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if you like it (put a ring on it)

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Today was the day.


Jungkook fidgeted with his shirt sleeve, running his thumb over the button as he bit the inside of his cheek. Even the clattering of the dishes that came from the door that led to the kitchen couldn’t bring him out of his reverie. It was cool in the restaurant, but he was sweating buckets by now, occasionally having to bring up the back of his hand to wipe his forehead messily. Their dinner date was supposed to start one minute and twenty-eight seconds ago; Jimin wasn’t here. Park Jimin, the man Jungkook was supposed to fucking propose to, wasn’t here to see his boyfriend stammer and shake nervously in his seat.


“Where are you, where are you,” he hissed, running a hand through his hair (the hair which had taken a full half an hour to style, but now it was just a bird’s nest on top of his head.) Jimin was late for a date for possibly the first time in the four years they had been together. His boyfriend’s attendance was always impeccable-- Jungkook was usually the one to run into the room ten minutes late, apologizing profusely and kissing Jimin’s pout away.


Something salty blossomed in his mouth; it was blood from Jungkook’s tattered inner cheek.


When Jimin finally appeared, it was four minutes after six. He smoothed out the front of his shirt as he plopped into the velvet seat in front of his date. “Oh gosh, Kookie, I’m so sorry. I forgot my wallet at work and I couldn’t just leave it there for someone to steal, you know?” He leaned in. “That Taehyung kid in the cubicle next to mine has always looked kinda suspicious. I hope you didn't mind, babe.”


Jungkook shrugged it off. It wasn’t like he was planning on bursting into tears if Jimin hadn’t appeared in the next few seconds anyways, haha. “It’s… It’s fine, hyung. I’m okay.” The full-lipped smile that his boyfriend gave him next was enough to make him forget all about Jimin’s lateness.


“I’m glad, I was seriously worried about you. I got my wallet, though. But really, Jungkook, you went all out tonight. Five-star restaurant? You dressing up all fancy in that dress suit and those black pants? Is there something going on that I don’t know about? I’m used to brunch dates at that lamb skewer stand around the corner. Maybe it was closed today or something?”


“No, no, I just wanted to… make tonight special… no reason.”


He didn’t look convinced, but seemingly shrugged it off anyways. “You could have atleast told me what to wear. I’m stuck with this scraggly old shirt.” He turned his attention to the menu on the table in front of him. “Man, this looks good… this better not be too expensive though, or I’m literally gonna kick your ass. We’re not rich yet, kid.”


It always amazed Jungkook at how fast Jimin could change subjects, at how fast his face could light up and his mood could change. It was one of the many things that made Jungkook fall in love with him, the boy with the raven hair and the shimmering chocolate eyes and the beautiful smile. He cupped his chin in his hands and rested his elbows on the table and just watched, watched Jimin’s ringed finger trail over the laminated page. His Park Jimin. His boyfriend. And then his future husband, if all went well.


When the waitress had arrived to their table, set with a blinding smile, Jungkook was still staring. Get yourself together, what’s up with you today, Jimin had giggled, snapping his fingers. Jimin ordered lobster while Jungkook went for clam chowder. He didn’t necessarily enjoy clam chowder, but it wasn’t like he was going to eat much anyways. (“Jungkook, why’d you order that? You hate seafood.” “Um, I guess tastes change? Don’t worry too much about it, hyung.”)


The rest of the night went by with relatively no casualties, except for, you know. Jimin knocking over a glass of water and having to deal with the angry-ass waiter rapping his fingers on the table. Jungkook taking a cautious bite of his food and choking on it before spitting it into a napkin in the presence of at least ten people. Jimin volunteering to do the heimlich maneuver, and Jungkook denying his assistance while he coughed into his chowder. No life-threatening casualties, at least; and then it was time for Jungkook to hide the ring in Jimin’s meal, like he had seen in thousands of cheesy k-dramas and romance novels (don’t tell his boyfriend he still has those books-- he’d literally die of embarrassment.)


