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The Hellions

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“I think we took a right from here.”


“No, I am 200% sure we took a left.”


“Why don’t we take a look in the GPS?"


“The car’s GPS doesn’t work. You know it right?”


“I meant on our phone, you idiot.”


“Oh. Right... I would still advise against it.”


“And why is that so?”


“Because you are the shittiest navigator, Jungkook. A baboon would be able to find the correct route on GPS, but with you, we will just wind up somewhere in a ditch.”


Jungkook scowled in Jimin’s direction. “I happen to be an excellent driver.”


“I didn’t comment on your driving skills. I am talking about your navigation skills,” Jimin muttered. “Well then, you find the way out, if you are so good at it,” Jungkook retorted, pulling the car on the curb, and folding his hands.


Jimin sighed. “Whatever. Give me your phone.”


“What’s wrong with your phone?”


“Low battery. Now hand it over,” Jimin explained.


Jungkook pulled his phone out from his back pocket and passed it to Jimin. He watched Jimin enter the password and open the navigation app. Jimin put the phone between the two of them.


“See, we entered from here,” Jimin said, pointing at a spot on the screen, “and then we took a left. Straight from there and there was another left and then…”


“And then we made the mistake of asking people for directions,” Jungkook finished.


“Yeah,” Jimin sighed miserably. He switched off the phone and leaned back in his seat. “What do we do now? There’s no one in sight too.”


Jungkook mirrored Jimin and leaned back in his own seat. Then, remembering something, he reached to where their sacks were thrown haphazardly on the back seat. He opened his sack and pulled out two bags of chips and two cans of coke, threw one of each into Jimin’s lap and stashed the bag behind.


“Thanks,” Jimin smiled, opening his coke. Jimin gulped down his drink, too thirsty to ponder over their situation at the moment.


“There’s one more inside the bag,” Jungkook said, mouth full of chips, pointing at his sack behind.


“How many times I have told you not to talk with mouth full? It’s not impressive,” Jimin chastised, wiping his mouth and crushing his now empty can. Jimin opened his bag of chips, and started eating it slowly.


“And whom do I have to impress anyway?”


Jimin shrugged, concentrating on his chips. Silence fell between them, except the crinkling sound of the plastic bag and the noise they made as they ate the chips.


“Anyway, I am sorry,” Jungkook murmured, looking out of the window, once he was finished.


“What for?” Jimin inquired, reaching behind and pulling Jungkook’s bag and fishing for the other can of coke.


“It was me who suggested going downtown. And here we are. Lost,” Jungkook admitted.


Now it wasn’t like Jungkook and Jimin hadn’t gotten in trouble before. They had their fair share of troubles together. Jimin was usually the brains behind the ruckus and Jungkook was the acting figure. Jimin’s wild schemes of trying and voicing new things and Jungkook’s never ending excitement and energy to act upon them out were a bad combination.

There was a time when both of them had wanted to crash a wedding and see how it works out. They had both rented old suits for fun and crashed a wedding looking like perfect gentlemen. If any side of the wedding party asked whom they were with, they were to say that they were with the opposite party. It had been going well until this one girl happened to listen to them saying they were with the groom and she told them she remembered them telling her friend that they were with the bride. They had to hastily make up a few lies and sneak out before anyone could get suspicious of them. Jungkook had resented the girl because they hadn’t had the chance to eat dinner.

Or the other time when Jungkook and Jimin planned to visit the cemetery at midnight and spend the night there. They had almost succeeded and had even sneaked out of the house, but Jimin’s mother had happened to spot the pair as they were entering the cemetery at midnight while she was driving past the road. Their monthly allowances had been taken away and Jimin’s mother threatened that should she find them again out of the house at night, they could say goodbye to allowances forever.

Another time, when they both had been in Busan to visit Jimin’s grandmother, the pair had spontaneously decided to go cliff diving, without anyone having any knowledge of it. It ended rather horrifically. Despite Jimin being a good swimmer, he had almost drowned due to the water currents being very strong. Jungkook had somehow managed to pull Jimin out and the latter had gotten a violent cold and fever. They told at home that they had spent too much time in the waters while their visit to the beach and had gotten away with a mild scolding, otherwise both were pretty sure that they would’ve been disowned by the family.

Despite there being multiple incidences, they continued to try out absurd things, except trying things which put their life potentially in danger, like cliff diving.


Jimin snorted. “Like I didn’t want to go downtown myself. It’s okay Kookie, don’t blame yourself. We both have had quite the adventure for ourselves, haven’t we?”


Jungkook turned towards Jimin and grinned, “Three hours in this part of the town and I have learned my lesson. We should stick to being good kids and roam inside the city. Downtown isn’t for us. We should look for trouble in the city itself. Some of the kids here seemed shady to me. And there aren’t many people here anyway. Actually, the whole place seems shady to me. Did you see how more than half of the shops were closed?”


“I know. The whole scene looked straight out of a movie. I admit I was a bit thrilled, but not so much when I saw the kind of people roaming around here. Did you see how that guy looked at us when we asked for the way? Looked at us as if we were fresh meat. I am sure something would’ve happened if you hadn’t pretended to know the way and started driving immediately,” Jimin recalled.


“I know. I was shit scared. I almost promised God I wouldn’t play Mario Kart continuously if I got out of the situation safely. Never mind that. We don’t know the way out. What do we do now?” Jungkook questioned, head cocked quizzically.


“I really don’t -” Jimin started when both of them heard noises. Before both of them could even turn to see what made the noise, the back doors of the car opened and two guys climbed in.


“What the...”Jungkook exclaimed, turning around to look at the intruders.


There were two guys. In the backseat. Of his car. Did he mention they were intruders?


“Drive, just fucking drive,” the taller of the two boys gasped, breathless, hitting the back of Jungkook’s seat, glancing behind him through the rear glass. He had a very deep and rough voice, attractive. Very attractive. The other guy was also looking behind from the car’s window. Both of them were breathing heavily, not paying attention to where they were or the fact that they had just entered a stranger’s car.


Jungkook was stunned. There were two intruders in the car. Two intruders. And did one of them just ask Jungkook to drive the car?? He looked at Jimin who was looking equally perplexed, jaw wide open and staring at the two newcomers.


Jungkook got to his senses first. “Get out,” Jungkook snapped.


The taller of the two boys, the one with the attractive voice, turned back, facing Jungkook. “Or what? You’ll scream? That’ll just attract unwanted attention and scenes.” The boy didn’t wait for Jungkook’s reply, and glanced back again.


“Oh shit. No. Fuck fuck fuck.”


Both intruders turned their attention back to Jungkook.


“Just fucking drive will you?” the boy pleaded, sliding low in his seat, as if not wanting to be spotted. Jungkook almost said ‘yes’ because the stranger was extremely gorgeous and that rough voice was pleading to him. Fuck. That was irresistible. Jungkook mentally shook his head.


“No,” Jungkook said, trying to sound firm. He didn’t want the two intruders to know that he was scared out of his wits. Both him and Jimin were in the unscrupulous part of the town and two strangers get inside and expect him to drive? Jungkook’s heart was racing. Before Jungkook could say anything further, the short mint-haired guy, pulled Jungkook by his t-shirt.


“Look,” he hissed.

Jungkook and Jimin both looked back. Around 10-12 people, the better term would be a ‘gang’, came around the corner, each holding long baseball bats, making a racket and hollering.


Mr. Mint Hair leaned back in his seat. “You don’t want to drive? Don’t drive. Once they spot us in this car, they’ll trash the whole car, not to mention what will happen to you…” the guy retorted coolly.


The taller boy slapped the other boy’s arm, sliding even lower in his seat. “You have some way of asking for help, asshole.” He turned towards Jungkook pleading, “Drive, just please drive.”


Jungkook turned towards Jimin, who seemed to come back to his senses and muttered, “Drive. Quickly.”


Jungkook cursed inwardly and revved the engine. He hit the accelerator and started driving. Besides him, Jimin was holding on to his seat for dear life, his knuckles white. Jimin glanced at him from the corner of his eyes as if asking ‘what had they gotten themselves into?’


“I don’t know the way out,” Jungkook warned, speeding up a bit.


“Take a right from here,” Mr. Mint Hair commanded. Jungkook promptly took a right and then wondered if it was the right thing to do. What if these guys were leading him even more inside the maze?


“You guys are lost here?” Mr.Attractive Voice asked, leaning back in his seat, now visibly relaxed.


“Yeah,” Jungkook muttered, hand clenched tightly on the steering wheel. He could’ve said no, but he had already revealed that he didn’t know the way. Plus he kind of needed the way out or he and Jimin would forever be lost in this hell hole. Not that he trusted Mr. Mint Hair and Mr. Attractive Voice. He was mentally thinking of all the items he had in his bag and which ones he could use as a weapon in case these two guys were some gang members or something. If it came down to it, he would physically fight them, although it would be a shame to punch that attractive face. Not that he knew how to fight. But the others needn’t know that.


“Hmmm. You kids shouldn’t be here at all. It’s not a good place. You might meet bad people,” Mr.Attractive Voice mused.


Are you fucking serious?” Jungkook asked, incredulous. He stared at the guy from the rear view mirror. “What a fucking ironic statement,” Jungkook snapped. He turned his attention back to the road, for the guy was too gorgeous for Jungkook to handle and also because Mr. Mint Hair had asked him to take a left and he didn’t want to crash into a pole or a wall.


“Hey! Please. We are not the bad guys. The other guys were. We just needed help to run away and your car was standing right there as if God was personally waiting to escort us out of that hell hole.”


Jungkook snorted and glanced at Jimin, whose lips were twitching, either due to irritation or amusement at Mr.Attractive’s metaphor for the situation.


“Where are you heading anyway?” Mr. Attractive Voice inquired, patting his pockets.


Did the guy have a gun? Jungkook clutched the hand on the steering wheel a bit tighter as he stared at Mr. Attractive Voice. Maybe he could ram the backside of the car in case the guy did have a gun.


“Aha!” Mr. Attractive Voice exclaimed, pulling out a half eaten packet of gummy bears, smiling widely. Jungkook breathed a sigh of relief and focused on the road ahead. His eyes kept on flitting to the two intruders and looking for anything suspicious. Well, their whole presence was suspicious. Jungkook watched Mr. Attractive Voice stuff his mouth with gummy bears and offer few to his friend/partner/ whatever. Mr. Mint Hair threw him such a look that Jungkook would’ve buried himself into the ground alive and stopped his breathing willingly instead of being the one under that gaze. Mr. Attractive Voice however seemed unfazed and shrugged and continued eating.


“Anyway, I asked, where are you heading?” Mr. Attractive asked again.


“And why the fuck would we tell you that?” Jimin retorted coolly.


Mr. Attractive Voice shrugged. “Jeez. I asked because I wanted to know if you are heading to the same direction we want to go. Calm down. Could you drop us at Konkuk University Street? Or is it away from your destination?” Mr. Attractive voice questioned with mouth full of gummy bears.


Jungkook looked at Jimin from the corner of his eyes. Jimin nodded infinitesimally.


“Fine,” Jungkook muttered, finally emerging into the main street.


Jimin sighed audibly, relieved to get out the area, though not entirely, due to certain two people. Mr. Mint Hair gave Jimin chills. He had a poker face, which made it difficult to know what he was exactly thinking. There was something in that bored expression of his, but his eyes were unusually sharp and alert. Jimin prayed to God that the intruders weren’t some kind of psychopaths or kidnappers. He didn’t want to die soon. He mentally recalled how to throw punches from a video he and Jungkook had been watching late at night one day because they couldn’t sleep. Then again, looking at the other intruder, Jimin was slightly convinced that these guys couldn’t be kidnappers because Mr. Mint Hair’s partner was busy sorting out the red gummy bears from the green ones and eating them alternatively.


“So what are your names? What do you kids do? How come you were in such part of the town? Don’t kids have curfews anymore? It’s rather late.”


Before either Jungkook or Jimin to open their mouths to respond, Mr. Mint Hair slapped Mr. Attractive Voice on the back of his head. “You are a kid yourself, shut the fuck up. And why the fuck would they answer your questions? Shut the fuck up and sit back and thank them for getting us out of that mess, you little shit.”


“But-”


“One more word out of your mouth and I swear to God your mother will know it was you and not Soonshim who broke the china vase.”


Jungkook and Jimin burst out laughing as Mr. Attractive Voice visibly paled. The fact that this guy was terrified of his mother was proof enough that these guys were no kidnappers or serial killers and this information placated Jungkook and Jimin immensely. Mr. Attractive Voice immediately shut up and Jungkook grinned. He saw Jimin equally relaxed by his side, grinning and occasionally glancing at the intruders.


Jungkook speeded up as the sun had already set down. Jungkook spared a glance behind after some time for it was quiet back there and was surprised to see Mr. Mint Hair dozing off while the other silently stared out of the window at the passing imagery. Besides him, Jimin gave a huge yawn and look tired.


After another ten minutes or so, Jungkook pulled up on the side as they reached their destination and turned around. Mr. Attractive Voice looked blankly at him. Jungkook raised his eyebrows and jerked his head, signaling the other to get out. Mr. Attractive Voice kicked his friend awake, ignoring the death stare which followed, and got out of the car along with his friend. Jungkook started to rev the engine when he felt someone knock on his window.


Jungkook lowered his window and Mr. Attractive Voice leaned inside. “Do you have a pen?”


Jungkook sighed, contemplated closing the window and driving away, but instead opened the glove compartment, patting around to see if a pen was lying around. He pulled a pen and handed it over to Mr. Attractive Voice.


“I hope it doesn’t tickle,” Mr. Attractive Voice smiled and suddenly Jungkook felt a large hand encompassing his. Mr. Attractive Voice was scribbling something on to his hand, still smiling. Jungkook tried not to squirm as the pen tickled slightly. He watched the other intruder standing just behind him, and looking as curious as Jungkook was, as to what his friend was writing. Jimin, who had been silent the whole time, leaned in his seat to watch.


“That’s my name on top and my number. That’s his name,” Mr. Attractive Voice jerked his head in his friend’s direction, “and his number. Thank you very much for saving our asses today, or we would’ve surely died. I am broke as hell to pay you both for the ride, so if you ever need anything, call any of us on these numbers. We owe you guys one favour each.”


Mr. Attractive Voice turned around and watched his friend scowling at him. He raised his eyebrows and Mr. Mint Hair turned, stared at Jungkook and Jimin for a beat and then muttered a “Thank you,” very quietly, and Jungkook wondered if he was sincere or just saying it because his friend asked him to do so.


“You are welcome but I don’t really think I want to see either of you ever again nor I would’ve any favours to ask from either of you,” Jungkook said sweetly, smiling at the intruders standing outside.


“I wouldn’t be so sure of it,” Mr. Attractive Voice laughed, ignoring Jungkook’s bitchy reply. “I said ‘if’, so the offer is conditional. ‘If’ you need any favour, we shall comply, as long as it is in our limits. And maybe you might not need any favour but your friend might.”


“I am positive even he wouldn’t want to see either of you ever again or ask any favour,” Jungkook continued, still smiling.


Mr.Attractive Voice leaned so close to Jungkook’s face that Jungkook had to lean back to look at him fully. “Then maybe I want to see you again,” Mr. Attractive Voice murmured, smirking slightly, and then winked.


Jungkook’s mind went completely blank. He was so flabbergasted that he couldn’t even form a rational thought, much less have a comeback. By the time Jungkook came to his senses, Mr. Attractive Voice had already walked away 20 steps, his hand on his friend’s shoulder.


Jungkook shut his mouth. He was so busy watching the retreating figures that he didn’t notice Jimin leaning forward and taking Jungkook’s hand in his own.


“Kim Tae Hyung and Min Yoon Gi,” Jimin murmured, reading the names out aloud. Jungkook had almost forgotten about the names.


Tae Hyung. So that’s what Mr. Attractive Voice’s name was. Attractive Voice and Attractive name. Jungkook glanced out, but Taehyung and Yoongi had already disappeared in the night.


“That was quite something,” Jimin said, nudging Jungkook.


Jungkook looked at Jimin blankly, not quite over Taehyung’s words, “Yeah, that was something.”


“He was very cute. I ship you guys,” Jimin laughed.


“Excuse me?” Jungkook choked.


“I know you liked him. You were staring at him quite a lot. A lot actually,” Jimin corrected.


“Bullshit. I wasn’t,” Jungkook muttered, averting his eyes from Jimin’s, fiddling with the keys.


“Bitch please, you weren’t even watching the road half of the time. I was afraid we were going to get into an accident because your eyes were glued to the mirror. You were literally making heart eyes at him half of the time. It was sickening,” Jimin snickered.


“I wasn’t!! I wasn’t looking at him. I was making sure they weren’t dangerous or something” Jungkook argued.


“Sure you were,” Jimin snorted.


“I was. Why are we even arguing about it? I don’t want to talk about this,” Jungkook muttered, turning around to start the car.


“Because someone has a cruuuuush,” Jimin trilled.


“I do not have a crush on Kim Tae Hyung!!” Jungkook exasperated, yet feeling heat creep up his neck and cheeks as he turned the engine on.


Jimin laughed. “First name basis already?! Lord. You are fast. Hey, trying saying that without blushing and then maybe I will believe you.”


Jungkook turned around, stared at Jimin, contemplated beating the shit out of him and tossing him on the street. He sighed and muttered a ‘fuck you’ to Jimin and started driving instead, remembering that it wasn’t worth it getting their asses whopped if they arrived home late.

 




 

Late at night, Jimin came into his room as Jungkook was smashing Mario Kart. He was almost there, almost there to the finish line when Jimin threw Jungkook’s controller aside and took his hand again, and began typing something in his phone.


“Jimin!! I was almost there!!” Jungkook yelled, trying to wrench his hand away and attempting to swing at Jimin with his other hand.


“Relax! You always win. No need to be a cry baby” Jimin replied, unfazed, still typing, concentrating in his phone.


Jungkook fumed, then curiously peered into Jimin’s phone, “What are you doing?” “Saving Yoongi’s and Taehyung’s number,” Jimin replied cheerfully, yawning hugely.


“Why?! It’s not like we have to see them again.” Jungkook looked scandalized.


Jimin finally freed Jungkook and turned around to face Jungkook. “Just in case,” Jimin smiled, putting his phone aside.


Jimin leaned back and lied down on the floor. He patted to the space next to him and held his arm out. Jungkook sighed and smiled slightly. He leaned back, head resting on Jimin’s arm and turned around to face Jimin.


“I was wondering what were they doing in that part of the town,” Jimin smiled, looking thoughtful.


“Why are you thinking of them hyung? It’s not like we are going to meet them again,” Jungkook uttered his previous statement.


“I know Kookie. I am just curious. But I don’t think they were there by accident. They seemed to know the way out. They also knew what kind of people hang around there and that it was a dangerous place. But they seem like good guys. I wonder why do they hang out there,” Jimin wondered, yawning hugely, eyes fluttering close.


Jungkook reflected on Jimin’s thought. It was pretty clear that both Yoongi and Taehyung knew where they were and what they were doing. He wondered what kind of ‘mess’ Yoongi had referred to. Jungkook wondered if those people were really searching for Yoongi and Taehyung, and wondered what kind of trouble the latter were in. It was true that seemed nice enough, but Jungkook couldn’t understand why anyone would want to go there.


“Yeah, I wonder,” Jungkook echoed.


Beside him, Jimin snored softly, already asleep.


He looked at his palm, the scribble now slightly smudged, yet still very much legible. Jungkook pulled his phone out. He didn’t even know why he was doing this but he typed the names in, and as he clicked ‘Save’, he thought Just in case.

Chapter Text

Jungkook walked briskly. The streets were empty. Most of the people were inside their houses, enjoying the lazy Sunday in their homes and spending time with their families. The afternoon was perfect. The weather warm with just a hint of coolness. This is exactly the kind of weather where people should be roaming outside and enjoying the perfect season, but the streets were surprisingly empty. And Jungkook was quite glad that there weren’t many people milling around. Not that he didn’t enjoy spending time with people or anything, but sometimes being alone was a good thing.

Jungkook took a turn and spotted his favourite coffee shop. He grinned and walked even faster. Jungkook had heard that the shop had started a limited edition Harry Potter themed drinks and he was extremely excited to try the Butterbeer Latte. He had pestered Jimin to come along with him, even saying that he would pay for Jimin’s coffee, but Jimin had refused, wanting to laze around in the house and binge watch kdramas.

The bells over the door chimed softly as Jungkook entered the café. Inside the café, it was very warm and the aroma of coffee hit Jungkook immediately. The café was deserted and Jungkook sighed happily when he saw that his favourite spot was vacant.

He headed over to the counter and was disappointed to see that his favourite barista, Wheein, wasn’t present. The new barista looked at Jungkook standing at the counter, scowled and put his comic book aside and stood up to take the order.

“Welcome to Sugar Rush, how may I serve you today?” the barista asked in a bored tone.

“I want a large Butterbeer latte,” Jungkook replied, ignoring the barista’s tone.

“Do you want to add a shot of espresso to it?”

“What difference does that make?” Jungkook inquired.

The barista shrugged. “Gives it more of a coffee flavor and makes it a bit less sweet.”

As Jungkook pondered over it for a moment, he heard a faint chime as someone else entered the café and felt the person standing behind him. Jungkook declined the topping, wanting nothing else but his coffee in his hands. He wanted the barista to hurry up with his order for he didn’t want to keep other customers waiting.

“Anything else?” the barista asked, drumming his hands on the counter, now very much alert and awake, suddenly smiling at him.

“Four chocolate chip cookies?” Jungkook muttered, stupefied by the barista’s sudden change of attitude.

Jungkook guessed it must be because of the arrival of more customers. The barista nodded, still smiling “That would be 18 dollars.”

Jungkook put his hand inside the coat for his wallet and felt nothing. He patted the other pocket to check if it was there but to no avail. He smiled at the barista as he put his hands in his jeans pocket only to find it empty. The barista was now watching him with eyebrows raised slightly. Jungkook managed an awkward smile as he frantically started searching for his wallet, patting all the pockets and double checking. This couldn’t be happening. He had waited so long for his damn Butterbeer Latte and he could not have forgotten his wallet at home at precisely this moment. It wasn’t like the café was close to the house or something. Maybe he could call Jimin to bring his wallet over but he knew Jimin would throw a hissy fit. He felt someone shift behind him and Jungkook became aware that he was holding the line.

Jungkook’s shoulder drooped. Jungkook shot an apologetic smile to the barista and started, “Never mind, cancel –”

“His order is on the house,” a familiar voice said behind him.

Jungkook froze for a split second. The voice was extremely familiar and extremely attractive. No way this could be happening. Jungkook whirled impossibly fast. Behind him, Taehyung was standing with his hands in his pockets, grinning at him.

Jungkook’s first thought was how good Taehyung looked. Taehyung was wearing a sleeveless white button-down shirt and black ripped jeans with a black beret. He had strong lean arms. Jungkook noticed the way the muscles stood out prominently. The shirt hugged his lean upper body closely and the upper two buttons were open. Something red and green glittered on the neck dangling from a thin silver chain. The black jeans fit Taehyung perfectly and damn those legs. Jungkook tore his eyes away from Taehyung’s body to find Taehyung smirking at him, his head cocked to one side.

You…” Jungkook finally muttered, staring at the boy standing in front of him.

“Me,” Taehyung grinned. “Your saviour.”

Jungkook snorted and Taehyung laughed, “Well well well, look how the positions have changed.”

Taehyung turned around to look at the barista behind Jungkook. “I will have the same as him. Make it quickly.”

“Yes sir,” the barista replied, turned around hurriedly and started the coffee machines.

“Come on,” Taehyung turned and started walking to the corner of the café. He paused and turned around to stare at Jungkook, who was still rooted to the same spot. “What are you doing there? Come on.”

“Don’t we have to wait for our orders?” Jungkook asked dumbly.

Taehyung waved a hand impatiently. “He will bring it to us. Now come on.” Taehyung walked briskly and sat down on a chair, motioning for Jungkook to join him. Jungkook stopped in front of him, stared and sat down automatically.

“It’s my most favourite spot in the café,” Taehyung smiled, lightly tracing his fingers on the table, looking at Jungkook. Jungkook stayed quiet as he looked out. It was his favourite spot in the café too. One, because there was no wall next to him. Instead there were closed French doors through which Jungkook could see a small homely garden which was well tended. He could see daisies and lilies and small pink roses and other flowers. Two, because it was away from all the crowd and the movement of the customers, which meant that there was no danger of anyone spilling coffee or any food item on his precious sketchbook whenever Jungkook came here to draw in peace whilst having his cup of coffee or hot, dark hot chocolate, if he was in the mood or the weather outside was cold.

Jungkook turned around to stare at Taehyung. “Why?”

Taehyung scratched behind his ears. “Well no one’s asked me that. I like it for a lot of reasons? I mean it’s calm ove-” 

"No, I mean why did you say the order is on the house? The barista even gave you special treatment. I know for a fact that the café is self service.” Jungkook asked, cutting Taehyung mid sentence.

“Oh that? That’s because I own this café,” Taehyung muttered, now distracted.

WHAT?!” Jungkook half screamed.

Taehyung looked at him in amusement, “Do you always react so hysterically?”

“You own this place?” Jungkook demanded.

No way. Jungkook wondered if the Gods had been playing with him. He had never wanted to see this guy again and now he comes to know that this guy owns his favourite coffee shop? Could the world be any smaller? Jungkook was suddenly forlorn as he contemplated boycotting this place so as to never run into this guy again.

“Well I don’t own this place. My parents do,” Taehyung corrected.

“Your parents own a café,” Jungkook stated numbly, still in some sort of denial.

Maybe, just maybe Taehyung could deny the fact and say he was joking so Jungkook wouldn’t have to say goodbye to this place forever.

“Yes,” Taehyung enunciated slowly, as if talking to a mentally retarded person. “Along with 2 other cafes and 3 restaurants,” Taehyung finished, watching Jungkook closely for his reaction.

Jungkook’s eyes widened. Jungkook quickly shut his mouth as he realised his jaw was wide open. Jungkook looked at Taehyung more closely. Well his clothes did seem expensive. Taehyung also had this aura of being well tended to, as if he had been pampered a lot. Jungkook remembered how he had commanded the barista for his order. There was also the way Taehyung held himself, as if he was different from others. Jungkook couldn’t wrap his head around the idea that this guy was the same one who had hitched a ride from him. He had seemed so idiotic, so childish back then. No way this could be the same guy. Did the guy have a twin? God please no Jungkook thought. As if one wasn’t enough, two would be more than enough to make Jungkook suffer.

The barista came and laid down the tray of their drinks. Jungkook internally moaned as the smell of his Butterbeer Latte hit him. The barista flashed them both a smile as he left. Jungkook immediately grabbed his cup. He inhaled deeply and sighed. Taehyung laughed but Jungkook was too much in bliss to care. Jungkook took a small sip, the cup secure in his palms, sending a warm sensation through his body.

“This is so good,” Jungkook breathed, take another sip, this time a large one.

Taehyung smiled, “You can have another. Don’t hold yourself back.”

Jungkook paused and looked at Taehyung sceptically. “I think I should tell you that I don’t count this as a favour.”

Taehyung chuckled. “I thought you weren’t going to ask for any kind of favour from me or Yoongi.”

“Well…” Jungkook said, ignoring Taehyung’s chuckles and concentrating on his drink instead. “I am keeping it just in case.”

“Or maybe you just want to see me again,” Taehyung smirked, leaning forward in his seat, head cocked to one side.

Jungkook looked up from his drink and flashed Taehyung a sarcastic smile, “Bitch please. You wish.”

“Oh I do wish that,” Taehyung smiled, dropping his smirk.

Jungkook blinked. He turned and looked at the garden instead, avoiding Taehyung’s gaze. “Are you always that forward?” Jungkook asked, glancing at the boy sitting opposite him.

“Yes, but only with people I am really interested in,” Taehyung said simply.

Blood rushed in Jungkook’s face. Jungkook raised his cup and drank a sip so as to cover his face and to stall replying. When Taehyung didn’t reply, Jungkook sighed and put his cup down.

“Well, I am not interested in you,” Jungkook stated, waiting for Taehyung’s reaction. He couldn’t believe he was having this conversation.

To Jungkook’s surprise, Taehyung laughed loudly. “You could’ve fooled me,” Taehyung gasped, finally ceasing the laughter.

“Well I don’t!!” Jungkook emphasised.

“You were staring at me so much that I thought we were going to get in an accident,” Taehyung snorted.

“Oh my god!” Jungkook muttered, covering his face with his hands. “Why does everyone keep on saying that?”

“Who everyone?” Taehyung started, a smirk spreading on his face slowly.

“Never mind,” Jungkook retorted quickly. “Your friend said that too?” Taehyung looked absolutely gleeful.

“No,” Jungkook denied sulkily. “And he isn’t my friend, he’s my brother.”

Before Taehyung could even open his mouth to reply, Jungkook asked, “Can I ask you something?”

Taehyung raised his eyebrows, surprised, but did not stop him.

Jungkook stared at his half empty cup. “What were you doing over there that time? In downtown I mean. You would have been in some kind of trouble if we hadn’t been there,” Jungkook asked, uncertain whether the boy opposite him will reply. Jungkook had been wondering about it a lot for some god awful reason.

“Well we would have been in trouble if it weren’t for you guys,” Taehyung stated, shrugging.

“So what were you doing?” Jungkook asked again.

Taehyung glanced at Jungkook warily. “You won’t tell anyone?”

“Whom can I tell anyway? Except Jimin maybe” Jungkook rolled his eyes.

“Right,” Taehyung muttered.

“Well?” Jungkook demanded. He wasn’t about to drop this. He had wondered about this for 3 weeks and he wasn’t about to let it go.

“We go there for underground boxing matches,” Taehyung replied, looking at Jungkook closely for his reaction.

“For boxing matches?” Jungkook asked, taken aback. Taehyung nodded. He hadn’t expected this. Well, he didn’t know what he expected anyway but this didn’t seem like it.

“Why?” Jungkook asked, now distracted.

“Because it’s fun. I know it sounds scary or something, but it’s fun. You can vent out your anger or just have fun beating the crap out of someone or learn to fight truly. You learn to save your own ass in case something wrong happens somewhere,” Taehyung replied.

“That’s sort of barbaric,” Jungkook commented.

“It really isn’t. We have our own groups and members. We have rules and regulations. It’s not like we are uncontrolled hormonal teenagers or something. It’s pretty neat and smooth most of the time.”

“Most of the time?” Jungkook inquired, taking a sip of his drink.

“Well come on. It’s not like something cannot go wrong. Sometimes arguments break out and then things get rough,” Taehyung stated as a matter-of-fact.

“Like last time?” “Like last time,” Taehyung nodded.

Jungkook pondered over it for a moment. “Why do you go there?”

“For the pure adrenaline rush,” Taehyung grinned maniacally. “Nothing beats that. Also because I am crazy and like dangerous stuff,” Taehyung smiled, wriggling his fingers and eyebrows.

Jungkook laughed despite himself. Taehyung looked so cute and like a child with that expression that he couldn’t believe that this guy willingly went and fought just for fun. He watched Taehyung’s arms and the way the muscles stood out prominently. He hadn’t pegged Taehyung as someone who fights or anything, but well, appearances could be deceptive. He had thought Taehyung was an idiot.

“So you are a fighter,” Jungkook said lucidly.

“Yes. Does that make me more attractive now?” Taehyung asked cheekily.

Jungkook rolled his eyes and ignored him. “So do these matches happen a lot?” Jungkook asked, curious.

“Why? Do you plan on entering and fighting?”

“No. I am just curious.”

“They happen almost everyday. I go there when I feel like it,” Taehyung answered Jungkook.

“Are there a lot of people then?” Jungkook asked, interested.

“You’ll be surprised,” was Taehyung’s only reply.

Taehyung’s hand edged to Jungkook’s plate of cookies and he raised his eyebrows in question. Jungkook had completely forgotten about them. He nodded to Taehyung and took one himself, biting into the chocolatey deliciousness. Taehyung stared at Jungkook’s empty cup. “Do you want another one?”

Jungkook immediately lit up, “Yes please.”

As Taehyung called the barista for more coffee, Jungkook thought about it, stuffing cookies in his mouth.

“So is Yoongi also a fighter?” Jungkook questioned Taehyung once the barista went away after taking their order.

“Yoongi? No. Not a full time fighter anyway. He acts like a beta when someone needs one,” Taehyung said.

“Beta?” Jungkook asked, confused.

“Like if someone gets beat up really badly and can’t continue, then the beta comes in and takes the person’s place. If the beta also cannot continue, then the fight is stopped,” Taehyung explained.

“Does that happen a lot?” Jungkook asked warily.

Taehyung smiled reassuringly, “Don’t worry. No it doesn’t. Most of the fights get over quickly. Betas rarely come into the arena.”

“And Yoongi is your beta?”

“Yes. Though he is rarely needed . But he acts like anyone’s beta if someone needs him. But he is usually reserved for me.”

“He really didn’t seem like a fighter,” Jungkook noted.

Taehyung laughed, “That’s because he is very lazy. He doesn’t really like to fight. He mostly acts like my manager and all that.”

“Why would a fighter need a manager?” Jungkook speculated.

“Do you always ask these many questions?” Taehyung asked.

The barista arrived, filled their cups again and left. Taehyung took his cup in his hands and started drinking. Jungkook noticed how painfully beautiful Taehyung’s hands were. He imagined those pretty knuckles bloody and bruised and covered in blood. Jungkook shivered and ignored the picture that had formed in his mind.

“Yes, I like to know things. Now tell me,” Jungkook answered.

“Well, I don’t mean manager as in the professional type obviously. But someone who arranges fights. Sometimes the people who watch want two particular people to fight. So fights like that have to be scheduled and arranged. The managers also need to collect the money which we get,” Taehyung elaborated.

“You get money after the matches?!” Jungkook yelled.

Taehyung laughed, “I don’t think I can get over the way you over react. Well yes obviously. The money is insane. People bet over some particular fighters. Half of the reason why I and many people.”

Jungkook was quiet.

“What are you thinking?” Taehyung finally asked when Jungkook didn’t say anything.

“Can I come over and watch?” Jungkook asked suddenly, perking up.

“Why?” Taehyung asked, surprised. He hadn’t expected this.

“It seems really interesting,” Jungkook shrugged.

“You looked shit scared last time you were there. How will you handle being in a crowd of unknown people who might beat your ass?” Taehyung demanded, sceptically.

“You’ll be there with me, so I don’t have to worry,” Jungkook grinned cheekily.

Taehyung stared at Jungkook. The smile which Jungkook watched spreading on Taehyung’s face was blindingly beautiful. “So you do plan on meeting me again.”

“Whatever,” Jungkook murmured, staring out of the window, trying to control his own smile which threatened to spread over his face.

“I will take you. And don’t worry, I won’t let anyone hurt you,” Taehyung said.

Jungkook turned and looked at Taehyung. He looked so sincere that Jungkook couldn’t help but smile back.

Before either of them could say anything, Jungkook’s phone rang shrilly. Jungkook jumped up at the loud sound in the middle of the quiet. Jungkook covered his face as he took his phone out and Red Velvet's "Red Flavour" blared out noisily. Taehyung started laughing loudly at Jungkook’s embarrassed face.

“Hello?” Jungkook breathed, distracted.

“Where the heck are you?” Jimin yelled. Jungkook could hear faint noises in the background.

“Still at the café. Why?”

“Come over home. I need to go out right now.”

“Where?” Jungkook frowned.

“At the salon. Hyerin noona has called me. She has some work for me. I have to go urgently. Come over quickly because Ji Hyun will be alone,” Jimin replied frantically.

Jungkook sighed, “I am coming. Wait for me.”

Jungkook shut his phone off and looked at the boy seated opposite of him.

“You have to leave,” Taehyung stated.

Jungkook nodded. He still had a lot of questions to ask and he was having a lot of fun Taehyung. Not that he would sever say so, but who was he kidding. He was actually mad at Jimin for calling him home now, but he knew that Jimin couldn’t do anything because Ji Hyun was alone. It wasn’t Jimin’s fault anyway.

“There’s no one to look after my younger brother, so I have to leave,” Jungkook said dully.

He could’ve stayed in this café forever and drank all of it’s coffee and talked a lot more with Taehyung but he had to leave now.

“I will see you again?” Taehyung asked and Jungkook saw that he was hoping Jungkook would say yes.

“Well I do want to visit and watch this fight club of yours. So yes Taehyung, I will see you again,” Jungkook smiled.

He received that blindingly pretty smile of Taehyung’s and Jungkook ignored the way his heart skipped a beat.

He put the empty cup down and stood up, fastening the coat buttons. “Thank you for this. Next time I’ll pay for the coffee,” Jungkook said, scratching his neck awkwardly.

“Is that a date then?” Taehyung asked with that infuriating smirk of his.

Jungkook rolled his eyes. Trust Taehyung to say such things.

“Don’t get your hopes up.” Jungkook turned around and exited the café and started walking when he was suddenly jerked behind as he felt a strong hand close on his wrist.

Jungkook turned to find himself staring at Taehyung. He was standing so close to Jungkook that Jungkook could smell the aroma of coffee and something musky and faintly like cologne. Even though they were of the same height, Jungkook somehow felt that Taehyung towered over him. Jungkook felt infinitely small. Taehyung was staring at him intently and Jungkook was enraptured by the soft brown eyes. Jungkook watched Taehyung’s lips move but he was too much enthralled by such a close proximity. He had probably stopped breathing. It hit him a moment later that Taehyung had probably said something to him.

“Huh?” Jungkook asked dumbly, blinking. He stepped back to add more space between the two of them and to clear his head. His heart was thrumming in his rib cage and Jungkook hoped Taehyung had not noticed it.

Jungkook saw Taehyung control his smile. “You haven’t told me your name yet, sweetheart,” Taehyung smiled. “I have been wondering about it for 3 weeks now,” Taehyung finished, tightening his grip on Jungkook’s wrist.

Jungkook suddenly realised that he had never mentioned his name this entire time they both had been talking.

Jungkook smiled slightly. “It’s Jungkook. Park Jungkook.”

Taehyung leaned close. “I hope to see you again soon Jungkook.”

The pressure on Jungkook’s wrist increased infinitesimally and then Taehyung dropped his hand. Taehyung flashed him a smile and turned around, walking away from Jungkook.

 

 

It was two whole minutes before Jungkook remembered to move from his place.

Chapter Text

Jimin sang softly in the dark room. Ji Hyun was sleeping on his lap as Jimin hummed softly. He stroked Ji Hyun’s hair absently as he stared out of the window. Outside, it was still bright and the 5 0’clock sun shined prettily, but the rays barely entered the room, filtered due to the dark curtains. Jimin carefully picked his younger brother and tucked him into the bed, placing a blanket on top of him. Jimin lightly closed the door as he made his way to his room.

Finally!! He had been dying to binge watch his kdrama now that he had finally had the house to himself since Jungkook had gone out. He was going to watch it immediately when Jungkook had left, but then Ji Hyun came to him rubbing his eyes, holding his stuffed toy in one hand and had asked Jimin to sing him a song so he could sleep. Jimin wanted to refuse but how can one say no to a 5 year old child? So Jimin had picked Ji Hyun up and sang him lullabies for an entire hour. Now he was finally free to do anything he liked.

As the site was loading, Jimin went and microwaved himself a bowl of popcorn and snatched his favourite blanket from Jungkook’s room. He settled himself on the bed, snuggling in his blanket with the bowl of popcorn balanced on his knees. He was just about to click start when his phone rang.

Jimin cursed loudly as he fished the phone out of his pocket. If it’s Jungkook, I will kill him Jimin thought.

He was surprised to see the screen flashing the name ‘Hyerin’.

Jimin picked up the phone.

“Hello?”

“Jimin! Where are you right now?”

“Home. It’s a Sunday noona, where else would I be?” Jimin chuckled.

“I need you to go to the salon right now. I know it isn’t your shift today, but I need you to go today, please,” Hyerin said, sounding tired.

“Why?” Jimin frowned. “I totally forgot that I had a regular customer today. He wanted to dye his hair but I really really forgot. I wanted a day off for my studies so I left Jeonghwa in charge,” Hyerin wailed.

“What’s wrong with Jeonghwa? Why can’t she do it?” Jimin asked.

“Because the guy wants to dye his hair ombre. You know Jeonghwa is new, she hasn’t learned how to do it. Only you know how to do ombre perfectly aside from me. Please Jimin, please?” Hyerin pleaded.

Jimin sighed. “Okay noona. Only because you’ve never asked me anything before and because you are my favourite.”

"Thank you so much Jiminie!! Thank you. I’ll treat you to that Stew Kimchi from that store you like so much for this,” Hyerin muttered, relieved.

Jimin laughed, “Promise? You won’t back out?”

“Yes. I promise. Now go there within half an hour, he doesn’t like to be kept waiting,” Hyerin replied.

“Bye noona!”

Jimin shut his phone off and stared at the ‘Play’ button on his screen. He wanted to just click it and let that customer rot in hell. No one should come between him and his kdramas. His mouse hovered over the button. Jimin sighed and shut his laptop before he could have any second thoughts.

Surprisingly, Jimin wasn’t angry or annoyed. Maybe because Hyerin noona had never asked him to do anything for her before or maybe because he knew that he wouldn’t have been able to binge watch anyway. He would have had to stop once everyone came home at night.

As Jimin got up and frantically started to search for clothes, he picked his phone up and dialled Jungkook’s number. Jimin could not find one single nice t-shirt. All of them were rolled up like a ball and stuffed into the cupboard. He cursed himself for not folding them neatly. Jimin ran to Jungkook’s room and tried to open the cupboard, but the door just wouldn’t budge.

“Hello?”

“Where the heck are you?” Jimin yelled, frustrated due to the door. He kicked the door, immediately registering the pain in his toes. Jimin yelled in agony but the door sprang open so Jimin thanked the Heavens.

“Still at the café. Why?” Jungkook asked.

“Come over home. I need to go out right now,” Jimin muttered, switching the phone to speaker mode and removing his sweatshirt.

“Where?” Jungkook muttered, sounding annoyed.

“At the salon. Hyerin noona has called me. She has some work for me. I have to go urgently. Come over quickly because Ji Hyun will be alone,” Jimin replied, hurriedly pulling Jungkook’s t-shirt over his head. He hoped Jungkook would come quickly sensing his hurry.

He heard Jungkook sigh, “I am coming. Wait for me.”

Jimin ended the call and ran to his room to pull on jeans. He stood in front of the mirror and stared at the mess his hair had become. He combed through them with his hands, attempting to flatten but it wouldn’t stay put. Fuck it, I don’t have the time, Jimin thought. Pocketing his phone, he stepped out of the house after checking on Ji Hyun and sat on the doorsteps, waiting for Jungkook to arrive. He hoped that Jungkook would arrive quickly, sensing his urgency. He checked the time. The salon wasn’t that close yet not far. He would make a run for it. Jimin wondered what kind of an asshole the customer must be that he doesn’t like to be kept waiting. He hated such people. He thought of purposely going late so as to make the person suffer, but he didn’t want Hyerin noona to be in trouble and loose a regular customer.

Jimin checked the time. It had been 15 minutes now but there was no sign of Jungkook. He couldn’t leave because of Ji Hyun. Jimin was about to call Jungkook when he saw Jungkook walking towards him. Jimin got up from where he was sitting on the step.

“What took you so long?” Jimin asked, annoyed. Jungkook looked at him blankly.

“Hello? I asked you something.” Jimin was more irritated now.

Jungkook shook his head, as if coming out of trance. “Sugar Rush isn’t that near. Anyway, I have something to tell you!”

“Later. You can tell it to me later. I have to rush now. Ji Hyun is sleeping. Look after him. I’ll see you later. Bye!”

Jimin turned around, without waiting to listen to Jungkook’s reply. He walked fast, zigzagging, taking turns. The streets weren’t crowded. Jimin checked the time. He was supposed to reach there by 6. It was 5:55. Jimin broke into a run. He was glad that there weren’t many people milling around on the street.

Jimin was out of breath by the time he arrived near the salon. He ran even faster, and turned around near the corner where the entrance was when he ran into something.

Jimin stumbled back hard from the impact. He flailed his arms around, trying to hold on to something so he wouldn’t fall when a firm hand closed on his arm before he could fall and pulled him up.

“Careful.”

Jimin looked at the thing he had run into. He hadn’t run into something, but rather someone. Someone whom he had seen before but had definitely not expected to see him here. To say Jimin was surprised was saying the least.

“What are you doing here?” Jimin asked, shocked.

Yoongi looked at him with a neutral expression, “It’s a salon. People come here to get their hair done, or nails done or whatever they want to.”

“…okay. Whatever,” Jimin muttered so low that only he could hear it. He didn’t have time for this and he was sure both of them didn’t want to meet each other or have small talk anyway. Jimin turned and quickly climbed the stairs.

He turned around only to find Yoongi one step behind him. “Thank you,” Jimin said loudly, his hand on the door knob. He may not like Yoongi, but he was not a douche. The guy did stop him from falling and Jimin was sure he would have hurt himself badly due to the fall considering how hard he had ran into Yoongi. Yoongi shrugged, “Welcome.”

Jimin opened the door and walked in, with Yoongi in tow. Jeonghwa looked up from the counter. There were no customers and Jimin frowned. Had he arrived early?

“I see Hyerin noona called you,” Jeonghwa smiled brightly.

Jimin nodded. “Yes, she did.”

“I am so sorry you had to come. I really don’t know how to do it, otherwise I would have done it instead,” Jeonghwa’s smile dropped and she wringed her hands.

She looked so sorry. Poor kid Jimin thought.

Jimin waved it away smiling. “It’s not your fault. But learn it soon enough so I don’t have to come again. I hate getting out of the house on Sundays. So where is the customer? Is he not here yet?”

“No. I don’t know who is coming. Let me check the name,” Jeonghwa replied, hurrying to the desk to check the name. “It’s someone called Min Yoongi,” Jeonghwa said, looking up from the computer.

Jimin whirled around to see Yoongi who had been standing there wordlessly the whole time. Yoongi stepped forward, his hands in his pockets, “That would be me.”

Jeonghwa looked from Jimin to Yoongi and back again. Sensing Jimin’s silence, Jeonghwa stepped forward, smiling brightly. “Hyerin noona isn’t here today. She…had some other work. She has left Jimin in charge and he will be your stylist.”

Yoongi looked at Jeonghwa and frowned slightly, “I thought she said she is free.”

“She was, but she has to study for her entrance exams. So I will be in charge of you. I hope it isn’t a problem,” Jimin replied before Jeonghwa could say anything.

Yoongi looked back at Jimin, “No. I trust noona so you must be good. If anything goes wrong, I’ll sue you though,” Yoongi smiled infinitesimally.

Jimin felt relieved for some reason. Not that he thought Yoongi would cause some kind of trouble or anything but Jimin was sort of intimidated by the guy. Yoongi didn’t speak much, he didn’t smile much and always had an expressionless face, which somehow instilled fear in those present around him. Jimin wondered what kind of a guy he was, whether he was different with the people he was close to or he was perpetually like this.

Jimin walked to another door which led to another room and held it open for Yoongi to walk in. Yoongi walked past him and entered the small room.

“Take a seat,” Jimin commanded.

Jimin pulled an apron from the cupboard and fastened it around himself. He took out a small cape and walked towards Yoongi, who had taken a seat. Jimin threw the cape around Yoongi. He felt Yoongi stiffen slightly when his hands brushed Yoongi’s neck as he fastened the cape.

“So I heard you want ombre,” Jimin stated, looking at Yoongi in the mirror, his hands resting on the back of the chair.

Yoongi nodded.

“Which colour?” Jimin inquired.

“Blue,” Yoongi replied.

“Traditional or reverse?” Jimin questioned, raising his eyebrows slightly.

“And that is…?” Yoongi looked puzzled. Jimin bit the inside of his cheek. Yoongi looked so much like a lost puppy with that expression. It was very cute. Jimin broke into a smile.

“Haven’t you ever done ombre before?” Jimin asked.

Yoongi shook his head.

“Traditional is dark roots going light till the tips. Reverse is…well reverse. Roots will be light and the tips dark.”

Yoongi looked at himself in the mirror and Jimin imagined he must be thinking which would suit better.

“I would suggest reverse,” Jimin said softly. Yoongi glanced at Jimin and nodded, “Okay. If you say so.”

Jimin was surprised that Yoongi agreed to it so quickly but he didn’t say anything. “Do you want me to wash your hair or have you washed them?” Jimin asked and brushed his hands against Yoongi’s hair to check if they had been recently washed.

“No I haven’t,” Yoongi replied curtly.

“Okay,” Jimin huffed, now slightly put off at the short, crisp answers. “Come here,” Jimin said, indicating to another chair with a basin attached to it.

Yoongi got up, walked slowly and sat down on the recliner seat, leaning back. Jimin dashed and brought back a bottle of shampoo and conditioner and a towel. Stepping behind Yoongi, he gently pulled Yoongi behind so his head rested in the basin. Yoongi watched Jimin wordlessly. Jimin took the hand shower and started wetting Yoongi’s hair lightly. He pumped a generous amount of shampoo on his hand and started washing Yoongi’s hair. Jimin chanced a glance at Yoongi. Yoongi had closed his eyes, looking quite peaceful. Jimin smiled slightly. He didn’t look quite intimidating now.

“So you work here,” Yoongi said, eyes still closed. Jimin was a bit taken aback that Yoongi was talking to him. He thought the boy wouldn’t like small talks or something but here they were. Appearances could be deceptive, Jimin thought.

“Yes,” Jimin hummed.

“Since when?” Yoongi inquired.

“Since 2 years now.” Yoongi’s eyes flashed open.

“How come I have never seen you before?” Jimin stopped rinsing his hair and raised his eyebrows, cocking his head to one side.

“I mean, 2 years and I never run into you is quite something,” Yoongi explained.

“It is,” Jimin agreed, resuming his work. He moved to apply conditioner on Yoongi’s hair. He could feel Yoongi’s eyes on him.

“Why do you work here?” Yoongi asked, which sounded more like a demand.

Jimin laughed as applied the conditioner. “What do you mean why? Just like that. I like to work and get some extra cash for myself. Why? Is it wrong?”

“I didn’t say that,” Yoongi murmured and then became silent.

As Jimin rinsed the conditioner, Jimin wondered if he could ask questions or make an attempt to talk. He decided to take a risk.

“So…” Jimin started slowly, looking at Yoongi’s expression.

“Yes?” Yoongi prompted when Jimin didn’t continue.

“Never mind,” Jimin muttered. “Get up,” Jimin said, and wrapped the towel around Yoongi’s head and asked Yoongi to take a seat again. Jimin quickly prepared the bleach as Yoongi’s hair dried, and went besides Yoongi again.

“Tell me,” Yoongi commanded.

“Hmmm?” Jimin frowned, puzzled. He started applying the bleach carefully.

“You were going to ask me something,” Yoongi reminded him, staring at Jimin.

“It isn’t that important,” Jimin replied, working fast, but carefully. He wanted to ask Yoongi about that day, but he wasn’t sure if Yoongi would appreciate it.

“You want to know what happened that day,” Yoongi commented, staring at Jimin. Jimin stopped working and looked up to see Yoongi in the mirror. Jimin’s cheeks flushed instantly. Did Yoongi read minds or something?

“I…no…I mean not really. If you don’t want to,” Jimin stammered.

Yoongi cocked his head to one side, the tiniest of grins on his face, “How long have you been waiting for the mystery to be revealed?”

“About 3 weeks now,” Jimin replied immediately, grinning back sheepishly.

“So what do you want to know?” Yoongi asked, signalling Jimin to continue with the work. Jimin resumed the work.

“I am actually surprised you are going to tell me. You don’t seem…”

“Friendly? Approachable?” Yoongi finished, laughing. Outright laughing. Jimin was sure this guy had not been capable of laughter but damn. His smile was probably the prettiest Jimin had ever seen. There was something very childlike about it, something which radiated actual and real happiness. Jimin somehow felt that Yoongi didn’t laugh much and when he did, it was genuine. He felt happy, knowing that he made Yoongi laugh.

“Well yeah,” Jimin muttered. “You didn’t seem particularly approachable. You don’t seem to talk much, much less give away personal details like that. I am right, aren’t I?”

