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beachin' weekend

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“Yoongi and I broke up,” he announces to Seokjin, standing in the doorway of his apartment on a midnight in early May. Seokjin doesn’t express any shock or ask any questions, just folds him into the comfort of his embrace, then closes the door and settles him in his spare room for a good three weeks before Jungkook finally emerges to find a roommate on Craigslist. The spare room was the sole reason he’d ended up on Seokjin’s doorstep; he’s the only one in Jungkook’s small social circle who had one available. He’s fully come to terms with the fact that he’s most probably not returning to the apartment he used to live in to collect the rest of his stuff. In the end, it’s not much of a loss: prior to moving out, he’d only been living in the old apartment for about a month. The rest of his stuff had been in storage during the whole settling-in process. He took what he could and left.

Flash-forward two months later, he’s sitting in the still-unfamiliar comfort of the new apartment he’d recently settled into, repeating the exact same five words. The same wave of exhaustion that washes over him and the weariness that sinks to his stomach when he says the words out loud haven’t changed either.

(It’s been eight weeks, but Jungkook’s still not over him.)

“Yoongi and I broke up,” he tells Taehyung, smashing the B button on his controller repeatedly. It can be surprisingly hard to try beating someone on Mario Kart while having a conversation about his ex, he realises. “Why would I have seen him anytime recently?”

“Haven’t you heard? He’s back in town,” Taehyung says, expertly dodging to avoid the green turtle shell lobbed at his head. His tongue sticks out the corner of his mouth in frustration as he plays. They’re approaching the end of the track, and Taehyung’s currently ahead of all the other players while Jungkook’s still in 3rd place, soon to be 2nd place. He wonders how Taehyung’s able to carry on a conversation this casually while playing. Probably because it’s not his ex they’re talking about here. For someone who’s supposedly one of his best friends, Taehyung loves to watch Jungkook suffer.

“No, we broke up, Taehyung, so you can probably guess for yourself why it is that I haven’t been keeping up with him much,” Jungkook says through gritted teeth. At this rate, he might even drop to 4th place. “Look, Yoongi has nothing whatsoever to do with this game so can we leave the conversation about The Ex until later and actually play it properly–”

“It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten together, huh?” Taehyung says nonchalantly, eyes still focused on the screen. “Since Yoongi’s back in town, all of us should meet up. Maybe even go on a holiday or something–”

A wave of panic surges through Jungkook. He jerks, eyes wide and turns to stare at Taehyung, the game momentarily forgotten. “Taehyung, what–”

“Fuck yes,” Taehyung nearly screams as he crosses the finishing line, jumping up from his seat. Yoshi does a little spin in his car onscreen. Jungkook groans so hard that it comes out sounding more like a strangled scream and he smashes down on the 2 button, blasting past Princess Peach and coming in 2nd place with Donkey Kong. But still. He could’ve totally crushed Taehyung if the little shit hadn’t been so preoccupied with bringing up Yoongi’s name–

“That’s playing dirty, asshole,” he snaps, throwing down his controller. Taehyung hums, unperturbed. Jungkook crosses his arms and glares at him through slitted eyes. Taehyung pretends he can’t see the livid expression on Jungkook’s face and reaches for the bag of nacho chips to toss a few into his mouth, holding out the rest to Jungkook.

“You’re getting chip crumbs all over my couch. Yugyeom will kill you.”

“I’m not scared of Yugyeom, he loves me,” Taehyung says unrepentantly, and Jungkook rolls his eyes, taking the bag from Taehyung anyways. Taehyung’s housemate is Jimin. Both of them are slobs and live in their own filth. They would never understand the importance of cleanliness when your housemate is the epitome of a neat freak. “Why do I even invite you over anyways?” he mutters.

“Because I’m your best friend and you love me,” Taehyung replies easily, sliding onto the sofa next to Jungkook. He presses his cheek into Jungkook’s shoulder. “Also, your roommate works late shifts on Friday nights and you get lonely easily.”

“You’re delusional,” Jungkook says, but smiles as Taehyung leans back against his shoulder. They forget the game onscreen for a while, dropping their controllers to scroll through social media on their phones. Taehyung plays some obnoxiously loud video on Instagram out loud. Jungkook’s on Twitter, mindlessly scrolling through his feed, but something Taehyung had said continues to linger in his mind. Taehyung was probably kidding, but still. He nudges Taehyung with his foot. “What was that you were saying about going on vacation?”

“Oh! Yeah,” Taehyung says, “Seokjin was talking about how his uncle has a beach house near the beach–you know, the one who moved to China and ended up striking a fortune? You going home anytime this summer?”

Jungkook shakes his head. “Nope, my parents are visiting relatives in Korea.”

“So I was thinking, maybe we should go on a holiday together. All seven of us. Quality bonding time and stuff. You’ve only got a month left of summer anyways.”

“Wait–what? All seven of us?”

Taehyung nods at him like he’s stupid. He widens his eyes at Taehyung and says, incredulously, “Even Yoongi?

“What’s wrong with that?” Jungkook’s sure the expression on his face has gotten even more incredulous, if that’s even possible. “What?”

At first, Jungkook thinks it’s a joke. There is no way in hell Taehyung would’ve even dared to suggest going on vacation with, of all people, his ex. But Taehyung’s face is devoid of any humour, almost comically serious if it weren’t for the gravity of what he had been proposing.

“First of all, that came out of nowhere.” It’s Mario Kart. Again, it has nothing to do with Yoongi whatsoever. “Secondly, you–you’re kidding, right.” The silence is almost deafening on Taehyung’s end, giving him his answer. Taehyung shifts to the opposite end of the couch and cocks an eyebrow at Jungkook. Jungkook’s jaw drops. “Dude, what are you even saying? That’s...that’s a terrible idea. That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard from you. Even worse than that time you convinced me to get Namjoon drunk during karaoke. I couldn’t get his voice out of my head for months.

“You guys could...get back together,” Taehyung says slowly.

Jungkook just stares at him. Taehyung raises his hands in defeat. “What? Don’t you remember, I had that summer fling sophomore year of college but then I met her at some exchange programme and we ended up in a relationship for two months–”

“–and then you had the greatest sex you’ll ever have in your life but you broke it off because turns out she was a crazy possessive bitch who tried to sever all your ties to any close female friends you had,” Jungkook says in a monotone. Taehyung’s mouth shuts weakly. “Yeah, you’ve told that story only about a million times now. Also she turned out to be totally psycho in the end. I don’t think that counts.” Also, it doesn’t hurt that Taehyung could make peace with his mortal enemy. A messy ex isn’t a problem for him. But–well, that’s Taehyung.

“Doesn’t mean it won’t work again this time, so I don’t see why–”

“Because,” Jungkook says, with all the long-suffering patience of a saint (rather, with all the patience of one best friend explaining to the other why going on a one week long holiday with his ex would result in disaster and not actually bring about any good, as intended), “nothing good would come out of it. It would be complete and total chaos. It’d just be awkward and messy for all the parties involved.”

Taehyung lets out a deep, drawn-out exhale. “Believe me, it’s already messy for all the parties involved.” He’s probably referring to their seven-member friend group, of which Yoongi and Jungkook are in, along with Taehyung, Taehyung’s roommate Jimin, and their friends Hoseok, Namjoon and Seokjin. They had all met in the formative years of Jungkook’s college education. Something in the sudden sharpness of his tone makes Jungkook jerk and look to Taehyung. And this is new, because Jungkook has never been on the admonishing end of their relationship. It’s usually the other way around (or more commonly, one of the others telling them off), even if Taehyung is the one who has actually graduated and has a job. “I’m not kidding this time, Jungkook. We...we can’t think of any other way to get you and Yoongi to talk. At first it seemed like a small fight that could be easily patched up, but I’m–we’re sick of constantly tiptoeing around both of you like we’re walking on eggshells.”

“Yeah, but not by making me go on vacation with him?” Jungkook splutters. He’s still reeling from the sheer absurdity of the idea. “Why do we have to talk anyways? There’s a reason why we broke up, Taehyung. We’re better off without each other.”

He lets the words fall from his mouth with a bite to them, turning away from Taehyung to glare at Mario Kart onscreen. Right, why does he even let Taehyung come over when all he does is beat Jungkook on his own Wii, eat out his entire supply of nacho chips and talk incessantly about his ex? Why is he even friends with Taehyung (and the rest)? Why does Jungkook even have friends? Maybe he should consider living out his dream of moving to Korea and becoming a professional Overwatch player, far away from all the bullshit in his life and Yoongi’s constant annoying presence. (It would be a good idea. He’s semi-fluent thanks to growing up with his grandmother who only spoke Korean with him.) Real friends wouldn’t treat him like this, wouldn’t resort to all sorts of dirty cheating methods during Mario Kart–and to get him and his ex back together. He’s still seething when Taehyung touches his arm hesitantly and says,

“Yoongi’s depressed, you know. He still misses you.”

Jungkook tenses slightly at that, but he doesn’t move to look at Taehyung, who continues, “And don’t pretend that you’re over him, or that you’re alright either, because it’s been two months but I can tell that you haven’t really been the same since. You’re still a shell of your old self.”

“Yoongi...misses me?” he asks uncertainly.

Taehyung’s features stretch into a sad smile. “Yeah. It’s kind of self-destructive actually. Hoseok says he’s been throwing himself into work ever since you left. He hardly comes out of the studio and it might’ve been days since he last saw the sun.”

Jungkook’s breath catches in his throat. This–Yoongi’s work, his way of locking himself up in the studio for days at a time, this had been the breaking point of their relationship. He hadn’t expected Yoongi to get better, but from the sound of it it’s been amplified instead. He should be feeling glee at the fact that his ex is suffering as much, if not twice as much as Jungkook is on the other side of the city, but a cold feeling creeps into the pits of his stomach and settles there.

“I don’t know why you guys broke up.” Taehyung shakes his head. “You’ve been in love with him for God knows how long and you finally moved in after five months. It was all going so well. You’re both good for each other. You guys looked so happy together, you know.”

“I was tired. We were both tired,” Jungkook finds himself saying, the same toneless excuse clawing its way out of his lips. It’s true, but two months after the breakup, it’s not like getting out of that relationship has made it any better. If anything, it’s only making him more miserable...and exhausted. “We’re both better without each other. Happier. It’s for the best.”

“Was it really?” Taehyung says, sighing. “Are you even really over him?”

“I don’t know,” Jungkook lies.

“So you’re not gonna consider it?”

The door opens and Yugyeom walks in. He pauses and stares curiously at the scene in his apartment. “What’s going–”

“Taehyung’s just about to leave,” Jungkook says tiredly, marching over to where Taehyung’s briefcase lies forgotten in a corner of the room. Taehyung grins and stands up, as if they hadn’t been having a particularly emotionally-charged conversation just moments earlier.

