It’s 2 am, this research paper is due in six hours, and Yoongi was already exhausted when he started writing it. Namjoon keeps messaging him smug pictures of himself getting ready for bed, and Yoongi wishes he had the money to pay someone to burn Namjoon’s completed paper so he could suffer too.
The few paragraphs Yoongi has sketched out on the efficiency of electronic composition versus traditional recording methods are swimming lazily across the screen of his laptop, and he swears he can feel his blood beginning to slow as his body burns up the last molecules of caffeine from hours before.
He’s been avoiding making more coffee, praying he could get this paper done early enough to manage some sleep, but the inevitably of an all-nighter is creeping up on him and he stands. Rolling his shoulders and scratching sleepily at his neck, Yoongi yawns and clicks on the gas stove and waits for the water to heat up.
His phone chirps and he checks it again—did Namjoon actually ask Hoseok to take this picture of Namjoon curled up in bed? Yoongi needs new friends—and after a second the corner of the sink digging into the small of his back is the only thing keeping him awake. He’s still half asleep right up through pouring the hot water into his French press, which happens to be the fanciest thing in Yoongi’s apartment aside from his recording equipment.
He flops onto the floor, unable to keep himself upright for another four minutes while the coffee steeps, but simply the smell of it brewing brings him back to life just enough to sketch together a vague outline of ideas. By the time he’s done pouring his coffee, Yoongi thinks he might be able to bang out this paper after all.
The second the thought crosses his mind, the second he thinks he might still be able to steal an entire cycle of sleep before it’s time to face the sun again, a scream tears through the quiet stillness directly above his apartment. All of Yoongi’s carefully stacked ideas shatter apart to the sound of his French press slipping from his hands and hitting the ground and littering the laminate flooring with tiny shards of glass.
His heart is racing, and he wonders for a second why the human race bothers with coffee when people could just take turns screaming to keep each other awake, but then he’s running out the door through the dark hallway, the motion sensor lights trailing after him as they flick on too slowly, before he even realizes he’s doing it. It’s not that Yoongi has a hero complex, but even he in all 176 of his precious centimeters was taught never to ignore someone in need.
The third floor is silent, but he bangs on the door of 305 anyway. Better safe than guilty reading about a murder the next morning.
The door is pulled open immediately, and a tall boy with long limbs is standing in front of him and peering at him through too-long bangs.
“What’s up?” the kid asks, his expression calm and pleasant but thoughtless in a way that Yoongi is sure it isn't possible that he also just heard someone screaming for their life a second ago.
“What the fuck?” Yoongi says, at a loss for words.
“What?” the boy answers, his face still blank but maybe finally a touch concerned.
“I just… Did someone in this room not just scream like they were about to be murdered?”
“Oh, that,” the boy breezes, actually waving his hand in nonchalance. A look of understanding dawns his features, but only for about a second, leaving Yoongi feeling bad for anyone who ever had to work with this kid on a school project. “That was Jimin. He saw a spider.”
“A spider,” Yoongi repeats flatly.
“You can come in and ask him about it if you want,” the boy offers, shrugging as he steps out of the doorway and into the cluttered apartment. The rooms in this building are small, even for one person, and Yoongi can’t even comprehend sharing the limited space. “He’s still staring it down.”
“And you haven’t helped him with it?”
“I am morally against causing the death of any living creature,” the boy says, shrugging again.
“Then just move it outside,” Yoongi says.
“Fuck that, spiders are creepy as hell,” the boy says, and Yoongi closes his eyes to count to ten. “Anyway, he’s in the bathroom,” the boy continues, kicking aside some clothing to lead Yoongi to the scene of the crime.
The layout of the spider apartment is identical to Yoongi’s, but everything inside of it is so different that looking around is a jarring experience. He tears his eyes away from the mess piled on top of two beds, two desks, two of everything, and looks toward the bathroom, where he sees a second boy cowering against a tiled wall.
“Taehyung, I swear to god if you’re coming in here to tell me you named this fucking thing—” the huddled figure starts, whipping around to face his roommate with a heavy black boot clutched in one hand, but then he sees Yoongi and stops.