Yoongi nodded, a small smile on his face, “Well yeah. But considering you did save our lives, I think it’s fair if you want to know or something.”

“Do you have a multiple personality disorder? Because around 15 minutes ago you were all quiet and intimidating and now you are talking so much. It’s kind of freaking me out.”

“I actually do prefer to stay silent. But I can see you are dying to know. And then you’ll keep on making small talk and if I don’t respond you’ll stay silent and it might get awkward. So I might as well pass the time,” Yoongi replied, shrugging slightly.

Jimin huffed, because it was true. He finished applying the bleach and stepped back. “We will keep this for 20 minutes and then I will apply the colour. I will be right back.”

Jimin exited and washed his hands, and came back with the colours for dying the hair. Yoongi watched him silently. “So what happened that day?” Jimin asked, mixing and preparing the colours.

“That piece of shit got us in trouble, like always,” Yoongi replied, rolling his eyes.

“Taehyung?”

Yoongi nodded.

“What were you doing there anyway?”

“I am not sure you’d like to know.” Jimin stopped working and looked up, raising his eyebrows.

“I don’t think you’ll be able to handle it. You seem…delicate. Fragile,” Yoongi commented.

Jimin’s eyebrows went further up. Yoongi rolled his eyes.

“You looked shit scared when we entered your car.”

“Well what the fuck did you expect me to do then? Welcome you? Serve you tea? “Jimin asked sarcastically. “Two random people enter your car without any explanation and ask you to drive. What if you were psychopaths? Serial killers? Any sane person would have reacted like that. How do you know I am fragile based on that? That’s judgemental,” Jimin ranted, mixing the colours with a little too much energy.

Yoongi stared at Jimin for a beat. “We go there for underground boxing matches.”

Jimin looked up, surprised. “Like in the movies?”

Yoongi laughed again. “‘Like in the movies?’ Oh my god. Yes. Yes, like in the movies.”

Jimin grinned. “That’s… fucking cool. Can I come and watch someday ?”

It was Yoongi’s turn to be surprised. “You want to come and watch a boxing match?”

“Why not? I have always wanted to visit one to be honest. They are fucking cool.” Jimin checked the time. “Let’s wash the bleach off.”

Yoongi walked to the recliner chair and leaned back, watching Jimin skeptically.

“You want to go and see a boxing match?”

“Yes,” Jimin said.

“Are you sure?” Yoongi demanded.

“I said yes, did I not?” Jimin asked irritated, wetting Yoongi’s hair.

“You don’t seem the type,” Yoongi murmured, closing his eyes.

“Are we having that argument again?” Jimin muttered, applying shampoo. “I am crazier than you think.”

“Is it so?” Yoongi asked, faintly smiling again.

“Yes. Now will you take me there?” Jimin questioned, massaging Yoongi’s head.

“How demanding you are. I wouldn’t have thought so,” Yoongi muttered. “Sure I will.”

“So do you fight over there?” Jimin questioned, satisfied with the reply.

“I don’t fight. Others do. I rarely go into the arena.”

“Why not?” Jimin frowned, now rinsing the shampoo off.

“Because I don’t like to,” Yoongi said simply, opening one eye and staring at Jimin.

“Then why even fight?” Jimin rolled his eyes.

“Because Taehyung needs a beta,” Yoongi countered.

“Oh.” Jimin didn’t know what else to say. He cleared his throat.“He certainly doesn’t seem the fighter type.”

Yoongi snorted. “That’s because he acts like a fucking baby and a complete idiot most of the time. You wouldn’t even realise he is one of the best out there.”

“Really?” Jimin laughed. He hadn’t expected this. He remembered how Taehyung had been busy separating the red gummy bears from the green ones. It was hard to imagine that the guy one of the best, if Yoongi’s word was to be trusted, that is.

“Really,” Yoongi huffed, smiling fondly nevertheless.

“Have you known him since a long time?” Jimin asked.

“Taehyung? Yes. 10 years now,” Yoongi replied, smiling slightly.

Jimin whistled a low whistle, “That’s quite something.”

“Considering it’s him, yes it is. I need therapy from time to time when I am with him. If I don’t keep a check on him, the kid might do even more stupid things,” Yoongi muttered.

“So you basically fight just to keep a check on him,” Jimin stated, confirming.

“Yes.”

“That’s generous of you.”

“His mother would kill me along with him if anything happens to him. Of course I have to keep a check on him from doing dangerous things. Kid is a maniac. Luckily it’s just fighting he concentrates on nowadays and not other things,” Yoongi replied, somewhat tiredly.

“Get up, it’s done. Let’s dry your hair,” Jimin said and Yoongi got up and sat in front of the mirror.

As Jimin dried Yoongi’s hair, Yoongi’s phone suddenly rang. Jimin paused so Yoongi could answer the phone.

“What do you want?” Yoongi groaned, instead of greeting the person with a ‘hello.’ Jimin snickered, having a fair idea who it must be. Jimin could hear a faint voice but not make out the words.

“I am at the salon. Please don’t come here.” Jimin listened intently, starting to dry Yoongi’s hair again after motioning him if he could work.

“What is so important? Can’t it wait?”Yoongi muttered, annoyed.

You what?!?! No don’t!!” Yoongi shut his phone off. “Oh shit no. Wait,” Yoongi instructed Jimin turned around and stared at the door as it opened and Taehyung walked in with a shit-eating grin on his face.

Yoongi groaned as Taehyung walked inside as Jimin stared at Taehyung. Taehyung looked at Jimin, surprised and then his grin spread even wider.

“Well, well, well…Can’t believe I have the fortune of meeting both of you today,” Taehyung grinned and plopped himself on a chair.

“‘Both of you?’” Jimin raised his eyebrows, putting away the hair dryer.

“I just met Jungkook. At the café. We had a lovely time talking while drinking coffee.”

Jimin looked up at Taehyung. His mind flashed to Jungkook’s blank face when he had reached home and how he had wanted to tell Jimin something. So this was what he wanted to tell him…

Jimin rolled his eyes as he mixed the colour again. He stood behind Yoongi and carefully started parting his hair and then slowly started applying the colour. “What did you talk about?”

“Nothing much. He didn’t talk much. I did.”

“Why didn’t he?” Jimin asked, suppressing a smile, though he could already guess the answer.

“Because he was too enamoured by me,” Taehyung laughed.

“Dunno what’s so enamouring about you,” Yoongi muttered and Jimin snickered. Taehyung just smiled cheekily at him, “Well, you aren’t a treat to the eyes too, honey.”

Jimin laughed as Yoongi’s face turned into a poker face. “I think Yoongi is quite good looking,” Jimin said, clearing his throat, after his laughter had subsided.

Jimin suddenly felt two hands on either side of his face. Taehyung was leaning into his face, staring into Jimin’s eyes. Jimin felt infinitely smaller considering the way Taehyung was leaning.

“What did you just say?”

“Wha…what are you doing?” Jimin stuttered, taken aback, eyes wide.

“Just checking if you are blind by any chance. Did you just actually call Yoongi good looking? Did he bribe you? Did he threaten you?” Taehyung asked, looking into Jimin’s eyes, not inching back at all.

Yoongi turned around and grabbed Taehyung’s t-shirt in his fist, pulling him back.

“Have some fucking sense of personal space, you dumbfuck,” Yoongi growled.

“Possessive now, are we?” Taehyung smirked, turning to Yoongi.

Jimin watched amused, now that he was free from Taehyung’s clutches. He watched a silent interaction going through Yoongi and Taehyung, both staring at each other. Taehyung raised his eyebrows. Jimin inched forward to resume his work.

“Should I tell you mother about the vase?” Yoongi asked smugly, settling back in his seat to let Jimin work again.

“Actually, Eon Jin already ratted me out to mother. So do whatever you want to,” Taehyung replied, satisfied, leaning into Yoongi’s face and sticking his tongue out. Yoongi was right. Taehyung was a fucking baby. A small laugh escaped Jimin’s lips as he recalled what Yoongi said about Taehyung being one of the best fighters. It really was hard to accept that fact.

“What’s so funny?” Taehyung demanded, settling himself on a chair again, now that he had won the battle. Yoongi turned to face the mirror and closed his eyes, ignoring Taehyung.

“Something Yoongi said,” Jimin smiled, applying the colour.

“Really now? I wasn’t aware Yoongi could joke around. What did he say?” Taehyung inquired. The boy simply didn’t let things drop. Jimin thought he would get along very well with Taehyung.

“He told me you are the best fighter out there. I just find it hard to imagine,” Jimin confessed, wondering if the other boy would take offence. “Oh he told you what we do at downtown, did he? He told you we go for fights?” Taehyung asked, looking surprised, throwing a side glance at Yoongi, who still had his eyes closed.

“Yes. And that’s fucking cool. I want to come and watch someday. Can I?” Jimin asked, nodding his head in answer to Taehyung’s question.

Taehyung grinned, looking somewhat laid back. “Sure. You and Jungkook can join me and Yoongi, we will take you there.”

“Jungkook? What’s he got to do with this?” Jimin demanded, working quickly now, realising he was taking a lot more time than usual.

“He asked me if he could come and watch, too,” Taehyung answered, slightly confused.

“He what?” Jimin asked slowly, ceasing to work. He turned and faced Taehyung fully, unsure if what he heard was correct.

“Jungkook wants to come and watch too,” Taehyung repeated in a did-you-just-not-hear-me tone.

“He seemed really interested and kept on asking…are you alright? You look quite pale,” Taehyung asked, concern lacing his voice.

“I…yes. Are you sure he asked to watch it? Jimin demanded insistently, unable to wrap his head around the particular news.

“Yes, he did. I wouldn’t lie,” Taehyung replied sincerely.

Jimin resumed his work, working furiously now. He was going to have a little talk with Jungkook as soon as he went home.

“Is something wrong?” Yoongi inquired quietly, staring intently at Jimin.

Jimin shrugged. “Not really. It’s just…unlike Jungkook to want to go for a fight. Really, it’s nothing important,” Jimin insisted as Yoongi scrutinised him before finally breaking eye contact. “And now we let your hair stay like this for half an hour,” Jimin said hurriedly, changing the topic.

“You know Yoongi will sue you if anything goes wrong right?” Taehyung said, producing a lollipop out of nowhere and unwrapping it.

Jimin laughed as he removed his gloves, cool air hitting on his sweaty hands. “I won’t give him a chance.”

“If you are that good, then even I’ll have my hair coloured,” Taehyung smiled a boxy smile.

Jimin just smiled back in response. Taehyung’s smile was contagious.

“So what do you both do when you aren’t fighting or entering stranger’s cars?” Jimin questioned as he washed his hands.

Taehyung removed the lollipop from his mouth, “You make it sound like we are some kind of criminals. Jeez. We are normal people too. I am a student. Hyung here works at a restaurant in the mornings and writes and produces rap songs at night.”

“Music? Really? I wouldn’t have pegged Yoongi as a singer,” Jimin uttered, surprised, turning to look at Yoongi.

“A rapper,” Taehyung corrected. “And he is freakishly amazing at it. Put your hands up for the Korea’s rising rapper Min Yoongiiiiii,” Taehyung trilled.

Jimin chuckled, “You seem like his biggest fan.”

“I am his biggest fan,” Taehyung insisted. “Hyung’s going to get far in his life,”

Taehyung smiled. Jimin glanced at Yoongi, wondering if Yoongi was annoyed at the boy talking so much, but he was staring fondly at Taehyung, a small smile on his lips. Jimin smiled. They had been together for 10 years, so they were bound to be close. It was endearing to see all of their interactions, from their banter to fond looks to dissing each other. Much like Jungkook and himself. However Yoongi may act, Jimin was sure that he loved Taehyung very much, enough to tolerate his idiocy and rants and childishness.

“You know, for all your serious face and tough attitude, you really aren’t all that. You are sunshine with just a cloudy sky overshadowing your sunny and sweet personality,” Jimin observed, staring at Yoongi.

Taehyung snickered as Yoongi’s cheeks flooded with colour. Jimin suppressed the urge to pinch Yoongi’s cheeks.

Taehyung finally ceased his laughter, one hand clutching his stomach, “Well you’ve got hyung all figured out.”

Yoongi blushed even harder and attempted to ignore his blush, “I am not sunshine and sweet. I have swag okay? I am feared by many, bitch.”

“Sure, Toothless,” Jimin smiled and Taehyung had another fit of laughter.

“‘Sunshine’ and ‘Toothless’…these are gold. I am never letting hyung forget this,” Taehyung laughed maniacally.

Yoongi groaned and closed his eyes. “Shut up please. I have a reputation to maintain.”

“Come on, let’s wash your hair,” Jimin replied checking the time, saving Yoongi from further disgrace.

“So what do you both do?” Taehyung asked Jimin, who was washing Yoongi’s hair, finally moving away from humiliating Yoongi.

“Do you always talk so much? Yoongi over here is at least quiet.”

“Yes. I do the talking for both of us. And I am passing away the time anyway, so you might as well answer my questions,” Taehyung replied immediately.

“You just want to know about Jungkook,” Jimin accused, smiling slightly as he massaged Yoongi’ head.

Taehyung clutched his heart and staggered dramatically, “And here I thought we were going to be good friends.”

Jimin raised his eyebrows at the dramatics and the other boy straightened up. “I mean I want to know about Jungkook too, but I want to know about you too. I have a feeling the four of us are going to keep on meeting this way or that. So I should know few things about you, shouldn’t I?”

Jimin really couldn’t argue with that logic. Even he had a feeling that the four of them were somehow tangled now and this was just the start. Well, Jimin might as well make some new friends.

“We are both students. I major in dancing, Jungkook just started Uni. He studies art,” Jimin said, glancing at Yoongi, who had his eyes closed again and was eerily silent. Jimin had a feeling he was listening intently, though not responding to it.

“Just started? How old are you both anyway?” Taehyung frowned.

“I am 22. Jungkook is 20,” Jimin hummed.

Taehyung whistled, “So you are my age. That’s good.”

“And Jungkook is 20. Don’t run after a kid,” Yoongi finally muttered.

“Jeez hyung. You make it sound sleazy. 2 years difference isn’t all that huge,” Taehyung muttered.

“You are awfully confident that he will like you,” Yoongi countered, opening one eye and staring at the younger boy.

“I am 200% sure Jungkook has a crush on Taehyung,” Jimin chuckled, beating Taehyung to it. Taehyung grinned widely at Jimin’s words. “But I haven’t yet approved of you,” Jimin finished. Yoongi smiled smugly at Taehyung’s direction as the other boy pouted.

“It’s done. Let’s dry it,” Jimin said, before Taehyung could reply.

Yoongi sat on the chair and Jimin turned the chair away from the mirror. “Let it be a surprise.” Yoongi nodded silently and let Jimin dry his hair.

It had suddenly turned awfully quiet as everyone watched Jimin work. Taehyung walked and stood next to Jimin. Jimin could feel Yoongi’s eyes on himself and tried not to be self conscious about it. He chose not to glance at Yoongi, knowing that the other boy would be staring intently at him. Jimin didn’t like the way his stomach would flip every time he saw Yoongi staring at him. As he finished drying the hair, Jimin pulled a comb from his back pocket and parted Yoongi’s hair carefully. Jimin turned and looked at Taehyung.

Taehyung glanced at and smiled sincerely and gave him a thumbs up. “This is so freaking good. It’s looking so cool. I approve of it.”

Jimin smiled proudly and turned Yoongi’s chair around slowly, facing it to the mirror. Yoongi stared at his reflection for 2 whole minutes before he breathed, “It’s…pretty. Very pretty.”

Jimin thought Yoongi looked way better in this colour rather than his mint hair. The light blue colour gave him a soft and innocent look and the dark ends gave him a cool and edgy aura. Something which definitely suited Yoongi’s personality.

“Do you like it?” Jimin asked, looking at Yoongi’s reflection.

Yoongi’s eyes shifted to Jimin and he smiled. “I love it.”

Jimin ignored the way his heart missed a beat due to the smile.

“Of course you should love it. Yah! You are good Jimin. I am going to dye my hair too now.”

Jimin was glad of looking away from Yoongi and his smile. He turned to Taehyung. “Sure. Make an appointment and ask for me. I’ll do it. But don’t think I won’t be charging you just because you are my friend,” Jimin replied cheekily.

“Of course not,” Taehyung muttered in a ‘duh’ tone, rolling his eyes.

Jimin checked the time. It was quite late. “I must get home now. It’s getting late. I had fun meeting you both,” Jimin murmured, chancing a glance at Yoongi, who was staring at him.

Taehyung grumbled, “Yes it is. Let’s go home before mother kills both me and Yoongi.”

The three of them shuffled out of the room, entering the main room. Jeonghwa looked up from the counter. “Put the payment on Hyerin noona’s tab. And will you shut the salon off and leave?” Jimin asked her.

Jeonghwa nodded, “Sure.”

Jimin turned to face the other two boys. “I must get home now. I will see you both soon, I imagine,” Jimin smiled.

Yoongi smiled slightly, “And how will we decide where to meet? And when to meet?”

“Don’t worry,” Jimin smiled back as he walked towards the door, “I have your number, I will text you. And I am sure Jungkook will text you,” Jimin added, staring at Taehyung, who smiled smugly.

“I’ll see you both again soon, hopefully. Goodbye till then,” Jimin said, waving at both of them as they stood near the counter for the payment. Both of them waved back at Jimin. Jimin had a final glance towards Yoongi and exited the small salon.

 

 

 

 

As he walked in the now dark streets, Jimin thought it would be unfair of accusing only Jungkook of being attracted towards one of the boys as Jimin became aware of how undeniably he was attracted towards Yoongi.

Chapter Text

“I still cannot believe you want to go for a fight. You know how wrong the whole idea is,” Jimin argued.

Jungkook groaned in response. He was tired of this banter. Since yesterday night, both of them had been arguing about Jungkook going over to watch the fight. Jungkook knew Jimin would resist, but for this long? He hadn’t thought of this.

“Are we really arguing about this again? In the morning? It’s such a beautiful day to not have a fight,” Jungkook muttered, side stepping an elderly lady who refused to move out of the way. Jungkook hated such people but he didn’t like to run into anyone and it was better to step aside rather than listen to old people complaining.

“We aren’t arguing. I just do not understand why you want to go. You know how fights affect you Jungkook,” Jimin snapped, poking a finger in Jungkook’s chest hard.

Jungkook stopped in the middle of the road, not caring about the passersby. Half of them anyway were groggy, sleep deprived university students who carried their bags haphazardly in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other and all of them were too tired to care about two people blocking the way. “Well yes. They affect me. But only if I am in a fight. There’s no harm in watching a fight. Have you seen me faint or feel nauseated or scared when we watch action movies? No, right? We will be going to just watch not participate in it,” Jungkook fired back.

Jimin couldn’t really argue with that logic, because it was true. But he was nevertheless worried. He could find tens of different ways of how it could all go wrong but he knew Jungkook was as stubborn as himself.

“I am not a child anymore Jimin,” Jungkook murmured softly, staring intently at Jimin. Jimin sighed and glanced at Jungkook,

“I know you aren’t. I am just worried. It would’ve been less worrisome if you were a child and were still afraid, but that isn’t the case. Can you blame me?”

Jungkook shrugged. It wasn’t like he did not understand Jimin’s point of view, but still. He wasn’t to let this go. “Don’t worry hyung. You will be there. I don’t care if Taehyung and Yoongi won’t be there. You will be there and I know you’ll take care of me if something goes wrong,” Jungkook smiled, cocking his head to one side, trying to be cute.

Jimin half smiled and shook his head, “What am I going to do with you? And ‘hyung’? Look at how hard you are trying to convince me.”

“Did it work?” Jungkook asked, now smiling cheekily.

“Hmmmpf.” “I know it did. Now can we stop fighting Jiminie? Please? Please? We both dislike it when we are fighting. I know it upsets you. So let’s stop fighting. Okay hyung? Jiminie? Jiminie hyung?”

A burst of laughter escaped Jimin’s lips. “‘Jiminie hyung’…that’s a first. Sure. Whatever,” Jimin said, shaking his head and commenced walking again. Jungkook grinned and joined Jimin by his side, almost skipping instead of walking.

Jimin watched Jungkook out of the corner of his eyes and grinned. “I know half of the reason why you want to go is because Taehyung will be there.”

“I don’t want to go because of him. I just want to watch,” Jungkook muttered and hoped that Jimin would drop the topic.

“Really? The thought of Taehyung in a tank top and shorts and sweaty makes you feel nothing? Him seeing you standing outside the ring and smiling at you makes you feel nothing? Really?” Jimin persisted, reveling in the way Jungkook was getting flustered.

“I am not attracted to him hyung,” Jungkook groaned, partly because Jimin wouldn’t drop the topic and partly because a blush had crept up his cheeks at Taehyung’s name. He still wasn’t over the way Taehyung had leaned so close to him and the way he had stared at Jungkook or the way he had smiled when Jungkook told him he would meet him again. Jungkook shook his head to shake off the image out of his mind. Jimin raised his eyebrows, smirking knowingly.

“I mean he is good looking…”

“Now we are getting somewhere,” Jimin interrupted.

“…but I am not attracted to him,” Jungkook finished.

Jimin scoffed.

Before Jimin could open his mouth to retaliate, Jungkook beat him to it. “Anyway, I will be staying in college for some more time. I am going for the try outs for running.” “

Participating in the departmental competitions?” Jimin smiled.

“Hoping to. I should make the cut,” Jungkook grinned. Both of them had entered the gates and walked towards the main building.

Jimin snorted, “As if you don’t know you run faster than everybody else.”

“Just trying to be modest.”

Jimin snorted again, “Doesn’t really suit you. So shut up.”

Jungkook laughed, “Are you also going for try outs?”

“I am already on the team. I have been on the team since my first year Kookie. Did you forget I am your senior? Has Taehyung messed with your head so much?”

“Right. So we are going to be rivals,” Jungkook wiggled his eyebrows, ignoring Jimin’s taunts.

“Don’t be confident that you’ll be on the team,” Jimin smirked.

“You just said I am faster than anybody else,” Jungkook complained.

“I may be wrong,” Jimin chuckled at Jungkook’s expression. “We will see kiddo. Just concentrate on the try outs first. Then we will see about being rivals. I’ll see you at home then. I finish a little early today so I’ll head home straightaway.”

“You just want to finish your kdrama, don’t you?”

Duh. Good luck Kookie. See you later!” Jimin smiled and hurried off to the opposite side. Jungkook watched his retreating figure for a minute and then turned around, walking towards his class, feeling satisfied, knowing that he and Jimin wouldn’t be having this argument again.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Jungkook grinned nonstop as he changed from his gym wear into his jeans. He was in a great mood. He was selected not just for the 100m and 200m races, but also for the 400m relay race. He had come first in all the three try-outs.

Jungkook had heard about the interdepartmental sports competitions form Jimin since Jimin’s first year. This was the time of the year when all the departments let their amity go to hell and turned nasty. Jungkook himself saw how the mood of the college had changed. The departments had all started making banners and posters while the students ran around dissing and booing students of other departments. There was a particularly dirty rivalry between the Department of Dance and the Department of Drama. The Department of music supported the Dance team while the Film students backed the Drama students. It was all great fun to watch as the college had turned lively with shouts, yells, cheers and boos at every corner, with the colourful posters hung from walls and on the corridors. The whole college had become animated and the students all vivacious. Jungkook had even marvelled at how even the teachers shared the hostility and secretly helped the students with information and clues.

The students who were already on the team were treated like celebrities. Jimin had told Jungkook that should he be selected, he was going of get famous.

Jungkook hadn’t really been nervous about his try-outs. He just wanted to enjoy it and wanted to be a part of the fun. So when the seniors and existing members on the team had joined in to watch the try-outs, he was least bothered about it, instead focusing on his game. He was really shy when all of the team had come to congratulate him, few even inviting him to parties.

Jungkook shut the door behind him, hitched his sack up on his shoulder and exited the building. He knew Jimin had already left. He had received a goodluck text from Jimin and a second one informing him that Jimin had finished, so he was leaving.

Jungkook had to yet tell Jimin the news. He had thought of calling Jimin, but he changed his mind. He would surprise Jimin with pastries from the French patisserie he loved so much because it was ‘cute as hell and Instagram worthy.’

The patisserie was a tad bit far from the university and in completely opposite direction, but Jungkook had a quite some time and no plans. Plus he was himself hungry and craving for sweet chocolatey deliciousness after running so much.

Jungkook walked slowly, blasting songs at full volume on his phone, not paying attention to anything else. He decided to take a shortcut to his destination by taking the shorter path from an alley way he knew. He and Jimin had explored the city and the neighbourhood so much, that they knew every nook and crevices, and at times like these Jungkook was happy for knowing all these ways which saved time and energy.

Jungkook suddenly paused. He had the feeling that someone was following him. Jungkook turned to look behind him, finding the alley empty. Jungkook frowned and then shook his head. He was watching a lot criminal shows lately for his own good. He resumed walking again, turning around a corner into another back street.

Again Jungkook felt the prickling sensation that someone was following him. Jungkook turned the music off and removed his headphones, straining his ears to pick up a few sounds. Jungkook’s heart beat fast as he heard faint footsteps. Now he was definitely sure someone was following him. He quickened his pace, cursing himself for taking the shortcut and turned around yet another corner which lead to a small alley. He wasn’t far from the main road which led to the bakery. Just two more turns till the main street. Before Jungkook could think of breaking into a run, he suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder. Jungkook gave a small yelp and turned around to face the person.

“Oh, hello sunbae,” Jungkook said, utterly relieved. He had thought that it must be some prowlers, but it was just his seniors.

“Jungkook, isn’t it?” Kim Ki-Bum asked, one hand still on Jungkook’s shoulder, smiling slightly. Behind him Jungkook watched two more of his seniors standing, one of them whom his classmates had pointed out as Song Min Ho and the other whom he knew by face but not by name.

“Yes,” Jungkook answered, bowing slightly.

“Congratulations on making it to the team,” Ki-Bum said, his smile growing wider, and his hand tightened on Jungkook’s shoulder.

Jungkook took a step back to shake off the hand from his shoulder. Something about the smile disoriented Jungkook. There wasn’t any warmth to the smile and it did not reach the eyes. Jungkook suddenly wondered what all of this was about. If his senior wanted to congratulate him, why did he have to seek Jungkook at such a place? Something was wrong. Jungkook didn’t say anything, deciding to be cautious.

“Thank you,” Jungkook muttered, smiling, hoping that it didn’t show off his nervousness.

It was just the four of them in the alley and there hadn’t been anyone close when Jungkook had been walking here.

Jungkook was suddenly feeling claustrophobic. Whatever this was, he suddenly became aware that this wasn’t a friendly meet. He had watched far too many films and dramas to know or to expect what would happen next. He only hoped that he was wrong.

“You made it to all the 3 races. The coach was praising you a lot,” Ki Bum continued, still smiling.

Jungkook knew that the three of them were not on the team, nor were they for the try-outs. Then what was all of this about?

Jungkook didn’t reply anything but simply smiled and bowed again.

“The way you beat Hongbin was impressive. Really,” Ki bum carried on, taking a tiny step towards Jungkook. So this was what it was about.

Lee Hongbin was another of Jungkook’s seniors and Ki Bum’s friend, who had been there for the try outs. He had come 2nd to Jungkook in all the races. Hongbin had almost won the 400m race try-outs, but Jungkook had somehow beaten him to it.

Jungkook stayed silent, deciding not to say anything would be the best policy.

“I mean the coach may praise you, but don’t you think you cheated at the end?” Ki Bum asked, tilting his head slightly, the smile still intact on his face.

“I did not cheat,” Jungkook contradicted slowly. He could see that Ki Bum was already pissed off, Jungkook did not want to add fuel to the fire.

“Do not lie!” Ki Bum snapped, dropping the friendly façade. “The way you jumped at the end of 400m wasn’t fair. Hongbin was going to win that race and you know it.”

“The coach did not say anything about it now, did he? It isn’t against the rules too. If I would’ve cheated, I am sure the coach wouldn’t have taken me on the team,” Jungkook snapped back, temper rising now.

“The spectators all thought you cheated and agreed that Hongbin was a fair winner,” Ki Bum growled.

I don’t think so. I won all the races fair and square. Literally none of the watchers complained that to me. And if they didn’t like it, none of them will care about it if we win the competition. Everyone will forget it. It isn’t my fault that Hongbin wasn’t fast enough,” Jungkook flared.

“Step back from competing in the 400m race and give it to Hongbin. I won’t ask you to step down from the other two because you won it fair and square, but leave the 400m race. Hongbin deserves it,” Ki bum warned.

“No he doesn’t. Like I said, I won it fair and square. And I won’t leave our team to lose just because someone didn’t have the brains to use their heads to win the way I did or wasn’t fast enough,” Jungkook said, now furious.

“Enough!! You will leave the team or I will make you leave,” Ki Bum threatened, advancing quickly. Behind him, the other two boys threw their sacks on the ground and edged forward too.

Jungkook suddenly went numb. He felt a familiar chill creep up against his spine and suddenly felt nauseated. He had tried to be brave but he had failed. He shouldn’t have spoken back. He should’ve left and ran when he had the chance. He would’ve outrun these guys anyway. He knew how this would’ve ended but he couldn’t have kept his mouth shut and used his brains now.

Jungkook stood there unmoving as he watched Ki-Bum advance with his fist raised. Jungkook turned his head, waiting for the fist to connect with his face.

THWACK!!!

Jungkook heard the loud sound of the punch, but he never felt the impact. Jungkook looked up to see what had happened.

Before him, Ki Bum was lying on the ground, clutching his face in one hand.

“How about you leave now or should I make you leave?” Taehyung asked.

Jungkook was too confused and taken aback. He couldn’t believe Taehyung was here. In front of him. And the fact that he had just saved Jungkook from a beating.

“What the…”Ki Bum started, getting up on his feet.

“I asked you to leave or did you not understand my words?” Taehyung asked again, smiling, none of the usual warmth in his smile or eyes. Instead there was cold fury replacing his usual chirpiness.

Jungkook was too much surprised to react. He was rooted to his spot wordlessly, watching the turn of events, head not quiet yet wrapped around the fact that Taehyung was right in front of him.

“Who the fuck are you?” Ki bum snarled, now looking furious.

“That’s none of your business, honey. I asked you to go along your way and leave us alone,” Taehyung murmured sweetly.

“You piece of…” Ki Bum snapped and advanced, looking absolutely murderous. Ki Bum raised his fist but Taehyung was ready. He dodged the punch, catching Ki Bum’s fist in one hand and twisted his arm, punching Ki Bum’s face with the other.

Ki Bum staggered back, cradling his face. Before he could even look up, Taehyung advanced and punched him once again before Ki Bum could get back up and landed a kick on his stomach. Ki Bum fell back completely, blood oozing from nose.

“Watch out,” Jungkook yelled as Min Ho advanced towards Taehyung now that Ki Bum had fallen. Taehyung turned and caught Min Ho’s fist effectively, lowered it and twisted it. Min Ho convulsed in pain and Taehyung landed another punch.

“I can break your nose with one single punch, you asshole,” Taehyung said slowly, in a low voice, twisting Min Ho’s arm further as the other boy yelped in agony, “So next time be smart enough to make sure he is alone when cornering him otherwise it won’t end well for you.”

Taehyung stepped back and Min Ho faltered behind. The other boy stood there, pale and scared.

If I watch the three of you anywhere within a 50m radius of him or hear a single word about you from Jungkook, I will kill you all,” Taehyung uttered slowly and Jungkook could clearly hear the threat in his voice. “Now run along.”

Ki Bum got up on his feet and threw one glance at Jungkook before turning around and running in the opposite direction, followed by Min Ho and the other guy.

Jungkook fixed his eyes on Taehyung, who was watching the retreating figures.

Taehyung exhaled loudly and turned around, staring at Jungkook. Taehyung strode forward and stood in front of Jungkook, cupping Jungkook’s face. “Are you alright? Did they hurt you?” Taehyung demanded, a hint of residual anger in his eyes. His eyes roved over Jungkook’s face in concern, looking for any sign of damage. Jungkook felt infinitely small again, heart beating fast not just at the whole turn of events, but the intimate way both of them were standing and the way Taehyung was holding his face.

“Yeah. I am okay. They didn’t get me,” Jungkook murmured, listening to the pounding of his heart. Taehyung was close enough for Jungkook that he could see his own pale, scared face clearly in his eyes. Taehyung frowned, disbelief in his eyes.

“I am okay,” Jungkook assured, regaining his strength back, and put his hand over Taehyung’s hands, removing them from his face. “I am oka…Your hands!” Jungkook gasped, suddenly noticing Taehyung’s hands. He took Taehyung’s hands and turned them over. Taehyung’s beautiful hands were bruised, his knuckles covered in bruises and flecked with a few blood spots. Jungkook died a bit on the inside staring at their condition.

Jungkook looked up at Taehyung. Taehyung was staring at him so intensely that Jungkook’s breath hitched. “They almost beat you up, you look pale and scared as hell. I am worried you might pass out and you are worried my hands. Has someone started caring about me?” Taehyung asked, smiling.

“Get over yourself,” Jungkook muttered, rolling his eyes and looked away for a moment before turning to look back at Taehyung.

“That’s more like you,” Taehyung chuckled and Jungkook was glad to see that his usual self was back, replacing his anger. “Come on, let’s get you out of here. You can do with some fresh air,” Taehyung chirped, tugging Jungkook and leading the way.

“What were you doing here anyway?” Taehyung asked, glancing at Jungkook from the corner of his eyes.

“I was going to a bakery to get some pastries for Jimin. This alley way is a short cut to it so…” Jungkook said in a small voice.

“Do you go looking for trouble or does trouble usually find you?” Taehyung sighed, smiling slightly.

“It’s both. I am in a love-hate relationship with trouble,” Jungkook grinned.

Taehyung shook his head, smiling fully. “How lazy are you to go by the long way?”

“God has made short cuts for a reason and I intend to use God’s gift.”

Taehyung snorted. “Knowing you and knowing that trouble may find you, why would you still use these empty alleys?”

“Because they are empty. Duh. Seriously, I have taken this path and it is always empty. This is the first time something like happened,” Jungkook replied.

Jungkook and Taehyung emerged on the main street again, full of life and the hustle bustle of the streets. Jungkook felt comfortable now. “This way,” Jungkook muttered, leading Taehyung, who followed wordlessly.

“You should always be careful though,” Taehyung reprimanded softly. “Who were they anyway?”

“Some of my seniors at the college,” Jungkook muttered darkly.

“Why were they after you anyway?” Taehyung frowned. “Did you do something stupid?”

“No,” Jungkook huffed, rolling his eyes. He dodged two kids who were running around and recalled the whole story to Taehyung, who listened attentively.

“Jesus fucking Christ Jungkook!! You get selected for running and you cannot even run out of such deadly situations? Look at the irony,” Taehyung scoffed.

“Please don’t remind me of my idiocy. I am already dying from shame on the inside,” Jungkook muttered and hung his head.

Taehyung laughed out loud and even Jungkook chuckled. “Seriously though. You shouldn’t be lazy when you know you attract trouble. You should’ve run to the the main street. If I wouldn’t have been there…”

“What were you doing there anyway? How did you find me?” Jungkook asked, now back to his original train of thought.

“I saw you getting out of your college gates. I was walking past the same street. I called you out but you didn’t hear me, so I ran behind you, but then you sort of disappeared. I just saw you enter the alley, and then I didn’t know which turns you took, otherwise I would’ve reached early,” Taehyung replied.

Jungkook shrugged. “No harm done in any way.”

“Hmmm,” Taehyung exhaled. “Never mind that now. So running team huh? Are the pastries a celebration for it?”

Jungkook was glad for the change of topic. “Yep. Thought I would surprise Jimin and Ji Hyun,” Jungkook beamed.

“Then why here? There are tons of good bakeries on the other street.”

“There’s a small French patisserie that both of them love. And I had a quite some time. Look, there it is,” Jungkook pointed. “Come on.”

Jungkook and Taehyung both walked through the small front door. The outside of the store was made to resemble the cobbled streets of Paris and the entire store was decorated in French style. Their menus were written in Korean as well as French. Jungkook really liked the interior for it’s clean interiors and their dim yellow lights.

“What should we get?” Jungkook wondered, looking at the pastries displayed behind the glass counters. There were a lot of different and colourful pastries along with soufflés, croissants, macaroons, éclairs, mousses and so on along with a lot of other French products.

Taehyung laughed at Jungkook’s serious expression. “What do they like?”

“They both are weird. They like everything and things which look colourful and different,” Jungkook muttered and Taehyung looked amused.

“I will have two of these,” Jungkook pointed to a chocolate pastry kept on the display at the front to the old lady at the counter. “Please pack them. Wait. Which one do you want?” Jungkook asked, turning to look at Taehyung.

Taehyung frowned, “Aren’t you having any?”

“Nah. I am going to have ice cream. Not a cake person.”

“Then I will have ice cream too,” Taehyung simpered.

“Just two of them. Please pack them,” Jungkook asked the lady, pointing to the pastry again and lifting up 2 fingers, who was waiting for the final order. “She is French. She doesn’t speak Korean. Her son speaks Korean, but he isn’t here,” Jungkook explained, looking at Taehyung’s expression.

“Oh.” Taehyung took the package in his hands and smiled blindingly at the lady.

As Jungkook paid for the cakes, the lady smiled and spoke something in French looking at both of them. Jungkook simply smiled, for he didn’t understand one word and bowed.

“Let’s go,” Jungkook muttered, turning around.

Taehyung bowed and hurried behind Jungkook, “What did she say?”

“Yes I understood that because I am so fluent in French,” Jungkook rolled his eyes.

“One of these days you will go blind considering how often and how hard you roll your eyes,” Taehyung noted. Jungkook rolled his eyes at that too.

“So where are getting our ice creams?” Taehyung inquired, holding the package securely in his hands.

“I don’t know. Whichever store I spot first,” Jungkook told him.

“In that case, I know a really good ice cream parlour down this street. Let’s go there,” Taehyung informed, beaming.

“Sure,” Jungkook smiled. He couldn’t have refused Taehyung even if he wanted to when he was smiling like that.

Taehyung looked pleased and walked, almost skipping and Jungkook trudged along. He watched Taehyung and the image of Taehyung punching Ki Bum flashed in his mind. He compared Taehyung’s now smiling face to the cold way Taehyung had smiled, eyes burning with fury. Jungkook knew he should be afraid seeing Taehyung’s duality, but instead Jungkook somehow was comfortable. He was glad that he got a glimpse of both of Taehyung’s sides.

Jungkook knew that Taehyung wouldn’t hurt him. He was as sure of it as he was sure that water was wet. He somehow felt that Taehyung didn’t like to get into fights unless provoked or given a reason to. Jungkook reflected how Taehyung’s first suggestion to him was not to fight but to run. For someone who spent his nights fighting for fun and just for thrill, it was an unusual suggestion. Jungkook was sure that Taehyung had only interfered because Jungkook was in danger.

Jungkook watched Taehyung silently, who was walking happily and waving at all the little kids who were passing them. Taehyung turned, “Here. Come on.”

Jungkook watched the exterior. The ice cream parlour looked ancient and Jungkook grimaced. The shop looked rundown, paint peeling in various places and the plaster chipped in few corners.

“Seriously?” Jungkook asked, raising his eyebrows.

“Don’t you trust me?” Taehyung asked, looking affronted.

“Not even a little bit,” Jungkook replied immediately.

“That didn’t hurt at all,” Taehyung muttered and then grinned. “Don’t worry, even I don’t trust myself. But trust me on this one thing. Now come on.”

Jungkook sighed dramatically and followed him inside. Inside, the parlour looked exactly as its exterior. However the machinery inside looked modern, the table and seats were all modern.

“That’s how it is supposed to look like. That’s their theme,” Taehyung giggled, looking at Jungkook’s expression.

“I really don’t understand the logic. Of all kinds of decorations and themes one could spend money on, why would you spend it to make it look ancient and run down?”

Taehyung just chuckled, “You can ask them this question.”

“No thanks.”

“Anyway. What would you like?” Taehyung asked, tilting his head.

“What would you suggest?” Jungkook asked, mirroring Taehyung, and batting his eyes.

Taehyung stared at him for a moment before looking away, smiling hugely. He shook his head and cleared his throat. “I would suggest Dark Belgian with chocolate chips.”

“Well, Dark Belgian with chocolate chips it is then,” Jungkook smiled, and put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a few notes and placed them on the counter.

“Hey! I was paying for it,” Taehyung argued.

“No. My win, my treat. You anyway paid last time, so shut up.”

Taehyung huffed, “Fine. One Dark Belgian with chocolate chips. Three scoops please,” Taehyung smiled at the boy, who was waiting for their order.

“Aren’t you having some?” Jungkook frowned, looking at Taehyung, who was humming.

“I am.”

“Then why did you order only one?”

“What? You are going to eat 3 scoops? One of it is for me, of course,” Taehyung replied in a duh tone.

“I don’t like to share my ice cream.”

“But you will now.”

“But why the fuck aren’t you getting one for yourself then?” Jungkook demanded.

Taehyung looked away, refusing to make an eye contact, and softly murmured, “No reason,” before turning to look at Jungkook back again. “Now please share? Please? Please? Pretty please?”

“Whatever. Only one scoop though,” Jungkook grumbled, tired of arguing. He was sure he did not understand Taehyung’s logic behind it but whatever made him happy.

“Do you want to have it here or?” The boy asked them. Jungkook suddenly noticed how he was giving stink eye to both of them, a look of disgust in his eyes. Jungkook wondered if Taehyung and he had done something that would make the boy look at them like this, but he couldn’t find anything wrong in their behaviour.

“No. In a cone please,” Jungkook answered, ignoring the boy’s looks. He was in a far too good mood to let some random person ruin it.

He turned to Taehyung. “It’s getting late. We can have it while going home?”

“So I get to see your home,” Taehyung smiled crookedly.

Jungkook groaned. “I am gonna finish it before we even reach halfway to my home.”

Taehyung roared with laughter at Jungkook’s comment.

“I will follow you anyway to make sure you get home safely.”

Something in Jungkook’s stomach fluttered at Taehyung’s reply. If this was Taehyung was with him as a friend, Jungkook wondered what kind of a boyfriend Taehyung would make. The thought of Taehyung as a boyfriend heated up Jungkook’s cheeks. What the fuck am I thinking Jungkook thought. He refused to look at Taehyung and took his ice cream and turned around, hoping that Taehyung wouldn’t notice it.

“What’s wrong? Why is your face all red?” Taehyung inquired, as they both exited the parlour. Jungkook bit into his ice cream, in order to hide his face and stall answering. Damn him Jungkook thought.

Taehyung stepped in front of Jungkook, trying to catch his eye, “Why are you blushing?”

“I am not blushing,” Jungkook murmured, suddenly interested in his ice cream more than ever. He did not want to look at Taehyung, because he knew for a fact that his blush would deepen.

Taehyung was grinning ear to ear now, “You are blushing. What did you just think of?”

“Nothing,” Jungkook replied quickly.

“No way. Look at you! What did you just think of Jungkook? My thoughts are running wild,” Taehyung grinned madly.

“Please don’t,” Jungkook murmured weakly.

Taehyung’s eyes suddenly turned soft, “Okay. Okay relax. I am just messing with you.”

No doubt about that Jungkook thought.

“Aaaah,” Taehyung said when Jungkook didn’t reply anything. Jungkook looked up. Taehyung looked at the ice cream and then at Jungkook and then back at the ice cream. Jungkook sighed and raised his arm, allowing Taehyung to take a bite of the ice cream.

Now that Taehyung was silent, Jungkook decided to ask him what he wanted to know. “So when do I get to see you fight?” Jungkook inquired.

Taehyung turned around to look at him. “I don’t think it is a good idea.”

Jungkook exasperated, “Not you too!!”

“What?” Taehyung stumbled at Jungkook’s sudden outburst.

“Look!” Jungkook sighed, stopping in the middle of the road, “I know I was shit scared just now when they all came at me. But I am not afraid of fights. I am affected when I am in a fight. I just have to watch you, not fight myself, do I? Then just shut up and let me come along. I don’t want to start this argument all over again. I just had this argument with Jimin since yesterday night till this morning. Now he has finally shut up about it.”

Taehyung suddenly looked serious. “I don’t mind. Will Jimin allow you to come after what happened just now though?”

“Who’s telling Jimin what happened now?” Jungkook challenged, raising his eyebrows.

Taehyung’s lips twitched as he tried to hold back a smile. “What if those guys come back at you at you college? How will you stop Jimin from noticing it then?”

“Oh. Well…” Jungkook hadn’t thought of that. Now his confidence ebbed a little. Jungkook tried to wrack his brains for some excuse.

“Don’t worry. I don’t think they’ll come back at you,” Taehyung grinned and resumed walking again.

Jungkook followed him, “How do you know that?”

“Well, for one, I punched and threatened them quite well. They will be idiots to try to get back at you for this. Secondly, notice how while running away none of them threatened you back?” Jungkook nodded. “It means they were just trying to scare you. They don’t have real guts to actually do anything. They could’ve just caught you somewhere in your college or something but they didn’t. Trust me, they are cowards. So the next time they come back at you, if they have the guts to at least do that, just be confident. I have seen and been in a lot of fights. The once who threaten you while leaving are quite something, the rest are just bluff.”

Jungkook pondered over it for a moment. The boy had some reasoning to his logic.

“Well good for me. Unless you tell Jimin,” Jungkook looked at Taehyung pointedly.

“Nah. I won’t. I want you to see you over there,” Taehyung grinned, back to his usual chirpiness.

“You just want to show off,” Jungkook scoffed.

“Obviously,” Taehyung nodded.”Maybe that will make you see how cool I am or how any guys are after me.” Jungkook snorted and took a bite of his ice cream

“This is so good,” Jungkook moaned. Taehyung leaned in and bit into the ice cream, “I told you so.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook said, concentrating on his ice cream. They were close to his house now. Jungkook realised how much he was immersed in the boy next to him to notice how far they had both walked. Jungkook turned to Taehyung.

When?”

“You tell me. When are you both free?”

“This weekend? No one’s going to be home except Jimin and me,” Jungkook replied eagerly. Taehyung waggled his eyebrows, followed by Jungkook’s ‘shut up.’

“Works for me. I was planning to go there this weekend. Yoongi is coming too. I will introduce you to my other friends too.”

They both turned into the last street. Jungkook’s house was at the end of the street, so he slowed down his pace.

“So how do we get there?”

“Well you know the area right?”

Jungkook nodded. “I don’t think I can forget that. Where particularly though?”

“Jeez. I was getting there. Do you remember the way out?” “Yeah,” Jungkook replied. He remembered the way clearly due to the way Yoongi had commanded him.

“At the spot where we met, hopefully you remember where, from there take two left turns. You will find a rundown store with the shutters always closed. There’s a broken sign ‘Bob’s Garage’ lying careless below it. Exactly opposite the store, you’ll find two guys prowling outside. Tell them our names and they will let you in. Yoongi and me always go early, so you’ll have to come on your own.”

“Okay. Here we are,” Jungkook replied. They had reached his house and Jungkook stood at the gate, facing Taehyung.

Taehyung looked up at his house, “It’s pretty,” and then glanced at Jungkook, smirking. “I know where you live now.”

“I am aware of that. If I see you prowling around here, I am getting a restraining order,” Jungkook half smiled.

Taehyung snickered and then suddenly turned serious “You remember the way right?”

“Yes Taehyung. I remember the way. I am not about to forget it anytime soon. I will call you if I get lost again, okay?”

“In that case, I hope you do get lost,” Taehyung beamed.

“Why?” Jungkook was confused.

“A legit reason to get your number,” Taehyung smiled crookedly.

Jungkook decided not to reply to that.

“So I will see you on Friday at…” Jungkook started.

“11 o’clock.” Jungkook nodded. Friday night, 11 o’clock. He wasn’t surprised that all of this was so late at night. Well, it wouldn’t be fun in the morning anyway. Friday nights should be lit Jungkook thought.

“I will see you on Friday then, Kim Taehyung,” Jungkook replied, smiling excitedly.

Taehyung was staring at Jungkook unflinchingly. It was again that deep stare of his. Jungkook ignored the way his stomach was doing somersaults because of that look.

“What” Jungkook asked, as Taehyung began to smile.

“Haven’t you noticed it yet?”

“Noticed what?” Jungkook asked, taken aback. There was something in the way Taehyung was smiling now. Had he done something wrong? Something stupid?

Taehyung leaned in close and put his lips next to Jungkook’s ears and Jungkook shivered involuntarily.

You’ve been holding hands with me since a long time now.

Jungkook suddenly became aware of the pressure on his left hand and looked down. He was surprised to find his hand entwined in Taehyung’s long, beautiful ones. Jungkook’s cheeks filled with colour instantly. Come to think of it, he had been holding hands with Taehyung ever since they left the alley. Oh Jungkook though. Oh. Jungkook suddenly understood the way the patisserie lady had smiled at them. She must’ve thought they were a couple. And the boy at the ice cream parlour…he was giving them a stink eye because of this. Oh.

“I am pleased to note you still haven’t let it go,” Taehyung teased.

Jungkook immediately withdrew his hand from Taehyung’s and instantly felt cool air on his palms. He suddenly missed the warmth Taehyung’s hands had provided and his cheeks coloured even more at the thought.

“Why do you think I refused to eat ice cream? I would have had to let go of your hand,” Taehyung continued, now grinning madly.

Jungkook thought he would die right there. He was sure his heart was about to burst because it was beating so fast.

“WhateverbyeseeyouatFriday,” Jungkook muttered in a rush and dashed inside his house, closing the door behind him, listening to Taehyung’s roar of laughter.

Jungkook suddenly realised something. His pastries. They were with Taehyung. Jungkook beat his head repetitively on the door and contemplated leaving them with him. He realised he can’t. That entire scene to not end up with the pastries…

Jungkook took a deep breath. This was his test. His moment to run the fastest he ever had. He opened his door and ran out. He wasn’t surprised to find Taehyung still standing there, still laughing. Jungkook snatched his bag, refusing to look at Taehyung and turned around wordlessly, and Taehyung’s laughter increased. Jungkook ran and closed the door behind him.

A small laugh escaped his own lips and Jungkook placed a hand over his heart. It was beating even more erratically that Jungkook thought it was impossible for any heart to beat that fast. Jungkook leaned against the door, grinning madly.

He couldn’t fool himself anymore. He tried to, but he just couldn’t anymore.

Jungkook pulled out his phone, scrolling through his contacts.

Jimin came hurtling down the stairs, “Thought I heard the door…oh you are home. What’s that?”

Jungkook raised his hand silently and passed the package to Jimin without glancing at him. Jimin hooted when he saw where it was from and ran to the kitchen, yelling Ji Hyun’s name.

Jungkook found the name in the contacts and hit ‘call’

“Yes? Who is this?” came the reply after first 3 rings and the voice was uncertain.

“I found a legit reason to give you my number.”

“And what is that?” Taehyung replied, immediately recognising Jungkook’s voice.

Jungkook could visualise Taehyung’s face and he would have bet anyone 100 dollars that Taehyung now wore the same blinding smile he had given Jungkook when they were at the café.

I like spending time with you,” Jungkook replied simply, and ended the call, heart still pounding and smiling like a maniac.

Chapter Text

“Okay. How does this look?” Jungkook asked, materialising before Jimin out of his room.

Jimin groaned loudly, now thoroughly exasperated. “This is the tenth outfit you’ve tried on Jungkook!!! Just fucking get on with it!!” Jimin screamed.

“But you haven’t yet told me how this one looks!!” Jungkook yelled back, equally loud.

“Oh my god! You are even more worse than a to-be bride. Who the fuck cares how you look? My god. Someone would think you are going on a date,” Jimin fired back. Jimin was in agony. It had been 45 minutes since he was ready to leave but Jungkook…he just couldn’t calm down.

“Just fucking tell me and this will get over soon,” Jungkook muttered, rolling his eyes.

“It’s okay. But works. Now let’s go,” Jimin commented, rolling his eyes back at the 6th white t-shirt Jungkook had worn, although a different white t-shirt. The boy simply changed his jacket or jeans while keeping the white t-shirt. Jimin mentally noted down to buy Jungkook clothes the next time because apparently Jungkook’s brain sorted clothes into ‘white’ and ‘not-white’ while doing shopping and subsequently categorising them into ‘good’ and ‘not good’.

