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The Homes We Can't Live In

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Jungkook walked out the cave, carefully putting his recordpad into his bag without zipping it closed. He had collected enough data- that wasn’t the problem. The problem wasn’t the amount. It never was. In essence, his research company would be more than satisfied with the work he had put in. But he wasn’t satisfied.

He had dreams.

He was searching.

Jungkook was from a lonely planet.

He never felt like he fit in there.

He was good looking. Athletic. Creative.

“You’re normal,” Taehyung said in reassurance, “More normal than us.”

He didn’t feel normal.

But he had the whole stratosphere to explore so that’s where he went.

To the stars.

If he was honest with himself, he didn’t have work back on his home planet. He wasn’t suited for it. He’d play pretend: trying to smile and fit in with everyone else. He held normal jobs and did normal things. He worked in stores. He worked. He studied. He did as he was told. Normal things. Tinkering with machines. His planet was known for machines. He was good at it- had an aptitude. It didn’t matter if he liked it or not, he was good at it. Naturally, like Taehyung said- he was normal.

Normal passing.

The horizon was glowing gold from the strange colored sun- completely different from the distant blue he was used to.

He liked the clouds. They were dotting the sky for miles on out. They picked up the hues from the sun and extended out in tracks. It was lovely.

Jungkook took out his recordpad and snapped a picture.

He could be quiet like this. Not bother anyone.

The only one he liked on his whole planet was Taehyung.

Taehyung was categorized as abnormal, but Jungkook found his heart there.

“Come with me,” Jungkook begged, pulling from Taehyung’s embrace and eying the craft that was about to take him from BU-5417.

“I can’t,” Taehyung smiled despite tears threatening to fall.

And he couldn’t. Jungkook knew it was an impossible request. Taehyung had his family. Even if Taehyung was categorized (God how Jungkook loathed the categorization system) as abnormal, he was good. And he loved his family. He accepted his role. He would never fit in, but he would stay.

Jungkook was the one breaking everyone’s heart.

“I know you have to leave,” Taehyung said, his voice strangling, “I know it. But it’s just… fucking hard. It’s fucking hard to see you leave. I almost couldn’t see you off.”

Jungkook buried his face into Taehyung’s shoulder. He wanted to bottle Taehyung up and have him with him always. Always and forever.

But he couldn’t stay.

He knew he’d see him again. It wasn’t the first time Jungkook was leaving the planet.

This time it was different though.

It wasn’t just a trip. Jungkook was leaving.

Everyone knew he had to leave, but no one wanted him to. There was nothing for him at home. And out there, in the stars- the vast expanse of empty and dark and unknown he had something.

Jungkook’s body lumbered heavy in the spacesuit. There were sleeker versions available, but his company was fucking cheap. He wanted to change his job so bad; however, his contract had just been extended. He got a raise. And the benefits were good even if the hours were bad. It was all so stupid and pointless though, he didn’t know what to do with himself. Jungkook glanced back at the foot prints his boots had left once he reached his craft. They were solitary. He wondered when was the last time anyone had been on this planet or if they had at all.

When Jungkook went into his ship and slid into the captain’s chair, he let out a sigh a relief. The routine was so comfortable. He pulled off his helmet and set in the same spot as always- the mere thought of putting it anywhere else made him panic. Quickly hitting the required buttons in rapid succession, he left the planet. His stomach always flipped breaking out on atmosphere, but he had grown accustomed to it.

The night sky was a black expanse that stretched for miles. The only light that came was pin-pricking dots billions of miles away. But it was calm and quiet in a way that settled. Even in the dark, it wasn't lonely. In fact, it was the opposite. The darkness was like a comforter on the coldest winter day, soothing and warm and saying more than anyone could with all the words in every language. It didn't say "empty". It didn't say "small." It didn't say "alone".

It said, "You're home."

More home than BU-5417.

Jungkook put in the coordinates to a refueling station. It was unmanned. He wondered when was the last time he had seen another person.

Months? No. Years now.

He didn’t mind being alone.

He wasn’t supposed to sleep, but he was cruising on autopilot and the hum of the electricity in the ship lulled him.

When his ship slowed and shook from being coupled to engage the station, Jungkook shot awake. Refueling only took a few minutes, but often refueling stations had machines full of nourishment lined against the wall for solitary pilots like himself to indulge in. They had the popular snacks from all over the galaxy.

It was Jungkook’s guilty pleasure.

He groggily pushed the button, making one of his favorite drinks fall from the dispenser. He seemed to only get it at refueling stations these days.

“Holy shit,” the voice startled Jungkook so bad, he spun around in a single jump and clutched his chest.

“FUCK,” Jungkook gasped, “You scared the shit out of me.”

“Sorry,” The man said, adjusting his UV goggles, “Been so long since I seen somebody.”

“I mean,” Jungkook panted, his heart still racing, “Same for me, but holy shit. Don’t fucking sneak up on somebody.”

He laughed.

Genuine and hardy.

Jungkook had nearly forgotten what somebody laughing had sounded like.

“Listen,” He smiled, “I hate to do this to you.”

He sauntered over to Jungkook and placed a hand on his shoulder.

“I’m going to strip your ship,” His eyebrows raised and his smile never left, “Take you for everything you got.”

“What?” Jungkook shrugged him off his shoulder, “No you’re not.”

“Yeah, I am.” He grinned, and before Jungkook knew it a laser-rifle was digging into his belly, “Sorry, mate.”

Jungkook was promptly shoved against the drink machine, “Fuck.”

The tall, thin man eyed his ship, “You’re a researcher? Shit, I almost feel guilty.”

“You’re a piece of shit space pirate,” Jungkook spat. He had weaponry, but not on him.. This motherfucker would probably take that, too.

He laughed again.

Jungkook hated how he liked the sound of it.

He was seething.

“Yeah,” The pirate was smirking, “Open it up or you’re just particles.”

Jungkook was always just particles, he thought. And he even considered just letting him blast him into oblivion.

“I got a proposition,” Jungkook bounced on his heels, the heat from the machine warming his back, “What if- What if I join you?”

The pirate’s expression turned serious and he dug the tip of the rifle deeper into Jungkook’s skin, “Don’t ask for more than you can handle, boy.”

If this guy took his ship, he had nothing.

He already had nothing.

It was stupid, but Jungkook was desperate- he lunged for the gun.

The pirate was quicker.

With a hard thwack to his head, Jungkook went down limp in front of the drink machine- his vision blurring the pirate’s irritated face.

 

 

“Honey... Honey.”

Jungkook thought of his mother, but that wasn’t quite right. But something in the softness of the voice and the way the vowel came out long and slow felt like home.

“Y’gotta wake up.”

The light from the drink machine was bright, and Jungkook quickly shut his eyes again. His head was throbbing where the pirate had landed his blow. Two arms, slender but surprisingly strong, wrapped around him and started to pull him up. Jungkook stood with him, coming a head up and tried to open his eyes again.

“Y’gotta a nasty cut,” the other man said, “Walk with me an’ I’ll clean y’up?”

“You’re from BU-5417,” Jungkook tried to make his eyes adjust and focus on his face, “South side.”

“Sure am,” He laughed, clear and loud, “What gave it away?”

The other man stood a couple inches shorter than him with his hip cocked to the side, with full lips and gentle features.

“I’m from there,” Jungkook said, “From the Capital City.”

“Shoulda guessed, y’lost your accent,” The man smiled knowingly.

“No, I just have a Capital City accent,” Jungkook reached and touched his head, pulling it in front of his face to see red.

“Y’don’t see a lot of people from there. You’re prolly the second one I’ve ever even met out here,” He pulled Jungkook to a small cruiser tethered to the docking bay, “I’m Jimin, by the way. Park Jimin.”

Jungkook tried to get his bearings, but he wobbled as he tried to climb into Jimin’s small ship.

“Easy, easy,” Jimin chided, holding both of his hands and helping him inside, “He gotcha good, huh?”

“I’ll kill ‘im when I find ‘im,” Jungkook’s accent started to slip out, exhausted and Jimin drawing it from him. Jimin sat him down on top of a storage chest behind the captain’s seat and pulled out a first aid kid, grabbing one of the gel strips. Lifting Jungkook’s bangs, he carefully eased the medicated bandage over his wound.

“There, it oughtta heal in ten minutes,” Jimin whispered, bending to Jungkook’s face and smiling, “What’s your name?”

“Jeon Jungkook,” Jungkook blinked a few times, mesmerized by Jimin’s appearance. There was something in the way he moved.

“Pleasure t’meetcha,” Jimin dipped into a bow before straightening himself back up, resting his hands on his hips, “Hope y’don’t mind, I looked over your ship while you were out. Didn’t even see ya at first. It’s busted pretty bad.”

Jungkook groaned, sticking his hands in his head. It wasn’t even his ship. It was his company’s.

“It’s the work of a fella goes by Hope,” Jimin walked over to the glass bubble encasing the front of the cruiser and leaned on the dash, “I’d know his style anywhere. Didn’t even leave a pot to piss in.”

“You… you know who did this?” Jungkook looked up at Jimin, “Look, you’ve been more than friendly and I hate to ask this, but can you help me get to civilization?”

“We’re acquainted,” Jimin looked back over his shoulder and smiled, “And sure. We’re practically kin. Say, when did you leave BU-5417?”

“It’s been… gosh, five years already? During the seventh moon,” Jungkook touched the gel strip reflexively as it cooled his skin.

“I gotcha beat, but not by much,” Jimin grinned, “But us abnormals have a hard time there anyway.”

Jungkook opened his mouth to tell him that he was in fact by all accounts categorized as completely normal, but he thought better of it.

“M’glad you came and found me or else I would’ve been dead,” Jungkook sighed, “Guardian Angel Park Jimin.”

Jimin laughed and smiled coyly, “Now that’s a name I don’t get a lot. Now let’s get your ship hooked up. I’ll be your lil tug boat. Y’ever been to the New Sha-do district?”

“No,” Jungkook sighed. His company was headquartered on the capital planet SE-061, but his job had him everywhere but. Planet after planet with no one in sight. Jungkook couldn’t even daydream about the bustling city life.

“Alright, well, that’s where we’re headed. I got business there, and it’ll have everything y’need anyway,” Jimin said, already climbing back out the hatch to the side, “Y’look strong. Help me get the cables.”

Jungkook stood up carefully, the strip closing his wound quicker than he anticipated, and hopped out of the ship to follow Jimin to his ship.

It was a disaster.

“Fuck, for fucking fuck’s sake,” Jungkook bent to the large control panel. That asshole had taken everything down his fucking steering components. He must’ve been stripping them for precious metals to sell as scrap.

“Yeah,” Jimin was laughing as if he read Jungkook’s mind, “What a guy.”

“He knocked me out and left me for dead,” Jungkook glared at Jimin over his shoulder who simply shrugged, a smile playing on his lips.

“Haha, he’s like that. Anyway, let’s get you hooked up. Did he leave enough that you can turn ‘er on and put ‘er in standby mode?” Jimin walked over to the panel and leaned over.

Jungkook grunted in frustration and stood, swiping his hand over the panel, “Do you know how fucked I am? This is a company ship. They do diagnostic checks every 24 hours. I’m already fired.”

Jimin gave him a pitying glance and leaned down, tapping a few buttons, “That’s rough, kid.”

Jungkook sighed, having a seat in the captain’s chair (if you could call it that. Hope had taken the cushions) and turned his arm over on the armrest, linking his computer with the ship’s. It took about ten seconds to sync and download the status report. The pair scanned it, and Jimin burst into laughter.

“He took y’bed sheets,” Jimin doubled over in stitches.

“It isn’t funny,” Jungkook groaned, swiping the small screen on his forearm and putting his ship into standby mode to release the hooks. Wordlessly he left the ship, and Jimin followed behind quickly, trying to stifle his giggles. It only took a few minutes to get their ships linked with the two of them working together to haul the black cable and lock the hooks, tethering Jungkook’s larger ship to Jimin’s cruiser. Wiping the sweat from his brow, Jungkook turned to Jimin who handed him a cooling tab. Expensive little things. He tucked it in his cheek and followed Jimin back to his craft.

“Alright, strap in,” Jimin said softly, leaning over and hitting a few buttons on Jungkook’s seat. Jimin’s ship was small, but it was completely outfitted with every luxury down to the padding under Jungkook’s ass. It was a hundred times more comfortable than the company-sanctioned micro fiber excuse of a seat that for some reason the pirate thought was valuable enough to jack.

“Y’like music?” Jimin asked, but he wasn’t really interested in the answer as he already was dialing the sound up in the small cabin. Jungkook sighed, settling into his seat. He had no job and no ship, and he was stuck with somebody from BU-5417. He sulked and slumped down.

“Chin up, kid,” Jimin said, disengaging the ship from the dock and taking it out slow and steady.

“Easy for you to say,” Jungkook mumbled, feeling miserable, “I don’t know what you do, but you seem to be doing alright.”

“‘m an escort,” Jimin answered, leaning the steering forward to speed up.

Jungkook choked on his spit and coughed violently, sending Jimin into another fit of laughter.

Being an escort wasn’t illegal, but it was still a dangerous and risky endeavor as far as Jungkook was concerned. Not to mention as someone who had next to zero skinship for the past few years, the idea of being flown around by someone whose job it was to… to…

Jimin leaned towards Jungkook and grinned, “Don’t worry, m’not gonna come on to ya.”

Jungkook gulped, “D-do you like it?”

“Sure,” Jimin turned back, looking out into the vast black space in front of them, “What’s not to like?”

There was something remote in the way he answered so Jungkook decided to close his mouth and just enjoy the flight.

It went by quicker than he had imagined it would, and he had just nodded off when the ship came to a hard halt and jolted him awake.

“We’re here,” Jimin said in a sing-song, “New Sha-do.”

Jungkook didn’t know what he had expected. It was already night when they had arrived- tall buildings stretched for miles with a heavy cloud of fog… smog? Hung and haloed about ten meters up. The purple, pink, and blue neons illuminated the slick-wet black streets, and people were moving nearly shoulder to shoulder on the narrow sidewalks.

“Put on a mask,” Jimin said, smacking a compartment door with his fist, making it open. There was an assortment of miscellaneous items stuffed inside, but most prominently was a row of vapor-masks. Jungkook dutifully put one on.

“That bad?” He asked, watching Jimin do the same in-kind.

“Nah, but better safe than sorry,” Jimin’s eyes shut in a cat-like smile, “If you have y’health…”

The two stepped from the ship out on the street, Jimin hopping down and skipping the steps entirely. He turned back to Jungkook and pointed East.

“Seventh is this way,” Jimin waved Jungkook along and the two made their way down the street. As shoulders bumped against Jungkook’s shoulder, panic started to set in. He hadn’t had human contact in ages, and he was frankly overwhelmed. There was so many different smells and noises, he could hardly walk from the sensory overload. As he started to fall behind, Jimin took notice with his eyebrows shot up.

“Hey,” Jimin grabbed his hand, “We’re almost there.”

Seventh Heaven was located sandwiched between two huge buildings- barely enough room for the door, but it opened much bigger and seemed mysteriously large once inside. Anybody would’ve missed it if wasn’t for the garish neon sign glowing bright blue like the rest of the district.

It was dark and smoky, but Jimin pulled down his mask and wandered inside.

“Oh, my! It’s Mr. Park,” Someone called from a side table in one of the booths. He was a regular, and Jungkook tried to make his brain stop that train of thought in its tracks.

“Hey, Sweetheart,” Jimin cooed and blew kiss, “I’ll be right over. Lemme wet my whistle.”
Jimin hadn’t let go of Jungkook’s hand, and he was grateful. He pulled him along to the bar that was occupied by a blond man clad in black hunched over the edge.

“Hi, Hyung,” Jimin soothed and patted his back, “Are ya doin’ okay?”

“M’jusss fine, Jiminie,” He slurred and opened his eyes sleepily as he sat up, “M’perfect.”

“That’s Father Min,” Jimin said to Jungkook as Yoongi slowly laid back down on the bar.

“Father?” Jungkook’s eyebrows knitted and smile slowly spread on Jimin’s face.

“He’s a priest,” Jimin said, pulling the empty glass from Yoongi’s hands, “If y’can believe it.”

“I can hear you,” Yoongi grumbled and yawned, “It’s juss already late, is all.”

“Y’should prolly get home, huh?” Jimin leaned down to the bar.

“Nah, I’m meetin’ a friend in a minute, Minnie,” Yoongi sat up and blinked, “If anything, I’m too damn sober. Tae! Tae, where’d you run off to?”

Jungkook went straight as an arrow.

It couldn’t be.

There were a million names that started off with Tae. It could be anybody. Anyone.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m coming.”

He thought he was imagining things when Taehyung, his best friend, walked right in front of him looking like he hadn’t aged a day- well no, that wasn’t true. Suddenly his shoulders were a lot broader and his muscles were a lot bigger than he remembered.

“Taehyung?” Jungkook blinked in surprise, pulling down the mask.

Taehyung’s eyes went wide and he hurdled over the bar, straight past Jimin and Yoongi to pounce Jungkook into a hug.

“What the fuck, man?! I thought I’d never see you again!” Taehyung gasped out.

“What’re you doing here? Why aren’t you home?” Jungkook squeezed him back.

“You grew like a foot,” Taehyung held him at arm’s length for an instance, eying him up and down, “You look so good. God, I missed you. And, uh… it’s a long story. Hold on.”

Jimin and Yoongi shared a looked.

“Oh, shut up,” Taehyung glanced at both of them.

“Before we hear the tale of the boy who left BU-5417 for the fifty-leventh time, can I get a refill?” Yoongi lifted his glass.

“I can multitask,” Taehyung said indignantly under his breath, going back to the other side of the bar, “This version will be different anyway.”

Yoongi huffed, “How is that eve-”

“Shh,” Jimin cut Yoongi off, “Because his best friend is here. What a coincidence, dang. I know it’s a small planet, but I didn’t figure y’all knew each other.”

Taehyung poured Jungkook a drink, something that would be familiar- and set it down on the bar.

“I’ll skip the intro,” Taehyung leaned on the bar, looking completely delighted to have jungkook there, “Still can’t believe you’re here. I thought you’d be in a completely different quadrant.”

Jungkook had been in a different quadrant, actually, and was just stopping at that refueling station, but that didn’t matter.

“I can’t even believe you’re right in front of me,” Jungkook rasped and he took a seat next to Yoongi, looking down into the sunset-colored drink in his glass-hues of orange and red faded with a twist of yuja sat prettily at the top. He could cry, “Is this a Nectar 75?”

“Remember when we would sneak sips from our moms at parties?” Taehyung snickered, “I haven’t made one in forever. Don’t get a lot of people askin’ for BU-5417 drinks other than Jiminie.”

Jungkook took a sip, and a warm, cozy feeling of his childhood with Taehyung hit him like a wave.

“Jiminie,” A voice called from the other side of the bar, “Sweetie, are you busy?”

Jimin nodded towards Taehyung who slid him his drink, “Comin’, darlin’! ‘m on my way, just sit tight.”

He gave Jungkook a wink before disappearing into the booth, Taehyung’s gaze lost in his direction for a moment before he turned his attention back.
“Can I have another before you start your story?” Yoongi slid the glass to Taehyung.

“I think you’ve got a drinking problem, love,” Taehyung sighed but poured Yoongi another and shaking his head.

“I think you’ve got a Jimin problem, ’love’,” Yoongi bit back and nodded in his direction, “Why don’t you just tell him.”

“You know I can’t,” Taehyung twisted his mouth to the side, “And at least my problem isn’t killing me.”

Jimin’s light, musical laugh cut across the bar, and Taehyung’s eyes immediately flickered in his direction.

“Y’sure about that?” Yoongi gulped it down in one go. He hardly noticed the burn anymore. He smirked and slid the glass back to Taehyung.

“You’re a shitty priest,” Taehyung snorted, tearing his gaze to Yoongi.

“And you’re a shitty liar,” Yoongi rested his chin in his hand, “Say ten Our Fathers.”

“I’m not even a Tenshuist,” Taehyung sighed in exasperation, trying and failing to keep his eyes off of Jimin and the man whose hand was creeping up his knee.

“God will still forgive you,” Yoongi raised his and vaguely made a cross motion with his hand, but it was askew and more akin to a wavy X.

“Anyway,” Taehyung inhaled and looked back at Jungkook was nursing and quietly absorbing the interactions around him. Jungkook set it down and leaned forward, ready to hear what the hell happened to Taehyung. The last he had seen him, he was glued to the dark, black earth of BU-5417.

“After you left, it was only a matter of time before I had to enter my registration for work service,” Taehyung idly started to clean a glass as he spoke, “I made a mistake on my paperwork. No big deal, right?”

Jungkook nodded and tilted his head.

“Wrong. Big fucking mistake,” Taehyung flipped the glass over and picked up the next, “They audited me. You know, it would’ve been nice if my family had told me I was adopted.”

Jungkook choked on his drink, “What?”

“Illegally,” Taehyung sighed heavily, picking up the third glass. If he kept his hands busy, he could ignore the sting, “I was born in DA-360, and I’m not sure exactly how me as a baby wound up on BU-5417, and they best anyone can figure is my parents transported me down and left. Don’t know why. No reason, no note. No nothin’.”

“What happened?” Jungkook’s eyebrows knitted.

“Grandma found me and took me in, fudged all my paperwork. Not a surprise I got classified as abnormal. I ain’t even a native,” Taehyung laughed bitterly, continuing on to the next glass.

“Is your family okay?” Jungkook went rigid.

“They got slapped with fines, but I send ‘em money. I got exiled. I can’t even re-enter that solar system for ten years,” Taehyung set down the glass and put both of his broad hands on the bar, “So I had to start all over. I came here and started bartending and just kept saving and saving until I could open my own little place up. And here we are.”

“That’s… that’s incredible, holy shit. I’m so sorry for you and your family. God, the system is so fucked,” Jungkook lamented, taking another swig of his drink.

“Yeah,” Taehyung looked down, “I thought about you a lot when I left. I kept thinking, if Jungkookie can go out there and make it then I can, too. That was my little mantra.”

Jungkook glanced at Yoongi who had fallen asleep on the bar before answering, “I thought about you every day, Taehyung. Going from planet to planet- all different terrains… but I was always alone. I started to think about what you’d say or think if you’d see the places I went. All the memories of hanging with you kept me cheered up.”

Their tender moment was interrupted by a chilling, familiar voice.

"Father, I need your help."

It was that fucking space pirate.

He rushed to Yoongi's side, shaking him, "Can you sober up for your favorite sinner?"

"Depends on what you want," Yoongi yawned, his limp body being dragged back and forth.

"I need a place to crash," Hope’s eyes darted around nervously, "That pig is getting too close again."

"Do you know how stupid you are?" Yoongi blinked his eyes slowly awake, "He's my friend."

"Yeah, but no one goes over to your place,” Hope laughed, squeezing his shoulders, “Can we get outta here?”

“Touché,” Yoongi quipped, sliding his hand into his pocket to get his wallet. Neither of them saw Jungkook trembling next to them.

"You owe me 17 million yuenne," Jungkook muscled the pirate to the floor of the bar, knocking into Yoongi and causing his glass to break.

"Fuck, my drink," Yoongi reached out with about a three-second delay.

"Ouch. Fuck, shi-" Hope winced and laughed nervously as his face was pressed into the sticky, dirty surface, "Wait, wait, wait! Fuck! Easy there!"

"Seven.Teen. Million." Jungkook forced Hope’s elbow across his back, fuming, "With interest."

"Hahaha, okay, let's- FUCK that HURTS- haha, okay," He squirmed, trying to free himself, "Can we talk this out?"

"I have a log of everything you took and the cost. That navigation system was custom-made, you prick," Jungkook's eyes were ablaze, "Were you enjoying it?"

"Actually, ye- Yeowch FUCK that hurts," Hoseok whined as Jungkook put more pressure on him, "Let's work this out. I don't have seventeen million yuenne on me right this second like in my fucking pocket, but I can get it."

"Jungkookie," Taehyung leaned over the bar, his dark eyes peering into his old friend’s, "You're scaring my customers. Can you please assert your homo erotic dominance over this excuse of a criminal outside?"

Jungkook pulled Hope up by his arm, ignoring the whines that came from him. It was only some hours ago that this pirate was threatening to kill him, and now he was mewling like a kitten. Without his weapon and armor, he looked small and skinny and not the pillar of intimidation that had him pinned against the nourishment machines. Jungkook shoved him out of the bar and twisted him back against the bricks walls, grabbing fistfuls of his shirt.

“Where’s all my stuff? Did you hock it all?” Jungkook growled.

Hope laughed nervously, grabbing Jungkook’s wrist, “Ahaha. No, that’d mean I’d have at least some of your money. Worse. Much worse.”

“Whad’ya mean?” Jungkook was snarling, shoving Hoseok back harder into the wall.

“The brass. The cops. They confiscated all my loot and impounded my darling little Hix,” Hope frowned, and whimpered, “I ain’t got shit. It’s probably all already at police auction.”

“Well, you better figure something out fast,” Jungkook reached to the holster on his thigh, pulling out a small laser pistol and shoving it under Hope’s chin.

“Okay, okay,” He squeaked, the electric hum of the weapon making his eyes go wide in fright, “I know a job. I know a guy. They call him the doctor.”

“A doctor?” Jungkook sighed, lowering his weapon.

“Kinda. He’s a shrink,” Hope answered, smoothing his shirt down with his hands, “But he’s got a big ol’ ship. And if we can round up enough cash, he’ll take us where we need to go.”

“Well, news for you, I don’t have a single yuenne to my name,” Jungkook strapped the gun back into place, “Some asshole pirate jacked my ship and got me fired.”

“Maybe we can ask my friend Jiminie a favor,” Hope pushed him back to give himself room to breathe, “He’s probably inside, he’s always here.”

“You gotta be fucking kidding me,” Jungkook could’ve murdered him right then and there, “Your. Friend. Jiminie?”

“Y...yeah?” Hope’s eyebrows quirked in confusion.

“He’s the one who saved me from that God forsaken refueling station you left me for dead on,” Jungkook looked pained, “He’s your friend?”

“Well, to be fair, he’s everyone’s friend,” The pirate said coyly, and Jungkook had half a mind to blast him in his gut. Jungkook scoffed in disgust and marched back inside, scanning the different booths for Jimin.

He was wedged in a booth between a man and a woman, smiling and laughing. The man was moving his bangs from Jimin’s eyes while the lady was pressing kisses into his shoulder. Jungkook gulped and walked to the table.

“Jimin-sshi, I’m sorry to interrupt,” Jungkook had meant to walk up strong, but as the man hands slipped beneath the table, Jungkook found himself looking away and blushing, “I need to talk to you.”

“Mm?” Jimin threw his head back, “Alright, darlin’. Gimme just a second. Have a seat at the bar.”

Hope tagged behind him, following him back to the bar where Yoongi seemed to be sleeping peacefully and sat down.

“Alright, so tell me about the doctor,” Jungkook took another sip of his drink.

Taehyung perked up, “Doc? You mean Namjoon-hyung?”

“The one and only,” Hope grinned, “I got myself in a pickle.”

“You can say that again,” Taehyung smiled back, “And my Jungkookie was the wrong one to cross, Hoseok-hyung.”

Jungkook crossed his arms in front of his chest.

“As I’m starting to gather,” Hoseok looked wearily at Jungkook, “Anyway, like I said, the Doc- he’s a good guy. He’s a psychiatrist.”

“Psychologist,” Taehyung corrected.

“Whatever, anyway. He has a houseboat because he takes patients on sometimes and they stay with him as a part of their therapy, but he’s real agreeable. Does a lot of pro-bono stuff,” Hoseok waved his hand dismissively.

“And you’ll think he’ll take us?” Jungkook frowned, “Where are we going anyway?”

“Yeah, if we can cough up the cash,” Hoseok answered, “His big ol’ heart makes him big ol’ broke.”

A small hand found Jungkook’s shoulder, and he turned startled to see Jimin smiling at him warmly.

“Y’sure are jumpy,” He took a seat next to him, “I can only stay a second. Got an appointment. Whatcha need?”

“Uh, well… you’re familiar with the Doc?” Jungkook asked tentatively.

“Namjoon-hyung?” Jimin’s eyebrows shot up, “Yeah, I see ‘im all the time. Mental health’s juss as important.”

“Long story short, I need to,” Hoseok winced, “I can’t believe I’m saying this. Pay this kid back. Was wondering if you could spot us the cost for Joonie’s ship for a little… job. ”

“Jiminie, where’d you run off to, baby?” The men called from the booth.
“Comin’, Darlin’,” Jimin answered back before turning back to Hoseok, “Yes, but I got some terms an’ conditions. Tell ya what, get in touch with Namjoon-hyung then get back t’me. I’ll be free… lessee… tomorrow evenin’ ‘bout 5 o’clock. Let’s get an early supper.”

Jimin winked and waved, wandering back towards the booth.

It suddenly dawned on Jungkook that he had nowhere to sleep tonight as he watched Jimin saunter away and he turned to Taehyung.

“Hey, I feel like m’doin’ nothin’ but askin’ favors, but can I stay with you tonight, Tae?” Jungkook rested his elbows on the bar and put his chin in his palms. Taehyung pinched his cheek.

“Call me Hyung, and of course,” Taehyung leaned back and grabbed a set of keys with house-shaped key ring off a rack and handed it to Jungkook, “The bar closes in an hour, but make yourself at home. Just go down the hallway and it’s the third door on the left. I don’t have a spare bed, but the couch is all yours. The bedding is in the closet next to the bathroom.”

“You’re a lifesaver,” Jungkook clutched the keys and glared at Hoseok, “I’ll see you tomorrow. I trust you’ll get in touch with the Doc?”

“Yeah, yeah. I gotta head out, too,” Hoseok was lifting Yoongi out of the chair and wrapping his shoulder around his own, “Never know when that cop is gonna come sniff around. I’ll meet you back at four tomorrow.”

“If you ditch me, I will murder you,” Jungkook warned, “That’s a fact.”

“Look, if we pull off this job I’ll not only pay you back, I’ll make a mint,” Hoseok smiled, dragging a passed out Yoongi toward the entrance, “Got nothin’ to lose.”

The small flat above the bar could lovingly be described as cozy or modest in affectionate terms with an outdated computer interface.

“Hello,” a woman’s voice called once Jungkook turned on the light, making Jungkook jump. Jimin was right. He was jumpy.

“Welcome home, Tae,” The computer interface said soothingly. He knew she was an older model because she didn’t even scan him at the entrance to distinguish that he wasn’t the chief resident. Jungkook opened the closet door and pulled the softest blanket he had ever felt down from the shelf. Maybe Taehyung didn’t have much, but he had what counted.

Taehyung’s couch was up against the rear window that led to the balcony, just above the ring of fog hovering in the city. The blue, purple and pink neon peeked through the grey, and out above was a horizon of endless stars stretching as a backdrop for the skyscrapers. Jungkook settled in, looking out- the moons missing. It was a rare night for neither of the two to be hanging, drowning out the small blinking lights. The faint noise of traffic whizzing by the window was enough to distract his thoughts that seemed to bounce aimlessly in his head. Here, in Taehyung’s blankets, were recollections of an entire lifetime ago. He had spent years holding onto his best friend’s boxy grin and deep, drawing eyes, his laugh, the way he’d shove him after a joke- but here in the flesh he realized he didn’t know him at all. He had a life, scraped together with new people surrounding him. And something in him changed. He was hardened. The one he had known was a ghost- an image created and keeping Jungkook company as he explored planet after planet. And Jungkook was surrounded in his scent that was simultaneously same but different- reminding him of everything that once was and never could be.

But he guessed that Taehyung must’ve been having near-identical thoughts about himself.

The tumult of the day disappeared as a distorted memory of BU-5417’s night sky drifted into his mind, sleep taking him deep and far away.

Chapter Text

Jungkook awoke to the smell of fresh, hot rice and soup wafting in from the small metal kitchen. Taehyung was humming to himself as things clattered around, some song that Jungkook didn’t recognize. When was the last time he had something someone cooked?

“Mornin’,” Taehyung called, sticking his spatula under the vegetables and flipping them as Jungkook lumbered in, still half in dreams.

“Smells good,” He mumbled, rubbing his eyes.

“Thanks,” Taehyung said in a punchy tone, half vocalizing the song that was playing in the background and bouncing around the kitchen, “It’ll be ready in a sec.”

Breakfast was eaten in a hurry, but Jungkook was overjoyed to have a home-cooked meal after what seemed like- no, was most definitely years since he had even seen fresh vegetables. All of his meals had been vacuum-sealed pouches of micro-nourishment. Not that he particularly minded them, but he couldn’t even remember the last time he had something hot and with a texture and made by an honest to god human- It was heaven.

“Sorry for rushing you out the door,” Taehyung smiled, fixing the beret on his head and brushing his hands over his long overcoat, “You’ll be okay in the city on your own for a while?”

“Yeah, I’ll be fine,” Jungkook smiled back, tugging on his bag. He felt strange and out of place being back in such a populated space, but it didn’t faze him. He thought about saying more, telling Taehyung that it would be an adventure, that he traveled over all kinds of terrain and he had gotten used to the unexpected and doing things alone. But he spent so much time thinking about the words that Taehyung was already walking away.

It was just as well.

Jungkook wandered down the empty street, grateful that the New Sha-do district came alive at night. During the day there were a few locals like Taehyung who lived at their establishments that came out to do their usual daily routines. Women in sweats with their hair pulled up and their faces covered in masks- free of the constraints of whatever line of work they were in- walked alongside Jungkook into the convenience store to purchase packs of filters.

There were rows and rows of goodies on the shelf, and Jungkook spent money he didn’t have buying nothing but snacks, a small notebook, and holo-pen. When he walked out of the shop, he was negative 35 hundred yuenne but with a little more bounce to his step.

With the slow morning pace, Jungkook felt less overwhelmed than the evening before. Even as he strolled into more and more populated areas, it was gradual and kept his nerves at an even tilt. He had a whole day to kill until he was supposed to return to Tae’s bar in the early evening to meet “The Doctor.”

Jungkook pulled out his recorder and began to snap the city, surveying it the same way he did for his job. Back on his ship (before it was desecrated) he had gone through all the footage, samples, and data and picked out his favorites. His bedroom wall had become a holo-snap collection of alien skies, rock formations in every hue, a few small critters that roamed the mostly desolate planets, samples of earth that Jungkook gathered and put into small containers- it was like his private museum of where he had been and what he had liked. That horrible fucking pirate even took the pictures he had taken off the wall. And for what? To sell? They were worthless except to Jungkook. Now he had to start over with new additions of a completely different kind of study: one filled with lived in spaces with touches of bustle marked across them, constructed buildings, shadows of people.

He had spent so much time recording that he lost track of the hours, and it wasn’t until he was on some bridge in between skyscrapers that he realized he was starved. Opening his backpack, he frowned. He had been munching the entire morning and his rations were entirely depleted. Twisting his mouth, he zipped it shut and marched onward in his search for food.

It was easy to find in the city, and Jungkook felt spoiled as there were rows of street vendors at the end of the bridge. He slapped his card on the reader at the front stall of some very juicy looking morsels that were carefully skewered on a stick, but the lady shook her head.

“We don’t take that kinda pass,” She said, furrowing her brows, “Try up the road at a cafe.”

Jungkook nodded in thanks and embarrassment and continued on, staring at the card. It hadn’t even occurred to him that he wouldn’t be able to use it in some places.

Every window a few blocks down had holographic images of the menu on display, and Jungkook examined each as he walked. He stopped in front of a small, quiet looking place that looked like they served something similar to the cuisine of BU-5417. The door slid opened and chimed as Jungkook walked in and he was escorted to a small booth in the back.

“What’ll you have?” The blue glint in her eyes and the unnatural pitch of her voice made Jungkook realized she was a fully automated android. He had only ever seen the kind that was in his field, built to collect data and would occasionally rendezvous with his ship to drop off their findings. It was completely different from the service drone that was made to look pretty. Jungkook shifted uncomfortably.

“The number seven, please,” Jungkook cleared his throat and looked away.

“Coming right up, sir,” She said, smiling strangely and disappearing back to the kitchen.

His order came up on the small screen built into his card and he waved his hand over it to confirm.

His food came out too quickly, and it wasn’t quite right. The sauce next to the rice was a shade too light, the spices were heavy and included things not native to his planet- but the meat was tender and it was tasty enough even if it wasn’t authentic.

With his meal finished, he thanked her- unsure if it was normal or not and was taken by surprise when a shy pink colored her cheeks. It was strange, so strange, and Jungkook hurried out of the cafe. When he pushed the door open, Jungkook was nearly shoved back into the restaurant. In the time he had taken to eat, the street was suddenly jam-packed with the lunch rush. He tried to cut through the crowd, but it was swarming and suddenly Jungkook’s heart started to race. He was getting overwhelmed.

Someone’s shoulder knocked into him and he was jostled off of the sidewalk into the street. He gulped hard, his vision blurring and the shapes in front of him losing focus. Breathing fast and shallow, he walked in desperation up a small flight of steps that was slightly less congested and through a large pair of doors.

It was so quiet inside, and Jungkook took a few deep breaths to find his center.

One. Two. Three. Breathe In.

One. Two. Three. Breathe Out.

Opening his eyes and glancing around, he realized he was in a library. Maybe he could take shelter there until the lunch hours passed.

He walked deeper into the building, the shelves of catalogues reminding him of the ones on his ship- perfectly in order and labeled with any sort of data.

“Are you here for the presentation?” A voice behind him called.

Jungkook had wandered to a shelf next to a small room, not even noticing the sign floating a meter away. He spun around and squinted.

The Psychology of Distance: A Rope of Sand

“Uh, yes,” Jungkook answered to the taller man, peering into the room behind him. It didn’t seem as if there were too many people in attendance.

“Me, too,” The man said, a big excited grin plastered on his face, “Should we go take our seats?”

Jungkook followed after him and sat at the back while he took his spot a row ahead, pulling out a recorder and a pen for notes. He gave Jungkook a warm, friendly smile before immersing himself in the lecture.

“...the change in stimuli after prolonged self-seclusion in space can have profound effects on the human mind. There are a number of disputed symptoms, but we, as scientists, must carefully take note of each reported issue. Brain scans over time of those trying to socialize show a spike in brain activities in areas related to stress…”

Jungkook furrowed his brows, trying to keep up with the dense information that was coming at him too quickly. It was impossible, but he could gather bits and pieces. When it was over, he stood slowly. Surely by now, the crowds had dissipated a bit. Jungkook’s ass had fallen asleep, he had been sitting so long. He sighed, putting his backpack on, and started to walk out of the door.

“How’d you like it?” The man who had been a row up took a few fast strides to walk alongside Jungkook.

“Uh, fine, I guess,” Jungkook rubbed his eyes, “It was a little verbose for my taste.”

The other man laughed loudly, ”Yeah, Professor Li can be a little wordy. So- um, are you a student?”

“No, not a student,” Jungkook replied, bewildered that this person was sticking him to make conversation as they walked toward the staircase.

“Sorry, that’s rude of me to ask, isn’t it? It's just that I've never seen you at one of these lectures before. I’m Kim Namjoon,” He gave a bow.

“Kim Namjoon? The Doctor?” Jungkook froze and turned himself completely. What were the odds?

“Oh, you’ve heard of me?” Namjoon blinked in surprised, “From… from my academic work?”

“From Jimin-hyung,” Jungkook blurted before he realized what that might imply, “He found me stranded and helped me.”

“Oh, I see,” Namjoon didn’t change his cheerful expression, “We’re not supposed to be friends with our clients, but Jimin is sort of a special case. He’s one of the most well-adjusted people I’ve ever met.”

“Did he contact you about this evening?” Jungkook cocked his head to the side.

“Oh, he did! But Jimin is so funny in how he tells me things,” Namjoon shrugged, “Something like, ‘Namjoon-hyu~ung, y’free fa dinner? Can y’make a house call? Or a bar call, I guess? Got some real lu-cra-tive business t’discuss withcha,’ I think is how he phrased it.”

,“Yeah, sounds like him,” Jungkook smiled hearing Namjoon mimic Jimin’s drawl perfectly.

“I’m guessing you’re a part of said house call?” Namjoon grinned, “Funny you ran into me here.”

“Shall I spoil the surprise?” Jungkook pushed opened the door to the library that led back out to the street that had thankfully cleared, “And yeah, what a coincidence.”

“It’s serendipity,” Namjoon answered, sliding his hands into his pockets as he walked, “Spoil away.”

“Well, to make a long story short, I heard you have a pretty big craft?” Jungkook skipped a little in his step as the pair walked.

“Yes, I suppose you already know I’m a therapist. My craft is my office. I have rooms for sessions and also rooms in case clientele need a safe place to stay,” Namjoon explained.

“Well, I'm not sure if you'd be up for it, but uh, we'd like to borrow it for a while,” Jungkook wasn't quite sure how to lay out all the details or if he even should. The entire ordeal was sketchy, and Namjoon seemed like an upstanding, by-the-law kinda guy.

“Borrow?” Namjoon arched an eyebrow.

“My ship got compromised and Jimin’s is too small for all of us,” Jungkook started to babble, moving his hands in the air.

“Who is ‘all of us’?” Namjoon tilted his head.

“Well, Jimin, now you if you'd like, myself, and um… Do you know who Jung Hoseok is… Or, uh, Hope?” Jungkook was praying he didn't.

Namjoon laughed.

“Oh, yeah. I know Hoseok-ah,” Namjoon's eyes glinted, “So what's this really about?”

“Err, well, you know how I said my ship is compromised?” Jungkook touched the back of his neck nervously.

“Let me guess, our dear pirate was the one doing the compromising?” Namjoon was walking back toward the direction of new Sha-do.

“He took everything I had,” Jungkook said in a single breath.

“Alright. Another guess: Seokjin-hyung confiscated it before you could get it back?” Namjoon offered.

“Seokjin-hyung?” Jungkook did a quick mental check, but he couldn’t recall the name being said by anyone at the bar.

“Oh, you… you don’t know. That’s okay, you’ll figure it out soon,” Namjoon said cryptically, and his grin widened as Jungkook gave him an annoyed, confused stare.

“Well, if he’s confiscating… he’s a cop?” Jungkook sighed at the game.

“Bingo. You’re quick,” Namjoon shook his shoulder briefly as some kind of congratulations.

“And he takes Hoseok’s stuff a lot? I guess? Otherwise, you wouldn’t have asked,” Jungkook added.

“Yeah, but there’s more to it than that,” Namjoon shoved his hands in pockets as they strolled back, “But there always is. To everything.”

The walk back into the district seemed longer than the way out, Jungkook’s body weary from the day. Namjoon seemed to take note of the slump in his posture and forced him into a shop on the way to grab a caffeine strip, smacking it on his arm without prompting. The bounce in his step returned, and Jungkook felt a sense of relief as his surroundings became familiar once more as they approached Seventh Heaven. Namjoon pushed the door open and let Jungkook walk in first- they were early, but it didn’t really matter.

Yoongi was in the exact same position as the previous night, down to the arch of his back as he leaned on the bar. If Jungkook hadn’t seen him leave and awoke to an empty bar, he would’ve thought he had never left. Taehyung looked perturbed as he dried the glass with hard wipes. They seemed to be in the middle of something.

“-just wish he would consider his choices a little more,” Jungkook caught Tae saying.

