Jeongguk decided. First, the importance of moving up in the company, beyond the dog-eat-dog chaos of low-rung entry positions. Everyone was desperate for a lick of the higher-up gold. Second, the application of ambition in the pharmaceutical world – “Success doesn’t just happen,” as Yoongi once said.
Hustling off the subway, Jeongguk adjusted his bagstrap out of habit. Too many minutes in the cramped metal tube, and his woolen slacks were now one with his sweaty legs. Wasn’t the weather supposed to be cooler in August? Shoving past boney shoulders and contained body odor, Jeongguk made for large steps up the stairs, up to the fresh air of Seoul.
He needed to stop for coffee first, of course, before addressing the decision regarding his career. The ideas in his brain wouldn’t stop jumbling around like kids in a bounce house until he got some caffeine in his system. So, the thirteen-person line at the cafe in front of his company's building, it was.
Slouching in wait, Jeongguk thought, again, about the call in his life to reach for higher potential. The voice sounded a lot like his father, arms crossed and a hard, stern look of disapproval on his face. Jeongguk didn’t bust ass to get a master’s degree in business just to do the equivalent of a monkey’s job: faxing, copying, forwarding emails, and fetching Supervisor Choi’s coffee every five hours. Intimidation and paying his dues had gotten him this far – which, incidentally, was not very far at all.
The thirteen people line crawled slowly before Jeongguk fished out his phone for distraction, neck tilted down and scrolling mindlessly through selcas on Instagram. He usually didn't double-tap, but Naeyeon’s overflowing bust was tempting enough. His thumb almost made contact with the screen before a sharp jab pushed Jeongguk forward, into the person in front, which quickly caused a domino effect that wobbled through eight people in a row.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry!”
Jeongguk barely processed the voice behind him, smooth and hurried at the same time, because the seven other people in line also turned around simultaneously, probably assuming Jeongguk the culprit. “It wasn’t–” he started to get out, desperate to avoid conflict this early in the morning, before the voice interrupted again.
It repeated, “I’m so sorry.” Jeongguk placed a face to the voice when a young man stepped out of line, bowing deeply to the nonplussed office workers. “I was intimately disturbed by a rude stranger,” he explained, gesturing vaguely to his butt, “which bumped me forward. Please have a nice day.”
The mess of workers seemed placated by the apology and eventually turned back to resume their wait. Jeongguk buffed his bangs, brushing them to the side, and he snuck another look at man who’d slumped in relief, sharp jaw relaxing. Tired, very pretty eyes and rose gold hair. Jeongguk hadn’t seen softness like this guy in a long time.
Just as he was about to swivel away and get to his phone scrolling, a prodding finger poked at his shoulder. He turned to see him again. An office worker, presumably, large eyes peering under a worried brow, morning sunshine glinting off his well-coiffed hair. Very nice.
“I’m sorry I almost got you in trouble,” said the mystery man, usurper of the morning peace.
The line shifted forward three more people and the smell of coffee and magic spurred Jeongguk to nod. “No problem.”
The way the man looked around himself, eyes taking in the surroundings, made it obvious that he was not a regular. Baby blue button-down tucked into midnight black slacks, a thick belt holding it in place around a sturdy figure that probably took a lot of time to maintain. Jeongguk could appreciate that.
“Um,” he managed to say, catching the man’s attention. “Don’t mind me when I ask this, but are you new?”
“Me?” Those wide eyes blinked back at him.
“Yeah. You.” Jeongguk offered a smile, hoping to come off as more approachable, but the awkward tilt of his lips most likely did not follow through. “You look lost,” he continued, watching the phases of understanding creep across the man’s face, which ended in a delightful grin.
“I am,” the man replied and held out a hand. “Jimin. It’s my first day here.”
Jeongguk grasped and shook with a firm grip. Jimin jut out his chin to the building behind the coffee shop – Jeongguk’s company – and said, “Well, I mean, it’s my first day there. Are you an employee too?”
“Yep,” Jeongguk answered, about to extend a welcome. But it was suddenly his turn to order, facing the tired, grim barista who probably wanted nothing more than to leave and sleep away her sorrows. Large Americano with four pumps of caramel, topped with whipped cream. Every day. Oh, and Supervisor Choi’s drink, too – coffee, black and bitter like his soul.
As he stood off to the side, the few minutes Jimin took to order gave Jeongguk time to recoup. Last night, he had finally decided that today was the day to act upon his brooding discontent at the workplace and approach his boss about potentially moving on up.
But damn. Jimin. That ass, though.
Jimin was one of those customers who leaned forward and gave his full attention, hands placed firmly onto the granite counter. This only caused the anatomical curvature of his behind to stick out further, and his slacks appeared to be hand-sewn right onto the full swell, deliciously appetizing.
Concentrate, Jeon. For fuck’s sake.
He cracked his neck to distract himself, feet tapping listlessly. Jimin hurried over to join him on the far side of the kiosk, cheeks bunched high and tinted peach. Juicy.
“So, which department are you in?” Jimin asked, voice bright, and Jeongguk imagined literal stars dancing around the cute slope of his little nose. The morning’s ancient thoughts, momentous and once very important, seemed to puff away in vapid clouds. What was he so riled up about again?
“Oh, I’m in Representation.”
Jimin gasped, quirking his head to the side. “Me too! I’m the new intern. Oh this is great. This is perfect–”
Jeongguk frowned. He felt like he’d crashed-landed into some foreign universe, and all the weightlessness Jimin brought with his introduction suddenly turned very heavy. “I didn’t know we hired an intern.”
“Yeah! Well, I mean, I don’t think Pfizer had an official opening, but I was really lucky to have good connections.”
The barista called out Jeongguk’s order, then also Jimin’s, and the two of them shared a look before grabbing their cups.
Jeongguk’s brain felt dull, dumber than his usual morning grogginess. The steps under his feet appeared larger, looming like a warning sign in the distance. A bad omen, maybe. But even those subconscious signs couldn’t block out Jimin’s shy giggle as he continued to explain how he’d managed to impress Supervisor Choi during an impromptu interview, and was treated to dinner under the impression that Pfizer took all their employees to dinner. He talked with high hopes, voice animated and proud.
Jeongguk didn’t know how to respond. So out came hesitant nods and the occasional grunt. He figured he should probably take Jimin to see Supervisor Choi, but wouldn’t that just be helping the enemy?
“But thank god I ran into you today, because I would’ve definitely gotten lost.” Jimin was beaming at him as they paced down the brightly-lit hallway, tall corridor walls looking important, very much reflective of those millions of dollars Pfizer was all about.
“Ah, I’m sure you could’ve found it. It seems like you have some sense in order to impress Supervisor Choi like that.” Jeongguk guided them around the left turn and past a wall of frosted glass panels, the official demarcation of the Representation department. “He’s not easy to win over.”
“Really?” Jimin was genuinely surprised and slightly horrified, as if he’d stumbled across information he wasn’t supposed to know. “Was he faking it, then? When he gave me the good feedback?”
Waving over to Ahyoung at the reception desk, Jeongguk led them down past the row of cubicles. “Nah. Supervisor Choi is immune to giving out free passes. I’m sure he saw something worthwhile in you.”
Internally sinking, Jeongguk began to dimly realize that his chances of asking for a promotion and actually getting one were fading away with every step Jimin took closer in his immaculately clean leather shoes.
“You’re really too nice, Jeongguk,” Jimin said, shoulder nudging him. “How did I manage to get so lucky to meet you?” Under the harsh fluorescent lights, Jimin’s eyelashes fluttered, dainty and precious. Jeongguk couldn’t bring himself to muster even an ounce of resentment against the man who was looking around like an eager puppy.
“Don’t say that. I’m not very nice,” Jeongguk admitted.
Before Jimin could rebuff, they reached a pair of very important looking doors. The entrance to Supervisor Choi’s office. Or, The Lair, as Jeongguk personally knew it.
Jeongguk sighed. “This it is. You should probably go ahead and introduce yourself if the supervisor is in.”
Jimin nodded, a look of firm resolution between his light brown eyebrows. He looked all bits of a winner, eyes on the prize.
Jeongguk had no doubt that Jimin’s so-called internship position would eventually become something more permanent. Fuck it all, his chances crumbling to dust.
“See you around then, Jimin,” he said, about to turn on his heel, Supervisor Choi’s coffee still in hand. Instead of going in with Jimin, he'd just drop it off later. His morning didn't need more confirmation that Jimin was destined to overtake him in Pfizer greatness.
“Wait, Jeongguk,” Jimin called, and a soft hand circled around his wrist. “I want to pay you back for all your help.”
Jeongguk shifted to look at Jimin, an undeniably attractive man with naturally hooded eyes and sparkling irises that promised a personality that could make anyone want to stay. Elegance in every step, Jimin exuded confidence and charm while being as universally likable as a good rom-com. He’d rewrite the rules and standards for the all-star drug rep.
“Don’t worry about it, really,” Jeongguk reassured, the words tumbling out with unease.
Jimin quirked an eyebrow and glanced down to stare at his feet. “I realize that it must be weird seeing an intern come in with a ‘free-pass,’ as you put it.” He looked back up to meet Jeongguk’s gaze, round cheeks and crescent eyes so captivating and gorgeous, Jeongguk had to dig his fingers into his palm to ground himself. “I don’t want you to think I’m some bratty freeloader, and I want to repay you for helping me.”
But Jimin wasn’t having it. “No, Jeongguk, please.” He grinned and ran a hand straight up through his locks, tousling the styled hair that simply fell back perfectly. “If you don’t let me, I will personally bug you until you do. And trust me, I’m very persistent.” Jimin’s voice dropped down two octaves then, rounding out like the underbelly of a whale, dark and mysterious. Holy shit.
“At least let me buy you coffee tomorrow, same time. And I’ll even drop your name with Supervisor Choi.” Before Jeongguk could insist it was really okay, Jimin was bouncing on the balls of his feet, leveling almost to meet Jeongguk’s height with every tilt. It was almost too endearing, the revving eagerness. Jeongguk felt his composure crumbling to dust.
“I’ll take the coffee,” he said, firm. “But I don’t need your pity with Supervisor Choi. My job is my prerogative, right?”
Jimin’s eyes studied him, flickering across his face for a few seconds before melting back into glee. “Okay! So coffee date tomorrow, it is.”
Jeongguk nodded quickly, then changed his mind to leave Supervisor Choi’s coffee. “I’ll go in with you to drop this off,” he said, lifting the cup.
The way Jimin squared up his shoulders, ready for action, made Jeongguk draw up a subconscious smile. He remembered his first day, too, similar electrifying excitement that pulsed through his veins as he was given his official employee badge, shown to his very own cubicle to call his own, and shook hands with Supervisor Choi. He had been so ready to take Pfizer by storm, to make his dreams a reality. That was four years ago; time had passed like a sneaky poison, and Jeongguk was still acting his part of a secretary’s role, never stepping foot into the right opportunity. Hoseok hyung said it was something like “fear of the unknown” that kept Jeongguk strapped to his comfortable desk, with a stable income and no threats to his name, but completely void of passion.
Jimin came in like fire to scraps of dried wood, consuming and sure to do the right damage to anyone who crossed his path. He would indeed make some waves at Pfizer. Jeongguk could only sit back and watch, sucked in by the undertow.
“So,” announced Hoseok as he plopped his lunch tray on the table, the rattling quickly swallowed by the humdrum of a cafeteria filled with hungry business folks. “Anyone else meet the new kid in Rep?”
Jeongguk chose to keep his mouth shut and shoveled in a big bite of his roast beef. He could’ve sworn Hoseok gave him a side-eye, but also chose to ignore that.
“You talking about the intern with rose gold hair?” asked Namjoon. He resumed slurping spoonfuls of chicken broth.
Hoseok nodded, unwrapping his sandwich. “Yep, that one. Jimin, I think that’s his name.”
Yoongi made a noise of acknowledgement. “He got recruited by Sungjae’s team. I think his brother did a stint here a few years ago and made an impression on Choi. His name was... Park Jihyun? I could be wrong, though.”