“Be right back,” Jungkook yelled and ran back into his room.

“JUNGKOOK. IF YOU DON’T GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE IN THE NEXT 60 SECONDS I AM GOING TO MURDER YOU AND MAKE IT LOOK LIKE AN ACCIDENT,” Jimin screeched after the boy. Jimin was done with him. SO done with him. If he seriously had to watch Jungkook change his outfit one more time, either Jungkook was going to die or Jimin himself. Maybe Jimin himself should learn fighting so as to beat the shit out of Taehyung for making Jungkook like this.

Jimin’s phone buzzed as he received a text. Jimin opened the message. It was from Yoongi informing him that Taehyung and Yoongi were already over there and waiting. Jimin opened his mouth to call Jungkook when he appeared before Jimin, grinning.

“How is this?”

“You just couldn’t have thought of this before, could you?” Jimin asked, faintly smiling, taking in Jungkook standing in a black skinny ripped jeans and a black tight t-shirt. Jimin was impressed that Jungkook didn’t end up wearing another white t-shirt.

Jungkook raised his eyebrows, waiting.

“Just one more thing,” Jimin smiled and dashed into his room.

“Here,” Jimin said, throwing his black leather jacket to Jungkook, who caught it effortlessly. “Taehyung won’t be able to get his eyes off of you,” Jimin grinned and Jungkook laughed, pulling on the jacket.

Now please let’s go.

“Yes, let’s,” Jungkook smiled, walking in front of Jimin, pocketing the car keys and stepping out into the dark night.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Jungkook steered the car effortlessly through the streets. He was grinning. Both Jimin and he had been looking forward for Friday night and it was finally here.

Their parents had left early morning for Busan. Jungkook was glad that their parents were professors at Busan. They only visited Jimin and him once in a month in Seoul. It wasn’t that they couldn’t teach at here, but they preferred Busan over Seoul, where they had spent their whole life. And Jimin and Jungkook never complained because they got to live alone without any restrictions. They had the whole house to themselves, with one weekend in the month either in Busan or their parents visiting them. The only thing Jungkook disliked was staying away from Ji Hyun and how much the little kid suffered from doing up and down from Busan to Seoul and back again to meet his brothers. Their parents had taken a leave and visited them for a whole week, so Jungkook and Jimin had been worried whether they would extend their stay till the weekend. Normally, they wouldn’t have wanted their parents to go away, but they were aware that their parents wouldn’t let them get out of the house so late at night. But everything had worked out well for them. So Jungkook was glad.

Jungkook glanced at Jimin who was grinning too, staring outside as they left the main city behind them, and nearing downtown. He knew Jimin was just as excited as him. It was another thing they could cross out of their list of crazy things they had ever done. But Jungkook was sure he was even more excited because of a certain someone.

He hadn’t met Taehyung again after Monday, on the account that both of them had been busy with their classes, particularly Jungkook. He had gotten a shit ton of assignments from his professor to finish within next week and to top that, he now also had to go for running practice regularly now that he was on the team and in the competition.

He hadn’t met Taehyung again but both of them were constantly texting each other. The first thing Jungkook would see in the morning was Taehyung’s ‘good morning’ message and the last thing would be his ‘good night’ texts. He would even pause his game in the middle just to reply to Taehyung and that was something.

Jungkook had come to know a lot of things from texting Taehyung. He had noted how Taehyung was correct about Ki Bum. Ki Bum and his friends barely did anything to Jungkook, much less threaten him. They would simply glare at Jungkook from a distance but wouldn’t actually come anywhere near him. Once when Jungkook was walking down the corridor, he noticed Ki Bum walking towards his direction from the opposite side. Jungkook was a tiny bit scared but decided to act cool. He almost lost it when he watched Ki Bum change his direction and walk back from where he came from once he had spotted Jungkook. Jungkook knew now that he trusted Taehyung and his logic, though to what extent, he didn’t know.

He also was aware that Taehyung’s favourite colours were black, white and green and his favourite number was 10. Jungkook knew that his favourite food was Japchae or any kind of meat. And that Taehyung and Yoongi were both from Daegu. He knew that Taehyung played the saxophone. Jungkook knew all of this and much more from the constant texting. He would be so engrossed that once while walking with Jimin to the college, Jungkook ran straight into a streetlight. Jimin had thrown himself on the sidewalk and was laughing so much that he had teared up. So it went without saying that Jungkook was pretty eager -and nervous- to meet Taehyung now that he knew so much about him.

Jungkook took the turn as he spotted the last exit which he had taken when Yoongi had been directing him. The road was now somehow familiar to him, the way ingrained in his mind due to Yoongi. They now just had to reach the spot where they had met Yoongi and Taehyung and then follow Taehyung’s directions.

“A right from here,” Jimin said, pointing to Jungkook and the latter nodded. They arrived at the spot where they had parked their car and met the two other boys.

“Remember?” Jungkook asked, turning to look at Jimin.

Jimin flashed him a smile, “I don’t think we are forgetting any of that ever. I wouldn’t have thought I would come here again, much less to meet those two. Who would’ve have thought our lives would be entangled like this with them?”

Jungkook couldn’t help but smile back. The four of them had somehow become involved now, their lives intertwined. Maybe fate had made them cross paths for some reason, but for what reason Jungkook didn’t know. Not that Jungkook believed in fate or destiny or anything, but it seemed too much of a coincidence that all of them had kept on running into each other.

“So where exactly did Taehyung say it was?” Jimin asked, almost bouncing in his seat from excitement.

“Two left turns from here,” Jungkook answered, driving carefully and taking the first left turn he spotted. The road from here was quite long that Jungkook couldn’t see the end.

“From here,” Jimin said, as the car finally arrived at the turn. Jungkook steered the car left and drove on until they arrived at a dead end. Jungkook frowned. There was no one in sight the way Taehyung had mentioned there would be, nor had they come across any shop.

“Do you think he made a mistake in the directions?” Jungkook asked Jimin, suddenly unsure. Jimin pursed his lips, thinking hard. “What had he said exactly?” “Take two left turns. There will be a sign named ‘Bob’s garage’ somewhere near a rundown shop and opposite that,” Jungkook recited, remembering Taehyung’s words.

“Bob’s garage,” Jimin repeated, now turning around and squinting hard in the darkness to search for any sign board thrown somewhere. Jungkook turned and started looking too, narrowing his eyes to spot some sort of board.

“Look!” Jimin said, hitting Jungkook’s arm to get his attention. Jungkook whipped his head and looked where Jimin was pointing and saw something silvery and metal shining in the pale moonlight.

Jimin grinned. “So if that is the sign, and opposite that, it means…” Jimin started and whipped his head in the other direction and Jungkook turned too. Jungkook was still unsure. “There is still no one over here the way Taehyung said there would be though,” Jungkook murmured.

“Let’s get out and look. Come on,” Jimin said, opening the door and stepping out. Jungkook followed his suit and stepped into the cool, dark night. “Opposite that means here,” Jimin said, walking to Jungkook’s left.

“Look,” Jimin beamed. Jungkook saw a narrow alley, so narrow that only one person could walk at a time. Jimin walked straight into it without thinking it over and Jungkook followed.

Jungkook was a tiny bit scared. It was extremely dark and they hadn’t spotted anyone since entering the area and it was too quiet for his liking. The only sound was that of his own and Jimin’s light footsteps. Jungkook squinted again into the darkness to see clearly when he suddenly saw something move amongst the shadows.

“Jimin, wait,” Jungkook hissed but Jimin had already emerged out from the alley into the street. “I think I just saw something or someone move around here,” Jungkook whispered urgently to Jimin’s loud and annoyed ‘what?’

“There’s no one he-” Jimin started, making no effort to speak in a quiet voice when suddenly they heard a voice “He’s right, you know.”

Both Jimin and Jungkook jumped at the voice and whirled around to see where it came from. Jungkook’s eyes widened as he saw two guys standing near them. One guy stood with his hands folded in front of him, watching the two of them with a hawk like stare. The boy was wearing a tank top and Jungkook noticed the way his muscles stood out even from a distance. Jungkook watched his hefty body and knew that he would have to be cautious around this boy. The boy had full lower lips, which were curled up in a threatening smile, his jaw jutting out prominently. The other boy was leaning against what Jungkook perceived as a door, his hands in his pocket. This guy was less threatening than the other, but while the other guy showed some expressions, this one gave them a flat bitchy stare. Jungkook could’ve mistaken the boy for a model had he seen him somewhere other than here.

“Who are you?” Jimin asked, raising his eyebrows, mimicking the boy in front of him. Jungkook had to give it to Jimin, even if the boy was scared, no one would ever believe it because Jimin was gutsier than him. Jimin always got over his fear moments later and gave absolutely zero shits and even Jungkook sometimes believed that Jimin was truly never scared of anything.

“I think we should ask you this question,” the boy answered.

“I am Jimin. This is Jungkook. We are here to watch the matches and I think that door leads to them. So please let us pass,” Jimin said.

“And whose match is it that you want to see?”

“Taehyung’s” Jungkook answered, now gaining confidence.

“We don’t know any Taehyung,” the boy answered back, now smirking.

That threw both Jimin and Jungkook off guard. Jimin recovered first. “What bullshit. Taehyung himself told us that he would be here and that Yoongi is with him.”

“I just said we do not know any Taehyung, or any Yoongi,” the boy repeated, now smiling dangerously.

Before Jimin could open his mouth to reply, someone rapped the door. The boy leaning against the door moved and opened it. Jungkook internally screamed as he saw another boy step out. The boy was so tall that Jimin looked like a midget in front of him and even Jungkook was towered over. Jungkook thought he was a legit giant. His face was an extremity, a paradox in itself. He had childishness and somehow the sexiness of that of a man that Jungkook thought would’ve been impossible to find in anyone.

The boy smiled at them kindly before turning to the other two, “What’s going on?”

“They say they’ve come to watch Taehyung and Yoongi,” the first boy answered, still smirking.

“And why haven’t you let them pass then?” the newcomer frowned.

“HAH! So they are here!” Jimin snapped.

The first boy ignored both Jimin and Jungkook and answered the newcomer instead, “Taehyung hasn’t told us he was expecting someone.”

“Just because Taehyung hasn’t brought anyone along doesn’t mean he never will. If these boys are insisting that they’ve come to meet him then you should’ve verified it with him the first thing instead of denying them the entry by not acknowledging Taehyung’s existence,” the newcomer snapped. Jungkook immediately sensed that whoever this guy was, he had more authority than the other two. Jimin glanced at Jungkook and Jungkook understood what he meant to say. All of this was more complex and strict than they had imagined.

“I don’t think they even know the name of the place. Do they know we don’t address Taehyung or Yoongi by their names? I don’t think so. They can be Raiders for all I know,” the first boy snapped back, agitated. Jungkook threw Jimin a look at this new piece of information. The place had a name? And what was all that about Taehyung and Yoongi not addressed by their names? Raiders?

“The only way to verify that would be to call Taehyung and ask him if they know these guys. Go fetch Taehyung,” the tall boy commanded the other boy, who had again been leaning against the door. The boy left wordlessly, closing the door behind him.

It was silent and awkward between the four of them. Jungkook and Jimin somehow were at ease. This newcomer was kind and friendly enough, but something told them that if they did not have legit story or purpose of visiting here, he also would take this matter seriously. Very seriously.

The first boy was fuming, his jaw set and refused to look at any of them. Jimin and Jungkook waited silently, not understanding any of this, waiting for Judgement Day.

After about ten minutes of silence, Jungkook could hear the sound of hurried footsteps behind the door and within the next minute the door burst open. Taehyung stood in front of them, breathing heavily and Jungkook suspected he had come running all the way and behind him stood Yoongi, who nodded at both of them.

“You guys are finally here,” Taehyung gasped, still breathing heavily, hands on his knees.

“You know them?” the tall guy questioned, looking at Taehyung steadfastly.

“Yes. I invited them here. These are my friends Jimin and Jungkook,” Taehyung answered turning to look at him, waving a hand in the air.

“Jeez Taehyung, then who the fuck will tell us that you are expecting someone?” the tall guy groaned, now exasperated.

“When has he done one thing right?” Yoongi muttered and Taehyung hit him.

“Sorry hyung. I am so sorry. Forgive me, hmm? Please? Please hyung?” Taehyung said, flashing the tall guy his Boxy Smile™.

“Taehyung, Jongin would’ve beaten the shit out of him if I had not reached here on time. Did you even tell them the name of his place or the fact that we don’t call each other by our names?”

Realisation dawned on Taehyung and he smiled sheepishly, “I…might’ve forgotten to mention it in my excitement.”

The three of the guys rolled their eyes and Yoongi shook his head. Jungkook understood that whatever it was, everyone was fond of Taehyung.

“Nevermind. Introduce us to your friends,” the boy commanded.

“This is Jungkook and his brother Jimin. And this is Chanyeol hyung,” Taehyung said, pointing to the tall guy. “That’s Jongin hyung, we call him Kai,” Taehyung said pointing to the boy in the tank top, who had denied them entry, “and that’s Sehun hyung,” Taehyung finished, waving his hand in the model boy’s direction. “Yah hyung, not everyone has a nickname,” Taehyung frowned, addressing Chanyeol.

“Yes we don’t. But you know it’s important for the newcomers to know your other names too. We do not want a situation like last time, do we?” Chanyeol chided and Taehyung shrugged. “I’ll brief them, don’t worry.”

Jongin turned to Jungkook and Jimin, “I am sorry for behaving like that, but I hope you understand my position. I am not allowed to take just anyone in. The people who come here are someone’s friends or atleast acquaintances. We do not allow just anyone to enter here. And some idiot,” Jongin said, throwing Taehyung a look, who smiled the same sheepish smile, “forgot to mention us they were expecting you both. I hope you understand,” Jongin finished, smiling apologetically. He truly looked sorry. Jimin flashed him a smile and Jungkook nodded too, acknowledging what he said.

“And call me Kai,” Jongin added and Jimin grinned.

“Don’t worry, you’ll be given entry next time automatically. Taehyung and Yoongi's friends are our friends. Yoongi, just make sure you brief them about everything and introduce both of them to everyone so there won’t be any problems in the future,” Chanyeol said, turning to look at Yoongi.

“I am right here, you know. Even I can introduce them,” Taehyung pouted.

“No. You’ll simply forget to tell them something else,” Chanyeol muttered, rubbing his forehead. “Now run along,” Chanyeol said, before Taehyung could argue.

As Jungkook and Jimin passed everyone, all of them, including Sehun smiled at them. Jungkook was the last to enter the door and someone, Jungkook assumed Sehun, considering he was the one standing next to the door, patted his back and the door was shut behind them.

“Come on,” Taehyung said, who was walking at the front besides Yoongi, with Jimin and Jungkook in tow. They walked along a narrow descending corridor. And was dimly lit. Jungkook could feel the floor vibrating slightly and he could fear the faint noises getting louder and clearer the more they walked inside.

“You’re going to love this,” Taehyung said, turning around to look at both of them, smiling excitedly.

The four of them arrived at an old and rustic construction elevator. “Come on, climb in,” Yoongi smiled and Jungkook was pretty sure this was the first time he had seen some sort of excitement or rather emotions on his usually expressionless face. Jimin and Jungkook hopped on the small elevator and Yoongi pressed a button and the elevator started descending down. Jungkook felt rather cramped because of its size and Jungkook was sandwiched between Jimin and Taehyung. Jungkook internally groaned. He didn’t know whether to thank god or curse him because of the physical proximity between him and Taehyung. The latter was pressed up against him and Jungkook’s back was against Taehyung’s chest.

“I normally do not like this elevator because of it’s size but I not going to complain about it ever again,” Taehyung whispered in Jungkook’s ear. Jungkook blushed and internally screamed because he knew that Jimin and Yoongi had heard it too. Jimin tried to control his snickers and Yoongi groaned out loud and hit Taehyung, “Yah! Give the kid a break, will you? I will break your legs so you do not follow him everywhere.” Yoongi turned to Jungkook, “Just tell me when he becomes too much and I will do it, okay?” and Jungkook grinned, nodding, although he was aware he wasn’t ever going to complain. He did have kind of fun.

The elevator stopped on the floor with a loud thud and rattled. This damn old thing,” Yoongi muttered, kicking the elevator on his way out. Again Taehyung and Yoongi took the lead and walked at the front. There was a single door at the end of a short corridor and as Jungkook neared it, the vibrations and noises grew loud.

Taehyung turned around, smiling wickedly at both of them as he pushed open the door, “Welcome to The Hellions.”

Jungkook and Jimin walked past Yoongi and Taehyung, who waited for them to get inside first. The first thing Jungkook perceived was the sheer amount of activity going on. The noises, though not deafening, were very loud. People were shouting and yelling and talking loudly to each other from corner of the hall to another. Jungkook could hear and see people laughing and roaring everywhere. There was loud music being played somewhere and one group was dancing at the side, immersed in themselves. The hall was vast and Jungkook could still see even more doors at the corners and the ends. There were four simultaneous matches going on and spectators were gathered around the rings, cheering and yelling for their friends or contestants, with one person collecting betting money.

There was a bar at a corner with drinks lined up behind them with two bartenders. The place looked like a legit bar, with people coming and ordering drinks and walking away back to the rings. At another side, there was a huge stereo system and a stage, with mics kept on them and the dancers were gathered in front of it, forming a small circle and having a dance off. At another corner, Jungkook could see old sofa sets kept around for anyone who wanted to sit and chill, with tables in front of it and all.

“What the…”Jimin exclaimed, jaw dropped, looking around and taking everything in. Jungkook was sure he looked the same. Whatever he had expected, this wasn’t it.

Yoongi grinned, actually grinned at them. “Quite something, isn’t it?”

“‘Quite’? This is fucking lit!!” Jimin laughed, overwhelmed by the surrounding. “This is…this is crazy mad. Where the fuck was this place and why haven’t we seen this before?” Jimin grinned ear-to-ear, turning to look around at Jungkook.

Jungkook reflected Jimin, laughing and shrugged in response. Jungkook himself was overwhelmed. The atmosphere was extremely moving and energy inducing.

“Come on, they are waiting,” Taehyung said, tugging Jungkook by his sleeve and Jungkook followed him with Jimin and Yoongi beside him. The four of them walked to the bar which was now empty except for three people who were watching them approach. One of them Jungkook understood was a bartender, for he stood behind the counter, hands in his pockets. He stood out the most, not only because of his extremely handsome features and full, pouty lips but because of his outfit. He wore black slacks and a pale blue shirt, with the sleeves folded till the elbows and Jungkook was sure he was the only one wearing such formal attire in this sea of joggers and tack pants and jeans. Another one, who sat on a small stool at the counter, watched them approach with a small smile. He had soft brown hair and distinctively sharp eyes which contradicted the dimples on his cheeks, making him look powerful and yet very young. The last and the third one had a very long face and was smiling at them hugely. Jungkook noticed his dark eyes which shone brightly and Jungkook noticed the playful and quirky look in them. The guy had the face and expressions on an angel but such a killer jawline that Jungkook was sure Satan had himself carved it to make the mortals suffer. When they came close enough of hearing range, the third guy, who had been leaning against the counter, ran towards them and launched himself straight at Yoongi, wrapping his legs around Yoongi’s waist while making absurd, animal like sounds.

If Jungkook had thought Yoongi smiling was The Rare Thing™, then he wasn’t prepared to see Yoongi laughing loudly and whirling the guy around while wrapping his hands around his waist. Jungkook glanced at Jimin whose jaw was open so wide at the sight, Jungkook was sure he could stuff a whole pastry in Jimin’s mouth. Jungkook was sure he looked the same.

The guy hopped down when Yoongi had stopped and walked to Taehyung and launched himself at him, again wrapping his legs around Taehyung’s small waist and clinging to him like a koala. “Get off me, getoffme!!” Taehyung shrieked, laughing loudly, refusing to whirl him around.

“Here he goes again,” the guy seated on the stool chuckled. “Yah Hobi! Get off the kid. That’s enough. One would think you haven’t seen them for years.”

The boy, Hobi -was that a nickname Jungkook thought- hopped down lightly and turned to face the boy who addressed him. “I just came in. You both saw them a few minutes ago. And I am seeing them after 2 weeks, so please don’t ruin my excitement.”

The two other rolled their eyes and turned to look at Jimin and Jungkook.

“Hyung, let me introduce you to the two new additions to this group,” Taehyung beamed and Jungkook wondered how Taehyung could be so bold and sure. Jungkook wasn’t sure if this was a one time thing or something else but Taehyung directly referred to Jimin and himself as a new ‘addition to the group’ and Jungkook wondered if the rest would accept them or not.

“This is Jimin and that’s his brother Jungkook,” Taehyung said, pointing to each of them before turning around. “And this is Namjoon hyung who is sitting, we call him Rap Monster or more commonly God of Destruction, that’s Seokjin hyung, but please call him Jin, he works as a bartender here and this” Taehyung said, pointing to the last guy and patting his head, who was still latched to Taehyung’s side, “is Hoseok, our Hobi Hyung.”

“They also call me J-Hope, because I am your hope,” Hoseok smiled widely.

“The only hope I had from you was not to be as idiotic as the others, but you constantly proved me wrong,” Yoongi murmured and Jin and Taehyung laughed and even Namjoon snickered.

“But you still love me,” Hoseok said, still smiling sweetly at Yoongi and then flashed him a middle finger before turning around to face the others.

“So what do you want?” Jin asked Jungkook and then turned to look at Jimin, placing two glasses on the counter.

“I really don’t want anything alcoholic,” Jimin replied, “and he is just 20,” Jimin continued, jerking his head in Jungkook’s direction.

“Two cokes it is then,” Jin said, removing a bottle from below the counter. “Don’t be self-conscious if anyone of you doesn’t drink. We get a lot of 18 years too over here, so we have all kinds of drinks here , even milkshakes and stuff, and no one judges each other. Although if minors want to drink, we don’t necessarily stop them,” Jin smiled, eyes twinkling.

Yoongi and Hoseok had sat down on stool beside Namjoon. Taehyung dragged two stools and Jimin dragged another one, and the three of them sat facing the others.

“Aren’t they going to have anything?” Jungkook inquired, turning to look at Taehyung.

“He has to play a match, so he isn’t allowed to, and so isn’t Yoongi, just in case,” Namjoon explained. That makes sense Jungkook thought.

“So are you here to fight?” Namjoon asked, looking between both of them.

“No. We simply want to watch,” Jimin said, taking the glass of coke Hoseok passed to him while Namjoon passed the other to Jungkook.

“I would have thought otherwise,” Namjoon remarked, eyes roving over Jungkook’s body. “He looks quite something.”

“No, I don’t fight,” Jungkook muttered, groaning internally. He could see worry passing over Jimin’s face and Jungkook knew Jimin was afraid that they would drag Jungkook into some match. “So do you fight too?” Jungkook asked hurriedly, eager to change the topic and he was satisfied to see that Jimin was distracted, his attention turned towards Namjoon.

“No, I don’t. I am the referee for Taehyung’s matches. I overlook them and keep a check on him and also manage his finances, the money he wins from his bets and everything and then distribute it among the group. Jin here is just a bartender, doesn’t fight or anything. Hoseok works as the MC for our matches and sometimes fights,” Namjoon explained.

“Are there groups here then?” Jimin asked, curious.

“Not a said group as such, but many of the people tend to stick to certain people, so yeah, you can say there are groups,” Hoseok said smiling, beating Namjoon to it.

“And the five of you are one group?” Jimin asked, looking at all of them.

“Yes, till now. I think it’s the 7 of us now. I think we are going to see the two of you more than you can imagine,” Jin replied, smiling at Jimin, the same twinkle in his eyes.

Jimin blushed, “How can you say so? What if we don’t come here again?”

“What makes you think you aren’t coming back here?” Jin laughed. “Is this place not good enough for you? Not cool enough?”

“No,” Jimin smiled sheepishly, “It’s more than what I imagined. Much more than what I had imagined. I thought it would be like a plain room with a bunch of kids fighting, but this is huge.”

“It was initially like that. Everything here was plain and none of these extra things were here. The only thing we had was the plain vast room. Over the years we slowly started adding more and more stuff to it. As the popularity grew and as more and more people kept coming, we saw that’s fights wasn’t the only thing that people enjoyed. They enjoyed dancing, singing too. Basically everyone who visited here simply wanted or needed a getaway. Thus all these extra things,” Jin explained, waving a hand at the stage and DJ and the bar.

“It slowly became an underground club of sorts, of course the fights being the main attraction. You can’t find that or fight in normal clubs. But of course we also have days dedicated just for dance offs and rap battles. We don’t hold any matches then,” Namjoon said.

“Really?” Jimin asked and Jungkook knew he was eager to the see dance offs too. Jungkook would bet anyone 100 dollars that Jimin’s mind was whirring at the thought of entering just for fun.

“Where do you think Yoongi practices his rap battles?” Taehyung laughed. “And Joon is called ‘Rap Monster’ for a reason, duh.”

“So both of you rap too. Anyone else does anything else?” Jimin asked, glancing around.

“Hoseok raps too. And he is sick at dancing. I can’t decide what he is better at,” Jin smiled and he looked like such a proud mom.

“And what about you?” Namjoon chuckled, turning around to look at Jin, who just smiled modestly. “Jin and Taehyung here sing too, you know? And they are fucking good.” Jungkook glanced at Taehyung, who suddenly seemed shy. This was another new piece of information Jungkook came to know and he suddenly wanted to listen to Taehyung sing. He couldn’t imagine how heavenly Taehyung would sound with that low and raspy voice of his. On another note, Jungkook didn’t want to listen to him. He didn’t want to die young.

“So who were those guys we watched upstairs?” Jungkook asked; keen to know other things, and also not wanting to dwell on Taehyung and how he would sound while singing. He could torture himself later.

Namjoon turned to look curiously at Yoongi. “It was Chanyeol hyung,” Yoongi replied.

“Ah,” Namjoon replied, nodding.

“There are 9 of them in their group. They are the only ones reliable aside from us,” Hoseok said, suddenly turning serious. Jungkook noted how drastically different Hoseok seemed now. Serious Hoseok seemed even more dangerous than Yoongi and not someone you would want to cross paths with.

“Meaning?” Jungkook asked, frowning.

“Meaning that aside from us, you should only trust their group in case something happens. We are all really good friends and look out at each other in case of trouble,” Hoseok said, still looking serious.

Jungkook fell silent. In case of trouble. What kind of trouble Jungkook thought. Something related to Raiders? Jungkook was itching to ask further, but he didn’t want to cross his line. He could ask this to Taehyung and Yoongi later or the rest of them some other time.

“So where is the rest of their group?” Jungkook asked, turning the topic again effectively before the mood could get serious. He didn’t want to ruin the playful atmosphere everyone had.

“In the ring. Come on, let’s go watch them and introduce you to them. Taehyung’s number is soon after them,” Namjoon said, glancing at his watch.

Jungkook and Jimin got up from the seat and Yoongi got up too. Hoseok got up and yawned and stretched. Jungkook glanced at Taehyung. There was a wild, almost maniacal look in his eyes. Jungkook could see that he was excited. Jungkook turned to Jimin and grinned, now eager too. This was going to fun.

Jungkook glanced back again and Taehyung and his mouth went dry. Taehyung had removed his shirt and was talking something to Namjoon. Taehyung threw the shirt to Jin, who folded it and put it below the counter. Jungkook watched Taehyung, who was wearing a deep necked tank top. His arm muscles stood out evidently. Jungkook saw that Taehyung wasn’t hefty or bulky but lean, the muscles hard and fit. Taehyung pulled a bandana from his pocket, still in deep conversation with Namjoon and pulled it over his head. Jungkook stopped breathing. He wasn’t ready for this. He so wasn’t ready for this. He suddenly wanted to run away now. If Taehyung looked so fucking sexy just by this appearance, Jungkook didn’t want to imagine how he would look while fighting.

“Finish your coke, you seem thirsty,” Jimin whispered in Jungkook’s ear so low that only Jungkook could hear it. Jungkook hadn’t even heard him come to his side.

“Shut up,” Jungkook choked, ears turning red, but he nevertheless finished his drink.

Taehyung looked up at the sudden noise and found Jungkook staring at him.

“Like what you see?” Taehyung smirked his infuriating smirk and flexed his arm and Jungkook looked away quickly but he knew that his blush gave him away.

“You just turned a whole new level of unimpressive,” Yoongi commented, watching Taehyung flex.

“It’s not you whom I have to impress anyway,” Taehyung fired back, smiling bitchily at Yoongi.

“I am sure Jungkook found that unimpressive too,” Yoongi muttered.

“Well, his blush says otherwise,” Namjoon observed and Jungkook heard Jimin and Hoseok control their snickers as Jungkook’s blush increased. Yoongi just rolled his eyes and Jungkook would have bet anyone that Taehyung looked gleeful. Jungkook looked at Jin who was looking at the whole thing amusedly, eyes sparkling with some hidden knowledge.

“That’s enough. Let’s go,” Namjoon said with finality when Hoseok’s and Jimin’s snickers subsided. Jungkook was suddenly thankful to Namjoon and looked at him gratefully when all of them, excluding Jin began to walk.

“Aren’t you forgetting something?” Jin asked and all of them turned to look back.

“Not at all,” Namjoon muttered, walking back hurriedly, looking flustered. Taehyung and Hoseok chuckled and even Yoongi smiled. Jimin and Jungkook watched confusedly until they saw Namjoon leaning over the counter and press his lips to Jin’s.

“Ugh. Let’s go before I vomit,” Yoongi commented and turned around and started walking, even though he was still smiling.

“Are they together then?” Jimin asked.

“Yes. 3 years now. And they are disgustingly sweet. Ugh. You would think their PDA would decrease after 3 years but no,” Yoongi muttered, shaking his head though smiling fondly now.

“You wait till you get someone and we will see how you are in a relationship,” Hoseok commented.

Jungkook watched Jimin’s head whip in Hoseok’s direction. Jimin looked between the two of them and then something like realisation dawned on his face. Yoongi’s ears turned vividly pink at Hoseok’s comment, the blush standing out against his pale skin. Jungkook looked if anyone else had seen it but Jimin was looking at anywhere but Yoongi, Taehyung was too busy humming and jumping excitedly to take part in the conversation and Hoseok was staring at the crowd ahead. Jungkook made a mental note to ask Jimin about this.

The five of them reached a ring where a match was ongoing. Namjoon appeared by their side and pushed his way to the front and the others followed his suit. A few people noticed them and waved their hands at the group or called out to them, some of them looking curiously at Jimin and Jungkook before focusing on the match in front of them. A guy came from the side and pulled Namjoon away, talking with him, leaving the rest of the group aside.

“That’s Baekhyun hyung, the MC and Chanyeol’s boyfriend,” Hoseok said, pointing to the MC, who was cheering and yelling along with the crowd. Both Jungkook and Jimin did a double after seeing him because he looked somewhat alike to Taehyung, although a more mature version than him. “He doesn’t fight,” Hoseok continued, “Chanyeol will kill anyone who even lays a single finger on him. But everyone loves him as an MC because he has endless energy and a beautiful voice.”

“Beautiful is an understatement,” Taehyung said, grinning. “The one that’s fighting in the ring, the one with the black t-shirt is Yixing hyung, one of the fighters of their group. Call him lay. The rest are upstairs, Sehun, Kai and Chanyeol. That’s Xiumin hyung over there, the one who is handling and collecting all the money. Again, doesn’t fight but simply handles their group’s finances. The referee is Junmyeon hyung aka Suho. Dislikes fighting but extremely fair and the group’s leader. Do you those two standing over there?” Taehyung said, pointing to two other guys standing at a distance. One of them was watching the match intensely and bouncing on his feet, eyes moving and taking in the actions of Yixing while the other looked thoroughly bored. “That’s Jongdae, the one who is bouncing up and down, we call him Chen. He is Yixing’s beta and the other is Kyungsoo hyung. Simply turns up to watch the matches. Does nothing else.”

Both Jimin and Jungkook looked at each one of them, taking in everybody’s appearance and remembering their names.

“You should trust only them other than us, in case of trouble,” Hoseok reminded them. “Come on, it’s almost ending. The other is guy is floored.” As Hoseok said this, there was a great roar from the crowd and both Jungkook and Jimin looked up quickly. Yixing had caught his opponent in a head lock and Jungkook gasped as he flipped the opponent and slammed his back on the group. Yixing backtracked and waited for the opponent to get up. “We do not hit others when they are lying on the ground. We wait for them to get up. That’s one of the rules,” Taehyung explained, without looking at Jungkook or Jimin, eyes trained on the ring.

“That’s pretty fair,” Jimin remarked.

“It is,” Taehyung agreed.

Jungkook looked at Chen and his friend and was surprised to find that they were staring at him. They saw Hoseok, Yoongi and Taehyung besides him and smiled and started walking in their direction and stood in front of them.

“Introduce us to your friends,” Chen smiled, looking from Jimin to Jungkook and then finally turning to Taehyung.

Before Taehyung could open his mouth to reply, there was a great shout from crowd and all of them turned to look up. Suho had started counting to ten and the crowd started chanting the numbers with him. Yixing’s opponent was still lying on the ground when Suho yelled out a “Ten!!”

The crowd cheered and Yixing laughed, taking a bow and waving to a few people. Baekhyun yelled the loudest and ran to Yixing, thumping on his back and jumping up and down. Yixing detached himself from Baekhyun and Jungkook watched as he held out to hand to his opponent and helped him get up. Yixing smiled at him and thumped on his back, congratulating him, before turning to the crowd, searching for someone. His eyes landed on Chen and Kyungsoo, who were standing with Jungkook and the group. Yixing grinned and hopped down from the ring, walking straight towards them.

“Headlock and slam, classic Yixing,” Taehyung beamed, as Yixing approached near them, and gave him a classic bro hug. Yixing stepped back and ruffled Taehyung’s hair, smiling widely.

“You shouldn’t do it so often. People will turn it against you once they understand it’s your classic move,” Kyungsoo said, watching Yixing disapprovingly.

“He’s right, you know,” Chen said, looking at Yixing who now looked slightly put off. “But we can figure that out later. Who was the opponent?”

“Dunno. Some newbie. A lot of newbies today,” Yixing noted, taking the towel Chen passed him. “I figure your opponent is also one,” Yixing said, looking at Taehyung who shrugged. Yixing turned to look at the whole group and spotted Jimin and Jungkook. “And who are they?”

“Our friends,” Yoongi replied. “This is Jimin and that’s his brother Jungkook. They’ve come to watch Tae play. We already told them who you are.”

“Enjoy, V is a great fighter,” Chen smiled.

“V?” Jimin asked, raising his eyebrows.

“V. Taehyung’s stage name,” Yoongi informed.

“What does it stand for?” Jimin asked.

“V for victory,” Taehyung grinned.

Yoongi snorted and turned towards Hoseok, “You should go along now. Namjoon will be waiting.” Hoseok nodded and walked away but not before smiling at Jimin and Jungkook.

At that moment, Baekhyun and Xiumin came bounding towards the group. Baekhyun was still jumping around like an excited puppy when his eyes landed on the two of them. “And they are…?”

“Our friends, Jimin and Jungkook,” Yoongi muttered and Jungkook understood that he was tired from all the introductions. Jungkook himself was tired of it all but he was satisfied knowing that these were the only last people they needed to be introduced to.

“Jimin. Oh my god he is so cute,” Baekhyun said, rushing forward and squishing Jimin’s cheeks, who laughed. All of the rest rolled their eyes, particularly Jungkook, who didn’t find anything ‘cute’ about Jimin.

“Get off him now. Let’s go. I am fucking hungry and I need a drink. It was a long night. I was working since Sehun’s and Chanyeol’s match,” Xiumin grumbled.

“Where are they by the way? Where’s Yeol?” Baekhyun asked, turning around and searching the crowd.

“Upstairs,” Jungkook replied, finally speaking up. He was somewhat overwhelmed by meeting so many new people.

“Oh you’ve met them already?” Baekhyun beamed. Jungkook couldn’t help but smile when he saw Baekhyun beaming. He looked like a little puppy waiting for treats. Jungkook nodded in response to him. Baekhyun thought about it for a moment. “Whatever, we will meet them later,” Baekhyun said, shrugging. “Now let’s goooo. Even I am hungry.”

“Where’s Suho?” Chen asked. “I dunno. He went away somewhere. Now lets goooo,” Baekhyun trilled, dragging Xiumin and Kyungsoo with him.

“We will see you again later when all of us are free. We would better go now before Baek comes back and starts to throw a tantrum,” Chen said, rolling his eyes.

“Good luck,” Yixing said, looking at Taehyung who smiled his Boxy Smile™ and then turned to the others. “See you all later,” Yixing smiled before turning around and walking towards the bar.

“Wooh. That’s a lot of people to meet in one day!” Jimin exclaimed, watching the retreating figures. Yoongi smiled, “Those are the only ones you needed to meet other than us. So don’t worry. It’s over.”

“I know it’s a lot to take in but don’t worry. You guys seem to fit right in,” Taehyung said.

“A lot is an understatement,” Jungkook muttered and Taehyung laughed. Namjoon appeared at their side and looked at Taehyung, “You are up in 15. Seok has started to collect the bets. So be ready,” and disappeared into the crowd again.

The three of them turned to look at Taehyung. Taehyung inhaled and exhaled heavily, bouncing on the balls of his feet. “You alright?” Yoongi asked him. “Yep. Never been better,” Taehyung answered, eyes shining with excitement as he threw a glance at Jungkook and Jimin. Jungkook saw how suddenly different Taehyung looked. There was a different sort of energy charging through him. A wild one. And it reverberated through the three of them. Even Yoongi seemed bursting with energy now, mirroring Taehyung’s actions unconsciously.

“Remember, whoever it is, do not charge first. Wait for them and learn their technique. You are the quickest so you will be able to get out of the way anyway. Do not be stupid and do not lose your focus, okay?”

Taehyung nodded his head vigorously, looking at the ground.

“Go on, Seok’s calling you on the stage,” Yoongi smiled faintly and thumped Taehyung’s back. Taehyung hopped inside the ring sparing any of them another glance and stood in the middle beside Hoseok. The moment the crowd saw him, a loud cheer went through the spectators and people started chanting his name. All Jungkook could hear for the next minute was the crowd’s loud chant of “V! V! V!”

“Is he really that good?” Jungkook asked, his eyes glued to Taehyung’s figure, who was smiling but looking anywhere but the crowd.

“Yes. I know it seems surprising, but yes. He has been here for only 3 years and he has lost only 4 times, that too because I lost the matches 4 times. I haven’t acted as his beta much. To be honest he doesn’t need one,” Yoongi answered, looking at both Jimin and him.

“Then how does he lose?” Jimin frowned.

“He is extremely quick. He is the fastest over here because of his lean body, so he moves and attacks before anyone can even understand what is happening. His only drawback is if he gets distracted. That’s why everyone advises him never to look at the crowd. A split second of distractions costs him the entire match. That’s how he has lost each of them,” Yoongi explained, looking worried. “He shouldn’t lose his focus today.”

Jimin raised his eyebrows and Jungkook looked confused.

“Your presence might distract him,” Yoongi murmured, glancing at Jungkook and smiling faintly. Jimin laughed, shaking his head. Jungkook pursed his lips and looked uncertain. “Should I just...”

“Nonsense. This is his test. Stay. He will try his best to win today. He needs to show off in front of you,” Yoongi snorted. Before Jungkook could say anything, Yoongi said, “Look. It’s starting.”

The three of them turned and watched the ring. Taehyung’s opponent was hefty and bulky and taller than him. Taehyung looked like a kid in front of him. Jungkook was now worried but Yoongi threw him a reassuring smile, “He’s a rookie. Never seen him before.”

“So? He can be good too,” Jimin contradicted and Yoongi simple shrugged in response murmuring “We shall see”.

Namjoon entered the arena and beckoned both Taehyung and his opponent and started instructing them something.

“Come on, let’s go and stand in front,” Yoongi said, edging forward, pulling both of them with him.

Hoseok entered the ring, smiling hugely. The crowd fell silent for a moment. “ARE YOU READY?” Hoseok yelled, turning to look at the crowd.

The crowd erupted in cheers and shouts. Jungkook glanced around saw that the other three matches had stopped, the entire crowd now gathered around this ring. Hoseok yelled out another “Are you ready?” His voice was so booming that he didn’t even need a mic.

“At one side we have one of our youngest and the least defeated player, none other than our favourite V,” Hoseok yelled out, stretching his ‘V’, almost singing it. The crowd hollered, going berserk. Jungkook and Jimin hooted along, the energy and the mood getting to them, infusing itself within them. There were a few jeers and hisses, which Jungkook imagined to be from the opposite party or maybe people who didn’t like Taehyung. Hoseok raised his hand to silence them all. “And on the other side we have a novice, an amateur who has just started his matches, but” Hoseok said turning around and looking at everyone, as the crowd started booing, “someone who hasn’t lost a single match yet. We have Kim Dae Hyuuuuuun.” Hoseok yelled. The cheers were significantly lesser with a lot of boos and hisses. Jungkook looked at Dae Hyun but he didn’t seem to be perturbed by any of them.

“Let’s get this match starteeeeed,” Hoseok said, almost howling and exited the ring, throwing his hands up.

Namjoon now stood at the centre, and looked at both of the contestants. “I want a clean and fair game. I have explained the rules. Any unfair game and you’ll be dragged out of the ring. Clear?” Namjoon asked, looking at both of them in the eye and both Taehyung and Dae Hyun nodded.

Jungkook’s heart was pumping now with the sheer energy. He had thought of visiting places like these when he was a kid, whenever he watched them in the movies and had wondered if it really was worth it but this was the real deal. This was something he hadn’t experienced. The entire hall was quivering with some sort of unknown spirit, the energy pulsing through each and every one of them and Jungkook knew that in that moment, the entire hall’s heart must be beating as one. Jungkook caught Jimin’s eye and saw that both of them were mirroring each other, eyes shining bright.

“Begin,” Namjoon commanded, backtracking and standing in a corner.

Dae Hyun wasted no time at all. He straight away charged at Taehyung, who was bouncing on his feet, keeping himself in movement and Jungkook almost had the picture of a bull charging at someone. Taehyung was ready, face contorted in concentration and ducked at the exact moment when Dae Hyun raised his fist to throw a punch. Taehyung slid between Dae Hyun’s legs so rapidly that Jungkook might’ve missed the action if he had blinked. Before Dae Hyun could understand, Taehyung was already standing behind him. He kicked Dae Hyun’s back, punching his shoulder as Dae Hyun fell down. Taehyung stopped and stood back, waiting for the latter to get up.

“The match won’t last long,” Yoongi remarked, eyes affixed on Taehyung’s figure.

“How do you know?” Jimin quipped, beating Jungkook to it.

“I have watched enough matches to predict how and when a match will end,” Yoongi said, rolling his eyes. “Don’t you trust me?” Jungkook wasn’t sure but he thought he heard Jimin’s faint “I do.” He shook his head, concentrating on the front.

Dae Hyun got up and again charged at Taehyung. This time, Taehyung did not duck but caught Dae Hyun’s fist before it could connect with his face. He caught Dae Hyun’s fist in his left hand and threw a punch with his fist and Jungkook could hear the sickening smack as Taehyung’s fist connected with the skin. Dae Hyun staggered back and Taehyung wasted no time. He took advantage of Dae Hyun’s momentary distraction and landed another punch and as Dae Hyun clutched his face, Taehyung kicked him again, this time on the stomach. Dae Hyun lurch behind, falling on his knees and Taehyung pulled him in a headlock, positioning his body in such a way that the latter would not be able to pull him down with him. Taehyung pulled Dae Hyun down in a way that the former was on top of him and could not escape. Jungkook watched as Taehyung’s grip grew tighter on his opponent. Taehyung was breathing heavily now, hands and legs shaking due to holding Dae Hyun’s hefty body in place. The crowd was roaring now. Jungkook watched as Dae Hyun struggled, writhing himself to get out of the headlock but Taehyung made his grip even tighter, digging his heels in the ground and bend even more, not leaving any kind of escape for his competitor. Dae Hyun laboured for another minute and then rapped his hand on the ground fast. Taehyung huffed and got up, now smiling hugely. The crowd shrieked like mad men as Namjoon walked forward and held Taehyung’s hand up.

Taehyung caught Jungkook’s eye and simpered, raising his eyebrows. Jungkook just shook his head, smiling hugely now. Taehyung glanced away grinning and approached Dae Hyun and helped him up. Jungkook gasped as he saw that Dae Hyun’s right cheek was swollen. Taehyung whispered something to the guy and the latter nodded, smiling slightly. Namjoon patted Dae Hyun’s back, looking at him in concern and spoke rapidly with him and Taehyung nodded vigorously and then pulled Dae Hyun in a classic bro hug.

"Do all of them accept rejection so easily?" Jungkook wondered, remembering how even Yixing had smiled and helped his opponent up.

"Ofcourse not. We are the civilised ones. Namjoon will beat the shit out of Taehyung if he ever plays an unfair game or becomes rowdy. Not that he ever is. He is too kind. Ofcourse we have had rude and boisterous ones too. They can't accept the fact that they've lost and start to thrash their opponents. We have had to physically drag and throw people out too," Yoongi replied. Jungkook nodded unconsciously and looked at Taehyung.

Taehyung turned around and whispered something to Namjoon and turned around and walked and hopped down from the ring, beelining straight towards Jungkook and group. He didn’t even wait as Hoseok went back up on stage and announced the results, although Jungkook didn’t see a point since everyone was already watching them play.

“So, what do you think?” Taehyung asked, or demanded rather, as he stood in front of them, eyes trained only on Jungkook.

“I think…I might’ve to come here again and again.”

“Really? Did you like watching me play so much? Did I become more attractive?”

“No. Because there are a lot of hot guys in here,” Jungkook teased, watching as Taehyung was now slightly put off.

Jungkook suddenly pulled Taehyung forward by his wrist and put his lips next to Taehyung’s ears and was pleased to note the way Taehyung’s breathing suddenly hitched.

“But also because I do not like the way some people were looking at you. I need to stay by your side so no one else dares to come near what I have my eyes on,” Jungkook whispered, pulling Taehyung even closer by his wrist. Jungkook’s lips now almost grazed Taehyung’s ear and Jungkook flushed with a sort of maniacal pleasure as he felt Taehyung shiver. “They. Shouldn’t. Dare.”

Chapter Text

Jungkook, Jimin, Taehyung and Yoongi were sitting on the couch, away from the crowd and the noise, relaxing themselves. Namjoon, Hoseok and Jin had left them alone and had gone to talk with someone who had waved at them from across the hall.

Yoongi had a drink in his hand and was sipping it slowly, eyes trained on Hoseok and Namjoon’s figure and someone else whom Jungkook and Jimin did not know. Taehyung was sprawled on the couch, his head resting on Yoongi’s lap, his long legs dangling over the edge of the small couch and was scrolling through his phone and sipping his chocolate drink from the box while lying down, trying not to spill it.

Taehyung did not have any other match for today, so all of them were resting and since he was the only who took part in the fights among their group, they were all free now to do what they liked. After his match, Jungkook and Jimin had stayed and had watched a few more matches with Taehyung explaining them everything, the rules for the matches, pointing them some of the people he knew and some of his friends -which Jungkook thought were a lot- and explaining them the finer details of the fights. Yoongi had drifted off and joined the rest and the three of them were having a lot of fun together. Taehyung had taken both of them around and showed them the entire hall, from the DJ and dance corner to all the four rings and to each and every place possible, answering all of their questions enthusiastically. When he had gotten tired and hungry, they had joined the rest and stuffed themselves with nachos and chips which Jin had placed in front of them, the three of them too hungry to even talk.

Now the four of them, because Yoongi had been too lazy to join Namjoon and others to talk to whoever the other guy was, were lazing around.

Jungkook’s mind however was trained on one thought. He couldn’t shake off what Kai had said to Chanyeol. He had referred to them as ‘Raiders’. Whatever or whoever these Raiders were, Jungkook understood for a fact that they were not welcome here and weren’t someone to be associated with. What was all that about having different names? And why did only a few of them have names and the rest did not? Jungkook had so many questions to ask but he did not know how to ask them. And to whom? He somehow felt that he would cross a line if he asked them this question even though he was also sure that they would answer his question regardless. Jungkook sighed.

"What are you thinking?”

Jungkook looked up at the sound of Yoongi’s voice, whose eyes seemed to penetrate into Jungkook’s mind. He somehow sensed that Yoongi knew exactly what he had been thinking. Jungkook decided to take a chance.

“It was something Kai hyung said before upstairs…”Jungkook started slowly, looking at Yoongi carefully to observe his expression. To his surprise, Yoongi smiled slightly, as if knowing that this was exactly what Jungkook had been thinking and the reason he had been silent till now and Jungkook understood that even he was correct, Yoongi exactly knew what he had been thinking.

“You’ve been dying to now, haven’t you?” Yoongi asked, his smile growing slightly more pronounced.

Jungkook smiled sheepishly.

Taehyung and Jimin had both abandoned their phones by now, looking at the exchange between the two of them, both of them looking confused and curious. Taehyung poked Yoongi and raised his eyebrows in question and even Jimin asked “Dying to know what?”

“He wants to know who the Raiders are,” Yoongi answered to Taehyung’s and Jimin’s questions, his smile now vanished, suddenly turning serious.

Taehyung sat up now, his expression somewhat equally serious, face pinched in concentration, lips pursed. Jimin leaned forward, “Even I want to know.”

Yoongi leaned back, taking a long sip from his drink before placing it aside on the table. “The Raiders are another group just like us. Another club out here who fight regularly but not the way we or others do. There are a lot of similar clubs like these in this area, but ours is the only stable and probably the largest one. The rest of these aren’t full fledged clubs but they take place at different areas, so it’s more of like a meet. Raiders were originally the founding members of Hellions along with Jin, Namjoon and Hoseok and Suho and Chen. There were 4 more who then separated from us. The nine of them had their differences. For Jin and the rest of the four, these meets were just a way to relieve their stress, to have some fun or to just an adrenaline rush for the heck of it. For them, it was never violent nor any kind of violence in their motives. The nine had started it just for the sake of it, to get away from their monotonous life. The four others who left however later did not share these opinions, but there wasn’t really any sort of arguments among all of the members regarding this initially.”

“One day however, during one of these fights, one of the four of them, Jin and the others refuse to name who the 4 were, anyway, one of them got particularly violent during a match. The boy in front of him almost died. Jin, Namjoon and Suho had to physically intervene and stop him. Jin faced a lot of problems. Him and Namjoon took the boy and had to nurse him for 3 weeks in secret so none of this would leak. The 9 of them had a major fight following this. No one wanted to stop these meets but they argued about the way the fights should be organised and the rules and regulations. It seems that the 4 members who left were…too violent for this sort of thing. It had started just a fun and a way to relieve stress, so all of them were adamant on rules so as to keep themselves in check and not let things get out of hand. When the four wouldn’t back down, Jin finally had enough and banned them from entering here again. He-”

“Why would Jin have the most say in this?” Jimin asked, perplexed.

“Because Jin owns this place,” Yoongi answered, not perturbed by the interruption.

“HE WHAT?” Jungkook and Jimin yelled simultaneously.

“Jin hyung owns this place. As in, his father does. His father owns a construction business along with several other businesses. They were supposed to build a mall over here but the architect died midway through the construction. Jin’s father is really superstitious so he wouldn’t let the project continue. So this place was abandoned. Now we use it but obviously no one is aware of it,” Taehyung replied, unfazed at their reaction.

“So what happened later?” Jimin asked, quickly getting over it and eager to know more. Jungkook stashed that particular piece of information at the back of his mind. He could reflect upon it later.

“So Jin and the others banned them from entering. Everything was smooth then. Or so it seemed. The club was gaining attention and similar other such clubs were starting to arise in this vicinity. Hellions became popular due to it’s discipline and it’s beliefs. Not that other clubs were violent, but some were a bit rowdy. Hellions thus gained more attention and popularity than the rest of them. The weak ones would come and flock here because they knew they would always get protection over here or there was at least some assurance of it. Of course some of the skinny, weak ones are now strong enough to hold fort against anyone, even against Raiders themselves. But I think it was the basic principles of Jin and the 4 hyungs which is the main reason for Hellion’s fame. It’s one of the earliest clubs, you know,” Yoongi said, smiling.

