You really know how to make me cry
When you give me those ocean eyes
♫ [ Billie Eilish - Ocean Eyes]
The day had been extremely tiring; the bookstore stationery in which Jimin works was in a state of absolute chaos with the start of the semester. Unsuspecting and desperate students crowded the store requiring copies of documents, wanting last minute materials and to improve the situation Wheein, responsible for storing and doing store logistics, had to miss due to a high fever.
Winter is strict this year and Jimin seems smaller than usual with his giant chess scarf giving off countless laps that covers at least half of his face, his hands are trying to stay warm inside Taehyung hodie that is too big for him. He knows he should stop stealing the other boy's clothes, but the size of the blouse reminds him of blankets and he'll need several of those if he wants to survive the season.
Keeping his ritual for stressful days, Jimin pushes the door to the pool dome and enters the calm place. In the morning, the place is busy, because of the students and workers who use them for social programs. However, in the late afternoon, after sunset, when the lights are off, and only the lighting poles outside and the moon are illuminating the place through its glass walls, everything is much more beautiful.
The scent of water comforts Jimin and the blue from swimming pools reflects on the only concrete walls, dancing against it and causing numerous designs. Jimin is approaching the nearest pool when he hears a noise, as he looks to the side, he sees a movement in the water and a body below the surface swim until it reach the other side. When the person emerges from the water, Jimin can see that is a boy and for some excruciating minutes, Jimin watches him rise up on the opposite side of the pool.
The time seems to pause. He’s absolutely breathtaking. The boy pulls his wet black hair from his face, and Jimin can see that he has big dark eyes, a not too big mouth- but definitely full- and a well-defined jaw. Looking down, Jimin nearly chokes. The stranger has one of the most marked abdomen he has ever seen - that's a lot considering that Jimin is a dancer - his arms and legs have a definition that can only be reached with a lot of dedication. The cold that he originally felt suddenly makes room for a modest warmth. There is an aura wrapped around him that reminds Jimin of magic and ambiguity, the boy brings simultaneously something calm and fierce, like a light breeze before a disaster. He's gorgeous, Jimin concludes.
The boy looks up and meets Jimin's gaze, his eyes are intense and his face, which reflects the calm movement of the waters, makes him seem surreal and untouchable. Jimin can’t keep his gaze for too long and diverts attention ashamed of having been caught staring at the stranger, he feels his face beginning to turn red. To save the moment, he sinks his face into the scarf and crosses the place to the small bleachers, trying to avoid a new strange situation with the other person occupying the space.
Jimin sits in the second row, opens his backpack, pulling out the notebook and his earphone, and then opens the music folder determined to choosing a song and a way to use it for a new choreography; the semester had just begun, but the last thing that Jimin wanted to start procrastinating the dance club, although his major is nursing. There are many problems to solve along with Hoseok, and just remembering the auditions coming next week, brings headaches to Jimin. It doesn’t take long for him to become immersed in his task; he keeps his eyes closed trying to assimilate the rhythm of the songs with possible dance steps. There is also the question of lyrics, and he honestly does not know if it is better to use the original song or the instrumental version of it.
Why he thought it would be a good idea to become a dance instructor, focus on college and work on a bookstore, all at the same time, is beyond his understanding capabilities
Jimin is in the middle of beginning to make notes in his notebook when he make the mistake of looking up, removing the earphones, he finds out the nameless boy is now sitting on the side of the pool with water running down his body. Jimin wonders how he can swim in the middle of winter, because even though the pools are heated, the wind is merciless and makes the rest of the room chilly.
"Has anyone ever told you that it's rude to stare?" The stranger says looking up and coming in contact with Jimin's gaze one more time. The other boy's eyes have a depth that makes him seem indifferent, cold, but although his words are a bit arduous, the glint of his eyes deliver that question is a joke.
When Jimin finally returns to the reality, he realizes that he hasn’t yet answered the other, and his face starting to burn with a vigorous blush.
"I'm sorry" Jimin tries to answer, although his stomach is wrapping and his heart is beating very fast with the adrenaline of having been caught staring again. Jimin has to cut himself before he starts giving unnecessary explanations as he does when he gets caught doing something he shouldn’t. If before Jimin was turning red, his face should now be on fire with the other boy's smirk - with someone else Jimin would find the boy's attitude rude, but there is something different about him, his eyes glowing with daring. He’s challenging Jimin to do something, but Jimin recognizes a trap when he sees one.
The only response he gets from his apology is the boozing of the water, Jimin no longer has the courage to embarrass himself for the same person, so he lowers his head and continues with difficulty the previous task. He stays that way until he feels the stranger withdraw to locker room and tries not to stare the other's muscular back.
The smaller boy's heart takes another leap with other motives.
Jimin ritual changes when the same situation continues for a few weeks. He leaves work exhausted or bored and as in the past when he has no dance class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and he goes to his special place, only to find a new addition. The pool boy is there almost every Thursday - Jimin notes and shake how creep he sounds trying to imagine the rest of the other's schedule.
The difference is that Jimin now finds himself waiting for the other, he’s not sure why, but there is something serene in the presence of boy. They somehow entered into a mutual agreement without words; they wave and acknowledge each other's presence, but at the same time, no conversation is initiated. The silence around the room isn’t disturbing; on the contrary, it brings a bit of peace in an environment where pressure and competitiveness makes most of the students lose track of the time and the stress imposed is relentless. Unfortunately, the boy isn’t there when Jimin arrives on a Thursday and the day becomes a little darker.
The classes of anatomy and ethics in the work environment are already bringing headaches to Jimin, and the explanation of the teacher had not helped in any way to clarify the doubts brought to the surface with the reading of the theory. And not for the first time, Jimin wonders if he chose the right career to follow.
When he finally begins to understand what is written on the pages, a message of Taehyung appears on the screen of his cell phone asking where he’s and Jimin decides that it’s time to go home. Picking up his things quickly, he throws the backpack over the shoulder and puts the beanie to cover his ears. Adjusting his glasses up, he pushes the door open and faces the cold slapping his face.
The wait at the bus stop isn’t much, honestly the apartment complex isn’t even that far from the campus, but the aggressiveness of the wind and the snow does not appeal to Jimin. Entering the relatively empty bus, he finds a place to sit in the window and looks out watching the snow fall. Not many people are on the street at this time, store lights become frostier against falling snow, and the nostalgia of the station makes everything quieter, billboards offer warm clothes and coffee shops put up promotions for hot chocolate.
Jimin feels his stomach growl as he remembers that he hasn’t eaten all day. He decides he’ll stop at the small corner market when he remembers that Taehyung probably hasn’t eaten anything either, especially with his new artistic project - no one ever tells how the art kids suffer. Doesn’t take too long before he gets to the point near the apartment, he gets off the bus and walks a short distance to the store. Jimin greets the cashier and picks up a shopping cart. He takes only the necessary: rice, chicken breast pack, frozen vegetables, spieces, chocolate, cinnamon and other things to make hot chocolate and dinner for Taehyung.
The price turns out to be a bit scary, but on the other hand, when you’re a student, everything becomes extremely expensive. He thanks the cashier after paying and putting everything inside a box, he walks to the entrance of the apartment. Pressing the elevator buttons requires some trick with the box in his hands, but he manage.
He takes a little longer to open the door and realizes that Taehyung isn’t home, Jimin think it’s strange since he can see his backpack on the sofa. Sighing he puts the box on the kitchen counter and decides to take a shower.
He goes toward the bedroom leaving the backpack and picking up clean clothes. With a great determination, Jimin takes off his clothes and as quickly as possible jumps down under the shower. The water is hot, but where the shower jet doesn’t hit, he can feel the cold wind current. He procrastinates his exit and unwittingly touches the icy ground as he comes out of the shower and lets out a low grudge. After it dries, he puts on his pajamas, the hottest sweatshirt set he has, and walks out of the bathroom drying his hair with a towel.
Voices can be heard from the room and Jimin rationalizes that Taehyung has come home and probably should be watching some movie. "Tae? Did you eat anything today? I went to the market on the way and bought things to make your hot chocolate with cinnamon. "Jimin asks, and he hears Taehyung cheerfully call his name in the living room and hangs the towel behind the door of the bathroom.
"Did you eat? Did you finish your project? "He begins a new barrage of questions when he arrives in the room. Jimin soon realizes that it isn’t the television that Taehyung was watching but he was talking to someone else. To his great surprise Jimin realizes it was the pool boy.
"Jiminie this is Jeongguk, my best friend." Suddenly Jimin remembers every time Taehyung talked about the boy. From what he remembers, the two were raised together in the same orphanage; Taehyung said that they went through many things together during childhood and adolescence. Taehyung tries not to cite much of what happened, but it’s clear that it’s difficult to talk about it.
