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“Welcome to Sephora!”

Jungkook blinked long, once, twice. White lights above, white walls on every side, white shelves everywhere. Whoever had designed the store’s interior either harbored serious resentment against warm tones, or was on a mission to recreate that sanitized, clinical hospital aesthetic. And how did people even shop with music this loud?

Before him, endless rows and rows of makeup. Which wasn’t even the worst thing – Jungkook could handle excess; he was prone to launching himself into weeks of Overwatch. No – what baffled him, especially in his non-caffeinated, mid-week apathy, was that everything in Sephora looked exactly the same.

Inhaling deeply, Jungkook shuffled down the main walkway, trying to look as inconspicuous as any guy in his mid-twenties wearing ripped black skinnies, sunglasses and a beanie could, and ended up dodging girls with fistfuls of clacking plastic items, clutched like weaponry. Every three minutes, he swung bodily out of the way of someone shrieking for dear life. He had entered a war zone. Eventually, after figuring out that he wasn't making any real progress, Jungkook settled on slinking around the perimeter of the store, running his fingers down the white fiberglass displays and mourning his wasted time.

His agenda was originally supposed to be quick. A get in–get out, stealth mode task. All because his cousin, Dasom, was getting married.

Wait, no, backtrack – that wasn’t the reason why Jungkook was hacking out a lung. He had wandered into a cloud of perfume, unaware of the employee who was showing a customer how to use a tester strip. It smelled like rotting wood and bad decisions. The customer didn’t seem nearly as bothered by the rancid smell – perhaps immune or a masochist; Jungkook would never understand. He preferred natural musk, like a touch of fresh linen or a plate of crispy fried chicken.

Anyway, Dasom. His older cousin was getting married in five days and she had her heart set on a very specific makeup look from Pinterest, which included a very specific lipstick from a brand that Jungkook could never, for the life of him, remember how to pronounce. He had a screenshot of it, just in case.

Jeongyeon, Dasom’s younger sister, was supposed to pick up all the necessities so that the bridal party could do a test-run prior to the wedding, but the nearest Sephora had been out of stock. So Dasom, in the rightful fit of any frazzled bride-to-be, immediately insisted that Jungkook “get off your lazy ass and do something helpful instead of drinking all the champagne for once.”

Well, Jungkook didn’t appreciate all of that tongue-in-cheek bitchiness. But he knew better than to argue with an anxious bride.

Which led to his current predicament – trying to act as natural as possible after noticing an employee studying him across the room, eyes full of suspicion. The lady with very bold eyebrows (“It’s called Instagram eyebrows on fleek, Kook," Hoseok would probably have said) promptly reached for her headset. Jungkook was no master at reading lips, but he swore what came out of her mouth was something like “Trouble in the Stilla aisle,” whatever that meant.

Jungkook fished out his phone to find the screenshot, hoping that the photo of bright gold lipstick packaging would somehow come to life and speak to him. He held it up next to the tubes nearest on display and huffed. Everything looked similar, yet not close enough to be identical. He was hopeless, doomed. Sorry Dasom, Jungkook thought, wondering how much shit she’d give him if he bought something else instead.

“Is everything okay here?”

Jungkook whipped around, open Huda Beauty highlighter palette in hand – he was curious why a makeup store sold school supplies, and why these highlighters weren’t pens. He came face to face with an employee peering down at him. The deep shade of metallic pink on her cheeks reminded Jungkook of those circus clowns from his nightmares. He recoiled immediately, only to see the girl frown, nostrils flared. Yep, he needed to get out soon.

“No, no, thank you. I’m okay!” he insisted.

The lady raised a well-groomed eyebrow. What was up with everyone’s eyebrows here? And how did hers look so symmetric? Jungkook suddenly felt very self-conscious about his own unruly ones. “Oh-kay. Is there anything in particular you’re looking for?” She batted her eyelashes.

Jungkook staved off a groan. It wasn’t enough that he was trapped between four walls of terror, but he also had to be extra aware to not come off as flirtatious. “Um, here.” He extended his phone. “For my cousin,” he felt the need to clarify.

She frowned. “This looks really familiar, but there’s no name or description. Do you know what it’s called? Or what color it is?”

Ah, yes, Jungkook belatedly realized. The screenshot was only helpful up to an extent. All it showed was a shining tube of gold that could’ve even been mistaken for a glorified Pez container.

“Oh, right. Um, my cousin sent it to me? I can’t remember the name, something European?”

Thankfully, the employee had stopped giving him coquettish looks, which were replaced with thinly-veiled scorn. Like Jungkook wasn’t allowed into an exclusive club unless he could remember the password.

“No problem,” she drawled, although there was clearly a problem. “Let me radio over someone else to see if they can identify the item for you.” She gave him a tight-lipped smile and Jungkook couldn’t help but notice the way skin bunched around her nose, resembling the texture of a carpet. Was that because of the brown, liquid stuff – foundation?

“That would be really cool. Thank you.”

Jungkook was left to his devices and he wandered past few shelves to look at the brightly colored squares of powder. Unsure which part of the face the product was meant for, Jungkook hesitantly dipped his finger into the deep blue pigment. Sniffing it, he was pleased to find that it had a nice coconut scent. But... what to do with an entire fingertip of blue... Oh fuck.

So engrossed in debating whether to wipe his finger onto his t-shirt or backtrack to the station at the front of the store and ask for a tissue, Jungkook didn’t see another employee approach him.

“Hello, sir? I was told you were looking for something?”

If Jungkook knew such an incredibly cute bean was working at Sephora, he would have barreled into the white haven of hell a long time ago. Wide, slinky eyes, a ski-slope button nose and the world’s most plush lips ever. Just a touch of pink eyeshadow (That’s what it was called, right?) and a shiny gloss over his lips. Blowjob lips.

“Uhhhh–”

The employee – Jungkook quickly glanced at his nametag: Jimin – giggled and his eyes disappeared into two slits. And then his little mouth, set in a pout, widened out into a brilliant smile.

Jungkook melted. This was worse than the time he’d spent three hours rooted in front of a cage at the pet store, refusing to budge until the fluffy, sleeping puppy inside woke up and acknowledged him. Taehyung had to drag him home because the mall was closing and apparently, spending the night in a pet store was only Jungkook’s idea of a fun time.

Imaginary Seokjin appeared in a puff of purple clouds, floating to the side of Jimin’s head. “You’re shameless,” he said, clearly unimpressed, neck lined with golden chains. Then he was gone.

“Hello? What was it you wanted to find?”

Jungkook’s mouth had dried up bad enough to rival the Sahara Desert, so he settled on just pushing his phone into Jimin’s hands. He struggled trying not to think about how small those palms were, curling around the screen. How good they’d look curled around his co–

“Oh, this packaging looks really familiar!” Jimin chirped. The bad, garish lighting seemed to soften around him, gossamer like real-life photoshop. “I have an idea. Follow me, please.”

Jungkook trudged helplessly through the maze of shelves and frantic shoppers, ducking his head down just to make sure he wouldn’t run into anyone he knew. His friends would give him hell if they caught wind that Jeon Jungkook spent his Friday afternoon browsing through Sephora.

Looking down also provided a really nice view of Jimin’s ass. Jimin sailed along, each punch of his hips sashaying left and right, as if he owned the place. And maybe he did, with the ridiculously hot confidence he exuded. Each plump cheek bumped in perfect rhythm as he walked. Jungkook stared in awe. He was so absorbed with the spectacular sight that he almost plummeted into Jimin when they stopped.

Jimin twirled around, arm stretched out like a mini-Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune. “And here we are! The gold branding in your picture looked like Yves Saint Laurent. Very typical of the brand and ultra classy.”

“Oh, yeah, that sounds familiar.” Jungkook replied. “Thank you.” He glared at the gleaming displays of gold and the price tag. “Thirty-seven bucks?!”

“You pay for quality and basically, the brand name.”

“Fuck. Dasom owes me so bad.”

Jimin’s sweet expression quickly morphed into a frown, then back to cool professionalism. “Oh, for your girlfriend? That’s nice of you.” Before Jungkook could interject, Jimin continued, “There’s two main collections of lipsticks from YSL, one matte and one satin, which is semi-glossy. Do you know which shade she wanted?”

Jimin spoke softer then, a bit aloof, looking past Jungkook instead of at him. Jungkook felt a little stunned at the insinuation and debated the sudden urge to bundle up the man into his arms and coax that infectious smile back.

“Um, I think she wanted pink?”

