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Back the Way We Came

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“I don’t think I should go.”

“You can’t just keep skipping Namjoon’s parties because he might be there.”

“He’s always there.”

With a sigh, Seokjin leans forward, taking hold of Jimin’s hands on the table. He squeezes. “Jimin, it’s been three years,” he says, voice calm and soothing. He leans low to try catching Jimin’s gaze, which currently rests on a tiny droplet of coffee on the table before him. “Even if he is there, it’ll be okay. Maybe it’s time you two saw each other again. Might give you a little closure.”

Jimin’s eyes slowly drift up to Seokjin. “And if it doesn’t?”

“Then we get really drunk in the hot tub and pretend like he doesn’t exist.” Seokjin lets go, propping his elbow on the table and sticking his pinkie finger in the air.

“Promise?” Jimin asks with a raised brow.

“Promise.”

They lock pinkies together and Seokjin grins from ear to ear. “I got your back, Jiminnie.”

 

 

Whatever Seokjin says, this is a bad idea. Jimin has a sinking feeling in his chest that only absolute disaster can come out of seeing him right now. It’s been three years and Jimin has only just managed to move on from the pain of their breakup. Hell, he hasn’t even been able to convince himself to go one real date in all three of those years. Who is he kidding when he tells himself he’s moved on?

No one. Not a damn soul. His friends all know. Seokjin knows.

But Jimin knows Seokjin only ever means the best. He wouldn’t bring Jimin here if he didn’t think he could handle it. Knowing that Seokjin has faith in him—since Jimin certainly doesn’t have any in himself—is a genuine comfort.

Jimin makes his way across the room with his hands tucked deep in his jacket pockets. He shoots a few smiles in the directions of familiar faces but he mostly just tries to keep moving until he reaches the alcohol.

Jimin!”

The sound of his name makes his jump and he spins around to see Namjoon rushing to give him a bear hug. The taller man lifts him off the floor and shakes him a bit, arms twisted a little too tightly around him. When Jimin lands on his feet again it takes a second for him to catch his breath.

“Glad to see you, too,” he says as Namjoon wastes no time in getting Jimin a drink. “Where’s Seokjin?” he asks, gladly accepting the cup Namjoon hands him. Maybe if he gets drunk enough seeing him won’t be so bad.

Or maybe getting drunk is going to result in him making a total fool of himself.

Jimin promptly sets the drink aside and doesn’t spare it a second glance.

“I think he’s out by the pool with Yoongi and Hoseok. You should go say hi. Seokjin was really excited that you decided to come tonight.”

“Mhm…” Jimin barely hums his response as his eyes dart over the crowd. He hears Namjoon but the words don’t really settle in, his mind far too focused on finding that one face he both longs to see and is terrified to lay eyes on again.

Jimin wonders if he even looks the same. Did he cut his hair? Get a piercing? Another tattoo? Damn, what if he grew more? He used to give Jimin enough shit for just being a few inches shorter.

“Yo, Earth to Jimin. You in there?”

“Hm?” Jimin blinks and looks at Namjoon. “Ah, what? Sorry, I was…”

Namjoon twists his lips off to one side and nods. He refills his drink, takes a swig, and gives Jimin a smile. “He’s upstairs.”

Jimin cocks his head to one side a bit. “I thought you said he was by the pool?”

“I’m not talking about Seokjin,” Namjoon tells him before walking away. He gives Jimin one thump on the back and disappears into the crowd.

Those words send Jimin’s heart pounding. His gaze drifts to the staircase and—like a scene straight out of a drama—he sees those long legs making their way down, step by step. He holds several empty cups in his hands, soon to be refilled for the partygoers upstairs, Jimin assumes.

His hair hangs in his eyes, a bit damp like the white shirt he wears. If Jimin knows anything its that Jungkook will find himself a dance floor anywhere he can and cut loose. That was how he and Jimin met, after all. Looks like tonight isn’t any different.

Jungkook maneuvers through the crowd like a pro, only bumping a few shoulders and brushing against a hip or two. Jimin can’t help but take in every detail as Jungkook heads his way, still oblivious to Jimin’s existence.

Aren’t those black skinnies the ones Jimin bought for him on their vacation just before they broke up?

Jimin is ripped from his reverie when he sees Jungkook stop dead in his tracks just inside the kitchen. The childlike grin he’d had on his face fading into a look of pure perplexity and maybe even a little fear. His eyes go wide as he stares back at Jimin.

“Hey,” Jimin says across the room but his voice shakes and he doubts Jungkook could even hear it. He clears his throat as Jungkook cautiously makes his way across the kitchen as though approaching an angry lion. “I heard you might be here.”

Jungkook licks his lips as he sets the cups down on the counter beside Jimin. A tiny, awkward smile dances across his lips. “Sorry to crash the party for you.” His hands slide into his pockets and he leans against the counter, eyes on a spilled drink next to Jimin’s elbow rather than focusing on his ex’s face.

“No… No, no, it’s fine,” Jimin stammers. “I’m glad. It’s been awhile. It’s good to see you’re still… doing well.”

After a silent moment, Jungkook’s gaze slowly rises to meet Jimin’s. His smile grows, though he still looks like he would rather be anywhere but here.