“However, the four others weren’t particularly happy about the fact that they were banned from entering a club which they had helped to start. The 4 made a club of their own, called The Raiders. Me and Taehyung have been the once, secretly of course, to watch what kind of matches they hold. ‘Brutal’ or ‘Violent’ doesn’t even cover it. Anyway, it seems like their dismissal from this group was burning in their minds. They came here once out of nowhere and trashed the whole place down. Of course everyone was here, but it was chaos. Everyone fought against each other and all of them went home wounded. Atleast that’s what the older members say, but I do not doubt them. Luckily back then, all of these extra items like the DJ weren’t there. Taehyung and I have been over here now for almost 3 years and they have raided this place thrice. I have seen how violent this whole thing has become. The rivalry is way too high. They don’t dare come here every now and then. They don’t fight amongst themselves now, they come out of nowhere and break-in the other clubs. Rarely. They aren’t a regular club. We have no information whatsoever as to how many people are there or what plans they have now. The are silent nowadays. They usually bother the smaller clubs but they have been here thrice. Once, I think the year before last, they trashed this whole place down. I mean literally the whole place down. Whatever items we had were broken down and the sort. Jin had to buy and renovate this whole thing again from his own money. We had shut down the place for 3 months. After that, the rules here have become way too strict. Earlier, people used to come here and go as they pleased. Now we do not allow just anyone over here. For your entry, you need to know someone over here or at least be acquainted with someone. We cannot afford that kind of mistakes again. That’s why the name strategy. Whichever person you want to meet, you need to know at least their stage name. I know not everyone has one because not everyone wanted to have one, that would’ve caused too much of a confusion I think, so they generally ask the stage name of person who fights among a particular group the spectators want to see, so as to avoid any sort of consequences. That’s why Kai was reluctant to let you in. Not his fault to be honest, someone here is a huge idiot,” Yoongi replied, throwing Taehyung a dirty look. Taehyung smiled, now embarrassed.

“But knowing mere names isn’t really a cautious thing. Say they do know the names of the members here, what then? I don’t think there are more than 2 people guarding the door at a time, are there?” Jungkook asked, frowning. Yoongi nodded. “They won’t come as a group of just 2-3 people. I am sure they arrive as a whole damn crowd if they do intend to smash the whole place down. Shouldn’t there be more security?” Jungkook asked, his frown deepening.

Yoongi laughed. “You are smart. Taehyung should learn something from you.”

“Yah!” Taehyung exclaimed, offended and hit Yoongi on his arm.

“Of course there is more security. Behind the door there is always a third person standing in case of such emergencies. If the two on the outside sense the danger of Raiders, they knock the code signalling to the one standing behind the door of their arrival and the person runs downstairs and tells us to flee. We have getaway passages from here which the Raiders aren’t aware of, because of their short time here. Also Jin and the others found more passages after the first time they had smashed this place. Every time the code or signal is different so that the Raiders do not understand it. That’s why the damage from the last two times has been minimal. Most of the people, spectators being the priority escape early. The rest who can fight hold the place for as long as they can so that the rest of them can get away.”

Jungkook leaned back in his seat, somewhat satisfied with this information. Naturally he had a lot of more doubts and questions, but this was enough for now. He certainly hadn’t expected an answer in the first place.

“Oh my God!” Jimin suddenly exclaimed. Taehyung and Jungkook both jumped at the sudden outburst, for it had been quiet and 2 still minutes, and even Yoongi looked startled.

“The first time you met us, were you being chased by the Raiders?” Jimin asked, looking at Yoongi both excited and equally horrified.

“Maybe. We don’t know for sure. We have seen them thrice, do you expect us to remember their faces? But they might be,” Yoongi answered.

“Then why were you in trouble that day though?”

“Yes Taehyung, please elaborate why we were in trouble,” Yoongi repeated Jimin’s question, turning to look at Taehyung. Taehyung now looked so embarrassed. He covered his face with his hands, his ears had turned red. Both Jimin and Jungkook now started grinning, knowing that Taehyung must’ve done something incredibly stupid and childish.

“What did he do?” Jungkook demanded, a laugh almost on his lips.

Yoongi threw one glance at Taehyung, knowing that he would not be opening his mouth to answer them anytime soon, and Yoongi himself started smiling. Jungkook thought Yoongi looked pretty cute when he smiled like that. There was something very adorable in that gummy smile of his.

“Well, I and someone were walking around the area when we came across some cars. Those open cars with no top over them. Those ones. I don’t know what they are called. Anyway, there were 4 of those cars and jeep besides it. And no one was around. So of course someone was excited and maniacal and wanted to do something crazy. Incredibly stupid, in my opinion. So someone started jumping on the hoods of the cars even though they had been warned not to do so. Hopping from one hood to another. What someone wasn’t aware of was that the jeep had people in it. So of course when they saw some idiot jumping up and down on the hood, they got out and started chasing us,” Yoongi replied, now laughing.

Jungkook and Jimin burst out laughing, gasping for breath. Jimin fell from the couch because he was laughing so hard, tears streaming from his eyes, hitting Jungkook’s arm repeatedly. Jungkook could just imagine the whole scene. Taehyung jumping from one car to another excitedly, like a kid, that wild and crazed look in his eyes and Yoongi standing behind watching him with disgust on his face. Jungkook glanced at Taehyung who had now covered his face with a pillow.

“I don’t even think this is made up. I can just visualise the whole scene,” Jimin snorted, ceasing his laughter although breathless, taking Yoongi’s outstretched hand and getting up, sitting next to him.

“In my defence,” Taehyung said, removing the pillow from his face, “the cars looked abandoned and were old. Probably belonged to out grandfather’s generation. It didn’t look in the condition to be driven around. And the jeep had black tinted glasses so I couldn’t see if anyone was inside it or not.”

“Don’t even try to justify yourself,” Yoongi laughed.

“Whatever,” Taehyung muttered. “But to answer your question,” Taehyung replied, suddenly turning serious, “they could’ve been Raiders. I don’t know. It’s not like we remember their faces as Yoongi hyung said and they weren’t familiar face in the first place.”

“They have been quiet for too long now, haven’t they?” Taehyung asked, glancing at Yoongi. Yoongi looked concerned and he sighed. “Yes. Too quiet. Why do I have a feeling that something might happen soon?”

“Even the hyungs were worried about it. I heard Jin and Chen hyung talking about it last week,” Taehyung murmured, turning thoughtful.

“Well. Let’s just hope all of us are wrong, shouldn’t we?” Jimin said, smiling hopefully, looking at both of them.

“Yes. Let’ just hope that,” Yoongi replied, dropping the serious look and now smiling instead. Jungkook could’ve been wrong but he thought Yoongi’s hand brushed Jimin’s purposefully. He could’ve been mistaken but the way Yoongi was staring at Jimin steadfastly and the way Jimin’s ears had turned pink indicated that Jungkook might not be completely wrong. He would definitely have to talk to Jimin about this.

“So how long have Jin and the rest been here?” Jungkook asked, now his attention shifted to other information. Jin, Namjoon and Hoseok were the founding members?

“Five years now. The club has finished it’s 5 year anniversary 2 months ago. Jin, Namjoon, Hoseok, Jongdae and Junmyeon hyung were the founders. The other 4 too. The nine together started this club together. Jin had come up with the idea of such a club as a getaway. So..” Yoongi explained.

“Jin hyung? He doesn’t seem the type to fight,” Jimin interrupted and Jungkook nodded. He had thought that Jin was just a bartender. There was a classy aura about the guy. He did not seem the type to divulge into such activities. “Jin hyung doesn’t seem the type to fight?! Hah! That’s a new one. Half of the people here are scared of him. Do not go on his cute smile and his childish behavior which you are yet about to watch. The guy is a hardcore fighter. He doesn’t fight much nowadays but boy!! You don’t want to cross his path. He can turn absolutely murderous if provoked. I remember how lethal he had become when the Raiders had come the last time. Hoseok, me and him were staying back with some of the others as the others were escaping. Trust me, you never want to see him like that. He was the one who actually taught me to fight,” Taehyung replied, awe all over his face.

“So how did they all meet?” Jimin asked. “If Jin started it. Did they all know each other?”

“Yes. They all were friends and were in the same college,” Yoongi answered.

“Jeez. Rift between college friends. That’s even more sad,” Jimin commented and Yoongi shrugged.

“What are you all talking about?”

The four of them looked up, startled at Hoseok’s voice interrupting them. Behind him, Namjoon and Jin were standing, looking at all of them smilingly, yet curiously.

“Nothing. Just telling them more about the club and this that,” Taehyung replied, smiling. “Where had you been?” “Well, your friends will get to see the other side of the club too, soon,” Namjoon replied, pushing Taehyung to one side and sitting on the couch. The four of them, Namjoon, Taehyung, Yoongi and Jimin were sitting cramped on the couch, for it was too small to hold 4 people.

“Just fucking shift, will you?” Yoongi muttered to Taehyung.

“There’s no space,” Taehyung argued.

“Well then go and sit somewhere else.”

“Why? I was here before.” Taehyung answered stubbornly.

“You’ve been hogging the couch for the entire time,” Yoongi snapped.

“Both of you cut it out now,” Jin chided. Jin and Hoseok and sat next to Jungkook by this time, leaving no place for any new comer.

“But I was here before,” Taehyung bickered. “why should I…oh wait.” Taehyung’s irritated face turned into a devilish grin and he hopped up from his place. Yoongi raised his eyebrows at Taehyung and simultaneously shifted on the couch, so that Taehyung won’t be able to sit again. Taehyung turned around and walked straight towards Jungkook and sat down on his lap.

Jungkook ears turned red but he didn’t say anything, instead wrapping his arms around Taehyung’s waist and pulling him closer so he sat down comfortably. Jungkook watched Yoongi face palming and Jimin biting the inside of his cheeks to stop himself from laughing at Jungkook’s blush. Hoseok just cooed loudly which added to Jungkook’s embarrassment.

“Nevermind, as I was saying, you will get to see the fun side of the club too,” Namjoon grinned, saving Jungkook from further embarrassment. Namjoon turned to Yoongi, addressing him, “Rap battles three weeks from now. I was just talking with Seung Hoon.”

Both Jungkook and Jimin leaned forward now, eager to know more. Jungkook realized a split second later that he shouldn’t have done this. Taehyung’s back was now pressed against Jungkook’s chest. Taehyung took this chance and buried himself more into Jungkook, smirking at him, waggling his eyebrows. Jungkook rolled his eyes and ignored the suggestive look, although not removing his hand from Taehyung’s waist. They were practically cuddling now.

“And dance off too,” Hoseok grinned, supplying more information. Yoongi’s eyes were sparkling now. “When?”

“Third Friday from now,” Jin answered, smiling at Yoongi.

“So all of you rap and dance?” Jimin asked zealously.

Jin started laughing out loud, unable to control himself and even Hoseok joined in. “Namjoon and dancing,” Jin gasped, still laughing, clapping his hands at the thought. “I would pay anything to watch Joon dance,” Hoseok laughed and Jimin and Jungkook started laughing, because his laugh was so contagious.

“Why?”

“Namjoon dancing is a sight to watch,” Yoongi smiled, and Jungkook noticed even he was cracking up.

“Shut up you all,” Namjoon grumbled. “As if you all dance better than me. Jin, you are worst.”

“Honey, I know I am the worst. It doesn’t make a difference to me. And Hoseok is literally a dancer. And you aren’t called the God of Destruction for nothing. You will break the dance floor when you dance, so please don’t dance here okay? I don’t want to pay for new flooring,” Jin teased.

“Fuck off,” Namjoon muttered, although his lips were twitching.

“Can…can anyone participate in the dance off?” Jimin asked shyly.

“Of course,” Hoseok smiled hugely. “And there’s money too. Do you dance?”

Before Jimin could reply, Yoongi beat him to it, “Yes. He is majoring in dancing.” Jin looked impressed and Hoseok whistled however Jungkook raised his eyebrows at Yoongi's interruption.

“You must be good. I hope you, no wait, you should definitely come. I want to see how good you are. I will at least get some company then. Yah Yoongi, make sure both of them come, will you?” and Yoongi nodded.

Hoseok now got up from his place and stretched himself. “Anyway, I will get going now. It’s getting late. I will see you on Monday for practice?” Hoseok asked, turning to Namjoon and Yoongi and they nodded in response.

Jimin and Jungkook both glanced at the time. “What the fuck? It’s been three hours already,” Jimin exclaimed.

Namjoon chuckled, “You’ll never understand how quickly time passes over here.”

“I am understanding that now,” Jimin mumbled and then looked at Jungkook. “We need to get going.”

Jungkook nodded, somehow reluctantly though. He didn’t want to leave nor was he sleepy in any way, but it was past 2 now and it would take them some time to get home.

“We all are leaving,” Yoongi replied, getting up himself and yawning. “I can’t wait to get home and sleep. Oi, get up, leave him alone now,” Yoongi muttered, nudging Taehyung with his toe. Taehyung pouted but got up and Jungkook suddenly missed the warmth he had been providing. The five of them stood up now and Yoongi glanced at Jin.

“Even you are going home?” Jin nodded. “Chanyeol and the others are staying out late so they will close it. I am tired now to wait back, so Joon and I are leaving too. But you all go, we will still take half an hour before we leave.”

Hoseok shrugged and picked his jacket up from the floor. “Let’s go,” and jumped on Yoongi’s back.

“What the fuck?” Yoongi growled.

“Carry me,” Hoseok pouted.

“I am not your boyfriend to carry you. Get down now.”

“No, I am not. But you love me. Please. You just have to carry me till upstairs. Hyung pleeeease,” Hoseok trilled.

Yoongi huffed and jumped, adjusting Hoseok on his back and Hoseok wrapped his arms around Yoongi’s neck, smiling hugely.

The five of them, Yoongi with Hoseok on his back,Jimin, Jungkook and Taehyung started walking, waving a goodbye to Namjoon and Jin, who insisted Jimin and Jungkook to come back and visit them again, both who were all too eager to say yes.

“You know, your future boyfriend should know you love me more than him and that I have more authority over you,” Hoseok said, nudging Yoongi with his leg.

Yoongi huffed, “Just because I like you a lot and tolerate you the most doesn’t mean you should step over the line.”

Jungkook and Taehyung were walking behind the three of them and Jungkook was looking at Jimin closely for his reaction while Taehyung was grinning in a knowing manner.

Jimin was glancing at Yoongi and Hoseok, remaining silent, however there was a relieved expression on his face. Jungkook could not wait to go home so he could get back at Jimin for all the teasing. He was going to make Jimin’s life miserable. The five of them arrived at the small elevator.

“We all aren’t going to fit,” Taehyung muttered.

“You and Jungkook can take the other one. Seok, me and Jimin will go in this one. This idiot isn’t going to get down until we go up and he is heavy,” Yoongi replied and got in, without waiting for an answer.

Taehyung puffed out his cheeks. “Let’s go.”

Jungkook walked behind Taehyung who walked to the end of the passage, where there was another elevator. Both of them got in and Taehyung punched in the buttons and the lift started going upstairs.

“So... you will come again, right?” Taehyung asked, leaning against the wall of the lift, although his face showed anxiousness.

Jungkook smiled. “Of course I am. I think it will be hard to stay away from this place. And I am 200% sure Jimin wants to compete in the dance off.”

Taehyung nodded but the anxiousness still intact on his face. Both of them feel silent. Jungkook didn’t know what to say and Taehyung wasn’t his usual cocky and cheery self. The elevator stopped on their floor with a loud thud. Jungkook got off and turned around, waiting for Taehyung but he was rooted at his spot, still looking anxious. Jungkook stepped in again, standing in front of the boy. “What are you thinking?"

“You’ll be coming back right? You are okay, right? I don’t want you to come if it makes you uncomfortable or anything. You don’t have to. I was just excited to show you around the place. And I…” Taehyung swallowed. He was almost stammering now. “I am sorry for my behavior. I am just always teasing and flirting with you because it’s fun to see you getting flustered. Not that I don’t like you,” Taehyung muttered quickly. “I hope..I hope I don’t make you uneasy. You can stop me if you want. Yoongi is right. You can also not meet me. I am just kidding You should-”

“Taehyung,” Jungkook interrupted.

“What?” Taehyung asked in a small voice.

“Shut up, will you?” Jungkook mumbled and pulled Taehyung forward, putting his hands around Taehyung’s waist. Taehyung was rigid and standing very still.

“I am okay. I am completely okay. This is a great place and I cannot wait to come back. And you do not make me uneasy. In fact, I like it when you tease me and flirt with me, I just cannot help but blush though. If you stop teasing and flirting, you aren’t going to be yourself and frankly I wouldn’t like to spend time with you then. So shut up, okay?” Jungkook murmured in Taehyung’s ears, hands still around his small waist. Before Jungkook could retract himself, Taehyung pulled him closer, hugging him back.

“You will stop me though if it makes you uneasy, won’t you?”

“Yes Taehyung. I will. Okay? Promise,” Jungkook mumbled, smiling hugely and revelling the way both of their bodies were flushed together.

“So…” Taehyung started, his voice returning to normal now.

“Hmmm?”

“Are we dating now?” Taehyung asked, his tone now teasing again.

Jungkook pushed him back and rolled his eyes. “Keep on dreaming mister,” and turned around and started walking. Taehyung jogged besides him, now grinning hugely and Jungkook was glad to see his familiar cheery self returning. Taehyung placed a both of his hands on his heart, fake sighing. “What do I have to do to make you fall for me?”

You don’t have to do anything Jungkook thought but he instead said, “Keep on trying. Maybe one you will get an answer.”

“I can’t wait to hear that ‘yes’ coming from your lips,” Taehyung smiled, hands on his heart in a dramatic way.

“It can be a ‘no’ too,” Jungkook teased and laughed at Taehyung’s scowl.

Both of them had reached outside. Jimin was already inside the car behind the wheel, the engine already on. Yoongi was standing with his hands in his pockets, waiting for both of them. Hoseok was on a motorcycle, also waiting for both of them. Kai, Sehun and Chanyeol were nowhere to be seen.

Jungkook whistled when he saw the motorcycle. “That’s sick.”

Hoseok patted his bike fondly. “This is my baby and my one true love. Isn’t she beautiful?” Hoseok cooed.

“Taehyung, go bring the car now. I want to get some sleep,” Yoongi said, sounding tired and even Jimin signalled Jungkook to get in.

“I will see you soon?” Taehyung asked, gazing steadily at Jungkook and Jungkook immediately knew he was referring to meeting outside of Hellions too. Jungkook nodded in response and got in the car.

“We will see you later,” Jimin said, leaning in his seat to watch the three of them and waved goodbye and Jungkook mirrored him. Jimin accelerated and started driving, the three figures soon out of their sight.

Jungkook was himself somewhat tired now, the sleepiness getting to him now that he was out of the atmosphere. He suddenly remembered something.

“Why the heck are you driving and not me?” Jungkook asked.

“Because you are intoxicated.”

Jungkook raised his eyebrows in question.

“Due to spending too much time with Taehyung,” Jimin replied grinning and Jungkook smiled, knowing that there was no way he could deny this.

Chapter Text

TaeTae

[ What are you doing? ]

                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                  [ Finishing my assignments ]


TaeTae

[ Oh. Um. I was bored. I thought we could meet :/ ]


[ Don’t you have studies to do? ]


TaeTae

[ I always finish my work on time.

I am up to date with my studies.

I don’t have anything else to do. ]


[ Well… You can come over if you want to. I could use a break. ]


TaeTae

[:D Coming over within 30. See you soon, sweetheart. ]


Jungkook rolled his eyes at ‘sweetheart’ although he was grinning like a complete idiot. He threw his phone aside and got up, carefully placed his sketchbook on the bed and then stretched. He happened to glance at the mirror. Jungkook walked close to the mirror and looked at his own reflection. He was grinning widely, eyes sparkling even though there were dark circles underneath them and his eyes were puffed up a bit. Although he was tired, he was still smiling, happy just at the thought of Taehyung visiting him.

He looked at himself more closely and his face opened wide in horror. He was wearing that ratty old oversized shirt which he found as most comfortable, even though there were small holes on the sides now. He could see dried ketchup in the corner of his mouth and remembered that he hadn’t even got up to wash his hands after eating, he had simply wiped his mouth on the sleeve of his shirt. His hair was a complete mess and resembled a bird’s nest and Jungkook remembered it has been three days since he had washed it.

Jungkook walked over to the bed and picked his phone up, checking the time. He still had 25 minutes before Taehyung would be here. Jungkook threw his phone and picked up the tissue papers and his plate and dashed to the kitchen, throwing the tissue papers in the trash can and placing the plates in the sink. He ran back to his room and pulled out a towel and clean clothes from his wardrobe and ran to the bathroom. He had to look presentable before Taehyung arrived.

Jungkook emerged from the shower 15 minutes later, now feeling fresh and clean. He stashed his towel back in the cupboard and started to tidy up his room. Whenever Jungkook was super into his assignments or work, he never paid any attention to how much mess he was making, otherwise, he was a pretty neat person. Except for his sketching sheets and his drawing tools, all of his things were all over the place at the moment. He had been doing his assignments since morning and had got up only for 10 minutes to heat up his burger, not taking any break otherwise.

He collected all of his clothes, even fishing for a few from underneath and from behind the bed and threw them in the cupboard and locked it. He tidied up the bedsheet, pulling it from the corners and tucking the sides neatly in. He did not want Taehyung to think that he came from a wild area and lived like a savage rather than someone who lived in sophisticated society. If Taehyung saw how Jungkook lived and looked when he was alone, Taehyung would probably leave him immediately and Jungkook could not allow that. Jungkook picked up all the crumpled sketching sheets and the bits and pieces of paper which he had torn off in frustration and dumped them in the trash can next to his desk, which was filled with a few more crumpled balls of sheets. He hurriedly spruced and straightened up all his plush toys kept over his bed and cleared his desk.

The doorbell rang. Jungkook threw a satisfactory glance around the room and scampered downstairs. He opened the door. Taehyung was rocking back and forth on his heels, his face expressionless he but brightened up as soon as he saw Jungkook. Jungkook was sure he himself reflected Taehyung’s emotions, a shot of bliss and happiness spreading through his veins looking at the boy standing in front of him.

Taehyung raised his hand up and grinned. Jungkook took the plastic bag from him, peeking inside.

“What’s this?”

“Hot chocolate and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Thought you could have some while resting,” Taehyung smiled.

“I could definitely use some right now,” Jungkook replied, internally moaning at the smell wafting from the packaged cups.

“Am I supposed to stand here for the rest of the time or are you even going to invite me in?” Taehyung asked sarcastically and Jungkook looked up to find Taehyung still standing outside. “Oh shit, sorry. Come in.” Jungkook moved aside to let Taehyung in. Taehyung stepped inside and stood next to Jungkook. He leaned in slightly, sniffling around.

“Did you just take a shower?”

“Yeah…”

“Goddamn it. I came late,” Taehyung muttered, removing his shoes and Jungkook couldn’t help but laugh.

“If you would’ve arrived 5 minutes ago you would have seen me just wrapped in a towel,” Jungkook teased.

Taehyung straightened up and raised his eyebrows and Jungkook saw the exact moment when Taehyung’s eyes shifted from being bright and sunny to devilish and wild.

Taehyung stepped forward and leaned in and Jungkook found himself pressed against the door, effectively trapped.

“I see that no one is home, honey,” Taehyung whispered, eyebrows slightly raised up, that infuriating smirk of his spreading slowly on his face.

“No,” Jungkook replied, concentrating on being confident and trying not to stammer.

Liar,” Taehyung breathed, stepping even closer. And although he wasn’t anywhere near touching Jungkook, in fact, there was a solid 1-foot distance between them, Jungkook’s breath still hitched and being this close with Taehyung, especially when he was looking at him with that look.

“Jimin is upstairs in his room,” Jungkook said, smiling as though he was correct and Taehyung was wrong.

“I just saw Jimin and Yoongi at the café,” Taehyung deadpanned, eyebrows shooting further up his forehead. “I met and talked with both of them before coming here.”

Now Jungkook’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Really? What’s Jimin doing out at a café with Yoongi?”

Taehyung laughed. “God, you cannot even lie properly. I didn’t see anyone. But I now know that you were lying.”

Jungkook cursed himself and screamed internally. He saw that Taehyung was too busy laughing and took his cue to evade him. He pushed past Taehyung but he was too quick for Jungkook. Taehyung grabbed Jungkook’s arm and pushed him against the wall, gazing at him steadily and placing his hands on either side of Jungkook, giving him no way to escape.

“So, we are alone here now,” Taehyung said softly, still smirking, eyes playful and suggestive. He stepped closer.

“Yes. And?” Jungkook demanded, trying to act as if he was unfazed, although his small voice gave it away.

“And I can think of a lot of things we can do,” Taehyung replied.

Jungkook wasn’t too sure but he could he could swear he saw Taehyung’s eyes flicker to Jungkook’s mouth for an instant before looking back at him again. Taehyung stepped even closer.

Jungkook gulped. His heart started pounding faster, his breath hitching further up in his throat. “Like?”

Taehyung leaned in, staring at Jungkook right in the eye and suddenly smiled. “Like eat those chocolate chip cookies and have that hot chocolate while I look at your art. Come on, let’s go,” Taehyung said, turning around and pulling Jungkook by the hand.

Jungkook smiled and shook his head. He should’ve known. He should’ve known because Taehyung was such a tease and also because Taehyung would never want to make Jungkook uncomfortable. He just liked to have fun. But Jungkook was also sure that if he had said yes, if Jungkook would’ve asked Taehyung to kiss him then, Taehyung would have done it.

Jungkook didn’t want things to be so quick. He knew he liked Taehyung. He was as sure of it as the sky was blue and that water makes you wet and that the sun will rise every morning. But he wasn’t in love with him, although he knew he was going to get there eventually. If there was something about Jungkook, it was the fact that he was always certain of his feelings and emotions and his thought process. He knew that the reason he wasn’t in love with Taehyung yet was that this was still a new friendship. They hadn’t known each other for too long. And Jungkook wanted to know him at least a bit better before he would give Taehyung any answer. And if there was something else Jungkook was sure of, it was the fact that he knew Taehyung had entered his for some reason and that he was going to be here for a long long time. Jungkook looked forward to it.

He glanced at his hand, which Taehyung had so thoughtlessly grabbed and smiled at their intertwined hands, knowing that this was natural for Taehyung because that’s the kind of person he was and also because it was normal for friends to do such things. He could remember countless times he had held Jimin’s hand and his friends’ hands. Jungkook knew that Taehyung would stop it if he asked him to and that Taehyung would not ask him for any sort of explanation. But Jungkook didn’t mind it, because every time they held hands, his heart fluttered and he hoped, no, almost prayed that he would quickly develop a close friendship with Taehyung, so he could finally get over it and look forward to being something to him. For now, this was enough.

“Hello? Did you even listen to what I said?” Taehyung’s voice pierced through Jungkook’s ears and he snapped out of his trance.

“Sorry. What?”

“I asked if you want to heat these up,” Taehyung replied, rolling his eyes.

“You just brought them from the café right?” Jungkook asked, cocking his head to one side.

“Yes. Freshly made cookies and hot chocolate just for you.”

“Then no need to heat it up. It’s fine. Let’s go upstairs,” Jungkook replied and turned around, leading Taehyung to his room pulling him by the hand.

Jungkook waited outside and let Taehyung enter first. Taehyung stood near the entrance and watched the room.

Although Jungkook’s room was not huge or beautiful or decorated, there was an aesthetic feel to it. You could enter his room and just feel the artsy vibe the whole room gave. Anyone would understand that this was a room of an artist.

At one side, there was a stand on which there was an empty canvas, only a few faint outlines on it and a few more canvas boards were kept underneath it. One whole wall was covered up with sketches which were stuck on a wall with cello-tapes and with painting and Taehyung understood that all of these were Jungkook’s. Jungkook’s desk was covered with stacks of papers and sketchbooks arranged neatly and tons of colour pencils and drawing tools lying around in pencil holders and mugs. On the side, in one glass cupboard, Taehyung watched a few books placed haphazardly and he understood that it must be related to art. Besides it, another huge glass cupboard boasted a variety of paint colours, from small bottles to tubes to a few small tin cans. Taehyung edged closer and saw that all the colours were placed according to the shades and the brushes were lined up according to the side.

Taehyung smiled. Jungkook’s room was a mini art studio in itself. “It’s beautiful. Very very beautiful.”

Jungkook looked at Taehyung, surprised.“Really?”

“It does look like an artist’s room. And I like how you’ve put up all your work on that wall. Your favourites?” Taehyung asked, taking a look at the wall before turning to look at him. Jungkook nodded.

Taehyung walked closer and started to look at the painting. Jungkook walked to his desk and took out the cups of hot chocolate and then walked over and stood next to Taehyung, handing him one.

“What are you looking at so intensely?” Jungkook asked, taking a sip of his drink.

“Just trying to understand your style of art. You seem more of a one-stroke drawing kind of a person,” Taehyung mused after 2 minutes, placing a finger on a sketch of a bouquet of roses and tracing the line lightly. Taehyung turned to Jungkook and smiled, “I am right, aren’t I?”

Jungkook was even more surprised. “You know about art?”

Taehyung chuckled, “I don’t seem the type, do I?”

“No, you don’t.”

“Yeah, I know,” Taehyung snorted and then turned serious. He kept looking at other works as he spoke, “I don’t draw. Rather, I cannot draw but I love art. I like to watch art and try to understand it. Not that I can understand and interpret a lot, but art is something I enjoy and love a lot. Like here, looking at your paintings I can understand that you are somewhat influenced by Impressionism, because of your vivid colour usage and thick application of paint. Am I right?”

Jungkook nodded, dumbfounded. Who was Kim Taehyung? In all his life, he had always met people who considered art boring and were never seriously interested in it. Even if they admired and acknowledged Jungkook's talent, the only people who remotely or fully understood and loved art were his classmates, never his school friends. Heck, even Jimin and his parents never understood what he did. They only always commented whether a particular piece was pretty or not. That was it. Nothing else. Zilch. No mention of colours or this or that.

But here was Taehyung who knew what he was talking about. He didn’t pretend to understand it fully but was sure of what he was talking. He looked so interested and so in it. Someone who was understanding what Jungkook was and what he was doing and shared the same feelings as himself for art. Jungkook smiled so widely, from ear to ear as he stared at Taehyung. Something fluttered in his heart at the thought of someone understanding him completely.

“Drink up,” was the only thing Jungkook could say.

Taehyung walked over to the bed and sat down on one side, back touching the wall and his long legs stretched in front of him. Jungkook sat down on the bed too and mirrored him, their feet now touching together. Taehyung playfully kept on hitting them as he drank.

“So what were you working on now?” Taehyung inquired, taking a long sip of his drink.

“My professor has given me a shit ton of assignments to complete. It’s outrageous. I am the only one who has so many assignments to do. Rest of them have to do practically no work compared to how much I am doing. Why do I have to do more work than everyone else when I am the best in the class,” Jungkook fumed as he remembered his class. His professor had asked him to submit 20 coloured sketches by next week and had even given subjects to draw while the rest of the students had only gotten 8 sketches to finish and had the freedom to select their own subjects.

“I am sure there must be a reason for it,” Taehyung replied, startled at Jungkook’s outburst.

“The only reason is that my professor is a complete shithead and an asshole,” Jungkook snapped back, still fuming.

Taehyung stayed silent, not wanting to jump into Jungkook’s bubbling and frothing volcano.

“Pass those cookies,” Jungkook muttered, knowing that the only way to calm himself would be to stuff himself with that solid chocolatey goodness. Taehyung bent over and picked up the plastic bag from the desk and passed it to Jungkook, who ripped open the box and started to shove cookies in his mouth.

“Can I see it?” Taehyung asked and Jungkook looked up from the box to find that Taehyung was holding a sketchbook in one hand.

Jungkook nodded, unable to respond due to the amount of cookies stuffed inside his mouth. Jungkook brought his drink to his lips and drank a long sip to push it all down. He took another sip and finished the drink and placed the empty cup on the floor, another hand already reaching out for another cookie. He hadn’t realised how hungry he had been.

Taehyung was happily humming and flipping through the pages, just admiring the artwork. Jungkook opened his phone and started scrolling through his notifications, reading all the messages from widgets. He glanced up as Taehyung removed another sketchbook and started flipping through it. Jungkook resumed scrolling through his inbox. Jungkook listened to Taehyung giving out a low whistle and murmur, “Wow, this sketchbook has a pretty cover.”

Jungkook looked up to see which sketchbook Taehyung was talking about, considering he must’ve at least 20 of those lying around and almost had a heart attack.

“Not that one!!” Jungkook yelped and lunged forward, abandoning his cookies. Jungkook’s hand grasped the sketchbook but Taehyung was quicker. Jungkook understood what Yoongi had meant when he had said Taehyung is quick. Taehyung held the book tightly, refusing to get it go.

“Gimme that,” Jungkook gasped and struggled to get a good hold of the book.

“What’s in it?” Taehyung demanded, still holding the book tightly and tried to push Jungkook away with the other hand.

“Nothing. Just give it to me,” Jungkook replied, swatting Taehyung's hand away and reaching out for the book.

“Then why can’t I see them?”

“I don’t like to show my unfinished works. They don’t turn out to be great if people see them while in progress,” Jungkook lied quickly, now slapping Taehyung's hand in the hopes that he would drop it but the boy just did not budge.

“Bullshit,” Taehyung said, holding the book behind his back. “I flipped through 2 of your books. One of it is full of incomplete outlines.”

“That’s because it’s college assignment. I don’t like it when people look through my personal sketches when in progress I told you they don’t turn out to be great otherwise,” Jungkook lied further, now reaching around Taehyung and trying to get a hold of the book. He could allow Taehyung to look at this book. Not this particular one.

“Bullshit. Anyone can smell your lie from kilometres away. What is in there? Are there nude paintings?” Taehyung asked, waggling his eyebrows.

“Do you think I would be ashamed of showing you my nude sketches? Please. No. It’s not nude paintings anyway,” Jungkook breathed, leaning around Taehyung to get his hand on the book.

“Then why bother?” Taehyung demanded, smirking, still holding the book behind his back.

Jungkook’s energy gave away. He slumped and refused to look at Taehyung. “Just not that. Please not that one,” Jungkook mumbled weakly, having no more of fight left in him. He didn’t want to fight over the book, afraid that he will rip the book into pieces rather than Taehyung looking at what was inside, although even that was worrisome.

Jungkook heard a small thud and he glanced up. Taehyung had placed the book on the table and was staring at him intently and wordlessly.

“Thank you,” Jungkook murmured, relief surging through him.

“I don’t want to know what’s in it if you do not want to show it to me,” Taehyung replied, smiling slightly and Jungkook understood that he meant what he said. Jungkook just smiled back, although a bit feebly.

“But I am liking the way you are sitting,” Taehyung murmured and smirked that trademark smirk of his.

Jungkook’s eyes widened as he realised the position they were both in. Jungkook was sitting on top of Taehyung’s lap, practically straddling him, one hand around Taehyung’s waist and the other on his shoulder.

Jungkook fake groaned, without doing any serious effort of moving from the place. Taehyung started laughing and Jungkook moved incredibly fast, placing both his hands on either side of Taehyung and leaned in closer.

“Isn’t this better?” Jungkook murmured softly. His face was now less than six inches closer to Taehyung. It was Jungkook’s turn to smirk now. Taehyung gulped, mouth parted slightly and leaned back against the wall to avoid being more closer.

“Hmmm? Don’t you think this is better?” Jungkook asked, leaning even more closer and a fierce pleasure surged through him as he watched Taehyung trying very hard not to look at his lips.

Payback is a bitch Jungkook thought.

Before Jungkook could move back, now that he was done teasing Taehyung, the boy in front of him moved incredibly fast. Jungkook felt two large hands on his waist before he was partly airborne for a moment and then his back slammed on the bed. Jungkook blinked and found himself lying flat on the bed, with Taehyung hovering over him on his palms.

“I think this is even better,” Taehyung whispered, lowering himself slightly.

Jungkook gulped.

Taehyung lowered himself further, putting his lips next to Jungkook’s ears. Jungkook shivered as he felt Taehyung’s breath fan the side of his face. “Don’t try to be smart with me, honey. You are never going to have the upper hand, understand? So don’t think payback is a bitch,” Taehyung whispered, in that same sultry tone and then got up within a flash.

Jungkook blinked and got up slowly, to find that Taehyung was already sitting cross-legged on the other side of the bed, rifling through the box of cookies.

“So how are the running practices going?” Taehyung asked, taking a bite of the cookie and munching.

“Just fine. Just another addition to my busy schedule. I have to stay back in college till late and then I get no time for my studies. And it’s especially annoying when you don’t have enough time and your shithead of a professor gives you extra assignments. But I love the practices anyway, so I am not going to complain,” Jungkook muttered, mind still reeling on the previous scene.

“You are sort of complaining now,” Taehyung noted.

“Whatever,” Jungkook replied. “What about you though?”

“What about me?” “I don’t even know what you are studying,” Jungkook muttered and at that moment, he realised that it was true. Whenever they both were together it was all about Jungkook. He didn’t know many things about him. Sure, he knew his favourite colour and food and all that, but not what he was studying or what did he like to do in his free time or anything about his college life.

Taehyung smiled. “I am a final year student of child psychology and therapy. Does it answer your question?”

Jungkook stared at him. “Child psychology?”

Taehyung nodded.

“Why?”

“Because I love kids. Heck. ‘Love’ is an understatement. I just feel infinitely better when I am surrounded by them. And I am good with kids. So why not? I am studying something I love and I think I can be a good therapist for kids. And I get to help them and be with kids always. So it’s a win-win situation for me in any way,” Taehyung gushed, eyes sparkling brightly.

“You are studying psychology. Wow. And yet I never see you studying or worrying about it,” Jungkook mused.

“That’s because I am not one of the procrastinators. I study and finish my studies as soon as I get home so I can do whatever I want to for the rest of the day. My morning life isn’t as lit as my night and weekend life,” Taehyung shrugged.

“You know, it’s hard to visualise you as a sincere student who finishes his work on time and studies daily, probably sits on the first bench in the classroom when I have seen you have a completely different personality. Maybe you are lying. I should ask Yoongi hyung whether you are speaking the truth,” Jungkook joked.

Taehyung chuckled, “I told you, my day life is different than my night life. I think my classmates will throw a fit if they see how drastically different I am in real life. Ask Yoongi if you really don’t believe me, he will tell you. We are from the same university.”

That made Jungkook think of another question. “What did Yoongi hyung major in?”

“He majored in Music composition and music theory,” Taehyung said.

“Really?”

Taehyung nodded, “I know it seems unlike him but he is really really passionate about music. He wants to be a rapper. That’s why he practices so much and write so many songs. He looks forward to rap battle nights at the club the most and he hasn’t once repeated any of his songs. That’s how many songs he has written.”

“How frequently are these rap battles held?” Jungkook inquired.

“Once every month. Just imagine how many songs he writes and composes. We are now going to record some of his songs now and send them to various companies and hope that they ask hyung to come for an audition. Along with Namjoon and Hoseok hyung, of course. In my opinion, all of them deserve to be with some of the biggest agencies but you can say I am biased. Whatever. I am their biggest fan,” Taehyung grinned.

Jungkook smiled, “So he must be practising now right?”

“Yes,” Taehyung groaned. “He wouldn’t let me enter his house at all. He simply wouldn’t open the door. He even changed his passcode. Can you believe it?”

Jungkook snickered, “He really doesn’t want to be disturbed then. He must be really excited.”

“He always is. Just wait and watch how his personality will switch when he is performing. You will think you are seeing someone else entirely. His excitement for performing knows no bounds,” Taehyung muttered, although he was smiling.

“Well, even I am excited to see him perform. I think Jimin more than me,” Jungkook mused.

Taehyung leaned forward, now very much interested and alert. “You noticed it too right? Both of them?”

“No fucking shit. You saw it too?” Jungkook asked, now starting to laugh.

Taehyung nodded eagerly. “I don’t know about Jimin but Yoongi hyung is definitely different in front of him. He can’t even tolerate new people but he definitely smiles a lot when Jimin is around and he actually fucking laughs. Laughs. Really. I have never seen him laugh so much in my 10 years of life I have spent with him. And he is constantly texting someone nowadays. Is Jimin always on texting someone too?”

“Holy shit yes!! Always. He fucking changed his password and won’t tell me what the new one is. I tried all possible combinations but none of them work. I am 200% he thought Hoseok hyung and Yoongi hyung were dating. His face when Yoongi had lifted Hoseok hyung and whirled him around was priceless. Jealous doesn’t even cover it. That little piece of shit. I am going to give him so much shit if I find out he likes Yoongi hyung. He gets on my nerves about you every single time. I will make his life miserable,” Jungkook swore loudly.

Taehyung bounced in his seat enthusiastically. “We should investigate. We should. I can’t wait to see what Yoongi thinks about him. If I find out that he likes Jimin… I can’t wait to tease the life out of hyung,” Taehyung replied gleefully, and his face was the one of when your best-friend finds a secret about you and is going to blackmail you about it for the rest of your life.

Jungkook’s mind now worked faster than light itself. “Let’s observe both of them, okay? Let’s see how they both behave around each other and you tell me if Yoongi behaves differently and I will do the same with Jimin. Okay?”

Taehyung nodded zealously, smiling gleefully. before Jungkook could say anything, Taehyung’s phone rang. Taehyung picked it up, “Hello?...Yes, mother. I remember. I am going now. Yes…I know…I know. I am going alright?...Yes mom...bye.”

Taehyung huffed and muttered, “I need to go. I need to pick up Eon Jin from her ballet practice. I totally forgot I had to pick her up.”

Jungkook was disappointed that he was leaving so quickly but he knew he couldn’t stay. It was actually good for Jungkook. He could finish his assignments now. Otherwise he would’ve kept on talking with Taehyung and never gotten around to completing them and would’ve had to stay up late at night.

Taehyung got up from his place and stretched. “I will see you on Friday again I suppose,” Taehyung remarked and Jungkook nodded.

“When is your competition again?”

“Next Saturday,” Jungkook informed.

“Hmmm. Okay then,” Taehyung mused before turning to look back at Jungkook. “I will see you at Hellions this Friday then. You don’t have to worry about getting in now,” Taehyung said, smiling cheekily.

“Thank god for that,” Jungkook smiled bitchily and then rolled his eyes.

“Four more days,” Taehyung exclaimed, placing his hands over his heart. “Four more days before I see you again. That’s an eternity.”

“Who said you can’t meet me till then?” Jungkook challenged, laughing at Taehyung’s theatrics.

“I can? Really?” Taehyung asked, perking up.

“You can always walk me home. What if I need help? What if I run into bad people?” Jungkook asked, wriggling his fingers.

“Knowing you, that’s actually possible,” Taehyung said, shaking his head. “But I will see you tomorrow then,” Taehyung replied cheerfully.

Jungkook himself brightened at that thought.

“Now go,” Jungkook said. “We’ve been standing near the door for 5 minutes now. If you don’t go now you will get late and then your mom...”

“Shit. You are right. See you tomorrow,” Taehyung replied and turned quickly and started to sprint.

“Don’t forget to keep an eye on Yoongi hyung till then,” Jungkook yelled and he heard Taehyung’s faint ‘I will.’

Jungkook closed the door behind him, feeling extremely happy. He couldn’t help but smile and marvel at the fact that how his mood changed drastically every time Taehyung was around him. He was slowly getting to know him more and more.

As Jungkook walked towards his room, he realised he couldn’t wait till tomorrow before he saw Taehyung again. He just wanted to spend every possible minute with him and get to know him more.

Jungkook entered his room and his eyes fell on the sketchbook Taehyung had placed on his desk. He walked towards it and picked it up and put it in his cupboard, locking it so that no one will be able to look at it again, specially Jimin who kept on barging in his room like it was his own.





Jungkook couldn’t afford anyone to see what was in it, especially Taehyung. At least not right now.

Chapter Text

Jimin just could not stop bouncing in his seat. He is that excited. He was rhythmically tapping his left foot up and down, much to Jungkook’s irritation. Jimin is oblivious to the fact that Jungkook is annoyed and that the other boy cannot concentrate on driving. Instead Jimin gazes out of the window, trying to control his squeals.

Jimin is excited due to 3 things.

                    1. The fact that he is going to see Yoongi again.

                    2. The fact that he is going to see Yoongi rap.

                    3. The fact that cannot wait to show Yoongi his moves.

It isn’t even funny to him how all three reasons things are related to Yoongi.

Jimin is particularly looking forward to the 2nd and the 3rd. He cannot wait to find out if Yoongi is as good as others claim him to be. Jimin just knew that this was going to be different. There was something about the quiet and reserved Yoongi turning into a Yoongi dissing people and spitting fire. At least this is what he has heard. Just thinking about it bothered Jimin a lot. In a good way though. He couldn’t wait to see the real deal. 

And he also looked forward to the 3rd because now that he knew Yoongi was into guys –because Hoseok didn’t say that he is looking forward to seeing Yoongi with a girl, but rather a boy – Jimin was going to do everything to make Yoongi notice him. A smug smile appeared on Jimin’s face. He didn’t actually need to do everything. He was just going to show off his moves to Yoongi which would make any straight man gay. Jimin was that good at dancing.

“Thinking about how you are going to seduce Yoongi?” Jungkook asked, lips twitching, eyes focused on the road.

“Totally. There’s no way he is going to be able to resist my moves, especially when these thighs make half of the people want to sin just to be able to touch them,” Jimin smiled, the smugness still intact.

“Wow. First of all, aren’t you conceited and egotistical? Not everyone is going to like you. Secondly, didn’t think you’d actually reveal your thoughts. I thought you wouldn’t admit to your feelings, but well…Thirdly, you are shameless,” Jungkook replied, somewhat surprised that Jimin (sorta) affirmed his feelings for Yoongi.

Jimin laughed loudly. “Isn’t that a waste of you spying on me for 4 days now? You think I wouldn’t notice how you were throwing glances and peering in my phone every chance you got? You aren’t really all that subtle, Kookie.”

Jungkook decided not to reply to this.

“Well, I still have to meet someone who thinks I am not sexy, so stop being jealous. It’s a surprise Taehyung was even attracted to your personality, considering you have the charm of a brick. Also, unlike you, I am very open about my feelings and I fucking acknowledge them. If I want a man, I am going to get that man. And, puhlease, being forward isn’t shameless. Your Taehyung is a living example of that. Would you call him shameless? He keeps on making moves at you all the time,” Jimin gloated, relishing in the way Jungkook’s lips pressed in a thin line due to lack of response. Jungkook for his part was considering ramming the car into the nearest wall and make Jimin’s death look like an accident.

“I am going to make him notice me,” Jimin said, determination in his voice.

Jungkook grinned, “Is that why you are wearing black ripped jeans and side cut tank top?”

“Obviously,” Jimin replied, beaming back. “You are right. I am shameless,” Jimin added with an afterthought.

“On a serious note, why do you like him though? The guy seems creepy to me. I am 200% convinced he is a vampire too. He is mostly silent too and that lack of expressions…I am always on the edge with him. Dunno how you like him,” Jungkook asked, no hint of teasing or criticism in his tone.

“It’s exactly that attitude that I like about him. The fact that he talks less. And when he does it always catches your attention. And those looks…the way he stares at you without any expression, so fucking hot with those small sharp eyes and those pouty lips. So. Fucking. Hot,” Jimin sighed, the exact image appearing in his mind.

Jungkook snorted. He just knew that Jimin was a goner. Tonight was going to be interesting.

The rest of the ride passed in silence with both of them lost in their own thoughts, and as they neared their destination, their excitement was palpable. Jungkook pulled the car near the familiar rundown sign and followed Jimin, who had already stepped out of the car. Jungkook watched as Jimin practically skipped while walking through the small alley towards the entrance.

Jimin spotted Chen, Yixing and Kyungsoo outside the door. Yixing and Chen were busy playing thumb fight and Kyungsoo was watching their game intensely.

Jimin and Jungkook stood silently next to the pair and watched the match just as intensely as Kyungsoo. Yixing finally pressed down Chen’s thumb under his own and Kyungsoo started counting. Jimin watched as Chen desperately tried to pull his finger free from Yixing’s grip.

“Ten!” Kyungsoo yelled out, holding out ten fingers.

Yixing smiled gleefully and Jimin and Jungkook both laughed as they watched Chen get down on his knees, clutching his hands over his heart and cry out “Whyyyyy?”

Chen got up as their laughs subsided and turned towards them. “Once. Once in my life I want to win against this guy but it just never fucking happens,” Chen muttered and kicked the ground.

“Keep on trying. Maybe someday you’ll succeed,” Yixing taunted and Jimin laughed again as he watched Kyungsoo intervene between the two guys to keep Chen from punching Yixing. Kyungsoo looked so done with them both.

“Don’t mind them both. Go now. It must’ve already started,” Kyungsoo grumbled, having had enough of it and letting Yixing and Chen have a go at each other’s throats.

“What?! Already?!” Jimin yelped out, panicking.

“Relax. I am sure your Yoongi, Hoseok and Namjoon’s mustn’t have started yet. They always go at the end. Go on now,” Kyungsoo smiled, shooing them away before turning towards the other two who looked like they were in a battle.

Jimin practically ran towards the elevator and hopped inside.

“Would you…fucking…wait?” Jungkook gasped, breathing heavily, hands on his knees as he finally arrived behind Jimin, pausing besides the elevator. The corridor towards the elevator wasn’t short as it is.

“Get in quickly, will you,” Jimin snapped, almost commanded, rather irritated.

Jungkook straightened up and got in and watched as Jimin punched the button.

“What was that?” Jimin turned around, hands on his hips as he heard Jungkook mutter something under his breath.

“Nothing,” Jungkook enunciated loudly.

“Whatever,” Jimin grunted, turning and looking at the front, excitement getting the better of him.

Jimin bounded towards the door at the end of the short corridor as soon as he stepped out of the elevator. He could listen to the loud music behind the door and the sounds of cheers and yells and someone rapping very fast. The floor underneath his was shaking due to the vibrations. Jungkook appeared besides Jimin, looking just as eager. Jimin pushed the door open and walked inside.

The inside looked drastically different than it did last time. All of the four stages were pushed aside against the walls, making the hall look like one giant room, which it was, but it looked distinct and even larger now that all of the podiums weren’t placed around the room anymore. Instead of people being scattered at different paces, Jimin watched as they all seemed one big group. The crowd had formed a giant circle with three guys inside the ring. Jimin watched as one guy was belting out the songs loudly while the other 2 watched. There were a few people who were grooving at the music and dancing. The DJ had been pushed towards the centre with one guy behind it, who was changing the music constantly. Jimin noted that there were considerably few people today. The crowd wasn’t huge enough like last time. Every single person seemed to have gathered around to watch. No one was milling around the bar or hanging around near the sofas.

The music and noises had been loud the last time they had visited but tonight they were positively deafening. Jimin felt a different kind of energy, a good and thrilling energy surge through him. He unconsciously started to shake his head to the beats of the music, his body responding to the atmosphere around him.

Jimin threw a glance around the crowd and spotted Yoongi, as if his eyes had been magnetically attracted to only him in the whole congregation. Hoseok and Namjoon stood next to Yoongi and Jimin saw Taehyung and Jin crouching in front of the three of them. He saw Kai, Sehun, Chanyeol and Baekhyun standing next to them.

“Come on,” Jimin grinned and pulled Jungkook with him. Jimin walked straight towards Yoongi. Hoseok spotted them both and smiled hugely, hitting Yoongi and Namjoon on their arms and pointing at Jimin and Jungkook.

The whole group looked at them as they approached near. Jimin saw Taehyung’s smile widen, his eyes trained on Jungkook for a whole minute before shifting to Jimin’s and Taehyung gave him the same huge smile. Jimin however sought Yoongi’s gaze.

Yoongi was staring at him unflinchingly. Jimin’s skin tingled as he saw Yoongi stare at him from top to bottom, his gaze slow and piercing. Yoongi gulped slightly and wet his lips and Jimin smiled inside triumphantly as he watched Yoongi looked at him with conflict in his eyes.