Exasperation flooded Jimin’s features, crinkling his nose with a hint of something close to fondness. Jungkook internally cheered at the victory. “Wow, your girlfriend sent you here by yourself? Did she want to torture you? Poor thing.”

“Dasom’s my cousin. She’s getting married in five days and promised to unleash hell unless she gets this overpriced shit.”

The change was instant and Jimin’s husky smolder was back again. He clapped his hands, bouncing slightly onto his toes. “Oh? Well then, we need to make sure you deliver or else your wellbeing might be in danger. Can you get in touch with her?”

“I’ll try. She might be busy with last minute wedding stuff.” He dialed Dasom’s number. Sent to voicemail, he shrugged at Jimin. “I’ll text her. She’s probably already descended into madness. How many shades are there?”

Jimin finally giggled again, setting Jungkook’s heart into palpitations. He felt dopier than his last birthday, when he was gifted Pokémon Moon and Sun at the same time.

Cocking his head to the side, silver-dyed strands fell into Jimin’s eyes, intense and provocative like those fragrance commercials that popped up in between Jungkook’s YouTube binges. “There’s only like, fifteen in each collection. What’s your name?”

“Uh, um. I’m Jungkook. Yours?” He already knew the answer. Jimin. Jimin. Jimin. He already decided it suited the employee. Perky and winsome.

Jimin pointed to his nametag. The name in block letters had tiny little hearts drawn around it and a duckface emoji (–8–). “Jimin, at your service.” He spent a few long, drawn-out seconds nibbling along his fleshy lower lip.

Jungkook felt a semi coming on.

Jimin’s voice softened even lower, breathy like a hot air balloon. “It’s not every day that I get to help a really hot guy pick out lipstick. Do you want to test the shades on me to see how they look?”

Motherfucking hallelujah. Hell yes.

Jimin’s eyes disappeared again into curves. “Good! I’d be happy to model them for you.”

Of course Jungkook had the gall to speak his thoughts out loud. Thankfully, Jimin wasn’t a enough of a prude to berate him. In fact, he looked even more pleased, eyes teasing and bright.

“Here.” Jimin plucked the first lipstick from the shelf and twisted it open, a loud shade of hot pink. Handing Jungkook a disposable applicator, he swiped off a bit and gestured for Jungkook to start.

“Uh... I don’t really know how...”

Instead of answering, Jimin pressed fully against Jungkook’s chest, head tilted back and lips parted like sin.

A whistle in the distance distracted Jungkook before Jimin tugged his chin back to face him. “Just use the paddle and swipe lightly over my bottom lip, then the top. Ideally, I’d line my lips first, but this will do. Make sure to stay within the lip line. Like a coloring book.”

Jungkook swallowed heavily. Why did it suddenly feel ten degrees warmer in here? Jimin didn’t seem opposed to their proximity, nor the full hardness pressing against his stomach.

“You’ve done coloring books before, right Jungkookie?”

“I–I... um.” Jungkook fumbled with the applicator and tentatively brought it to Jimin’s lip, fingers shaking. “I haven’t colored in a long time.”

“Well, let’s bring those artist hands back. Draw me like one of your French boys,” Jimin purred, sliding his hands down Jungkook’s hips, thumbs hooking into the pockets.

Jungkook choked a little. “Frenc-? Uh, r–right. Okay. I’m gonna put it on y-you.”

“Good job, Kookie. Put it on me.”

Jungkook swallowed down all the dangerous thoughts about putting things, like his own hands, on Jimin’s tight, lithe body, and of drawing Jimin naked, lounging on a chaise chair looking more glamorous than the scene from Titanic. He didn’t know what to do with his free hand that wasn’t holding the applicator, hovering in the air by Jimin‘s shoulder.

“Hold my cheek with your other hand.”

Jungkook stared incredulously. “How did you know?”

Jimin’s giggles lightened the tight coil in his gut. “The fear in your eyes and the awkward floating fish hand. That’s how. C’mon, you can do it baby. I know you can.”

Mind hung up on the petname and all the feverish things he felt because of it, Jungkook took two tries to complete the first swipe of thick goop onto Jimin’s lip. His hand shook as he brought the color down to the corners, unsure how to cover such a thin stretch before attacking the top lip. While concentrating on making sure Jimin’s lips looked perfect, thoughts of getting his hands full of that ass were reluctantly pushed to the backburner. Getting past Jimin’s full cupid’s bow took another three tries, but Jungkook’s friends didn’t call him Golden Maknae for no reason.

Stepping back, Jungkook admired his handiwork. Shiny, gleaming lips. Bitable. The urge to lick them was borderline dangerous at that point.

“You did good!” Jimin was studying himself in a large mirror, obviously pleased. “Not bad for a lipstick virgin.”

“It’s p-pretty on you,” Jungkook croaked out.

Jimin’s reaction was of pure glee, puppy-like exuberance. Jungkook could already picture the floppy Snapchat dog ears filter and ghastly roll-out tongue that would look undeniably cute on him.

“Time to test the next one!”

Jimin subjected Jungkook to applying lipstick from four more tubes before Jungkook started losing the mental capacity to differentiate between each color – he was too occupied with an armful of giggly Jimin.

“Uh... Jimin?” he asked, midway between filling Jimin’s upper lip with another shade of shiny pink. Jimin had taken to contently resting his temple against Jungkook’s shoulder, hands slung around his waist like a koala. Despite the tricky angle, Jungkook really couldn’t complain. “Can people really tell the difference between all of these?”

“Of course,” Jimin replied. “The one you’re putting on me now is called Beige Tribute. It’s got a neutral tone with a touch of peach. Before this, we tried Le Fuchsia, which was, well, fuchsia.”

“But they’re all pink?”

Jimin groaned. “Do you know anything about art?”

“Of course! I took a photography class in high school.” Jungkook finished the final swipe and slowly relinquished himself from Jimin’s hold.

Jimin gave him a quick pout before plucking out another tube. “Then you know about shades and hues and tones. Complementary colors. It all relates to makeup. If a person has yellow-toned skin, they might prefer warmer colors with pink undertones. If they’re really pale, they’ll avoid yellow or really pale colors that could wash them out.”

“Makes sense.”

Jimin blinked up at him, a kittenish smile playing on his painted lips. “Of course it does. There’s a lot of thought that goes into color theory. So which one looks the best so far?”

Jungkook let out a shaky breath. To be honest, he hadn’t really taken note of the shades, using the opportunity to admire Jimin, blank of anything else. “B-but... Everything looks so nice on you.”

“You haven’t been keeping track, have you?”

“Uh –”

Jungkook felt his phone vibrate and prayed to the makeup gods that it was Dasom.

 

bridezilla:
you idiot it’s called coral poetique - satin finish
DONT FUCK THIS UP OR UR BALLS WILL BE SERVED ON A SKEWER

  

Jimin was watching, expectant eyes lined with purples and dark blues, a living, breathing solar system. His fluttery lashes were making Jungkook feel hypnotized.

“She texted me the name of it. Coh-rale poh-et-teek?”

“Oh my god, you are just precious. I am adopting you. I’ll teach you how to apply a full-face of makeup and we can start a YouTube channel together.” Jimin gestured for the phone to double check the name, then started shuffling through a shelf lined with tiny boxes.

Standing in the middle of Sephora, Jungkook didn’t go unnoticed, even if he was clearly being helped. At least two other employees had stopped by to ask Jungkook if he needed any assistance, to which he replied with a confused look and a vague hand motion toward Jimin, that no thank you, someone was already helping him. Jimin huffed and tugged him closer, muttering something under his breath, sounding a lot like “jealous bitches need’a stay in their damn lane.”

“I’m glad your cousin was able to get back to you.” Jimin held out the small package for Jungkook, a tiny box that, in an ideal world, would never cost someone thirty-seven dollars.

“I still can’t believe this costs so much.”

Jimin sighed morosely. “Welcome to the reason why I’m broke as fuck. Most of us have sold our souls in exchange for overpriced makeup.”

A ridiculous idea implanted into Jungkook’s brain, still overwhelmed and recovering from being inches away from Jimin’s hot mouth. He nodded dumbly. “Do you have any of these lipsticks?”

The crease between Jimin’s two perfect eyebrows made Jungkook want to fawn over him. “What? We have all the shades right here, Jungkookie.”

“No, no, I mean do you own any of them yourself?”

Jimin gave him a look, one full of something Jungkook couldn’t quickly identify. He didn’t know Jimin at all – just met him with his glorious butt and chirpy voice and love for high-end makeup. But he wanted to know Jimin, he wanted to know him deeply.

