i’m not going,” jungkook says.

 

/

 

they arrive at the house at seven thirty on friday evening after a twenty-minute car ride from hell, during which jimin couldn’t shut up about how this will surely be a great time and how amazing hoseok is, taehyung went through hoseok’s friend list on facebook, throwing out comments like he’s hot, i hope he’ll be there, and jungkook tried to jump out of the moving car twice.

“does neither of you see how fundamentally bad this idea is?” he says through gritted teeth as taehyung bodily pulls him out of the car.

“we get to see how yoongi is outside college,” taehyung reasons, “this is a great idea.”

it is not, considering being trapped under the same roof with min yoongi and alcohol is how this all started.

the house is nice enough from the outside, two-story, medium-sized. it’s hoseok’s parents’, who are away, as jimin explained. there are a few more cars parked on the driveway besides theirs. music is pouring out of a cracked window.

“don’t worry, kookie.” jimin’s fingers are suddenly on his wrist. “if you don’t want to stay, just tell us, and we’ll leave.”

jungkook looks at them, and taehyung nods his head.

“okay, fine,” he says, sucking his bottom lip into his mouth, “okay.”

they have to ring the doorbell a couple of times before hoseok comes to open the door.

“sorry,” he says, grinning, voice raised to be heard over the music that amplified the moment he cracked the door, “couldn’t hear over the music. come on in.”

he actually pulls jimin into a hug as soon as they are in. the drink in his hand spills a little bit.

“i’m so glad you could make it, jimin! hi, i’m hoseok,” he then says to jungkook and taehyung, and sticks his hand out for them to shake. neither of them mentions they already knew that. they introduce themselves, taehyung with the easy, boxy grin on his face, and jungkook kind of awkwardly, flushing a little bit, because jimin wasn’t kidding. being face-to-face with hoseok is kind of like yanking the curtains open and having the sunlight explode in your face.

“drinks are over there in the kitchen,” hoseok gestures, “there’s also soda in case one of you is the designated driver. you’re welcome to sleep over, though. you can chill anywhere, only my dad’s office on the first floor and my parents’ bedroom on the second floor are off-limits. and, uh, this is my parents’ house, so don’t break anything, and try to throw up in the toilet.”

he frowns, recalling a memory.

“last time, bambam puked out of the kitchen window and on my mom’s flowerbed. the flowers died, although i’m not sure if it was because of that or because i forgot to water them.” he looks at the three of them again, and flashes a smile. “anyway, have a good time, guys.”

hoseok is talkative, energetic and pleasant. it’s hard to not like him. he squeezes at jimin’s shoulder before leaving them on their own, and jimin doesn’t even try to hide the way he watches hoseok go.

“jimin’s going to get it tonight,” taehyung observes.

jungkook decides he needs a drink.

 

/

 

drinking is possibly the worst course of action he could take in the current situation. jungkook is fully aware of this as he mixes his soju with beer. the situation is stressing him to no end. he’s at an unfamiliar house full of people he doesn’t know, min yoongi is around, and although jimin and taehyung are sticking with him for now, he knows jimin is going to ditch them for hoseok sooner or later. taehyung, too, if someone catches his eye. jungkook sighs at their betrayal in advance.

“have you seen yoongi yet?” taehyung asks at his side.

“no,” jungkook says, “maybe he’s not here. maybe he couldn’t make it.”

jungkook is not sure how he would feel about that, to be completely honest. he guesses he should be relieved.

“take this as a great investigating opportunity,” taehyung says, reading into jungkook’s obvious discomfort, “most people here probably know yoongi. at least know him better than the people at college. we’ll ask around.”

“because that went so great last time.” jungkook casts a pointed look at jimin, who’s paying more attention to hoseok’s ass than the conversation.

“granted, there may be some distractions,” taehyung admits, “but Mission: Who The Fuck Is Min Yoongi? is still going strong.”

he would play the x-files theme song, jungkook knows he would, were the music not so loud.