Taehyung pulled Jungkook next to him the moment they neared them and before Jimin could open his mouth to exchange pleasantries, Baekhyun lurched forward, again taking Jimin’s cheeks in his hands and squishing them.

“So fucking cute,” Baekhyun cooed, scrunching his nose adorably. Jimin mirrored him and himself squished Baekhyun’s cheeks.

“Now kiss,” Taehyung shouted, snickering. Yoongi swatted the back of Taehyung’s head while Chanyeol laughed along with the rest of them, having no problem whatsoever about having someone crack jokes like that about his boyfriend.

“So when did this start?” Jimin asked when Baekhyun let go of him and everyone took turns in squishing Jimin’s cheeks.

“About 45 minutes ago,” Hoseok piped up sprightly, hopping from one foot to another, radiating energy around him. “Don’t worry, you didn’t miss the best part,” Taehyung simpered. “The hyungs have to yet have a go at it.”

“No MCs for this?” Jungkook asked, standing on his toes and peering inside the ring.

“Nah. The DJ starts the music and if you can start rapping to that beat, you enter and start performing. Then you keep on going until someone else is ready to perform or if someone cuts you off. Then there’s a tug of war between them as they try to take the main positions again. Anyone can enter anytime. Usually the rookies have a go at first,” Sehun explained.

“Also. You don’t have to necessarily sing your own songs. You can simply sing existing songs too. That is fine. We all just want to have fun and enjoy ourselves,” Chanyeol said and Namjoon nodded.

“Come on, enough explanations. Let’s watch, let’s watch. ” Taehyung sang, pulling Jungkook and Jimin along with him to the front. As Jimin pushed among the crowd to go to the front, he felt someone’s hand enclose around his elbow. Jimin looked around to find Yoongi besides him, hands soft but firm around him. Yoongi wasn’t looking at him but Jimin knew Yoongi was very much aware of his presence and also that he was purposely not looking in his direction.

The whole group had now moved forward and was watching the ongoing battle. The music was really slow so the three participants inside the ring were having a hard time rapping to it, unable to keep the song going.

“Yoongi, you should go. Slow rap songs are also your forte,” Kai said, appearing besides Jimin’s other side.

Yoongi looked at Kai for a moment before nodding. He threw a fleeting glance at Jimin before moving forward and standing inside the ring.

Yoongi did not need any mic at all. The crowd hushed and fell silent, each and every eye on him.

Yoongi closed his eyes for a moment and opened them in a flash. Jimin saw as Yoongi visibly transformed in front of him. His quiet and bored persona shifted drastically to someone with a powerful aura. If it were possible, Jimin was 200% sure he would see fire crackling around Yoongi.

Yoongi started rapping.

“On the other side of wanting to be an idol rapper

Stands my weak self, it’s quite dangerous

Depression, OCD, they keep coming back again from time to time

Hell no perhaps that might be my true self

Damn huh feeling estranged in reality

The conflict with ideal, my head hurts…”

Jimin watched, enraptured. He couldn’t move. His eyes were focused on the boy in front of him and his each and every move. Jimin watched the way Yoongi seemed alert but not concentrated. He seemed relaxed. As if this is was what he was meant to do always. The words flowed out of Yoongi’s lips non-stop and slowly, but smooth as silk. Jimin realized that the whole crowd had fallen silent and was following each and every word uttered by Yoongi much like himself.

“Told you he was the best, didn’t I?” Taehyung whispered, appearing next to Jimin out of nowhere.

Jimin couldn’t reply, his eyes unwavering from Yoongi’s figure.

“You are staring way too much,” Taehyung said quietly and Jimin caught a hint of suppressed laughter.

“I am in love,” Jimin murmured and he felt Taehyung shake with laughter besides him.

The music ended and there was silence for a moment before the crowd erupted in cheers and shouts. The DJ wasted no time at all and started to play another song, this time a bit faster. Namjoon stepped forward and started rapping. Jimin watched as Yoongi fell back and let Namjoon have the stage.

“And here comes the trio,” Taehyung said, supplying information to both Jimin and Jungkook, who was standing beside Taehyung’s other side.

“What do you mean trio?” Jungkook asked and the next moment Hoseok stepped forward, a mic ready in his hand, waiting for Namjoon to finish his part. Namjoon finished his stanza and Hoseok continued further, rapping as well as dancing to the beat. By this point, a few more people had stepped inside and were swaying and grooving to the rap and the tempo.

The DJ suddenly changed the music again, this time too fast, but Hoseok didn’t bat an eye. He continued rapping in the same cadence, belting out the words loudly and simultaneously grooving his body. The crowd by now had gone berserk and turned alive due to the fast songs. Hoseok finished his part and there was another wave of loud cheers, with Jimin and Jungkook both yelling at top of their voices.

The music suddenly turned to EDM and now everyone started to dance wildly.

“That’s it?” Jimin asked. He had expected for it to go on for long.

“You think anyone will challenge and go against them?” Sehun asked, himself shimmying to the music.

Jimin grinned, understanding Sehun’s meaning. Any sane person wouldn’t want to go against that. That would be suicide.

Taehyung pulled Jungkook and Jimin forward inside the circle, which now resembled a whole crowd of a night club. “It’s fucking party time,” Taehyung said, before starting to jump and dance along the music. Jimin watched as Hoseok, Namjoon and Yoongi walked towards them. Hoseok pulled Jimin saying, “Let me see how good you are,” and started dancing himself. Jimin understood that he was dancing so as to make Jimin make feel less uncomfortable and less conscious.

Jimin felt someone’s eyes on him. He knew he didn’t need to turn around to know that it was Yoongi.

Jimin took a deep breath,resolutely. He stepped forward, letting the music and the rhythm take over him completely. He felt it crawl upon his body like a creature and extending it’s long claws and engulfing him.

Jimin started to move, letting go of all inhibitions and thoughts. His reacted to the music naturally, as if it was a part of his own body. Jimin took rhythmic steps but not mechanical and stilted. His steps were anything but that.

Jimin swayed his body around, his lips parting unconsciously, exhaling a tiny breath. His dancing is both sensual and graceful, although nothing that puts one off or comes off as erotic, nothing which makes you feel as if he is trying too hard, because Jimin didn’t need to.

Hoseok eyed Jimin’s movements with admiration. Jimin looked at him and raised his eyebrows, still dancing. Hoseok paused for a beat before performing a small but a bit confusing dance steps and waited. Jimin mirrored the exact steps before proceeding to add his own at the end. Hoseok watched his dance appreciatively before taking it up another notch as Jimin paused to let Hoseok have a go.

Jimin didn’t care who was watching him. He didn’t even care to turn around and check if Yoongi was watching him. He was in the middle of the crowd. Taehyung, Jungkook, Yoongi and the rest were all far away to him now, his mind and body possessed by the thought of performing. Only Hoseok and the music and noises seemed real to him.

This. This was exactly why Jimin loved to dance. He loved the pure adrenaline rush he got because of it. He loved the way a different kind of energy charged through him and brought out another part of himself, one which many people know didn’t existed. His love for dancing knew no bounds. Nothing had come so close to this, until now.

Jimin watched Hoseok dance. Hoseok’s dancing was exactly like his own. Precise and calculated but nothing artificial or robotic, sensual but not too sexy, not desperate. Hoseok’s dancing had a hard edge to it, a visible kind of strength to it. His dancing radiated pure energy. Jimin understood why Jin had said he couldn’t decide what Hoseok was better at, dancing or rapping. Jimin was in awe. He didn’t feel equal to Hoseok, he just knew Hoseok was better than him and Jimin didn’t feel the slightest bit bad about that. He just looked forward to learning new things from him.

“You are good. Scratch that. You are fucking amazing. Try doing this,” Hoseok said, after Jimin had mimicked the same moves which Hoseok had done.

Jimin watched as Hoseok performed another complicated steps, this time longer ones. Jimin concentrated. It was complicated, but not impossible. Hoseok paused, giving Jimin the floor.

Jimin recalled the steps for a moment before performing it exactly the way he had seen Hoseok do. He heard a loud yell and knew that it came from Hoseok. A laugh escaped Jimin as he continued further.

Jimin twisted and spun around, his eyes landing on the spectators. Taehyung and Baekhyun were watching him in amazement while Jungkook smiled knowingly, a hint of pride in his eyes. But Yoongi…if Jimin could pay someone to capture that expression in a portrait or in a photograph, he would pay them anything, whatever the cost.

Yoongi was watching him expressionless but Jimin recognised the emotions in Yoongi’s eyes. Yoongi’s eyes seemed to burn with the intensity of a thousand suns. He watched as Yoongi reacted physically as he took a step back and clenched his fists, jaw tautening, trying not to reveal too much.

Jimin’s eyes landed on Jungkook for a second and Jungkook moved his finger in a circular manner, eyes twinkling. Jimin understood what Jungkook was implying.

Let’s take it up another notch, shall we? Jimin thought, now smirking openly in Yoongi’s direction.

Jimin turned around on the spot, lifting his top purposely to show off his body, thrusting his hips as he turned around, putting all of his energy in that one dance move before stopping finally with a flourish.

He watched everyone’s –except Jungkook - jaw dropped. Hoseok snapped the first out of his trance and leaped forward, pulling Jimin towards the group.

“I am in love. Let’s get married,” Hoseok almost yelled, hopping up and down on the place, utterly excited.

“I am thinking of ditching Jungkook. Seriously,” Taehyung muttered, face scrunched in awe. Jungkook just snorted and rolled his eyes and Jimin laughed loudly at their reaction.

“Just fucking look at him,” Baekhyun exclaimed. “Your cuteness and squishiness is just a fake façade. So this is what you were hiding underneath all that adorable marshmallow mask. You should come with a goddamn warning taped on your forehead stating that “Attention : Item may differ in reality”. That duality though…

Jimin laughed again before turning to look at Yoongi - to whom the whole last move was aimed at – who had been silent this whole time. The turmoil in Yoongi’s eyes had augmented, the intensity increased. Jimin decided to spare the guy by not asking him what he thought of it, because Yoongi’s eyes and that small lick of his lips conveyed Jimin his thoughts. Jimin smiled triumphantly on the inside, now that his mission was accomplished.

“Where are the others?” Jimin asked, changing the topic. No one else was to be seen other than the 6 of them.

“They were all hungry. They are at the bar, stuffing themselves with chips. They weren’t in the mood to dance anyway,” Baekhyun muttered. “Leave them, let’s all dance,” Baekhyun said, pulling Jimin with one and Hoseok with the other. Jungkook and Taehyung moved forward too. Jimin turned around and looked at Yoongi.

“Aren’t you coming?”

“I would rather admire the view,” Yoongi murmured quietly and Jimin’s heart fluttered at the tiniest smirk which flitted across Yoongi’s face.

Jimin grinned and turned, following others. The music had turned loud and fast and everyone was dancing madly. The whole place had turned into a dance club. Even Hoseok had let go f his professional type dance and was swaying around and enjoying himself.

Jimin giggled as Baekhyun pulled him forward and started dancing. The five of them danced around, having no track of time or music or beats, showing off moves and having fun.

Hoseok appeared in front of Jimin and started grinding and thrusting, although not touching him at all. Jimin laughed at his actions and his suggestive expressions and imitated him and others followed suit.

The crowd had now blended in and Jimin watched as several of them were now drunk and yelling loudly. No one seemed to care who was dancing with whom. After all, everyone here knew someone otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed inside. So Jimin or anyone else wasn’t really bothered when a random guy appeared inside their circle of five and started dancing with them.

Jungkook and Taehyung were fooling around just like himself, and grinding without actually doing anything. Hoseok was with Jimin, so the random guy pulled Baekhyun closer.

At first Baekhyun didn’t seem to mind and grooved along to the music. But as Jimin watched, something changed. The guy was now positively grinding against Baekhyun. Jimin watched as Baekhyun started to look uncomfortable. Baekhyun pushed the guy off gently, although good naturedly and turned towards Hoseok but the guy pulled him closer, placing a firm hand on Baekhyun’s ass. After another minute of this and the guy pulling him closer much forcibly, Baekhyun finally pushed the guy away, this time strongly.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Baekhyun hissed.

Jimin, Hoseok, Jungkook and Taehyung had stopped by now and were watching what was happening. Jimin noticed as the rest of the crowd too was at a halt, eyes turned around to see what was happening and why Baekhyun had yelled.

“Come on, love, don’t be like that. What’s the fun in just acting it out? We can have a damn good time together,” the guy murmured softly, not bothered about the way everyone was watching him and drew him close again

“No!! Get the fuck away. Let go off me!” Baekhyun shrieked and bit the guy’s hand.

“Feisty are we? I like that,” the guy said, now grinning, not letting go off Baekhyun’s hand and pulling him close again, trying to kiss him.

“Do you not understand the word ‘No’ or should I make you understand the term?”

Jimin looked up as Chanyeol appeared on the scene, looking positively murderous, eyeing the grip of the boy on Baekhyun’s hand.

“Yeol,” Baekhyun whimpered, looking at his boyfriend.

Every single person had stopped dancing and was watching the scene unfolding in front of them. The music had stopped too. Everything was still and silent.

“And who the fuck are you?” The boy sneered, Baekhyun’s hand still in his grasp.

“His boyfriend. Now let him go,” Chanyeol snarled, a lethal edge to his tone, his face showing off his anger. Jimin didn’t like that look at all.

“Your boyfriend bit me. This piece of shit bit me. I am not letting him go so easily,” the guy snapped and twisted Baekhyun’s hand and pushed him hard. Baekhyun fell on the floor and before any of them could move further or comprehend what was happening, the guy kicked Baekhyun on his stomach.

Jimin watched as Chanyeol’s own face contorted in pain as Baekhyun let of a yelp of agony.

Chanyeol let out an angry growl and lunged forward, having had enough of it. Jimin watched as Chanyeol charged impossibly fast and punched the guy’s face. The guy staggered behind, no match against Chanyeol’s size and fury. Before he could even turn his face around to the side, Chanyeol again punched his face hard.

“I,” Chanyeol said, enunciating each word with a punch, “told you to let go of him. How dare you hurt him? How dare you touch him?” Chanyeol bellowed and kicked the fallen figure of the boy.

Jimin watched as the rest of their group had appeared on the scene. Sehun had moved forward and helped Baekhyun up, pulling him closer towards them. From the corner of his eyes, Jimin saw that Taehyung now stood in front of Jungkook, standing up in a protective stance, shielding Jungkook from the scene. Jimin was internally thankful for Taehyung at that moment. He felt someone take his own hand and turned around to find that Yoongi was standing next to him, Jimin’s hand curled into Yoongi’s. Yoongi wasn’t looking at him. Instead he was watching the scene in front of him, looking as angry as everyone else.

Chanyeol kicked the guy again and let out an angry hiss. The figure was now still, no sound escaping the boy’s lips, blood trickling from the corner of his lips.

“He isn’t…?” Jimin whispered to Yoongi, suddenly afraid.

“Of course not. Just unconscious. We aren’t idiots. But he deserves that,” Yoongi replied and Jimin saw disgust on Yoongi’s face as he watched the boy.

Chanyeol now looked up at the crowd. “Who the fuck is with him? Who brought him inside?” Chanyeol demanded, now glancing around the crowd.

No one stepped up. No one spoke anything. There was a pin drop silence.

Chanyeol’s temper flared. “Are you telling me this guy got inside just like that? Who the fuck brought him in? Say it now or if I find out who it is, this won’t end on a good note.”

The entire hall was silent and unmoving.

The silence was broken by the loud sounds of footsteps echoed across the hall. Jimin looked up to see who came in just like the rest of them. Everyone’s head whipped up at the direction of the sound.

Kyungsoo came running across the hall and stopped right in front of them, the corridor door left wide open behind him.

“Run! Run. The Raiders are here,” Kyungsoo gasped, hand on his knees, a sense of urgency in his tone.

“What?” Chanyeol asked, thrown completely off guard. His face paled slightly. Jimin watched as Namjoon, Jin and Hoseok stepped forward, giving Kyungsoo their complete attention.

“Raiders. More than 30 of them. We saw them coming. Yixing and Chen are upstairs. They are coming here. We have bolted the door from inside but it won’t last. Ask everyone to leave. Now!” Kyungsoo announced.

Jin stepped forward, taking charge immediately. He looked at Kai and Sehun and addressed them, “Take everyone out from the two basement exits and leave. Go. Quickly!”

“I will lead them out but I am coming back,” Kai muttered before turning around and asking people to follow him.

“Me too,” Sehun responded and followed Kai.

Chanyeol now turned to the guy lying down on the ground. “Who the fuck is he then? Is he one of them?”

“Now isn’t the time for that,” Hoseok answered. Jimin watched how unlike Hoseok looked from himself now that he wasn’t smiling. He looked every bit threatening like the rest of them. “How many will stay behind?” Hoseok demanded. “I am staying behind.”

Jin, Namjoon and Chanyeol all nodded in agreement.

“I am staying behind too,” Taehyung said and Jimin watched as Taehyung’s face was full of determination.

Namjoon opened his mouth to react but Taehyung beat him to it. “Don’t stop me. There aren’t many people here today and you need as much as help you can get. I can handle this.” Namjoon looked at Taehyung’s face for a moment before nodding silently.

Jin now turned to Yoongi. “Yoongi, take Jimin and Jungkook out of here. They cannot be here at all. They won’t be able to handle it. Leave with them and wait for us. We shall come to yours after this. Take them from our exit, understand?”

Yoongi nodded.

“Take Baekhyun too,” Chanyeol said. Baekhyun looked like he was about to argue but then thought the better of it.

Jin, Kyungsoo, Namjoon and the others left, hurrying towards to the entrance door.

“Come on, let’s go,” Yoongi said insistently, taking Jimin’s hand in his and tugging him.

Jungkook looked at Taehyung for a moment, scared and worried. Taehyung moved forward instantly and cupped Jungkook’s face and looked at him in the eyes. “Get out of here. I will be at peace knowing that. I will see you soon. Now go!!” Taehyung emphasized, looking at Yoongi.

“Stay safe” Taehyung muttered before turning on his heels and sprinting behind Namjoon and the rest.

Yoongi tugged Jimin’s hand once again and started running, other hand enclosed on Jungkook’s arm. Baekhyun followed them at their heels.

“What did Namjoon mean by ‘our exit’?” Jungkook asked, breathing heavily, moving as fast as he could behind Yoongi.

“We have our own exit. One no one else at the club is aware of. Just us and Chanyeol hyung’s group. Jin found that way out by accident the last time. Since then we have kept that exit quiet. It’s only us who knows about it,” Yoongi panted, still running. Jimin didn’t reply anything but hurried alongside Yoongi.

At first they had followed the rest of the crowd but Yoongi and Baekhyun had later pulled them aside, down through a different door which wasn’t visible at first, because it was blended in the shadows. This corridor was long and not fully constructed. The ground was uneven with no proper steps, just a steep slope which went upwards. Their footsteps echoed noisily against the broken asphalt and concrete dust coated their feet. They arrived at another door after another 2 minutes of running. Yoongi wrenched the door open without hesitating or worrying if anyone else would be on the other side. The four of them got out.

“You three go on now. I am waiting here,” Baekhyun said and the three of them paused to look at him.

“Chanyeol hyung will be angry,” Yoongi argued, looking at Baekhyun steadily.

Baekhyun scoffed. “Even Yeol knows I would never leave his side. He just wanted me to get out of that room. And I did. I am going to wait for him here. He knows it too. Don’t waste time. Go on quickly now. I will see you all later.” Baekhyun didn’t wait for an answer and turned around and walked through the door they had just exited and closed it behind him.

Yoongi huffed before turning to look around at Jimin.

“You got a car?”

Both Jungkook and Jimin nodded.

“Where is it parked?”

“At the front,” Jungkook muttered, suddenly wanting to kick himself for parking the car there.

Yoongi’s face fell for a moment.

“Give me the keys,” Yoongi commanded and Jungkook threw him the keys. “Don’t worry. I will be back in 5. Just don’t move from here. If you listen to any other noise aside than the car’s, then flee inside ,” Yoongi ordered before spinning around on his heels and running down the streets, the keys jingling faintly as he ran.

Both Jungkook and Jimin didn’t say anything, not wanting to break the peaceful silence which surrounded them. They were standing at some place different. Jimin was sure that they have emerged out from another building altogether. The buildings surrounding them were different and no one was in sight. Jimin wanted to say something but was afraid that he would jinx it and something wrong might happen. He decided to wait patiently for Yoongi although he was anxious for Yoongi’s safety. Their car was parked right near the entrance and that was where the shit storm was going to take place. He wondered if his car was okay. Jungkook for his part looked tensed too. He moved along restlessly and Jimin knew he must be even more worried than himself. He knew it must be killing Jungkook that he wasn’t in any position to help Taehyung.

Jimin looked up as he heard the faint sounds of an engine running. He saw as a car emerged around the corner which he recognized as his own. He tugged Jungkook by the hand and waited by the pavement. Yoongi came to a stop in front of him and opened the car doors.

Both Jungkook and Jimin got in wordlessly and Yoongi wasted no time at all as he accelerated, driving as fast he could.

As they got out of the familiar exit of the area, Jimin felt Yoongi take his hand in his own. Yoongi squeezed Jimin’s hand reassuringly, as if telling him not to be troubled. Jimin relaxed a bit, finding comfort in Yoongi’s touch. Jimin was still worried but somewhat at ease knowing that Yoongi was by his side.

“Don’t worry,” Yoongi said gently and Jimin watched as Yoongi looked at Jungkook through the rear view mirror. “I am sure Taehyung is fine. He must be satisfied knowing that you are safe. And he will try not to get hurt. He needs to get back to you. So don’t worry. Nothing will happen to him,” Yoongi murmured softly to Jungkook and Jungkook nodded, taking in whatever assurance he got.

Yoongi squeezed Jimin’s hand once again and Jimin smiled a small smile before turning around to look outside the window, trying not to dwell on his anxiety too much.

 

 

 

The whole night had turned upside down in a matter of few moments and Jimin couldn’t wait to find out what was happening back there.

Chapter Text

Jungkook paced to and fro in the spacious living room of the apartment. He would sit down on the couch for a moment, then get up again and start pacing again. He couldn’t stop. He needed to do something so as to shift his focus somewhere else. And the movement helped, if only for a short time. Otherwise he felt completely helpless.

Jungkook sat down on the couch again, tapping his foot unconsciously, eyes defocused on the space in front of him. He was too jittery and now, even movement seemed like it was crawling up on him, like it was too much effort. He couldn’t stay still but also wasn’t in the mood to move.

Jungkook got up from the couch again and started pacing, hands behind his back.

Jimin watched Jungkook silently as he sat next to Yoongi on the couch, hand still entwined with the latter’s. He wanted to ask Jungkook to stop moving because it was getting on his nerves, but he couldn’t. He imagined himself in Jungkook’s place and knew that he would be just as worried for Yoongi as Jungkook was for Taehyung. Jungkook turned around to face the two of them.

“It’s been an hour and a half since we’ve reached here!” Jungkook burst out, unable to contain himself any longer. “They should be here by now? Shouldn’t they?”

Both Yoongi and Jimin remained silent, watching him wordlessly. Jungkook turned after their silence and started walking again, understanding somewhat that even they were just as anxious as him.

Yoongi got up from his seat and walked towards Jungkook and placed his hand on his shoulder, “He’ll be fine. Don’t worry. They all will be fine.”

If he wasn’t tensed already at the situation, Jungkook would’ve marvelled at the fact that Yoongi’s voice could be so soothing, so soft and so full of emotion while talking to someone, considering his usual stoic expression and stern looks, but Jungkook needed all the comfort he could get. He wondered if Yoongi was reassuring Jungkook or himself. He was worried because according to others, last time they had trashed the whole place down, he wondered what they would do now. Was 30 a huge number or a small? Probably the former, considering how Kyungsoo had came running straight down to deliver the news.

And he was worried about Taehyung. He was worried about how injured he might get. Something twisted in Jungkook’s stomach as he imagined Taehyung bloody and beaten up. Jungkook sat down on the couch wearily and closed his eyes tightly, forcing the image away from his mind.

The sound of piano suddenly filled the room and Jungkook opened his eyes to find Yoongi behind the large instrument which was tucked away at one side, hands moving effortlessly over the ivory keys. The effect the sound had was soothing and Jungkook leaned back against the sofa and now took the effort to look around the room. He hadn’t even noticed the large instrument or the how Yoongi’s apartment looked in his distress.

Yoongi’s apartment was quite large for someone who lived alone. The apartment was filled with bare minimum furniture, but Jungkook noticed that it was quite costly, not something that you would find in a yard sale. The grand piano was placed at the corner of the room on a little podium and Jungkook wondered how Yoongi could’ve afforded the instrument. Now that he thought of it, how did Yoongi even afford this place? The apartment was in a well off neighbourhood and even large. Jungkook could see two doors which undoubtedly led to 2 bedrooms, because he could see the kitchen towards the other end. Jungkook closed his eyes and focused on the music instead and the calming effect it had on him. He could ponder about Yoongi’s life later.

The doorbell rang and Jungkook’s eyes opened in a flash. The music had already ceased and by the time Jungkook got up from his seat, Yoongi was already at the door and Jimin also got up.

Yoongi opened the door and Hoseok walked in supported by Namjoon. Jungkook felt as if someone had dropped a huge sack filled with rocks on his body. Hoseok’s face was completely bruised. His left eye and jaw were blackened and Jungkook noticed dried blood near his nostril and he was limping slightly. Namjoon looked relatively better though there were evident scratch marks and bruises on his face.

Jin walked in behind them looking just as bad as Hoseok. His lip was busted and his jaw was already turning black and blue. Other than that Jin looked completely fine.

Jungkook turned towards the door just as Taehyung entered. Taehyung beelined straight towards Jungkook, not caring to throw to glance to anyone else. Taehyung wrapped his hands around Jungkook’s waist and buried his face in Jungkook’s neck. Jungkook’s hands immediately went around him, one hand tightly pulling him closer and the other stroking Taehyung’s hair gently. He didn’t care what anyone else thought. He was far too relieved. Taehyung looked far too unharmed, just a few scratch marks on his face and nothing else. Jungkook thanked the gods as he caressed Taehyung’s hair.

Jungkook watched Chanyeol enter through the door over the top of Taehyung’s head who was carrying a sleeping Baekhyun in his arms, the only one who was totally unhurt and peaceful among the lot. He was snoring slightly and looked so small in front of Chanyeol’s wide shoulders. Jungkook smiled slightly at the sight.

Taehyung pulled away from him, but only slightly, hands still wrapped around Jungkook but turned to look around at the others as Jimin shut the door. Jungkook instead looked at Taehyung’s unhurt face. He still looked just as beautiful but Jungkook’s stomach churned as he watched the few scratches on Taehyung’s face, but he knew they would go away. He thought he was being a bit selfish, considering how badly Hoseok and others were hurt but the only fact he could concentrate on that Taehyung wasn’t hurt. That he was safe. Nothing else mattered.

“Here,” Yoongi said, coming from the kitchen and passing ice packs around. Jin, Namjoon and Chanyeol took them gratefully, putting them on their jaws as they crashed on the sofa. Yoongi headed towards Hoseok and held the ice pack to his face, because Hoseok did not seem in any condition of doing it himself. Yoongi looked very tensed and strained. Hoseok looked he would pass out any second.

“Take him to the bedroom and let him sleep,” Yoongi murmured and Namjoon and Jin got up, pulling Hoseok to his feet and helping him towards the bedroom. “Take Baekhyun hyung also inside,” Yoongi said, looking at Chanyeol who nodded.

Taehyung pulled Jungkook on the sofa and made him sit down, then climbed on his lap and curled against his chest, face visibly tired. Jungkook put his hands around him and continued stroking his hair gently.

Namjoon, Jin and Chanyeol came from the room and sat down.

“Have you eaten anything?” Yoongi asked. All of them shook their heads. “Just wait then. I’ll make something quickly,” Yoongi muttered, dashing off into the kitchen. Jimin ran to help Yoongi.

The rest of them fell into a silence. Jungkook wanted to know what happened but he knew that even Yoongi and Jimin would need to hear it. And he figured that they were all tired and hungry, so he refrained from asking any questions.

Yoongi and Jimin came out 15 minutes later, with 7 cups of instant ramyeon. Jimin passed two to Jungkook and Jungkook realised he himself (and Yoongi and Jimin) hadn’t eaten anything since quite some time. All of them had been too busy worrying about the rest of them.

“Let’s go to sleep,” Yoongi murmured once they had finished eating and all of them looked up at him.

“But-”

“Of course I want to know. But we can talk about it later. It’s extremely late and none of you all are in the condition to speak, even after eating. You all look ready to pass out. Anyway, what’s happened has happened. There’s nothing we can do about it now. It will be better to talk about it in the morning,” Yoongi replied quietly, yet firmly.

Jin didn’t argue any further, looking somewhat relieved at the prospect of not having to stay up anymore.

“You and Namjoon hyung can take my bedroom,” Yoongi said, looking at Jin who nodded. “Chanyeol hyung can sleep with Hoseok and Baekhyun in the other. The four of us can sleep in the hall. I will bring in some blankets,” Yoongi muttered, hurrying off to his bedroom.

Jin, Namjoon and Chanyeol retired, muttering their ‘goodnights’ and heading straight towards their beds.

Yoongi came back holding a large, thick rug and some blankets. Jimin moved forwards to help Yoongi. Jungkook nudged Taehyung who got up from his lap and both of them helped the other two.

Taehyung crashed down as soon as the rug was placed, pulling Jungkook next to him. Yoongi turned off the lights and Jungkook turned his back on Jimin, who was sleeping on his other side.

Jungkook stared at Taehyung, who was already looking at him.

“Are you alright?” Jungkook whispered, lifting his hand to move the few stray strands which had fallen on Taehyung’s face.

Taehyung caught his hand and held it to his face as he nodded and smiled brightly, “Never been better.”

Jungkook stroked his face, gazing at Taehyung as his face shone slightly in the pale light which filtered in through the windows.

“What are you thinking?” Taehyung murmured.

“Honestly?”

“No shit Sherlock,” Taehyung muttered, rolling his eyes. Jungkook smiled slightly at that, feeling somewhat better.

“I am wondering how someone can still smile so glowingly after all that hell. There’s no need to pretend to be okay. You can be tired of front of me. You can say ‘I am not okay’ in front of me. There’s no need to be a soldier now,” Jungkook smiled sadly.

Taehyung looked at him for a beat and then pulled Jungkook closer by his hand. He pressed Jungkook’s hand to his lips while looking at him.

“Do you know why I smile? Because I know you were safe and that you are unhurt. Knowing that, I can go and beat the shit out of even a thousand such people. And it’s okay. It’s not like I didn’t know what I was getting into or that I am not used to it. I knew what I had signed up for when I first came here. I don’t need to be a soldier because I am one. I am still the way I was before. The only difference is that I never had anyone to worry about before and so I could be carefree. But now I do have someone who constantly keeps me on my edge,” Taehyung said, smiling again, and his smile was so sincere and so bright, that Jungkook was sure the moon and the sun would have been pale in comparison. “So I need to be careful from now on because I need to come back to you.”

“Well,” Jungkook said, after a beat of silence, “you better be fucking careful from now on. If you make me worry about you anymore, I will beat the crap out of you,” and pulled Taehyung into his arms, kissing his forehead.

“Now sleep,” Jungkook instructed, smiling slightly now, completely at ease.

“I will dream about you,” Taehyung murmured sleepily, voice muffled as his face was buried into Jungkook’s chest.

Jungkook’s smile widened as his eyes fluttered shut, thinking about nothing else but concentrating only the feel of the boy sleeping in his arms.

Chapter Text

Jungkook felt someone repeatedly nudge his legs. He felt something heavy at his side as the nudging intensified.

“Wake up. Come on, wake up idiot. Everyone else is already up. We’ve made breakfast.” Jungkook recognised Jimin’s voice as his brain finally cleared up the fog. “Be there in 10 minutes or forget your breakfast and wake Tae up too. We are waiting,” Jimin’s voice faded away and Jungkook realised he must’ve drifted off into the kitchen.

Jungkook opened his eyes and finally understood the heavy feeling. Taehyung was latched onto his side like a koala, one leg draped over Jungkook’s waist, head resting on Jungkook’s arm which acted like a pillow, one hand clutching Jungkook’s t-shirt in a fist and the other loosely draped around his waist.

Jungkook smiled at the sight. Taehyung was sleeping peacefully, face slightly puckered up as if in concentration. He looked so damn adorable that Jungkook could’ve spent the entire day like this. But Jungkook could hear the faint voices coming from the kitchen and the sounds of the spoons and forks as they scraped against the plates and he knew that he would have to get up now.

Jungkook gently shook Taehyung, “Wakey wakey,” Jungkook trilled.

Taehyung simply jerked and made an incoherent noise and fell back to his slumber.

“Wakey wakey Sleeping Beauty,” Jungkook teased, now shaking Taehyung more forcefully.

“I am not the Sleeping Beauty,” Taehyung muttered, now awake but he still didn’t open his eyes. He smiled slightly and buried himself further into Jungkook.

“Then what are you? Snow White?”

“Yes,” Taehyung insisted.

“Why?” Jungkook asked, pressing his lips into a thin line to stop himself from cooing at Taehyung’s pout.

“Because Snow White wakes up due to her prince’s kiss. Where is my kiss?” Taehyung murmured, now opening his eyes and grinning fully as he watched Jungkook.

Jungkook burst out laughing at Taehyung’s logic. He pushed Taehyung off, “You can go back to sleep and keep dreaming then” Jungkook got up and glanced at Taehyung who stared at him, muttering, “What a loser.”

Taehyung got up, still muttering something under his breath and headed towards the bathroom and Jungkook followed him. Taehyung pulled a brush for himself and passed a mouthwash to Jungkook. “You can use this.” Jungkook stared at the brush in his hands. “It’s mine. I have my own stuff here,” Taehyung replied in answer and continued brushing. Jungkook quickly washed his mouth with the mouthwash and waited for Taehyung to finish.

Both Jungkook and Taehyung went into the kitchen which was now crowded considering seven people sat around the small kitchen table. Yoongi was behind the stove making something which sizzled on the pan. Jimin was at the corner, making toasts and passing them around.

Jungkook glanced at others. Hoseok’s face looked worse. His jaw and eyes were prominently black but he didn’t seem to pay much attention to it, instead he was busy stuffing the toast in his mouth. Jin sat next to him, looking just as bad as Hoseok, but like him, he too concentrated on food, stuffing what seemed like a large piece of waffle in his mouth and smiling happily. Namjoon and Chanyeol seemed relatively serious but just like the others, they too were engrossed in their food. Baekhyun looked up as both Taehyung and Jungkook entered.

“Sit here. I am done anyway,” Baekhyun replied, smiling at them and Jungkook mirrored his smile as he took a seat.

Jungkook looked at Jin and Hoseok. “You guys alright?”

Hoseok looked up and smiled brightly, “Of course. Yoongi’s cooking will make even a dumb person spout compliments. So we are doing great.”

Jin hit Hoseok’s arm, “What about my cooking?”

“Do you work at a restaurant?”

"No. But I own several,” Jin contradicted.

“Not the same thing,” Hoseok answered and then quickly stuffed his mouth with food to avoid replying.

Jungkook smiled at the light banter. As long as they all were well, he was happy. He knew he hadn’t known these people for long, but he already felt connected to them, as if he had known them for a lot of time. All of this seemed very familiar to him and he loved it. These people were like one large family and Jungkook knew they had immediately made him and Jimin a part of it, accepting them without any hesitation. And Jungkook was aware the boy sitting next to him was the reason.

Yoongi placed a plate in front of Jungkook and smiled slightly. “Jimin told me you love fried eggs and toast. I hope you like it.” Yoongi turned to Taehyung and Jungkook didn’t miss the fond smile, “And here’s your chocolate pancake with maple syrup.” Taehyung hooted with glee, shouting an ‘I love you’ to Yoongi who just rolled his eyes and went back to cooking.

Jungkook realised that how much ever Yoongi seemed stoic and heartless, he was a real softie, especially for Taehyung. He decided to look past these reservations he had against Yoongi because Yoongi was a genuinely good person and Jungkook was going to trust what Taehyung had said about him.

“So what happened?” Yoongi asked when finally everyone was done with breakfast. Jimin sat on the counter and Yoongi stood next to him, hands folded in front of him, looking at Jin.

Everyone now turned to look at Jin who sighed wearily. He listlessly moved the last piece of waffle in his plate with his fork before finally looking up. “It’s so much worse. Much worse than last time.”

There was small silence which Yoongi broke, echoing Jungkook’s thoughts, “How much worse?”

“The whole place is trashed again. The DJ and speakers have been broken. Not to mention the couches and the bar. There are pieces of glass everywhere, all bottles and everything is broken. Two of the podiums are smashed. That is still all okay. That isn’t important,” Jin replied, now starting to look angry. “Jongin and Sehun are badly hurt. Worse than Hoseok. We had to tell Yixing, Jongdae and Kyungsoo to run out and keep the cars ready because we weren’t sure if we would be able to take them all out. There were so few people yesterday who were able to fight. I am considering that we were lucky enough to be able to hold out with those many. Everyone held their ground well. Taehyung and Namjoon were brilliant. They must’ve taken half of them down themselves. Sehun was brilliant too, but he got hurt so much.”

“Did you-”

“Of course we took them down,” Namjoon answered before Yoongi could even finish his question. “But at what cost? We didn’t really hold the ground completely. We were going to have to escape and leave the club just like that. I think we were extremely lucky that they left before us. They must’ve been satisfied with the damage they did and that’s why they left early. When I think about it, I think their intention is always to smash the place down and not hurt us. We get into fights because we resist them from doing any damage. I think those bastards simply want us to shut the place down. They know that there won’t be any activity for the next one and a half month now at least.”

“What’s the point of simply wrecking havoc in the place?” Jimin frowned.

“Just to cause terror,” Hoseok replied, looking angry. Jungkook stared at Hoseok’s angry face. When he didn’t smile, he looked very dangerous. His simple stare could probably kill people. Hoseok turned to Namjoon, “I think you might be right. They always knew we were stronger than them. That’s why they resort to such low actions rather than fight one on one. They just want us to stop the club. Noticed how those four were never present when the havoc takes place? Can you believe those assholes? They are still afraid of facing you guys, especially after Jin and Suho had beat the shit out of them that time. So they are sending their sidekicks now. Fucking bastards.”

Jin looked at his plate dejectedly. “Maybe we should just shut the place down.”

“Don’t be an idiot,” Chanyeol muttered.

“Exactly,” Namjoon said and took Jin’s hand in his own. “We’ve held our ground before and we shall always do it. They are no match for us. We aren’t letting them get away with this. Next time, we will be ready. The whole club will fight against them. We aren’t shutting it down just because they always cause some nuisance. Let them see Hellion’s power.”

Jin smiled a bit at that.

“Exactly,” Baekhyun agreed. “I would rather end up on a hospital bed than let them do anything further. Hellions is our getaway, our place of happiness. I think I have spent more time at Hellions than my own house. We are all a huge family and damn me if I am letting them come near my family anymore. I will learn to fight just to help you all.”

“I will teach you,” Chanyeol said, flashing a smile at Baekhyun’s direction. Jungkook realised the intensity of the situation. The fact that even Chanyeol didn’t mind Baekhyun fighting to stop Hellions from closing was something. Jungkook couldn’t believe that he was the same guy who half killed (he might be exaggerating) a guy yesterday because the guy had hurt his boyfriend. Whatever it was, Hellions must be really important to all of them.

“Anyway,” Chanyeol said, now looking serious, “There are two major things we need to discuss.”

Everyone turned to stare at Chanyeol.

“Firstly, I think you all have missed out an important clue in all of this,” Chanyeol said, leaning forward in his seat, hands clasped in front of him. “All of their raids have been on days of rap battles or dance-offs, never during our normal days.”

Namjoon stared at Chanyeol, squinting his eyes and Jungkook knew he must be thinking hard and then realisation dawned on Namjoon’s face. “You are right. You are goddamn right. I can’t believe we missed that.”

Now all of them, except Jungkook and Jimin, had that same look of comprehension on their faces.

“Which brings me to my second point,” Chanyeol continued, knowing that he had everyone’s attention. “They must’ve inside information from someone of our club or someone from them is visiting our club frequently and gathering information. They must know when we all have those off days and they come and attack exactly on then. Remember yesterday’s guy? The one who…” Chanyeol said, with a look of disgust on his face. His expression suddenly turned angry but Chanyeol composed himself before speaking again. “He wasn’t from our club. I am sure of it. No one knew who he was. The question is how did he get inside? What the fuck were Jongdae, Yixing and Kyungsoo doing?”

“Let’s not be rash. You think they would willingly let any outsider inside? Come on. The guy must’ve simply tricked them. He must’ve merged with another group or something or made it look like he was someone’s friend. We don’t know for sure. But I trust the three of them and it isn’t their fault. He simply just got inside. The trouble followed later,” Jin answered and Jungkook noticed the authoritative yet gentle tone with which Jin spoke.

“Exactly,” Yoongi said, agreeing with Jin. “Jin hyung is right. And what if the Raiders use a different guy every time to gather information? How about that? It’s a possibility. No one has seen him before.”

Chanyeol leaned back against his seat in defeat as everyone started to ponder Yoongi’s words. There was some logic behind it. Even Jungkook thought of it. But something was off. The guy…his face...something was off.

“I think Yoongi might be-” Hoseok started but Jungkook interrupted him.

“I have seen him before.”

Eight heads whipped in Jungkook’s direction. Jungkook suddenly felt conscious. He felt as if someone was burning holes in his head.

“Where?” Namjoon asked quietly, not looking angry or suspicious or anything. Instead, he seemed calm and Jungkook felt a bit better.

“I have seen him twice. Not at the club. No. Remember when we were lost in the area for the first time?” Jungkook asked pressingly, turning to look at Jimin. Jimin nodded and Jungkook continued. “Remember the guy we asked we had asked directions to? It’s him, isn’t he? He’s the same one, right?”

“Oh my God! You are right. You are absolutely right. I kept thinking yesterday if I had seen him somewhere before,” Jimin exclaimed, slapping a hand on his forehead.

“Exactly!” Jungkook said and turned towards others. “That’s when we first saw him. When we were lost in the area. I can tell you where we saw him if we go around the area once. And the second time I saw him was the day when we first came to the club. He was in that same spot. I am 100% sure of it. We arrived to the club that day with a different route, not the one Yoongi had told us.”

Namjoon turned to face everyone. “So they have a might have a permanent hideout or maybe not. We don’t know for sure. But we can scout the area where Jungkook saw him. Keep watch over there with a different person every time to see what exactly is their deal. If we see him again, we can tail him or something.”

Namjoon looked at Jungkook and leaning forward, patted his back. “Thank you. This is going to help us a lot.”

“Anything to help you all,” Jungkook said sincerely.

Jin smiled at Jungkook warmly before sighing. “Let’s keep a lookout now like Joon suggested. Anyway the club will be closed for atleast a month considering the number of repairs to be done. But more than that, I don’t want to open it any sooner because I don’t want anyone to be in trouble or get hurt anymore. The boys need rest. We can start scouting two weeks late. Till then, I want everyone to take some time off, clear?”

“Yes, mom,” Taehyung yelled and everyone laughed. Trust Taehyung to lighten the mood.

Namjoon pushed back his chair and got up, stretching himself. “Let’s go now. We need to update Junmyeon and Jongdae on everything.”

“Junmyeon hyung is going to be furious. Wait, he already must be. Jongdae hyung must’ve have told him everything,” Hoseok muttered, getting up as well and heading towards the refrigerator.

“Never mind now. Let’s go and see how Jongin and Sehun are doing before heading home,” Jin replied, pulling Hoseok by his neck, who was busy scouring the fridge for its contents.

“Tsk tsk tsk. Here,” Yoongi muttered, surging forward and finally handing Hoseok a box. Hoseok smiled cheekily at him “I love you. You are the best.” Hoseok caught Jungkook’s eye and answered his unsaid question, “Yoongi’s chocolate cheesecake. It’s the best. You will always find one in his fridge.”

“Now come on. Let’s go,” Namjoon whined, who had been waiting by the door for them. Jungkook watched Jin pulling Hoseok by the neck who didn’t seem to care, instead clutching the box tightly and waving a bye to everyone. Chanyeol and Baekhyun also waved a goodbye to them and Yoongi went behind them, probably to have some last word.

Jimin hopped down from the counter and looked at Jungkook. “We should get going too. I have to get to work today. It’s a Saturday today. Ugh. Why isn’t it a Sunday?” Jimin whined.

Jungkook yawned and stood up. “Yes, let’s go. I have some assignments to do.”

“Normal life seems boring now, doesn’t it?” Taehyung asked, smiling cheekily. Jungkook just smiled back in response. What a wild ride he had had.

Yoongi entered the kitchen again and all of them looked up at him. “I was talking to Jin hyung and others now. Jungkook, you will come with Taehyung and me two weeks later and show us the place. Namjoon told us not to go near there before that. I will have the first look out a week following that. We all think it’s safe if I go first, since the guy didn’t see me at all. He will recognise all of you considering you all were dancing in the same circle.”

“I will join you,” Jimin replied.

“But-”

“Don’t even start arguing. Two are always better than one. I am joining you all and you can’t stop me.”

Yoongi stared at Jimin for a beat and then shrugged before turning towards Jungkook. “Two weeks later. Remember. Now let’s all hope that you are correct.”

Jungkook nodded, hoping exactly the same. Things had just turned interesting.

Chapter Text

Jungkook ran to the washrooms to take a shower. He was in a rush. He was supposed to meet Taehyung at the café at five thirty, but the coach had made him run extra laps. Jungkook wanted to kick himself and even the coach. He shouldn’t have come first during the trials. Now the coach was making him practice harder and longer than the others and Jungkook just wanted to die. His coach was already talking to Jungkook about the inter-collegiate races. If this was the case with just departmental competitions, Jungkook wondered how much his coach would make him practice for inter-collegiate races. He was reaching home late every day. It’s not as if his art professor was being lax with him and Jungkook didn’t have tons of assignments piled up which he just managed to finish on time.

Two more days, Jungkook said to himself as the hot water ran over his strained muscles and Jungkook relaxed a bit, feeling some of the tension ease away.

Jungkook hurriedly came out of the shower and ran to his locker, pulling out his jeans and t-shirt and quickly changed before others would arrive. Jungkook took his bag and started to leave when he spotted Ki Bum and Minho entering the room. Ki Bum threw him a dirty look but didn’t do anything further. Minho opened his mouth to say something but instantly shut up as the others had started to turn up.

“Need a hand, sunbae?” Jungkook asked Ki Bum, who seemed to be struggling with his backpack, the strap being stuck in the locker’s hinge.

“No,” Ki Bum replied sulkily and turned his back on Jungkook, ignoring him. Minho glared at Jungkook but Jungkook just smiled innocently and shrugged.

He bit his cheeks, controlling his expression and exited the room. Jungkook burst out laughing once he was out of the room and in the safe zone. Taehyung was right. He was goddamn right. Ki Bum was nothing but a bluff. God. Jungkook had been afraid for no reason. It had been days now and Ki Bum always took a wide turn whenever Jungkook got close to him. Maybe Jungkook should just learn some confidence tricks from Taehyung and his incredible ability to read people.

Jungkook pushed the door of the café and smiled at the familiar chime of the bell. He took a huge breath and the rich, bitter-sweet aroma of the coffee hit him. Jungkook sometimes thinks he can get high on this scent, it was that amazing.

Taehyung smells better a voice inside his head said and Jungkook turned red at the thought. What the fuck did he just think? Goddamn. Jungkook shook his head, clearing his mind and threw a glance around the café and then frowned. Taehyung wasn’t here yet. Jungkook shrugged it off and saw that his favourite spot was empty and rushed forward before anyone else could occupy it.

He hasn’t cancelled on me, has he? Jungkook thought, a small frown on his face. Jungkook checked the time, again. It had been 20 minutes since he was here. It was almost 6 o’clock. Taehyung was never late, not when it concerned Jungkook.

Should I call him? Jungkook wondered when another 5 minutes passed. Jungkook was pulling his phone out when he heard the faint chime of the bell. He looked up, a smile already forming on his face and spotted Taehyung and then his mouth fell open.

Taehyung wasn’t alone. He was carrying a five year old (or maybe six, how would he know) in his arms, throwing a look around the café, no doubt in search of Jungkook. Taehyung spotted him and he smiled that same smile whenever he saw Jungkook, the one Jungkook knows is reserved only for him and hurried forward.

“Sorry for being late,” Taehyung smiled, taking the seat opposite him but Jungkook’s focus was on the little girl.

Taehyung was with a kid. A little girl in a pink frock, her hair in two pigtails tied neatly with satin ribbons, the bows in perfect shape. Jungkook has never seen a kid this cute in his entire life, aside than Ji Hyun obviously. Put Ji Hyun and this little girl in a room together and Jungkook might just die of cuteness.

And Jungkook was dying now. He didn’t know he needed this. Taehyung and kids. What a fucking adorable concept Jungkook thought. They even matched their outfit for god’s sake. Taehyung was wearing a shirt -A shirt. The guy always walks around like he is on a ramp – the exact shade of pink as the girl’s frock. Jungkook looked at Taehyung.

Taehyung’s smile widened. “Jungkook, meet Eon Jin, my sister. Eon Jin, this is Jungkook.” Eon Jin regarded Jungkook through her big, brown eyes, the exact shade as that of Taehyung’s, her eyes were just as expressive as his. Good genes must run in the family, Jungkook thought. “The one you keep talking about?” Eon Jin asked, still regarding Jungkook curiously before turning towards her brother. Taehyung nodded vigorously at her, holding her gingerly as she sat on his lap.

“You talk about me to her?” Jungkook asked, raising his eyebrows at the boy sitting in front of him.

“Oppa never shuts up about you,” Eon Jin replied quickly, flashing a smile at Jungkook and Jungkook is hit with another wave of cuteness.

“Really?” Jungkook asks, now smiling.

“Really. It’s kind of annoying,” Eon Jin mutters and Jungkook laughs at Taehyung’s ‘yah!’ but he was smiling nevertheless. “Why don’t you tell him how you were badgering me continuously about wanting to meet him?” Taehyung looked up at Jungkook, “She’s been dying to meet you.”

Jungkook looked at her and Eon Jin smiled shyly and Jungkook has to control himself from pinching her cheeks because she was just too damn adorable.

“Why don’t you go and order?” Taehyung pipes up, looking at her. Eon Jin thought about it for a minute before nodding cutely and hopping down from Taehyung’s lap. She looked at Jungkook, again with a serious expression, as if it was the most important thing in the world.

“What do you want?”

Jungkook pretended to think about it for a moment, scratching his chin and exaggerating for her sake and then turned towards her. “A hot chocolate.”

Eon Jin nodded before turning towards her brother. Jungkook laughed as her expression changed when she saw Taehyung and asked him the same question in a bored tone.

“Same as him.”

“Can I have chocolate cookies?”

Taehyung nodded brightly at her.

“How many?”

“As many as you want. Just don’t tell mother.”

Jungkook smiled as Eon Jin laughed gleefully and started to run towards the counter, but Taehyung grabbed her before she could run away. “Don’t forget to say ‘Thank you’ and ask him to bring the tray here. Understand? I don’t want you to spill hot water all over yourself. You might get hurt. Now go,” Taehyung tells her, and Jungkook notices that even though he speaks gently, there is sternness in him. Even though Taehyung is spoiling her, he is still keeping her in check and Jungkook feels a strange sensation go through his body. Eon Jin nodded and ran to the counter.

“She’s just so adorable,” Jungkook cooed, turning towards Taehyung and the latter laughed.

“Just wait. If she likes you, she’s going to latch on to you like a leech. I am supposed to drop her at Yoongi’s. She’s going to spend the night there. I was packing her bags and getting her ready. That’s why I was late. She stopped throwing a hissy fit when I said we are meeting you before.”

“She’s staying at Yoongi’s?” Jungkook asked, raising an eyebrow, a laugh escaping his lips. “Yoongi and kids. Really? Those are two polar opposite things.”

Taehyung laughed too. “He doesn’t really like kids. Obviously. But Eon Jin is an exception. You should see him when she is around. Full Protective Big Brother Mode™ on. I have videos of him and the way he talks to her. It’s easy to blackmail him with that.”