“Hey, uh, hyung?” Jimin’s head snapped up, fork paused halfway to his mouth. “Can you, like, get me a napkin? I think there’s some clam chowder on the table and I wanna clean it up before the waiter comes back.”


Jimin raised an eyebrow. “You have a napkin right in front of you, Kookie--” but Jungkook pushed him away anyways, saying some bullshit like the napkin was already used (even though it obviously was clean.)

Once the brown-haired boy was out of the picture, Jungkook shoved his hand into his pocket and fished around for the ring.


“C’mon, where is it,” he breathed, watching Jimin head up to a passing waitress out of the corner of his eye. He had no more than a minute to get the ring, lean over, slide it into the prongs of Jimin’s fork, and return back to sitting in his seat to pretend like nothing had happened. But-- he couldn’t feel the cold metal of his ring. It wasn’t in the deep crevices of his right pant pocket, nor his left; it wasn’t even in the one in his shirt, which was his last resort.


Cue excessive trembling and a whole lot of cursing. It wasn’t there-- the ring wasn’t there, the ring he had spent two months saving up for, the ring he bought because the jem reminded him of how Jimin’s eyes sparkled whenever he laughed-- it wasn’t there, and now Jimin was heading back to their table with five napkins clutched in between his fingers, and it was just too late.


“Here are the-- Jungkook, are you okay?” But he was already up out of his seat, hands clenched into fists and eyes slightly wet and legs shaking. He mumbled something about having to pee and then pushed past his boyfriend, ignoring his pleas and heading straight towards the double doors with the words MEN stamped on it.


Jungkook had barely made it inside the bathroom before he collapsed against a wall, near the sinks. It took great effort to guide his feet to take him to the nearest stall, where he closed the door with a bang and sat on the cover of the toilet seat. This couldn’t be happening; he’d planned so much, and everything seemed so perfect, and now it was all ruined… why couldn’t he have checked for the ring before Jimin had arrived? Why did he have to mess everything up?


He took a few deep breaths before he took out his phone, punching in digits and putting it against his ear.


“Jungkook! Hey! How’s the date going? Have you popped the question yet?”


“N-no, hyung… hyung, I--I need to--”


“Why are you so jittery, Jungkook?” Hoseok’s voice was full of amusement. “It’s almost as if you’d lost the engagement ring you were supposed to propose to Jimin with tonight or something.” Silence. “Wait, Jungkook, you… you didn’t really, right?”


The boy sighed, and he felt the air between them immediately tense up. “... Wait, oh my god,” was all that came from the other line.


“You were supposed to--to set everything up, Hoseok-hyung! How could you mess something up like this?” Jungkook tightened the grip on his phone. “You were the one that put together my outfit, and I specifically… I told you to put the ring in. I-- I called you multiple times, hyung! Now everything’s just ruined and I won’t be able to propose and Jimin’s going to hate me, and we’ll break up and it’s gonna be all your fucking fault!”


“I swear I put the ring in your pocket, Jungkook-- shit, did you take the wrong outfit? You took the clothes on the chair, right?”


Jungkook stilled, eyes wide, and lowered his tone when he heard the bathroom doors swing open and someone’s feet patter across the tile. “...What?”


Jungkook! Are you in here?” It was Jimin, and Jungkook ended the call with a trembling finger. What was he doing here? Oh god, maybe he’d figured it all out. Maybe he knows how big of a mess-up Jungkook is, how big of a fucking loser his boyfriend is for accidentally taking the wrong damn suit.


He heard the stall doors slam open and the sound get nearer and nearer to him, but he couldn’t bring himself to get up and lock his own door. Jungkook waited until the footsteps stopped in front of him, and he could see black vans peeking out from underneath the metal barrier.


It swung open, and there was Jimin, in all his glory, the corners of his pretty pink lips turned down in a frown. It was enough to make a tear trail down Jungkook’s cheek.