“Now, do you mean his career choices or-” Yoongi rolled up, resting his head on the palm of his hand, “do you mean his romantic choices?”

Taehyung growled in frustration and slammed the glass down on the bar.

“Don’t psychoanalyze me,” Taehyung bit, glaring at Yoongi.

Namjoon and Jungkook approached the scene, but Namjoon seemed completely unaffected by Taehyung’s outburst. Jungkook couldn’t recall him having a temper before, and he held his breath. If he had thought about it a bit more, he would’ve realized he himself had changed quite a bit as well since their days back on BU-5417.

“Hey, that’s my job,” Namjoon said playfully, taking a seat next to Yoongi, “Are you looking for a new line of work?”

“No, thanks,” Yoongi said flatly, picking up his glass, “I don’t need to dabble in more careers I’m ill-suited for.”

“If you sobered up, you wouldn’t be a bad therapist,” Namjoon sighed.

“If I sobered up, I wouldn’t be a bad priest,” Yoongi retorted.

“Oh, I don’t know about that,” Taehyung interjected, “You can’t blame alcohol for you being a dick. I’ve seen you sober, it’s even worse.”

“I’m a happy drunk,” Yoongi took a sip, “Nothing but goodwill and cheer. Life of the party.”

“At least you’re self-aware,” Taehyung snorted, finally picking up a second glass to dry.

“Unlike some people,” Yoongi smiled wryly before shooting Namjoon a wide-eyed look and pointed at Taehyung with his thumb with the grace and subtlety of an outdated starship engine plagued with a broken valve system.

Tae stared at Namjoon and then looked back at Yoongi utterly unamused, “I don’t need a shrink.”

Namjoon softened, ignoring Yoongi’s antics, “Taehyung, it’s not how you imagine it is. It’s just me. We can just talk.”

“Joonie, he said he doesn’t need a shrink. And I don’t either. I just go see you for shits and giggles,” Yoongi smiled and winked, “Or just to talk.

“You’re such a fucking asshole,” Taehyung picked up the third glass to dry, “You know that?”

“And that’s why you always come crawling to me- your best customer- for advice,” Yoongi looked smug.

Check. and Mate.

Taehyung stared at him blankly for 14 seconds before groaning in disgust.

“This conversation literally started with ‘Tae, you know what your problem is-’”

Yoongi waved him off dismissively, “Details.”

“What’s the problem?” Namjoon persisted, keeping a friendly smile.

“There isn’t one,” Taehyung closed his eyes.

Yoongi laughed, “So if I say a certain somebody’s name, you’ll have no reaction, right?”

“Will you please shut the fuck up?” Taehyung’s eyes snapped open, but the aggression in his voice came accompanied by a creeping blush in his cheeks that betrayed the tone.

“Y’see lover boy over here--” Yoongi gestured at Taehyung in a grand, sweeping motion.

“You’re cut off.”

“-is perfectly okay without a doctor hearing his non-problems which he doesn’t have. Is what I was gonna say before you interrupted me,” Yoongi shrank, clutching his glass like a spoiled child.

Tae shook his head, looking past the two gentlemen seated at the bar to Jungkook standing about a meter behind them, leaning against a pillar. He mouthed “save me” in his direction. Jungkook, who had been watching with an amused smile the entire conversation, chuckled to himself. Who was he to interfere?

“You’re no help,” Taehyung grumbled.

Jungkook stepped forward and took the seat on the other side of Yoongi, “You’re a terrible priest. Aren’t you supposed to try to live a life of purity?”

“At least I confess my sins,” Yoongi rolled his eyes before pulling down the sunglasses that had been sitting on top of his head.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jungkook scoffed.

Before Yoongi could answer, a sweet, melodic voice came from behind them.

“Hi, y’all. Am I late?” Jimin panted as if he had jogged there, a faint pink touching his cheeks.

“Right on time,” Yoongi yawned. There was no way he had any clue what time it was.

“Hoseok-hyung ain’t here yet?” Jimin looked around before locking eyes with Jungkook and adding, “Don’t worry. He’ll show. He’s always like this.”

“Always like what?” Hoseok came up just after Jimin and put his hands on Jimin’s petite waist, startling him and making him jump, “Handsome? Incredible? Dashing?”

“Idiotic. Reckless. Childish,” Jimin pursed his lips and twisted around to face Hoseok, swatting at his hands, “Don’tcha forget y’got yourself in this pickle.”

“Spoilsport,” Hoseok pouted, thumbing Jimin’s cheek with a degree of too much familiarity before shifting his eyes to Namjoon, “Hiya, Doc. It’s good to see ya.”

“Hey, Hoseok. It’s been a while,” Namjoon nodded at him, “So what’s this about you all needing my ship?”

“Okay, so it’s a funny story,” Hoseok was already laughing at himself.

“It isn’t,” Jungkook soured.

“Y’know that shitty little refueling station seventeen clicks from here?” Hoseok continued, “The one with the vintage yellow machines? They have the turbo bars you like so much.”

“Oh, the Nucleo ones? I can’t find those anywhere,” Namjoon said excitedly.

“Yeah, those. Anyway, I was just making a stop when I saw a peach of a ship. You know my converters went bad, right? So I figured, y’know, get what I need and go,” Hoseok shrugged and everyone seemed unfazed but Jungkook scoffed loudly.

“You saw my ship and you took a lot more than just converters,” Jungkook bristled.

“Right, you’re right. So I was on my way and stopped at JE-70 to sell what I could, but I guess my timing was shit. My bestest bestest best best friend in the whole God Damn quadrant was there,” Hoseok wiggled his eyebrows, “You can guess what happened next. He saw Hix and thought to himself, hmm, what a perfect opportunity to fuck up Hoseok’s day.”

“Don’ be so dramatic, he’s juss doin’ his job,” Jimin gave Hoseok a playful shove.

“Yeah, the job of being a royal pain in my ass- and not even in the way I like,” Hoseok shoved Jimin back.

Namjoon rolled his eyes, “So the usual little choreography you two do happened for the hundred millionth time. You tried to hock it, he intercepted, you ran away, he pursued, you slipped out of his reach.”

“You take all the fun out when you say it like that, Joon,” Hoseok was pouting before beginning his dramatic tale of adventure, “I was clever! I outsmarted him. There I was, in the market- in full gear. My helmet covering my eyes. My identity protected. But you know those security checks at the edge of the market? I had to remove it. And I knew if Seokjin-hyung spotted me I was a dead man He’d know it was me all along. So I grabbed two long fruits, a recovery tarp, and three pins from the tent. That cop was lurking nearby, but I was just tucked out of sight in the shadows-”

“He juss lets you go ‘cause he’s a big softie. Honestly, I think he’s havin’ the time of his life,” Jimin interrupted with a coy smile plastered on his face.

“How would you know?” Hoseok soured at Jimin cutting his daring recount short.

“I don’t kiss and tell, Hobi-hyung,” Jimin winked and Hoseok stuck his tongue out in disgust.

“As entertaining as this story is, can we get to the point?” Jungkook had taken a seat and already downed half a glass of grass wine.

“Anyway, Joon-ah, my dear darling,” Hoseok said in a slow exhale, “I’ve found myself as our Jimin would put it, in a ‘pickle’.”

“I can infer, but I want you to ask me properly,” Namjoon said, giving a nod to Taehyung as he accepted his drink.

“We need your ship,” Hoseok’s face turned serious, “There're some jobs around the quadrant so I can pay Jungkook back for… for what I took.”

The words seemed to come out in a troubled stutter, and Jungkook’s forehead tensed.

“You’re fucking right, you piece of-”

“Hyung, I’ll cover the expense,” Jimin said sweetly, sliding his hand down Namjoon’s arm, “M’sure I’ll get it back.”

“You’re asking me to violate my ethics code,” Namjoon sighed. Yoongi snorted, and Namjoon shot him a please-shut-the-fuck-up look.

“Please, Namjoon-ah?” Hoseok stepped forward, nudging Jimin to the side and clutched his hands, “You’re my only hope. And you’ll just be driving us around. You won’t have to do any jobs or participate or nothin’.”

“You’ll be able to get good medicine with the money, Hyung,” Jimin said softly, “The right medicine.”

The offer was too sweet for Namjoon to ignore. After all, what was the worse that could happen?

“I’ll agree on one condition,” Namjoon touched his chin in thought.

They bristled.

A percentage? A cut? A restriction on where they could go? Some rule about bringing the stolen goods on board?

“We eat dinner together,” Namjoon smiled, “Every night.”

The group looked at each other in confusion.

“For what?” Jungkook finally said,”What’s the point?”

“My ship, my rules. Simple as that. Otherwise, you’ll have to find someone else to chauffeur your little escapades,” Namjoon smiled.

“It’s a psych thing,” A grumbly, drunken voice came from the bar.

“It’s not a psych thing,” Namjoon craned his neck. Yoongi lifted his head and propped it up on his hand to look at Jungkook.

“He always says that, but trust me. It’s a psych thing.”

Jungkook considered his options. If they rejected Namjoon, he wasn’t sure if they could find a ship or if Jimin would even be willing to pay.

“Fine. Done. Whatever. How early can we leave?” Jungkook huffed in an impatient sigh.

Namjoon’s eyes traveled to Jimin who was still standing with a soft, muted smile on his lips.

“If Jiminie can finance the supplies and fuel, we can leave tomorrow,” Namjoon said.

“Tomorrow?” Taehyung leaned on the bar, “What about your patients?”

“I’m part of a network so we have a close-knit set of alternatives,” Namjoon shook his head and shrugged, “And the way I operate, I’m more of an acute recovery therapist.”

“Sound like you got all your bases covered, Doc,” Hoseok nodded to Taehyung and motioned for a drink before making eyes at Jimin who responded with an annoyed sigh and slapped a few yuenne down.

“Now that we have that sorted, what’s this supposed job you have lined up?” Jungkook watched the exchange with disgust. Hoseok downed the drink in a single swallow.

“Let’s get dinner first,” His voice was rough from the alcohol burning his throat and nudged Yoongi who had seemingly drifted to sleep, “Care to join us?”

“No, thanks,” Yoongi answered quickly, refusing to open his eyes.

“No. You’re going. You need food. I’ll close up Seventh for a while. There’s no one here but y’all anyway,” Taehyung forced a glass of water into Yoongi’s hands.

Namjoon clapped his hands together and rubbed them excitedly, “Perfect.”

“We need carbs,” Taehyung gave Yoongi a gentle push to get him upright, “Lots of carbs.”

Hoseok came up from behind Yoongi and helped him to his feet, holding the back of the glass of water until he gulped its entire contents down.

“Well, if y’need him to sober up, I know juss th’place,” Jimin ran his hands through his hair and cocked his hip to the side, giving a mysterious wink.

The Place was literally called The Place, and it was located about ten minutes south of Seventh Heaven. Jungkook’s eyes widened in surprise as the dark and grime were juxtaposed against the pristine the further they went. The tempting whispered nightlife of New Sha-do was pressed against the elite River District. It was like walking on the surface of a new planet. Brand names and fashion and exclusive restaurants were stacked on top of each other past the blanket of fog that always seemed to sit and halo the buildings. Jimin looked completely at ease as he walked, but Jungkook had a passing thought that Jimin would probably look at ease just about anywhere- he was an unspoken but understood intersection of both worlds.

“My treat,” Jimin said with a smile before leaning over to the maitre d and whispering a few words. She pulled away and flashed a smile in return, seemingly knowing who he was before disappearing into the back. When she returned, she gave him a small nod and extended her arm.

“Right this way, Mr. Park,” She seemed pleased and led the group through the main dining room to a small lift, stepping inside and tapping the small pale circle with the number 37. The other five of them stepped into the elevator after Jimin, bewildered. Jungkook unconsciously shifted closer to Taehyung as they shot up through the building. When the elevator doors opened, they were greeted with a private table nestled against the windows. They were above the clouds and all they could see were the stretch of endless stars pin-pricking the dark.

Without a single word exchanged, drinks were brought to the table- a pink to white drink was placed in front of Yoongi.

“Drink this first,” Jimin patted his shoulder, “This always cures me.”

Yoongi wrapped his hand around the bottom of the glass as he pulled it close, giving it a sniff before cautiously beginning to sip it. Without ever seeing Jimin order anything, the table was soon filled with dishes from edge to edge with the finest delicacies SE-041 had to offer. A special course tailored for Yoongi was laid out in front of him who slowly had a more healthy color returning to his cheeks as he nibbled. Taehyung looked visibly relieved.

“Alright,” Hoseok said, leaning back against the cushion and patting his stomach, satisfied beyond measure, “Let me tell you about the job. Have any of you ever been to the Blue Ridge section of the quadrant? There’s a planet called DO-7140 that’s a kind of hub since it’s close to the border. Anyway, there’s a real douche of a guy who takes advantage with importing and exporting, but he’s got a fat load of rare shit he essentially swiped and collected in his private villa. And I happen to know there’s a big reward for getting that shit back, but because DO-7140 sits in neutral space and he’s got a fucking armed guard, there’s no way to get it. I could never pull it off because I work solo, but now that we’ve got a little team here-”

Hoseok motioned to Jungkook, Jimin, and Namjoon, “I think I can tackle all the big jobs I had passed before.”

The three of them shared a looked.

“What do you mean?” Jungkook blinked in surprise, “You want to drag us down with you?”

“It’s perfect, we’ve got the brain,” Hoseok pointed to Namjoon,

“The bait,” then Jimin,

“The muscle,” then to Jungkook,

“And the street smarts,” And finally to himself.

Taehyung and Yoongi both snorted in stereo.

“You’re not as smart as you think you are,” Yoongi smiled, “How many scrapes have I gotten you out of? Remember when I had to pull my priest card and come find you and bust you out of that holding cell in the Red Cloud region? Told them you needed to make a confession.”
“Don’t forget when I had to play distraction in the Astro system-” Taehyung added, “That was a weird day.”

“I’ve never seen a person so fascinated with you in my life,” Yoongi nodded in agreement, looking at Taehyung in awe, “How did you even get that guard to talk to you about his childhood? I swear to God your ability to get people to tell them their innermost secrets completely surpasses Namjoon and myself. He was crying on you, talking about his mom, and thanking you while Hoseok was pulling out his holocards under his nose.”

“If you think I’m so damn incapable then why don’t you just fucking come and chaperone, Mom and Dad,” Hoseok crossed his arms in front of his chest.

“I’m not Mom,” Yoongi said quickly.

“I could close the bar for a while,” Taehyung said thoughtfully, ignoring Yoongi, “Jiminie and Yoongi-hyung were my best customers. I mean, if you’ve got room for two more, Hyung.”

“Sure, and it’d be nice to keep an eye on Yoongi-hyung, too,” Namjoon scratched his head.

“First of all, I’m right fucking here. Second of all, I’m not a kid-” Yoongi protested.

“It’ll be real fun, Hyung,” Jimin nudged Yoongi good-naturedly, “I know you like usin’ yer holiness t’somebody’s benefit.”

“I’ll cut you all in, of course. It’ll take me longer to pay Jungkook back, but I ain’t a cheat,” Hoseok leaned on the table.

He was, in fact, a cheat.

“Well, s’all settled,” Jimin smiled wide, his eyes disappearing before motioning to the wait staff and handing her a small gold holocard that Jungkook had never seen in his life, “Canya program a business receipt, darlin’?”

Jungkook returned back to the bar with Taehyung, saying goodbye to the other four one by one as they returned to their respective homes- gathering the last of whatever they needed and putting things in order to disembark on a sudden, whirlwind heist led by the local notorious pirate Jung Hoseok.

“Try and get some sleep,” Taehyung said, reading Jungkook’s face as he pushed the door open, “Big day tomorrow.”

It was crazy. It seemed crazy. All six of them were dropping everything in forty-eight hours to pursue something that might fuck them all over- and for what, exactly? As Jungkook climbed the stairs of his childhood friend’s house a million miles from their home planet, he realized that they had a single string connecting them.

They had nothing to lose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

It’s so oppressively hot in the marketplace that Jungkook is sweating- the exhaust from the nearby ships coming and going from the dock adjacent to the market making it worse. And it’s crowded. Really fucking crowded. But he’s okay, even in the heat and being shoulder to shoulder with strangers, he has Hoseok by his side. He’s standing a meter away at a booth, hand on his cocked hip and examining different tools. It’s weirdly comforting to Jungkook, even if he doesn’t like the guy. With his focus on the task at hand, the sea of people moving around him barely registers.

“What’s that for?” Jungkook asks, pointing to some ropes that were wrapped tight in a careful circle.

Hoseok shrugs.

“Y’never know,” Hoseok nodded to the sales-droid and swiped his card on the pad, lifting his purchase up and over his shoulder. He turned the card over before pocketing it, mumbling a small prayer, “Bless Jiminie.”

Jungkook’s bag was already stuffed to the brim with supplies thanks to their patron saint, Park Jimin. He had shoved one of his cards to Hoseok and said, “It’s pre-loaded. Got more than y’need.

He didn’t know how much Hoseok had already spent, but he sure looked gleeful every time he swiped the card across the payment panel hinged the front of the different booths. Hoseok tugged Jungkook’s arm through the crowd toward the spaceships that were docked at the far end. They never said anything about it, but at the beginning of the day when they set out together and the midday shoppers started to swarm, Jungkook fell behind. His chest got tight, and the air didn’t seem to quite fill his lungs. Without saying a word, Hoseok walked back through the bustle, linked arms with Jungkook and continued on their way.

Hoseok didn’t let Jungkook stray too far from him the rest of the day, peeking his head up to keep track of where he was- careful not to let him get swallowed up by the crowd.

“We’re all set,” Hoseok said finally, nodding toward Namjoon’s ship. It was grander than he could’ve anticipated and looked different from any starship he had ever seen. While most ships at port had a sleek, modern grey design, Namjoon’s was an oddity. It was round and so dark brown it was nearly black with something like an observation tower stuck on the back. As they approached, Yoongi was lying flat on his back half under the ship while Namjoon looked on. It took a few seconds for Jungkook to realize what was going on.

“It looks okay,” Yoongi said from underneath the vessel, “Your panel just came loose. That’s probably what was giving the error.”

“Thanks a ton, Hyung,” Namjoon sighed in relief, “I looked it over, but once it said valve error I panicked. Last time I tried to fix a valve, I broke three.”

Yoongi slid out from underneath, wiping the sweat from his brow. He handed Namjoon the small tool and sat up, catching Jungkook and Hoseok standing a few meters away.

“How'd the shopping go?” Yoongi asked, dusting off his hands on the sides of his black pants.

“They had a sale on power converters,” Hoseok grinned and pointed his thumb to Jungkook’s bag.

“Please tell me you actually bought things we need,” Taehyung’s low voice carried from the top of the ladder as he scaled down.

“He was very obtuse about everything he picked out,” Jungkook sighed and shrugged his shoulders up to adjust the load on his back, feeling like a pack mule.

“Hey, hey,” Hoseok frowned, his mouth turning into a small triangle, “I assure you that every single item I selected was something that will most definitely become necessary.”

“Explain the ten packs of StarCrossed Bubble Chew,” Jungkook huffed, “It’s taking up a third of the backpack.”

“It was on-”

“I swear to God if you say ‘sale’, Hyung, I’m going straight back to Seventh and you can go plunder the galaxy by yourself,” Taehyung interrupted as he reached the bottom of the steps.

“Don’t say the Lord’s name in vain,” Yoongi shoved Taehyung playfully.

“-on my list of things I need for our very first mission,” Hoseok corrected, laughing and patting Taehyung on the back a little too hard.

“Am I late?” Jimin said, running his hands through his hair as he came up behind Jungkook. He was huffing as if he were out of breath, just the same as yesterday.

“Right on time,” Yoongi answered with a smile- Jungkook realized that he looked a lot different than the past two days he had seen him. He was sober.

“That’s good- couldn’t find a dang place t’park,” Jimin frowned, “Don’t bother makin’ any jokes about ‘Park’ Jimin, Hobi-hyung.”

Hoseok quickly opened and shut his mouth.

Namjoon quirked his eyebrow.

“Why didn’t you just bring your cruiser here? Could just get her into the ship now while everything is getting loaded,” He asked, shoving the tool from Yoongi back into the kit on the ground. Jiminie whined and pouted.

“Didn’t think t’bring the’hook up t’properly connect everythin’ on land,” Jimin turned around in the presumable direction of his cruiser.

“Don’t worry, Jiminie. When we’re in space I’ll open up the hatch and you can park your cruiser in my docking bay,” Namjoon offered.

“Isn’t it usually the other way around?” Hoseok blurted and covered his mouth, laughing. Jimin sucked his teeth and punched Hoseok in the arm.

“Well, the gang’s all here. Jiminie, let’s rendezvous in just a bit. We’ll lift off and just hang in standby mode. Radio me, okay? Are the rest of you guys ready?” Namjoon asked, ignoring Hoseok and securing the toolkit into the side of the ship. The rest of them looked at each other and gave various silent replies in the form of nods and shrugs.

“Alrighty. See y'all in a jiff,” Jimin smiled his radiant smile and waved before turning on his heels and walking away. Namjoon waved back before starting his way up the stairs to the entrance, glancing back to make sure his newfound crew was accounted for.

Namjoon’s ship was just as unique on the inside as it was the out. As Jungkook walked in, he blinked in wonder at the interior. Most ships had a clinical, sterile feel, but Namjoon’s- ironically, was cozy and warm and felt more like somebody’s mom’s house. It existed in warm shades of golden brown and black with bronze and copper lining. It felt as if it were out of a different time- and Namjoon even had holo-art on the walls. Soothing stuff like waterfalls and shit.

But it was nice.

“This is your room,” Namjoon said, sliding his hand over the panel, “If you keep going straight down this hall it opens to a big room. Get settled. I’ll take her up and then we’ll have a little get-together to figure out what the hell we’re doing.”

Jungkook nodded and walked in, the door sliding shut behind him.

His room matched the exterior decor- nearly all in black save for the honey-colored sheets which suited him just fine. His old ship was company-sanctioned grey on grey on grey. He hadn't given it a second thought when he was there. It was easy to accept the blasé scenery because he could always put up his photographs and findings above his bed which served as a personal touch among the dull.

But here, on Namjoon's ship, he didn't need to add a thing. Namjoon had obviously taken great care to have the rooms feel welcoming for his patients. The lighting was low in the room and a small bookshelf sat concave next to the bed with some paperback books. It was unusual, but Jungkook could understand why Namjoon had chosen to add it.

Jungkook walked to the shelf and traced his finger down the spine of a creamy-hued book, pulling it out and flipping through the pages. The paper had its own scent, and Jungkook felt a wave of nostalgia crash into him. He was so used to the glaring screen of his holopad, he had completely forgotten what books smelled like.

A small tone rang out and the indicator light above the door changed from green to red- Namjoon's voice cut in from an invisible intercom.

"Hi, everyone. It's your captain speaking- ha ha," Jungkook wondered if Yoongi was rolling his eyes, "Please secure yourself. Should be smooth, but sometimes leaving New Sha-do's atmosphere is a little rough. Just in case I put the safety light on. When it's green I'll meet you all in the conference room. If you have your holopad, you'll have access to the ship's schematics. I already unlocked them for you. See you soon!"

With the silence filling the air, Jungkook took a seat on his bed and put his hand on the panel next to the small window. The wall changed from opaque to transparent along a barely visible line.

Within seconds, the crowd of people that had always made him feel overwhelmed shrank and disappeared into nothing as they broke through the heavy blanket of fog into the edges of SE-061.

And Jungkook never felt better in his life.

But that was something he was going to keep to himself.

The black stretching out beyond the horizon made the air trapped in his chest push out in a sigh, eased by the freedom of the quite literal space. Chiming for the second time, Jungkook swiveled to the indicator that had flipped back to green. He'd have to check out the view later when he returned.

The conference room was easy to find. He followed down the hall, passing room after room to the archway. Touching the panel, the door slid open for him to see Namjoon sitting at the head of the table with a large smile on his face. Hoseok was already next to him, leaning back with his feet propped on the surface and looking relaxed as always. Jungkook took a seat next to Namjoon on the opposite side, and it wasn't long before Yoongi and Taehyung lumbered in after.

"You should try doing this for longer," Taehyung was mid-conversation, his hand still on the panel as Yoongi walked into the room ahead.

"You'd lose your best customer," Yoongi quipped, "How much of your money is my money, you think?"

"Well, we have a new venture and now I'm not vampirically draining your bank account. Even more reason," Taehyung followed after, "We'll both be making money."

"You know, you're a lot more convincing than Namjoon," Yoongi laughed, taking a seat next to Hoseok. Taehyung walked around and found a seat next to Jungkook, shaking his shoulder briefly as he sat.

"I'm offended," Namjoon scoffed, leaning his chin onto his laced fingers, "We've made so much progress, Hyung."

"Yeah, but you always wanna talk feelings," Yoongi frowned, "I'm more fluent in money."

"You and me both," Taehyung smiled.

"Make that three," Hoseok added.

"How 'bout four?" Jimin appeared in the doorway, beaming.

"Jiminie, did you dock okay?" Namjoon lifted his head and absent-mindedly elbowed Hoseok before he could open his fat mouth to crack a joke. He could hear Hoseok groan and shift, but his eyes didn't leave the young man leaning on the door frame.

"Sure, no problem at all, Doc," Jiminie plopped down next to Taehyung, cheerfully bouncing in his seat, "Did I miss anythin'?"

Taehyung spared him a glance before meeting Yoongi's eye- whose eyebrows promptly shot up- and turned his head quickly toward Namjoon in silence.

"Nah, we haven't even started," Hoseok rubbed his side where Namjoon had dug in, "Your timing is impeccable."

"Alright, so start," Jungkook said finally after listening to the back-and-forth, "What's the job?"

"Well, I already told you the basics last night," Hoseok leaned and put his feet back on the table, but Jimin stood, leaned over and shoved them off, mumbling 'manners'.

"Export-import guy," Yoongi added for clarification.

"Yeah, export-import guy. Name’s A. J. French. Okay, so here's the setup: we'll divide into two teams- me, Namjoon, and the kid will infiltrate this dude's house. You should all be bowin' down to me 'cause I got the security codes to his place-" Hoseok grinned, "It was great. I was real clever about it, so I was talking to the automaton butler, and-"

"What do I need to do?" Namjoon interrupted.

"Joonie, you gotta use your big brain to cause a distraction with the staff. They're all robots. You're like a genius, right?" Hoseok felt around his pockets before pulling out a pack of filters, "While you do that, me and the kid will sneak in grab the stuff."

"That's... it? This is the plan?" Jungkook's tone was incredulous, but he was more perplexed than anything, "We'll get caught."

A silence fell on the room before the group broke in individual levels of amusement, Hoseok smirking wide enough that his teeth were showing.

"Don't you know, Jungkook-ah?" Jimin leaned over the table to look at him, "Nothin' can stop Hope."

Jungkook blinked and turned back to Hoseok who looked utterly pleased with himself.

 

The space pirate Hope, did, in fact, get stopped.

 

But that's for a little later in our story so let's continue.

"I'm a psychologist, not a robotics engineer," Namjoon corrected, but his voice was uncharacteristically small. Hoseok's eyebrow quirked.

"Are you tellin' me, Doc, that you don't know everything there is to know about those little machines?" He snorted knowingly.

Namjoon narrowed his eyes and fell silent.

"What about the other team? Can we have team names? Can we be Team Shadow Galactica? Wait, no Team Supernova. No, no- Team Star Raiders," Taehyung rambled excitedly.

"We don't need team names. Just team A and team B," Jimin offered, chuckling softly.

"Then we're team A," Yoongi added.

"Okay, so, this is what I got- I had to cash in a few favors, but I got the schedule from his staff. Wasn't that hard: everyone hates him. Even the bots," Hoseok pressed a filter to the burner slot on the table, "I won't tell you the whole routine because, frankly, it's boring and borderline disturbing in some parts, but anyway- he takes an early dinner at five-ish. After that, he heads to a well-known spot and does one of two things. This is where Team Star Raiders comes in."

"Team A is fine-" Jimin puffed his cheeks.

"He'll either sit at the bar and get shit-faced, your favorite past-time, padre, and start singing bar songs really loud and pay for everyone's drinks or option B, he'll start cruisin' your type that pick up Johns there. I gotta tell ya, Minnie- you gotta, like, slum it. You're too high class for that place. He likes spaceport transit gay-for-pays, not posh sex kittens," Hoseok's eyes traveled up and down Jimin.

"You're disgusting," Jungkook's face scrunched. Jimin waved his hand ambivalently in Jungkook's direction, his radiant smile returning.

"Alright, I'll get my civilian clothes," Jimin looked deep in thought, and Jungkook wondered if he owned anything that cost less than half a million yuenne.

"You gotta change your make up. Do that smoky eye thing. And you gotta change how you walk- you can't slink-"

"I don' slink," Jimin clicked his tongue.

"Yeah, you do. It's goddamn beautiful, but if this is gonna work, you gotta forget it for a while," Hoseok sucked deep on the filter and puffed out vapor in rings.

"You don't gotta do this," Jungkook squirmed, "Can't we just go with the Yoongi-hyung-plan?"

Jimin laughed musically and winked at Jungkook.

"Sounds like fun. Don' worry, Jungkookie," Jimin bounced in his seat and pulled up to the table.

"Jiminie's just back up, kid. If we got this goin' right, Yoongi-hyung and Tae are the perfect duo to get this dude drunk off his ass," Hoseok slid the filters back into his pocket.

"Okay," Namjoon was sliding his finger over his holopad, "We should arrive in DO-7140 by 1500 hours."

"That'll give us two hours to get in place," Yoongi looked at Hoseok, "Is that enough time?"

"More than we need," Hoseok grinned.

 

It was, of course, barely enough time at all.

It was a quarter past as Namjoon, Hoseok, and Jungkook sprinted toward the location of their target- Jungkook cursing out Hoseok as they ran.

"Just what the hell are we doing, exactly?" Jungkook asked, crouching with the other two against the wall.

"It's all about timing," Hoseok answered, periodically sneaking glances up over the wall.

"I don't want to hear that from you," Namjoon huffed, "You're the one who made us late in the first place."

"I always tell people things early in case I need to detour," Hoseok's eyes flashed as a smirk tugged on his lips, "Watch this."

He nudged Jungkook and nodded to the gate swinging open, a black hovercar jetting out leaving a trail of pollutants behind. Hoseok grabbed Jungkook's arm just as he had in the marketplace and tugged him inside as Namjoon kept on their heels. As if it had been perfectly choreographed, there wasn't a human or android in sight.

"How did you do that?" Jungkook asked in wonder, scanning the area.

"I'm the cleverest sonofabitch you'll ever meet," Hoseok strolled to the front door as if he was meant to be there all along.

"Don't believe him- it's dumb luck," Namjoon whispered.

Jungkook smirked and dropped his bag to the floor, unzipping and examining its contents. Namjoon bent and pulled out his personal satchel that he had prepared earlier with whatever he had needed for their little adventure and removed a handful of small silver discs.

“Alright- these are the jammers,” Namjoon held one up between his fingers and flipped it back to front, “You want to put these around the house as you go deeper. The androids are class level AR-37. Susceptible to radio waves. They made a lot of androids in this class level of varying intelligence and capabilities. they're more expensive than their worth, but also really versatile and useful. They break down easily though and are prone to errors, but they don't die. They're really durable despite their malfunctions."

“Okay, so what?” Hoseok took the bag from Namjoon peering in, “What’ll they do?”

“I have the jammers linked to my holopad,” Namjoon pulled it out, swiping his finger across the screen, “I coded it so that they’ll treat you like a member of the house and essentially ignore you. They won’t find anything strange about you being there and taking things. But the jammers are short wave which means you have to keep putting them down one to two meters apart.”

“Got it, Doc,” Hoseok nodded, taking the disc from Namjoon’s fingers and putting it back into the bag, “Just keep stickin’ these babies around the house and Jungkook and I can get in, get out, and hightail it.”

“That’s the idea,” Namjoon nodded, “I’ll be out here. Just ring me if there’s any trouble.”

“Should be easy as pie,” Hoseok smiled.

Jungkook shot him a look, “Let’s just get it over with.”

“See you in a few, Doc,” Hoseok gave him a quick wave and drug Jungkook into the house straight through the front door. Namjoon had jammed all the androids in the immediate vicinity, and the one or two that passed through didn’t pay the pair any mind. Jungkook stepped warily, wondering how far exactly the boundary was.

“You wanna just lay these around? What if they touch them?” Jungkook asked as Hoseok removed the first small device. Hoseok smiled for his answer and motioned for Jungkook’s bag, pulling it open and taking out one of the cartons of the StarCrossed double chew.

“You’re kidding,” Jungkook said, watching as Hoseok popped a piece of the candy in his mouth and handed one to Jungkook.

“Cheaper than sealant putty- and works better, too,” Hoseok pulled the gum from his mouth and stuck it under the table at the edge of the room, positioning the disc.

“So we gotta chew gum the entire time we’re walking through here?” Jungkook’s face was pained.

“Good thing there’s two of us,” Hoseok laughed and pulled Jungkook to the next room.

Each room was more extravagant than the last- while the foyer they had passed through was floor to ceiling polished marble, the next room served as something akin to a lounge or parlor. Antiques and holo-art filled the space, and Hoseok strolled over to a particular piece. The small statuette looked like a figure dancing in water, frozen perfectly in place and made of some sort of black opalescent stone. He stood up, checked around out of habit, and carefully removed it from its stand.

“Is that on our list?” Jungkook quirked an eyebrow, pulling a piece of gum from his mouth and followed behind Hoseok- searching for a good place to put the next disc.

“I just like pretty things,” Hoseok answered, flipping over the statue to look at the bottom and examine the writing, “The genuine article.”

“May I help you, Master?” An android stepped to Hoseok, smiling warmly.

Jungkook froze, but Hoseok didn’t skip a beat.

“Yes, ma’am. Y’see, we were invited by Mr. French to take an inventory for appraisal,” Hoseok started, lifting the statuette up.

“Oh, I see. How may we be of service?” The AR-37 asked, tilting her head to the side.

“My esteemed colleague here,” Hoseok patted Jungkook’s shoulder, “Lord J. Carlos, heir to the Holo-Yum Candy and Sweets Corp., would like a tour of your lovely home. Say, does your model chew bubblegum?”

“If we are programmed to do so, then yes,” She answered sweetly, “Which most of us do.”

“Swell,” Hoseok pulled Jungkook’s bag off his back and dug in, pulling out a carton, “It’d mean a whole heck of a lot to Mr. Carlos if y’all would try his gum. There’s a new flavor and they’re checking the appeal with the synthetic-types like yourself.”

Jungkook smirked at the absurdity as the machine opened the box up and carefully removed the papers, handing out pieces of gum to the staff around her. In no time, five androids were next to them chewing bubblegum. Hoseok’s story didn’t really make any sense, but it didn’t need to. With Namjoon’s reprogramming, the androids were dumb as dirt. They were blindly handing over piece after piece of gum as they walked through the house- he was getting all the work done for him.

Jungkook stuck another disc under the tea table and smirked.

Hoseok really was a clever bastard.

 

About 20 minutes away, Jimin sat in the back of the bar at an empty booth. The way the room was arranged, the tables against the wall were separated and lined for privacy. It was skeezy, but that wasn’t something he paid any mind to. His eyes were fixed on Mr. French and his two new companions- laughing hysterically at something Taehyung said that Jimin couldn’t quite catch.

“Bet I can drunk this one fastest than you,” Yoongi said in a slur, picking up the shot glass and winking. It was all an act- in reality, Yoongi’s tolerance level was ridiculously high.

“Y’got this, Frenchie. Ol’ Yoongi-hyung can barely hold the glass let alone finish a shot,” Taehyung said smugly.

“Alright, whas’the bet?” Mr. French asked leaning forward to collect his glass. He was most definitely drunk off his ass and leaned on the bar to stabilize himself.

“If I win, y’buy a round of drinks for the bar,” Yoongi winked.

“Okay, but if I win, I buy a round of drinks for the bar,” French nodded.

“Sounds fair,” Taehyung smiled, “On my count. One, two, three-”

The men threw their shot glasses back, the burning liquid hitting their throats simultaneously.

“Fuck,” Yoongi wobbled, “Guess you’re buyin’ the bar a round.”

“Drinks on me!” French shouted to the patrons who cheered uproariously, leaving him with a satisfied, smug expression.

Jimin smiled to himself, watching the little spectacle unfold. Taehyung and Yoongi really were the perfect tag team. He sighed, carefully adjusting his bangs and pouting his bottom lip, feeling like he was completely unneeded after all.

“Hi, there,” A stranger appeared in front of him with a seedy expression, smiling incompletely and dark, “You takin’ appointments?”

Jimin perked up, his expression just as soft as always, “Sure, mister. I’ll be right back- just gotta freshen up. Have a seat an’ we’ll talk ‘bout all the facts an’ figures.”

He slid out the seat, giving a soft, embarrassed giggle and pointed for the bathroom before walking away. His face fell as soon as his back was turned, mentally retching. Pushing the bathroom door open, Jimin sauntered to the bathroom. He tilted his head, running his hands through his hair in front of the mirror. He looked just as beautiful as always- even in the overdone makeup and the mesh shirt that he found at the bottom of his closet. It was just a costume. Everything he was doing was just a costume.

Placing his hands on the sides of the porcelain sink, he stared down at the drain. He turned on the water and let it run, feeling soothed by the noise. He closed his eyes, breathing out slow. By his calculation, they just had to keep this up for another 45 minutes or so. He could do this for 45 minutes. That was entirely reasonable.

Sliding his hand to the faucet handle, he stopped the water and pushed off the sink.

Back into the fray.

As he reached for the door, it swung open and he was promptly bumped into by the one Mr. French.

“Oh, my,” Jimin said, brushing the other man’s shirt, “Excuse me.”

“Whaddya think you-” Mr. French stumbled a little before his eyes focused on Jimin, eying him up and down, “-Wow. Damn. I mean, it’s okay. M’lucky to get bumped into by someone as pretty as you.”

Maybe Jimin could help after all.

“Gee,” Jimin twirled his finger into his hair, “That’s awfully nice of ya t’say. I heard ya buyin’ us all drinks. Y’sure are nice.”

“Oh, it’s nothin’,” He said, but his face was proud, “What do you drink, beautiful? I’ll buy you ten.”

“Don’ think I need quite ten,” Jimin laughed musically, stepping closer and touching his arm, “Juss one tall drink will do.”

Mr. French smiled, but he was visibly flustered even in his drunken state. He took a step toward Jimin, diminishing the space between them.

“Say, didn’t I see you sittin’ at the back in the booths? I’ve never seen ya around before,” Mr. French said, moving the hair from Jimin’s eyes, “Hon, you’re real cute, but you gotta know. I don’t think anybody told you.”

“Told me what?” Jimin’s eyes went wide and innocent, turning his face ever so slightly like a cat getting pet.

“Well, not to be crass,” Mr. French’s eyes narrowed, “But that’s where all the whores hook their Janes and Johns.”

“Oh,” Jimin blushed, looking at the floor before lifting his eyes to Mr. French, “But I do know.”

He could nearly hear Mr. French’s breathing come to an immediate halt.

“What?” He croaked, but the blood was already rushing through him excitedly, “Maybe I’m too drunk, but did you just say you’re a-”

“I prefer the term escort if ya don’ mind,” Jimin shrugged coyly and pressed himself against Mr. French. With nervously, sloppy motions, Mr. French’s wide hands slipped down and settled on Jimin’s back. There was an audible gulp.

It was almost too easy.

“Why don’ we get outta here?” Jimin mumbled breathily, clutching the fabric of his shirt, “Y’can show me how nice y’are.”

Mr. French walked backward with Jimin against the door, keeping him in his arms securely. With a twist, he turned the lock.

“I make a lot of money, baby,” Mr. French puts his hands on either side of Jimin on the door, “And we’re already somewhere private. Why don’t we have a little fun right here?”

Jimin laughed nervously.

Usually, under normal circumstances, this was breaking all of his rules about client interaction. They were as follows:

1. See a client in an introductory meeting
2. Run a background check for any deal-breaking behavior (there wasn’t much- mostly it was to check their bank account)
3. Exchange payment before rendering services
4. Make a log of his location that was ready to send to Jin in a single swipe on his holopad
5. Decide on an agreed location and timeframe as well as expectations, kinks, turn-offs

Jimin had done a grand total of zero of these things with Mr. French.

“M-mister,” Jimin stuttered, feeling back against the door and reaching for the handle, “Don’ ya wanna get comfortable? I can do a lot more on a bed.”

“So we’ll start here, and then I’ll fuck you on a bed,” Mr. French said hoarsely in Jimin’s ear, already grinding between Jimin’s legs. When his hand found the lock and he started to twist it, Mr. French’s fingers wrapped around his wrists and he pulled them up above Jimin’s head.

“Wait,” Jimin squeaked, trying to free himself, “Y’gotta sign paperwork.”

Mr. French chuckled deep, dragging his tongue along Jimin’s neck and thrusting his hips against him, “Never met a whore who did things by the book.”

Jimin’s stomach turned and a slight panic started to fill him. The word whore was heavy on his tongue, and the way it came out didn’t seem right. Nothing seemed right.

“Alright, forget th’paperwork,” Jimin cooed, rolling his hips against Mr. French and moaning as he nibbled on his neck, “What d’ya wanna do in here?”

“Be a good little boy and suck my cock,” Mr. French was pressing his erection hard to Jimin’s thigh and let go of his wrists in favor of sliding his hand into Jimin’s hair, “Open your mouth.”

He shoved Jimin by his head down onto his knees and pulled his head back, making Jimin whine from the pain. That was going to purple. Jimin furrowed his brow in irritation- he didn’t allow marks.

“Mister,” Jimin started to say in protest with a serene smile, “Can ya be a lil’ more gentle? ’m sensitive-”

Jimin was promptly cut off by a half-hard dick being shoved into his mouth.

“You talk too damn much, baby boy,” Mr. French growled, thrusting so deep that Jimin immediately choked around him. He smirked at his discomfort, holding Jimin’s head and continuing to push his cock in- growing completely erect by the second thrust, “Suck daddy’s cock real nice, and I’ll spoil you later.”

Jimin absent-mindedly wondered if he could get to the pistol tucked away on him in such a horrible position. If he could reach behind him unnoticed, maybe- he carefully moved his hand to get to the hidden holster. Jimin was a hundred percent sure this dude wasn’t going to be missed. And he was completely prepared to blast this stupid fucker back into stardust. His thumb and finger just made it to the loop of the trigger.

Just then a large loud knock on the door interrupted them.

“Mr. French?” Taehyung’s voice came from the other side, “You okay in there? Yoongi-hyung’s gotta pee.”

“Baby boy, you’re makin’ my friends wait,” Mr. French said roughly, thrusting harder past Jimin’s lips, “Make me cum already, you filthy little whore.”

Jimin let out a yelp of distress- and it took the entirety of two seconds for Taehyung to break the door. It took less than one for him to observe the scene- Jimin’s cheeks flushed red and his makeup running- to pounce him to the floor. Yoongi slipped his arms around Jimin to pull him up as Taehyung landed punch after punch- splitting the skin on his own knuckles as they collided with Mr. French’s face.

“Don’t watch, Minnie,” Yoongi said softly, pulling Jimin away and pulling the handkerchief from his pocket to wipe his face, “You don’t need to see that.”