Taehyung was excited for the past few weeks knowing that Jeongguk would be studying at the same university and Jimin totally forgot that he would visit today. But on the other hand, there would be no way to know that the pool boy would be Taehyung's childhood best friend.
"Hi, nice to finally meet you, I'm Jimin, the roommate." Jimin says not knowing very well how to behave and how to say to Taehyung that he already knows the boy. When it becomes clear that Jeongguk will not quote the fact, he decides to ask for questions that are more obvious.
"You're going to study what?" He asks trying to break the tension in the room.
"My major will be in Design, but I managed to get in the university through a scholarship by the swimming team." Now it makes more sense why he uses the pool at odd hours alone, Taehyung always said that he was 100% committed to any task and that he’s extremely competitive. From what Jimin remembers, the swimming team meets on Mondays and Wednesdays for training, and Jimin's main reason only to appear on Thursdays and Friday, it's because he knows the club will not get together on those specific days.
"Jeonggukie is a genius, he’s good at everything he does," Taehyung says excitedly, and the appearance of his famous rectangular smile brings a smile to Jimin's face. Jeongguk responds with an exasperated hyung, but he stands an adoring expression on his face as he looks at the older boy.
"He was supposed to be living temporarily in the dorms of the college, but I managed to get Namjoon's apartment for him," Taehyung announces.
"Are you moving in with Namjoon? Good luck with that, "Jimin says jokingly as he gets up from the chair, but deep down he's really wishing luck. God knows the radius of destruction that Namjoon can sometimes attain. For someone who owns one of the biggest personal libraries that Jimin has ever seen, the older boy still has to learn how to deal with surfaces in real life.
"Seriously Jeonggukie, he had once invented to give a surprise dinner to Jin hyung, and he ended up setting fire to the kitchen curtain, clogging the sink and knocking down all potted plants on the balcony when he went to open the window to release the smoke "Taehyung explains as a serious expression. "He's nicknamed Avatar for a year," he finishes and releases one of his gorgeous smiles.
Jimin walks into the kitchen with the excuse that he’ll give the two of them privacy to talk, takes the purchases from the box and begins to prepare the chocolate. He lets out a breath he didn’t know he was holding and feels his heart start beating very fast when he realizes Jeongguk will be his new neighbor.
Which means he'll see the boy much more often, not only because of Taehyung, but because Namjoon is one of the people closest to Jimin, and he knows that the other boy always have the doors open of his apartment to him.
Jimin returns to the room with cups of the drink and the three engage in a comfortable conversation. With Taehyung everything seems easier, he changes the topics smoothly and leaves no room for strange silences. Jimin looks at Jungkook laughing at a daily story of Taehyung and can’t help noticing how handsome the other is again, he has front teeth showing briefly every time he smiles and Jimin notices that it’s the first see that he witnesses the scene. It’s with great misfortune that Jimin feels a lone butterfly shake its wings in his stomach. He recognizes this old familiar sensation. This is bad.
He watches the way Jungkook looks at Taehyung with bright, deep eyes with meanings and promises.
Jimin doesn’t know what to do with the observation.
A few weeks pass by and Jungkook was able, without the slightest intention, to fit perfectly in the social cycle of Jimin and Taehyung. Everyone ended up getting the boy with great ease.
Jeongguk is quiet and isn’t open to conversations most of the time, but what he doesn’t express in words, he applies in actions. He’s extremely intelligent and talented, and it doesn’t take long for him to gain a certain fame around campus - even more so when his set of introverted personality and visuals contribute to his mysterious image.
And Jimin should have seen it coming that the boy would somehow affect him, there is no way that the rare smiles and big dark eyes of the other wouldn’t end up involving him in the end. Jeongguk arrived suddenly and calmly at the same time, he filled the spaces that Jimin didn’t even know existed. The pool meetings remains silent and Jeongguk doesn’t share the same affinity that he have between he and Taehyung with Jimin, even though the two spend enough time together. He wonders if Jeongguk would even look at him if it weren’t for Taehyung.
Jimin knows he should have resisted, fought more, but the war had already been lost from the start. He likes Jeongguk. Maybe too much. Inside his head he fights with himself for his tendency to fall so easily in love, to leave the doors of his heart open without any care, encouraging people to come in and get everything they can before they leave. Two names sets on his mind at the thought, but he takes a big sip of the drink in his hand and tries to forget.
He read in an article once that exist a conditions that’s called the rupture of the deep. Professional divers, often when they reach a certain depth, have the pressure of their nitrogen changed slightly, and consequently they go dizzy in a state reminiscent of drunkenness and later they lose their sense of direction and they can no longer tell where the surface of the water is.
Maybe love is nitrogen for Jimin, that takes away his sense of direction and leaves him lost in depths where he doesn’t know how to swim, make him forget which way is up. People can’t stay underwater for too long without also starting to breathe water, it's a basic notion, which Jimin apparently will never learn. He doesn’t know if he should laugh or cry
And now on a on a Friday night, the door of Jimin's apartment is wide open with several people dance in. In fact, it isn’t the only apartment with the open doors of the corridor: Moonbyul and Solar, Eunkwang and Sungjae and of course the apartment of Namjoon. It seems like half the student body is present in what was supposed to be a small part, no one knows for sure how many people can fit in the four small apartments, but Jimin appreciates that the building is composed of practically only students - and Heechul the landlord of the building, who is also present at the party doing god knows what.
The place is lit by large rays of colored lights, touching and reflecting on the bodies of the people in the rooms, the constant coming and going of their bundles makes everything look more overwhelming. So much happens at the same time that it makes look more like a game of finding hidden objects from a children's book than an adult party. Glitters, balloons and ink neon have arrived at some point and Jimin knows better than to question the kids of the art department. Everything shines, and moves, senior students acquainted with the surroundings and freshmen who seem to leave of a fashion magazine, mingle in the corners and on the dance floor. At some point Eunkwang runs past spreading out glitter in a fairy dress - Jimin will never know how many costumes the other has and why, but at least now he knows the source of so much brightness.
The sea of people moves like one and it is easy to forget the fatigue and the solitude when everything seems so mixed. It's absolute chaos, students talking in corners, crowding the bathrooms - Jimin sighs just imagining the result – and completely drunken people dancing in the hallway.
Jimin can see the some freshmen seems lost in the middle of the hurricane of colors and sounds, and he beings to have bittersweet memories when he remember his first year in college when so much happened. He tries to get rid of the thought by ending the unknown drink from his cup.
He then walks over to the couch where Yoongi is sitting - they have not seen each other in a while, and Jimin blames this on the scheduling conflict, but it's always nice to talk to the older boy who seems to know so much about people despite keep distance. His maturity is fascinating, and it is refreshing to know that though Yoongi is rudely honest and read Jimin as an open book, he still holds a special place in Yoongi's well-protected heart.
He listens with a discreet smile Yoongi complain about the youngsters as if he were an old man and asks how the psychology classes go and realizes that it is a wrong question when another round of complaints begin.
As he looks around Jimin sees Jeongguk leaning against the wall near the living room window and he sees the other refuse something a girl asks him with a small easy smile, but Jimin sees that he remains tense even after the girl has walked away defeated, for a reason the smaller boy doesn’t know how to recognize. Jimin says he's going to get another glass in the kitchen and bids farewell to Yoongi and Namjoon - who had just arrived. Taking one of the cups on the kitchen counter and diverting from a half-fallen boy near the refrigerator, he fills the glass with a suspicious fruit mix and makes his way to Jeongguk.
It should come as no surprise, Jimin should have been accustomed to this, but he can’t help noticing how spectacular Jeongguk looks. He’s wearing a relatively simple clothes: green jacket on top of a white blouse and a deep black jeans that matches the color of his boot. But he looks particularly beautiful tonight, when the lights caress his features with gentle touches, and Jimin can see some glittering scattered across his face - where there isn’t glitter in this apartment? - and he shines so much that Jimin wonders for a second if he should look away with the fear of being blind.
Gathering all his strength and taking a big sip of alcohol, he walk in the direction of the boy.
"Hi Jungkookie," he lets out a giggle as the other jumps in his sudden apparition.
"Hyung you scared me," he says, but Jimin can see that he is still distressed as he stares at something in the middle of the dance floor. Jimin realizes in confusion that Taehyung is pressed firmly against Hoseok, forehead with forehead, their gaze are intense and Jimin can see Hoseok looking at Taehyung as a supernova. He probably is, with his golden skin, bright smile and big ambiguous eyes, everyone who passes the couple look twice in his direction. Taehyung has this effect on people, he’s a mystical combination that you rarely encounter during life. He has a gravity of his own that draws everyone around him and Jimin can’t help but feel a little opaque towards him.
A bad feeling passes through Jimin's body, but he brushes it to the side and with his best smile he tries again to catch Jeongguk's attention.