“Why are you asking?” Jimin looked apprehensive but at least he wasn’t making a move to leave.

“Because I... I would like to buy you something, um, maybe one of these overpriced lipsticks? I can’t tell between coral or fuchsia but they all look really good on you and I can’t leave without thanking you for saving my ass.”

Jimin’s eyes widened. “Oh no, no you really don’t have to. I have employee discount, and well – well that wouldn’t be right for me to accept.”

“Well.” Jungkook felt stumped. “There must be something I can give you in return.”

“Just come back and visit me every now and then,” Jimin said, half smirking and furiously adorable. “I'll ring you up so that you can deliver the peace offering to your cousin.”

Jimin led him to the cash-wrap station, bypassing the line of girls who promptly voiced their ruffled feathers. “Don't mind them.”

Jungkook felt their sharp death stares piercing the back of his skull. Oh god. He’d die a vicious death of colorful powders and perfumes. “I can wait in line… It’s f-fine, really.”

“And so can they.” Jimin shot a look past Jungkook, lips pursed and arms crossed, stretching the tight black shirt across his chest. And that was that.

As Jimin finished the transaction, Jungkook fumbled over what to do. He wanted to repay Jimin and see him again soon, if not over and over. But how to befriend a beautiful near-stranger beyond polite formalities? He grumbled over his lack of natural social aptitude. Taehyung or Hoseok would know what to say.

“And that’s it! Thank you Jungkookie, it was really nice meeting you,” Jimin said with a signature smile that Jungkook had already committed to memory.

“It was nice meeting you, too.”

Jimin’s head tilted to the side, a bit confused but not upset. He smiled conspiratorially. “As much as I’d really like to keep you here, those customers aren’t going to behave much longer. Imagine twenty Dasoms waiting in line.”

Jungkook recoiled immediately. “Right. Right, um. Okay then. I’ll be going.”

“Bye Kookie.”

Jungkook waved awkwardly, one hand flat up, more like saying scout’s honor than goodbye. Something really persistent told him that he needed to make a move right that moment if he ever wanted to see Jimin’s infectious smile again.

“I can help the next person!” Jimin called out, a neat smile plastered on.

Great. Jungkook tried to hide the ugly scowl burned onto his face as he scurried out of the store. He booked it straight back to his car looking like a walking mess of contradictions, just like the tiny, black and white Sephora bag in his grip.

 

 

     

 

 

“He was so, so gorgeous,” Jungkook wailed, floundering onto the couch.

Hoseok gave him a stare full of judgment and sighed, tugging a palm down his face. “Kookie, why didn’t you just ask for his number? Now you have to go back to Sephora.” He shuddered. “Again.”

“But I don’t wanna. That place gives me the creeps and I lose my sense of direction between all the aisles."

“Then stop moping.”

“But I don–”

“Do you want me to help you or not?” Hoseok snapped. He was slouched into the beat-up, second-hand rocking chair that Taehyung had donated to their apartment.

“Please help me. I need you, a little bit of magic, and your social skills. Shouldn’t be very hard.”

Hoseok shook his head, nose scrunched up. “What's so special about this guy anyway, Kook? You rarely get this thirsty."

"He had the face of an angel, I swear."

"There's always another babyface around the corner."

"Noooo," Jungkook mourned. "He actually was the cutest thing I've seen my whole life. And fuck, that ass. Thicker than a bowl of oatmeal." He reached up, two hands squeezing the air.

Hoseok grimaced, the frown deepening down his chin. "Oatmeal was never my favorite."

"Me neither, but it is now. I'd eat my whole breakfast off Jimin's ass."

"Anyway," Hoseok deadpanned. "That’s all? A nice ass is a dime a dozen nowadays.”

The microwave beeped and Hoseok shuffled out of the rocking chair to retrieve his sad plate of leftovers. Jungkook closed his eyes, letting the remnants of their conversation sink into him. What had been so special about Jimin? He was pretty, downright intense allure in one package, but Jungkook had seen many beautiful people before.

Hoseok plopped back into his seat. “So? Any enlightenment?”

”Why is it necessary for me to have an answer?”

Hoseok chewed slowly, bits of fried noodles falling back onto the styrofoam plate. Swallowing, he paused. “I only ask because I know you, Jungkookie. Are you serious about trying to see him again? Or is this moping is just a phase that’ll be over by next Friday?”

”Hypothetically,” Jungkook mumbled, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, “if I did believe in instant attraction or something like that, maybe I’d want to at least try to find out where it leads.”

”Sure. That’s sensible. Hypothetically or not.”

It felt like ages had passed since Jungkook had properly pursued anyone. He’d be lying if he said time hadn’t made him more cynical. ”I read this article somewhere, The New York Times, maybe. Something about how they proved that love is the result of ‘sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.’ I don’t think it applies to Jimin right now, but I wouldn’t object if it did, eventually.”

Hoseok hummed, eyeing Jungkook with a look. “When did you grow up so much?”

”Asshole.”

”But really,” Hoseok emphasized. “There’s not much you can do at this point. You had a chance and didn’t take it. Like I said, going back there is the only option.”

“I’m not even sure when he works.”

“Kook." Hoseok had his eyes closed, talking to the ceiling, plate closed. “You’re literally shooting down every suggestion I’ve given.”

“You think the employees would blacklist me if I asked for Jimin’s hours?”

Hoseok nodded. “It’s not impossible. You’d kind of look like a stalker. Unless you give them a good reason, I guess. I doubt they’re allowed to.”

“But you’re saying going to Sephora every day isn’t going to be any less suspicious.”

“Sure!”

Jungkook let himself become one with the couch, weightless, with a horrible itch to go to the mall. “My life is so hard.”

Hoseok scoffed. “Don’t be ridiculous. The biggest problem in your life is finding out more about this mysterious minx you met at Sephora who let you touch his lips over and over. That’s literally the best thing.”

“It was so much more than that!”

“I’m just gonna be the devil’s advocate to say that chances are, it wasn’t much more. You don’t know if Jimin does that with all of his customers. I, personally, wouldn’t get my hopes up too high. Plus, you’ve got a wedding to attend and you haven’t picked your plus one yet.”

Jungkook muffled a scream into a pillow. “Don’t remind me. Dasom’s gonna flip if I end up going alone. The reception charges sixty-five bucks per person. Hoseok...”

“No! No, no. You’ve known for weeks that Yoongi and I have plans that night. Why don’t you just call Mingyu? He’s always your backup hoe, right?”

“Hm. Mingyu found a dick he’s content to ride for good,” Jungkook said after a few seconds. “I’m happy for him.”

Hoseok finally opened his eyes to give him a tight-lipped grimace. “Oh shit, sorry about that. I didn’t know.”

Jungkook waved it off. “It was bound to happen. I was getting tired of him whining about Wonwoo after sex anyway.”

Over the past four months, Jungkook had spent many minutes providing a friendly shoulder for his buddy-with-benefits to wail about an oblivious best friend. He promised to be there for Mingyu and didn’t mind the extra moping, but Mingyu’s labile emotions had started seeping into their sex life. Jungkook considered himself fairly open-minded, but hearing his partner crying out someone else’s name did not define a good time.

Hoseok grunted, looking minimally sympathetic. “Okay, tackle one thing at a time. Go back to Sephora and get Jimin’s number. He already knows about the wedding, maybe you can sneak in an invite, too.”

“Come with me?”

“Hell no.”

"Puhleease."

"I'm your roommate, not your mother."

"Yeah, your mom is way hotter," Jungkook spat. He was getting frustrated at himself.

"Let's not talk about mothers," Hoseok said, fatigue heavy in his voice. "You have a problem, solve it."

"Fine."

Jungkook ended up passing out on the couch after two hours of mulling over Jimin, the memory of his eye smiles making Jungkook want to do silly things like announce off the top of a mountaintop that he was infatuated and would never find anything else as beautiful as Jimin. Dream-Jimin appeared, dressed in a toga with a golden wreath atop his head, and told him that he was right, and he should come back to Sephora, or else he'd be pining over grade A ass for the rest of his sad life. Dream-Jungkook wholeheartedly agreed.

 

 

     

 

 

”You so owe us, bitch,” Taehyung muttered, picking his nails. “Why don’t they have chairs here like those department stores do for bored husbands?”

Hoseok leered at him. “You’ve been inside those places?”

”Busted,” Jungkook said, throwing finger guns at Taehyung. “I promised you guys boba after, so shut up. I just need some support.”