 

Back at the mansion, Jungkook and Hoseok had run into a little problem.

“Doc,” Hoseok lifted his arm to talk into the small panel on his wrist, “We’ve run into a little problem.”

“The androids are glitching out,” Jungkook whispered, wide-eyed, “They’re like collectively freezing and then coming back to life. It’s fucking weird.”

“For a split second they know we’re not supposed to be here before your programming kicks back in,” Hoseok added, “It’s makin’ me nervous.”

“Oh,” Namjoon answered, “Probably because of the number of discs you guys are using. They’re stretched thin.”

“Well, can ya fix it?” Hoseok asked, staring at the door, “We’re at the last room already, and we need to get back out.”

Just then three of the androids that were standing idle went limp, their arms dangling. It was unsettling. When they booted back up, one blinked in confusion at Hoseok.

“Excuse me, who are you and why are you here? This is Master French’s private office,” She asked, irritation rising in her voice.

“Doll, listen-” Hoseok smiled sheepishly, “We were sent to do an appraisal for Mr. French.”

“There’s no such thing on the schedule. I’m sorry, but you need to leave,” She said harshly, “Immediately.”

“Namjoon,” Hoseok whispered loudly into the panel, “Fucking help.”

“On it, on it-” Namjoon’s voice came through, “Putting a new code in. Wait, shit-”

The androids went limp again and Jungkook took a step closer to Hoseok. He grabbed his arm to tug him toward the safe.

“Let’s just get what we need and get the fuck out of here, please,” Jungkook begged. Hoseok nodded, and the two of them rushed around the room. The list of items was already programmed on their wrist panels, and they weren’t hard to locate. Hoseok had already shoved his fifth priceless antique into Jungkook’s backpack when the familiar hum of electricity came back and the androids rolled up their backs and blinked as if they were coming out of a dream.

“Shit, Namjoon-” Hoseok called as they rushed to their sides.

“Oh, Master,” One said, clasping her hands together, “How may we serve you? Please command us.”

“Yes, yes,” The second chined, dropping to her knees and bowing, “Give us instruction.”

The other two quickly followed suit, “We were programmed to assist in anything you require.”

Jungkook and Hoseok blinked at each other before Hoseok broke out into a smirk. He pulled up the list on the panel and pressed a button underneath, projecting a holographic image of his prize.

"Yes, my pets. I need the vase of Quadrant Seven. I need to leverage it because of a drug deal that went bad, and unless I want a gang war on our front steps, I need to sell it to the Duchess of the Middle Nebula. Go and fetch it,” Hoseok shooed them away.

“Yes, master,” The three of them turned on their heels, and in a matter of minutes, the entirely of their little grocery list was stacked in front of them.

“Very good, very good,” Hoseok checked each item, “Thank you, my dears.”

“It’s our pleasure, Master,” Number One said, “We are delighted to perform any service for you.”

“Rub his feet,” Hoseok pointed to Jungkook. Jungkook bristled and back away as Number three immediately went down to the floor.

“Are you insane?” Jungkook grabbed her by her shoulders and picked her up off the floor, “We need to leave.”

“When are you going to relax?” Hoseok stuck out his lips like a duck.

“When you pay me back my seventeen. million. yuenne,” Jungkook could barely zip the bag shut.

"Okay, okay. Let's get outta here. Seeya, cats and kittens. Get the car ready and load it with all these things,” Hoseok shoved the bag into One’s and Two’s hands.

“Oh, Master,” Number Two said, “Thank you for letting us be useful to you.”

“It’s been an honor serving you,” Number Three said, doe-eyed.

“Please let us know if you require anything else,” Number One said finally, leaving the room with the other two.

Jungkook and Hoseok followed behind, pulling the discs quickly from each room as they left the mansion. Once outside, they loaded the contents into crates and filled up the backseat of one of Mr. French’s hovercars. Namjoon walked over to them, looking flustered and stressed.

“Thanks for the reprogramming, Doc,” Hoseok said, shutting the door, “What code did you put in anyway?”

“Uh-” Namjoon blinked, his cheeks turning pink, “It’s called an absolute subservience code.”

A silence fell between them as they got into the car, Hoseok jamming a fake card into the ID slot and powering it up. Hoseok shifted the gear and checked everything over.

“We’re all set,” Hoseok smiled at Namjoon before turning to look at Jungkook who was staring out the window at One, Two, and Three waving them off, “Hey, Jungkookie.”

“Hm?” Jungkook unconsciously smiled and waved back, “What is it?”

“Y’ever get your dick sucked by a robot?”

Namjoon choked on his spit, sputtering and coughing as three of them left- bound for customs.

Chapter Text

The trio had lugged Mr. French out of the bar, Taehyung had taken off his hoodie and dressed him in it to hide his bruised and battered face as Taehyung beat him into unconsciousness.

“I was handling it,” Jimin whispered harshly in Taehyung’s ear before smiling and waving at the bartender, “Fella had a lil’ too much. Gonna get him home.”

“You weren’t handling it,” Taehyung said angrily, pushing the door open with his foot.

“Don’ white knight me, Taehyung,” Jimin said back, his eyes narrowing.

“White-” Taehyung laughed indignantly, pulling Mr. French into the alley next to the bar, “Are you seriously suggesting that?”

“I can take care of myself,” Jimin helped prop him against the wall, “I don’t need to be rescued.”

“I know that, Minnie,” Taehyung stood up and kicked him once more in his side for good measure, “It’s not about that.”

“Then whaz’it about?” Jimin asked, pulling his hoodie over his eyes, standing up in frustration.

Taehyung turned to Jimin, his face flushing red. He opened his mouth and closed it, “Just forget it.”

"Listen, this is fun n' all, but we got a problem. Can y'all fuck or punch each other or whatever later?" Yoongi asked, checking his holopad.

“What’s th’matter?” Jimin sighed.

“Namjoon and them already left. We’re late,” Yoongi quickly typed a message, “Jimin, you gotta go.”

“Shit,” Jimin opened the panel on his wrist, dialing for a taxi, “See y’all around.”

“Are you okay by yourself, Jiminie?” Taehyung puffed his cheeks.

Jimin snapped the panel shut and walked in three swift steps to the curb, bending forward into the street. He was already halfway in the hovercar when he turned back to Taehyung and Yoongi.

“M’fine.”

 

With fists clenched, Jimin walked through customs trying to locate the spot Hoseok had relayed. His heart was racing still, a small fury in his blood that he was keen on ignoring.
He just had to pick up the boxes, load them on his cruiser, and get back to Namjoon's ship.

Simple.

Of, course, though, nothing is ever simple. Why would it be? That's not how life works, and no one knows that better than Jimin. With a huff, Jimin crossed his arms and started to look around the hub. There were so many people coming and going, it took him a minute to identify where the luggage was processed through security. With an aggravated sigh, his eyes narrowed, The boxes were pulled to the side out of line for special inspection. If he didn't do something, they were fucked.

Jimin walked and leaned against the wall, a few feet from the objects of his desire and separated by a security laser. If he crossed it, he would set off an alarm. He was lost in thought of how to get it through when he heard a familiar voice snap him from his daze.

"Jiminie?"

Jin blinked several times, unsure if it was just his overworked mind playing tricks on him or what, but he could swear on his life he'd seen--

"Sugar, what are you doing this side of the system?" He approached the short man with a lighter step than he'd placed his entire shift, delighted to see his lover's figure despite the peculiarity of the location. "This place isn't exactly your typical route?"

"Hyung," Jimin's expression spread into a relieved smile, and a small laugh escaped his lips. What a coincidence. He leveraged his weight and pushed himself off the wall, taking a few short steps to meet Jin halfway. Unconsciously, his hand briefly slipped to Jin's hip before he pulled it away, biting his thumb.

"Had a potential client," Jimin leaned his head to the side and his flickered his eyes up at Jin, "Coulda been lucrative, but didn't work out. Y'know how it goes."

It wasn't a total lie.

Kinda.

"Whatcha doin' here?" Jimin bit his lip and took a step back, admiring Jin in his uniform. He hardly ever got to see him in it since most of the time they bumped into each other mid-transit, Jin clad in spacesuit. But, fuck, Jimin thought, he looked good.

Jin might've thought it a bit odd that Jimin would have any clientele in a facility like this, but he dispersed the thought. Jimin had business in far more odd places, he was sure. Besides, he'd heard about some of the men around these parts.

He sighed in heavy exasperation, rolling his eyes and looking at the customs checkpoint at Jimin's question. "I think the higher-ups thought it would be a fun post for my last day before vacation to put me in charge of customs inspections," He tilted his head toward the gathering of boxes Jimin had been eyeing, completely oblivious to the other's intentions. "I have to go through all those to make sure everything's in line. Apparently, there's been some serious drugs and stolen goods being carted across the border."

He shook his head and turned back to Jimin, the smile on his lips full of admiration.

"You doin' okay?" He tugged his bottom lip between his teeth in an effort to stop himself from leaning down to capture Jimin's in a heated kiss.

Jimin went straight as if a whip cracked at his backside, shaken from his daydream of Jin half out of his uniform and back to the to the boxes. Right.

Fuck.

If Jin opened up those boxes, he was entirely fucked over and everything he had just gone through would be laid to waste. Of course, there was no trace of Jimin anywhere on those boxes and he could escape unharmed- but Hoseok. It would trace back to Hoseok.

"M’fine, Hyung. But that sounds borin' as heck," Jimin pouted, keeping his cool and lifting his hand to Jin's bangs to brush them to the side, "And a lotta paperwork. Can y’put it off? How much longer y'here?"

Jin hums at the touch and his smile softens. He checks the timecard on the device on his hip and furrows a look at the younger.

"Looks like I've still got several hours, Sugar. I doubt it's worth the wait, and there's nothing here besides dirty old grumpy workers and druggies. Not the kind I'd like you to mingle with," Jin looked over the boxes and screwed his mouth into a twist, thinking over the paperwork he's got left.

He opened his mouth to say he hasn't got the time to chat, but something in the way Jimin's shuffling uncomfortably on his feet and the curious look in his eye changed Jin's mind. He's always had a weak spot for the blond.

"I-- Yeah, I think I can spare an hour or so. I've already overclocked this week anyways."

Jimin got him.

He knew he got him.

He took a step forward, just enough to create electricity between them- just close enough that Jimin bumps into him if he twists his hip. His eyelids drop halfway, and he parted his lips in a soft exhale before licking them quickly to wet them before he speaks.

"Leave it for th'next guy," Jimin mumbled, his drawl dropping low and rough, "I've been missin' ya so bad, Hyung. Can we go somewheres?"

Jin shut his eyes in defeat, but a toothy grin gave him away. He hated when Jimin caught him in his trap when he knew he shouldn't let him win. Like treating a child for bad behavior. But Jimin was certainly no child and should know better, and the danger of being caught on duty lit a fire in Jin's gut that had him grabbing onto Jimin's wrist - probably tighter than he should. With a swift movement, Jin was waving the small remote device over a scanner on the wall and the laser security cut out for a moment, long enough for them to slip past without any alarms.

"There's a sort-of break room for officers on the other side of the inspection area. It's cozy, but I think it's fine for now," Jin breathes, his tone darkening. He has just enough self-control to get to the room, but he struggles with the urge to push Jimin against the wall in plain sight. A small whine escaped from Jimin's mouth as Jin tugs him along a little too hard, but it only serves to make Jimin's heart race. He knew even making small little whimpers would rile Jin up, and he delighted in flirting with Jin's limits. But he couldn't help it.

When the door clicked behind him, Jimin pressed himself backward to flatten himself and get a good look at Jin. He was fucking gorgeous. Beautiful. A god, in Jimin's eyes. He really, really couldn't help it, he'd swear. Because he's just as addicted to Jin as Jin was to him.

"Hyung," Jimin panted before chewing his bottom lip and beckoning him with eyes. He was rolling his hips back against the door, feeling himself get worked up.

He just prayed he could distract Jin long enough for the rest of those fuck-ups to intercept the goods.

Jin took a deep breath once they were behind the locked door, feeling as though the last of his self-control was leaving him in the exhale.

He rounded on Jimin and slipped himself seamlessly into his space, capturing his thick lips in the same moment his fingers wrapped around his thin neck to squeeze lightly at his pulse point. He kissed Jimin with intent, adding his tongue into the mix as their waves seemed to crash together, and all Jin could breathe was Jimin.

After a moment, he removed his mouth from Jimin's, though his eyes stayed locked on their red pucker.

"Jimin-ah," His gaze flickered back up to his lover's dark eyes with a devilish grin, "Do you want to use your colors?"

"Yes," Jimin said in a breath, a little too desperate and excited. He felt his cock stir in his pants. Only Jin, only Jin, could rile him up so fast. He shut his eyes and bucked against Jin's hips, the slight pressure on his artery making him light-headed and more needy, "Green."

He knew that Jin would never push him too far, but the look in Jin's eyes made Jimin feel like he was about to get taken apart piece by piece under his nimble fingers. He had Jimin's body memorized like a book, and it wouldn't take long at all for him to completely fall apart. Jimin took Jin's free hand in his own and brought it to his plumps lips. He opened his mouth slowly and began sucking on Jin's fingers and grinding between his thighs. He wanted to get his fingers nice and wet, and he watched Jin's expression carefully.

Jin could practically feel his eyes dilate at the sight of his fingers disappearing into Jimin's wet, hot mouth. The roll of his talented tongue against the pads of his digits sent his mind to the other places. It was heavenly. It didn't help that Jimin was gyrating his hips into Jin's, causing his dick to take notice.

But no, this wasn't fair. Jimin was taking too much for himself and leaving nothing for Jin to hold onto.

With the click of his tongue, Jin removed his fingers and tightened the grip on Jimin's neck for a second before stepping away entirely, leaving him panting and rolling his hips against the door. Jin's cock was already achingly hard, but he had a role to fill.

"Strip," He ordered with no room for argument in his clipped voice. He gestured to the counter to his left: a small counter space with a metal plate drilled into the wall as a makeshift mirror next to a vanity sink on the far wall, "And bend over. Be a good boy and I'll consider going easy on you. You know better than to interrupt me at work and tease me, sugar. Don't you?"

Jimin struggled to keep himself upright at Jin's words, his legs ready to give. He was right, of course, but that didn't stop Jimin. He was right, of course, and that didn't stop Jin.

"'m so sorry, Hyung," Jimin whined, his hands tugging at his own zipper down the front of his spacesuit. He knew just how to move to make it a show, but he didn't draw it out. If he went too long that he'd be testing Jin's patience- and that was a dangerous game.

"I juss-" He dragged it down, glancing up to check if Jin's gaze was on him. Opening his jacket, he began to slink his arms out of the sleeves. His hands found the edges of the bottom hem of his blank tank, and he pulled it off over his head. Topless, he walked over the counter and turned to face the mirror, a hand carding through his hair before he looked over his shoulder back at his lover.

"’m cravin’ ya so bad, I-" He watched Jin as he unclasped the pants of his suit, dragging the skin-tight material down his legs and revealing pink lace panties clinging to his ass. Looping his fingers under the material, he slipped it down to his thighs and obediently leaned on the counter with his ass exposed to Jin.

"Can't help myself," Jimin's eyebrows furrowed and a deep pink crept on his cheeks.

"You seem to have that problem often, sugar," Jin said off-handedly, distracted by the lacy pink of his lover's intimates, taking note of the wet spot near the front where Jimin's cock had been leaking. "Pink? A fitting color, seeing as your ass should match it soon. What'd'ya say, sugar? Think you can handle ten?"

Jin was rubbing Jimin's ass, using his thumbs to tease the younger and spread him apart, exposing his puckered hole to the cool air of the room.

He hummed in delight as Jimin tensed around nothing.

"Ten," Jimin swallowed the air, and leaned back against Jin's hands and squeezing his eyes shut. The pain that was sure to come only sent a jolt of excitement through Jimin. He gasped as Jin held him open.

"I-I think I can," His answers were stuttering, but he couldn't hide his cock twitching eagerly. Inhaling deeply, he slid further down the counter and let his mind focus on the sensation of Jin's broad, warm hands tracing along his sensitive spots.

"Good boy," Jin grinned, soothing a hand over Jimin's plump behind before dropping down to spread his thighs apart slightly. He undid the zipper on the pants of his uniform, pushing them down along with his boxers, leaving them to pool at his ankles. He stepped between Jimin's thighs so his cock could slide in the crack of his lover's ass. "Count for me, and remember your colors."

The first hand was soft- a prelude, a warm-up for the rest. He was getting impatient already, but he loved this part. Jimin never ceased to tease him outside of their rendezvous and it was times like these, before he sunk deep in his tight heat that Jin could seek his revenge.

"One," Jimin said softly, but he knew the ease of keeping count wouldn't last. He moved his ass gingerly against Jin's cock, half in temptation and half to self-soothe.

The next hand came down just as quickly as the words left Jimin's lips, sending a ringing sound through the small room. Jin soothed the reddened patch before striking once more.

"Two- fuck, three," Jimin gasped and hissed, trying to keep up. He moaned as Jin massaged his cheek.

Jin was rolling his hips against Jimin, harder- the pressure on his cock easing the ache just enough to get through the punishment, but his resolve was wearing thin.

Another two slaps on the other side of Jimin's ass rang out in quick succession.

"Four- ah, Hyung. F-five," Jimin was panting now, beads of sweat forming on his skin from the beating. Jin's voice was honey, and Jimin could barely keep it together.

"You looked so damn irresistible standing there, Sugar. You're goddamn illegal," he gasped.

"Arrest me, then," Jimin said coyly, gathering himself enough to look back and watch Jin's cock slip and down between his cheeks. He moaned loudly but didn't break his stare.

Jin chuckled, "Maybe later, my handcuffs will still be good for somethin' on vacation, at least."

“Seven. Jin-hyung-ah. E-eight.” Jin could barely hold back his own moans as Jimin counted out the next two strikes, satisfied with the way the younger's as was bright red and hot to the touch. He soothed his hands over each cheek.

"Baby, you got lube on you? Mine's in the ship."

"I don't need any," Jimin whispered, embarrassed and blushing furiously, "M'already ready."

Jimin hadn't really expected to get fucked, but whenever he was meeting a client sometimes things happened suddenly. And even if it was a fake-client, Jimin hadn't been sure just how he would have needed to go. Sure, it was messy, but with Jimin's line of work he had it down practically to a science. So there he was, leaned over the counter with Jin teasing his ass and an already worked open hole- ready to swallow up his cock.

"Mmm, fuck," Jin closed his eyes and stopped his thrusting, pulling Jimin's cheeks apart and letting his cock slip down only to have his swollen and leaking head put pressure on Jimin's rim. He opened his eyes again to lean down over Jimin, pressing a sloppy kiss on the juncture where his shoulder met his neck.

He took a deep breath and let the shiver of pleasure run down his spine. Jin loved it- absolutely loved it- when Jimin was fresh from a job and ready to go. Not to say that he hated foreplay and prep, but God did Jin love just being able to sink into him immediately.

In his haze, he barely registered that he'd been easing himself into Jimin's heat and he inhaled sharply.

"Fuck, f-fuck it, Sugar. I think you've learned your lesson. How 'bout I just fuck you hard against the counter, leave you with pretty bruises? Do you have any jobs soon?"

"N-no," Jimin stammered, the head of Jin's cock pushing just enough into him that his brain is going blank, "Nothin' on the books right now. Just some potential client meetings."

If he wasn't so lost in the feeling, he'd feel smug that Jin caved. But he didn't have the wherewithal- not with how much he needed it. He edged backward, forcing the head of Jin's cock past the tight ring of muscle. The truth was that Jimin was a mess, and he needed Jin as deep as he could go.

"P-please, Hyung," Jimin begged, "Fuck me."

If Jin had longs days at work, he could only imagine how Jimin's went. He adored the younger man, he admired his strength and confidence. And maybe it was a kink of his, but Jin was always hardest like this, with Jimin begging beneath him, loose and ready for his cock, too needy to wait for him to be off the clock.

He got off on the feeling of being the only one to make Jimin come undone so easily, so well, like putty in his fingers. And despite being a professional, Jin found dizzying satisfaction in the fact that he could make Jimin blush and get flustered with a simple touch.

His hips rolled and he seated fully inside of Jimin, moaning his name and at long last finding the freedom of being able to suckle a dark red bruise into his neck.

"Sugar, tell me something," Jin grunted, pulling back his hips just enough to thrust hard and deep, reaching up to grab a fistful of Jimin's soft hair. "Tell me how much you need me, baby."

"Hyung," Jimin whined, the sensation of Jin filling him up so perfectly making it work to come up with an answer. It took a few thrusts for Jimin to collect his thoughts- throaty moans raked out of him as his lover slammed into him hard. It was rough in the way that Jimin liked it- loved it.

"Need you the most," Jimin sputtered, bracing against the counter, "Always wan' your cock. Nobody fucks me like you do. Nobody feels s-so good."

Jin throbbed inside of Jimin at his words. He needed him the most. A moan ripped through him and he drove harder into Jimin.

He tightened his grip in Jimin’s hair and stood up, tugging his lover along with him so his back was pressed against Jin’s chest- his free hand keeping a bruising grip on Jimin’s waist. Jin peered over Jimin’s shoulder at him through the mirror and smirked, kissing Jimin’s cheek chastely.

“Nobody takes my cock so well, Sugar. You’re the only one for me, baby, and you know just how to drive me crazy, don’t you?” Jin hummed as if answering his own question. “I fucking love you, Jiminie.”

Jimin scrambled backward, holding onto Jin as he fucked into him deeply.

He was so exposed- forced to watch himself in the mirror, completely surrounded and held by Jin as he got slammed into. His own cock was a swollen dark red and had been leaking pre-cum down to his thigh since before Jin had told him to strip.

"I love you," The words slipped out quiet and raw- he was nearly in tears from how hard Jin's cock knocked into the nerves inside, but it felt so fucking good. Overstimulated and needy, he was about to cum without either of them laying a hand on his cock.

"Hyung," Jimin shut his eyes, groaning low, "Gonna- gonna-"

“Fuck, baby, cum. I’m- fuck, I’m cumming, too,” Jin growled, gripping Jimin harder, thrusting erratically faster, pushing them both hard into the rough counter. Their breaths were hot and loud and Jin could feel himself teeter over the edge, waiting for his lover to carry him there. Jimin gasped and thick white streaks splattered all over the counter and the mirror. He moaned out his lover's name, gripping the edge of the vanity white-knuckled. All of his limbs went loose, and he began to tremble violently as hot, white cum continued to pump out of him. It was the hardest he had ever cum in his life.

Jin followed shortly after, fucking himself up into Jimin with a couple final thrusts before feeling the tension break. He filled Jimin’s hole and came so hard he could feel it as streams of milky cum leak out of his lover. His ears were ringing and his fingers relaxed in Jimin’s hair but he didn’t let go, opting instead to curl him tight against his chest, moaning as he kissed his neck, jaw, and finally his lips deeply. Jimin melted against him, completely slack and spent in his arms. All he could do was move his lips gently against Jin's, opening and closing slowly and sensually as a small sigh escaped his mouth.

Nothing felt more safe- more at ease- than being in Jin's arms. He had nothing to prove there. It's freeing and it's perfect and it's safe.

Jin is his home.

All Jin cared about or wanted to to do was kiss Jimin forever. Post-orgasm, his lover glowed like the lightning bugs in the swamps Jimin had always regaled to him in dreamlike stories- ethereal. Jin turned him around and propped him up on the counter, never once disconnecting their lips.

“Stay with me tonight,” Jin’s hand cupped Jimin’s cheek, caressing his cheekbones and down to his bottom lip. His eyes watched Jimin’s, feeding off the warmth he radiated. Jimin was his everything, his lover, his soulmate-

And identically, silently, secretly he dared to think of the same thing that Jimin had thought.

Jimin is his home, too.

He leaned in to kiss him tenderly, lips barely even pressing together, “I need you, Jiminie.”

“Hyung,” Jimin was drowning in Jin, and he never wanted to leave. Not after all the shit happened today. Not ever. He was perfectly contented to stay in his arms the rest of his life. Jin slipped his arms around Jimin's thin waist and pulled him close, disconnecting their lips so Jin could rest his head on his shoulder. He only had a few more hours of work until his vacation, but it felt like he might as well have a few days left. He didn't want Jimin to leave. The look in his eye sucked him in. He nuzzled deeper into Jimin's neck, kissing his skin tenderly.

"Can you wait until I'm off work? I'll give you my key card," Jin leaned back and looked Jimin in the eye again. He could melt all over again in that warm chocolate gaze, "You can wait in my ship, watch that show you always make me sit through and I'll be done before you know it. I want to have you for more than a few hours." Jin chuckled, kissing his lips.

"Yeah, I can wait there," Jimin said easily, squeezing Jin possessively to himself and returning his kiss in short pecks, "And th'Holopad is the best darn piece of cinema in five whole centuries, just so ya know."

There was a beat in between, and Jimin's chest felt tight with ache. He gave Jin a long, slow lingering kiss before taking a step to collect his things. He didn't want to move from Jin's embrace for even a second, but he had already taken too much of his time, "Mind if I use y'shower? I'll be fresh as a moon bloom when ya get back."

Jin watched as Jimin bent down to pick up his clothes, itching to touch him. He didn't have the control to hold himself back, wrapping himself around Jimin once more when he'd stood back up to face him.

"Of course, Sugar, you can do whatever you'd like," Jin thought for a second before a smirk twisted on his lips, "If I might suggest, though, there's a drawer I made especially for you in my room. Third one down in the dresser. You should wear something from there, baby. I made sure they'd be things you're comfortable in."

Jimin nodded and smiled, suddenly relieved. That saved him a shopping trip in the shops on the other side of customs. Usually something that Jimin quite adored, but in this moment he simply wasn’t in the mood. Jimin locked eyes with Jin- his heart about to burst.

Jin pressed a kiss to his lips and groaned.

"I don't want to leave."

Sliding his hands up Jin's back, he slipped his nails along his scalp and tangled his fingers into his hair, "Don' say that."

"I'll just be a lil’ ways away. In your ship, in your room- ready an' waitin'," Jimin's voice was barely a whisper, any louder and it would break. The thought of leaving Jin's side just got impossibly more difficult. He'd just as soon drag Jin away to the ship with him. His lips went up Jin's neck in a slow crawl of kisses to his earlobe, and he nibbled on it affectionately.

Jin moaned and gripped tightly at Jimin’s waist. His chest tugged hard, he really didn’t want to leave.

“That’s a dangerous thought, Minnie. You know what that kinda thinking leads to,” Jin huffed, pushing out his bottom lip in a pout. “You’re impossible and irresistible. I could eat you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”

Jin groaned painfully and planted a final deep kiss onto his lover’s lips before leading them to the door. He subtly slipped his key card from his pocket into Jimin’s hands and smiled down at him. “Wait for me, baby. There might be some snacks if you want, but I’ll make dinner for us once I’m off, sound good?”

Dinner. Shit. Jimin was going to have to message Namjoon about their little agreement and get an exception for himself.

"Sounds perfect," Jimin purred, slipping the key into a small pouch and letting his eyes fall all over Jin in want, "Y'know I love y'cookin'. Don' tell Mama Park, but yours is better."

Jimin grinned and went up on his tiptoes to nuzzle Jin's nose with his own in pure affection. He leaned backward and put his weight on the door handle, stepping back into the bustling hall.

Jin smiled toothy and wide, chuckling as Jimin opened the door. “I love you, Minnie. I’ll see you for dinner.”

“I love you, Hyung,” Jimin waved and bounced happily away in the direction that he came in. As he passed the security point, his eyes slipped to the stack of boxes that he was supposed to pick up. They had been moved- just slightly enough that no one would notice. One of the boys had been there. Thank fucking God.

Jimin meant to go straight to Jin’s ship, but he couldn’t help detouring to the port shops despite himself. It was his favorite way to blow money. He walked around, buying a couple of bags of unusual snacks and some bath products he had been wanting to try. Two of Jimin’s weaknesses. After wandering around for 30 minutes with a cup of grass-fruit tea, he found himself at the end of a tech and robotics shop. He peered in. Hadn’t Jinnie been talking about some game?

He slurped his drink through the straw and walked in, lighting up at seeing the one he had mentioned in passing. Pleased with himself, he tucked the packaged up digital code into his pouch and headed for Jin’s ship. He’d surprise him with it later.

With a relaxed sigh, he walked into Jin’s quarters and placed the key card on the table. He needed to bathe so bad, he wanted to soak in hot water and melt right into it. Exhausted, he peeked around until he found the drawer that Jin described.

Jimin laughed.

It was all pink.

On top of all the pastel clothes was a small heart-shaped note.

Minnie, I rubbed my face on three dozen pieces of clothes to find these. These are the softest in nine galaxies. Get comfy and relax for me, baby. You deserve it.

Jimin smiled to himself and pulled the top one out- it was a perfectly oversized sweater made of, what Jimin thought, was in fact the softest thing he ever felt. Other than Jin’s lips anyway. Taking his clothes, he walked to the bathroom and started to draw the hot water. He pulled up his holopad. Of course, there were 300 missed messages. 2 from Namjoon, 1 from Yoongi, and 297 from Taehyung.

 

Doc <3: Hey, Jiminie. Just checking if you’re alright.
Doc <3: Message me when you get this.

Father Min: just fuckin text him jimin he wont stop crying and im tired and he wont shut up

TaeTae: ARE U OKAY
TaeTae: THIS IS ALL MY FAULT
TaeTae: MINNIE
TaeTae: R
TaeTae: U
TaeTae: THERE ??
TaeTae: ??????????????????????????????????????????
TaeTae: I just wanna know you’re okay
TaeTae: sorry 4 spamming u
TaeTae: listen i was an ass
TaeTae: i dont wanna like
TaeTae: white knight u or whatever

Jimin sighed and messaged the following back:

Me: Tae, I’m sorry, too. Can we talk later? I’m fine, I promise. Please don’t worry. I’m going to take a rest tonight. I’ll rendezvous with you tomorrow.

Me: I messaged him. Please take care of him, Hyung. Can someone pick up the boxes? They’re still stuck in customs.

Me: Doc, I request an exception for dinner tonight. I have plans I can’t cancel. I’ll take a penalty or do some make-up work or something.

Jimin set down his holopad and threw some powder in the bath, a cloud of sweet-smelling vapor rising from the water on contact. His holopad chimed.

Father Min: no problem. someone will get them. take it easy, Minnie. see you tomorrow.

Jimin picked it up and swiped his last message of the evening to reply.

Me: Thanks a lot. Don’t worry, okay?

Jimin quickly disrobed and turned off the water, easing in. The warmth was biting hot, but Jimin moved slow to let his skin adjust to the temperature. Jin had installed a huge bath- probably just enough to make room for his shoulders- and Jimin felt tiny in it. He sank down until his nose was just above the surface of the water and he eyed the purple on his knees, frowning. He hated marks.

He looked down finding the one from Jin’s thumb just an inch above his hip and touched it gingerly. He remembered Jin sucking hard on his neck, and he traced that one with his fingertips as well.

Somehow those two meant an infinite amount of difference than the violence he had sustained earlier. Not the ugly, disorienting treatment from someone who doesn’t know what it is to be human.

No, the marks from Jin were small little whispers of adoration. Promises on his skin.

They meant Jimin was his.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

By the time Jin’s shift was finally over, he’d nearly forgotten what awaited him back at the ship. His head was fuzzy from the strange amount of paperwork and shipments requiring inspection came flooding in. None of it was contraband, of course, but it was still a hassle to go through everything and find the right forms for each.

His muscles felt tense and his head was starting to ache, but the moment he stepped in the ship, he remembered again. The smell of Jimin’s perfume and bath bombs permeated the air, and the TV in the living area still hummed quietly of some show Jimin had been watching.

He toed quietly through the room, flicking off the screen before making his way to the bedroom, the sight causing him to pause a moment and catch his breath. Jimin was curled into a ball, cuddling Jin’s pillow. One of the largest of the pink sweaters Jin had purchased for him swallowed his frame and made him look like a soft marshmallow with a tuft of blonde hair spread over the linens. His cheeks were puffy and smooshed up against the pillow. Jimin moaned in his sleep and Jin snapped out of his thoughts.

“My Sugar, look at how precious you are,” Jin murmured, sitting on the side of the bed and carding his fingers through Jimin’s hair.

Jimin blinked his eyes open under his touch- he had always been a light sleeper. After a second, he shot up into bed, bringing the back of his hands to his eyes and rubbing sleepily.

"Didn' mean t'fall asleep," Jimin yawned before shuffling into Jin's lap and nuzzling his neck, "Missed you."

Jin smelled like cologne that had nearly disappeared except the undercurrent of a gentle, warm and woody musk and the faintest trace of sweat from his day. Jimin closed his eyes and rested his head on Jin's shoulder, completely content. It was his favorite. Everything. His favorite scent, his favorite place, his favorite person.

Jin clicked his tongue and cooed, wrapping his hands around Jimin to rub his back soothingly. “Baby, your day was exhausting, huh? My poor dear.”

He carefully sat back against the headboard of the bed and moved jimin with him. Jin leaned his head down to give jimin soft peckish kisses along his exposed shoulder and neck, humming in satisfaction.

“Sugar, you smell so good. And your skin is so soft. I love you, Jiminie. Did you miss me?”

Finding the fabric of his shirt and clutching it in his petit fingers, Jimin moved down to meet Jin's lips with his own. The kiss was a soft greeting, but it lingered as Jimin got lost in him.

"I never stop missin' you," Jimin said, his voice low and raw from the sleep. His eyes flickered from Jin's lush lips up to his eyes and back again. He exhaled slow, "I love you, too.How was th'rest of y'day?" Jimin leaned his forehead to Jin's and closed his eyes, "Not too much trouble?"

Jin leaned in to kiss him again, longer this time. He loved Jimin’s lush lips, their welcoming feeling, and thick enveloping comfort.

He groaned in pain, rolling his eyes as he leaned back. “It was too much trouble. The team I had was incompetent and left the inspection and paperwork entirely to me. It was exhausting. We had so many shipments.”

As he spoke, Jin shuffled so Jimin laid down beside him. Jin pressed hot kisses into his skin and nuzzled him.

“I’m so glad you like your gifts. I’d hoped you would be able to relax a bit,” Jin sucked at the bruise he’d left earlier on Jimin’s neck, moving to make another next to it. His hand slid under the sweater’s hem to feel at Jimin’s bare hips. “My gorgeous baby boy.”

"They're perfec', Hyung," Jimin said in a half-moan, rolling his hips to meet Jin's hands. He was so thoughtful, so loving, so warm- Jimin wanted to completely disappear into Jin.

"M'happy you're home," Jimin whispered, his hands roaming down Jin's back and pulling up his shirt to untuck it, "Y'need t'get comfortable, too."

He started to undress him, bending just enough to pull down the zipper of his pants and start to tug them down his thighs. He kissed Jin briefly before getting him down to his undershirt and boxers. No matter how many times he had seen him like this, Jimin's breath would hitch at the sight. He pulled back just long enough to drink in his honeyed skin contrasting against the white of his tank top. He was gorgeous.

Jin’s fingers snuck up underneath Jimin’s sweater to swipe over his pert nipples, twisting the nub gently between his fingers. He moaned quietly against Jimin’s lips as he caught them in a kiss.

“I’m happy, too,” Jin agreed, kissing him strong and deep. “I’ve missed you. Been craving you, I’ve been sleeping with that yellow blanket you love so much. Still kinda smells like you.”

Jin’s voice strained at the end before cutting off to a tiny whimper. He rolled his hips to meet Jimin’s, crudely aware of his hard-on he’d gotten.

“Make love to me, Jimin. Let’s go slow for once.”

Jimin quickly nodded in agreement. Jin understood his needs and seemed to be completely in sync with him.

"Yes, please," Jimin kissed him over and over, "Slow."

The events of earlier in the day felt like a lifetime ago, but Jimin's body was still aching. Jin was always precious with him, but the thought of making love instead of just being there to fuck made Jimin's chest tighten up. God, he loved him.

"How d'ya want me?" Jimin hummed gently, grinding his thigh against Jin's hardening length nice and slow- teasing him.

Jin bruised a line of kisses up the column of Jimin’s neck, stopping at the sensitive spot just below Jimin’s ear.

“Just like this,” he said, rolling his hips against Jimin’s thigh. “Let me take care of you, pull you apart and piece you back together.”

Jin pulled back to remove the last of his clothes, kicking off his boxers and letting his aching cock freely rub against Jimin’s thigh.

“Don’t worry about pleasing me baby, let Hyung love you. Do you want your sweater on?”

"Yeah," Jimin said in a small, embarrassed voice as his cheeks shaded to a peachy hue. No one was ever like this with him but Jin. He gathered the fabric of the sweater at his chest and clutched it, "It's so darn soft. I wanna feel it while you're in me."

It was hard for him to think- Jin knew his body so well- every spot that could make Jimin roll up and arch and moan. But he would happily surrender himself completely to the elder- he trusted him implicitly. Jimin shifted his hips just enough so his cock- straining now inside his skin-tight white boxer briefs- was pressing against Jin's.

“Good boy, now let’s get these off you,” Jin shimmied a little and tugged at Jimin’s underwear, dragging them slowly down and off his legs, revealing his hard cock that bounced up against his stomach. The pink head oozed with dribbles of precum and Jin hummed.

“My baby is so gorgeous,” he wrapped a hand around Jimin’s length, the other moving to pull open the drawer on his side table, pulling out the bottle of lube inside. He didn’t waste much time, wetting his hand so it could slide up and down Jimin’s dick easier.

“You’re so beautiful, so gorgeous. So sexy,” Jin moaned, watching his hand on Jimin’s cock. His free hand tweaked at Jimin’s nipples again and he rolled his hips against Jimin’s thigh, spreading the precum that had leaked from his head. Jimin adjusted, laying back just enough so he could flatten completely and gaze up at Jin through his lashes. His breathing staggered, mesmerized by Jin’s dexterity and control as his large, broad hands worked him. Even if he hadn’t been as skilled- which he fucking was- the sight of the older man so intense in his concentration and obvious affection made Jimin’s heart skip in his chest.

“Hyung,” Jimin mumbled and shut his eyes, half-tempted to take one of the pillows and smother the blush in his cheeks. It seemed silly for him to embarrassed, but it certainly didn’t stop him. Surrendering himself entirely to his lover was the most exciting and terrifying thing he could do- but he would do it eternally for Jin. As Jin palmed the head of his cock, a low, needy groan tore out of Jimin. It was too good- too much.

“Wa-wait,” Jimin panted, licking his lips, “I’ll cum.”

Jin nuzzled Jimin’s nose with his own, pressing a soft kiss to his lips. “Are you ready for me, baby?” His hand left Jimin’s length in favor of his own, slicking up his cock with more lube from the bottle. He bit back a moan, his shoulders tensing at the pleasure from his own touch. It was so hard to maintain control around Jimin. Jin could feel himself slipping into that familiar headspace, falling deeper into Jimin’s bottomless embrace.

“Always,” Jimin threw his arms over his face and spread his legs, his parted, full lips the only bit of him visible from the waist up as he drowned in sweater. It was so easy to fall apart in front of Jin- the elder knowing exactly what Jimin needed and how he needed it. The only one who could understand him.

Jin chuckled and used his free hand to pry Jimin’s arms from his face, the smile on his face uncontrollable. He cooed at the younger man, leaning in so the head of his cock pressed into the tight, puckered rim that welcomed him so easily.

“Baby, look at me,” Jin kissed his cheek, his nose, his eyes, “I wanna see the way you look when I love you like this. It’s been so long, Jiminie.”

Jimin obeyed, pulling his arms up to rest above his head and locking eyes with Jin. The pressure from Jin’s cock was nearly unbearable, and Jimin fought the urge to sink down. That words that left his lover’s lips continued to ricochet around his head- settling into their places only after Jimin breathed heavy and kept his gaze unwavering.

 

“Good boy, my Jiminie, always so good for me.”

Jin finally rolled his hips, his clean hand finding its way naturally intertwined with Jimin’s smaller ones, his fingers lacing effortlessly together. He let out a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding as he felt his length being swallowed up by Jimin. It hadn’t occurred to him how badly he needed his lover until he was there, losing himself in his presence. Even when they were just sitting and talking, Jin felt utterly complacent, relaxed, and just at ease.

But it was moments like these he enjoyed the most, with Jimin making soft sounds beneath him and the adoration and pure emotion in his gaze making everything up to that point entirely worth it. Here, he could see Jimin, raw and open and intimate.

He leaned in and closed his eyes, kissing Jimin’s puffy lips fervently. I love you, it spoke, I’m so incredibly in love with you, Jimin.

As soon as Jin had sunk to the hilt, Jimin felt the last of his control dissipate into nothing. With every thrust, the tension in Jimin’s muscles gave way. The warmth of being filled so completely spread through Jimin and his eyes closed in kind to allow the depth of each sensation overwhelm him. It was a perfect embered burn, and Jimin helplessly slipped his tongue against Jin’s in an attempt to show a degree of what he was feeling.

Jin moaned low into the kiss, his hips rolling at a steady, slow pace. He breathed in Jimin’s sounds, chest swelling like a balloon. The room felt infinite; it was only him and Jimin and his soft pink sweater, riding up his chest. Jin loved every moment he could spend with Jimin, eating up and absorbing every touch and kiss.

They didn’t need words, just touch. And Jin released Jimin’s fingers in favor of running his hands all over Jimin’s body where he could, eager to express himself. And wherever Jin touched seemed to procure a slightly different reaction from Jimin- the thumb against his nipple made a clipped gasp fall from his lips, his long fingers running down his sides and finding his hips made an obscene moan come from somewhere deep in his chest, and his hands on his thighs pushing and pinning him coaxed high-pitched whines. If Jimin were an instrument, Jin was a musical prodigy- effortless in creating a symphony.

Jin wanted to devour Jimin, and soon his lips were falling from his face to nose into his hairline, pressing bruising kisses underneath Jimin’s ear and down the column of his neck. Jimin had only needed to say the word and Jin had been so ready to mark him, some part of his mind buzzing with an addicting electricity at the sight of the purples and reds that adorned Jimin’s tanned skin.

He looked gorgeous, as always. And Jin only wanted to make it apparent to others, to the universe, that Jimin would always come back to him at the end of the day.

“Jin,” Jimin whispered, the intimacy almost too much. There was so much he wanted to say, but he couldn’t find the words. All he could give was himself in their stead. Jimin sucked in the air sharply as Jin’s teeth grazed the delicate skin of neck, but he seemed to only sink deeper into the bed and spread his legs to allow his lover further. He wanted every bit of Jin he could get- every bit he could stand. There wasn’t any such thing as ‘close enough’.

Jin rolled his body to meet Jimin’s, breathing in the scent at his collar before sucking another bruise. “Jimin,” He murmured in return, the last syllable tumbling into a moan when he thrust his hips at a different angle, feeling Jimin clench around his length.

He felt almost like crying, he realized. Jin had missed this feeling so terribly, how long had it been since they took their time with each other? Too long, definitely. His chest ached and he thrust harder, once, twice. Could Jimin feel his soul? Could he feel the way Jin so desperately needed his affection? Again, he moaned against Jimin’s skin breathlessly.