Jeongguk looked up, surprised. The name rung familiar. Jihyun – if he placed the right face to it – was a really friendly, approachable and stellar drug rep for Celebrex, one of Pfizer’s most touted pain medications. Jeongguk was pretty sure the guy made his quota without fail and eventually left, but on good terms and a letter of recommendation for his next employer.
“I met him this morning,” Jeongguk decided to voice out.
Next to him, Taehyung chuckled and wrapped a sturdy hand around the back of Jeongguk’s neck, massaging the stiff muscles. “Good first impression?”
“Yeah, he seems really serious about the job.”
Taehyung cracked a large smile his way and gestured to the rest of the table. “Wanna know something wild? Turns out Jimin and I went to the same college and had a few classes together.”
Jeongguk swallowed down the “what was he like in college?” and took another bite of food instead.
“Small world,” Seokjin said, eyebrows wiggling. Despite the impression Seokjin gave, oblivious and loopy at times, the older male was the most observant of human habitus, picking up on cues and using them to his advantage in the rep role. Jeongguk sometimes caught himself admiring Seokjin a little bit too much, wondering how he’d worked up to such a lofty state.
“Too small,” Namjoon agreed. “I swear, being in Seoul feels like we're crammed into a can and sealed off.”
“Quiet down, emo kid,” Hoseok quipped, but his eyes shone with fondness.
Namjoon didn’t miss a beat. “Talk to me when you stop moping about switching out of Viagra.” He shot Hoseok a smug look with raised blonde eyebrows and returned promptly to his soup, slurping even louder. Hoseok giggled, slinking into the faux leather backing of his chair. He’d been sulking around the cubicles lately after getting transferred from Pfizer’s star medication squad to processing reimbursements.
“Kids, kids,” Seokjin said without a trace of sympathy. “Yoongi, bring Jimin to lunch sometime if you get around to it.”
“Or Hoseok, whoever. Stop being a drama queen.”
Yoongi shrugged, a sign of surrender. “Fine, but Jeongguk here looks like he’s dying to say something.”
All eyes fell on Jeongguk, who vehemently shook his head. “No? Hyung, really?” If it wasn’t for Yoongi’s soft doting and intermittent bouts of taking him out for lamb skewers and ice cold beer, Jeongguk might've hated the way his childhood friend knew his quirks inside and out.
“You deflect when you have something on your mind.”
To the left of Yoongi, Namjoon nodded slowly, an impressed look that was borderline obnoxious, but in that way only Namjoon could pull off without offense. It was the dimples, that’s how.
“So you’re not itching to say anything about the new guy?”
Jeongguk huffed. “He has a name, you know.”
“Ooh, defensive about the new guy.”
“Your eyes also gloss over when you’re thirsty, Gukkie.”
“It’s my allergies, guys. Okay?” Jeongguk said, insistent and half blushing. “Could we move on? If I run into Jimin, I’ll invite him to lunch. Happy?”
Taehyung frowned. “He's your hyung, you know. That is, unless he’s been snatched!”
Hoseok stopped midbite and murmured, muffled by his mouthful of whole wheat bread, “I don’t think that’s how you use the term.”
Jeongguk scanned the lunchroom, looming floor-to-ceiling glass windowpanes that filtered in ambient light. Aside from the hot lunch stands and the large salad bar in the middle of the room, round tables flanked the large space, where tittering workers gathered to strengthen social alliances – after all, the rep world was all about connections. Pfizer had invested a lot into corporate team-building strategies, but even those ice breakers and fancy conferences couldn’t break cliques and the need to gossip. Nowhere could Jeongguk spot the sheen of pale pink hair. He sighed into his last forkful of roast beef.
“Then how do you use the term?” Taehyung’s face was turning tomato red, easily riled up when challenged.
“Oh god, what have you started,” Yoongi mourned.
Hoseok was having trouble containing his cackling. “Have you never heard of Urban Dictionary??”
Jeongguk took in the scene of his table, five friends he’d managed to fall into friendship with since his first year at Pfizer. He knew Namjoon from a previous internship and they’d started at the low ranks together, only for Jeongguk to watch on the sidelines as the older male landed a tiebreaker deal. Namjoon had a way with words, with smooth talk that felt natural. He finally converted the impossible doc in Gangnam who previously refused to try out Pfizer’s star medication Lyrica over generic gabapentin for his patients with neuropathic pain. That gave Namjoon an edge over the entire competition.
“You’re holding yourself back, Jeongguk,” Namjoon had said, that moment many evenings ago. They were sitting on a bench along the boulevard just outside the building, where workers frequented for breaks, to get fresh air, away from the recycled flow inside. Namjoon, who was the the most empathetic person in the world, rubbed Jeongguk’s shoulder reassuringly. Except it didn’t feel very reassuring at the time.
“You’ve got all the skills. Better conversationalist than anyone else, dude. Trust me on this.”
Jeongguk had slumped into himself. Tired, tired of rejection and postponements and more halted evaluations. “It’s not like I haven’t been trying.”
“I know.” Namjoon retracted his hand and leaned back onto his palms, flat on the bench behind him. “None of us can predict these things. The higher-ups, they look for something vague, like a magical quality or something, but don’t give everyone a fair chance.”
Fizzy nervousness bubbled up inside of Jeongguk’s chest. “What do I have to do?”
Namjoon took a few seconds to reply, pursing his lips. “I think you need to find out what you really want. Like, this motivational thing, you know?”
Instead of going with his gut response, which was, “No, I don’t know,” Jeongguk bit his tongue and just nodded. The blurry night sky above, midnight tinged with buckets of pollution and Seoul’s heavy presence, didn’t seem to provide any insight.
Before Jeongguk could dwell on it any longer and get sucked back into that familiar self-loathing, he tried to resume his part of the circle’s lunch conversation, which had thankfully transitioned away from Jimin, to discussing the best types of office chairs.
“I swear,” insisted Seokjin with a fist to the tabletop, “the one I have now is helping my lower back pain and carpal tunnel. It’s magic.”
“Uh no, the type of chair isn’t going to affect your wrists, hyung,” Hoseok pointed out. “You need ergonomic cushions in front of your keyboard for that.”
Seokjin pouted. “But it’s working! I promise. We can switch chairs if you don’t believe me.”
Jeongguk's friends worked as a distraction for the time being, so he joined in with resigned humor. They all placed their bets between Seokjin and Hoseok, who would trade chairs for the next week and report back with the results. Seokjin giggled with a wild, knowing look, and Jeongguk guessed that Hoseok was about to lose a lot of money in one week’s time.
It didn’t take long for Jeongguk to run into Jimin and all of his glorious confidence wrapped into a petite frame, ass in his slacks, hot as the blazing depths of hell. Two hours after lunch, Jeongguk made his way to the restroom. He was tired of archiving through old files and immediately perked up after he spotted Jimin checking his reflection in front of the sinks.
He had just enough time to pull himself together before Jimin saw him in the mirror, shooting a shy glance of recognition his way.
He nodded, aware of the way Jimin’s sleeves dangled past his fingers, unbuttoned around the cuffs. Cute, so cute. “And you’re Jimin,” he blurted.
Jimin shifted, one hip against the marble vanity, the easiest, smooth motion that had Jeongguk swallowing back the urge to feel those thighs under his own thumbs. He shouldn’t be ogling the new guy like this; Yoongi hyung would never let him hear the end of it.
Jeongguk scuffed his black soles on the tile. “How’s your first day so far?”
Jimin tilted his head back, bringing a forefinger up to his lips as he thought. Absentmindedly, Jimin swirled the finger along his plush, lower lip, and Jeongguk felt his mouth water, throat suddenly parched. “It’s really nice. Everyone’s been welcoming and helpful.”
“Good, good,” he replied, robotically. “I, um – should use the restroom.”
Jimin straightened up and the sleek shirt bunched up around his toned shoulders. “Hmm.”
Before Jeongguk could make it to the empty stall, Jimin called out, “Oh, Jeongguk? You can call me hyung. And if I have any work-related questions, I can count on you, right?”
“Of course hyung,” Jeongguk squeaked, then slid the door closed. He could hear light chuckles fade away as Jimin’s footsteps retreated into the white noise of the hallway.
Berating himself for number one: forgetting to ask Jimin to lunch, and number two: acting like a teenager with a crush, Jeongguk slumped onto the toilet seat with a groan. It wasn’t enough that Jimin posed the biggest obstacle to Jeongguk’s promotion, but he also had to be the most impossibly attractive thing he’d set eyes on in ages. All of that, on top of the fact that Jeongguk hadn’t gotten his dick wet in several months, swamped with work. He was left frustrated and horny. Not the best combination.
He hunched forward, face smushed in his palms, ignoring the low-simmering arousal that threatened to overtake the rest of his body. Eyes on the prize, he chanted, gotta move on up.
That was enough to deter his primal brain back into normal functioning. He did his business and returned to his desk, although the temptation to pass Jimin’s cubicle and sneak a look at his adorable face of concentration was almost too much.
Waking up the next morning was easy, Jeongguk found, with the knowledge that Jimin was expecting him at the coffee stand. So easy, in fact, that he nearly lost it when the bright red numbers on his clock read 5:08 AM, close to one hour earlier than his usual alarm.
“Fuck everything holy and good.”
But he was awake, and going back to sleep wasn’t an option, if the betraying hardness between his legs was anything to go by. He sighed deeply, trying to reason with his half-asleep mind that he should just get up and take a cold shower, but the vision of Jimin with his radiant poise and perfect slacks wouldn’t stop probing.
Before he could register it, his hand had found itself tucked under his firetruck-red boxers, fisting his cock to full mast. The shocks of arousal flickered through his veins, toes curling into the sheets. Jeongguk wasn’t one for full-blown fantasies when he got off, dimly imagining a pretty set of lips and spread legs, maybe a cute cock or two, but nothing much more creative than that.
Only, this time he could see, very clearly in his hungry mind, the smooth sun-kissed skin of Jimin’s neck waiting to be sucked, the cherry-tinted lips, descending torso and taut, drawn-up thighs, sweat dripping down the musculature to a puckered hole. Jeongguk’s vision glazed over.
He thought of how wet he could get Jimin if he went down on him first, tasting the tang of skin and sliding in his tongue to get him loose. Jimin probably liked having his nipples licked; maybe he was the type who enjoyed the feeling of crisp shirts that hugged his chest a little too tight. Jeongguk could easily accommodate that. He wanted to see Jimin straddling him, chest red from nips and licks.
Tugging at the leaking head of his cock, Jeongguk pulled back the foreskin to rub at the sensitive nerves. Just as his mind descended into madness, imagining Jimin’s blown eyes and wet lips, he shuddered deeply, pressure bursting from overwhelming, strung-out pleasure.
“Goddammit,” he muttered and blinked wearily. The let-down from his high settled plainly around him, skin still tingling from the aftershocks, mixed with shame.
Was it sexual harassment to fantasize about your coworker after just meeting them? Probably, Jeongguk bemoaned, as he wiped up his torso, splatters of cum caught on his ratty t-shirt.
The good news was that it was finally time to get ready for work. He flushed red, fragments of his fantasy still lingering like unwanted baggage. “How convenient,” he sighed and debated how it would be possible to face Jimin in less than one hour’s time. Right before heading out of his bare and sparsely decorated one-bedroom apartment, he did a double check in the mirror. Just in case, he chose a black and white plaid shirt that had gotten him compliments before.
The subway was the bane of Jeongguk’s existence – too many people in a hurry to get somewhere else, forgotten manners. A girl who looked like she should still be in high school was pushing against his back, breasts jiggling against his shoulderblades with every jostle of the train. It was too close to be accidental. Jeongguk slouched and inched forward as much as he could in the tight space, but to no avail. By the time he got off at his stop, he felt the permanent phantom touch of boobs leave the subway with him.
What were the chances that Jimin forgot their coffee date? Jeongguk hustled quickly, eager and torn and almost horrified to face Jimin after he’d so blatantly objectified him in daydream.
As he caught sight of Jimin standing a few paces away from the coffee stand, one hand scrolling through his phone, the other tucked casually into his pant pocket, Jeongguk knew he was in too deep. A serene look danced across Jimin’s features as he reacted to whatever he was watching, glowing and so, so attractive.
It was now or never.
“Hey,” Jeongguk greeted. “Hope I didn’t keep you waiting long.”