“You didn’t grow anymore,” Jimin says with a somewhat forced grin. If he can just lighten the mood even the smallest bit, it would be a weight off his shoulders. “I was afraid you’d be…” He holds his hand high above his head, standing on his tippy toes just to emphasize. His head cocks to one side. “Thought I wouldn’t be able to talk to you without injuring my neck.”

Jungkook chuckles. A tinkling sound like the most beautiful set of bells in the world. At least to Jimin it is.

With a shake of his head, Jungkook starts laughing harder. He never could resist Jimin’s stupid jokes. As he laughs, Jimin returns to his normal position, grinning from ear to ear like an idiot. There’s no sound in the world that could ever compare to Jungkook’s laughter. He could stand here and listen to it for the rest of the night and be perfectly content. He’s missed this sound.

Jungkook looks at him. His smile stretches as wide as Jimin’s, crinkling the corners of his eyes. “Still the same Jimin,” he says as he pushes away from the counter. He sets to work on refilling the cups he had brought down but he sends Jimin several glances as he does. “I’m glad your sense of humor hasn’t changed. I always loved that about you.”

Just like that, Jimin’s resolve shatters into a thousand pieces. His will slips from his grasp like sand through his fingers and he feels himself slide into the whirlpool that is falling in love with Jeon Jungkook all over again.

With his heart struggling desperately to escape his chest Jimin turns to lean his back against the counter, elbows propped on the surface behind him. He looks to the side to catch Jungkook smiling at him.

His heart skips.

“So…” Jungkook starts and Jimin listens a little too intently, preparing himself for what Jungkook might say next.

Please don’t let him be dating someone else already.

Already?

Jimin almost rolls his eyes at himself but stops just in time so as not to make Jungkook think it was directed at him. He reminds himself it has been three years. It’s not like it would be fast if Jungkook is dating someone.

Jimin might also just be overreacting and creating heartbreak where there is none. Yet.

“How have you been lately?” Jungkook asks as he pours the last drink. He turns to face Jimin again, smiling, eyes sparkling. “I haven’t heard a damn thing about you from Seokjin or Namjoon. I feel like they avoid talking to me about you.”

As those words sink in, Jimin’s heart sinks with them. “They do?” he asks. They don’t avoid talking to him about Jungkook. At least in the last year or so they’ve been casually bringing him up without apologizing like they used to. Why wouldn’t they do the same with Jungkook?

“Oh… They don’t… do that with you?” Jungkook asks, looking nearly as puzzled as Jimin. He changes topics before Jimin can respond, his gaze dropping to the counter again, which Jimin is silently grateful for. “Yeah, and I never see Taehyung anymore since he started traveling so I haven’t heard anything from him.”

“Yeah, me too,” Jimin says, desperate to keep the conversation from dying. “Taehyung’s doing well, from what I have heard, though. He calls me from time to time to update me on his travels.”

“And you?”

“What?”

Jungkook chuckles, fidgeting with a now full cup beside him. He looks at Jimin. “How are you doing? I actually do want to know,” he says. “I’m not just asking to be polite.”

“I’m good.” Jimin swallows hard. Great answer. “Um, work is, you know, work. Still at the studio, so that hasn’t changed. I moved. A couple times. I have a nicer apartment now—”

“Oh, thank god,” Jungkook says with a laugh.

Jimin feels a little lighter. He smiles. “Yeah, my old place was really a dump wasn’t it?”

“Little bit,” Jungkook says with a grin, eyes crinkling again. “Still had a lot of fun times there though, didn’t we?”

A tiny thrill shoots through Jimin’s body at the mention of the antics they used to get up to at his place. All the times Jungkook would stay the night and they would end up barely sleeping, too busy exploring each other, memorizing all the kinks and ticks of their bodies.

Jimin takes a deep breath. Images of anything other than himself and Jungkook in his old bed run through his mind as he tries to distract himself from the risque memories. The last thing he needs is to get himself into a compromising situation in front of his ex… while thinking dirty thoughts about said ex.

“Yeah,” he manages to croak out. “Yeah, we did.”

They lapse into silence, gazing at each other for far too long before they both look away. Jungkook stares down at the drinks in front of him and Jimin stares at a particularly uninteresting cupboard in Namjoon’s and Seokjin’s kitchen.

“Well,” Jimin says, hand slipping into his pockets again. He notices Jungkook do the same, both of them trying their best to ignore the awkward air hanging between them. “I should let you get back to the party. I’m sure everyone is tired of waiting for their drinks.”

Jungkook nods, lips pursed together. “Yeah. Oh, right. The drinks.” He starts gathering the cups as he gives Jimin one last smile. “It was good talking to you, Min,” he says, the old pet name slipping from his tongue before he can stop it. He either doesn’t realize or doesn’t care that he said it, Jimin thinks. He seems completely unfazed by the whole situation. At least in comparison to Jimin, who can feel himself shaking from head to toe and both wishing Jungkook would stay and that he could be alone for the next several years to contemplate what had just happened.

“You too,” Jimin manages to say as Jungkook takes a few steps back. “Have fun.”

“You too.”

Jungkook disappears back into the crowd and up the stairs. Jimin lets go of the breath he had been holding.

After a few long moments, he regains his bearings and makes his way out to the pool where a mostly naked and very drunk Yoongi greets him with a single arm around his shoulder.