“Hyung,” Jimin gasped, stuck between wanting it to last endlessly and wanting to feel Jin release inside of him. No one could ever love him the way Jin did- and Jimin was more than painfully aware of this when Jin held him so tenderly. It made everything sting- it made everything blissful. Unconsciously, he wrapped his legs around Jin’s hips and dug his nails into flesh of his back.

With Jimin wrapped so tightly around him, Jin felt that familiar coil in the base of his stomach. His cock twitched where he was rolling in and out of Jimin’s tight heat, and Jin could tell he was close.

“Jiminie, are you gonna cum for me, baby? I wanna see your beautiful face. Cum for hyung and I’ll give you what you want, sugar.”

“C-can we do it t’gether?” Jimin’s voice trembled as he clutched onto Jin, tears threatening to slip. He managed to press gentle, needy kisses against Jin’s throat.

“Of course, my love,” Jin rumbled, turning to capture Jimin’s lips with his own. His hand reached between them to wrap around Jimin’s length once more, moving in time with his thrusts. “I’m almost there, Jiminie.”

“God,” Jimin whined as Jin stroked him, the ache in his core transforming into a wave of pleasure. He bit down hard on his bottom lip, nearly cumming on the spot as soon as Jin’s hand wrapped around him.

Jin’s hips were becoming erratic, his thrusts harder as he teetered close to his edge. His hand twisted around the head of Jimin’s cock and he gasped at the tightness around his length in response. “Fuck, Jimin, I’m gonna- Fuck-”

Jimin beat him only by fractions of a second, white spilling from him and coating his abs and chest. He held onto Jin as the orgasm quaked through him, squeezing him close to ground himself.

“Seokjin-ah,” Jimin whimpered in between moans, rolling his hips to ride his lover as he came. The pleasure and the turmoil from earlier in the day overwhelmed him to the point that his reddened cheeks were soon soaked with tears.

Just his name tumbling out of Jimin had Jin falling. His hips stuttered as his release crashed into him. “J-Jimin, Jimin,” He gasped, any tenseness in his muscles immediately unraveling as he came hard, emptying himself into Jimin. He rode out their collective orgasms, hips slowing until they were still against Jimin’s thighs.

He was panting each breath, holding Jimin so tightly against him that he was sure there would be fingerprints to compliment his purpled kisses. “Jimin, my Jiminie,” He breathed, kissing him deeply. He didn’t want to let go just yet, to slip out of his lover or to untangle their limbs to clean up. Jin just held Jimin as long as he wished, trying to hold back the lump in his throat. “I love you, Jimin, I love you.”

He doesn’t need to, but he repeats it over and over, until his voice is hoarse and non-existent, just his lips moving against Jimin’s heated skin.

“Seokjin-ah,” Jimin repeated, without any honorifics- it’s the only time he can. The only time he’d allow himself, lost in Jin’s embrace. He’s calling to him. Hallowed. Something so normal that people carry from the time they’re born, something that they sign on papers, something people say when they’re in trouble or need to get their attention- something so established- just a name.

But here, in his sheets- it’s something entirely transformed. The intimacy of it makes the breath in Jimin’s lungs disappear, but he keeps saying it anyway. He wants to call to Jin. He’s calling him. He wants to call to who he is. When Jin is surrounding him and inside of him- doing everything to contradict and do exactly as their existence dictates. Putting themselves together.

I’m going to say your name.

“Seokjin-ah.”

What you are.

“Seokjin-ah-”

Because there aren’t other words.

“Seokjin.”

And there can’t be.

I want you to know I want this. I want you to know what it means.

They’re mumbling their sacred little mantras together, unable to leave. They don’t want to and they can’t. Jimin has buried his face against Jin’s neck, sealing kiss after kiss against the skin there. It’s a language that only exists here.

“Seokjin-”

It means you’re the most important thing to me.

As Jimin let Jin into himself and let himself into Jin- defying all barriers down to the cellular level- defying the very stuff they were made of- just to make more. More than they were, more than they could ever be alone. It’s the most primitive, most human thing they can do. Call each others’ names like this.

And it only means what it means when you’re with the right person.

Jimin was with the right person.

 

Were the rest of them?

 

“Taehyung-” Namjoon put his hands on the table, “C’mon, please sit down so we can eat.”

“Fine, fine, F-i-n-e,” Taehyung turned the chair back around and fell into the chair in defeat.

“He’ll be okay after a while,” Yoongi said to no one in particular, pushing the ice around his cup with his straw.

“I’m okay right now,” Taehyung glared, crossing his arms.

“Yeah, super fucking okay,” Yoongi didn’t bother to look up, “Most okay you’ve ever been.”

“Why don’t you just shut the fuck up for once? Doc, can we start dinner so Yoongi-hyung’s mouth is preoccupied, please?” Taehyung bit, sinking further into his chair.

“Now, now- kids, let’s play nice. We’re at the dinner table. It’s family bonding time,” Namjoon waved his hands around, “I- er. Sorry in advance. I uh. I really wanted to make a grand meal for our first official dinner together, but I sorta broke the replicator.”

As if on cue, Jungkook and Hoseok walked in from the hall- covered in grease.

“Nope,” Hoseok said, wiping the black smudge on his nose onto his sleeve, “Y’need a new one.”

“I don’t even understand how you did that,” Jungkook added, a hint of amusement playing on his lips, “Every single circuit was both loose and fried to hell. How is that even possible?”

“Doc here is a disaster specialist,” Hoseok took a seat next to Yoongi while Jungkook took the one next to Taehyung across the table, “I already took the liberty of ordering a delivery, but it’ll be another 20 minutes. The only places open at this hour are ritzy gourmet deals that do stuff from scratch.”

“Oh, thank God,” Namjoon let out a puff of air in relief, “I was about to give you all sand bean emergency nourishment packets.”

They collectively retched.

“So anyway, now what? We’ve got the shit thanks to our distraction-expert,” Jungkook leaned his head onto the palm of his hand that he had propped up and he looked to Hoseok.

“Bless little Jiminie,” Hoseok said for the millionth time, clasping his hands together in prayer, “I don’t know how or why he always saves my ass, but I owe him his weight in gold.”

“No, that’s what you owe me,” Jungkook quipped, “So where are we taking this stuff?”

“We’re going back to where we came from for a bit,” Hoseok put his palms flat on the table and leaned forward, his eyes glinting, “They were stolen in an area a little beyond SE-061. There’s a fat reward waiting for us as soon as they’re appraised as the genuine articles- which I know they are. You can trust me.”

They couldn’t.

“You can drop me right the fuck back off then in front of Seventh,” Taehyung growled, completely sour, “I’ve had more than enough of this little adventure.”

“Taehyung,” Yoongi said so low that it was almost inaudible, glancing up at him, “That’s not really true.”

“You sound upset,” Namjoon’s eyebrows knit, “How about sleeping on it? We’ll discuss it in the morning.”

Taehyung sulked, refusing to answer. To Jungkook’s surprise, it was Yoongi who reached across the table and grabbed Taehyung’s hand- giving it a silent squeeze before returning back to his neutral disposition. After a couple of beats, Hoseok cleared his throat.

“So I uh- I ordered a bunch of shit because I’unno what y’all like,” He leaned back in his chair, “Butter fish, long fruit flambe, a dumpling course, five different soups- do y’all like spring greens? Sour grain noodles with wrapped stuffed game meat…”

“Wow,” Jungkook’s eyes widened, the thought of having such high-end cuisine that he had only ever dreamed about eating on its way to him this very second making his stomach growl, “Butter fish?”

“It’s my fave,” Hoseok’s smirk pulled into a grin, “Been years since I had any though.”

“What’s it taste like?” Jungkook bounced a little in his seat, giddy, “Don’t be a smart-ass.”

Hoseok laughed.

“But it really does taste like butter,” He said, giving a shrug, “It’s so tender, and it flakes apart, and it’s so succulent.”

The five of them hummed in excitement- the mood improving.

When the food finally arrived, it took all five of them to carry the bags in.

“Just how much did you order?” Jungkook asked, his eyes barely visible from over the top of the boxes holding their food.

“Thought we should celebrate,” Hoseok nudged him with his shoulder, “Not every day your partner-in-crime successfully pulls off his first heist.”

Jungkook didn’t know why, but a very stupid blush touched his cheeks.

There was so much food, it didn’t even all fit together on the table. There was an array of colors and scents wafting from every square inch, arranged in an elaborate display. Things Jungkook had never seen before, things he had only seen in restaurant windows, and things he had only heard about were wedged against a selection of delicacies from BU-5417. Jungkook glanced up at Hoseok as he reached across the table and used his chopsticks to grab one of the dumplings that was a local cuisine to him, and Hoseok smiled warmly back.

It was on purpose.

“It’s too much,” Namjoon said, but his own plate was full to the brim.

“Here,” Hoseok opened the top of one dish, revealing a perfectly seared fish on a slab of wood- the sauce had dripped and crisped, and Hoseok barely had to push it with his tongs for it to fall apart. He slipped a piece on the last remaining empty spot on Jungkook’s plate, “If you’ve never tried butter fish, you haven’t lived.”

Jungkook excitedly put a morsel into his mouth and moaned. It was exquisite beyond description. Hoseok looked pleased.

“Where did you find this?” Jungkook asked, picking up another piece to savor.

“Oh, it’s from my hometown,” Hoseok shrugged, “My dad was a fisherman.”

“Where are you from?” Jungkook felt stupid that he hadn’t asked before now.

“GW-41770. In the Light District,” Hoseok smiled, “Kinda miss it.”

Jungkook furrowed his brow. Why did it sound familiar?

“Is it far away?” Jungkook asked, slowly clearing his plate. Everything Hoseok had selected was incredible.

“Yeah,” Hoseok answered, giving Jungkook a heavy glance before stuffing his face. He said nothing, and Jungkook was puzzled by his cryptic attitude.

The group of them only finished about a third of the food, and Yoongi and Namjoon lumbered to put the leftovers away for later. They were all exhausted.

“Okay, crew,” Namjoon yawned, “I’ll set the course back for SE-061. We should be there by morning. Get some sleep.”

The rest of them made some vague noises of agreement and moved to go back to their respective rooms for the night. Jungkook was surprised that Hoseok went past his room to his own and stopped with him at the door. He turned and blinked at the pirate, confused.

“Hey, good night,” Hoseok said cheerfully, shaking Jungkook’s shoulder, “I know you’re like not even fucking wanting to do this, but I just wanted to let you know that was the most fun I’ve ever had pulling a job.”

“Uh. You’re welcome? I guess? You know I’m only doing this until I get my money back,” Jungkook answered, putting his hand on the panel next to the door and taking a step inside as it slid open.

“Yeah, I know,” Hoseok laughed, his face growing even a brighter, “A man after my own heart. Anyway, get some sleep. I’ll tell ya what we gotta do in the morning.”

“Good night, Hope,” Jungkook gave less than a smile and waved as the door slid shut.

He didn’t know what to think.

After standing unmoving in the room for a few minutes, staring at the closed door he sighed and turned back to the bed. Crawling on top of it, he swiped the wall to reveal the window once more. He looked out to the sea of black that stretched for eternity and pulled the blanket up around himself, his head too full to make sense of things. Normally he found himself entirely entranced by the scenery- each twinkling light something he would dote and muse upon. But tonight, he couldn’t get lost in the skyscape as usual. His brain had wandered back to the man who had just left him at his bedroom door.

Hoseok’s words were sticking inside of his head, and Jungkook couldn’t help but sigh in frustrated agreement to the empty room.

For the first time in what seemed like three lifetimes, he had fun.

 

Yoongi stuck to Taehyung’s side as he went into his quarters, brows furrowed and arms crossed.

“I said, I’m fine, Hyung,” Taehyung threw up his hands, “I’m just gonna go t’sleep.”

“Uh huh,” Yoongi said, leaning on the closed door just inside Taehyung’s room, “You gotta stop doing this to yourself.”

“Doing what?” Taehyung walked over to the desk and leaned his hands on the top.

“You’re in love with Jimin,” Yoongi said plainly, “And it’s never going to happen.”

Taehyung stayed silent, the only sound was the wood starting to splinter under the grip of his hands.

“I can’t just erase my feelings,” Taehyung’s voice grew hoarse, “What am I supposed to do?”

“Talk to Namjoon, for heaven’s sake,” Yoongi spat back, “He’s a fucking professional.”

“I’m not gonna talk to a shrink,” Taehyung looked back over his shoulder, “I don’t need it.”

“You need someone to talk to,” Yoongi closed his eyes, aggravated.

“I’m talking to you, Yoongi-hyung,” Taehyung’s voice softened.

“Taehyung,” Yoongi pushed himself off the wall and took three steps so he was standing in front of the younger man, “I’m a priest. I don’t think you want the kind of advice I have to give. You said it yourself, you’re not even a Tenshuist.”

Taehyung pushed off the desk and spun so he was facing the elder.

“It’s better than the alternative,” he mumbled, looking down at his feet, “So Father, what’s your advice?”

“You’re not gonna like it,” Yoongi sucked his teeth.

“Well, yeah, I mean, if it’s just to say a bunch of Our Fathers on my knees, I guess I’ll pass,” Taehyung snorted.

Yoongi shook his head.

“No-” Yoongi grabbed Taehyung’s hands, “You gotta look at what’s tearing you up so bad, first. You gotta really look at it. Because it’s ripping your soul to shreds. Do you know what sins are, Taehyung? They’re not bad things that send you to hell. That’s simplistic. They’re things that hurt us and those we love. Hell isn’t a place, it’s inside of us. The Holy text isn’t a bunch of rules made up by an invisible man to enslave us- no. It’s all metaphor. It’s saying, ‘Hey, maybe you should stop being a dick because you’re hurting yourself and your loved ones. Here are some ideas to maybe not do that, asshole,’ y’know?”

Taehyung frowned. He couldn’t argue.

“So then what?” Taehyung kept staring at his shoes and moved them together silently.

“Okay, this is my observation,” Yoongi continued, “But you don’t want Jimin to do his job. You like him, but honestly, you don’t respect him or his choices. You’re creating this scenario in your head where he’s unhappy, but you’re unhappy. You’re projecting your feelings on him. Are you unhappy, Taehyung?”

Taehyung felt everything inside of him sink.

“Yeah,” the words were catching in his throat, “I’m unhappy.”

“What do you want, Taehyung? Deep down,” Yoongi asked, barely above a whisper.

“I’m just sick of-” Taehyung choked on the words- anger, fear, and sadness swirling together, “I’m sick of being so fucking weird. I’m sick of being so alone.”

“But you’re not alone,” Yoongi mumbled, “And fuck off- everybody’s weird. Don’t let someone’s else’s ideas of normalcy control you. Don’t isolate yourself. I know you’re scared, but if you want, we can work on trying to get you to let go of all that shit that’s twisting you up.”

Taehyung chewed his bottom lip, “How?”

Yoongi was a shitty priest.

Without saying a word, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to Taehyung’s. Reflexively, Taehyung’s hand went to the back of Yoongi’s head and he deepened the kiss. They stayed like that, stupidly doing things all the wrong way and all out of order for about five seconds before Yoongi pulled away.

“Shit. Fuck, sorry,” Yoongi took a step back, “Fuck, I’m really sorry, Taehyung.”

“No, I mean-” Taehyung sputtered, equally embarrassed, “Whatever. Let’s just forget it. It never happened, okay?”

“Sorry- I really,” Yoongi was still backing up, “I didn’t mean for that to happen. I really want to help you. Fuck, I’m such a fuck up.”

“Like I said, forget it,” Taehyung turned around, “It’s fine. You did help me, Hyung. I’ve got a lot to think about. It just happened, don’t beat yourself up. It didn’t mean anything. And now I’m gonna pass the fuck out. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Okay,” Yoongi said weakly, trying to bite his tongue and stop himself from apologizing endlessly, “Good night, Taehyung.”

“Good night, Yoongi-hyung,” Taehyung didn’t bother looking back as Yoongi disappeared out of the door, but his shoulders slumped in a familiar way that he had seen too many times before.

I’m sorry.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Jimin woke up too early and couldn’t go back to sleep.

He perched on a swiveling stool in Jin’s perfectly white, immaculately clean kitchen with a cup of root and berry tea, somewhere between dreams and reality. His boyfriend had programmed a simulation in the small, oval windows just above the counter- some kind of alarm clock that mimicked the warm pinks of dawns on what he assumed must be a planet he liked. Closing his eyes, he leaned over the cup a took a deep breath- drawing in the scent in a weak attempt to further his grip on consciousness by forcing caffeine directly into his brain. It didn’t make sense for the small room to feel so icy- but perhaps Jin didn’t want to waste the ship’s energy or perhaps the thermostat was set on a timer for Jin’s usual schedule. Either way, Jimin regretted not wearing the overly fuzzy thigh high socks he had found in the small drawer that had been provided for him.

He needed to get back to Namjoon’s ship.

With a slow, sleepy yawn Jimin reached and stretched his hands over his head, feeling lazy. He knew he’d have fun once he got back, but his whole existence was begging him to get back into the comfort of Jin’s plush sheets, rest his head on Jin’s plush pillows, and steal a few kisses from Jin’s plush lips.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

He had already broken his promise to Namjoon to have dinner together, and he still had time to make it up with surprising the other five with a grandiose breakfast- overwhelming them with a selection of the finest delicacies from the marketplace. Thinking back to his little shopping excursion the afternoon prior, he called up the memory of passing a couple of pastry places and a fruit stand run by an ancient old lady that surely existed before the market even opened however many hundreds of years ago- her entire face beautifully worn and wrinkled when she smiled at him. The round fruits stacked carefully in the wooden crate in front of the shop entrance looked particularly delectable and for some reason, Jimin thought, Jungkook would probably really enjoy them.

Jimin had never been good at asking for permission, but he had become an absolute ace at asking for forgiveness.

It was a better skill to have anyway.

Every sip of the tea willed wakefulness, and by the time Jimin finished the cup, the windows had a soft, orange glow. He didn't want to wake his sleeping prince whom he had taken great joy in personally exhausting, but leaving him without saying anything felt like a small betrayal- if only to himself.

Tiptoeing back into the bedroom, he silently packed his things and changed into more appropriate attire- thermal-tech under things and his custom-made space suit that hugged in all the right places, protected in all the right places.

With proper forethought, he’d slide his pistol back into the holster after kissing Jin. Jimin’s knees sank into the bed as if he were on the edge of the shore where the waves sweep the sand- and he crawled on all fours to find Jin’s lips for a goodbye. They were far too tender and pillowy than should be allowed by anyone, but Jimin didn’t take that as a deterrent.

He kissed him long enough that he'd remember, but not long enough to fully pull him from his sleep. Otherwise, he'd never get out of there. One, two, three more pecks and a low, wanting grumble from Jin and he pushed off- temptation beckoning him. But no, they were waiting for him. He gave a last affectionate look to his lover’s sleeping form before rushing out the door- somehow already late.

--

The marketplace was busy and loud, but Jimin liked that. No one paid much attention to him, but occasionally that's just what he needed. He could shop in peace, everyone completely absorbed in their own errands. By the time he picked out a proper breakfast for everyone, he had around four or five bags hanging from his arms. Fitting through the narrow entryway of Namjoon’s ship with all of them ended with him swinging a bag into his own face as he squeezed into the main room.

“Sorry m’late,” Jimin panted as Jungkook rushed to take a bag, helping his new friend get inside.

“Late for what?” Namjoon laughed softly, pulling a bag from Jimin, “Dinner? By about fifteen hours.”

“Forgive me, woncha?” Jimin teased, setting the bags on the table, “I got you c-berries.”

“Oh?” Namjoon’s smile widened, pulling out a small container from one of the bags, “I’ll have to share.”

“Also went t’the trouble of gettin’ ya a processor,” Jimin pulled a small circular contraption from his back pocket, “Don’t trust ya with a stove.”

“A whole angel,” Namjoon laughed, taking it from Jimin’s petite hand, “Alright, you’re forgiven.”

See? An absolute ace.

“Did y'all already eat?” Jimin’s brow furrowed.

“Nope,” Hoseok answered smiling cheerfully as he rifled through the bags, pulling out a couple of round fruits, “Processed nutrition packs are the bane of my existence.”

“I opened one up and he started to wretch,” Namjoon chuckled, pulling out the box of pastries and putting them on the table, “Big baby.”

“You're one to talk,” Yoongi blinked sleepily, opening the box and pulling out a small square pastry filled with fruit, “You threw it away right after.”

“You got me. It was pretty gross,” Namjoon conceded, scratching his cheek sheepishly, “Thanks for bringing us breakfast, Jiminie.”

"It's nothin', Doc," Jimin pulled container after container from the bags and put them on to the table. He hummed cheerfully as he took each bag and tied them into small, neat knots. Old habits.

Taehyung lumbered sleepily into the main cabin, rubbing his eyes with his oversized sleeve. He pulled out a chair next to Namjoon and sat down with a heavy thud, yawning, "Smells good."

Yoongi blinked a few times before standing up, moving a little quicker than usual as he mumbled, "I'll get plates" as he disappeared down the corridor.

"Is he acting funny to you?" Namjoon looked down to the hallway once he was out of earshot, "He's been unusual all morning."

"Nah, he's just sober," Hoseok picked up a grassfruit and bit into it, "And he's always funny."

Taehyung leaned forward and buried his head in his arms, "Any caffeine strips?"

"Better," Namjoon put the small device on the table, "Look what Jimin brought."

"Ooh, wow," Taehyung perked up, sliding his hand across the table, "These take a lot of money, don't they?"

"It's expensive, yeah," Namjoon beamed at his present, "Hold on, I'll make you one."

"Let me, Doc," Taehyung insisted, tugging it closer to him, "I love ya, but I don't trust ya."

"A wise decision," Hoseok nodded thoughtfully, "It'd be a travesty if it exploded right when you just got it."

"Hey," Namjoon whined in protest, but he quickly deflated.

 

"How can someone so good with robots and tinkering be so destructive?" Hoseok chuckled, grabbing one of the plates, "It's a kind of skill, ain't it?"

"You're good with androids, Hyung?" Jungkook piped up- he had been sitting quietly next to Taehyung just listening to everyone chatter.

"Er- uh, yeah," Namjoon nodded toward Taehyung as he handed him a drink, "I studied robotics and programming."

"Those jammers yesterday are a Namjoon-exclusive invention if y'can believe it, Jungkookie," Hoseok grinned, giving Namjoon an unreadable look, "He's got a whole lot of experience getting machines to do what he wants them to do."

“That’s so cool,” Jungkook said in awe.

“I guess,” Namjoon smiled at Jungkook shyly and rubbed the back of his neck, avoiding Hoseok’s gaze altogether.

“Alright, eat up,” Jimin chirped, pulling the last box out of the bag, “This is the best food we’ll get for a piece, ain’t it, Hobi-hyung?”

“God, you’re right,” Hoseok sighed, looking toward the kitchen in horror, “Nothin’ but micro-nourishment packs for a few days after this.”

“It’s that far, huh?” Taehyung leaned back, putting his hands behind his head dreamily, “Deep and out there.”

“There’s a reason no one took this job but us,” Hoseok chuckled, putting a second helping on his plate, “It ain’t easy.”

“Jiminie, are you really alright?” Namjoon leaned forward, speaking with concern, “Your schedule.”

“I’m on vacation,” Jimin smiled back at him over his shoulder, “Even my kind deserves a break, don’t we? After we sell this junk, I’ll go back to work.”

Taehyung exhaled audibly, and Jimin automatically looked down at his plate.

“Well,” Namjoon cleared his throat, “Just as long as we’re not getting in your way.”

“Y’all are never in my way, Doc,” Jimin beamed at him, popping a piece of fruit in his mouth, “I can always rearrange things, y’know?”

“You’re too kind, Minnie,” Yoongi sipped at a cup of tea Namjoon had passed to him, but eyed Taehyung as he spoke.

“No such thing, Hyung,” Jimin said more to himself than anyone at the table.

The rest of breakfast was spent mostly in silence, save for small talk between Namjoon, Jimin, and occasionally Hoseok and Yoongi interjecting with a comment. Jungkook and Taehyung kept busy eating and listening carefully, chiming in with a hum of agreement. With the meal finished, the lot of them scrambled to get the plates into the sanitization processor. Yoongi and Taehyung bumped into each other trying to toss the silverware in before immediately separating and retreating in opposite directions.

Namjoon’s spaceship sailed the black silently, its engines deafened in the vacuum. The trip would take a full twenty-four hours, the planet of South Dai-mon a rough 25,920,000,000 kilometers away. The ship seemed just as quiet on the inside, save for the electric hum that always seemed to sing in the walls.

Jimin’s cruiser was parked in the docking bay, but after a few hours by himself, he started to get antsy. Even taking a warm bubble bath, sending Jin a few unanswered texts (he was drowning in paperwork, surely), and dancing around his bedroom with the music turned all the way up could only keep him preoccupied for four hours max. He wasn’t a creature that enjoyed being solitary for more than an hour or two, and he going beyond that meant up wandering through the common rooms on each floor looking for someone or something to entertain him. He flipped through books in Namjoon’s gigantic library, heaving a heavy sigh.

“Real paper books,” Namjoon would say, adjusting his reading glasses, “Are recorded as being helpful for the mind to relax. Please, peruse them at your leisure.”

Of course, it was mostly dry esoteric literature, self-help books, and robotics manuals. Nothing much that would captivate Jimin, and he briefly considered funding a shelf for comic books. Frustrated, he slid his hand on the ship interface and checked everyone’s locations.

And he saw some boring things and some very interesting ones, but he decided to keep that to himself altogether.

South Dai-mon was a rather large, populated planet but it was so damn far that only anybody with a reason to be there would go at all. A merchant planet littered with shops, its inner sanctum was home to the Intergalactic Tribute Bureau- usually handling gifts to and from the government. Shop after shop sprang up as soon as it was established- but due to its location, crime wasn’t altogether unusual. And not that Hoseok would admit that to the authorities they were about to return these stolen items to, but he may have been responsible for at least five percent of that crime. Give or take. But who was counting, right?

Officer Kim Seokjin, but we’ll get to that later.

With the announcement from Namjoon over the speaker that they’d be breaking the atmosphere in five minutes, the rest of the crew of the Drift strapped themselves in for landing. Namjoon’s ship was big and modern enough that the breach didn’t shake them more than a tremor, but all of them followed the usual protocol- well, save for Hoseok who was already walking to the bridge.

“Don’t,” Namjoon warned as he heard the doors slide open, but Hoseok was already strolling behind him, “It’s dangerous.”

“That’s my middle name,” Hoseok shot finger guns at Namjoon, “Jung Dangerous Hoseok.”

“I know for a fact you don’t even have a middle name,” Namjoon sighed in exasperation.

“That means I get to pick whatever I want, right?” Hoseok grinned and buckled one the belts across them- they were already slowing to a cruising speed just above the roofs of the buildings.

“No, that’s not-” Namjoon looked back out to the sky, “Why do I even bother when I know you’re just fucking with me.”

“Because it’s fun, Joonie,” Hoseok leaned back in the chair, “And fun is my middle name.”

“I’m just gonna take off without you one day,” Namjoon frowned, knowing he was bluffing.

“I know you’re bluffing,” Hoseok put his feet up on the control panel, “You’d never abandon me.”

“Maybe, but do you want to risk it?” Namjoon eased the controls forward, settling his ship down onto the synthetic asphalt, “And don’t say risk is your middle name.”

“It’s not any fun if you ruin my punchlines, Joonie,” Hoseok sucked his teeth.

“It’s not ruining it if it wasn’t funny in this first place,” Namjoon steadied it until the huge thing settled with a quiet thud resounding in the empty space of the ship. He swiped the voice amplifier on and leaned toward it, “Attention passengers, this is your captain speaking. We have safely arrived in South Dai-mon. Please make sure you don’t leave any intended items behind as you exit. Thank you for flying with us today. We hope you enjoy your stay.”

“Why do you do that?” Hoseok blinked at Namjoon, unbuckling and standing up, “It’s so obnoxious.”

“Obnoxious is my middle name. Kim Obnoxious Na-”

“Ha-ha. Smartass,” Hoseok smiled at him and rolled his eyes, “Now let’s go get fucking paid.”

The return of the stolen items apprehended in-definitely-not-a-heist and more of a, oh my, how did we come about these things? situation went much smoother than the six of them anticipated.

“Fill out these forms, please. Make sure you record snaps from every angle or it will get rejected,” The lady said courteously, handing over a holopad, “And the file number of the reward.”

“That’s it?” Jungkook asked, taking the holopad from the woman.

“That’s it,” She answered sweetly, “And the bank account number for the deposit. Don’t wanna forget that.”

“Sure don’t,” Hoseok laughed, leaning on the counter, “Say, have I see you somewhere before? A girl as pretty as you, I’m sure we’ve met. You’ve got a face people can’t forget.”

“Oh, I-I don’t think so,” She flustered, and Jungkook realized from the unnatural sheen that she was an android- same as the one back at the cafe. Still, she behaved just as a human would that Hoseok would be flirting with, “I’d remember you.”

“Gosh, you’re flattering me,” Hoseok stuck his hands on his hips, “If I didn’t know better, I’d ask if you wanted to get a cup of tea with me after your shifts over.”

Shameless. Jungkook thought, turning away from him and back toward Namjoon and the others. He could hear her giggling behind him.

“Is he trying to get out of doing paperwork, or what?” Jungkook asked the rest of him, “Or does he actually want to get her number or something?”

Jimin laughed, watching them for a second before setting a vase carefully on the display table and taking the holopad from Jungkook to snap pictures, “Nah. He’s bein’ smart.”

“How?” Jungkook started to scan through the list of items and pulling up the numbers to put on the form.

“He’s also trying to get out of paperwork, certainly,” Namjoon chuckled, keeping a safe distance from the precious objects, “But he’s also making it easier for us. He always smooth-talks if we need something. It’s preliminary legwork. You’d be surprised how much things fall into place with a little charm. He also probably wants her number.”

Taehyung snorted in amused agreement, lining up a heavy statue with Yoongi.

“And just like that, he gets what he wants?” Jungkook sighed, “Jimin-sshi, the number for this one is seventeen-oh-nine-twenty-one.”

“Don’t be sore, Kookie,” Jimin smiled, punching in the numbers, “He’s makin’ us a lotta money. Look at the amount under those rewards, willya? Add that up, split it six ways from Sunday an’ there ya go. Thank ya kindly, Mister Jung Hoseok. Do ya wanna guess how many appointments that’s worth to me? Well, don’t, actually.”

“I wasn’t gonna,” Jungkook answered, his eyes widening once he began to look at the prices. It was easily a third of the debt Hoseok owed him. Easily.

“Imagine I could open my own church,” Yoongi laughed, tugging the statue to look at him, “God would probably forgive me at least like five of my sins. Maybe six.”

“That’s really, super not how it works,” Taehyung tugged on the crowbar to open the next crate, leveraging his weight by sticking his foot on the side, “You’re supposed to do forgiveness acts or somethin’. Did you really go to subliminary school?”

“Penitent. Seminary,” Yoongi sighed, patting the statue’s cheek.

“Gesundheit,” Taehyung yanked hard, cracking the box open.

“I’m working on it,” Yoongi frowned, leaning forward, “I mean it. Kinda.”

“You’ll get there, Hyung,” Taehyung pulled off the top, “Help me with the next one.”

The six of them worked in some kind of tandem, and before long all of the items were removed, put on display, and properly recorded. Then carefully reboxed, accurately labeled, and submitted to the proper authorities. All following the requirements in the exact fashion necessary for processing.

“That’s the last one,” Jimin chirped, bounding toward Hoseok.

“Oh, gosh,” Hoseok wiped a tear from his eyes, still laughing, “You’re such a riot, I lost track of time. Gosh, you’re funny. Can I see you again? I’d hate to leave South Dai-mon without hearing another thrilling tale of the inner working of the illustrious Tribute Bureau.”

“Oh, Hoseokie,” She giggled, swatting his arm. That was fast. “Sto-op. I could get in real trouble. You’re too bad.”

“No, just too sweet,” Hoseok leaned over the tall counter separating them and grabbed her work holopad, “I’m putting my number in. Nah-ah- for emergencies, Sumin-sshi. Don’t want you runnin’ into trouble again with the Nobs.”

She blushed, glancing briefly at the other five and taking her holopad back shyly. She gave a small wave as the group of them left.

“What’re nobs?” Jungkook asked once they left the buildings.

“A kinda diminutive term for ‘no-robot enthusiasts’,” Hoseok supplied, shoving his hands into his pockets, “A stupid name for a stupid group.”

“Oh,” Jungkook walked in silence, keeping close to Hoseok and Jimin automatically as they wandered the populated streets.

“Some people don’t like cyborgs or androids, Kookie,” Jimin added, linking his arm with Jungkook’s as they walked, “Pretty stupid, huh? Betcha most of them live in a house built by a robot, eat food made by a robot, drive a ship put together by a robot. People are so dumb. And yet they’ll harass people with cybernetics on the street.”

“That’s-” Jungkook furrowed his brow, remembering his own discomfort at his first encounter with the more advanced models and lump of guilt sat in him “That’s horrible.”

“Even Namjoonie’s got a robot leg cause of some kinda accident,” Jimin nodded up ahead, “And I was playin’ laserball as a kid and got hit in the eye, and for the surgery, they had to put little nano-circuits into my eyelid so I could keep on winkin’ and blinkin’.”

“Right,” Jungkook watched Namjoon walk- it was perfectly normal, not favoring one side or the other. He had no way to tell, “I see what you mean.”

“Just ‘cause you can’t see somethin’ doesn’t mean it’s not there,” Jimin nudged him, “Y’don’t like us any less, right, Kookie?”

“Of course I don’t like you any less,” Jungkook scoffed, absorbing everything Jimin was saying. With a small chime, Jimin untangled his arm and pulled out his holopad. He stopped in his tracks, and one by one the other five halted their walk and turned.

“Boys,” Jimin turned the holopad around with a laugh, revealing the rather large deposit into his bank account, “We’re in business.”

The party was ridiculous.

They did not, surely, need to rent out a luxury VIP suite at the Shan Waike hotel. They certainly did not need to invite some of Jimin’s very good friends, and Tae did not need to order eleven different kinds of wine. And by some kind of fortune, Miss Yi Sumin of the Reward Collection of the Stolen Items division at the Tribute Bureau made a brief appearance, had a drink, or two or three, and all of them managed to behave for the extent she was present before going straight back into much more questionable activities.

“Thank you again, Miss Yi,” Taehyung said affectionately, walking her out into the hall, shooting Hoseok a wink.

“Bless ‘im,” Hoseok started to tear up, obviously inebriated, “Bless that whole Kim Taehyung’s whole damn heart straight to heaven.”

Yoongi raised his hand from where he was playing on the floor and did a wavy X in the door’s direction where Taehyung had stepped out, “Amen.”

“Y’all are nothin’ but trouble,” Jungkook’s accent had come completely out, making Jimin positively overcome with giggles every time he spoke- followed quickly by a hiccup, “Do ya have even an ounce of shame?”

“For what, Mister Jeon Jeon Bun Bunny Jung Chocolate Chunk Kookie?” Hoseok leaned precariously on the arm of the chair, “Treating a nice young lady who helped make us very rich to a few well-mixed drinks, courtesy of our personal bartender?”

“Well, when you put it like that,” Namjoon placated.

“No, ya weren’t even the one protestin’, I was,” Jungkook interrupted Namjoon, “Leadin’ her on, I mean. We’re gonna leave here an’ she’ll never see Hoseokie again.”

Jimin burst into giggles again, now clearly in tears.

“Can’t say that for sure,” Hoseok looked wistfully toward the door, “Ah, Sumin. She has my heart. An archer struck me. Pew-”

He mimicked holding a bow and arrow and fired, falling off the chair dramatically and landing next to Yoongi on the floor.

“I can’ b’lieve we even pulled this off,” Jungkook looked down into his drink, “You’re all idiots.”

Yoongi pulled at his leg, rolling slightly toward Jungkook, “Hey. Respect your elders, brat. You’re getting rich, too.”

“No, I’m gettin’ paid back what was owed,” Jungkook shook off Yoongi’s grasp, “You’re gettin’ rich.”

“Dang,” Yoongi relinquished turning to Hoseok, but once their eyes met, he started laughing, “He’s right!”

Hoseok started laughing just as hard, and the two of them held each other for physical support. Jimin was curled into a small ball, laughing so hard he wasn’t making any sound at all other than desperate gasps.

“It’s not fuckin’ funny,” Jungkook took the rest of the drink in one gulp.

“Don’t worry, Kookie,” Hoseok tried to catch his breath, “I’ll give you my part. Now you’re twice as rich.”

“That’s literally what you owe me,” Jungkook walked over to the alcohol and poured another glass.

“What’d I miss?” Taehyung closed the door behind him, “Miss Yi is a delight.”

“Jungkookie is sour grapes,” Jimin said quickly, holding his stomach, “It’s the fuckin’ funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Gosh. Can y’just imagine he’s like this after every job? He’ll be layin’ on a beach on JE-70, a Nectar 75 in hand, fussin’ at Hoseok for makin’ him rich. ‘Hoseok, how dare you make me rob this bank. Excuse me, could I get a refill? And this time, no ice. Thank you.’”

“Is Sumin on the beach with us?” Taehyung asked jokingly, taking a seat next to Jimin, “I want to invite her to all our parties.”

“Of course she’s on the beach with us,” Jimin could hardly contain himself, “That’s the best part, ‘Hoseok, how dare you invite poor, innocent Sumin to our beach party. Excuse me, Sumin, would you like a refill?’”

Jimin folded in half, knocking his forehead to Taehyung’s shoulder as he giggled.

“Alright, alright. Fine. I get it,” Jungkook sighed, feeling a little more at ease with Hoseok agreeing to give him his part so easily, “Transfer it over now if ya mean it.”

“Jimin hasn’t even split it yet,” Hoseok was holding Yoongi like a stuffed animal, tucking him under his chin.

“I’ll just givya Hoseokie’s,” Jimin crawled on all-fours to his bag, giggling the entire way and having to stop half-way to collapse in a fit from laughing so hard. He finally made it, pulling out the device, “Taehyung, what’s five an’ seven?”

“Twelve, Jiminie,” Taehyung smiled, lifting his glass.

“Y’passed the test,” Jimin snickered, transferring the money over and replacing his holopad in his bag. Jungkook’s dinged a minute later.

It was there. It was really there. Jungkook stared at the large number in disbelief. “Fuck.”

“Yeah,” Namjoon said into his cup, “Fuck.”

And for at least an hour or two into the evening, Jungkook kind of forgot that he hated Jung Hoseok. He forgot that he was doing some very questionable activities with a very, frankly, strange group of people. And when Taehyung asked him to help hold him upside-down so Jimin could pour a drink into his mouth (why?), he may have started to laugh, a little. And when Hoseok asked him to go outside with him to the balcony to get some fresh air, he felt relieved. And his company wasn’t bad at all, but instead, the two of them looked out at the stretch of illuminated buildings in the dark blinking in with dim red signals to keep the landing ships safe. And they didn’t talk, they just stood there, completely comfortable and drinking it all in. And it was nice. Really nice. Jungkook had always looked out at horizons- a lot less populated than the fervent cityscapes he was just beginning to grow accustomed to. Still just as strange and beautiful, but he had been doing it completely alone. Always alone. Not that he had minded it then, but now it felt like a hundred years ago in places he couldn’t reach if he tried.

So yeah, for at least an hour or two, Jungkook kind of forgot that he hated Jung Hoseok.

Chapter Text

Floating in the black abyss was something the six of them had grown accustomed to- lonely days and nights bound to carbon-fueled vehicles that silently traversed through the great big nothing that seemed to hold a lot of somethings. Each of them had gone here and there, be it errands, jobs, or travel calling them out to the stars. It was a necessity and sometimes even a pleasure. But it was entirely unusual to be sharing that experience with others, specifically the same others to say good night and good morning to. Jungkook kept to himself most of the time on the doctor’s rather large ship, preferring the quiet stillness of his own quarters and the comfort of the small window he kept transparent to look out at the infinite.

But he didn’t entirely mind when Jimin or Hoseok poked their heads into his doorframe.

“Hiya, kid,” Hoseok greeted him with a saunter, hands in his pockets, “Whatcha up to?”

“Jimin-hyung gave me his passcode to his comic subscription,” Jungkook lifted up his holopad. He was still nestled into the pillows lodged against the wall,“Just readin’.”

“Sounds fun, but can I borrow ya for a piece?” Hoseok leaned to peek at the small animated panels, “Wanted to talk about the plans for the next job.”

“Uh,” Jungkook looked with woe at his holopad at the last panels of the comic he was on, wishing he had a better excuse to say no. “Sure, I guess.”

“C’mon,” Hoseok held out his hand and pulled Jungkook off the bed by the crook of his elbow, releasing his arm as he left the small bedroom.

The two of them walked down the hallway, Jungkook sliding his device into his bag and bumping shoulders with Hoseok just enough for him to mumble “sorry” under his breath. It wasn’t that Hoseok made him uncomfortable, exactly, it was more like people in general did and Hoseok was the kind of person who had a presence. A big presence. The kind of presence that filled the entire room wall to wall and Jungkook could usually only handle… none of that. Zero percent.

Spending a few years only interacting with machines and small alien creatures meant that his social skills were, to put it politely, rusty.

So naturally, of course, his heart sped up a few beats per minute when Hoseok made eye contact, swung his arm around his shoulder, or, say, tugged him along a narrow corridor and into a dark room.

“Here,” Hoseok licked his lips between words, his broad hands sliding over the blue neon tabletop interface that served as a makeshift light in the room, “Take a look.”

“What am I looking at?” Jungkook asked, sticking his hands in his pockets and walking to the other side.

“Schematics,” Hoseok answered plainly, raising an eyebrow.

“I know they’re schematics,” Jungkook gave him a look that Hoseok read as “dumbass” and chuckled, “I mean, for what?”

“This is the house I want to hit next,” Hoseok slid his hand to spin in the image toward Jungkook, “I want to go over how we’re gonna get in and get what we need. If we’re lucky, we can get a nice haul and see Miss Sumin once more. Ring her up, have another soiree.”

“And pay me back,” Jungkook added, tracing his finger along the edge of the thin neon line that outlined the back hallway where he presumed they would be sneaking around, “Don’t forget the most important part.”

“Right- that’s the important thing going on here,” Hoseok agreed, his lips curling enough to make the small dimples in his cheeks pop.

It’s not cute.

Jungkook tore his eyes away and back down at the table, ignoring and forcing down any thoughts to the contrary.

“I want to give you more to do for this,” Hoseok changed the settings on a small control panel at the edge of the table and started to draw with his finger onto the image, “Because of what you did last time.”

“Hm?” Jungkook’s eyes followed the fuschia line that created a path through the maze of rooms on display, “Last time?”

“The boxes- the thing you did with the boxes,” Hoseok waved his hand, “Whatever you did to get them through security. Star magic. Space voodoo.”

“What?” Jungkook laughed, “I didn’t do any magic.”

“Well, whatever it was-” Hoseok shrugged, the smile firmly planted on his face (a real smile). “Would’ve been fucked if you hadn’t.”

“I just changed how the items would show up in the scanner,” Jungkook pulled at the zipper of his bag, pulling out his holopad to pull up the coding, “So when the Brass put the boxes through sensor to get re-scanned, it would trigger the barcodes to calibrate and mimic ordinary items on the approved shipping list.”