“I think you mean Taehyung’s my best friend forever and I’m incredibly grateful that he’s always looking out for me,” Taehyung says, grabbing his briefcase from Jungkook. He brushes past Yugyeom, slipping into his shoes hurriedly and brushing past a bewildered Yugyeom, before throwing over his shoulder, “Also I definitely didn’t leave any chip crumbs on your sofa, haha. Jungkook, I’ll text you with the deets!”

“Chip crumbs? What–” Yugyeom begins, but Taehyung leaves, the door falling shut behind him.

“It’s fine, he’s overstayed his welcome,” Jungkook says, brushing stray crumbs off the sofa.

Yugyeom wrinkles his nose and turns to look at him. “What happened before I came in, you guys get in a fight or something?”

“What? No, Taehyung was being annoying, as usual.” Jungkook waves him away, changing rhe subject. “What’re you making for dinner?”

Yugyeom snorts. “How about you try making dinner for a change–”

“I’d probably end up setting our stove on fire and we’d have to deal with our landlord. Bad call. I’ll stick to making ramen, thank you.”

“Yeah, I know that,” Yugyeom laughs, even as he’s already walking to the kitchen. “How did your last roommate ever deal with you?”

Jungkook grimaces at the mention of his last roommate, but Yugyeom doesn’t notice. Ever since Taehyung had invoked that conversation, thoughts of Yoongi seem to never stray far from his mind. “I wonder too.”

“I’m making stir-fry, wanna help?”

“Yeah. Okay. And I’m picking the movie we’re watching over dinner.” Anything to help him take his mind off Yoongi.

“...fine. Just this once.”

 

In the weeks leading up to Jungkook’s finals and Yoongi’s big project, they fight constantly, even over the smallest things like a shortage of toilet paper. Jungkook takes to studying in the campus library to avoid their shared apartment. As bad as it sounds, it’s necessary, except for the fact that Yoongi’s hardly ever home before three am, if at all. On the days he does come back, it’s well after three, and he gets a solid four hours of sleep before rushing off to his studio way before Jungkook even wakes up for any of his morning classes.

(He wonders how it had taken them that long to break it off.)

When Jungkook had moved in, he thought they’d be seeing each other a lot more, but their conflicting schedules doesn’t make it easier, and he had moved in during a particularly busy and difficult period.

He’s not studying at the library tonight, choosing to study in their living room, notes spread out on the table before him. He also hasn’t seen his boyfriend in three days. He’s only just drifted off to sleep in the middle of his Psych notes when he hears the sound of a key turning in the lock. He blinks blearily, glaring up at the darkened ceiling in view. A wedge of light expands across it as the door widens and he sits up slowly, rubbing traces of sleep from his eyes.

Yoongi’s there in the doorway, shoes still on. He doesn’t notice Jungkook in the darkness of their living room, and toes off his shoes carefully, padding quietly into their apartment.

“You’re home?”

Yoongi stiffens at the sound of Jungkook’s voice. He turns to look at Jungkook. “You’re still awake at this hour?”

Maybe he’d been waiting for Yoongi, but he doesn’t want Yoongi to know that. He’s being civil, which is a good thing. The last time they’d seen each other, they’d nearly gotten into a squabble over the thermostat. He slides off the couch and shrugs. “Couldn’t sleep. How’s work?”

“Exhausting,” Yoongi grouses, walking to their bedroom. “But at least the album’s gonna be out soon.” For a second, he thinks they’re going to bed together in the first time in a while, but Yoongi pulls a duffel bag out of the closet and tosses it onto the bed. “Wait, what are you doing? You going somewhere?”

“Oh. Shit. Guess I didn’t tell you?” Yoongi looks instantly guilty. “Could’ve sworn I texted you–”

“You didn’t. Your phone’s been turned off all night. And the past three nights as well. I’ve been trying to reach you.”

“Sorry. Fuck. Sorry. Work. You know. God, I–” Jungkook stares down at the floor, at the gap between his feet revealing cold hardwood. Yoongi continues shoving random articles of clothing into his bag. “Anyways. I was gonna tell you, I swear. I’m taking a flight to New York, we ran into some trouble with the distributors.”

“Right.” He still feels uneasy, an itch crawling up the base of his spine. “So...you were just gonna leave without saying bye to me?”

Yoongi heaves the bag onto his shoulder and walks out into the hallway. In the pale yellow glow of the light, he looks even more exhausted and washed-out, dark circles ringing his eyes. “It’s 4am. Thought you’d be asleep by now.”

“Finals are coming up. I’ve been pulling all-nighters. In case you hadn’t noticed.”

“I haven’t been home lately. I’ve been at the studio–”

“–all week. No actually, you’ve been at the studio all month.” Maybe it’s also partially the crankiness of being awake at four in the morning, but the frustration he’s been harbouring for a month now exemplifies when Yoongi won’t meet his eye. An uncomfortable heat rushes to Jungkook’s gut, red-hot anger washing over him. “Did you know the last time we had a proper conversation without fighting was two and a half weeks ago?”

“God, I know. It’s for work, Jungkook. I’m sorry.” He’s walking to the door now, grip tight on his duffel bag. “The album’s coming out soon and I just really wanna get all the songs ready by then. You know this.” He shifts on his feet. There’s guilt shining in his eyes as he leans against the doorway. Still holding the duffel bag, ready to leave any second. “Could we just talk about this when I get back?”

Something in Jungkook’s gut clenches. With one hand on the door, Yoongi leans forward to brush a kiss against his cheek, but Jungkook takes a shaky step back at the last second. He refuses to look at Yoongi. He doesn’t miss the hurt look in Yoongi’s eyes as he pulls away, sending guilt dropping like a stone straight to the bottom of his stomach.

“Jesus fucking Christ. Are you actually–are you actually mad with me right now?”

“You know what? Yeah, I am,” Jungkook snaps, because it’s been a whole month of bottling up his feelings in the hope that things would get better and that they–Yoongi and him–would somehow improve, but something about this feels like a conversation they’ll have over and over again until their relationship is a broken record, hanging on by a thin thread. He doesn’t want that. He needs to tell Yoongi how he really feels. “I don’t know. We haven’t seen each other properly in the month that I’ve moved in, and most of the time when we do, we’re always fighting. I know the new album’s coming out soon, but do you really have any time for me?” He swallows, feels tears rise to the corner of his eyes and blur his vision. “Do I...even matter to you anymore?”

Yoongi’s expression is stricken as he pulls back. “What the fuck, Jungkook. Don’t say things like that, of course you do.”

“Really? What’s my schedule been like recently?”

Yoongi sighs. His hand finds its way back to the luggage handle and grips it tightly. “I don’t have time for this, Jungkook–”

“Just answer the question.”

“Fine.” Yoongi throws up his hands. “Other than finals? You’ve got that dance showcase thing at the university coming up, so why is it that–”

“Who’s my dance partner, Yoongi?”

“I…” Finally at a loss for words, Yoongi stops, horror in his eyes, and stares down at the floor, scratching his neck.

And even if Yoongi may not have known other than the most basic details about Jungkook’s up and coming performance, they both know that it’s the single most important project that his life is currently revolving around. It’s his first time singlehandedly choreographing for a competition ever since he’d become a graduating senior, and Jungkook with his perfectionist tendencies has every desire to make it as show-stopping as possible. He must’ve talked about it for weeks.

“Fuck, I…” Yoongi mutters, but Jungkook cuts in before he can stumble upon an excuse.

“It’s Minji.” Quietly, deadly. Yoongi doesn’t even have to look up to know that Jungkook’s face is set in that scary calm of his that only happens when he’s really pissed.

Yoongi’s lips are already forming the words I’m sorry, I’m such a shit boyfriend, but Jungkook beats him to it. “You’re always telling me about how tired you are after work, but I guess you didn’t really care about how I was doing, huh? You never asked me anything about my day. It was always me listening to you talk about your problems.”

“That doesn’t mean you don’t matter,” Yoongi snaps. “It’s just that I’ve been too tired to care recently–”

He realises his mistake as soon as the words fall out of his mouth. Jungkook’s mouth falls slightly open, hurt flashing in his eyes as the meaning of Yoongi’s words hit him, too late to take back now. He steps away from Yoongi, who panics. “Wait, I didn’t mean it like that–”

“Of course you didn’t,” Jungkook says, fighting to keep his voice from cracking, but the words coming out from his mouth make an ugly sound, harsh and cutting. “You just meant that work still matters more to you than me. Because that’s all you’ve ever got, right? Content to sacrifice your own relationships with others if it means being able to chase your dreams.”

“No I didn’t fucking mean it like that! You wouldn’t understand, Jungkook,” says Yoongi, a hard edge tinging his words. “You know work is important to me. Music is important to me.”

“It’s important to me too,” Jungkook argues, forcing himself to look up at Yoongi, even as his voice shakes. “It’s important to me too, but I’ve always made time for you.”

“No you haven’t,” Yoongi fires back. “Or haven’t you forgotten? Maybe the other reason that we haven’t had time to see each other in weeks is because you’re always locking yourself up in the library to study and avoiding me. Don’t act like I don’t know or that I’m the only one at fault.”

“Maybe I’m locking myself up in the library because we’re always fighting all the time at home and it’s always tense and weird.” The tears are coming now, hot and fast, and Yoongi’s jaw is clenched tight. His knuckles are turning white on the handle of the suitcase.

“You know what,” Yoongi says, thunderous, into the silence. “Maybe you’re right.”

“Right about what?” Jungkook asks, voice trembling.

“I don’t have time for you,” Yoongi says, taking a deep breath, “and you clearly don’t have time for me. This is–this is all wrong. I’m starting to think this was a mistake.”

What?” Jungkook breathes.

“Us,” Yoongi says tonelessly. “It’s getting tiring. Aren’t you tired of this?” He looks less mad now. More of–resigned. Which is infinitely worse than every expression he has ever seen on Yoongi’s face.

“Yeah,” says Jungkook. “I am.” And he means it, a bone-deep exhaustion washing over him suddenly as he unclenches his fists.

“I should have never asked you to move in. We were going too fast.”

Yoongi sags against the doorway, running a hand through his hair tiredly. He says. “I’m going to be late for my flight.”

Jungkook is numb.

Yoongi says, “The timing wasn’t right.”

Yoongi says, “I don’t think we should be having this now.”

Yoongi says, “I’m leaving.”

Yoongi’s face is still devoid of any emotion. Jungkook wants to say something, anything, he really, really, does. Anything - to make Yoongi stay. He searches for any hint of emotion on Yoongi’s tired face, suddenly aged-looking in the dim light, any sign that what they have is something salvageable to him - until it’s too late. And Yoongi -

Yoongi steps away from Jungkook, dragging his suitcase with him as he steps carefully over the threshold. He doesn’t look at Jungkook once, doesn’t even turn around once, black-clad, hunched-over figure cutting a cold, sad silhouette as he disappears into the frigid dawn. Jungkook doesn’t even dare to breathe. He stands in the doorway as the only sign of that ever having happened fades into the distance with the sounds of Yoongi’s footsteps and the rumbling of his luggage dragging through the corridor.