Jungkook snickered, somehow still not able to accept that Yoongi and kids could exist in a room at the same time. “So is he coming here or…?”

“Nope. He has work. I am supposed to take her to his home. Yoongi wanted me to take her directly over there, but both of us were adamant about meeting you,” Taehyung said excitedly.

Jungkook watched his smile for a moment and butterflies erupted in his stomach. God. He loved that smile so much. “You love your family a lot, don’t you?” Jungkook asked, staring at the boy sitting opposite him.

“Absolutely. I would do anything for them. I love my family and my other family too,” Taehyung replied, smiling serenely.

Before Jungkook could say anything, Eon Jin came up bounding towards them, halting right before Jungkook.

“Smile for me.”

“What?” Jungkook asked, thrown off guard. He glanced at Taehyung who just shrugged and turned towards the barista who had brought them their drinks.

“Don’t look at oppa. Look at me and smile.”

Jungkook looked back at the little girl, who stood in front of him, looking bossy. Jungkook smiled automatically. He had been controlling his smile anyway, so it wasn’t hard to satisfy her demand.

Eon Jin stepped closer and suddenly smiled, her expression giddy, before turning to Taehyung. “He’s so cute oppa. Look at his bunny teeth. Oppa I like him. You can date him.” Jungkook laughed and looked at Taehyung in a ‘she knows?’ way and Taehyung’s eyes just twinkled in response.

Eon Jin smiled the same boxy smile as her brother’s. “I know oppa likes someone with a lot of cuteness. And you are cute. Cuter than Kai oppa and Sehun oppa. I like you better,” she said and then climbed into Jungkook’s lap.

“She knows Kai and Sehun?” Jungkook asks, now looking at Taehyung, adjusting himself better now so there was space for the kid.

“Yeah. I have taken her to the club with me,” Taehyung said, not looking at him, too busy with his chocolate cookie.

“WHAT?” Jungkook yelled, ignoring the way several heads swivelled in his direction. “Are you fuc…Are you serious? Are you an idiot?”

“What?” Taehyung asked, startled at Jungkook’s sudden outburst, dropping his cookie in the process.

“You took her to the club? What kind of an idiot are you?” Jungkook demanded, wondering if Taehyung had somehow damaged his brain as a kid.

“Relax,” Taehyung said, rolling his eyes. “You think I am going to put her in any danger? Of course not. I would kill anyone who even steps near her. And she has our whole group and Chanyeol’s whole group to protect her. And Yoongi would kill anyone before even I get the chance. And I have taken there once. They all come at our home to play with her. They all dote on her. They are all her bitches,” Taehyung snorted, looking unconcerned and picked up his fallen cookie, dipping it in his hot chocolate.

Before Jungkook could say anything, Eon Jin turned to look at him, twisting in his lap.“I know oppa is an idiot, but he will never hurt me. And nor will Yoongi oppa. They are both strong,” she said, looking proud.

“Yah! How dare you call your oppa an idiot?” Taehyung asked, looking scandalised.

“Yoongi oppa always call you one,” Eon Jin replied, and Jungkook snorted.

“Doesn’t mean you have the right to call me one,” Taehyung said.

“But you are one.” And Jungkook snickered at the matter-of-fact tone with which she said it.

“You…you…you are too outspoken. You are spending too much time with Yoongi. Wait. I am not giving you cookies and candies anymore. Calling me an idiot…” Taehyung muttered, still looking scandalized.

“Don’t worry. Yoongi oppa will give them to me. He is going to make a cake for me today so I don’t care,” Eon Jin fired back with a what-will-you-do-about-it expression and then quickly stuffed a cookie in her mouth.

Jungkook laughed, thoroughly amused at the brother-sister banter and even Taehyung was smiling now.

“So how are the others?” Jungkook asked, looking at Taehyung. He had been dying to know what happened later but he had refrained himself, knowing that it would be better to talk about it face-to-face rather than on texting. He didn’t have much time to text anyway.

Taehyung sighed, his smile fading. “Junmyeon hyung is furious. It’s rare to see him this angry. Sehun had to go to a hospital to get pain medication but he’s better now. He can’t go out looking like that though and neither cannot Jongin. So they are chilling out at their homes, missing out their classes. Hoseok hyung is doing well but he too had to take a few days off from his work. He teaches at the Dance Academy, you know. He cannot go there looking like that in front of the kids. Jin hyung is at least lucky. His family is out of the country for the most time so he isn’t concerned about it. Namjoon hyung is staying over at Jin’s to take care of him. The rest of us are all lucky. I am glad nothing happened to me otherwise mother would have hounded me about where I had been.” “

She didn’t say anything to all those scratches and bruises?”

"Nah. Eon Jin took the fall. She told mother that she scratched my face because she was mad at me. Mom won’t do anything to her anyway; she’ll just scold her at the most.” Jungkook stared at him. “She knows everything?” “Of course. I tell her everything. She’s my best friend. And in times like this, she has my back,” Taehyung replied, smiling slightly and stuffed the entire cookie in his mouth.

Jungkook looked down at the little girl sitting in his lap, not paying any attention to them. Some bond they have Jungkook thought.

Jungkook looked at Taehyung while taking a sip of his drink. He thought it was fucking adorable that Taehyung considered Eon Jin as his best friend. What even was Kim Taehyung? Fights underground matches just for the heck of it and tells about it to his kid sister? Acts like a complete baby for most of the time but is actually always alert and strong? Whatever he was, Jungkook knew that Taehyung was going to keep him guessing for a long long time.

“Did anyone go back there again to see what’s up?” Jungkook asked.

“No. Jin and Junmyeon hyung are absolutely not allowing anyone to go there right now. I have never seen him being this strict. Jin hyung says he will go with the rest of them to survey the damage again. I think…I think they don’t want to start the club again. I mean Namjoon, Hoseok, Chanyeol and Baekhyun hyung are clearly against the idea and so am I, but Chanyeol and Baekhyun hyung don’t have a say and neither do I. It’s a matter of discussion among the founding members. If majority of the founders want to close the club, then they just might. Even Junmyeon hyung was disheartened at the news and just might agree with Jin. We are trying to get Jongdae hyung on our side but... I don’t know what will happen further,” Taehyung said, looking dejected.

Jungkook frowned, “What do you mean? Shouldn’t they ask the other members what they think about the situation?”

“Of course they will ask for opinion. Namjoon hyung will be the first to insist that but even he can’t ignore the other matters. The last three times Jin hyung has had to bear most of the expenses of rebuilding the club again. We all chip in too, obviously, but we cannot ask the ones who simply turn up to watch to pay. It’s just us and Chanyeol’s whole group anyway who are the most regular. So Jin has had to pay the most considering he is the only one rich enough for such expenses. If he wants to, he can do it all single-handedly, but the problem lies in the fact that no one at his home knows about this. He cannot just go around spending money. His family might question him about it leading to more complications, and anyway, the rest of us would never let him pay alone. But he isn’t concerned about that though. Jin is a real softie. Hellions is like a family to him, especially our group. He has always been alone and without family so that’s why spends so much time at Hellions. And I know he cannot watch us getting hurt again. He might blame himself, considering this club was originally his idea, even among the founders.”

Jungkook fell back, silent. He didn’t know what to say. He understood what Taehyung was saying. He had been to the club twice, only twice, and had seen both the sides of the club when the shit storm took place. Jungkook himself felt a bit bad. He had enjoyed it there. He didn’t have much friends in college, just a few people whom he sometimes sat with for lunch or occasionally went out with, that too because they had to sketch some landscape or scenery. He had no friend, being the shy and quietest kid in the class. And the club was lively. Perhaps the kids there were just like him and went there to find new people or relieve their stress and enjoy themselves. Whatever the case, Jungkook had been delighted there, even though he had been there only twice. The people had immediately accepted him, something which rarely happened and they had talked and laughed with him and had taken care of him.

He wondered how Jin and the others must feel, how Taehyung must feel. Taehyung had been at the club for three years now. Taehyung had mentioned it to him several times that even he didn’t have many friends, so he found his solace in the club. Jin too had the idea because he was alone. If Jungkook felt this sad about it, he couldn’t even imagine what others must be going through. It had been five years for them. Five years of wonderful memories, of forming new friends and new relationships. If it had been Jungkook, he would’ve probably cried a lot.

“Don’t worry about it too much.” Jungkook looked up, his reverie broken by the sound of Taehyung’s voice.

“I said don’t worry about it too much. I am pretty sure Namjoon hyung will convince the others to not shut it down. At least one more time. If it happens again, then…Till then, we all will persuade them one last time and this time, we will be ready for those basta…raiders,” Taehyung said, looking determined.

“And anyway,” Taehyung continued, “the plan is still on. You are coming with us to show where you had spotted that guy. Hoseok texted me reminding me of it. So there is some hope.”

That made Jungkook feel a little better.

Taehyung glanced at his watch. “We need to leave. Yoongi is taking her out somewhere and I was late already. He must've reached home by now and he will kill me if I deprive him of his time with her. I will go and pay. Finish your drink quickly. You need something else?”

Jungkook shook his head and took a sip and finished the last of it.

“Eon Jin. Get ready and finish that quickly. We are leaving.”

The little girl nodded and took the last cookie in her hand and hopped down from Jungkook’s lap. Even Jungkook stood up, his eyes on Taehyung, who seemed cute with the Hello Kitty backpack on his shoulders. Jungkook removed his phone to snap a picture when he felt someone pull his arm. He looked down at Eon Jin, who was staring at him strangely.

“Do you like my oppa?”

Jungkook bent down so that he was on eye level with her. “Of course I do.”

“Do you love him?”

Jungkook stared at the kid before turning to glance at the boy standing near the counter, laughing at something the barista said. As if on cue, Taehyung glanced at him and smiled before looking at the barista again.

“Yes I do,” Jungkook said, realising as he said it that it was true. He was sure of it. He had never been as sure about anything before as he was about this. He didn’t want to wait anymore. He knew enough about Kim Taehyung to know what kind of a person he was, to know how he behaved, to know what he liked and disliked. There wasn’t anything left for Jungkook to doubt or question or be unsure of anymore. Whatever more was left to discover, Jungkook could do it together with him. He could explore whatever was left with Kim Taehyung by his side.

He was in love with Kim Taehyung. And that was the best thing that could’ve ever happened to him.

Jungkook looked at Eon Jin. “Yes. I love him.”

“Oppa talks a lot about you. He smiles and laughs more now and he seems happier now. I know you make him happy. Please take care of him. I don’t like to see him sad.”

Jungkook saw how sincerely and how earnestly Eon Jin was looking at him as she said it and he understood how serious Taehyung must be about him if even a kid could see the difference in him. A thousand butterflies erupted in Jungkook’s stomach and he felt warm all over and he knew the drink had nothing to do with it.

“I will. I will take care of him. I promise. I will stay by his side.”

“Good, and” Eon Jin said smiling before suddenly looking serious and leaned forward as if she wanted to tell him a secret. Jungkook bent forward, putting his ear close to her mouth to catch what she was saying, “If you break his heart, I will beat you.”

Jungkook burst out laughing, looking at her, her voice soft and shrill and her cute movements and her tiny self which contradicted what she said and the fierce look in her eyes.

“Don’t worry. If I break his heart, I will willingly ask for a beating. I promise.”

Chapter Text

The night was still and silent and the cold biting, stinging Jungkook in the cheeks. Jungkook watched the scene in front of him quietly, not even wanting to breathe a bit more loudly as if the sound of his breath would break the stillness. It was ridiculously, ominously beautiful. Jungkook stood on the pavement, no signs of life other than him aside from the occasional stray dog or cat. The street was dark, lit up only by the pale yellow streetlights placed at intervals. From where he stood, Jungkook watched a long row of the lights, the pole invisible, making them look like floating fairy lights. The air around the lights was foggy and smoky looking, which seemed to flicker as moths buzzed around it. Jungkook tried to commit the image in his memory, hoping to transfer it someday on paper exactly as it was. He wanted to take a photograph but he felt like its essence and beauty would be lost somewhere. There was a life in the still and empty street which only he could feel, almost as if it was something Jungkook could reach out and touch and he knew his memory would do it more justice than the photograph.

Jungkook heard the sound of the running engine, breaking the charm. His lips automatically stretched into a smile as the car pulled in front of him. The window rolled down, and Taehyung looked at Jungkook, “Get in loser, we’re going patrolling.”

Jungkook laughed. “Nice one. How long did it take you to think that?”

“About half a second. Well, we aren’t going shopping, so I can’t say that. We are going to keep a watch for any potential threatening activity by our enemies and saying that as a dialogue is sort of too long. So I will settle halfway,” Taehyung replied, scrunching his nose cutely.

Jungkook rolled his eyes.

“And there is the eye-roll. If I got paid every time you rolled your eyes, I would be rich,” Taehyung grinned.

Jungkook stared at him in an are-you-shitting-me way. “You are rich already, you idiot.”

“No, I am not. My family is. You’d think my parents would give me a better allowance but no. They make me work if I want extra money. It’s like cheap labour for them. And mother takes away my money every time I do something stupid,” Taehyung whined.

“Which means you are always broke,” Jungkook snorted.

“Precisely. Now, are you going to just stand there or get inside?”

Jungkook hurried to the other side and stepped in. The warm air of the heater hit him instantly and Jungkook thanked the gods and cursed himself for not getting in sooner simultaneously. Taehyung revved the engine and drove on, his mood now sombre and inside the car, it was just as silent as it was outside.

Jungkook stared out of the window at the familiar blurry images of the city as they left it behind. He thought of the last time they had been here briefly a week ago, with Jungkook and Jimin pointing out the area where they had The Guy lurking to Taehyung and Yoongi. Jungkook remembered everything very clearly, especially what Yoongi told him.

 

 

 

 

 

“What has my life become,” Jimin muttered, looking out of the window, although he was smiling and his hands were twitching due to the excitement.

“All the more exciting,” Taehyung replied cheerfully, drumming his long, slender fingers on the steering wheel.

Jimin laughed gaily, in agreement. “I mean, I can’t believe I am out to search the guy I was running from with the guys who had hijacked our car who were also running from the friends of that guy.”

“Potentially friends,” Taehyung corrected. “Or members of their cult. Or whatever. We don’t know.”

“Yep we don’t,” Jimin replied, mirroring Taehyung’s cheerfulness.

Jungkook simply smiled. Again, he felt that prickling sensation and knew that Yoongi must be watching him. There was something edgy about him today. He seemed a lot quieter and Jungkook had caught Yoongi staring at him a lot of times now. He knew that if he looked over his shoulder at Yoongi, he again must be staring at Jungkook. Not that Jungkook was afraid or something, it simply made him feel a bit weird.

Jungkook shrugged it off, now focusing on the road in front of him. They were almost there.

“Stop here,” Jungkook said, his hand automatically latching onto Taehyung’s arm as he said it.

Jungkook flushed, unnoticed by the others. Every touch, even the ones done unconsciously, seemed to set his body on fire, warmth surging through him each and every time.

Focus Jungkook he thought. He glanced behind but both Yoongi and Jimin were staring out of the window, squinting their eyes to see better in the night. Jungkook thanked the gods for the dark, otherwise, Jimin would’ve got on his nerves for his blush. He glanced at Taehyung who now seemed focus on the spot in front of him, his face now serious. Focus Jungkook thought again.

“Over there. By that streetlight,” Jimin piped up from the backseat, appearing between Taehyung and Jungkook, automatically making Jungkook concentrate on the task at hand.

“And you saw him there twice?” Taehyung questioned, turning towards both of them, raising his eyebrow. Jungkook had to look out of the window again because Taehyung raising one eyebrow was the hottest thing had ever watched and he needed to fucking focus.

“Yeah. Twice. At the same spot.”

Taehyung frowned. “It isn’t a particularly hidden spot. And the road diverges in four directions. Wonder which side he must’ve gone to.” Silence filled the car as everyone seemed to ponder over the question.

“Let’s go and scout,” Yoongi said suddenly.

“What?” Jungkook, Jimin and Taehyung yelled simultaneously, turning around to look at him.

Yoongi’s blank expression gave way to irritation. “I said let’s go and have a fucking look,” and without waiting for anyone, Yoongi opened the door and stepped out of the car. The three of them glanced at each other before getting out themselves in a rush. Yoongi was standing with his hands in his pockets, staring at the space which Jimin had pointed out.

“What the fuck do you mean ‘scout’? Hoseok hyung specifically asked us not to do that. He said “go check out the spot and turn around and head straight home. We will see what to do later””, Taehyung reminded Yoongi, quoting Hoseok’s exact words.

“Is Hoseok here to see what we are doing?” Yoongi challenged.

“No-” Taehyung started.

“I have just as much authority as Hoseok and I say we go and have a fucking look. I didn’t come here all the way from my home, screwing my sleep to be here for a minute and then turn back around. I don’t care what Seok or the others told us to do. We are going to go and have a look. Don’t look at me like that,” Yoongi replied coolly.

Taehyung stared at him for a beat and then shrugged, his face cheerful again. “It’s not like I don’t want to do it. Even I had thought of that. And anyway, the night is young and so are we. Let’s get wrecked.”

Jungkook snorted and Jimin laughed. Even Yoongi’s face twitched in amusement.

“Let’s divide in two. You and Jimin go and scout those two directions, Jungkook and I will go here. Stay safe and be alert,” Yoongi stated and without waiting for anyone, he turned around and started walking, pulling Jungkook along with him by his arm.

Jungkook just had the time to glance at Taehyung’s and Jimin’s confused expression at this division. Jungkook heard Taehyung’s ‘yah’ behind him but Yoongi had already dragged Jungkook 20 paces farther by then.

Yoongi let go of Jungkook’s hand. Jungkook was slightly put off at the fact that he was paired with Yoongi but he didn’t mind much. He didn’t need to spend each and every minute of their time with Taehyung. He should even get to know the others and to be honest, Jungkook liked Yoongi too. He was usually quiet and now Jungkook had started to see that the boy actually had soft and warm heart underneath that cool demeanour.

Yoongi took a turn around the first corner and stopped so abruptly that Jungkook ran straight into him.

“Oof. What happene-” Jungkook started but trailed off as he looked at Yoongi’s face. Yoongi was staring at him unflinchingly and so seriously that Jungkook’s stomach twisted.

“I wanted to talk to you for quite some time now,” Yoongi said.

Jungkook wasn’t surprised. He sort of knew this was coming. Yoongi had been staring at him today like he wanted to talk something to him but the presence of the other two seemed to prevent him from doing it. So this was the reason why Yoongi had picked Jungkook.

Not that Jungkook was afraid of what Yoongi wanted to say. He didn’t even know what Yoongi wanted to talk about, to be honest. Plus Yoongi didn’t look hostile in any way. Jungkook watched as Yoongi’s face flickered with conflict, as if internally battling with himself whether to talk or not. Yoongi finally sighed, his face full of resignation. He looked at Jungkook straight in the eyes.

“I wanted to talk to you about you and Taehyung.”

Jungkook waited for Yoongi to continue.

“Look. I know it’s none of my business and I shouldn’t interfere. But it concerns Taehyung so I am bound to speak. I have known him for ten years now and I am telling you this because I care about him. I don’t understand what the fuck is wrong with you. It’s pretty clear that Taehyung likes you. I can use a stronger term but I don’t want to scare you. And the way I see it, I know you like him too. More than like I would say. Should I use a stronger term?” Yoongi said, fixing Jungkook with a hard look. Jungkook stayed silent and looked away from him.

“I don’t know what your reasons are for still holding back. I am not judging you. But I do not want Taehyung to get hurt. He was hurt enough last time and I don’t want that to happen again.”

“Last time?” Jungkook questioned, head whipping in Yoongi’s direction. Yoongi looked bitter.

“Yeah. Around four years ago. I think he was eighteen. Yes, eighteen. He was in love with this guy from his college. And Taehyung really really loved him. He is the type that when he falls for someone, he falls hard. They were both good together too. Three months later Taehyung found out the guy was cheating on him and he was together with him just for a bet. That bastard.” Yoongi said scathingly, clenching his hands into fists.

“What happened then?” Jungkook swallowed, his stomach twisting again in anticipation.

“Taehyung was heartbroken. You can’t imagine how he was. You don’t want to. It was horrible. He took the hit pretty hard. For almost six months Taehyung wept about him. He wouldn’t laugh, he wouldn’t even smile,” Yoongi recollected, looking pained at the memory. “He got over him slowly. That’s when he got into these fights and the club. To get away from those memories. And he was happy here again. He found new friends, a new family. He completely transformed into someone new. But he never again saw anyone else after him, you know. Never. He wouldn’t flirt or see anyone. He simply wasn’t interested until you came.”

Yoongi looked at Jungkook softly, smiling slightly. “God! You have no idea how he badgered me every day for those three weeks. “Hyung will he call me?” “Hyung why isn’t he still calling?” “Hyung I want to see him again.” “Hyung let’s go and search them.” God, he was unbearable but I didn’t mind. He was happy and excited again. Especially seeing how you responded to him. He knows you like him too. Everyone knows it. I know it too. I see the way you look at him. It’s just the way he looks at you. And that’s why I am asking you, no, begging you to take some steps. You won’t find anyone better than him.”

“I like you, you know. You both would be wonderful together. Perfect, even. And I am telling you this because I want both of you to be happy, especially Taehyung. He deserves it more than anyone,” Yoongi said earnestly.

“I love him,” Jungkook said, looking up at Yoongi and cutting him off. Yoongi stared at him, his turn to be silent. “I love him too. And I want to tell it to him soon, but I don’t want to right now, in the midst of this animosity and chaos. I think he deserves a nice day out and a date when I tell it to him, don’t you think so?” Jungkook smiled.

Jungkook watched as Yoongi slowly smiled and then looked away.

“Amusement parks.”

“What?” Jungkook asked, thrown off by the sudden change of topic.

“I said amusement parks. His dream date is a day at amusement parks. Just saying.”

Jungkook grinned and patted Yoongi’s arms in a got-it way. “I love him too. And I would never ever break his heart. Eon Jin said she will beat me up if I break her oppa’s heart,” Jungkook assured Yoongi, laughing as he recalled the little girl’s words and the fierce expression with which she had said it.

“She isn’t the only one who will beat you up. I certainly would. And so would Taehyung,” Yoongi replied, laughing.

“Taehyung?” Jungkook asked, raising his eyebrows in disbelief.

“Oh yeah,” Yoongi grinned. “He saw his ex over a year ago in some alley. I thought Taehyung would cry again or something or break down but the boy punched the shit out of him and broke his nose. So I suggest you better be careful.”

 

 

 

 

 

“Hellooooo, are you even listening to me?”

Jungkook snapped back in reality at the sound of Taehyung’s voice.

“Sorry…sorry. What?” Jungkook asked, turning around to look at Taehyung, who had been snapping his fingers in front of Jungkook’s face and calling him.

Taehyung threw him a look. “Why the fuck are you always so shook by the way? I am gonna start calling you Jungshook from now on.”

“Jimin would like that. I have lost count of how many ugly pictures he has of me by now and how many he turned into memes,” Jungkook muttered and Taehyung snickered.

“Anyway, I asked if you had seen something when you went to scout along with Yoongi hyung,” Taehyung asked.

Jungkook’s mind flashed back to the night. He wouldn’t know. He had Yoongi hadn’t scouted at all. Yoongi had turned and walked straight back to the car when he was done talking to him. They hadn’t even bothered looking around.

“I don’t remember…?” Jungkook said, somewhat honestly.

Taehyung glanced at him through the corner of his eyes, lips pressed into a thin line and then he exhaled loudly. He pinched his nose between his thumb and index finger as if trying to concentrate. “I think Jimin and I had spotted something. It wasn’t that clear. Maybe it was someone standing. It was too dark and too far away and you guys called us at that moment so we came back. We can go and have a look around there again. You mind?”

Jungkook shook his head. “Did Yoongi hyung and Chanyeol hyung see someone while they were here?”

“No. No one. Two hours wasted. Still. We should keep on looking. Maybe we might have some luck today.”

Jungkook saw the all too familiar a few meters away when Taehyung pulled the car. “I don’t want us to be seen in case there is someone over there. Let’s watch for any movement from here,” Taehyung said in a low voice, fixing his stare at the front. Jungkook nodded in response and himself looked out, straining his eyes to see any kind of movement or action somewhere.

They were silent for so long that Jungkook jumped when Taehyung spoke up. “It’s been fucking forty-five minutes and there’s no sign of any life. You think it’s safe to go out and have a look?”

“Yes, please. I will scream if I have to sit here for a minute longer,” Jungkook muttered, relieved.

Taehyung smiled, “Alright. Just stay quiet. We need to be careful.”

Jungkook stepped out of the car, closing the door lightly so as to not make any noise. Taehyung appeared by his side and looked him, his stare intense. “Any sign or danger or noise, I want you to straight head towards the car, understand?”

“Bu-”

“I don’t care. Run straight towards the car and lock yourself in. If it is necessary you can even drive away. Here,” Taehyung said and pressed the keys into Jungkook’s palms.

“Don’t wait for me or stand there like an idiot. You are more important. I can handle myself very well. Promise me you will run. I don’t want Jimin at my heels with a club in his hands. Promise me.”

Jungkook nodded reluctantly, pocketing the keys and refusing to look at him.

“I am not going to drive away. I will hide somewhere but no way I am running away and putting you in danger.”

Taehyung opened his mouth to argue but Jungkook started walking, ignoring him. Taehyung jogged to his side. “Well you better fucking hide well then. Jungkook flashed him a smile and resumed walking.

“So where had you seem something?”

“Over there. Come on, I will show you, stay behind me,” Taehyung murmured.

Jungkook followed Taehyung as he took him to the opposite direction which he and Yoongi had taken. Jungkook had to almost jog to keep up with Taehyung who was walking fast now, his excitement palpable. Jungkook kept glancing behind them, because Taehyung was completely immersed in finding whatever he had seen that day.

“Somewhere around here…” Taehyung muttered, wringing his hands in exasperation and looking around him. They took a turn and suddenly Taehyung gave a short yelp and started running.

“What? What happened?” Jungkook asked, sprinting behind him.

“What…oh.”

Taehyung looked at him victoriously. “I knew it. I knew I had seen something like a door. Shhh.” The door was hidden well, behind a large, empty dumpster, blending within the shadows that you would’ve walked past it and not noticed it. Jungkook whistled lowly, “Good job.”

Taehyung grinned and placed a finger over his lips, signalling Jungkook to stay quiet. He tiptoed forward, making sure not to make any noise and pressed his ear to the door. Jungkook waited for a minute before finally having enough of it. He stood next to Taehyung, pressing his own to the door to listen for anything.

“Anything?” Jungkook asked, frowning and stepped behind. He couldn’t hear anything. Taehyung shook his head and his expression fell. He placed his hand gingerly over the door handle and turned it slowly.

“What the fuck. It’s locked,” Taehyung hissed, now turning the handle forcefully, not caring about the racket he was making.

“Will you be quiet?” Jungkook fretted, throwing around a nervous glance. The silence and stillness were making his skin crawl. It wasn’t the peaceful silence like that of his neighbourhood. There was something about it. Like the calm before a storm.

“Arrrgh. Nevermind. Let’s go back,” Taehyung concurred, having no success with the door.

“We can look in the other direction.” Taehyung started walking, faster than before, fuming slightly.

Jungkook almost wanted to yell at him to slow down but Taehyung had already taken a turn. Jungkook cursed and ran.

“Hey. Hey,” Jungkook said forcefully. “It’s alright. You got something. It might just be the wrong place.”

“Yeah,” Taehyung replied in a small voice. “It’s just…there aren’t many doors or shops around here. There’s nothing here at all! SO it sort of made sense that the door must lead to something. I thought it was a good lead…” he trailed off.

“Don’t pressurise yourself. It isn’t just your job to find something. Everyone is on the lookout every day. Maybe that door was simply nothing. The guy might simply just always wait around here. Their hideout could be somewhere completely different. And we still have to look in the other direction. Come on. There might be yet be something here for Detective Taehyung,” Jungkook said in a lame attempt to cheer Taehyung, who smiled a small smile.

But their smiles fell simultaneously as they took the turn. The road was short and a dead end.

“What the hell,” Jungkook wondered, running forward with Taehyung at his heels. There was nothing here but bare, high walls. There weren’t any closed shops, or turns or small alleys. A simple dead end.

“That about sums it up,” Taehyung concluded, looking at Jungkook. “So this direction is off the limits. We aren’t sure about the door but it is a possibility. Should we check the rest of it? Or are you tired?”

“Nope. Let’s go and have a look,” Jungkook said.

They started walking again when Taehyung spoke. “You might be correct. Perhaps this is just a meeting place. There might be nothing here at all.”

“That is one theory, but yeah. Anyway. This whole place is like a fucking maze. See why we were lost? There are tons of dead ends and small alleys and what-not. It’s actually a good place to play hide and seek,” Jungkook grumbled, taking the turn and both of them emerged at the first turn they had taken.

Taehyung laughed quietly. “It was like that when Yoongi and I came here for the first time too. We were lost. That’s how we ended at Hellions. It took us three times to find it again. Even today Yoongi and I keep finding new places and new roads. It’s a large area.”

“And fucking empty. Which makes it sinister. Hellions must be the only safe haven around here.”

“Not really. There are other smaller clubs,” Taehyung disagreed.

“Have you been at any other clubs?” Jungkook questioned him.

“Yeah, thrice. There is one near…Run!” Taehyung yelled suddenly and before Jungkook could process what he said, Taehyung pushed him hard and Jungkook stumbled, almost at the corner of their original path. Jungkook looked back to see what happened and paled.

Taehyung was already in combat with three people simultaneously. Jungkook felt the familiar chill crawl upon his spine. His hands grew cold, his fingers starting to go numb, the sensation spreading slowly.

Hide. Taehyung had told him to hide. Jungkook knew he couldn’t do fight them and so he needed to hide. None of them had still turned in his direction. Jungkook looked around and spotted a huge board lying near. He ran and crouched behind it, watching in front of him.

Taehyung was fighting three of them at once. They were roughly his size so he seemed to handle them pretty well. Jungkook didn’t know a lot about fighting but from what it seemed, the three of them were inexperienced. Their movements were slow and soft and didn’t seem calculated. Taehyung danced around them and hit them as easily as if he was swatting flies. Jungkook heard a loud smack and saw one guy fall down, clutching his leg and yelling in pain, making no attempt to get up.

The other two howled in fury. The first guy launched himself on Taehyung’s back and the other moved forward to punch Taehyung in the face but he ducked and the guy on Taehyung’s back took the hit. Jungkook almost laughed at the scene. Taehyung clutched the hands encircled his throat and slammed his back into the nearest wall and Jungkook winced as the boy whimpered. Taehyung moved forward and bit the hands around his neck and the boy let go of him, falling to the ground like a rag doll. Taehyung whirled around and kicked him in the stomach before he could get up and spun around in time to catch the third boy’s fist in his hand before it could connect to his face. This boy was short and Jungkook could clearly see from this distance how quickly Taehyung overpowered him. Taehyung used his height as an advantage. The short one proceeded to grab Taehyung’s middle but Taehyung twisted quickly and hot him into a headlock and slammed him on the ground. Taehyung sat atop him, holding the boy’s hands in one of his and punched his face with the others. Jungkook felt bad as he watched the boy took three punches back to back in his face.

Taehyung finally got up, kicking the boy one last time, breathing heavily and glanced up. Jungkook emerged from his hiding place, standing at the same spot, waiting for Taehyung to walk towards him. Taehyung smiled, relieved at seeing Jungkook safe. “You okay?” Taehyung yelled.

Jungkook opened his mouth to answer and then his expression turned into horror. He wanted to yell ‘watch out’ but it was too late.

A fourth figure had already emerged from behind Taehyung, hitting Taehyung at the back of his head. Taehyung stumbled, clutching his head, caught off guard. Jungkook stood there helpless, watching the scene unfolding in front of him. Jungkook watched as Taehyung shook his head, and attempted to get up and swinging his hand wildly, trying to get back at the other boy but the figure had already moved forward and punched Taehyung in the face. Taehyung fell down on his knees, one hand over his face to protect it and the other one in a defensive pose. The boy moved forward and twisted Taehyung’s outstretched hand and Jungkook felt a spasm of pain and Taehyung yelped in agony, moving his other hand to free himself from the firm clutch. The boy took advantage of this and launched another punch and Taehyung slumped back, falling on the ground, giving out a loud groan.

The boy mirrored Taehyung’s action, punching Taehyung repeatedly in the face. Jungkook’s blood grew cold as Taehyung didn’t move nor made any sound. He was lying unbelievably still. The boy kept on punching Taehyung, looking like he wouldn’t stop anytime soon.

Jungkook watched it. From here, Jungkook could see Taehyung’s still body and the way it flopped at every punch. There wasn’t even any sound of pain. Taehyung didn’t groan or moan. He didn’t even seem to breathe.

Everything was silent. Everything was slow. Jungkook felt as if he was in a movie, watching the scene in front of him in slow motion and not being a part of it. Jungkook watched as the guy looked at him savagely, his expression maniacal, breathing heavily and the triumphant smile on his face. He watched the repeated movement of the boy’s arms, the fist connecting with the face.

And then something snapped in Jungkook. He felt the cold replacing with fire. His numbness faded and Jungkook felt a burst of energy surge through him. Before even planning it or having had thought of it, Jungkook strode forward and grabbed the boy’s hair in his fist and pulled his neck back, exposing his face. Jungkook didn’t care. He felt nothing but fire. Anger was surging through him, crackling around him, coating him like it was some physical thing. Jungkook felt that his mere anger should burn this boy. Jungkook felt nothing, not the familiar chill and he pulled his fist and let it smack against the boy’s face.

Jungkook had caught the boy off guard giving him an advantage. He had no idea what he was doing. Before the boy could get up or come to his senses, Jungkook landed another punch on his face and smiled fiercely and he saw blood trickling through his left nostril.

Jungkook grasped the front of the boy’s t-shirt and pulled him up. The boy’s eyes grew wide at the sight of Jungkook. Jungkook pushed the guy hard and slammed him into the wall and smiled again as the boy howled in pain. Jungkook pulled his hand back again but the latter now came to his senses. He kicked Jungkook in the shin and Jungkook stumbled back. Before Jungkook could do anything, the boy moved forward and Jungkook felt a fist connect with his face.

Jungkook’s vision went black for a split second and he was still stumbling, almost falling down. He was out of breath, the wind knocked out of his lungs. Jungkook felt weak, no energy in him. Everything will be lost if you fall down a voice inside his head whispered and the image of the boy sitting on top of Taehyung’s body flashed in his mind followed by Taehyung’s unconscious form.

Jungkook felt another burst anger at the image and he focused ahead on the approaching figure. This time Jungkook was ready. He ducked just in time as he saw the fist flying forward and grabbed the boy by his midriff, tackling and slamming him on the ground. Jungkook wasted no second and crouched forward, holding the boy’s face with his left hand, fisting his hair and pulling it. Jungkook didn’t feel anything but rage. He didn’t even flinch as the boy yelled out in pain.

“How dare you hurt him?” Jungkook hissed, his fist connecting with the boy’s face. The boy made a feeble attempt to get up but Jungkook slammed his head back, again punching him. The boy slumped back, the energy and fight drained out of him. The blood from his nostril was trickling faster and thicker now.

Jungkook bent low, his face close enough to watch the fear in the boy’s eyes. “I will kill you. If you dare to come near him again, I will kill you,” Jungkook snarled and pushed him back, getting up.

He stared the fallen figure, feeling no empathy or remorse for him. Jungkook breathed hard, hatred running through his veins. He wanted to kill this boy. Beat him senselessly. But he had other things to worry about. Jungkook kicked the boy one last time before turning back and running towards Taehyung.

Jungkook felt a chill move down his spine at the sight. Taehyung’s face was covered in blood, dried up near his nostrils and lips, the jaw turning blue-black. His cheek was covered in bruises and his bottom lip was torn. He seemed to be unconscious.

“Hey. Hey,” Jungkook whispered urgently and shook Taehyung’s body, now panicking at the lack of response.

“Taehyung! Taehyung, can you hear me?” Jungkook sobbed as wetness gathered around his eyes. Jungkook blinked furiously to see clearly and wiped his eyes on the sleeve. “Taehyung, love, can you hear me?” Jungkook whispered, shaking Taehyung hard. Taehyung gave a slight groan but did not move.

Jungkook wiped his eyes again. “I will be back in a second,” Jungkook murmured and then ran to the car. He sprinted at the top speed, arriving at the car within seconds. Jungkook’s hands were shaking badly now. He howled in fury as he dropped the key due to the excess shaking. He finally opened the door after fumbling with the lock for a few seconds. He slammed the door and started driving, arriving instantly near the site. It was only a few meters away anyway. He got out and opened the passenger door first before running towards Taehyung.

Jungkook put one hand under Taehyung’s knees and the other under his head and lifted him up easily. He had never been more grateful for working out so much otherwise lifting Taehyung would have been a task. Jungkook laid Taehyung on the seat gently, pulling the seat belt around him. Jungkook made sure that Taehyung was sitting securely in the seat before slamming the door and getting in himself.

Jungkook drove fast, hands still shaking. He glanced at Taehyung’s unconscious, beaten form and something inside him broke down at the sight. The tears erupted again and Jungkook wiped them on his sleeve. His heart was beating fast, almost as if it would burst out of his chest any minute.

Focus. Jungkook needed to focus. Jungkook pulled out his phone from his pocket, unlocked it and pressed call.

Jimin picked up on the third ring. “Yoooo Kookie what’s up?”

“Jimin. Jimin open the door and wait for me. I am almost there,” Jungkook cried out and grind his teeth to stop another wave of tears. He needed to concentrate.

“Jungkook. What’s wrong?” Jimin asked, his voice now panicky and Jungkook knew Jimin understood something was wrong from his own tone.

“Hyung. Taehyung is hurt. Very badly. Yoongi is still with you right?”

“Yes, I am still here,” Jungkook heard Yoongi’s voice through the phone. Jimin must’ve put the phone on speaker.

“What’s wrong?” Yoongi asked, voice laced with concern.

“Taehyung,” Jungkook wailed. “Just open the door. I will be there soon,” Jungkook yelled and threw the phone aside without waiting for a response.

Taehyung gave a small groan and the loud noise. Jungkook threw a glance at Taehyung. “Just hold on for another minute. We’ll be there soon. Just hold on, love.”

Jungkook pulled the car into his driveway after another five minutes. The house was flooded with lights and Jungkook watched two figures waiting on the porch. Yoongi and Jimin rushed forward the minute Jungkook’s car pulled over. Jimin opened the door for him and Yoongi had already rushed to the passenger side.

“Oh my god!” Jimin exclaimed, staring at Taehyung. Jungkook pushed him aside and went beside Yoongi but Yoongi threw him a concerned look. “I will take him inside. Your hands are shaking. You aren’t in any condition to lift him up. Just lead the way.”

Jungkook didn’t argue further, somewhat relieved at the idea. Jimin had already rushed inside, no doubt to get the first aid. Jungkook led the way to his room, looking over his shoulder should Yoongi need any help but Yoongi carried Taehyung easily. Yoongi laid down Taehyung on the bed gently. Jungkook watched as Yoongi took a step back and stared at Taehyung. Yoongi’s face was soft and Jungkook watched as Yoongi clenched his jaw, trying hard to not cry.

“Here,” Jimin breathed, arriving beside them, carrying a first aid box, a few towels and water in a bowl. He too looked at Taehyung sadly and anxiously. Jimin glanced at Jungkook and his face changed into another expression of concern. Jimin handed the things to Yoongi who got to work at once.

“You,” Jimin said, pointing at Jungkook, “Come with me.”

“No, I am staying here.”

“Don’t you dare disobey me. You will do as I ask. Yoongi is here for him. Now come,” Jimin snapped and taking Jungkook’s hands, physically dragged him out of the room.

“Sit.”

Jungkook sat down wearily on the chair which Jimin had pulled for him. Jimin headed towards the fridge and pulled out water and ice pack for him.

“Drink this,” Jimin ordered, placing a glass of cold water in front of Jungkook and rushed out of the room, appearing back within seconds. Jimin watched him pointedly as he wet the towel and Jungkook drank the water obediently, feeling better instantaneously.

Jimin pulled a chair and sat in front of Jungkook, grabbing his face and wiping it with the cool towel. “Look at you…this mess…you are hurt so much Jungkook. Your face is covered in bruises. I don’t…” Jimin mumbled under his breath. Jungkook now felt tired. He didn’t care about any of this. He just wanted to go and see Taehyung. But he knew Jimin wouldn’t let him out of the room.

“This is going to sting,” Jimin said and Jungkook winced as Jimin dabbed antiseptic liquid on his bruises with cotton. Jimin grabbed Jungkook’s face, turning it around side to side to watch if he had missed some spots. He moved to wash Jungkook’s knuckles. Jungkook watched as Jimin’s face turned into full of shock at their state before turning neutral. Jungkook knew Jimin must be dying to ask what happened but was waiting for Yoongi. This time Jungkook controlled his wince as Jimin dabbed the liquid on his hands for the latter’s sake.

Yoongi entered the kitchen ten minutes later with the box and towel in his hands. Jungkook watched the red towel and the red water.

“How is he?” Jungkook burst out, unable to hold it any longer, withdrawing his hands from Jimin’s. Jimin himself had turned to Yoongi, his face anxious once more.

“He is okay. Took a lot of hits on the face but he will be okay in a week or two. There are quite a few bruises on his back too, but nothing too serious,” Yoongi sighed, placing the bowl in the sink. “I think we all are extremely lucky that his family is in Daegu for three weeks otherwise I don’t know how we could have covered this up. You alright?”

Jungkook nodded, waving his hand impatiently at the question as if it wasn’t important.

“What happened?” Yoongi continued, now looking concerned. Jimin turned to face Jungkook too abandoning the towel and his work.

And then Jungkook’s words tumbled out. His fear, his anxiety and everything he kept repressed for the last forty-five minutes of his drive and arrival over here. Jungkook spoke fast, retelling everything from the start in detail, making sure he didn’t jumble up the words, making sure he made sense.

“And then the fourth guy came out of nowhere and…” Jungkook spoke rapidly.

Yoongi and Jimin watched him wordlessly; face flickering with varying emotions at every other point in the story.

“You did what?” Jimin said quietly, fixing Jungkook with a hard stare which he was unaware of.

“I just rushed forward and slammed him into the wall and then punched him but he got back to me and punched me but I was careful, I swear and then I tackled him…” Jungkook repeated, waving his hand impatiently for having to say it all again.

“You are telling me you got into a fight?” Jimin asked, still speaking quietly and now Jungkook felt silent.

He knew what was coming. It wasn’t the tired way in which Jimin was quiet, it was the underlying threat in his tone and Jungkook flared again.

“Yes I did! Yes, I got into a fight! Who the fuck cares? I got into a fight! What are you going to do about it?” Jungkook snapped, losing his control.

“Have we not specifically talked about this?” Jimin fumed, pushing his chair back and standing in front of Jungkook, glaring at him. “You know better than to get in a fight and you know why or do I need to keep a watch over you every minute for the rest of your life?”

“Who the fuck cares if I get into a fight? It isn’t even that important!!” Jungkook yelled, exasperated.

“YES, IT IS. And you know why or should I remind you again? How many times have I asked you not to get into such situations? You could have stayed hidden and came out when the guy would have gone away No one fucking asked you to be the hero. Taehyung himself asked you to stay hidden, didn’t he?” Jimin growled, poking a finger in Jungkook’s chest.

At the sound of Taehyung’s name, something in Jungkook snapped and his blood boiled. Jungkook got up from his seat, standing over Jimin, over-powering him. “Then what do you expect me to do?! Stay back and watch him get hurt? Stay back and watch as the guy beat the life out of him? Stay back and put him in more danger and do nothing as the boy beat him mercilessly? Would you have waited back if it was Yoongi? WOULDN’T YOU DO THE SAME THING AS ME TO PROTECT THE ONES YOU LOVE?” Jungkook roared, eyes flashing, having had enough of Jimin’s shit.

“Yeah, thought so,” Jungkook muttered, still fuming as Jimin watched him silently, lips pressed into a thin line.

“I just don’t want you t get hurt and that-” Jimin started.

“Well, I don’t care hyung! I don’t. I am not hurt. HE is the one who is hurt so stop worrying about me. I AM NOT A CHILD ANYMORE. And you know what? I would have killed him. I would have killed the guy without a doubt. I don’t care about myself. I am not going to let anyone hurt Taehyung,” Jungkook roared, cutting him off.

Jimin took a step back staring at him and Jungkook watched as hurt flashed in Jimin’s eyes but he didn’t care.

Jungkook turned around and exited the kitchen, heading straight towards his room. He entered his room and paused at the doorway.

Taehyung was sleeping peacefully, snoring lightly. Jungkook closed the door lightly to not make any noise, in case it woke the latter up. He tiptoed to the bed, kicked off his shoes and got in the bed lightly, lying down beside Taehyung.

It was hard to imagine Taehyung was hurt when he looked this peaceful. Jungkook watched his face now clearly sans the blood. If Jungkook had thought the bruises from the raid were bad, this was nothing compared to that.

Jungkook repressed a sob. He pulled the boy closer to him, pulling Taehyung into his chest, a firm hand around the waist and the other as the pillow. Jungkook kissed his forehead, inhaling his scent, one that he knew so well and loved so much.

“I won’t let anyone hurt you. Not even in your dreams,” Jungkook murmured softly and then hummed a lullaby, slowly and eventually falling asleep himself.

Chapter Text

When Taehyung came into consciousness, he became aware of three things.

The first thing he became aware of was the dull pain at the side of his face. His left jaw was aching, as were his shoulders and his back. It wasn’t uncontrollable or the point where Taehyung would keep crying or whimpering, he simply felt it as someone feels chewing gum stuck on the sole of your shoes but cannot do anything about it and in the end ignores it. He could bear the pain. It wasn’t like he wasn’t used to it.

The second thing Taehyung became aware of was someone on his side. He had to yet open his eyes but he felt someone lying down beside him and very close. In fact, he was sure that he was entangled with the person. He felt the person’s breath fanning his cheeks. Small, warm puffs of air and the low sound of the breathing which accompanied it.

The last thing Taehyung became aware of was the bed. This wasn’t his bed. He knew his bed, it’s soft, cushiony feel and its huge size. He knew the satiny texture of his bed-sheet and the feel of his comforter.

He was somewhere else.

The room smelled faintly of paint, the typical smell which colours have. Taehyung would know. He had spent far too much time in art galleries and art shops to know how they smelled like. He had colours and paint bottles back in his room too, not because he knew how to draw or something, just because he liked them. He kept them as a show, sometimes opening them and smelling it before attempting to draw or paint something. He would fail most of the times and the drawing sheet would end up in the trash can. And yet Taehyung enjoyed the activity. He liked how he would completely immerse in it, lose himself as his brush drew the swirls and patterns, mindless designs with no meaning, just a splash of colours on the sheet.

So when Taehyung thought the room smelled of paint and that someone was lying next to him, he came to his conclusion. He knew exactly where he was and who was beside him.

Taehyung opened his eyes to find Jungkook sleeping next to him, his mouth partly open, the source of the puffs of air on Taehyung’s cheeks.

Taehyung was in Jungkook’s arms, the latter’s hands wrapped tightly around his body, making it somewhat difficult for him to breathe. His nose already felt heavy and Taehyung had to breathe through his mouth but he didn’t mind.

Jungkook’s face was so near to his own that Taehyung could clearly see each and every pore of his skin, the smooth curve of his cheeks and the small scar on his upper side of his left cheek. Jungkook’s hair fell over his eyebrows and forehead, almost reaching his eyes. Taehyung slowly raised his hand, tentatively and pushed his hair back, exposing Jungkook’s full face.

Taehyung’s heart skipped a few beats. His day was already made as the first thing he saw was Jungkook’s beautiful face as soon as he opened his eyes. What he wouldn’t give to have this sight to see as the first thing in the morning.

Taehyung suddenly frowned, moving closer to watch Jungkook’s face. His face was covered in wounds. The underside of Jungkook’s nose was somewhat dark, as if he had taken a hit by something. Taehyung leaned close to find a few specks of dried blood. Taehyung slowly removed Jungkook’s hand from his waist, holding it tenderly so that the latter wouldn’t wake up. Taehyung flipped Jungkook’s hand, watching the backside of his palm and controlled a gasp. Jungkook’s knuckles were visibly bruised, the red standing on out against his light wheat complexion. Taehyung’s eyes were locked on the hands because he knew exactly what it meant. This was the exact way his knuckles and hands looked after a fight.

Last night’s events flashed back in his mind as Taehyung watched Jungkook. The roaming in the middle of the streets. The door. The walk towards the car and then the sudden attack.

The attack.

Taehyung remembers fighting three people at once. He had clearly seen Jungkook hide while he was at it. It hadn’t been difficult to beat those three punks. They were nothing compared to him. Taehyung had wanted to laugh at their inexperience. He clearly remembers all three of them lying on the ground, groaning in pain, the last boy probably unconscious. He remembers watching Jungkook emerge from his hiding place and asking him if he was okay.

And then…nothing. Taehyung recollects nothing after that. Whatever happened later was the reason why Jungkook is covered in wounds. Taehyung doesn’t remember coming to his home. Did Jungkook bring him back to his home? He must’ve. There was no one else other than him. How? Jungkook couldn’t fight. He knew because he had seen the boy turn into a statue every time he was in any threat. Jungkook would go numb, reacting physically to any sort of danger.

Taehyung’s head felt heavy with all this thinking. He knew Yoongi was here. That went without saying. And he was the one who would give the answers. Better to go and ask what happened than keep on wracking my brain, Taehyung thought.

Taehyung slowly lifted himself off of the bed so as to not wake up Jungkook. He still seemed in a deep slumber. He pulled the comforter over Jungkook and exited the room quietly, throwing a last glance at the sleeping form of the boy, smiling once again at the sight.

Taehyung entered the kitchen, finding it by the clatter of plates and forks and the beeping of the electric toaster that resonated in the passageway.

Yoongi, who was sitting at the table and stuffing a toast in his mouth, glanced up as soon as Taehyung entered the kitchen. He pushed his chair back and ran up to Taehyung, abandoning his toast.

“Are you alright? Do you feel pain? How do you feel?” Yoongi fired instantly, his hands on Taehyung’s shoulders, holding them gently and Taehyung felt grateful for that. He felt Jimin’s eyes on him, bearing the same concern and anxiousness which he saw in Yoongi’s eyes.

“Like a puffer fish,” Taehyung answered.

“What?” Yoongi frowned, hands dropping from Taehyung’s arms.

“A puffer fish. I feel like a puffer fish. My face feels all bloated up,” Taehyung enunciated, trying to ease off some of the tension in the room, although his face did feel bloated, so it was partly true too.

Yoongi’s lips twitched before face-palming himself and Taehyung could see he was faintly smiling, a smile which no one else but only he could notice from miles afar. There were some things you notice when you know someone for over ten years. Taehyung knew each and every nerve movement of Yoongi’s face to know which one would turn into a smile and which one would turn into anger.

Yoongi finally smiled and Taehyung smiled triumphantly. Mission accomplished.

“Hungry. I am hungry too,” Taehyung continued and walked past Yoongi and sat down on the chair. He glanced at Jimin who smiled at him softly. Taehyung opened his mouth and pointed at it and then at his stomach and Jimin laughed.

“Wait.”

Taehyung nodded happily and ignored the spasm of pain which he felt as he smiled. Yoongi sat opposite him, staring at him with a patient look in his eyes. Taehyung knew what he wanted to know but he also knew that Yoongi would refuse to listen to anything until Taehyung hadn’t had breakfast. Sometimes Taehyung feels that Yoongi has been more of his parent than his own real parents.

“I don’t have pancakes but I do hope the omelette and toast would suffice,” Jimin said, looking sincerely apologetic at the fact that there wasn’t any pancake. Taehyung shrugged and dived into his food, stuffing himself hungrily.

Taehyung looked up, wiping his mouth on the sleeve of his t-shirt when he finished eating to find both Jimin and Yoongi staring at him wordlessly. He sighed inwardly, knowing what was coming.