Seokjin sits with his feet dangling in the pool. When he hears Yoongi’s exclamation of Jimin’s name he looks up. His eyes widen a little bit and he gestures Jimin over.

Jimin doesn’t hesitate to rush to his side, crouching on the stone beside him. Seokjin puts an arm around him and pulls him a little closer. “How did it go?” he asks.

Jimin gives him a sideways frown. “How do you always know?”

With a shrug, Seokjin says, “You have a very distinct Jungkook look. It tips me off when you’ve talked to him or about him, or even when he just crosses your mind.” He grins as Jimin’s frown deepens. “Well, you’re not in tears so that’s a good sign. C’mon, get in the pool. Forget about him for a little while and just relax?”

Jimin won’t argue that. He takes his shirt off first and then looks around. No one else is in a bathing suit, just stripped down to whatever underwear they happened to wear to the party. So he does the same, leaving his clothes with Seokjin before he leaps in headfirst.

 

Jimin lifts himself from the pool just as a rather wild-looking Hoseok cannonballs in beside him. The water splashes over his back and he shakes it off. Seokjin’s towel rests nearby and Jimin snatches it up, drying off before sneakily placing it back in its place. He makes his way to the sliding glass doors, pulling his pants back on as he goes. Leaning against the wall beside the doors, he watches his friends damn near drown each other in the pool.

Hoseok clings to Yoongi’s back, attempting to dunk the other man under the water. Jimin smiles, feeling a laugh bubbling up in his chest as Yoongi leans forward and flips Hoseok into the water. Maybe Seokjin was right. Jimin needed a night with his friends. He feels more relaxed than he has for as long as he can remember.

“You still have it,” someone says from behind him, and he nearly jumps out of his skin before whipping around to see Jungkook there, staring at the tattoo just above his right hip. The one they had gotten together on a slightly drunken night of teenage antics. Stupid to get matching tattoos in such a young relationship. Jimin knew that then but he couldn’t resist the puppy dog eyes Jungkook had given him when they passed that tattoo parlor.

“Oh, yeah.” Jimin swallows hard. He presses a hand over the tattoo as though that will somehow make it disappear. He feels his face turning red. What is Jungkook thinking? Is it weird Jimin hasn’t had it removed yet? “Do… you? Still have yours?”

Without a word, Jungkook lifts his shirt just enough to show the tattoo on the left side of his rib cage. It brings a smile to Jimin’s face that he quickly hides behind his hand, pretending to wipe a water droplet away from his cheek.

“Just… haven’t gotten around to getting it removed,” Jungkook says. “Takes time and… a lot of money, and everything. You know? I’m sure that’s… the same for you.” He swallows as Jimin nods, then finally tears his eyes away from the other man. “Well, I just came out here to say bye to a few people, so...”

“You’re leaving?” Jimin asks, hoping his disappointment doesn’t show through. He shakes it off and leans against the wall again, trying to appear as casual as he can. He’s enjoyed Jungkook’s company so far tonight. He doesn’t want to scare him off now.

Again, Jungkook nods without looking at Jimin. He’s been doing that a lot tonight. Jimin wonders why it’s so hard for Jungkook to stomach seeing his face. He knows their breakup wasn’t pretty but it’s no reason for Jungkook to be so repulsed by his presence. Maybe he’s just overreacting again. Maybe it’s all in his head.

“Oh, there they are,” Jungkook mutters to himself before turning to give Jimin a halfhearted wave. “I’ll see you later,” he says as he starts to step away, then stops. “Or, uh… I mean— uh, not later— Just… Yeah, just… Bye.”

Jimin doesn’t even get his own goodbye out before Jungkook vanishes into the crowd, his hand raised halfway in a wave, his mouth agape but no words escaping. He sighs and drops his hand back to his side.

Maybe nothing has changed after all.

 

 

Jimin’s been staring at his phone for nearly an hour, rereading and rewriting his text a thousand times before letting himself send it. He scoffs at another misspelled word—he couldn’t stop his hands from shaking as he’d typed it.

Hey, I’m not sure you still have the same number, it now reads, so I don’t know if you’ll even get this. But it was nice seeing you last night and I was wondering if you wanted to meet up sometime. It might be nice to catch up with each other.

Too long? Too desperate? Maybe he shouldn’t text the day after seeing Jungkook when they literally haven’t even spoken to each other in three years—which is a miracle considering they still have the same circle of friends. Hell, as far as he’s aware, they’re still blocked from each other’s social media channels.

Jimin takes a deep breath. He really has nothing to lose. Jungkook might not even see this. He might just decide not to reply. Whatever the case, if last night proved anything it’s that Jimin misses Jungkook like crazy. He should at least take the chance. Jungkook was brave enough to kiss him mere days after their first meeting. He can be brave enough to send a stupid text.

This is Jimin btw, he adds at the end and hits the send button before he can doubt himself again.

No.

Shit.

He shouldn’t have added that last part. That was so stupid. Of course it’s him. Who else would it be?

A knock at the door makes him jump and nearly fall off his couch. Damn, he’s getting jumpy these days.

Jimin sets his phone face down on the coffee table and makes his way to the door, shaking off his nerves as he goes. For a second, he has a strange thought that this could be Jungkook at the door. Then he reminds his stupid brain that he’s moved twice since they broke up. There’s no way Jungkook knows where he lives.