What Yoongi doesn’t say: I think we should end this.

But for Jungkook, it already feels like it has.

He leaves at dawn with all his belongings packed into a suitcase, and doesn’t look back. When Yoongi arrives home two days later, Jungkook is gone.

 

On Instagram, Jungkook’s feed is filled with his fellow upperclassmen sharing pictures of their last few summer vacations: crystalline beaches, ancient ruins with a spectacular view of the sunset, the Eiffel Tower, Christ The Redeemer, the Great Wall of China, a video of somebody partying in a club in Hongdae. All are captioned with names of exotic locales he’d once dreamed of going to with friends on his break.

Instead, he spends his summer festering in the heat of the city, working shifts at the Ben and Jerry’s in the mall every other day. In between work and grabbing dinner with Taehyung/Jimin, there’s not really much else he does other than go to the gym, Overwatch, and sleep.

This Friday morning is not unlike any other. He’s got a full hour before his shift starts, and he’s walking to get boba at the mall when Seokjin calls him. Which isn’t all too unusual, considering Seokjin is the kind of person who would rather convey his messages over a phone call rather than over texts like normal people. (Like an old person, basically.)

“Hey, what–”

“Can you come over? It’s urgent,” Seokjin gasps. (In hindsight, he really should have been suspicious of the fact that his gasp sounded more like he was struggling to contain a laugh rather than one of urgency. Or that he could hear what sounded questionably like Jimin’s high, squeaky laugh in the background.) “I don’t have time to explain, just come over.” He hangs up.

Jungkook barely has time to fire off a series of ??? texts, complete with appropriate emojis, to Seokjin before he’s rushing to the subway, acting purely on instinct.

As he’s dashing to Seokjin’s apartment building, he receives a text from Yugyeom.

yugyeom: hey man

yugyeom: im sorry in advance

yugyeom: pls dont kill me

He looks up from his phone, eyebrows furrowing in confusion. Oddly enough, at the front of the building, Seokjin’s red Toyota is parked in front of the curb. Seokjin’s at the wheel, sticking his head out of the window to wave at Jungkook.

Jungkook’s got a bad feeling about this entire situation. It smells, sounds and looks suspiciously like a...set-up.

He does the only thing he can think of. He turns around and runs.

“Not so fast,” he hears before three pairs of arms grab him from where they were waiting behind him and manhandle him towards the car.

Jungkook may be the strongest out of the seven of them, but the strength of three people combined is too much for him. He tries to put up a fight, but ultimately ends up being dragged across the street and into the waiting backseat of Seokjin’s car, the backdoor graciously left open for him by Namjoon. He turns around to glare at Taehyung, Jimin and Hoseok, who are all grinning at him with stupid smug expressions on their stupid faces before they shut the car door in his face.

It’s not even noon yet, and Jungkook is positive he’s already having the worst day of his summer. Except he hasn’t even realised the reason as to why he’s been abducted in the backseat of Seokjin’s car. When he does, it’s in the form of Min Yoongi seated in the front, the pure shock on his face rivalling the look of incredulity on Jungkook’s.

Panic seizes Jungkook in an instant. There’s a familiar lump in his throat and his pulse is beating double-time. Yoongi gapes at him for half a second, lips parting in surprise.

“What the fuck,” he manages to choke out before Jungkook can even say anything. “Seokjin, what the hell do you think you’re–”

“I know, I know. What a pleasant reunion, am I right?” Seokjin smiles, batting his eyelashes at Jungkook through the rearview mirror.

“–doing? Seokjin, you literally told me we were going to get lunch together, what’s wrong with–” Yoongi’s saying, the pitch of his voice increasing with every word. “Are you actually kidnapping us? What are you, twelve?”

“You can’t just do this,” Jungkook splutters. “You know, when Taehyung said that, I didn’t think he’d actually follow through–”

“Wait, so you knew about this?” Yoongi’s lunging at him now, eyes nearly bulging as he leans into the backseat to glower at Jungkook. “Taehyung told you, and you knew that they were just gonna, what, kidnap us and bring us to–wait, where the fuck are we going? Hold up!”

The backdoor opens and the rest crowd into the back and middle seats along with Jungkook. Seokjin starts driving. “Calm down,” he sighs. “We’re only going to the beach.”

The beach? A flashback of his previous conversation with Taehyung in his apartment just a few days ago replays in his mind. “Are you actually taking us on vacation right now?” he all but shrieks.

Yoongi gapes. He looks like he’s about to throttle Seokjin when Hoseok places a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t, you’re gonna get us all killed.”

“Well, that sure sounds like a better plan than going on a beach vacation with my ex,” Yoongi bites out, and Jungkook can’t help the grimace of pain that rises to his face. Yoongi pretends not to see. “And it’s a work day, I have a ton of paperwork to do–”

“Calm down,” Seokjin repeats. “I borrowed my uncle’s beach house for the weekend, and got permission from both your bosses for a day off work. Just think of it as an impromptu beach vacation. Also, your luggage is in the back. And you,” he says, looking pointedly at Yoongi in the rearview mirror, who refuses to look him in the eye. “You need a break from work. You’ve been working ever since you got back.”

“Luggage? You packed all our stuff? How–” Jungkook’s still trying to process all this information. It’s not everyday that your best friends kidnap you to force you to go on vacation with your ex. Then he realises. The texts. “Oh. Yugyeom. Jesus Christ, I’m gonna kill him–”

“How about me?” Yoongi snaps. “You don’t even know the passcode to my apartment–”

“It’s Jungkook’s birthday,” Taehyung says, matter-of-factly, and Jungkook feels a wave of heat rush to his cheeks. Everyone except Yoongi and him look on, amused. Namjoon snickers. He can’t even bring himself to look at Yoongi. “Y-yeah, well,” Yoongi says, gruffly. “Never bothered to change it. It was just easier to remember.”

“A-anyways,” Jungkook says quickly. “That doesn’t change the fact that you didn’t ask us first, you know. Consent’s important, assholes. You can’t just kidnap us like that.”

“We know,” Namjoon says, “but there was no way you guys would’ve agreed to come in the first place.”

“For obvious reasons,” he hears Yoongi snort.

“And also, it wasn’t exactly kidnapping–okay it is,” Taehyung relents, after Jimin sends a sharp jab to his side. “But like–kidnapping for the greater good.”

“You guys are a bunch of dirty assholes,” Yoongi snarls, plugging in his earphones, and for the first time in a long while, Jungkook agrees with him. He turns his head towards the window to watch the passing scenery. Jimin puts a hand on his thigh for reassurance, but he shakes it off in annoyance.

“Look,” Namjoon sighs. “Like it or not, the seven of us are already on our way to Santa Monica. We’re just trying to help you guys. You’re just gonna have to learn how to get along and play nice.”

 

Admittedly, the beach house is lovely, although the circumstances that they had arrived in have not exactly been pleasant. It’s a homely, compact, sand-colored house with white trimming and a wraparound porch. Everyone stumbles out of the car and back into the oppressive summer heat. Jungkook grabs his luggage from the trunk and makes faces at the retreating backs of his friends as they walk up the stairs.

“It’s fucking hot,” Taehyung complains. Jimin sends him an elbow in the ribs. “It’s summer, dumbass.”

“I’m gonna die in this heat.” Good. Jungkook hopes Taehyung dies a miserable death after everything he’s put Jungkook through.

Seokjin jangles the keys in hand, unlocking the door. Before he can even speak, Taehyung’s already barrelling past the first door with his bag in tow, crying “I call dibs on this one!” Namjoon follows him after, lumbering in with his own bag. “Sorry. Taehyung asked me to room with him on the way here.”

Seokjin’s mouth closes. “Guess that’s one room settled.”

“I’m rooming with Jungkookie,” Jimin says, tugging on Jungkook’s sleeve. Jungkook frowns and pulls away sulkily.

“Do you mind the single room, Yoongi?” Seokjin asks, turning to Yoongi. “Hoseok and I are rooming together, so–”

“You make it sound like I have a choice,” Yoongi sneers, pushing past Seokjin to his own room. Seokjin stares after him with something close to hurt in his eyes.

Jimin tugs on Jungkook’s sleeve and whispers urgently, “He’s really angry, huh?”

“Understandably,” Jungkook snaps. Jimin shrinks a little next to him. They make their way to their room next to Namjoon and Taehyung’s, where Jungkook tosses his bag aside and flops down onto his own bed, rolling over so that his back is facing Jimin.

“Hey. You mad?” A hand comes up to rest on his shoulder.

Jungkook sniffs. “Obviously.”

Jimin’s hand starts to draw comforting circles into his shoulder. “Would it help if I said we’re sorry? On behalf of me and Taehyung. And Hoseok. And Namjoon. And, well, Seokjin.”

“A little.”

“Don’t be mad, okay? I mean, now that I think about it, it was kind of a shitty thing to do.” A pause. “I’m not sure why I went along with it, to be honest. That night, when Taehyung came back from your house and he told me everything and I–” He breaks off. “I guess I just think you’d be happier if you–if you got back together with Yoongi.”

“Why does everyone keep telling me that?” Jungkook groans. “Look, there’s probably a reason why we broke up, alright? We’re better off without each other.”

“Jungkook, don’t be stupid. It’s probably something that can be fixed if you guys just talked, but neither of you have particularly been good at that.”

Jungkook swallows. Yoongi and him are the quietest members of their friend group; everyone knows this to be true. Neither of them have been particularly good at filling up loud silences with all the enthusiasm of Hoseok, Jimin and Taehyung, or knowing the right words to say in the most tense of situations. Maybe that’s how they let a long radio silence elapse between them instead of confronting their issues (or actually communicating properly, says a suspiciously Taehyung-like voice in the back of his head), ending in nothing but evident frustration.

“C’mon, just...fix whatever that’s going on between you two. It’s not like Yoongi’s a total asshole, you guys just...hit a bump in the road and ended up in this situation. If he were I’d have sided with you and never gone along with Taehyung’s wack-ass ideas, but you’re my friends, too. Just talk to him, dude.”

Jungkook shakes his head. “You guys really think you know what’s best for us?”

“You’re both obviously still hung up over each other. I’ve never seen two people more miserable out of a relationship than the both of you.”

“I’m not hung up over Yoongi.”

“Okay, whatever you say. I still think you should try to talk to him. And...if it doesn’t work out, we’re going home on Sunday. You don’t have to see him ever again after this weekend if you want to.”

“Maybe.”

Jimin snorts and gets off the bed. “I guess that’s better than nothing. Although, I guess I should warn you...Taehyung said he might have some ‘drastic measures’ up his sleeve if nothing happens by the end of Sunday.”

