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chamber of reflection

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It’s inarguably one of the worst days of his college career.

(On second thought, Namjoon thinks that it could be argued that the worst day of his life was that one time Hoseok and Seokjin roped him into going to a Dungeons and Dragons meeting, but Namjoon likes to pretend that that never happened.)

Namjoon sits in the university library, hunched over his PsychoBio book,  sipping lightly at what seems to be his fifth cup of heavily sugared (“You should really consider cutting down on your sugar intake,” he can practically hear Hoseok chide) cup of coffee as he groans. He’s been up for hours now, he realizes as he glares down at the cold, pathetic excuse for a caffeinated drink. Namjoon wanted his drink to help him focus, but all he’s received is the dull throb of his head. He desperately wants to take a break, but he knows he can’t--especially not when he has to co-teach a lecture in about two hours on the five phases of action potential in a neuron. His eyes stare unfocused on the words that seem to teeter off the page, and he’s not quite sure if he’s going blind or if he’s just extremely exhausted (he deduces that it may just be the latter) when of course, a hand clamps down on his shoulder.


“You look disgusting.” And that voice alone makes him jump up in his seat.

He whips his head around to look at Seokjin, standing there in all his beautiful glory-- his damn broad shoulders, a confident smile embellishing those plump pink lips, and his giant, doe-like brown eyes. Namjoon wants to sneer as Seokjin pulls out the chair across from him and promptly sits down with a pleasant smile plastered on his perfect, perfect face, like he’s not disrupting Namjoon’s harmonious, well-balanced study plan with his bright presence. “Tell me something I don’t know.”

Seokjin hums to himself thoughtfully, leaning back on the hind legs of his chair. “One time I got so drunk I sent a video of myself fingering my asshole using nutella as lube to my mom.”

Namjoon stares at Seokjin for a good five seconds, before he scoffs. “No you didn’t, you sent that video to my mom.”

 

“Oh yeah,” he says to himself, nodding his head. “How’s she doing by the way?”

Namjoon’s eye twitches, and if it isn’t for Seokjin, he’s positive it’s from the lack of sleep. “Why are you here, hyung?” He grips his pen a bit tighter and pretends that Seokjin’s existence is a huge burden to him. Correction: Namjoon is certain that his pathetic time on Earth would be exponentially less exciting if it weren’t for Hoseok and Seokjin always prying into his social life, but he would never admit that fact aloud.

“Come to the cafe with me? Hobi and Yoongi have been talking about their mixtapes every single day this week. I’ve never felt more like a third wheel in my life, and I’m tired of drinking my peppermint mochas by myself.” Seokjin pouts, reaching over the table to paw at Namjoon’s book. “A man as beautiful as I am shouldn’t have to sit alone at a cafe, it’s just not right.”

Namjoon sighs in response, letting his body sink into the library chair that he’s basically melded to at this point. “I really have to finish reading, I’m teaching in a few hours.” Plus, Namjoon is almost one-hundred percent positive that if you try to remove him from the premises, the print of his (nonexistent) ass would be embedded in the chair with a nice Property of Kim Namjoon finely printed. He wrenches his eyes away from Seokjin quickly, eyes focused on the text in his book. Maybe if he ignores him long enough Seokjin will leave him alone?

He retracts that thought as quickly as it comes.

Seokjin’s slender, crooked fingers brush over Namjoon’s wrist. Namjoon clicks his tongue, glaring down at the text-heavy page, trying to ignore the frustrated huffs his hyung emits. Seokjin keeps tapping the corner of the page Namjoon is reading, trying to draw Namjoon’s attention back. Namjoon leans in closer to his Philosophy book--Wait, shit. This isn’t Philosophy, this is his PsychoBio book. Don’t let him distract you, you weak minded fool-- It takes every ounce of willpower in Namjoon’s being not to look up at Seokjin, but it’s difficult when Seokjin, a literal work of art, is whining in his study sanctuary. Namjoon hisses out curses under his breath, blaming everything in existence on Seokjin’s looks. He’s sure if his friend doesn’t stop soon, the librarian will definitely kick them out--which is probably Seokjin’s goal, now that he thinks about it.

Namjoon tears his eyes off the book and scowls at Seokjin, another refusal at the tip of his tongue until he gets a good look at Seokjin’s face. The widest puppy dog eyes stare back at him with the intensity of the fucking Big Bang (not the idol group). Namjoon groans, the protest dying in his mouth as he utters out a weak “fine, let’s go.”

Seokjin makes a noise of triumph, then slams Namjoon’s book shut with a wide grin. “Sweet! You’re buying me coffee, by the way.”

Namjoon sighs. Of course he is.

The cafe is in the heart of downtown, nestled between a small bookstore and a thrift shop that Namjoon loves to frequent every so often when he’s in the mood to indulge his passion for vintage attire. Seokjin tugs at his arm, making sure he doesn’t stare too long at the mannequins on display and pulls him into the cafe. His senses are assaulted on impact. Namjoon tries not to go weak at the fresh scent of ground coffee beans infused with the fragrant cocoa powder. They tangle together in a perfect symphony, wafting through the air as he maneuvers his long, awkward limbs through the tiny cafe.

It’s cute.

He notes the multi-colored couches surrounding the wooden bookshelf with interest, eyeing the various books from Dr. Seuss to Vonnegut and everything in between while trying not to knock anyone’s drink over. Plants are strewn across the tables, dotting the cramped place with life--Namjoon laughs to himself at the comparison, the plants are much more lively than the students hovering over their computers, their eyebags speaking more words than they probably have in days.

 

It is midterm season, he understands.

 

Seokjin nudges Namjoon over to the counter, already talking to the barista a mile a minute. Namjoon’s eyes flit across the menu, reading off whatever sounds somewhat digestible, before handing the cashier a bill and slotting himself onto the couch next to Seokjin. There’s a shuffle of feet and the sound of a body flopping into the couch across from him. He looks up.

 

And it’s when he locks eyes with familiar faces that Namjoon realizes that he’s been set up.

 

Hoseok and Yoongi sit across from him, eyeing him with matching concerned looks. Hoseok stands up to pick up their orders, patting Namjoon’s shoulder in greeting as he gets up to pick up his drinks.

“Nice to see you out of your cave, Joon-ah,” the deep voice drawls out, and Namjoon winces. He genuinely can’t remember the last time he replied to Yoongi’s texts. He really, really can’t. Namjoon talks to Hoseok every day, but just barely--and that’s mainly because they share an apartment together.

“Hyung--”

“Save it.” Yoongi holds up a hand, bringing his cup up to his mouth slowly, piercing eyes trained on Namjoon the whole time. “I know what you’re going to say before you even think it.” There’s a smirk in his voice, but Namjoon still shrinks back at the ice in his tone.

He knows Yoongi is joking, but he can’t help the surge of guilt in his gut as he locks eyes with his best friend. “Sorry,” he says instead.

“You’re busy, we get it.” Yoongi shrugs, there’s a silent apology in there that Namjoon is grateful for.

Hoseok comes back with their drinks, handing Seokjin his drink first before placing the rest down on the coffee table and plopping down next to Yoongi. Hoseok slings an arm over Yoongi’s shoulder that Yoongi immediately leans into.

 

Namjoon definitely knows where this is about to go. He makes a point to occupy himself by bringing his mug up to his lips, taking a very loud sip of his scalding hot drink. He pretends he didn’t completely burn his taste buds off, but with the looks he’s receiving from his friends, he’s sure he did a piss poor job of disguising it.

Beside him, Seokjin makes a noise of disgust, scrunching his nose. “This isn’t mine.”

“Oh, sorry, the name on the cup says ‘one ugly bitch’, so I kind of just assumed…” Hoseok winces at his elder, who only lets out a horrified gasp in response.

Namjoon does a double take at that before snorting into his cup, his cappuccino spurting everywhere.  

Yoongi leans over the table. “Hoseok and Jin-hyung got into a fight because of the housing situation.”

Namjoon tilts his head, contemplating for a second before he asks The Question. In hindsight, he totally should have seen this coming. The way they cornered him; the way Hoseok had been tiptoeing around him for days; the way Seokjin and Yoongi seemed to act a bit sweeter to him; the sympathetic looks they passed him; the way they stilled when Namjoon looked at them--it just made so much sense. So when he asks them The Question, he shouldn't be surprised. But he is.

“What housing situation?”

The three of them look at each other, like deer caught in headlights, staring death straight in the eyes.

They flop around like fish out of water, searching for something to tell their friend, until something clicks in Namjoon. He watches them, half amused, half hurt, before he shakes his head. Hoseok makes a move to say something in his defense, but Namjoon doesn’t let him.

“Oh my god, you’re moving in with them?”

Hoseok inhales sharply, sending Namjoon a faux-apologetic wince, barely looking guilty. “I mentioned it to you like four times already, get a grip.”  

“So that’s why there are boxes scattered around the apartment…” He pinches the bridge of his nose. Namjoon can’t even be upset; knowing him, Hoseok probably has mentioned it to him, but with his schedule he can hardly remember to eat most days. Namjoon’s head snaps up. “Wait, if you’re moving out, who am i going to live with?” His eyes are wide, frantic. Namjoon can’t live with a stranger, he just can’t. And there’s no way he could find someone he remotely knew, all he’s done the past few semesters is keep his head buried in his textbooks--there was no time to socialize. His fingers tremble as he reaches out to take another shaky sip of his drink. He burns his tongue again but it’s numb anyway.

Hoseok sighs as Yoongi shakes his head next to him. “Hoseok-ah, I told you this would happen.”

 

Hoseok gives Namjoon a scolding, disappointed look. “Namjoon, I told you a month ago, and you said you would figure it out.”

 

Shit. Namjoon vaguely recalls the conversation, but he swore it was about something else. Sweat drips down his brow. Was it? God, he has way too much on his plate.

 

“When are you moving?” he croaks out. He feels guilty, bile rising in his throat as his body stiffens. The cafe seems to get smaller around him, he’s hyperaware of everything, from the way Seokjin nervously places his hand over his knee to the way Yoongi slowly pushes his tongue past his lips, a habit he has when he’s in deep contemplation. Everything constricts around him. The light, sweet scent becomes overbearing, he can’t breathe.

Hoseok notices the change in Namjoon’s demeanor, going slack for a second. “At the end of our lease,” he answers cautiously.

Namjoon visibly relaxes. It shouldn’t be too bad finding a roommate. Their lease is up in a few months.

Apparently he says this out loud. Hoseok smacks his thigh, earning himself a pout from Namjoon.

“Joon, that’s in like, two months. You better find someone.”

Namjoon pales, thinking of all the people he knows. Okay, so there’s Hoseok, then Yoongi...and then that guy from his Physics class a few semesters back...Namjoon turns his head to Seokjin, who seems to have read his mind.

“There’s no chance in hell I’m moving in with you.”

 

Namjoon bites his bottom lip, jutting it out. He makes his eyes as wide as possible, earning himself a snort from Yoongi. Seokjin physically recoils, gagging. “Not even if you try to look cute. And the key word here is try: you just look constipated.”

 

Namjoon slumps against the plush cushion of the sofa. He isn’t sure of how clean the cafe’s couches are (if the blatant smell of hurriedly sprayed on febreeze is anything to go by), but he can’t bring himself to care. “How am I supposed to find someone in two months.”

“I can find someone for you on craigslist. Won’t guarantee they’re not gonna try to kill you in your sleep though,” Yoongi supplies helpfully.

Namjoon whines into the cafe’s pillow in response and thinks that maybe he’s a little bit fucked.

He can’t stop thinking about what he’s going to do when Hoseok moves out. Hoseok is his one and only form of human interaction (besides when he’s forced to work with people at school) or the occasional texts and meetups on campus with Yoongi and Seokjin. His mind wanders as he tries to focus back on his professor, who passes him disapproving glances, gesturing for him to help out students in the lab during their activity.

Namjoon jolts out of his seat, his lanky body moving awkwardly between the tight spaces between lab tables, desperately trying not to knock over any of the displays he set up just that morning.

The lab flies by quickly, Namjoon walking through the room to answer a few questions some of his students have and lingering by the back of the classroom to monitor them. One student looks back at him every so often, his eyebrows knitting together unsurely. Namjoon knows he should probably know names by now, but truth be told, he hasn’t bothered to remember. The professor calls him back up to the front to collect their lab reports before he starts up the lecture powerpoint. Namjoon figures his student will just have to wait.

He stares at the clock above him, idly stamping the lab reports in front of him. Namjoon glances up to look at thirty different faces, some of them attempting to fight off sleep while others pretend to be listening, nodding their heads as they text under their desks. He searches the seats and locks eyes with the student from earlier. He’s kind of handsome, Namjoon notes--thick eyebrows, and sleek, tanned skin. He looks at Namjoon, and if Namjoon knows one thing about expressions, this man is not happy. He looks at Namjoon with confusion, so Namjoon looks away, trying to avoid eye contact with the guy as much as possible. He turns his attention back to his work, while the professor unnecessarily drones on about Schwann cells for what feels like a good forty five minutes.

Namjoon thinks the best part about being in class is the sweet sound of backpacks collectively zipping up. It’s his cue to do the same as the professor wraps up the lecture. He looks on, holding back a groan of annoyance as his professor sends him a wink and  snatches his bag to be the first person out of the classroom. Of course the professor leaves Namjoon behind to do his dirty work.

A few students hang behind to ask Namjoon a few questions about the lecture that he replies to easily, having read their textbook front to back at least three times. He doesn’t mind this, really. Namjoon loves being depended on--he loves helping people and making sure his students have a firm grasp on what they’re doing. It would just be nice if other people took responsibility for once, he thinks bitterly.

 

His eyes shift to the time on his phone. He has a few minutes before he has to be across campus for his next lecture, he’s been warned a few times by his professor about his tardiness. There’s one more student left, he can make it. He looks up at him and realizes it’s the same kid who kept giving him funny looks all throughout lab and lecture. He has a wide, boxy grin. Namjoon is immediately taken aback by the way the boy juts his hand out for him to take. He stares at it for a beat too long, and then it gets a bit awkward. He takes the hand regardless of the way the student’s face falters just a bit.

“Kim Taehyung, second year.”

Namjoon nods politely, about to reply to his greeting when his phone blows up in his pocket. He furrows his brow and holds a finger up to Taehyung, who gives him an understanding look. At least the guy’s not being weird about things. He looks down at his phone and sees multiple messages, all from Seokjin. He reads the most recent one quickly.

Jin-hyung 2:48 pm

hey don’t be mad. let’s get dinner and talk about it?

your treat tho lol

He rolls his eyes and stuffs his phone back into his pocket. “Kim Namjoon, but you probably already know that...well, I hope you know that. I have been teaching for half a semester--” He almost begins to ramble, watching as his student’s eyes seem to glaze over in boredom as he stares at the drywall listlessly--something he’s grown very used to since he began being a TA. Oh how he remembers how overly-enthusiastic he was when he first started, how he thought things would be easy for him to explain. He’s good with words, he knows this, but flowery language can only get you so far when the topics you teach are dry as fuck. “What can I do for you?” He rushes out.

Taehyung’s eyes widen a little, snapping back to the conversation. He smiles at Namjoon bashfully, rubbing the back of his neck, and winces. “Well, the truth is, I bombed the last exam.”  Namjoon looks at the clear regret on the student’s face and almost does a one-eighty turn and books it out of the classroom. He’s dealt with grovelling students trying to bribe him to give them higher grades and he most certainly is in no mood to handle it right now.  “I have a few questions that I really don’t understand, and I know you must be busy but I have class during the professor’s office hours and I’ve tried to make an appointment with him but he told me to email you--”

Oh no. Not checking his emails would be the cause of Namjoon’s inevitable death.

To be quite honest, he once tried to get through his unread emails but it took him four hours and half a bottle of tequila and he was only able to get through half of his spam. Namjoon’s stomach sinks, and he tries to hastily cut him off but that proves futile when Taehyung just keeps going, sensing Namjoon’s urgency to leave. “--and so I emailed you about, hmm,” Taehyung taps his foot, now, and there’s the annoyance that Namjoon saw a flash of earlier, “seven times? I think it was seven, man now that I think about it, it might’ve been more.”

Namjoon shuts his eyes tightly, pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration. He really has to get to his next class, he notes as he glances down at his phone again. He looks at Taehyung, who’s pouting at him with furrowed brows, and he lets out a sigh.

Namjoon pulls out a pen and takes Taehyung’s arm, quickly scrawling his number down onto Taehyung’s skin. “Text me your questions and we can meet up somewhere to discuss it. I’m super busy, so I barely check my texts. If I don’t reply within a day, just call me.”

Namjoon quickly scoops his bag up and darts out the door, leaving behind a triumphant looking Taehyung. He looks down at his phone to check the time and realizes that he’s definitely late to his next class.

Namjoon practically crawls up the staircase to his apartment. He’s exhausted, working extra shifts at the lab on top of his Research Methods class is probably the worst decision he’s ever made to date.

When he opens the door, he knows Hoseok isn’t the only one here. It smells way too good in their kitchen (and a lot less burnt) for it to be just him. He steps in and sees Seokjin humming in the kitchen, sprinkling some spices into a pot as he turns. He gives Namjoon a shy smile.

“You didn’t reply to my texts, so I figured you were still mad.” Seokjin opens up the pot, gesturing for Namjoon to see. “Made your favorite.”

"My favorite is instant ramen?" He peeks into the pot, after seeing the discarded packet by Seokjin’s side.

"I got lazy, don't act like you don't live off of this shit." Seokjin shrugs. “Forgive us?”

Namjoon tries not to let his mouth water at the sight of a meal, regardless of how shit it might taste, but shakes his head. “There’s nothing to forgive, hyung.”  

Seokjin lets out a sigh of relief, a barely audible thank fuck under his breath, before he’s calling Hoseok to come out of hiding. Hoseok pops up from behind the counter with a devious grin and a bottle of wine in each hand. “Ready to talk about your feelings?”

Groaning, Namjoon takes one of the bottles from him, sitting down next to him at their kitchen counter. He’s gonna miss this--nights spent talking to Seokjin and Hoseok, cooped up in their apartment drinking and ranting about life and philosophy. Well, the philosophy part is mostly just him, but it’s the sentiment of it all that counts, right? “I already know what you’re going to say, so I’ll pass on that, thanks.” Namjoon says instead, basking in the way his friends groan out at him. “I’m serious!”

“No, you’re seriously a buzzkill,” Seokjin snorts back, stirring the pot a bit, before he takes back the wine bottle. “For real, Joon-ah, when’s the last time you got laid?”

Namjoon’s mouth becomes a tight line. Hoseok laughs, tossing his head back. Seokjin shakes his head, going to the cabinet to pull out a couple of glasses. He takes the wine bottle out of Hoseok’s grip and shushes the whine that leaves Hoseok. Seokjin pours them all a glass that Namjoon immediately downs. He needs it if this is what they’re going to be talking about. “We can set you up with someone if you want? You remember Jackson, right? I can give him a call and--”

“No,” Namjoon sighs, burying his head in his hands. “I don’t want you guys meddling into my romantic life.”

“What romantic life? Last time I asked, you told me love doesn’t exist.”

“It doesn’t,” Namjoon shrugs. “Every emotion you feel--every emotion you’ve ever felt is literally just a bunch of chemicals in your brain that are deluding you into believing something socially constructed.”

Hoseok and Seokjin shoot each other matching knowing looks and just nod. “You act like you don’t cry over dramas.”

“Okay, that’s so different. Kim Bookjoo and Jung Joonhyung loved each other so much.”

Seokjin laughs, “So you’re saying you don’t want any type of romance in your life?”

Namjoon makes a face, taking the glass regardless. “What are we? Forty year-old aunties?” He sips at it lightly, sitting down at their countertop. “Why is it so wrong for me to not think about that stuff right now?”

Hoseok shrugs, holding his hands up in defense. Seokjin sits next to him, blowing at the noodles he scooped into a bowl. Namjoon watches as Seokjin feeds Hoseok with his chopsticks, Hoseok immediately leaning into him. Strange.

Hoseok looks at Namjoon with a mouthful of noodles.  “No judgement, dude. It’s completely fine if you’re aromantic, that’s cool.”

And to be honest, he hadn’t really thought about it. Namjoon scrunches his brows. He does want to get married, settle down with someone he enjoys the company of. “I don’t really know right now, to be honest.”

There are collective gasps from the two, who look at each other with sarcastic look. “Something you don’t have a solid opinion on?”