Pearly white teeth shone as Jimin flashed him a grin. “Nope, just got here. I’m about ten minutes away, which is amazing for me.”
Jeongguk squared his shoulders as he felt the natural flow of conversation wrap itself around them. “That is kind of amazing. Lucky you don’t need to ride the subway, then.”
They lined up and Jeongguk inwardly crowed when Jimin stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him, body contact bruising and warm between the fabrics. He couldn’t help but notice that Jimin wore a smudge of eyeshadow in the corners of his cat-like eyes, slinky lids that fluttered as Jimin stared back up at him from under his lashes.
“It’s funny,” Jimin said between giggles, “that we’re back in line where we met.”
“You’re right. That was a lucky morning for me.”
Jimin looked pleasantly surprised. “For you? Don’t you mean, for me?”
Jeongguk let the warm bashfulness seep up through his expressions, rubbing his neck with hesitation. “For me, too.”
It was a good thing that Jimin looked equal parts confused and interested, because the barista called for them to move up to the counter, right on time.
“So whatcha ordering?” Jimin asked and nudged Jeongguk’s side playfully.
“Anything you want, hyung.”
Jimin rolled his eyes. “Oh my god, we’re going to hold up the line if you don’t pick soon.” The barista chuckled, then turned away to tinker with the coffee brewing.
Jeongguk crossed his arms, noting with glee how Jimin’s eyes darted to his curled biceps for a split second before slinking back up to meet his gaze. “You insisted on treating me, so I’m putting the burden of ordering on you, too.”
“Great, I've befriended a brat.”
"I'll be your favorite brat, hyung."
After muttering under his breath, Jimin took care of the choosing their drinks. Trying not to stare too much, Jeongguk busied himself with his phone but still noticed how Jimin spoke to the barista – engaging and fiery warm, an instant gravitational pull. He both dreaded and wanted to watch Jimin in action, on the field, in his element. He'd be deadly.
Their feet led them to a bench a few paces away, under the welcome shade of trees blanketing out the autumn skies. Jeongguk remembered two summers ago, he had attended a seminar about effective non-verbal communication. The speaker had waxed on about how 90% of all communication was unspoken – the way eyes met, subtle glances, little readjustments of a tie or the hem of a skirt. Jimin sauntered through their conversation with ease, breezing through topics like a force to be reckoned with, familiar and new at the same time. Jeongguk wished he could keep up as well, but he was more than happy to trail along wherever Jimin was willing to lead.
“Tell me, hyung,” Jeongguk asked, two sips away from draining his latte. “Why Pfizer? Out of all the places you could’ve tried out for.”
“Aside from my brother’s connections?” Jimin hummed and tucked a tuff of hair behind his ears, the simplest thing of beauty. Jeongguk followed the motion of Jimin’s delicate fingers, completely lost in it. “The decision began because of thar. I’d made up my mind two years ago to come here, but my resume was still pretty lame so I had to volunteer at a shitload of places first.
“Right.” Jimin slurped off the rest of his iced latte, making a show of licking his lips. Jeongguk had never felt so jealous of a straw before. “So like, everyone pulls their weight, right? Work from the bottom, up. I did six months at a small pharmacy, counting pills and memorizing labels and black box warnings. The old grandmas would pick up their husbands’ medications because the women were usually healthier than the men in that town.”
“And that was around the time Pfizer released Eliquis as a novel antithrombolitic.”
Jeongguk remembered that time. It had been a highly stressful season at Pfizer. Top executives with frazzled hair and reps running back and forth between hospitals and offices to get providers on board with the med release. Eliquis fell in line as a modern miracle for folks at risk for heart attacks or strokes due to atrial fibrillation, an irregular rhythm of the heart that could cause blood clots. Around the time of its approval, Eliquis had been in competition with two other novel drugs, Pradaxa and Xarelto, and everyone was waiting to see which one would pull forward as the lead favorite. Prior to that, most patients were on warfarin, an ancient drug that required intensive titration of dosages and frequent blood tests to ensure proper drug levels. The inconvenience usually meant that patients skipped on their blood tests – leaving them in a dangerous place to be, prone to bleeds to clots. Jeongguk had seen firsthand, with his grandmother, just how quickly things could escalate out of hand.
Jimin continued, “I remembered watching the pharmacists argue back and forth about the efficacy of Eliquis, how there was no reversal agent in the case of overdose, and that warfarin had been a tried and true drug. New meds are scary, I began to understand, and I just wondered – what if there were the right people endorsing those drugs, providing the proper information? Maybe then people wouldn’t be so intimidated to try out something that might be safer and more effective?”
“Yeah. That’s a huge hurdle.”
“Exactly. So what were these drug companies missing? I reached out to three organizations with my observations: Pfizer, Bayer and Janssen. I made my choice based on the responses I got.”
“Wow,” Jeongguk murmured, a little bit in awe, letting himself drink in the sight of Jimin in the afternoon sun, sitting tall and proud, nibbling on his lower lip. A walking contradiction; how could anyone look so sturdy and sweet? “That’s admirable. I like that story.”
Jimin blushed, refusing to look at Jeongguk. “It’s not anything big. Not like your story, from what I’ve heard.”
“What? My story? What do you know about my story?”
Jimin’s giggles felt like that time Jeongguk needed prescription cough syrup, the good kind with codeine that ended up knocking him out within thirty minutes of slurping down the orange substance. In a drug-laden sleep, he had dreamed of fluffy bunnies rolling around in pink pansies and felt like a bunny himself, burittoed in his blankets.
“You are so unbelievably cute, Gukkie, I can’t believe it.”
“I’m not cute." But Jimin was doubling over with laughter, leaning into his side. “Jimin hyung," Jeongguk protested, his voice sliding higher as Jimin buried his nose into his shoulder, giggles muffled.
“So cute,” was all he got in reply before Jimin finally cooled down and pulled away.
“I’ll tell you the story I heard some other time,” Jimin said as he stood up to gather his messenger bag. “But for now, I can’t be late for my second day at work, now can I?”
Jeongguk conceded quietly, mind tumbling over the possibilities.
Did Taehyung spill the beans about how Jeongguk had freaked out when he was sent to the pharmacy because the condom had ripped (“My dick was just too powerful.” ... “No, Jeongguk. Just, no.”) and his girlfriend at the time demanded that he “pay up” and buy the morning after pill for her? That had been the first memorable experience Jeongguk had with the pharmaceutical industry. Or did Namjoon let it slip that Jeongguk used to play-pretend doctor and pharmacist with his dog at home and bark out orders that needed to be filled? Maybe Hoseok mentioned that Jeongguk had a slight kink for male nurses and would subtly check out the staff when he made his hospital rounds?
Or, it could just be that Seokjin told Jimin the story about Jeongguk’s grandmother, the reason for everything he's pursued.
“Deep in thought?” Jimin booped his nose and Jeongguk realized it was just the two of them in the elevator, four walls of reflective, dark glass, and Jimin’s curious eyes.
“When will you tell me the story you heard?” Jeongguk blurted.
Brief surprise turned into those gorgeous crescent half-moon eyes. “So persistent. I’ll tell you when you take me out for coffee next time.”
The elevator dinged open and the two of them rushed down the immaculate hallway. As they passed one of the main office doors, Jeongguk heard an obnoxious snort.
“Late to work again, Guk?”
He should’ve continued walking, but Jimin skidded to a stop to address the voice, so he didn’t have much of an option.
Chanyeol popped his head out of the door, gleaming hair gelled back in greasy businessman likeness. The man wore suspenders under his suit jacket and embodied every ounce of pretentiousness Jeongguk aimed to dislike in life.
“No, we have –” Jeongguk glanced his watch. “– seven more minutes. And even then, you’ve been late before, too.”
With a roll of his eyes, Chanyeol completely bypassed Jeongguk’s response and turned to Jimin with a snide smirk which frustratingly only heightened his handsome features even more. “Park Jimin, right? I’m Chanyeol. I’ve heard so much about you.”
Jimin shot a quick side-eye before accepting Chanyeol’s open handshake. “Thank you, but I’m really just the inexperienced new guy looking to learn as much as I can here.”
“Don't say that. Everyone’s talking about you and your impressive ass–accomplishments.”
Jeongguk hated his guts.
Thankfully Jimin seemed unaware of what had just transpired. “I really didn't do much, but thank you.”
Chanyeol looked pleased. “Anytime. And if Jeon gives you any problems, feel free to let me know.”
It occurred to Jeongguk that he really didn’t have any achievements to match up to men like Chanyeol – years in the business with suave words and a solid clientele. Lurking desperation began tugging at the edges of his insight. “Isn't there somewhere else you have to be, Chanyeol?”
Chanyeol snorted. “Jimin and I are having a proper conversation. Don’t you have copies and faxes to make?”
“Fine,” Jeongguk muttered, coughing down a “fuck you.” He turned to leave, day already ruined.
“Hey,” he heard Jimin say, but Jeongguk didn’t want any more trouble. Chanyeol was someone he would never try to outdo, and it would be in his best interest to stay clear of crossing the higher-up.
The work day dragged on with little interruption. Solji, the company’s star graphic artist in Public Relations stopped by to ask for Jeongguk’s opinion about her design on the Chantix rebranding upheaval logo. Namjoon texted him a reminder about their group’s upcoming dinner tomorrow night. Supervisor Choi asked for a coffee refill. Just as Jeongguk rearranged his Star Wars figurines for the fourth time that day, he overheard Taehyung, seven cubicles over, screech for five seconds straight. Twelve minutes later, Taehyung skipped over and announced that Yoongi had finally sent nudes after much groveling.
The day could not have been more mundane.
That is, until Jeongguk got a text from Jimin, fifteen minutes before closing time.
The rest quickly followed and Jeongguk was thankful he somehow conjured enough visceral guts to reply in good time.
i wanted to apologize for chanyeol earlier. that was totally rude of him to speak to you like that.
are you ok?
i have to rush home after this but friday, if you’re free after work, do you want to grab drinks?
hi jiminie hyung
dont even worry about it
he’s a douche
im sorry if he bothered YOU
haha he really is
about tomorrow, im having dinner with some of the guys from work? you might have met them already?
they actually have been wanting to meet you too
he bothered me from the second he spoke down to you
is hoseok hyung one of your friends? and taehyung?
i met hyung today, and ran into tae yesterday. we’re college mates
Jeongguk walked home in a daze, nervous at the prospect of meeting Jimin in a social environment so soon. He spent the rest of the evening picking at his microwaved leftover galbi dinner, picturing how Jimin took to after hours get-togethers — would he be a social butterfly and light up the room or would he take the soft, careful approach?
Sleep didn’t come until it was past three in the morning. The taste of regret for staying up late only kept Jeongguk up even later. He scrolled through Instagram for the twentieth time and cursed aloud when he accidentally liked one of Jimin’s old photos, posted 55 weeks ago.
“Fuck!” He quickly unliked it and threw his phone to the wayside, stuffing his face into the pillow and praying for a quick death. It didn’t come but at least he finally fell asleep.
“Jimin told me you invited him to dinner tonight," Namjoon said plainly. On his side, Hoseok snorted before snuffing out the sounds with a french fry.
Jeongguk barely had a chance to put his plate down before his five friends gave him the knowing eyes. “I didn't know you met him, too. News travels fast.”
“As if that surprises you,” Yoongi said.
Seokjin joined in. “Just two days ago, you were brooding, and now you’re the first to invite him. I’m proud of you, Jeonggukie.”
Namjoon spoke up again, scrolling through something on his phone. “I changed the reservation to add him on. You told him the place and time?”
“Of course he did,” Taehyung butted in.
“I can speak for myself, thanks.”
Taehyung ignored that. “So how much have you two talked so far? I’m assuming you got his number already? Gukkie isn’t Golden Maknae for no reason.”
Jeongguk chewed through his kimbap, taking his time and shooting the table an unimpressed look. “Let me eat in peace, please?”
“So,” Hoseok said, scanning around, “what are the stakes tonight, then? Jeongguk gets Jiminie’s ass or else?”
“Really not appropriate.”
Namjoon placed his phone down, its shattered screen somehow still functioning. “I think Jimin is a sensible guy; he doesn’t look like he’d do the dirty on the first date.”