What? The fuck does drastic measures mean–”

Before he can figure out the implications behind the term, there’s a shout right outside their window. Jungkook turns to find Hoseok and Taehyung, already stripping down to their trunks, yelling something about the beach and making a mad dash for the open ocean. Jungkook yelps and nearly climbs out of his window to join them, his previous annoyance replaced by sheer excitement at the very sight of the beach–in all his anger, he’d forgotten where exactly they had been heading to. The last time he’d even seen the beach had been last summer. Jimin stops him just in time, pulling him back from the window with an exasperated glare. They change into trunks and run out of their room, out the backdoor, across the patio and down to the private beach that stretches behind the beach house, slathering on sunscreen messily.

The sea is really fucking cold. Even in summer. Jungkook learns this the hard way, sprinting down the sand and into the water without a care, but he soon gets used to the temperature after submerged in water by a still-screaming Hoseok. He emerges from the water soon after Hoseok lets go of him, and chases him down the shoreline, Jimin joining him as he tries not to fall over himself in a fit of laughter.

Taehyung shoots him in the face with a water gun. He splutters, blinking water out of his eyes. Taehyung looks almost hesitant in front of him, as if just realising that Jungkook might still actually be mad at him, but Jungkook only laughs and pushes Taehyung back into the ocean waves, guffawing at the expression on Taehyung’s face. “Isn’t that the water gun I gave you for Secret Santa like, two years ago?”

“You still remember!” Taehyung’s face lights up.

“It was supposed to be a gag gift, Taehyung!”

“Well, it’s still awesome.” Jungkook can’t really argue with that. They play-scuffle in the waves for a bit, then look towards the beach, where Hoseok’s taking pictures of Jimin doing handstands in the sand for Instagram, where he has close to five thousand followers thanks to his constant updates of post-gym selfies. (He still can’t beat Namjoon, who runs a meme page with 10k followers.) “Are you having fun yet?” Taehyung says in his ear, and he jumps.

“Jesus, man, don’t scare me like that.” Taehyung pouts. “I mean, I was pissed, but since I’m stuck here till Sunday and the beach ain’t too bad either…” he trails off, shrugging. Anyways, even if Yoongi’s here, he can learn to ignore his presence and enjoy himself. It’s his summer, after all.

Taehyung’s smile droops. “Sorry. I was just trying to do what I thought was best for you. Even if my ideas kinda suck sometimes.”

“It’s okay. I’m not really mad anymore.”

Taehyung’s eyebrows waggle in that way that he knows whatever idea’s about to come out of his mouth is going to be the worst one yet. “Wanna help me scare Yoongi?”

Jungkook’s surprised Yoongi hadn’t just locked himself up in his room to simmer in rage, as he usually might have, but instead he’s out on the beach, lying on towels with Namjoon a little further up the beach. They’re sharing earphones; Namjoon’s on his phone. Probably updating his meme page, as usual. Yoongi’s slapping on sunscreen with an annoyed look on his face. Their short-lived peace will end in less than a second, when Taehyung carries out his Evil Master Plan. They’re gonna kill him. (Correction: Yoongi’s gonna kill him.) “No way.” Jungkook’s mouth drops open in horror. “Tae, no, what are you–”

But he doesn’t have to worry, because Taehyung cackles and races up the beach, shouting to Hoseok and Jimin for assistance. They pluck Yoongi from his towel and pull the earphones out of his ear, hoisting him by the armpits and ankles. Yoongi shouts in protest, but he barely has time to react as he’s dropped into the cold ocean. Jimin collapses onto the sand, shaking with laughter at the expression on Yoongi’s face.

“You look like a drowned rat,” he gasps.

Jungkook stifles a grin. Yoongi attempts to get up, but falls flat on his butt in the ocean as Hoseok and Taehyung fall over themselves trying to get away. They lead him in a merry chase up and down the shoreline, then Taehyung, breathless, runs up to Jungkook and says, “Next is Namjoon.”

They throw Namjoon into the sea as well, which proves to be a little trickier since he’s lankier than Yoongi. Someone starts a tussle in the water, and they all have a splash fight, Taehyung getting an unfair advantage over all of them since he’s armed with a water gun. Seokjin comes out of the house and onto the beach, having finished checked through the house thoroughly, and they waste no time in getting him wet by completing the customary dunking in the ocean as well.

Jimin wants to build a sandcastle.

“You’re not five, Jimin,” Yoongi says, rolling his eyes, but Taehyung joins him, and soon they have a pretty legitimate looking sand structure of about calf-level, complete with roughly-shaped turrets and a small moat. They add a leaf flag on top of it to complete the look. The rest look on, smirking. Namjoon’s trying to bury Yoongi up to his neck in sand while the other dozes off on his towel. Seokjin takes a picture of it and puts it on Instagram. Yoongi will probably attempt to strangle him in his sleep.

Sitting on the beach with a few of his closest friends, Jungkook feels an indescribable peace wash over him as he flops back onto the sand, watching Taehyung and Jimin bicker as the waves sweep their royal residence away into the ocean. Above him, the sky shines a brilliant blue, without a single cloud in sight. A small breeze flits across his face. He smiles into it and closes his eyes.

And while he might’ve enjoyed his alone time back in the city without any meddling friends in his life and only Overwatch and Netflix (and sometimes Yugyeom) to keep him company, he can’t help but admit that he rather likes this arrangement. He needed a break to get away from the city, after all.

And so had Yoongi.

 

An hour later, Hoseok’s getting hungry and he won’t stop whining, so to shut him up everyone else agrees to get lunch. Jungkook destroys what’s left of the sandcastle with the water gun (Taehyung graciously provides the appropriate sound effects) and they go back inside, changing into clean clothes. Seokjin suggests they check out the row of restaurants lining the boulevard two blocks away from their beach residence, so, armed with sunglasses and hats to combat the heat, they head out into the scorching Santa Monica weather.

They end up in a sketchy-looking hole-in-the-wall establishment that Seokjin swears up and down is most probably a hidden gem. “Trust me, I don’t work at Buzzfeed as a content editor in the food section for nothing,” he argues, when the rest of them protest. “I have impeccable taste in dining.”

Unexpectedly, the food turns out to be very good, even if it doesn’t provide much of a variety beyond seafood dishes. Hoseok keeps eyeing his stomach as if he’s afraid he might bolt and run for the toilet to throw up any second.

“Dude.” He looks up from his phone at the sharp jab in his ribs. It’s Taehyung, with that same devilish glint in his eyes. “Do you dare me to put an entire spoonful of Extra-Hot hot sauce in my mouth without drinking any water after?” Next to him, Yoongi bats him away distractedly, eyes drooping slightly in his sated, post-lunch bliss. Namjoon’s settling the bill at the counter. Seokjin has probably gone off to the toilet. Hoseok’s still freaking out at the possibility that he could’ve gotten food poisoning from the food. Jimin doesn’t even give a shit. “No one,” he says, rolling his eyes. “Taehyung, could you maybe go without being extra for five minutes–”

“Sure, go ahead,” Jungkook says, knowing full well that he’d done worse shit than that for some stupid dare. The grin on Taehyung’s face grows even wider. He waggles his eyebrows at Jungkook, shaking out a large dollop of hot sauce onto a (used) spoon. Hoseok swallows at the pile of red-hot sauce on the spoon with wide eyes.

“I can’t believe you guys are making me do this,” Taehyung says, shaking his head.

(“You literally suggested it yourself,” mutters Hoseok.)

“You’re gonna get indigestion–” Jimin mutters, but Taehyung opens his mouth wide, prepared to inhale the Fiery Spawn of Satan, when–

“Wait.” Taehyung stops. Jungkook eyes him, disinterested, but Taehyung waggles his eyebrows once more. “Are you chickening ou–” Then he sees who Taehyung’s eyeing. “Look who fell asleep,” Taehyung mouths, nodding towards the prone figure next to him.

It’s remarkable, really, how Yoongi can fall asleep anywhere, even in a cramped restaurant only moments after lunch. Well, to be fair, they had been waiting for their bill for what seemed like centuries. (And it wasn’t all too surprising, Yoongi had fallen asleep while standing on the subway once.) His head is pillowed on his elbows as he snoozes gently on the table in front of them–probably the most peaceful rest he’s having in months. He looks almost...angelic. It would be a sin to wake him up.

Taehyung is no stranger to sinning.

Jimin and Hoseok watch with identical looks of horrified awe and fascination. “I wish we had popcorn to watch this with,” Jimin whispers almost reverently as Taehyung nudges the spoonful of hot sauce towards Yoongi’s lips.

Jungkook knows this trick well. Taehyung, the infamous prankster of their residential hall back in college, had played this prank on his unsuspecting freshman roommate near the start of the semester. Till this day, Jungkook still remembers the agony that had bloomed across his sensory nerves as he awoke to fresh hell.

“Are you out of your mind?” Jungkook hisses at Taehyung in terror. “What are you doing?”

“I’m not gonna put the whole thing in his mouth. Just enough for him to wake up and start screaming bloody murder,” Taehyung assures him.

There are two very simple reasons as to why this is a terrible idea. First of all, Yoongi would actually murder Taehyung. It would be total carnage. He can picture the scene already, the restaurant in flames while the rest of them escape out the back door and duck behind the hood of a car, avoiding Yoongi because anything in his line of sight would immediately be destroyed.

Secondly, after six months of dating the guy, he knows for a fact that Yoongi hates spicy food because he can’t handle it. At all. His tolerance level is a joke. The spiciest thing Jungkook has ever seen him eat was his mother’s kimchi–and that was years-old, fermented kimchi that tasted more of sour than sweet. A single drop of Extra-Hot hot sauce and–

The spoon is nearly touching Yoongi’s lips. Taehyung looks positively delighted, the devil’s incarnation. Jungkook makes a decision right there and then.

...anything to save Taehyung’s life.

He snatches the spoon out of Taehyung’s hands just as it comes into contact with Yoongi’s bottom lip–and shoves the whole thing into his mouth. It burns. It fucking burns and he can feel tears forming at the corners of his eyes, sliding down his cheeks as he forces all of it down. He has an entire flashback to that fateful morning in freshman year which had cemented his relationship with Taehyung from then on.

Yoongi doesn’t even stir.

“Water,” Jungkook croaks out. He’s pretty sure he can’t feel his tongue anymore, and his throat feels like it’s on fire. Jimin nearly dumps the entire container of water over him in his hurry to provide immediate aid. Jungkook gulps down the water, cool relief rushing down his throat until he’s emptied the container and his mouth doesn’t feel like an explosion had just taken place in it.

“...what did you do that for?” Taehyung asks. Jungkook looks up, wiping his hand with the back of his mouth. The three of them gape at him in shock.

“Saving your life, asshole,” he mutters just as Seokjin gets back from the toilet and Namjoon returns from the counter, waving his credit card in the air. He avoids the others’ stares boring holes into him and clears his throat.

