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show me why you’re always smiling

laugh again and make me fall in love


 

the sun hangs over jeongguk, waves of heat pelting against his skin, but he can't bring himself to even think about how disgustingly hot it is outside--no--because all he can focus on is how broad the lifeguard looks sitting upon his pedestal (aka: the lawn chair on the lifeguard tower).

this sickening display of godly nature is too much for his mere mortal eyes. He tears his gaze away reluctantly and looks down at what he's wearing.

sandals, a plain t-shirt, and a pair of really stupid looking board shorts with cartoon sharks saying the words 'open wide' patterned all over them (courtesy of taehyung's closet). he's too embarrassed to even step foot on the beach, at least when one kim seokjin is present.

seokjin's eyes scan the beach, his skin sun-kissed and gorgeous, the whistle around his neck hanging loosely as he lifts it up to his plush lips. jeongguk gulps as he watches with fascination. he knows it's weird, to still be admiring his childhood crush when he's well into college now, but being here-- being home, he feels a surge of nostalgia. it's like he's fourteen again with a raging hard-on for his old neighbor. seokjin is jeongguk's wet dream personified--he's absurdly attractive and he's incredibly funny and sweet and holy shit he's looking right at jeongguk.

jeongguk snaps out of his reverie to quickly duck behind a trashcan in hopes of avoiding being seen.

he’s about to turn around and crab walk back to his van, but despite his better judgement, he peeks over the trashcan, and there he is. seokjin is walking toward jeongguk with a sweet smile on his face, his whistle catching the light as it swings back and forth over his sweaty, bare chest. jeongguk wants to jump into the trashcan, wondering if seokjin will notice right until seokjin stops just a few feet in front of him.  

“jeon jeongguk!” he grins at jeongguk and jeongguk damn nearly shoves his whole fist in his mouth and shits himself. “i had no idea you’d be back for the summer. staying with your parents for just a few months, huh? namjoon-ah will be lonely in your apartment.”

“hope he doesn’t burn it down while i’m gone…” he says absentmindedly, before he’s looking up at seokjin. “but yeah, i’m staying with them. you too, right?”

“yeah, just at their house before i head back to the city for next semester.” he sticks his tongue out in distaste and jeongguk swoons. “it’s nice to visit them, but i think they mostly just wanted me to dogsit for when they go on vacation to jeju in a few weeks. talked to your mom a few days ago though, she said you’re working at the dance studio with hoseok?” 

jeongguk watches seokjin’s lips move, staring at the way his mouth forms words, wondering what his pink lips would feel like against his-- “jeongguk?” seokjin tilts his head, coming closer. “you okay? you’re a bit red. do you need some water?”  

he shakes his head quickly. “n-no. i’m good, i think.” jeongguk definitely feels dizzy, but it’s one hundred and fifty percent not because of the heat. “i mean, if you’re offering to give it to me mouth to mouth, then sure.”

seokjin’s eyes widen, and jeongguk realizes just how stupid he must sound and did i actually let that come out of my fucking mouth?  jeongguk tries to laugh it off, but what comes out instead is a mangled, broken noise that even he’s startled by.

“uh, well people have been passing out left and right because of the heat waves. stay hydrated, alright?” seokjin’s smile is small, concerned.

jeongguk wants to faint just to feel seokjin’s hands pressed to his skin, but he can’t even fantasize about that right now because he’s still in shock, trying to rid himself from existence.

“yes, totally. hydration. water, sustenance, and all that,” his words come out like vomit, his eyes widening as he realizes how badly he’s floundering. he tries to save himself, remembering that seokjin had asked him a question. “i’m only working with hobi-hyung during the school year, i, uh. not over the summer. just going to be hanging around, y’know?”

seokjin nods his head understandingly. “that’s awesome! well, hey, if you’re looking for a summer job you should definitely apply to be a lifeguard. we can hang out, i’ve been meaning to catch up with you for some time now.”

jeongguk’s eye bug out and he swears he can’t breathe. he really does hope that seokjin will catch on and give him CPR--or anything that gets seokjin’s lips on his. “oh, i don’t know. i’m not the strongest swimmer, but i’ll think about it.”

the second he says it, he regrets it. seokjin’s face deflates a little and jeongguk kicks himself internally, before seokjin’s perking up again. “that’s fine, it’s not for everyone. but definitely come by the lifeguard station whenever you come to the beach. i’m working almost every shift this summer.”

jeongguk laughs awkwardly, sounding oddly robotic. “for sure, hyung, i will.”

seokjin gives him a small wave before he turns to walk back to his post. but right when jeongguk thinks he’s in the clear… “by the way, jeonggukie, nice shorts.” seokjin sends him a wink, and  jeongguk’s face flushes beet red. he looks down at the poorly drawn sharks and godawful text on them and passes his hyung a desperate look.

by the time he stammers out, “they’re taehyung’s, not mine!” seokjin is already out of earshot.

he slumps against the trash can, sitting on the pavement, sinking his toes into the sand. he’s so, so, painfully embarrassed.

"what's wrong, gukkie?" it's that fucking mischievous smirk that makes the hair on the back of his neck stand up. "you're not planning on leaving just yet, right? we just got here." taehyung struggles to keep his face straight--("no shit it's hard for me to keep a straight face, i'm gay as fuck. stop erasing my face's sexual identity.")--before his smirk is wiped clean off, replaced with a look of horror. jimin comes up right behind him, armed with a water gun that he mercilessly squirts his boyfriend with. taehyung's eyebrows knit together, staring down at his wet shorts in feigned horror before he whispers, "it's on."

jimin runs off closer to the water with taehyung chasing after him.

now's jeongguk's chance to go. he doesn’t want to make a fool of himself in front of seokjin twice in one day. hell, he thinks that was embarrassing enough of an interaction to last him a lifetime. maybe when seokjin is eighty he’ll have forgotten and maybe then jeongguk will have a chance. until then, jeongguk takes one step and then stops.

jimin has the keys.

jeongguk squats down and contemplates his options. he could go out onto the beach and try desperately hard not to look anywhere near seokjin's shining presence, or he could take the hour bus ride back home in the sweltering heat.

he looks down at his clothes again.

sweltering heat it is.

when he's finally boarded the bus twenty minutes later, he receives one text.

he doesn't even need to look at the contact name to know it's from taehyung.

ur so weak lmfao

he knows.

...

“no.” jeongguk groans out, eyes completely bloodshot and peeled open as he stares at his screen.

at this point, his controller has become an extra limb--he claims he’s unable to let go of it, like it’s been permanently attached.  

“please?” comes taehyung’s voice as he tries to pry the controller away from his friend. “i mean, i love this game too but you can’t keep doing this forever.”

“you’re going to have to rip these out of my lifeless hands because there’s no way in hell i’m going to that beach.”

“jin-hyung probably doesn’t even remember what you said to him.”

jeongguk drops his controller to stare taehyung dead in the eyes. “i don’t know what’s worse: jin-hyung not remembering me or him remembering that god awful conversation.”

taehyung doesn’t understand rhetorical statements. “i think you telling him to regurgitate his food into your mouth is pretty awful, so i would prefer the first option if i were you.”

jeongguk stills, before he launches one of his pillows in taehyung’s direction. “first of all, fuck you. second, i didn’t ask him to regurgitate food to me, you sick fuck. i asked him to--”

“you asked if you two could make out. yeah, i don’t wanna hear it again. it was bad enough the first time,” jimin says, coming into his room to switch off jeongguk’s gaming console in the process. he earns himself an indignant yelp from the youngest. “were you trying to be slick?"

“w-well, i mean yeah.” blushing, jeongguk averts his eyes. the couple coo at him, making him flush further. “anyway, i’m not about to go back and look like an idiot in front of him again.”

“okay but c’mon, you can’t just keep rotting in bed playing overwatch,” jimin whines, pulling off jeongguk’s comforter before shrieking, jumping back at the horrifying display. “ holy shit , jeongguk, what the fuck is all this?”

jeongguk, clad in iron man boxers and a loose fitting shirt with a few dark stains on it, glances at the empty bags of chips and pizza boxes scattered across his mattress. it genuinely smells like ass. jimin scrunches his nose up, gagging as he buries his nose in taehyung’s shirt. taehyung shakes his head when jeongguk responds, “oh, i haven’t really left my room since the beach.”

“jeongguk.” taehyung covers his mouth, looking like he’s trying desperately hard not to vomit. “that was like...eight days ago.”

“i know.”

they look at him with pity in their eyes. “you poor, pathetic excuse of a human being.”

“hey.” jeongguk scowls.

taehyung and jimin share a look, before taehyung quirks a brow up at jimin. fuck their soulmate telepathy, it makes jeongguk feel way too inadequate.

jimin sighs, pushing away a pizza box with his foot to flop down onto jeongguk’s bed. “you’re gonna waste another summer daydreaming about asking him out. 

“i probably will,” jeongguk nods admittedly. “i’ve come to terms with that.”

“you’re really okay with him dating other people?” taehyung asks, a smirk playing at his lips. “you wouldn’t be jealous?”

something ugly twists in jeongguk’s gut. “no,” he lies.

“huh. okay.” clearly unconvinced, jimin rolls his eyes.

“you wouldn’t ask him out even if you wanted to.” taehyung laughs, and it comes out twisted in jeongguk’s ears. “you’re way too scared to talk to him.”

sitting up, jeongguk glares at taehyung. the challenge in his friend’s voice definitely doesn’t sit well in his stomach. “what’d you say?”

“you heard me. listen, jeonggukie, seokjin-hyung liking you back isn’t even that far fetched. he likes you well enough to ask you to apply for the lifeguard position under him.” taehyung turns to jimin and holds his fist out for jimin to bump. “pun intended--he offered you the chance to snake your annoying self into his life, but you didn’t take it. face it, you’re afraid.”

“i’m not,” jeongguk huffs, puffing his chest out.

“you are,” the couple says back in unison.

taehyung’s grin is maniacal, and then he’s shrugging nonchalantly. “whatever, you wouldn’t get the lifeguard position even if you tried.”

jeongguk stands up.“is that a challenge?”

“no, it’s a fact . becoming a lifeguard is super difficult. it takes a lot of training and time,” taehyung says. “both of which you don’t have.”

jeongguk eyes taehyung, before he looks at jimin. and jimin sees the fire in his friend’s eyes before he lets out a small gasp. “bet.” he begins, working it up into a chant, “ bet! bet! bet! bet!

jeongguk and taehyung lock eyes before they nod at each other.

it’s official: the bet has commenced.

“it’s a bet then: if you get a job working with seokjin hyung as a lifeguard and ask him out, you win. if not, i win.”

jeongguk pouts. “what do i get if i win?”