“Sounds like space magic to me,” Hoseok took the holopad from his hands to read it over, “How’d you come up with it?”

Jungkook moved around so that he could touch the small screen in Hoseok’s hand to go through his data, “Watch this.”

A small video expanded on the device, and it shook and wobbled at an even pace. It was pointed at the copper-colored ground, dusty and rocky without much vegetation other than a few sparse, deep green weeds every few steps or so.

“MO-7423 61,313 meters,” Jungkook’s voice chirped- quiet and out of sight.

The video continued a bit longer until a school of small metallic little creatures with eight spindly legs walked in front, causing Jungkook to halt. Still far enough away, he crouched low and the video zoomed in to observe the little things move on top of the rock in an attempt to reach one of the weeds. The set of them made a kind of ladder, helping each other up until they finally snipped at the leaves and pulled the plant down. A breathy laugh came from nowhere as they toppled down.

“MO-7423 alien lifeform identification procedure number 7, unknown creature spotted. Scanning commencing.”

A soft white light shot out in a single beam and then split to fan out, sweeping down from the sky and passing over the plants and the tiny herd of alien creatures. As the light hit them, the beams distorted and the creatures changed in appearance mimic that of the leaves in an almost perfect copy- save for a few small distortions caused by their distress.

“Cool, huh?” Jungkook said, glancing at Hoseok’s wide eyes as he leaned down to watch the video more closely, “Those little guys are partially cybernetic. The scanner triggered a defense mechanism- I already had the data so I just applied it to our stuff.”

“Yeah, that’s cool,” Hoseok’s eyebrows furrowed, his mind going elsewhere, “Good. This is good.”

“Yeah?” Jungkook carefully took his holopad back, “I mean, it was easy. Just using what I already had.”

“Mhm,” Hoseok tapped his chin, staring down at the schematics before looking back up at Jungkook, “And you remember it, changed the coding to apply it to the barcodes, and implemented it all within a minute or two undetected while I was checking around to see if I could dismantle the scanners altogether, right?”

“I guess so,” Jungkook blinked at him bewildered. “Was it that impressive?”

“Yeah, kinda,” Hoseok laughed suddenly, giving him a big grin, “The only other person I could expect to do that was Joonie, but he can be a disaster on occasion. Unpredictably so. Love the Doc to death, but-”

“Yeah,” Jungkook agreed, a smile spreading across his face to match Hoseok’s, “I’ve noticed that.”

“Don’t tell him I said that, okay?” Hoseok laughed louder and patted Jungkook’s shoulder.

“Hyung, you called him ‘a wonder of fuck-uppery’ to his face this morning,” Jungkook couldn’t help but join in, his brows furrowing as he chuckled.

“I have no memory of that.” Hoseok’s laugh quieted to a snicker before he eased more comfortably next to Jungkook and looked down at the table still illuminating them in a pale blue.

“Okay, what’s the plan for this?” Jungkook put his hands on the edge of the table and looked down, eyes traveling over every edge.

“It’s simple,” Hoseok slid his hand back over the floor plan, expanding the entrance to the house.

It was never simple.

“This friend happens to be a customer of Jiminie’s, but don’t worry. That’s how I found out about this job was from our baby boy,” Hoseok continued, drawing a small little circle with his fingertip around the front door. “Told me this guy was kinda shady, has some stolen goods that Jimin had seen around his house, and that he’d be terminating his contract, why not go out with a bang? Pun intended.”

Jungkook scoffed in disgust and elbowed Hoseok gently.

“So-” Hoseok tapped the door, unfazed, “Jiminie is the bait and distraction. He’ll sashay his cute little behind in, fuck this guy, and we’ll sneak in like a couple of bandits in the night and swindle him.”

“We are literally bandits in the night,” Jungkook smiled, arching an eyebrow.

“This guy’s got cameras everywhere, that’s the trick. And he definitely goes back and watches everything- reviews the tapes.” Hoseok tapped the panel on the side, and small white dots appeared in corners of several rooms. “This is what we’re lookin’ at.”

“Fuck.” Jungkook exhaled through his nose, “That’s a lot of cameras.”

“Yep!” Hoseok laughed and started to draw with his fingertip, a pale yellow line following his movement. “This is how we’re gonna move. Nothin’ too acrobatic- not that I don’t think we’re limber enough, I’ve seen you-”

Jungkook cleared his throat, a blush creeping on his cheeks.

“-but, Namjoonie and Yoongi-hyung can glitch the cameras as we go. I’m hedgin’ my bets here, but I think you might have some neat tech that we can use in your data. Am I right?”

Jungkook didn’t answer, pulling out his holopad and slid his hand over the screen. Dragging his bottom lip through his teeth, he scrolled through his files silently before tapping and handing it over to Hoseok.

Hoseok took it without missing a beat and peered down in concentration, his smile disappearing as he watched with complete focus.

The video began, similar to the last but on a planet with soil that looked pale and blue- two star hanging above the horizon. Audible breathing in a quiet pace was the only sound. Jungkook must’ve been suited up in the hostile environment. The pale blue stretched out in dunes for miles, and Jungkook continued to walk and scan, his only commentary the amount he traversed and the location.

“91,013 meters,” Jungkook’s voice was low and tired.

His arm lifted the edge of the screen- the camera was rigged to his helmet. Jungkook opened the panel on the top of his sleeve, punching in a code.

“The scanner is malfunctioning. Doing a diagnostic run,” Jungkook continued.

Looking back out at the horizon, the wind blew the silvery sand in a drove, but the image in front of him seemed to loop.

“Time-space distortion,” Jungkook sighed, “Code number eight-three-zero. Concluding data collection as to prevent damage to devices.”

The video ended, and present-Jungkook leaned over to Hoseok and swiped through the data, “That planet was so weird. It fucked up my camera, and I had to get a new one. Came out of my paycheck because according to company policy, I didn’t do enough preventative action. My old camera though- it kept having a small delay. I have how it changed the programming in a log I had to submit to corporate so I didn’t have to pay for everything.”

“I’ll hand this over to Namjoon and Yoongi, but yeah, I think we can fucking use this,” Hoseok nodded. “Fuck, you’re a goddamn treasure.”

“Glad to be of use, I guess,” Jungkook tilted his head. “Are you really a famous pirate? Can you do stuff on your own?”

“I resent that,” Hoseok put the holopad down and began to sync the data. “Of course I am. And yes, I can. I’m just an opportunist.”

“Is it fun?” Jungkook chided with a hint of mirth.

“The most,” Hoseok smiled at him. “If I’m not making money or having fun, I’m not doing it. Luckily for me, usually the two coincide.”

“And when they don’t?” Jungkook arched an eyebrow.

“Small sacrifices,” Hoseok answered in a dark rasp, and for some reason, Jungkook’s breath hitched in his throat. Gravity seemed to be pulling him closer to Hoseok so he took a step back, hands searching for something to hold onto behind him and grasping at nothing.

“So- uh,” Jungkook fumbled, finally curling his hands around the edge of a chair back. “Y-you mentioned some cop, right? When we were at customs. You kept muttering about Officer Kim.”

“Oh, yeah, right,” Hoseok blinked at him, still just as relaxed as he had been. “He was on duty there. You saw his little hologram ID at the counter. Of all my fuckin’ luck, right? He has it out for me. But m’guessin’ since little Jiminie was nowhere to be found he did what he does best and figured out Officer Kim’s soft spots.”

“I don’t want to know,” Jungkook winced.

“You’re such a prude,” Hoseok laughed brightly, “Who knows what he did. Jimin’s good at makin’ people feel special. He could’ve been playin’ the distressed ‘Officer, please help me’ card for all I know. Or he coulda been fuckin’ his brains out. Maybe both. Your guess is as good as mine.”

“Jimin-hyung is more than just that,” Jungkook frowned. “He’s a good person.”

“The very best,” Hoseok gave him a tight-lipped smile, “Look, kid. You don’t know, but Jiminie and I go way back. I’m not demeaning him. He’s a whole angel. Heart of gold. But him doin’ what he does is nothin’ to be ashamed of neither. Hell, it’s something he’s proud of, and so am I. You get what I mean?”

Jungkook opened his mouth and promptly closed it, giving his words some thought.

“How did you meet? Were you-” Jungkook blinked in a flutter, “I mean, did you see him? Uh, professionally?”

“He was my customer first,” Hoseok put his hand on his hip, “Just so you know.”

“What?” Jungkook stared at him. “For what?”

“I used to be a merchant,” Hoseok shrugged. “And an auctioneer. Specialized in rare imports and antiques. Jiminie wandered into the marketplace probably right after he left y’all’s homeworld. He stepped right into my booth and walked straight to a box of very expensive perfumes, made the poor sap he was with buy him the most expensive one. Bless his heart.”

“Oh,” Jungkook pursed his lips, trying to imagine the scene. It was strange to think of Hoseok having a normal job, being a normal person, just making a living the same as anyone else.

“After that, he came back, ‘nother fella on his arm. Next time, with a lady drippin’ in furs. Soon enough we started to chat. He was one of my best customers. Charmed me into lowerin’ my prices - how? I don’t even know. I don’t do that for anybody. Then he was at my warehouse pickin’ out perfumes and looking through designer clothes off the rack before even going to sale.”

“So how did you get into piracy?” Jungkook leaned back. “Not enough money in selling overpriced goods?”

“Oh, no, there’s plenty of money in that,” Hoseok’s eyes twinkled. “I got fucked over and blacklisted. Had to quit. So now, technically, I’m just doin’ the same thing with a little extra legwork. Same job- acquiring things that I can identify as somebody needin’ real bad and providing it to them. It’s a service.”

“Is that what you tell yourself to sleep at night?” Jungkook’s eyes narrowed.

“Look, I know you’re real sore because I gave you a little boo-boo and took your stuff, but you’re nipple-deep in the same business, my friend,” Hoseok picked up Jungkook’s holopad off the table, a small chime indicating that the device unsynced echoing in the room. “I sleep just fine, and I bet you do, too.”

“I’m only doing this to break even and then I’m gonna-” Jungkook straightened himself up, his words falling out faster than his thoughts, “I’m gonna-”

He trailed off.

“Go back to data collecting for another corporation?” Hoseok handed him his holopad. “Sounds thrilling.”

Fuck.

“I’ll find something,” Jungkook squeaked.

“I have no doubt you could,” Hoseok nodded in placation, his eyebrows raised. “You’re a great data collector. Expert in data collecting. Collection specialist.”

“Don’t fucking patronize me,” Jungkook snatched the holopad with a grumble.

“Well, if you find the straight and narrow a little too quiet-,” Hoseok turned back to the table, sliding his fingers to the control panel. The internal mechanics whirred, and a small cartridge released from the end. “There’s plenty of jobs out there. You’ve more than proven yourself capable, Kook.”

“I wouldn’t even know how to find them,” Jungkook mumbled in protest, shoving his holopad into his bag.

“That’s what you got me for,” Hoseok chirped, taking the cartridge and slipping it into his pocket. “A trade specialist and a collection specialist. Well-suited for the task at hand, don’t you think?”

“As tempting as that is,” Jungkook tongued the inside of his cheek, poking it out. “I’ll be okay on my own, thanks.”

“Yeah, you’re really good at being ‘okay’,” Hoseok turned off the display, the room darkening.

“If I want to get psychoanalyzed, I’ll go see the Doc,” Jungkook tugged on the strapped of his bag, “I’m pretty sure he’s not going to dissuade me from turning away from a life of crime.”

“How’s the view from up there, Jungkookie?” Hoseok walked forward. “Must be nice.”

“Fuck off,” Jungkook took a step back, his grip tightening on his bag.

“Have a session with Joonie, get a massage from Jiminie, have a drink with Taehyung, annoy Yoongi-hyung until he says somethin’ funny- do somethin’ to relax. You’re coiled so fuckin’ tight. And for what? What’re you afraid of?” Hoseok narrowed his eyes.

“M’not afraid of anything,” Jungkook huffed. “I just wanted to be-”

Normal.

That was a lie.

He never fucking wanted to be normal. He ran away from normal.

So when did that change?

“Jungkookie, why did you become a data collector?”

“Adventure,” Jungkook blurted, “I wanted to see the universe, you know?”

“What’s been the most adventurous thing you’ve done?” Hoseok’s pointed to his bag. “Any clips?”

Jungkook shifted on his feet, hesitating to take the device out. There were thousands of hours of Jungkook roaming around from planet to planet. Each was beautiful in its own way, each had its own little surprises, but-

“What’s the matter?”

“I’m tired,” Jungkook bit into his lip. “I’m going to back to my room. If you need me, you know where I’ll be.”

“Rest up, Kookie,” Hoseok started to talk toward the exit, pressing the release so the door slid open and light from the hallway flooded in. “Can I just- can I ask you something?”

“What’s that?” Jungkook stepped toward the doorway, blinking from the blinding bright white.

“Did you have any fun runnin’ through that house with me and taking that fucker’s stuff from under his nose? Any at all?”

Jungkook let his eyes adjust and turned back to Hoseok who was leaning against the doorframe.

“No,” Jungkook lied, turning away from him and taking a wide step back to his quarters.

He didn’t look back, nerves bundling in his chest as he walked. When the white door slid behind him, creating a silence in the room, he took in a breath. Dropping his bag to the floor, he let himself fall face first into the pillows and groaned.

Dumbass.

Nudging his face up, he stared at the blank wall in front of him. On his own ship, a collection of landscape photographs and holographic clips would’ve been on display in front of him. Beautiful colors neatly arranged- different scenes from the far reaches of the universe. Strange and haunting places- contorted landscapes, odd plantlife, stars burning bright and hanging high and low above skylines.

He had been so many places.

But that’s all they were. Places. Just as empty as his room.

What do you want?

Rolling over, he stared up at the equally blank ceiling. Even looking out at the stretching expanse stars dotting the black didn’t seem appealing.

When the doorbell chimed, he shot up and was on his feet. He smashed the control panel to release the lock and the door opened.

Oh.

“Hiya,” Jimin bounced in, holding two cups, “Still readin’? I brought ya tea. Gosh, it’s hot. Take one, willya? I need all the nerves I got. M’delicate.”

“Uh, yeah. Sure,” Jungkook bent and took both cups, setting them on the white chest of drawers. “Thanks.”

“I was so dang bored,” Jimin moaned, shaking the heat from his hand, “I thought I was gonna die. Being bored should be a crime. I hate it. Ain’t nothin’ worse than havin’ nothin’ to do. And I did everythin’ I could think of! I danced to a whole album, I cleaned my ship, and had a bubble bath, had a fashion show by m’self, jerked off, did my makeup, ate a whole bag of chips, read three chapters of a book, it was so boring, Oh, my God. How’s my makeup?”

“Looks good, Jiminie,” Jungkook smiled, taking the top off the cup and blowing the steam off. “Do you have an appointment later?”

“When do I not?” Jimin leaned on the drawers, “But this is a boring one. I’m going to die, I’m not kiddin’. It’s one of the ones that pays me to listen, and honest to God, I’d rather just get fucked. But money is money, and sometimes my ass needs a break, y’know what I mean?”

“I don’t, but I sympathize,” Jungkook gave him a pitying look.

“Not that he isn’t a nice guy, but fuck,” Jimin put his face in his hands, “I’ve had it up to here with nice guys. They ain’t that nice, they just like to think they are.”

Jungkook hummed and took a sip.

“There’s only one guy out there who ain’t just talkin’ the talk,” Jimin sighed, putting his hands on his hips. “They’re in short supply, but it don’t matter, I guess. It’s not like m’tryin’ to marry my customers, anyhow, though they might get that idea in their head. Hey, wanna hear a funny story?”

Jungkook nodded, eyes wide and fascinated.

“This one fella had me put on wedding lingerie- veil and all, and pretend I was a virgin,” Jimin whispered as if he was telling a scandalous story, giggling. “Blushing bride is one thing, but this dude took it to th’next level. I had to put fake blood on the sheets. People are wild, Kookie.”

“That, uh, that’s really somethin’, Jiminie,” Jungkook cocked his head to the side.

“You’re tellin’ me,” Jimin took his cup, rolling his eyes and whining, “I’d still take that guy over the talker, though! I hate being bored! If it ain’t fun, it ain’t worth doin’.”

“So why are you taking the appointment, then?” Jungkook drank a bit more of the tea.

“Fun or makin’ me money,” Jimin echoed Hoseok, correcting himself, “Gotta make a livin’. And still, the talker is a step above bein’ stuck on this ship for at least a few hours. ‘M a city boy, Kookie. I ain’t meant to be confined on a ship in space forever. M’goin’ crazy. I need people. I need life. I need adventure, you know what I mean?”

“I think so, kind of,” Jungkook admitted.

“And if don’t come to ya, y’juss gotta go get it,” Jimin took a sip of his tea and then stuck out his tongue. “Shoot. It’s overbrewed. Sorry, Kookie.”

Jungkook shook his head.

“I get cabin fever so bad,” Jimin whined, replacing the top on the cup in defeat. “I don’t know how ya do it. M’goin’ nuts. Anyway, m’gonna blast outta here. I just wanted to check on ya and say ‘hi’. I’ll be back before dinner, okay?”

“Okay, thanks,” Jungkook lifted his own cup toward Jimin who was already walking back the door.

“Seeya,” Jimin blew a kiss and disappeared out the door.

Jungkook stayed glued to the spot next to the drawers for a few minutes, unmoving and looking in the direction Jimin had been standing without any focus as he steeped in his thoughts.

Go get it.

Shaking his head to clear it, he walked to the interface alongside the door and pulled up a map of the ship. Six little indicators blinked, Jimin’s clearly in transit to the docking bay, Jungkook’s own small dot standing in place, Namjoon’s in his captain’s chair on the bridge, Yoongi’s and Taehyung’s in their own rooms, and Hoseok’s pacing back and forth still in the small, dark library where he had left him.

Jungkook pushed off the wall and opened the door, breaking out in a run down the hallway.

Go get it.

Chapter Text

Jimin came back to Namjoon’s ship more sleepy than anything else, the cruiser echoing in the docking space as the heavy metal parts settled into their locks. With a heavy sigh, he rubbed at his eyes without thinking. Blinking at his hands, he stared at the smudges of black that suddenly graced his hands and let out a breathy laugh at himself. His worst habit.

Or one of them, anyway.

The corridors always hummed with a near-silent electricity that pushed into Jimin's ears that he almost always forgot about until his thoughts disappeared. The empty space in his head was filled with the sound- that and the pattering of his feet as he lumbered into the quarters Namjoon provided.

The funny thing was, his cruiser was infinitely more comfortable. He had spent a good portion of his career spending his earnings on the finer things, making it a movable oasis for himself. Plush pillows, silk sheets, expensive fragrances. But it somehow felt lonely when he was on Namjoon's ship, and every now and again he'd wander to his "room" to rest on the stark white and dull grey cot that left his back aching in the morning.

Not the wisest decision in terms of his work performance, but it eased his heart just a little bit. And that was worth a lot more than other things in the eyes of one Mr. Park Jimin.

He was too exhausted and overstimulated to seek anyone on the ship out, but having them close felt like a cozy blanket after a long, long day.

The talker he had spent some time with never did more than shyly touch at Jimin's knees while he went on about his day, and he pulled the full price of Jimin's time, but it was so many hours in a row that he felt entirely drained.

Closing his eyes, he had nearly drifted completely into a dream about laying on the long wooden dock that stretched in front of his house back on BU-5417 until his door chimed and slid open.

"Ah. Sorry. Y-you're-" Taehyung stuttered out, taking a step backward. "Didn't know you were sleeping."

"Huh?" Jimin shot up in bed, leaning back on his hands. "No. You're fine, Tae. Whatcha need?"

"Nothin'. Forget it. Don't need anythin'." Taehyung rubbed the back of his neck. "Y'look tired."

"M'always tired, but it never stopped me from doin' anythin'." Jimin swung his legs off the bed and tilted his head to the side. "Somethin's on your mind. What's up?"

"S'alright. I think m'just confused." Taehyung's deep baritone rolled out in an embarrassed laugh. "I don't know what m'doing."

"Can I help?" Jimin finally stood up off the bed, giving himself a little push for leverage. "What're you confused about?"

"I just- I don't know. That's the problem. I guess. Feelings. Stuff." Taehyung waved his hand in front of his face as if to dismiss the thought from manifesting.

"Just tell me," Jimin cooed softly, taking a step toward Taehyung where he had backed away from. "I'm sure it's not that bad."

"Uh, well-" Taehyung looked down at the floor, furrowing his brows before he slowly lifted them to Jimin. Coughing to clear his throat, he pulled out a holocard with the little symbol for yuenne followed by a number with a lot of zeroes, too many for just about anything at all except split-up earnings from a heist or very, very expensive luxury items.

"I want- I want a night. With you."

--
Some hours earlier, Jungkook stood outside of the room where he had left Hoseok. He didn't dare put his palm on the sensor to open the lock, instead staring at the space between his shoes. He had sprinted there, but suddenly his courage had dwindled to nothing as he labored each breath. Feeling stupid, he started to turn when the door opened and Hoseok belted out a scream in surprise, falling backward into the study.

"Fuck!" Hoseok cried out, scrambling to lifting himself back up. "What the fuck, kid? Do you always lurk around rooms you abandon in a hurry? Is this a hobby data collectors are into, or is it just you carrying that torch?"

"Ha ha," Jungkook said flatly, trying to hide the stupid smile on his face at Hoseok's ridiculous reaction. "I just- I thought I left something in here."

"What? Your pride?" Hoseok jabbed, dusting off his pants. "I think it's by the bookshelf."

"Something like that." Jungkook shifted on his feet.

"No smart-mouthed comebacks?" Hoseok scoffed, a grin spreading across his lips. "Maybe you really did leave it in here."

"I am beginning to regret my decision to come back to this room. Actually, I'm surprised you're even still in here. I expected you to already have booked it out of here," Jungkook lied- as if he hadn't just checked the ship map to confirm that Hoseok hadn't budged from the spot he had just shared with him a few moments before.

"Oh, well, as you may have guessed, I was just leaving." Hoseok smiled wider and leaned into the door frame, pushing on the edge in front of Jungkook. "Unless you needed me for something?"

"Need you?" Jungkook squeaked and cleared his throat, trying to get it back to its natural register. "What would I need you for?"

"Maybe heist stuff," Hoseok kept blocking his way in. "Maybe other stuff. I don't know. You tell me."

"I'm not good at these kinds of games, Hyung." Jungkook huffed and tried to pull his arm down. "Sports, sure. Riddles? Not so much. Just let me in, okay?"

"Hm." Hoseok put his other arm on the frame, effectively trapping Jungkook. "What's the password?"

"'Hoseok is an asshole.' Is that it?" Jungkook pushed his arm harder, but Hoseok was quick to put up his leg to block him. The elder mimicked the sound of a buzzer.

"Wrong, try again. Next time, use honorifics at least. And maybe something nicer." Hoseok tutted and shook his head. "Flattery gets you everywhere."

"Hoseok-hyung is a very nice asshole." Jungkook shoved his arm and nearly tripped over his leg.

"Change 'is' to 'has' and you're in business," Hoseok laughed, replacing his arm as soon as Jungkook moved it down.

"I'm not saying that." Jungkook puffed his cheeks and shoved harder. Hoseok only leaned forward and draped himself over him, using his own body like dead weight.

"You're no fun, Kookie." Hoseok laughed and slacked his limbs, forcing Jungkook down. "What did you really come back for? Tell me, and I'll let you in."

"A pen." Jungkook elbowed him, his face growing hot from the proximity. "Get off."

"I'd love to. Are you offering?" Hoseok's mouth went into a perfect heart-shape as he smiled at Jungkook, wiggling his eyebrows. He looked stupid.

"You're so gross," Jungkook whined, trying not to smile back.

"Grossly hot. Grossly rich." Hoseok slid his leg up the door frame until they both collapsed on the floor.

"You're not rich if you're in debt to me." Jungkook shifted backward to leverage Hoseok off of him, but he only laid further on top of him like ice melting on the metallic surface when their ship broke atmosphere.

"So you think I'm hot?" Hoseok was completely on top of him and Jungkook groaned from his weight suppressing his airflow.

"I can't breathe, dumbass." Jungkook punched his arm.

"That's still not the password," Hoseok laughed louder with every tamed blow to his shoulder.

"I'm not saying what you told me to." Jungkook managed to inch up the door frame and nearly free himself before Hoseok tumbled forward, pinning him with a thud back on the floor.

"Then how about a kiss?" Hoseok cocked his head to the side, his lids lowered as he peered at the wide-eyed Jungkook.

"What?" Jungkook peeped, too shocked to do much more than squirm under Hoseok's grip.

At the sound of a familiar bass tone from above them (Asking in genuine innocence, mind you.) "What are you guys doing?" Jungkook found his strength and shoved Hoseok back hard enough that he pushed him into the hallway flat on his ass.

"Nothing!" Jungkook said too high and too fast, trying to get to his feet. "We were. I was. A pen. We were fighting. Pen."

"Something like that." Hoseok laughed coolly, shaking his bangs out his eyes. "What are you up to, Doc?"

"I was looking for Father Min," Namjoon quirked an eyebrow, silent in his observation of the other two but refraining from saying anything further. For their sake. "He managed to trick the ship's sensor into picking up his signature somewhere he's... not. I went to his location on the map, and there was just one of those little microchip beacons. I don't even know how he does stuff like that."

"And you're the robotics specialist." Hoseok crossed his legs and rested his wrists on his knees. "You gotta up your game, Joonie."

"With Yoongi, that proves difficult." Namjoon's lip went thin. "Not really. That's not even true. I don't know. Anyway, carry on. Don't punch each other too much. Or do it with a safe word."

Namjoon took a long step over Hoseok and continued down the hall with his hands in his pockets, leaving the two of them alone once again. Neither of them budged from the doorway as the end opened and the good doctor disappeared deeper into the ship to find one of their other companions.

Jungkook coughed, patting his pockets. Why was he patting his pockets? It made no sense, but it felt right in his play-pretend scenario that went awry. “Well, there’s no pen in there. I guess I left it somewhere else.”

“Sorry to hear that.” Hoseok relaxed in his spot on the floor. “Guess we gotta tear the ship apart until it turns up, huh? Question everyone on board. Everyone’s a suspect. Damn, should’ve stopped Namjoon when we had a chance.”

“W-what? No.” Jungkook laughed, giving Hoseok a puzzled look. “I’ll just get a new one, forget it.”

“You’re ruining the plot of a perfectly good bottle episode, spoilsport.” Hoseok leaned back further in front of the doorframe. “How else are we going to pass time on this ship?”

“I plan on going back to my room and reading comics.” Jungkook tried to step over Hoseok’s leg, but he put it up to block him. This game again.

“This game again?” Jungkook jumped and cleared Hoseok easily.

“C’mon, I know there’s no pen. What did you want, really?” Hoseok grabbed his ankled.

“Maybe I was just bored. I don’t know.” Jungkook lied, feeling dumb and caught and dumb.

“Okay, so let’s do something fun. I’m bored, too.” Hoseok sprang to the floor in a single bound. “We could play a game or watch something on the holopad or get drunk or-”

“Um,” Jungkook shifted on his feet. “A game sounds good. What do you want to play?”

“How ‘bout laser ball?” Hoseok nodded toward the panel. “Namjoon has it set up in the gym.”

“Oh? You play?” Jungkook turned and hit the screen, pulling up the map. Namjoon’s icon was still in transit. He switched the map to a different floor, pulling up one a few floors down. “Here?”

“Yep. You haven’t been in there yet?” Hoseok let his eyes travel down and linger an extra beat over Jungkook’s physique. “You look like you have.”

“I-I work out in my room,” Jungkook admitted, his cheeks growing hot under Hoseok’s gaze.

“Remind me to stop by more often,” Hoseok said under his breath and switched off the panel. “Let’s go.”

The gym space was broad and white, and there were small, dark lines running in patterns along the floor to indicate the position of different barriers that could be programmed depending on the game. With the ceilings raised high, just about anything imaginable was possible. Hoseok imagined that Namjoon used it for rehabilitation purposes or anyone stuck there for a long stay.

“Wow.” Jungkook's eyes traveled to the top, his feet echoing with every step.

“Yeah, wow,” Hoseok repeated as he followed after Jungkook. “I'll get it set up.”

It didn’t take long. Laser ball was one of the most popular sports in the quadrant, and there were competitions and school teams throughout 97 galaxies, or maybe 98, it was hard to keep track. Namjoon had it all downloaded, and with the press of a few buttons, a preloaded set-up flashed on the screen.

“This okay, Jungkookie?” Hoseok stepped to the side. “You look like you’re okay with a difficult level.”

“Sure, yeah. I mean. I’ll try it.” No need to mention he was on the championship team two years running back in high school on BU-4517.

With a final press of a button accepting the game, the two of them split to opposite sides of the gym. The lights dimmed, and blue lasers mimicking a net rose from the floor with large gaping holes- large enough for a ball to pass through. With the last of their knee and elbow guards strapped on, Jungkook stomped on the round release on his side. The gravity disappeared in the room, and a small red ball in front of Hoseok floated up in front of his face. With a smirk, he disengaged the magnetic lock on his boots and propelled himself up, smacking the ball with the palm of his hand through one of the holes in the net and hurdled it toward Jungkook’s side.

Jungkook was quick to move into the empty space, catching and throwing the ball back through a hole in another place of the net. Hoseok smacked into the wall and adjusted himself fast enough to stop the ball from entering the goal behind him. He volleyed it back, but the ball clipped the hole on the way in and slowed on Jungkook’s side giving him an advantage. With a laugh of triumph, Jungkook ricocheted himself off the back wall and smashed the ball with his hand, sending it hard to Hoseok’s side and bouncing into the square, glowing purple goal behind him.

A buzzer sounded, a point scored.

“You’ve played some, huh?” Hoseok wiped the sweat from his brow.

“Yeah. Some.” Jungkook grinned, watching with delight as a new ball manifested from the floor and floated up toward Jungkook this time. He smacked it hard, and Hoseok volleyed it back with a low growl- more invested in this round. But Jungkook was just as nimble, and he kneed the corner to push himself backward into the path of the ball, blocking the goal. The ball bounced and Hoseok used the edges of the gym to catch it on the other side. Watching Jungkook, he aimed and threw the ball through, sending it flying toward one of the smaller goals in the corner.

Jungkook scrambled and dove, knocking the ball away from the goal and into the net. The buzzer alarmed in a different tone, and the ball disappeared. A new one manifested on Hoseok’s side. Another hard hit, and it barely missed the goal, smacking into the wall and flying off before Jungkook could get to it. It bounced back to Hoseok’s side with enough time for him to get a second chance, and he knocked it square into Jungkook’s goal.

“You’ve played some, too?” Jungkook panted, engaging the magnetic lock on his boots to catch his breath.

“Some.” Hoseok laughed, stretching his arms over his head. “Got a nickname in school.”

“Oh?” Jungkook wiped the sweat from his brow. “Me, too.”

Hoseok lunged forward, hitting the ball before it could float off out of reach. It flew through the air toward the goal in the top right corner, and Jungkook couldn’t make it in time. The ball bounced into the small square goal, and Jungkook slammed into the wall chasing after it.

“Golden,” Hoseok called out, smug in his answer.

“What? How did you know?” Jungkook winced and rubbed his arm.

“What? It’s my nickname. Golden.” Hoseok’s laugh echoed through the room, and Jungkook’s blood ran hot.

“That’s my nickname.” Jungkook’s dark, wide eyes reflected the blue and red lights as he pushed off the wall.

“What a coincidence.” Hoseok licked his lips and served the ball once more, laughing as Jungkook tore through his side to hurl the ball away from his goals. Hoseok floated in the empty space, holding himself as his giggles forced his body to curl up and the ball shot past him.

Another buzzer sounded, another point.

The next few rounds were a rough back and forth once Hoseok had composed himself, the mood turning serious as the Golden duo pushed themselves to their physical limits. The room hissed and opened valves, spraying a light to mist them as it monitored their body temperatures. The digital clock on the wall counted down the final ten seconds, and Jungkook had one chance to keep the game from going into overtime.

He just had to protect his lead.

Hoseok was stalling, throwing the ball in the last five for a long shot to the corner goal. Jungkook met his eyes for the briefest millisecond and kicked off the wall with as much force as he could muster, slamming his shoulder and pinning the ball against the wall, centimeters from the goal.

The final buzzer.

He won.

Hoseok laughed, shaking the sweat from his hair as Jungkook floated down to the edge. The room lit back up, the gravity re-engaged, and the blue and red streams of light cut off. They both looked a little worse for wear, purple and red blooming across Jungkook’s cheek and Hoseok’s arm.

“Good game.” Hoseok reached out to turn off the program on the panel behind the younger boy, and Jungkook moved into the path.

“Come on, Hyung. Want to go another round?” Jungkook’s eyes flecked with the room’s illuminations seemed to sparkle as they widened with excitement. “A re-match. You’re good.”

“No, thanks.” Hoseok grabbed his shoulders, chuckling. “I’m spent. You’ve proven you earned the title.”

Jungkook didn’t budge, his smile matching Hoseok’s. “Oh? Can you call me that, then?”

“What? Okay, fine. You’re golden, alright?” Hoseok tried to move around Jungkook, but he stepped to the side. “Kid. Move.”

“What’s the password?” Jungkook said in a tone mimicking Hoseok’s earlier.

“You want me to say you have a nice asshole?” Hoseok quipped, trying to dart under Jungkook’s arm.

"I prefer you didn't." Jungkook threw his arm down. "Try again."

"Jungkookie is... a cutie? Good at math? Can bench press me? What the hell are you going for here? Throw me a bone." Hoseok went around to slip around his shoulder and failed.

"It's no fun if I give you a hint." Jungkook laughed, scooting his foot across the floor. "You won't play one more game?"

"As fun as that sounds, I'd rather occupy my time differently instead of getting my ass handed to me by some kid on the laser ball court. You may have left your pride in the library, but I'd like to keep the vague sliver I have left." Hoseok grabbed onto Jungkook's shoulders, his gaze darting between his eyes.

"How 'bout a kiss?" The words fell out faster than Jungkook could catch them.

"Hm? Oh?" Hoseok knew his window would shut in his face if he didn't act, and he leaned forward to brush his lips against Jungkook's. He could taste the salt from his sweat on his tongue, and the surge of electricity as Jungkook whimpered erased the tired ache from his limbs. Jungkook's body slacked, letting Hoseok deepen the kiss at a quiet, steady tempo. He expected it fast and messy, reflecting the wild nature the pirate had shown him. But no, it was slow. Controlled.

And he liked it. More than he should.

"Oh," Jungkook said in an exhale when Hoseok broke apart from him, pressing his forehead against his. "Oh."

"Ah. Is that the password?" Hoseok said coolly, his voice low as he leaned over Jungkook's shoulder to press into the panel. The program shut down with a soft whir.

Jungkook didn't know how to answer. What were words? What was existing?

"Are you okay?" Hoseok returned back to the spot, his eyes tracing over Jungkook's face with concern.

"Sure." Jungkook answered back. Right?

“Really?” Hoseok exhaled slow through his nose, eyes still searching. “Can I kiss you again?”

"Yeah,” Jungkook answered, drunk on the feeling.

"Okay." Hoseok's lids lowered and he leaned in, kissing Jungkook with more deliberation. He nearly moaned when Jungkook's lips began to move, but did his best to keep himself composed.

Steady, steady.

His hands slipped down Jungkook's shoulders and biceps, swollen from playing so long. Without thinking, he kneaded the muscles as his lips opened and closed against Jungkook's. Lust was spilling into him, but he was always careful. He had to be.

Jungkook shuffled forward into the space between them, closing the gap and pressing their bodies together. This was a lot for a first kiss. A lot, but too easy to melt into. His stomach pressed flushed against Hoseok's, and his broad hands settled on his narrow hips. His brain was dumping dopamine, and it was impossible to fight, a soft groan slipping into the kiss. When was the last time he was touched with this kind of tenderness?

Never, probably.

"Hyung," Jungkook mumbled against his lips, forgetting everything else. He had to.

"Jungkookie," Hoseok answered back, his hands pressing into his back to keep him in place.

And Jungkook liked that. Too much. He liked the way Hoseok pulled him close, the pressure from his fingertips, the way he didn't stop kissing him.

This was stupid. And terrifying.

"Uh," Jungkook said, placing his hands on Hoseok's chest and putting enough pressure for Hoseok to take a step back. "Sorry."

Hoseok blinked four or five times, equally dazed as he had gotten just as lost in Jungkook's taste.

"Oh. Yeah," Hoseok's words were clipped by a laugh. "No. It's alright. That was sudden."

"Sudden," Jungkook repeated, blinking at him back. "Yep. Yeah. I'm going to go. Back. To my room."

"Okay," Hoseok heaved the breath from his lungs, nodding. "That's okay. Do that."

"Yeah," Jungkook said, taking a step back and sliding out of Hoseok's grasp. "I'll see you around. Sorry. To make it weird."

"You didn't." Hoseok's brows knit. "You didn't."

"Okay. Good." Jungkook walked backward, his hand hitting the panel next to the door, forcing it open. "I'll see you later, okay?"

"Yeah," Hoseok smiled wide as if to reassure him. "Later."

He watched as the door slid shut in front of Jungkook, leaving him alone in the wide, empty gym. The silence around him sat heavy, but Hoseok couldn't bring himself to leave the room. Not yet. If he left too fast, he could still bump into him. And there was too much- too many things done, too many things unsaid.

And he didn't fucking know what it meant.

Maybe nothing. What was a kiss? A kiss was nothing. Just a moment. Just two people, energy high, loneliness, boredom- it could be nothing at all. No reason to be stupid about it. No reason to have an investment. No reason to think about Jungkook's cheeks growing rosy and the way his toned, lithe body fell and eased against him at the smallest touch.

That was a dangerous line of thinking to go down.

Even with a silent, mental mantra to keep his thoughts away, Jungkook's lips were more certain. More steadfast. It was just a kiss! Just a kiss with his young apprentice that he was pretty sure hated his guts not too long ago. Maybe longer than he thought. When did things change exactly? He couldn't pinpoint it. Was it when his eyes fluttered up, watching Hoseok move through the building? Was it when his light, stuttering laugh filled the room at one of Hoseok's stupid jokes? Was it the dark gaze that fell on him, fueled by alcohol when Hoseok tucked Yoongi under his chin? Hoseok, get a grip. It was nothing.

Or?

Maybe.

Maybe.

It was something.

Chapter Text

“No,” Jimin said, his eyes wide as he looked at the holopad shoved into his hand before shoving back. “No way.”

“Just a night,” Taehyung covered Jimin’s hands with his own.

“Tae,” Jimin took in a short breath. “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“It’s enough, isn’t it?” Taehyung shifted on his feet. “Okay, maybe it’s a few yuenne short. Just cut like thirty minutes off or something. Or is a flat-rate?”

“Tae, please. It’s not th’money-” Jimin held his breath in his chest. “I don’t- we’re too close. I like you too much.”

“Just treat me like a normal customer.” Taehyung smiled- cute, wide, boxy. This wasn’t fair.

Jimin looked down at the numbers across the screen.

“Butchu’re not a normal customer. You’re my friend,” Jimin protested, pushing it back. “One of my closest friends.”

It wasn’t breaking the rules. He, just, he never had this happen before. Well, he never had that many friends for it to become an issue, and somehow the technicalities never interfered. But this. This was different.

“Jimin. Please.” Taehyung smiled, his fingers rubbing small circles around the back of Jimin’s hands. “I’ll pay. I promise it won’t be weird. I just want to feel like I matter to somebody for a while. And who else do that with than you? I know your time costs a lot, and I don’t want any kind of special privilege. I’m just the same as anybody else.”

“Okay,” Jimin’s softened under Taehyung’s affection. “If you’re sure. Y’gotta sign all the paperwork, or I won’t do a thing.”

“I’ll follow your lead,” Taehyung sighed in relief. “Ah, I’m glad you didn’t say no.”

Jimin pulled away, the distance between them feeling like a small eternity. He pulled up the usual agreement, handing it over to Taehyung who took it with care as his eyes fixated on each line. He read it with diligence, absorbing everything with fascination.

“Background check? Kinks?” Taehyung said with a breathless laugh, his cheeks darkening in shades of red.

“It’s important.” Jimin cooed, his brows furrowing. “But if you’re uncomfortable, we don’t have to do this, Tae.”

“No, it’s okay,” Taehyung pressed it down and scribbled his name across the bottom. “Where do I start? Do I have to tell you everything?”

“Ah, gosh. I guess.” Jimin sat back on the bed, looking down at his feet. “The more, the better anyway.”

“Nothing immediately comes to mind,” Taehyung said honestly, tapping the bottom of his chin with his finger. “I mean, as far as kinks. I’m not- I’m not really into crazy stuff.”

“That’s okay, Tae,” Jimin rolled his head to the side. “Do ya bottom or top?”

Taehyung swallowed hard, looking elsewhere for a brief moment. “T-top,” His eyes reverted back to look Jimin over. “Yeah. I top.”

“Nothin’ to be nervous about,” Jimin dragged his teeth across his bottom lip before breaking out into a smile. “Where do ya wanna do this?”

“Not here,” Taehyung said too quickly. He inhaled and offered Jimin a smile, “Somewhere private. But not some cheap hotel and I think you deserve better than my shitty apartment.”

“Let’s sneak off with one of the Doc’s pods and get outta here, then,” Jimin stood up, taking Taehyung’s holopad off the table. His finger hovered over the button to transfer the funds. “You’re sure, right?”

Taehyung nodded, taking Jimin’s wrist in his long fingers. His grip was firm but comforting. “I’m sure. I’m sure.”

Jimin took a deep breath and swiped it. With a chime, he handed it back to Taehyung. “All right. I’m all yours.”

--

The hotel Jimin navigated Taehyung to was far enough away that Namjoon wouldn’t be able to pick up their signatures without a little legwork, and for whatever reason, that seemed important even though it was left unsaid. It was a luxury hotel but geared specifically for certain purposes, certain fantasies. The staff was either absent or very polite androids, but the one at the reception counter still lit up like a string of lights when they stepped into the lobby.

“Oh, Mr. Park,” She beamed, the sheen of blue in her eyes shimmering. “What room would you like to reserve for this evening?”

“305, please,” Jimin leaned on the counter, pushing himself up on his tiptoes. “It’s available, right?”

“Yes, sir,” She answered, sliding the card through the machine and tucking it into a small plastic envelope and placed it on the counter.

“Thanks,” Jimin waved it and turned back to Taehyung. “Elevator’s that way.”

He bounded towards his newly established lover and wrapped his arm around Taehyung’s, leading him by the elbow to the doors. They opened in front of them with a quiet whir and he tugged him inside.

Taehyung threaded their fingers together in the small space, taking a quiet breath. His stomach churned with nerves, but he tried to steel himself and direct his affections on the man he most cared for.

Taehyung looked at Jimin as the elevator shuddered and opened onto their floor, filled with a sense of attachment and excitement.

“Here,” Jimin knocked on the door once before sliding the keycard in. “I hope ya like it. Y’seem like the romantic type.”

He touched the pad on the side and the door slid open, revealing a light, airy room. The large king-size bed was draped with a sheer, cream canopy and covered with soft pillows that stretched its length. Palms were potted in the corners, and a large window mimicking a beach was on the opposite wall. A bathtub big enough to be a small pool was visible in the next room through a wall of glass tile.