 

/

 

he manages to not bump into yoongi for the first hour and a half. he bumps into other people, none of whom he knows, but who talk to him as if he does, anyway. most of the party guests are from other universities, some from different cities, and jungkook thinks hoseok must have friends from all over the place. he probably would at their college, too, if it wasn’t for yoongi’s reputation. that makes him consider how close they must really be.

he wanders around a little bit, loses taehyung in the process. he last saw jimin doing shots with hoseok and some blonde guy. if taehyung’s drinking, too, there goes their ride home. he meets the guy who puked on the flowerbed, bambam; he really introduces himself as “the guy who puked on the flowerbed”.

he and his friend, yugyeom, challenge jungkook to a game of beer pong in the living room. jungkook plays and wins, and because they seem nice enough, he decides he might as well ask them about yoongi.

"yoongi? oh, yeah, he's great. i love yoongi," bambam says, "we're practically best friends."

yugyeom scoffs.

"yoongi hates you," he says.

"he does not," bambam says, seemingly offended, "it was a misunderstanding."

"you threw up on his shirt and then tried to flirt with him by suggesting he take it off," yugyeom rolls his eyes, "and he said, 'i hate you'."

"was this the same night you threw up on the flowerbed," jungkook asks, vaguely curious, and bambam nods enthusiastically.

though kind of entertaining, it's not very useful. jungkook leaves them to play another round by themselves, and wanders some more.

he’s really starting to think yoongi didn’t come at all. that’s precisely when he sees him; a couple of people clear out of the way, and yoongi’s standing close to the wall, holding a beer. he was probably having a conversation with the guy next to him, but his eyes flick to jungkook, first for a fraction of a second, and then return to and stay on him.

yoongi’s eyes actually widen. jungkook might be mirroring his expression. he sees yoongi’s eyes slide down his body, and then flick back up quickly. yoongi licks his lips - and jungkook is suddenly in a lot of pain, he looks so good, in ripped jeans and a black and white striped shirt with the sleeves rolled up - and then he walks away.

jungkook’s eyes follow him as he strides to hoseok, and he watches them engage in what seems like a heated discussion, at least on yoongi’s part. he gestures with his hands, and hoseok holds his up, looking a lot like he’s attempting to calm yoongi down.

jungkook chews at his bottom lip, and feels a bit unwell. maybe it’s the drinks. he hasn’t had that many, but still. he sees jimin push through the crowd to get to him.

“you saw him, didn’t you?” he asks, and jungkook nods. “i heard his and hoseok’s conversation. he was asking hoseok why he didn’t tell him you were coming. i mean, i assume he was talking about you.”

“oh.” something in jungkook’s chest drops. “so he’s... avoiding me?”

“no, listen,” jimin shakes his head so passionately his styled hair falls apart a little bit. “he said, and i quote, he looks so fucking good, give a guy a warning, jeez.”

jungkook blinks.

“are you making this up,” he says.

“i’m not! oh, and i asked hoseok if yoongi talks about you.” jungkook opens his mouth, and jimin holds up a hand, palm level with jungkook’s face. “he said he doesn’t shut up. you guys have that in common, then, isn’t that great?”

jungkook is speechless. jimin grabs at his shoulder and leans against him heavily.

“oh, i just shook my head very fast. bad idea. i’ve had like ten shots. bad, bad idea.”

after jungkook’s made sure jimin is sitting comfortably on a couch with a glass of water in his hand, he thinks about what he just heard. yoongi thinks he looks good. yoongi talks about him... all the time? the min yoongi, who makes crowds disperse with a single glance, who also wears pajamas with bears on them and owns a giant kumamon plushie? jungkook wants to both see yoongi right now and go hide in an empty room somewhere until the party is over.

he bumps into taehyung next. taehyung appears out of nowhere and attaches himself to jungkook’s side, slinging an arm around his shoulders.

“good, i found you,” taehyung says, “i have news regarding Mission: Fuck Yoongi.”

“pretty sure you left out some words, there,” jungkook mumbles.

“did i?” taehyung gives him a look. “whatever. anyway, i was talking to namjoon, who’s great, by the way, we talked about the lizards and he showed me pictures, it was so adorable! and then we talked about photography and the universe and it was so fascinating, he’s so smart, you know, how he just says words? like they just come out of his mouth and they sound so good?”

“um,” jungkook says.