The first thing Yoongi notices is that this boy, Jimin, is beautiful. The way his mouth falls open into a small O of surprise before he clamps it shut emphasizes first his full pink lips and then his fuller, rounder, pinker cheeks, and his hair is messy like he’s been raking his hands through it. Yoongi looks at his hands and the well-muscled arms they’re attached to, clearly visible in a loose-fitting white sleeveless shirt, and has to force himself to look anywhere else.
The second thing Yoongi notices, when he does finally look somewhere else, is that the spider is fucking tiny.
“There are crumbs on your floor bigger than this spider,” Yoongi says flatly, reaching across Jimin’s body to pick up the offending creature.
“What are you doing with that?” Jimin asks, his voice panicked, his wide eyes darting back and forth between the spider and Yoongi’s disgusted face.
“Taking it outside,” Yoongi replies, pushing past the roommate, Taehyung, to get this poor animal back outside and himself back into his own apartment to finish his fucking paper and go to sleep. He resists dangling it in front of Taehyung’s face for a second, but only barely.
Halfway down the second flight of stairs, Yoongi hears footsteps behind him, and he turns to see Jimin, slightly out of breath and still red-faced. He turns back around and keeps walking to the building’s main door.
“I just wanted to say thanks,” Jimin says, following after him. “And sorry. I just really hate spiders and Taehyung’s fake vegan ass isn’t much help when bugs get inside.”
“Is he much help at other times?” Yoongi asks, tipping the spider onto a plant outside of the apartment building.
Jimin laughs, and it takes a second for Yoongi to convince himself the sparkle in Jimin’s eyes is just the reflection of the streetlights.
“Not really, no.”
This boy really is beautiful, Yoongi thinks, and there’s a slight pause as Yoongi’s tired brain tries to process why that matters.
“What’s your name?” Jimin asks, and this tiny, mundane question is just enough to snap Yoongi out of exhaustion-fueled fantasies and bring his attention back to the assignment waiting for him upstairs.
“Min Yoongi,” Yoongi answers, “but I have to go. I was in the middle of writing a paper.”
Jimin is all apologies and commiseration as they walk back upstairs to Yoongi’s floor (he’s a first year marketing student at Yoongi’s university, and Taehyung was the only other first year cheap enough to agree to split their tiny room) and he’s still talking when they get to Yoongi’s front door. Yoongi just stands there for a few minutes before he opens his door and makes to close it without saying anything.
“Wait!” Jimin says, angling his body in front of the doorjamb so Yoongi can’t shut it. Jimin, Yoongi is pleased to notice, isn’t any taller than him. “Can I maybe get your number? You know, for the next time there’s a spider in our room or something?”
Yoongi considers. He considers his paper, he considers Jimin’s face, he considers his exhaustion and the need to get Jimin out of his doorway. What he maybe doesn’t consider, as he shrugs and rattles off his phone number, is the consequences.
Jimin pops back in slight surprise, and Yoongi shuts the door and clicks the lock closed. He leans against the door, looks at all the glass still on the floor, and checks the time on his phone.
2:57. He flops onto his bed and stares at his textbook, definitely not thinking about anything or anyone ten feet above him, his eyes definitely not flicking up to the ceiling every time he tries to focus on his work.
The paper doesn’t get finished that night.
Park Jimin, it turns out, is as annoying as he is hot. Somehow he did catch Yoongi’s phone number, and his Kakao messages are just as frequent as Namjoon’s and only slightly less absurd.
The first time he contacts Yoongi goes like this:
[23:22] jimin: 119 pls help
[23:25] yoongi: ?
[23:25] jimin: can’t u hear our fire alarm
[23:27] yoongi: idk what weird shit you and taehyung get up to
[23:27] jimin: hyung pls come help
[23:27] jimin: it won’t stop going off
[23:29] yoongi: call the fire dept
[23:30] jimin: hyuuuuuuuuung pleeeeeeeeeeease
And Yoongi makes his second mistake and goes upstairs. The room is cloudy with smoke and the smell of burning, but there’s nothing setting on the stove, not even an empty pan.
There’s not a lot Yoongi can do except tell them to open the damn window and turn the fucking fan on, but on his way back to the door he pauses and tells them to check the batteries of the fire alarm just in case.
“Can you check them before you go?” Jimin asks, his eyes pleading. “I can’t reach.”
Yoongi stops, looking at him pointedly. To his credit, Jimin manages to keep up his pout without batting an eyelash.