”We know. We’ll wait here. Go in and get your man.” Hoseok tugged Taehyung out of the way of an elderly lady zipping through on an electric scooter. “Damn, those are boss. How much do you think it costs?”

Taehyung gripped Jungkook’s shoulder. ”Okay, so just as we practiced, right? Name, number, done.”

”I’m still having war scares from the time we roleplayed that. Let’s never bring it up again.” Jungkook shuddered. To get him ready, Taehyung had tried out his best Jimin impersonation based on what Jungkook had told him, complete with a pair of high heels to make his ass shake more. It didn’t matter that Jimin didn’t wear heels, Taehyung had insisted.

”I was pretty smashing, huh.”

Hoseok smirked and said in a greasy voice, “Please wear those heels more often, baby.”

Taehyung squealed. “You’re embarrassing me. I’m telling Yoongi!”

”Okay guys, please. Back to the real issue at hand,” Jungkook pleaded. “If I don’t get Jimin’s number, if I’m reading this all wrong, then I get both rejected and eventually slaughtered by Dasom for not bringing a date.”

”Why don’t you just invite me, asshole?” Taehyung demanded.

”Thanks for the help. Real troopers, guys,” Jungkook said, ready to throw in the towel. “I’m heading in.”

”You don’t even know if he’s working!” Jungkook could hear Taehyung screech as the blast of air-conditioning pulled him into the store. “Just bring me to the wed–”

The lady at the double doors gave him a terse smile. ”Welcome to Sephora.”

Jungkook nodded. It finally occurred to him that Sephora wasn’t the unnavigable festering swamp of black water that he initially thought it was. Now that he actually had a good look around the place, the layout made sense. Makeup aisles grouped into brands in the front, fragrance around the room, skincare toward the back.

His second visit in less than three days. Jungkook kept his arms close to his body, avoiding any head-on collisions with focused shoppers. The employee at the front wearing deadly-looking heels gave him an obvious up-and-down, and he debated just jumping the gun and asking about Jimin instead of hovering around the store, on the hunt.

He managed to go full circle before caving into a magnificent level of shame. Everyone looked at him, with his bare face, acne scars and zero makeup, as if he didn’t belong. It was an out-of-body experience.

From around the corner of the second aisle popped a face that made all of Jungkook’s worries whittle to dust.

“Are you finding everything okay?” Jimin cocked his head, looking as magical and untouchable as ever, his eyelids painted a striking neon blue. The store’s harsh white lighting cut along all the angles, his cheeks, his nose, his chin, and Jungkook thought that maybe he had stepped into a trance.

Jungkook blinked. “Am I dreaming?”

Grinning, Jimin tugged the tester pot of Nars concealer out of Jungkook’s clutches. “Nope, not a dream. Hi again.”

“Hi.”

“Did Dasom send you back for something else?”

Shit. He hadn’t thought that far ahead. “Um. No. Actually, I came back because her – um – bridesmaids asked about the lipstick I bought and I had no idea what to tell them other than the fact that it was ridiculously overpriced and looked really good on an employee’s lips.”

Jimin stared up at him for two beats before crumpling into a wild laugh, hands on his stomach and half bent over.

Jungkook reconsidered everything about his life carefully. The haunting thought to get the fuck out of Sephora and spare whatever dignity he had left was very tempting.

“I don’t know what to say, Jungkookie. That’s really sweet.” Jimin slowly began regaining composure. “Did you come back to swatch more lipsticks on me?”

“I dunno,” Jungkook muttered, glaring at a brown bottle of Tom Ford something with a price tag that read eighty-two dollars.

“If so, I’m more than happy to help!”

Five minutes later, Jimin had roped Jungkook into a black high chair, disposable lip applicators and a line of YSL tubes next to them. Jimin stood in between Jungkook’s legs, thumbing his chin, raising Jungkook’s head up toward the ceiling.

“I’m excited to try these out on you, this time,” Jimin said in a singsong voice. “Your olive skintone makes it so much easier to try out different colors. Practically everything goes well with olive.”

“Will it taste good?”

“No. It’s not flavored, Jungkook. It’s mainly wax.”

Jungkook sunk into the chair, trying to get comfortable. “But Dasom said something about it being ‘buttery’...”

Jimin let out a breathy giggle, snuggling closer against Jungkook’s thighs. “She means the texture. It’s not actual butter.”

By instinct, Jungkook’s palms found their way to Jimin’s waist, hooked onto his beltloops. Jimin made no move to question him, face pulled into studious concentration as he applied on the first layer of color.

Jimin showed him the final result in a handheld mirror lined with LED-lights that made every one of his little facial imperfections ten times more noticeable.

“Do you like it?”

“I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s kind of bold.”

“That’s YSL for you. Want to try something else?”

Jimin chatted on, vivacious and bright, about working with makeup, the joys of helping people feel beautiful, and getting paid to do it. He had a five year plan to become a professional makeup artist – “mua,” as he called it. Jungkook, totally engrossed, nodded along and tried to digest the infectious joy radiating off the angel between his legs.

Six trials later, when Jimin peeped in his reflection, Jungkook wasn’t surprised that Jimin’s ivory skin looked just as flawless despite the magnification.

Jimin leaned back to admire his handiwork. “I think this is your shade. It’s perfect. Almost like a coral nude, sheer but just enough to make your lips look juicy.”

“Like a peach.”

Jungkook clapped a hand over his mouth, horrified at his own slip-up.

“Exactly. Peach emoji.” Jimin smirked then slid out of his grasp to swipe off more lipstick into a small, clear snap-top container. “I’m going to give you a little bit to take home and play around with. You can tell your cousin’s bridesmaids that YSL also has more modest colors if that’s what they’re into. This one is called Blonde Ingenu.”

“Thank you.” Jungkook stuffed the sample into his jean pocket. “I, um, learned a lot from you.”

Another employee walked up to them and gave Jungkook a stink eye. “You again?” the man drawled.

Jimin looked adorably confused. "You know each other?"

"No," the man immediately replied. "I just noticed he was here soliciting yesterday."

"Uh..."

Jimin frowned, clucking his tongue. “Dean, don't be like that. Kookie is harmless.”

“Whatever." Dean quirked a judgmental brow in Jungkook's direction. "I've been scoping it out from the back door. He’s just here to hit on you, Jimin."

"That's ridiculous."

"I can call security if you want.”

Jungkook shook his head quickly, eyes wide, all intentions of asking Jimin for his number suddenly out the window. “I’m not here to cause trouble. I’ll go then.” He jumped off the high chair, ready to flee.

“There’s no need,” Jimin insisted. “I am fully capable of taking care of myself.”

Dean didn’t appear fazed at all. “Remember the class we took about sexual predators?” He sneered the word ‘sexual,’ like Jungkook was carrying a sort of disease.

Jimin looked horrified. “Oh my god, that is so unprofessional of you. Go away.”

Blankly, Dean said “Suit yourself then,” and strutted away, nose held high.

A moment of uncertainty hovered thickly then passed. “I’m really sorry about that," Jimin said. "Dean’s been Head Color Consultant at this store for ages and acts like there’s some sort of metaphysical crown on his head. Please don’t run away.” Jimin looked even more squishy when he pouted, face warped in worry. Jungkook wanted to smooth out those frown lines.

”It’s cool. Um, I just,” he took a deep breath, “want you to know that I’m not here to hit on you.”

Jimin cooed, looking overwhelmingly soft. “Jungkookie, I never got that impression.”

”O-oh, good.”

But Jimin wasn’t done. “You really don’t look like the fuckboy type. I mean, did you get a massive banana boner when I was showing you how to put on lipstick? Holy fuck, you did. And did you stare at my ass most of the time? Sure, but I wasn’t complaining. No sir, nuh-uh.”

Jungkook coughed, heart in his throat.

”In fact, I was kind of flattered,” Jimin murmured. His fingertips skimmed along the tops of Jungkook’s thighs, soft over the denim. Jungkook tried not to flinch. “I kept thinking about the nice size of your sausage all day long after you left.”

”My sausage,” Jungkook repeated, gurgling weakly. “I need to disappear.”

Jimin reached for more tissues to blot off the last lipstick swatch. “You have such pretty lips, Jungkookie, they remind me of a bunny. The cutest cupid’s bow. It would look so stunning with some highlight dusted on top.”

Jungkook went from confused to flustered very quickly. ”I still don’t know what that is.”

Jimin pulled him up and off the chair, flicking off imaginary lint from his chest. ”Keep coming back and I’ll show you.”