“What did we miss?” asks Seokjin.

 

Taehyung and Hoseok want to go clubbing. “There are clubs back in the city too,” Jimin says, rolling his eyes, but he’s feigning annoyance. Jimin loves clubbing. He and Taehyung used to go every weekend when they were still in college. He’s probably just as excited, if not more than Taehyung and Hoseok are.

Jungkook on the other hand, despises clubbing. He hates how loud it is, how you can’t hold a conversation in a club without needing to shout over the din of music and other people, the way everything is too in-your-face and too much at one time and there are way too many people in his personal space, sliding alongside each other in a sweaty, hot mess on the dance floor or at the bar. It’s just….overall unpleasant, and he would’ve rather much preferred staying back at the beach house for a less rowdy night in.

Except they’re celebrating Namjoon’s birthday, which is total bullshit, because his birthday’s an entire month away, and he wants to get drunk. That’s how they end up in one of the dance bars in Main Street, nursing drinks at a table as they watch everyone else on the dance floor grind to EDM.

Hoseok’s drunk. This much is apparent, from the way he’s slamming his half-empty bottle of beer down on the table with a loud cheer, head lolling sideways on Jimin’s shoulder as the other grimaces and tries to push him away. Jungkook doesn’t know how someone can get drunk off one bottle of beer, but then again Hoseok’s always been somewhat of a lightweight. Besides, it probably has more to do with the fact that Namjoon had snuck him at least three shots when they were pregaming.

Jimin sighs and runs a hand through his hair. He looks more irritated rather than like he’s enjoying himself. Jungkook doesn’t blame him: the place is loud, crowded and cramped, and Hoseok is drooling on his shoulder. “Where’re the rest? They disappeared fifteen minutes ago and never came back.”

Taehyung shrugs. “There’s probably a queue at the toilet.”

Jimin lets out another ragged sigh and leans his head against the back of the booth. “Seriously, fuck Namjoon-hyung for getting Hoseok-hyung drunk, now I’ll have to take care of him throughout the night.”

“C’mon. Loosen up a little.” Jungkook waves his own beer bottle in Jimin’s direction.

Jimin shakes his head. “It’s fine, I think I’ll probably be driving tonight. I haven’t really had any to drink yet.”

“Suit yourself.” Jungkook takes a swig of beer, feeling the bitter rush of alcohol spread through his body. He hates clubbing, but that doesn’t mean he hates alcohol. He’s a college student, after all. He’s had his fair share of heavy drinking. The music is loud even from where they’re seated a little distance away from the dance floor, bass thumping and the beat reverberating beneath their feet. He can feel the thrill of excitement riding on the crowd racing through him, a lick of adrenaline up his spine. He swallows and stares out into the dance floor, absorbing the atmosphere. The song currently playing is one that he kinda likes, one that has a chill, smooth techno beat that pulses in time to the strobe lights on the dance floor. There are fog machines somewhere at work producing fog and smoke, haloing the crowd of people in an almost mystical effect.

Jungkook can’t remember how many shots he’s taken, but he’s not tipsy, or until the point as Hoseok is. He looks at Taehyung, who’s tossing back his first vodka shot of the night. The grin on his face is impossibly wide as he exhales. Taehyung is a very, very happy drunk.

“Let’s go dance,” he yells at Jungkook over the din of the music, despite the fact that they’re within spitting distance.

“You should probably go. Taehyung’s been staring at the dance floor for the longest time,” Jimin says. He sighs and pats Hoseok’s head. “Don’t worry, I’ll look after him. He’s too drunk to even stand up on his own.”

Jungkook rolls his eyes. He wonders how much more alcohol it will take for Taehyung to be too drunk to tell the difference between his left and right foot, but he lets Taehyung drag him out of his seat to the dance floor anyways. He gulps the rest of his beer down–liquid courage–and switches the empty bottle out for another. He’s tipsy, but not as drunk as Hoseok. He shoots Jimin a pitying look and follows Taehyung as they wade out into the crowd.

This is the part he hates the most about clubbing: dancing. The music is way too loud and there are too many people that he feels kind of suffocated. It’s fine watching from afar, but up close it’s loud, messy and crowded, and he can’t enjoy the music properly. Not to mention the sleazy clubgoers who he’s constantly running into, looking to cop a feel. But Taehyung is laughing and bobbing his head to the music, looking like he’s having the time of his life together with everyone else jumping up and down on the dance floor as he shouts something unintelligible, so Jungkook sighs and goes along with it.

From the dance floor, he catches sight of a familiar red shirt, spotting Namjoon quickly–he’s over by the bar, leaning on the counter with his slicked-back hair as he tries to chat up some girl with long legs and fiery red hair. Jungkook snorts. Predictable.

The music that’s playing is really good. The current song has a hard, fast beat that’s great for dancing to. Whoever’s DJing tonight has really great taste. He glances in the direction of the DJ booth–it’s a female DJ, long waves of hair swaying in time to the music. There’s another figure onstage next to her that looks familiar, leaning casually against the booth, laughing at something she says. His blood runs cold as the figure shifts and moves into the light in an otherwise darkened club, illuminating his features. It’s Yoongi. His eyes are zeroing on the DJ as he listens to her animatedly chat about whatever it is they’re talking about. Completely capturing his attention. His mouth feels dry. He’s rooted to the spot. He can’t bring himself to tear his gaze away from Yoongi.

Yoongi shifts, then for a second he’s making direct eye contact with Jungkook for the second time today. His lips part slightly just as they had the first time this morning. Recognition sparks in his eyes, replaced by a flash of emotion, but then the girl says something else and he looks away, jaw set stiffly as he dips his head to hear her better. They both laugh. Jungkook’s a distance away, but the ugly sound grates against his heart. He feels something uncomfortable and dark twist in his belly.

He inhales, then reaches for a new bottle of beer, twisting the cap off and chugging it down, almost defiantly, feeling the raw sting of the alcohol chase away the ice-cold feeling running through his veins. Taehyung’s nowhere to be found, lost in the press of the crowd, but fuck it. Knowing full well Yoongi can see him onstage, he throws his head back and moves his body to the beat, near-emptying another bottle of beer. By the end of the third song, his neck is sticky with sweat, cooling off on his neck, intense pleasure coursing through his veins and replacing the bitter taste in his mouth that isn’t from the beer.

Halfway through the fifth or sixth song, he’s stumbling to the bar in the centre of the dance floor when someone grabs his shoulder from behind. “Jeon Jungkook?”

“What?” He spins around quickly. There’s a familiar face leaning against the bar, eyes lit up in recognition. “Who are–whoa, hey!” Lee Taemin, who had been a senior in college and the captain of the dance team when Jungkook had joined as a freshman.

“So why’re you in Santa Monica?” Taemin asks, sliding into the seat next to Jungkook with a grin. “I thought you were supposed to be living out the rest of your summer break at home before hell. Senior year next, right?”

Jungkook shakes his head. “I was, but I’m on a vacation with my friends. They have a beach house here.”

“Hey, you want a drink? My friend’s on shift tonight, I can get us a discount.”

“Oh, sure.” Taemin pays for his drink. “How about you? Last I heard you moved to the East Coast after grad.”

“Oh, yeah,” Taemin chuckles. “Uh, that didn’t work out too well. I was trying to become a backup dancer, but I live in LA now. I’m a choreographer at my friend’s studio, we’re teaching a workshop in Santa Monica for the weekend.”

Their conversation turns to the topic of college life quickly after that. Jungkook’s never been particularly close to his senior, having only known him for half a year while he was still a painfully shy, bumbling freshman, but he’s surprised at how easy it is to talk to Taemin as if they’ve been friends for years.

One drink quickly turns into two drinks, and then three. By the time he’s attempting to order another one from the bartender he can’t even remember how to say tequila, and Taemin puts a stop to it quickly, cutting him off in the middle of his sentence. “I think that’s enough for the night, man. You’re drunker than I realised.” Jungkook giggles. Nothing is even funny in particular, but the way Taemin is staring at him with a mixture of pity and amusement is somehow hilarious to him in his drunken state. Taemin snorts and pulls Jungkook up. “Not as cute now as I thought you were a few minutes ago. I can’t believe you’re one of the best dancers in the crew when you can’t even walk in a straight line without tripping over your feet.”

“You’re good too, Taemin,” Jungkook grins, patting Taemin’s hair. The other scowls and ducks away from his reach. “Thanks,” he replies with dry amusement. “I wish we were having this conversation some other time, preferably when you’re more sober.”

Jungkook laughs and waves him away. “I’m fine,” he says, but it comes out as more of I’m fineeee.

Taemin shakes his head and grins despite himself. “That’s gonna be one nasty hangover to wake up to. Come on, where’s your phone? I gotta call your friends.”

Jungkook grins stupidly as Taemin pulls his phone out of his back pocket. “Dead,” he mutters. “That’s great. Well, I guess I’ll just have to get you home myself. Do you remember your address?”

Jungkook mumbles something undecipherable into the crook of Taemin’s neck as he bundles him out of the club and into an awaiting taxi.

“Thanks, that’s helpful–”

“Hold on, what the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

It’s from an unknown, yet familiar voice coming from outside the cab, with rough cadences and an irritated bite to it. Taemin pauses with his hand on the door. He leans out of the cab. “I should be asking you the same thing. Who are you and what are you doing?”

“That’s my boy–I mean, friend you’re taking home there,” the familiar voice spits.

Boyfriend? He blinks at the words, considering them in his inebriated state. He hears Taemin’s low chuckle. “Boyfriend? Yeah, right. Jungkook, do you even know this dude?”

Yoongi’s face looms into sight, worry etched across his features. “He’s not my boyfriend,” he turns around to snap at Taemin. “Just a–just a friend.”

“Yoongi?” he slurs weakly at the blurry features of Yoongi’s face in front of him. Yoongi sighs in relief and helps him out of the cab. Taemin steps to the side in defeat.

“I’m taking it that you guys know each other, then,” he says, but flinches as Yoongi steps towards him threateningly.

“I’ll be taking him home,” Yoongi all but growls. “And I don’t take very kindly to assholes who try to take advantage of a drunk person.”

“Hey, Jungkook’s just my junior. I was just looking out for him, I didn’t know where his friends were.” Taemin raises his hands in surrender, shrugging, and slipping into the cab. “Have a great night, guys. Jungkook, when you’re sober enough, we should catch up.”

“Fucking asshole. The nerve of him,” Yoongi mutters as the cab speeds away. “Jungkook, you alright?”

He tries to answer, but his mouth feels like cotton as he opens and closes it weakly. “Fuck,” he hears Yoongi say darkly, just before everything goes black.

 

Jungkook wakes up to a pounding headache, a bitterness tasting faintly of alcohol pervading his mouth and no recollection whatsoever of what had transpired the night before. His headache is only exacerbated by the sunlight pouring in through the open window, shining directly into his face. The last time he’d gotten this hungover, it’d been ages before finals week. Eons ago. He groans and turns over, burying his face in a pillow–

–and colliding directly into a warm body.