Jeongguk groaned. “Guys.”
“Then what? Jeongguk is already drooling at the thought of him.”
Self-consciously, Jeongguk swiped at his lips with a napkin.
“I bet it’ll happen within the month. Minwoo told me they’re going onto field together.”
“What? We are? Hyung. How do you know that and I don’t?” Supervisor Choi hadn't given Jeongguk any official details for fieldwork, but he had two sets of training DVDs to watch and a workshop about sales tactics next week Thursday.
Seokjin chortled, leaning his face onto his palms. “The close contact, the burning stares. Oh my god, I need some popcorn.”
Jeongguk tried again. “I really don’t think Jimin hyung would be comfortable if he heard you were all making bets about him.”
Thankfully, Yoongi had the decency to appear sorry. “Yeah. He probably wouldn’t.”
The table chatter died down and Taehyung gave Jeongguk a puppy-eyed frown. Namjoon raised his eyebrows. Hoseok coughed into his fries.
After two beats, Seokjin hollered, “But we’ll find out tonight!” and Jeongguk could only let his face dry over in vacancy as he watched his peers cheer and clink their Vitamin Waters in a toast. Some friends he had. Jimin would probably run for the hills when he met them, ugh.
Being nervous, both for Jimin and himself, only made Jeongguk’s stomach upset as the day slunk by – pointlessly, like his damn job. But once everyone had arrived at the restaurant and there was meat sizzling on the grill, it didn’t take long for Jimin to charm his way into everyone’s favor with his infectious mirth and iridescent charm.
“Jiminie here was always the center of attention,” Taehyung boasted, seated on the other side of Jimin in the three-person booth.
Jimin waved a hasty hand in front of his face, where he was mid-bite onto a roll of samgyupsal and lettuce. “Nnnmpuuh!”
Taehyung insisted, fingers slotted with Yoongi, who was slouched at the head of the table.“Don’t be shy. I still remember those times we studied for o-chem. Each time, I lost count of how many people came by just to say hi to you.”
“That’s taken completely out of context, Tae,” Jimin said after a moment. “I helped emcee a huge post-finals rave. That’s all.”
Jeongguk felt the terrible temptation of dreaming up what Jimin would look like at a rave – glittery eyeshadow and petite frame in tight neon, sequined boyshorts.
Seokjin let out a hoot. “Still super impressive, though.”
“Still!” Taehyung parroted. “Every other person would ask for his number, or if he was single, or –”
Jimin hid his face behind his hands, fingers barely covering the span of his forehead. “Tae,” he lamented.
“Were you single, though?” Jeongguk immediately clapped a hand across his own mouth, from which the words had escaped without his intention.
Hoseok hacked a cough into his fist. “Thirsty.”
“Please just forget my existence. I asked nothing.” Jeongguk avoided the coy glance from Jimin, wishing the flames of their grill to just take him away in peace.
“For your information, Gukkie, Jimin was not single at the time,” Taehyung said, and if Jeongguk didn’t know any better, he’d think Taehyung was boasting about his own boyfriend. “But he is now!”
Shamed and squished into the wall seat, Jeongguk turned to press his face against the old wood, still feeling the present stare of Jimin burn into his skull.
“Tae stop, you’re embarrassing him.”
“No, don’t stop,” Seokjin spoke up. “I don’t have popcorn, but I have pork belly. Carry on.”
“May all your drug samples burn,” Jeongguk muttered into the wall.
The relentless teasing roasted on for a few more minutes before Hoseok mercifully changed the subject to asking Jimin about his time at Pfizer. Jeongguk eventually felt safe to return to his meal, dipping pieces of crispy pork into the sesame oil and salt condiments, and into his mouth.
As Namjoon told his side of a misunderstanding with a client, incorporating polka-dotted bikinis and a boxful of lip balm, Jimin inconspicuously moved centimeter by centimeter into Jeongguk’s space. Jeongguk tried to keep aloof, stuffing his face with lettuce, but the cozy press of a thick thigh against his own was hard to ignore.
A hushed, “I’m glad you invited me, Jeonggukie,” blew lightly against Jeongguk’s cheek.
“M-me too.” Jeongguk kept staring at his bowl of rice.
“Won’t you look at me? Am I bothering you?”
Jeongguk rotated quickly. “No! No,” he whisper-screamed and loved how that made Jimin’s scrunched features flatten out in contentment. “I was just... really nervous for tonight.”
“Aww,” Jimin cooed. “You couldn’t be more nervous than me. And everything’s going well? I like your friends.”
“Yeah. Everything’s good. You’re amazing.” Jeongguk wanted to slap himself, helplessly glaring at Namjoon who chortled across the table.
Jimin tilted up so that their noses could have bumped together if Jeongguk dared to move forward. Up close, Jimin was utterly radiant, which came at no surprise.
“You’re so nice to me, Gukkie. I can’t help but like you.”
The stutter in Jeongguk’s chest threatened to double over in speed. He was in so deep already and it had only been – what – five days?
“You’ve got something on your – hyung, let me –”
Before his brain could catch up with the rest of his body, Jeongguk swiped his thumb across the pillowy plump of Jimin’s lower lip. He hated cliches, but when Jimin gasped at the touch, Jeongguk swore that everything else faded to white noise around them.
“Gukkie.” Warm breath floated down into Jeongguk’s palm. The tip of Jimin’s pink tongue slipped out to flick against his thumb, slinky and hot.
Jeongguk really should have put more thought into an eloquent answer, but what came out was “Fuck.”
Somewhere past the fog, he thought Yoongi might have said, “Woah.”
Jimin responded by closing his upper lip around the top of Jeongguk’s finger, taking it in past his lips to suckle. Jeongguk felt the low vibration of Jimin humming into his skin before he pulled away with a pop.
Jimin had the audacity to giggle again, warm and wobbly against Jeongguk’s side. “Was that weird?” he whispered with a pretty pout, lips strawberry pink like gloss.
Across the table of half empty beers, Namjoon interjected, “Fucking weird. But really hot.”
Jeongguk could only nod. He suppressed a grimace at the tightness in his pants.
“I’m so glad I got that all on video,” Taehyung chirped. “Gonna be some good C+ porno foreplay material if you two ever decide to shoot a full one.”
“Oh my god.”
“Don’t worry, Jeonggukie. Taetae will delete that,” Yoongi stated with calm debonair, as if he could ensure it. When Taehyung began to voice his objections, Jimin tugged Jeongguk’s chin back to look at him and surged forward.
Jeongguk tasted all the lingering flavors of the night’s meal on Jimin’s lips, and even though it was the not-so-sexy taste of beer and pork, he licked his way into Jimin’s mouth. He was hungry, hungry for Jimin, to swallow up everything beautiful that he gave when their lips met.
Jimin mewled into his mouth, hesitant, like the way his fingers gripped Jeongguk’s starched white collar. The murmur of noise around them, the room of booths and their very own table of close friends, dissipated away like vapor. Jeongguk pulled him closer, crinkling his shirt, and wrapped both arms around Jimin’s slender waist.
“Damn,” someone muttered, Namjoon, probably. “As happy as we are for you, please take your tongue festivities either to the restroom or to a private residence.”
Jimin quickly tugged Jeongguk out of the sticky plastic booth, ungracefully climbing halfway over Taehyung and into the darkened hallway toward the kitchen area. Jeongguk didn’t waste a second to find Jimin’s lips again, trapping him against the plaster wall.
“Gukkie,” Jimin breathed between kisses, the vowels barely audible between the thick slurp of lips pulling apart. “Is this happening? For real?”
Jeongguk rubbed his forehead against Jimin’s, smooth skin buzzing under his touch like every dream he’d had of Jimin in the past week. “If you want it to.”
He didn’t give Jimin a chance to respond, dipping down again to press against the give of Jimin’s lips, addicted already. Kissing Jimin felt feverishly satisfying, just like Jeongguk imagined it would. “You taste so good, hyung.”
Jimin let out a strangled breath and ran his fingers into Jeongguk’s hair, a little greasy from the long work day. But Jimin didn’t seem to mind as he latched onto the nape Jeongguk’s neck and tugged him closer. The little gesture felt important, far from noncommittal.
“I’ve – I’ve never–”
“Hm?” Jeongguk slid his hands down from Jimin’s waist to the curve of his ass, the expensive synthetic mix texture soft against his fingertips. Jimin curled immediately closer into him, chest arching out, lips parting for a millisecond.
“Wanna fuck you,” Jeongguk said quietly, whispers muffled into Jimin’s neck as he hurried to mark the unblemished skin. Two dark hickies blossomed along Jimin’s collarbone and he felt an undeniable shudder pulse through Jimin’s torso. “I’ve wanted to fuck you since you pushed me forward in line.”
“Just kiss me,” Jimin said, petulant, and pulled Jeongguk up from his marked neck.
“Okay, okay. You’re so hot, hyung.”
Jimin nipped Jeongguk’s bottom lip, laving on it between bites. “You have no idea how attractive you are, Gukkie.”
“Well, enlighten me.”
For that, Jeongguk got a light slap to his shoulder. Jimin’s eyes lit up with glee past the beer-induced glaze. “I’m letting you grope my ass and you’re still such a brat.”
Jeongguk decided to test his luck. “Come home with me, hyung. I can make you come with my cock.”
Jimin buried his face into Jeongguk’s collarbones, so lovable and solid against his chest. Jeongguk wasn’t ashamed to admit that he’d automatically nosed into Jimin’s hair, intrigued by the rose gold sheen. Clammy fingers danced along the sliver of bare skin above the waist of Jeongguk’s jeans, where his shirt had risen up.
“That sounds so embarrassing.”
Jeongguk tipped Jimin’s chin back up to look at him. The dazed look and parted lips made Jeongguk feel fitfully proud. “I have no shame when I get alcohol in me, to be honest.”
“Just–” Jimin paused, leaning back down to mouth along Jeongguk’s jaw, slick lips hugging the taut skin. Fuck, Jeongguk felt his cock twitch, so annoyingly hard in his slacks at the prospect of tasting something so desirable as Jimin. “No actual sex just yet. We can get each other off, if you want.”
“I’ll take it.”
“What a thirsty bitch.”
Jeongguk rushed the both of them out of the restaurant, looking completely incriminating as two disheveled guys ready to jump each other, but not before Taehyung shrieked “fucking finally” loud enough to have the restaurant owner peek out to glare at their table. Yoongi simply nodded, head tilted against the faded red booth seat. Namjoon gave them a thumbs up. Hoseok furiously hollowed out his mouth, using his hands to imitate sucking an imaginary dick, all the immaturity of his teenage years. Seokjin raised an eyebrow and reminded them to “make sure to sure protection!” just as they managed to slip out of the establishment, into the chilly air.
Jimin clung to him, arms tightly clutching his coat, all the way back to the apartment. Jeongguk kissed him solidly in the elevator, fingers already working on unbuttoning Jimin’s shirt. By the time they got past the threshold, Jimin leapt into his arms, thick thighs hugging to circle his heels around Jeongguk's back.
Once Jimin was completely bare under his hands, skin glistening from the day’s work and riled up anticipation, Jeongguk barely understood that this was actually happening. He spent long, drawn-out minutes just kissing Jimin, pinning his arms onto the pillow above his head, a halo of hair framing his flushed cheeks. Then he slowly ground the titanium barbell in the tip of his cock slowly against the underside of Jimin’s.
“God,” Jimin whimpered, hips jerking up to meet him.
Jeongguk couldn’t resist the jest. “Wrong name, but close.”
Jimin was still coherent enough to roll his eyes. “You have a fucking Prince Albert piercing?”
“Mhmm. Like it?”
“Fuck, I love it. I always thought it was cheesy, but I was so, so wrong.”
Jeongguk smirked at that, but Jimin was smarter. Smarter and cunning, and took the moment to lead their hips, taking control of the slick slide of their bodies.
Jeongguk almost choked, spit caught in the back of his throat. “Shit, Jimin. Hyung. You’re gonna make me come too fast. How did you learn to do that?” He glanced between their bodies, glossy luster reflecting the moonlight that fell through the half-closed window blinds. The sight of Jimin’s cock, red and leaking, trapped under his own – two thick, bulbous heads pulsing between their stomachs, almost tipped him over the edge.