The faint reminder of why Jungkook returned to Sephora in the first place blared like an alarm in his head. “Right. Speaking of–”

”Jimin!”

Goddammit. Dean was back.

Hovering over Jimin’s shoulder, Dean shot Jungkook another stink eye. ”Jimin, you’re needed up front. Stat.”

”The fuck, Dean,” Jimin snapped, swiping a hand through his hair. He looked amazing when he got feisty. “We don’t even say ‘stat’ here. What’s up your ass today?”

Dean scowled. “Not my orders. Jhene is being kinda bitchy.”

Jimin gave Jungkook a quick apologetic look. “Okay, but quit the weird guard dog action. I’ll be there in a few.”

After Dean had slinked away into the sea of makeup, Jungkook fidgeted, shifting his weight from foot to foot. “I should probably go, then.”

Jimin groaned. ”Again, I apologize on his behalf, that was really rude. Hey, I work every week day except Thursday, if you’re ever around or need more tips. I’m sure Dasom would appreciate your input?”

Jungkook nodded, tongue glued to the roof of his mouth

"I'm really glad I got to see you again. Don't be a stranger!"

Before Jungkook could manage a goodbye, Jimin had weaved away between the hordes of shoppers. He squared up, toying with the plastic container in his pocket, and walked out of the store, debating whether or not he'd actually try to visit Jimin again.

Outside, he spotted Taehyung precariously trying to bend far over the second-floor railing and Hoseok taking a video of him with a ridiculous grin. Jungkook sighed helplessly. It was going to be a long week.

 

 

     

 

 

The wedding didn’t go over exactly as planned.

The evening ceremony was set outdoors on a raised platform fronting a lake, which left room for too many variables. The rain made a surprise appearance five minutes before Dasom was supposed to set foot in front of a hundred close family members and friends. Jungkook managed to escape the banshee screaming and slip into the crowd of attendees huddled under the spare trees flanking the now-crinkled satin aisle.

The rest of it – traditional stuff, rings, exchanging vows with two wedding planners holding umbrellas over the bride and the groom – Jungkook didn’t really remember, fatigue from staying up until four o’clock in the morning to help the bridal party iron their dress slips making him nod off more than once. He spent a few moments lightly slapping his cheeks before the officiator announced that the husband may kiss the bride, and everyone stood up to cheer for the newlyweds.

Jungkook watched Dasom tucked into the side of her partner, radiant and a whole one-eighty degrees from the stressed out bag of beans she had been since wedding planning began. In the back of his mind swirled an indiscernible pride and an odd empathetic longing. For what, Jungkook couldn’t pinpoint, but he knew it had something to do with companionship.

The couple hurried down the aisle, clutching each other and dashing under the tossed grains of rice, and Jungkook froze.

Separated by a whirlwind of faces, there he was. Jimin, hair tousled, pouty lips and hooded eyes framed with glitter and some of that eyeshadow stuff. Alight under the dim fairy lights, Jimin glowed, ambient deep shadows dancing across his face. He looked at Jungkook and immediately smiled, features gleaming like candlelight. Or highlight, whatever.

Jungkook quickly waved then turned away, heart beating ten times faster and palms starting to clam up. What were the fucking chances? And why hadn’t Jimin said anything at the store? He must have noticed all those times Jungkook mentioned Dasom’s name.

As the emcee began to usher guests toward the reception area, a large stone lodge also on the edge of the lake, Jungkook chanced another look. Jimin’s eyes quickly darted toward him knowingly, an eyebrow raised and amusement painted on his pretty, pretty face. Jungkook felt silly, schoolgirlish, eager to ogle someone so gorgeous from afar. Jimin shot over a wink. He ducked his head down again, breathless.

Slowly but surely, everyone made it into the lodge and Jungkook found himself barely paying attention the formal portions of the reception. Somewhere, someone broke a glass chalice after clinking too hard, trying to get the couple to kiss, and the emcee, beet-red in the face, looked like he was going to pass out from his attempts to rein in the crowd’s enthusiasm. 

Jimin was nowhere to be seen. Then it was time to play a game to test how well the audience knew the bride and groom, so walking around to find him was not an option. Jungkook steadied his muddled mind and readied his game card. He’d just have to search for Jimin later and hope that Jimin was just as happy to see him, too.

 

 

     




 
“Having fun?” ghosted a voice slow and deep.

Jungkook steered around to see Jimin, no less radiant than he had been under the harsh Sephora lights, effortlessly fashionable in his two-button single-breasted blazer jacket, urban elegance in worsted wool. He couldn’t believe it. Just as he thought he’d missed out again on talking to Jimin, there he was.

“You’re here,” Jungkook blurted, then flushed red in embarrassment.

Jimin chuckled, a tiny hand covering his mouth. “Are you surprised?”

“You–” Jungkook frowned. “You knew, didn’t you?”

“It was hard not to tell you,” Jimin started, tentatively playing with the hem of his sleeve. “My first instinct was to, believe me, but you were so cute and lost. I thought it would be a really nice surprise to show up and let you think fate brought us back together.”

The deejay yelled something indecipherable over the speakers, which must have been good, because people began to get out of their chairs to congregate on the large dance floor in the middle of the ballroom.

Jungkook didn’t know how he felt about Jimin formulating a secret scheme, but the rush of relief to see him won out in the end. “I guess I’m not mad about it.”

“Did my plan work?”

“Maybe,” Jungkook admitted. “I’ll let you know by the end of the night. Who’re you here with?”

Jimin turned around to scan the room, which had transformed into the likeness of a cheesy danceclub, gritty neon lights flashing over the crowd of people. He crinkled his nose, looking a little lost. “Dasom’s a really good friend from high school. My date is somewhere in that mess,” he said, pointing over, mouth tipped into a smile. He didn’t appear to be disappointed by the fact that he’d been ditched. A tiny speck of hope began to grow in Jungkook’s mind.

“That’s insane. What are the chances?”

“You’re telling me.” Jimin quirked his face to the side and gave him a very thorough look, pulling his lip between his teeth in appreciation. “You clean up well, Kookie.”

Jungkook swept a hand through his hair, suddenly conscious of his attire. Being part of the family, he was coerced to wear a suit jacket and cuff links, two phrases he would’ve never guessed could be integrated into his wardrobe, ever. If he had it his way, he would’ve chosen khaki joggers and a simple button-down, sleeves rolled up. Thankfully, their cousin Seungcheol did some damage control and convinced Dasom to at least let the males pick out their own ties. Jungkook immediately sprung at the chance of donning a plaid bowtie that his five-year old self would have drooled over. Under his jacket, suspenders, like a muthafuckin’ mafia boss.

“This is not entirely my doing.”

“I like it. Suave, like Bond.” Jimin sidled closer. “I wouldn’t mind you coming to save my ass from danger.”

Jungkook forced himself not to comment further on Jimin’s ass. “Want to see what I have under my jacket?” He meant his suspenders, of course.

Jimin apparently didn’t, eyes wide and halfway impressed. “Woah, Kookie.”

“Oh god, no. No,” Jungkook flapped his hands up in haste, hoping to remedy the situation. “No, I meant my suspenders. Look it, they’re cool.” He flashed open his jacket and sighed as Jimin’s face melted in understanding.

Beaming at him, Jimin ran his fingers along Jungkook’s jacket lapels. “I can’t believe it. You’re so cute. Anyone else and they’d try to show me their dick. Not that I would've minded with you, though. I’m sure as hell not going to let you leave tonight without getting your number, okay?”

Jungkook needed to be the world’s densest dud to not recognize flirting when it smacked him in the face. He would not fail this time. Inner Jungkook shook his fist in the air, ready for battle. He nodded, eager to put his seedling of bravery to the test. “C-can I actually, um, take you up on that now?”

Jimin really laughed, tinkles and cute little snorts that made Jungkook feel like he was floating. Under all the glitz and layers of makeup, Jimin looked like a fairy, angelic and painfully unattainable. “Of course, babe. Give me your phone.”

After the exchange, all of Jungkook’s former valor evaporated when he realized that neither of them had spoken again, the conversation at a standstill. What does a person talk about when they’re confronted by beauty itself? Jimin fiddled with his phone longer than necessary and looked like he was deep in thought, before a figure joined them.

“Minnie, why haven’t you danced with me yet?”

Jungkook couldn’t help the immediate comparison, both between the dude and himself, and the dude with Jimin. His sharp height towered over Jimin’s dainty frame, with the proportions of a runway model, spiffy bleached hair and thick-rimmed, pretentious glasses. Powerful and smart, the type Jungkook was absolutely not.