“i was getting to that,” taehyung says. “we also talked about yoongi, because he really likes talking about his friends. and the way he talked about him, it was, like, fond and protective? they met in middle school when yoongi stood up to some kids who were bullying namjoon. and they’ve sort of had this relationship where they protect each other since then. namjoon hates that people misunderstand yoongi and spread rumors about him, but yoongi just tells him to leave it and doesn’t ever correct them. i don’t know why.”

taehyung stops to take a breath.

“anyway,” he says, “according to namjoon, yoongi is a Great Fucking Person, and i think you should talk to him.”

when jungkook doesn’t say anything, he adds, more softly, this time,

“you want to, right?”

jungkook takes the plastic cup out of taehyung’s hand and downs what’s left of the drink. taehyung pats him on the back with a sympathetic face.

“i know it’s hard to admit you’re in love,” he says, “take your time. i’m gonna go listen to namjoon talk about the stars or the social construction of gender or the tv-show friends or whatever it is he happens to be talking about.”

“in love,” jungkook mumbles to himself after taehyung’s left him. he should be thinking it’s bullshit; you don’t fall in love with min yoongi. you just don’t.

instead, he just thinks: since when?

 

/

 

alright, so jungkook fell for min yoongi. it was probably around the time he took the lizards to yoongi that yoongi went from someone slightly scary and kind of hot to something else.

as much as he’d like to be a functioning, emotionally stable adult, jungkook decides to run from his feelings a little bit longer. literally, since he runs up the flight of stairs, hoping to find a room upstairs he can hide in. the first room he tries is occupied by people playing some sort of a drinking game - at least he hopes it’s a drinking game and not some weird, satanic ritual. the second door is locked, and he takes that as a sign to move on.

he goes to try the door at the end of the hall. it’s open; the room is dim, and jungkook feels the wall for a light switch.

“the lights blew, don’t bother,” comes a familiar voice, and jungkook jumps.

“jesus,” he says.

it takes a moment to locate yoongi in the dark. he’s sitting on the floor by the window, the streetlights outside providing all the lighting the room has. he has his legs crossed and a book of some sort in his lap.

“jungkook?” he says, a bit uncertainly.

jungkook swallows.

“yeah,” he says, “sorry, thought it was empty.”

yoongi is quiet for a moment. jungkook can’t see the details of his face in the dark. he clutches at the doorknob and is very aware of his own frantic heartbeat.

“i stole a bottle of whiskey from the kitchen,” yoongi says finally, “if you want to share.”

jungkook should turn and leave, because he was supposed to be running from his feelings, not straight at them.

“i do,” he says instead, and closes the door behind him. he navigates across the floor in the dark, his eyes gradually getting used to it. “what room is this?”

the room is not really furnished, but filled with random, mismatching things: a closet, a desk, lampshades, piles of boxes, an old, tubular tv. there are no chairs or couches.

“it used to be hobi’s sister’s room,” yoongi says, “but she moved out ages ago, and now it’s just used as a storage. guess the jungs are bit of hoarders.”

yoongi snaps the book shut as jungkook gets to him and sits down on the floor with him. the book actually looks more like a notebook, and jungkook wants to ask, but yoongi beats him to it.

“lyrics,” he says quietly, almost softly, “i write music. in the middle of a crowded party, sometimes. i’m not really good with crowds.”

now that they are close, jungkook can actually see him. his hair that looks like a hand ran through it many times. his sharp, if a little bit tired eyes and long eyelashes. the soft curves of his nose and lips, his slightly slumped shoulders, slender fingers on the cover of the notebook. jungkook adds this min yoongi to the list of min yoongis in his mind. jungkook wants to learn more about him, about all his aspects, wants to solve the Min Yoongi Mystery.

i really am in love with him, aren’t i, jungkook thinks. certainly on his way there.

“so, i’m more or less running and hiding. what brings you here, jeon jungkook?” yoongi asks. he moves the bottle of whiskey into the space between them.

“same. that was the initial idea, at least. had a Realization,” jungkook says, “and i needed a moment.”