Oh. He must’ve ended up in Jimin’s bed after the chaos of last night. He sighs and latches on, burying his head in the crook of his neck. Jimin just grunts, throwing an arm over him. Even through Jungkook’s grogginess, his roommate feels warm and soft. He breathes into Jimin’s neck, which smells suspiciously like the shampoo Yoongi uses. He makes a mental note to tease Jimin about it later. But something about Jimin’s body feels off today. There had been plenty of post-drinking mornings when they’d ended up cuddling on the couch, so Jungkook’s pretty used to spooning with Jimin by now, and hence, the shape and fit of Jimin’s back. Almost like it’s a thinner, less muscled version of Jimin today. Almost like–

“Stop it, that tickles,” a decidedly-not-Jimin voice groans huskily, muffled by the sheets.

Jungkook startles, suddenly awake despite the pounding pain in his head. His eyes pop open. The curled-up figure he had been cuddling only moments earlier is not his roommate, but his ex–who, in Jungkook’s panic, is beginning to stir at the absence of a warmth curled around him.

Yoongi turns and opens his eyes. He makes eye contact with Jungkook again for the third time (sober) in less than twenty-four hours.

He jumps up. “Fuck,” is the first word out of his mouth. He sits up, slowly rubbing at his eyes and grimacing. “Look, I can explain. I took you home because you were drunk–”

“Just–could you maybe stop talking? For a second?” As if it hadn’t been enough that he’d somehow ended up in his ex’s bed drunk, his head feels like it’s going to explode from the immense amount of pain building up in his skull. That’ll be the last time he lets Taehyung–or anybody else–convince him to go clubbing.

Yoongi looks immediately apologetic. “Sorry.” He’s sitting on the bed, scratching at his head, still in those rumpled 1 In A Minion boxers Jungkook had literally gotten him as a joke. He used to wear those around the house just to annoy the shit out of Jungkook (especially during sex. Nothing is as unsexy as a dick sheathed in Minion boxers). He can’t help but choke back a laugh at the familiar sight, despite the headache that’s worsening by the second.

Yoongi gives him a look. “What?”

“I can’t believe you’re actually wearing those boxers.”

Yoongi looks down, then looks up, immediately embarrassed. “Oh.” His cheeks redden. “Yeah, well I mean they’re comfy, so–”

“I can’t believe you even brought them on this trip–”

“–did you want aspirin? Or something? I know Seokjin packed a bunch of it, ironically he put it in the same place as the six-pack Hoseok bought–” Yoongi cuts in, clearing his throat.

“Yeah, that would be great,” Jungkook sighs, flopping back onto his pillow. The painful awareness of his hangover is seeping back into his body. His limbs feel like lead. He knows he should somehow feel humiliated by the fact that he’d somehow ended up in Yoongi’s bed, but he’s in too much pain to even care.

Yoongi pulls a shirt over his boxers and leaves the room, leaving Jungkook to rot in his own misery. He returns shortly with a glass of warm water and pills. Jungkook accepts it gratefully, swallowing them down with a grimace. “How do you not have a hangover?” he moans enviously.

Yoongi smirks. “Unlike someone, I wasn’t trying to drink myself to death last night.”

“R-right.” Jungkook looks down at his sheets. “How...did I end up here last night?” he asks hesitantly, like he doesn’t actually want to know the answer to that.

“You don’t remember?” Yoongi’s eyebrows are furrowed. He coughs and looks away into a corner. “It’s, uh–”

“You can tell me, I’ve done a lot of embarrassing shit when drunk. Nothing surprises me anymore. Wait.” Realisation strikes him, followed by horror. He pulls the covers off fearfully. He’s only wearing underwear. “Dude, the fuck? I got into your bed half-drunk, did we have–”

No.” Yoongi’s response is choked, his face horrified. “I wouldn’t have taken advantage of you like that, Jesus. No, you were so drunk that I thought taking you home would be a better idea than trying to find the rest, except you were drunk to the point that you climbed into my bed and wouldn’t leave, so I just let you sleep here. Also, did you know you still have that habit of stripping while sleeping?”

“Yeah, no need to remind me,” Jungkook moans, putting his head into his hands. “Thank God. I’m sorry for everything, by the way.”

“There was also that guy last night,” Yoongi continues, slowly. “You know, the slimy-looking one who was leering at you? He was trying to get you into a cab, but I stopped him just in time.”

“Oh.” He feels the heat rising to his face. Slimy-looking guy? He hadn’t remembered any slimy-looking guys appearing in his drunken escapades, unless Yoongi was talking about– “That was Taemin, he was a senior from college. He probably just wanted to take me home.”

“He could’ve taken you back to his own place.”

“Yeah, but you didn’t have to be so rude about him. Taemin’s a nice guy,” Jungkook mutters, rubbing at the bridge of his nose.

Yoongi stares at him. “You were fucking drunk, Jungkook. Excuse me if I was trying to stop someone from taking advantage of you in that state. We may not be dating anymore, but I still care about your well-being.”

“Sorry.” He feels Yoongi’s words punch him like a well-deserved kick to the gut. They’re gonna start fighting again, and he just woke up. “Taemin and I are friends though, it wasn’t anything like that.”

“Doesn’t matter. None of my business, right?” Yoongi says in an acidic tone. Jungkook winces at the sharpness of his words and he’s about to open his mouth to apologise again when Yoongi says, “Also, I’ve some bad news.”

“Oh. What now?”

Yoongi looks irritated. “The rest of them. Namjoon, Hoseok–the whole lot. They’re gone.”

“Wait what?” He feels even more horrified, even that’s even possible. “Can you maybe elaborate on that?”

Yoongi swallows and still won’t meet his eyes. “Gone like–they’re not in the house. I think they went out for breakfast or something.”

“The hell? Did you try calling them?” Those sneaky motherfuckers. As if it weren’t bad enough that he’d been kidnapped to Santa Monica for a weekend with his ex, and mistakenly ended up in the same bed with him indirectly the result of their suggestion of a drunken night out, they had gone and decided to leave him and Yoongi in the house. Alone. He’s actually gonna strangle Taehyung when they get back.

Yoongi sighs. “I texted Seokjin. He hasn’t replied since.”

He straightens up. “Yeah, so. Guess we’ll just have to wait for them to get back.” He laughs. “What a shitty weekend, huh? If I were you, I wouldn’t want to be in the same room as my ex while I was suffering from the worst hangover of my life. I’ll just let you get some rest.” There’s a hint of bitterness lacing his voice as he walks to the door and pulls it open. “Call if you need anything.”

“Wait, Yoongi–” Jungkook begins, but the door shuts before he can even say anything else. Jungkook cranes his head to stare up at the ceiling and sighs. After a moment’s deliberation, he pulls the sheets off, grimacing as his feet hit the cold hardwood. He pulls the door open and walks out. Yoongi’s sitting on the couch with the TV remote in his lap. He turns around to squint at Jungkook. “What–”

“I just wanted to apologise–”

“There isn’t anything to apologise for,” Yoongi says, eyes turning back to the television screen, which has literally nothing on it except for the loading screen. “Just a friend helping out his drunk friend.”

“Okay, then I wanted to say thank you,” Jungkook says. “For, uh, looking out for my ass last night. And letting me sleep in your bed while I was drunk, even if we haven’t talked in two months.” Yoongi still doesn’t respond.

The words are out of his mouth before he can stop them. He exhales and rocks back on his feet, eyes focusing on the overhanging light above them. “Yeah, it’s been two months, can you believe it? All this time and I still miss you.”

There. He’s said it. He watches as Yoongi’s eyes widen slightly. He’s turning around very slowly to look at Jungkook disbelievingly, his lips parting as if to say something. Jungkook stares resolutely at the light and waits. After five seconds, he realises Yoongi isn’t going to respond and turns away, stepping in the direction of his own room with a heavy feeling weighing down his chest.

“I’m sorry. I miss you too.”

His heart stops. He spins around to look at Yoongi, who is staring right back at him with something like relief filling his eyes. “What?

Yoongi snorts. “I could’ve left the minute we arrived in Santa Monica and taken a cab back to LA. You really think the reason why I decided to stay is because Seokjin threatened to burn my headphones and change the password to my computer if I didn’t give myself a damn break from work? Yeah, no–”

“Hold on, what–”

“–it obviously wasn’t. Look, I know that I suck at feelings and words but I,” Yoongi’s flushing now, looking anywhere but Jungkook, “I know that I’m still not over you. I miss you too. I don’t want to give you up that easily.”

He pauses and takes a deep breath. “And when I saw you with that guy–Taemin, last night, I felt...I don’t know. I realised that I still want you back.”

“But you and that girl at the DJ booth–” Jungkook starts, walking towards Yoongi, who shakes his head furiously.

“No, what? No, I was just asking her about the music. She seemed pretty cool. I mean–” Yoongi shakes his head again. “This isn’t about the girl. I’m not into her. I’m not dating anyone. I haven’t been interested in anyone since you. Wait, this is what I mean by I suck at words and stuff–”

“Shut up.” Jungkook grins, moving closer until his knees are hitting the couch, towering over Yoongi. It’s amusing, watching usually cold and unflappable Min Yoongi being reduced to a babbling mess. Yoongi gulps. “Jungkook, what are you–”

“You mean it?” Jungkook says, barely a whisper. “You really mean it this time?”

“Yeah, why else would I be baring my feelings to you?” Yoongi asks, almost impatient, sliding his gaze up to look Jungkook in the eye almost hungrily.

“Then is it okay if I–” He lets his eyes travel down to Yoongi’s lips, but before he can even do anything Yoongi’s already pulling him down. He’s so close that Jungkook can count each individual eyelash. Then Yoongi’s lips are on his, and they feel cold and chapped against his own, but not unwelcome. He melts into it easily, refitting himself back into Yoongi’s embrace.

It’s been two months. There isn’t any anger or resignation left, just an insatiable yearning as they delve into each other like they haven’t kissed in months–which is true. When Yoongi finally breaks away, he smirks, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand, and says, “You don’t even have to ask.”

“Can’t believe it took the worst hangover of my life for us to start talking to each other after two months,” Jungkook grumbles as he falls into Yoongi’s side, sighing in contentment as Yoongi wraps an arm around him, planting a kiss on his forehead and cradling him against his side. “I really missed this.”

“Missed what? Me?”

“And that too. But kissing you. Or really just kissing, in general. I haven’t gotten any action since–since two months ago.”

“Haven’t kissed anyone properly in two months, huh?” Yoongi murmurs. “Well, let’s fix that.” Something dark and possessive flashes in his eyes, and he places a hand on Jungkook’s cheek, then leans in again, ravenously. Yoongi kisses like they have all the time in the world, languidly, slowly, mouthing up the nape of his neck and breath fanning across his earlobe, squeezing a hand on his inner thigh. He hadn’t realised how much he’d missed this. (He’s a young male adult. He has needs.)