"I don’t think people go to parties to be sullen, do you want to dance with me Jeongguk?" He asks, trying to hide his nervousness - feeling a little braver about alcohol - and fails miserably when the other refuses and tries his best to hide a face of deception. Now he knows how the girl felt.
"I'm sorry hyung, but I'm not feeling very well," he says as he stares at the dancing couple. Jimin realizes that he’s being quite vague, that somehow seeing Taehyung dancing with Hoseok is making him frustrated.
Taehyung and Hoseok have a somewhat complex relationship. They are both talented and intelligent and one of the best at what they do. Everyone can see that they have a special affection for each other, but both are stern heads to admit that what they own goes beyond a typical friend with benefits relationship. Fear of abandoning and hurting each other prevents them from making anything official. So most of the time they dance around each other. They are afraid that all the energy they both have individually could become dangerous. Taehyung confessed this to Jimin early on in their twisted relationship, one of his rare moments of seriousness
"Are you okay Jeongguk?" He asks, because honestly, the grimace on Jeongguk's face became a bit alarming.
"Yeah, just a little worried about Tae." He responds more gently when referring the rectangular grinning boy.
"About what? Hoseok hyung? They are adults Jeongguk, and incredible as it may seem, they are both responsible and know what they do, it can be difficult to understand at times, but all we can do is respect their choices. "Jimin tries to argue. He knows that Jeongguk cares about Taehyung, they are the closest to one family to another. However, sometimes Jeongguk becomes too defensive and ends up becoming too sharp on his edges, and builds fortresses to protect him and Taehyung that Jimin doesn’t know how to enter no matter the various methods he try to use.
"I know hyung, it's just-" He ends the sentence with a sigh and apologizes saying he's going to use the bathroom. Jimin realizes with great dismay that during the whole conversation Jeongguk didn’t even look at him once.
He leans against the wall and tries to look around to find something to distract himself from the flawed approach to the younger boy. He spots Jongin dancing with Kyungsoo with a satisfied smile on his face, and can’t help but feel his heart clenching inside his chest. What was the other doing here? The cataclysm of emotions begins to take life inside Jimin, threatening to destroy everything he took so long to rebuild. He can feel all the repressed feelings come back with the help of the alcohol, and he lowers his head, walking towards Yoongi with heavy footsteps, his throat is tight and he sinks the nails of his free hand against the palm until he can hold back the tears.
"Yoongi hyung?" He says in a tone of voice that only the older boy would recognize. The reaction is immediate, Yoongi looks up from where he is still sitting on the couch and his face becomes completely serious.
"Where?" He asks, and Jimin nods slightly toward the window. Yoongi puts the glass he's holding onto the table by the side of the sofa and tells Namjoon if they're going to his apartment. When Namjoon agrees, also appearing apprehensive, they quickly get out of sight. Yoongi's apartment is upstairs, so after climbing just a set of stairs they reach the door, the force of the base becomes weaker, but Jimin's ears still feel the loud music.
Yoongi orders Jimin to sit on the couch and when the younger boy obeys, not too soon after Yoongi appears again with a glass of water. Jimin tries to breathe more calmly trying to avoid a panic attack, he focuses on the light circles that Yoongi is tracing on his back and the posters of old hip-hop bands on the peeling walls of the room.
It does not take long for the two boys to put on Stranger Things and put themselves under a cover. They are in the middle of the second episode when Yoongi decides to drop the question that was parading in the air daring to be touched.
"Do you want to talk about it?" And Jimin, now more relaxed, smiles on the older boy's shoulder as he tries to use a disinterested tone that fails miserably.
"Not really, it was more the fright, sorry to have taken you out of the party hyung" He tries to deflect the subject and apparently succeeds as Yoongi laughs, “You did me a favor Minnie”. Their attention turns to the series.
"What about Jeongguk?" Yoongi tries again. Jimin freezes for a second and sigh; he should know that he can’t hide anything from the older boy. "What about him?" He ends up giving in after a few minutes.
"Minnie you aren’t exactly what I would call discreet," Yoongi says in a tone of fact, and Jimin knows that there is no way out of this conversation. "Look Jimin, after everything that happened, I just wanted you to know that it's okay to feel scared by the feeling again, you've been through a lot of things, but I don’t want you to hold blame. Stop punishing yourself for having a heart bigger than your body, you are special and so are your feelings, it’s important to let them out. Just be careful and remember that you are the priority "Yoongi ends by patting lightly on Jimin's hand.
Jimin remembers everything that happened very well.
Jimin on his first year of college took some trouble getting into the rhythm of the rest of the students in his class. Biology was a subject he dealt with easily, but chemistry was the factor that led him to seek a tutor, because he knew if he continued to ignore the problem, this would undoubtedly lead to consequences that are more serious.
Therefore, Jackson, friend of his new eccentric roommate Taehyung, indicated Jimin to Jaebum, saying that the other had some of the best chemistry results he had ever seen - Jimin is not sure how he could believe Jackson's exaggerated performance, but he followed the advice anyway.
The first time Jimin looked at Jaebum he almost destroyed all the Erlenmeyer and glass funnels on the counter, because by Jackson's description, the older boy was supposed to be a stereotype of a medical student.
The two got in harmony quickly and it wasn’t long before the two became a thing, to the surprise of Jimin. Jaebum treated Jimin with respect and attention at first, and the younger boy couldn’t believe that he had managed to catch the eye of a person with such a famous reputation around campus. No one had ever shown interest in the boy before, Jimin would like to pretend he didn’t know the reason, but the malice he suffered in high school left enough evidence for him to know exactly why. They were doing fine until Jaebum started to be more distant, Jimin's insecurity was put on the table in silence several times - and deep down he knew something was wrong.
In the end, Jimin discovered that Jaebum had been cheating on him during months with Jinyoung, his best friend. From what he learned later, Jinyoung confessed to Jaebum after the two began dating, apparently Jaebum was always in love with Jinyoung, and the other was always in love with him back - a bittersweet love story with a beautiful ending, if only Jimin hadn’t gotten involved in the middle. Still, Jaebum couldn’t detach himself from an emotionally fragile Jimin, especially not after Jimin had confessed to him his insecurities, so he and Jinyoung began to date behind his back. Ironically, they didn’t want to hurt the younger, but that's exactly what happened, because nothing compares to the degradation he felt when he discovered that most people already knew about the two. They got what they wanted and Jimin was sacrificed for the price.
Jimin's self-confidence was shaken after that, he wanted to know what he did that induced Jaebum to lost interest on him. Maybe he wasn’t smart enough, or maybe he was not pretty and skinny like Jinyoung. He spent weeks corroding from the inside out, until an old habit showed on his face again.
First he stopped eating the snacks between meals, then came dinner, then breakfast. Soon ice cubes and glasses of water were considered as meals and Jimin shrugged himself trying to prove his worth.
He recalls Taehyung's despair when he finally realized that Jimin's excuses served to cover up his eating disorder and the anger he felt when Jin - senior student at the time - watched him eat until he finishes whatever was in his plate. How frustrated he felt every time Yoongi wouldn’t allow him to spend so much time in the bathroom, or even with Hoseok, who didn’t leave his side for any minute during dance classes. Moreover, he definitely remembers the long conversations followed by screams with Namjoon.
The recovery was long and tiring for all the friends. No one ever leaves explicit how much hard work recovery requires.
There are still relapses and Jimin honestly doesn’t know if he’ll return to be how he once was – before he started degrading himself in high school, seeking to fit into unrealistic expectations. Recovery is hard work, but sometimes he misses feeling sick, Jimin can’t help remember the power he felt when he managed to deprive himself of something that every human being needs, at least there he had control over something. He never talked about it with anyone, not even Namjoon.
When it was decided that good days overcame the bad ones, he felt ready to try forward with careful steps, that was until he became involved with Jongin.
Kim Jongin was everything Jimin never thought he would experience.
Usually when you burn as a child, the pain is so much and inexplicable because you have never experienced the cruel feeling before, that you’ll learn to never want to put your hand in the stove again. But there was Jimin soaked with a gallon of gasoline delivering matches and waiting for someone to volunteer to set him on fire.
They met at one of the parties where the two were trying to hide on the porch to avoid the total chaos they got themselves stuck in. Supposedly, the friends who were meant to accompany them at the party – Taehyung and Sehun, decided they wouldn’t show up in the last minute.
The conversation began with complaints of the stupidity of the social wheels that the two seemed to be part of, but soon a drink turned into a dance that turned into a kiss and weeks later the two established a kind of friends with benefits.
Easy at first when both parties recognized the terms, it was fun; the two had many things in common. But it didn’t take long for Jimin to start feeling chills every time Jongin spread one of his smiles around him, tracing his body with fingers that one day he confused with adoration. Jimin began to want more affection: hugs, kisses, maybe go out to watch a movie, meet friends - they could try right? At some point, Jimin realized that it was love; he remembers feeling mortified by the revelation.