“i’ve had one of those,” yoongi nods solemnly. “it’s not fun. i feel you.”

they pass the bottle back and forth between them for a while. there’s something unreal about sitting on the floor of a dark room drinking whiskey with min yoongi, but then again, there was something unreal about making out with him in a bathroom stall and selling him some lizards, too. it’s also strangely comfortable.

“so,” jungkook says, “you never stabbed anyone on the courtyard?”

“no,” yoongi says, “gave myself a paper cut once, though.”

“stole and crashed a car?”

“i backed my friend’s car into a fence because i can’t reverse park.”

“stole a cat?”

“that’s a rumor?” yoongi raises an eyebrow. “cats don’t even like me.”

“alright,” jungkook laughs, “then, where were you for that year if you weren’t in prison?”

“i could tell you, but i’d have to kill you,” yoongi says.

“that would’ve had more effect if you said it before telling me you can’t reverse park a car,” jungkook points out, and yoongi flashes him a smile, the wide and gummy one that makes jungkook’s heart do flips.

“i was in daegu,” he says, “my mom was sick, so i was taking care of her and helping my dad out with the family restaurant.”

“are you serious?” jungkook says incredulously. “people thought you were in prison, and all the while you were keeping a restaurant in daegu?”

“i’m full of surprises,” yoongi shrugs. that, he is.

they settle back into the comfortable silence again, for a while, only disrupted by the muffled beat from downstairs and the occasional clink as they pass the bottle back and forth. jungkook barely even notices the burn of the whiskey now, and that might mean he’s well on his way to trashed, but he doesn’t feel like it. there’s a pleasant buzz, and he feels warm, and yoongi’s hand brushes against his every time the bottle switches hands, causing his pulse to spike.

“why don’t you ever deny the rumors?” he asks.

yoongi looks at him for a moment, considering. then he shrugs halfheartedly.

“they don’t bother me,” he says, “and having a reputation comes in handy when someone’s trying to fuck with my friends. or when i want to cut the line in the cafeteria.”

he grins. jungkook lets out a laugh. the next time their hands brush, the touch lingers.

“how did you know me?” jungkook asks, and it’s barely louder than a whisper. doesn’t matter, because yoongi is close enough.

yoongi’s gaze feels burning. he licks at his lips, and jungkook’s eyes follow the movement.

“do you really want me to say it?” jungkook nods. yoongi takes a breath; releases it. “alright. shit. this is going to be real embarrassing. i first saw you when you were taking pictures outside the cafeteria. i swear, it was like a stupid, slow-mo rom-com scene for me, when you lowered the camera off your face. i’m not even exaggerating, that’s what it felt like. i think i walked into the shot accidentally."

jungkook remembers it. yoongi did walk into the shot. jungkook asked about the black-haired guy in the picture, because he thought he looked sort of ethereally beautiful. it was the first time he saw yoongi, and the first time he heard the words stay away from him.

“and, uh, saw you at the sporting event last semester when you won that wrestling category. i thought you were so hot, honestly. that’s how i knew your name.”

okay, alright, this is all almost a bit too much. jungkook could barely handle hearing about the slow-mo rom-com scene, but this. jungkook body slamming people is a thing for yoongi? that’s. interesting. jungkook feels like he should file this information away for the future. just in case. he’s positively blushing. yoongi might be, too, though it’s too dark to tell.

“i can’t believe i have a picture of the moment you fell for me,” jungkook jokes, and then realizes what he just said. he’s about to say something, just kidding, anything, but yoongi speaks first.

“you do,” he says.

they stare at each other. jungkook’s heart thuds in his chest, and yoongi looks like he can’t quite believe he said all that out loud, but neither of them looks away.

“knew i shouldn’t have kissed you at the club,” yoongi says quietly, his voice a little bit rough, “i did, anyway. thought i was breaking my own heart.”

jungkook feels like he’s going to spontaneously combust. he draws in a shaky breath, and does the only thing he can do at the moment: he grabs the front of yoongi’s shirt, pulls him closer, and tips forward until their lips meet in the middle. yoongi’s mouth opens against his, his fingers coming up to jungkook’s jaw; his other hand rests on jungkook’s thigh, fingers curling in the denim like he’s anchoring himself.

the kiss turns desperate very quickly. jungkook’s hand is in yoongi’s mint hair; it’s a throwback to the bathroom stall months ago, but this is different, this is so much better. yoongi is making small noises into his mouth and tugging him closer, and it’s only when jungkook feels like his lungs are going to explode that they pull away.