Namjoon scoffs, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Hoseok rolls his eyes, “Namjoon, you could write a mini novel about the benefits of fake grass .” (“Synthetic grass cuts down on water usage, we need to conserve water, we’re in a fucking drought, you assholes.”) Seokjin nods his head sagely. “You have to admit, it’s a bit strange for you to not think about. But, you know, it’s cool. We just worry about you, y’know? You seem a bit…” Hoseok searches the room for the right words, and Namjoon is grateful for his friend’s self preservation. “...I don’t know, lost in your own thoughts. Like you’re not entirely focused on the now, making memories.

“In a few years, all you’ll remember about college are the empty bags of top ramen stacked in your trashcan and pizza boxes piled up in your room-- by the way, pizza boxes aren’t exactly a socially acceptable form of furniture, please do something about those. They fucking stink.”

“Hobi is right,” Seokjin adds, “about the college part, mostly, but also, you should probably get rid of the pizza boxes, they’re nasty.” The elder looks at Namjoon contemplatively. “Are you okay with looking back five years from now thinking about all the times you’ve spent cooped up in labs or in the library? Are you really okay with those being your only memories? Because if you are, we’ll stop bugging you, we swear. We just want to make sure you’re not doing things you’ll regret.”

Namjoon’s face is cold--well, he hopes he looks detached, his face is actually relatively warm from the glass of wine. He wishes he weren’t such a lightweight, it would add a hell of a lot more of an icy effect and from the looks of it his friends are just staring at him like he’s a wounded infant. “I won’t regret it in five years when I have a stable job, hyung, no.”

“Namjoon, you haven’t touched your music equipment in months,” Hoseok sighs. “You always look drained and unhappy and it’s worrying us. We just thought maybe bringing someone into your life would...I don’t know? Help?”

“We know that relying on someone else to bring you happiness isn’t healthy, but you can’t say that seeing someone wouldn’t help ease your stress,” Seokjin butts in quickly, “Just think about it, we’re not trying to tell you how to live or anything, we just want to help.”

Namjoon can’t even argue that. But he doesn’t need help from anyone. He doesn’t. He’s fine with how things are going. Sure, he hasn’t touched a single track in a while, but this is reality. He can’t just drop his studies to chase some unrealistic dream. “I’m doing just fine on my own.”

“So ‘just fine’ is you eating top ramen for lunch and dinner. I’m assuming you don’t even eat breakfast.”

“I eat breakfast!” Namjoon cries out indignantly. “Hot Cheetos count, right?”

Seokjin looks like he’s about to have an aneurysm, his face turning a shade of green almost before Hoseok shuts him up.

“Hot Cheetos are fucking delicious, leave them out of this,” Hoseok nags at Seokjin, smacking his arm lightly.

“Namjoon--” Seokjin starts again, but this time Namjoon won’t have it.

So he does what he does best and just... avoids it. He watches their faces contort into looks of disappointments as they watch him shut them out.

 

“I’m fine. I don’t need anyone and besides, it’s not like anyone is actually interested in me, right?” Namjoon lets out a laugh. The sound coming out dry and empty, his throat seemingly constricting as he looks down into his lap. Seokjin and Hoseok seem to take note of this, both of them staring at him with concerned expressions before Namjoon stands up.

 

“It’s getting late, I’m just gonna head to bed,” he says, before either of them try to give him a lecture on self-care. He’s heard it all before, trust him, and Namjoon isn’t looking for pity.

(“What? After I slaved over this dinner for you? You ungrateful--” Hoseok slaps a hand on Seokjin’s shoulder. “Jin-hyung, you literally just put the noodles in as he came through the door.”)

They thankfully let him wallow in his own self-pity in peace. His room is cold. He glances at the music equipment covered in dust by the corner of his desk, his headphones lying under a pile of graded lab reports. He thinks back to what his friends had told him and thinks that maybe they’re right. But when did they start being right? When did he lose his passion? He's lonely and busy, sure, he's still as determined as ever, but what happened to him being content? He gets ready for bed after checking his email (Taehyung had actually sent him ten emails, each of them progressively more and more desperate) and climbs into bed. He stares out his window for a while, listening to the harsh sounds of the city, wondering what exactly he’s doing with his life. Why is he so different?

He tousles around in his bed for a few minutes, the sheets smelling faintly of synthetic pine, rubbing against his skin softly. Namjoon lets out a sigh. It’s not his fault, he says to himself like a mantra.

You see, Namjoon thinks in facts--in proof, not faith. He doesn’t believe in the uncertain, he never has. He is ambitious, but only because he’s sure of himself. What he can’t fathom though, is someone somewhere out there looking at him the way Yoongi looks at Hoseok. He shuts his eyes tightly, grabbing onto a pillow to tug it over his head. He can’t imagine someone fawning over him--thinking of him and him alone. He’s never wanted that before, but now he thinks, maybe, that that’s only because he doesn’t want to be hurt--that maybe he thinks the way he thinks because no one could ever be capable of doing so.

He slides out of his bed and heads to his desk. For the first time in months, Namjoon sits down and tries to write.

Nothing comes out.

He doesn’t really talk to his friends for a few weeks. He’s not going to lie, he’s been dodging their texts and calls and knows Hoseok’s schedule like the palm of his hand. It’s not hard to avoid them all, especially since his schedule’s already shitty. He knows his friends won’t take this for long though, it’s only a matter of time before one of them comes slithering their way back into his life. Namjoon just didn’t realize how soon that moment would come.

His vision is blurry. There’s a light pressure on his chest, a body hovering over him. Namjoon is aware that should be worrisome, but he’s genuinely too tired to care. If an axe-murderer comes into his room to kill him, he thinks he might just be okay with it, solely because of the fact that his final for his research methods class might kill him anyway. He lets his eyes fall shut for a second before the figure presses at his chest again, shaking him awake.

“What.” He groans, listening to the even breathing of the other person. Namjoon doesn’t want to move, he doesn’t want to open his eyes.

“Get up,” the deep, raspy voice grates out in irritation. “We’re going to the beach.”

Namjoon’s eyes fly open as he sits up, groggily as ever. “The beach?” He looks out his window and notices the sun hasn’t even risen yet. The sky is deep cerulean, much like the ocean. It’s that time of day that feels light, airy--like everything you do feels surreal. It’s one of Namjoon’s favorite moments of the day, everything becomes a lucid dream. But right now, Namjoon just wants to hole himself back up in his bed sheets. “Why are we going to the beach?”

His eyes finally focus on Yoongi, adjusting to the darkness of the room. Yoongi stares at him and somehow Namjoon knows. They have a thing, the two of them. No words need to be exchanged to understand what the other is thinking. It works for them, and Namjoon, Namjoon tries not to think about that too hard. He’s thought about it before and still gets unexplainable aches in his chest.

All he does now is nod at the look Yoongi gives him and rolls out of bed. He quickly tosses on a jacket and a pair of jeans, glancing at Yoongi’s small frame on the bed. Namjoon’s always found his hyung fascinating--so, so, so fascinating. He brushes his teeth and watches the way Yoongi’s eyes droop as he listlessly stares out Namjoon’s window. Namjoon makes sure to hurry, he wouldn’t want Yoongi to change his mind about the trip.

They leave quietly, sneaking past Hoseok’s room. Namjoon pretends not to notice the way Yoongi lingers by Hoseok’s door just a little to catch a glimpse of his boyfriend.

No words are exchanged between the two of them until they’re comfortably seated on the train, Yoongi already having booked the tickets earlier. Namjoon feels hyperaware of everything, from the feel of the plastic pressing against his thighs, the brightness of the waking sun reflected directly onto Yoongi’s cheeks. He shifts in his seat as Yoongi’s gaze turns to him. He immediately drops his eyes to his knees and reiterates, “Why are we going to the beach, hyung?”

Yoongi shrugs. “You need to get out, Namjoon-ah. This’ll be good for you.”

Scoffing, Namjoon shakes his head. “Why is it that everyone seems to suddenly know what’s best for me? I’m an adult, I can make my own decisions.”

“You’re an adult?” Yoongi says, raising a brow in amusement. Namjoon hates that look, that condescending tone his elder takes on, before Yoongi glares at him. Namjoon feels like he’s been punched in the gut as Yoongi’s voice turns to ice. “Act like one then. Quit being a fucking kid by avoiding your problems.”

Namjoon inhales sharply, whipping out his phone to distract himself. He knows Yoongi won’t press him any further, but he’s not ready to admit that his hyung is right. He’s being childish, he thinks to himself as he unlocks his phone for the fifth time only to stare at the home screen. Namjoon lets out a long quick breath, then looks out the window. They must be going to Busan; he watches the city landscape of Seoul disappear into the distance. He feels Yoongi’s eyes on him, unwavering, waiting.

Namjoon gives in, resolve thoroughly smashed to pieces. “I’m sorry,” he says clearly, looking at Yoongi firmly.

Yoongi nods. “I know.”

And that’s that.

They arrive in Busan a couple of hours later, the sun beating down on them harshly. Yoongi immediately slathers sunscreen on his body and tosses on a pair of sunglasses the second they step onto the beach. Namjoon breathes in the crisp oceanic air and finds a spot for them on the sand.

“You going to swim, hyung?” He asks, stupidly enough. As if he doesn’t already know the answer to that question.

“Does it look like I came here to do physical activity?” Yoongi gives him a look then swats Namjoon with his hand when he flicks a bit of sand toward Yoongi. The sand sticks uncomfortably to Yoongi’s skin. He makes a squawk of indignation before throwing a fistfull of sand at Namjoon. “Fuck no, I’m not gonna swim with you. Now leave me alone, I’m tired as hell.”

Namjoon lets out a chuckle and takes Yoongi’s advice.

The water is sweet relief against his skin, welcoming and intoxicating, pulling him in with open arms. He smiles as he breaks through the surface. Namjoon can’t remember the last time he took some time to himself, and it feels amazing spending his time relaxing--no one to answer to, no emails to reply to or labs to complete. No one prying about his life, no one to tell him how to live. The beach begins to grow crowded, and he basks in the harmonious sounds of seagulls chirping above head and the faint laughter of kids playing on the shore. Namjoon swims back after a while of wading in the shallow water and finds Yoongi lounging in his beach chair right where he left him.

“Have fun?” Yoongi’s voice is groggy, laden with sleep.

Namjoon can’t blame him, they did leave at the asscrack of dawn.

“Yeah, it was nice,” he admits, knowing that Yoongi’s face will break into a cocky grin at any moment.

It does. “Knew this would do you some good.”

Namjoon sighs, letting his upper body hit his sand-covered towel. He shifts, uncomfortable but too lazy to sit up. He rolls over instead. “Yeah, I guess it did. Thanks, hyung.”

Yoongi watches him carefully. “Y’know, despite what Jin-hyung and Hobi tell you, you haven’t changed, okay?”

Namjoon stiffens. So they are going to have this conversation. “I know.”

“We get it if you want to focus on being practical,” Yoongi starts. “That’s fine. Majoring in PsychoBio? Great. We support it,” he pauses, “if and only if, that’s actually what you want.”

“Regardless of what you support, I’m still going to make my own choices.”

Yoongi shakes his head. “You went from Music and Music Production to randomly switching majors entirely mid-semester. We’re worried about you.”

Namjoon shrugs. “Things happen, okay? Things that are out of my control. I’m sorry we can’t all chase our dreams, hyung.”

Yoongi looks so taken aback that Namjoon almost regrets it--he can handle Yoongi’s anger, but then he watches the hurt briefly flash across Yoongi’s face, something not even his sunglasses can hide.

Silence falls over them for a minute. Namjoon thinks that the seagulls and kids are a bit too loud at the moment. “That’s what it’s about?” He wants nothing more than for the ocean to swallow him whole, pull him under and keep him locked up there for ever making his best friend feel bad. “Are you avoiding us because you’re jealous?”

What ? No!” Namjoon wants to tear his hair out. “I’m not trying to avoid you, I’m trying to ignore the fact that I became a sellout.”

“Namjoon.” Yoongi’s voice is soft now. “You know that’s not what you are. That’s not what we think of you.”

“I know,” Namjoon replies. He feels like Atlas being relieved of his duties, the weight of the world comes tumbling off his shoulders. It’s nice, getting things off his chest. “You’re all important to me, making you upset wasn’t my intention.”

“We just miss you, that’s all.”

Namjoon doesn’t really say how he’s feeling after that. He chooses to look off at the waves crashing misplaced contempt onto the land. Yoongi knows what he’s thinking though. He reaches out for Namjoon’s hand and squeezes it.

Namjoon thinks he’s going to be fine.

Namjoon’s not fine. In fact, he’s far from it. He’s been dragged to the club near their university for the first time in months. Hoseok presses shot after shot toward his chest, and who is he to say no to free drinks?

He tosses back his fifth shot, the amber liquid burning the back of his throat as he swallows it down. The bartender watches him with a curious eye, wincing as Namjoon grimaces at the bitter taste on his tongue. His vision goes a bit blurry and his face immediately heats up. Namjoon sees Hoseok grinding up against Yoongi and makes his way to the dance floor as well, scanning the crowd for his single friend because he’s not drunk enough to be third wheeling right now. When he gets up from his seat at the bar to find his friends, he sees the oldest of the group heading toward him. Seokjin smirks at Namjoon as he leaves the dance floor with someone hanging off his arm. “Sorry Joon-ah, you’re on your own tonight, buddy.” He pats Namjoon’s shoulder good naturedly, before he’s gone in an instant, someone latched on his neck. Namjoon figured this would happen. Alone again, he sighs.

 

Namjoon is in the middle of the crowd, the bass sending vibrations throughout his body. He feels uncomfortably sick, hot bodies pressed up against him as he struggles to maneuver his way through the mass of people. There’s so much skin around him and he feels painfully sticky. He wants to leave, he thinks, looking around to see if he can tell Yoongi and Hoseok. For a few minutes, he goes in circles, wandering around the floor, pushed around like a damn ragdoll, passing the same bachelorette party that he swears he saw just minutes ago. It’s so tight, so claustrophobic in the club. He feels someone’s lips press against his ear, he feels a stranger’s hand run over his body, perhaps unintentional, but it sends uncomfortable waves of uneasiness through him.

 

He needs air. Slinking through the club to get to the bar is no easy task. He knocks someone’s drink over and someone nearly starts a fight for it. Namjoon darts away quickly, latching onto someone who’s heading in the bar’s direction to find himself back at the safehaven. The bartender looks over him once again before rolling his eyes to attend to another patron. Namjoon is a mess who feels like he’s aged at least five years in the past twenty minutes. He looks over and finally sees Yoongi and Hoseok grinding slowly to the same mix of songs they were dancing to before he left. Namjoon slumps against the counter and tries to unlock his phone. It takes him a few tries, but he finally manages to type the correct passcode and then he sees the amount of messages he’s received.

 

Kim Taehyung (student) 11:28pm

hi kim namjoon-ssi!!

working on the study guide right now and have a few questions

Kim Taehyung (student) 11:50pm

sorry namjoon-ssi

this is really important

like emergency level okay SOS

i don’t get any of this

at all and im nervous about the test on thursday

Kim Taehyung (student) 12:37am

you said to call you if you don’t reply

im gonna call now

Namjoon checks the time, and lo and behold, Taehyung had called him thirty minutes ago. He wants to put his phone back in his pocket but remembers how desperate the kid was to get him to answer his questions. Namjoon did say Taehyung could call him and he never did specify when to call either. This is fine, he thinks. He’s pretty drunk, he won’t lie, but he’s nearly an expert at the topics his students are learning. It shouldn’t be too difficult to hold a conversation with him. Hopefully Taehyung won’t realize how drunk he is.

He dials back, despite his better judgement, and it rings a few times. Namjoon pouts at the screen as it goes to voicemail.

He dials again.

And again.

And again.

By the time he realizes it he’s dialed Taehyung’s phone number an absurd amount of times, but he’s not exactly coherent enough to read the numbers. The words on his screen blur together, he tries to decipher the hieroglyphs on his phone, squinting down at the bright screen when someone picks up on the other line.

 

Why are you calling my hyung at one am?”  The voice is borderline furious, Namjoon can hear the evident frustration in his voice. “And why are you calling during hell week .

 

Namjoon can’t seem to find his voice. He’s not very good at dealing with confrontation while he’s drunk, but he tries to get something out. “I’m his TA,” Namjoon hopes he says. But he’s not too sure, Namjoon knows he has a habit of mumbling a lot whilst inebriated.

 

He forgets he’s on the call for a second, distracted by the chipped tips of his fingernails when the exasperated voice comes back on again. “Are you drunk? ” He sounds concerned, but Namjoon can’t really be sure of anything right now.

 

Should he lie and tell him he’s not drunk? “I’m not drunk.” He goes for it, hoping the man on the other end will buy it. (He doesn’t.)

 

You don’t sound too convincing. Also, I can hear club music in the background.”

 

“Oh.” Namjoon doesn’t feel dumb all too often, but this is one of those moments. “You’re not Taehyung.”

 

I thought we established that already.”

 

“Who are you then?”

 

His better looking friend.”

 

Namjoon snorts out a laugh before he feels tears forming in the corner of his eyes. He feels very sad, knowing how isolated he feels, even in an ocean of people.

Hey, are you okay?”

Namjoon nods, not realizing that this person can’t see him nodding his head through the phone. “No,” he answers honestly. Namjoon looks down at his feet. He can feel his head pounding, the music loud and uncomfortable in his ears, the unfriendly looks he’s getting from other people in the club. He feels like a misplaced book, he’s all poems and theories and he’s lost in a sea of fantasy novels. Before he knows it, he feels the tears stream down his face and he’s choking back sobs.

 

Never would Namjoon have thought he would ever be caught dead crying alone at a bar. I’ve reached a new low, he thinks.

 

Are you alone? Where are the people you came with?”

 

“I don’t know, to be honest.” Namjoon whips his head around in search of Hoseok and Yoongi, getting a bit dizzy from the sudden movement. “I guess I’ll walk home.”

 

There’s rustling on the other end, papers shifting over the line and the sound of keys rattling. “Stay there. I’ll pick you up. You’re at the bar by the coffee shop near campus, right?”

 

Namjoon’s eyes widen. “Are you a witch? How did you know where I was?”

 

"Nah, that place just plays the same twenty songs over and over again, I recognize it.”

 

“Tell me who you are.”

 

He gets a laugh in response, and his voice isn’t as angry anymore.  "I’m your chauffeur, I guess.”

The wind greets him softly, kissing the skin on his arms. He feels like he’s floating, or maybe it’s the security guard carrying him outside.

It is.

She asks him if he’s okay, to which he nods out a small word of thanks. And then he waits, watching her step back into the club. The man on the phone had told him to stay put, but he’s not sure what to do. This is a stranger with his student’s phone.

Is this the smartest decision?

No.

Will Namjoon regret it?

He fucking hopes not.

 

Look for a blue vespa, Taehyung’s friend said. I’ll be there in five minutes.

Namjoon hugs himself, pulling his cardigan tighter over his chest. He can see his breath, it says hello to him and he says hello back. The moon shines over him, like a knight. Bright and ready to protect him. If this guy turns out to be a serial killer, Namjoon thinks the moon would probably drop down from the sky and shield him.

There’s a honk--or is it more of a squeak? The vespa pulls up in front of him,  

Looking up from the grimy pavement, Namjoon sees him.

He’s tall, Namjoon notes, not as tall as Namjoon is, but definitely more muscled from the way his jeans stretch over his thighs. His sweater is loose around his torso, but Namjoon can immediately tell that this guy probably works out. “Kim Namjoon-ssi?” Taehyung’s friend tilts his head up at him, looking around. “Are you Taehyung’s TA?”

 

“I need to go to the gym more,” Namjoon blurts out instead, causing Taehyung’s friend to laugh nervously. He steps closer to Namjoon, and Namjoon stiffens.

 

With his vision clearing up, Namjoon gets a good look at the man’s face and okay, yeah. He’s really good looking, his jawline defined, his cheeks soft and bright, his eyes wide and curious, his lips curve upward, parting to reveal big, bunny-like teeth. And Namjoon thinks he looks like the wettest dream he’s ever had.

Namjoon’s heart is palpitating, thrumming against his chest.
Is he having a heart attack? He’s not too sure, actually.

“I think I’m having a heart attack,” he says quietly.

The other man’s eyes widen, his skin paling a little as he looks around for help. “Please tell me you’re joking, because I don’t know how to give someone CPR.”

Namjoon looks at him, downright appalled. “Please tell me you’re joking about giving CPR to a person about to have a heart attack.”

The man shrugs bashfully. “That’s not what you do?”

Namjoon has to think about the question for a second before he shakes his head firmly. “No.”

Laughing, the man helps Namjoon up from his spot on the curb. “Okay, well let’s get you home so you can rest.” Namjoon nods, then nearly topples over and ends up just putting all of his weight on the other man.