“Joonie, I was talking to my friend,” Jimin murmured, placing a palm firmly against the man’s chest. Jungkook’s eyelid twitched. “This is Jungkook. Jungkook, Namjoon.”

“What’s up, man.” Namjoon offered a hand and shook with firm intimidation.

“Nice to meet you. Um, Jimin, you should go dance. Have fun.”

Jimin hesitated, like he was disappointed with the response. “But Kookie, we only just reunited. Joonie knows a lot of people here, he can have his own fun.”

Namjoon didn’t appear bothered and dipped down to whisper something in Jimin’s ear. His torso half devoured the shorter man, one hand resting casually on Jimin’s lower back. Jungkook felt something restless begin to pace under his skin, a little lawless possessiveness.

He wasn't a pro at reading people, so watching Jimin let out quick giggles at whatever Namjoon was saying, while skirting his eyes over to Jungkook every two seconds, stirred the beginnings of a mild headache. It reminded him why he'd never taken a serious plunge into the dating scene – too many games, too little payoff. Maybe Jimin was no different.

“Okay, okay,” Jimin whispered, nudging Namjoon away. “I'll find you.”

Namjoon just nodded and gave Jungkook one last wave before bowing out.

“Sorry about that,” Jimin said, fingers wrapping gently around Jungkook’s elbow. “I promised Joon I'd dance with him. He likes to touch my ass.”

Jungkook jerked back, frowning at the image of someone's hands all over Jimin. “Um.”

Jimin shrugged. “Please don't get the wrong idea. Joon is my platonic soulmate. He's tactile and needs to use his hands constantly. His favorite pastime is watching videos about slime. My ass is his second favorite thing to play with. He's completely uninterested in me romantically.”

“That’s... unique.”

Jimin cackled. “What, you’ve never spent hours scrolling through those ‘oddly satisfying’ videos on Instagram?”

“Honestly? No.”

Jimin bent forward in a laugh, resurfacing with a twinkle in his eyes. “Then you’ve been missing out. And really, there’s nothing between us. I don’t know why I feel the need to tell you, but I want to make sure you know.”

That wasn’t really enough to ease Jungkook’s sudden rush of inadequacy or the ruthless comparison between them. Namjoon looked like someone who knew what he wanted, and got it. The way he looked at Jimin like the ultimate fantasy made Jungkook feel really dumb about his own chances. “I see. Thanks for explaining.”

Jimin appeared torn, clearly not convinced. ”I don't want to keep rubbing salt into a wound, but Joon isn't into me. He's actually really shy, which is why he didn't say much to you, but he’s my best friend and I let him play with my butt because it makes him genuinely happy.”

A wave of distress pulsed through Jungkook. Despite his own insecurity, he needed to chill about this whole thing. Who was he to make assumptions about someone who Jimin considered a best friend? ”I think I understand. I’m sorry you felt the need to explain everything to me.”

”Don’t worry. I doubt Joon would mind, especially since he knows I’ve been waiting to see you. And anyway,” he licked his lips, tone sounding very dangerous, “I can’t expect you to understand the power of my ass until you actually get your hands on it, too.”

Jungkook felt all the blood in his face rush quickly down and his cock jumped in his pants. ”Wow.”

Jimin reeled back his expression into a calm smile. "It's really nice to see you here and not in Sephora. Promise me a dance, please?"

"Y-yeah. Of course," Jungkook whispered.

”Don’t leave, okay? You’ll be around?”

Jungkook managed a thumbs up, blind to everything except the burning mirage of Jimin dipping low into a slut drop. He watched Jimin dissolve into the crowd of bodies, and tried to imagine something other than Jimin swaying against a man far more debonair. This wasn’t exactly how he had planned meeting him again.

The dessert table offered more interest than brooding did, so after a few minutes, Jungkook wandered over to pick at the assortment of petite fours, staring at the treats for an answer. He really should have brought a plus-one. No amount of socialization made weddings any less arduous or draining, but Jungkook had been dragged in by familial obligation and he’d made up his mind to try to at least enjoy the food.

“Hey there.”

With a jolt, Jungkook recognized the older male – Justin, one of Dasom’s coworkers, and the subject of a former, really silly crush that lasted only about two weeks. His shyness revved up, taking in the tattoos that covered the blonde man’s arms, slinking up toward his collarbones. He had once fantasized about those arms doing compromising things to him. “H-hey,” he greeted.

“Jungkook, right? Dasom’s cousin?”

He nodded, ruffling his hair out of nervous habit. “Yeah, that’s me. And you’re Justin?”

Justin smirked, nudging him with an elbow. “I’m glad you remembered.”

“Oh, I guess I’m good with names.”

“I’m sure you’d be good with a lot of things.” Justin wiggled his eyebrows, once, twice, and nodded toward the dance floor. “I saw you staring at the desserts like they murdered someone. You okay?”

”Oh! Um, I’m good. There’s too much chocolate here.”

Justin let out a frustratingly suave laugh. “I’m not a huge chocolate fan, either. I like sweeter things, like pretty boys.”

Taken aback, Jungkook bit his lip.

”You here with someone?”

”Unfortunately, no,” Jungkook said, looking around for a familiar face to offer an escape.

”Nice,” Justin said, leaning in. “I’d be honored if you granted me a dance. Hm? What do you say?”

Fuck, this was getting awkward. Jungkook felt a conflicting mix of dread and anticipation. He tried to buy some time. ”I don’t really know this song."

The music dropped to a slowdown, beats rocking in a sensual hum. The atmosphere shifted, couples pairing up to sway together, and others trickling back to their seats. Jungkook debated the urge to take advantage of the moment, to show Jimin that he was just as good of a catch.

Justin waited with a dazzling smile that looked a bit too practiced. “Of course, if you don’t want to, it’s all good. No stress.”

“Well I–”

“Sorry, he’s taken.” An arm curled around Jungkook’s waist, and to his side, Jimin was staring daggers, jaw cocked to the side, looking every little bit like the wild vixen he was.

Justin stepped back, hands up. “Oh dude, sorry man. Chill, I wasn’t gonna pounce if he was yours.”

“You bet he’s mine,” Jimin snarled, eyes slanting into a sneer.

Jungkook’s face twisted into an apologetic, half-hearted smile, suddenly torn between the ecstatic high from being called Jimin’s, and intense confusion. Justin didn’t even blink, backing out quickly and disappearing across the room.

“Jimin–”

“You didn’t wait for me. One dance and someone was already trying to pick you up.” Jimin tugged Jungkook by his jacket collar and tiptoed to press their foreheads together, breathing softly against Jungkook’s lips.

“I didn’t mean to. I was just gonna eat some cake.”

“Baby bunny.”

A little speck, shimmering like bravery in Jungkook’s gut, began to grow. “Do I really look like a bunny?”

Jimin whispered, soft like silk. ”Have you seen yourself? I’m embarrassed by how cute you are. And it takes a lot for me to feel embarrassed.”

Every minute with Jimin so far had been short, but so intense. Like being siphoned into a warped, black hole. “I might feel very similarly,” Jungkook admitted.

Jimin tightened his grip along Jungkook’s jacket. “Let’s dance. Show me something I’ll never forget.”

In their proximity, Jungkook could practically taste Jimin’s lip gloss and count every eyelash, thickened with mascara and probably those removable falsies Dasom had told him about. All the details about Jimin were flawless, pristine pearl. He nodded and within a second, Jimin began pulling him under the strobe lights, palms warm in his, and Jungkook felt his pulse jump out of his skin as the bass began to build again, thudding loudly against the walls.

Surrounded by faces, Jungkook focused all of his attention on the shining star in his arms. Jimin reached up and slid his fingers into Jungkook’s hair, pressing his hips immediately against his and swaying with the beat, low and dirty.

Jimin leaned in to mouth against his ear. “Sorry if I was too harsh back there. Did I interrupt something important?”

Jungkook took the opportunity to pull Jimin closer, wrapping him up, loving the way Jimin melted into him. “Nah. I was debating how much longer I was going to stay if you didn’t come back. Weddings aren’t my thing anyway.”

“Jungkookie,” Jimin murmured, leaning back a bit to stare him straight on. “You weren’t gonna ditch, were you?”

“Maybe.”

Jimin gave a small pout, eyebrows scrunched up. “Am I coming on too hard? Joonie tells me I have trouble reading people’s cues.”

“People’s shoes?”