“Is this alright?” Jimin looked at the room and back at Taehyung, brows knit.

Taehyung nodded slowly, taking in the surroundings before his dark eyes landed on the shorter man. He smiled and brought his free hand up to caress Jimin’s cheek. His fingers were slightly rough from work, but his palms were soft and tender.

“It’s perfect, Jiminie. Can I kiss you?”

“Yes,” Jimin turned to face Taehyung completely, settling his hands on his hips. “Kiss me.”

Taehyung had waited - god, how long had it been? Eons? - just to kiss those thick lips he watched so carefully from behind the bar as Jimin talked up guest after guest. It was finally his turn.

He started off slowly - chaste pecks to his mouth before settling into a steady rhythm, turning his head to the side in order to dive deeper. Taehyung’s fingers held the sides of Jimin’s face to hold him there, close and wrapped in his warmth. It felt too good - too good to be true. But Taehyung ignored his thoughts and licked at Jimin’s bottom lip.

It was easy to melt against Taehyung, Jimin thought, easier than he had expected. It wasn’t that his job didn’t make him nervous, it was just that he had gotten very good at ignoring that feeling and focusing on other things. If he seemed comfortable, so did his partner. But with Taehyung, it was… different. There was more at stake. And Jimin reminded himself, begged himself, to be careful as he opened his mouth to let Taehyung’s tongue slip in. Be careful, as his fingers moved to Taehyung’s back and gathered up the fabric of his shirt, pulling him close.

Jimin started to walk him backward, out of the shadows of the small hallway at the entrance and toward the bed. He fell back with him onto the sheets, keeping their lips locked together.

Taehyung gasped as he fell onto the soft mattress, surprised by the sudden fall. He looked up at Jimin from where he’d fallen on his back and wet his lips. He was already starting to breathe heavy.

“I feel like I’m dreaming,” He said, carding his fingers through Jimin’s soft hair. He tugged it softly, experimentally. “I’ve been wanting to kiss you like this forever.”

Jimin’s eyes shut and his lips fell open as Taehyung pulled, rolling his hip in a slow wave. “So kiss me. Don’t stop.”

Taehyung groaned and pulled him closer, dragging their hips together as he captured Jimin’s lips again. This time, things were more purposeful, more firm. Taehyung caught a wind of confidence and he wanted to drown in Jimin’s feeling.

He flipped them over and threw Jimin down onto the nest of pillows on the bed, hovering over him with darkened eyes and a gentle smile on his lips.

“I really like this. I really like you, Jiminie,” He whispered, diving in again. His erection was starting to bulge in his pants and he rubbed himself against the other. “I want to make you feel good.”

“You are,” Jimin panted, his legs falling apart to grind against Taehyung. He lifted his hand up to his forehead and looked at Taehyung with half-closed lids. “I like you, Tae. I’ve always liked you.”

Taehyung tugged Jimin’s lip between his teeth. “You mean it? Do you want me? I’ll love you if you’d ask, Jiminie.”

He moaned out his lover’s name, reaching between them to undo the zipper of Jimin’s suit and pants. Part of him was screaming warnings, but Taehyung was too far away to hear them, removing Jimin’s clothes with kisses to every inch of exposed skin as if he was worshipping the other.

“I want you, Tae.” Jimin’s hands reached and searched for Taehyung’s clothes, pulling them off with just as much fervor. Be careful. Be careful. “I mean it.”

“Can I feel you? Can I touch you? Do you want my cock?” Taehyung gasped, helping Jimin throw his clothes to the floor and out of the way. They were left there in barely any underwear and sweat that had started to collect at Taehyung’s hairline. He was eager to feel all of Jimin now that he had everything he’d wanted for so long right in front of him. Taehyung leaned back on his thighs and sighed, looking long and hard over Jimin’s beautifully toned body. “God, you’re so fucking gorgeous.”

“Feel me.” Jimin’s hands traveled up Taehyung’s legs, inching. “Touch me.” He took a deep breath, looping his fingers under the waistband of his boxers and tugging them down. A small moan fell from his lips when Taehyung’s erection sprung out, long and dark. “I want your cock. I want it inside of me.”

A sense of pride filled Taehyung at Jimin’s reaction and he quickly sat back to tug off his boxers all the way before working Jimin’s own underwear down his shaved legs. Taehyung kissed Jimin’s hip and stomach, breathing in his scent before moving up to kiss him passionately.

“You want me to fuck you, Jimin?” Taehyung asked, teasing him just a little.

“Please, Tae.” Jimin bucked his hips, eager for the friction. “Ah, please fuck me.”

“Do they have… um, lube and everything?” Taehyung asked, looking over at the bedside table. His heart was racing and he kissed Jimin again and again before moving to open the drawer. A roll of foil-wrapped condoms and a decently-sized tube of lubricant awaited him and Taehyung took a deep breath before taking them from the drawer, tearing one of the condoms from the rest.

“It’s been a while,” He admitted, tearing open the package before rolling the condom over his swollen dick. The friction made him gasp lightly, “F-fuck.”

“We have all night,” Jimin cooed, spreading his legs for Taehyung. He tugged at his own length, watching Taehyung settle between his thighs. “Take your time.”

“I will don’t worry. I’ll take my time with you,” Taehyung reassured, spreading lubricant over himself. “I want you to feel everything I’ve felt. The way I feel about you- I don’t think I can say it.”

Taehyung swallowed hard and positioned the head of his cock against the rim of Jimin’s entrance, looking at him for permission to continue. “Is this okay?”

“It’s okay, Taehyung,” Jimin nodded, exhaling slow. “I want it.”

“Good,” Taehyung kissed him, leaning in so that the head could enter into him. It felt wet and just tight enough, Jimin’s hole pulsing around him deliciously. Taehyung let out a moan and pushed in further. “Fuck, you feel so good- so good.”

His hands tightened on Jimin’s waist, tugging on his hair again. Taehyung was overwhelmed with emotion and closed his eyes as his cock hit Jimin’s prostate.

“Ah, Tae. Y-you’re big,” Jimin licked his lips and watched as his cock pushed in, shuddering as he pushed into the hilt. “Y’fill me up so well.”

“Yeah?” Taehyung’s ego swelled again, his lips curling into an accomplished smile as he kissed along Jimin’s jawline. “Do you like it? You take me in so well. You’re beautiful like this - I want you to scream my name. I want the whole staff to hear. I want you to be mine.”

“I like it,” Jimin moaned, his eyes rolling back. He sank down, meeting Taehyung halfway to draw his length in deeper. “Fuck me hard if you want me to scream. Y’don’t gotta be precious with me.”

Taehyung took a breath and thumbed over Jimin’s navel tenderly.

“Can I try something, then?” Taehyung took a breath, “I want you to turn around. I want to fuck you from behind.”

“Yeah, baby,” Jimin relaxed back onto the sheets so that Taehyung could slip out. Rolling onto his stomach, he backed his ass to Taehyung’s erection once more and slipped up and down trying to entice him. “Take me how you want.”

Taehyung rolled his hips to let his dick slide between Jimin’s cheeks for a moment longer before repositioning himself and pushing inside of Jimin’s puckered hole once more. He didn’t wait before sliding into the hilt, the slip of his hips against Jimin’s like music to his ears. Taehyung started a rough pace, shoving himself deeper and deeper inside of Jimin with every drag of his hips. “You’re so perfect, fuck.”

“Taehyung,” Jimin whimpered, scrambling to grab onto a pillow and hold onto it as his lover slammed into him over and over. He kept his hips up, giving himself to Taehyung to fuck into with ease. Every stroke stretched and tested him, and Jimin didn’t bother to muffle himself as the head of his cock slammed into him. Each moan built until his own voice started to echo in the bedroom. “God, fuck. Your cock feels- feels s-so good.”

“Good,” Taehyung thrusted hard with a loud grunt. He pressed his hand into Jimin’s lower back and pushed him into the bed. “You’re so hot like this, Jiminie, taking my cock so well- like you’re made for me- made for my cock.”

“Taehyung,” Jimin screamed out, just as he was asked. But it wasn’t a difficult request to fulfill, Taehyung’s pressure on him was making his brain blank- his fingers pushing deep enough to leave faint marks (against the rules, but Jimin would let it slide). His own cock was pressed against the sheets and begging for release with every thrust. “Oh, fuck. W-want your cum.”

“You want it?” Taehyung gasped, fucking into Jimin harder and harder. He could feel his edge knotting in his gut, his cock throbbing inside of his lover. “Beg me- beg for my cum, Jimin.”

“P-please,” Jimin stuttered, his words fading in and out as Taehyung’s hips slammed hard enough to force him completely into the mattress. His knuckles matched the white sheets as he clung to them to stabilize himself, precum leaking underneath him from the stretch and push of Taehyung’s cock in his hole. “P-please. Please, Taehyung. Please, fill me up with your cum. Want it so bad. S-so bad. Make me drip with it. Cum in me, please.”

Taehyung groaned and kissed down Jimin’s back until he was upright again, thumbs rubbing Jimin’s spine as he fucked him harder and faster, chasing his edge.

In only a few short thrusts, Taehyung was spilling his cum into the condom, still deep inside of Jimin’s pulsing hole. He doubled over and started to curse under his breath, moaning out Jimin’s name mixed with several profanities.

“God, that f-feels so good. Taehyungie,” Jimin gasped for breath, nestling into the pillow. “Can I cum? Can I touch myself?”

“Yes, yes,” Taehyung gasped, still fucking into Jimin as his cock slowly softened. “Cum for me, touch yourself. God, you’re so hot. Cum for me, Jimin.”

Jimin angled up so he could snake his hand down between his legs and tug on his modest length, begging for release. He moaned and whined, fucking into his hand until pleasure pushed him over his limit and ropes of thick, white cum spilled on the sheets. “T-tae.”

“Fuck, you’re so gorgeous,” Taehyung gasped, kneading Jimin’s ass. “You feel so good. God, you feel so fucking amazing.”

Jimin panted and rolled onto his back, grabbing Taehyung’s hand and pulling him down on top of him. “Kiss me.”

Taehyung leaned in and captured Jimin’s lips roughly, moaning into the kiss. He laid against Jimin’s body and settled between his legs. “You’re perfect, beautiful. Wonderful, Jimin. You feel so fucking good.”

“You’re so good, Taehyungie,” Jimin whispered against his lips, nudging Taehyung’s nose with his own. “So handsome and sexy. You made me feel really good.”

“Jimin-” Taehyung groaned low and kissed Jimin again and again. “I can’t describe how good you make me feel. To have you like this- it’s been a dream for so long.”

“Y-you’re okay?” Jimin slid his fingers through Taehyung’s hair, biting his bottom lip as he searched his face. “I just wantcha to be happy. You liked it, right? We can do it again later if ya want. We still have all night.”

“I’m more than okay, Jiminie,” Taehyung sighed, leaning back to look him in the face. He tucked a stray hair behind his ear and kissed the apples of his cheeks. “I just want to spend time with you. I want to make you feel good, too. I… I like it when I can make you happy. When I can be the one making you smile.”

“I’m pleased as punch, don’t worry about that,” Jimin chuckled softly, taking Taehyung’s hand and kissing his fingertips. “You’re very, very good. Your cock is really nice and y’know how to use it, and you’re not too rough- yeah, I’m happy.”

“I could- I mean,” Taehyung blushed and nosed at Jimin’s jawline so he could press kisses into his skin. “I could fuck you anytime you want,” He whispered, “We could go all night if you wanted it. Or… longer if-if that’s something you want.”

“Oh?” Jimin traced down Taehyung’s back, digging his nails in a light scratch over his skin. “Don’t wanna wear ya out. It’s all up to you, baby. I can take as much as you wanna give. Y’feel so good, we don’t have to stop.”

“I- I don’t want to stop. I want to feel you, to kiss you. Fuck, you’re perfect, Jimin,” Taehyung whimpered, leaning into Jimin to press their lips together. It was an addiction. He was lost in his own mind; trapped in his own fantasy. “Tell me you love me, Jimin. I love you, I’ve loved you so long.”

Jimin mentally clocked the time. About five and a half hours left.

What was the fantasy? Were they newlyweds? Reunited lovers? Jimin had done it all and not much would surprise him.

“I love you, Taehyung,” Jimin put his hand on Taehyung's cheek, gazing into his eyes. Maybe he could roleplay it out to see what Taehyung had imagined for their little scenario. “Has it really been a long time?”

Taehyung’s heart skipped a beat and he smiled, kissing along Jimin’s neck and shoulder.

“It’s been since you first came into my bar. Since you first gave me that look and we talked like old friends. I knew I would love you. I couldn’t help myself,” Taehyung admitted quietly, his thoughts going off with dangerous alarms to shut up, but he ignored them with another kiss to Jimin’s lips. “I wanna love you right. I want to feel you cum again, I want you to scream my name. I’ll show you. I’ll love you.”

Jimin’s stomach turned in unease. The bar? Was he-? He didn't think this was real, right?

“Tae,” Jimin dropped the sugar-sweetness from his voice as his nerves began to bundle. “What do ya want? I mean, after tonight?”

“I want-“ Taehyung sighed in frustration. His eyes fell to the dip in Jimin’s collarbones and he placed a gentle kiss to his skin. “I want us. I want you to see how I can love you. I just- I do love you, Jimin. You don’t have to do anything- I can take care of you. I know I’m not as luxurious as… well the other people you meet, but I can love you right.”

Jimin swallowed hard, trying to figure out how to get out of the mess he just got into.

“Tae,” Jimin whispered back, closing his eyes. “This is just for tonight.”

Taehyung nodded, nosing at Jimin’s neck with a sigh. “I know- but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to- to keep working. If you don’t want to.”

“What if I want to?” Jimin soothed Taehyung, running his hands through his hair. “What if I want to keep working?”

“I just don’t want to see you get hurt, Jimin. People are nasty, they’ll treat you like a toy and throw you away like trash. You should be treasured,” Taehyung sighed, looking down at Jimin. “I want to take you away where we can be together and be happy and I can work and give you everything you’ve ever wanted. Anything you wish for. I’d do it. I can be your last client and we can escape from everything.”

“Tae,” Jimin felt his cheeks heat. “I like my job. I love my job. I ran away from BU-5417 to do my job. And as much as I care about you, this isn't-” Careful, careful. “I mean, I'm paid to be a fantasy. You're one of my closest friends. The closest, prolly. I love you, but I'm not in love with you, Tae.”

“But why?” Taehyung choked out, his heart racing in his chest and his eyes started to sting. “Why can’t you love me like I love you? Why does it have to be different? I’m capable. I can be twice the man that your clients are. I love you, Jimin. I love you, why is it different?”

“Baby, it's just how I feel. It's not a competition.” Jimin welled with panic. “I don't- I'm not in love with any of my clients.”

“Right.”

Taehyung sat back, tugging the condom off shamefully and tossing it into the bin next to the bed. He felt exposed and uncomfortable and he pulled the sheet over his waist.

“I guess this makes me just another client. I just- I thought if I could get a night with you… that you could see that someone loves you outside of a fantasy. If it’s love you’re looking for and affection you want, I can be that for you. I can be anything for you. You don’t have to go looking for it in the pockets of rich men.”

Jimin slipped down under the sheets, trying to figure out what to say.

“The only thing 'm looking for is money. And to stave off boredom. And a lot of sex with different people.”

Taehyung shook his head and sighed. “I don’t understand… This meant nothing to you? I’m just paying for sex and that’s it? I’m just another name in a guestbook?” He looked away, trying to hide his welling eyes. “You mean a lot to me, Jimin. I just wanted to be different. I wanted to be the one to get you away from nasty men touching you inappropriately. You deserve better than that.”

“Tae, we just see things differently,” Jimin felt his heart drop. “You're my friend.”

“Yeah, I guess we do,” Taehyung frowned, reaching out to hold Jimin’s hand despite himself. “I just wanted to be more than that. I care a lot about you. I’m sorry for thinking that I could be someone special to you.”

“You are special to me.” Jimin’s voice went raw and he squeezed Taehyung's hand. “Not a lot of people even wanna be friends with me.”

“You know what I meant,” Taehyung sighed, looking down at their hands. He wiped his face clear of any wetness and collapsed into the pillows next to Jimin. “I thought- Despite being from very different sides of the spectrum- I thought we could be together. I thought that maybe we had something more than just friends. I don’t like seeing you with other men, flirting as if they aren’t disgusting pigs,” His fingers rolled into a fist and he turned on his side to face Jimin. “I can give you more than that. I can be more than just your friend.”

Jimin's brows furrowed. He couldn't convince him of anything so did he have to say it? Was that the only way.

“Tae, I'm seeing somebody.” Jimin grabbed a pillow and hugged it to himself protectively. “Somebody who ain't a client.”

Taehyung nodded, he seemed to already know. He just didn’t want to believe it.

“He’s the one who gave you those bruises, isn’t he? That night you missed dinner and you came back the next morning with hickeys on your neck. You don’t let clients do that- I read that line several times in the contract.”

He took a deep breath and rolled onto his back to look up at the canopy above them. His eyes welled with tears again.

“Fine. It doesn’t matter anyways. Even if you weren’t- there’s never been a chance for us, has there?”

“I don't think like that, Taehyung.” Jimin looked at him from over the pillow, his eyes wide and dark. “There's a chance for everyone, but it juss didn't happen and it can't.”

“It can’t happen,” Taehyung mimicked, taking another deep breath before sitting up. “I guess I should just go, then. There’s no point in sticking around here if things are going to be like this. I can’t- I can’t do this. Just keep whatever money and time- I don’t care.”

“Okay.” Jimin agreed in a small voice, not wanting to keep fighting. He'd return the money anyway later. Shutting his eyes, he buried his face in the pillow as tears started to flood. “I'm sorry.”

“Me, too.”

Taehyung grit his teeth and pulled on his clothes reluctantly. He wanted to stay and apologize and cry for hours, but his pride was keeping him intact. He made his way out of the hotel room and took a taxi back to Namjoon’s cruiser before he could even think to glance back at his friend. He opened up his holopad and tapped it a few times, entering a name and a brief message before hitting send as tears rolled down his cheeks, Jimin’s words echoing in his head.

This is just for tonight. You’re my friend.

Chapter Text

The ship was near-silent save for the soft pattering of Namjoon's rubber sole shoes on the carpet that lined every single hall and room of the ship. (Except, of course, the technical areas that required a hard metal surface due to safety standards). He had traversed in every room, watching a glimpse of Hoseok and Jungkook's laserball game as he passed the large door with a circular window situated at the top. It looked heated, both of them grunting and sweating and way too competitive for a simple match. Jungkook had landed a goal and smiled, triumphant in each small victory. What was interesting, according to Namjoon's observation, was the smile on Hoseok's lips that curled even at the loss.

At any rate, they were enjoying themselves.

With a shrug, he continued on his small personal mission. He couldn't do much more than observe so it only made sense to relish all that he could take in about all of the passengers on this big, lonely ship of his. He was a creature of learning, after all. And everyone on this ship was up to very interesting things in the interim between so-called high stakes "heists". He snorted to himself at the thought, and spread his hand over the sensor next to the door to read his fingerprint.

He had gone through similar motions in identical rooms on each floor, but room after room was empty. There was no sight of Min Yoongi anywhere.

He wanted to give him an earful, he thought. He wanted to tell him that it was fucking stupid to make the sensors pick up a false beacon and not his real location on this ship. He wanted to call him a fucking pain in his ass.

But after three floors, he was getting too tired to even say that much.

Exhausted and half-convinced that Yoongi was playing some kind of game where he was in the ventilation ducts or something equally dumb, he returned back to his office. Even in the middle of nowhere with no patients, he still had work to do. Things to catch up on. It wasn't like it would file itself.

Well, it probably could if Namjoon programmed it that way.

But he really, really enjoyed writing with ink on paper. He loved the smell.

Sighing, he lumbered into the office and put his hand over the sliding switch, brightening a small lamp to illuminate the room. He jumped at the pair of legs jutting out from under his desk and took a cautious step, nervous until a small hiccup came from somewhere underneath.

"How's it going, Padre?"

"Fucking great." The desk answered. "Never better."

Namjoon pulled his chair away and crouched, observing the man that laid underneath with an arm thrown over his face.

"Were you aware you were under my desk?"

Yoongi hiccuped, "I like the view."

Namjoon could smell the alcohol from a foot away and settled to sit criss-cross-applesauce on the floor next to him. Yoongi had clearly been drinking for the last... 5 or 6 hours.

"You know you're spiraling, right?" He asked, his hand reaching out and stopping a centimeter above his shin before retracting.

"Yeah, I know." Yoongi's voice came out hoarse.

But do you though?

"Okay," Namjoon rolled his head to the side, resting it on his own shoulder. "As long as you know."

"You know, Doc, if you sit in your chair and scoot in, I'll have a better view," Yoongi chuckled and yawned, his arm unmoving.

"I'm fine here, thanks," Namjoon's voice softened. He knew he couldn't do much more than this, just keeping Yoongi company. But it seemed like something. Even if it wasn't enough.

"How about a kiss?" Yoongi slid his arm down, his eyes fluttering open. Did everyone on this ship use that stupid line?

"I've decided not to kiss drunk people," Namjoon played at the frayed edge of Yoongi's jacket before retreating, scooting back a few inches. "I'm upholding a code."

“Since when?” Yoongi lifted himself but bumped his head into the underside of the desk and promptly returned to lay back down.

“I dunno,” Namjoon picked at the fibers of the carpet absentmindedly, “Since you’re drunk all the time. Thought it might, like, give some incentive. Or something. To quit.”

“It never stopped you before,” Yoongi rubbed at the newly forming knot on his forehead.

"I'm trying new things, hyung." Namjoon rolled the plucked fibers into a small ball. "Like, I dunno, doing my fucking job."

"Well, let me just tell you that you're doing fantastically at whatever it is," Yoongi groaned, rolling onto his side. "Taehyung and I kissed."

"Interesting," Namjoon hummed and flicked the ball away. "He seems to be making that a habit."

"He kissed you, too?" Yoongi scooted forward, but kept under the desk in the shadows.

"Not yet," Namjoon laughed, lying down on the floor and propping his head up with his elbow. "But he sure smelled a lot like CH4731 perfume when I passed him in the hallway trying to find you."

"And," Yoongi rubbed his face. "That means?"

"That's Jimin's perfume," Namjoon said plainly, tugging at Yoongi's arm.

"They could've just bumped into each other," Yoongi swatted him away. "That doesn't mean anything."

"Oh, he definitely bumped into him." Namjoon moved his hand away. "Like a hundred times. Without any clothes. One of my emergency pods went missing for a while, I got a little notification."

“I still think you’re being presumptuous,” Yoongi re-oriented so he was lying on the floor next to Namjoon, finally out from under the desk. “But I’m pretty drunk. Wanna bump into me like a hundred times?”

“Part of my job is not fucking my patients, hyung.” Namjoon sighed, brushing the hair out of Yoongi’s eyes. “It’s like on page three of the resource manual. You’re in a compromised position. There’s a power imbalance.”

Yoongi snorted, swatting Namjoon’s hand away again. “We both know you’re into that.”

“I’m trying to be better, Yoongi,” Namjoon exhaled through his nose. “For you, believe it or not. I think you need me more as a therapist. Or a friend, and not-”

“You gettin’ soft on me, Doc?” Yoongi cut him off. “I miss when you’d just bend me over your desk, and start choking me out when you had a rough day-”

“You know, using pejorative language to describe natural emotions isn’t healthy, hyung. This is exactly what I mean.” Namjoon sat up, his voice an octave too high and nervous.

“Why do I even like you?” Yoongi groaned and rolled to turn away from Namjoon, staring at the bookshelf on the other side of the room.

“Do you want me to theorize?” Namjoon poked his back with a few nagging prods.

“I have good news and bad news,” Yoongi curled into a ball, ignoring his assault. “Which do you want to hear first?”

“Bad news,” Namjoon pulled on his shoulder. “I like to end on a happy note.”

“You just like happy endings,” Yoongi went slack and let Namjoon pull him so he was flat on his back. “The bad news is that I’m starting to sober up.”

“So what’s the good news?” Namjoon furrowed his brow.

“I’m starting to sober up,” Yoongi squeezed his eyes shut. “Can you tell the lights to stop being so loud?”

Namjoon jumped to his feet and slid his hand over the top of his desk, dimming the fluorescent. He leaned over and peered down at Yoongi who hadn’t budged an inch and watched him, waiting for him to blink his eyes open.

“I feel fucking terrible,” Yoongi frowned.

“I’ll get you some water,” Namjoon walked to the empty space in the wall and punched in a code. A second later, a small cup dropped down and water chilled to the perfect temperature poured inside. Yoongi took the water from Namjoon and downed it in one gulp then stretched to place the cup on top of the desk, sighing.

“Thanks,” Yoongi closed his eyes. His head was starting to throb.

Namjoon nodded even though he was unseen and took a seat next to Yoongi on the floor once more.

“Hey, so,” Namjoon put his hand on Yoongi’s knee. “Why did you make that decoy beacon?”

“Because I wanted to drink in peace,” Yoongi nudged Namjoon’s hand with his own. “Isn’t that obvious?”

“Did something happen?” Namjoon slipped his thumb under Yoongi’s hand and pushed into his palm. “Why alone?”

“I just like being alone, Namjoon.” Yoongi’s fingers curled around the other man’s hand. “You know that already.”

“Yeah, but I also know that that’s not really true,” Namjoon squeezed back. “Something is bothering you.”

“A lot of things are bothering me,” Yoongi mouth tugged at the corner. “Including you.”

“Am I?” Namjoon pulled at his hand and held it with both. “Weren’t you just asking me to kiss you?”

“Yeah, but you’re not, are you?” Yoongi laced his fingers with Namjoon’s. “So you’re a real pain in the ass.”

“If I kiss you, will you tell me what’s really bothering you?” Namjoon’s stomach was burning, and he knew it was wrong. But they had been existing in the grey for so long, and the thought of letting him go, really go, made his chest feel like he was a guitar getting tuned- the strings getting tightened and plucked.

“Yeah,” Yoongi rolled up from the floor, a couple of inches from Namjoon’s face. “If you kiss me.”

“If I kiss you,” Namjoon echoed and stared at Yoongi’s thin, pink and parted lips. He licked his own in anticipation and closed the gap, his chest twisting up from the familiar softness and taste of bitter sandfruit wine.

Yoongi groaned low into the kiss and Namjoon could feel him slack as soon as the kiss started to go anywhere. He always did that. He was all rough edges and wound up like a coil until he got some affection, and then he melted- so easily, so good for Namjoon. So pliant as Namjoon leaned and Yoongi went with him, back down to the floor. Namjoon’s hands pulled at Yoongi’s, their fingers still laced together as he put them up over his head and slotted between his legs.

This was bad. Yoongi was a symphony of quiet moans and whimpers and every touch, and Namjoon found it hopelessly encouraging. He was already rolling his hips up when Namjoon’s tongue slipped into his mouth.

“God,” Namjoon mumbled against his lips and pulled up, peering down at the other man who was flushed from the heat and the alcohol- so pretty. So rosy and warm and inviting. “I-I can’t- we can’t.”

“Okay,” Yoongi agreed with a loose nod but rolled his hips up again to get some kind of friction. Namjoon was still pinning his hands up above his head.

“I have to be professional,” Namjoon closed his eyes, resisting every urge to sink back down.

“Yep,” Yoongi gave him a heady look and managed to buck his hips enough to brush against Namjoon’s erection through his pants, eliciting a moan.

“No,” Namjoon cut himself off, releasing Yoongi and scurrying back between his legs to straighten up. He took a deep breath and adjusted his cock in his pants, wishing to whatever higher power that his blood would flow in the opposite direction. “No. I mean it.”

“Okay, okay.” Yoongi huffed, staying on the floor. “A kiss. You gave me a kiss. That was the deal. So you want to know what’s fucking bothering me?”

“I mean, not pertaining to me,” Namjoon scooted back another inch.

“Fucking- fine, Joon. Whatever.” Yoongi rolled onto his side. “I’m a shitty priest with no direction and no motivation, and I don’t even follow my own code. I want to fucking quit. I drink my problems away, but they don’t really go away. I wake up the next day and it feels like I’m dying, and now my problems are the same and I’m graced with a headache. I became a priest to find something more than myself, but I’ve spent so many hours to talking to a God that doesn’t talk back. So I fucking feel like there isn’t anyone in those rooms but me. There’s nothing greater- there’s nothing at all. What’s the point?”

“So do you feel lonely? Misunderstood?” Namjoon pulled up his knees.

“What the fuck do you think?” Yoongi grumbled. “You’re the last person I feel like talking to about this right now to be quite fucking honest. I agreed to come on your stupid ship for three reasons. One, because I stupidly fucking thought that maybe- this, you know, whatever, us, would happen. Two, because I thought it’d be something a little more fun and worthwhile than spending all day in a church and all night in a bar. And three, earn enough money to open a shelter or something, I don’t know. For orphans.”

“You want to open up a shelter?” Namjoon’s face lit up. “Talk more about that.”

“Maybe when I don’t feel like throwing up. My head is killing me,” Yoongi squeezed his eyes shut. “I’ll give you a hundred zillion yuenne if you get me a vitamin patch and inject me with a painkiller. Two hundred zillion.”

“Stay there,” Namjoon said as if Yoongi was capable of moving a few inches. “Don’t go anywhere, okay? I’ll be right back.”

When Namjoon stepped into the hallway, the faint trace of cologne and perfume hit his senses. Someone had been here. Someone whose name started with “T” and ended with “-aehyung”.

Very interesting.

He put his palm on the panel next to the door, and five little icons blinked on the screen. Jimin still wasn’t back and Taehyung’s was pacing back and forth in his quarters. Lifting his palm, he walked to the closest clinic and pulled out an emergency kit. The things Yoongi had requested were typically for severe disaster relief emergencies where there were cases of starvation and dehydration, but they worked as a makeshift hangover cure.

When he returned to the office, he looked down at the patch and the syringe in his hands as he stepped through the door. “Alright, hyung. Cough up the two hundred zillion yu-”

The room was empty.

“-enne.”

Yoongi had left without a trace.

Damn it.

Chapter Text

Jimin took his cruiser out of the docking bay, needing the time and distance. He thought about flying straight to Jin’s ship, but that seemed… like a little bit too much, and instead sent him his coordinates with a simple message.

Miss you :(

He laid in bed, his arm covering his eyes, and tried to think about Jin’s eyes, Jin’s lips, Jin’s hands- things that only brought comfort and relief to the younger man. The navigation map pinged when Jin’s ship entered the set radius, and Jimin smiled. He hadn’t been that far away. It wasn’t always like that, but when it was Jimin’s entire body slacked in relief.

“I love you,” Jimin said to the air, humming softly. He was longing for Jin so bad his body ached all the way down to the tips of his toes.

I’ve been waiting for your message all day. Jin’s response came through.

Need you. You can let yourself in. Jimin sent in a quick reply.

Jin didn’t respond after that, the ping of his ship on the monitor showed him getting closer and closer until it was right on top of Jimin’s marker. The familiar sound of the lock releasing and the door opening forecame the footsteps of the tall man, in his casual clothes for once.

“I missed you, Jiminie,” Jin called out, taking off his shoes at the entrance as the door closed behind him.

He was neatly dressed in comfortable lounge pants and a long-sleeve shirt, the fluffy pink sweater he always reserved for Jimin tucked into his arm on top of his favorite yellow blanket.

“I hope you don’t mind if we order in tonight, I got my fingers jammed at work and holding a pot is a bit difficult right now,” Jin walked into the living area where Jimin had sat himself to wait and he gave him an endearing smile. “You look exhausted, Sugar. How was your day?”

“Rough.” Jimin sulked, his lip jutting into a pout. The sight of Jin in front of him nearly had him in tears, and he stretched out his hands for him. “Please. Please, come here. Love me. Hold me.”

“Of course, Jiminie,” Jin purred, settling next to him on the couch and wrapping the blanket around both of them as Jin wrapped his arms around Jimin from behind. He placed the sweater in Jimin’s lap and tenderly kissed his neck and temple. “Do you want to talk about it? Or just need a distraction?”

“Distraction, please,” Jimin rolled and dropped his forehead onto Jin’s shoulder, closing his eyes. “Just want you.”

“How do you want me?” Jin asked, keeping his tone smooth and gentle. His fingers rubbed circles into Jimin’s back, noting how much more tense he was than usual after client meetings. “I can tell you about my accident, but I’m afraid there’s not much of a story there.”

“Anythin’. Tell me about it anyway,” Jimin peeked up, sniffling. “We can watch a movie and cuddle. We can order food. We can play games. I don’t care. Just need ya close to me. I canceled all my ‘ppointments for th’next few days.”

Jin frowned, lifting Jimin’s chin to give him a kiss. “Baby, that sounds really bad. Promise me you’ll tell me what happened later, okay? But only when you’ve settled down a bit. What are you hungry for? You can choose the movie and I’ll order it,” Jin pulled out his holopad and typed away at it carefully, slowed down by his bandaged fingers. “One of the new interns needed help with copying down some names off of a list today - nothing big, just some intake papers - and she managed to finish on time, right? I helped a little, writing some down myself, but then this big brawny man from some planet I’ve never heard of before stumbles in and acts like he knows her. She didn’t know him, so I tried to de-escalate and I jammed my fingers trying to reach for my gun. The other officers managed to take care of ‘im, but I had to go to the infirmary. It was embarrassing.”

Jin took a breath and blinked, laughing at himself. “I guess there was something to tell. But, I mean, I’m sure it sounds more exciting than it was. I made a fool of myself in front of the whole precinct and got sent home early.”

Jimin broke out into a wide smile, sniffling the last of tears up and shifted until he was straddling Jin’s lap, planting a kiss on his lips. He pulled away, laughing softly. “God, I love you. I love y’stories. I love everything about you. M’sorry if you were embarrassed. You’re the cutest policeman I’ve ever laid eyes on.”

Jin took a deep breath and puffed out his chest. “Cutest and strongest - that is, until today. I think I lost my badass cop title. I can still hear their laughter. But anyways,” Jin kissed Jimin slowly, humming against his lips. “What do you say we just get a bunch of junk food and cuddle under blankets and kiss and watch all your favorite movies. I can tell you more of my terrible precinct stories, but they’re very, very boring. It’s been hard to find something to do other than write out speeding tickets and wanted ads.”

“Bore me, please. I wanna hear every mundane detail y’got,” Jimin sighed in relief, his breath still shaky from the threat of tears. “And that sounds perfect. You’re so damn good to me. I’m in love with you. I hope I can give you half of what you give me back.”

Jin frowned and tilted up Jimin’s chin to kiss him properly before looking him in the eyes. “Angel, you give me more than I could ever ask for. I’m just trying to make sure you get what love and affection and attention and - most importantly - the respect you deserve. I want to be good to you. I want to be the best.”

He wiped at Jimin’s wet eyes and kissed him again, slower and more meaningful.

“You’re perfect for me, Jiminie. You’re absolutely everything to me. I don’t want you to feel like you’re not giving enough to me, okay? You’re more than enough and I will gladly take the overflow of your love any day.”

“You’re perfect for me, too,” Jimin eased against Jin’s chest and buried his face into his neck, settling comfortably. “I’m just- I’m. I’m in love with you. Sorry, I feel like I’m repeating myself. Just every single thing you’re doin’ makes my heart warm up. Even just holdin’ me or tellin’ me ‘bout your day. I could hear you talk about anything forever.”

“Knowing me, I could probably talk just as long,” Jin chuckled, wrapping his arms around Jimin’s body. “I brought your sweater in case you wanted it. But Jimin… I’m in love with you, too. I have been. I always will be. I’m in love with you. I hope I can make you happy like this for a long time.”

“Yes. You do,” Jimin sighed. “You always make me happy.”

“Good,” Jin said in relief, “If you’re happy, then I’m happy. I’ll protect you. I’ll be here whenever you need me. You have me, all of me.”

“I feel like, what happened, it was my fault,” Jimin turned and stuffed his face into the crook of Jin's neck as tears started to fall.

“Why would it be your fault, Sugar? Was it a client?” Jin hushed him, massaging his back soothingly. “What ever happened, it’s not your fault, Jiminie. And I’m sure whatever asshole made you feel like this feels worse. Or, at least, I’ll make him feel a lot worse if I ever see his stupid face.”

“No, please.” Jimin's shoulders slacked. “It was Taehyung. He- he reserved a night-”

Jimin started to cry harder, feeling like an idiot. He clutched onto the fabric of Jin's shirt.

Jin held his boyfriend close, furrowing his brows.

“Taehyung? From the bar? Why would he reserve a night? What happened? I thought you two were just friends,” Jin pressed his fingers into Jimin’s spine between his shoulder blades where he’d tensed up, trying to soothe out the knots in his muscles. “Did he hurt you? I’ll arrest him, I swear-“

“No, he didn't hurt me. He didn't do anything wrong. Well, juss as wrong as you, I guess. H- he fell in love with me, but I was too stupid to see it.” Jimin bit his bottom lip. “But I thought he was just- I mean get clients wantin’ to play like that all the time.”

Jin’s grip on Jimin tightened at his words. “What happened? What did you do when you found out?” He took a deep breath and kissed Jimin’s head. “It’s not your fault.”

“Tried to talk my way out of it as best I could.” Jimin sighed. “He's my best friend. I didn't wanna hurt him.”

“I imagine he’s pretty hurt. But it never feels good to be told someone doesn’t love you back,” Jin said, humming slightly, “I’m sorry, Jimin. I wish I knew what to say to make it better. But, I’m glad you messaged me.”

“I feel like a dick. I shouldn't have agreed to it.” Jimin hung his head, his cheeks burning in shame.

“But you didn’t know before making the agreement? Before taking the payment? I mean-” Jin shrugged his shoulders faintly. “There’s nothing you could’ve done, Jimin. People fall in love with you all the time, it just harder when it’s your best friend. But you two will be alright, right? Is he still upset?”

“Prolly. I dunno. I got my ship and came out here right after. Cried a lot. Took a bath. Messaged you.” Jimin kissed Jin's neck in a trail. “You're not mad at me, right? Or disappointed or somethin’?”

“Why would I be mad at you? I’m not disappointed,” Jin reassured him, pulling Jimin closer in his lap so they could face each other. He leaned in to kiss his lips tenderly. “Sweetheart. I’m in love with you. You couldn’t do anything to disappoint me- Taehyung, on the other hand, if he so much as starts acting up around you, I’ll lock his ass in my holding bay until he learns some manners. Best friend or not, no one makes my Sugar cry.”

“You're so protective,” Jimin clung to him tighter. “But please, I juss want things to go back to normal. I just wanna forget about it and be with you.”

Jin sighed and nodded, “I know, I’m sorry. I won’t touch Taehyung unless you tell me to. But it doesn’t mean I don’t want to.”

He laid back against the couch cushions and pulled Jimin along so he could rest his head on his chest.

“What are you hungry for? Are you hungry? We could wait a few hours if you want, it’s still a bit early.”

“I'm not hungry yet, but I'm sure I will be by the time food gets here. I'm still feelin’ sick from bein’ upset.” Jimin kissed Jin's cheek and lips, wanting to erase all the bad feelings that had soaked into him.

“I’ll order your favorite, we can just rest awhile and settle you down,” Jin said in a hushed voice, hands on Jimin’s hips. “I love you. I missed you s’bad.”

“I missed ya. I'm always missin’ ya,” Jimin stuck to him as if he were trying to plaster a hole, squeezing him to his body. “That sounds real nice. God, it's such a relief bein’ with you.”

“I miss it, too,” Jin said with another kiss, closing his eyes and leaning into Jimin’s neck, trailing a soft set of nips and pecks until he could tug Jimin’s earlobe between his teeth. “You’re safe here, you’re with me. I love you, Sugar.”

“I hope y’know that's not all I want you for.” Jimin pulled back, wiping his face on his sleeve. “Not just ‘cause you're safe. Not just ‘cause you treat me right. I like you. I think you're cool and hot and sweet and cute and hot and sweet. And I love bein’ next to you whenever I can.”

Jin flushed and smiled shyly. He suddenly felt embarrassed with Jimin’s words.

“I like it, too. I like you- I like you a lot. You’re not just… someone to pass time with and love between shifts. You’re always on my mind, always wondering if you’re alright and eating well- you’re the only person I’ve ever met that made me feel at home,” He let out a breathy laugh.

“You’re beautiful- but you’re also quick on your feet and clever as hell. I love your spirit, that’s why I like you. Jiminie- I know I’m not just a safehouse for you. Trust me, Sugar.”

“I do trust you.” Jimin lolled his head to the side. “And that's scary. I mean, I'm the type who gets a lot of love confessions. That sounds real conceited, I know it. But the thing is, I'm not even the thing they're in love with. It's just infatuation, but my gullible ass used to fall for it so hard, I'd only end up with a broken heart every time. I'm a romantic, I just decided to make a career out of it without the pretense. Or entirely the pretense, I guess. But what I mean is, falling in love with you and trustin’ it was real was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I make a job out of falling in love and makin’ it feel real. So, really-”

Jimin swallowed and looked down, the tears starting up again.

“Really giving you my heart seemed impossible, but I just couldn't help it. I was so charmed. I am so charmed, still. I don't care if it don't make sense to anybody but us. I just want to spend every second I can with you.”

“You can, Jiminie,” Jin wiped away Jimin’s tears softly with the pad of his thumb, kissing his cheeks. “You always have me. I threw myself into my career, determined that no one would want a guy who works so often and honestly- I wasn’t satisfied with anyone else I’d met. I felt more like a faceless blur than a human. I decided that maybe I just wasn’t loveable, wasn’t cut out for romance and the real shit,” Jin smiled up at Jimin. “But you sat yourself on my desk and changed my whole world. If I could physically give you my heart, I would’ve- that night I met you.”

He took a breath and his hands found Jimin’s waist once more, soothing down his sides.

“I don’t care about anything else, Sugar. If you love me and you wanna be with me, then be with me. Love me. No one else is gonna do it, and I’ll always be on the other side of your holopad waiting for a message. I hope you know that.”

“You wouldn't think my work makes me lonely, but it really does,” Jimin sniffled, putting his head down on Jin's shoulder. “God, I love you so much. I love you, Hyung. Please keep me.”

“I’m so grateful for you, Jimin. We’re both so terribly lonely and we somehow found peace in each other. I’ll never ask you to do something you don’t want- The only thing I’ll ever ask is for you to love me and keep me, too. I’ll have you, I’ll keep you. As long as you let me, I’ll keep you warm and safe.”

Jin hugged Jimin tight and picked up the sweater from behind his lover.

“I love you so much, Jiminie. Do you wanna wear this? It might make you feel better. I hope you don’t mind- I wore it a little after showering so it might smell like me still.”

“I don't mind,” Jimin shook his head as he pulled it on, Jin's cologne softened to its base notes wrapping him up along with its warmth. The shoulders of the sweater were stretched and fell off of Jimin's on one side, revealing his bare skin and strap of his tank, but he didn't care. Wearing something after Jin only served to soothe him. Made him feel like he belonged somewhere. “Thank you for bringin’ it.”

Jin hummed and kissed his exposed shoulder. He took a deep breath, his body settling in a content warmth with his boyfriend in his lap. “It’s mostly selfish, but I’m happy you like it. I’m glad I brought it, too.”