He peeks out through the peephole, not particularly thrilled at the idea of company right now, and sees Seokjin and Namjoon outside his door. He tries to shake his disappointment. Of course it isn’t Jungkook. He knows it couldn’t possibly be Jungkook.

He pulls the door open and steps back, waving them in. They’re dressed in running clothes, Namjoon in a baggy t-shirt and shorts and Seokjin in a tank top and tight-fitted sweats. Their hair is matted in sweat and both are breathing a little heavily. “Hey?” Jimin says, uncertain what would possess them to visit him in the middle of a run. Or why they’re even running at all.

“Hey,” Seokjin says as he reaches for Jimin. He pauses, then pulls back after glancing down at his sweaty clothes. “What are you up to?”

Jimin shuts the door and follows the two men into his kitchen. “Nothing,” he says, casting a glance at his phone. It’s not a lie. He may have texted Jungkook but he definitely isn’t doing anything. He hasn’t even changed out of his pajamas. It’s his day off. Why bother?

Namjoon wastes no time in raiding Jimin’s fridge—a familiar sight—and Seokjin joins him, grabbing the orange juice from inside the door. Anyone else and he might not be so forgiving. Only these two and Taehyung could ever get away stealing his food. And Jungkook, of course, used to do it all the time but he tries not to think about that.

“Don’t you guys ever have food at your own place?” Jimin asks, jacking a glass of orange juice from Seokjin and taking a sip of it. His friend sticks his tongue out at him before pouring another.

“We’ve been out, jogging,” Namjoon says. “Haven’t had a chance to go grocery shopping. We wanted to stop in and check on you first.”

Jimin’s heart clenches. They know something. “Check on me?” he asks, terrified of what they’re about to say. Are they here to warn him against getting involved with Jungkook again? Do they know of a new boyfriend and they want him to know not to get his hopes up again?

Paranoid, Jimin… You’re being paranoid.

But his text haunts him now. What if Jungkook has truly moved on and he hasn’t? What an idiot he would look like if Jungkook reads that message.

Seokjin leans on the counter, a fresh glass of juice in hand. “Yeah, you know, because Jungkook was there last night. We just… Your place is on our jog and we just didn’t want you to be alone too much after seeing him.”

A smile curls Jimin’s lips as he pulls Seokjin into a loose, one-armed hug, which Namjoon then ruins by giving them both a sweaty bear hug as he walks by them. “At least you’re smiling,” he says as he circles around the counter and heads for his favorite armchair. “Maybe we didn’t give you enough credit.”

He hopes that’s all they stopped for.

Jimin chuckles. “Thanks, guys. That really means a lot,” he says as Seokjin follows the other man to the living room. Jimin stays where he is, leaning on the counter and watching them. “I’m okay, though. Really.”

“Good,” Seokjin says with a smile as he hefts Namjoon out of the chair. “Get your sweaty ass off his new furniture, Joon.”

Another laugh bubbles up from Jimin’s chest. It feels good to laugh after last night.

Namjoon and Seokjin bicker for a moment, before Namjoon pulls the other man into a something like a half-headlock, half-hug. His eyebrows raise suddenly and he looks at Jimin, “I think your phone just buzzed.”

The now empty glass of orange juice clatters to the counter and Jimin speeds across the room, leaping over the back of his couch and landing on it rather gracefully with fuzzy-socked feet. He grabs his phone and rolls onto the couch on his back, chest pounding, ears ringing. He’s so nervous he feels sick, like he might actually throw up.

Jimin holds his breath as he unlocks his screen and sees a text.

Coffee at our old spot? Tomorrow, 4pm.

“Oh my god,” he hears himself breathe out as he sits upright. He hears his friends asking him something but he can’t tell what they’re saying, the sound of his blood rushing and his heart pounding makes everything else a dull rumble in the background. His hands shake even harder than before and he has to focus on every letter as he types it out.

That would be perfect. See you there!

He hits send.

And waits.

Within a few seconds Jungkook replies, Can’t wait :)

Jimin feels as though the world has been lifted off his shoulders. He leans back on his couch and stares up at the ceiling, a dumbfounded smile stretching from ear to ear.

A pair of fingers snaps in front of his face, then Namjoon appears with a raised brow. “You still with us, man?”

“Hm? Yeah.” Jimin sits upright, Namjoon skittering back to avoid knocking heads with Jimin. His friends watch him like hawks. You would think he’d just had a stroke in front of them the way they’re staring at him with almost frightened eyes.

“What got into you?” Seokjin asks with a perplexed laugh.

Jimin licks his lips as he contemplates. What will they say if he tells them? Will they be happy he might have a chance at some closure—that he and Jungkook both might have that chance—or will they worry like they always do?

Well, like Seokjin always does. Namjoon likely won’t have much to say about it.

Jimin waves his phone at them. “Just got a text,” he tells them. He can’t lie to them. Even if he wanted to they would know. They always know. “Jungkook and I are meeting for coffee tomorrow.”

Silence.

Jimin doesn’t know if he expected applause or cheers or outrage or what but he didn’t see this coming.

Seokjin and Namjoon stare at him, dumbstruck, mouths agape. They glance at each other, then back to Jimin. Seokjin is the first to break the silence with a little “Um…” He swallows hard. “Min, are you sure that’s such a good idea?”