“Make Choi Hongman over here check it,” Yoongi says, indicating Taehyung (“My arms hurt, I can’t lift them,” Taehyung says tonelessly from the bed where he’s enthusiastically playing a video game) but a few minutes later, Yoongi is standing on a desk chair reaching for his dignity as much as the smoke detector.
Yoongi is surprisingly unperturbed the next evening when he takes out the compost and sees half a dozen heads of cabbage charred to ashes in the bin.
The next time Jimin sends a 119 hyung pls text, Yoongi responds with a voice message. Just to make sure Jimin reads all the right amounts of sarcasm and disdain, not because he’s hoping Jimin responds in kind with his cute Busan satoori.
“What terrible thing has happened this time?” Yoongi speaks into his phone.
“The wifi is out,” comes Jimin’s whiny reply, and Yoongi is only barely surprised that’s the end of the voice message.
“iptime is all around us,” Yoongi notes.
“Hyung, I cannot use an unsecure network,” answers Jimin’s horrified voice.
“Use mine then. I’m sure the signal reaches upstairs. I’ll change the password to something easy for you to remember, maybe like leavemealone.”
“Hyuuuung, please, come fix our wifi. Taehyung is buying snacks.”
Yoongi sends a recording of an audible sigh before trudging upstairs, walking into 305, and heading straight to the router.
“It’s off,” Yoongi says, and he flicks it back on.
“Well that’s weird,” Taehyung says, coming into the apartment from his snack run and dumping the bag of tteokbokki chips and waffle snacks into Jimin’s lap.
Jimin, who was sitting cross-legged on his bed watching Yoongi, has the grace to look slightly embarrassed this time. He mumbles an apology for dragging Yoongi upstairs, says something about maybe having nudged the router off by accident, offers up the bag of snacks, and asks if Yoongi wants to see a video his cousin sent him of some puppies learning to walk.
Three hours have passed in their apartment when Yoongi looks at his phone for the time.
Jimin’s emergencies steadily—and rapidly—become less and less urgent. He sends some vague texts and voice messages, and eventually makes some even vaguer phone calls, about things like leaking faucets and possible rat infestations, and a few times Yoongi simply forwards him the landlord’s number and goes back to his homework.
The other times, though, he ends up sitting on the floor of 305 after a few minutes of looking at one phantom problem or another, eventually eating snacks and watching more videos of dogs doing weird shit. Jimin quickly figured out that Yoongi’s favorite videos are the corgi ones.
This evening’s distress call has Yoongi standing in the doorway watching Jimin struggle over the pieces of an Ikea side table.
“Why would you ever buy something from Ikea?” Yoongi asks, hoping Jimin hears the slight stress on you. “It’s like they make this shit difficult on purpose.”
“Isn’t it, though,” Taehyung says from across the room, looking at the instructions for the next step. Yoongi notes he’s holding them upside down.
“And what happened to the perfectly fine, completely assembled side table you already had?” Yoongi asks, taking the instructions from Taehyung and kneeling down next to Jimin.
“Taehyung broke it,” Jimin says, too quickly, looking up and seeming surprised at Yoongi’s proximity.
“Did he?” Yoongi says, taking a piece out of Jimin’s hands and attaching it to the opposite end of the table. “How?”
“I—tripped?” Taehyung answers. He’s settled back onto his bed to play another round of his video game, and soon Jimin is perched on his bed watching Yoongi work up a sweat putting the rest of the table together.
The next morning when Yoongi sees the broken, splintered pieces of the previous side table in the trash on the curb, he remembers the feeling of Jimin’s eyes boring into him as he worked and he smirks.
It’s 10:45 pm, this extra credit assignment is due in 75 minutes, and Yoongi really needs these points to make up some of what he lost from turning in his recording technology paper late three weeks ago.
He had threatened all of his friends with pain of death if they bothered him before midnight, and so far the threats appear to be working. No bratty photo messages from Namjoon, no recipe links he’ll never look at from Seokjin, no fabricated distress calls from Jimin. Just a quiet room and a full hour to write out the answers to these undeservedly easy questions.
The second Yoongi thinks this, the second he imagines he might be able to still scrape an A in this class, his phone rings. Even before he looks at the name on the screen, Yoongi wants to throw the phone out the window. After looking at it—Taehyung—he decides he wants to throw Taehyung out it instead.