“the satisfaction of knowing you finally did what you’ve always dreamt of doing,” jimin supplies helpfully. jeongguk throws a half-eaten slice of pizza at jimin in response. jimin throws it right back at him and jeongguk actually takes a bite.

“well that was fucking gross,” taehyung notes before he’s humming in contemplation. “how ‘bout i buy you ice cream?”

jeongguk scoffs. “bullshit, that’s so lame. i want you to treat me to ice cream four different times and i get a new game.”

taehyung hisses, “what the fuck?” but jeongguk’s raised eyebrows have him somehow agreeing.

“if i win, you have to run on the beach,” taehyung pauses, before he’s smiling, “naked -- and of course, during seokjin’s shift.”

what? ” jeongguk’s eyes widen. “you’re kidding. fuck no, i’m not doing that.”

“wow, this’ll be the easiest bet i’ve ever won. you really have no confidence, huh?”

jeongguk goes silent for a beat, before he’s groaning out, “fine. i’ll do it.”

taehyung and jimin whoop together, high fiving each other as they let out excited giggles.

taehyung and jimin don’t see jeongguk for nearly a week, the two of them dropping by his house only to receive empty response after empty response. they sit on the curb outside his house, both of them watching their ice cream melt. “do you think he gave up on the bet?” jimin asks hesitantly. “maybe he didn’t wanna do your punishment so he escaped back to seoul--”

“i’m right here and i can hear you.” jeongguk comes walking up to them, a smirk on his face.

taehyung gives him a curious look. “you asshole, why haven’t you replied to our texts?”

“calm down, i was just busy training.”

taehyung shakes his head in disbelief.

“training?” jimin looks at him incredulously. “for what?” 

jeongguk holds it up for them to see. it’s his lifeguard certificate, printed out and signed. their eyes widen as they both let out shocked gasps. “holy shit. he’s doing it, he’s really doing it.”

“what about your EMT certification?” taehyung asks, narrowing his eyes. “you won’t even make it past the application process if you don’t have that.”

“well, you can rid yourself of that worry, because i already applied for the lifeguard position and my interview is tomorrow.” jeongguk shoots him an amused look, pretending he didn’t beg the manager for an interview, faking a few sobs over the phone. “what kind of fool do you take me for?  i did my research. i took the online EMT test a few days ago.” he barely passed and it cost him an arm and a leg, but he keeps that bit of information to himself.

taehyung nods his head. jeongguk feels a sweat drop slink down his forehead at taehyung’s searching expression, but he can’t show his friend any sign of weakness. “gotta hand it to you, gguk, didn’t know you had it in you.”

“he doesn’t have anything in him, especially not seokjin,” jimin mumbles under his breath. taehyung snorts, nearly dropping his ice cream cone as jeongguk pouts.

jeongguk walks past them and shuts the door to his house, ignoring their pleas to let them in. he’s going to win this bet if it fucking kills him.

this bet is fucking killing him. the manager of the post is one hardass-- one small, infuriating hardass by the name of min yoongi. he watches jeongguk swim yards into the ocean while he sits on his lawn chair listening to music. as he walks back to yoongi’s post, jeongguk is positive yoongi wasn’t even watching him swim; his mouth is hanging open with his sunglasses thrown haphazardly over his eyes. his visor is lopsided, half covering his face from the sun. when jeongguk finally makes it back from his evaluation, yoongi snaps out of sleep. he sits up in his chair quickly, before he’s clearing his throat. “congratulations, you got the job, kid.”

“you didn’t even watch me.”

“i know,” he admits with a straight, half-sunburned face. “but we need people right now, so i don’t really give a shit. i just want someone to take more shifts so it’s not just me and seokjin hyung trading off every other day.”

jeongguk perks up at the mention of seokjin. “will i be working with seokjin hyung?” he asks eagerly.

yoongi raises an eyebrow at him, his mouth quirking up in question. “maybe,” he says, before he’s grinning gummily at jeongguk. “why? you got a little crush on jinnie hyung?”  

jeongguk’s throat constricts. he can feel the heat creeping up his neck as he stammers out, “what? w-- ha ha, no? that’s...boys are gross, seokjin...he’s so...nasty. hyung, what?” the blank stare yoongi gives jeongguk through his sunglasses speaks louder than words. jeongguk throws his hands in the air. “yes! jesus christ, did taehyung tell you? i’ll wring his neck.”

“taehyung didn’t tell me. hoseok did.”

“what?” jeongguk blanches. “oh my god, he told you, you’re his… oh fuck, i forgot.” how could he have forgotten all the days hoseok spent sighing about his boyfriend back home. ‘yoongi did this’ and 'yoongi said that’ is all jeongguk hears most days.

“i told him you applied,” yoongi shrugs. “he put in a good word for you. said you’re the most hardworking person he’s ever met. if you’re anything like how he described, you’re definitely okay in my book, kid.”

jeongguk ducks his head, feeling a swell of pride. “thanks, hyung,” he smiles at the elder, who immediately looks away.

“don’t look at me ever again,” yoongi says, but there’s no bite to his words. he isn’t so bad. “besides, you’re not the first person to apply to this job because of seokjin.”

“what? you mean other people have tried to apply because they…” jeongguk looks around the lifeguard station, double checking to make sure seokjin isn’t around before he leans in and whispers, “...liked him?”

“yup,” yoongi pops the end of the word, leaning back in his lawn chair as he inspects the vicinity. “you don’t have to act like it’s a secret. seokjin’s aware people like him, he’s...very confident.” (“fuck, he should be, hell, i would be too if i looked like that.”) “it’ll take more than just a few chats to get close to him. he’s a really funny person, but he keeps his feelings to himself mostly. really sweet though.”

jeongguk nods. “i’ll keep that in mind.”

yoongi smiles at him, and jeongguk thinks it reaches his eyes. he can’t be too sure though, yoongi’s glasses are pretty dark. “good luck, i’m rooting for you.”

“wow. you actually got the job,” jimin says, impressed.

they’re sitting on the swings at the park across the street from jimin’s parents’ house, sipping at the slurpees taehyung and jimin picked up for them at the 7eleven right across the street. jimin and taehyung both got their favorite flavors, cherry and blue-raspberry, but by the time they hand jeongguk his, it’s completely melted. he shakes his head, noting the matching purplish shade on their tongues and that’s why they were so late.

he’s not even a little surprised.
they talk for a bit, about the bet, about how happy they are about the semester finally being over. (“that was the worst semester of my life,” taehyung says, shutting his eyes tiredly as jimin nudges him gently with his elbow. “tae, baby, you say that every semester.” taehyung gives him a pointed look, “and i mean it every damn time.”)

jeongguk comes up to push jimin and taehyung off their shared swing, running away as they both gang up on him to take him out. they can’t; jeongguk is too fast. realizing that they’ve both stopped chasing him, he slows down to a stop. he watches as taehyung sits on a patch of grass and pulls jimin into his lap. jeongguk stays still for a second before he feels it: that longing feeling in his chest that he pretends isn’t there--the feeling that keeps him up most nights. it’s strange, he usually pushes it out of his thoughts, focusing on more important things like dance or singing. jeongguk wishes he could put it into words; he tells namjoon from time to time, and namjoon tries to explain it. “jeongguk-ah, are you lonely?” his hyung asks him sometimes, during those long nights when they’re both too lost in their own heads and need each other to pull the other out.

and sometimes jeongguk doesn’t know how to answer that question. no, he’s not, because he has his hyungs and they all take care of him and make him happy. and yes, because there’s a piece of him out there that he’s waiting to find.

jeongguk isn’t sure about everything he wants, but he knows one thing for sure. he wants what his best friends have.

he wants that too, and when jeongguk imagines himself finding the person who makes his eyes light up like taehyung’s do when he sees jimin, he can only think of one person: broad and soft with awful jokes that make him laugh so hard he can’t breathe.

jeongguk shakes his head, figuring maybe it is time to start doing something about seokjin. he’s been pining for far, far too long. he walks up to the couple determinedly, neither of the two noticing his presence until he speaks. “start saving up, hyung. you’re gonna need it. when i get my ice cream it’s not just going to be single scoop--it’ll be a fucking triple scoop with every fucking topping available.”

taehyung shakes his head in disbelief. “n-no, we didn’t agree to that, you know i meant single scoop--”

jeongguk holds his hand up. “you didn’t specify what i could or could not get. so i’m definitely getting a triple scoop,” he passes taehyung a devious grin, “with everything on it.”

“you disgust me.” taehyung narrows his eyes at jeongguk. “and you haven’t won the bet yet. you still have to ask him out.”

jeongguk’s throat bobs. now that’s the hard part.

 

yoongi-hyung 10:54 am

hey ur workin the same shift as jin hyung today
don’t fuck up kid

to yoongi-hyung

fuck up how? is the job hard??
or are u talking about seokjin hyung lol

yoongi-hyung 10:59 am

is that really smthg u should be asking ur boss
cmon kid

to yoongi hyung

ur the one who hired me without
watching me during evaluations
for all u know i could not even know how to swim

yoongi hyung 11:03 am

i would tell u ur fired but tbh i dont wanna
look for another person to replace u
anyway good luck today (w jin hyung)

jeongguk looks down at the messages, reading over them as he steps off the bus and onto the beach front. he lets out a breath, before he’s heading over to the lifeguard station. his heart is thrumming against his chest as he climbs the steps leading up to the post. he stops in front of the door, catching a glimpse of a tuft of brown hair through the window. he pushes at the door nervously, barely stepping inside when he sees seokjin is leaning in his chair, drinking in the sounds of seokjin humming softly under his breath.

it feels surreal, admiring two beauties in front of him, the waves crashing onto the sand while seokjin stares out into the deep blue.

it’s so beautiful jeongguk nearly starts bawling. he takes a step back out the post, quietly. and the second he’s outside, he really does start crying--a single tear falls down his face in the most cliche, anime-esque way. he lets out a quiet gasp and swears the sakura petals will fall down any minute now.

“jeongguk-ah?” seokjin comes out. his voice sounds much like the ocean breeze. “you okay?”

jeongguk nods. “yeah, just. something got in my eye.” he pats himself on the back for coming up with a normal lie.

seokjin nods understandingly. “it happens. come inside, there’s not many people out today, waves are way too big for people to be swimming right now. we might have to evacuate some of the surfers later on.”

jeongguk nods absentmindedly, noting the neat interior of the post, just a few radios and binoculars placed along the desk. seokjin has a journal in his hand, and his phone in the other. “what were you doing?” jeongguk asks, sitting down in the chair next to seokjin’s.