 

“You never told me your name,” Namjoon says, flush against the stranger’s neck. He feels absurdly uncoordinated, his legs nearly giving out as they walk toward the vespa together.

The man hardly struggles, practically carrying Namjoon now as he hums out his response.

“Jeon Jungkook.” He looks at Namjoon curiously.

Namjoon nods his head. “I’m Kim Namjoon, and I’m very, very inebriated at the moment.”

“I’m aware. Kim Namjoon, just like it said in hyung’s phone,” Jungkook says, holding up his friend’s phone as he throws his leg over one side of his vehicle. He gestures for Namjoon to follow suit, which he does, albeit much more clumsily, being in his current state.

“Oh, this is weird,” Jungkook laughs nervously. “I’m not used to having anyone else on him.”

“Him?”

Jungkook blushes, clearly flustered. “Uh,” he searches for an answer. “Yeah, I know it’s kinda weird and lame but...I named my scooter.”

“What’d you name him?”

There’s a brief pause before Jungkook mutters it under his breath. Namjoon leans in closer, pulling a hand to his ear. “What was that?”

“Tony... Stark…” Jungkook’s voice is barely above a whisper, but it’s so cute Namjoon chest feels like it’s been pierced by a fucking arrow.

Namjoon doesn’t say anything. He can’t speak and he barely feels like he can breathe. Namjoon just nods in response, watching as Jungkook ducks his head and turns back toward the handles of the scooter.

Jungkook starts his vespa quickly, turning on its engine. It makes a whirring noise that Namjoon giggles at. Jungkook looks over his shoulder and watches him for a split second, and Namjoon thinks he likes having Jungkook’s attention on him. Wide, curious eyes will definitely be on his mind. Jungkook hits the gas and they’re suddenly moving? Namjoon starts to panic, not really knowing where to place his hands. Would that be weird? Holding onto someone he just met? He can’t be too sure, but before he knows it, Jungkook turns to him and asks, “Where’s your apartment?”

It happens so quickly Namjoon doesn’t even have time to answer. Namjoon’s head feels light, his eyes rolling back as he stares up at the sky, his hands reaching upwards, grasping at nothing. The moon stares back mockingly at him. Traitor, he mouths at it.

Maybe it’s a metaphor for his life; how he’s aiming for the stars only to feel everything slip through his fingers. Maybe that’s why he can’t grab onto Jungkook in time. Maybe that’s why he falls off Jungkook’s moving vehicle.

Namjoon hears Jungkook’s startled yell before everything goes completely black.

“Holy shit, is he dead?”

 

“Oh my god, ohhhh my god.”

Namjoon squints his eyes up at the bright lights over him. His vision is blurry and his head is pounding, he’s not entirely sure if it’s because the last thing he remembers is shrugging his shoulders before he downed his fourth shot, but he’s never had a hangover this awful. He shuts his eyes and ignores the panicked voices coming from above him, too distraught to really pay them any mind. He lets his sore body rest upon the plush sofa, he knows it smells like a gym locker, but right now it feels like heaven against him.

“Way to fucking go, Jungkook. I can kiss my A in that class goodbye now.” It sounds a lot like that kid Taehyung’s too-loud voice. Namjoon tries to stop himself from recoiling from it.

“We have to hide the evidence--what if we knock him out again to make sure he forgets this night ever happened?” It’s a new voice this time, softer, but closer to Namjoon.

He thinks this is probably the best time to let them all know he’s very conscious of what’s going on. He sits up slowly, cracking his eyes open reluctantly before he croaks out, “Where am I?”

Taehyung is standing over him with a small desk lamp hovering over his face. “You're alive, I saved you.” His expression is wild, his face crumples as he quickly puts down his weapon and grabs onto Namjoon’s shoulders.

“Please don’t fail me,” he begs. Namjoon gives him a deadpan look before he shakes his head.  

Prying Taehyung’s hands off him, Namjoon finally gets a good look of where he is. It’s your average college apartment; mismatched decor and furniture with papers and textbooks littered across the floors. The pizza boxes on their kitchen counters remind him of home.


Namjoon feels the throbbing sensation more prominently now. He reaches up to touch the spot on his head that seems to be pounding, confused when he feels a slight wetness on the pads of his fingertips.

He looks down at his hand and sees red. His eyes widen and he recalls it, vaguely.  

Namjoon fell off of that fucking vespa and ended up with a huge gash.

Sounds about right.

 

“Are you okay?”

 

Namjoon’s head snaps up and looks at Jungkook. He thought Jungkook was beautiful earlier, and he swore he thought it was just the alcohol goggles before, but now… now, Namjoon’s not so sure. Jungkook is even cuter now that Namjoon’s sobered up a bit.

 

Jungkook stares back, waiting nervously, his hands fidgeting in his lap as he watches Namjoon with wide eyes. Namjoon opens his mouth and closes it again.

 

Normally, Namjoon’s mind would be racing at a hundred miles a minute, his head constantly overwhelmed with thoughts--good and bad-- but in this moment, all Namjoon can focus on are Jungkook’s tongue running over his full, chapped lips. Namjoon’s mouth goes a little dry. He coughs out a response. “I’m...fine, yeah.” Taehyung rushes over to his bathroom and comes back with a few bandages, cotton swabs and isopropyl. “You’re surprisingly well-stocked.”

Taehyung raises a brow. “You underestimate how many people have fallen off of Jungkook’s vespa while they’re shitfaced.”

 

Jungkook gives him a look. “Namjoon is literally the first person that has ever fallen off.”

 

“That you know of,” Taehyung whispers under his breath as he dabs a bit of the disinfectant onto Namjoon’s gash. Namjoon winces hard, biting down on his lip at the sharp sting.

“We’re really sorry this happened.” Namjoon looks at the sympathetic looking guy sitting on the armrest of the sofa. He looks like he just crawled out of bed, decked in his oversized pajamas and sporting disheveled hair, lips bruised and dark marks scattered across his neck...oh. “Taehyung and I were…” his face flushes for a second, his thick lips falling open for a second before he passes Taehyung a look that Namjoon immediately wishes he hadn’t seen. “...we were occupied so he didn’t get your call in time.” Well, Namjoon now understands why he looks like that, at least.

 

Jungkook gags behind him.

 

The man shoots Jungkook a glare, before his face softens once more. “I’m Jimin, sorry we’re meeting after you gashed your head. Tae’s been talking about you a lot.”

Namjoon nods his head knowingly. “Probably about how I don’t answer my emails, right?”

Jimin sputters, his eyes going wide as Taehyung stills right in front of him before going back to place the band-aid on Namjoon’s wound gingerly. Namjoon thinks Taehyung is trying to (not so) subtly pretend he didn’t hear his offhanded comment, but Jungkook bursts into laughter.

“That’s all he talks about!” Jungkook comes closer to Namjoon, eyes glinting with something mischievous, ready to spill The Tea. Namjoon is incredibly endeared. He turns his head toward Jungkook, only to have his face pulled back to look at Taehyung.

“Jungkook,” Taehyung’s eyes narrow in on the younger, his nostrils flaring in warning, “shut up.”

“Save it,” Namjoon snorts, waving his hand dismissively. “I know I’m shit at responding to things, believe me. I’m sorry I couldn’t help you sooner.”

Taehyung relaxes at Namjoon’s words, and to be honest, Namjoon’s glad. He’s not the best TA, but he certainly tries for those who make the effort. “We can meet up tomorrow at the library after class to go over the problems. I’m not exactly in the best state to answer anything right now,” he gives Taehyung a sheepish smile that the latter grins back at.

“Tomorrow works just fine,” Taehyung sighs out, relieved. “Thanks Namjoon-ssi, I know it’s kind of a hassle to meet on the weekend.”

 

“I should have helped you out sooner, it’s the least I can do,” Namjoon shrugs. “I should get going though,” he clears his throat, standing up from his spot on the couch, only to fall over again. His legs are still wobbly, and he lets out a small yelp.

 

“Uh, you’re not going home like this.”

 

“You could stay the night,” Jimin suggests, helpfully.

Namjoon seriously considers the offer for a minute before he sees Jungkook’s eyes widen, and he pulls Namjoon to the side. “Uhhh, no. He definitely cannot stay the night.” Taehyung and Jimin give him a scolding look, before Jungkook is reaching out for the keys on their kitchen counter. “I’ll take him back right now.”

“Great idea, right after you just let him fall off your scooter.” Jimin rolls his eyes.

Taehyung guffaws loudly, his shoulders shaking. “Don’t let him eat shit a second time.”

For a second, Namjoon feels just a bit hurt by the younger’s lack of hospitality, but he figures that he did interrupt Jungkook while he was studying so he figures he’s the real asshole here.

 

Jungkook decides to take Taehyung’s car instead and the second they step out of the apartment, Jungkook stops them in the middle of the hallway just outside the door.

“I absolutely hope I didn’t come off as rude just now,” he says shyly, rubbing the back of his neck.

Namjoon shakes his head quickly. And Namjoon really doesn’t know why he can barely talk to Jungkook, but the words just refuse to slip off his tongue. “I’m the one who’s being rude for imposing, don’t worry about it.”

Namjoon thinks he should be awarded for managing to speak coherently in front of Jungkook’s presence. His knees feel a little weak as he leans against the wall, hoping it comes off as cool or nonchalant instead of nerdy and awkward.

“No you’re not,” Jungkook pouts. Legitimately pouts, looking at Namjoon inquisitively. “But trust me, I just saved you. You don’t want to stay there.” Jungkook looks up and down the hallway, before he comes up to Namjoon, leaning in close to whisper, “They’ve been fucking nonstop. I can’t get a damn thing done.”

Namjoon cackles, tossing his head back. Bad idea, he hits his sore spot on the wall behind him and tries to cover the wince he lets out. Thankfully, Jungkook is too busy fuming about his roommates to notice.

“You don’t get it, Namjoon-ssi. I’ve tried everything-- noise cancelling headphones, ear plugs, banging pots and pans to get them to stop--nothing works.” He groans. “I’m ready to tear my damn hair out and go bald.” Jungkook sighs. “I was actually glad when I got your call, it gave me an excuse to leave the apartment. I have so many papers to write and I haven’t written a single sentence.”

Namjoon isn’t blind. He sees the fatigue all over Jungkook’s face under the flourescent lights, his droopy eyes and dark circles are telltale signs of finals week, but he still thinks Jungkook looks heaven-sent. “Why’d you move in with them?”

Jungkook sighs, “It’s a long story. Something got fucked up with my housing application for the dorms on campus, so they offered to let me stay with them.”

 

Now, Namjoon doesn’t know why he says it, or how he manages to let the words leave his mouth, but they happen to force their way out.

 

“You can bring your stuff and study at my place tonight.” He tacks on quickly, “If you want to.”

It’s out. Just like that. Jungkook turns to look at him. “You serious?”

“Yeah.” Well, he can’t back out now. “My roommate is usually at his boyfriend’s place anyway.” Namjoon says it so calmly, he pats himself on the back internally, trying not to let the fact that his mind is screaming at him to think this through. But, if the truth is out there, when he looks at Jungkook, he’s not sure he can think about anything else. His mind is completely blank--save for the way Jungkook’s lips part as he lets out a grateful sigh of relief.

“That would be great.”

---

Namjoon stumbles out of Taehyung’s car and Jungkook rushes over to his side to helps him up the steps. “I feel like an elderly person,” Namjoon grumbles out, leaning on Jungkook a little bit more than he should. He’s feeling a lot better now that he’s not bleeding profusely, but chances like these don’t come too often for Namjoon.

“Does that make me your young, sexy nurse?” Jungkook wiggles his eyes at Namjoon, who rolls his eyes.

 

He indulges himself, just this once. He is so out of your league, man. Namjoon shakes his head. “Don’t make this weird.”

 

They somehow make it up the flight of stairs to get to Namjoon’s apartment and step inside. As Namjoon expected, Hoseok is nowhere in sight, the living room dark and cold and messy as usual. “Sorry about the mess.” Namjoon looks around, seeing the stack of plates in the sink from where he’s standing at the doorway and hides his face. It smells nice, at least. He’s glad Yoongi and Jin come by every so often and burn incense to freshen the place up. When Namjoon peers over at Jungkook’s reaction, he’s a bit shocked. Jungkook’s eyes are shining, his mouth hung slack, as if he’s about to start drooling.

“Is it that bad?” Namjoon jokingly asks, quickly sitting down on his couch after feeling particularly dizzy. Then Jungkook is turning toward him, his eyes blown wide.

He shakes his head quickly, then heads over to sit next to Namjoon, letting his body sink into it. “This is so nice,” he admits bashfully. “It’s like...an actual apartment, not one with plastic chairs and paper plates. I’ve literally been eating my food out of pans and forks that I stole from McDonald's for months now.” Jungkook throws his hands in the air before he’s looking at Namjoon with clear admiration. “This is the real deal, Namjoon-ssi.”

Namjoon feels the heat creeping onto his face, “Uh, hyung is fine.”

Jungkook inhales deeply and smiles--and it’s like Jungkook’s a greedy bastard who stole all the air in the room, because Namjoon is looking at his bright face and he can’t seem to breathe.

“Okay, hyung,” he giggles, putting his backpack on the floor right by Namjoon’s coffee table. “It’s really spacious here.”

Namjoon nods, “Yeah, it’ll be even bigger when my roommate moves out.” He watches Jungkook’s eyes light up. “That’s why there are so many boxes.”

 

Namjoon guesses he spoke that a bit tiredly, and Jungkook immediately perks up. “So, you’re going to have a room available?”

 

There’s a shift in the room. Namjoon keeps his lips shut tight for a moment, before he jerkily nods his head.

 

“Oh, cool, that’s cool,” Jungkook coughs then bobs his head a little, eyes darting around as he feigns nonchalance. “I’ve kinda been looking for a place...for a while now. I mean, honestly, anywhere away from Jimin and Taehyung’s moans is ideal for me.” His awkward laughs are the epitome of unsubtle, but even someone as oblivious as Namjoon gets the hint.

Namjoon nearly chokes, his words catching in his throat and before he knows it he’s stammering. He makes up a believable excuse. “Uh, yeah, I mean I could talk about it with my roommate.” Namjoon hastily stands up from his spot on the couch, trying to push down the excitement that gathers in his chest. “I’m actually gonna sleep now,” he makes a gesture to his room with his hand before pointing to his injury, “y’know…yeah. Feel free to use whatever you need.”

Jungkook immediately speaks up, grabbing onto Namjoon’s sleeve. “Sorry, was that too… uh? Weird? Asking you if I could move in when we just met?”

“No!” Namjoon shakes his head, a bit too fast, and nearly falls over on his feet. Nearly. Namjoon catches himself, looking back at Jungkook, who’s watching him with his arms frozen, outstretched as if he’s determined to catch Namjoon In Case of Emergency.  

Namjoon chuckles nervously at Jungkook, internally slapping himself in the face because what the fuck could he have sounded any more desperate? Jungkook is younger than him, Namjoon is definitely supposed to be collected about this. What’s wrong with him?

But then as he turns to walk toward his room, the darndest thing happens.

He really does trip over his feet and lands flat on his face.

 

For the second time that night, Namjoon passes out.

When he wakes up to the sound of his alarm blaring in his ear, he’s tucked into his bed, still in his clothes from last night, smelling faintly of alcohol. Namjoon pats his head, wincing at the sting it causes. He groggily rolls out of his bed, knocking over the pile of pizza boxes holding up his clock. Namjoon makes a trek to his bathroom sink, too afraid to look at himself in the mirror because he knows he probably won’t like what he sees, especially not with the night he had.

He does anyway. I must be a masochist.

Staring at his reflection, he sees that his cheeks are littered with hello kitty bandaids. A few stuck in his hair, haphazardly thrown on his wound. Memories from last night come flooding in, but one thing pops up. Jungkook stayed over.  

He dashes out into his living room to find--no one.

Well, now he just feels stupid. He feels himself deflate, disappointment curdling in him when he realizes that Jungkook is long gone. Namjoon walks back to his room and flops onto his bed dejectedly, a frown on his face when he sees something in his peripherals. To his side, he sees a note on his bedside table (the destroyed pile of pizza boxes), a glass of water, and some pain killers. He perks up quickly, reaching over to pick it up.

 

hey hyung!

thanks again for letting me crash here.

had to go to practice so i

left some painkillers and water for you!

for real though, this is what i would be like as

your roommate. consider it.

-jk

 

Namjoon’s eyes bug out at the numbers scrawled in neat handwriting at the bottom of the note. His heart is beating fast.

Why?

Namjoon isn’t sure what the happy feeling in his gut is. He’s honestly not even sure if he likes it. But it’s different--it’s something. It’s something he doesn't ever think he’s felt before-- but it’s there like a slap to the face. It’s there, throbbing and (slightly) uncomfortable and something foreign to him that he doesn’t understand just yet.

Namjoon starts his day, and he thinks it’s the happiest he’s been in a while.

Namjoon is humming something under his breath, a smile on his face. He can’t keep his mind from thinking about bunny teeth, full cheeks, and bright, bright eyes.  Putting his leftovers from the other night into the microwave, he hops onto the countertop as he waits for his food, swinging his legs. His feet hit the wooden cupboard under him, but he doesn’t mind. Namjoon makes a beat out of the soft repetitive thuds.

He feels so refreshed, despite the hangover, and it’s a feeling so alien to him he doesn’t necessarily know what to make of it.

 

Naturally, he confides in the most reliable source he knows. “Siri, why is my heart pumping so hard?”

 

His phone takes him to a WebMD page that makes him feel a lot more anxious than he was before.

 

“You’re looking a lot more vibrant today.”

 

“Oh my god--” Namjoon jumps off the countertop, startled by his roommate’s sudden presence. “You scared the shit out of me.”

 

“I still live here,” Hoseok eyes him, taken aback, “you’re not free of my curse yet. Anyway, what’s gotten you in a good mood? Get laid last night?” He raises a brow at Namjoon, smirking a little at the heat that rises on Namjoon’s face.

 

“Wouldn’t you like to know.”

 

Hoseok opens his mouth to say something when his happy grin is wiped clear off his face. “Do you smell that?”

“Smell what?”

 

The freshness is gone from their apartment, smoke quickly rising up into the air. Sparks crackle by their microwave, shocks of blues and greens bursting from the inside of the kitchen appliance. Hoseok and Namjoon shoot each other panicked looks before Hoseok is shouting. “Did you put foil in the fucking microwave??”

“Fuck, not again!” Namjoon shrieks just as the fire alarm begins to blare. They cover their ears, recoiling at the sound. Namjoon and Hoseok run out of the kitchen quickly, exiting the building through the escape stairway right next to their balcony.

 

“So,” Seokjin’s voice cracks. He struggles to hold in his laughter. “You set your kitchen on fire. Again?” He breaks, snorting. “And you wondered why I didn’t want to move in with you!”

 

“Knew this would happen eventually,” Hoseok sighs from his spot on Seokjin’s recliner. They’d called Seokjin immediately (after calling Yoongi and having him yell at them for calling him while he was recording in the studio), asking him for a place to stay for a couple of nights until their apartment was fixed. Technically, the landlord is at fault for not having the sprinklers set up correctly, so thankfully, they’re let off the hook for footing the bill. This time.

 

Hoseok grabs the whiteboard hanging by the spice rack in Seokjin’s Kitchen (Yes, Seokjin’s. Namjoon isn’t allowed anywhere near it.) and smears the number written under ‘Days Since Namjoon’s Last Accident’ to write a sloppy ‘0’ right under the title.

 

Namjoon shrinks on the couch, burying his head in the pillows. “I don’t wanna talk about it,” is his muffled response.

 

“Well, you can stay here for a couple of days until it gets fixed.”

 

Namjoon thinks he would rather live under a bridge with the bridge troll from Dora the Explorer than be in an apartment together with those three. “Don’t complain, you did this to yourself.” He makes a face that Seokjin tuts at. “Where else would you go anyway?”

 

He feels his phone vibrate in his pocket, ignoring the offended look Seokjin passes him.

 

Kim Taehyung 10:12 am

hey hyung what time

do you wanna meet?

 

Namjoon glances back at Seokjin and Hoseok, who watch him like hawks. He grabs his bag and stands up. “I’m gonna camp out at the library.” Namjoon shoots them a smirk before he’s out the door.

“You’re joking right?”

“I’m not.”

Namjoon looks down at Taehyung’s midterm grade, staring at the test answers in shock. “Twelve percent?” His voice lilts at the end. He swears he’s about to cry for Taehyung.

 

Taehyung pats Namjoon’s back sympathetically. “Twelve percent, hyung.”

 

How? ” Namjoon asks, before he’s shaking his head. “Don’t answer that, actually.” Taehyung laughs good naturedly, before he’s bringing his chair up to the desk to sit up properly.