At the same time, he saw Taehyung and Hoseok develop their relationship, watched the way they were so into each other despite the weight of the label that the two of them exposed to the public. He thought that, perhaps if he talked to Jongin, the other man would understand how he felt.
Confessing his feelings for Jongin was one of the most difficult things he ever had to do, not just about the nervousness, but after his failure with Jaebum, Jimin didn’t know if he could deal with another rejection, not after Jongin made him feel good about himself for the first time in ages.
He confessed and Jongin, sweet, affectionate and understanding Jongin, said he felt sorry, but he wasn’t in search of a relationship. That he didn’t feel the same. The humiliation was indescribable, a simple, short, decisive tone, flattened all the hope that Jimin joined with trembling hands and sleepless nights.
A month later Jongin started dating Kyungsoo. The sense of betrayal and inadequacy broke Jimin for the second time. Not because Jongin had fallen in love, but because for one more time, he hadn’t been chosen.
Yoongi don’t have to look down to know that the younger is crying, they have done this many times before.
The final tests are coming and tension enveloped from college becomes palpable. Students crawl around campus and coffee shops that are already starting to make more money. The library is crowded practically throughout its hours of operation. People are beginning to become more sensitive and fights are common among them.
Jimin tries to explain for the tenth time of the day that a certain book had ended in stock, and that the new lots would only arrive by next Monday. After many empty threats and requests begging him to do some miracle, the exhausted student finally realizes that he couldn’t get the copy of the desired book.
Jimin moves on to the next challenge: return the books to their respective places. It would be easier if people put them back where they took them from to being with, but there seems to be a general grudge against Jimin, because he really doesn’t know how people can get half the self-help section along with the cooking books - they stand on completely opposite sides for the love of God.
Taking a long time to sort out some of the books, Wheein finally switches places with him. With a sigh, he goes back to the stationery counter and notes with satisfaction how everything is organized. Wheein leaves everything in order no matter where she goes and Jimin wonders how she can be so meticulous. He’s in the middle of putting all the pots of pens into a single counter when he hears his name being called.
"Jiminie" he hears Taehyung speak in his deep voice, when Jimin turns to greet the other, he realizes that he’s in Jeongguk's company. Jimin's heart races in the presence of the other.
"Oh, Hi Tae and Jeongguk, did you guys come to buy something?" He asks, leaning against the counter, which is now free.
"Oh no, I was showing the campus to Jeongguk - do you believe that he hasn’t explored anything beyond the typical path to classrooms? - and I decided to take a walk to visit you and Wheein "says Taehyung, smiling greatly and jumping on the counter.
"Taehyung, this is the last time I tell you not to climb the counter," Wheein says exasperatedly, bringing colored paper blocks out of the stock.
Taehyung responds maturely by showing his tongue and dragging Jeongguk into the fiction section. Jimin noticing that the store was finally quieter now that the hour of despair had passed, start to looking to the duo discussing about books and Taehyung make dramatic faces. Not long afterwards, Hoseok enters in the room and Taehyung jumps up to meet the elder and end up knocking down, in the middle of the way, a small bookshelf of commemorative cards. Jimin thanks the gods that the store is empty and that the manager decided to leave early.
He hears a low conversation between them and Jeongguk and watches the two try to convince the youngest of something, after a while, Jimin sees what looks like defeat on Hoseok's face - Jimin knows there is a bad mood between him and Jeongguk, even though Hoseok is one of the most welcoming people Jimin has ever met. The two elders of the group leave together after a quick goodbye to Jimin and Wheein.
He sees that Jeongguk was left alone and the other start to walk a way to the balcony. Jimin see that he’s a little agitated and isn’t sure if he should question the other man. Jimin does’nt know what to do around the other most of the time to be honest. Jeongguk kills his curiosity explaining that the two would go to the coffee shop at the end of the street and that he didn’t want to go along to serve as a candlestick for the couple. Jimin agrees, because there is nothing worse than being invited by the two just to be ignored in the end.
"Hoseok hyung says he wants to know me better, but honestly I'm still not in tune with him yet," the boy says absently rolling the envelopes iron on the counter. Jimin holds up the questioning that is on the tip of his tongue and instead he thinks of all the advice he received from Namjoon and Yoongi, and breathing quietly to keep the anxiety, he tries to gain the courage to ask something to the other boy.
"My turn ends in fifteen minutes if you want I can go along with you to coffee so you wouldn’t be so distressed" Jimin offers trying not to let his voice shake or get a very high-pitched tone.
Jeongguk thinks about this for a few moments - which seem centuries to Jimin's anxiety - and nods slightly. "That would be good hyung." And Jimin can’t stop the smile that runs down his face like an uncontrollable illness. Jeongguk sits on one of the sofas near the foreign books section and waits.
Jimin, enjoying that the store is empty, calls a coworker in the children's section before he leaves the counter, he looks for Wheein in the middle of the boxes in the bottom of the stock. He announces that he’s leaving and goes to the staff room, and then takes off his apron and uniform from the store before putting it in his small closet. Putting on his favorite black sweater and curling up with a green scarf he calls Jeongguk who is typing something on his cell phone.
It's spring, the temperature is mild and pleasant. The azaleas in the gardens are blooming; the wind brings scent of different flowers. The atmosphere is quiet and people are beginning to associate the season with romance. Something inside Jimin squirms with the word. When was the last time he could hear the word without shrinking?
The walk to the cafe is quiet, the only sounds seem to come from the shaking of the leaves of the trees and the chunks of conversations left in the wind by the people who pass by the pair, the sun begins to set and trace the environment in salmon and yellow. Jeongguk types something in his phone obsessively and Jimin doen’t dare to break the concentration of the other.
Although the two boys have known each other for a couple months, they don’t have a very close relationship, to the discontent of Jimin who hangs himself to take reactions from the younger boy. Taehyung once explained that the cause of detachment is that Jeongguk is notoriously reserved and tends to keep away from people he doesn’t know very well. But Jimin can’t help but think it's a bit personal, Jeongguk seems to deal very well with the rest of the group, and maybe it's the insecurity talking, but even with the secret time the two spend in the pool room, Jeongguk doesn’t seem to sympathize with the older boy.
Guiding Jeongguk by the elbow to prevent him from bumping into a woman with two glasses in her hand coming out of the cafe, he gently warns that they have arrived. Jeongguk immediately looks for Taehyung with a focused expression on his face, when he finally finds him he walks to the table and sits down on the side of the red-haired boy.
The coffe shop is small - if Jimin remembers well, a local family runs the place - but the ambience is cozy, the floor is made of wood and the walls are made of brick decorated with yellow fairy lights and old idol posters hanging on them.
"Hi Jeongguk, did you end up deciding to come?" Hoseok asks with one of his warm smiles that is answered with a simple nod from the younger boy.
"Tae and Hobi hyung, I hope you guys don’t mind me coming along," Jimin says, pulling out the chair next to Hoseok trying to make the atmosphere lighter.
"Oh Jiminie, Jeongguk didn’t tell you that you were coming along," Taehyung says surprised by placing his cell phone on the table. Jimin realizes that the person Jeongguk was talking on the phone was Taehyung and tries to swallow the bad feeling that pokes his way through the sentence. Did the younger boy at least notice his presence?
"It was a last-minute decision, I didn’t want Jeongguk to suffer while you two eat each other, and before you protest, yes, that happens, I remember several situations that can be used as evidence," he protests.
"It's good that you came Jiminie, I just got a notification that there's going to be a competition at the Melon Club on the 17th of next month, do you think we can do a choreography there?" Hoseok asks, changing the tone from casual to professional voice, like every time that happens when he talks about dancing.
"Choreography?" Jeongguk asks confused and frowning.
"Oh yeah, Jiminie and Hobi hyung are part of a dance study," Taehyung says with tangible pride.
"Dance? I thought your major are in nursing Jimin hyung '”Jeongguk asks, still obviously confused.
"Jiminie's major is nursing, but he's also part of a dance studio." Taehyung responds again, before Jimin can open his mouth, and Jimin smiles with the animation of the flaming hair boy.
The conversation proceeds casually, Jimin gets up to buy some more drinks, and while waiting in the short line, he watches the group scene in the window. Hoseok makes large gestures with his hands trying to explain something seemingly funny to an already hysterical Taehyung releasing one of his silent laughter, he freezes when he notices Jeongguk's gaze.