Taehyung started recounting last night’s incident, going into details because he knew Jungkook would’ve missed them. He didn’t need to ask anyone if Jungkook had told them what had happened because Yoongi and Jimin must’ve 200% questioned him. Taehyung could bet on it. He was also sure that Jungkook would’ve missed some of the details while fretting over his condition. Jungkook must not have been able to concentrate knowing he was hurt. Taehyung knew it all. Taehyung knew him that well.

“And after that, I remember nothing,” Taehyung finished, sighing openly. It was his turn to listen now.

Yoongi and Jimin looked at each other and Taehyung watched a silent interaction going on between them as if deciding who will tell him the news.

“I already know he got into a fight. I saw that clearly on his face and hands. So can either of you tell me what happened later on?” Taehyung asked, raising his eyebrows at them.

Yoongi looked at him for a beat and then huffed before recounting what Jungkook must’ve told him.

Taehyung listened intently, heart beating fast. He felt as if someone was pulling his heart out and squeezing it. Listening to this made him feel more pain than the actual physical pain he was in right now. He would rather have ten more punches than hear what he was listening now.

He had failed. He had failed to protect Jungkook. He had not only been incautious, failing to be alert knowing exactly why they had been visiting the place and knowing some sort of danger might fall them, but he had also lost control and gotten himself beat up. He wouldn’t have cared if he was alone. But he had failed to protect Jungkook, putting him in threat, having had to involve him in a fight he didn’t know how to fight, much less win. Taehyung knew he should be happy that Jungkook got away with minimal damages and had also won but that wasn’t the point.

He knew Jungkook couldn’t fight. He knew it. He had seen Jungkook twice to know how he reacted to any potential threat. And he hadn’t been there for him. He had been so relieved to see that Jungkook was safe that he hadn’t realised that there could be more of them.

It wasn’t like Taehyung didn’t know his weakness. A second of distraction always cost him a lot. And that’s exactly what had happened.

He had failed Jungkook and Jimin. He knew Jimin must be mad at him. He knew how protective Jimin was about Jungkook and for good reasons too. Jimin was tough in a way Jungkook wasn’t. Jungkook was delicate, fragile and easily breakable. Jimin wasn’t. Taehyung knew Jimin didn’t fight but he was sure if Jimin had to, he would do very well or at least use his brains to get out of the situation.

Taehyung couldn’t look at Jimin. He would find that accusation in his eyes. Jimin was too kind to say it out loud but Taehyung knew it would be somewhere there. Jimin was being considerate because Taehyung was in pain.

Taehyung swallowed. Perhaps Jimin would never let Jungkook meet Taehyung again. He is right in doing that Taehyung thinks. Taehyung might not be able to protect Jungkook again. So he would rather not see him again than put him in danger. Live without Jungkook. Yeah. He could do that. He would work on that Jungkook’s safety was far more important than his safety anyway.

“I don’t blame you.”

Taehyung’s head whipped up at the sound of Jimin’s voice.

“What?” Taehyung asked, unsure of what he had heard.

“I don’t blame you,” Jimin repeated, gazing at Taehyung with sincerity in his eyes. “I don’t. I can see you are trying to beat yourself up. You probably are thinking I won’t let you see Jungkook again,” Jimin scoffed sarcastically and then rolled his eyes in an exact imitation of Jungkook.

“But-” “

Yes, so what? So what f you got yourself beat up and could not protect him? It doesn’t matter. You tried. The guy came out of nowhere and it isn’t your fault. I know you will Jungkook safe in every way and every time you can. What’s happened has happened and I want you to know that I do not blame you for it. As if you aren’t hurt enough.”

Taehyung just stared at Jimin.

“What? You think I am only going to care about Kookie? No. You are my friend too and I am worried about you just as much as I am worried about him. God, you idiot. He showed up with you unconscious in the car. I almost thought you were half dead. Don’t you dare do that again.”

Taehyung’s mouth spreads into a slow smile. He feels warm all over. Jimin genuinely meant what he said. Taehyung saw that in his eyes. He felt better, much much better now.

“I will never put him in danger again, I promise,” Taehyung said, leaning forward and taking Jimin’s eyes in his hoping that Jimin would understand his sincerity.

Jimin smiled softly. “I know you won’t. So stop worrying yourself now. And you look after yourself, understand? You are more hurt than him.”

Taehyung leaned back, now feeling satisfied and nodded.

“Anyway,” Jimin said, “Kookie will be fine in two days. He isn’t hurt much. I am more worried about what happens later.”

Taehyung frowned. “Meaning?”

Jimin didn’t reply, instead, he gazed out of the window.

“Why?”

“Hmmm?” Jimin asked, turning to look at Taehyung.

“Why can’t he fight? Why is it that you are so protective of him? Why does he go numb every time he is in such a situation?” Taehyung demanded quietly, still staring at Jimin.

Jimin looked down on the table and started toying with the table-cloth, avoiding Taehyung’s eyes. Even Yoongi was attentive now, staring at Jimin questioningly.

“Tell me, so I can understand him better. So I can protect him better. So I understand the gravity of the situation. So I can know how far I have to go to keep him safe. It can’t be too bad, can it? What is there so much that you cannot tell it to us?” Taehyung implored, now suddenly anxious.

Jimin finally looked up after a few minutes, smiling sadly. “Because it is that bad.”

Jimin again fell silent for a minute before sighing. “I guess you are right though. It wasn’t as if we could keep it away from you for too long, considering how often we are going to be in such situations.”

Taehyung waited, giving Jimin his time.

Jimin looked up at Taehyung, staring at him straight in his eyes. “It starts with the fact that Jungkook isn’t my brother. Not my real brother anyway.”

Taehyung felt as if someone had dropped a sack on his head. “What?”

Even Yoongi sat up straighter now.

“His real name isn’t Park Jungkook. His birth name is Jeon Jungkook,” Jimin swallowed before continuing.“Our family and the Jeons were very close. Family friends. Jungkook’s mother was my mother’s school best friend. So you can understand how close they were. We were neighbours with the Jeons too. Our houses were literally next to each other. So obviously I was best friend with Jungkook just as both our mothers were. Jungkook had an elder brother too but he was 6 years older to me. And no kid wants to play with someone that older to him. So Jungkook and I were close. We would so much time together that our parents wouldn’t even question or worry where their child was if he didn’t come home at night, knowing we must at be each other’s house. We were that close.”

“Jungkook was 6 when it happened. They were coming back from visiting their grandmother when they got into an accident. Jungkook’s dad was driving when a truck came out of nowhere and hit them. His mother and brother died on the spot. Jungkook and his father survived. You can imagine how sad it must’ve been for everyone. Jungkook lost his mother and brother. His father lost his wife and eldest son. It was all very unfortunate.”

“Jungkook changed after that as did his father. His father didn’t pay any attention to his work anymore. He developed drinking habits and would stay out of home all the time. He wouldn’t pay Jungkook much attention. He went into a depression at the loss of his family. As for Jungkook, he too changed a lot. He wouldn’t laugh or even smile. He would talk less. He wouldn’t even come to play much. He would rarely visit our home. Everyone thought it must be the shock of losing his mother. It’s understandable, right? A child cannot suddenly understand that his mother won’t be there anymore and who can explain it to him. So everyone let him be, sympathizing with him, unable to do anything about it.”

“But it continued for six months. My mother and father were worried. Jungkook’s dad wasn’t improving either. He had already lost his job by then. Yet he wouldn’t do anything about it. Still staying out of the home all day and while his time away drinking. My parents tried to talk to him but he would be angry at them, refusing to even talk to them, much less let them in his mind or talk about his suffering. He had grown short-tempered. He wouldn’t let Jungkook play. He would want Jungkook at home by the time he came home.”

“Jungkook had somewhat improved by then. He would sometimes come to play but there wasn’t yet a grand change in him. He was still quiet and always seemed to be afraid.”

“It happened when he visited our home. It was a Sunday so even my father was present at home. His father was out as always. He had come to ours to play. Both of us were out in the backyard and playing. Mother called us back home because it had started raining and she didn’t want us to play in mud. But we were soaking and covered in the mud anyway. She gave us clothes to change otherwise we would catch a cold or fever. I was eight so I didn’t need any help in changing. She was helping Jungkook in changing his clothes when she noticed it. His upper body, chest, stomach had been covered in blue-black markings. Jungkook started crying when she asked him about it. And that’s when we came to know.”

“His father would beat him up every night. For six months. For six months his father abused him every day. With a stick or a bat or whatever he would find. His father took out all of his anger and all his depression of losing his family on Jungkook. He had threatened that he would kill Jungkook if he told to anyone. What could the poor child do? He was afraid as it is. Who could he tell? It was very lucky that my parents saw what had happening to him and how he was suffering.”

“My parents didn’t waste any time in calling the police. Jungkook’s dad was sent to jail for what he had done. His father later committed suicide while in jail. My parents received the news from the prison authorities. His dad even left a letter. It stated how repented his actions and everything he did. That he had been just depressed at the loss of his family and he should never have hurt Jungkook in the first place and how he was sorry for his actions and behaviour. What a load of crap,” Jimin scoffed, his expression turning ugly before composing himself again.

“We took Jungkook under our care as he didn’t have any other family while his father was in jail. And of course, after his father died he had no one but us. My parents officially adopted him two years later. So he became my real brother,” Jimin said, now smiling sadly.

“Of course I don’t remember any of this. I was a kid myself back then. And who remembers memories from so long ago? Even Jungkook didn’t know the story although he was aware of something had happened. He obviously knew he wasn’t my real brother. Mother and father told him the story two years ago, when he turned eighteen. They thought he had a right to know.”

“That’s the reason why. We had taken him to psychiatrists multiple times, obviously. But events like that leave scars. He was abused as a kid every day for six months. Of course, it had to have an impact on him. I think he unconsciously remembers that feeling of being beaten up every time he is in that sort of danger. That’s why reacts so physically. Going numb, feeling chilly and feverish. He doesn’t remember the memory of being beaten up but it still has an influence on him. He subconsciously feels helpless the way he must’ve felt like a kid. That is the only explanation. I think he forgets in such moments that there are people now to protect him and look after him. He still thinks he is alone. I wish he’d get over that,” Jimin murmured with an intense look of melancholy on his face.

“What happened yesterday…I think he was able to fight because he must’ve seen you in the same light. You were just like him yesterday, alone and getting beaten up. Something must’ve changed him seeing you like that. And also the fact that you can’t see your loved ones getting hurt,” Jimin said, gazing at Taehyung steadily, now smiling a real, soft smile.

“Anyway, I don’t think he will be able to do it again,” Jimin continued. “It must be only a onetime thing. We don’t know. All I hope is that it helped him get over his fears, only if a little bit. We can just wait and see what happens now.”

Silence filled the room once Jimin had finished speaking. Taehyung didn’t know what to say. If he thought Jungkook getting hurt was agonising, this was something else. Taehyung felt as if someone had wrenched his heart out and hacked it to pieces. To think Jungkook had gone through all that as a child…and yet Jungkook had the ability to laugh so much and be happy and do all sorts of crazy things. This guy Taehyung thought. He still had the nerve to come to a place like Hellions and enjoy himself and talk to Taehyung about fighting and worrying about him when he was going through internal conflicts. What am I going to do with him Taehyung thought

“He knows all this? The reason why he can’t be in fights?” Yoongi asked Jimin with a neutral expression.

“Of course. He connected the dots once we told him the real story. But he had said it doesn’t matter. ‘I am not going to get into any fight hyung so why worry?’” Jimin replied smiling ironically.

Taehyung was at a loss for words. What could he say to all this? He had expected something bad but this was…

“Do you think…do you think he will mind that you told us this all?” Taehyung questioned, looking at Jimin anxiously. He needed to know whether he had to pretend to be ignorant in front of Jungkook the next time he saw him. Perhaps Jungkook wouldn’t like the fact that Jimin had told them his secret. It was justifiable. How would Taehyung react if one of his darkest secrets was spilt out like this?

“No I don’t mind.”

The three of them jumped up simultaneously and looked at the door, where Jungkook was standing, watching all of them quietly. They hadn’t even heard him enter, much less feel his presence.

Jungkook walked into the kitchen and pulled a seat next to Taehyung. The three of them watched him closely and Taehyung felt guilty, as if he had been caught doing something he shouldn’t have.

“I don’t mind,” Jungkook said looking up at Taehyung and then at Yoongi. “Why should I? Whether he tells it or me, doesn’t make any difference. What’s happened is going to remain the same. And I don’t remember it anyway, Jimin somewhat does. So much the better that he told it to you than me. So don’t look so guilty-like. Anyway someone had to tell you sooner or later.”

“How do you feel?” Taehyung asked instead, knowing the topic was closed, judging by Jungkook’s tone. Taehyung had a thousand different things to ask him but it could all wait. He didn’t see any need to know all the answers now. They had a lot of time together.

Jimin had already gotten up and started to prepare Jungkook’s breakfast. Taehyung glanced at both of them. There was a certain tension between both of them and Taehyung felt that Jimin was avoiding Jungkook.

“I feel good. A bit wrecked but good. I don’t know how y’all do it all the time. And for that,” Jungkook added, rolling his eyes.

Taehyung grinned and even Yoongi smiled. “We are all really really crazy,” Yoongi said, eyes softening and yet twinkling.

“Obviously you all are. To do this shit for fun. I would rather watch than do this crap again,” Jungkook muttered pouring water for himself into a glass.

Taehyung suddenly felt happy, listening to his words. He looked at Jimin whose shoulders suddenly seemed relaxed.

Jimin turned around and placed a plate in front of Jungkook without glancing at him. Taehyung watched as Jimin avoided looking at him, his face devoid of any expression.

Taehyung looked at Yoongi and raised his eyebrows in a what’s-going-on-here way. Yoongi’s mouth turned slightly down and Taehyung understood his message. He suddenly felt awkward and so must be Yoongi. The tension between the brothers was palpable, making the other two awkward and slightly uncomfortable.

Jimin turned around once again, putting the eggs and toast in Jungkook’s plate. He started to turn around when Jungkook grabbed his arm and pulled him forward. Jungkook hugged Jimin tightly, his hands around Jimin’s midriff. Jimin looked somewhat shocked.

“I am so sorry,” Jungkook whispered and Taehyung could feel how close he was to tears. “I am so sorry hyung. I shouldn’t have gotten mad at you. I know you were concerned about me but I…I just lost it. I am so sorry hyung.” Jimin smiled softly and hugely. He put his hands around Jungkook, who was clearly crying now stroking Jungkook’s hair and shushing him.

“You fucking idiot. When will you stop making me worry, huh? Give me a break someday, will you? And is that how you behave? Huh? Yelling at your hyung like that? Huh? Is that how I raised you, you brat?”

Jungkook sobbed even harder at that, burying his face in Jimin’s chest and Taehyung had to control his smile because Jimin was clearly messing with the boy.

“You have to realise we are all there for you, Kookie. When will you understand that? Quiet down now. Shhh, quiet down. I am not mad at you. You are forgiven. Calm down now,” Jimin murmured softly.

Jungkook calmed down whole two minutes later He looked up at Jimin with such a child-like expression that Taehyung died again. He looked so fucking cute. Taehyung had to remind himself the seriousness of the situation.

“You are not mad at me?”

“No,” Jimin replied truthfully. “But if you yell at me again like that I will whoop your ass and make your life miserable.”

Jungkook laughed at that, wiping his tears on the sleeve of his tee before nodding. Jimin bent down in front of Jungkook, looking at him in the eye.

“You fucking idiot. I do so many things to keep you safe but you continue being a brat. You have to let me in, Kookie. I am there for you, okay? Whatever happens, however you feel, I am there for you. I have looked after you before and I will still look after you. Whenever you need help, just ask, okay? Don’t keep me out of it Kookie. I cannot handle that. Whatever is going to happen, I am here for you okay?”

Jungkook nodded and Taehyung thought he was going to cry again. Jimin pulled him into a hug, himself somewhat on the verge of crying.

“Ermahgod group hug,” Taehyung yelled, rushing forward and putting his hands around the both of them. Taehyung heard both of their laughter and felt at peace. Taehyung’s heart was elated at the scene, the tension now disappearing from the room.

“Yah you,” Taehyung muttered, looking at Yoongi who was watching them without any expression. “I said group hug. Get your ass over here.”

Yoongi made a mildly disgusted expression and before he could open his mouth to saying anything, Jimin reached out and pulled him in by the hand.

Taehyung put his hands around all of them.

I will fight for it so that things are always like this. To keep them all safe. To keep him safe.

Chapter Text

Jungkook walked slowly, carefully. It was quite a task to carry the hot chocolate cups in their holder in one hand while navigating through the streets with your eyes glued to your phone, trying to figure out where the damn house was while carrying an incredibly heavy satchel bag.

Jungkook almost wanted to give up.

Jimin was right. He was a shitty navigator. Had it been Jimin, he would’ve probably reached half an hour ago. But here was Jungkook, nose buried in his phone and glancing up occasionally to check the street names to see if he was on the right path.

He should’ve taken a cab. But the maps had shown that the house was quite close by and it wasn’t late at all. Jungkook had finished his work way before time, leaving a lot of time on his hands. So he had opted to walk, the weather just perfect and cool and breezy. Jungkook regretted his decision now.

Because Taehyung’s house wasn’t close by.

To be honest it was but he was just a shitty navigator.

And now Jungkook’s back and hands had started to pain. If he had to walk for ten more minutes Jungkook would simply drop down on the street. Maybe someone would be kind enough to call the ambulance. Jimin would come to visit him in the hospital but instead of worrying he would laugh his ass off and point at Jungkook in an ‘I-told-you-you-are-a-shitty-navigator’ way. Taehyung would visit him and cry over his body, maybe even Yoongi would visit him.

“Are you lost, my dear?”

Jungkook looked up from his phone to see an elderly woman watching him and smiling sweetly. Jungkook wanted to say no but who was he kidding? He was lost and it was high time that he asked someone for help.

Jungkook nodded at the woman, approaching her.

The woman laughed quietly and Jungkook smiled. She had a pretty face for someone of her age and her face radiated kindness.

“I thought so. You’ve walked down this street twice now looking like a lost kid in a carnival,” the woman said and Jungkook smiled sheepishly.

“Where do you want to go?”

“Here,” Jungkook said, standing next to her and showed her the address which Taehyung had texted him.

The woman laughed, “You’ve walked past this house twice now. It’s that house over there. You should’ve asked for help sooner, dear.”

Jungkook turned around and looked where the woman was pointing dumbfounded. He felt like hitting himself with a brick. He could see the house number from where he was standing and the small plate bearing the name The Kims. Jungkook swore in his head and contemplated running away from this woman who no doubt must be laughing internally.

Man up Jungkook he thought.

Jungkook turned around and murmured a quick thanks, bowing twice to the woman without making eye contact before turning around quickly and running at the top speed. He could hear a faint laughter behind him and Jungkook tried not to think about it. I am not going to run into her again anyway Jungkook thought, coming to a halt in front of the house.

Jungkook stared at Taehyung’s home. It wasn’t a house, it was a home. It had that welcoming, friendly and homely vibe about it. It was a brick house, so out of context in the modern Korean houses with their immaculate designs and their rich, ostentatious colours. Taehyung’s home was plain with brick walls and vines flowing on its front side. Modern, yet simple. Straight out of fairy tale.

Jungkook grinned at the name plate. Underneath ‘The Kims’ were the names of all the members, Taehyung’s being third in line and Eon Jin’s was last, written in crayons. No doubt it was their idea. Jungkook could already picture Eon Jin throwing a fit at not having her name on the name plate so Taehyung must’ve written all of their names on it.

Jungkook shook his head and pressed the bell. He heard the loud sounds of running footsteps approaching the door. Taehyung opened the door and smiled brightly and Jungkook grinned automatically in response.

Taehyung threw open the door, waiting for Jungkook to come in but Jungkook was focused on how good Taehyung looked. Not just in the way of how he was dressed (black jeans and white sleeveless t-shirt. Jungkook was trying very hard not to stare at those arms. Who even wears such clothes at home Jungkook wondered) but his physical appearance. Five days at home and he already looked better. Taehyung’s face wasn’t blue-black anymore the way Jungkook had seen him last time at his home. It was completely fine although still bearing a few scratches. Taehyung looked completely fine and healthy and Jungkook’s heart surged at the image.

“Don’t stare at me like that,” Taehyung said, glancing away.

“Why?”

“My heart beats too fast. I might go into cardiac arrest,” Taehyung replied, looking at Jungkook from the corner of his eyes and grinning. He wasn’t lying. His heart was beating fast.

“Well, I definitely cannot have that. We need to share these wonderful hot chocolates which I just brought for you or my money will be a waste and I cannot allow that. I am a miser in that way,” Jungkook deadpanned.

Taehyung chuckled and took the hot chocolate cups and then frowned. “You got these now?”

“Yep. Why?”

“Then why are these cold?” Taehyung raised an eyebrow.

“…it’s the cold weather outside.”

“Really?” Taehyung asked, biting the inside of his cheeks to stop from snickering. As if he didn’t know what had happened. “You weren’t lost by any chance while trying to search the home, were you?”

“No?” Jungkook said, trying to sound firm but it came more like a question.

“No,” Jungkook repeated, this time in a definite voice.

“Are you sure? I am positive you were lost,” Taehyung countered and he had to try really hard to not laugh. This kid he thought.

“I said no, right?” Jungkook scowled and looked away from the boy, in case his lie was caught. He was a bad liar anyway.

“Oh. I am must be wrong then. Because I am sure I saw someone wearing the exact outfit as you and carrying the exact bag as you are passing the street twice,” Taehyung said, his tone still somewhat serious. Jungkook’s head whipped in his direction.

“You what?!”

Taehyung burst out laughing. He was going to text Jimin and ask him for a pictures of Jungkook’s ‘shook’ face because that shit was hilarious. Taehyung doubled over laughing staring at that expression again.

“I saw you…twice...walking down the street…from my window…you were like a lost puppy,” Taehyung gasped, still laughing because Jungkook was frozen with that expression.

“You…you piece of shit. Why the fuck would you do that? Do you know how heavy my bag is and how much my hand is paining?” Jungkook swore, pointing an accusatory finger at Taehyung and advancing forward.

Taehyung backed up quickly, “I am sorry,” he said, sounding insincere because of his giggles. “But it was entertaining as hell. I have videos too. I sent them to Jimin. He thought it was hilarious.”

“You asshole.” Jungkook said. “Gimme that,” Jungkook muttered, jerking forward to grab the cups. “I am going to pour them on you. You can burn in hell.”

“We absolutely cannot allow that because that means your money will be a waste and you are a miser,” Taehyung said, deadpanning and quickly turned away before Jungkook could lunge at him.

“Go and wait in my room. First room near the stairs on the first floor,” Taehyung yelled from the kitchen, probably to reheat the drinks, Jungkook deduced.

Jungkook continued his string of curses in a low voice as he trudged upstairs. He came to a halt in front of a room with the sign ‘Do not enter without the explicit permission of Kim Taehyung, unless you have GUCCI.’

Jungkook smiled at the plate. That was such a Taehyung’s kind of sign, he thought. He was also excited now. He had wanted to see how was Taehyung’s room was because Jungkook somewhat believed that rooms reflected ones personality.

Jungkook entered the room and stood in the middle, the satchel bag still on his shoulder which was cramped slightly but he didn’t notice it. He circled around on the spot, throwing a glance all over the room, not wanting to miss out a single spot because Taehyung’s room was so damn interesting.

If he had to describe Taehyung’s room in one word, it wouldn’t have been possible for Jungkook. Taehyung’s room was an ensemble of everything.

On one side of the room, there were musical records and CDs arranged neatly. From here Jungkook could read their strange names, in different languages and pretty and flashy and a few old-looking covers next to a few posters of his favourite idol singers. Jungkook grinned as he saw a huge poster of BIGBANG. Beside them there were more CDs but these were movie DVDs. Jungkook could see the entire Harry Potter and Disney collection and whatnot.

On another side of the room was the shared passion of Jungkook and Taehyung. A whole wall dedicated to it, to be honest. In a small glass cupboard, there were a few bottles of colours and brushes, some still unwashed and a few papers lying around. The wall, which was exactly opposite to Taehyung’s bed which itself was covered with various Pokémon plushies, was covered with painting posters of various artists and Jungkook noticed that all of them were Van Gogh paintings. In the corner was a small desk stacked with books piled on top of one another. Jungkook grimaced as he read the complicated, psychology terms.

Taehyung’s room wasn’t a mess, not at all. Everything was neatly arranged but it was cluttered so much with so many different things that it looked like a mess.

“What are you doing?” Jungkook looked around at Taehyung who had entered silently behind him, carrying their drinks.

“Just admiring your room,” Jungkook replied, throwing his bag on the bed and sitting down, now that he had finally seen everything.

Taehyung grinned. “Like it?”

Jungkook’s eyes twinkled as he smiled. “It’s very interesting. And adorable too,” Jungkook said looking at his plushies.

"Who doesn’t want Pokémon plushies?” Taehyung said, rolling his eyes and handing Jungkook his drink, sitting opposite to him on the bed.

Jungkook nodded, agreeing with him and taking a long sip of his drink. He felt better and warm, now that he was drinking the sweet, buttery smooth drink and wasn’t roaming out in the cold. Even his shoulder wasn’t paining anymore now that he wasn’t carrying that heavy bag which he had been lugging around unnecessarily because that shithead had been entertaining himself while Jungkook was in misery.

“Hey, I am really sorry about not calling you in earlier by the way. I thought you’d notice but you didn’t. I am really sorry. I shouldn’t have done that,” Taehyung said as if he had been reading Jungkook’s mind and looked at him guiltily.

Jungkook wanted to be mad at him but who could be when he looked at him so sincerely apologetic with his wide puppy eyes, one corner of his mouth turned down. Jungkook waved his hand away impatiently in an I-forgive-you way.

“Really, you are not mad anymore?” Taehyung questioned, his eyes big and doubtful.

“No” Jungkook replied honestly and his heart soared at the way Taehyung smiled and leaned back, back into his happy bubble.

“Family not back yet?” Jungkook inquired after some time. He had noticed the lack of activity in his house and knowing that Taehyung had two younger siblings, the house could in no way be this quiet. Especially knowing how Taehyung was. Jungkook didn’t need anyone to tell him that Taehyung must be spending half of his time playing with his siblings. He was a kid himself.

“Nope. They won’t be back until two more weeks. And I am already thoroughly bored,” Taehyung whined. “I didn’t know I would miss them both so much. Sure they are Satan’s spawn, Eon Jin is probably Satan herself but I miss them so much. I am bored here alone. The only other person who visits is Yoongi hyung. I am sooooo glad you are here.”

“Yoongi hyung comes here?”

“Every day. Hasn’t missed a single day. He comes up to check up on me and makes me feel like mom and dad haven’t left, bringing me dinner and what not. He isn’t coming today when I mentioned you are coming to visit me. Seokjin, Namjoon and Hoseok hyung were also here the other day,” Taehyung answered, taking a sip of his drink and watching Jungkook over the rim of his cup.

“How are you?” Jungkook asked. He could see that Taehyung looked well. You wouldn’t have thought that this was the same guy who looked half dead 6 days ago.

“I am fucking great, okay? Look at me, I am great. Please believe me. If I am treated like a baby again I might just scream. I am actually tired of sitting at home. I can’t wait to go back to college and out in the world,” Taehyung said dramatically and Jungkook laughed at his theatrics. Taehyung glanced at Jungkook seriously once his laughter had subsided. “Seriously though. I am fine. I am not in pain or anything anymore. I am as healthy as ever. You believe me, right?”

“Yes. You look back to normal. I mean if you can pull shit like that again,” Jungkook said, referring to Taehyung’s prank a few moments ago, “then I believe you are back to normal.”

Taehyung grinned shamelessly and Jungkook rolled his eyes.

“What did Seokjin hyung and the others say?”

Taehyung sighed. “Furious again, as if they already weren’t. They all believe it was the Raiders but Yoongi says there might be a small probability they might not be but even his first inclination is towards Raiders. Now Seokjin hyung has completely refused for anyone to even step a foot in the area. He says we shall see what to do. And honestly, I think he is right. We should just wait back and let the storm calm down a bit before turning the winds favourable for us.”

Jungkook nodded in silent agreement.

“All the more better for us actually. We all can breathe peacefully now and have some more time for ourselves. Now that I am not going there anymore I am realising just how much time I used to spend there and did not a have life outside of it,” Taehyung continued, looking partly nostalgic and partly happy.

Jungkook didn’t know what to say exactly to that. He didn’t know Taehyung before this to know how his life was. He had always seen Taehyung in Hellions and outside too, agreed but only because they lived close and were connected to it. Half of their life was revolved around it.

Taehyung cleared his throat loudly and Jungkook looked up. The latter seemed a bit uncomfortable and nervous. He wasn’t looking at Jungkook, instead he was toying with Pikachu’s tail.

“Can I ask you something?” Taehyung asked in a small voice.

“Shoot.”

“It’s about...you know...you parents. Your birth parents,” Taehyung muttered and looked away quickly when Jungkook made eye contact with him.

Jungkook knew this was coming. He had sensed it a long way back. You cannot tell such a story to someone and not expect them to be curious. Jungkook knew Taehyung had controlled his curiosity that day because it wasn’t the appropriate time. Jungkook didn’t blame him. Had the roles been reversed, he too would be curious.

“You can refuse to answer it. It’s okay. It’s not that important,” Taehyung replied, looking panicky, thinking he might have offended or triggered Jungkook in any way when he didn’t reply for a long time.

“No, it’s fine. It’s completely fine. I knew you’d be curious. And honestly, I want to share it with you. I don’t want to have any sort of secrets between us. Not that it was a secret anyway but I really want you to know. So don’t worry about offending me or anything, if you are thinking that,” Jungkook said, earnestly, hoping that Taehyung would understand his sincerity.

Taehyung nodded and swallowed. “Have you always known it?”

“No. I knew that I was adopted. I mean I clearly didn’t look anything like them, duh, but I wasn’t aware of the back-story. So it came quite as a shock when mom and dad told it to me. They did a good job of hiding the story from me for this long though,” Jungkook replied honestly, shrugging.

“Do you ever miss them? Your parents?”

“How can you miss someone whom you have never known?” Jungkook asked, raising his eyebrow slightly.

“That’s not...how I meant to say it. That was a wrong question. Do you ever wonder what kind of people they must’ve been? Have you never had the curiosity to know them?”

Jungkook took a long sip of his drink and placed it aside, having had finished it. He looked straight into the latter’s eyes. “I know it’s an unpopular opinion and that my answer is going to be an unexpected one but no. I have never had the curiosity to know them or even felt nearly close to it. I am happy the way I am. I have been blessed with two amazing parents and two amazing siblings. They never made me feel like I was an outsider, you know? They never favoured Jimin over me or even vice versa to be honest. We were always treated equally. I was and am their son. Maybe the reason why I believe that blood relations aren’t everything. I am a firm believer of that. They’ve fulfilled each of my demand, each of my wishes and my tantrums and supported me with everything. They never saw me anything other than their son and I never saw them anything other than my parents. Somewhere along the line, I must’ve started calling them ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ and honestly? That is what they are. Jimin has always been like a brother to me. They changed my school so that I wouldn’t be targeted by anyone. Not just school, we shifted in Busan itself. They always took care of that so I wouldn’t feel inferior or be bullied by kids and the society. Jimin always took care of me in school. He has literally been in tons of detention because he would always be ready to fight anyone who taunted me or brought my past up or tried to smear my name. I couldn’t have asked for two better parents or siblings,” Jungkook answered and Taehyung noticed the adoration in his voice, the praise in his voice.

“I had been curious once, like everyone else but I later realised the futility of it. I don’t want to imagine how my life must’ve have been if what happened hadn’t happened. I don’t want to imagine a different life with some unknown people. I even refused to look at their photographs, you know?”

Taehyung looks at Jungkook shocked.

“Yes. When mom and dad told everything to me they had everything ready. Whatever I wanted to know or see, they had it all. But I refused. Maybe because looking at them would arise the thoughts of ‘what if’ and I don’t want to. I really don’t want to visualise someone else in the position of mom and dad. Also...I don’t want to see his face. I don’t want to add a face to the evil. Maybe because it might bring back repressed memories. They might’ve been good people but I don’t want to imagine a different life. I have been graced with a good life. Of course I still have the option of going and asking mom and dad anything I feel like whenever I want to.”

“And they don’t mind your decision?” Taehyung asked, intrigued.

“Mom was somewhat disappointed. I saw that clearly. I am sure she wanted to relieve memories of her life-long best friend and she must’ve thought I would be curious too. But she and even dad respect my decisions. We haven’t talked about it ever again. They cried when I said no one but them are my parents and no one can take their place,” Jungkook replied fondly, remembering the moment.

“Your dad...your birth father I mean. Do you get angry about him?” Taehyung asked, nervously, the question whose answer he wanted to know the most.

“No. I feel pity instead. I feel pity for him. He could’ve had a good life even after losing half of his family but he chose not to. I am angry about what he did and wouldn’t ever forgive him, but I feel pity for him. I am sure he must’ve been a good man for my mother must’ve seen something in him. She must’ve been a good woman too. I don’t know how she looks but I imagine her to be beautiful and kind enough that my father must’ve went berserk at her loss. I feel pity for him and nothing else,” Jungkook replied and Taehyung sensed that the topic was over. Jungkook had answered all of his major questions anyway.

“Your mother sure must’ve been a beautiful woman. I mean look at what she created,” Taehyung whistles, glancing at Jungkook up and down.

Jungkook laughed loudly. Trust Taehyung to make situations light. He was at ease. He felt free. As if nothing was holding him to the ground anymore. He had told Taehyung everything about him and there wasn’t anything left between them to tell each other. Jungkook hummed, glancing around the room, his eyes landing on the posters of the paintings.

“So Van Gogh fan, huh? No wonder you observed impressionism in my paintings,” Jungkook said, looking over at Taehyung.

Taehyung smiled. “Yes. Obviously. I wouldn’t be a fan if I didn’t read about his art extensively and just mindlessly liked his paintings. I have read about all of them and his biography, you know.”

Jungkook smiled back too. “Most favourite, isn’t he? I mean I don’t see any other paintings over here.”

“Actually he isn’t my most favourite.”

“No? Then who is?” Jungkook asked, confused.

“Mr. Park Jungkook. But he refuses to give me any of his paintings which I can hang up in my room,” Taehyung said, looking at Jungkook coyly.

Jungkook blinked, dumbfounded. And then something changed. Jungkook swallowed. It was time. He couldn’t ignore it anymore.

Jungkook leaned over and pulled his bag near him. He opened it, rummaging through it to find what he wanted. Jungkook pulled his sketchbook out and shifted, sitting close next to Taehyung.

Jungkook handed it over to him. Taehyung took the sketchbook in his hand. Jungkook watched as realisation dawned on Taehyung’s face.

“This is...”

“The same sketchbook. Yes.” Jungkook finished his sentence, knowing Taehyung had recognised the sketchbook over which they had been fighting and the one Jungkook had refused to let Taehyung see.

“Are you sure?” Taehyung asked, looking up at Jungkook dubiously.

Jungkook nodded, sure of himself. He wanted, no, he needed Taehyung to see this. Jungkook watched as Taehyung’s unsure expression changed into giddy excitement.

Taehyung threw open the sketchbook, eyes landing on the first page which bore a handwritten quote.

“One must draw what one loves, otherwise art has no essence and will be as hollow as the artist,” Taehyung said, reading the quote out aloud.

“Yep. It’s my mother’s.”

Taehyung glanced up at Jungkook silently even though his excitement hadn’t dimmed. He looked at Jungkook softly who no longer was feeling nervous or uncomfortable talking about his past. They were over all that.

“Yeah?”

“Yep. I inherited my talent from her. This was her sketchbook but she never got a chance to use it except to write that one quote. Mom and dad gifted it to me two years ago on my birthday. This is the only item I have of her which I don’t mind,” Jungkook told him.

“Well,” Taehyung said, “she had a beautiful handwriting.”

“Yeah she did,” Jungkook agreed.

“Now turn it over,” Jungkook added, somewhat impatiently, heart beating fast, feeling a nervous excitement.

Taehyung gave him a brief glance before looking back at the sketchbook again just as excitedly.

Taehyung turned the page over and seemed to have stopped breathing.

Jungkook didn’t glance at the book now. He knew exactly what was in there. He concentrated solely on Taehyung’s face, taking in every emotion, every minute change in his expression, not needing to wonder what the other was thinking.

Taehyung stared at the first drawing. It was a sketch of him. It was rough, unclear. The outfit was what Taehyung had been wearing the first time he had seen Jungkook, when he had hijacked his car. It wasn’t exactly how Taehyung looked, not in the sense that the drawing was bad, no it was beautiful, but the features weren’t exactly his. As if Jungkook had drawn him from his mere memory of their first meet.

“I drew this after I saw you for the first time. Two days later. I couldn’t recollect your exact features but I tried to jot it down as much as I could. I didn’t want to forget your face,” Jungkook said and Taehyung sensed the honesty in his voice.

He didn’t look up at Jungkook, he didn't think he could handle it.

Taehyung turned the page. There was another sketch of him, this time coloured and a spitting image of him. This was the second time he had met Jungkook. Taehyung was sitting on the café chair, smiling and Jungkook had mastered his exact smile, which Taehyung had often seen in pictures taken of him by others.

He flipped the page over. Jungkook had fallen silent by now, simply staring at the boy sitting next to him.

The next few pages were all sketches of him.

Taehyung flipped through them until he came to a painting. It was Taehyung and yet not him. He was lying down on grass, eyes closed, face seeming at peace. Sunlight touched his face, his hair, his cheeks, his closed eyes, his lips, and the other side of his face somewhat in shadows. The colours were brilliant and the painting looked almost alive. Real. The Taehyung in the painting looked like an ethereal being, unreal and one with nature. Almost godlike. He merged with the nature and Taehyung watched as Jungkook had drawn flower and grass wreaths woven in his hair. The painting was so serene, so beautiful that Taehyung was at a loss of words.

Taehyung flipped the page over silently, dumbfounded. This one was yet another painting of him. But this was completely different. Taehyung was cosmos, the universe and the stars. It was Taehyung and yet not him. He didn’t have his melanin skin and his hair and his eyes. No. He was the cosmos, the galaxy. His skin was dark blue and black studded with stars and light and shining. There was no definite edge to his body and Taehyung wouldn’t have been able to point out where the hands were and his body. He was able to identify himself with the faint black outlines next to his face, which bore a resemblance to him. Taehyung flipped the page and it was blank.

“That’s the last one,” Jungkook said, staring at Taehyung not lifting his eyes from his face.

“What...what is all this?” Taehyung asked, looking up to meet Jungkook’s eyes.

“One must draw one loves” Jungkook quoted, heart beat rising rapidly.

“What?” Taehyung asked, unsure if he had heard Jungkook correctly.

One must draw what one loves,” Jungkook reiterated. “For two years I hadn’t touched this sketchbook because I didn’t see or love anything to capture it into a painting forever. Until you came along...” Jungkook said, tenderly...letting his sentence and its implications hang in the air between them.

“What? What exactly are you saying?” Taehyung asked, still dumbfounded. He hadn’t heard it right. No. he was sure he hadn’t heard it right. This couldn’t be happening, could it?

The sketchbook fell from his hand and none of them cared or even noticed it.

This is it Jungkook thought. He didn’t hesitate. There was nothing to hesitate about anymore. He knew how he felt. He was sure of it. It was pure and simple and plain truth. There was nothing to wait about any longer. He couldn’t wait rather. Every moment he spent with Taehyung with the boy unaware of Jungkook’s feelings for him was agonising. Especially when Jungkook knew the feelings were reciprocated. He didn’t want to wait any longer. He didn’t care.

“I love you.”

There. He said it. There was no turning back now.

Jungkook closed his eyes for a moment before opening them again, staring straight into Taehyung’s eyes. “I just do not love you. I am in love with you Kim Taehyung. And honestly, if I was given the option of travelling back in time to the day when I got lost and if I was handed a map so I wouldn’t be, I would still choose to be lost. Because even though I was lost, I found you. And that’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am ardently and irrevocably and completely in love with you.

Taehyung stared at him. And stared some more. He closed his eyes and suddenly Jungkook felt a hand behind his neck. Taehyung pressed his forehead to Jungkook’s, eyes still closed. Taehyung laughed, a happy, giddy sound.

“I honestly feel like I am in a dream and that this isn’t real,” he whispered.

“Well believe it because I just said.”

“Yes. Yes you did. And I have waited so long to hear it. So fucking long,” Taehyung murmured, forehead still pressed against Jungkook’s, his hand rubbing smooth, tender circles on Jungkook’s neck.

“Yes,” Jungkook said softly.

“You already know how I feel. Obviously. It wasn't a secret or anything,” Taehyung murmured quietly.

“No it wasn’t. But I want you to say it,” Jungkook demanded. “There is no way I am going home without hearing it from your mouth. I make a long-ass beautiful confession and you just said ‘you already know how I feel’? No fucking way. Say it.”

“How demanding you are” Taehyung muttered, throwing his head back and laughing, his hand never leaving Jungkook’s neck.

“Say it,” Jungkook almost ordered.

There was silence for a beat.

I love you. I am so fucking in love with you that I cannot even think properly now. You have screwed me up big time and I love it. I love it,” Taehyung confessed, gazing at Jungkook, eyes shining brightly, almost sparkling.

Jungkook felt as if a thousand butterflies had taken a flight in his stomach. He felt warm. Someone could cut one of his limbs and he wouldn’t even notice. He was that elated. So blissfully content.

“Oh God,” Taehyung exclaimed, removing his hand from Jungkook’s neck and covering his face. Jungkook’s watched as Taehyung’s skin was tinged pink now and something surged in Jungkook at the sight.

Taehyung peeked at him through his fingers. “I still cannot believe it.”

Jungkook threw his head back and laughed. “Should I say it again so that you will believe it?”

“Yes,” Taehyung said, dropping his hand from his face.

“I love you,” Jungkook said simply without thinking about it twice.

Jungkook felt two hands on the either side of his face, Taehyung’s long fingers reaching behind his ears. Taehyung leaned forward and kissed Jungkook’s forehead softly and Jungkook’s stomach twisted in a good way.

“Again.”

“I love you,” Jungkook said, complying every wish of the boy. Taehyung kissed Jungkook’s cheek, pressing his lips firmly on the skin.

“Again,” Taehyung ordered.

Jungkook chuckled. They were two giggling idiots, so full of love and he didn’t care one bit.

“I love you,” Jungkook said. Taehyung kissed Jungkook’s other cheek.

This time Jungkook didn’t need to be prompted. “I love you,” he repeated, laughing slightly now. Taehyung smiled brilliantly and kissed Jungkook’s nose. Jungkook scrunched his nose cutely and Taehyung kissed it again, because he couldn’t resist it and just because he could.

“Again,” Taehyung demanded.

“No,” Jungkook teased, his heart beating fast. He knew what was coming. He knew it. He felt it.

“I said say it,” Taehyung ordered, looking impatient, his face close to Jungkook’s.

“Say what?” Jungkook taunted, watching and laughing at Taehyung’s expression.

“Park Jungkook!! I am dying over here so could you please just say it once,” Taehyung whined, his hand tightening infinitesimally on Jungkook’s face. Jungkook smiled, staring at Taehyung. He was in love with Kim Taehyung and honestly? He wanted to confess it to the entire world.

“I love you."

Taehyung stared at him for a beat, looking radiant and ethereal. He smiled the smile which Jungkook loved the most.

“You bet you do,” Taehyung murmured and then closed the small gap between them.

Jungkook gasped as Taehyung’s lips touched his. His stomach twisted pleasantly and painfully at the same time but he didn’t care. Taehyung’s lips were against his own and that was what mattered the most. Taehyung’s lips were soft and firm against his, every move of it sure of itself.

The kiss was slow and soft and tender, nothing hurried about it. They had time. A lot of it.

Taehyung kissed him firmly and passionately, hands never leaving Jungkook’s face, instead they were woven in Jungkook’s hair. He had climbed in Jungkook’s lap and he hadn’t even noticed it, Taehyung’s long legs spread on the either side of him. Jungkook’s hands went on either side of Taehyung’s waist pulling him close, their bodies flushed against each other. The kiss deepened because of their position, with Taehyung at a height above Jungkook but it was just as soft and unhurried and passionate. Everything Jungkook had wanted their first kiss to be like.

They broke apart, both breathless and at a loss for words. Taehyung was breathing heavily, forehead pressed against Jungkook, smiling serenely.

“Let’s go on a date,” Jungkook murmured, kissing Taehyung’s jaw, barely touching it and he smiled triumphantly as Taehyung shivered.

“When?” Taehyung questioned, moving back to look at him, eyes sparkling.

“Whenever you like,” Jungkook answered, mirroring Taehyung’s happiness.

“Tomorrow?” Jungkook nodded and pressed a soft kiss on Taehyung’s cheek. “Sure.”

“Where?” Taehyung asked.

“I was thinking amusement parks would be fun,” Jungkook replied, grinning.

Taehyung smiled happily, excitedly like a small child. “Ferris wheels, games and...” “

And?” Jungkook asked, waiting for Taehyung to finish, whose eyes were twinkling.

“...and cotton candy kisses,” Taehyung finished, surging forward and kissing Jungkook again, pulling him closer.

And cotton candy kisses,” Jungkook agreed against Taehyung’s lips.

He couldn’t wait for tomorrow.

Chapter Text

It was a question of life and death.

Jungkook had never thought he would come to this point in his life. It was probably the hardest thing he had ever had to do. Never before had Jungkook stressed himself out so much over a simple question. He hadn’t even worried so much about his art when it had been up for grading by the highest jury. But now Jungkook was positively and completely at a loss.

“Son, just select one, will you?”

Jungkook glanced up at the man who had a polite smile on his face although his eyes betrayed it. The man’s eyes had impatience in them. Not just a hint but a lot of it. If he could, Jungkook knew the man would have snapped at him a long time ago but Jungkook was a potential customer and so he enjoyed the privilege of being not yelled at.

Although Jungkook may now be stretching his privilege a bit too far.

Jungkook nodded at the man and stared at his problem.

He didn’t know which one to select.

The left one had small, round roses which were yet-to-be bloomed. They were unrealistically beautiful, fresh and tender. The right bouquet had full-bloomed flowers, large in size and Jungkook could smell their fragrance even 4 feet away.

He knew he should select the left bouquet, knowing that it would be the same size as that of the right one two days later. The man had told him so. It would be just as fragrant and pleasing and would last longer.

But Jungkook couldn’t agree upon the colours. The left one was a shade less dark than the other. It wasn’t a bright, rich red although it looked softer, more velvety. The colour was that of any ordinary rose. The right one, on the other hand, was inarguably a prettier colour. The hue was dark, darker than the colour of blood, bordering on maroon when Jungkook saw it closely. But now that he saw it again, it looked almost stale, not as fresh and bright and lively like the left one.

“This one please,” Jungkook said, pointing to the left one before he could change his mind.

He watched as the florist’s face visibly transformed before his eyes into that of relief. He quickly moved forward, wrapping it in a thin pink paper and tying it with a silk ribbon as if he was afraid Jungkook would suddenly change his mind.

Jungkook removed his wallet and paid for it, taking the flowers in his hand, smiling beatifically. He turned around and started walking, smelling the heady scent of the roses, taking deep breaths.

“Son?”

Jungkook turned around as the florist called him, somewhat surprised.

Had he paid less? Or had he forgotten to take back the change?

“I am a florist for 20 years and I have never seen a young man spend 45 minutes deciding which flowers to buy. She must be really lucky,” the florist said, the smile reaching his kind eyes.

“Yes. He really is lucky,” Jungkook called back loudly and watched as the florist’s smile drop at the pronoun Jungkook had used.

Jungkook turned around and started walking. No one was going to ruin his good mood. No one.

Jungkook reached Taehyung’s house. He didn’t get lost today. The way was now perfectly etched in his mind, obviously.

Jungkook rang the bell, smiling hugely, heart beating erratically as he stood on the threshold. He hid the flowers behind his back, hoping that Taehyung hadn’t seen him coming from the window. He didn’t want to spoil the moment.

Jungkook knew it was cheesy as hell to buy flowers for a first date but damn him if he cared. He would do all sorts of cheesy things for Taehyung not because he knew Taehyung was romantic and would love it but because Taehyung made him want to.

Jungkook heard the sound of footsteps and the door opened within seconds.

Jungkook controlled his internal scream because Taehyung looked hot.

And totally boyfriend material.

Taehyung was wearing black ripped jeans with a light blue hooded shirt paired with a dark blue denim jacket. Taehyung’s hair was covered with a bandana with a few stray strands hanging low over his forehead. The triple piercing on his left ear was killing Jungkook, especially the tassel earring which swayed gently at every moment of Taehyung’s.

Jungkook suddenly felt conscious in front of him and felt under-dressed with his blue denim and plain white t-shirt and brown Timberlands.

“Are you even going to say something?”

“No,” Jungkook replied honestly. “I am caught off guard by how fucking hot you are looking right now.”

Taehyung grinned and waggled his eyebrow suggestively. “Maybe we can not go, you know?”

Jungkook rolled his eyes, laughing. Typical Taehyung with his typical crude remarks.

“No thanks. I have an entire day planned out. Maybe later when we are free...”Jungkook replied, playing along now.

“Let’s just pretend that the day is over then,” Taehyung grinned.

Jungkook snorted and then cleared his throat, suddenly feeling shy.

“These are for you,” Jungkook murmured, producing the flowers from behind his back, looking away from Taehyung. He didn’t know why he felt so nervous.

Jungkook glanced back at the boy when there was lack of reaction.

Taehyung stared at the roses, then back and Jungkook and back and forth again. Jungkook watched as Taehyung’s smile stretched even wider; something Jungkook thought was impossible. Taehyung was smiling from ear to ear, the smile reaching his eyes and beyond that.

Taehyung took the roses in one hand and pulled Jungkook close by the other. He leaned in close and placed a small yet firm peck on Jungkook’s lips, still smiling just as widely. Jungkook’s heart flipped even at their smallest contact.

“Didn’t know you were this romantic,” Taehyung said, burying his face in Jungkook’s neck, Jungkook’s hand automatically wrapping around Taehyung’s small waist.

“Well, I am a great boyfriend you know. I know what my boyfriend loves and the things I do for him...” Jungkook said, now unabashed.

Taehyung pulled back and stared at Jungkook. “Did you just call yourself as my boyfriend and me as yours?”

Jungkook suddenly realised what he had said. Well fuck it he thought. He hadn’t said anything wrong. They were in a relationship now and not dating.

“Yes. Why? Am I not your boyfriend?” Jungkook challenged.

“No. You goddamn are. And you better tell all your friends that you have an incredibly hot and incredibly jealous and incredibly possessive boyfriend so no one can even fucking dare to think about you much less approach you, understand?”

Jungkook laughed. Was Taehyung incredibly hot? Check. But incredibly possessive and jealous? Not check. He knew Taehyung was kidding but whatever made him happy.

“I will. I will scream to the world that I have an incredibly hot,” Jungkook breathed, placing a peck on Taehyung’s lips, “and incredibly jealous,” Jungkook continued with another peck, “and an incredibly possessive boyfriend. And you better tell the same to the others?” Jungkook finish now kissing Taehyung fully.

Taehyung made a strangled noise as Jungkook surged forward, hands on either side of Taehyung’s waist and pinned him to the wall. Jungkook placed a firm, wet and openmouthed kiss against Taehyung’s lips and Taehyung gasped, hands dropping to his side, one hand holding the bouquet and the other behind Jungkook’s back, pulling him closer. Jungkook licked the bottom of Taehyung’s lip with his tongue and almost died when Taehyung moaned.

Taehyung placed the bouquet on the shoe rack and suddenly felt one strong hand under his thigh and the other behind the small of his back. Jungkook had picked Taehyung up who readily wrapped his legs around Jungkook. Taehyung’s hands were in Jungkook’s hair now, pulling him as closer as he could. Even an inch of space between them felt wrong.

Jungkook swiped his tongue against Taehyung’s lips again, demanding entry which the other easily complied. Jungkook stroked the length of Taehyung’s tongue with his own. Taehyung tasted like chocolate and coffee. He tasted heavenly.