“What part of please leave me alone just for one single hour don’t you two understand?”
“It’s not Jimin, it’s just me,” Taehyung says in his most please don’t kill me, hyung, I’m only a helpless child in need of your guidance and love voice. “Jimin’s at the library and I got locked out of our room and I forget the way you showed us earlier to jimmy the door open.”
Yoongi closes his eyes to count to ten for the 600th time since meeting Taehyung, and Taehyung must know it because it’s exactly ten counts later that he’s talking again.
“It’ll only be for a second,” Taehyung wheedles, and somehow his voice is even more needy dongsaeng than before. “Please, Yoongi hyung, Jimin is going to be at the library all night working on an assignment and I don’t want to bother him.”
Yoongi graciously decides to let the obvious question go and not ask Taehyung why he’s fine with bothering him.
“I am setting a timer for five minutes the second I hang up this call. If your door isn’t open when the timer goes off, you’re on your own.”
“Thank you, thank you, tha—”
Hanging up on Taehyung has quickly become one of Yoongi’s favorite activities. Taehyung must still be fussing with the door when Yoongi steps out into the hall, and he walks up the flight of the stairs to the rhythmic beat of it.
“I don’t care how hot Park Jimin is,” Yoongi mutters to himself as he sets the timer, “I’m getting a new apartment and changing my goddamn number as soon as this semester is over.”
He rounds the corner and looks at the door to 305 to see not Taehyung’s lanky, messily-dressed body frantically banging on it, but Jimin’s compact muscular body instead.
Which is completely not dressed in any way, aside from a towel slung low around his hips to collect the beads of water rolling down his bare skin.
Yoongi stops dead in his tracks. He stares for a second, frozen, and then enough saliva has collected in his throat that he coughs.
Jimin wheels around, his face bright red and his hair soaking wet, the towel slipping from his fingers to reveal a few more centimeters of soft skin.
“Um, hi,” Jimin says, tightening his grip on the towel.
“What the fuck,” Yoongi says.
“Can you help me?” Jimin asks, his face burning even redder.
“You’re dripping,” Yoongi answers, gesturing to the puddle collecting at Jimin’s feet.
“Taehyung locked me out,” Jimin says, looking equal parts like he’s going to cry or commit a murder. “I didn’t want to bother you because you said not to tonight, but I’m stuck out here. And I’m naked.”
“I can see that,” Yoongi says, looking.
“He won’t let me back inside,” Jimin says, banging fruitlessly on the door a few more times.
“He called,” Yoongi says slowly, piecing things together, “to ask me to help him get back inside. He said you were at the library and he forgot his key.”
Jimin looks horrified, somehow going still more red, and then he’s kicking at the door yelling obscenities at his meddling roommate.
The five minute timer on Yoongi’s phone goes off. He stares at it for a second, then at Jimin, then at the door, then back at Jimin.
“Fuck it,” Yoongi says to no one in particular, and he wraps his hand around Jimin’s warm wrist, feeling Jimin’s rapid pulse beneath his thin fingers, and starts pulling him toward the stairwell.
“What are you—”
Yoongi keeps pulling.
“I don’t understa—”
Yoongi stops, looks Jimin slowly and purposefully up and down, and kisses Jimin full on his mouth.
Jimin’s too surprised to reciprocate, but his mouth is warm and yielding, and his face is radiating actual heat in a way that Yoongi finds grossly endearing. His shock appears to pass after a few seconds, because soon his mouth is moving against Yoongi's and his hand that's not clutching at the towel snakes up Yoongi’s chest to settle at his neck, where it continues to rest even when they break apart.
“Oh,” Jimin says, dazed, his lips even prettier when they’re swollen and slick.
“Oh,” Yoongi repeats, only slightly mockingly, before tugging at Jimin’s wrist again.
“You know,” Jimin starts thoughtfully with a suddenly mischievous look in his eye, “if Taehyung hadn't come up with this on his own, the next idea I was throwing around was asking if you’d help me out by looking at this thing on my—”
“I have very little problem leaving you here and going back to my room alone,” Yoongi warns, and Jimin laughs before letting Yoongi finish dragging him down the stairs.