Jimin feels sick again. “No?” He waves his hand dismissively, head shaking. “No, it’s fine. It’ll be fine,” he says, though he feels like he’s trying to convince himself more than his friends. “It’s just to get a little closure.”

“I thought you got that last night,” Namjoon says, surprising even Seokjin. Usually Namjoon stays out of other people’s business, letting them make their own mistakes and learn from them at their own pace. He holds a firm belief that that’s the only way a person can truly grow. For him to step in like this sets Jimin on edge.

“I mean,” Jimin swallows, his throat dry and scratchy now, “we didn’t talk about that. We just… talked.”

Seokjin sits down beside Jimin, seeming to forget about his own no-sweat-on-Jimin’s-new-furniture rule. He places a hand atop Jimin’s, squeezing lightly the way he always does when he worries. “Look, I only encouraged to talk to him last night because everyone else would be there. You two meeting up alone… I mean, you know how you are. You both jump right into everything without thinking. And what if the conversation doesn’t go the way you want? I just don’t want to see either of you get hurt again.”

Jimin feels tears sting the backs of his eyes and he blinks them back. He’s more angry at himself for getting upset about this than he is at his friends for doubting him. He had been so happy before, elated, like he could float away. Now reality drags him back down to Earth, the truth stabbing him through the heart like a poisonous blade.

He takes a deep breath and looks Seokjin in the eyes. “I’ll be okay,” he says, making the promise to himself as well.

Seokjin and Namjoon glance at each other again. Namjoon gives him a small shrug of the shoulders and Seokjin sighs, head hanging slightly. He pulls Jimin into a hug, hand turning in a slow circle against his back. “Okay. Just… call me if you need anything. Anything at all.”

“I promise,” Jimin whispers, eyes closing as he rests his forehead on his friend’s shoulder. “I’ll be fine.”

I’ll be fine.

He repeats those words like a chant in his head as his friends return to their jog. His heart beats a little unsteadily as the door closes, his eyes on his phone. 1:32 P.M. just a little over twenty-four hours before they meet.

I’ll be fine, he tells himself again as he sits on his couch, staring blankly out the window, gaze drifting over the city outside.

We’ll be fine.

 

 

Jimin takes a deep breath as he comes to a stop outside the cafe. He leans in close to the window, watching his reflection as he fixes his hair, then straightens his shirt. A few steps back, check again.

Other than the dark circles under his eyes he looks decent. If he just could have just made himself sleep last night. But instead it was long and restless as he tossed and turned, thinking through every possible scenario about their meeting today, including one in which Jungkook punches him in the face. And another in which they end up on a table in a very compromising position.

He doubts either will actually happen.

Another deep breath and he makes his way inside.

It’s not particularly busy at the moment and it looks exactly the way he remembers it looking when he and Jungkook used to come here.

Jungkook isn’t here yet so Jimin makes his way to the counter. It feels strange to be ordering his old favorite, having not drank here since they broke up. He doesn’t need the caffeine at this time of day but he can’t resist it. He’s always been a sentimental sucker.

“Is that all?” asks the girl from behind the counter as she punches in his order. She looks at him when he doesn’t answer, one brow raised slightly when she sees him staring blankly at the menu above her head.

Jimin’s eyes linger on Jungkook’s favorite drink and he debates whether or not to get it for him. Is that too much? Will Jungkook find it weird? Will it make this too much like a date? Jimin doesn’t want to scare him off before they even get to talk.

The door jingles and Jimin whips around to see an unfamiliar man come in. He turns back to the girl, his heart pounding, and sees her growing more impatient by the second. He pulls out a little more money and orders Jungkook’s drink before he can chicken out, apologizing to the employee for taking so long.

With trembling fingers, Jimin slides his wallet back into his pocket and sits down. His feet tap a beat against the floor, his mind racing faster than his heart pounds.

The clock ticks forward, closer to 4 o’clock. Jimin almost wishes he hadn’t gotten here early. The wait is torturous. He feels like he’s about to lose his mind by the time the barista calls him back up for his drinks.

Jimin stands a little too quickly, stubbing his toe on the table before grabbing the drinks. He doesn’t know why he’s so nervous. They’re just here to talk.

The door jingles again and this time when Jimin looks up he sees the face he’s expecting.

Jungkook glances around the cafe before catching sight of Jimin. The smile on his lips sends Jimin to all new heights. He remembers the days when that smile was his favorite sight to wake up to.

“Hey,” Jungkook says as he takes a seat. “Barely made it. I thought I was gonna be late.”

“Traffic?” Jimin asks, pushing Jungkook’s drink across the table. It feels strange to be making small talk with Jungkook when they used to spend long nights watching stars and discussing the cosmos and the meaning of their lives. This feels so unfamiliar, so drastically different from their past intimacy.

Jungkook nods, taking a sip of his drink. He pauses, holding the cup to his lips as he stares at Jimin across the table, who stares back with slightly worried eyes. “What?” he asks as the cup comes back down on the table and Jungkook gives him what is possibly the cutest smile he’s ever seen.

“You remembered,” Jungkook says, making Jimin’s heart skip for the thousandth time since they met again. His smiles widens at Jimin’s dumbfounded silence. “Thanks.”