“No! Cues, like reading between the lines? If demanding that you dance with me is appropriate, and stuff like that.” Jimin’s huff was smothered by the screeching synth overhead.

Jungkook was overcome with the desire to do anything to bring Jimin’s sunshine smile back. He looked like all the city lights in Seoul had combined into one unforgettable, starry face, right in Jungkook’s grasp. The flutes of champagne from earlier and Jimin’s longing gaze clicked into place. Jungkook closed the gap and kissed him.

As David Guetta’s beats looped back into a hook, their lips met, chaste and sound, inching with dopamine, and Jimin sighed into the kiss, coaxing Jungkook’s mouth open with a hot breath. His body, tight and strong under Jungkook’s hands, moved like something mystical, undulating with the music, hips snapping forward at the right moments. Jungkook felt the delicious satisfaction of stumbling across something way better than expected, as if he were living off of Jimin, completely fixated.

“Get back here,” Jimin whispered when they parted.

Jungkook gripped him closer. “You’re not drunk, are you?”

“I’m trying not to be offended. It takes a lot more for me to get wasted.”

"Okay." Jungkook didn't know if telling Jimin that he wanted him sober was too much, too fast.

"You're thinking too hard, baby," Jimin said between two quick kisses. "Let's have fun. I'm not gonna regret anything tomorrow, if it's with you."

Well, if that wasn't enough of a confession in their day's warped world of relationships, Jungkook didn't know what was. "Promise? I don't usually do this..."

"We're definitely hanging out again soon, okay? You won't be able to get rid of me even if you tried."

Jimin kept Jungkook against him and let the music lead their steps. His hooded eyes were full of sin, gritty, and every detail down to his crazy plump lips were so, so tempting. Jungkook couldn’t stop touching him, running his hands along the slope of Jimin’s back, all the way down, to finally sink his fingers into the round curve of that ass that had been calling his name since the moment he met Jimin in Sephora. Jimin gasped into his mouth with a soft moan.

”Fuck,” Jungkook said, watching the way Jimin arched into his hands.

”Now do you get it?”

Jungkook nodded quickly. “I don’t blame Namjoon at all.”

Jimin kept their stare hard and silent, the rush of noise around them fading to white, then broke it by inching forward to nip gently at Jungkook’s lips, hesitant and shy, nudging his nose like a puppy. Jungkook smiled into the kiss, unable to contain the surge of pathetic butterflies in his belly.

“Keep kissing me and I’ll make it up to you for lying about the wedding,” Jimin said, flicking his tongue along Jungkook’s lower lip.

“I have a hotel room,” Jungkook said. He felt Jimin shudder, hardness growing against his hip.

"Good. Did you plan on taking anyone there?"

”At the beginning of the day, no one. But now, only you.” Jungkook knew every word was real.

Jimin gripped his chin and kissed him, panting into his mouth, breathing heavy with arousal. He fit seamlessly against Jungkook, hooking his arms tight around his neck, demanding, never letting go. No way Jungkook was going to give this up.

 

 

     

 

 

Dragging Jimin back to the hotel room felt like leaving the worst parts of the tedious social world behind, pieces of Jungkook's tired brain held together in Jimin's strong arms. They paused a few times before reaching the bed in order for Jimin to cling to Jungkook and kiss him, slick sounds from their lips filling the room.

“Get this off,” Jimin whispered into Jungkook’s neck between kisses, tugging at his suit jacket. He stripped down to his boxers quickly in haste, and Jimin followed as they approached the twin-sized bed. White sheets, crisp from room service, about to be soiled.

“Hurry Jimin,” Jungkook called. He sat on the edge of the bed with the blankets pulled back, one arm out. Jimin came slowly, dragging his toes along the beige carpet. Coy, tongue between his teeth.

Jimin settled himself, thick thighs on each side of Jungkook's waist, and wrapped his arms around his neck. “You're like a big teddy bear, Kookie,” he murmured, nosing into Jungkook's hair.

“That's kind of freaky.” Jungkook leaned them both back, zigzagging his body to shimmy up to the headboard, lips attached to Jimin's pulse point, in love with the way his heartbeat sped up in tandem with his own.

Jimin slid his fingers through the tufts of Jungkook's hair. “Kookie, how much do you want me?”

“A lot. T-too much,” Jungkook admitted.

Jimin looked warmly into his eyes then kissed him again, lips pliant, soft and molding against his. Dainty fingers trailed his jaw and Jungkook felt deeply cared for.

“Good. I wanna suck you off. I'm wearing the lipstick you bought and I want you to see how good it looks around your dick.”

“Fuck. Okay, yes.”

Jimin slunk down then, pressing wet kisses along Jungkook's collarbone, then his chest, pausing a few moments to suck his left nipple, and down to his pelvis, gripping Jungkook's sides like a lifeline. Jungkook marveled at Jimin's ability to be both extremes, soft yet sexy, hard yet pliant.

Jimin rubbed his nose into the cotton of Jungkook's boxers, damp from all their dirty grinding on the dance floor. Every swipe of Jimin's painted lips left a trail of faint rouge, temporary marks of ownership. Jungkook could probably get off by just watching Jimin brand him with lipstick.

“You smell like old socks,” Jimin commented.

“Is that your way of dirty talk? Thanks, I think.” Distantly, Jungkook probably would have been turned off or offended, but Jimin began using his tongue, hot and wet, to lick through the cotton, taking the clothed head of his cock past his lips.

“Gonna worship you now, Kookie.” From this angle, Jimin’s face was half buried into Jungkook's crotch, eyes glazed over.

“J-Jimin, oh. I don’t–”

“Relax. Wanna swallow your come, too, okay?”

“Hhhhnnng.” Jungkook shivered something intense when Jimin finally tugged off his boxers and breathed deep puffs of air onto his dick.

“Just like I felt in the store. Such a nice size. I'm content,” Jimin said. Before Jungkook could get out a word, Jimin slid his shiny, bitten, pink lips around the top of his cock with incredible suction. Jungkook felt his soul leave and everything went a little foggy, back flailing off the sheets from the intense wetness.

“Is this heaven,” Jungkook groaned.

Jimin let out a series of short moans as he took in more of his length, breathing loud and using his tongue to rub everywhere underneath the head. Desperate, Jungkook curled his hands into fists. He felt spit dripping down his balls, too fucked out in bliss to care.

“Fuck, oh fuck, oh–” Jungkook's eyes rolled back and he dimly registered his hips bucking upward into Jimin’s mouth.

“Jungkookie. Look at me.”

Jungkook forced his eyes open to welcome the sight of Jimin's lips, still perfectly lacquered, sliding up and down his cock, the thick veins disappearing with each push in. Jimin took his time, jaw slack, his fingers pulling quick little tugs at the base of Jungkook’s cock.

“You’re so g-gorgeous. Best, best head I’ve gotten,” Jungkook hiccuped. He wasn’t sure where his dirty mouth was coming from but Jimin seemed into it, bobbing faster. Jungkook shook wildly, struggling to hold his hips from bouncing. Everything was so wet.

Jimin pulled off for a second. “Better fucking believe it.” He giggled and pressed soft, quick kisses along Jungkook's angry red cock, eyeing it like a trophy to win. “And I changed my mind. Gonna ride you instead.”

Jungkook's brain overheated. “O-oh my god, are you serious? I, wow. Really?”

“Should've known what you were getting yourself into when you told me about your hotel room back there,” Jimin said with a grin.

Jimin insisted on fingering himself a few times, putting on a show that riled Jungkook so bad, his balls felt tight. He marveled at how tastefully obscene Jimin looked, moaning something nasty as he stuck two lubed fingers up his ass. Jimin kept calling his name and Jungkook had to shut him up by kissing him quiet.

“Y-you want me that bad, Jimin?” he whispered against Jimin's neck, each hand full of an asscheek, slippery with smeared strawberry lube.

Jimin eyed him. “I think I should be asking you that question.” He unrolled on a condom onto Jungkook and rutted filthily against it, sliding his own bare cock against the rubber.

“Yeah,” Jungkook said into the sweaty skin. “I really want you.”

Jimin straddled Jungkook's waist again and sank down slowly, opening so well, just for him.

“J-Jimin! Uhhhhh, fuck. Fuck.”

Jimin's head was thrown back, mouth open wide as he began bouncing, muscles clenching as he pushed himself off the mattress over and over, relentless and so attractive.

“Kookie,” Jimin drawled, voice tiny and broken. “God, you feel so good. You’re all mine.”