He’s looking at Taehyung in a way that Jimin has become accustomed to being directed to other people. The expression is light as the little smile on the younger boy's face, but what definitely denounces the action is the eyes, which now looking from a distance Jimin can see that it’s not mere admiration as he had initially judged. He knows this look, is the only one he has observed the other people in the past have received - Jinyoung and Kyungsoo, he reminds with dismay. The epiphany comes as a slap in the face. Jeongguk loves Taehyung, not as brotherly love the exact opposite of it.
Jeongguk loves Taehyung.
Jeongguk loves Taehyung.
Jeongguk loves Taehyung and Jimin can already feel his heart tighten with the pressure of a new unrequited love. He sighs. Again, he did it again; fell in love with someone who didn’t even notice his presence. Jimin feels his self-confidence shake and he briefly asks himself if drinking cappuccino is a good idea after all, but he can compress the calorie calculator on his mind before it becomes impossible to ignore. No, he thinks, not when I was finally getting better.
The internal conflict ends when his name is called, he smiles at the attendant and picks up the drinks and returns to the table.
He tries not to compare himself with Taehyung until the end of the conversation but can’t help but cover his hands with he sleeves of his sweater and put them under his thighs when he sees how sophisticated Taehyung's fingers are every time he takes the cup of hot chocolate to his lips.
After finally finishing the weeks of final exams, the group decides to reunite to celebrate the success of having all managed to survive the period of terror without any very serious injury. The place isn’t exactly what one can call upscale, but it’s nice and consists of a narrow street made up of small shops and restaurants, wonderful for the tight budget of students.
Travel time would take twenty minutes by bus, but they decided to go on foot to save money, moreover, the only car available - courtesy of the Jin – didn’t have room to fit them all. Fortunately, the walk passed quickly with the laid-back conversation of the group and soon they find space in a well-lit, cozy and not too crowded steakhouse.
The beers soon began to been served and conversations became more and more mixed. Harmless gossip began to creep in, complaints about eccentric teachers and chores, stupid students and neighbors, mixed with Hoseok and Yoongi doing a duet of an old Epik High song that everyone remembers the lyrics in some inexplicable way.
"You look nice today, Jiminie, especially in those jeans." Taehyung push a conversation with Jimin while the rest continue to barricade in the background. "Thank you, Tae." Jimin responds as he turns a piece of meat on the grill, not surprised at the other's compliment, Taehyung is very kind to close people, but Jimin acknowledges the ulterior motives in his deep voice in a beat.
"Did you dress like that for someone else? Maybe this someone is a very hot desing student and my childhood friend? "Taehyung confirms Jimin's theory by wagging his eyebrows in a small suggestive tone.
Jimin starts to feel red-faced, and doesn’t dare look up again. Deep down he knows he doesn’t have to say anything for Taehyung to get his answer. Taehyung has this colorful and relaxed personality, but one can’t underestimate the boy when it comes to observations. Strangely, Yoongi attends Psychology and Namjoon philosophy, but Taehyung sometimes gets an aura of peculiar wisdom in his back that blends the two older boys, and theres isn’t a single truth that isn’t captured by him when he gets inside his bubble.
Jimin only prays that his affection for Jeongguk isn’t obvious, and realizes with dismay that it may be by the size of Taehyung's smile. Jimin tries to look disguisedly at the dark haired boy and finds him chatting animatedly with Jin about the qualifiers of the swimming competition that begin next month. He quickly looks away as Jeongguk catches him staring, almost kicking Taehyung as the other man releases a sarcastic "smooth, Jiminie, really smooth." Jimin blames alcohol for his carelessness.
He feels someone pushing a bottle of water in front of him and realizes that Yoongi has an enigmatic look on his face when he turns to thanks him. Jimin asks if there is any problem, Yoongi shakes his head negatively and runs his hand lightly into Jimin's soft blond hair for a brief second.
“Speaking of competition, Jiminie, you and Hobi have already performed on Melon?” Jin asks, remembering about the event. Jimin can feel Jeongguk's eyes on him and struggle to respond without stuttering.
"Not yet hyung, it was supposed to be on this 17th, but many groups ended up being left out because of the short registration period, so the event supervisors decided to change to the 29th." He responds, patting his back internally, for being able to respond without crawling under the table.
"Seriously? That's good, I think I'll be off on that day and I'll finally be able to see your studio performances again," Jin responds clapping. At the end of the table, Hoseok whines and begs for mercy. "Jin hyung I love you and you know it, but please if you do show up, don’t bring your posters," Hoseok asks, joining both hands in front of his face dramatically.
Jimin hears Jin gag theatrically. "Jung Hoseok, I appear to support you morally in your performances with my placards, which I spend hours doing, for you to enter into my house, to step on my good intentions and to humiliate me in front of my children?”
"We aren’t your children Jin hyung" Yoongi interferes with indifferent expression, already accustomed with the nonsense situations that happens every time the group meets.
“Excuse me? But Jin hyung raised me on his back. "Taehyung leaps into the false argument. Jin hyung begins to make hand gestures in a manner as if he were saying 'See?', demonstrating to a non-existent audience the proof of his former words.
Hoseok makes a face of someone who has just seen his dog been kicked or his last fries stolen. "How could you Taehyung? I trusted you when you told me that I had to confront Jin hyung about his posters"
“I'm sorry, but Jin hyung cooks for me and gives me rides on his car when I need to” Taehyung responds as he reaches for the beer bottle on the other side of the table.
"Yeah, but whose dick do you ride?" Hoseok questions triumphantly, bringing the heavy ammunition to the table.
“Extremely unnecessary" Jimin hears Yoongi say and can’t help but laugh with the expression of offense on Jin’s face.
"Congratulations to your level of sophistication Hoseok" Namjoon raises his thumbs. "We can always count on you for the role of intellectual, besides, there is no need for jealousy, everyone at this table knows that Jin hyung also rides me" The table falls in complete silence before a sandal comes out of nowhere and hits Namjoon right in the middle of his face. This time even Yoongi laughs out loud.
It doesn’t take long for a part of the group to become partially drunk and before the situation gets complicated, Namjoon secretly gives a signal to the lady that is serving the table, order water and asks for the bill. After much refusal and tantrums, he, Jimin, and Jeongguk manage to get the rest of the group to rise from the table.
They walk to the bus stop with stumbling steps, Taehyung and Hoseok seem to forget where they are in the midst of they alcoholic stupor and decide to simply start to making out against the glass supporting the structure of the local. Yoongi raises an exasperated complaint "Get a room, no one here is forced to see your cheap script porn." The rest of the group goes on with other complaints, but deep down the scene has become so typical that no one really cares - let alone with alcohol in their systems.
Jimin notices a movement in the corner of his eyes and sees Jeongguk with an inexplicable expression on his face, his fist is white with the force placed on it, through the light layers of drinks Jimin remembers that the boy had never seen the two in action. Knowing is one thing, now having confirmation of the undesirable fact with images is something completely different, Jimin thinks, recalling personal situations.
When the bus finally arrives, the group enters and distributes themselves in the places available. Jimin finds himself sitting with a full of guarded fury Jeongguk, but he can’t start a conversation with the other. He knows better than anyone that he would only be ignored.
There is no surprise when Taehyung announces that he’ll spend the night at Hoseok's house. He says this to Jimin and descends on the spot near Hoseok's house with a brief kiss on the cheek, Jimin can smell the liquor in his breath, and he’s grateful that Jeongguk has his gaze fixed out the window. Not long after Namjoon does the same thing and gets off the bus following Jin.
When they finally arrive at the apartment complex, Jimin separates himself of Yoongi on the staircase. He tries to find the house key in the pocket of his jacket to open the door, when he turns to say goodbye to Jeongguk, he notices the indecipherable expression on the face of the younger boy, before he could ask what the problem was, the other approximated with long strides until he was a few centimeters away. Jimin can feel his heart freeze with the lack of space between the two. The chaos of butterflies lodges in Jimin's stomach when Jeongguk finally closes the distance.
What is going on? Jimin is sure that Jeongguk loves Taehyung, he saw all the symptoms. But maybe he was mistaken? A spark of happiness reborn inside Jimin with the thought. Perhaps things may be different from what happened with Jaebum and Jongin, maybe after all that has happened, his mind have learned to put obstacles where it shouldn’t exist? Maybe this time he can make Jeongguk fall in love with him.
He wants to stop walking with armored glasses all the time, wants to look people in the eye again without looking away before a second, he wants to be desired. Is he asking for too much? Is he being like Tantalus in this situation - too greedy? However, if the stolen nectar causes Jeongguk to touch him again in this way, he’ll be content to descend to the depths of the Tartarus without any complaint.