“i would tell you that i was keeping a lookout for people drowning, but i was watching ‘top 5 fight scenes in digimon adventures’ on youtube.”

jeongguk’s mouth slowly falls open. “oh my god,” he snorts. “how accurate is it?”

seokjin’s mouth cracks into a grin. “it didn’t include the best fights in my opinion, but they were decent picks.”

jeongguk rolls his eyes. “well now i have to confirm.”

“by all means,” seokjin gestures to his phone and jeongguk takes it into his hand, trying to push down the blush threatening to rise when seokjin leans in to watch the video with him.

jeongguk puts it down after the video is over and the screen turns black with the replay button popping up. “holy shit, i made this video.”

it’s stupid to say, he knows, but he preens at the sound of seokjin laughing. “this sounds nothing like you. this person probably lives in their parent’s basement and jerks it to hentai.”

“uh ouch, i’ll live my life how i want to. don’t be mean.” jeongguk winces, sucking in a breath sharply. “they sound like me when i was in like fifth grade.”

“what was that, like two years ago?” seokjin snorts, and jeongguk kicks his shin playfully. “you’re a toddler.”

“i’m twenty, and i’m like, almost taller than you, so kindly fuck off.”

seokjin’s eyes grow wide. “this is how you treat your elders? i won’t tolerate this shit, i have authority over you.”

jeongguk quirks a brow, ignoring the many implications of that phrase. “oh really? i thought yoongi-hyung was the boss here?”

seokjin makes an offended noise in the back of his throat. “you thought-- wha-- well, you thought wrong. i clearly have seniority.”

“haven’t you only been working here for a few months?” jeongguk covers his laughter with his palm.

“how did you know that?” seokjin looks taken aback and jeongguk immediately backtracks.

“i, uh, hyung told me,” he fabricates the lie quickly enough that seokjin brushes it off. he doesn't want to tell seokjin that he made sure to book his train ticket in advance to come back home to busan early solely to see seokjin clad in tight, tight--god they're tight--bright red shorts as he frolics shirtless around the beach.

seokjin leans back in his chair to stretch his arms a bit, and jeongguk has to physically stop himself from salivating when he sees the sliver of skin between the hem of seokjin’s white shirt and his very short red swimming trunks that constrict over his carved muscles; jeongguk thinks that exposed skin is quite possibly the holiest place on this god forsaken planet. seokjin looks down to check the time on his phone while people slowly crawl onto the beach around noon. he stands up, and jeongguk is almost disappointed.

then seokjin looks at him, picking up the floatation can hanging from a hook on the wall. “grab the buoys over there, and let’s go. it’s time for me to show you the ropes.”

god i hope he ties me up with them. he refrains from saying the thought out loud, instead nodding enthusiastically and grabbing the buoys to bound after seokjin excitedly.

jeongguk walks along the edge of the beach during patrol, the water weaving between his toes before it recedes back into the ocean. seokjin explains the rules to him while jeongguk fiddles with the binoculars hanging around his neck. “so, during patrol just make sure no one is doing anything illegal on the beach. if anyone asks you for medical help, you attend to them, got it?” jeongguk nods out in confirmation. “check their vitals first, make sure their blood pressure is normal. you said you’re not a strong swimmer, right?”

jeongguk recalls the conversation they had last week, nerves suddenly devouring his ability to speak. “uh, yeah. i’m decent, i guess. i passed yoongi’s assessment and my lifeguard evaluations so, yeah. im okay.” he shrugs nervously, knowing that he’s on the verge of rambling.

“i had a feeling you were just being modest. you’ve always been the golden boy, right?” seokjin reaches over to ruffle jeongguk’s hair, and jeongguk tries contain his joy and not make his glaring crush on seokjin any more obvious (it’s obvious, it’s so, so, painfully obvious), but he’s practically leaning into his hyung’s touch. “you always have been great at everything, even when we were younger.”

“hold on,” jeongguk pauses, “you think i’m the perfect one? my mom always goes on about you! she literally always asks why i can’t be more like you--your confidence and manners…” he trails off, “...but then again i think she’s mostly talked about your looks.”

seokjin huffs, rolling his eyes. “well no shit, i have everyone wrapped around my fingers because of my face. you know, you’ve seen it.”

“i’m not just talking about your looks though,” jeongguk hums.

seokjin readjusts the flotation can in his arms, waving at a few kids who run around on the beach. “really? then what?” he laughs.

“you’re really smart! give yourself more credit.” jeongguk’s brows knit together. he doesn’t like the bitter tone in seokjin’s voice, he’s not used to it. he’s used to the confidence, the self-assured nature of seokjin. not this. he really wants to take all of seokjin’s doubts about how incredible he is and shove them into a blender until they’re nothing but dust. jeongguk pipes up, “i heard you got into the master’s program at your university--congrats, by the way.” he bites his lower lip, “you, uh, always work really hard. i really admire that.”

seokjin looks at him, his smile barely there. “thanks, gguk.”

they both go silent, nothing but the sounds of seagulls and ocean waves being pushed and pulled back to land.

“y’know, when you were younger, i kind of hated you,” seokjin says quietly. jeongguk’s heart plummets as he snaps his head to gape at seokjin with confusion.

seokjin shakes his head, smiling. “don’t look at me like that, you were so good at everything on your first try! it frustrated me. i remember the first time i met you, you were in elementary school and you’d already picked up so many sports that i was too uncoordinated to be any good at.” seokjin chuckles, bringing up the back of his hand to cover his mouth. “i thought i was so uncool, letting a little kid upstage me, a middle schooler, at the neighborhood parties. but then you started following me around like a little duckling and i couldn’t help but be endeared, right?”

jeongguk looks down at his feet, wiggling his toes between the sand. “i wanted to impress you, i guess.”

“well then, is that what you’re doing right now?”

jeongguk’s eyes turn into saucers. he gulps a bit, floundering for a reply.

suddenly, someone lets out a screech in the distance. seokjin and jeongguk jump up, seokjin immediately narrowing his eyes to find the cause of the noise.

“oh fuck,” seokjin hisses out, before he’s springing into action, running toward the water. jeongguk watches him, completely frozen, too dumbstruck to move. seokjin is already jumping into the water by the time jeongguk pulls up his binoculars to see the child struggling to break the surface of the water. panic rises, his heart beating fast. he watches seokjin for a moment. realizing that he might not make it in time, jeongguk goes with his gut and runs in after seokjin.

he doesn’t know what he’s doing, not really, he’s just swimming--the water sloshing around his body, waves tumbling over him as he ducks beneath them. he feels the pressure of the water, and makes a move toward flailing limbs that he sees through the blue. they’re not in shallow water anymore, he notes as he ducks under massive wave.

for a split second, jeongguk loses sight of his objective, letting the pull of the ocean take him. it feels freeing, therapeutic almost. and then he hears her nearly inaudible, fading yelps for help and they throw jeongguk back into reality. soon enough she’s in his arms. jeongguk lifts her half conscious body into the buoy and grips it tight. seokjin catches up to him after a moment, eyes wild with confusion--with something akin to anger? jealousy ?-- before jeongguk is swimming back to shore, towing the child in the buoy behind him.

the girl is completely unconscious. seokjin pushes jeongguk aside to resuscitate her. a crowd gathers around them.

“jeongguk, manage the crowd, now,” he growls lowly.

if jeongguk weren’t so shaken up, he’s sure he would be turned on by that, but now is so not the time, dude. c’mon.

jeongguk turns away, telling the people surrounding them to give them some space. “she needs to breathe,” he tells the curious onlookers.

he turns his head over his shoulder to see seokjin pressing his coupled palms in the center of her chest, breathing life into her after a few beats.

it takes a few seconds, but the girl turns to her side, coughing up the excess seawater. seokjin pats her back a few times, gently asking her if she’s alright.

jeongguk lets out a breath of relief. the parents of the child come through the crowd, and jeongguk figures seokjin can do the rest of the damage control, speaking to her parents with confidence. seokjin walks the girl and her parents back to the lifeguard station to check her vitals.

jeongguk continues his patrol of the beach alone and seokjin doesn’t bother to find him.

when he shows up to work the next day, jeongguk knows something must be wrong when he sees yoongi sitting in seokjin’s chair. he raises a brow in question, receiving a hard look in return from the elder. “why are you here?” jeongguk asks. “where’s jin-hyung? i thought we were working together today?”

“he requested to no longer be stationed with you.” hearing those words feels like yoongi just tied a ton of bricks to his feet and let him sink to the bottom of the ocean.

“what.” jeongguk’s mouth hangs slack. “why ? what did i do??”

yoongi shrugs at him. “i don’t know kid, but if you want to figure it out so badly, you should probably ask him yourself.”

“well did he say anything?” jeongguk presses, coming up closer to yoongi, searching his face for any sign of an answer. “he had to have said something--i just...i don’t know what i did wrong?”

“okay look, my loyalties lie with him. he’s my friend and i don’t want to get caught up in your drama. all i can say is that he was really upset when he put in his request.”

jeongguk is stunned into silence. he feels like crying and he doesn’t even know what he could have possibly done to make seokjin… “i used to hate you, y’know?”

maybe he never stopped.

yoongi’s words echo in his mind throughout the day with seokjin’s angry eyes glaring at him with waves thrashing around behind him.

jeongguk tries to shake the thoughts out of his head, drowning himself in his work-- instead he administers first aid to a man who had crashed into some rocks after falling off his surfboard, helps a little kid find their way back to their parents, goes about his normal beat on the beach, and searches for any unusual or suspicious activities (“i’m sorry, but you can’t smoke marijuana here, it’s a family beach.” he receives a middle finger in response that he just nods at. “go fuck yourself,” the man says. “don’t have to tell me to, sir. already do that every night.”)

maybe it doesn’t completely numb his pain about the seokjin situation, but it does help him.

when he goes back to the lifeguard station, yoongi is sat at the desk, hunched over it as he writes in his tattered notebook.

“what are you doing, hyung?”

‘none of your business,’is what he’s expecting if he’s being honest, but he’s met with yoongi’s gentle eyes. “lyrics for my next song on my mixtape,” comes his soft reply. jeongguk steps forward, sitting in the chair next to yoongi to peek over his shoulder. he doesn’t try to disguise his eagerness to see it. “you can take a look if you want.”

jeongguk’s eyes light up, perking up as yoongi pushes the journal toward him. his eyes flit over the words, reading through the powerful words quickly--feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness-- it isn’t entirely what he thought he’d read, until the words take a brighter tone halfway in. yoongi writes about resilience, strength, and love, and when jeongguk gets to the end he furrows his brows.