This kiss was nothing like yesterday. This wasn’t desperate because they had time. But it was fast and its pace was making Jungkook heady. Taehyung kissed with so much passion and vigour that it became hard for Jungkook to keep up. He was lost somewhere in Taehyung, his kiss and its feel. It was so good and so much that Jungkook almost forgot that the door was still open and that the neighbours would be scandalised if they saw it. He even almost forgot that they were supposed to go out on a date. How the fuck did they start making out?

“We have...to go...”Jungkook panted, pulling back for air but not so much that we would be away from the boy.

“But I am having so much fun anyway,” Taehyung murmured, his lips touching Jungkook’s lightly as spoke, hands still tightly woven into his hair.

“Don’t say that,” Jungkook growled, his hand tightening on Taehyung’s waist. “I am tempted enough as it is.”

He felt Taehyung laugh against his lips. Taehyung’s whole body was shaking against Jungkook’s and Jungkook suddenly became soft at the sound. Taehyung pulled back to look at him full in the face and Jungkook wanted to scream at the distance.

“Alright. Let’s go. We can continue this later,” Taehyung winked and suddenly moved forward, placing another small kiss on Jungkook’s lips before hopping down.

Jungkook stared at the boy and wanted to die. Taehyung’s face was flushed pink and was bright with excitement. His hair was even more tousled now and his lips were slightly swollen due to their kiss. Jungkook couldn’t believe he was the reason for this look. Jungkook felt happy and smug knowing that he was the only one could make Taehyung like this.

“Be right back,” Taehyung smiled and picked his bouquet up and ran off to his room. Jungkook stood on the porch.

The neighbour’s doors and windows were closed and Jungkook thanked the gods, otherwise, Taehyung’s reputation could have been tarnished.

“Let’s go,” Taehyung trilled appearing on Jungkook’s side and shut the door behind him.

“Let’s go,” Jungkook repeated, taking Taehyung’s hand in his own interlinking their fingers. He pulled their hands up and kissed the back of Taehyung’s hand, eyes never leaving his face and smiled as he watched Taehyung’s giddy smile.

It was so easy to make Taehyung mushy and happy. Jungkook realised he didn’t need to do grand things for the boy. He could so any small thing and Taehyung would be just as happy as he was now. Taehyung just needed Jungkook by his side and Jungkook needed the other by his. Jungkook needed nothing more than this. Than Taehyung.

They arrived at the amusement park Taehyung wanted to visit in a cab. Jungkook refused to let go of Taehyung’s hand even while removing his wallet and paying for the fare, which made the process of payment quite longer than necessary and irritated the cab driver but Jungkook didn’t care and Taehyung was highly amused and beaming at the same time.

They proceeded to the ticket counter and had a mini argument over who will buy the tickets. Jungkook was adamant about paying until Taehyung suggested that he could pay for the rides and games.

They entered the park with Taehyung literally bouncing by his side. He practically skipped inside and Jungkook knew he would have run inside like an excited puppy if they hadn’t been holding hands.

The amusement wasn’t an amusement park. It was more like a carnival. It wasn’t like Lotte World or Seoul amusement park. It was an ordinary street carnival and festival. Jungkook couldn’t spot any huge rides except a big Ferris wheel and even that was old styled. The horror house looked plain and not at all scary. The whole thing looked extremely dull and still. There weren’t many people milling around even though it was a weekend. Jungkook felt a little bit deflated seeing the park but then Taehyung tugged his arm and looked at him enthusiastically.

“Where should we go first?” Taehyung questioned brightly, looking at every booth and kiosk even standing on his tiptoes to see very far.

Jungkook was genuinely surprised. “You like it?”

Taehyung gave him a confused look. “What’s there to not like?”

“No, I mean. It’s more like a carnival. Not an amusement park the way you wanted...” Jungkook trailed off.

“So? Even carnivals are fun. I just wanted to spend a nice day out with you. There isn’t any compulsion of going to a high-end amusement park. And it would be anyway so crowded considering it’s a weekend. That’s why I suggested this. Unless you don’t want to go here,” Taehyung said, pursing his lips, now looking uncertain.

Jungkook just stared at him without answering him.

“What are you staring at?”

“I just thought...”

“That I must be high maintenance?” Taehyung asked, cocking his head to one side and looking incredibly hot while at it.

“Well, yes.” Jungkook looked away because Taehyung had raised his eyebrows and he couldn’t handle the jeans jacket, the bandana, the earring and the raised eyebrow all at once.

“Well, I am not. So let’s go and play some boring kids games and win tickets and cheap toys and eat and drink junk food and stuff ourselves with candies.”

Jungkook grinned, Taehyung’s excitement seeping into him. If the boy was happy then who was Jungkook to care.

“So where do you wanna go?” Jungkook asked, swinging their interlinked arms excitedly.

“Let’s go...over there,” Taehyung pointed and pulled Jungkook with him.

It was a game of pop the balloons with a gun. Except the balloons were placed at a distance and not clustered close together like in most of the carnivals. These balloons were smaller and placed at intervals.

The girl at the counter looked up at them thoroughly bored and chewed gum. She looked like she’d rather be anywhere else but here. When Jungkook and Taehyung approached, her eyes widened in shock. She moved a hand over her hair and attempted to flatten it and straightened her top. Her eyes flickered between Jungkook and Taehyung, as if trying to decide who the better-looking one was. The girl’s eyes landed on their intertwined hands and Jungkook bit the inside of his cheeks as her face fell comically and the corner of her mouth turned down.

“How much for a game?” Jungkook inquired looking over at the stall.

“2 dollars for 15 tries. 4 for 25. Hit 15 and you get a keychain. You hit all 25 of them and take a plushy,” the girl answered in a deflated voice, now that all hopes had been lost, jerking her head in the direction where a few Pokémon and cartoon plushies were stacked in a corner. Jungkook turned to Taehyung.

“You wanna go?”

“Nope,” Taehyung replied, popping the p. “I am not that great at aiming games except arcade basketball. So I’ll pass. You play.”

Jungkook shrugged and turned towards the girl and fished 4 dollars from his wallet placing it on the counter. The girl picked up a gun from the side and handed it to Jungkook. Jungkook turned to Taehyung.

“Any plushy you want?”

“That Eevee,” Taehyung said pointing to an Eevee plushy which sat beside a Pikachu. “I don’t have an Eevee plushy. Wanted one since quite some time to add to my collection.”

Jungkook nodded and gave him thumbs up.

“You stand over there,” the girl informed, pointing to line marked a few feet behind Jungkook when.

Jungkook took a few steps back and stood behind the line. He raised the gun and fired, the small plastic pellet hitting a balloon which exploded on the board with a splash of what looked like paper confetti. Jungkook smiled and Taehyung grinned too, bouncing up and down on the spot like a 5-year-old child.

Jungkook hit the next targets easily and Taehyung’s yells grew with each one of them. Jungkook felt ridiculously happy and contented, doing nothing but silly things with Taehyung who was so excited over such a stupid game. They were two normal boys spending their time together doing silly things and they were utterly in love.

Jungkook took aim for the last shot and Taehyung was positively jumping up and down now a few feet beside him. The girl at the counter was already standing beside the plushies, Eevee in her hands.

Jungkook fired...and missed.

Taehyung stopped jumping, his face falling down and expression disappointed. Even the girl at the counter stared at Jungkook in disbelief. Jungkook himself stared at the board in shock. What the heck did just happen?

Taehyung mouth turned into a straight line, looked deflated. Jungkook hated seeing him like that. He pulled his wallet out, fishing for another 4 dollars.

“Tell you what,” the girl piped up and both of them looked up. “Between us, if you hit ten balloons which I point, you can take your plushy.”

Taehyung’s eyes sparkled at this sudden new prospect and he turned to Jungkook hopefully. Jungkook nodded at the girl.

The girl smiled good-naturedly and pointed to Jungkook a balloon at the far right. Jungkook aimed and hit the target. The girl pointed to balloons all over the board and Jungkook hit every single one of them.

“This one,” the girl said finally, pointing to the same balloon which Jungkook had missed.

“You gotta be kidding me,” Jungkook said flatly to her.

“Hey! I can’t let you off that easily. You are getting free extra shots because of my generosity. You might as well play along with my rules,” the girl snickered.

Jungkook rolled his eyes and took aim, this time concentrating on the small balloon.

Jungkook heard the sound of the balloon bursting followed a split second later by Taehyung’s delighted shriek.

The girl grinned and gave Jungkook thumbs up, throwing the Eevee to Taehyung who caught it easily.

Taehyung clutched the plushy happily, like a kid who has been given a Golden Ticket to Charlie’s Chocolate Factory. He was playing with Eevee’s long elfish ears when Jungkook went to hand the gun over to the counter girl.

“Well, I am obviously miffed that you guys are together and I have absolutely no chance with either of you but you are cute together,” the girl chirped and Jungkook laughed.

“Why are all the cute and hot,” the girl said, eyes raking over Jungkook’s body “gay? It isn’t fair.”

Jungkook smiled shyly, scratching the back of his neck.

“First date?” Jungkook nodded.

“He’s a keeper though,” the girl continued, jerking her head in Taehyung’s direction, eyes twinkling and Jungkook smiled proudly.

“Enjoy,” the girl smiled, winking at Jungkook who flashed another shy smile before turning around and walking towards Taehyung.

“This is my most favourite plushy ever,” Taehyung declared as soon as Jungkook approached him.

“Why? Is Eevee your favourite?” Jungkook asked, cocking his head to one side and watching Taehyung, who clutched the toy close to his stomach and was staring at it like it was his baby.

“That is one thing,” Taehyung answered. “But it’s your first gift to me so god help the person who dares to touch it. I am gonna protect this with my life.”

Jungkook covered his face with his hands and tried to control his squeal. He stayed like that for a moment trying to control his expression and emotions because his boyfriend was giving him some serious cuteness attacks.

“Let’s go before I die of your cuteness” Jungkook muttered, looking away from Taehyung who placed the toy on his shoulder, eyes closed, his smile exactly like that of Eevee’s.

“Where do we go next? Your choice,” Taehyung asked, appearing beside Jungkook, taking his hand.

Jungkook really didn’t care as long as Taehyung enjoyed himself. He pretended to think for a moment before pointing randomly to a booth.

It was an ordinary game with three sticks placed at a distance. They had to throw the rings around the upright sticks at a distance. Both Jungkook and Taehyung bought a ticket for themselves with a bet on who’d win. The Loser would have to buy the other one ice cream.

Both of them had 10 chances. Jungkook concentrated on the task at hand, now super competitive. It was fine and all till he was the only player but now that Taehyung was also playing his competitive instincts kicked in. He hated how he was always competitive when it came to games. He just couldn’t lose. He hated losing. Even if it was to make his boyfriend happy.

Jungkook almost snatched the rings from the counter lady and stood a few feet away from the ring. He calculated the distance and threw one expertly and...missed. Taehyung howled with laughter who was to go after Jungkook would complete his ten chances. Jungkook scowled in his direction and focused ahead. He threw the other one and again missed it. Taehyung’s laughter increased by his side.

“Just fucking watch now,” Jungkook muttered and threw the third ring and scored. Jungkook scored all the rest of his chances. “Now beat that,” Jungkook challenged.

Taehyung shrugged. “I am not very good at aiming games but whatever. So there is a chance of you winning.”

Taehyung was right. He wasn’t at all good at aiming games. He lost spectacularly with only 2 rings around the stumps and the eight of them all over the floor. Jungkook had literally fallen down on the floor laughing when Taehyung’s ring had hit the counter lady who gave Taehyung a withering stare.

They got 5 coupons which they could exchange at the main centre for small gifts. Jungkook and Taehyung had decided to hit as many booths as possible for many coupons so that they’d get tons of small gifts.

“You know what I want to see?” Jungkook asked, licking his ice cream which Taehyung had bought for him after his loss of the bet, “I wanna you play that. See how much you score.”

Taehyung stared where Jungkook pointed. It was the vertical stand with numbers blinking above it. There was a huge hammer sitting next to it.

“Really? That?”

“Yeah. I mean you are a fighter and all. Shouldn’t you be able to hit the maximum score?”

Taehyung rolled his eyes at Jungkook’s logic. “You know it really isn’t the score right? That’s bullshit. It’s rigged. That thing doesn’t measure your strength.”

“Still. Come on. Humour me,” Jungkook insisted. His ice cream was heavenly. Chocolate brownie with extra chocolate syrup and chocolate chips. Taehyung had scowled because the ice cream had been costlier than the game itself.

“Fine,” Taehyung concluded. “Let’s humour you.”

Jungkook brought Taehyung a ticket and stood beside the blinking machine, happily eating his ice cream.

The number displayed 864 on the bar and Jungkook understood that the highest possible score was 999.

“Let’s see if you can beat that,” Jungkook teased.

“No one has yet done that,” the boy at the counter added, staring at Taehyung and then Jungkook.

“What will I get if I beat that?” Taehyung said defiantly, looking at the counter guy.

“If you beat the current score, you get fifty coupons. If you go above 900, its seventy coupons. And if you hit above 950, its freaking 100 coupons, with 10 more for each ten after that,” the boy replied.

“That’s a lot of coupons,” Jungkook noted, looking at his miserable 5 coupons he had won at the ring game. “No one really hits that hard” the boy said nonchalantly. “Fine,” Taehyung uttered.

“Hold this,” Taehyung muttered and removed his denim jacket and Jungkook’s jaw dropped.

Taehyung’s light blue hooded shirt was sleeveless and Jungkook got a good view of those arms. Taehyung’s hands were very lean and muscled. Jungkook had seen them quite a lot of times now but every time he couldn’t get over them. And sleeveless Taehyung with ripped jeans and bandana was a whole different kind of treat to the eyes.

Jungkook watched smugly as the counter boy openly gaped at Taehyung who hadn’t given him one look.

Taehyung took the giant hammer and stood in front of the machine determinedly.

“We are at least going to get 50 coupons,” Taehyung said, flashing Jungkook a smug smile before raising his arms and smashing the hammer down heavily.

Taehyung stepped back and both of them, along with the counter boy stared at the machine. The blinking lights went upwards in a pretty manner while the numbers were rolling on the top screen as the machine calculated the score.

“No fucking way!!” the boy yelled, staring at Taehyung with his jaw hanging.

Even Jungkook stopped mid-way from licking his ice cream.

The machine flashed the numbers 973 and Taehyung whooped. The boy looked back at Taehyung as if he was unreal and handed him 120 coupons in a trance, jaw still hanging low. Taehyung snatched the coupons from the boy and turned to face Jungkook.

“Let’s get you something from this later.” Jungkook watched his boyfriend proudly and nodded and started walking away in search of other games, the boy staring left staring at them from behind.

They spent the next hour playing arcade games. They spent fifteen minutes of it playing Whac-a-Mole. Taehyung was absurdly good at it while Jungkook barely managed to hit any. Taehyung didn’t miss a single one, hitting every mole quickly. Their coupons were increasing like crazy. The old lady finally threw them out after 15 minutes once they had over 30 coupons just from that game.

They played Basketball next, the kind one finds at a mall. Taehyung had said that this was the only aiming game he was good at and Jungkook saw that he was. Taehyung played exceptionally well, the ball passing through the ring even when the ring started to move after 2 minutes. Taehyung gave every single coupon to Jungkook, saying that he was quite content with his plushy.

“Let’s get some cotton candy and go and exchange these coupons for something,” Taehyung questioned, looking at Jungkook as evening approached.

They had spent a lot of time in the park now, probably hitting almost all the booths. They were quite lucky that most of the games cost almost nothing for the enjoyment they gave. Jungkook was quite content. The weather was perfect ad Taehyung was by his side. They had spent their whole day outside, spending their cash on these mindless games, walking hand in hand and eating whatever they felt like.

Jungkook couldn’t remember the last time he had enjoyed himself so much. He didn’t have many friends, so obviously he didn’t go out much. He went out with Jimin most of the times and his friends, but Jimin couldn't be with Jungkook always so Jungkook ended up being alone at parties and outings.

The last few times he had gone out, it was with Taehyung or whenever they all visited Hellions or something related to it. Moreover, Taehyung had been merely a friend back then.

Now it was different.

A good different.

The best kind of different.

So this date was a breath of fresh air for both of them.

They didn’t talk about Hellions or their college or their upcoming exams or anything for that matter. They just talked about themselves, asked questions which they didn’t know answers to, learning more about each other, revelling in themselves.

They arrived at the Main kiosk where they could exchange their coupons for small gifts. There were tons of small gifts kept in display glasses. There were figurines and plushies and keychains and badges and bags and whatnot.

Taehyung insisted that Jungkook get something for himself because Taehyung already had his Eevee and wanted Jungkook to have something memorable from their first date.

Jungkook smiled and went around the small shop, looking at various items and figuring out what he could get for himself and even for Taehyung. He got himself an Overwatch figurine, yelling delightedly when he his favourite character’s figurine was still in stock. He still had some coupons left even after getting himself the small miniature figure.

Jungkook glanced at Taehyung. Taehyung had gone out to buy them cotton candy, whining about it to Jungkook because he was craving the sugary sweetness and Jungkook had been taking a lot of time selecting his prize.

He glanced at the thing he was looking at. It was pretty. Very pretty. And fucking cheesy but whatever. Jungkook got it without a second thought and walked towards his boyfriend, clutching the thing in his hand tightly.

“What did you get?” Taehyung asked excitedly one Jungkook reached him, passing Jungkook his own cotton candy, tearing a large piece for himself and putting it in his mouth.

“This,” Jungkook said, showing Taehyung his figurine and watched as Taehyung genuinely looked happy at that. “It’s cute,” Taehyung commented. Jungkook took a bite of his cotton candy, feeling it melt in his mouth and on his lips, leaving a sticky and sweet residue.

“And I got you this...I got us this” Jungkook said, suddenly feeling embarrassed and he extended his hand to Taehyung.

“There’s one for you and one for me,” Jungkook muttered, clearing his throat.

It was a set of two necklaces. Very tiny and very dainty. The pendant was like a drop of water, with fake blue diamonds. Both of them were identical in nature with colour differences. Jungkook’s was darker blue while Taehyung’s was light, watery blue.

“You know, I had a few extra coupons left and this was the only thing that could fit in the price range. And I thought you’d like it. As a couples thing and all. You don’t have to... I mean I know it’s sort of cringy. Maybe we can go back and exchange it and you can take something you’d like. I am sure they’d exchange. It’s not like we’ve used it,” Jungkook rambled on, staring anywhere but at Taehyung heat rising in his cheeks.

He couldn’t believe he had bought something cheesy like this and even thought Taehyung would be down for such a thing. Sure, Taehyung was romantic. Jungkook knew that. But he didn’t know how much of a romantic he was. Maybe not so much to do such idiotic things. He wouldn’t even blame Taehyung if he threw it away or laughed at Jungkook. Jungkook himself was regretting getting it.

“Park fucking Jungkook. You are definitely proving me wrong.” Jungkook turned to look at Taehyung, face still flushed. “I can’t believe my boyfriend is even more romantic than me. I am offended. Makes me think you love me more than I love you,” Taehyung continued, pouting adorably. “OF course I am going to wear it. Don’t fucking exchange it. I am not even going to take it off,” Taehyung declared, eyes twinkling and staring at Jungkook fondly.

“You like it?”

“It’s absolutely beautiful. Put it around me, my hands are sticky,” Taehyung answered, turning around to expose his neck to Jungkook.

Jungkook grinned, his worries melting away. Of course Taehyung would be down for it. Jungkook could probably ask Taehyung to go murdering along with him and the boy would be still up for it.

Jungkook threw the chain around Taehyung’s caramel coloured neck. The silver shined faintly against Taehyung’s rich skin tone, the chain just the right amount of length. Jungkook leaned and placed a lingering kiss on Taehyung’s neck, near the clasp and heard his boyfriend’s small intake of breath as he felt the cool metal on his lips.

Taehyung turned around and looked at Jungkook strangely, with a conflicted look, which softened within a few seconds. He gazed at Jungkook so steadily that Jungkook looked away, eyes landing on the Ferris Wheel.

“Come on, it’s late and we have to yet go to the Ferris Wheel,” Jungkook said hurriedly, heart beating fast due to his boyfriend’s piercing gaze. He put his own necklace around as he walked towards the giant wheel.

Jungkook bought two tickets, standing behind the long line, the only place at the park which was sort of crowded.

They stood in line, waiting to get into the cart behind kids and families, holding hands and not giving a single fuck who saw them and what they said. No one was taking this away from Jungkook.

They got into the rickety cart a few minutes later, the last ones in the line. It was already very late in the evening, almost sunset. They hadn’t understood how the time had passed. They were so into each other.

Taehyung alighted first and Jungkook followed. The guard snapped shut the lock securely and gave them a thumbs up and yelled for the operator to start the ride.

The cart moved slowly upwards and Jungkook’s and Taehyung’s excitement grew as it slowly took speed. They shrieked and screamed and laughed, holding hands tightly as they felt dizzy due to the movement of the cart. All around them was the sound of delighted and excited kids and the soft chuckle and reprimands of the parents and similar yells from teenagers.

The cart slowed down after four rounds, now again going up slowly, each cart getting its time to stay at the top.

The sun had already set. Jungkook couldn’t complain about not seeing it. It wouldn’t have been visible anyway behind the tall towers of Seoul. The sky was a brilliant ensemble of red and pink and violet. Jungkook could see the last rays of the sun, golden and shining falling on his right and Taehyung’s left side who sat opposite him. On his other side, in the darkened sky, Jungkook saw the pale crescent moon, it’s glow brightening as the sun slowly settled down and down.

“Beautiful isn’t it?” Taehyung sighed, a small smile on his face as he saw the sunset or whatever remained of it. They were midway up by now.

“Not as beautiful as you,” Jungkook murmured, staring at Taehyung, who was half glowing, basking in the sun’s rays and the other half in shadows and like his normal self.

Taehyung looked at Jungkook and laughed. “I know.”

Jungkook smiled too. “I know you know. Just thought you should know again. You are beautiful. And I love you a lot. I love you more than I love playing Overwatch. More than I love running. I love you more than I love my white t-shirts. I love you more than that Butterbeer latte and that goddamn coffee shop. I love you more than I love my canvas and brushes and my expensive colour sets. I can’t say I love you more than art when you are art yourself, Kim Taehyung.” Taehyung looked at Jungkook strangely.

“That’s a lot of love. What’s with the sudden declaration?” Taehyung laughed again, voice cracking a bit.

Jungkook’s hand tightened against Taehyung’s. “You’ve always been there from the start. Clear. I have received more than I have given and I don’t want to be on the receiving end anymore. You need to know you are loved more. You should’ve known it way before than this. I have wasted enough time in-”

“Do you regret it?” Taehyung asked, his gaze piercing as if he was staring into Jungkook’s soul.

“Do you regret not confessing earlier?”

“No. Because why does it matter when I have confessed? The feelings would be the same regardless of time. I just wish I had known you earlier. We wouldn’t have wasted so much time. So I don’t care. What matters is from now on. I am going to give you whatever you want because you deserve it. You deserve it. So whatever you want and you need, I am going to give it to you” Jungkook replied honestly, staring back at Taehyung steadily.

“Whatever I want?” Taehyung asked.

“Whatever you want.”

Taehyung smiled. The smile was so soft and so serene that Jungkook’s heart fluttered.

“I want you by my side.”

Jungkook simply stared at the boy sitting opposite of him silently.

“I want you by my side when the days are good and when the days are bad. When the days are long and when the days are short. When the days are bright and when the days are dull. When the days are warm and when the days are cold. When the days are beautiful and when they are not. When the days are hot and when the days are rainy. When the days are happening and when the days are lethargic. When the days are loud and when the days are quiet. I just want you by my side,” Taehyung said softly, his voice almost a whisper.

Jungkook leaned forward in the short cart and placed his hands on either side of Taehyung’s face and kissed him softly. He didn’t need to answer. Taehyung had got his answer and Jungkook knew that. Jungkook kissed him passionately, hoping to convey each and every emotion he felt, hoping his kiss would convey everything to Taehyung without having to say anything. Taehyung’s hands clutched the front of Jungkook’s shirt tightly as if never wanting to let him go.

Jungkook kissed Taehyung in the rays of the sun and in the moonshine. He kissed Taehyung up in the air while still firmly rooted to the ground in his cart. He kissed Taehyung high up in the sky against all the bright colours the wind softly caressing their sides. He kissed Taehyung in motion, for the cart had started moving again but they were still.

The last rays of the sun was shining upon them, not just on him or Taehyung. They were one. As if everything else ceased to exist. You could take a walk around both of them and would’ve travelled the world, for they were a world of their own, a far beautiful and precious world.

They pulled back just in time as the cart came to a halt, their ride over.

They walked hand in hand, not uttering anything for there was no need of it, feeling nothing but blissful and elated concentrating on the feel on their hands against each other, with Taehyung rubbing small, slow circles on the back of Jungkook’s hand and Jungkook’s hand tight and small against his.

 

 

 

 

It was a perfect day.

Chapter Text

“You guys are disgustingly cute. I feel like retching.”

“You will even get diabetes from us and then I hope you die,” Taehyung backfired sweetly, flipping Jimin off for his comment.

Jimin laughed carelessly, walking next to Jungkook and Taehyung who held hands and were practically skipping on their way home.

“Seriously though, how long are you going to pick Jungkook up from college? The girls in my class, and boys too, mind you, were asking who you were,” Jimin said, looking at Taehyung who was smiling brightly.

Taehyung laughed. “I come to pick up my boyfriend and study with him and spend time. Why? Do you have a problem with it? And tell those damn boys and girls that he is my brother’s boyfriend. Simple.”

“He is just jealous because he doesn’t have a boyfriend who will pick him up. Oh, wait,” Jungkook said, pretending to think about it for a moment, “Yoongi hyung doesn’t even know you like him. Jimin is all still in the ‘Senpai notice me’ phase.”

As if knowing what was about to happen, Jungkook and Taehyung started to run as Jimin chased them.

“Come here you fuckers,” Jimin yelled, not caring how the passersby, especially old men and women, threw him dirty looks for his language.

Jimin heard their laughter, their laughs and its sound blending into one another. He slowed down and watched them running in front of him, still holding hands. Whatever he had said, Jimin was happy, incredibly happy because Jungkook was happy. He hadn’t seen Jungkook so enthusiastic and joyful and talkative ever. And it was all because of the boy he was running with.

Jimin smiled before running again behind them, laughing along with them.

“Anyway, go home carefully. I am going out for some time,” Jimin said appearing beside them both when they became sure that Jimin wouldn’t beat them up anymore.

“Where?” Jungkook asked, perking up.

“None of your business,” Jimin muttered, hoisting his bag up his shoulders and standing still.

Both Taehyung and Jungkook stopped walking and turned around to face him.

“Where do you have to go that is so secretive?” Jungkook questioned, looking incredulous.

Before Jimin could make up some excuse, Taehyung’s eyes gleamed. And not in a good way.

“I know exactly where he is going,” Taehyung snickered, elbowing Jungkook in the stomach. “Maybe Senpai will notice him today, Kook.”

Jungkook started laughing along with Taehyung and although Jimin was irritated, he was partly amused by the comment too.

“You want to know how to get him to notice you?” Jungkook asked, attempting to control his laughter even though his eyes were still shining.

“I don’t need y’all to comment on my situation or get relationship advice from you both. You fuckers took a long time to even be together. One kept pining for the other and the other kept delaying. Get a life,” Jimin fired back, pointing a finger between both of them.

“And how is your situation any different from ours?” Taehyung asked, raising his eyebrows.

Jimin opened his mouth to argue back but nothing would come out. His mouth snapped shut, lips pressing into a thin line because Taehyung was right.

“Whatever. Get home safely,” Jimin muttered and turned around and started walking quickly, knowing that if he had stayed a moment more, his face would have betrayed what he felt.

Because Jimin felt deflated. Taehyung was correct. His situation was no different than theirs.

Jimin had been quite open about his feelings right from the start. Except for the first time they had met, when Taehyung and Yoongi had carelessly barged into their car, Jimin had been attracted to Yoongi. He even made it quite clear and probably everyone knew it.

Hell. Yoongi knew it too.

If anyone saw their text messages, they would see tons of lame pick-up lines Jimin sent to Yoongi and every time the boy laughed at them, complimenting Jimin for his creativity. Jimin flirted relentlessly with Yoongi, sometimes being downright suggestive and Yoongi responded to each and every one of them.

But he never acknowledged any of it when they met in person. They didn’t meet frequently. Jimin had college and his dance practices took most of his time. Yoongi worked as a chef at the restaurant, so whatever free time he got he liked to spend it on writing songs and composing them.

But Jimin never missed any chance of meeting him. He would even leave his dance practices early whenever Yoongi texted him asking if he wanted to meet him.

That was another blow to their situation. Had they been meeting regularly, Jimin would have persisted behind Yoongi even more and tried to get him to respond. But it never happened. Jimin got to spend so little time with him, so whenever they met Jimin always tried to learn more about him because every moment was so precious.

The only time Yoongi had somewhat reacted and shown similar signs of affection was when they held hands in the car.

When Yoongi was reassuring Jimin that Taehyung would be okay.

Not because he wanted to hold hands with him.

Jimin’s mood was still off as he stood in front of the apartment and rang the bell. He shook his head as he waited, trying to clear his mind. He didn’t want to see Yoongi in such a mood.

Get yourself together Jimin he thought just as the door opened.

If Jimin was worried about showing his conflict on his face, he was wrong because Jimin’s mind went blank as he looked at Yoongi.

Yoongi wore loose track pants but that wasn’t what caught Jimin’s attention. Yoongi was wearing a t-shirt probably two times larger than his size. And the result was exposed collarbones. The t-shirt fell loosely across Yoongi’s shoulders, revealing his delicate yet sharp collarbones and partly his chest. One sleeve was dangerously close to falling from Yoongi’s shoulders and Jimin wanted to die at the sight.

Jimin stared shamelessly. Yoongi looked like a whole damn meal to him, especially with that tousled hair and sleepy eyes, as if Jimin’s bell had woke him up from his nap.

“Huh?” Jimin asked, his brain reacting to something Yoongi had probably just said but not registering what he had said.

“You are here quite early. I thought you’d be late,” Yoongi drawled and stifled his yawn, looking like a cat as he did that, pouting partially.

Jimin had to tear his eyes away from Yoongi and his pale bare skin and his bed head. He even shook his head to get Yoongi’s sleepy voice out of his mind.

“Yeah. The practice finished quite early,” Jimin lied.

Jimin didn’t elaborate how he had practically run away from the last pep talk from his dance teacher and the secret bitching session by the students which followed it. He even skipped the showers because he was too damn excited to meet Yoongi.

Yoongi stared at him and shrugged, moving away from the door to let Jimin in.

Jimin walked in and almost threw his bag on the floor like he usually did whenever he stepped in his room but Yoongi’s apartment was so clean and pristine that Jimin placed his bag carefully upon the sofa, avoiding the table in case he knocked the glass vase down due to his clumsiness.

Jimin turned to look around at Yoongi and was about to say something when his stomach gave a loud growl.

Jimin blushed furiously and looked away from Yoongi, barely catching the gummy smile which Yoongi had on his face now.

“Did you even eat anything in your excitement to come here?”

“No,” Jimin replied without thinking about it.

Jimin’s blush increased as he understood what Yoongi had implied.

He heard Yoongi’s quiet laugh and Jimin looked even more away, searching for things in the room to focus on.

“Did you even shower?” Yoongi questioned and Jimin heard the hint of amusement in his voice.

Jimin turned to look at Yoongi. He had almost basically confessed his excitement, so fuck it.

“No,” Jimin answered, not dropping the eye contact with Yoongi.

“Why don’t you take a shower while I make something for you?”

Jimin’s stomach gave another growl at that but this time he didn’t care.

“I don’t even have the energy to stand, to be honest. So can I have something before going to shower?” Jimin replied honestly.

“How long were you practising?” Yoongi asked, walking towards the kitchen.

“About four hours. Or maybe more. Don’t remember exactly,” Jimin answered.

Yoongi stopped in his tracks and stared at Jimin. “Four hours?! You should’ve had something before coming here,” Yoongi chastised. “I would have waited.”

“But I couldn’t. I had to see you,” Jimin countered.

Yoongi licked his lips and looked away. “Come on, let’s make something for you,” Yoongi murmured quietly, turning around, pulling Jimin by his hand.

Jimin smiled, feeling incredibly better instantly. Yoongi pulled a chair and Jimin sat down.

“What do you want?” Yoongi asked, standing in front of Jimin.

“I really don’t care what you make as long as it’s made quickly,” Jimin muttered. He realised how hungry he was. He had eaten way before lunch time and it was late evening now. He really should’ve eaten something.

“Okay. Pancakes it is,” Yoongi huffed and turned around, pulling pans and what not.

Jimin watched Yoongi work. He watched Yoongi’s profile from behind. His shirt fell loosely on his body so Jimin really couldn’t see Yoongi’s outline from here. He only saw the white, milky skin of his shoulder blades and their soft curves. Jimin saw the black hair –Yoongi must’ve dyed it again- coming below the nape of Yoongi’s neck. He saw the movement of Yoongi’s hands and the way the veins stood out in his arms, making them look beautiful and manly.

Jimin appreciated what he saw and whatever he didn’t see.

Watching Yoongi cook now felt a bit different. The last time the whole kitchen had been crowded and Jimin hadn’t got the chance to watch Yoongi cook. Even the house had been crowded the last time.

Jimin looked at the empty house which now felt even bigger than before. The house was immaculate and very business-like. It wasn’t cluttered with anything which Yoongi wouldn’t need unlike Jimin’s own room, which was filled with thousand small things he didn’t need but bought just because he found them cute or adorable.

“What are you wondering?”

Jimin turned at the sound of Yoongi’s voice.

There in front of him was a pancake which looked quite delicious. How long had Jimin been lost in his own thoughts?

“Your house. It’s pretty,” Jimin commented, diving in his food as he talked. He was far too hungry to care if he talked while eating.

“Really?”

“Yes. Not much to my liking but it’s pretty in its own way. It’s very you,” Jimin explained looking up at Yoongi. “It’s decorated in a no-nonsense way but expensively. I like that piano a lot,” Jimin said, looking at the instrument tucked away in a corner on a podium.

Jimin wondered how the hall still looked large and spacious even with the piano in it and wondered how much larger it would look without the piano.

“It’s a gift from Taehyung’s parents. Graduation gift,” Yoongi said.

Jimin’s head whipped in Yoongi’s direction.

Yoongi wasn’t looking at him but was looking at the instrument fondly, the way a mother stares at her baby.

“Really?” Jimin asked, somewhat surprised.

That is one costly gift, Jimin thought.

Yoongi chuckled. “They actually wanted to gift me this apartment but I refused when I came to know about it.”

Jimin stared at Yoongi, the fork and knife suspended mid-air.

“They...what?”

“I refused obviously. A house is too costly and I didn’t want them to bear such expenses for me. But I wasn’t going to refuse the piano. It’s far too costly for me to buy on my own. But I didn’t accept it because of that. They gave it to me out of love. Said it was their first son’s graduation,” Yoongi murmured, still staring at the piano fondly.

Jimin suddenly had a lot of questions.

“How rich is Taehyung?” Jimin asked, still in shock.

Yoongi glanced at him. “Extremely. I mean, they, his parents own three cafes and three restaurants right here in Seoul. There are four more small ones back in Daegu.” Jimin paused and took a small bite, digesting this piece of information.

“What about your parents?”

“What about them?” Jimin gazed at Yoongi and the visible effect the question had on him.

The smile dropped from his face and his eyes hardened, his tone now matter-of-fact and somewhat defiant.

“Where are your parents?”

“In Daegu.”

“When do you visit them?” Jimin inquired, now more curious. He hadn’t failed to notice the clipped and short sentences.

“I don’t.”

Jimin paused again and waited. He wasn’t going to ask Yoongi the next question. Jimin wanted Yoongi to talk on his own now. He knew Yoongi was aware of what he would ask next anyway.

“My relationship with my parents is...uncordial. I don’t talk with them or visit them except an occasional phone call or text here and there,” Yoongi said, sighing and looking away.

“Why?”

Yoongi exhaled before looking back at him. Jimin noticed how angry Yoongi looked. Had Jimin went too far? Maybe he shouldn’t have pried into Yoongi’s personal life so much. Jimin opened his mouth to tell him it’s okay if he doesn’t want to answer when Yoongi spoke up again.

“My family...was always dysfunctional. I was never close to any of them right from the start. My views about life and everything I loved differed from what they liked and wanted. I fell in love with music right from the start, since I was a kid. They thought it was just a hobby and I would get over it. When they realised I was very serious about music and wanted to pursue it as a career, they were very mad. We fought a lot. So many arguments and disagreements and crying. I thought my mother would take my side but even she was disappointed. My father was strict anyway so I didn’t bother about his opinion. But my mother...she was the last blow.”

“I didn’t care much after that. The only person who supported me was my brother. But even he had to support me secretly. He learned my plan about running away from home. I had already enrolled myself in a university in Seoul, receiving a very high scholarship from them. I didn’t care about how I was going to get money for my tuition fees or anything. I just ran away and came here,” Yoongi said. He leaned forward and took Jimin’s glass, glancing at Jimin if it was okay for him to drink his water.

“Taehyung used to be my school friend and we were incredibly close, much like you and Jungkook. We lived down the same lane, a few houses apart. So even I would be always at their house all the time. Mostly because they had a piano of their own which I liked to practice upon. His family had moved to Seoul a year before I started my university, opening a new chain of their restaurant over here.”

“I first sought them out over here, knowing I had someone I knew in this huge city. Not because I was scared and need financial backing or someone I knew. But because I missed Taehyung, my best friend incredibly.

“Anyway, my brother had already notified Taehyung’s parents of my coming here. So it all worked out well for me.” It took Jimin two minutes to process all this information and to realise that Yoongi had finished talking.

“And Taehyung’s parents didn’t talk you out of it?” Jimin asked, surprised.

Yoongi smiled again and Jimin was caught off guard by this sudden change of reaction.

“His parents will be the last people on the earth to do so. Taehyung’s parents are incredibly free-spirited and support individual independence. They’ve always believed that everyone has a right to do what they love. They knew I loved that piano a lot. I later came to know that they had still kept that old piano because they knew I loved to practice upon it. They didn’t give it away even though no one at their home played it anymore just for me.”

“I had always felt more close to them than my own parents to be very honest. I could talk to them about anything without worrying about what they would think or say. And they always treated me like their son,” Yoongi murmured softly, eyes shining.

“With them, I was always comfortable and myself. The reason why I love Taehyung and his family is because of how carefree and independent they all are. They didn’t bat an eye when Taehyung said he wanted to be a nurse and work with kids. They gave him and me freedom to do what we want. That is the reason why Taehyung is so well bred even though he is so goddamn rich. His family is what every family should be.”

“I lived with them all through my graduation, at their house. I moved after graduation because they knew I wanted my space and they gladly gave it to me just as they give it to Tae.”

“Is that the reason you love Taehyung so much?” Jimin asked, now again starting to eat his last few remnants, somewhat understanding that the major part of the story was over.

“Yes. I love Taehyung for his carefree attitude and his childlike yet genius nature. He has always been like that, not giving one damn of what people thought of him and doing what he loved. I think I saw what I could be in him. I wanted to be like him so much but never could be. I mean sure he is goddamn crazy but now he has matured. The boy just needed someone in his life,” Yoongi huffed, rolling his eyes.

“What about you?” Jimin asked, his heart thudding now. “Don’t you need someone in your life?”

Yoongi suddenly lurched forward and Jimin felt a thumb on the corner of his mouth. Jimin’s thudding sky-rocketed at this small contact, even though Yoongi was just wiping away whatever there was. J

imin’s skin tingled where Yoongi was touching him, his lips partly numb from the tingling sensation.

Yoongi stared at him unflinchingly, his eyes conflicted.

Yoongi swallowed and retracted his hand, looking away. “I will go set the shower. Be right back,” Yoongi muttered and got up hurriedly, exiting the kitchen quickly.

Jimin again felt deflated, the same disappointment coursing through him. He knew Yoongi wanted him too. Or at least he felt sure about it. Yoongi looked at him the same way Jimin looked at him, with want in his eyes. Then what was Yoongi’s problem? He couldn’t believe even Jungkook and Taehyung got together before him and Yoongi. He had been so confident that he would be dating Yoongi soon but now even a confession seemed like a farfetched idea.

Jimin got up from the chair, trying not to dwell on his hopeless situation. He could mope about it at night.

Jimin walked to the sofa and rifled through his bag.

Oh fuck no Jimin thought, hanging his head low and covering his face with his hands and wanting to kick himself.

“What’s wrong?” Jimin peeked at Yoongi through his fingers, again blushing.

“I forgot my clothes back in college.”

Jimin realised he had kept his fresh clothes back at the college in his locker. He hadn’t showered so he hadn’t even changed. He was still in the practice clothes, in his joggers and tank top. He had just donned his jacket and ran over here.

Yoongi looked at him amusedly before raking his eyes all over Jimin’s figure.

“I’ll give you my clothes. Should fit you,” Yoongi said thoughtfully and went back to his room.

Jimin followed him and stood awkwardly in front of the bathroom, waiting for Yoongi who came back with a towel and fresh clothes.

“I have set the temperature but you can change it as you want to,” Yoongi said, handing Jimin the clothes. “The setting is pretty easy to understand, okay?”

Jimin nodded and gave him thumbs up before entering the bathroom and shutting the door behind him.

Jimin laughed. He laughed loudly as he saw the bathroom because of the tons of bath products in there. There were three types of shower gels and a few bottles of baths salts and what not. Jimin saw four bottles of shampoo itself, each and every one of it a fancy and luxurious brand. Jimin even spotted a few bath bombs placed on a counter at the side.

Who would have imagined Yoongi would be like this?

Jimin took his time showering. The water temperature was just the right and Yoongi had a fucking amazing bathroom. The bathroom was as large as a room itself with a waterfall shower-head. The man has some expensive tastes Jimin thought as he took his time selecting the shampoos and bath gels from the variety of options before him.

Jimin exited the bathroom a full half an hour later thoroughly cheerful and upbeat. He had been too busy concentrating on the bubbles and the foam and the heady scent of all the products and the shower to ponder over Yoongi’s story or Yoongi’s dismissal of Jimin’s question.

When Jimin exited the shower, patting and drying his hair with the towel, he heard the sound of piano reverberating through the whole house.

Jimin walked to the hall and watched Yoongi, seated on the small bench in front of the piano, his hands working tirelessly on the instrument, filling the whole apartment with the melody.

Yoongi looked up as Jimin approached him, his face in a full rare smile. He shifted on the bench, the music unceasing and jerked his head in the place next to him.

Jimin smiled back and sat next to him, watching Yoongi play and in his natural habitat.

Yoongi’s hands worked incessantly on the ivory keys, his fingers pale in comparison with them.

Jimin watched as Yoongi’s hands worked their magic on the piano which was heard everywhere. Yoongi wasn’t even looking at the keys as he played it.

He looked up at Jimin with another amused smile. “You took your time showering.”

Jimin grinned. “You have an amazing assortment of bath products so I took my time with them. And the shower was just heavenly.”

Yoongi grinned. “I know right? That’s why I selected this apartment. The rent is quite affordable too.”

Jimin’s eyebrows went up. “You live here on rent? Right. Obviously. How much is the rent?”

“No fucking shit!!” Jimin exclaimed when he heard the amount. “That’s too less. How can it be this less?”

“The landlord, Mr.Shi Hyuk is very generous to the young generation. He owns this whole building and most of us are students on rent just out of university or working people. So everyone pays him on time because is too lax with us,” Yoongi replied, with a shrug.

Jimin marvelled at the person and his kindness. Well, even he would like to live here for such a small rent and a huge apartment. If only they didn’t have a house of their own in Seoul...

Jimin was so lost in his thoughts that he almost jumped when Yoongi leaned in close.

Yoongi bent forwards, his lips near Jimin’s temples, almost brushing his hair. Jimin went incredibly still, heat creeping up on his face. Yoongi sniffled and then went back to his seat. “You used the orange and cranberry shampoo.”

“Is...is that a problem?” Jimin asked, attempting to keep his voice light which he couldn’t himself hear over the sound of his own heart. He was sure even Yoongi could hear his heart beating loudly.

“No. it’s my favourite one though,” Yoongi said nonchalantly.

It was silent after that except for the sound of the piano. Jimin didn’t speak anything, just listening to the music while his heart slowed down. Yoongi was silent as his usual self.

“I know this one!” Jimin said, listening closely as the melody changed. “It’s Fur Elise, right?”

Yoongi looked surprised. “You know the classics?”

“Nah. This one is just way to famous and who doesn’t recognise this tune? I am shit at remembering the names but I know quite a few by their tunes because they keep on playing in the studio and we gotta practice on some of them,” Jimin explained.

Yoongi nodded and the tune changed.

“Okay I don’t know this one,” Jimin muttered, scratching his head and trying to remember if he had listened to it before.

“This is by Ludovico Einaudi. He is one of my favourites,’ Yoongi said, smiling slightly as he played it. “Want to know the melody name?”

“I won’t remember it but tell me anyway,” Jimin murmured. He was sure he wouldn’t remember it but wanted to know it all the same because it was so important to Yoongi. He wanted to get to know the boy more in any way he could. Jimin would make an effort to remember the name and listen to it again at night, trying to understand the beauty Yoongi saw in this. The piece was a long one but Jimin liked it. He had already noted the name in his phone for later.

The tune changed and a new song began.

Jimin listened not because he had nothing else to do but because Yoongi was playing it with all his heart and soul.

Something about this tune was different.

It was slow but not in a sad way but in a rather beautiful one. It was slow in the way flowers slowly bloom, the sun slowly sets down and the way the moon slowly shines brighter each passing night until the full moon. It felt like walking amongst a slow drizzle without an umbrella with the sun shining warmly, not hidden amongst the clouds with a faint rainbow somewhere in the skies. It felt like the warm feeling which spreads through one’s body when they sit in front of the fire on a cold snowy night, perhaps with a book and hot chocolate in their hands.

Jimin listened, aware of the wetness which had gathered in his eyes. Jimin blinked furiously, wiping the tears away from his eyes. Yoongi hadn’t noticed it, thank god. His eyes were closed, hands flying on the keyboard as Jimin attempted to control himself.

Jimin didn’t even know why he was crying.

Yoongi looked at him two minutes later, as the music slowed down even more, on the verge of the end.

“What is this one called?” Jimin demanded. He wanted to know who it was who could compose such a piece which would make him cry like that.

“Serendipity.”

“By?”

“Min Yoongi.”

Jimin blinked. He hadn’t heard it right, had he?

“You composed this one?” Jimin asked, somewhat blank.

Yoongi hummed, smiling softly. “I spent quite some time naming it. I couldn’t get the name wrong. The piece came itself, without much thought. But the name had to be correct.”

“Why is it so important?”

“Because you inspired this one.” Jimin stared and stared and stared some more.

“What does serendipity mean?”

“Finding something beautiful without looking for it,” Yoongi replied, still smiling softly, his hands falling limply into his lap.

Jimin opened his mouth to say something but his voice failed him. As if something was stuck in his throat.

His heart didn’t beat fast like it was supposed to. Instead, it went blank. Probably must’ve stopped beating.

“Is this a confession?” Jimin demanded, his voice rising slightly, bracing himself for the answer.

“Maybe,” Yoongi replied, his eyes twinkling.

Jimin closed his eyes. He knew Yoongi was just taunting him but it wasn’t a joke anymore to Jimin. He had had enough. Maybe it was because Taehyung and Jungkook had triggered him right before coming here or maybe it was the general hopeless feeling which Jimin had had over the last few days or maybe even disappointment, whatever it was, Jimin burst out.

“I do not want a ‘maybe’. I am done with your ‘maybes’ and ‘ifs’ and ‘ands’ and ‘buts’ or whatever more there is. I really do not fucking care. I want a plain ‘yes’ or ‘no’. A straightforward answer. I don’t know if you all think of me as fragile or delicate but I am not. I can take whatever the answer is. ”

“Yes.”

“’Yes’ what Yoongi? You...you always answer so goddamn vaguely and so uncertainly...I feel like I am wrong in my interpretation of you. I feel like I am the only one who is chasing all this...whatever this is. I feel like I am wrong...that there isn’t anything between us and I have made it all up. I feel...I feel...shit I don’t know...” Jimin replied, suddenly agitated.

He had not meant to burst out like this. Whenever Jimin had imagined confessing properly to Yoongi, it had always been on a nice date somewhere, probably a dinner and a long walk towards home or something. But definitely not like this.

But he didn’t care. He was done. He could give up on Yoongi if he wanted to. And he would. He was really tired chasing and running after the man. Jimin needed to breathe.

“Yes.”

“Yes it’s a confession,” Yoongi replied, swallowing, looking nervous. “but it isn’t you...it’s me.”

“What do you mean?” Jimin asked sharply, too agitated to talk softly or consider the other boy’s nervousness.

“It’s me. I...I have never been in a relationship before. And I know I want you. I am sure of it. As sure of it as my music. But...I have never done any of this before. And I am afraid. You are so... outgoing and free and so sure of it. You must’ve done this before and you can get any guy. I am afraid I won’t be able to give you time and the love you deserve and you can get from someone else. And I don’t want to let that happen, don’t want you to give up on the love you deserve,” Yoongi confessed, looking away from Jimin.

Jimin was silent for a moment.

“You know, just because I am sure of it doesn’t mean I have done this before.”

“What?” Yoongi asked, turning to look back at Jimin, looking confused.

“I mean I have done this before. Been in a relationship. But way before. It’s been a long time now. Back in high school to be precise.” Yoongi looked at him blankly now. “And who the fuck are you to decide who will make me happy? What makes you so sure that it won’t be you who will make me the happiest?”

“I...”

“Don’t be an idiot and make it miserable for both of us,” Jimin urged, taking Yoongi’s hands in his own. “Its okay if you’ve never had a relationship before. All the better because I am possessive as hell,” Jimin replied, grinning. “We can take whatever pace you want to set. I am fine with it. I am fine with meeting you just once in a week or whatever it is. We will figure it all out. I just want to know if you are willing. I will guide you.”

“Yes.”

“Yes what?”

“Yes. Okay. If you are so sure about it...we can make it work somehow. I don’t know anything but I trust you’ll guide me. And we can figure out what to do...I mean I don’t know anything at all and I may have to put in some efforts and all-”

“Can I kiss you?”

“What?” Yoongi asked, caught off guard as Jimin interrupted his rambling.

“Can I kiss you?” Jimin repeated, now smiling fully, his heart soaring at Yoongi’s incredibly cute ramble and confession.

“I...” Yoongi swallowed, red colour spreading on his pale cheeks and neck and then nodded slowly.

If Jimin’s heart had been soaring before, it had probably left his body now.

Jimin shifted closer, taking Yoongi’s face in both of his hands. He leaned in slowly, watching Yoongi closely, giving him the chance if the boy wanted to back out. Yoongi’ hands were still limp in his lap and he was incredibly still.

“Are you sure?” Jimin asked, wanting to confirm it. He didn’t want to push anything on the boy. That would be the last thing Jimin wanted and he could handle. He was probably a centimetre away from the boy, closer than ever before, so damn close to kissing him but if Yoongi said no Jimin would willingly back out. The confession was more than enough for today.

“I am sure,” Yoongi murmured, his breath hitting on Jimin’s lips.

And then Jimin closed in the small distance.

Yoongi was still even as Jimin’s lips touched his for a whole half minute. Jimin almost pulled back when Yoongi responded, his hands suddenly clutching the front of Jimin’s t-shirt tightly.

Jimin could clearly feel Yoongi’s inexperience. The kiss wasn’t perfect or anything. It was rather sloppy. Yoongi was unsure of what to do, their teeth clashing. Sometimes Yoongi moved in too quickly or he sometimes fumbled with the front of Jimin’s t-shirt.

But Jimin didn’t care.

Because Yoongi wasn’t unsure anywhere in this kiss.

Jimin pulled back, smiling fully. He was probably glowing and Yoongi was glowing too, even though his face showed his nervousness.

“Was I...did I do it correct?” Yoongi asked, hands dropping again into his lap.

“Yes. Yes you did,” Jimin replied and surged forward, pulling the boy in for another kiss.

 

 

 

 

It was perfect this time.