The kiss is rough, there is no hesitation or care despite the other boy's soft mouth, the presence of teeth on Jimin's lower lip makes him feel a metallic taste, he lets Jeongguk take command of the kiss, and the other doesn’t waste time sliding his tongue and exploring Jimin's mouth impetuously. The taste of alcohol can still be felt in the exchange, and although it has been long enough that the two have become more sober, Jimin is more drunk than ever. Jeongguk's hands slide down Jimin's side leaving trails of chills, he then raises Jimin by the thighs and through the door of the apartment and closing it with the smaller boy's back. The impact brings a pain on Jimin’s back, but at the same time makes him come in contact with the erection of Jeongguk, who stops kissing momentarily to move his lips to the ear of the blond boy with a toxic tone "Can I fuck you hyung?" And Jimin moans softly and responds with a shaky yes.
The journey to Jimin's room is complicated and wild, pieces of clothing and bruises are spread out along the way, when they reach the desired place, Jeongguk throws Jimin in bed and wastes no time opening the legs of the older boy to position himself in the middle of them. Still kneeling, he takes off his shirt and throws it somewhere near the door. Jimin can feel his mouth getting dry, of course he has seen the muscular arms and the defined abdomen of Jeongguk while the other trained in the pool, but now he has the privilege of feeling and facing without being afraid of being caught. He feels trapped in a daydream by the way the moon's light traces the physical length of Jeongguk. He can’’t believe what's happening.
The moment doesn't last very long. Jeongguk simultaneously pulls Jimin's pants and underwear, leaving him exposed to his dark and intense gaze, the insecurity arrives fast but before he can hide completely, Jeongguk asks in a low tone "Where do you put your lube and condons hyung?" Jimin replies that theyare in the second drawer of the bedside table, and realizes too late that along with the other two things he also keeps his vibrator, and feels his face burning when Jeongguk smirk "So you like they big hyung?" He asks with a tone of debauchery as he opens the bottle of cherry lube and watering two fingers. "Don’t worry then," he says, tracing the Jimin hole and finally sliding a finger inside. Jimin lets out a moan.
Jimin doesn’t know exactly how long he has had sex with another person, at least not after the disaster with Jogin. The only form of relief comes from his sections alone with his blue vibrator, but it’s a good feeling to feel human warmth again, especially the long fingers of Jeongguk that reach places in Jimin that he can’t with his short fingers.
It doesn’t take long until he feels his hole become looser when Jeongguk continues to add more fingers. "I- I'm ready Jeongguk, ple- ah- please," he says weakly as Jeongguk abuses his prostate and opens his eyes to see Jeongguk finally take the rest of his clothes off and tear the condom off with his teeth. Jimin slips his eyes down the other's body until his erection and gasps, because Jeongguk was not kidding when he insinuated that he was big, his cock bows proudly to his belly and has his head aggressively red, in addition, he’s also thick, and of course that even Jeongguk cock would look amazing.
"Too big for you hyung?" Jeongguk asks, again succeeding in making Jimin blush and biting his lower lip with his teeth in order to stop any clatter from creeping in even more. "Please Jeongg- ah" Jimin lets out a small cry of surprise when he suddenly turns his back on her belly.
"Hold the bar of the bed Jiminie hyung" he hears Jeongguk say in a tone of promise in his voice in his ear, and this time he can’t stop the whine that get way from his throat when Jeongguk withdraws his four fingers and feels the pressure between his cheeks. The knot of Jimin's hands turn white when Jeongguk enters the tight space and allows himself to be tall.
"Fuck-holy shit, you're so tight" He hears Jeongguk roar and gets his whole cock inside of the smaller boy, Jimin can feel the bruises begin to form of the hard grip that Jeongguk holds his hips. Jimin tries to relax and take a deep breath and after a full minute he gives a signal to Jeongguk to move. And he does just that, starts slowly but soon he reaches an inhuman rhythm that makes Jimin understand why he needs to hold the bars of the bed.
He hopes the neighbors can’t hear what is happening and he lowers his head arching his back and leaving his butt exposed to Jeongguk, he feels bites on his back and groans once more for the presence of sudden teeth on his scapula. The bite is unexpected, and Jimin feels his eyes burn from the pain of the skin being broken.
Now, Jimin prides himself on his stamina because of his dancing, but Jeongguk makes it seem like a child's play with the violence of his thrusts. When he directs it to his prostate, Jimin stifles his cries on the pillow for the lack of mercy on the other.
He takes Jimin by the hips and forces him to find his own. There is nothing delicate about what they are doing, there is no eye contact, and there are definitely no interlocking hands, only the brutality of carnal action. Jimin remembers Jaebum, but soon the name is forgotten when everything becomes uncontrolled.
"I'm- coming" Jimin struggles to warn and before feeling his walls contract against Jeongguk's cock.
Jeongguk continues to fuck Jimin a few more minutes, and Jimin letting out small breaths with the sensibility, can feel Jeongguk cum inside the condom while giving another painful bite in his shoulder. Jimin only have forces for whimpers. The lack of adrenaline makes Jimin feel his body immediately getting heavy and letting his fingers slide from the head of the bed, he closes his eyes.
When he wakes up, he sees no sign of Jeongguk, but the discomfort in his ass and marks of hands on his hips denounce that it wasn’t a dream and tries to calm down by the bad feeling.
It's been a week and Jimin knows he's being ignored, he knows this because he knows the situation very well. Have suffered enough to know when a person wants nothing to do with him. Therefore, it wasn’t to be unexpected when Jeongguk doesn't reply to his messages or when he tries to spend less time in the apartment shared with Taehyung and doesn’t appear in the pool anymore. But just because he is accustomed doesn’t mean that rejection rubbed on his face doesn’t hurt.
Jimin can’t stop thinking if there's anything wrong with him, what's missing in him that does not appeal enough to make people want to stay? Maybe he could get Jeongguk's attention if he was more likeTaehyung? Jimin always ends up wanting something he can't have. A triangle doesn't fit into a place in a square, no matter how hard it tries to shape itself.
He begins to fall back on the self-doubt path and decides that he better focus on his papers that need to be delivered, in case of collapses, focus on something else, he thinks ringing the alarms in his mind that stifle the trail of destructive thoughts. So that's where he's now on his day off, in the college library, practically empty, because people only study with the pressure of desperation brought by courtesy at the last minute.
He focuses on highlighting the most important parts of the research and tries to summarize them in topics on his flash cards, but the microbiology review is bringing headaches and doubts, he tries to contact a classmate to clarify doubts but he note that the phone is running out of battery, he complains internally for not having paused the music.
Jimin manages to finish a large part of his affairs and decides it's time to go home. He organizes his things their respective places, closes the bag and puts on the blouse. When he leaves the library he notices that the water bottle is empty and that the nearest water cooler is in the economy building. It's a quick walk, he sees the drinking fountain and puts his bottle under the tap when he hears a laugh. Jeongguk's laugh, Jimin looks in the direction of of the sound and watches the other chat animatedly with an equally tall boy and showing something on his camera.
It seems that he stares for a long time because not for the first time Jeongguk catches him, and Jimin tries not to cringe when he discovers that this has become a unhealthy habit. This time Jimin is the first to look away, he puts the lid on the bottle in place and walks toward the bus stop, all the stress he's been trying to hide comes to the surface, and he can feel the weariness on his bones. He sort of waits for the younger boy to go after him, but Jimin knows better than that. He thought by now he should be accustomed to the feeling of rejection, but the blow is always stronger than expected.
He waits a few minutes for the bus to arrive, and sits in a window in the last row of seats. Jimin tries to unfold the headphones that were in his pocket, but no matter how many knots are undone, the headset becomes even worse. Jimin seems to be excellent at it, trying to arrange things with the best of intentions but in the end it only makes things worse.
He signals, gets off the bus and walks to the apartment complex. He’s in the middle of opening the door of home when Sungjae appears in the hallway with a bundle of what appears to be beer in his hand and bottle of vodka. "Oh Jiminie aren’t you coming?" He asks with raised eyebrows.
"Where to?" Jimin asks in confusion.
"Namjoon hyung is throwing a party today, he sent a text message to everyone, didn’t you receive it?" Sungjae clarifies. Jimin thinks for a second, before explaining that he was studying in the library and the phone ran out of battery. When Sungjae asks again if he is going to go to the party, he responds that he will think about first and separate himself from the other boy.
Honestly, he doesn’t have the slightest desire to show up at Namjoon's apartment, not only because he's exhausted by the overload content that he reviewed today, but also because he knows very well that it means he's going to have to face Jeongguk, and it’ll be extremely strange to remember everything that happened. But if he didn’t show up at the party, he would have to answer a lot of questions, especially from Taehyung who is sometimes too insightful, and Jimin really does not want to explain himself tonight.
Deep down he knows, even though Jeongguk is ignoring him, he still wants the younger boy to recognize him or at least say something about what happened. Then he makes the decision and goes into the shower, he tries unsuccessfully to ignore the greenish-fingered marks on his hips and a chain of memories begins to pass without permission into his mind, the desperate touches and the ferocity of how Jeongguk took over the other night. He turns on the shower at a warmer temperature as a punishment for how easy he remembers to have melted between the boy's fingers.