“i really want to stop being drunk when i kiss you,” yoongi murmurs against his lips, and it makes jungkook’s heart flutter.

“me, too,” jungkook says, pulls away a little bit more. “we should do this when we’re sober.”

because they should, but then he makes the mistake of looking at yoongi: the mess of his hair, the heat in his eyes, the flush on his cheeks, his shiny, swollen lips, and jungkook thinks that he never stood a chance.

“fuck it,” he says, and brings their mouths together again.

 

/

 

jungkook wakes up with his neck hurting, his head hurting, and someone’s arm draped over his middle. it takes him a while to process he’s on a bed; the arm belongs to yoongi. the rest of yoongi is, thankfully, attached to the arm, pressed close to jungkook, his face against jungkook’s shoulder.

how did we get here, jungkook thinks hazily, and then yoongi stirs, hitting jungkook in the face in the process.

“ow,” jungkook says.

“hm? what?” yoongi raises his head, his eyes barely open, face puffy and hair doing an impression of a bird’s nest, and jungkook thinks, randomly, that he wouldn’t mind waking up to this every morning.

yoongi’s eyes land on jungkook underneath him, and he blinks to focus them.

“oh,” he says, and immediately there’s a soft edge to his voice, “hi.”

“hi,” jungkook breathes. “um. where are we? please don’t tell me we’re in hoseok’s parents’ room.”

“no, this is hobi’s room,” yoongi says after a brief glance at their surroundings, and flops back down, face on jungkook’s shoulder. “thank god.”

“do you remember how we got here?” wait. “did we...?”

yoongi tilts his head to look at jungkook without lifting it. his hand slides down jungkook’s side in a smooth, languid motion that makes the pit of his stomach tingle, down to his waist, to his denim-covered hipbone.

“we’re wearing all our clothes,” yoongi mumbles, “so no.”

oh. of course.

“don’t take this the wrong way, but i’m glad,” jungkook says quietly, “since i want to remember it.”

yoongi turns his head, buries his face into jungkook’s shoulder again; is he embarrassed?

“yeah,” he says, slightly muffled by jungkook’s shoulder, “and i want to do this right. take you out to dinner and all that. on a date that doesn’t involve lizards or excessive amounts of alcohol.”

jungkook bites at his lip in a poor attempt at suppressing a smile. he touches yoongi’s arm, still resting over his stomach, and carefully, experimentally, draws shapes on his skin with his fingertips.

“i’d like that,” he says.

jungkook would like very much to just lie here for the rest of the day, but that would be kind of weird since it’s hoseok’s bed. so they scramble out of bed eventually, and jungkook immediately misses the way yoongi was pressed against his side. he finds that yoongi does everything at half-speed when he’s hungover, or possibly every morning after he’s just woken up. he’d have to investigate further.

they make it downstairs, and it turns out jimin and hoseok are already up, sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and talking quietly.

“coffee,” yoongi grunts and immediately gravitates towards the coffee pan.

jimin takes in their states of dishevelment, meets jungkook’s eyes and gives him a sly smile.

“where did you disappear to?” he asks.

“i could ask you the same thing,” jungkook says, but the way jimin waggles his eyebrows makes him decide he shouldn’t. “where’s tae?”

“probably holed up somewhere with namjoon, still awake and having a discussion about parallel universes or something.”

“here.” yoongi pushes a huge cup of coffee into jungkook’s hand. jungkook takes it automatically. “that does sound like namjoon.”

jungkook is so focused on yoongi’s thumb rubbing slow circles on the small of his back, that he doesn’t notice jimin and hoseok studying them for a good minute.

“so yoongi’s finally dropped the cool act,” hoseok says, his fingers interlaced under his chin, “he’s really a big softie. please treat him well, jungkookie.”

jungkook feels himself flushing, and yoongi, next to him, stutters out a be quiet, hobi.