“what’d you think?” yoongi says after jeongguk hands him back the journal.

jeongguk contemplates his words for a minute. “it’s...incredible, hyung. i love it--it’s raw, y’know? like you put so much emotion into it. obviously i know the song is about you and hoseok, but you cut off the end mid sentence.” he pauses, “was it supposed to end like that?”

“what do you think it means?” it’s not condescending, the way he asks. it’s not harsh; he’s not making fun of jeongguk for not knowing, and jeongguk knows he just wants him to think past the surface level.

“well, you got the boy…”

yoongi shrugs. “i did, but that was just the beginning right? the story just started, it’s nowhere near finished.”

jeongguk looks at him for a moment, wondering if he should even bother asking before it’s too late. “do you think that there could be a story like this for me and jin hyung?” his question haunts him, his voice laced with the nerves he’s been feeling all day, every day, for years.

“god, you’re so gay,” yoongi groans out.

hyung.”

“nothing’s impossible.” yoongi snorts. “but you have to work hard to get what you want sometimes--i’ve been friends with him for years, okay? he has his insecurities too. he’s found that most people like the idea of him. jin hyung is strong, yes. he’s confident--overly, sometimes, yes, but he’s also human. he’s not perfect, and i think you’re putting him on a pedestal. i think he can see that and he’s afraid he won’t live up to your expectations.”

“but--”

“yeah, kid, i get it. you don’t have to rant about how long you’ve harbored an embarrassingly big crush on him. anyone with eyes can see that.” yoongi reconsiders this for a moment. “well, except maybe jin hyung himself.”

jeongguk deflates. “i just… i don’t see why that would make him hate me…”

“whoa,” yoongi holds his hands up defensively. “i doubt he hates you.”

“he told me he used to. if he was capable of hating me before, he could definitely still hate me now.”

“talk to him. stop making stupid shit up in your head about how you think he’s feeling. go talk to him about how he’s actually feeling.”

jeongguk finishes up his shift, making his last rounds across the beach before he’s making his lonely trek home.

he whips his phone out of his pocket and sends out a text.

to joon-hyung 8:46 pm

hey hyung

how do i get someone to stop hating me?

 

from joon-hyung 8:49 pm

jeonggukie, no one could ever hate you.

 

jeongguk rolls his eyes.

 

to joon-hyung 8:50 pm

im serious

 

from joon-hyung 8:52 pm

i am too.

but maybe try asking them. maybe there’s a misunderstanding?

85% of failed relationships are due to communication issues.

 

to joon-hyung 8:53 pm

how do i communicate

 

from joon-hyung 8:54 pm

okay, you’re definitely asking the wrong person for this one.

 

to h♡bi-hyung 9:01 pm

hey hyung

how do i communicate w someone who hates me?
 


it’s been a little over a week since the last time jeongguk had made contact with seokjin. seokjin was leaving his post after finishing up the morning shift and jeongguk was just coming in. his head snapped up as he stammered out a plain ‘hello’, only to receive a tight lipped smile and an awkward nod of the head. he was gutted. but he remembered what hoseok had told him just a few nights before.

"what do you mean?” hoseok had called him the second he sent his text. “this is about jin-hyung, right?”
 

jeongguk stayed silent. “listen, i could lie and tell you ‘just be honest. be open and address your problems. you can do it ’ and glue on a happy face for you, but that’d be a lie.”
 

“then what should i do? i don’t know how to talk to him anymore, hyung.” jeongguk knew just how absolutely (regretfully) pathetic he sounded, but he was desperate for any sort of advice he could get his grubby hands on.

“it’ll be awkward, sure. but trying is the only thing you can do. and if he still doesn’t want to talk to you, then you have to respect his wishes. be aware of their body language, listen to them. communicating is being honest, but also making a compromise, meet the other person halfway. if someone doesn’t put in effort for you, you’re better off without them anyway.”

“thanks hyung, that’s exactly the kind of cliche answer i needed,” jeongguk replied in earnest.

“no problem. anyway, i gotta go. yoongi just texted me a dick pic.”  jeongguk didn’t need to be told twice to immediately hang up.

jeongguk doesn’t want his problem with seokjin to escalate. he doesn’t want the distance between them to grow any larger than it has.

it’s a little past the end of his shift, well into the night. the ocean breeze is cold, sending shivers down his spine. he can feel the goosebumps rising, just as the hair on the back of his neck begins to stand up. the sand is moist and clings to his feet. he’ll take his time going home tonight; he has a lot on his mind. he looks up at the moon, sitting high in the deep, deep blue of the sky. jeongguk likes it best when it’s cloudy, blocking the moon so it looks like the sky and the ocean blend into one.


tonight isn’t one of those nights. he feels the weight of the world pulling him down and the loud crash of a volatile ocean; it screams at him to get a move on.


he hurries back home now.


when jeongguk finally lets his body hit his mess of a bed, he lets himself sink into it for just a moment. then he’s standing up again, moving toward his window, wondering when he’ll quit stalling and do something about his feelings.


he looks outside, eyeing the house adjacent to his. the lights in seokjin’s room are on, but of course they are. it’s only ten at night. he shuffles from foot to foot, thinking back on the days where, yes, he would stay up checking to see if seokjin was in his room. when he was lucky enough, seokjin would draw his curtains open, catch jeongguk’s eye, and wave at him with a stunningly bright smile. and of course jeongguk didn’t wait until seokjin was asleep to go to bed himself, because that’s weird. even if it did make him feel just a little bit closer to seokjin.

throwing rocks at seokjin’s window to get his attention seems like something seokjin probably wouldn’t welcome, so jeongguk settles on a modern approach.

 

to jin-hyung 10:44 pm

hyung can we talk

 
he sees ‘read at 10:45’ in clear text under his message, jeongguk’s hands shaking as he sees the bubble popping up that seokjin is typing. it goes away. then pops up again. then goes away again. jeongguk puts his phone face down for a second. this is so not good for his health.

 

from jin-hyung 10:52 pm

sure
swing set?

 

to jin-hyung 10:52 pm

yeah, swing set.

 

at the ripe age of five, jeongguk’s parents moved into their home; it’s just off the coast, far enough from the nearest big city to the point where it’s quiet, safe from the stressors of urban life, but not so far removed where they’d live in complete solitude. it’s a small, humble place, painted a soft eggshell, potted, colorful plants lining the windowsills. they bought it at first sight, and the same day, jeongguk met seokjin.
 

they were playing hide and seek, jeongguk running around his backyard with his older brother facing the wall, when he stumbled upon the break in the fences between the two houses. through the break, jeongguk saw the most marvelous thing he’d laid eyes on-- his neighbor's swingset: big and shiny and new. jeongguk was so eager to play on it, but that meant sneaking over to the neighbor’s place. the break in the fence was surrounded by brush, not big enough for his older brother to squeeze through, but certainly big enough for jeongguk to. his brother would never find him if he’d slipped through to the neighbor’s yard. which is exactly what he did--except he ended up crash landing into one kim seokjin.

jeongguk remembers looking up, wide eyed, blinking up owlishly at the older boy. “hi,” he whispered.

 
seokjin reached out a hand to jeongguk, his smile beaming down at him, his eyes filled with certainty and skin practically sparkling to jeongguk. “hi there.”

 
jeongguk didn’t know what the swooping feeling in his stomach was back then, but he sure does now.

 
when jeongguk steps outside, the cold air kisses his skin. it’s comforting, but he zips up his jacket anyway. jeongguk feels like his body is on fire, his hands trembling as he nervously maneuvers himself through his backyard. he gets to the part of the fence where the break used to be (he was devastated when his dad decided to patch it up, but he stole some tools from the garage to pry the nails loose) and wiggles the wooden board a little. it pops right off and he ducks his head to avoid being hit by the long branches above him to walk through. seokjin is already waiting at the swing set, feet pressed firmly against the ground that he looks down forlornly at.
 

“jeongguk,” seokjin greets with a wry smile. “how are y--”

 
“--why have you been avoiding me?” he gets it out quickly, and he doesn’t even regret it. jeongguk knows if he doesn’t act now, he never will.

 
seokjin sighs. “cutting right to it, huh?”

 
“you know i’ve always been impatient.” about most things at least.

 
seokjin shakes his head almost fondly, before he’s gesturing to the spot on the swingset next to him.

 
it’s not that magnificent anymore, jeongguk knows. its chains have rusted from the ocean mist, it's dulled in color over the years from wear, tear, and constant sunlight, but jeongguk still loves it. he still loves the memories that come along with it most.

he sits down, wincing as the set creaks under his weight. “what did i do wrong, hyung? i don’t know what i did, but i’d like to fix it.”

“it’s not like that, you did…” seokjin’s face crumples as he lets out a sigh. “... you did nothing wrong.”
 

“then what?”

“i guess it just makes me mad that you’re good at everything. i jumped in to save that girl before you did, and you still got to her before me--”

unexpected anger boils inside jeongguk. he grips the rusted metal in his hands before he spews, “shut up.”

seokjin’s eyes darken. “what’d you just tell me to do?”

“i said shut up,” jeongguk growls back. “what was i supposed to do? let her drown before you got there to save your pride? grow up, hyung, oh my god.”

gritting his teeth, seokjin grumbles back, “this is exactly why i didn’t want to talk to you.”

jeongguk’s face falls. this isn’t how it was supposed to go. he presses his palms to his eyes, trying to calm himself down, before he lets out a loud, frustrated groan. “what i don’t get is that you’re still the one who resuscitated her--” he laughs, mirthlessly, watching as seokjin’s face slowly begins to soften. “you’re still the one who saved her life and yet you still think that it was all me? you’re so dense, kim seokjin.

“you’re strong, y’know? i stood there, frozen, while you sprang into action like you were in a fucking marvel movie. i felt so helpless, but seeing you...it gave me courage.” it’s not an insult, jeongguk thinks. it’s just a fact. “i can’t believe you didn’t talk to me for a week because of that, you loser.” that is an insult.

“i know. i feel like such a kid.” seokjin chuckles, shaking his head. he leans over, his face resting against his own fist gripping tightly at the chains of his swing. they look at each other for a moment before they both break into light laughter. it’s nice, jeongguk thinks. sitting here with seokjin; just him, seokjin, and the stars hanging above them. jeongguk would wish on every single one of them if it means getting to have more moments like these with his hyung. and then jeongguk notices seokjin staring at him, his eyes soft and searching when he asks, “when did you get so mature, jeon jeongguk?”

jeongguk grins at him. “when you weren’t looking.”