He feels the pressure of Yoongi’s right hand on his thigh shift to his crotch, and he starts, pulling away rapidly. The look in Yoongi’s eyes vanishes, replaced by guilt. “Shit, I’m sorry. Was I going too fast or–”

“No, it’s just that–” Jungkook bites his lip. “Um. As much as I want to maybe make out with you for another four more hours and have really great make-up sex, I still think we should resolve whatever’s been going on between us. I don’t really wanna regret anything after the sex.”

(The fourth rule of Taehyung’s Dating Guidebook: never ever have sex with your ex. He’d already broken that rule a couple of times, but had always lived to regret it and pass the advice on to Jungkook.)

“Fair enough.” Yoongi sighs and removes his arms from around Jungkook. “Resolving arguments never fails to kill a boner.”

Jungkook rolls his eyes. “Sorry. The faster we get our feelings out of the way, the faster you’ll get dicked down.”

He clears his throat. “So. I’ll start first. I was mad.”

Yoongi shifts uncomfortably. “So...was I.”

“Do you remember you had that one really huge project? You were staying back at the studio to work on it all the time. I felt like I was being abandoned. I felt like...you didn’t care anymore.”

“I’m sorry,” Yoongi says, lowering his gaze. “I cared about you, obviously–I mean I still do. Care about you. I just suck at showing it. I mean, I had been busy during that period of time and I didn’t treat you right, but we were fighting all the time at home. You would get mad about the smallest things and then freak out. I couldn’t stand it anymore.”

“It was finals week! And I also had that dance showcase, you know? Seriously, I was stressed as fuck,” Jungkook gripes, feeling that familiar bitterness rise to the surface. “Back then, I thought...I thought you didn’t care about me or my problems. It was always about you. You weren’t as invested in that relationship as I was.” He feels sick to his stomach. Suddenly, he wonders if kissing Yoongi was the right thing to do. Soon they’ll start fighting again, and then one of them will walk away, slam the door and never look back.

“You never told me,” Yoongi protests. “I’m not a psychic, Jungkook. You can’t just expect me to immediately know what’s on your fucking mind. Just because we’re in a relationship doesn’t mean we magically have telepathy. So you were just being passive-aggressive and taking out your feelings on me? Was that it?”

“We both have short tempers,” Jungkook argues. “You’re emotionally stunted. I bottle my feelings up all the time. We sucked at communicating.”

Yoongi laughs suddenly, a surprising sound that cuts through the tension. Jungkook lets out the breath he didn’t even know he had been holding. “Everyone was right,” he says, shaking his head. “We really do suck at talking. If only we’d talked about this two months ago.”

“I hate it when they’re right,” Jungkook mutters. “Especially when it’s Taehyung or Seokjin. They’re annoying. They’ll lord it over us for the next ten centuries.” He chuckles. “Hey, we suck at talking, but we managed to make it through five months before you moved in,” he says. “It was just...a really difficult time for us, I think.”

“Yeah.” Yoongi smiles. “Hey...I’m sorry. I’m a shit boyfriend. I should’ve listened to you more, should’ve never made you feel like I was prioritising work over our relationship.”

“I’m sorry too,” Jungkook says. “We’re both shit boyfriends. Next time I’ll work on trying to talk to you about how I feel.”

“Next time? Does that mean you’ll take me back?” Yoongi asks, his eyes lighting up. “You know what, I think I’ll call in to ask if I can get a break off work for a week this summer.”

“Really, you’d do that?”

“Yeah.” Yoongi grins at him with that gummy smile of his. “You over work, remember?”

Jungkook leans in and kisses Yoongi again. They pull away, breathless, then Yoongi says, hopefully, “So...makeup sex?”

Jungkook stares at him. “We just had a cheesy moment and now you’re–” But Yoongi tackles him down to the sofa. “They’re coming back soon, we can’t afford to waste anymore time.”

Jungkook’s about to fire a snarky remark back at him but Yoongi catches him off-guard, planting an open-mouthed kiss on the underside of his jaw. He can’t help the gasp that escapes him as Yoongi continues planting a trail of kisses up his jaw, mouthing at the skin underneath his ear. Jungkook squirms beneath him, his crotch accidentally brushing against Yoongi’s arm, and Yoongi pulls away, eyes widening. Jungkook whines at the sudden loss of contact, but Yoongi chuckles and says, “I can’t believe you’re half-hard already.”

“Yeah well, I couldn’t help it when you were literally feeling me up before our conversation,” Jungkook snaps, tugging impatiently on Yoongi’s arm. “Are you just gonna leave me hanging or–”

“This coming from the one who effectively killed both our boners?” Yoongi smirks.

“I swear to god, Yoongi, they’re gonna walk through the door anytime soon–”

“Okay, okay,” Yoongi relents, tugging on the waistband of Jungkook’s boxers. He gasps at the sudden contact. “Fucking impatient, aren’t you?”

“Just–hurry up and touch me alread–”

He breaks off into a sudden cry as Yoongi slips his hand into his boxers, placing his palm on the base of Jungkook’s dick and stroking upwards in one fluid motion. He kisses Jungkook, muffling his moans with his own mouth as he continues, alternating between long upward strokes from the base of his dick to his head, and rubbing his thumb over the head of his dick. Night after night he’d jerked himself off to porn videos–hell, he’d even fantasized ashamedly about Yoongi some nights when he’d run out of material, but here Yoongi is, his hand a familiar warmth around him. It feels almost unreal, a familiar tension pooling gradually at the gut, but not enough to send him over the edge. Yoongi breaks away to press kisses up his neck. “Harder,” he gasps.

He swears Yoongi smirks at him. “Begging for it, huh?” he says lowly into Jungkook’s ear, and he nearly jumps out of his skin, but Yoongi tightens his grip around him and uses his other hand to grip the base of Jungkook’s dick, cradling his balls in it.

“Oh fuck,” Jungkook gasps. He’s close, he’s so close, he can feel the tightening around his gut as Yoongi murmurs into his ear, quickening the pace of his strokes on Jungkook’s dick. He comes into Yoongi’s fist, white-hot flashes on the underside of his eyelids, and pants heavily, resting his head against Yoongi’s shoulder. He should be embarrassed that he’d barely lasted, but in this moment, he’s still struggling to catch his breath, sated at last.

“That was fast,” he hears Yoongi says in disbelief. “Did you even last five minutes–”

“Shut up,” he grumbles, kissing Yoongi. “You’re such a tease.”

He feels Yoongi smile against his lips, and then he’s breaking away, grabbing some tissue from the table to wipe cum off his hand. “Gross,” he says, disgusted, then he turns to Jungkook. “So are you gonna do me too or–”

Suddenly, there’s the sound of an engine. Both of them jerk apart at the same time. Seokjin’s car pulling up to the front of the house. Yoongi stares at Jungkook, eyes blown wide comically. “You’re not wearing pants,” he hisses urgently.

“Look, I don’t want them to know about what happened because they’re gonna be so smug and hold it over me for the next decade,” Jungkook hisses back. “Especially Taehyung, he’s the worst. He’ll attribute our ‘relationship success’ to his sage words of advice.”

“Well, we actually have Taemin to thank for that,” Yoongi says, rolling his eyes. “Wait, so what do you want me to do?”

“Just...pretend like nothing ever happened,” Jungkook says, as the voices get louder, approaching the front door. He jumps up and scurries away just as he hears a key turn in the lock.

“I swear, I’m dating an actual five-year-old,” Yoongi mutters, scrambling into a sitting position just as the door opens. He shoves the ball of tissue behind him, as an afterthought.

Taehyung and Jimin enter, followed by Namjoon, Seokjin and Hoseok. They’re each carrying bags of groceries, laughing in a loud, obnoxious way. They collectively pause in their tracks when their eyes meet the cold scene in front of them: Yoongi lounging about carelessly on the sofa, still in his Minion boxers and scrolling through his phone with a bored expression on his face, and Jungkook, who strolls out his room (having just picked up a shirt from the floor and put it on only seconds earlier). They don’t even bother to acknowledge each other. Yoongi raises his gaze from his phone and lifts a hand in greeting. “Sup, guys? Where’d you go?”

“Grocery shopping,” Seokjin says, looking at the both of them with an equal mix of suspicion and confusion. “Did something happen?”

Jungkook blinks innocently, staring at the rest of them. “Why would anything happen?”

“Nothing happened?” squawks Namjoon and Hoseok at the same time.

Taehyung gives him The Look, the look that means we are most definitely going to have a talk later and disappears into the kitchen to deposit his bags, Jimin and the rest trailing after him. Seokjin watches Jungkook through slitted eyes as he walks across the room and grabs a banana from the fruit bowl. Then he gets up and crosses to the sofa, sniffing the air above Yoongi’s head. Yoongi eyes him warily. “What on earth are you doing.”

Seokjin continues sniffing. “Smells kinda weird in here. Kind of like...someone had sex in here, or something.”

Jungkook nearly drops the banana.

Yoongi eyes him critically. “You’re imagining things, old man.”

 

They go to the beach before lunch. Seokjin cooks and makes Yoongi help him in the kitchen, while the rest head down to the sea. He’s running ahead to meet the open ocean, kicking up sand behind his feet, when Taehyung pulls urgently on his hand to make him stop. He whirls around. “What?”

Taehyung has a hand on his hip, cocking an eyebrow at Jungkook. “So nothing really happened?”

“I can’t believe you did that,” Jungkook grumbled. “So I guess this is what Jimin meant by drastic measures, huh–”

“Okay, okay,” Taehyung says, raising his hands in surrender. “In our defense, we were starving and you and Yoongi weren’t up yet, so we just left. I mean, you guys were just in the same house together alone, right? Nothing much would’ve happened.”

“Nothing much happened?” Jungkook says. “Yeah, right. We literally woke up together. In the same bed.”

“Holy shit.” Taehyung’s mouth falls open. “Fuck, that must’ve been some hangover.” He starts laughing uncontrollably. “Were you naked? Did you at least have pants on? Wait, no, did you guys actually sleep together?

“Not so loud, Jesus,” Jungkook hisses, looking anxiously to where Jimin, Namjoon and Hoseok are shouting and splashing each other in the shallow waves. “Also no, we did not. Nothing happened,” he lies.

“Pity.” Taehyung pouts. “What a missed opportunity to get back together with your ex.” Jungkook is trying so hard to maintain his poker face at the irony of Taehyung’s words. If only you knew, Taehyung. “Wait, how’d that even happen? Must have been awkward as hell.”

“I’m a terrible drunk,” Jungkook deadpans. “I woke up cuddling him. I thought he was Jimin.”