 

“I’ll do better this time, I swear,” Taehyung huffs determinedly. “So tell me about the Loop of Henlo’s Descendant.”

 

“It’s the descending Loop of Henle,” Namjoon whispers his correction with a groan.

 

Namjoon quickly finds out learning strategies for Taehyung, and it takes a while but the two of them find their groove. To Namjoon’s surprise, Taehyung is a diligent worker and catches on quickly. He makes up potential test questions while Taehyung works through the flashcards Namjoon brought for him.

 

By the time he knows it, it’s midday, his stomach pulling him from a particularly gruelling chapter.

 

“I’m done. I can’t do it anymore.” Taehyung groans, letting his head fall to the table with a loud thunk. “I need...sustenance.”

 

Namjoon figures they’ve been working for a decent amount of time and shuts his textbook. “How do you feel about the material?”

 

“Better than before for sure,” Taehyung’s grin reaches his sleep-ridden eyes. “This was really helpful, thank you.”

 

Namjoon shrugs. “It’s my job. Sorry I was so bad at it before.”

 

Taehyung laughs, getting up to pack his bag before he realizes that Namjoon isn’t making an effort to move. “You’re staying here?”

 

“Ah, yeah. My apartment...is kind of going through some renovations right now.”

 

Taehyung raises a brow. “Oh? So you don’t have a place to stay?”

 

Namjoon thinks about Seokjin and Hoseok and Yoongi and the pity in their eyes when they look at him and he hesitates, “Well--”

 

“--You should stay with us.” Taehyung’s smile is mischievous now. Any trace of sleep has been completely wiped off his face, replaced with this devilish look that puts Namjoon off.

 

But then he remembers Jungkook and how sweet he was that morning-- and gosh. Did Namjoon forget to thank him? Huh. He blatantly ignores the fact that Jungkook had given him his number just that morning, but he left it at his uninhabitable apartment. The best thing to do, of course, would be to go to Jungkook and thank him in person, right?

“Are you sure your roommates won’t mind?” Namjoon asks reluctantly.

Taehyung’s hearty laugh earns them both a glare from the librarian. “They won’t mind,” he mouths.

“Jungkook has a lot to study for though,” he recalls the fatigue written all over Jungkook’s face and feels a tinge of guilt.

“Oh, he definitely won’t mind.” Taehyung grins.

 

Jungkook paces around the living room. Was that weird? Was I being weird? He goes into the kitchen to grab a snack, trying to take his mind off of everything that happened. Jungkook’s head slumps against the messy countertop, pushing aside the dirty pans away. His skin meets the cold granite, but he doesn’t mind, not when he’s replaying the past few hours in his head.

 

Okay, so he picked up Namjoon and let him fall off of his bike (an accident, he swears it’s never happened before), they talked and he somehow ended up staying over at Namjoon’s apartment. Cool. Hopefully Namjoon liked him well enough to consider having him as a roommate--hopefully. He clutches at his phone before letting out a huff of breath.

 

Jungkook is about to throw together a sandwich when his phone vibrates. Taehyung’s name pops up in their apartment group chat.

tae-hyung

lol soooo namjoon-hyung is gonna stay with us

for a few days

until his kitchen is fixed.

Jungkook feels his soul physically step out of his body; he swears he’s entered a different realm for just a moment and he feels oddly light.

For a split second, he doesn’t know whether he should be happy or angry. How could Taehyung spring this information on him. He could have warned Jungkook way sooner, Jungkook is so not prepared.

 

jimin-hyung

ohhhh tae you really deliver.

i love a man who keeps his word. ;-)

 

Jungkook whips his phone out, cheeks burning as he types back at his roommates.

 

to dicksquad

i literally hope u choke. what the fck??? whhy???/
u were joking when u said u would get us together right
tae u better not be forcing him to come over i swear...

 

tae-hyung

chill out
now instead of daydreaming about doing the splits on his dick

you actually can

win-win situation (im not talking about the guy from nct)

 

jimin-hyung

you excited kookie??

 

to dicksquad

im blocking both of u.
i saw him around campus like once
and made one comment?? and now yall r just being bullies.

 

tae-hyung

he was literally all you talked about last semester.

 

to dicksquad

i didnt even know his name! i just saw him around campus!

 

jimin-hyung

you called him ‘thighs’ for four months straight
how did it feel to have those thighs wrapped around you when you carried him back to the apartment last night. ;)

 

Jungkook locks his phone. He bites his bottom lip before he’s desperately trying to get his mind out of the fucking gutter. So, yeah, he may have had a bit of a crush on Namjoon in the past, but that was a few months ago. His freshman goggles have subsided and now all he really wants is to move out of this damn apartment and he’s not going to let his glaring attraction to Namjoon ruin that for him.

 

Jungkook waits for his breath to even out before he unlocks his phone to look at the messages.

 

tae-hyung

babe i think you mightve broken him

 

jimin-hyung

kook come back before we start sexting in the group chat

 

to dicksquad

pls dont i almost fucking checked into the ER last time u did

and i swear i dont have a crush on him anymore. it’s fine.

 

Jungkook thinks maybe if he says it to himself enough it’ll be true. He hopes so at least. He sinks himself down onto their beat up couch and turns on the TV. Maybe it’s not his best decision, seeing as though finals are right around the corner, but he needs to get his mind off of Namjoon’s mile-long legs.

 

tae-hyung

thats such a lie.

you were so jealous when i first told you he was TA-ing for me

you didnt talk to me for days

 

kook has left dicksquad

 

Jungkook’s grip on his controller has never been tighter. If he completely botches his next couple of games, well, he tries not to blame it on his nerves.


Taehyung leads Namjoon back to his apartment, the trek vaguely familiar to Namjoon. “I’m kind of glad you’re going to stay with us. Means I get extra study time,” Taehyung says to his hyung as he pulls his keys out of his back pocket. “Plus, Jungkookie said something about your apartment being empty? You can get to know him a bit better.” Namjoon ignores the exaggerated wink Taehyung sends him, and steps inside the apartment, quickly taking his shoes off at the mat in front of the door.

“Oh,” Jimin swoons from across the room. He’s plaintively standing in the kitchen chopping onions, unshed tears in his eyes, before he drops his knife dramatically, “and he has manners too?” Jimin quickly turns to Jungkook. “This one is a catch, Kook.”

Jungkook is on the couch, hidden beneath a thicket of blankets. Namjoon squints his eyes to look for him when a tuft of Jungkook’s hair pops up from under them. Wide eyes peek over the covers and there’s that unfamiliar tightening in his chest again, Namjoon tears his gaze away to greet Jimin. “Hi,” Namjoon rubs the back of his neck. “Sorry for intruding. Again,” he ducks his head, embarrassed all of the sudden.

 

Jimin waves his hand dismissively. “Anytime. You’re more than welcome to hang out over here whenever you want. God knows Tae needs your help more than you need his.”

 

Taehyung scoffs, clutching a hand to his chest in mock hurt. “That’s absolutely true, but also ouch.”

 

“Regardless, it’s really nice of you guys to let me stay.” Namjoon smiles politely, still feeling a little bit uneasy about the situation--he really doesn’t want to impose, but he would rather be here than with his doting, intrusive friends. On the plus side, Jungkook is someone he should get to know.

Speaking of Jungkook, Namjoon turns his head, feeling the younger’s gaze burning into him. When he locks eyes with Jungkook, Jungkook quickly averts his eyes. Oh. He must be perturbed because Namjoon didn’t say thank you for last night and this morning. Namjoon quickly goes over to stand awkwardly in front of the couch, then he decides to sit on the armrest. Jimin and Taehyung go oddly silent, their eyes trailing on Namjoon as he taps the blanket Jungkook is taking cover under.

 

“Uh, Jungkook?” Jungkook slowly peels his blanket off of him, sitting upright on the couch. He’s wearing a stained, oversized t-shirt, his hair looks tousled from sleep, and there’s some dried drool at the corner of his mouth, but Namjoon’s eyes still widen in wonder. “Thanks for last night,” he says, drawing his words out. His mind isn’t working at its top speed, not really. But how can it when Jungkook looks the way he does? His eyes rake over Jungkook’s soft figure before he’s spewing out more words he doesn’t realize he’s forming. “--and also this morning. The, uh. The water and painkillers, that was really nice of you.”

 

Jungkook nods, before his lips stretch into a bashful smile. “Did you see the note?”

 

Namjoon lets out a huff of air, laughing a little at how stiff they are around each other. “I did. I was going to let my roommate know that he could move out whenever he wanted but, uh, then the microwave caught on fire. And y’know, all that.”

 

“If I move in with you, you’re going to have to promise that will never happen,” Jungkook guffaws, clapping his hands as he shakes his head.

 

Biting his lip, Namjoon winces. “Can’t really promise that, sorry.”

 

Jungkook is about to reply when Jimin calls out from the kitchen, “I give up on making food. Please, someone order takeout before we all starve to death.” Namjoon watches Taehyung come up behind his boyfriend, pulling him into a back hug as they look down at Jimin’s attempt at… Namjoon actually can’t tell what the fuck Jimin was trying to make but it looks so awful he’s glad he doesn’t ask.

 

Taehyung and Jimin look at Jungkook expectantly, both of them with matching pleading expressions before Jungkook sighs out a mumbled ‘fine’ under his breath. “Pizza okay with you, hyung?” Jungkook asks Namjoon, who immediately nods his head.

 

“Perfectly.” Namjoon reaches into his pocket and pulls out his wallet. “Here.” Jungkook narrows his eyes at the bills Namjoon tries to hand him before swatting Namjoon’s hand away.

“Don’t worry about it, hyung.”

“Seriously,” Taehyung plots himself down across from Namjoon. “Jungkook is kind of a rich bitch--” he says the words unironically (much to everyone’s dismay) and leans in close to Namjoon, “his parents are flushed with cash--”

Jungkook hisses out at Taehyung, his face beet red. “God, hyung, you’re so embarrassing! Never say that again.”

 

Namjoon shakes his head, his whole body trembling as he tries to stifle a laugh, “I can’t believe you called him a rich bitch.”

 

Jungkook rolls his eyes. “Anyway, I’m gonna go pick it up. Jimin-hyung can you call in an order so it’ll be ready when I get there?”

 

Jimin holds his thumb up, falling right into Taehyung’s lap. Jungkook is by the doorway, slipping on his shoes while Jimin and Taehyung give each other bedroom eyes and Namjoon immediately recalls what Jungkook had said about their “incessant fucking”. He stands up quickly, making a beeline for the door, much to the couple’s confusion. “Let me come with you.” It might sound a bit desperate, but Namjoon is really not in the mood to deal with yet another sickening duo right now. Not when he knows he’ll have to deal with Yoongi and Hoseok later.

 

Jungkook raises a brow at him before he opens the door for Namjoon. “After you,” he says after a beat.

 

“Thanks.”

 

It’s peculiarly easy falling into a conversation with Jungkook. Their interests are mostly the same, save for the fact that Jungkook is incredibly into dance, and Namjoon can hardly move his limbs without hurting himself (and others). Their taste in music differs in some ways, but they both have a passion for it.

 

“My major?” Jungkook looks over his shoulder as he pulls off the cover of his vespa. “I’m a kinesiology major, but I’m minoring in dance. You know. Focusing on something realistic, but I still wanted to keep my true passion in my life.”


Namjoon nods, impressed. “Is it hard?”

 

Jungkook shrugs. “It’s still only my second semester here so we’ll see. I can probably handle it though. You’re probably a music major, right?”

 

There’s a brief moment of panic when he hears the question, but he answers eventually with the soft shake of his head. He’s grateful when Jungkook doesn’t press the topic any further.

 

Namjoon watches Jungkook throw a leg over the vespa, his thighs stretching his jeans in just the right places. Namjoon gulps, eyes tracing over the muscles there when Jungkook tilts his head curiously. He nearly chokes. “Try not to fall off this time, okay?”

 

Namjoon opens his mouth to protest “I was drunk” when Jungkook starts the engine and hits the gas. For a vespa, it goes surprisingly fast, but Namjoon’s not sure if it’s actually because of the vehicle or because of how nervous he is pressed up against Jungkook’s back.

    

They fall into a comfortable rhythm the next few days, Namjoon tutoring Taehyung, sneaking admiring glances at Jungkook from across the room when the younger isn’t looking, but of course, they’re not as discreet as Namjoon would have liked to think.

 

“You know you’re like, super obvious, right?” Taehyung deadpans just when Namjoon is trying to explain to him how crucial enzymes’ work are in the digestive system.

 

Namjoon pauses. “What do you mean?”

 

Taehyung exhales loudly, rolling his eyes before flitting them back and forth between Namjoon and Jungkook. Jungkook bobs his head to the beat of his music, his headphones blaring out bubble gum pop, completely unaware of his hyungs staring at him. “It’s not difficult to see the budding affection you have for him when it’s literally right in front of me.” Taehyung shuts the books and turns to Namjoon. “You help me get an A in class and I’ll help you out with your Jungkook problems.”

The first thing that runs through his head is What Jungkook problems?

 

“What Jungkook problems? We barely know each other, we don’t have any issues with each other to my knowledge.” It feels like Taehyung just dropped a bucket of ice water all over him. Did Jungkook say something about Namjoon? What problems could have possibly arisen in the past few days to make Taehyung say that?

 

Taehyung’s eyes turn to saucers. “Jesus, you don’t know. Huh. Well, when you figure it out, you can definitely come to me, hyung.” And he has the audacity to wink at Namjoon, before he’s stretching his arms over his head and standing up.

 

“Wait, answer me! Has he said anything about me? What’d I do to upset him?” Namjoon feels his throat constrict, he looks over at an occupied Jungkook with wide eyes, wondering where he went wrong.

 

Taehyung pats Namjoon’s shoulder and then he’s walking away. “Just forget what I said, hyung. He likes you just fine.”

 

His entire body relaxes against his chair. Then he freezes up. Why did he let that bit of information affect him so much?

 

A few minutes passed after Taehyung’s figure retreated to his and Jimin’s room when Namjoon feels a tap on his shoulder. He panics for a second before he notes Jungkook’s headphones are still blasting his music. There’s no way he could have heard his conversation with Taehyung. He hopes.

 

Jungkook takes out an earbud, then points to his roommates’ door. Namjoon listens carefully for just a moment--and then It happens. The moans start off small, gradually building up until there’s the pounding of their bed against the walls, practically shaking the whole apartment. There’s loud gasps and the straining of voices clenched tight. Jungkook gives Namjoon a look. “We need to leave, like, now.”

 

“Can it get any worse than this?” Namjoon’s voice shakes.

 

Jungkook looks at him, his eyes devoid of emotion before he answers. “You couldn’t even possibly fathom how bad it can get.”

 

They quickly make their escape out the living room quickly, stumbling over the mess of shoes by the doorway until they’re out the door.

 

“Jesus, I had no idea the human body was even capable of making those kinds of noises…”

 

Jungkook holds up a hand. “I’m very aware. Once Jimin brought a fucking juicer into the room halfway through it. I didn’t even want to ask why.”

 

They stop walking at the foot of the apartment complex, both of them shuffling their feet awkwardly.

 

“Wanna go to the music store with me?”

 

Namjoon, stunned into silence, whips his head to look at Jungkook. Jungkook looks up at him, trying to nonchalantly fix the bangs that swoop across his forehead as he looks at Namjoon timidly. Namjoon barely hesitates to reply with a quick nod of his head.

There’s a dull ache in his chest when he walks through the wooden doors. Not much has changed about the place, save for the newest additions of mini albums in the front of the store that decorate the aged place with splashes of bubblegum pop-- bright, lively colors.


Stepping into the store is like bumping into an old lover; ghosts of long, distant memories come tumbling into his mind, desperately trying to piece together what happened between them that ended in their separation. Namjoon runs his finger over a few dusty, untouched albums, his favorites, as he walks down the front aisle--a cramped space that he squeezes through.


It’s a bit musty and compact in the store, but still wonderful, still so magical in Namjoon’s eyes. The broken air conditioner whistles over the speakers, classical music spilling through the systems, just like Namjoon remembers.


He slots himself in the corner by the ‘help’ desk that might as well be labeled “find it your damn self”, (the old man who works at it is never awake, trust him) and falls onto the beanbag placed there for customers to use while they listen to music.


It’s where Yoongi, Hoseok, and Namjoon used to come to when they needed to get away from the chaos of school-- it was a second home, a sanctuary where he could lose himself in a sea of sounds. Namjoon shakes his head, shifting his beanbag just a bit to reveal a darkened stain on the carpet. He snorts, recalling the time Hoseok and him had snuck food in, despite a worker’s warning, and spilled it all over the floor after arguing over which Kendrick album was the best. Nodding his head sagely, he reassures himself, It’ll always be ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’.


There’s a shuffling of plastic on plastic behind him, the humming of a sweet rendition of a pop song he heard on the radio too many times, but this is different. It’s pleasant, a honeyed, throaty sound rich with emotion. His ears tune in--the voice is soft but strong ad stable and full in every sense of the word. Namjoon listens, his eyes fluttering shut to take in the sound. The voice is a refreshing, gentle breath; it’s soft ripples of waves washing over him on a hot summer day; it’s perfect. Namjoon turns his head, eyes widening when he sees the culprit emitting the stunning melody.

 

“Jungkook,” he breathes out, his voice catching in his throat. Jungkook whips his head to meet Namjoon’s, like he’d been caught stealing something. He gives Namjoon an inquisitive look, but all Namjoon can coherently form are the words, “you sound fucking incredible.”

 

Jungkook clams up, his body stilling before heat rises up his face. “Thank you,” he says softly and walks toward a different section of the store. Namjoon pushes his headphones in, but he finds that instead of listening to the music pouring into his ears, his eyes trail after a man with a voice sent from heaven and a body sent from hell.

 

When Jungkook snakes his way back to Namjoon, Namjoon quickly looks down at his phone, pretending to peruse through his music library. “What are you listening to, hyung?” Jungkook crouches down to sit next to Namjoon.

 

Namjoon shrugs. “Kendrick.” He’s lying. His music stopped playing ten minutes ago and he’s the first artist that popped into his head. If he’s being honest, he doesn’t remember what he’s been listening to for the past thirty minutes, his mind replaying the soft hums Jungkook made earlier.

 

Jungkook’s eyes light up when he looks down at the app Namjoon has open. “Oh, you have a soundcloud? Do you post your own music or do you just listen?”

 

He hesitates for a second before answering. “I, uh. I used to make music, yeah. I have a few tracks on it,” he coughs, “but they’re nothing too crazy, y’know?”

 

Jungkook nods his head understandingly. “So, can I hear them?”

 

“Uh, yeah? I mean,” Namjoon falters a little as he pops open a link to his soundcloud and texts it to Jungkook. “Just don’t listen to it in front of me, I guess.”

 

Jungkook considers this for a moment, a small smirk playing at his lips before he chuckles. “Alright, I won’t embarrass you, hyung. But I’ll listen to it later for sure.”

 

Namjoon’s words fall flat. He looks at Jungkook apprehensively, the younger of the two going back to examining the cover of an album when he hears a soft gasp. Namjoon looks in front of him and breaks into a sweat.

 

“Wow.” If Namjoon is being honest, he can’t recall his name--Jae? Jaehyun? No, it was Jae-something--but he recognizes him from his vocal performance classes and music theory one semester. He approaches Jungkook and Namjoon with a lopsided grin. “Haven’t seen you in a while. So good that you stopped coming to classes altogether, huh?” Namjoon visibly pales. His lips are stitched tight as he thinks up a response. “It’s been like a whole semester since I’ve seen you! What gives, dude?”

 

Namjoon reads his nametag, Oh that’s right, Jaebum. He gulps before he replies with his honest answer. “I actually switched majors.” The words taste bitter in his mouth, he almost regrets letting them spill out. He watches with shame as Jaebum stills, the worker’s smile slipping from his face. “I’m a PsychoBio major now.”

 

“Damn, what a shame. If I had your talent…” The worker whistles. “Anyway, don’t wanna bug you for too long. Gotta get back to work,” he says, gesturing toward the old man sleeping at the help desk. “Nice seeing you again.” Jaebum waves once before he’s quickly walking away.

 

For a second, Namjoon prays that Jungkook hasn’t heard a word of that tragic exchange, but just for a second. Their moment of silence is cut short when Jungkook coughs. “So I wasn’t crazy. You were a music major.”

 

Shit. “Uh, yeah, I was up until last semester.”

 

Namjoon can feel the question coming, but he’s still not prepared for it when Jungkook turns to him with an unreadable look. “So, what happened?”