“i will,” he mumbles into the coffee, and yoongi’s fingers in the back of his shirt tighten.

taehyung shows up half an hour later, his hair sticking up on one side and looking like he hasn’t slept in two days. when jimin asks what they’ve been up to, he says, eyes wide,

“i think we proved the multiverse theory last night. and that there is no god. and i think i can hear colors now.”

“who’s in shape to drive?” jungkook asks.

“i can drive,” taehyung says, and passes out at the kitchen table two seconds later.

“i’m not getting in the car if he’s driving,” jungkook frowns, and jimin sighs.

“i guess i’ll do it. i feel a lot better after hobi’s coffee.”

yoongi adds his number in jungkook’s contacts before they part ways.

“text me when you get home,” he murmurs. he looks like he’s not completely awake yet, stifling a yawn against his palm. “don’t let jimin crash the car.”

“got it,” jungkook says. they move out of the way as jimin and hoseok drag taehyung, who’s refusing to wake up, to the car.

“let’s talk about that date when we’re not so hungover,” yoongi says, and jungkook leans in to drop a quick kiss on his cheek, earning a sleepy smile.

he leaves feeling warm and giddy and only slightly like he got repeatedly run over by a truck. jimin gives him a hell in the car, asking a million questions (what happened, details, what is yoongi really like, is he really as soft as hoseok says, are you guys a thing now), and whereas jungkook would normally tell him to shut his mouth and punch him in the shoulder, he actually answers some of them, mostly looking out of the window slightly embarrassed.

“are you going to date hoseok?” he asks jimin when they stop at a red light.

“not sure yet,” jimin says, “we had fun, but i don't think either of us wants to date right now, so we might stay friends for now. friends with benefits, hopefully.”

he grins at jungkook, who snorts.

“what about tae,” jungkook glances at the backseat, where taehyung is blissfully asleep, “you think him and namjoon are going to be a thing?”

jimin laughs.

“i just know tae’s never been that excited about someone,” he says, “about just talking to someone. i feel like they might be the same brand of weird, you know? i feel like they might match.”

 

/

 

“that’s min yoongi,” some freshman says to her friend a couple of tables from jungkook, “i heard he stabbed like three people right here in the cafeteria.”

jungkook snorts audibly, because they are talking about the min yoongi who wears pajamas with cute animals on them and gets excited over glittery bath bombs. the min yoongi who sings in the shower, scrunches his nose when he’s annoyed, and curls up against jungkook’s side when they watch movies on the couch. (he says it’s to leech off his body heat, but really it’s just cuddling.)

yoongi draws the chair next to jungkook and sits down.

“hey,” he greets, and jungkook feels the light touch of his fingers on the nape of his neck. it’s a small gesture, but it’s intimate and warm, and jungkook leans into the touch. “what are you drawing?”

“just doodling.” jungkook drops his pen onto the notepad he was filling with random things as he waited for yoongi. “did you hear you stabbed three people here in the cafeteria?”

“it’s three, now?” yoongi raises an eyebrow. “i’ve been busy.”

the freshmen at the table behind them are whispering, now, and it’s obviously not very pleasant things. jungkook has learned to tune it out by now; it doesn’t bother yoongi, so it shouldn’t bother him; sometimes he can laugh about the outrageous rumors, but sometimes he gets mad on yoongi’s behalf.

“let’s go somewhere quieter,” he says, fingers curling in the sleeve of yoongi’s leather jacket, “so i can kiss you.”

“you could do it right here if you wanted to,” yoongi murmurs, “i wouldn’t mind.”

jungkook bites at his lip, suppresses a smile. he always wants to, but -

“wouldn’t that cause trouble? wouldn’t people try to give you shit about it?” because the sad reality is that people are shitty.

“fuck people,” yoongi says, but takes jungkook’s hand anyway, and pulls him up.

they end up spending their lunch break in jungkook’s room, lazily making out on his bed, and neither of them complains.

 

/

 

Who The Fuck Is Min Yoongi?

A. not what the rumors make him out to be. more than mint hair, a leather jacket, icy demeanor.
 
B. a songwriter; a music production major. passionate about what he does. (his lyrics spill out of him at unconventional times, usually in the dead of night, and jungkook loves watching him work, head on yoongi’s lap, yoongi’s fingers combing through his hair absent-mindedly, until he falls asleep.)
 