“Babe, what’s wrong?” Jimin was just too kind as he wrapped his arms around his boyfriend’s still figure, all warm and fuzzy, and it was enough to make Jungkook’s heart plummet. His petite hands were running through Jungkook’s black locks, like Jungkook hadn’t just made the biggest mess-up in all of history. “Tell me what’s wrong, Kookie. Why are you crying? Don’t cry, baby, don’t cry.”


“Jimin hyung, I--” he brought up the courage to say it then and there. To tell him how horrible of a boyfriend he was. If Jimin broke up with him, then fine. As long as Jimin was happy, Jungkook would be, too. “I was going to propose to you tonight. Over dinner.”


Jimin pulled away, arms going slack. His eyes were saucers. “Jungkook,” he whispered, but Jungkook couldn’t look at him in the eyes.


“I was going to, but I was dumb and I didn’t bring the ring. Hyung, I didn’t bring the damn ring! I’m so sorry, I ruined everything, didn’t I? I took the wrong clothes and the ring’s in the other one and I chose that ring just because it reminded me of your beautiful eyes, but now it doesn’t matter anymore, doesn’t it? You’re gonna break up with me and I totally understand, hyung. Go ahead, lay it on me. I’m a big boy, I can take it.”


There was uncomfortable silence, where Jimin just stared at Jungkook and Jungkook stared at Jimin-- and this was it, Jungkook thought solemnly, an end of an era, and he’s gonna miss Jimin. He’s gonna miss their cuddle sessions and their shared kisses and Jimin’s cute little button nose, and waking up to the smell of freshly-made waffles and getting a handful of flour in his face after jokingly insulting Jimin’s cooking (even though Jimin made the best damn waffles in the whole wide world.) Or their weekend shopping sprees, when Jungkook would make his boyfriend try out millions of oversized sweaters and coo at how the sleeves went past his fingertips. And Jimin, Jimin, Jimin. He loved him so much-- he would never move on. Jimin was his every breath, his sun and his moon, the only source of his pure, unadulterated happiness.


And then Jimin flicked him on the forehead. And, wow, did it hurt.


“You big fucking idiot,” he sighed exasperatedly, as Jungkook rubbed his bruise, and were Jimin’s eyes wet? “You goddamn overreacting asshole. You made me think something seriously bad happened to you. I’m never going to forgive you, Jeon Jungkook.”


What? Jungkook thought, furrowing his eyebrows. “What?” Jungkook said.


“You seriously think I care so much about a ring, Jungkook? How shallow do you think I am? I don’t care if you threw a brick through our window back home that had a sticky note with the words ‘Marry Me’ written on it in pink glittery ink. I would still say yes, a million times yes, because I love you. You spent so much money on making a reservation at this restaurant, which I was late to, and put so much effort into planning everything and making sure that my night was absolutely perfect. Even you almost dying over your clam chowder couldn’t have made me less happy about tonight. Fuck you, Jeon Jungkook, really, honestly, and I hope you find a dead spider under your pillow when you sleep tonight for making me freak out over you so much. God, I love you so damn much, I want to spend every living second with you and only you.”


Jungkook stared, gaping. Jimin’s eyes were really shimmering, as if someone had taken all the stars in the night sky and gave them to him, and he was smiling. He was smiling so hard it wouldn’t be surprising if his jaw fell off. “Jimin hyung… are--are you saying what I think you’re saying?”


His boyfriend chuckled, shaking his head. “Yes, Kook. Let’s get married.”


Then he pulled Jungkook up from his seat on the toilet cover and kissed him, really kissed him, hands clutching his cheeks and eyes closed. It wasn’t open mouthed, and they’d kissed so many times before that moment; but right then and there, Jungkook knew that this was the kiss he would remember for many lifetimes. It wasn’t fireworks exploding or anything, but it was Park Jimin, and to Jungkook, that was all he really needed.


When they parted, Jungkook looked at his fiancé sheepishly. “I proposed to you in the bathroom of a five-star restaurant.”


Jimin doubled over in laughter, punching Jungkook’s shoulder lightly. “And whose fault is that, huh?”


“Mine,” he admitted easily, the corners of his eyes crinkling.


What a great story to tell the kids.