“i’ve always been looking at you though.” the way the words come out of seokjin’s mouth sounds so sincere, so tender.

holy shit. jeongguk repeats the phrase over and over in his head. he’s always been looking at me? he’s… been…?  

seokjin cocks his head to the side in question, his eyes narrowing a little, staring at jeongguk with scrutiny. there’s a trace of a grin on his lips. jeongguk freezes when seokjin runs his tongue over his bottom lip, and it’s almost like seokjin doesn’t realize he’s the hottest thing jeongguk has ever laid eyes on.

moonlight illuminates seokjin’s cheeks, painting them a light shade of blue. his dark hair falls just above his brow, parted to the side just how jeongguk likes it. his eyes are shining and jeongguk thinks that maybe this moment would be fucking perfect.

say it. now’s your chance, the mood is right. ask him. do it. do it. do it, jeon jeongguk.


and then seokjin speaks, jeongguk’s chance of asking seokjin out crumbling with every word.


“i’m glad we talked it out.” seokjin asks hesitantly, “we’re okay, right?”

jeongguk nods his head quickly.


“good.”

“well, it’s getting late,” jeongguk says, and he wants to punch himself, he really does. “i should go. goodnight hyung.” oh my --coward. you’re a coward. jeongguk is already turned around, heading toward his own back yard when he hears seokjin’s soothing voice.

“goodnight jeongguk-ah.”

it sounds like stars dropping into the sea.

they work more shifts together now, after yoongi came up to jeongguk (the day after The Talk and jeongguk’s Major Fuck Up) only to nod at him approvingly. it’s a bit awkward at first, but they get into the swing of things, growing more and more comfortable with each other until they’re practically attached at the hip. they spend most of their time patrolling together, both of them switching off duties.

jeongguk likes being with seokjin in the morning the most; watching the sunrise with him, the beach completely devoid of life at the crack of dawn, save for the few seagulls cawing in the distance and the ocean’s calm greetings.

he watches as seokjin chases some birds, imitating their sounds as he flaps his arms wildly. jeongguk sits down in the sand, listening to the ocean breathe. in and out, back and forth. it’s a captivating spell that draws jeongguk in. he hums, looking at seokjin with a fond smile, laughing when he sees seokjin stumble over the buoys they’d put down just minutes ago.

“you okay?” jeongguk calls out. seokjin holds his thumb up in response.

“i can see your heart boner from a mile away.” jeongguk jumps up from his spot. taehyung grins at him wildly. “i’m assuming the bet is going well for you, huh?” his friend wiggles his eyebrows at him greasily and jeongguk scoffs.

“what bet?” seokjin is panting, just having chased seagulls around for a good twenty minutes now.

jeongguk’s mouth falls open and he looks at seokjin with wide, panicked eyes. “uh…”

his friend laughs, clapping jeongguk on the back with his large hand. jeongguk winces at the sting, kicking taehyung in the shin, but taehyung barely flinches. “a bet about how many times jimin and i can fuck without him catching us.” jeongguk blanches, as taehyung continues proudly, waving his hand around like he’s talking about the weather. “he’s caught us every time though, so he’s kind of winning--”

jeongguk throws a fistful of sand at taehyung. “go away, you physically repulse me, you demon spawn.” taehyung is already on his feet, running away in a fit of giggles, probably back to jimin’s van or to make someone else miserable about being single.

“it’s weird seeing those two now. i watched them fall in love, y’know? it was obvious they would date.” seokjin takes in a deep breath and smiles. “they’re cute together.”

“if by ‘cute’ you mean ‘nasty as fuck’. they’ve banged on every surface of their apartment. i can’t go there without wearing a damn hazmat suit.” he shakes his head. “i’m surprised hobi hyung hasn’t moved out, he spends nights at the dance studio sometimes because of their incessant fucking.” 

seokjin snorts. “pretty sure hobi doesn’t mind that.”

“what do you mean?”

“that’s where hobi and yoongi go to have sex when i don’t want to deal with them.”

“jesus christ, you’re joking. no.

“yup. heard hoseok spent an hour cleaning cum off the mirrors and--”

“absolutely do not continue, i’m about to vomit. i dance there, i sleep there...god, i eat there!”

seokjin tries to hide the smirk on his face, only to receive a playful push from jeongguk. “it’s kind of weird though, all of my old friends together. i used to hang out with all of you, and somehow almost everyone has paired up except us.”

“yeah, except for us.”

should he say something? maybe he can crack a joke, make it a smooth transition. he’s going to go for it.

everyone else is dating. maybe we should too?

no, that’s not that great.

 

we could change that, hyung.

okay, way too sleazy.

 

i’ve liked you since i came out of the womb, please date me.

perfect.

 

he opens his mouth to speak when seokjin cuts him off.

“oh, also namjoon-ah too.”

jeongguk looks at seokjin curiously. “namjoon-hyung is in a relationship though.”

“what the fuck? with who?”

“music.”

seokjin actually pushes jeongguk over, his body falling into the sand as seokjin shakes his head to walk back to the lifeguard station.

next time i’ll ask him for sure.

next time turns into days, then into weeks, then to a whole month. and chance after chance, jeongguk misses each fleeting opportunity. the guy can’t catch a fucking break. there’s always something stopping him-- an accident on patrol, taehyung, seagulls swooping down to steal their food, seagulls chasing them, taehyung again, yoongi, taehyung accompanied by jimin, seokjin interrupting jeongguk, and...well, just plain old fear, of course.

“so,” taehyung slides into the chair next to him at the lifeguard station, jimin shaking his head as he sits atop the desk. (he’d tried to tell his friends that non-lifeguards weren’t allowed up here many, many times. but he figured they wouldn’t listen, so he gave up.) “how’s the bet coming along? did you ask him out yet?”

“i’m working on it. can’t rush perfection, can you?”

“we’re not rushing perfection, sweetheart, we’re rushing you.”

jimin shakes his head tiredly. “summer is almost over, and believe it or not--neither of us want to see your concave ass covered in sand.”

“seconded,” taehyung shudders.

“tell him how you feel, gguk.”

“hyung,” jeongguk whines from  his seat. “it’s not easy. he’s… i get so nervous. my heart beats so fast, i can’t look at him properly. i stutter--i clam up. my hands shake and nothing i say comes out right. why is it so hard?” taehyung and jimin look at him for a moment, before they look at each other with matching blank expressions. “i really, really like him you guys.” jeongguk surprises himself with how much he confesses to them, but he means it. he means every word.

“maybe you can write a letter?” taehyung suggests. “put it on his desk and wait for him to reply. it’s kinda romantic, right? really corny, but romantic. jin-hyung eats that type of shit up.”

jimin beams at taehyung, placing his hand on his boyfriend’s knee to give it a firm squeeze. “that’s not a bad idea, babe!”

taehyung flips his hair back. “call me namjoon-hyung, because i’m a genius.”

jeongguk thinks that might actually work.

he sits in his room, tapping his pen against the nearly filled piece of paper. every emotion he’s ever felt about seokjin bleeds onto the page, and he ends it with the short, sweet question.

“‘go out with me, hyung?’” namjoon’s voice is deep in his ears. jeongguk screams, falling out of his seat. namjoon guffaws, snatching the paper off the desk, keeping it out of jeongguk’s reach when he gets up off the floor to grab it back.

“don’t read it!"

“i’m not,” namjoon smiles, cheekily.


“you are, you fucking liar!”

namjoon laughs, his dimples growing deeper as his smile spreads across his face. “this is so cute, oh my gosh. jeongguk, you silver tongued devil, you. didn’t know you did it like this.”

jeongguk buries his face in his hands. “shut up, oh my god… not a word to anyone--especially not tae or jimin-hyung.”

namjoon nods with a sly grin.


“when did you even get back from seoul? who let you in?”


“your dad let me in,” he says, slumping onto jeongguk’s bed, letter still clutched in his hand. “finished up my research lab just this morning and took the train.”


“there’s like a week left of summer.”


namjoon lets out a tremulous groan. “i know, don’t remind me.”

 
jeongguk watches namjoon silently read over his letter, peering down at the paper before he finds himself whispering. “is it...good enough?”

 
“jeongguk-ah, it’s sweet. of course it’s good enough.” namjoon sighs.

“i just want the best for him.” jeongguk hides his face. “can you proofread it? or like, tell me what i can add in?”

 
namjoon nods. “way ahead of you.” the telltale dutiful click of a TA’s pen around the room. jeongguk should have seen it coming. “don’t worry, hyung will help you.” namjoon smiles at him sincerely and jeongguk smiles back.

apparently ‘proofreading it’ means rewriting the whole damn letter five different times, changing the tone of it completely. by the end of the night, it reads more like a shakespearean sonnet rather than a confession letter.

“‘your hair is reminiscent of petals falling over the hills of the earth in the springtime’?” jeongguk winces. “‘shall we tangle our bodies together and become one with’---” he stops completely, shaking his head with a grimace. “hyung, what the hell are we doing? this is awful.” he groans, crumpling the binder paper in his fist before throwing it into his garbage bin.

“well fuck, fine,” namjoon huffs, throwing his hands in the air, letting the papers fall to the ground. “that’s the last time i try to help you.”

 “all i’m saying is that i just want to tell him that i like him and ask him out on a date, not propose a courtship like we’re in 18th century england, okay? i’m not shakespeare.”

“shakespeare was actually alive during the late 16th and early 17th century, but whatever,” namjoon mutters under his breath.

“i appreciate your help, but i think i’ll just take it from here.” he says, twiddling his fingers together. “wanna sleep over?” jeongguk asks him hopefully. he’d be lying if he says that he isn’t lonely, and he misses his roommate’s snores, but don’t tell namjoon that.

“i’ll sleep over, but you have to sleep on the floor.”

“what the fuck?” jeongguk yells indignantly. “it’s my bed.”

“but i’m your guest.”

jeongguk grumbles something unintelligible. “fine. i’m not going to get any sleep because of your loud ass snoring though. i hope you at least have the decency to feel guilty about that.”

namjoon ignores him, having already climbed under the covers of his twin bed. “night, ggukie.”

jeongguk sighs, staring down at the blank piece of paper. it looks up at him mockingly. namjoon isn’t snoring yet, so jeongguk assumes he hasn’t fallen asleep. “do you believe in love, hyung?”

he hears namjoon shift in his beds, the sheets ruffling as he turns his lanky body over. “i love you, don’t i?”

jeongguk’s cheeks burn. he throws a crumpled half-written letter at him and misses namjoon completely. “that’s not the same kind of love i’m talking about.”

“then i guess it depends on your definition is,” namjoon says.

jeongguk groans. he lets his forehead hit the desk. “why do you have to evade the question? why can’t you just answer?”

“because it wouldn’t be fun if you didn’t think about it.”

“i don’t like you.”