“You're so thoughtful. I feel like you're always takin’ better care of me than I am of you,” Jimin bumped his nose to Jin's, stealing a kiss. And then another. “I want to do more for you. I wanna make you happy.”

Jin giggled and kissed Jimin back. “But I think I don’t do enough for you. I feel the opposite- like you take care of me and I need to make you happy. But it doesn’t matter, Sugar. You make me happy when I can do things for you. When you come to me and love me and want me- that’s what really makes me happy.”

He laced his fingers through Jimin’s hair and massaged his scalp gently.

“I’m in love with you. God, I’m so in love with you.”

“I'm in love with you,” Jimin murmured, closing his eyes and moaning as Jin made little concentric circles. “You're an angel. Everything you do feels good.”

“You’re the good one,” Jin said with a smile, “I love making you feel good. I’m glad I can be the one making you happy like this- just can’t believe out of everyone how lucky I am to have found a star like you in a million galaxies. And you love me back.”

“Jinnie,” Jimin mumbled, his words lost in the pleasure of the massage. If he could, he would've started purring in contentment.

“My sweet Jiminie,” Jin kissed the top of his head. “Just relax, okay? Stay here like this for a while.”

Jimin nodded, clutching onto Jin and keeping his eyes closed. He couldn't help but whimper and moan when Jin's nails and fingertips caressed his skin.

Jin’s fingers worked diligently, massaging out the knots in Jimin’s muscles where he could. After a few more moments of listening to Jimin’s breathing and light noises of comfort, he picked up his holopad from the table and ordered food for the two of them. It was more common than Jin liked, ordering from Jimin’s favorite restaurant on a nearby satellite, but he didn’t mind not having to cook after long hours.

Although with injured fingers, it really couldn’t be helped.

The pad dinged as Jin paid and the order was placed, and he set it back down on the table carefully.

“I got those little chocolate cakes you like, too. I hope that’s alright.”

“You're so kind,” Jimin was doing his best not to cry over every little thing and rushed to throw his arms around Jin's neck to bury his face there. He started to plant kisses in the slope, hoping to channel his feelings into affection. “I love you so much.”

“I love you, Jimin,” Jin said quietly, holding him close. A part of him was still upset about Taehyung and wanted to throw him across the cruiser- but his more controlled side kept himself at bay, focusing his attention on Jimin and the way his lips explored his neck. He leaned back to kiss Jimin properly, holding his cheek in place so he could deepen the embrace. “I’d do anything for your happiness.”

“I promise you don't gotta do a lot,” Jimin whispered against his lips, pressing them together over and over. He rolled his hips without a thought, his mind overwhelmed with Jin. “Juss want you.”

“You want me?” Jin asked with a grin, gripping Jimin tighter to his chest. “I want you, too. Whatever you want- I’ll give it to you.”

“I dunno,” Jimin admitted with a lopsided shrug, but he continued to sink and squirm in his lap. “Juss wanna be as close as I can get.”

“You can get closer,” Jin smirked, “If that’s what you want, Sugar.”

“Yeah,” Jimin nodded. “Yes. I-is that okay?”

“Yes,” Jin kissed him, urging him forward with his hands on his hip. “Can I make you feel better? I want you- I want to have you close.”

“Do you want to?” Jimin asked, moving his hips against Jin's hands. It felt silly to be shy, but after everything that happened, he didn't know how to ask. “I feel like a mess. Can you take care of me? I promise I'll be good.”

“I’ll take good care of you-“ Jin smiled warmly, kissing Jimin’s neck and jaw. His hands slipped underneath the sweater to press into Jimin’s waist. “I want to. I want to take care of you, Jiminie.”

Jin’s body thrummed with excitement and he let his hands explore more and more of his boyfriend’s body. His touch was delicate enough not to bruise but just rough enough to ease moans out of Jimin.

“You’re always so good for me. Can I take care of you, Sugar?”

“Please. Oh, please. That's all I want,” Jimin whined, his body arching to meet Jin's hands.

“Do you want to stay like this?” Jin asked, breathing hot against Jimin’s collar. “Or should we move somewhere else, Sugar?”

“Anything,” Jimin slid his hand to the back of Jin's neck, encouraging every kiss against his skin. “Long as I can feel you.”

Jin hummed and turned so his feet were firmly planted on the floor. He tugged at Jimin’s clothes, snapping the waistband of his sweats to tease him.

“Can you strip for me? I wanna work you on my fingers and then sit you on my cock. I’ll work out all those knots on your muscles, Sugar- you’re so tense.”

“Okay. Yeah.” Jimin nodded and kissed him between words. “Gimme a sec.”

Sliding back, he slipped out of Jin's lap and stood in front of him. He didn't have it in him to make a show out of it and pulled off his sweatpants and underwear in a single tug.

“Can I keep th’sweater on?”

“Of course, Sugar. Whatever you want,” Jin grinned up at him, pushing off his own pants and shirt quickly. He tugged at the hem and watched as it dipped off of Jimin’s shoulder more than usual. “Sorry I stretched it out a little bit,” He chuckled, “Guess I should get one of my own, huh?”

“Nah. Don't I look cute like this?” Jimin crawled into his lap, ignoring his lover's erection. “Tell me I'm cute. That I look adorable with it showin’ some skin. That I look hot in somethin’ you were wearin’, like I'm yours.”

Jin pulled Jimin down for a kiss and grinned. “You look like an angel. All dolled up in my sweater just for you. You’re beautiful and sexy and adorable and hot-“

He exaggerated each compliment with a kiss that dragged lower and lower on Jimin’s neck, fingers on his waist gripping him firmly to get him as close as possible.

“You’re mine. All mine. Just as you want, Jimin. I want you- I want you to be mine.”

“Is that alright?” Jimin swallowed hard and bit his bottom lip. “I mean, you want me how I am? Y’really don' care I'm a prostitute?”

Jin shook his head and looked into Jimin’s face seriously. “Jimin- I’ve never cared. As long as you’re safe and you’re enjoying your job- I’m happy if you’re happy. I work just as much as you so I feel like… There’s really no reason I would be opposed. You said before, you chose your job and you could quit if you ever wanted to,” Jin smiled, tucking Jimin’s hair behind his ear.

“I knew what I was getting into falling in love with you. I never wanted to be an obstacle, but a partner. We’re a team, you and I. Right? You don’t mind that I’m a cop, do you? That I work so much and I take it seriously?” He took a breath to pause. His chest ached and he swallowed hard. “Besides the fact that I love fucking you right after you’ve seen a client, I just love that you can be this way with me. You’re natural, you don’t have to be dolled up and in full get-up for me to love you. This Jimin- the Jimin you let me see, the one no one else sees- is the Jimin who’s mine. You can choose who you want to be when you’re with me. I want all of you. What you do for work doesn’t change my feelings.”

Jimin searched into the depth of Jin's eyes, silent and reading them as he stayed in his embrace. After the catastrophe with Taehyung, Jimin felt like all of his insides were breaking apart. Without meaning to, tears began to slip and roll down his cheeks and off his chin.

“I love you so damn much. Hyung, you don't know what you do. You're my whole world. I don't wanna spend my life without you. I wanna grow old with you. When all these charmin’ good looks fade, can we go retire on a beach planet somewhere? CO-574? I promise I'll be good to ya.”

Jin wiped gently at Jimin’s cheeks and smiled. He was absolutely enamored with him- the rest of their lives flashing in photos before his eyes.

“I’d love that. I’ll take you there. We can have our own home- just you and I and not have to worry. You’re everything to me, Jimin,” Jin felt his eyes start to sting with tears, but he swallowed hard, focusing on his words. “I love you more than anything in all the galaxies and universe combined. More than just your charming good looks. I’ll take care of you forever if you’d ask it. Even when we fade into greys and our bodies sag- I’ll be there to carry you wherever you want to go. Whatever you want to do. I’m yours.”

“Yeah, yeah. Please.” Jimin held onto him tight. “Can you make love to me?”

“Yes,” Jin nodded, kissing Jimin’s lips slowly. “Let’s get off the couch then, Sugar.”

He massaged Jimin’s bare ass under the sweater and leaned forward, chasing his lips again.

“Let me take care of you- I want to love you as much as you need.”

“Carry me.” Jimin jutted his lip in a pout, clinging onto Jin's shoulders. “Sorry. I know I'm acting like a big baby.”

“My big baby,” Jin giggled, lifting his lover easily- though slightly off balance - so his legs could wrap around his middle. Jin kissed Jimin’s cheeks again as he walked them carefully toward the bedroom, the path familiar and easy- like a welcome home.

“I’m in love with you, Jimin,” Jin murmured, slowly dropping Jimin onto the fresh linen. He kissed his lips slow and hard as he hovered over him, situated between his thighs.

“I don' even care what we do,” Jimin covered his face with his arm and sniffled into it. “I juss wanna be close to you.”

“Hush, Sugar, just look at me,” Jin cooed, removing Jimin’s arm from his face. He wiped away the fresh tears and smiled down at his lover. “Do you trust me? Do you want me to make love to you? Just focus on me and nothing else, okay? What is it about me that makes you feel good, Jimin? Focus on me, angel.”

Jin kissed Jimin’s neck in soft little pecks at first, slowly working him up. His body lay between Jimin’s open thighs and he kept rolling himself just a little to add friction where Jimin’s cock had gone limp again.

His long fingers massaged into Jimin’s arms and thighs, soothing any areas where knots had formed. He was much more tense than usual, Jin noticed and tried to move his mind onto something more comforting.

“Tell me if this is what you need. If you need more or less. It’s just us here, Sugar. You don’t have to worry about a thing.”

“You're so damn good. You're so good,” Jimin mumbled over and over, letting everything but Jin disappear. His touch was soothing and distracting- the pressure of his fingertips and the weight of his body pushed every dark cloud away. “This is what I need. You're what I need. I trust you. Ah, Jin-”

He let out a long exhale, collecting himself under his partner. All the attention and doting sent blood rushing through him, and he tangled his fingers into Jin's hair to capture his lips in a kiss. He moved his lips slow, parting them and using Jin's eager mouth to wet them as he rolled his hips up to meet his lover's.

Jin hummed and pushed deeper into the embrace. His own erection hardening quickly as it rubbed against Jimin’s length. He let out a soft moan, reaching blindly for some sort of lube in the drawer next to the bed.

“You’re what I’ve always needed.”

“That's how I feel about you,” Jimin grabbed at Jin's hips, aching for more of him. He gasped out when the head of Jin's cock met his shaft again, his own twitching in excitement. “Everythin’ you do makes me feel good.”

Jin made a noise of pleasure mixed with accomplishment as he fished out the lubricant - barely any left. He poured as much as it would give out onto their cocks and down Jimin’s balls to his ass before tossing the bottle aside.

“I’m in love with you, Jimin,” Jin said firmly, kissing him again while wrapping his hand around their lengths to spread the lube, reaching down between Jimin’s thighs to prod two fingers into his ass for good measure. His dick slipped to rub against the younger’s perineum. “You’re beautiful, you know that? Absolutely. Inside and out. Are you sure you want me? This is what you want?”

“Yes, yes. Please. Jinnie, ah, I want you. Need you. You're perfect,” Jimin's words were falling apart as Jin's fingers thrust inside of him and curled, the pleasure making it difficult to concentrate. His legs fell open further for his lover, and he whined. “I want to always come home to you. I want you.”

After a generous third finger, Jin replaced his hand with the head of his cock and began to put pressure against Jimin’s puckered rim. He watched in earnest, loving it every time how easy it was for Jimin to pull him in and take everything he had to offer.

“I’ve never wanted someone as bad as you. Never needed someone’s company until I met you. I was fine under those mountains of papers-“ Jin moaned and pushed himself deeper, grunting with each little drag of his length against Jimin’s walls. “-until I met you. You turned everything upside-down and I can’t- I can’t imagine having a place in the universe without you.”

“Stay with me,” Jimin managed to say before his words were cut short with a moan. He whimpered as Jin's cock slid completely inside, throbbing as he settled. Jimin's hands wandered from his hips to his back, and he dug his nails in just enough to put pressure and beckon him for more. “You feel so good. Hyung- please, don't stop.”

“I don’t- I won’t stop. I’ll give you everything, Jimin. Everything you need,” Jin grunted, capturing his lips again before dragging his hips back. The head of his cock caught on Jimin’s entrance before he shoved himself back in again. “You can scratch me, Jimin, you can mark me up all you want. I’ll always be yours.”

“Can I be yours, too?” Jimin dragged his nails down in a light scratch as Jin fucked into him. “P-please. Does that make sense? I wanna be yours.”

“Always. You’re mine, you’re mine,” Jin kissed him, moaning at the light sting from his nails. His lips trailed down his sharp jawline to his neck and he started to nibble on his skin there, breathing heavy as his hips began to thrust harder. He needed Jimin to truly feel him. He wanted Jimin to get lost in his presence.

“Feels so good when you say it,” Jimin gasped and dug his nails in deeper to force him close. He groaned as Jin's teeth grazed his skin, squeezing his eyes shut. Precum started to leak on his stomach as Jin filled his hole and stretched him, the head of his cock stimulating his prostate with every thrust.

“You’re mine,” Jin growled, forcing himself deeper and deeper into his lover. His pace was steady yet firm- making sure to hit Jimin in all the right places to make him go crazy. “God, you’re mine. I love you, Jimin. I love you so damn much.”

“Ah, please, please,” Jimin whined, angling his hips and tightening his muscles to make it easy for Jin to cum. He was so close to his edge already- Jin's cock was thrusting into him so perfectly that he knew he wouldn't last. “M’gonna-”

Jimin shuddered without much warning, a loud moan rolling out of him as white splattered across his stomach.

“Fuck, J-Jimin-“ Jin thrusted once more before he, too, was cumming inside of Jimin’s ass, his throbbing walls making it easy to ride out his orgasm and paint his insides with hot white cum. He rubbed gently at Jimin’s softening erection to elongate the waves of pleasure before he let go and tumbled into Jimin’s embrace, finding his lips and immediately sinking into a deep kiss. Jin tangled their tongues together with a moan and rolled Jimin on top of his body.

“Fuck, I love you so much. Was that okay? Did that feel good, angel?”

Jimin nodded, bursting into tears. He didn't mean to, it was just everything- his emotions still so raw and Jin being a gentleman, absolutely perfect for him in every way, he couldn't help himself.

“It felt good, Hyung. I love you.”

Jin held Jimin close to his chest and nuzzled his hair. He felt his heart ache with each shudder of tears that Jimin cried. “I love you so much. I’ll always protect you. I’ll always be here for you to come home to.”

“I'll be good f’you. I promise. I know I'm not conventional, but I'll love you juss as much as anyone ever could love somebody,” Jimin whimpered as Jin held him.

“I don’t care about conventional - I just want you to be with me. I love the way you love me, Jimin,” Jin hummed, “I’ve never met someone so perfect for me and I don’t want to know if even one other person exists. You’re always so good for me- Let me be good for you. I’ll take care of everything you don’t want to or can’t.”

“That's all I want,” Jimin murmured, “That's all I want.”

“Then let me be your everything, Jiminie,” Jin pulled him close and kissed him deeply, holding his face with the palm of his hand. He wasn't about to let Jimin out of his grasp. “No matter what- I’ll be your everything. I promise.”

Be my everything. Jimin thought, selfish and hopeless and just as in love with Jin as he had been since he walked straight into the tangle of thin, glistening wisps of spiderwebs that brought them together, never looking back.

 

 

Chapter Text

Yoongi was going to try not drinking. It was an attempt. Shouldn't be too hard. Should be a breeze. He had been not drunk before, and he could give it a shot. He just had to, well, not drink.

God, would he kill for having a shot right now.

He stared at the half-empty bottle on his shelf and did his best to force the thought that he would feel much better if he opened it and had one drink. Toxic behavior. Starting a cycle. Namjoon's words rolled around his head, and he went face down on the desk that he was sitting at.

Being alone in his room probably wasn't a good idea either, but he couldn't bring himself to go out either.

The small quarters hummed with the sound of quiet electricity and Yoongi scoffed in disgust. He hated Namjoon’s ship. It was so fucking clinical and boring. Yoongi rolled his head and stared at the wall decorated with some holographic landscape art that was supposed to be soothing or something. It wasn't. It made him feel even more like a patient.

Or maybe he would settle for just getting shot.

He blinked, his eyes tired and his body worn out from doing literally nothing more than existing. But he had too many thoughts about too many people and he really didn't want to think at all.

 

Taehyung took a deep breath in through his nose and hit the plate on the wall with a heavy hand, opening the door in front of him before he could talk himself out again.

Please be alone, please be alone-

“Hyung, can we talk?” He announced into the room, stepping inside loudly. It was entirely unnecessary, but he was afraid of- well, repeating his actions. “I need to talk to you.”

“Sure,” Yoongi answered, his voice muffled by the desk. He had turned so he was face down again. “What's up?”

“I feel like I’m going crazy on this ship. How long until something happens? I can’t- entertain myself long enough to make this feel worth it. I want to go home. Is any of this actually worth it?” He took another breath, shaking his head. “Sorry. I’m just thinking a lot. Too much.”

“You're doing this for your grandma, just don't lose sight of that.” Yoongi finally turned to look at him, his brows knit. “But trust me, I know exactly how you feel.”

Taehyung sank bitterly down onto Yoongi’s bed and bit his lip. “Yeah, right,” All that money he’d saved to give to his grandmother. He thought about the money he’d given to Jimin. “I’m not sure if I’m a good fit here.”

“You don't have to fit, Tae. You don't have to be anything but yourself. Just stay long enough to get what you need and get out. Who gives a shit, right? Just some con jobs and then back to Seventh,” Yoongi grumbled. “Fuck, I'm sorry. I'm in a shitty mood.”

“Me, too. I mean- what if… I had everything I needed? But, I fucked up,” Taehyung looked at Yoongi and knit his brows. “And what if… I want something else, but I think I’m too late?”

“Do you want real advice?” Yoongi lifted his head. “I mean, I get vague confessions and requests for absolution all the time. That's part of my gig, but I'm pretty sure you don't want me to tell you to find a dark corner to pray in.”

“I’d take anything at this point. You can hit me if you want,” Taehyung groaned, falling back onto the sheets with his arm thrown over his eyes. He felt hopeless, images that he willed to forget just running through his mind over and over, taunting and teasing. He was tired of it.

Yoongi stood, eyes widening. In two steps he loomed over Taehyung, his hands on his hips. “That is serious. No quippy comebacks? What the fuck happened?”

“I’m tired, hyung,” Taehyung mumbled, rolling onto his side so his back was facing Yoongi. “Doesn’t it feel like you’re just… sitting by while the rest of the world moves around you? All I ever do is sit behind my bar and tend to customers that may or may not come by, hoping that someday something will change. And then when it does- I’m doing exactly that… only on a cruiser of some hot-shot doctor and his stupid gadgets.”

Yoongi sat at the foot of the bed, looking at the space between his feet on the floor. He was silent for a minute before he let out a long sigh. “I don't really know what the fuck I'm doing, Taehyung. The world can go fuck itself for all I care. I don't give a shit if it moves around or ends or whatever. But if that's how you feel, you have to be the one to change it. What the hell do you want? Just go get it. Moping around in a recovering alcoholic’s bed probably isn't the answer.”

Taehyung sat up slowly and faced the priest with a heavy gaze. His eyes were dark but serious, glassy in the dimly lit room.

“Can you kiss me? Or- I can… Can I kiss you, hyung?” He was breathing steadily through his nose, “If that’s what you really mean. If nothing else matters. Can I kiss you?”

“Yes,” Yoongi lifted his gaze up to Taehyung, trying to keep his reactions in check as his heart started to race. “You can kiss me.”

“Okay,” Taehyung whispered, mouth running dry as he suddenly felt nerves seize through his body. He carefully slid to the edge of the bed and sat with Yoongi between his knees, his hands finding purchase on his thin waist before dragging him inches closer so they were merely a breath apart.

Taehyung closed his eyes and leaned in, furrowing his brows as their lips finally met. His heart was racing and he could hardly breathe, but it felt… Better. He kissed Yoongi again, chasing that feeling.

Yoongi welcomed it- Taehyung’s lips and hands distracting him from his thoughts and the nagging threat of a headache. He parted his lips and let Taehyung deepen the kiss, placing his hands on the bed and leaning forward. He had always been attracted to the handsome barkeep, but he had just thought- well, it didn't matter now in any case.

Taehyung let out a tiny gasp that was followed quickly by a groan as Yoongi leaned into him and pushed their kiss deeper. He tugged on Yoongi’s shirt until he had no choice but to fall onto the bed, hovering over Taehyung’s body.

His long fingers carded through Yoongi’s hair and he licked into his mouth, testing the waters while simultaneously bridling his need to do other things. More touchy things. He didn’t want to stop, he didn’t want to scare Yoongi off when those soft pink lips felt so perfect sliding against his own.

Yoongi slipped and eased down between Taehyung’s legs, humming low in his throat as he disappeared into the kiss. Tangling his hands into the other man's shirt, his slipped his tongue against Taehyung’s bottom lip and nipped at it. Every second that passed electrified him, his skin tingling wherever Taehyung’s fingers touched.

The younger couldn’t get enough, his body instantly on fire from Yoongi’s proximity and willingness to continue. He’d long thought the elder would jump off him and demand he get out the second Taehyung suggested kissing him, but everything was proving him wrong and he couldn’t find it in him to care.

“Hyung-” He whimpered, hands diving underneath Yoongi’s shirt to pull at his waist. “It’s you. I realized it the other night- I just… I’m scared.”

“It's okay to be scared. We-” Yoongi panted, kissing Taehyung between his words. “We can go slow. We can do whatever you want. I mean, if you want to- fuck, I don't know. What do you want, Tae?”

Yoongi took Taehyung’s hand and laced their fingers together, giving it a light squeeze. He searched into his dark, boundless eyes and tried to catch his breath, but he couldn't help but continue his barrage of chaste kisses while he waited for the answer.

“Please,” Taehyung breathed, tugging Yoongi closer to his body, “Whatever- I want you. I don’t know what I’m doing ever, but you- you always seem to make things better. I want you, if you want me, too.”

Taehyung looked up at Yoongi, searching his face for a reaction- an answer- anything.

“Are you- you’re not with- with anyone?”

“I'm-” Yoongi took a deep breath, trying to figure out how to say what he wanted to. “I don't know? I mean, no. Not- I'm not. Not exclusively. I mean, this can happen if you want it to. Oh, fuck. What am I saying. It's-”

Yoongi parted from Taehyung, rubbing the back of his neck. “I'm not sure. I sound like a fucking idiot, don't I? I mean, no one has ever asked me or made anything official, and I'm a hundred percent sure it's not going to happen.”

“Do you want me?” Taehyung asked, laying down against the bedspread and swallowing hard. His fingers tightened around Yoongi’s. “Do you want this?”

“Yes,” Yoongi dipped, brushing his lips against Taehyung’s. “I want you.”

Taehyung let out a deep breath and leaned his chin up to let their kiss linger. He lifted his thighs, wrapping around Yoongi’s waist and pushing them flush together in a single movement. His body tingled with anticipation as his tongue melded with Yoongi’s once more.

“I want you,” Taehyung repeated, a whine in his voice. “Please- more than just… this. More than tonight.”

“I- are you sure? That's what you want?” Yoongi nosed Taehyung’s jaw and kissed the slope of his neck. “With me?”

“Yes,” Taehyung inhaled sharply, rolling his head back to give Yoongi more room. “God- yes, please, hyung. It took a lot of fucking up and- I kind of… I didn’t mean to- I saw you and Namjoon and I just- I realized that I wanted… you. I had feelings for you and I just thought that, maybe, just maybe you’d want me, too. But I’ve been so confused. I thought you were with him and that I fucked up again.”

“Oh.” Yoongi lifted himself up, his stomach tightening into an anxious knot. “You- you mean, last night? I- I don't want to change the subject, but Namjoon said that he thought, I mean, he said he thought you and Jimin went somewhere together. But, I- Namjoon and I are kinda friends with benefits, I guess. Were. I don't know. It's not a relationship.”

Taehyung’s eyes welled up with frustrated tears and he choked on air, “I did- I did go somewhere with Jimin, but it was a mistake. It was such a big fucking mistake. And when I got back, I came to talk to you and I saw you and- and I realized how stupid I’ve been. I’ve been looking somewhere else when you’ve been sitting at my bar in front of my face the whole time. I’m a blind fool, hyung.”

“I don't want to be a rebound,” Yoongi’s throat got tight and he tried to swallow. “I feel like I don't mean anything to anyone.”

Taehyung shook his head and held firm onto Yoongi’s fingers. He sat up and wrapped himself around the elder, arm steady around his waist.

“I’m sorry- I don’t mean it like that. I’m not- You’re not a rebound, hyung. You’re not,” Taehyung pushed his face into Yoongi’s chest. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “I spent all day in bed- I didn’t sleep last night. I couldn’t get you out of my head. I get it, why this sounds so fucking stupid. But I mean it. I mean it when I say that I like you and I want this with you. I like you, Yoongi.”

“I don't want to think, Taehyung. I'm sober and I'm tired. I want this, but we don't have to think about it right now. Can you just trust me?” Yoongi rolled to the side of Taehyung and tucked his hair behind his ear. “I've always liked you. A lot. I just- your eyes were never looking at me.”

Taehyung swallowed and wiped at his eyes, a heat rushing to his cheeks as Yoongi gazed down at him. “What about now? I’m looking at you. I trust you, hyung. I’ve always trusted you. I think you’re honestly the one person I can trust.”

“Yeah, what about now?” Yoongi murmured, closing the gap between them once more with a kiss. He pressed his lips harder, his hand slipping to Taehyung’s shoulder and gripping it tight. “I want this.”

“I want you,” Taehyung moaned, pushing Yoongi down until his back was on the mattress and Taehyung was tucked between his thighs. He nibbled on Yoongi’s bottom lip and tugged it, eager to chase every touch between them. “We don’t have to think about things. You’re here right now.”

“Yeah, yes. Please,” Yoongi hummed low and arched his hips up to get friction. “Please, Taehyung.”

“Okay, okay,” Taehyung breathed hard against Yoongi’s lips, rolling his body against the elder. That buzzing feeling returned and he groaned, pulling Yoongi’s shirt up by the hem so he could touch his chest. He could hardly wait, his fingers shaking as he rubbed at every inch of exposed skin that he uncovered. “You’re sure- you’re sure you want me?”

Yoongi grabbed Taehyung’s wrist and pulled it down, putting Taehyung’s broad hand over his erection straining in his black pants. “What do you think?”

“F-fuck, hyung,” Taehyung shivered, squeezing Yoongi’s length through his pants. “God- you feel big. Who’d think the priest was packing?”

He slipped his trembling fingers into Yoongi’s trousers to wrap them around his dick, moaning into Yoongi’s lips as he kissed him. “I want to fuck you, hyung.”

“Oh,” Yoongi said stupidly, thrusting up into Taehyung’s fist. He took a shuddering breath, closing his eyes. “I mean, I want you to. Fuck me. Yeah. You can fuck me, Tae.”

“Do you have, uh, supplies?” Taehyung asked suddenly, undoing the button and zipper on Yoongi’s pants so his hand could slide easier and faster. Yoongi was leaking all over his hand and Taehyung licked his fingers automatically, moaning at the taste. “Fuck, you taste amazing.”

“God, you're so fucking hot.” Yoongi groaned, watching Taehyung. He shook his head to clear his thoughts. “I, uh, I don't.”

Yoongi's cheeks heated, glancing out across the room where he knew he had exactly zero condoms and zero bottles of lubricant.

This sucked.

“I haven't been doing anything.”

“Oh,” Taehyung replied dumbly, his hand rubbing soothingly on Yoongi’s hip. “I-I have some in my room, should I go get them or do you think we could sneak back there half-cocked?”

“Do you wanna just,” Yoongi took a deep breath. “Improvise?”

Taehyung’s breath caught in his throat. His cock throbbed in his pants. “I-I mean, yes. Fuck. But, with what? I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Would you want to-” Yoongi looked away, his cheeks deepening to a dusty rose. “I mean, like, use your mouth first?”

“God- yeah. Yes. I want to. Fuck, I want to. You’re so hot, fuck,” Taehyung whimpered, kissing Yoongi hard and deep. He wanted it to last, to linger even after Taehyung left his lips. He wanted Yoongi to believe him. Maybe he was just a stupid idiot, but he wasn’t going down without a fight.

“Can I eat you out, hyung? Would you like that? Do you want it like this or do you want it from behind?”

“Yes,” Yoongi gasped, his heart thumping in his ears. “I-I want it like this. Please. I want to watch you.”

“Good, me, too,” Taehyung snickered, leaning back so he could free Yoongi of his clothes. He dragged his pants down with his boxers underneath and moaned as Yoongi’s cock sprung free from its confines; it was thin and long, pale with a pinkish hue and a dark red, swollen head. Taehyung’s mouth started to water. “Fuck, you look so good. You’re just as big as you feel. I want to taste it.”

“Taste me, then,” Yoongi's cock twitched in anticipation and he gripped the sheets on either side of him. “You can do whatever you want.”

“Okay,” Taehyung nodded, discarding Yoongi’s pants and pulling off his shirt next. He placed a kiss on Yoongi’s lips before moving down to face his cock, no hesitation in his movements as he licked from the base to the tip, his tongue twisting and massaging the vein that protruded underneath. He moaned and took all of Yoongi into his mouth, fucking his throat deep and thorough.

“God. Fuck. Holy fucking shit,” Yoongi moaned, his rambling words disappearing into a whine. His hand tangled into Taehyung’s hair and he tugged and pushed him down further without a thought, blind with pleasure. “Fuck. Fuck. Why do you feel so good? You're too fucking good at this.”

Taehyung groaned around his length, his own dick throbbing with the tingling of pleasure mixed with pain at Yoongi’s fingers in his hair and the abuse of his throat. But he wanted it, he needed it. Seeing Yoongi lose himself to the feeling of Taehyung around his cock made the younger lose himself in it.

Reluctantly, he pulled off with a noisy pop and wrapped his hand around Yoongi’s length, pumping him in a steady rhythm.

“Are you ready? I’m only getting started on the second course,” Taehyung grinned mischievously, kissing Yoongi’s inner thigh. He could hardly breathe at the beautiful sight laid out on the sheets beneath him, his voice slightly hoarse from Yoongi’s dick shoved down his throat. “Don’t cum, hyung. Not yet.”

“I won't,” Yoongi said, stubborn. His cock throbbed and leaked, but Yoongi stared down at Taehyung with defiance. “I want you to cum in me first.”

Taehyung whimpered and spread Yoongi’s ass cheeks with his hands, licking over his puckered hole immediately, a glimmer of vengeance in his eyes. He was so hard, Yoongi was only making it more difficult to stand the pain of his cock in his jeans.

“You sure talk a lot when you’re about to get fucked, don’t you, hyung?”

“If you don't want to, you can stop,” Yoongi shrugged, a smirk tugging at the corner of his lip. “But I think you like it.”

“Oh, shut up,” Taehyung blushed, angrily shoving his tongue directly into Yoongi’s asshole. He suckled at his rim with his lips and twisted his tongue around inside of Yoongi, moaning at how tight he was.

“Fuck, hyung,” He gasped, biting his inner thigh softly. “You gotta relax unless you don’t want my cum up your pretty ass. I could always just use my hand and make you watch.”

Taehyung stuck out his tongue briefly before getting back to it, prodding at the elder’s rim.

“Ah, God. Where do you even learn to do that-” Yoongi mumbled, unfurling and becoming incoherent as Taehyung licked inside of him. The pleasure was crashing into him with every flick of his tongue and he gasped for breath. “So good. You're so good, Taehyungie. Ah. Want your cock in me-”

“You’re doing so good, hyung. I’m gonna stretch you out, now,” Taehyung warned, pressing the tip of his finger alongside his tongue, sure to coat it in his saliva so that it could slide easily in and out without making Yoongi oversensitive. “God, your ass is fucking gorgeous.”

“Your mouth is heaven. God, I could cum just from this, but I can't-” Yoongi was trying to convince himself more than anything else. “Fuck, Tae. It feels so fucking good.”

“You feel fantastic, hyung. Don’t cum yet,” Taehyung gasped, quickly working in a second finger. He was getting impatient, feeling how good Yoongi was, warm and wet around his tongue and fingers. How easily he bent under Taehyung’s touch. It was quickly becoming Taehyung’s favorite thing he’d ever seen or heard in his entire life. “I’ll fuck you right, Yoongi. Just hold on a little longer and you can have my cock.”

Yoongi nodded wordlessly, the red hue from his cheeks flushing to the tips of his ears and his brows knitting in desperation. He licked his lips and spread his thighs further for Taehyung, grunting and moaning low as he fucked into him with his digits and tongue.

“You’re beautiful like this, Yoongi. You look so fucking good,” Taehyung slowly introduced a third dampened finger to his entrance. He slowly and carefully pushed them inside, scissoring his fingers and licking around them to wet Yoongi’s hole properly.

“You want my cock, hyung? I think you’re just about ready.”

“G-god. How many fingers- Taehyung, how big are you?” Yoongi whined, sinking down. “Fuck, can I even be ready? Is that a possibility?”

“I- uh, I’m decently sized,” Taehyung bit his lip and leaned back. He grabbed Yoongi’s hand with his free one and placed it over the bulge in his pants. He closed his eyes and groaned, using Yoongi’s hand to relieve some of the pressure that had been building.

“Oh, my fucking God.” Yoongi choked on his spit and coughed, going bright cherry as his hand traveled up and down Taehyung’s length. He palmed the head through his pants and began to work the button open. “What the fuck are you being modest for? Fuck.”

“Sh-shit- Yoongi,” Taehyung gasped, pushing his hand harder onto his cock, getting lost in the feeling for a moment. “I need you- I need to feel you.”

Yoongi hummed, dragging down the zipper and pulling Taehyung’s cock from his boxers. He thanked the God that he prayed to that his long fingers managed around his girth, but he couldn't help the moans that slipped as he stroked his honeyed skin down to the base. He leaned forward, the tip of his tongue cleaning off the bead of cum that had pooled at the dark purple tip. “Fuck, fuck. I've never- you're big, Tae. Fuck, I'm so hard. Can you fuck me?”

“Yeah, I can- I can fuck you, shit,” Taehyung moaned. He tilted up Yoongi’s chin with his finger and leaned down to kiss him. Taehyung’s cock twitched at the taste of himself on Yoongi’s tongue. It was all too good, too exciting. His heart was racing in his chest.

“You’ve never what, Yoongi? Are you still okay with this? I’ll go slow, you’re really tight.”

“I've never been with anyone this big,” Yoongi pushed his tongue into Taehyung’s mouth, his hand still stroking his length. “Let me suck you a little. Let me get you wet.”

He broke apart from Taehyung and went back to his hips, his pink lips moving around the tip of his dick to suckle at it. His tongue prodded at the leaking slit, and he moved the spit down with each stroke.

“Fuck, Yoongi. I’m gonna cum if you keep that up-”

Taehyung gasped, fingers threading through Yoongi’s hair and tugging just enough to pull him off. He prodded Yoongi’s shoulder to push him flat onto the bed.

“I’m gonna fuck you, hyung. I- I can’t wait any longer.”

“Fuck me,” Yoongi bit his lip, settling into the pillows. He grabbed at the sheets and whined, denying himself of touching his straining length. “I want it. I want you. God, you don't know how bad I want you.”

“I think I know,” Taehyung chuckled breathlessly, settling over Yoongi’s bare body. He smiled and kissed him deeply as he positioned himself at Yoongi’s entrance. His puckered rim pulsed around the head of his cock and Taehyung trembled at the feeling. He grit his teeth. “Fuck, kiss me. Kiss me, hyung.”

Yoongi reached up and slid his hand to Taehyung’s cheek, cupping it as he brought him into a long and slow kiss. Moaning against his lips, he edged down to take more of his lover inside of himself. The stretch wasn't that bad, it wasn't. Taehyung had done an excellent job with prep, but it was still so new and full that Yoongi gasped the further Taehyung went.

Taehyung whimpered as he pushed deeper into his lover, already sweat started to bead at his hairline and cause it to stick to his skin. He tried to concentrate on kissing Yoongi, but could hardly think past his cock - gripped so tightly and perfectly by Yoongi’s ass.

“Hyung-“ His voice cracked and his lips fell to Yoongi’s neck where he latched on instinctively and began suckling marks into the muscle where it met his shoulder. “Fuck, Yoongi- Yoongi you feel so tight. You’re so good, does it hurt? Are you okay?”

“It's good,” Yoongi said through his moans, digging his fingers into Taehyung’s shoulders. He slacked against the bed and took a deep breath, Taehyung sliding and pressing against his prostate without even trying. “Fuck.”

“I love it when you swear,” Taehyung grinned, finally seating himself inside of Yoongi fully; their hips sweaty against one another. Taehyung kissed Yoongi slowly, giving him a second to breathe before moving back. “I’ve wanted to see you like this- God, I've wanted this, but I never let myself think about it.”

“I thought about it. Fuck, I thought about it,” Yoongi fought to keep himself there, but being so full and stretched out was making it difficult. His skin flushed with goosebumps. “Jacked off thinking about sucking you off under the bar. God, but I didn't expect you to be like th-this-”

“F-fuck,” Taehyung gasped, hips jolting at Yoongi’s words, jabbing himself back into him. “Fuck, you thought about me? You came thinking about s-sucking my dick? Shit, hyung. Fuck, I’m so close. This- I-I’ve never been so hard in my life, God.”

“Of course I thought about it,” Yoongi gasped with every thrust, overwhelmed and squirming underneath him as he pushed in deeper. “I saw you every night. Fuck, fuck. I want you to cum in me. God, I didn't think your cock would be this big. Fuck, I thought about you bending me over the bar. F-fuck, Tae-”

Taehyung grasped at Yoongi’s wrists frantically, messily tangling their fingers together on the pillows and colliding lips-first into a heady kiss.

He couldn’t bring himself to give a warning before his orgasm ripped through him. Taehyung but down on Yoongi’s shoulder hard enough to leave an indent, cum shooting deep inside of the elder. His body shuddered and twitched with every wave of molten pleasure, whimpers of Yoongi’s name falling from his lips.

He thrusted continually into Yoongi, trying to make him cum as well. Taehyung nuzzled the elder’s earlobe and bruised kisses into his neck.

“Taehyung,” Yoongi mumbled and pulled him down close, cum spilling out in a splatter of white across both of their stomachs. He whined low and rolled his hips, his orgasm leaving him quivering. “Fuck.”

“Wh-was that okay? I can’t hear anything, my ears are ringing,” Taehyung panted, kissing Yoongi tenderly. “I don’t think I’ve cum so hard… ever. It felt so good, Yoongi. Did I do okay?”

He chuckled to himself, “Now you’re not talking as much, I’m scared I hurt you.”

“No.” Yoongi shook his head, wrapping his hand around to the back of Taehyung’s neck and pushing their lips together for another kiss. “God, no. You didn't hurt me. At all. Fuck, I'm just, dizzy? Shit. I feel high.”

“Good,” Taehyung felt relieved, a weight falling off his chest. He smiled and kissed Yoongi again, rubbing noses. “Good. I feel high, too. It feels so great, hyung.”

“I didn't ever expect-” Yoongi laughed, shutting his eyes. “I thought I was just idly fantasizing about things I'd never get to do. I thought you only had eyes for Jimin.”

Taehyung shook his head with a grumble, “I had tunnel vision, for sure. But, I never thought you’d- I mean, you’re a priest. I thought that you were just… allowed to drink but I thought- It doesn’t even matter now, does it?”

He leaned up to brush the hair out of Yoongi’s face and smile at him. “I- I like you, Yoongi. I really like you. Can you trust me, too?”

“I don't know what that entails, but yeah,” Yoongi puffed his cheeks and exhaled. “And I'm not allowed. To do this, I mean.”

Taehyung furrowed his brows, “I’m sorry- I should’ve asked, I mean- I feel like this is my fault, I tempted you.”

Yoongi laughed from his belly and kissed Taehyung three times, a stupid, gummy grin on his face. “Tae, we're actively stealing and profiting from it. I'll talk to God about everything when I die. I'm pretty sure he'll either understand and forgive me or I just go to hell, but either way-”

Yoongi brushed his thumb across Taehyung’s cheek.

“I'm with you right now because I want to be.”

Taehyung took a deep breath, offering Yoongi a smile. He kissed his palm and nose, relaxing off to one side. “Is it okay? If I stay here, with you? I-It’s okay if you want to be alone I just-“

Need you.

“Yeah,” Yoongi kissed the top of his head. “Stay.”

Taehyung buried his face into Yoongi’s neck and wrapped him up close in his long arms. He closed his eyes and focused on Yoongi’s heartbeat. His body quieted into a calming lull as his high came down and Yoongi was still there in his embrace.

“Thank you.”

Yoongi fell asleep before he could answer him back properly other than just a quiet hum in return. He couldn’t say exactly what they were or weren’t, but he knew that something had changed. Even if he couldn’t be the one for Taehyung, he could at least try. For as long as he’d let him. And the thought- just believing in that just as long as he could hold onto it- let him fall into the most peaceful night’s dream in weeks.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Jimin hummed and walked into the crummy, grimy precinct that was far too small for the amount of officers or criminals present and when his eyes fell on Jin. Jin’s broad shoulders were uncomfortably squeezed into the small confines of the office. His brows knit in determination, his beautiful pout parted as he lifted police report after police report to examine and stamp. Busywork for the junior cop.

Even in Jimin’s agitated state, the other man took his breath away.

He had been sitting on the bench for three hours next to some punk in handcuffs who kept snarling about how the pigs were gonna fuckin’ get it just as soon as he could figure how to get the restraints off, and Jimin favored to rather entertain himself with watching the most beautiful specimen in uniform his eyes had ever been graced with.

Maybe he could flirt his way into getting his testimony taken.

Or at least his number?

Jimin spent the next hour doing his best to look as coquettish and innocent as possible: crossing and uncrossing his legs, biting his lip while scrolling through his holopad, making small little noises- all in an effort to get the handsome, young cop’s attention.

His patience wore thin when he didn’t even spare him a glance.

“Hey,” Jimin stood and walked over to his desk, putting his palms flat on the wood and clicked his tongue, “Been waitin’ here f’ages. Got completely ignored at the crime scene- your buddies told me that the word of a hooker ain’t worth shit.”

Seokjin visibly jumped as tiny, ring-covered hands slammed down onto his desk. His eyes traced from the finely manicured nails up Jimin’s arms and neck until finally settling on his face.

His large eyes blinked several times in confusion, and a quick glance around the precinct answered several questions for Jin; like why, for one, all of the men had been looking at something and snickering. He could hear their jokes about the hooker in the back of his mind, but Jin never saw the profession as anything other than that - just as he was a junior cop. They were all working for money or pleasure in one way or another.

Besides. Hooker was definitely too dirty of a word for the man standing before him. Jin had several others lined up to replace them, easily.

Angel. Would be the first one off his tongue.

If he could speak.

He blinked at Jimin in awe for a moment too long, his brain whirling and trying to rewire itself from hours and hours of hard coursework given to him to sort through to now this fine, fine specimen of a human being standing before him. He cleared his throat.

“Wh-what crime scene? Do you have an officer name or at least tell me the manner of the crime? I’ll try… I’ll try my best, but I’m not a real- I’m just a junior officer, I’m no- not like a big deal. I can see if anyone around can help you better if you’d like?” Jin swallowed hard, blinking again up at Jimin, still a bit startled.