“Fuck – Gukkie,” Jimin whimpered. “Feels so good. I knew you would feel so good. Are you going to come all over me?”
Jeongguk groaned and finally gripped their cocks, sliding his barbell along the underside of Jimin’s sensitive nerves, holding them tight then loose then tight again. “Shit. H-how can I say no to that? Could never say no to you.” After that, it took less than a minute more for the simmering heat in Jeongguk’s groin to become unbearable, the need to come overwhelming, and he shot hot and sticky, sliding his come against Jimin’s stomach until his entire body shivered.
“I didn’t know how much I’d love seeing you covered in my come,” he drawled, lips pressed against Jimin’s forehead. He darted his tongue out to lick the drips of sweat and found that he didn’t recoil from the taste.
Jimin giggled. “You are a nasty boy.” But Jimin hadn’t finished yet, cute dick still curved up and slightly to the left. Jeongguk wanted to unravel him, make him just as breathless as Jeongguk felt.
Before Jimin could say a word, Jeongguk had his lips wrapped around the tip of Jimin’s dick, running his tongue around the head in circles. Jimin responded instantly, back arching high off the sweaty sheets, fingers digging against Jeongguk’s skull.
“Ug–guh.” Jimin didn’t say much else before his moans grew in volume, scratchy and mixed with whines that fueled Jeongguk on.
With his empty hands, Jeongguk reached around Jimin’s hips, boney and thinner than he noticed initially, and filled his palms with the plush, pert ass of his dreams. No longer just a fantasy, squeezing Jimin’s butt was the best thing, on top of every other best thing about Jimin.
“Luffrf urhhh ahhs,” he croaked through the space between his lips and Jimin’s cock.
Jimin paused his thrashing. “Wha–”
Jeongguk pulled off with a pop, mourning the drip of precum that slid away. “I said, ‘love your ass.’” He squeezed again for emphasis. “It’s literally the most majestic behind of all of Pfizer. Or Seoul. Probably Korea.”
Even stark naked, Jimin somehow pulled off the demure look, tilting his head shyly to the side. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Let me know if you ever want me to remind you. I, mean, like anytime. In the middle of a meeting, when you’re out on the field, if I’m on a coffee run. Anytime.”
A different kind of flush, coral tinged, filled Jimin’s cheeks. “I’ll take you up on that. Now get back to business. I’m getting soft, Gukkie.”
Jeongguk was in love.
Mornings after hookups weren’t Jeongguk’s favorites. He knew the rules – leave before the other person woke up, silently at 3 in the morning. But this was his own unimpressive apartment, and he hoped that Jimin maybe took to sleeping really deeply. If luck had it, Jeongguk would wake up with an angel curled in his arms, and get a chance to taste his disgusting morning breath.
He held onto sleep for a minute longer, as if he could delay the inevitable. “Now or never,” he muttered, and opened his eyes.
Crinkled sheets, a dent on the pillow, but no Jimin. The message was clear enough. Jeongguk groaned, rolling onto his back to glare at the popcorn ceiling. Jeongguk felt the cold, icy frost of complacency chill over inside of his chest. He felt old, too old for this cat-and-mouse game that he and everyone else dabbled in during their years at university.
Saturday mornings were generous enough to a fault, that Jeongguk could at least stay in and wallow in his disappointment. He’d give himself a few days to mourn, hate his own guts, and then by Monday, he’d be okay and over Jimin’s perfect ass.
But who was he was kidding? That glorious ass would need more than a weekend to move on from. Maybe years, decades. It wasn’t every day that Jeongguk ran into such magnificence captured in a behind. He didn’t even get to rim Jimin, he bemoaned.
Shuffling out of his room, into the kitchen with yellowed linoleum tile and built-in cabinets that came with the apartment when it was constructed in the 1980’s, Jeongguk’s fingers itched for his phone. But it would look too desperate to call Jimin the morning after, so soon, and he wanted to make sure Jimin didn’t feel obligated to put up with his advancements.
He crawled through the rest of his weekend, finally getting around to unclogging his bathtub drain that he’d been ignoring for the past three months. Slept like a baby, caught up with organizing all of his files onto his new external harddrive, and even found time to look into the newest novel drugs that Pfizer was cooking up.
“Productive weekend?” Taehyung asked on Sunday evening. He had invited himself over, showing up at Jeongguk’s door with a Meat Lover’s pizza in one hand (“In case you didn’t get the real meat you wanted on Friday night.”) and two bottles of soju dangling from the other. They were sprawled on an old throw rug in the living room, pieces of yarn breaking off from all its tender years of use.
Taehyung shot him a look. “You don’t sound very happy about it.”
“I only get productive when I’m trying to ignore something important.” Jeongguk rolled onto his face and squirmed into the ragged fabric like a burrowing mole.
“I know. At least you’re honest with yourself. Is it about Jimin?”
Taehyung began stroking Jeongguk’s hair. “Well... considering you left together after sucking face on Friday... I’d assume either something really good or really bad happened.”
“To tell you the truth? Both.”
The comforting gestures turned into incessant poking. “Tell me everything. Dick game strong?”
Jeongguk finally turned back to face Taehyung’s wide eyes. He wished, with spite, that it was Jimin’s pretty ones instead. “We didn’t do much. Just mouth stuff. He liked the piercing, though.”
“I bet.” Taehyung’s smirk was louder than his actual words. “So? What happened? He ditched before you got a chance to clean up? Somehow that doesn’t seem like something he’d do. He’s too soft for that. Even in university, Jimin always stayed the night when he went out.”
Jeongguk rubbed his eyes, sore from living with a perpetual scowl over the past few days. “That’s what I thought. And he did, but he left before I woke up. I haven’t gotten the guts to text him yet. So I have no idea what’s going on.”
Taehyung hummed for a long second before his eyes perked wide, mischievous sparkle in the way his upper lip twitched. Jeongguk didn’t feel very good about what was about to come out of his mouth.
“Want me to text him for you?”
“Aw! C’mon!” Taehyung said, slamming his soju bottle onto the carpet. “I can dig out his thoughts. Be all sly, double-oh-seven style. He won’t even suspect a thing.”
“He’s too smart for that, hyung. Sorry to burst your bubble.”
They finished their bottles and Jeongguk was about to shoo Taehyung out of his apartment before the male looked at him, eyes alight with misconduct.
“What?” Jeongguk demanded, fingertips tingling.
“It’s Jiminie.” Taehyung passed his phone to Jeongguk, screen dimmed down to the lowest setting so it took more than a few moments for Jeongguk to read the blue bubble of text.
hey tae tae, i’m sorry if this is late. but can i please ask for your honest opinion?
Jeongguk felt equal parts curiosity and chagrin to know that Jimin had not actually disappeared off the face of the earth, and that he had contacted Taehyung first – hopefully, about him. “Hm.”
“I bet it’s about you.”
Jeongguk let himself indulge in wishing it, too. “Well, let’s find out.”
The incoming ping didn’t take very long after that and Jeongguk nearly scratched his own nails off the counter at how quickly he scrambled to grab Taehyung’s phone.
okay, this is going to be very random and suspicious... but please just go with it.
how trustworthy is jeongguk?
“Ding ding ding, we have a winner!” Taehyung cawed, arms up in victory. “What should I say?”
“What do you mean, ‘what should I say?’ Tell him I’m the world’s most trustworthy, boyfriend-potential, potential boyfriend! I don’t fucking know!” He growled at Taehyung’s hysterical giggling.
“Okay, okay, calm down boy.”
Jeongguk whined, eyes bulging out of his face. “Please. Just. Don’t make him hate me anymore than he does, if he does. I really like him. So much.”
A wave of softness flooded Taehyung’s features. “Of course, Gukkie. I won’t let your heart or dick down. I’ve been trying to get you laid for ages, but you’ve been too much of a cranky grandpa or just holding onto sky-high standards. Jiminie is bound to fall for you, I guarantee it.”
Jeongguk slid back into the tuffs of yarn and hoped to high heavens that Taehyung wouldn’t fuck up his chances.
Monday morning crept up like an unwanted cold sore but the real world didn’t wait for anyone, and Jeongguk had half a mind to approach Jimin about things. Corner him in the room where the company kept dilapidated copy machines and empty toner cartridges and kiss him senseless. Demand an explanation and puff out his chest with pride if Jimin agreed to officially fucking date his ass.
None of that happened.
Because somehow, Monday was void of Jimin’s rose gold hair and tinkling laugh that could be heard across the workroom. Jeongguk waddled into his own cubicle, dragging his shoes along the spotless tile and stared at his black computer screen. All he saw in his reflection was an astounding lack of ambition. He knew that it was half his responsibility to reach out, the open screen of messages waiting on his phone. He’d dreamt of Jimin last night – dipping his hair into a vat of real gold, eyes crinkled and explaining that he needed to use expensive purple-colored shampoo so the dye wouldn’t fade out. Jeongguk had then woken up with the odd urge to book an appointment at a salon.
Lunch passed, also with no sign of Jimin. The entire half hour was spent with his hyungs avoiding the elephant in the room, chatting about the disappointing Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Jeongguk knew he had to do something.
“You should do something,” Namjoon stated plainly, eyeing Jeongguk.
“Yeah. Thanks for that nugget of gold, hyung.”
Yoongi tutted. “Really, you should. I can't stand when you get all passive aggressive. It's not a good look on you.”
“Don't be so afraid, Gukkie,” Hoseok said. “Jiminie obviously likes you. Maybe he's just as scared as you are.”
“Somehow that doesn't really comfort me –”
“And besides,” Seokjin muttered, “if he hates your dick game, you can just move on. Find another rebound. Easy as pie.”
Jeongguk gave up on defending himself.
Back at his desk, he had his phone out, resolute to text Jimin. He placed it down to the side of his keyboard, behind his cup of pens. Picked it up to stare at it. The on-screen keyboard gawked back at him, knowingly. He put it back down.
Picked it up again.
Inhaled deeply and began to type: hey jimin hyu–
Jeongguk whipped around faster that his neck could accommodate and cringed at the sharp shock that radiated down his scapula. There, Jimin stood at the head of his cubicle, dressed incredibly sleek in black from head to toe, blinking owlishly at him.
“Oh hey,” Jeongguk attempted to play off. “Hyung! I – um, didn’t see you today at lunch.”
Jimin leaned against the grey padded divider. Even with a tired frown hanging off the corners of his lips, he still looked brilliant. “Yeah, I was sent out to do some field work with Dongwoo hyung. Meeting more docs!”
“That’s awesome. I’m happy for you, hyung. Now you can show Choi how much he needs to hire you permanently.”
“You’re too nice, Gukkie.”
“I mean it. Totally, one hundred percent, you know.”
Jimin looked at him; really looked at him like he was trying to read into something deeper under his skin, to grasp something Jeongguk might have been saying beneath all the formalities. Jeongguk hoped he could decipher it.
“You know,” Jimin started, digging his hands deep into his pockets, the fabric tightening sinfully around his thighs. Jeongguk almost forgot to catch himself staring at the curves too long. “Sometimes, I don’t get you.”
“Sadly, I don’t get myself, too.”
Jimin giggled, sending a rush of adrenaline down Jeongguk’s throat. “I mean it. Why are you so nice to me? I’m literally the reason why you’re not getting promoted.”
Jeongguk didn’t have an answer for that, so he shrugged.
“I’m gonna figure you out, Jeon. If it’s the last thing I do.”
“By all means. And when you figure me out, please tell me what you find. I could use the help.”
“I will,” Jimin said. Then he threw a wink before sauntering off, hips swinging, trapped nicely in corduroy that just begged to be petted. Jeongguk was left stunned, mouth agape, with the fastest boner he’d popped since his angsty adolescent years.
A new morning, a new day. The loneliness of Jeongguk’s cubicle wasn’t something new – it had been his home for four years, after all. Maybe those four years were destined to stretch into his entire career.
Running on autopilot, Jeongguk began his routine of monotony, ready to zone out until lunchtime.