They had barely breached the topic of this thing between them and Jungkook had no idea what Jimin wanted beyond tonight besides hanging out. He looked at Jimin, skin covered in sheen and desire, fingers wrapped around Jungkook’s biceps leaving nail imprints, and wondered, between the dizzying pleasure, if he'd ever reach this kind of high again.

“Y-yeah, yeah. I'm yours, Jiminie.”

Jimin didn't reply, focused on hoisting his solid body up along Jungkook's cock, to slam down with all the force in his thighs, twisting once in awhile to push closer.

He finally spoke up, voice vibrating, "Tell me what you thought when we met."

Jungkook didn't have to think twice about it. "I couldn't take my eyes off of you. You were the most b-beautiful thing in the whole place."

Jimin mewled, dragging his nails along Jungkook's nipples. "Fuck, I shouldn't be so turned on by that. I watched you wander around the Tarte makeup for ages before getting the courage to talk to you."

"You w-watched me?"

Jimin managed to blush while bouncing on Jungkook's cock, ass sucking him in. "You're hot, Kookie, my total type. Wanted to pull you behind the shelf of face masks and blow you so badly."

Jungkook was a second away from combusting. "Holy shit. I'm the luckiest guy ever."

"Mmhmm, you are. Did you know that some makeup brands use snail slime in their products? Maybe your come would make a nice facial ingredient.”

Deep in his skull, Jungkook felt his brain liquefy into useless pulp. ”You’re brilliant.”

”I know. I wanna come, Jungkookie."

Every silky push into Jimin made Jungkook feel like he was drowning. When Jimin moved, his muscles, broad and taut, shifted and tensed like a glowing sculpture in an exhibit, to be seen and awed over. Thin, shimmery sweat clung to Jimin’s skin and Jungkook let his hands wander, following the trails of his deepest fantasies.

Jungkook's dick throbbed heavily in the wet friction. "I'm not gonna last. Gonna–”

“Gonna come, Kookie? Wish you weren't wearing a condom, wish you could fill me up.”

Imagining Jimin tying him down, maybe with velvet ropes, and riding him without a condom, slick skin-to-skin tightness, nearly tipped Jungkook over.

“F-fuck, I want that too, so bad.” Unable to stop the stutter in his voice, he sounded nervous and overwhelmed. He reached to stroke Jimin’s cock, flicking up and circling around the leaking head.

“Kookie,” Jimin whined, still going strong. “You'd feel so good in me, bare thick cock, pumping me full, all messy. You could eat me out after.”

“Y-you're crazy. I love it, Jimin, I-I'm gonna come already.”

Jimin whined, wrapping his arms around Jungkook's neck to bring their chests flush together. Jungkook couldn't stop his own thrusts up, a frenzied need to release and burn off the ache under his skin. He felt himself let go, a sweltering buzz through his body coming in waves, and surely, surely he knew that nothing could be better than this, than Jimin.

Jimin must have felt it, or at least heard Jungkook call out brokenly against his lips. His momentum faltered, hips trembling, and Jungkook used what was left of his boneless strength to help Jimin propel himself over the edge too, his bouncing cock shooting thick come trapped between their stomachs.

They tumbled down into the pillows, sharing a soft sigh and Jimin's lips found his again, naturally, their legs tangling together. Jimin’s smooth skin moved against his, sweaty but content. Jungkook wished he had his camera from high school to take a continuous set of overlapping photos so that the reality of Jimin in his bed would last forever, memorialized on black-and-white film.

“Holy shit,” Jungkook groaned, arm still slung tightly around Jimin, who squirmed as he pulled out slowly.

“Oh my god, you fucked me so good.”

Jungkook felt bashful. “You did all of the work. I'm really glad you helped me at Sephora.”

Jimin rolled onto his elbows, propped up over him and looking like the most magnificent angelic being. “I'm really glad I did, too.”

Jungkook tugged him down to cuddle, ignoring their mess and the deflated condom. “Wanna keep going?”

Jimin huffed. “No way, not tonight. I'm so fucked out, Kookie.”

“Hm. Next time then?” He tried to keep the juvenile hopefulness out of his voice.

“You have my number. Keep visiting me at work and I'll consider it.”

“Deal.”

The sound of Jimin's laugh began to lull Jungkook toward the softest comfort, floating in a bubble of just the two of them. But all of the unspoken questions that he’d been tumbling over since he walked out of Sephora the first day flared up, persistent reminders of things he didn’t fully understand himself. And if he did, there was a chance he’d been reading into Jimin too strongly. Maybe Jimin wouldn’t want to talk about something that had ended before it started.

After they'd cleaned up, Jungkook sucked in a deep breath, took a step forward, and tried to drag Jimin under the covers. He hoped his giggling made Jimin feel less pressured, just the tiniest taste of commitment. With his full drama queen exaggeration, Jimin protested loudly but Jungkook caught the bashful grin between his huffs.

“I have to take off my makeup,” Jimin explained, brazenly naked, one hand propped on his hip. “Rule number one, never go to sleep with a full face on. I don’t have any of my skincare items with me.”

Jungkook frowned distractedly. He sorted through his backpack but only came up with a toothbrush and some three-dollar moisturizer from the drugstore. “We can share?”

“Ugh, gross. I’ll just use the complimentary hotel soap. The things I do for you, Kookie. My skin’s gonna be so pissed at me.”

“Jiminie,” Jungkook reassured, coming up behind him in front of the bathroom sink mirror. Jimin’s eyeshadow was horribly smudged and part of his left eyebrow had rubbed off. “You look perfect.”

Jimin stared down their reflection but melted into the backhug, wiggling his ass a little. “Why are you so domestic? I hate being this cute.”

Jungkook pressed soft kisses along the slope of Jimin’s bare shoulders, tasting his skin, adding to his perpetually growing mental checklist of Jimin Things He Adored. “We could be cute together?” His words trailed off slowly toward the end.

Jimin smiled something deeply affectionate and his former cheekiness was replaced with shy hesitation. “Are you asking me out?”

“U-uh. Maybe. Maybe yes.”

Without replying, Jimin hurried to wash his face. Jungkook stood his ground, hands rubbing concentric circles into Jimin’s hips. He watched the soft transformation from polished, untouchable allure to subdued, homey charm. Like the transition between busy Seoul and the Jeju-do seaside. Of course Jimin looked even more beautiful with a bare face.

Jimin tiptoed them back to the messy bed wearing Jungkook’s extra pair of boxers. They wrestled to find the most comfortable spot on the tiny mattress and Jungkook wrapped himself around the petite man. He couldn't shake the feeling – a resounding, loud answer subduing all of his former questions – that he had the whole world in his arms now.

Jimin spoke up after they settled into silence. “First, maybe you can ask me out properly when we’re not half naked.” There was a trace of worry lacing his delicate voice.

Jungkook’s chest tightened. “I can definitely do that.”

“Good, good,” Jimin muttered, nuzzling into Jungkook’s collarbones.

”How many articles of clothing would you prefer to have on before I do that?”

Jimin poked at his Adam’s apple. “Just regular clothes, silly. I meant, just not after hooking up.”

There was the way Jimin’s laughs passed into Jungkook’s chest, reverberations connecting skin. He decided that would have to happen much more often. ”So, tomorrow?”

Jimin hummed. ”That’s a better option, I think. But tonight, I need my beauty sleep.”

”I’ll be here.” And Jungkook truly meant it.

Jungkook could feel butterfly kisses from Jimin’s eyelashes as they swept down the expanse of his neck, slow exhales floating down his bare chest. He didn’t think he could fall asleep ever again without such a presence next to him. Jimin fit perfectly into Jungkook’s space, the embodiment of every teenage dream that had been stuffed into the back of his relationship-frustrated mind. He felt completely dazed as to how he'd ended up so lucky.

To the side, a phone buzzed, somewhere beneath a pair of discarded pants on the beige hotel floor carpet. Jungkook fleetingly thought it might be important, but Jimin tightened the vice grip of his meaty thigh slung over Jungkook’s hip. “Please stay.”

”‘M not going anywhere.”

If it was Jungkook’s phone, he'd guess his roommate was checking in on the night’s progress. He could practically hear Hoseok’s loud cooing or Taehyung’s longest “yeah boi” floating through the sex-saturated air. Everything felt perfect, beyond Jungkook’s best imagination, warmth and soft sunshine cuddling close, sharing the same pillow.

“Oh, you were right,” Jungkook whispered. “The lipstick did look amazing around my cock.”

Jimin smiled up at him, eyes brighter than the eternal moonlight above. “Told you so.”