The party ends up not being so fussy this time around - except for the colored light globe he knows belongs to Eunkwang - and from what Jimin can see, the people in the room are the friends they have in common, save for some new faces. Jimin can barely take ten steps before a Taehyung appears in his field of vision singing a deplorable version of Bad Romance.
"Jiminie I was almost thinking that you had been kidnapped," Taehyung says as expression as dramatic as his sentence.
"I was studying Tae." He immediately knows that it’s the wrong thing to say, because Taehyung writhes his face in a mask of confusion and asks why if the exams weeks has just finished. By Jimin's luck, Sungjae appears to drag Taehyung when Mirotic from TVXQ! begins to play in the background and he thanks, not for the first time, how Taehyung's attention is so easy to be diverted.
He manages to greet some people in the room before entering the kitchen for something strong, he doesn’t even begin to look when he finds a Jeongguk leaning against the counter mixing some drinks. For all events, Jimin should know by now from Jogin and Jaebum that he shouldn’t follow his heart all the time, that this only leads him to experience various pains, but a look in the direction of Jeongguk and he completely forgets the last week . Formerly he would think how good it was to be able to forgive so easily, nowadays it seems a curse source of several of his problems.
He takes advantage of the fact that Jeongguk hasn’t yet noticed his presence in the space and opens the refrigerator as discreetly as possible until he turns to pick up the can opener in the drawer and come face to face with Jeongguk. They take part in a sort of competition for who can look at it for a longer time, but there is something disturbing in the boy's gaze that makes Jimin divert attention faster than he wants to admit, and walks out of the room without saying a word.
With trembling hands he notices that he couldn’t even open the sealing of the bottle and he deduces that he better dance instead, because he knows if there is one thing that helps him forget the problems, even momentarily, it's dance. Open up by Gallant - he immediately knows that it's Hoseok who put the song on - it's playing and it doesn’t take long for him to feel like entering the zone, the rhythm of the music comes in tune with his bones. He closes his eyes while he feels it with his whole body. His hips move as if they have a life of their own, he suddenly feels two pairs of hands at his waist and he opens his eyes to see himself in the middle of Hoseok and Taehyung, he smiles at Hoseok and throws his head back until it comes in contact with one of the broad shoulders of Taehyung.
Jimin immediately knows that the three are a scene by the whistles that can be listened along with the music. Everything is hot and sweat, but it’s fun to be the center of attention once again, Jimin remembers that the three of them used to dance like that all the time in clubs and parties when Taehyung and Hoseok were not yet an established item.
He tries to get back in touch with Hoseok to thank him for the song because he doesn’t know how, but the older boy somehow knew he was feeling kinda down. But he feels chills on the exposed skin where the sweater slipped on his shoulder and there is Jeongguk again, staring at him ambiguously.
And maybe it's the heat of the moment, or the contact with two other bodies, but Jimin doesn’t run away from the game this time, by contrast he takes one hand off Hoseok's shoulder and slides it through his blond hair, which rises and falls gently down his forehead back to the place, before sliding up to his lips and sucking the tip for a quick moment, before he place it on the biceps of the older boy again. Jeongguk's face seems positively fatal with Jimin's action.
The moment continues until the song ends and Jimin is diverted by a scandalized Jin. "You three have to stop giving a show throughout the party." What Hoseok reply simply saying that he’s just envious of the sincerity of the hips of the three before beginning to sing a completely blurred version of Hips Don’t Lie.
When Jimin returns to look at the space previously occupied by Jeongguk, he sees that the boy is no longer there and can’t help but feel disappointed.
The rest of the party turns out to be the same as usual, embarrassing stories are put on the table, some people get drunk too much, others dance in the available space of the farms called dance floor.
Arriving at the end of the party, Namjoon announces that he will take a Jin - extremely confused - home and the rest of the staff also begins to say goodbye. Jimin realizes with great dismay that Hoseok and Taehyung have disappeared at some point without him noticing, and he begins to prepare himself mentally knowing exactly the destination of the two. Jimin gives himself the task of putting together the disposable cups thrown across the room, procrastinating as much as possible to return to the apartment. He wakes Yoongi in the armchair - how he manages to sleep in the middle of a party is beyond Jimin's understanding, but again Yoongi has two courses to deal with and more of the songs he produces during the middle of the night.
He picks up the glasses and goes to the kitchen to discard them and search for a glass of water for Yoongi, and perhaps explain the situation to the older man in order to spend the night on his sofa, but a hand on his arm prevents him from reaching the sink. Jeongguk invades his space before he can blink, cornering against the balcony and pinning him between his muscular arms.
Jimin knows he should do something, establish a distance between the bodies, question his attitude, and why he had been ignored for a week. Warning alarms are playing in the back of his mind, but Jimin has never been spectacular at limiting situations involving his heart, and ends up losing all thoughts when Jeongguk begins to suck a brand new mark on his neck.
There was the front door closing with a soft noise - probably Yoongi - and the apartment fell into complete silence. He decides to ignore all the rational decisions he should be taking at the moment and jumps on the counter, hands guide his thighs to accommodate Jeongguk in the middle of two legs, and then one of them pulls the sweater off his shoulder to expose the skin of the region for a bite followed by a trail of small kisses.
The siren of Jimin’s brain screams absurdly loud, something isn’t right in this scenario, and he puts both hands on Jeongguk's chest and pulls him away. He draws in a large amount of oxygen trying to get good sense into his mind and pulls the grenade pin.
"Jeongguk I know you like Taehyung" Jimin speaks quietly and if it wasn’t for the emptiness of the apartment, he doesn’t know if Jeongguk would listen. He waits, maybe Jeongguk will laugh and say that he was mistaken, that he confused things. That he doesn’t love Taehyung after all.
The reaction is immediate, Jeongguk freezes, and Jimin knows he has cornered him with the statement. Jeongguk's eyes seem decisively darker and he bears a ruthless and destructive expression. Jimin feels the blow before he even opens his mouth.
"And I know you like me Jimin hyung" He declares without the any trace of surprise in his voice.
Jimin's heart threatens to explode inside his chest, and he wonders when. When Jeongguk became aware of his feelings? He knows that he’s not the most discreet person in the world, but that was just ridiculous. Not for the first time the hatred against himself can be felt at the base of his belly, by how easily he let himself be carried away again.
How long has Jeongguk known that Jimin likes him? Did he already know about this in the party? What denounced him (his eyes? - Yoongi once said they can’t keep any secrets)? Did he hear the conversation with Taehyung at the steakhouse? Did he know the last time they had sex? Oh no, he thinks, he knows exactly what that is. Rebound. His brain offers, the word appearing in large bright red letters on his mind. Beautiful for something so venomous and excruciating, that gives a mocking laugh in his face.
The moment is finished with the low voice of the other. "Yeah, I like Tae hyung, for ages, and I don’t like the idea of him with Hoseok - who doesn’t even know half of what we spend together." The tone is aggressive, spiteful. Jeongguk looks like a lion that has been threatened and is now ready to attack.
"He's unique, sweet, funny, insanely intelligent and I want everything to myself, I know it's selfish and stingy, I always knew that Taehyung was inconstant, switching men every month, so I've been waiting until he finally settle down to confess. But now he's in love with Hoseok, what a fucking joke. Hoseok ruined everything coming first" More knives are put on the table, Jimin cuts his fingertips in all of them.
"Make me forget hyung," Jeongguk demands. But Jimin can hear a certain desperation in his voice. Bitterness, he acknowledges, but he’s not the kind of candy that Jeongguk wants.
Jimin's heart is asking for mercy, the anger he feels is inexplicable, for a second he thinks it’s directed for Jeongguk, but soon he realizes that it is for himself, the envy he has of Taehyung and that he always tried to hide comes up. Taehyung, that make everyone look at him with stars in their eyes and fascinates so easily.
The truth hurts more when it is spoken aloud, exposed in its naked totality in the light of reality. Jimin has always been allergic to truth, which makes his skin burn in flames and laugh at him try to pluck the skin off his body.
He is suffering again from the supporting syndrome and he wants to hurt someone, to cause damage by always being the second best no matter how hard he tries. Jimin wants to feel blood and pain, create a massacre, smell the carnage, want to destroy everything in his field of vision and open his chest with the broken glass he swallows his tears and makes his decision - he will hurt himself.
The lips that meet Jimin are as ferocious as the last time, the impetuosity returns to the scene, fingers tracing the sides of Jimin's arms up to his shoulders, only to slip to his waist in a deadly grip. Jeongguk moves away first, standing forehead with Jimin, and asking for permission to continue with his eyes, Jimin's response is a light toe-ticking of the scalp where his hands are interconnected to the other boy's hips. A hand entwines in his hair and pulls it back hard, exposing his neck and making him come in contact with Jeongguk's complex eyes.