 

“Reality.” His answer comes honestly. Jungkook scrunches his brows together, waiting for Namjoon to continue. “I just…” he sighs with the shake of his head, “I saw my sister settling in with her job and she’s just so stable-- a picture perfect child.” Namjoon lets out a self-deprecating laugh. “She and I had a conversation. She said I should pursue what I want, but only if it’s realistic. I’m ambitious, but, it’s presumptuous of me to believe that I could make a career out of it.” Namjoon chances a look at Jungkook, trying to gauge his reaction. Jungkook is looking down at his feet, only looking up at Namjoon when he lets out a small, ‘continue?’.

 

“Well, becoming big in the music industry is difficult, y’know? I think I’m confident, but I’m not stupid. It’s not going to be easy and there’s just too many risks. It’s not like I’m made of money, and my parents never completely approved of it anyway.” His voice cracks when he admits, “When they found out I got into this university for music, they were so heartbroken, they looked like...they looked like they were disappointed.”

 

I went to this university to prove that I could make something of myself. What if I failed at music? What then? I don’t have the strength to handle that kind of failure, not for music at least. Music is something I’ve always known I’ve been good at, and if I suck at it? I think that would crush me more than anything.”

 

When Jungkook says nothing in response, Namjoon feels uneasy. There’s a stilted incompleteness to the conversation that’s driving Namjoon up the wall. Namjoon shifts in his beanbag for what feels like hours, before Jungkook’s phone buzzes.

 

Jungkook stares at his screen for a particularly long time then says quietly, “Jimin-hyung says it’s good to come back now.” He stands up and looks at Namjoon timidly, like he’s half expecting Namjoon to storm off without him. Namjoon stands up and gives him an equally nervous smile, before they leave the store, letting the breeze guide them back to Jungkook’s apartment.

 

Not much is spoken, other than what albums they listened to while they were at the shop, a few words exchanged. (“You listened to ‘Salad Days’?” Namjoon asks, his words coming out much more robotic than normal. “Yeah, it’s good. One song really caught my attention.”) It’s the longest five minute walk of Namjoon’s life.

 

They arrive at the building, Jungkook stopping him before they enter. “Do you really think not being a popular artist is failing, hyung?”

 

“I’d like to be successful,” he answers honestly, “so, yeah.”

 

“But the definition of ‘success’ is different for everyone, right?” Namjoon can practically see the cogs turning in Jungkook’s mind, his face scrunched up in concentration. They walk through the front doors of the building, Namjoon suddenly finding the blank, pale walls very interesting as he listens to Jungkook continue. “Going to work and doing something you love-- something meaningful to you-- is invaluable. I think being in an environment where you can express yourself freely, regardless of how much you make, is something that’s really important. Being in a state of constant stress? To me, that’s not worth it. I don’t know about you, but I define success as how happy I am with myself. I know, it’s kind of stupid I guess, but… do other people’s opinions really matter if you’re not happy with yourself?”

 

Namjoon shuts his lips tight. Jungkook has a point, but how can he understand how Namjoon feels? It’s not like he’s made of money. Life would be difficult for him--he can’t just, choose being self-centered over being reasonable.

 

“Sorry, I don’t mean to overstep my boundaries, and I know I’m being idealistic…” Jungkook sighs. “You’re focusing on being practical, that’s understandable, but I just... I don’t know, I guess I wanted to tell you that it’s okay to be a little selfish.” They reach Jungkook’s apartment door. “It’s your life you’re living, not your parents’ and not your sister’s. Yours.”

 

Namjoon’s throat bobs, and he doesn’t know why, but his eyes are kind of stinging. It’s the most he’s let himself think about the situation in months, and he feels…a strange gratification that Jungkook cared enough to comfort him about it. “Thank you,” he says.


To Namjoon, their entire conversation sounds like repressed emotions spilled out in a sloppy, shameful confession.

To Jungkook, it sounds a lot like trust.

 

Before they go into the apartment, Jungkook does something unexpected. He turns to Namjoon and looks at him, then pulls Namjoon into a hug. “Whatever decisions you make, I know they’ll be the right ones.” It’s like his voice is laced with velvet, with nothing but absolute sincerity. They break apart, but just barely, their bodies so, so, close. Jungkook is looking up at Namjoon expectantly, like he wants to desperately say more when the door swings open.

 

Taehyung looks at the two of them sternly, Jimin struggling to hold in his laughter behind him. “Well, well, well, Namjoon, I thought I told you my son’s curfew was at 7pm sharp?” He and Jimin pass each other scandalized looks, both of them gasping in unison before turning back to Namjoon and Jungkook. “Don’t...Please don’t tell me you stripped him of his innocence, I want to make an honest man out of him.” Taehyung shakes his head, breaking his character by grinning from ear to ear as Jimin coos at his side. “If his purity isn’t intact, you’ll have to take full responsibility. How will he ever marry?”

 

“Choke, hyung.” Jungkook says, pushing past Jimin and Taehyung to go straight to his room.

 

“Boo! You’re no fucking fun, Kookie!” Jimin shouts just when Jungkook slams his door shut. Jimin pouts. “He used to be such a cute kid...he used to shower us with love...what happened to our son, TaeTae?”

 

Taehyung puts a hand on Jimin’s shoulder, shaking his head sadly. “Puberty.”

 

“What the fuck is wrong with you two?”

 

Jimin raises a brow at Namjoon, and his mouth immediately snaps shut. Taehyung pulls Namjoon into the apartment quickly, afraid his elder will escape. “I’m actually glad you’re back now, I was going over another section and I really don’t get it. Do you mind if you help me with it?”

 

Namjoon sighs, letting his shoulders slump slightly. He feels incredibly drained, but it’s impossible to say no to Taehyung when he’s looking at him with that nervous wide smile and those huge eyes of his. “Okay, show me which chapter.”

 

Taehyung lets out a breath of relief and then they’re sitting down at Taehyung’s dining table, the conversation Namjoon and Jungkook had suddenly buried under lines of text.

 

 

It’s after Jimin comes into the living room to carry Taehyung to bed when Namjoon cracks open a blank document. The quiet time of night, where the city is still and the lull of chatter brings peace to procrastinating students like himself.

This is the time of the day he craves, it’s his most productive hours, and he swears he’ll finish his work if it kills him. It’ll be the only chance he’ll get now that everyone in the apartment is asleep.


He makes sure all the lights are off before he gets in the proper headspace to begin his assignment. In all honesty, Namjoon’s dead tired, but he knows his final report for his research methods class isn’t going to write itself. He cracks his knuckles and types, his mind a jumbled mess as he types out flowery bullshit that he knows his professors will eat up.


He works in silence, not even bothering to put on some music, but he’s distracted, his mind still looping Jungkook’s words. It’s okay to be a little selfish. Namjoon shakes sleep away, it’ll have to wait. Grabbing at his glass of water by his side only to knock it over.

It spills over the table, almost getting on his laptop before he pulls the device away briskly, letting out a loud hiss. “Fuck!”

 

There’s a tap on his shoulder and he feels his body go ice cold, like his heart stops beating for a moment when he turns around and sees Jungkook. “Having trouble there?”

 

He almost screams, but lets out an inhuman mumble of words instead. Jungkook’s face is illuminated by the flashlight on his phone as he lets out a heinous giggle that nearly paralyzes Namjoon. “You scared the living shit out of me.”

 

Jungkook pulls a chair up next to Namjoon at the table and snorts. “Don’t be ridiculous, shit isn’t alive, hyung.”

 

Shaking his head, Namjoon rolls his shoulders. “Mind telling me what you’re doing up at four in the morning?”

 

Jungkook shrugs, nodding his head at Namjoon’s laptop. “Mind telling me what you’re doing? Kinda perverted if you’re watching porn this late at night in someone else’s home.”

 

Namjoon’s eyes widen as he double checks to make sure his screen is clear of anything remotely sexual before he’s turning back to glare at Jungkook. The younger raises his hands in defense, a toothy grin spreading across his features as he blushes a little. “I can’t believe you actually checked.”


Namjoon groans. “Please tell me what you need.”

 

“Oh, sorry, uh. If I’m actually bugging you I can like, leave.” Jungkook pauses for a second. “Sorry this was stupid. Goodnight, hyung.”

 

Namjoon shakes his head, fingers brushing over Jungkook’s hand. “No, stay. I’m almost done with my report anyway,” he lies easily.

 

Jungkook bites his lip, his eyes flitting across Namjoon’s face unsurely. “I listened to your mixtape.”

 

The thing about Namjoon is that he doesn’t feel nervous too often. When he’s made a decision, he’s almost always sure of himself.

 

Almost.

He’s performed in front of large crowds, tight spaces with tons of drunk and sober people alike, and he’s never really been too concerned with the opinions of others.

Mostly.

So why?

Why does Namjoon feel his blood run cold when this twenty year old kid tells him that he listened to his mixtape? Why does his heart beat so erratically, and why is he itching to know what Jungkook thinks of it? Never has he ever felt this inclined to know whether or not someone approves about the content of his music, not his friends, and not even his parents. But here he is, leaning into Jungkook’s space, like he craves the younger’s opinion, begging for it.


Namjoon is almost afraid to ask, but he does anyway. “What’d you think of it?” His voice is so low, so cowering, that he almost doesn’t recognize it. He’s anxious, he guesses. It’s been awhile since he’s put out new music, he figured people had stopped listening to it. Maybe that’s why he feels a bit skittish.


But Jungkook just shakes his head in response, Namjoon holds his breath, preparing himself for the worst when Jungkook speaks.

“No, I mean that...well, I’ve listened to your mixtape before.” He grabs onto Namjoon’s arm, his grip tight as continues. “You’re Rap Monster. The Rap Monster. I can’t believe I’ve been in the presence of a fucking legend!”

 

He’s not even trying to control the sound of his voice anymore, but Namjoon figures it’s payback for all the times Jimin and Taehyung have done just the same. “Jesus, hyung, it’s like every time I talk to you you just get cooler and cooler.” Jungkook throws his head back against the chair and groans.

 

“I’m cool?” Namjoon’s voice cracks as Jungkook gives him the brightest look.

Jungkook’s face practically shines with amazement. His eyes are filled with stars, it’s like a whole galaxy is in this one beautiful boy. “Yes.” He whispers back.

 

Namjoon knows they’re in the deepest part of the city, occupied by the swell of crowds and buildings towering over them, business surrounding the vicinity, but behind the loudness of the urban area, the constant chatter and honking of horns, Namjoon can feel the pull of nature when Jungkook is around him. It feels like a breath of fresh air, crisp and misty and pleasantness filling his head. He smells fields of lavender and the salty ocean, and he can’t get enough of it.

 

When jungkook goes back into his room, Namjoon closes his anatomy textbook and opens a blank document. He cracks his knuckles, and for the first time in what feels like centuries, he writes.

But he only writes two words--Jeon Jungkook.




Finals week passes and with that comes the glorious thrill of summer vacation. “Thank fuck,” Jungkook sighs, falling onto Namjoon’s couch. “I really thought I would fail my physics class.”

 

It’s been a week since his apartment’s been cleared of the debris from the fire, and Namjoon thought it would take away the tension in his life, being back in his own place, his sanctuary--but for some reason, the tightness in his chest has yet to be alleviated. It’s the first time he’s seen Jungkook since he left Taehyung and Jimin’s apartment, and it’s the lightest he’s felt in the past few days, but he still can’t shake the uneasy feeling inside of him. Namjoon looks over at Jungkook, a pillow clutched to his stomach as his eyes are trained on the television show in front of him. “Hey, so when is your roommate moving out? Because I’m kind of down to move in like,” he contemplates for a second, “five minutes ago.”

 

Namjoon smiles. “I’ll talk to him about it tonight when he gets back from practice.”

 

“Practice?” Jungkook asks, sitting up now. “What does he do?”

 

“Performing arts--Dance. Just like you.”

 

Jungkook narrows his eyes. “What’s his name? I might know him.”

 

“Jung Hoseok.”

 

“You’re friends with Hobi-hyung?” Jungkook’s jaw drops. “Why didn’t you tell me!” He throws the pillow at Namjoon in offense.

 

“What?” Namjoon defends himself (poorly) from the unwarranted attack. “How was I supposed to know that you were friends?”

“We could have been hanging out for like months before I actually met you!” Jungkook pauses. “Wait, Hobi-hyung, is...your best friend? And roommate?” He pales for a second, like he’s seen a ghost.

“Jungkook-ah?” Namjoon reaches out to make sure he’s okay.

Jungkook shakes his head. “Uh, yeah. Let me know if he says, like, anything at all. I just remembered I have to do something real quick.”

Namjoon raises a brow in suspicion. “Okay, just drive safe please.”

 

He nods his head rapidly, darting out the door.

Namjoon pretends he’s not disappointed to see Jungkook go. He does a piss-poor job of pretending.

 

He tells himself he just wants to get to know his future roommate better, but as he watches the screen in front of him flicker black, he’s not so sure anymore.

 

To hobi-hyung 1:19 pm

hyung. what. the fuck.


From hobi-hyung 1:20 pm
kookie i dont know what i did
but i dont have time for ur toddler tantrums rn
jin just offered to give me road head
and im not turning this down for the likes of u

bye bitch <3

 

To hobi-hyung 1:22 pm

wow.

im disgusted.

 

From jin-hyung 1:25 pm

[download attachment]

 

Jungkook’s eyes scrunch up when the picture loads and-- he nearly throws his phone across the room (but he doesn’t because he just got an upgrade recently and phones are fucking expensive) when he sees his hyung’s open mouth right next to Hoseok’s incredibly obvious (clothed) boner with a giant thumbs up right by his face.

 

To jin-hyung 1:26 pm

im gonna ufcking block both of you

 

...

 

Hoseok comes home with mussed hair, swollen lips, and his button undone. Namjoon’s face contorts. “Jesus, what did Yoongi-hyung do to you?” He asks.

 

Hoseok, clearly out of it, gives him an equally confused look. “What did Yoongi-hyung do to me?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

Namjoon watches Hoseok’s mouth fall open in understanding. “Eh,” he shrugs with an amused smirk. “Something your virgin ears probably can’t handle.”

 

Shaking his head, Namjoon watches Hoseok wander into the kitchen. Namjoon trails after him, eager to talk about the roommate situation.

 

“So,” Hoseok claps his hands together, rubbing them awkwardly, and Namjoon already knows what it’s about. “I’ve been thinking about it, and I actually wanna move out sooner,” Hoseok says slowly, reproachfully. He winces at Namjoon. “Is that okay? Did you find someone? Because there’s no shame if you haven’t found someone. Yoongi, Jin-hyung and I can all help--”

 

“I found someone three weeks ago. Just waiting for your okay.”

 

“Well fuck, ‘okay’.” Hoseok says back snarkily. “I can’t believe I was replaced so quickly,” he mutters bitterly. “Thought I was your best friend or whatever.”

 

“Shut up! You literally left me for dead.” Namjoon gasps, rolling his eyes exaggeratedly. “Moving in with your boyfriend of two years? Cliche, overdone, seen it a million times.”

 

“Take that back. We’re the spiciest couple you’ve ever met.”

 

“Have you met Kim Taehyung and Park Jimin.” Namjoon raises his brows.

“Oh, fuck you. Everyone knows those two, they flaunt their relationship to the whole world. Ninety percent of our university has caught them fucking at some point. They’re our couple-nemesis.” Hoseok hisses at his friend before he pushes himself up onto their kitchen counter. “On a serious note, did Yoongi help you find your roommate on Craigslist or something?”

“No,” Namjoon replies easily.

Hoseok hums, contemplatively. “Who is it then?”

There’s something inside Namjoon that kind of wants to keep Jungkook a secret. He knows Hoseok and Jungkook know each other now, but still. He wants to keep Jungkook to himself, just for a little while. “You probably don’t know him.”

 

“Unlikely,” Hoseok shrugs. “But if I don’t, I’ll know him eventually. Don’t think I won’t stop by here after I’m gone. I’m not going to let you replace me that easily.”

 

“When are you moving out again?”

 

“Fuck you. Can’t wait to get rid of me, huh? Who is it, really?” Hoseok pauses. “They must be pretty hot if you’re so eager for me to leave.”

Namjoon presses his lips into a tight line, making a pained noise in the back of his throat. “Pretty sure I’m eager for you moving out because you’re just really annoying, but…”

 

“Ice cold. See if I ever bring over Jin-hyung’s food for you. I’ll eat it all before I come over so you can clean the empty dish.”

 

“Like I would ever stoop low enough to eat his bland ass cooking. No thanks, have fun eating unseasoned chicken every night.”

 

“I’m going to tell him you said that.” Hoseok actually laughs. “Also, let my replacement know that they can move in next week, if that’s cool?”

 

“Perfect. Can’t wait to have you out of my damn hair.”

 

The two of them bicker with each other until they decide to go to their respective rooms. Namjoon can say he’ll definitely miss his friend, but there’s a budding excitement inside him as he shoots Jungkook a text.

 

To Jungkook-ah 2:50 pm

Get all of your stuff packed and ready.
You can move in next week.

 

Settling in is easy, after the excitement of move in day.

 

They spend more time together than Namjoon likes to admit.

Jungkook ropes him into taking morning walks with him around the apartment complex after a particularly gruelling lecture about physical exercise. Of course Namjoon should have seen it coming in hindsight--seeing as though he’s living with a kinesiology major--but it’s extra time Namjoon gets to watch Jungkook do something he loves. He’s still not used to it, even after a few weeks. Namjoon won’t lie, he’s not used to getting out of bed before noon, and he hasn’t woken up at six in the morning, since, well, ever. But he does it for Jungkook and it’s kind of worth it when Jungkook smiles brightly at him like Namjoon’s given him the best gift on Christmas morning.


They take in the fresh air, before the rest of the city springs back to life, just the two of them walking down an empty path leading just behind their university’s campus. It’s not too dark, but they can still see the moon, that traitorous bastard, smirking high above them.

 

Namjoon discreetly flips it off (he has a valid reason to; the moon broke his drunken trust in a way no other could) , before he catches Jungkook giving him a curious stare.

 

Jungkook stops right by a bench near the trail, next to a small clearing, holding something out for Namjoon to take. “Wanna watch the sunrise, hyung? I brought some granola bars and juice.”

 

He tosses Jungkook a grateful smile, too embarrassed to open his mouth in fear of revealing just how exhausted he is from their little outing. Namjoon unwraps his bar, biting into it as he tries to even out his breathing. Taking in the soft sounds of nature has always been something he’s good at. He absorbs his surroundings like a sponge-- his eyes moving across the expanse, the gentle breeze slowing to a stop, barely kissing his skin, and the taste of happiness just on the tip of his tongue--as if it’s saying, not just yet. soon. patience.

 

When the sun peeks over the horizon, they both turn to look at it, sitting in silence. The sun contorts the colors in the sky, sending an array of light directly at them. It illuminates the whole city, lighting up every corner. Namjoon watches in awe, wondering why he’s always neglected such a simple beauty. Jungkook taps his shoulder, and Namjoon turns to him, his face tired but a radiant golden, blemished but perfect. “Wanna get going now? You have your lab at 9:30.”

Namjoon almost let himself forget. “Damn,” he looks down at his phone. “Will I have time to stop by the apartment?”

 

Jungkook winces, giving him an apprehensive look. “No, probably not.”

 

“Well, alright then. I’ll see you later then?” Namjoon asks, suddenly disappointed.

 

Jungkook shakes his head, “Nah, I’ll walk you to your lab right now. I have to go to practice in a bit anyway.” He shrugs.

 

And just like that, Namjoon’s mood is uplifted. He nods out an ‘okay’ before they walk toward campus, shoulders brushing against each other as they walk down the narrowly paved path. Namjoon has never noticed the flowers lining it (but he decides to pretend that life blooms wherever Jungkook is, and who’s to say he’s wrong?).

 

Jungkook walks him right up to the lab room, even up the three flights of stairs it takes for them to get there.

“Thanks, you really didn’t have to,” Namjoon laughs, huffing a little.

Jungkook smiles in return, bashful and bright. “It’s okay, don’t worry about it. See you tonight.”

Namjoon is in the middle of pouring iodine into a flask when he remembers.

Jungkook doesn’t have dance practice on Mondays.

He swears all the times they spend together are to make sure he gets in enough roommate bonding time so problems don’t arise between them. But more often than not, Namjoon finds himself stuck at the research facility on campus lost in a daze about bunny teeth and crinkly-eyed smiles. It’s when the professor he works under starts to notice an unusual increase in broken beakers that he finally starts to realize that maybe daydreaming about your roommate isn’t something people normally do.

 

Despite their different afternoon schedules, they find time for each other, whether it’s hunched in front of the tv playing a video game of Jungkook’s choice--much to Namjoon’s chagrin-- or just laying down in their respective beds while Namjoon composes music and Jungkook hums under his breath, but each second, regardless of what they’re doing, has Namjoon’s stomach doing somersaults.