He was in the middle of trying to decide whether a red paperclip would look better for this stack of prior authorization papers as opposed to his usual yellow ones. He’d picked up a pack of multicolored ones from the general store and it was now causing more mental distress than anticipated.
Jeongguk swirled around in his office chair, guessing Hoseok or Taehyung had stopped by with a completely non-work-related reason, maybe to show off their newest fidget toy. Instead, he came face to face with the most dreaded man on the floor – Supervisor Choi.
He stood up immediately and bowed. “Sir.”
“Oh, relax, Jeon. I’m not here to scold you.” There was something imperceptibly soft in his tone that made Jeongguk’s hackles rise in defense. This couldn’t be good. He laughed along with Choi, albeit awkwardly.
“Sit, please,” Choi said, gesturing to Jeongguk’s chair. Was this a test? Jeongguk studied his boss, the man much younger than his role would assume. Only in his early thirties, Choi Siwon managed hundreds of employees and conducted multi-million dollar deals on an everyday basis. He wasn’t mean, per se, but staunchly feared for his capabilities. Wearing a pastel pink sweater, he looked less frightening than usual.
“So Jeongguk. You’ve been with us for quite some time.”
Jeongguk thought it best to go along respectfully, with an extra helping of enthusiasm. “Yes sir. It’s been a really rewarding four years here.”
Choi tinkered with his glasses, thin metal half-frames that screamed authority. “Oh? Only four years? Time flies. And what makes you say it’s been rewarding? I’m curious.”
All the red sirens began to ring in Jeongguk’s brain, alerting him to not mess the fuck up. “Well, aside from the great working environment, Pfizer has the best outreach programs. I’ve really enjoyed those opportunities to get out into the community and hear people’s stories about how their lives have been changed for the better with our products.”
“So you only like the part of your job that doesn’t have you stuck in a cubicle?” Choi eyed him intently and Jeongguk was more confused than ever.
“No, no,” he backtracked. “I didn’t mean that at all –”
Choi let out a chuckle. It was the first time Jeongguk had heard the man laugh. “I’m just kidding around with you, Jeongguk, that’s great to hear. It was a trick question; brings out people’s unplanned responses, which I want to see in those I send out as my reps.”
“Sir, my desk job is great, I promise.”
“Did you hear what I said?”
Jeongguk stuttered over the moment, replaying Choi’s words in his head, those I send out as my reps. What.
“What?!” In surprise, Jeongguk jumped out of his chair and Choi followed, face painted in amusement.
“You heard me. Jeongguk, I’ve been waiting for you to come to talk to me about taking more responsibilities in your job. I almost never approach my employees because I like to see them take initiative, which is a characteristic that you really, really need out in the field.”
The words sunk over Jeongguk, dense and unfiltered. He stood stock still, already blinking in disbelief.
Choi continued, “You better be thankful that someone put in a good word for you. If it weren’t for them, I’d still be waiting for you to speak up.”
“Thank you, Mr. Choi, thank you so much. You won’t regret this, I’ll prove it.”
“I’ll look forward to seeing that then.”
Jeongguk was quiet for a second, unnerved. “If you don’t mind me asking, Mr. Choi –”
“No, Jeongguk, the person insisted that they remain anonymous. It’s nice to know that true acts of kindness still do exist in this world, huh?”
Choi left the cubicle not long after that, having explained a few barebone details about the next steps. He’d be placed on probation for the first month, given a quota, and some formal training. “It just takes practice,” Choi said, “there’s no real equation to being successful in this type of work. Some people just have it, and I believe you do. You just need to dig it out.”
Office life resumed back to pre-hookup shenanigans so quickly that Jeongguk got whiplash. It seemed like Jimin had no second thoughts, no awkward hovering or hesitation that pointed to them ever having kissed or rubbed dicks. All was well, but the image of Jimin writhing under Jeongguk's hands had been permanently seared into his brain, so working together was seriously a test of his self control.
There were a few distinctly difficult problems.
1. Jimin wouldn't stop touching him.
“Jeonggukie, this shirt looks so good on you,” Jimin said, running his fingers along the vertical line of shirt buttons, all the way down to Jeongguk’s belt, where they lingered along the metal buckle for a solid five seconds. Jeongguk held his breath the entire time, willing himself to not pop a stiff one in the middle of a work day.
“Thanks, hyung. Your shirts always look good on you.”
“Gukkie stop,” Jimin murmured, turning shyly away.
2. Jimin wouldn’t stop complimenting him.
“Jeonggukie, can you help me remember what the pharmaceutical comparison for half-life and excretion for Aricept against placebo is again?”
“Oh, hold on, hyung. I have the chart in my bag.”
Jimin draped himself over Jeongguk’s arm as he pointed out the plotted points along the infographic Pfizer provided for doctors and patients. “This is so helpful, you’re so smart to remember to bring it.”
With the way Jimin had fixed himself against his side, Jeongguk was forced to reach over his dainty shoulders to put the chart away. Jimin leaned in closer, puffs of breath along Jeongguk’s jaw. Maybe it was his imagination, but Jeongguk swore he heard a little moan crawl up Jimin’s throat as he slid his hand purposefully along his lower back, right above the round cusp of his ass.
3. Jimin wouldn’t stop referencing him.
The last doctor of the day was known for her snappy personality – a fiery woman who hated wasting time, which also meant hated having drug reps in her office.
The white walls were void of the usual friendly photos or diagrams that most offices tended to have, which lent a warmer atmosphere for patients. Spotless, clinically harsh, and Jeongguk wouldn’t have been surprised if his voice echoed in the hollow room.
“Yes?” The woman stared them down, then notably lowered her voice. “Aricept, correct? Please make it fast, I have patients to see.” At least she was semi-polite.
Jimin spoke first, leading the conversation with his endearing eye smile. Jeongguk felt much less tense by the time Jimin’s spiel was done, and apparently, so did the doctor.
“You’re one of the best reps I’ve seen in a really long time,” she said. The cloying sweetness of her voice felt overdone, but Jeongguk held back his judgment. “Will you be coming around more often, um –” her eyes flicked down to Jimin’s nametag, “– Jimin-ssi?”
“Thank you, but I’m far from the best. Jeongguk and I will be stopping by every five weeks or so, or sooner, if you need us.” Jimin tugged Jeongguk forward and clutched his arm.
“Oh, hmm.” Her expression felt flat, much less impressed after that.
After Jeongguk had said his part, explaining a new study that tracked the long-term efficacy of Aricept against the decline of dementia, the doctor looked entirely bored, fiddling with her fingernails.
“You’re done?” she asked, halfway to standing up. “Leave some drug samples for me, please. And your number, too, Jimin.” She waved at Jimin with her freshly manicured hands before disappearing into one of the examination rooms.
As they were checking out, one of the receptionists approached them with a look of apology. “I’m really sorry about the doctor if she made you uncomfortable. There’s no excuse for inappropriate behavior. Please don’t sue her.”
Ever the angel, Jimin offered a smile. “It’s okay, I guess. Is she always like this?”
“Sometimes. She’s always dating a new, younger, trophy boyfriend. Wait, don’t tell her I said that.”
“We won’t,” Jeongguk stepped in. “And if you can mention it to her... that I didn’t appreciate her making advances on my boyfriend.”
“Oh my god,” the girl squealed. “You two are so cute! Rep boyfriends!”
“Uh,” Jimin replied, confused.
“Yep. Rep boyfriends,” Jeongguk confirmed, sliding an arm around Jimin’s waist to press him closer. He could feel Jimin squirming under all the attention.
“Please come back again, even if you don’t have an appointment with the doc. We’d love to see you two. So cute!” the girl repeated.
After they escaped the office, Jimin stayed tucked into Jeongguk’s side. It took every ounce of willpower for Jeongguk not to press Jimin against the old elevator doors covered in faux wood wallpaper and kiss him senseless.
“I’m not going to question what just happened,” Jimin chirped, a happy pep in his step.
“And I won’t answer.” Jeongguk was thrilled to have Jimin’s hip flush against his own, matching his stride as they walked along the congested street together, looking like any other couple in the world.
Dinner as a group again felt infectious, the low yellow lighting in the room like a Snapchat filter, highlighting Jimin’s cheekbones when he laughed, or flashing in Yoongi’s eyes when he made a snarky comment about the doctor from earlier that day. Jeongguk, between sips of beer and chortling at Seokjin’s jokes, felt the sinking feeling of knowing that things were too good to be true. Having his closest friends who also happened to be the ones he got to work with, and Jimin just the tiniest distance away, dancing this line of unspoken boundaries – Jeongguk wondered what last straw would break the camel’s back.
“And then,” Hoseok chimed in, feeding off of Namjoon’s energy, “Joonie here just gaped at him. No one said anything for at least a full minute. Even the patients in the waiting room were staring at us; including the crying babies!”
Taehyung was nearly in tears, silently thrashing in the wooden seats, head buried into Yoongi’s shoulder.
Namjoon waved his hands around. “I honestly didn’t know what to say. Like, what the fuck happened to professionalism?”
“Professionalism hasn’t been around in decades,” Seokjin mourned.
Jeongguk nodded, feeling Jimin’s giggles reverberate between the clothing that barely kept them apart. From the moment they were seated, Jimin had been all over him, fingers tracing the hem of Jeongguk’s shirt, stroking the loose strands of hair behind his neck, pushing his firm chest against Jeongguk’s shoulder.
As they ordered more rounds of alcohol, Jeongguk had avowed to go with it, slinging an arm around Jimin to wrangle him closer. The way Jimin’s eyes lit up, sparkling like he’d won the lottery, only urged Jeongguk further to rest his other hand on Jimin’s upper thigh. The firm flesh contracted under his grip and Jeongguk let himself indulge in squeezing it, rubbing his thumb higher and higher in slow motion. Underneath the loud raucous of middle-aged men crowding the diner after a day’s work, Jeongguk clearly heard the sharp breaths from Jimin’s slightly parted lips.
“Guys, please keep it in your pants until at least we’ve finished eating,” Hoseok said, unfazed.
“You’re just jealous that they’re cuter than you two,” Taehyung said in his sing-song voice. Yoongi just looked at him with a half-smile and fond eyes.
“Rude. Joonie, back me up here.”
Namjoon huffed. “Babe, we don’t have to prove our cuteness. It’s not our thing, anyway. Here, open up, my Sunshine.” He pushed a bite of fried squid in front of Hoseok’s face, which seemed to pacify him.
“I didn’t want Jimin to join us for dinner just to end up seventh-wheeling,” Seokjin said into the mouth of his glass.
“Yeah, sorry, hyung,” Jeongguk repeated. Seokjin just rolled his eyes and grinned.
“Hyung,” Taehyung said in a coy voice, “If you want to join Yoongi hyung and me tonight, please consider the invitation.”
Seokjin turned an unsightly shade of red. “Brats. We promised to never speak of that.”
“I’m not going to even ask.”
“Well, there was this one night –” Taehyung wasn’t able to finish before Yoongi slapped a hand over his mouth, words muffled but something suspiciously close to “threesome” filtering out.
Jimin let out an excited snicker, a full-bodied laugh falling back against the chair, which also pulled Jeongguk backwards. “Oh my god, I can’t help but picture it.”
“Please don’t picture it,” Yoongi said sourly.
Seokjin nodded. “Let’s move on, shall we?”
The rest of the evening was successful in keeping Taehyung placated with Yoongi’s subtle doting, the threesome fiasco was left unspoken. What did happen, though, was that Jeongguk couldn’t keep himself still, lost in Jimin’s dark stares and wandering hands. Between sharing bites of food on the same plate and ignoring Namjoon’s teasing, Jeongguk peppered soft kisses along Jimin’s forehead, surprising himself with his forwardness. Jimin melted, fingers under Jeongguk’s shirt, tracing patterns along his tense abdomen, never touching below the belt.
“Okay, you horndogs, get out of here,” Seokjin finally said as their plates got cleared away.
“Thank fuck. I’m getting blue balls just being around you two,” Taehyung whined.
Jeongguk didn’t need to be told twice.
Getting back to his apartment was like a deleted scene in the movie, unimportant and wasted time. When they tumbled into bed, Jeongguk intwined his fingers into Jimin’s hair, admiring the way rose gold clashed with his tanned skin, and tugged him off the pillow to meet his lips, kissing fiercely. Jimin met him halfway, clutching his sweaty sides, and moaned loudly just as Jeongguk slid his tongue past Jimin’s lips, tasting sweet and deep.