“you don’t like me, but you certainly love me.”

it’s his last shift of the summer: aka, his last shift with seokjin. he heads to the beach on the earliest bus he can get, clutching the note tightly in his pocket. when the bus stops, he half contemplates staying on until its last stop. it would be nice, he thinks--unaware of where he’d end up, wondering where his next destination would be. maybe another time. now, he has to face his fears. what’s the worst that could happen? rejection. he’ll tell me ‘no’ and pat me on the back. i’ll grow old and alone and adopt five dogs and seven cats. not too bad.

jeongguk gets off the bus with shaky legs and takes in the fresh morning air. when he gets to the lifeguard station, he finds it difficult to make the trek up the stairs, but he manages. he has the ocean to calm him down. when he gets inside, he places the note on the desk, folding it neatly right in front of seokjin’s chair. okay. so far so good.
 

he checks the clock hanging on the wall multiple times, before he shakes his head and walks out the door. he’ll just start his patrol route a bit earlier than normal, to clear his head.

coastline patrol, binocular check around the back of the beach and bay, binocular check around the headland, searching the danger zones to make sure no one is climbing on the rocks, then he’ll come back to the post and seokjin will have read the letter. that’s the plan. it’s a foolproof plan. (and if all goes well, maybe jeongguk will have that date.)
 

so when he returns to his post to see seokjin sitting in his chair on the phone--all broad shoulders and smooth skin and shining teeth-- laughing as he’s ripping up jeongguk’s confession letter, jeongguk wants to stop breathing. forever, probably.

seokjin turns to beam at him, before his eyes widen and he whispers into the phone hurriedly, “yeah, i’ll see you later. call me back in a bit, kay?” he hangs up, shoving his phone into his pocket with his empty hand. “hey jeongguk-ah, what’s up? how’s the shift been so far?”

jeongguk looks at the carefree expression on his face, and he blanches.

seokjin’s eyebrows knit together, and jeongguk can’t help but stare at the completely mangled piece of paper seokjin still has in his hand. “what’s wrong?” he asks.

“what are you doing?” jeongguk applauds himself for the evenness of his voice, he doesn’t sound nearly as choked up as he feels.

“just talking to--”

“no, with the letter.” jeongguk’s eyes flit back and forth between seokjin’s hand and his eyes, then looks at the ripped up strips of paper on his desk.

“letter? what letter?”

jeongguk gapes at him. “the thing you ripped up.”

seokjin’s eyes widen. “holy shit. was this yours? i’m so sorry. i thought it was scratch paper yoongi left behind--jeongguk i’m so, so sorry.” he winces. “was it important? i can try to tape it back together--”

“--did you read it?” jeongguk cuts him off, his voice quaking. seokjin knows something is seriously wrong now.

seokjin shakes his head quickly. “no, i swear i didn’t.” concern laces his voice, and jeongguk can’t even find it in himself to be upset that his letter was torn to shreds. “are you okay? what happened?”

“oh my god.” jeongguk slumps against the wall, running his hands through his hair in frustration. “you drive me fucking crazy, hyung.”

seokjin feigns offense. “sorry. i rip things up when i get nervous.”

jeongguk smiles wryly, raising a brow. “you, nervous? what happened?”

“i, uh, i got a big date tonight.” seokjin grins sheepishly. “it’s been a while, and i don’t really--” he pauses, eye growing big and frantic as he pats his pockets, feeling for something. “fuck. i forgot to pick up some condoms.” he looks at jeongguk bashfully and then he’s batting his eyelashes. “jeongguk-ah…” no . “could you run to the store and grab a pack for me?” no. fuck no. “here, i’ll give you some money--”

“--condoms?” jeongguk can feel the bile rising in his throat. his voice cracks. “you want me to buy you condoms? for your date?”

seokjin has the gall to laugh. “never bought condoms before? jeonggukie, you should always practice safe sex, alright?”
 

it’s a joke, jeongguk knows. but he can’t stop himself from what comes out next.

“oh fuck off. i’m not some kid anymore!” he’s pushing himself off the wall, standing up in front of seokjin.

seokjin narrows his eyes at a seething jeongguk. “whoa. okay, what the fuck is wrong with you?”

“that letter was for you,” jeongguk grates out. “i wrote it for you to tell you that i like you. that i’ve liked you for…” jeongguk shakes his head. “...so, so long. and you ripped it up.”

“oh.” he watches his words sink in for seokjin, awaiting his reaction. seokjin’s jaw slowly opens. he gapes up at jeongguk unbelievingly. “oh, fuck, jeongguk, i’m--”

he can’t do this. “no, jin-hyung, it’s fine. i just… i don’t feel well.” jeongguk shakes his head, getting up from his spot against the wall. he doesn’t spare seokjin a glance before he’s shakily walking toward the door. “i’m...i’m just gonna call yoongi to cover me and go home. it was nice working with you, hyung.”

to yoongi hyung 10:23 am

sorry but could you cover my shift, please?
i can’t be there right now.

 

from yoongi hyung 10:27 am

what
what the fuck do you mean

from yoongi hyung 10:52 am

fuck
im sorry kid.
if its any consolation the letter was a good idea 

jeongguk takes the bus straight to taehyung’s parents’ house, after rereading yoongi’s texts multiple times.

that means jin-hyung told him.

he waits until he’s off the bus to start crying, not wanting to subject strangers to his embarrassing waterworks. jeongguk knocks on taehyung’s door to see his best friends already standing on the other side. they call namjoon and he rushes over.
 

“what happened then?” namjoon asks with jeongguk’s face buried in his chest. “did he read the letter?”
 

“don’t wanna talk about it,” jeongguk’s voice is muffled by namjoon’s shirt. they’re all in taehyung’s room, namjoon and jeongguk tangled awkwardly on taehyung’s bed as jimin and taehyung sit apart from each other on the floor. taehyung almost pulled jimin into his lap, but namjoon hissed at them to have some sympathy. they all stare at jeongguk with pity clear in their eyes and he hates it. he pulls away from namjoon to glare at taehyung and jimin halfheartedly. “hope you two are happy. won that fucking bet at least,” he snorts, his words slurring together a little as hot tears come down his face.
 

taehyung’s face drops. “i wasn’t supposed to win, gguk.”
 

“well you did. congratulations,” jeongguk spits out. there’s no bite to his words though. “seokjin hyung’s gonna fuck someone tonight and i’ll be alone like i always am.”
 

“jeongguk--” 

“wait, what was the punishment for the bet?” namjoon asks jimin in a hushed whisper.

jeongguk furrows his brows, scoffing. “do you want to see?”

namjoon hesitantly looks at jeongguk before he answers. “well, yeah, kind of now.”
 

“hyung!” jimin scolds the elder, who looks at him like a kicked puppy. “now is definitely not the time.”
 

namjoon raises his hands up in defense. “no one ever tells me anything anymore! i’m still young, i want to be included too!”
 

jeongguk suddenly stands up, grabbing his things off of taehyung’s floor, before he’s stepping out of the room.

“where are you going?” taehyung calls out.
 

when he doesn’t respond, his friends quickly follow after him.

“where are you going?” they try again, trailing behind jeongguk.

jeongguk is walking at a brisk pace, heading toward the bus stop for the second time that day. “to the beach.”

taehyung shakes his head. “you don’t have to carry out the punishment, jeongguk, it was a joke.”

“i told you i would, so i am.” the bus pulls up in front of them, and one by one they step on reluctantly. jeongguk heads toward the back, all of them staring at him mutely as he looks out the window in a melancholic display. (“i’m serious, i still don’t know what he’s doing??” namjoon says, frustrated with his friends’ sudden discretion.) maybe jeongguk is being dramatic, but he feels like his heart’s been stepped on. and that’s when his phone starts buzzing. his vision gets blurry when he sees seokjin’s name flash on his screen. he ignores it, and it’s painful. he’s about to throw his phone out the window when namjoon just puts his hand on jeongguk’s arm and just shakes his head. jeongguk huffs. fine.

when the bus pulls up to the stop by the beach, they all try to convince him to stop and think. think. think. think.

but jeongguk is tired of thinking so much. he’s going to muster up the courage he never had all these years. he will.

when his feet touch the sand, he starts stripping. his friends avert their eyes as he pulls his lifeguard swimming trunks off first.

oh ,” namjoon says, his cheeks heating up. “that’s what he has to do.”

taehyung shouts, grimacing as he watches his friend strip. “are you for real? why would you start with those, c’mon dude!”

jeongguk ignores them, as well as the gasps from passersby and keeps walking, completely naked, until he’s at the lifeguard post. he’s surprised how unfazed he is by the numerous eyes staring at his dick, but he’s got a pretty great adrenaline rush going, so he supposes it makes sense.

he notes taehyung filming this all with his eyes half closed, jimin guiding him along. “hobi and yoongi-hyung are gonna be so pissed that they missed this,” namjoon sighs.

jeongguk makes his way to the front of the post, too embarrassed to walk up the steps to get to the station. he jumps up and down, screaming unintelligible things until he gets seokjin’s attention.

seokjin rushes out of the station, binoculars in hand, when he sees jeongguk. his binoculars fall to the ground, breaking as seokjin’s jaw drops. his face flushes an angry red at the sight of jeongguk and he’s screaming. “jeongguk, what the fuck? this is public indecency...i--”

jeongguk stares him down for a second, trying not to let his embarrassment show before he turns his head toward taehyung. taehyung nods at him. “you should run now.”

and then he’s off, running along the beach fulfilling every exhibitionist’s wildest dreams. he’s running for a while, a good minute, when he hears something behind him. he looks over his shoulder to see seokjin blowing his lifeguard whistle with purpose, chasing after him.

“why are you chasing me?” he yells back at seokjin. “stop chasing me!” he feels tears form in the corners of his eyes and he doesn’t even get why, but he kind of hopes his tears hit seokjin in the face.

“public indecency!” seokjin shouts at him. “you’re literally breaking the law jeongguk! this is a public, family beach.”

jeongguk slows to a stop, looking around to see that, yes, there were indeed many families here. parents are glaring at him, covering their children’s eyes with scorn on their faces. if he wasn’t already embarrassed, he sure as fuck is now. “oh my god,” he blanches, rubbing at his eyes. “hyung--fuck, i’m sorry, i forgot…"

seokjin tears his shirt off and throws it at jeongguk. it hits his face roughly. “put that on right now,” his voice is harsh, commanding. and if jeongguk wasn’t completely humiliated by this awful punishment taehyung made for him, he’d probably be a bit turned on. he’s not ashamed to admit that, at least. but he stands there with seokjin’s shirt in his hands and he doesn’t even get to take in the scent of it. he’s a bit sad that the first and quite possibly the last chance he’ll ever get to wear seokjin’s clothes has to be like this.

now,” seokjin hisses. jeongguk slips it on and it’s big. it hangs off of him loosely, covering him up to the top of his thighs. seokjin shakes his head, cursing under his breath. “fuck,” he sucks in a breath, kicking the sand beneath his toes like he’s throwing a tantrum.

jeongguk flinches. “what?”