C. min yoongi would do anything for his friends.
 
D. min yoongi worries and overthinks and gets insecure, just like jungkook, just like anyone. he gets distant, sometimes, because he thinks he can carry everything inside himself. (jungkook tells him he doesn’t have to. coaxes him out of it when yoongi needs him to, gives him space when he needs him to. yoongi does the same for him. they pull each other through.)
 
E. the first kiss yoongi gives jungkook each day is always, without a fail, impossibly soft.
 
F. a Great Fucking Person, in namjoon’s words.
 
G. a big softie, in hoseok’s words.
 
H. the type of person to force the carton of milk into the fridge when it doesn’t really fit and let it fall on the next person who opens the door, in jungkook’s words and experience.
 
I. jungkook’s boyfriend. a great boyfriend. (if jungkook were romantic, which he kind of is, he would say something like the love of my life. not out loud. it’s a bit too early for that. but they will get there.)
 
J. much, much more.

(you would be correct to circle all of the above.)

 

/

 

jin [2:31]
you havent been updating me on the arsonist guy
i have to find out through JIMIN AND TAEHYUNG that youre DATING HIM
shame on you

me [2:33]
oops

jin [2:33]
“oops”
smh

me [2:34]
im sorry hyung :(
its been hectic

jin [2:34]
dont worry about it, i understand
hey im happy for you
pls tell me he isnt really an arsonist though

me [2:35]
lol hes not
hes a good guy. i think youd like him

jin [2:35]
you really like him, dont you?
and he likes you?

me [2:36]
yes
and yes

jin [2:37]
then its all good
see i told you everything would turn out ok, didnt i? ;)
this goes to show that im always right and you should always listen to me

me [2:37]
sure, hyung

 

/

 

  1. you don’t pick more than one eight a.m. class per semester because you won’t be able to get up
  1. you don’t leave your laundry in the dryer overnight because it will get stolen
  1. you don’t get involved with min yoongi.

when breaking rules, go hard or go home, jungkook supposes. he really is glad he broke the third one. he also forgot his laundry in the dryer, which he’s less glad about, because someone stole half his socks. one out of each pair, to be specific. guess this shit just happens in college, sometimes.

sometimes you order thirty-two live geckos when drunk with your best friend. sometimes you end up dating the upperclassman with The Reputation™. even the geckos ended up playing a part in this and being a strangely good thing, because taehyung and namjoon are now some sort of proud lizard dads who take their geckos on play dates.  

on christmas eve, yoongi insists on taking truly cringe-worthy couple photos wearing matching hats and using a snowfall filter. tucked into his side, jungkook sighs dramatically. finds himself saying the three words he never would’ve thought he’d say to min yoongi:

“you’re so lame.”

“you love it,” yoongi mumbles and throws an arm around his shoulders. jungkook does, and makes sure the pictures are the most overtly cutesy, grossly sweet pictures ever, pulling yoongi into a kiss for the camera. go hard or go home.

he can’t stop himself from sending a picture to seokjin. in the picture, jungkook is kissing yoongi’s cheek, fingers holding his jaw, and yoongi is in the middle of a laugh, his eyes screwed shut, his mouth curled in a gummy smile. jungkook wants to frame it. he feels so fond his heart hurts a little bit. this is the guy who supposedly stabbed people, he types.

jin [10:13]
AH! you guys are stabbing me right in the heart! (lol)
youre so cute!!!!! <3<3
but you can tell him he can square up if he ever hurts you bc ill be hauling ass all the way to seoul to come stab him myself

 

/

 

“say it,” taehyung whines, “come on, say it. we need closure.”

“fine.” jungkook rolls his eyes. he turns to jimin and taehyung, and tries to keep his face as solemn as possible. “Mission: Who The Fuck Is Min Yoongi? clear.”

jimin and taehyung cheer loudly, and make a show out of shaking hands and congratulating each other on a job well done. jungkook can’t help but laugh.

still, taehyung doesn’t stop playing the x-files theme song every time yoongi enters the room for a long time.