“I wanted you all this time,” Jimin whispered, breath hot and heavy.
“Me too. Why did you leave me that morning?”
Jimin nudged his nose against Jeongguk’s as a soft gesture. “I’m sorry. You know I’m sorry, Jeonggukie. I panicked when I woke up and saw how gorgeously peaceful you looked. I wanted to wake up to that over and over and it scared me so much.”
“Yeah,” was all Jeongguk could say before capturing Jimin’s lips again. He dove down after a few more kisses, to lave against Jimin’s neck, nipping the skin he’d dreamed of for nights on end.
“Are you gonna really fuck me tonight, Gukkie?”
Jeongguk paused and rose up to look at Jimin. “I want to do whatever you want to do.”
Jimin’s answer was to slide his hands between Jeongguk’s legs, nudging against his erection, still clothed under black Calvin Klein briefs. “I want it.”
Jeongguk scrambled, sitting up slightly so that Jimin could shuffle out of his shirt. He followed the same, admiring the shifting muscles of Jimin’s chest and arms. When he dropped back down to hover over Jimin, the man was smirking something deadly.
“Checking me out?”
“Always. Especially when you walk by my cubicle at work.”
“Yo–you’re my first, you know. The first guy, at least.” Jimin wiggled under his grip as Jeongguk licked down his neck, down to run a trail of saliva across his pectorals. Jeongguk hummed, and captured a nipple between his lips, wringing out Jimin’s lovely groans.
“Am I?” Jeongguk breathed against Jimin’s heaving chest. “Are you sure you want to? With me, I mean. Now.” When Jimin didn’t reply right away, he bit down lightly for emphasis.
Jimin squeaked, and brought a hand to grip Jeongguk’s hair. “I didn’t know I’d be into biting.”
Jeongguk grinned. “And you call me a nasty boy.”
“Fuck you, Gukkie. Really, we were talking about something serious.”
Jeongguk flicked his tongue against Jimin’s nipple again, the pinkness spreading through the flush across his chest. He replaced his tongue with his fingers and rubbed them, shifting up to nose along Jimin’s jaw again. “We can still be serious, hyung. Tell me what you really want. I won’t hold it against you if we stop. You’re too hot for me to ignore even if I wanted to.”
“You’re not making this easy.” The indignation in Jimin’s voice was clouded by the moan at the end when Jeongguk rolled his hips down. “I–I want it. Really.”
Jeongguk pulled away to stare at Jimin. He could count the lashes that framed his gorgeous, hooded eyes. He wanted to stay this close for longer than one night. But he would take whatever Jimin was willing to give him. “Me too.”
Getting the rest of their clothes off took longer than necessary, with drawn-out, hungry lips pressing kisses in places light rarely hit, along the side of Jimin’s abdomen, inside the middle of his thighs, down the ridges of his spine. Jimin’s breathy moans sounded like the soundtrack to Jeongguk’s missing summer, the ultimate fling he’d pined for and wished he could keep, tucked away forever.
“Here we are again,” Jeongguk quipped, nestling himself against the headboard, guiding Jimin to straddle his hips. The simple stretch of Jimin’s thighs across his own made the firm muscles bulge like crazy. He wanted to bite them. He settled for digging his nails into the skin instead.
Jimin whimpered, light and airy onto his lips. Jeongguk quickly chased after them to suck on the swollen lower one. “You have a fixation with my thighs, I’ve noticed,” Jimin said.
“I really do.”
“They’re not that special.”
Jeongguk frowned, smoothing his palms over the nail marks. “Are we talking about the same thunder thighs? Because if we are, I want to let you know I’ve been haunted by them in my dreams. My dying wish is to go by you choking me with them.”
The bottle of lube lay to Jeongguk’s side, and only then did he notice Jimin was toying with it, flicking his nails along the plastic.
“I’m fine, Gukkie. I’m just wondering if you want to finger me for a bit, or if it’ll be less awkward if I do it myself.”
“I did some research, of course. And like... asked Hoseok hyung what worked best for him–”
“Let’s not talk about Hoseok hyung when we’re about to bone.”
Jimin let out an airy laugh, clearing the heavy uncertainty around them. “Well, I had to get some firsthand opinions, you know.”
Jeongguk could only snicker in reply. He kissed Jimin, once, twice. “Hyung, you don’t have to bottom. I’m down if you want to top.”
“What? No, no – I mean –”
The pulsing in Jeongguk’s groin plateaued into a low simmer, and Jeongguk confirmed that his erection had slid down to halfmast. But it wasn’t important. Jimin was important.
“Why did you assume I’d top? I mean – I know I said I wanted to fuck you, but that was my dick talking. I meant like... I want to be with you. Do shit with you. I’m happy with whatever you want to do. Didn’t I say that earlier?”
Jimin’s lower lip began to wobble. “Gukkie.”
For the next thirty minutes, Jeongguk wrapped his limbs around Jimin’s small frame, nuzzling into his cheeks with soothing words. He wanted to feel every muscle, find every little beauty spot, and burn it into his memory to reassure himself that this could possibly be more than a one-or-two-night stand. Jimin was too beautiful to be taken advantage of, and even if he had offered himself, it was with hesitant eyes. Jeongguk wouldn’t have been able to live with himself if he had ruined that.
“Did it hurt your first time?”
“Kind of, but not really. Thank fuck whoever put prostates up in there. It feels amazing.”
Jimin seemed to become boneless in his arms, eating up the reassurance like a wide-eyed puppy, the tension dissipating more and more. “Why are you so nice to me?”
“You’ve asked me that before, remember?”
Jimin nodded. “I still haven’t figured you out.”
“That’s okay. I’ll be here when you do.”
Jimin had ended up lying on his side, facing Jeongguk with the softest look he’d seen since his last serious relationship three years ago. The familiarity was like standing on the edge of the deepest drop, one step away from freefalling.
“I’m sorry I ruined tonight, Gukkie.”
“My balls will live. They’ve been through worse, I’m sure.”
“I want to do it with you. I want you to fuck me.”
Jeongguk was about to protest again when Jimin, using some hidden strength he’d tucked away from Jeongguk’s knowledge, flipped the both of them over, so that Jimin was peering down with the cutest grin that reached his eyes. “Or I can ride you.”
The sexy smirk and Jimin’s words went straight down to Jeongguk’s cock that twitched to life against his thigh. “You’re gonna be the death of me, hyung.”
With a wink, Jimin crawled away, shifting back onto the bed and pressing light kisses against the juncture of Jeongguk’s crotch. “Good.”
Jimin was a wizard with words, with wooing the doctors into trying out Pfizer’s meds. He was good with making immediate friends, getting discounts at the market, and finding the best shopping deals. Jeongguk was then reminded that Jimin was also very, very talented with his tongue, which dug against his sensitive underside, rubbing wetly along the barbell piercing on the head. “Fuck, fuck yes hyung.”
“Missed your cock.” Jimin propped Jeongguk’s legs on each side of him, and sucked his length in, hollowing out his mouth for good measure.
“Fuckin’ hell – your mouth.”
Jimin bounced his head up and down, and up again, dropping down until his nose met the dark curls of hair. Jeongguk gasped every time he felt the tight squeeze of Jimin’s throat constrict around his tip, feeling closer each time. He nearly thrusted up into the heat, restrained by Jimin’s arm on his thigh, and whimpered when Jimin didn’t let up, sucking faster onto the tip.
“Hyung – hy– hyung. Gonna come soon.”
Jimin pulled off, exaggerating the pop and making a show with licking the mess along his lips. “Now, we don’t want that if you’re gonna fuck me, right?”
“I’m a second away from coming, hyung. I really don’t know if I can last through that.”
“Well, finger me first, so that buys you back some time.”
“Come here, and we’ll see.”
Sitting up with Jimin nestled in his lap, Jeongguk finally got the bottle of lube opened, slicking his fingers. He reached around the greatest ass ever and thumbed the clenching ring of muscles, keeping his eyes trained on Jimin’s expressions. He kissed the frown between Jimin’s eyebrows and used his other hand, also slick with lube, to play with Jimin’s leaking cock.
“Gonna put a finger in now.”
Jimin nodded and Jeongguk felt, with complete fascination, as the muscles unclenched around his middle finger, which slid in relatively quickly.
“I’ve fingered myself,” Jimin said, nicely pink from his neck on up to his ears. “I actually just started recently. Because – you know...”
“Because of me?” Jeongguk couldn’t help the pride that dripped from each word.
Jeongguk kissed Jimin, tried to convey everything with his lips. Stroking Jimin’s cock, he wrestled out the little pitchy moans and low grunts, until he milked out the distinct, slow burn from rubbing along Jimin's prostate. Every thrust in felt heightened, slick clamping around his fingers, and Jeongguk knew he’d be so wound up by the time he got in, that he would not last long at all.
“I–I’m ready, Gukkie. C’mon.” Jimin shifted up, off of his fingers, and pressed their foreheads together. “Get a condom on, hurry.”
Jeongguk fussed with the plastic, dropping it twice as Jimin giggled at his impatience, before rolling it on.
“Get your cock in me now.”
“I’m just as thirsty as you, hyung, but real–”
Jimin shut him up effectively by sinking down, so incredibly tight and wet, Jeongguk felt stars behind his eyes. Their quick banter silenced into louder groans and Jeongguk prayed not to combust as he watched his cock disappear in and out of the ass he’d drooled over for months.
“Fuck, oh fuck, Jeongguk,” Jimin whined, gripping his shoulders as he bounced in Jeongguk’s lap.
“Gorgeous, hyung, you’re just unreal. Your ass is unreal.”
Jimin rolled and undulated in his lap, thighs flexing every time he lifted himself off the bed and slammed down around Jeongguk’s cock. “Jeongguk, oh – oh, it’s so. It’s just like you said, god –”
“Unbelievable. Of course you’re a fucking natural at riding cock.” Jeongguk stretched out his legs and propped them up to help Jimin fuck harder, the force of his trembling body more spectacular than anything Jeongguk had seen before, more striking than anyone he’d taken to bed.
“Better believe it,” Jimin gasped. His keens rose higher and he pulled Jeongguk’s face toward his, lips meeting in a frenzy.
“This is better than doughnuts,” Jeongguk said between kisses.
“I’m not going to ask but this better fucking be better than doughnuts.”
Jeongguk shut up after that. Every wet thrust in, he felt the hovering danger of the knot in his groin ready to spurt. But Jimin wasn’t there yet, and the drive to make Jimin’s first time unforgettable overrode his own desire to come.
Doubling his efforts, he began stroking Jimin’s cock that bobbed between them, using the dribbles of precum to rub around in circles on the head. Jimin cried out, thighs shaking. “C–close! Jeongguk, I‘m so close.”
Jeongguk kept at it, punching his hips upward into the sinking heat, sliding his grip up and down Jimin’s dick until he was coming, crying Jeongguk’s name feverishly, abdomen clenching with the exertion of bliss. Jeongguk gathered all of the come in his fist and slowly stroked Jimin through his orgasm.
Jimin batted away the hands and fell facedown against his neck. “Jeong–Jeongguk, oh my god, please.” His voice cracked, rubbed raw from overuse. Jeongguk had never heard anything quite so erotic. He’d be thinking about Jimin’s voice for the lonely future nights.
Breaths evening out, Jimin sighed, a deep and satisfied sound in his chest. “You’re not done, right?”
“It’s okay, hyung.” Jeongguk began lifting Jimin’s hips off of his lap, when the look of determination on Jimin’s face stopped him.
“I–I want you,” Jimin started, stuttering a bit at first, “to finish. In me.”
“Oh. Oh fuck. Are you sure?” Jeongguk’s dick twitched, buried still.
“Just give me a sec.”
After a beat or two, Jimin slid from where Jeongguk had propped him up, and began riding him with renewed vigor, knocking Jeongguk back into a daze, overwhelmed by how hot everything felt. Jimin worked him like someone who had done this a million times before, swiveling his hips and slamming down after pulling all the way up, nearly off the head. Jeongguk didn’t need much, coming hard with Jimin’s name on his lips after only a few more thrusts.