But something inside of him seemed to click on, setting his heart rate off like a crescendo. He tried to take a deep breath and stuttered out a cough, covering himself with the crook of his elbow.

“I’m sorry the boys can be rude about… uh, your profession. They’re a bit callous, I’m sorry. I’ll try not to treat you like that. Not all of us are so awful. And you’re just doing your job same as us all, your words should be taken just as seriously as one of ours,” Jin gave Jimin a soft smile, hoping to bring down some of the tension in his shoulders. He’d barely noticed him sitting over in the corner on the bench and a seed of guilt settled in the pit of his stomach for not helping sooner. Jin’s biggest flaw was always trying to help those who weren’t always given a chance, but it seemed he’d stupidly overlooked things because of the mountains of paperwork lining his cramped desk walls.

Jimin eased off the desk, rolling up carefully with an exhale and crossed his arms over his chest. He gave Jin a skeptical look before slinging his bag to the front and pulling out his holopad, swiping across it to get to what he needed.

“Not that it makes a lick of difference, but here are their badge numbers,” Jimin set the device down in front of Jin on the desk, “It's Jung Hoseok’s case, I guess. An’ I don’t want somebody else.”

Jin’s breath caught in his throat and he pried his eyes away from the other man’s in order to shove a pile of papers off the top of his computer, hitting a couple surfaces before the screen blinked on slowly and it even sounded exhausted. It was obvious he didn’t get priority for newer gadgets as a younger member of the team.

Jin turned the holographic glass a little so he and Jimin could look at it together. He entered in the badge numbers from Jimin’s holopad and found the officers he had mentioned, finding next their open case file.

“Jung Hoseok, right? Okay, so what exactly are you… here for? A testimony? Do you know Hoseok personally?” Jin asked, a feeling of nervous sweat starting to bead at the collar of his neck. He had no idea how to take testimonies yet, he’d only listened carefully as the other officers took them as he worked, but they always refused to teach him anything on account of his ‘junior officer’ status. He’d been taught basic questions in the academy, but hands-on things were so tricky, Jin wasn’t prepared for a questioning - he’d only been shuffling through endless papers with words that had started to blur together and sound the same only minutes ago.

Interrogating an angel is something Jin was certain he wouldn’t have been prepared for no matter the situation, anyways.

“I know him professionally,” Jimin quirked an eyebrow, trying to read Jin’s reaction as he spoke- unsure of exactly how much to divulge. Would he be harming Hoseok? Jin was handsome, but he was still a cop. And a cop was a cop was a cop. “But with my line of work, personal an’ professional tend to mix.”

Jin started to pink as he turned the computer screen back toward himself and typed in the information. He licked his lips and glanced between Jimin and the screen quickly. Jimin’s eyes on him were making him nervous and at the same time, he was enjoying it a lot more than he should.

“O-okay, so you know him professionally and… somewhat personally? Did you know the kind of business he was in? Did you ever witness it or have any information about it?”

“Sure, I’m his customer,” Jimin leaned over the desk, trying to catch a glimpse of what he was typing away, “He acquired items I was in want of.”

“Alright,” Jin typed quickly, furrowing his brows, he took a deep breath and looked across the small desk at Jimin. “Were you aware of the illegal items Mr. Jung was importing? Did you ever have anything to do with that? Or see it?”

“He didn’t,” Jimin said quickly, “He wasn’t. That’s what I been tryin’ to tell ev’rybody. He was framed. Innocent as the day he was born.”

“Okay, who do you think he was framed by?” Jin asked, biting his tongue. His questioning skills were starting to show, he had no idea how to sculpt this interview and he was fighting himself on whether to keep things professional or pick a side.

God, he was a terrible cop.

“Are you aware he himself confessed to the crime?” Jin paused and looked at the man across from him.

“He- he what?” Jimin brought his face to his hands and groaned loudly into them, “That absolute idiot. When I see him, I’m gonna-”

Jimin took a deep breath and dropped his hands, “His business partner slash boyfriend set him up. I guess ex-partner and certainly ex-boyfriend. Oh, my god, Hoseok-hyung. Why?”

“What do you know about this ex? Do you know his name, where he might be?” Jin took a deep breath. Something wasn’t sitting right in his gut.

“I don’t know if they were lovers or in business together first,” Jimin tilted his head in thought, “Hoseok was the showman, y’know? He dealt with customers. His partner, Mr. Peck, he handled all the procurement. Hardly saw him ‘cept when he was bringing stuff in an’ out of the warehouse or goin’ over numbers or somethin’.”

Jin hummed in thought. “Alright. I’ll make a note of this Mr. Peck to look into more. Do you know what he looked like? Would you be willing to hook up to a scanner so we can try to see who exactly we’re looking for? I mean, this partner - if what you’re saying is true… He wasn’t anywhere at the crime scene. Everything was in Hos- er, Mr. Jung’s name and he confessed to everything. As much as I want to believe you, the evidence is hard to combat. But, I’ll try to hunt down this partner. I don’t want to close this and convict the wrong man,” Jin looked around the office and lowered his voice slightly, “Sorry about all these assholes giving you looks, too. I know what they say about escorts and whatnot, but not everyone is like that. I’ll follow your lead, I’ll see if I can get the clearance to look into it myself. I’m not sure if I can do much, though. I’m only a junior officer, I’m basically a glorified intern. I’ll try my best to figure it out. Just try to give me as much information as you’re able.”

“Thanks,” Jimin let out a long breath he had been holding, “I knew I wasn’t wrong t’pick ya. Y’look honest. But not ev’rybody who looks honest, is. Y’know what I mean?”

Jimin shifted his weight and smiled at Jin, “And m’not a cop or nothin’, but don’t y’need my name and ID pass?”

Jin raised his eyebrows and gaped at Jimin, “Oh fuck- I mean, y-yeah. Yes, I need your name and ID pass. Sorry. I’m still learning. I promise I am a cop.”

He took a deep breath and ran his fingers through his dark hair. He was so nervous questioning a witness already, but Jimin was so beautiful, it only added another layer onto the whole thing.

“And, not to pry, but your accent-- you’re not from one of the systems near here, are you? I mean, I’ve never heard such a pretty tone,” Jin said shyly, taking the ID from Jimin, “And it suits you- er, your… uh, image? I guess. I dunno, sorry.”

Jimin couldn’t help but giggle, holding his stomach as he fell forward at how flustered the police officer had become. It was adorable. “Careful, I might try to getcha to book me for an appointment. M’weak to compliments.”

Jimin straightened himself up, unable to hide the smile that was starting to make his cheeks hurt, “M’from BU-5417, Born n’raised.”

“Oh,” Jin blushed, smiling in turn. “I’ve never been there. But I hear it’s pretty nice. I don’t get much paperwork from that side so I’m guessing it’s pretty peaceful. I’m from… well here, I guess. My home planet is a bit fuzzy, unfortunately. But anyways,” He was handing back the small holographic badge to Jimin after entering his information, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Park Jimin. I’m Kim Seokjin, and I promise I’ll look more into the Jung case if I’m able. I’ve been trying to see if I can get my hands on something more stable than grunt-work, so hopefully, I’ll get the green light. If you have any questions, or if you think of anything else you need me to know, I have my information-” He handed Jimin a small chip, “on this. It’ll download onto your holopad, so you’ll have all my contact information in an emergency.”

“Get your hands on somethin’ more stable, huh?” Jimin took the chip and grabbed his holopad off of Jin’s desk, sliding it into an empty slot on the side. The holopad chirped, and just as was promised, officer Kim Seokjin’s name, number, and email address appeared on the screen. With a couple of swipes, the camera opened and Jimin leaned a bit too far over the desk (he was practically crawling on it) to snap a picture of Jin’s badge. He mumbled an explanation as he snapped a picture, “I like to keep th’numbers.”

Jin swallowed hard and opened his mouth to speak, but was silent for a moment at the proximity of Jimin so suddenly to his face. His breath caught as he smelled the alluring perfume coming off of the other man. He blinked and gave Jimin a shaky smile.

“Y-yeah, of course. The chip also has the precinct number in case you need to find me and I’m not answering. I’m usually the last one here since - well - this paperwork seems to never end.”

“Oh, I’ll keep that in mind,” Jimin whispered to himself devilishly and typed a small personal note before closing out of his contacts and removing the chip, slipping it into his bag, “Now, didn’ y’say I need t’get scanned?”

“Uh, yeah, that’s just over here-” Jin stood up from his chair and stretched, his shoulders seeming to expand from the freedom of his desk walls. (A barely audible “Gosh.” from Jimin might have been uttered.) He walked over to a small area toward the back of the room, pressing his thumb to a box on the wall. A slide opened with the same aching fatigue as his computer and produced a set of small, round metal buttons that shimmered in the lighting. They looked oddly new for how old everything in the office seemed to be, but Jin didn’t bother to mention it. If he was a little bitter that he wasn’t able to get a new computer because the precinct spent money on these instead, he certainly didn’t show it.

“I’ll just need to place one of these on each of your temples, is that okay?” Jin asked, turning back to Jimin. He showed the small buttons to him and smiled, “It’s like a sticker, so no needles or pain. I’ll just ask you some questions and it should pop up on the screen over here,” He pointed to the small monitor next to them on the wall.

“Alright,” Jimin blinked up at Jin, taking a step closer to him and shaking his hair out of his face, “Y’don’ have to be too gentle with me. M’tougher than I look.”

Jin smirked, “I believe it,” He placed the scanners on Jimin’s temples, letting his fingertips linger longer than he probably should, but he would never admit to it. He was simply doing his job. Simply getting a scan. Nothing else.

Jin hooked a wire from one of the scanners to the monitor and took the notepad from the little box beneath the screen.

“Alright Jimin, close your eyes and try to imagine Mr. Peck. Any time you’ve seen him. What is his skin color? Approximate height and weight? If you aren’t sure or can’t answer, just say so. Any information is good. You might feel a slight buzzing from the scanners if your thoughts start to race, but don’t be alarmed by it. They aren’t harmful or anything.”

“Thomas Peck- pale as a ghost. You can even see his veins. He’s a hair below two meters, I guess. 60 kilograms- skinny fella’. Prolly why he went down so fast,” Jimin chattered, taking a deep breath, “M’feelin’ dizzy.”

Jin scribbled notes onto the notepad and furrowed a look at Jimin, “Okay, okay.”

The screen popped up with a vague blur of a face, but it was just as useful as getting a capture of CCTV images. He smiled.

“You did really well, Jimin, I can use this,” Jin quickly took off the scanners and replaced them back in their case, sliding the door closed to lock them again. He turned back to the younger and steadied him with a hand on his shoulder, “Are you okay? Sorry, the scanners have a different effect on everyone. They don’t even work on me,” He chuckled breathlessly, “I’ll get you some water, okay? Hold tight one second. You can take a seat in the chair behind you.”

Jimin pressed his palm to his forehead and nodded, shutting his eyes and stepping back until he fell into the chair. He slumped a little, his skin flushing pink from the increased electromagnetic activity speeding up his heart rate, “Thanks, Officer Kim.”

Jin walked over to the cooler and grabbed a small cup of cold water, bringing it back to Jimin. He crouched down and handed it to the other with a soft smile on his thick lips.

“You can just call me Jin. But, you’re welcome. Sorry about the scanners… and the officers. But that’s why I work here, so I can give everyone a chance, y’know? You shouldn’t be ignored. Especially not if it means changing the whole case.”

Jin looked around the office and sighed, standing again.

“If that’s all the information you have for me… I can walk you out- if you’d like. You might feel a little dizzy from the scans for a little longer. Just make sure you drink some water, I’d avoid alcohol tonight if you can manage. It tends to make you a little nauseous, I’ve heard.”

“Fresh air sounds good,” Jimin agreed, sipping on the water before he stood. He wobbled a little, and subconsciously hooked on Jin’s arm to steady himself, “M’already feelin’ a little nauseous.”

Jin held onto Jimin’s arm and carefully walked him out, letting him lean into his side a bit. His body was reacting in a way that was entirely new and odd for him. Goosebumps riddled his skin and he could feel himself begin to cold sweat beneath his collar. He’d never had a crush before so he didn’t even know what it was like to feel a certain way, but Jin didn’t so much mind the nervous coil in his gut and the heat of attraction running down his spine.

He held open the door for Jimin and led him out into the parking dock before stepping to a halt, looking at the various ships tied off. Most were police vehicles or just single-seat pods besides one, looking far more expensive and regal than the rest.

Jin licked his lips and turned to Jimin.

“Are… Are you okay to get to your ship from here? Or do you need me to call a cab? I realize I have no idea how you got here...” He hadn’t noticed his fingers soothingly running over Jimin’s arm, dangerously close to his wrist.

“Don’ think I need a cab to take me fifteen meters, Officer Kim,” Jimin smiled, holding his arm comfortably as he took a deep inhale down to his diaphragm, “But I’d be grateful if y’could walk me to my cruiser.”

Jin blushed, “Oh, yeah- that’s fine, I can walk you there. Just point me in the right direction.”

“Right this way,” Jimin laughed like a thousand little bells and tugged him along straight to the expensive model that was embellished in a way that only Jimin found acceptable for himself- sleek and black with pinstripe gold shimmering across the hull in an elegant line, “Kinda hard t’miss, isn’t she?”

Again, Jin found himself gaping with his jaw slackened and eyes wide. He was sure the cruiser belonged to someone else in the precinct - or several people but it only made sense now that it was commanded by Jimin.

“She’s… gorgeous,” Jin said, wistfully. He dared not point out his own dinky blue and greyish-white single-room cruiser hidden amongst the police ships across the dock. “It’s just you in this thing?”

“Yep, Jus’ lil’ ol’ me,” Jimin bounced a little as he walked, recovering at a rapid pace but keeping his arm locked with Jin, “That’s my home.”

“Again, it suits you. She’s a beautiful ship, my goodness. I’d kill to sail the stars in something like that,” Jin sputtered, shaking his head, “I-I mean- not literally. I wouldn’t kill someone- not really. I just mean, it’s a dream. Kinda. Maybe one day as an officer I can get one of my own.”

“I know you’re not gonna kill anybody,” Jimin burst into giggles, “Are ya always like this?”

Jin ruffled the hair on the back of his neck nervously, “Kinda? I mean- not really, I just- wasn’t expecting… well you to come into the office today… and ya kinda threw me off. I promise I’m usually more suave and cool.”

“I like you now,” Jimin was still chuckling as he finally pulled away his arm to face Jin in front of the small extended step ladder that led to the cruiser door, “Like this.”

Jin’s teeth sunk deep into the plush of his bottom lip. Again, his stomach curled with nervousness and his eyes couldn’t drag themselves away from Jimin’s. He should be getting back to his paperwork if he felt like sleeping at all tonight, but there was something so magnetic about Jimin being there. “Like this?”

“Mhm,” Jimin’s lips stayed in a closed smile, and he couldn’t help himself as he reached forward to straighten the badge pinned to Jin’s uniform, “It’s real cute.”

“Wait,” Jin’s fingers gently wrapped around Jimin’s wrist, just barely holding on- barely touching him at all. He was careful not to startle the younger. He inhaled sharply and swallowed, “C-Can I- Can I kiss you? Is-is that even allowed? Or okay? Or-”

“Allowed? I dunno your rules about bein’ a cop, but um, yeah-” Jimin’s eyes shined and he searched into Jin’s, “Accordin’ to Park Jimin’s rules, it is.”

“I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable, that’s all-” Jin breathed, stepping closer to Jimin. His eyes were glued to his thick lips, and his eyes closed automatically as he leaned in.

“M’very comfortable,” Jimin mumbled before closing the gap, letting himself melt against Jin. Jin’s lips were beyond everything he had been imagining since he sat down on the stiff bench in that cramped precinct and caught sight of him. So pillow-soft, and yet, to Jimin’s surprise- firm and commanding as he drew him in. A small moan betrayed him without realizing, and Jimin found himself getting lost as he moved his lips against the elder.

Jin moved easily against Jimin, feeling enthused and warm from head to toe. His head was fuzzy with excitement and he stepped just slightly closer to pull Jimin into him by his waist. He’d never kissed anyone before, yet he felt a sense of something so natural and beautiful with Jimin. He didn’t have to try, simply melting into the feeling. He groaned and tilted his head to deepen the kiss, chasing everything Jimin would give him.

There were butterflies in his stomach now, dancing like mad and making him only want more. Jimin smelled and tasted amazing, like a sweet and sexy candy wrapped in the nicest clothes and styled hair. Jin wanted every bit of it, but he was afraid to ask, unsure of even finding the right words to form the question.

“H-hey,” Jimin broke the kiss slowly, panting for breath. He chuckled, pressing his forehead to Jin’s before pulling away with a broad smile across his face, “As much as I’d like to juss’ spend th’rest of my day kissin’ ya in a police parkin’ lot, m’pretty sure you’ll get in some kinda trouble.”

“God, I’m sorry-” Jin pulled away, turning a beet-red. “I-I just got… lost. I’m sorry, I should head back inside, and stop pestering you. I should finish my paperwork,” Jin said with a sullen twist to his lips. He didn’t want to go back to reading lines of text that seemed to bleed from page to page to page. He’d rather kiss Jimin like that again. But, he needed his job, and he needed to get started on the information Jimin had given him, anyways. “Uh, thank you- for the information. I’ll get started on it right away and see if I can find anything to save your friend. If it’s possible. Sorry about… uh, kissing you- I just… I hope that’s okay. I know your profession, but I mean, that doesn’t make it okay to just kiss you in a parking lot.”

“Oh,” Jimin’s brows knit and his voice got quiet in thought, his cheeks heating to a shade of peach, “Don’ mention it, I guess. Just consider it thanks for bein’ willin’ to listen to me. And, um, if you’re worried about doin’ things properly, y’have my number. Y’can make an appointment if you want.”

He took a step backward, completely detangling from Jin and reaching out for the ladder to return to his ship.

“But- what if- what if I don’t want an appointment?” Jin asked before he could even think about his words. “What if I just want to see you? I mean, if you want to? You can call me, too? Ah- I sound clingy. I just mean, like. If I want to buy you dinner.”

Jimin opened his mouth to protest- everything in him was rehearsed for every time a client wanted to move beyond the parameters of his profession. He had a whole speech.

I’m sorry, hon. That’s juss not how it works. It wouldn’t be fair to you ‘cause I can’t be what you really want. M’not a boyfriend, I’m a fuck. And maybe it feels like the first one ‘cause I like you and we’re havin’ fun, but that’s all set in the time we have together. And I got other appointments. And sometimes people pay me a whole lot of money juss to take me to dinner or listen to their problems or cry or massage their feet and nothin’ real physically taxin’ happens at all. So as much as I wanna say yes, I gotta say no.

“One dinner,” Jimin said, his throat feeling tight, “Just one.”

Jin nodded, “Wherever you like, your favorite place. You can call me, okay? Just if you want. I’m not some weirdo junior cop in the precinct,” Jin laughed nervously. “You’re really nice, Jimin. I’m sorry you weren’t treated respectfully by the other officers, I respect what you’re trying to do for your friend. And I look forward to dinner.”

“Okay,” Jimin nodded, his brain screaming at him and sounding alarms. Don’t do this, Jiminie. Don’t- y’made those rules for a reason. Swallowing hard, he leaned onto the ladder and gripped a rung, “Alright, Officer Kim. I’ll see ya later then. I’ll give ya a call?”

Jin stepped back and stood upright, smiling warmly. “Yeah, whenever you’re ready. Just gimme a call and I’ll meet you somewhere. I’ll buy you a meal at the very least.”

He took a deep breath, nodding his head respectfully.

“And, sorry for being so weird and antsy. I promise I’ll compose myself better next time we meet.”

“I told ya, I like y’like this,” Jimin lifted himself up onto the ladder and started to climb, giving Jin a parting smile and a small laugh, “You’re cute.”

“You’re beautiful.”

Jimin blinked at Jin before turning and pulling off his glove with his teeth, sliding his hand over the lock to read his print and turning bright red. Beautiful. It wasn’t that unusual for Jimin to hear along with a thousand other compliments, but hearing it in Jin’s timbre made his heart thump so hard that Jimin lost his breath for a second. He stepped inside as the door slid open before popping his head back out to look at Jin.

“I’ll call ya.”

“I’ll be waiting,” Jin laughed, waving to Jimin lightly before stepping back. A light blush crept on his cheeks. He turned and walked back into the precinct before he would be missed (not that he ever would be), his thumb tracing over the lingering feeling of Jimin’s lips on his own.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

He couldn’t wait for the phone call, but he threw himself into work instead of waiting. He would check his holopad for new messages every few minutes, but it wouldn’t last long. The hour ticked by and once again he found himself drowning back into his paperwork.

 

By the time the day was coming to a close, there was only Jin and the lead officer in the precinct, the secretary packing up for the day. Jin still had hours left of work to get through, but he looked up at the other officer and cleared his throat.

“Uh, Sir, I need to ask you a question.”

“What is it, Kim?” He didn’t bother looking up from his desk.

“I got a new lead on the Jung case, with the goods trafficking? The officers on duty didn’t heed the witness, but I got a face and a description, he thinks it was a setup. Was I thinking I could go on and investigate this on my own? As a first case? It shouldn’t take me long.”

“Jung? Jung Hoseok? He already confessed,” The officer kept typing and didn’t bother giving Jin a glance, “But tell you what, there are some holes in the police report. If you can fill those in, I’ll look at what you’ve got.”

Jin’s heart leaped into his throat. He sat up straighter in his chair, looking across the room at the other officer, “Oh, yes. Thank you, Sir. I’ll look into it. I won’t let you down, I can do it.”

Part of him wanted to message Jimin instantly, but his fingers halted mere centimeters from his holopad. He’d tell him at dinner. He’d surprise him with more information. His fingers curled into a fist and he clenched his jaw, a new determination set in his demeanor. Jimin just may have been the miracle he’d been waiting for.

“I like initiative, Kim,” He closed his laptop and leaned back in his chair and gave Jin a long look, “Finish up and go home, alright? Don’t stay here all night.”

The lead officer rubbed his eyes and stood up, well-worn from the day and started to pull his coat on.

“Aye, I only have a few more to get through tonight. I’ll finish these and head home. Have a good night, Sir. Thank you for the opportunity,” Jin hummed, nodding to him and taking the next paper off his stack. If he could work through them quickly with this new breath of fresh air, he could easily get them done in an hour, tops, and be home in time to get a few hours sleep before starting work on the case tomorrow.

He smiled to himself, typing information into the computer quickly. He hoped Jimin would be pleased with him.

The officer left, giving Jin a curt nod before disappearing out the front door and leaving Jin to his work. It wasn’t but an hour later that the chime at the door rang out and a small, round familiar face poked in from the door.

“Still workin’?”

Jin looked up, confused. Jimin was standing at the entrance.

He rubbed his eyes, “Ah, I think I’m too tired. Is that really you, Jimin? What are you doing here so late?”

“I, er, forgot somethin’,” Jimin walked straight back to his desk, smile playing on his lips.

Jin furrowed his brows, setting aside the last couple pages in order to direct his attention to the other man. “I didn’t see you leave anything behind- did you remember something about the case?”

“Oh,” Jimin chewed his cheek, “Well, I don’ think I mentioned that Peck and Hoseok-hyung were arguing about how Peck betrayed him and I managed to record a bit of it, but that’s not what I-”

“Hm? What is it?” Jin yawned, standing up and stretching wide. He pulled his holopad from the paperwork on the desk. “Shit, it’s later than I thought. You shouldn’t be out this late, Jimin- even around the precinct I’ve seen some shady folks.”

“My clients,” Jimin waved his hand ambivalently.

He walked around his desk to approach Jimin, typing something into his pad. “You can send me that recording to the email I gave you.”

“Listen, didja eat?” Jimin cocked his head to the side and straightened out Jin’s shirt, “‘Cause I just got back from an appointment, and I’m starved and I’m tired, and I just thought-”

“Yeah- no, no. I haven’t eaten. But I have good news, so maybe we can go grab something to eat and chat. I’ll feed you, don’t worry. There’s this cute little cafe that’s always open late, I usually go after work this late, so we can go there. If you’re into non-android establishments.”

“I’m into any an’ all establishments that serve good food and hot caffeinated beverages late at night,” Jimin yawned sleepily, rubbing his eyes. He blinked, pulling away his hands and realizing he mussed his make-up, “Darn.”

“Ah here, I gotcha,” Jin smiled, dragging his thumb under Jimin’s eye carefully to fix his smudge liner. His hands were gentle and controlled, but firm and it only took two swipes of his thumb to even out the black again. “Right as rain, cute as ever. Now, let’s go get your belly full of delicious foods and a good c-berry tea- my treat.”

“Sounds wonderful,” Jimin smiled, leaning to wrap his hand around Jin’s arm just as easily as he had before, “Lead the way.”

Jin smiled, taking his jacket and keys from the rack and leading them out the front doors. He locked the doors behind them and set the alarm- a routine now that he was always the last one in the building.

“It’s just on the next planet, er- just outside. It orbits it. It’s kind of hard to find if you’re not looking for it specifically. That’s why I like it. No one really knows it’s there. And the lady there makes me think of a mom,” Jin smiled, automatically heading toward his own cruiser, a beat-up old thing he managed to afford on his first few weeks of pay. It was an older model, but it was loyal and sturdy, even if it’s not that pretty.

“Sorry, my cruiser is… well. It is what it is. It’s not as gorgeous as yours, but it’ll take us there.”

“As long as I get where I’m goin’,” Jimin shrugged, his mind solely focused on nourishment and caffeine, “Don’t make no difference.”

“Good,” Jin sighed in relief, “Because I’m a little self-conscious about it. But I’ve almost saved up enough to buy a nice new one- I’ve had my eye on it for a long time now, but I’m almost there.”

Jin took Jimin up to the bay door and pressed his hand to the cold metal and the cruiser chirped to life in a dying jingle. The door creaked open and Jin stepped up the small ladder, holding out his hand to help Jimin inside.

The interior was outdated as well, but well-kept. The lighting was soft and yellow, giving it a nice homey warmth. Jin entered the cabin and sat in the captain’s chair, turning a few keys and pressing a keychain to the dashboard before the system purred to life and the ship lifted off the ground a few feet.

He swiveled to look at Jimin, smiling as he patted the passenger seat, “You can be my co-pilot. Also, this is the only other seat beside the bed in the back, so unless you want to stand for a few minutes- which you can- this is the only spot,” Jin said, squeaking quietly as he hiccupped out a laugh.

Jimin quickly sat and buckled up, keeping his eyes locked on Jin and watching as he began to press buttons on the control panel for their launch. There was something so undeniably charming about the way he moved, and Jimin couldn’t quite put his finger on it. But he liked it.

“What’re my duties, cap’n?” Jimin smiled back easily.

“Sit back, relax, be cute. You’ve already got the last and the first part done, so I guess just relax. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to get there,” Jin bit his lip as he lifted a lever and the ship tugged away from the dock, starting the cruise toward the cafe. Jin leaned into his seat and pressed a button on the dash to set the speed, turning to glance at Jimin.

“Not to sound creepy, but you look good sitting there. I can’t think of a single person who’s ever been in that seat before. But anyways, I like flying this late, despite being exhausted and just wanting to sleep, there’s something nice about flying in the openness when there’s not the usual traffic. Things are so peaceful. It’s nice after a busy day in the precinct.”

“I like flyin’ at night, too. I’m always flyin’ at night ‘cause of my work,” Jimin looked out as they started to ascend into the stratosphere, “And I look a damn mess, admit it. You were even fixin’ my make-up. Normally, I’d have come to you a bit more presentable, but I just…” wanted to see you.

“You don’t have to look all done-up just for me. I mean, look at my cruiser. I don’t care much for appearances. You’re beautiful regardless, you know? Even with smudged liner, you’re adorable. I probably look like a zombie. I don’t think I’ve slept more than three hours in the past… what, three- four days? Work has been so crazy. But thanks to you, things are looking up for me,” Jin grinned, reaching over to pat Jimin’s knee before retracting his hand, not meaning to be so forward.

“Didja say three hours in four days?” Jimin went wide-eyed, “How’re you alive? I’m a big believer in beauty sleep.”

Jin clicked his tongue, giving Jimin a sad smile, “I guess I just have a hard time falling asleep. And most nights I’m falling asleep either in this seat still on the dock or at my desk. I’m trying to be a real officer and go out and help people and stop the wrong people from going to jail. But with that comes… well. Three hours of sleep in four days.”

“I’m known for bein’ real good at helpin’ with sleep issues,” Jimin stretched out his arms and legs, “Y’need more sleep so y’can have all the energy to catch the bad guys.”

“Yeah, but I dunno. I mean- no offense to you, but… I’ve never been one to pay for someone to pretend to like me for a night. I want… more than that. And I can manage to survive off of little sleep if it means I can get my goals fulfilled. I suffer, but I think it’s worth it, in the end. Does that make sense?” Jin bit his lip, looking over at Jimin with a knit brow.

“Sure,” Jimin said quietly, looking down at his hands in his lap, “Perfect sense.”

Jin frowned, “That’s not to say I don’t like you. I mean, I think I made it stupidly obvious earlier that I do like you… But I’m not going to pressure you. I noticed how tense you got over me asking you to dinner. You didn’t have to come by the office after-hours, either. I want to get to know you. You care a lot about your friend and it’s admirable, but you’re also gorgeous and it’s obvious you’ve got your shit figured out. I think it’s really attractive. You don’t have to help me if you don’t want to. I want- I want you to want me, not my money. God, I sound like an asshole.”

“It’s not like that-” Jimin took a deep breath. Maybe this was a bad idea. He bit into his tongue, “It’s- bad shit happens to me, y’know? I just- I have to be careful. I can’t be stupid, y’know?”

Jin nodded, relaxing his hand on Jimin’s leg. He took a breath. “I know. I know the kind of shit people do, and what kind of people are out there. I see the paperwork. I also know it happens and no one writes the paperwork. Officers like the ones you talk to just dismiss your words. That’s why I just wanted to go to dinner. I’ll pay for food and tea and I just want to have a good time talking with you. You don’t have to be somebody else.”

Jimin let out a shaky breath. Why was this man getting to him so much?

“'m always me,” Jimin looked down at Jin’s hand and carefully put his hand on top. He didn’t even know why he was spilling his guts like this, “Y’juss gotta imagine, how often people try to ask me out or- I dunno, they- I don’t understand what they want. They think they can save me from somethin’ I don’ need savin’ from. Or they juss want to own me. Both? Differen’ things. And they’ll say anything.”

Jin took a deep breath and nodded, “Yeah. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to sound like one of those people. I’m not tryin’a save you. Just get to know you. I mean- do you enjoy your job? Did you choose it? Why’d you leave BU-5417? It’s those things- I’m interested in you. If you’ll let me be.”

“Buy me a tea and I’ll tell y’everythin’,” Jimin squeezed his hand gently, curling his fingers underneath and drawing small circles into his palm.

“Deal,” Jin smiled, squeezing his hand. There was a brief pause in which Jin took an easing breath. “You’re very beautiful.”

“That’s what all the boys say,” Jimin joked, looking out toward the planet as they approached, “And the girls for that matter. But it means a lot more comin’ from someone as handsome as you.”

“I mean it,” Jin said, pulling a knob and setting the speed to slow as they approached the floating cafe in orbit, just visible in the distance. “It’s hard to find someone whose inner beauty matches the outside as well.”

“Flattery gets ya ev’rywhere,” Jimin smiled at Jin affectionately, “Especially with me.”

“I’ll take you anywhere you wanna go, Sugar.”

“Lucky f’me we’re already there,” Jimin pinked at the pet name but kept his eyes on the small restaurant that could’ve been mistaken for a satellite among the asteroids floating around if it weren’t for the other ships docked there.

“Lucky,” Jin grinned, letting go of Jimin’s hand so he could concentrate on docking them slowly and carefully. There weren’t many ships docked with them, but still, Jin was always careful when parking anywhere at any time. Once the ship shuddered into a halt, Jin turned off the engine and the whole cruiser seemed to let out a baited sigh. He put on the emergency lock and connected the dock before looking back to Jimin.

“Welcome to OM-314’s.”

“Table f’two,” Jimin beamed with a giggle, pressing into the buckle to release the lock and stood up with a slow stretch, “Gosh, m’so glad you took me here. This is so much better than eatin’ alone somewhere.”

“I agree,” Jin giggled, stand up and opening the door for his guest, “I was just gonna suffer another round of the Ahjumma’s harassment about coming here alone but hopefully now she’ll go easy on me since I brought a friend.”

“Moms love me, don’t worry,” Jimin hopped down carefully, extending his hands out before posing like a gymnast, “I stuck the landin’. Ten points.”

Jin let out a squeaky laugh and followed Jimin down the steps, locking up behind him.

“Oh, my god, you’re adorable. I can see why moms love you.”

Jimin reached out after him to link their arms together again- the third time that day. It was pleasant, and Jimin stepped forward toward the cafe with Jin in tow. His insides were still all mixed up and whatever Jin was doing to him was making him confused, but he liked it. He liked him.

They walked in together and Jin nodded with a wave to the young woman behind the counter, preparing something on a grill. She grinned and winked in Jimin’s direction, gesturing to the booths against the wall.

“We’come back, Jinnie. Sit an’whe’e ya like. Mama’s workin’ so she’ll be wi’ ya in a sec,” her cheerful voice chimed, an amused undertone deepened her sweet timbre.

Jin thanked her and led Jimin to his usual booth in the corner against the windows, with the booth that wrapped around the wall.

“This is cute,” Jimin settled comfortably and rested his chin on his hands, looking at the different landscape photographs hung on the walls around the diner, “Staff’s nice.”

Jin smiled, “The young lady at the front is the daughter. Her great-grandpa built this as this planet’s- and really this system’s- first exo-planetary diner. It’s quaint, and they take care of you.”

Jimin’s eyes wandered from the interior design back to Jin, meeting his eyes and smiling, “I like that y’come here an’ they know ya. I like that y’know about this place, too.”

Jin chuckled, “It’s funny because Mama tried to get me to marry her daughter but then figured out I don’t… I’m not into women. So now she sets me up with her nephews. It feels like I’ve been adopted.”

Jin let out another soft laugh and leaned back as the young lady cave over with a carafe and two mugs.

“C-berry fa both?” She looked at Jimin, wide brown eyes scrutinizing over him, “This ya date, Jinnie? He’s a cutie. I’d watch’a bac’, he gon’ make ya work fa it.”

“The good ones do,” Jimin laughed musically, wrapping his petit hands around the mug and beaming up at her, “Could I bother ya for some cream’n sugar?”

The girl giggled and tapped Jimin’s shoulder reassuringly, “Oh, Babe, ya could nev’r botha me ov’r sugar, ain’t that righ’, Jinnie?”

Jin rolled his eyes and covered a blush in his hand. “Cream and sugar, please, Lea.”

She grinned devilishly at Jin’s reaction, “O’course. Menus are behin’ th’ sauces, Mama’s comin’,” With a flourish, she disappeared behind the counter and returned a moment later with a small pitcher of fresh cream and a jar of sugar. “Don’ use all’a suga’ ‘gain, Jinnie. Mama already knows ya like th’ sweet ones.”

“Thank you,” Jimin pulled the cream and sugar toward himself, watching the interaction between the young girl and Jin carefully. Sweet ones. Jimin raised an eyebrow at Jin before opening up the small container of sugar and dumping in two spoonfuls followed by a dollop of cream. Sighing, he leaned over the cup of tea and took a deep inhale, the scent of it pushing him into wakefulness.

“She’s joking,” Jin waved her off, “I’m sorry. They like embarrassing me. I always come in for pie and tea after work and Lea makes sugar puns every chance she can.”

He took a deep breath, adding three spoonfuls of sugar to his own tea, stirring in cream until it was a soft brownish color.

“They get the cream fresh, so it tastes better than other stuff in the city. But anyways. Do you feel better after tea?” Jin asked, taking a sip of his own mug.

“It’s amazin’,” Jimin moaned as he took another sip, “I’mma whole new Jimin.”

“Still just as cute as before,” Jin smiled, “I’m glad I could get you a cup. I wasn’t honestly expecting to hear from you ever again.”

“I’m surprised at myself,” Jimin put the cup down staring into it, “No offense, but I don’ do this.”

“None taken. Just thankful,” Jin hummed, fingering his mug calmly. “Like I said, it’s up to you. But I like you, and I can be patient or I can drop it if it makes you uncomfortable.”

“I ain’t uncomfortable,” Jimin pulled a menu, “I’m terribly comfortable. That’s why m’so nervous.”

“You can ask me anything you want. I understand why you’re nervous,” Jin nodded a little and then clicked his tongue, “Oh, I got put on the case! My boss gave me some work in the field on the Jung case so I can try to help you out. Honestly, you are the miracle I needed in order to get my life back on track. I wanna return the favor.”

“That’s great news!” Jimin perked up, pausing his perusal to grin at Jin, “Gosh, I knew I picked ya for a reason. What a relief. Congratulations, Officer Kim.”

Jin chuckled, “Thanks to you, no less. Thanks for choosing me, whatever your reason is.”

“Well, first, ‘cause you’re handsome. Second, y’make a cute low groan when you’re concentratin’. I started countin’ while I was waitin’. I think I got up to fifteen. Third, you didn’ leer at me. Well, actually y’didn’ even look at me,” Jimin laughed, staring into Jin’s gaze, “But that meant you’re serious. An’ I like people who take their work seriously.”

“Unfortunately, I’m extremely serious about the work I do. It’s like I was made to help people, to give those who don’t usually have a chance, a chance to speak. I don’t know why it’s important to me. But nothing else has ever come close to how I feel about police work, even if it’s just redundant paperwork for days on end. But anyways, you noticed I make that groan? My coworkers say it’s annoying,” Jin laughed, “They used to throw shit at me to snap me out of my headspace so I would stop.”

“Yeah, well as a grand authority on dealin’ with assholes, your coworkers are assholes,” Jimin stirred his spoon around his tea, “I take my work seriously, too, though. That must sound funny, huh?”

“No, it’s just unusual. Usually, I deal with people who go into that line of work involuntarily. Either by force or last resort. I think it very interesting you’re neither. Also, it’s oddly… Attractive? I don’t know why or how, but I like you more because you’re serious, too.”

“Y’said y’wanna hear about it, so here goes,” Jimin relaxed back on the cushion of the booth and held his tea up to his lips for another gulp before he started. “Back on BU-5417, I was juss a nobody. I don’ know if y’know anythin’, you said it was peaceful. It ain’t. We have a system on a planet that sorts ya by how useful y’are. Abnormal, Normal, Extraordinary. The funniest thing t’me ‘bout the whole thing is a lot of Abnormals look Normal to me and the whole lot of Extraordinaries might as well be Abnormal, but nobody asked me for my opinion ‘bout that. Our whole lives are divided up like that, y’know? And I’m a whole deviant if you can imagine. A Class A.”

Jin frowned, “Sounds very oppressive, to me. I’m sure I’d be… Normal. But anyways, continue, little deviant Jiminie.”

“It certainly ain’t normal to want to fuck as much as I do, and they kept tellin’ me it ain’t extraordinary, but what the hell do they know?” Jimin grinned, eyes sparkling, “It was an easy choice to leave. I miss my mama, though. And the boys. My part had a whole lot of Abnormals, and they were all content with their lot. But me? Nah, Officer Kim. I got dreams. Places to go, people to see.”

“Ah- I so admire that spirit you have. It takes a lot to get up and leave something you’ve known for so long. But, you can always start over somewhere else. I don’t remember how I got here, but here I am, doing a job I’ve dreamt about since I can remember and I got to meet you. Do you resent them? The ranking system? It sounds like you had a lot of issues growing up with it.”

“Been itchin’ to leave since I could open my eyes and look around, y’know?” Jimin sighed softly, “It’s- it’s just not for me. Everyone else was so keen to keep things as they are. I don’ resent it, juss glad I left. I was real popular back home, everyone loves a slut until they don’t.”

Jin frowned deeply at his drink, “I hate that word- slut. It’s not… You’re not a slut, Jimin. I’m glad you were able to leave. You seem to have found something you enjoy and that you are comfortable in. And now you have a cop for backup if you run into trouble,” Jin giggled. “I admire you.”

“I don’ mind it,” Jimin pushed the mug forward, “The word. Slut. What does it mean anyway? I’ll own it. I don’ care. I like to fuck people, men, women- whatever. It’s fun. It feels good. M’good at it. And gettin’ paid for it s’best.”

Jin was smiling at Jimin fondly, “Then there you go, own it. I’ve never… uh. I’ve never been with anyone before. So, I can’t say I enjoy sex or not. I know I at least enjoy whatever urges I get, though.”

Jimin choked on his tea, sputtering it out back into the cup, “You’re a virgin? How old are you?”

“I think I’m… 26? Something like that. I had some head trauma and my memory is shot. I woke up in a hospital ship with no ID, nothin'. Didn't even have a chip embedded. My fingerprints didn't come up anywhere-"

"Bless your heart," Jimin leaned on his hand, giving Jin a look of concern.

"-but, yeah. Ha, I’m a virgin.” Jin continued.

“Look, that’s fine and all and you’re okay and that’s great if ya like, wanna be,” Jimin took the cup nervously, “n’I’m not tryin’ to pressure ya or nothin’, but if y’wanna like- not be…”

It was Jin’s turn to choke on his tea looking at Jimin with wide eyes. “Wh-what? Are you-“

“Sorry, it’s fine to say no,” Jimin started blushing furiously, “I don’ know what got into me. Juss suddenly thought I’d offer.”

“N-no, no- I m-mean I want to. I want to. But I want… you. I’m not sure what you’re offering exactly,” Jin turned bright red and gripped his mug tightly. “I’m- I’ve wanted to.”

“M’offerin’ whatever you’d be up for,” Jimin shut his eyes, trying to quell his excitement, “And it’s okay if y’don’t know. Or if ya change your mind. Or if ya wanna stop.”

“What if I don’t want to stop?”

“Then we don’t stop,” Jimin breathed out, looking at Jin with a hint of darkness that had been absent since they met.

Jin gasped audibly as he watched Jimin’s face, shifting in the booth. His palms were starting to sweat as his heart rate increased.

“Is that alright? That I want that? With you? That I want… I don’t even know,” Jin laughed, “I want to try it.”

“Let’s try it, see how y’like it,” Jimin couldn’t help but giggle, “I don’t mean t’be a creep neither. It’s just that your first time could be with someone who knows what they’re doin’. And, I uh, have been thinkin’ ‘bout it since I walked into your precinct.”

“You have?” Jin’s eyes grew dark and serious. He bit back the need to ask if every time could be with him. “What do you say… we finish these drinks and head back to the cruiser? I’ll make sure to leave an extra tip so Mama doesn’t murder me next time. I never leave before food, but I… I might have an issue if we don’t leave soon.”

“Let’s go,” Jimin stood up, wiping his mouth with a napkin and leaving it on the table, “She’ll forgive us.”

Jin nodded, pulling out bills and placing them on the table, more than twice their total.

“She always forgives a cute face,” Jin breathed, taking Jimin’s hand this time. His heart was in his throat as they left the diner. He waved to Lea, giving her a look that communicated more than words were needed.

They left quickly and Jin led the way to his beat-up ship.