Blinking himself back to reality, Jimin gives Jungkook a nod and a smile. “Yeah, of course.” He clears his throat, leaning forward in his seat to prop himself against the table. They sit in silence for a moment, neither seeming to know what to say.

Jungkook licks his lips, eyes darting around as he seems to wrack his brains as much as Jimin for something to say. Finally, much to Jimin’s relief, he breaks the silence. “So you said you have a new place?” he asks as he slides his chair forward, leaning in closer, elbow on the table, chin on his hand.

“Yeah,” Jimin mumbles, melting at the sight before him. Jungkook always used to do this when Jimin would talk—just stare at him with a lovestruck grin on his face as Jimin talked about anything he could think of. Even if all he talked about was the weather Jungkook listened like it was the most enrapturing topic he’d ever heard.

Now, the look on his face seems different. The smile seems a little strained, maybe even sad. And there’s something in his eyes that Jimin can’t place. Longing, maybe? Wishing for the past as his eyes scan every detail of the face he used to love peppering kisses over.

Jimin takes a deep breath. “Um,” he starts, trying to think how to answer Jungkook’s last question. “Yeah, yeah it’s a nice place. I’m not stuck in a little studio anymore so I have a nice space for writing my music. Nice view, too.”

“Good,” Jungkook says as he takes another sip. “I’m glad. I heard you moved in with Yoongi and Hoseok for awhile. I wasn’t sure if you were still with them or not.”

“Oh,” Jimin laughs, “no. Living with them was fun but definitely not long term. I never got anything done with them around.”

Jungkook chuckles. “Yeah, I can imagine.”

Another moment of awkward silence. It never used to be like this. Even when they first met he and Jungkook had clicked in so many ways they never seemed to run out of things to discuss.

“So,” Jimin says. His voices seizes up when Jungkook’s eyes meet his again. “What about you? Still living in the same place?”

Jungkook shakes his head, sitting upright suddenly. He stares down at his cup, licks his lips, and gives Jimin a tiny shrug. “No, I, uh, I moved in with my cousin because I couldn’t afford my old place after I…” He purses his lips. “Um, I was fired from the job I had when we were together, so…”

“Shit, what happened?”

“Ah, nothing,” Jungkook says with a far too casual shrug. He takes a giant gulp of the drink in front of him and turns in his seat so he’s facing slightly away from Jimin, avoiding his eyes. “I just… I wasn’t performing well at all. You know? Just lost focus, I guess. It was right after… we…”

Jimin’s chest feels empty as he watches Jungkook fidget with his almost empty cup. He crosses one leg over the other, tapping his foot against the table, and Jimin just watches him with a heavy heart.

All this time, he knew how badly their break up had messed him up but he could never fathom how deeply it might have hurt Jungkook as well. He had always felt like Jungkook had just grown tired of their fighting and gave up. That he had left angry and hated Jimin for the entirety of the last three years. Jungkook had walked away from him. Jimin assumed it was because he just stopped loving him one day, that his choice never hurt him the way it hurt Jimin.

Jimin’s also never really let himself think about it much. It hurts to imagine Jungkook curled up on his couch, crying his heart out the way Jimin used to. To picture him walking down empty streets in the snow, eyes glossed over and staring blankly into the sky as his feet carry anywhere they can to escape the memories.

Jimin watches Jungkook fidget and squirm under his gaze. The younger man takes a deep breath and stares across the cafe but Jimin’s eyes never leave him. He tilts his head back to look up at the ceiling and sighs.

Before he can stop himself, Jimin feels himself blurting out the words he promised he wouldn’t say. “Do you think we could’ve worked out?”

Jungkook purses his lips before looking at Jimin. “I don’t know.,” he says, his voice suddenly quiet, any confidence he had left seeping out of him alongside his words. “I mean, maybe. Anything is possible, I guess.”

Jimin’s chest tightens and he has to stop himself from rolling his eyes. “You always do this. You always dodge giving me real answers by saying cliché shit like that,”

Maybe he’s being petty, but he says the truth and nothing less. It was always one of his pet peeves, the way Jungkook could dodge every damn question he asked him. He has to push the thoughts from his mind before he can start blaming all of their past problems on that one fact. He’s guilty of a lot too, he had his moments of immaturity, but this always drove him crazy. Still does.

“What do you want me to say?” Jungkook spats back. He turns in his seat to face Jimin once again. His hands rest on the table between them.

“Maybe a yes or no answer, for once,” Jimin snaps. “Instead of alluding to what you think maybe just say it. You always guard your thoughts like they’re goddamn holy artifacts or something.” Jungkook scoffs but that doesn’t stop Jimin. He places his hands on the table too. “Just… bear your heart for once?”

“Alright.” Jungkook’s fingers lace together, his jaw goes taut as he thinks. “You wanna talk about things we do to drive each other crazy? How about this one? You always do this.” He jabs an accusatory finger at Jimin. “You always try to force people to express themselves when they don’t want to. I know you think that’s a good thing but sometimes you push too damn far. And you know what that does? It makes people fucking hate you. No one wants to be around someone who’s always gonna force them to talk about parts of their lives they’re not comfortable with.”