“come with me,” seokjin orders him. jeongguk stills for a second, before seokjin takes his hand and pulls him toward the post. he feels seokjin’s fingers intertwining with his and his breath catches in his throat.

it’s when they get back to the station when jeongguk wonders if seokjin really will report him to the authorities over his stunt.

when his friends see jeongguk being dragged back to the lifeguard station, namjoon, taehyung, and jimin immediately move to leave, seokjin giving the three of them scolding looks. taehyung ducks his head as he turns off his camera and waves at jeongguk before they turn away and leave him to suffer punishment alone. (“nice knowing you,” taehyung says weakly. jeongguk flips him off.)

seokjin is gripping jeongguk’s hand so hard by the time they make their way up the steps to the lifeguard station that jeongguk rips his hand away. “jesus,” jeongguk winces. “look, i know you’re mad that i broke the law, but--”

“--i’m not mad that you broke the law,” seokjin spits out.

“what? then why are you gripping my hand like you’re the fucking hulk?”

seokjin looks at him, embarrassed. then his eyes flit over to glare at the multiple people who are pretending not to stare at jeongguk’s nakedness. “those people out there, they were staring at you like you were a slice of meat or something.”

what.

what.

“what?”

seokjin sighs, running his fingers through his own hair. “i like you.”

“that’s not funny.”

“you’re not funny.”

“i’m serious, kim seokjin, that’s really fucked up of you to say to me. especially after you asked me to buy you condoms?” jeongguk shakes his head, feeling his heart rate pick up. “that’s cold.

“i’m being serious.” seokjin sighs, stomping his foot onto the sandy wooden panel.

jeongguk’s nostrils flare. he looks everywhere besides seokjin. “no, you’re not.”

“i am.”

“you’re not.”

“i am,” seokjin’s eyes are bulging out of their sockets in frustration, “you insufferable shit. i can’t believe i like you.” he looks at jeongguk, searching his eyes for an answer. “i know it’s difficult to believe, but what can i do to prove it to you?”

“kiss me,” jeongguk doesn’t hesitate to answer.

seokjin gives him a deadpan stare. “god, that’s so predictable.”

jeongguk huffs, “are you going to do it or not?”

and seokjin surges forward, grabbing him by the shoulders. jeongguk freezes, he sees seokjin’s lips move toward him and suddenly they’re on his. he feels like he’s melting in his spot, seokjin’s nails digging into his t-shirt, and it’s as if seokjin’s grip alone is keeping him from falling to his knees--he can barely feel the bluntness of seokjin’s nails as he lets himself get lost in their kiss. seokjin’s lips are chapped from the wind, but still plush and pink. jeongguk drinks it all in; he tastes like salted caramel, sweet with just the right amount of sea salt.

it doesn’t last long. “fuck, that’s nice,” seokjin says when they break apart.

“you like me,” jeongguk says, biting his lip. he’s so overwhelmed. he never actually thought this day would come. “wow, i don’t even know what to do now, i didn’t actually expect you to like me back.” he laughs bitterly. he can feel the telltale sting in his eyes and then his lip begins to quiver and seokjin is pulling him in. jeongguk ducks his head into seokjin’s neck, so seokjin doesn’t see his face crumple. he presses small, chaste kisses against seokjin’s bare collarbone and chest, wrapping his arms around broad shoulders.

“don’t cry,” seokjin’s laugh comes out strained, tight. “we can figure it out later. let me take you home so you can put on some clothes, yeah?”

jeongguk nods his head, still pressed against seokjin. he feels the line of seokjin’s back muscles, the dips of his shoulders, the dimples in his back, the curve of his spine...jeongguk’s already dreaming of becoming very acquainted with them.

jeongguk and seokjin pull away and the elder immediately calls yoongi to come over to help patrol for the last half of his shift. jeongguk makes out the string of curses yoongi throws at them before a soft, “i’m happy for you,” comes out the receiver. he preens when he sees seokjin glance at him with a blush feathering his cheeks.

it’s when they’re about to leave that he brings it up. he almost doesn’t want to ask, but the question’s been gnawing at his mind for hours. “what happened to your date?” jeongguk presses himself against the wall of the station, watching as seokjin packs his bag.

“cancelled on him the second you left this morning.” jeongguk looks at seokjin, who’s not even perturbed by his question, just humming to himself quietly. jeongguk smiles to himself. “ready to go?”

jeongguk nods, a pleased grin plastered on his face when seokjin takes his hand. they leave the beach and head over to seokjin’s truck.

seokjin thinks jeongguk doesn’t notice how he walks just a little bit behind jeongguk, to keep people from checking his ass out (and he feels a little satisfied with that).

“so you cancelled on him.” seokjin nods, eyes still focused on the road. “i don’t get it, if you liked me why didn’t you just ask me out?”

“well why didn’t you ask me out?” seokjin smirks at him.

jeongguk’s face heats up. “i tried so many times, but it’s kind of hard to ask you out when you’re so oblivious. did you know you’re your own biggest cockblock?”

seokjin sputters. “what? you did not. i’m good at picking up signals.”

“apparently not.” jeongguk rolls his eyes. seokjin slows to a stop at a redlight. “you’re better at talking, you should’ve asked me out.”

“you’re too good for me, jeongguk.”

jeongguk laughs disbelievingly. “i literally just streaked in public and that’s what you have to say to me?”

“i thought you were cute when you came back the first day of summer. i mean, i’ve always thought you were cute, but when i saw you pull up to your house from my window, i just...i don’t know. i wanted to come down and say hi to you, but i got kinda nervous. i wasn’t used to feeling like that.” seokjin rests his forehead against his steering wheel. “and then you looked so flustered when you came to the beach, and i was smitten--even if you were wearing those atrocious shorts--like, god, jeongguk you weren’t supposed to come back into my life looking like this,” he gestures his hand toward jeongguk and jeongguk immediately feels the heat rise up his skin.

“shut...up.” jeongguk presses his face to the cool glass window. he wants to pull seokjin’s shirt over his face, but he remembers that he’s literally sans-pants and underwear with the shirt barely covering his dick. he decides against it.  “you’re so embarrassing, i want to die.”

“you’re such a brat. a little shit, actually.” seokjin shakes his head, then continues down the street. “but somehow i still like you.”

“i’m gonna punch you. for real, hyung.” jeongguk shakes his head, crossing his arms over his chest. “i can’t believe you asked me to buy you condoms.”

seokjin gets quiet. he reaches over to find jeongguk’s hand and laces their fingers together. jeongguk holds his breath, staring down at their fingers locked together. he can feel his heart pounding. “i’m sorry, i had a feeling you had a crush but i didn’t know you were as serious about me as i was about you.”

“i hate you so much.”

they pull up to jeongguk’s house, and seokjin parks the car. “will kisses make it better?”

“no,” jeongguk averts his eyes, “but try anyway. just in case.”

the younger watches seokjin’s throat bob, but seokjin turns away. “honestly, i don’t think i can continue for more than a few kisses when you’re not wearing, well--” he looks at jeongguk and his face flushes.

jeongguk looks down at his bare thighs. “oh, yeah. sorry i ran around the beach flaunting my dick to the world.”

“you should be,” seokjin jokes. “you should also be sorry for making that stupid bet.”

what?  you knew?” jeongguk pulls his hand back like he’s been scalded.

“yeah,” seokjin shrugs. “i thought you were trying to ask me out as a joke. that’s why i didn’t think you seriously liked me.”

“how could you not know i like you? c’mon, even i know that i’m transparent.”

seokjin nods his head, biting back a laugh. “i’m sorry for being an airhead, i guess. let me make it up to you?” it’s not meant to be sexual, jeongguk thinks, but he can’t help but conjure up hundreds of different things seokjin could do to him to make up for lost time.

jeongguk leans over the center console, bringing his lips to seokjin’s ear. “do whatever you planned on doing to your date tonight, but do it better.

seokjin looks at him with an amused smile. he raises his eyebrows. “you deserve better than what i was going to do to him.”

he pulls away from seokjin. “what’d you even say when you cancelled?” jeongguk asks, curious now.

“that the guy of my dreams confessed to me.”

“shut up,” jeongguk snorts.

“you’ve been telling me to shut up quite a bit for a guy whose dick i’m trying to suck.” jeongguk’s eyes grow wide and seokjin laughs, “sorry, was that too fast?”

shaking his head, jeongguk licks his lips. “no. i, uh. that sounds good. i kinda want that.”

“what?” seokjin smirks. “kinda?”

“no, i mean want that,” jeongguk says, hands twiddling in his lap. “i really want it.”

seokjin hums, “maybe some other time. we barely just…” he looks at jeongguk. “... and i mean we’re kinda right in front of your parents’ house…”

“do you know how many years i’ve tried to get you to notice me?” jeongguk rolls his eyes. “no one’s home.”

“jeongguk-ah, your mom is literally watching us from the kitchen window. she waved at me when i parked.”

jeongguk looks out the windshield to see his mother staring back at him happily. she waves at him, mouthing a greeting to the two. seokjin waves back good naturedly.

jeongguk groans. “your house is empty, right?”

seokjin raises a brow. “yeah, how’d you know?”

“i may or may not have asked your mom a few days ago why she was packing luggages into her car.”

“sneaky now, aren’t you?” seokjin tosses him a lopsided smile. it’s a little sleazy, so jeongguk’s not entirely sure why his mouth waters. “your mom’s out of the kitchen. you should run to the back door so she doesn’t see you walking around with no pants.”

jeongguk doesn’t even wait for him to finish his sentence before he’s flinging the door open to run across the street. he hides behind the fence, peeking through it to make sure his mom can’t see him when he’s walking past the threshold to seokjin’s house. he watches as seokjin calmly steps out of his car, walking straight toward him with a cocky grin. jeongguk doesn’t stand a chance against him. his knees shake--he can’t believe this is happening.

seokjin immediately unlocks the door, and jeongguk pushes him inside. “thanks for taking your sweet fucking time.”

seokjin closes the door behind them before tilting his head to kiss jeongguk’s neck. he nibbles at salty skin, and jeongguk lets out a soft sigh. jeongguk is wrapping his arms around seokjin’s neck, pulling him closer. “eager much?” seokjin asks.

“waited way too long for this.”