 

They eat dinner together every night, against Namjoon’s protests. (“I stay late at the lab sometimes, Jungkook-ah, it’s fine. Don’t wait up for me.”

 

“I don’t mind,” Jungkook says back easily. “It’s better, right? Eating with company. Sometimes it gets a bit lonely.”)

 

Is this normal?
Namjoon decides to consult someone with more experience.

 

To hoseok 12:54 am

in your professional opinion as a regular human
is it weird to eat dinner with your roommate

 

From hoseok 12:55 am
uh no wtf

To hoseok 12:55 am

even if it happens every night?

 

From hoseok 12:56 am

every night??? you guys eat dinner together every night?????
yoongi and i dont even do that lmfao
what are you? a sixtyfive year-old married couple?
do you guys watch jeopardy together or home improvement? be honest.

To hoseok 12:57 am

actually, we watch rupaul's drag race
and we are adamantly team valentina.

 

From hoseok 12:58 am

get over it sweatie she’s gone.

 

From hoseok 12:58 am

it sounds to me like u have a budding romance going on

also send me pics of ur roommate i wanna see him

 

From hoseok 1:29 am

u r not asleep u lying fuck

fine.
u know what.
keep him to urself then.
he sounds hideous anyway

 

Needless to say, Namjoon works in the lab with exceeding proficiency; just to make certain he gets home early every day.

 

It’s late one night, heat still bearing its way into their room when Jungkook shifts in his bed. “Hey,” he whispers secretively. Namjoon is just listening to music, but it’s soft enough for him to hear Jungkook over.

 

“Hi.”

 

“Do you want to go swimming?” Namjoon has bags under his red eyes, laden with fatigue and frustration, but Jungkook looks at him with a wide grin.

 

Namjoon stills, eyebrows knitting together before he’s looking at his clock right by his bedside table. “At three a.m.?”

Jungkook nods. His forehead is layered with a sheen of sweat, his tank top riding low past his collarbones.

Namjoon really doesn’t want to. He really, really doesn’t.
“Yeah, sounds good.”
He won’t be getting any sleep tonight anyway.

 

They step out into their hallway, Jungkook giggling like he’s plotted the biggest prank of all time. When they’re outside, he strips down to his underwear, jumping into their apartment’s pool with a splash sounding loud enough to wake up the entire complex.

 

“Jungkook,” Namjoon hisses out. “C’mon!”

 

Jungkook laughs in response, pushing his wet hair off his forehead. He floats across the small pool easily, like he’s somehow made for the ocean what with the way he glides through it. Namjoon is envious at how natural he makes everything seem. He turns around as he pulls his shirt over his head and tosses it to the ground. Namjoon neglects to notice the way Jungkook’s eyes rake over his back, eyeing the curve of his shoulders and admiring his long legs. He does, however, see Jungkook quickly duck into the water. Namjoon tilts his head in curiosity, watching Jungkook’s body at the bottom of the pool, illuminated by its lights. Namjoon keeps his shorts on and takes the steps by the shallow end down into the water, earning himself a shake of the head from Jungkook, who’s resurfaced. Jungkook boos at him, throwing a thumbs down at Namjoon in the process.

 

It’s refreshing, dipping into the depths of cool water when his body is literally a furnace. He lets out a groan, as his body sinks down into it. “God, that feels amazing.”

 

Jungkook’s throat bobs as he nods quickly.

 

Namjoon rolls his shoulders before he swims over to Jungkook--he’s not a good swimmer, he’ll be honest, but he doesn’t like making a fool of himself, not in front of Jungkook at least. He tries desperately not to let much get into his nose, but when he reaches Jungkook at the other end, he sends a splash of pool water into Jungkook’s face. Jungkook sputters a little bit, making an offended noise right before Namjoon quite literally meets Jungkook’s competitive streak.

It’s shocking, how much retaliation he’s met with.

(“Vengeance isn’t something you should seek out Jungkook, it’ll consume you! I mean, haven’t you seen Star Wars?”)

 

When they stop fighting, they float together in silence, Jungkook eagled out on his back as he watches the moon. Namjoon rests against the side of the pool, holding onto the edge.

 

“This wasn’t a bad idea,” Namjoon says after a while. “Feels really nice.”

 

Jungkook scoffs at him. “Did you doubt me?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Jungkook shakes his head in disbelief. Then it happens. He hums, something soft under his breath. It’s been weeks since the last time Jungkook blessed Namjoon’s ears, honey seemingly slipping out of Jungkook’s mouth with every note, and Namjoon, quite frankly, hasn’t been able to get Jungkook’s voice out of his head. Namjoon looks at Jungkook, gazing after him, drinking in the sound of his voice greedily. The thing about Jungkook’s voice is that it’s too sweet, too irresistible to Namjoon.

 

He thinks about it for a second, then changes his mind. Then he thinks about it again. Okay, so he’s pretty much been thinking about asking Jungkook ever since he heard his voice back at the music shop, but he’s been way too afraid. But here, out on the water, he thinks he’s willing to be vulnerable with Jungkook again. What does he have to lose?

 

“Jungkookie,” he speaks carefully, “do you want to sing for me? On a track for my mixtape?”

 

Namjoon watches Jungkook’s face light up, his jaw going slack for just a second before he lets out a silent scream. “Are you serious?” Jungkook asks, his voice a high octave.

 

“One hundred percent.”

 

Jungkook nods his head vigorously and Namjoon laughs in response.  “Can we do it now?” He asks eagerly.

 

Namjoon whips his head toward Jungkook, the look on his face an incredulous one. “Are you serious? It’s like, probably almost five in the morning and you want to work on music?”

 

Jungkook barely hesitates. “Yes.”

 

Shaking his head, Namjoon lets out a small huff. He swims to the edge of the pull and pushes himself up and out of it. “Maybe some other time. I think you need sleep.”

 

Jungkook pouts, but Namjoon knows he’ll be grateful for this when they wake up later in the afternoon. “Let’s go to bed, Jungkook.”

 

When Namjoon wakes up, Jungkook is already sitting up in his bed with a notebook in his lap and a pen in his hands. “Can we make music now?” He asks in a whisper, careful not to startle Namjoon too much.

 

Namjoon’s chest aches.

 

He’s not sure when that started happening, but it’s certainly not the first time.

 

Most days, when Namjoon has down time and Jungkook’s out of practice, Namjoon lets Jungkook sit in while he composes.

“Does it bug you?” Jungkook asks once, his hands fiddling in his lap. “I can leave if you can’t focus while I’m in the room.”


Namjoon hums, “The opposite, actually,” he puts his pen down and spins around in his chair. He cracks his knuckles. ‘You inspire me,’ is what Namjoon almost says. He settles for, “The way you sing is really nice--it’s full. It helps inspire the creative process, I guess.” He hopes it doesn’t come off too strong, but Jungkook is ducking his head, his ears burning as he looks down at his toes.

 

“I’ll sing to you every day if you want. If it’ll make you happy, hyung.”

 

‘You make me happy,’ is what Namjoon doesn’t say.

 

Later on that day, when Jungkook goes out to meet up with Jimin and Taehyung, Namjoon finally works on lyrics to his next song he plans to feature Jungkook on.

After grueling hours of working on the piece, he rereads his work when he realizes what he’s writing about--or who he’s writing about.

 

His fingers tremble as he lets his pen roll out of his hand and onto the floor. He feels a bit nauseous when he stands up, and just then, like some divine comedy, his muse steps in. The centerpiece of everything he’s written in the past few weeks steps through the room’s threshold.

 

He cocks a brow at Namjoon. “You okay there?”

 

Namjoon only stares back at him. “Yeah, I’ll be fine.”


He’s not so sure if that’s a lie.

 

Summer comes and goes with the wind, and apparently so have the boundaries between Namjoon and Jungkook. If Namjoon thought they’d been spending a lot of time together before, he was wrong.

 

Their class schedules line up and more often than not, Jungkook waits outside of Namjoon’s classes for him.

But today is different.

Namjoon steps out of his lab to an empty hallway. He ignores the pang in his chest, but figures Jungkook probably had better things to do. Shrugging, Namjoon walks out the Hall of Science, dodging seedy professors to the best of his ability.

Usually when he walks out with Jungkook, he has an excuse not to talk to them. But when he’s alone, he’s practically prey, afraid they might ask him to help him watch over one of their labs while he’s off work. He walks briskly when he hears footsteps approaching him fast.

“Namjoon!” he hears Jungkook call out. Namjoon turns around to see Jungkook slowing to a stop, breath erratic as he catches up to him. He slumps against Namjoon’s shoulder. “Oh, thank god. I thought I missed you.”

 

Namjoon holds Jungkook’s limp body up. “What’s wrong?” The concern in his voice is evident. His eyes are wide as he looks at Jungkook’s reddened cheeks. “Are you alright?”

 

Jungkook scrunches his brows. “I’m fine. Sorry I’m late, practice ran a bit longer than usual. Thought you walked home without me.”

 

Namjoon lets out a breath of relief before he’s whacking Jungkook’s arm. He earns himself a noise of protest from Jungkook, but he shakes his head. “Oh my-- you scared me. Why were you running? Y’know, you could have just texted me.”

 

They walk back to their apartment together, their fingers brushing against each other much more frequently now. Jungkook has stopped apologizing for it, but the small touch of skin still sends a rush of shivers down Namjoon’s spine. “You don’t have to do that. Wait for me after class, I mean.” Namjoon says (even though he thoroughly enjoys coming out of a particularly heinous lecture to see Jungkook’s eager grins). “We could meet somewhere closer to your building too.”  

“It’s not a big deal,” Jungkook shrugs. “Besides, I want to. I don’t mind waiting for you.”

 

Namjoon admits, he lets his fingers brush against Jungkook’s on purpose.

He craves the contact.

 

“Please,” Hoseok shakes, eyes blown wide as he clutches a pillow to his chest. “No more scary movies, I won’t be able to sleep.”

 

Namjoon rolls his eyes. “We always watch romcoms though, don’t you get sick of them?”

“Ugh,” Seokjin groans. “Just put on a damn romcom, he kicks in his sleep when he gets nightmares.”

 

Namjoon scoffs “Why are you concerned about Yoongi’s wellbeing all of the sudden? If Hoseok kicks him in his sleep, that’s his problem.”

 

Seokjin freezes, locking eyes with Hoseok from the opposite side of the couch. “What can I say, I’m just looking out for my pals,” he deadpans.

 

Yoongi chooses that moment to step into the room, holding a large pan of popcorn. The three of them all turn to look at him with pleading eyes. “None for any of you. I made it, I eat it.”

 

Simultaneously, their shoulders all slump. They’re putting on an act; they all know that Yoongi’s soft nature would never allow them go hungry.

 

They’re halfway through a movie Namjoon has sworn he’s seen hundreds of times (same story, different actors) when Namjoon opens his stupid fucking mouth.

 

“Hypothetically,” Namjoon starts while Seokjin and Hoseok groan in the background.

(“Here we go again.”) “What does it feel like to be in love?”

 

Yoongi looks at him strangely before he’s shoving a handful of popcorn into his mouth. “Why’re you suddenly interested in it? Thought you said you don’t believe in it.” His words come out a garbled mess, but Namjoon’s used to this.

 

“That’s why I said hypothetically,” he huffs.

 

Hoseok and Yoongi exchange a glance. Yoongi swallows his food and he’s speaking, eyes locked with Hoseok’s all the while. “Being in love is looking at someone and finding peace.”

 

Namjoon rolls his eyes, “Thanks for that, who are you? Nicholas Sparks?”

 

Yoongi glares at him, while Seokjin snorts out a laugh.

 

“Hyung is right though,” Hoseok says easily. “Being in love is being comfortable with someone enough to be vulnerable with them. It’s a mutual respect between people where you can share and build yourselves to be like, a unit or something. It’s cool.”

 

Seokjin sits on the couch quietly, watching Namjoon with skepticism clear on his face. “Why are you asking? Be honest, Joon-ah.”

 

Namjoon isn’t a good liar, but he’s an even worse liar when he’s sitting in front of Kim Seokjin. He fidgets in his spot, Seokjin’s eyes boring into his. “Well,” Namjoon coughs. “I’ve seen the most beautiful person I’ve ever laid eyes on, and, uh, hypothetically, I can’t stop thinking about him.”

 

The room goes heavy. Hoseok and Seokjin stare at him with wide eyes, while Yoongi chokes on a popcorn kernel.

 

Seokjin raises his hands up and begins a slow clap, shaking his head knowingly. “Oho, I knew you would come around Namjoon.” He chuckles to himself, “So you’ve finally fallen for me, huh? Took you long enough--”

 

“--Get real, hyung.” Namjoon snorts. “It’s not you. It’s...Jungkook.”

 

“What?” Seokjin pounds his fists on the couch cushions. “There must be something wrong with your vision if you think that little shit is more beautiful than I am,” he spits out haughtily.

 

Hoseok reaches over Seokjin to grab Namjoon by the collar. “Jungkook? Jeon Jungkook?”

 

Namjoon nods his head slowly, eyes growing weary. “Yeah, why?”

 

“Holy shit! That kid? He’s in a few of the dance classes I help out with!” Hoseok shakes Namjoon, his grip on the fabric of his friend’s shirt is vice-like. “Who let him out of daycare?” Hoseok pushes Namjoon back against the couch and lets out a hyena laugh, his eyes watering as his entire body shakes. “I can’t believe you’re in love with him of all people.”

 

“What?” Namjoon stares at him for a long time. “I’m not in love with him.”


Hoseok lets his body fall on Yoongi’s lap, who opens his arms for him to fit against. Hoseok hums contently. “You make no sense. You literally just admitted you can’t stop thinking about him.”

 

“It’s...more complicated than that. I’m not in love with him he’s my--”

 

“Oh my god,” Seokjin sits up with a mischievous grin, “he’s your roommate isn’t he?”

 

Namjoon nods slowly, looking down at his feet forlornly.

 

“The drama!” Seokjin gasps.

 

Yoongi throws a piece of popcorn at Seokjin for no apparent reason. Namjoon hears him mutter, “You ruined movie night with this shit,” before he’s sighing deeply. “You’re in love with your roommate, dude. You wouldn’t have brought it up if you weren’t.” Yoongi grabs the remote and presses play.

 

“Impossible.” Namjoon thinks aloud, “Love is an illusion. Every emotion you feel--every emotion you’ve ever  felt are literally just a bunch of chemical reactions in your head.”

 

“Yes, that’s all valid, Namjoon. But that doesn’t mean feelings aren’t important. That doesn’t make things any less real. You still feel how you feel and you can’t change that.”

 

“I mean, you’re right, you know?” Hoseok grabs some of Yoongi’s popcorn, tossing some into his mouth expertly. “What you’re saying is all true, but that would mean every emotion is an illusion, like--” Hoseok reaches over Seokjin and quickly slaps his hand down on Namjoon’s exposed thigh, earning a quick yelp from the other. Namjoon gets up off the couch when Hoseok swats his hand to smack him again when Namjoon grabs his hand in protest.

 

“What the fuck, Hobi?” His brows knit together.

 

Hoseok watches rage appear on Namjoon’s face, and then he’s smiling. “What you’re saying is true,” he reiterates, “but that would mean other emotions like anger and sadness and jealousy and disgust are illusions too. But you still feel them. They still exist to you. So emotions may just be synapses connecting in our brains-- or whatever you Bio majors talk about in your spare time-- but they still matter. You can’t deny that.”


Namjoon lets that sink in, staying silent. They turn their attention back to the movie until it’s done and Seokjin is groaning about having to wake up early. Namjoon takes it as his cue to leave, he stands up, his body feeling heavy as he waves goodnight to his friends.

 

Namjoon goes home more confused than ever, his chest feeling tight in all the wrong places, when he realizes just how lonely the walk is without a certain somebody by his side.

 

Pushing past his apartment door, Namjoon notes their TV is on with some rerun of an old anime playing with the volume turned low. Jungkook is fast asleep on the couch, a blanket slipping off of his body with his limbs hanging off the sofa. Namjoon smiles fondly at the sight, when he notices the plate of food with plastic wrap covering it waiting on top of the coffee table. He walks toward the sight and sees the little ‘R.M.’ written in sharpie right over it. Namjoon pushes down the creeping suspicion of why his heart hurts so badly.

 

 

When Namjoon can’t deal with a problem, he doesn’t. He runs away the first chance he gets. But with Jungkook, things aren’t that simple. Believe him, he’s tried.

 

The second he starts avoiding Jungkook, Jungkook hovers around him, the worried, concerned looks Namjoon gets every five minutes makes Namjoon uneasy with guilt. It’s not like avoiding Jungkook is even possible, they live together and share a room, now that they converted Hoseok’s old room into a studio. It’s frustrating (even though some sick, twisted part of Namjoon loves the way Jungkook dotes on him, loves how protective Jungkook gets over him when he’s feeling down) trying to push him away when Jungkook treats him with nothing but compassion and care.

 

When Namjoon stops eating breakfast and dinner with him, Jungkook goes out of his way to run to the store to buy Namjoon’s favorite drinks and snacks just to make sure he doesn’t go hungry while he’s working on lab reports and it’s infuriating. But what is there to be upset over when he has a literal angel like Jungkook watching over him? Jungkook has invaded every aspect of his life with his shy, bunny-like smile and wispy laugh that Namjoon just doesn’t have the power to deny.

 

Namjoon can’t bear to imagine the hurt that would spread across his face if Jungkook were to find out he’s purposefully trying to be distant because of him, so he stops with the aversion technique.

He figures his best bet is to bury his flame and keep their normal routine up, ignoring the burning feeling in his chest whenever Jungkook so much as looks his way.

 

 

It was Taehyung’s brilliant idea to go out. “It’ll be a celebration!” Taehyung slings his arm over Namjoon’s shoulder. “We’re finally done with midterms.”

 

“Maybe this will be your chance to pay for all of my drinks and make up for all those hours I spent tutoring you in Biology last semester. You did get your A,” Namjoon laughs.

 

Taehyung raises a brow, “That was so not our deal, hyung.”

 

“Let’s go to a club, I really wanna dance,” Jimin pouts. “I feel like I’ve been stuck in the library for a millennium.”

 

“You dance at the studio literally every fucking day,” Seokjin snorts.

 

“It’s totally different--”

 

They all wind up at some club in downtown. Namjoon never thought their friends would mesh well, the chaos they all bring when unified is something unlike anything he’s seen in his life, but they all manage to make it work. It’s interesting, how they all get along. And Namjoon feels pretty content, all of them laughing, drinks sloshing around sloppily over as the night progresses. Everything is fine. Everything is good. And when the liquor hits Namjoon just right, he turns around to see some stranger dancing with Jungkook.

 

His eyes are fixated on the way the guy grinds his hips against Jungkook’s, and Jungkook--he looks like he loves it. Namjoon wants to sneer, he wants to walk up to them and spew a litany of angry curses. He wants to look at Jungkook with hurt, questioning eyes.

 

But why would he be hurt?

He has no right to be angry when they’re nothing but roommates. They’re just roommates, Namjoon repeats to himself.

 

So he does what he does best and swallows his fears in a shot of vodka, burning strong at the back of his throat. The sensation lingers there just a bit, before he’s pushing himself off a barstool.

 

“You’re leaving?” Yoongi mouths at him. He’s dancing between Seokjin and Hoseok, who are both equally plastered and most definitely spilling drinks on the people around them. Everyone is way too drunk to notice. He nods his head at his friend, and he walks toward the exit, pushing his way through a thick wall of bodies. Namjoon only turns when he feels a hand on his shoulder.

 

His eyebrows shoot up. “What’s up, Jungkook-ah?”

 

Jungkook looks out of breath, his shirt and hair a tousled mess. Namjoon notices his swollen lips slicked with wetness and tries to not to think too much about it. He fails. He’s green with jealousy, but he tries to ignore it.

 

“You’re heading back already?” He asks after a beat.

 

“Yeah, I’m just kind of tired, y’know. It’s been a long week.” He shuffles his feet awkwardly, looking anywhere but at Jungkook. “I’ll see you at the apartment, alright?”

 

He shakes Jungkook’s hand off of his shoulder and almost gets away before Jungkook says, “I’ll go home too.”

 

“Why? Weren’t you dancing with someone?” Namjoon’s eyes flit between Jungkook and the spot he was just at minutes ago with a stranger hanging off of him. “Go have fun, don’t let me end your night early.” And Namjoon means it. He doesn’t want to drag Jungkook down into his mess, Namjoon wants Jungkook to enjoy whatever life has to offer him without thinking about Namjoon’s feelings.