His words stab a little too deep for Jimin but he stands his ground. A few hurtful words can’t hold him back anymore. He’s not the same timid boy he used to be. Jimin takes a deep breath and shoots back. “It’s been three fucking years, Jungkook. Don’t you think it’s time we actually talked about what happened? Hasn’t it been long enough for you to stop being a fucking coward and actually talk for once?”

Maybe he’s taking it too far but he has always held back for the sake of not hurting Jungkook. If Jungkook isn’t pulling punches, neither will he.

“No, it hasn’t been long enough,” Jungkook says, his words catching Jungkook off guard. “Because that was one of the most painful times of my life and, honestly, I don’t like thinking about it. I’ve spent the last three years putting myself back together and still every time I think of you it feels like we just broke up yesterday.”

Jungkook pushes away from the table, scraping it across the floor as he does. Jimin slides his chair back to avoid it bumping into him. He glances up at the barista, who stops what she’s doing long enough to cast them a sideways glance.

“Why are you so mad?” Jimin hisses, trying to keep his voice low.

“What the fuck did you expect, Min?” Jungkook matches his voice, leaning forward and keeping himself quiet to avoid anymore unwanted attention. “I thought we came here to catch up with each other and you completely blindsided me with this shit. I wasn’t ready for this. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for this.”

Jungkook sits back in his seat, jaw relaxing. He pulls his hands back in his lap and avoids Jimin’s eyes again. Jimin feels Jungkook’s vulnerability as though it’s his own. Jungkook’s arms cross over his chest, desperate to protect himself for any further prying.

It’s almost as though Jimin can feel his heart shatter inside his chest as he realizes Jungkook has been in just as much pain as he was. He had used his anger at Jungkook’s little bad habits and blown them out of proportion to cope with his own aching, blinding himself to the way Jungkook had been hurting. He’s been a fool to think he was the only one who suffered after their demise.

“I just… I just thought…” Jimin feel tears stinging at his eyes again. He looks away and presses his sleeve to his eyes, teeth clamping down on his lip in hopes the physical pain will distract from the emotional.

“Don’t get upset, Jimin. Please.” Jungkook sighs. He reaches across the table, hand turned palm up. “I just wasn’t ready for this to happen and I— Look at me, please. I’m sorry.” He leans forward and takes hold of Jimin’s hand, pulling it away from his face. He drags it down to the table, fingers twisting with Jimin’s. “Can we just talk about something else for now?”

Jimin takes a deep breath and nods. “Yeah. Yeah, of course. I’m sorry, too. You’re right. I shouldn’t have brought that up without making sure you wanted to talk about it first. Let’s just… Yeah, let’s talk about something else.” He slides his hand away from Jungkook, placing it back in his lap.

Jungkook swallows hard, forcing a smile back onto his face. “So…” he starts, and then launches back into the small talk.

Smiling comes to them less easily now.

 

 

Two weeks.

Two weeks have passed since Jimin and Jungkook met up and neither of them have texted the other once. Jimin really shouldn’t be surprised. After what had happened Jungkook will probably avoid him for the rest of their lives.

Maybe that’s for the best.

Jimin sighs and slides his phone across his desk, as far away as he can. He rests his head on the cold wood surface and stares up at his clock. 6:14. He had decided to stay at work late today but he regrets it now. All he wants is to go home to a nice bubble bath, a comedy movie, and absolutely zero thoughts of Jungkook for once.

A knock on his door sends him upright. He straightens his shirt and fixes his hair just in time for Yoongi to peek in.

“Hey,” Jimin says, relaxing a bit. Yoongi is the last person to care if Jimin looks like he’s been through hell and back. He’s usually pretty disheveled, himself. “I thought you went home already.”

Yoongi waves a flashdrive at him as he approaches the desk. “Stayed late to finish this,” he says as he tosses it on top of a rather large stack of papers. “New song. No rush. Just whenever you get a chance to listen to it.”

Jimin nods, grabbing the drive and a sticky note. He jots a note down about it and sticks it on the flashdrive before setting it aside. “I’ll get to it first thing tomorrow,” he promises. “Right now I just have to…” He sends a remorseful glance at the stack of paperwork. He shouldn’t have procrastinated so much. He just hates paperwork, though.

“Yikes,” Yoongi says as he takes a seat across from Jimin. “You okay, man?” He leans forward, elbows resting on his thighs and chin atop his interlaced fingers. “You’ve been out of it all day.”

“Yeah.” Jimin waves a dismissive hand. “Yeah, I’m good.”

Yoongi nods slowly, looking unconvinced. Jimin hopes he doesn’t pry. “This isn’t about Jungkook, is it?”

Of course he’s going to pry.

Jimin lets out another loud sigh and shrugs. “Kind of. I guess.” He looks out his office window, staring at the building next door. “We met up a couple weeks ago after seeing each other at the party.”

“Shit, what happened?” Yoongi asks, sliding his chair closer. His interlocked hands rest on the desk as he leans in.

“Nothing, really.” Jimin lets his head loll back in his seat, his hands curling around the arms of the chair. “I tried talking to him about everything that happened with us and he got pissed.”

Yoongi shrugs. “Fuck him, then.” He pauses. “I mean, like, he can fuck off. Not like you should go fuck him right now.”