“Oh, God–” Taehyung cries out, wiping tears of mirth from his eyes. “Dude, wait until I tell Jiminie about it,” he says, just as Jungkook squeaks out a “no!” “Okay, I won’t,” he reassures. “But that’s pretty hilarious. Best hangover story I’ve heard in months. We didn’t even realise. Jimin crashed at mine and Namjoon’s, so he probably hadn’t realised.”

Jungkook scowls at him. “If you breathe a word about any of this to anyone, I’ll end your pitiful life, Kim Taehyung. And stop rejoicing in my suffering,” he complains as Taehyung rolls around in the sand in laughter.

“I can’t help it,” Taehyung says. “Anyways, if the same had happened to me, you’d be laughing even harder. That’s what best friends do.”

“And now I’ll never forget it.”

“And now you’ll never forget it,” Taehyung agrees solemnly, just as Seokjin comes up to them with Yoongi in tow. “Sup?”

“Tell the rest that lunch’s ready?” Seokjin asks. Taehyung nods, and Seokjin pats his shoulder, he turns around and walks back to the house. Taehyung races off down the beach, but he doesn’t get very far before being embroiled in some sort of splash war between Jimin, Namjoon and Hoseok. At this rate, it’ll take them a long time to get back to the house for lunch.

Somebody squeezes his hand. He looks up in surprise. It’s Yoongi, smiling down at him. “Hey.”

“Oh. You’re still here. I thought you went back to the house with Seokjin.”

“Nah, we’re finally alone again,” he says, and that makes Jungkook’s heart skip a beat like he’s some fucking fifteen-year-old who has a crush. (He is a twenty-one-year-old who has a crush. On Min Yoongi. His boyfriend.) Yoongi pushes Jungkook back against the tree he’d been leaning on and kisses him.

Jungkook nearly moans, but then he remembers where they are and pushes Yoongi off him lightly. “We’re in public,” he says. “Where, you know. Where our friends can see us. The same ones who betrayed our trust.”

Yoongi groans. “C’mon, we’re behind a tree. They can’t even see both of us talking.”

“They’re coming up the beach now. You gotta go ahead of me, so it doesn’t look suspicious if we don’t walk together,” Jungkook says, pointing behind him. Sure enough, the others have abandoned their game and are walking up the short distance from the sea to the top of the beach.

Yoongi relents. “Ugh. Okay. Fine. This feels like some clandestine relationship, which is stupid because there’s absolutely no reason for us to even keep our relationship private. We’re not even like celebrities or anything.”

“Shh. I’m sorry. It’s just petty revenge. You just have a really annoying and immature brat with the mental age of a five-year-old as your boyfriend.”

“Damn right,” Yoongi grumbles, but he pecks Jungkook’s lips for the last time, mumbling “When are we gonna stop sneaking around? It’s getting old real quick,” as he pushes off the tree, dragging his feet up the slope to the house.

At lunch, he loses any and all focus in the conversation at hand as soon as he feels a familiar set of legs tangle themselves around his own. He stops mid-chew, even though the burger is particularly good and he was only devouring it a second ago. Jungkook looks up to find Yoongi, sitting directly opposite Jungkook, picking at the lettuce on his burger with the most disinterested look on his face. When nobody’s looking, he flicks his gaze up to Jungkook’s face, giving him the barest hint of a smirk before returning to his usual impassive stare.

Jungkook’s jaw clenches. Traitor.

“–and it’s been a month but Jjanggu still isn’t toilet-trained yet–Jungkook? Are you okay?” Jungkook looks up to find Seokjin and everyone else at the table with their stares trained on him curiously. He returns their looks with an equally confused expression. “Is there something on my face?”

“No, you just looked really pissed for a second,” Seokjin says. He can almost see the mirth dancing in Yoongi’s eyes. Fucker.

“Oh. Um. I’m good. This burger’s just really good,” he says, in an effort to appease Seokjin, and it works because Seokjin beams and returns to the conversation. Taehyung mutters something that sounds suspiciously like suck-up, and Jungkook elbows him not-very-discreetly in the ribs.

He feels the press of Yoongi’s foot against his leg again, except this time it’s travelling further up, towards his crotch. It presses against his inner thigh, and he nearly chokes on his burger. He jerks his head up to shoot Yoongi an inconspicuous glare, but Yoongi’s leaning back in his seat, stretching casually as he yawns, even as his big toe traces the outline of Jungkook’s crotch. Jungkook scowls deeper and nudges his foot away. Alright, two can play at this game, he supposes. He retaliates, using his own foot to stroke up Yoongi’s calf and onto his thighs, settling it right between his legs and directly on his crotch. He moves it. Yoongi freezes, a pained expression taking root on his face. Jungkook tries valiantly not to smirk. Next to Yoongi, Namjoon laughs loudly at a joke Hoseok has made. They’re sitting at the far end of the table, separated from the rest of the conversation as they (attempt to) poke at their food silently. Even so, it’s a wonder how no one has noticed. Their friends have amazing observation skills.

“Don’t get a dog from the pet shop. You should adopt. That’s how we got Holly,” Yoongi’s saying suddenly, and it takes him some time to realise that he’s not actually talking to Jungkook but joining in the conversation, even as his other foot has returned to stroking lazily up and down Jungkook’s calf.

“Dude,” Taehyung says suddenly into his ear, and he jumps so hard his knee hits the table. An immense burst of pain shoots through his knee. He says three consecutive curse words in a row. Hoseok puts a hand over his mouth in shock. Yoongi’s mustering all his energy not to break into laughter at the table. “What the fuck, Taehyung? What was that for?”

“You were spacing out,” Taehyung says slowly, grabbing Jungkook’s face and forcing him to look Taehyung in the eye. “I mentioned G-Dragon’s name like, six times in the conversation and you didn’t say a thing. I even said G-Dragon’s having a concert in LA soon and I have VIP tickets really loudly and clearly but you ignored me and continued eating.”

“Wait, is he really?”

Dude, that’s not the point. Also, of course he isn’t. He’s going to the army in a month.” Taehyung stares at him oddly. “You’re being very weird.”

“Am I?” He coughs. “It’s probably just the burger. Tastes weird.”

“You literally said moments ago that it was good–” Seokjin says, looking horrified.

“Y-yeah well, I changed my mind. It’s kind of weird. I feel sick. Kinda need to throw up.” He doesn’t wait for anyone to say anything else before he’s running to the bathroom, hoping everyone else doesn’t notice the half-tent in his shorts. As he stands up to leave, he can almost hear Yoongi’s soft snickering at his misfortune. He’ll get Yoongi back for that later.

 

Everybody goes to sleep pretty early that night, despite it being the last night of their vacation. He finds himself awake at five thirty in the morning after a particularly restless sleep. It’s always like this the night after a hangover. He groans softly and stumbles out of bed, careful not to wake Jimin. He checks on his roommate: Jimin’s curled up in a fetal position, head slipping off his pillow. He smiles fondly at the sight and sneaks out quietly, closing the door as silently as he can.

He’s not alone when he walks out into the living room. And who else but Yoongi, who he keeps running into even if he’s trying to avoid him, is sitting on the couch with his arms tucked around his knees? He grins and slides into the space next to Yoongi, nuzzling into his shoulder as Yoongi wraps an arm around him. “I swear, it’s like you’re planning this on purpose.”

“Maybe I am,” Yoongi says playfully. “I don’t know, I woke up at five and couldn’t go back to sleep. I think my body’s just used to waking up early to get to the studio.”

“Hey. Remember what we said about you working too much?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m taking time off work for a week too, remember?” Yoongi kisses the top of his head. “Don’t sweat it, Mr. Serious.”

“That’s a terrible nickname.”

“You’re terrible.” They lapse into silence after that, watching the waves outside their window rise and fall in a steady rhythm. The moon is huge and bright tonight, shining high up in the sky right outside their window and illuminating the ocean sprawling across the scenery before them. White-tipped waves, dark in the night, crash against the sand and recede back to shore, an endless rhythm. The sea stretches as wide as the entire window before them, taking up the whole length of the wall. It feels like it could swallow them whole. “It’s beautiful,” Yoongi says, echoing Jungkook’s thoughts. “You know, this almost feels like a date.”

“You know, maybe it is.”

“To make up for all that lost time?”

“Yeah. And more. You remember our third date?” Yoongi stares at him. “I don’t even remember our anniversary date, how’d you expect me to remember our third date–”

Jungkook pinches him. “–okay, I’m kidding, I’m kidding. That really hurt, just so you know. January 22nd, right?” Jungkook nods, satisfied. “Anyways, what did we do on our third date?” Yoongi prods. “Since you remember so well. You’re like one of those couples who can remember not only anniversaries but one-month anniversaries and all that shit.”

“It’s cute,” Jungkook argues. “We watched the sunset, don’t you remember? You took me to the rooftop of your office building. We sat there for a long time and waited for the sun to set.”

“Oh. Yeah, I remember,” Yoongi says, grinning. “I was afraid of heights.”

“Look, the sun’s about to rise.” He nudges Yoongi in the ribs and they sit back, arms wrapped around each other. The sky is lightening, an orange sphere rising gently into the morning sky, bringing with it soft hues of pink and yellow that stain the inky night sky a brilliant purple, rays of light shining warm golden onto the underbellies of clouds. The open ocean ripples gently with a multitude of pastel purples and yellows. It’s the most beautiful thing Jungkook has ever seen.

Honestly, he’s really glad he went on this vacation. And for Taehyung too, and the rest of his friends, though he’s not willing to admit it just yet. Maybe it’s time to stop keeping up their disguise of petty revenge. The ocean really does look beautiful in the first light of day, with the beach empty and untouched except for the waves, a view all for Yoongi and his to keep.

“It’s beautiful,” Jungkook says, leaning up to look at Yoongi. Yoongi’s eyes are shining in agreement as he leans down and presses his lips to Jungkook.

“What the fuck.”

Jungkook jumps up from the couch. He feels the yelp of shock leave Yoongi’s mouth as he pulls away from him. Taehyung’s standing directly behind them, mouth wide open in shock as he gapes at the empty space that Jungkook had previously been occupying, where his lips had been on Yoongi’s, and Taehyung had seen everything. He’s not even alone, Jimin’s peering over his shoulder with an equally as horrified look on his face. “I knew it, you guys were fucking,” Taehyung all but shrieks. “You guys lied to me. Jungkook, I thought we were best friends–”

“What in the ever-loving fuck is happening?” Hoseok says, coming out from his room with an extreme case of bedhead. Seokjin and Namjoon both emerge from their rooms with the same bleary-eyed looks on their face. “Jungkook and Yoongi kissed,” Jimin informs them in a matter-of-fact way even as he’s crossing his arms, his face still sporting a look of shock. At this, everyone else immediately sobers up. The room dissolves into chaos.

“You guys are surprised?” Seokjin’s yelling into the chaos. “I told you guys, when we’d gotten back from grocery shopping on Sunday morning the whole place smelled of sex–”