 

But Jungkook shrugs in response. “I have fun with you, too y’know. Besides,” he adds with a grimace, “that guy wasn’t really my type.”

 

Namjoon can’t say he isn’t curious as to what Jungkook’s type is, but he doesn’t voice those thoughts aloud.

 

They’re not that drunk when they get home. “Do you want a beer or something?” Jungkook asks hesitantly after sitting in front of the TV for a while.

 

Namjoon knows the answer should be ‘no’, but when ‘yes please’, slips out his mouth, he doesn’t regret it.

 

Now they’re seven empty bottles of beers in and drunkenly laughing at a stupid advertisement on TV that they just can’t seem to comprehend at this stage of inebriation.

Jungkook hums, contemplating his options. It’s two in the morning on a Friday night, their options are pretty limited. “How about Ghost Adventures?”

 

“I’ll never be able to fall asleep,” Namjoon admits sheepishly. He honestly can’t believe he can even be bashful when he’s this drunk.

 

“Wanna watch Gravity Falls?”

 

“Right now?” Namjoon asks. “I’m too fucked up for that right now. Let’s watch something less crazy.”

 

“How about Drag Race then? We never finished it.”

 

Namjoon shakes his head. “I’m still upset over Valentina.”

 

Jungkook shakes his head, pain twisting on his features. “Rip. Aren’t we all?”

 

Namjoon and Jungkook laugh at the titles of some show on Lifetime they never would have dared to watch. “Pay-per-view?” Jungkook wiggles his brows at Namjoon who struggles to read the title of a show.

 

He squints a bit, mistaking it for the movie adaptation of a loveable fantasy, young adult series, before he sputters. “Harry Twotter and the Sorcerer’s Balls--what the fuck? Hell no. I feel like I need to douse myself in holy water after looking at the title alone. ”  

 

Jungkook skims through the channels, eyes widening when his eyes land on something they both agree on.

 

Jungkook gradually comes closer to Namjoon, his head falling on Namjoon’s shoulder when he lets out a body shaking laugh that practically steals Namjoon’s breath. His fingers trace little circles on the exposed areas of skin on Namjoon’s thighs. Namjoon suddenly loves his ripped jeans, ignoring how uncomfortable they’ve made him all night.

 

“Remind me again why we’re watching ‘Zootopia’ at four in the morning,” Namjoon asks, halfway through the movie when Jungkook’s head lolls forward, struggling to fight off sleep.

 

Jungkook wipes the drool at the side of his mouth. “Because we’re both closet furries. Surprise,” he slurs.

 

“Oh, sorry, I almost forgot,” Namjoon smirks. “Wanna go to bed now?” he asks, his eyes burning from staring blankly at the animated characters on screen while Jungkook snaps his head up for the fifth time since they put the movie on.

 

“No,” Jungkook protests. “Let’s watch another one, I’m not tired yet.” The pout on Jungkook’s face is really adorable, Namjoon admits, but he’s too drunk and too tired to care at the moment.

 

He sighs deeply. “Well, I’m gonna go if you aren’t.” Sluggishly standing up, Namjoon struggles to make his way out of the living room.

 

Jungkook whines when the warmth from beside him is gone. Namjoon shoots him a look, groaning in frustration. “What is it, you giant baby.”

 

Namjoon listens to the way the couch cushions shuffle just a bit. Then Jungkook’s fingers twist together in his lap. “Get kind of lonely when I’m drunk. I need to cuddle.” He looks up at Namjoon with those giant, giant eyes of his and Namjoon tastes something sour in his mouth.

 

Namjoon pretends he doesn’t know why the words come out of his mouth. “We can sleep together if you want.” Jungkook whips his head at him, his cheeks flushing fucking crimson that has Namjoon’s mind tumbling into a gutter. “Oh my god, Jungkook, not like that.”

 

Jungkook laughs and nods knowingly. “Sure,” he agrees, getting up only to stumble into Namjoon. They latch onto each other as they guide each other into their shared room.

 

Namjoon is in the middle of swapping his ripped jeans for a comfortable pair of loose-fitting sweats when Jungkook coughs from his side of the room. “Can I borrow some clothes? All of mine are dirty,” he says, holding up a pair of presumably stained pants.

 

Namjoon shakes his head with a dry chuckle. He tosses Jungkook a pair of shorts and the softest t-shirt he owns.

 

They change in near silence, Jungkook slipping his clothes off to swap for Namjoon’s large t-shirt. He doesn’t put the shorts on because “They’re too restricting. Sleeping in underwear is way more comfortable, hyung”.

 

Namjoon’s shirt is a bit loose on Jungkook, but it fits, only hanging off of him around the neckline. He looks delicate, breakable, but Namjoon knows that there are defined muscles underneath the article of clothing that he’s seen countless times. Namjoon’s eyes dart away when Jungkook catches him staring, and Namjoon’s not sure if it’s the alcohol but he swears he sees Jungkook’s lips curve up just a bit. Namjoon throws down the pair of dirty socks in his hands in a fit, then climbs into his bed, followed closely behind by Jungkook. Namjoon immediately moves to the side against the wall, pressing his body as close to it as possible. Even in his drunken state, he knows that staying away from Jungkook is probably for the best. And the younger has the decency to stay on one side, with the exception of his feet. Jungkook’s feet are on his, cold to the touch.

 

Namjoon hisses, “Get your frozen-ass feet away off of me.”

 

Jungkook laughs, “Warm me up, hyung. I’ll get frostbite.”

 

Namjoon forgoes all the thoughts he had about keeping his distance when he hears the pleading in Jungkook’s voice. He turns to him with his arms spread open and Jungkook immediately shuffles his body close to him. Namjoon’s body is stiff, unsure of what he’s doing, but when Jungkook’s arms wrap around Namjoon’s waist and Namjoon can feel the rise and fall of his chest, he lets his own arms relax, pulling Jungkook closer. It feels right. Everything is warm and full and it may be near five o’clock in the morning, but he swears he’s never seen sunlight until this very moment. Jungkook’s eyelashes fan across his cheeks, and Namjoon’s heart pounds an erratic beat in his chest.

 

“Why aren’t you sleeping yet?” Jungkook asks, his words coming out a garbled mess.

 

Namjoon tries to shrug, but the weight of Jungkook’s head on his shoulder prevents him from doing so. “I snore, so you should probably sleep first.”

 

Jungkook attempts to shake his head, but he makes a noise of suspicion instead. “I know you do, but that’s never stopped you from snoring before. Don’t lie to me.”

 

There’s a pause, nothing but the summer breeze filtering through their window and their half-broken fan whirring across the room. It takes a while, but Namjoon eventually breaks the silence. “....You make me nervous,” he whispers after a while.


He’s not sure if he’s confessing that to Jungkook or himself.

Namjoon looks down at Jungkook, but he’s already asleep, lips barely grazing the skin on  Namjoon’s neck.

 

 

Jungkook is gone by the time Namjoon wakes up, half of the bed a complete wreck, pillows scattered on the floor like a tornado hit--like Jungkook had left in a hurry. Namjoon rubs sleep out of his eyes, unperturbed. Jungkook would have a full-blown meltdown if he doesn’t get his early-morning Sunday workout done. It’d almost be as bad as if he didn’t get to do his morning jogs around the complex during the weekdays.  


Namjoon fixes his bed, barely, before stretching his sore limbs. His head throbs, but he half expected it, what with how much he’d drank the night before. He vaguely recalls the beer and a talk about furries, and then he finally gets up to brush his teeth and wash up.

 

He runs the shower, making sure it’s nice and warm before he steps in. He feels a sense of euphoria as he stands under the refreshing spray of water. Namjoon recalls last night in bits and pieces, but what he remembers most is the warmth of a body pressed snug against him. Namjoon smiles to himself. He’s keeping that memory for sure.

 

He heads straight to the kitchen where he has a protein shake and a plate waiting for him. When Jungkook makes breakfast, he always makes extra for Namjoon, which, he’s incredibly thankful for. It saves them the trouble of having to replace kitchen appliances, since Namjoon literally manages to find new ways to break things every week. He pays for groceries, so he figures it’s an even trade off.  He heats up his food (no foil this time) and sips at his shake, humming quietly to himself as he looks through his notifications on his phone.

 

Taehyung-ah 9:09 am

so im assuming u know now?
im coming over lol i hope u have food

 

Namjoon stares down at the messages in confusion. Know about what? Why is Taehyung coming over? He’s about to reply when a few knocks on his door tell him he’s too late.

 

Once Taehyung’s made up his mind, there’s no changing it.

Opening the door, Namjoon is greeted with a drained face but a wide grin. “Hyung, looking dapper as usual.”

 

“What’s this about?”

 

“I’m paying you back for that ‘A’ you helped me get in Bio,” he points at Namjoon. “This is about last night. This is about how you were glaring daggers at that rando who was dancing with Jungkook. This is about emotions--raw, powerful, emotions. Are you with me, hyung?”

 

“No? Yes? I’m way too hungover and you’re speaking way too fast for this to be making sense to me right now.” Namjoon rubs his temples. “What’s going on?”

 

“I’m going to help you,” Taehyung says simply.

 

“With what?” Namjoon thinks hard about what Taehyung could possibly assist him with. But then he recalls a conversation. “Does this have to do with that time you told me to come to you when I ‘knew’?”

 

“Ah, great!” Taehyung grins wildly, “So you know!”

 

“Know what?”

 

“You know what to tell Jungkook.”

 

“Tell Jungkook what, Taehyung? What am I missing here?” Namjoon wants to tear his hair out. Taehyung is truly an enigma to him, but when he talks to Namjoon about Jungkook, it’s like he’s entered the fifth dimension.

 

“Tell him that you like him,” Taehyung says it like it’s the most obvious thing in the world, but Namjoon just looks at him like he’s birthed a child out of his mouth. He feels his whole world freeze around him.

 

“How can I like him?” Namjoon asks in a quiet whisper. “We’re just roommates.”

 

Taehyung waves his hand dismissively. “I live with Jimin and we’re dating.”

 

But that’s different, Namjoon wants to say. He thinks for a second, finding the loophole. “You two were together way before you moved in with each other, that’s not the same.”

 

“Well, what about Yoongi, Seokjin, and Hobi-hyung.”

 

“What about them?” Namjoon asks bitterly. He knows better than anyone the story of how Yoongi and Hoseok met. “Yoongi and Hoseok were together way before Hoseok moved in with them.”

 

“Yeah,” Taehyung agrees, continuing slowly, “but Seokjin-hyung and Yoongi-hyung were roommates before the three of them started hooking up.”

 

Namjoon gives him a funny look. “What do you mean…? The three of them…?”

 

Just then, Jungkook comes through the door in his workout clothes--a loose fitting tank top and gym shorts that are way too short and way too tight for Namjoon’s to look at. He’s sweaty and his muscles look particularly bigger than normal, post-workout and thankfully Taehyung is there to cough and startle Namjoon out of his thoughts. He smirks at Namjoon knowingly then turns back to Jungkook. “‘sup, Kookie?”

 

Jungkook looks between the two of them cautiously, like he really doesn’t trust Taehyung around Namjoon. He scans the room anxiously, before he settles on speaking. “Just worked out. What are you doing here?”

 

“Leaving,” Taehyung says, and then he does, but not before tossing Namjoon the most indiscreet wink in the world.

 

Namjoon stares at the door moments after Taehyung leaves, ignoring Jungkook’s piercing gaze. He looks down at the ground, reluctantly. He’s trying not to think about Jungkook’s body because he’s standing right in front of him. Namjoon settles for sitting down on their couch instead, and thinks about when he started thinking about everything in their apartment as ‘theirs’ instead of just ‘his’--he wonders when this apartment became a home to him. And then Jungkook is next to him, sitting on the couch without a word.

 

Namjoon forgets how to speak for a moment, searching his thoughts for a way to start a conversation when remembers what Taehyung had said earlier. “Are Yoongi-hyung, Jin-hyung and Hoseok really…? Uh…?”

 

Jungkook watches Namjoon struggle with his thoughts a fond expression on his face. “You mean together?” He gives Namjoon an expecting look. “Uh, duh? Did you not know that?”

 

Namjoon sits in shock, realization coming to light as he recalls how weird the three of them have been lately. “Apparently I don’t know a lot of things…but everything makes much more sense now,” Namjoon says. “Anyway, I’m surprised you left early this morning. How did you manage to go to the gym after drinking so much last night?”

 

Jungkook’s eyes widen, his lips stitching shut. Namjoon thinks he’s about to throw up questionable contents from his hangover, but before he knows it, Jungkook blurts out the words like vomit instead. “I lied.”

 

Namjoon scrunches his eyebrows together. “About?”

 

“I didn’t go to the gym. I just…” Namjoon watches Jungkook run a hand through his hair, his fingers tugging lightly at it until his eyes lock with Namjoon’s, like he’s searching for something in Namjoon. “...I shouldn’t have done this but i panicked.” His voice is hushed, he leans in closer to Namjoon, his eyes nervous as his eyes shift between his bag and Namjoon.

 

Namjoon can hear the blood rushing through his body, and hears the nervous hitch in Jungkook’s breath, his cheeks flushed and it’s ten degrees colder in the room as Jungkook reaches into his gym bag.

 

“I found these on your desk,” he pulls out the papers with trembling hands, and it’s like he’s pushed Namjoon into the Arctic Sea, his very own lyrics stare back up at him. Lyrics specifically about bunny teeth and crinkly smiles and a boy who has every solar system in his eyes.

“I didn’t mean to look, I swear,” Jungkook rubs his arms timidly. “I was just putting your clothes away, and I saw my name at the top of this paper and, well, curiosity got the best of me...and I…” His cheeks are incredibly red, and Namjoon can see him break into a sweat. “...these lyrics, hyung. They’re about me, right?”

 

Namjoon feels his heart stop beating for a split second.

Holy shit.

Holy shit the lyrics he wrote about Jungkook. There’s no easy way out of this, he knows it. Namjoon wrote Jungkook’s name at the top of those lyrics. He left himself vulnerable in those words, spilled across pages and pages. He feels completely bare, he put everything into those lyrics--pent up emotions that even he couldn’t decipher are all splattered on them, and Namjoon basically served them on a silver platter to Jeon Jungkook himself.  

 

This is what it must feel like to float in space, a whole universe in front of him but he can’t find oxygen to breathe. He doesn’t have the strength to, and now he’s going to combust. It’s funny but not even the moon is laughing at him now.

 

Namjoon stands up quickly. “I need to go.”

 

Jungkook reaches for Namjoon’s hand but Namjoon snatches it away. “Can you hear me out?” Jungkook practically begs and hearing the sound of his voice this way breaks Namjoon’s heart. “Please don’t run away from this.” He looks at Namjoon, face contorted with confusion and hurt. “I get it, okay? I know you’re used to doing that, running away, and it… it works for you, I guess. But not in this situation, not for me.” Jungkook just shakes his head. “Please don’t run away from me.”

 

All Namjoon can do is stare back at Jungkook, his mind racing as he tries to piece together a puzzle he’s been trying desperately hard to complete. “I don’t-- I don’t know what any of this means.”

 

“Namjoon-hyung,” Jungkook blushes, he runs his hand over his own thigh. “You literally wrote that my body awakened your biggest fantasies--”

 

“--that was just for the audience y’know??” Hurriedly, he makes up an unconvincing excuse. “Have you heard stuff on the radio? Everything is sexual now!” Namjoon stumbles over his words, cheeks heating up.

 

Jungkook’s grip on the paper is tight. He reads a line, “‘A piece only shared between you and me, say to me--’ ” Namjoon immediately snatches the paper away, cheeks burning in embarrassment.

 

“I know what I wrote,” Namjoon covers his face with his hands. “You weren’t supposed to see that.”

 

Namjoon lifts his head up to see Jungkook biting his bottom lip, a nervous, irresistible  habit of his. “I’m happy I saw it, if we’re being completely honest,” Jungkook smiles bashfully, and then he stills for just a moment. “The things you said in these lyrics...they’re not exactly what people usually say about their friends.”

 

The world stops spinning, like it’s patiently waiting for Namjoon to catch up with it. And it takes a beat (months, actually) but it finally clicks somewhere in his brain.  

“Oh my god,” Namjoon gushes, “I really am in love with you, aren’t I?”

 

Jungkook stammers back, “What?? I don’t know, oh my god, why are you asking me?”

 

“I’ve never--” He huffs, frustrated. “I don’t know what to do or what to make of these feelings, but I guess it makes sense?” Namjoon searches for the right words, his mind a scattered mess. “I’m sorry, this is just a lot of information to process.”

 

“For someone so smart, you’re really dense, hyung.” And then Jungkook is in front of him, his hand reaching up to cup Namjoon’s cheek, with the other on the back of his neck when Jungkook pulls Namjoon toward him. Their lips touch softly, unsurely but pleasantly. When they break apart Namjoon’s sure he’s about to blackout if he’s not already dreaming.

He pinches himself once, then lets out a tiny gasp. “Oh.”

Jungkook giggles. “Oh?”

“I...that was good. Let’s do that again?”

Jungkook nods his head fervently, licking his lips as he smiles. “Definitely. As many times as you want.”

Kissing Jungkook is addicting, he’s a craving, and Namjoon just wants more and more. Now that he’s gotten a taste, he doesn’t think he’ll ever stop.

 

Jungkooks lips are soft and wet on his, and Namjoon feels Jungkook adjust himself, shifting over to straddles Namjoon’s thighs, his own muscles stretching out the tight gym shorts--a sight that renders Namjoon’s throat dry. Namjoon raises his head to gaze at Jungkook. “This okay?” He asks, albeit, a bit hesitantly, as if this whole dream-like scenario could be ripped away from him at any given moment. Jungkook’s eyes are glossed over, lips parted slightly as he lets out a cute bob of his head. “Yeah, this is more than okay, I’ve...wanted this for so long,” he breathes out, with a strained laugh at the end of his sentence.

 

Jungkook grinds his hips down against Namjoon's experimentally, testing Namjoon's reaction. Namjoon lets out a low groan, moving his hips upward in small gyrations until they find a pace together, Jungkook pants into Namjoon's ear, holding himself up with one arm gripping the back of the sofa while the other softly caresses Namjoon's cheek. "How long?" Namjoon asks absentmindedly, pressing opened mouthed kisses against the nape of Jungkook's neck, adoring the way Jungkook shivers with each one.

 

"M-Months, hyung. God, too long--" he whines against Namjoon's mouth, pressing their lips together desperately when Namjoon cants his hips up quicker.

 

Registering what Jungkook's said, Namjoon stills. "Months?" They've been living together for a little over four now, but Namjoon thought it'd only been him feeling this way for so long.

 

Jungkook shies away, ducking his head to avoid further embarrassment. "I used to see you around the music department, like, two semesters ago? I don't know," he huffs out a breath, voice growing frustrated. "it was hard not noticing you, hyung, you're so... hot."

 

Namjoon replays the words in his head, before he pushes Jungkook's chest back a bit, holding onto Jungkook's hip with one hand. "I'm hot?" he sputters. "Have you seen yourself??"

 

Jungkook covers his flushed face with his hands, "Stop, I'm embarrassed... I just, I never would have imagined any of this would happen."

 

"Why didn't you tell me?" Namjoon laughs, suddenly elated with this new information. It's relieving to know Jungkook's had some sort of infatuation with him. It makes this feel less rushed, less of a one-time thing. Because God, he really hopes that's not what Jungkook wants.

 

"I don't know...I met you and then we became roommates and I just--" Jungkook sighs, running a hand over his thigh. "--at first when I asked you if I could move in it was just a tiny crush, right? I saw you on campus and just admired you, but then you turned out to be--" he gestures toward Namjoon, "--so sweet and funny and endearing and you make me really happy so..." Jungkook ends lamely, rubbing his arm.

 

Namjoon literally can't believe this. he's smiling so wide, completely smitten.

 

“What are you going to do about it now?”

 

Jungkook leans down, a embarrassed smile suddenly playing at his pink, slicked lips, and he whispers. “...I want you to make me forget my name.”

 

And Namjoon surges up to meet his lips, and Jungkook fucking smiles into the kiss, the shy boy from earlier most definitely gone as he pushes Namjoon back against the couch, rutting his hips down quickly, fumbling with Namjoon’s shirt.

 

“Can we…? Uh, room?” Namjoon quite literally forgets how to speak, it’s damn near impossible when he has Jungkook grinding down on his erection, spewing filthy little noises into his ear as he tries to get himself off. Jungkook groans, letting his forehead fall against Namjoon’s shoulder. Jungkook pushes off of him, pulling the both of them off the couch, before Jungkook is hoisting Namjoon up, carrying him over his shoulders so that Namjoon ‘s face is directly in line with Jungkook’s incredibly firm ass. Despite the blood rushing to his head, he can’t find it in himself to even complain. Then he’s practically tossed onto the bed, Jungkook kicking the door shut behind him with his foot.