"Will you let me fuck you again hyung? Will you cream my name like a good boy? "He asks knowing the answer.
Jimin never knew how to say no, the cracks and holes left in his soul are put as proof. Jeongguk is asking for too much, he's not caring, throwing Jimin's emotions against the wall and watching them break as he sees fit. Jimin wants to laugh, laugh because he got rejected again, and it looks like he's improving his performance, because this time he didn’t even have to open his mouth.
Someone will be left open tonight in this bloodthirsty valsa and the two know exactly who.
The trip to Jeongguk's room is dangerous, but again, there is nothing safe when playing with storms. The room is dark and when Jeongguk throws Jimin against the light switch, only one of the room's lights switches on, which doesn’t contribute to the dark environment. In the shadows is where Jimin often finds himself, he wonders why people only touch him in the dark.
Jeongguk takes Jimin's outfit with agile hands and Jimin realizes once again that the boy has a lot of practice in what he does - how many people have already been destroyed in these calculating hands? And put Jimin, more gently this time, on the bed. Teeth and tongue meet Jimin's sensitive nipples and he lets out an agonizing groan, Jeongguk keeps doing this until the two are swollen by attention, and Jimin can feel that he is so hard it's starting to hurt. "Please," he pleads with tears in his eyes tearing the other's head from his chest.
Jeongguk stares at him for a few moments before taking what he needs from a box under the bed. There is no gentleness in the way he sinks two wet fingers of lube into Jimin's entrance without any warning, but he soon offers a kiss on the cheek wet with tears as an apology. The precision of the fingers quickly makes the pain in intense pleasure and Jeongguk is everywhere, sinking Jimin with a facility that makes him remember the ocean. Making him wet with tears and asking for oxygen.
"Have you been tested hyung?" Jeongguk asks suddenly in a tone that suggests ulterior motives. "Ye-, I have- oh god- nothing." The truth, Jimin, was abstinent from sex for a long time after Jogin, but he did a test anyway and everything turned out negative.
Jeongguk lets out a noise of contentment "Good, I don’t have nothing too" he clarifies, "Can I fuck you raw hyung?" He asks. And Jimin imagines feeling the cum of the other boy inside his hole and agrees immediately.
The urgency makes the preparation very brief, and Jimin feels four fingers of the other boy being pulled out of his body. Jeongguk turns Jimin sideways and gently warns in his ear "Gonna fuck you now hyung", before penetrating the significantly smaller boy. The position makes him feel tight and he lets out a moan as he feels Jeongguk open it inch by inch, leaving Jimin branded as his.
But Jimin wants to feel pain, wants to be punished for being so fragile to break, to manipulate. "Move," he says breathlessly. And all the aggression very poorly covered comes to the fore. Jeongguk begins with a slow pace, but there is strength behind each thrust. A hand that is supporting Jeongguk is traced to the carotid artery on Jimin's neck and sees a question in Jeongguk's eyes that he responds simply by pressing the wrist of the black-haired boy.
Jeongguk presses the spot while he directs his cock into the soft set inside Jimin, the loss of oxygen that is missing to the brain makes him feel his body lighter, and consequently the pleasure gets more intense, while Jeongguk releases and press the point several times. Jimin can already feel the pressure of an approaching orgasm. "Jeongg-" But he can’t finish the sentence because the hand that was previously around his neck, enters with two fingers inside his mouth. "Suck, get it all wet" and Jimin does exactly that, he holds Jeongguk's wrist and begins to suck vigorously.
Jeongguk removes his soaked fingers from the mouth and mixes with the cumulative precum where Jimin's cock was pressed between his hips, he begins to move his hands in circular movements up and down and Jimin lets out a small cry telling him that he will come. "No, you're just going to come after me hyung, only after I cum inside you. I'll give you something you can be sure you’ll not forget " Jeongguk says, squeezing the base with a strong enough grip, and Jimin cries with the force of a dry orgasm.
Jeongguk momentarily takes his dick out to put Jimin on his back. Jimin catch his breath for a few seconds, before Jeongguk penetrates him again, Jimin sinks his fingernails into each other's arms with the sudden brutality that he starts to get fucked. Sensitivity makes him feel the orgasm approaching once more, and he discreetly tries to slip one of his hands to reach the source of his despair as he feels his arms being trapped on top of his head and Jeongguk deflecting from his prostate. "What did I say?" Jeongguk asks with a fierce expression of being contradicted. Jimin closes his eyes and throws his head to the side.
"Look at me when I'm talking to you" He listens and then he gets slapped in his ass. It’s painful and abrupt, it's a good feeling.
"I’ll not cum, not until you do it first" Jimin tries to answer with a shaky tone.
"That's right, now you leave your hands exactly where I left them." Jeongguk says releasing the younger boy's wrists and catching him by the chin. Jimin feels his lips cut off with the bite he receives on his lower lip.
Jeongguk lifted one of Jimin's legs over his shoulder and if before he thought Jeongguk was going fast, now his determination is demonic. It doesn’t take long for Jeongguk to finally reach his orgasm and come into Jimin's hole with a soft "Fuck" that counteracts with the force of his fingers that draw bruises on Jimin's thighs. He give Jimin’s cock a few strokes, before the smaller boy is coming with a soft moan.
Jeongguk withdraws from Jimin, the room falls in complete silence filled with panting breaths. "I'm going to take a shower," Jeongguk announces after a few stunning minutes. He gets up from the bed and walks out the door.
Jimin feels the younger boy's cum flow between his thighs and not for the first time at night, he feels used. He listens to the water being turned on in the shower and he knows immediately that Jeongguk doesn’t expect him to be in the room when he returns.
Now that the moment has passed, Jimin can feel the weight of the consequences, the tears that threaten to fall are forcibly trapped by the closed eyelids with. He sits down slowly and tries to assimilate everything that has happened.
He realizes that it’s the first time he enters Jeongguk's room. The originally white walls, is now covered with posters with pictures of the sea. On the wall next to the window is a bookcase full of books on various subjects - most notably photography and artistic biographies - and equipment for cameras, Jimin didn’t know that Jeongguk practiced photography, but apparently, there are several things that Jimin doesn’t know about the man.
The room is shocking and intimidating as Jeongguk, the pictures of the ocean promise hidden fury that Jimin has just experienced. He wonders if this is what the sailors feel in the midst of storms when their boats threaten to sink them and drag their bodies to the bottom of the ocean, without sense of direction, with fear, feeling their only fixed point in the middle of a whole chaotic inconsistency be shaken.
He sees a photo hanging from two children and watching for some time he comes to the conclusion that they’re Jeongguk and Taehyung, and he has to look away before wasting any more time. He has already humiliate himself enough for one night, to have to deal with a Jeongguk displeased with his presence.
Taehyung, he remembers.
Jimin picks up his clothes and dresses them quickly, with the same speed as who is running away from something. He finds one of his sneakers in the hallway and the other in the kitchen. He jumps up when he hears the shower water turn off, he takes a short run to the front door and leaves with a delicate click. He completely forgot that Hoseok and Taehyung are in the apartment, he checks with a tumultuous heart if the keys are in the pocket of his pants and panics when he can’t find them.
He really doesn’t want to go back inside Namjoon's apartment, not now that he's sure what he's going to find, so he puts his hand on the door latch and prays that Taehyung has left it open. And it seems that God really exists, because the door is not locked. It's the first good thing that happens in a while and Jimin wants to cry over the discovery. Who would have thought that one day would come that he would be thanking Taehyung for his carelessness.
He enters the apartment and takes a good thirty seconds to open and close the door. He practically tiptoes to the bedroom, opens the wardrobe to look for clean clothes, and crawls into the bathroom.
He’s under the shower, still in shock, when he remembers everything that has happened. This time he can’t stop the tears, and his body shakes with the force of sobs.
Jimin doesn’t know what he's doing to himself, that masochistic tendency that he always turns out to have, that constant gravity toward people who don’t love him back. Maybe love isn’t his forte after all, wanting something you can’t have always ends up being a bad idea, and if Jimin wasn’t king of them, he'd be confused, but it's the third time that he’s being rejected. Fourth, his brain screams correcting him, but Jimin doesn’t want to remember his mother now. Especially not now.
They say love tends to hurt, but choosing to be broken in the middle instead of have to waking up again, seems more like a sabotage. Maybe that's what Jimin is doing to himself, sabotage. It's easier to hate than to accept all your flaws. Hate is always a sensation easier than acceptance. Jimin is still stuck in the first option, where he swore he had buried all his romantic tendencies, but here he was again, with his fingernails mingled with blood and dirt just to open the coffin and find it empty.