“hopefully i was worth the wait.”

jeongguk pulls away to look at him. “most definitely.”

they wind up in seokjin’s bedroom, somewhere jeongguk hasn’t been since he was in elementary school. a surge of nostalgia courses through him when he looks up at the ceiling to see the same glow in the dark stars that he’d given to seokjin, the same ones he shared with him when he got a set for christmas. he smiles, taking in the scent of it--it smells like seokjin: like a breath of fresh air, sweet like molasses. jeongguk gets a sugar rush. then seokjin is all around him, engulfing him in his arms. “i can’t believe you’re still not wearing a shirt.”

“i can’t believe you’re still not wearing pants,” seokjin says, then promptly slaps jeongguk’s ass. jeongguk yelps indignantly. “or underwear. do you want me to put a shirt on?”

jeongguk shakes his head, and then he’s sitting down on seokjin’s bed. he’s nervous now that he realizes that he might have Full Sex with seokjin, but his nerves practically melt away when seokjin smiles at him, rubbing his thumbs over jeongguk’s shoulders to ease his worries away. “relax, jeongguk-ah.”

jeongguk pouts. “i am relaxed.” in all honesty, it’s hard to let his body unwind when he’s staring at the curve of seokjin’s broad shoulders and before he knows it, his eyes trail down to seokjin’s slim waist.

seokjin taps his cheek with two fingers. “my eyes are up here, babe.” seokjin smiles knowingly, then he’s leaning down, gently pushing jeongguk’s back down onto the bed. jeongguk lets out a breath he doesn’t realize he’s been holding. and seokjin’s lips are on his, moving fluidly as jeongguk instinctively spreads his thighs apart, letting seokjin fit between them. seokjin sucks in a breath at jeongguk’s growing hardness, and jeongguk drinks it all in.

jeongguk sighs as seokjin dusts feather light kisses along his neck, trailing down to his collarbone. he shivers as seokjin reaches down to lift the fabric of the loose-fitting t-shirt up, his deft fingers tickling jeongguk's skin before he's pinching jeongguk's nipples. jeongguk arches off the bed with a small whimper.

"fuck," he moans out, embarrassed. seokjin stills, looking down at him with blown pupils. then he's moving down to take a nipple in his mouth, swirling his tongue around, and jeongguk is sure seokjin can feel the way jeongguk's cock twitches with interest from the way seokjin smirks against his skin. jeongguk lets out quiet mewls until he's tugging at his hair. he's already incredibly flushed and jeongguk cannot come fast. he won’t let himself come fast.

seokjin gets off the bed completely, falling to his knees so quickly that jeongguk's eyes widen. "what are you doing?"

seokjin is leaning down between his legs, before he firmly grabs onto jeongguk's thigh, squeezing it gently. he pulls jeongguk by his hips so he’s closer to the edge of the bed and lifts them up just a bit. and then his tongue-- "oh my god," jeongguk whispers, eyes squeezing shut. "oh my-- god, seokjin."

seokjin raises a brow at him. “seokjin?” he says quietly. “where’s the respect?”

jeongguk opens his mouth to speak, but--“no. save it.” seokjin presses the flat of his tongue against jeongguk's rim and licks up in one clean motion. jeongguk covers his mouth with his hand, then wiggles his ass to get him closer to seokjin's mouth because fuck it's hot. jeongguk works his hips against seokjin's tongue and seokjin traces jeongguk's hole with the tip of his tongue, teasing it by slipping past the rim just a few times until jeongguk is breathlessly glaring down at him, a traitorous blush creeping onto his face. seokjin's pushing it deep into jeongguk, curling the tip of his tongue, drawing out long, shaky moans from jeongguk, he thrusts it in harder, faster, as his tongue laps jeongguk up. jeongguk writhes beneath him, his fingers coming up to play with his own nipples, and seokjin can't tear his eyes off the sight.

seokjin stops for a moment, standing up from his spot on the floor to head over to his night stand, earning himself a pillow to the back of his head. "why'd you stop?" jeongguk whines from the bed, blinking up at him with confusion. "it was so good."

seokjin goes to his drawer to pull out a bottle of lube, shaking it in front of jeongguk as an explanation before he's opening it up and spreading it generously across his fingers. jeongguk gasps lightly, keening when he feels seokjin tease his hole with his fingertips. "jin-hyung," he whispers, and that's all it takes for seokjin to press a finger inside, groaning at the way jeongguk sucks his finger in. he crooks it just a bit before he's pushing it in and out of jeongguk. the younger's chest rises and falls so quickly, eyes on seokjin the whole time. "another."

seokjin complies, watching his hole stretch around two fingers, and not long after, jeongguk is fucking back on seokjin's three fingers while seokjin is bobbing his head, mouth around jeongguk's heavy cock. "fuck, i can't... oh god, jin-hyu --ahh... 'm gonna come... gonna come..."

"come, then. i'll get you hard again after." seokjin says it with such confidence; jeongguk has never been more turned on in his life. he stares at seokjin's mouth wrapped around his cock, thick lips stretched around in as he bobs his head unrelentlessly. his tongue is flat and jeongguk can feel the tip of his dick hit the back of seokjin's throat. he's fucking up into seokjin’s hot mouth, working his hips hard enough that seokjin’s nails dig into his inner thighs to get him to calm down. seokjin's eyes are watering, god he's so, so, so painfully beautiful and all jeongguk wants to do is paint that pretty face white.

"jin-hyung..." he moans out throatily into the crook of his elbow. his chest heaves as he comes, right down seokjin's throat. seokjin continues to bob his head, letting jeongguk thrust weakly into his mouth until he’s slowing down to a stop and jeongguk is trembling from oversensitivity. he pops off of it like a fucking pornstar. and if he weren’t already completely spent, the line of spit mixed with come that drips down from seokjin's lips is enough to have him orgasm again. he reaches out for seokjin, and seokjin collapses on top of jeongguk, pressing his lips against his forehead until jeongguk pulls him toward his lips instead. "how was it?"

jeongguk smiles, blushing as seokjin presses more kisses across his cheeks. "good...i... i’ve never been eaten out before."

"what?? you serious?" he asks incredulously.

jeongguk nods. "never."

seokjin scoffs. "well, that's changing because i love your ass."

jeongguk hums, feeling the press of seokjin's own erection against his thigh. and then he's catching seokjin's lips on his. “yeah?”

seokjin’s cock twitches in his trunks, and jeongguk giggles. “i felt it,” he whispers at seokjin excitedly, moving his hips down.

seokjin’s eyes widen before he flushes a deep shade of red, covering his face with his hand. “oh my god, jeongguk.”

jeongguk looks at seokjin questioningly, waiting for seokjin’s approval. when seokjin nods, jeongguk looks around the room. he yanks seokjin forward to look at him with panicked eyes. “do you not have condoms?”

seokjin groans, letting his head thump against his pillow. “fuck. i don’t...you shoulda bought them earlier.” the grin on his face is a cocky one, and jeongguk kind of wants to smack it off--with his lips, of course. “wanna go buy some?”

jeongguk glares at him. “i have your dick in my hand, you wanna die?”

seokjin’s face pales, and then his eyebrows shoot up. “i meant we’ll go buy them together.

“oh,” comes jeongguk’s intelligent response. “well, what are you waiting for?” jeongguk slaps seokjin’s thigh playfully.

“give me a second to take care of this, yeah?” seokjin snickers, before he’s eyeing his crotch. “you go clean yourself up in the meantime.”

jeongguk gulps audibly, and then he’s pressing his palm down lightly on seokjin’s crotch. seokjin’s breath is accented with a breathy moan. jeongguk whispers. “how about i help you with that instead?”

“nope. can’t do it, we definitely need to go get those condoms.” seokjin pushes himself up, jeongguk falling over onto his side unceremoniously. “i’m gonna take a cold one. get cleaned up so we can go.”

jeongguk whines,“wipe me, i can’t move.”

seokjin shrugs, moving off the bed to walk toward the bathroom. “fine, guess you don’t wanna join me in the shower then.”

jeongguk’s eyes fly open. his body jerks forward as he sits up. he rushes toward the bathroom after seokjin.

 
"check his vitals,” seokjin says to jeongguk seriously, his voice low.

jeongguk nods, looking at the monitor. “his blood pressure is… one twenty over eighty.” he looks over at seokjin, “that’s normal, right?”

jimin yells at jeongguk, “did you really just ask him if that’s normal? the fuck kind of lifeguard are you??”

taehyung mumbles, his words coming out jumbled due to his numbed tongue. “i feel like this is something you should already know--”

seokjin reaches into his medical kit and pulls out an epipen, jabbing it into taehyung’s thigh.

“fucking finally,” taehyung sighs in relief, looking over at jimin with wide eyes.

jimin’s hand is in his, squeezing lightly before jimin turns to glare at jeongguk. “you’re the worst lifeguard ever. even worse now that you two spend ninety percent of your time ogling at each other’s flat asses in your stupid little red shorts.”

jeongguk and seokjin make matching noises of offense. “excuse you?”

taehyung shakes his head from his spot on the resting station of the lifeguard post. “can’t say shit to jiminie, he has the best ass. hands downs.” jimin helps taehyung sit up, asking his boyfriend if he’s okay to move. “we’re gonna head back home now. i’m never trying to eat a raw oyster from this beach again.”

seokjin rolls his eyes. “pretty sure that wasn’t an oyster, but okay tae.”

as they make their way to the door, they turn around. jimin and taehyung share a look, and jeongguk thinks that that can’t be good.

“hey, seokjin-hyung, i kinda wanna ask you about this one recipe,” jimin says, pulling seokjin to the side just as taehyung grabs onto the hem of jeongguk’s sleeve. they step outside onto the balcony for a minute as jimin talks seokjin’s ear off from the inside of the post.

“so, when are you asking jin-hyung to move in with you?” taehyung asks, a stupid fucking grin blossoming on his face.

jeongguk groans. “do not start, hyung.”

taehyung raises his hands up in the air. “i’m just saying dude, it’s been like… two years since you’ve started dating. you’re both working, you’re both looking for roommates… it’s time.”

jeongguk looks through the window, watching seokjin talk animatedly to jimin. his smile is bright and big and jeongguk’s heart swells at the sight of him. “i’m working on it,” jeongguk says in response. “it’s complicated.”

taehyung rolls his eyes. “you nervous?”

jeongguk turns to look at his friend. “i’m not nervous.”

“sure sounds like it,” taehyung sing-songs.

jeongguk glares at him now. “i’m not.”

“bet?”

with a grin, jeongguk nods his head, resolutely. he looks at seokjin once more before turning back to taehyung.

“bet.”