 

Namjoon watches Jungkook tear his clothes off quickly, figuring he should probably do the same. Jungkook eyes him when he carefully peels off his sweatpants, peering down at himself self consciously, before Jungkook’s throat bobs just a bit. Namjoon watches Jungkook’s eyes rake over his body, and it sends Namjoon’s mind spiraling.

 

“Wow,” Jungkook stares down at him hungrily, “thighs.” Jungkook’s voice cracks.

 

Namjoon’s heart swells.

 

He lets out a choked laugh, opening his arms wide for Jungkook to slip into. Jungkook pulls Namjoon’s waist toward him gently, bringing their bodies closer together. They’re both in their boxers, erections clearly straining. Namjoon tugs down at Jungkook’s boxers, palming the younger, drinking in the way Jungkook groans in response. He breathes heavily against Namjoon’s neck, wrapping his arms around it to bring their lips together. Jungkook pulls Namjoon on top of him, their mouths moving against each other languidly. They take their time, working each other up again--but it doesn’t take long before they stop kissing, both of them panting heavily against each other’s mouths.

 

“How do you want it?” Namjoon asks, suddenly hesitant.

 

“Don’t care, just want it,” Jungkook bites down on Namjoon’s collar bone, ripping a low moan from Namjoon in response.

 

“Fuck,” Namjoon hisses out. “Fuck, okay. Do you have…?” he searches for the words, but Jungkook beats him to it.

 

“Drawer. Check the drawer.”

 

Namjoon reaches over to the nightstand in between their beds, opening the bottom drawer carelessly. He rummages around until he hears the foil crinkle around. He pulls out the condom and Jungkook hops off the bed to find the lube.

 

“We’re doing this?” Jungkook asks Namjoon, excitement in his eyes.

 

Namjoon chuckles. “Don’t make it weird.”

 

Jungkook lets his back hit Namjoon’s pillows with a sigh. “It’s not weird, it’s just surreal. This time last year I was just admiring you from afar, but now you’re kneeling in front of me with all this love in your eyes and I…” he pulls a pillow over his head. “I...can’t believe it’s happening."

 

Namjoon presses his forehead against Jungkook’s and just stares at him. “You okay there, baby?”

 

Jungkook’s eyes widen, mouth going slack at the name. He nods his head vigorously, then he’s driving his lips against Namjoon’s--and everything is sweet, exhilarating. Namjoon rolls over, falling between Jungkook’s spread thighs, stuck in a trance as he admires Jungkook’s flushed features as he lays beneath him. They haven’t even started, not really, but Jungkook’s chest is heaving, rising and falling in anticipation.

 

And Namjoon can’t believe he did this.

Namjoon made Jungkook like this.

 

He kisses Jungkook’s lips once, then he’s trailing down sucking dark bruises on Jungkook’s neck that have him rolling his hips up. He lets out a little whimper when he notices Namjoon’s lips ghosting over his clothed erection. Namjoon mouths at the straining cock in Jungkook’s briefs, breathing hotly against it before sucking down on the damp spot right at the tip.

 

Jungkook lets out a pained whimper, “Hyung.”

 

Namjoon sucks at the fabric lightly for just a few moments, then he prods Jungkook’s thighs apart further, kissing gently at sensitive skin on the inner corner of his thigh. Jungkook groans against Namjoon’s pillow. “You’re really going to make me wait longer?” His voice comes out strained.

 

Namjoon bites down on the flesh, a little bit harder than intended, but the sharp gasp that Jungkook lets out is surprisingly worth it. He nibbles on it lightly in apology, before he’s dragging Jungkook’s briefs down. Jungkook kicks them off completely, like he was ridding himself of evil.

Namjoon runs his tongue over his lips, staring down at Jungkook’s pink, swollen dick and he can’t wait to get his mouth on it.

So he doesn’t.

He takes it into his hand, licking up Jungkook’s length in one clean, wet stripe. Jungkook shudders, a shallow moan erupting from his lips as he props himself up on his elbows to get a better view. Namjoon sucks around the base of his length, working up the courage to take Jungkook all in his mouth. It’s been a while, he’s not entirely sure about his technique, but he figures he should probably stop thinking about the perfect angle he should suck dick at and just do it instead.

 

He runs his lips over the tip lightly, teasing over the slit before laving over it to taste the salty bead of precum on the tip of his tongue. Namjoon swirls his tongue around for just a second, and then he’s parting his lips, wrapping them around its head completely, and all he hears are the breathy noises Jungkook’s emitting above him, he drinks it all up.

He hollows his cheeks, slowly taking Jungkook’s length down his throat, until his mouth is  filled completely. Jungkook presses his fist against his mouth to keep himself from moaning, but it does nothing to stop the small whimpers bubbling out. “Fuck,” he whispers, pupils blown wide. Namjoon gets used to the stretch of his lips, his eyes burn just a bit when he feels Jungkook’s cock hit the back of his throat, but the burn of his mouth turns pleasant, and all he can think about is how Jungkook is doing his best job of trying not to thrust up into his mouth.

 

He hears the suppressed whines and it almost makes his heart break. Almost. Namjoon can say with utmost certainty he takes some pleasure in watching Jungkook’s cheeky self writhe in desperation. He swallows tightly around Jungkook’s cock, bobbing his head just a bit faster just to watch Jungkook’s reaction as a loud moan rips out of him.

 

He arches his back, planting his feet firmly against the bed, his toes curling in pleasure as Namjoon hums around him. Jungkook lets out a broken sob, before he involuntarily bucks into the heat of Namjoon’s mouth. His eyes widen as he lets out a quick apology at the sudden movement, but Namjoon just looks up at him, popping off his dick in one smooth movement.

 

“‘s Okay,” his voice is wrecked, gravelly and low and Namjoon thinks it feels awful, now that Jungkook’s dick is gone, but he doesn’t say anything because suddenly Jungkook’s breath fucking hitches. He makes a noise in the back of his throat that has Namjoon delirious with pleasure.

 

He runs his tongue over his lips, a sheen of spit covering them as he goes back down to take the tip of his head into his mouth, locking eyes with Jungkook all the while. Jungkook’s thighs bracket Namjoon’s head, tensed and sweaty. He tries to relax, but all he wants to watch those plump, wet lips work around his cock so badly. He pushes another pillow under his back, propping himself up better.

 

“You can fuck my mouth a bit,” Namjoon says, “I don’t mind.”

Jungkook wants that. He really, really wants that. “I-I’ll come though…”

 

Namjoon raises a brow. “So?”

 

Jungkook has never been this goddamn hard in his fucking life. He watches Namjoon’s mouth slink back onto his cock, his eyelashes fluttering over his cheeks, mouth open and pliant and Jungkook can’t take it. He moves his hips in fluid motions, letting himself succumb to the warmth of Namjoon’s mouth. It’s messy and wet and the sounds they make together have Jungkook biting down on his arm. He whimpers, feeling hot tears prick at the corners of his eyes because it’s so fucking good. The sight of Namjoon’s lips curling around him is obscene, and he feels like this may be the best lucid dream he could have ever conjured up. But it’s not. Not when Namjoon is moaning against his dick and he can feel every single vibration.

 

Namjoon sucks down on Jungkook with each thrust, driving Jungkook closer and closer to his orgasm. Namjoon squeezes one of Jungkook’s thighs, his nails digging into the sensitive skin. Jungkook shivers in response, and the way Namjoon swallows around in is enough. Namjoon’s lips part open. “Come,” he says dangerously, his eyes narrowed, cheeks flushed pink, and Jungkook thinks he never stood a chance. Namjoon’s hand squeezes tightly at the base of his dick and his mouth gives him one last, long suck.

 

He spurts into Namjoon’s mouth, and Namjoon pops off of him, letting come and saliva dribble down his chin, staining his thick, swollen pink lips white.

 

Jungkook curses refractory periods as he watches Namjoon lick his come off his lips. Jungkook leans forward to kiss Namjoon, licking off the excess. Namjoon groans softly, moving up the bed to fall against Jungkook. “Good?” He grins.

 

“Incredible,” Jungkook sighs contently against Namjoon’s chest, pressing his lips to his chest.

 

Namjoon buries his face in Jungkook’s hair as Jungkook slips his leg between Namjoon’s thighs, his knee pressing gently against Namjoon’s cock. Namjoon lets out a shaky breath, holding onto Jungkook tighter. A few minutes pass, Namjoon's face pressed against Jungkook's neck, nipping lightly at the skin, smiling when Jungkook mewls at his touch. “Hyung,” Jungkook says, finally, kissing Namjoon’s jaw lightly until he grows impatient. “Fuck me, yeah?”

 

Namjoon lets out a short, subdued moan, Jungkook’s knee pressing right up against his erection, much less gently this time.

 

Namjoon feels around for the condom, his hands shaking as he nervously as he tries to tear it open. Jungkook holds back a snort, instead reaching up to rub Namjoon’s shoulder soothingly.

 

“Let me.” He takes the condom impatiently, tearing the foil with his teeth and Namjoon doesn’t think he’s seen any sight hotter than that. Jungkook pushes Namjoon’s boxers down quickly, his erection springing up against his stomach.

 

He muffles a moan with the back of his hand, and then Jungkook is slipping the condom on Namjoon’s dick, squeezing the base of his length when he finally manages to get it on. Namjoon bites down on his lower lip, thighs tensing when Jungkook gives him a few thick strokes. Namjoon’s hips buck once, before he grabs the bottle from Jungkook, pouring just enough onto his fingers to warm it up.

 

“Ready?” Namjoon asks, an eyebrow cocked in question, Jungkook’s voice catches in his throat when he feels Namjoon trace a cold, slicked finger around his rim.

 

He swallows down a choked ‘Yes, please’.

 

Namjoon pushes his finger around the ring of muscle, watching Jungkook’s face scrunch up for a minute, his body wriggling uncomfortably until he’s pushing his hips against it, trying to work it deeper inside him. Namjoon gulps, thickly, adding more lube to push a second finger in.

 

It’s wet, squelching with lube with each twist of his fingers, the sounds of skin against skin making his cheeks burn. The thick aroma of sweat and sex engulfs him, and it only entices him more, especially with the way Jungkook casts his hooded eyes up at him.

 

He runs his other hand over Jungkook’s tensed thigh, leaning down to press kisses against Jungkook’s hip bone. Namjoon stretches Jungkook out, scissoring him before he’s pushing in a third finger, watching the way Jungkook keens at the burn. “Joon,” his voice comes out strained, trying to push his legs together, because it’s all just too much. His senses are crowded and now Namjoon’s mouth is on his, he’s fucking Jungkook open with his long, slender fingers and his mouth is on Jungkook’s easing all the anxiousness away. Namjoon watches the way Jungkook unravels in front of him, turning into a shaking mess right before his eyes. “I’m good now, please, I need it. Want it, please.”

 

Namjoon breaks apart their kiss, breathless and panting hotly against Jungkook’s mouth. “You sure?”

 

“Yes,” Jungkook huffs impatiently. “Yes, I’m so fucking sure.”

 

He makes a grab for the neglected bottle of lube by Jungkook’s side and slicks himself up generously. “You really like it wet, huh?” Jungkook chuckles, completely winded.

 

Namjoon nods his head jerkily, lips curving upward. “Like how it sounds.”

 

Jungkook swallows thickly then takes him in his hand, squeezing around the head of Namjoon’s dick and Namjoon’s vision goes a little hazy as he bucks into Jungkook’s wrist. Jungkook watches him; jaw hanging slack as he flicks his wrist expertly.

He’s pretty much an expert, he’s jerked off enough times while living with Namjoon to be one.

 

Namjoon reluctantly pries Jungkook’s hand off him, lining himself with Jungkook’s entrance. He runs his hands over Jungkook’s thighs again --this time for himself, just because he loves the way Jungkook shivers at his touch-- with a reassuring smile playing on his lips. A barely suppressed moan slips out of Jungkook’s lips and Namjoon’s dick twitches at the sound.

 

Jungkook wraps his arms around Namjoon’s neck, his fingers kneading at the taut muscles of his shoulders. He presses a chaste peck to Namjoon’s lips.

“Relax,” Jungkook says. Namjoon feels a little silly, letting the younger be the one to reassure him when he’s the one who’ll… he’s going to fuck Jungkook. He never realized how nerve-wracking this moment would be up until this point. Breathing out shakily, he leans down to bite at the junction of Jungkook’s neck, sucking on the tender area as he pushes himself inside. Jungkook tenses around him, his thighs coiling around Namjoon’s hips, his moan muffled against Namjoon’s shoulder.

 

Namjoon stills, breathing raggedly into Jungkook’s ear. Jungkook rolls his hips once, fucking himself on Namjoon’s cock, grinding their hips together with short, subdued moans.

 

Namjoon gets a hold of reality, sliding deeper into Jungkook, his grip strong as he lifts Jungkook’s thighs up to get a better angle, preening at the way Jungkook arches his back off the bed. He closes in on Jungkook, pressing his length further and further into him.

 

“There,” Jungkook moans loudly, grasping at the sheets--at anything he can get his hands on. He covers his mouth to stifle the moans, but his efforts are fruitless, Namjoon pounds into him, and he throws his head back against his pillow. He reaches for his neglected, leaking cock, precum dripping onto his stomach and pumps himself.

Namjoon growls lowly, his voice setting Jungkook’s mind ablaze. “Don’t come yet, not this time.”

Jungkook trembles with anticipation. “Or what?” He says, almost defiantly if he weren’t already so breathless and pliant under Namjoon.

 

But Namjoon mercilessly drives himself against that same spot, fucking into Jungkook relentlessly, messily in response. Jungkook’s mouth goes slack at the wet sounds, moaning Namjoon’s name unabashedly and all he can think about is how much of an incoherent mess Namjoon has turned him into. He latches onto Namjoon, with a frustrated grunt, “Harder, please.”

 

Namjoon slows his hips, his thrusts shallow and short and most certainly not enough from the way Jungkook whines beneath him.

“Please?” he hums noncommittally, “You going to work for it?” He doesn’t know where this new attitude comes from, but Jungkook moans at the way his voice drops an octave, so he can’t exactly question himself right now.

“Let me ride it.”


Namjoon’s swears his eyes roll back into his head and he feels his soul being pried out from his body. He’s never really believed in god until this very second but he’s thanking whoever is up there and nods his head frantically, arms wrapping around Jungkook’s chest to roll them over. Jungkook lets Namjoon slip out, then climbs back on his, his body curving against Namjoon’s as he laps up a trail of sweat on Namjoon’s neck. Jungkook traces his jawline, then takes Namjoon’s lower lip between his teeth, nibbling on it until it’s particularly bruised. Jungkook’s touch makes Namjoon go a little weak, he can barely move his hands to squeeze at Jungkook’s ass. But when he does, Jungkook lets out a delicious groan, rolling his hips down for their erections to rub against each other. They gasp together, their bodies slick with sweat.

 

Jungkook reaches behind him, giving Namjoon a pump, before he’s aligning himself with Namjoon’s cock, sinking back down onto it, letting his mouth fall open. Namjoon stares at him, his hair dampened with sweat, matted against his forehead, bruises blossoming all over his neck and chest and thighs and god, Namjoon squirms when he bottoms out. He ruts against Jungkook, barely waiting for him to get adjusted, jolting up quickly. Jungkook lets out a loud voice, his body rocking down against Namjoon in the most sensual way.

The quick sway of his hips has him hitting his prostate, drawing out the loudest moans he’s ever heard himself make. He feels like he should be embarrassed, but Namjoon is smiling cockily, his tongue running over his lips and Jungkook is sure it’s turning him on. Jungkook leans back, his hands finding purchase on Namjoon’s knees to hold himself up. Namjoon pushes in and out in erratic thrusts, they’re completely out of sync but they don’t care-- it feels too good to care.

 

“Namjoon--h-hyung, fuck,” Jungkook rushes out, his words coming out a jumbled mess. “Come, I need to come--” he bites down on his own lip hard. “Fuck. Please, please,” he’s babbling now, his breaths coming out short with each thrust and it only makes Namjoon fuck up deeper into him, relentless with his pace, feeling the telltale coiling of his arousal in the pit of his stomach.

 

“So loud for me, baby,” Namjoon leans up to kiss Jungkook, swallowing down his moans, feeling the saliva drip down his own chin. “Tell me what you want again?”

 

Jungkook hiccups out a whimper, his fingers curling as they scratch down against Namjoon’s skin, blunt nails digging into his back. “Please, please, please,” he begs, nearly incomprehensible. “Wanna come,” Jungkook cries out, “make me come, hyung.”

 

Namjoon pushes himself in and out with rapid, short thrusts, and Jungkook rolling his hips down, slamming down against Namjoon again and again and again to get him deeper inside of Jungkook. And Jungkook? Jungkook wants to be so full of Namjoon, he wants it so, so badly.

 

Jungkook’s voice is dipped so low, vowels slurring together as he turns into a babbling mess, frantically chasing his own orgasm as he bounces on Namjoon’s cock, taking him so far up his ass he sees stars.

 

He lets out sharp gasps, lube squelching sloppy and noisily with each slap of skin, Jungkook lets out a silent scream. Namjoon seizes their lips together, Jungkook’s cries melting into his mouth when Jungkook’s gasps come quicker and closer together.  

 

Strings of “please” are hiccupped over and over again, and Namjoon eats it up, burying himself as deep as he can get, the rhythm and pace increasingly unsteady. Namjoon reaches around to squeeze at Jungkook’s asscheeks but Jungkook stops him, grabbing his hands to pin them over Namjoon’s head as he uses the older to fuck himself open, involuntarily bouncing harder and harder on Namjoon’s length.

 

Namjoon lets out a low curse, then he’s ripping his hand out of Jungkook’s weakening grip to wrap his hand tightly around Jungkook’s incredibly hard dick. He keeps his grip tight on the base of Jungkook’s cock to keep him from coming. “You’ve been so good, Jungkook-ah,” he says softly. “Just a bit more, yeah?”  Jungkook’s hips stutter, a broken gasp pouring from his lips. He shakes as he rolls his hips down, trying to time it with Namjoon’s long, slow pumps.

“Yes,” he cries. “Been so good, please let me come.”

Namjoon hums, flicking his wrist faster and fucking up into Jungkook, before Jungkook’s body goes rigid and he’s squeezing around Namjoon’s cock, sending waves of pleasure up Namjoon’s spine.

 

He comes hard, a choked whine spilling from his mouth when he releases himself in Namjoon’s hand, body trembling when Namjoon kisses his lips.

 

Jungkook keeps his pace steady, even afterward despite the oversensitivity, tightening up when Namjoon’s groans come quicker. Namjoon rests his hands on Jungkook’s ass, he stares at Jungkook working himself on his cock, sending him a lazy, dopey smile. Then Jungkook is leaning forward, kissing him sweetly. And it’s enough. It’s more than enough. Namjoon comes with Jungkook’s name on his lips.

 

They look at each other for a moment, both of them with stupid grins on their faces before laughs come bubbling out of them. Jungkook slowly eases of Namjoon, then rolls to his side. Namjoon turns to him, propping himself up on one elbow. “So,” he starts, with a teasing grin, “praise kink, Jungkook-ah? Cute.”

 

“Shut the fuck up and never tell a soul,” Jungkook flushes.

 

Namjoon tosses his head back, snorting into his pillow. “Wouldn’t dream of it. I’m keeping that all to myself.”

 

Jungkook nuzzles his face in Namjoon’s neck.

When Namjoon wakes up from his nap later on at the peak of daylight with dried come on his fingers and Jungkook groaning about being too sticky and too hot, the two of them laughing into each other’s mouths, he thinks, for the first time in a while, that he’s completely content.

 

“You’re doing this, then?” Jungkook asks him, a smile on his face when with their fingers intertwined.

 

Namjoon looks over at the front desk of the music department, a registration form clutched in his hand. “Picking up a minor during my senior year? A bad idea, maybe, but I think I have enough credit to make it work.”

 

Jungkook squeezes his hand in his. “You love music too much not to make it work.”

 

“I know.”

 

“Proud of you, though,” Jungkook smiles.

 

Namjoon wraps his arm around Jungkook’s shoulder, leaning down to press his lips to the tuft of soft locks on Jungkook’s head.

 

The thing about Namjoon is that he thinks in facts, in lines of logarithms that only he’s capable of deciphering, in things that are certain; in proof.


But maybe Namjoon isn’t one-hundred percent certain about the future, but right now, in this moment when he looks down at Jungkook’s sunny smile and starry eyes, he thinks he’s going to be just fine.

 

And he is.