Winded and exhausted, Jeongguk gathered Jimin into his arms and slid them down onto the mattress, too gone to care about cleaning up.
“I’m covered in jizz,” Jimin mourned, but still pressed light kisses along Jeongguk’s forehead.
“I don’t care, hyung.”
“My bratty bunny.”
Jeongguk curled into Jimin’s nape, nuzzling the marked skin. “I just got sexy times with the man of my dreams and I’m floating in the clouds. Don’t bring me down yet.” He reached for Jimin’s ass, squeezing it twice.
“Five minutes, baby. Then we clean up and I’ll go, yeah?”
Jeongguk hated how that sounded, harsh, discordant from Jimin’s sweet voice. “Y-yeah,” was all he could get out.
“You sure you don’t want to stay the night?” Jeongguk offered thirty minutes later, as he was wiping them down. He couldn’t look up at Jimin’s eyes yet.
Jimin interlaced their fingers, soft callouses running along his palms. “That’s not really how these things work, though.”
It wasn’t. Jeongguk didn’t have a rebuttal for that, so they didn’t say much else as Jimin got dressed, looking like the most stunning thing in Jeongguk’s bleak apartment. Before Jimin stepped out the door, Jeongguk held him close and kissed him soundly, chastely. He let himself read into the small signs, like the way Jimin whimpered into his mouth and gripped his t-shirt with both hands, fingers curling tighter than necessary. Nuzzling against Jimin’s peachy skin, Jeongguk hoped that “these things” would someday, one day become “their things.”
Thankfully, Jimin didn’t ignore him or stop answering his texts, and they managed to carry on more-than-friendly talk that bordered dangerously on things that felt oddly couple-y.
thunder thighs hyung:
i hate busy weekends, gukkie
you should spend them with me
thunder thighs hyung:
i really should :-(
“So, are you two dating or what?”
“I have no idea. No? I don't think so?”
“You guys are hopeless. What is wrong with this generation of lovesick fools,” Seokjin lamented, nursing a beer on Jeongguk’s couch. He had adamantly demanded to know if Jeongguk had done anything with Jimin on the couch before declaring it unsoiled.
Taehyung nodded. “Always hooking up before even considering dating, and getting confused in the process. We’ve got it backwards but no one can do anything about it.”
“Where is he, anyway?” asked Yoongi, who emerged from the kitchen with a bowl of chips. Namjoon immediately made grabby hands for it.
Jeongguk sighed. Jimin had family commitments he had to attend to, which also meant he wasn’t replying to texts as often. “Family stuff. Please don’t ask him about us.”
Hoseok cackled, squirming in Namjoon’s lap where he was resting his head. “We would never, Gukkie! What an invasion of privacy. How dare we.”
“I’m strangely not finding any sympathy from you guys.”
“What we’re saying is that you need to seriously DTR,” Taehyung said. “Before he gets the idea that you really just wanted a convenient fuck.”
Jeongguk remained silent and sipped his beer with a frown.
“What’s holding you back? Not wanting to look overzealous?” Namjoon asked, the bowl of chips finally in his hands.
“Society tells us to be scared of pursuing anything serious,” Seokjin said. “It gets to the best of us.”
“Is that it, Guk?” Hoseok nudged his side with a wiggling toe.
“We can’t help you if you don’t talk to us,” Yoongi pointed out. This time, he was holding salsa and dip and Namjoon, again, tried to pry it out of his grasp.
“It’s complicated,” was all Jeongguk could answer.
Namjoon made a sound of agreement. “That’s life. But Jimin seems like a really great guy. We obviously don’t know all the details, but he seems really into you dude.”
Taehyung cheered enthusiastically, nearly spilling his drink on the floor where he was sprawled. Yoongi murmured “be careful” before Taehyung continued, “I haven’t seen Jimin since college, but he hasn’t changed. He’s always been a one-person kind of man. Has that integrity, you know? Doesn’t fuck around. The fact that he’s done shit with you already before committing is surprising.”
Jimin had told Jeongguk a little about his last relationship, inadvertently. After finishing up their rounds earlier than usual, he let it slip that an ex-girlfriend was pestering him to meet up again. “To catch up,” was what Jimin said, using finger air quotes with a deadpanned look. “I’m not one to ignore my exes. If we can be civil and stay friends, I’m all for that. But she’s been really shifty, contacting me all sweetly, then disappearing for months. It just seems shady. What do you think?”
Giving Jimin any advice about relationships was difficult. Jeongguk was still reeling over their own confusing intimacy from not even a week ago. He wanted to demand that Jimin date him, instead.
“Some people have good intentions that come out in weird ways,” he ending up saying.
Jimin had looked at him inquisitively and nodded. And that was that.
“Promise me you’ll at least talk to him about it,” Seokjin said, kicking his legs onto the mismatched couch pillows. “For both of your sakes.”
Hoseok patted Jeongguk’s shoulder with his toes. “I’m really good at reading people, Gukkie. This is a good thing for the both of you. Go for it.”
“I’ll think about it,” Jeongguk said. “Let’s just watch the movie, please?”
Five pairs of eyes honed in on Jeongguk, ranging from concerned to disbelief. Jeongguk’s friends were more dysfunctional than legislative bureaucracy, but they weren’t dicks. Once Namjoon popped in the dvd, Jeongguk was able to find some momentary distraction in the form of Iron Man.
Hyuna called Jeongguk’s extension the next day, excitement bubbling over in her peppy voice. “Jeonggukie! Supervisor Choi mentioned that he was going to talk to you about your evaluation! He looked really pleased. Prepare yourself.”
“Holy shit. Thanks for the heads up. I gotta go freak out now.”
“Don’t fuck this up! Noona will treat you to all-you-can-eat salad bar if it turns out well.”
Jeongguk grimaced. “Uh, thanks, but I’ll pass on the salad. I’m allergic.”
“Bullshit, Jeon Jeongguk! But that’s good practice for your salesmanship. Keep up the hard work.”
Jeongguk tried to remember what he learned in yoga practice, when he had been roped into taking a class because Mingyu found a Groupon for it. Meditation and concentration. Focus on the goal, let go of everything else–
“Jeongguk!” hissed a voice past the wall of his cubicle. Taecyeon, his cubicle neighbor with legendary good looks, peered over the top. “Good luck today with the eval. Everyone’s talking about it.”
Jeongguk gaped. “How does everyone know already?”
“Hyuna works fast. You shouldn’t be surprised.”
Ahyoung, the department secretary, materialized at the opening of Jeongguk’s cubicle. “Jeongguk, Choi wants to see you in his office. Man up.”
Everything was happening too quickly and Jeongguk felt his soul leave his body when he found himself standing in front of The Lair.
“Supervisor Choi?” he asked after knocking twice.
A stern voice followed. “Come in.”
Even though Jeongguk saw the inside of Choi’s office nearly daily when he made coffee deliveries, it never got any less unnerving. He bowed ninety degrees and sat in the chair Choi pointed to.
Choi fit the mold for a successful businessman and his track record clearly supported it. He pushed up the metal frames on his nose. “Jeongguk. Tell me why you think I’ve called you to meet me today.”
“Sir, all things considered, I’m ending my probation soon and it’ll be time for my first evaluation.”
“Correct. And how would you evaluate your performance over the past month?”
Jeongguk knew he was supposed to reflect on numbers, how many doctors he had persuaded, how many sales the company had made because of him. He was supposed to objectively propose a convincing reason for Choi to hire him as a permanent fixture on the Pfizer team. But in the whirlwind of his mind, Jeongguk could only remember moments with Jimin – the small talk between rounds, the unabashed smiles, the countless cups of coffee together.
“Sir, I believe the numbers have been good for my first month. I met my quota in the first two and a half weeks and continued to make progress with doctors whom I had never met before. Going out into the field has been way more challenging than I expected, but also very rewarding. I’m very thankful to have this opportunity, whether or not you choose to keep me on board.”
“Good, good. Say, Jeongguk. Did you ever find out who put in the good word for you?”
No, Jeongguk had not. No one budged when he pestered them about it, even resorting to promises of free dinner or helping to meet their quota. But something very, very sure inside of Jeongguk’s limited awareness pointed specifically to a certain rose gold headed male, with a heart of pure 24k gold.
“Sadly, I did not. But I have a good guess.”
Choi smiled knowingly and clapped his hands. “Well then! Congratulations, Jeon Jeongguk. You have officially been promoted as a Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative. Welcome to the team.”
Shaking Choi’s hand felt liberating, like unlocking the unreachable boss level in the hardest video game ever. Jeongguk couldn’t wait to see Jimin’s reaction.
Back in line at the coffee shop, Jeongguk felt more complete than ever with Jimin brimming with excitement by his side, stuck to him like glue. He didn’t mind the wait, kept his eyes trained on the man next to him, and let himself indulge in all the sugary happiness bubbling between them.
Jimin bounced on his toes, fingers gripping Jeongguk’s arm. “I can’t fucking believe we’re both getting hired!” Turns out, Jimin also had his final eval with Choi, with good feedback, of course.
The momentum of the moment pulled Jeongguk down, pressing a chaste kiss to Jimin’s forehead. At that, they both froze, too slow to realize that it had been the most explicit thing they’d done in public, while sober.
“Uh.” Jeongguk tried to backtrack. Should he wipe his nose or cough to cover it up?
“Oh my god, Gukkie. Really.” Jimin said, eyes slanting into a glare that looked as threatening as a lost baby chick. “Are you that off-put by public affection?”
“No! What? I just kissed your forehead and we’re not dating and you’re asking if I’m worried about PDA?”
“Next, please.” The barista’s interruption was what Jeongguk desperately needed. He gestured for Jimin to order, which was enough to save the moment.
They found an empty bench that wasn’t covered in bird poo a ways from the company building. Hustling office workers stormed the streets during lunch hour, a blur of neutral colors and clacking dress shoes. To Jeongguk’s left, Jimin sat stiffly and sipped his coffee.
“I’m sorry, hyung. I didn’t mean to confuse you.” Jeongguk watched as Jimin slowly lowered his drink, cupped between his tiny hands. So precious. “Being in public with you is the least of my worries, believe me.”
“Let’s go on a real date.”
Jimin finally turned to face him, eyes wider than saucers, cheeks pinker than the cherry blossoms Seokjin grew in his illegal greenhouse on the roof of his apartment. “I’ve never asked anyone out officially, but –”
Jeongguk wished he could watch the both of them from an onlooker’s perspective. He surely looked idiotic while looking at Jimin with such an unrestrained, stupid grin. “Okay, let’s do that.”
“Hyung. Please don’t tell me you’re genuinely surprised.”
Jimin laughed, high and dazzling like the crystal of chandeliers. Jeongguk realized that he would be lucky enough to hear that sound over and over, if Jimin would let him.
“I’m actually pretty surprised. You weren’t really making obvious advances, you know.”
Jeongguk closed the gap between them. “I pretended to be your boyfriend!”
Jimin didn’t look impressed.
“Okay, I know, I’m an imbecile. Dense Debby Downer. Taehyung tells me that I’m the luckiest guy on earth for you to even give me a second thought. Please don’t change your mind anytime soon.”
“He’s right. But he also said that no one will ever look at me with as much love in their eyes as you do. So, I guess we’re even.” Jimin leaned into Jeongguk’s shoulder and kissed his neck.
“Woah, love is a little bold of a statement, don’t you think?”
A fast hand knocked the wind out of Jeongguk’s chest, and caused him to cough mid-swallow on his Americano. Jimin looked smugly at him, completely void of coffee stains.
Jeongguk sighed and tried to dab at the Picasso arrangement of brown spots across his shirt. “Okay, I may have deserved that.”
“You also deserve this.” Jimin swiftly pressed his lips on Jeongguk’s cheek, the softness lingering like a brand.
“Best day ever, hyung.”
Jimin’s rose gold hair danced in the sunset and his effervescent smile painted over the monotone drab of Seoul’s concrete landscape. Jeongguk got another taste of those sweet lips later that evening, pressed into his couch. This time, Jimin was his – they were officially on the same page – and he belonged to something that made more sense than anything had in a really, really long time.