Jimin chuckles and looks at his friend, who returns the grin. “I wish I could just have that attitude about the whole thing. Would be easier to move on,” he says, “but that’s not really fair. He didn’t do anything wrong. He was right. I blindsided him and it wasn’t cool. He hasn’t texted me since.”

“Have you texted him?”

“Um, well…” Jimin purses his lips together. “No?”

Another shrug from Yoongi as he leans back in his seat, mimicking Jimin’s current position. “How do you expect shit to get done if you don’t make a move?”

Jimin bites his lower lip, gaze drifting from his friend. Yoongi has a point. But right now he doubts Jungkook wants to hear from him. “I don’t know,” he admits. “I guess I just figured he would have texted by now if he wanted anything to do with me.”

Yoongi nods, lips pressed in a thin line. He drums his hands on the chair arms before standing up. “You know,” he says as he heads for the door. He turns on his heel, halfway outside the office already. “That’s what both of you said to me when you first broke up.”

Jimin feels his heart drop as Yoongi disappears. “Yoongi!” he calls, jumping out of his seat. He feels his heart racing as his friend ducks back into sight, brow raised in question.

Could that be true? He knows Yoongi wouldn’t lie about something like that but why didn’t he ever say anything before?

But that’s not the question that leaves his mouth. Instead, he starts in a quiet, worried voice with, “I think Seokjin is afraid Jungkook and I will get hurt again if we… see each other again.” He swallows hard, hands planted firmly on his desk. “Do you think that’s true?”

Yoongi draws in a long breath, seeming deep in thought as he leans against the door frame. He slips his hands into his pockets. “I think,” he starts, eyes drifting up to meet Jimin’s, “that Jungkook is a big boy who can handle it if anything happens between you two again. And so are you.” He gives Jimin a soft smile—softer than anything he’s ever seen grace Yoongi’s face before. “You both survived it once before. I think if you feel like he’s worth the risk then you should take the chance. At the danger of sounding cliché, if you don’t try you’ll probably always wonder what would have happened. Don’t you wanna know for sure if there’s even the smallest chance?”

Jimin looks down at his phone, teeth clamping down on his lower lip. He gives Yoongi one last glance as his friend throws him a peace sign, “Good luck,” Yoongi says before vanishing once more.

This time Jimin lets him go, sitting back down in his seat and snatching his phone up. He finds Jungkook’s number and stares at it for what feels like an eternity before slowly, carefully, oh-so-cautiously typing out a text.

He reads and rereads it before deleting everything and starting over. Everything he writes sounds too pitiful, too apologetic. It’s been two weeks. It’s a little late for an apology.

Finally he settles for a simple, Hey, you busy? to at least get the conversation started. Maybe then he can lead into something else and eventually ask Jungkook to meet him again.

Doubtful, but it’s worth hoping for.

Jimin sets the phone aside and drags the stack of paperwork close, starting from the top and working his way down. He scans over the contents before scribbling his signature at the bottom. He’s already so tired from working early today and barely sleeping the night before. He just hopes he’s not signing his life away on one of these papers without realizing it.

The vibration of his phone sends him into a small panic as he rather clumsily shoves the papers aside. He unlocks the screen with shaky fingers.

Not really, you?

Jimin doesn’t give himself a chance to over think the short reply. He could come up with a million reasons why this text means Jungkook hates him in less than a second. But he punches out a reply before he can convince himself of anything unreasonable.

Working a little late tonight. Paperwork. :(

Jungkook responds almost instantly. No fun! I’m finishing up my work for the day. When will you be done?

Jimin blinks. Is Jungkook about to ask to meet up again? It’s the last thing Jimin would expect but maybe he’s really just that lucky. With his paperwork long forgotten, he sends back a text to let Jungkook know he’ll be done by 8. He had planned to stay later but a few signatures can wait if Jungkook wants to see him. If he doesn’t, then Jimin will stay anyway. Jungkook would never even know.

The phone buzzes again and Jimin’s heart stops.

Can you meet me at the hill? 8:30? I feel bad about what happened last time. Thought we should talk it out.

Jimin feels a subconscious smile slip onto his lips at the mention of their old hangout. The hill they would always hike up to when they wanted to get away from everyone else. It was a secluded little spot, an overgrown hiking trail no one ever used anymore.

The first time they had gone up there in the middle of the night Jimin had been terrified they would die up there. Fearless Jungkook dragged him up the hill anyway and when they reached the top Jimin’s fears drained away. The sight was beautiful. Not that he paid much attention to it after Jungkook had pinned him to a tree and kissed him until they couldn’t breathe.

Jimin glances up at the clock. If he focuses for the next hour he can get a decent bit of work done before meeting Jungkook, then come in early to finish everything in the morning.

I’ll be there, he sends back before setting the phone aside and getting back to work on the papers with renewed vigor.

He feels like a child, all giddy and excited, though he tries not to get his hopes up. It’s good that Jungkook reached out to him but it doesn’t mean that much will come of it, if anything at all. Still, the thought of seeing Jungkook again and the possibility of seeing him more beyond this is strangely exhiliarting.

Jimin sets back to work on his papers, scribbling his way through his signature more times than he can count. He doesn’t even care how it looks anymore, he just wants to get out of here with plenty of time to spare.

His pen scratches across paper and the clock ticks on to 8:30.

Chapter Text

Jimin’s glad he always keeps a small selection of clothes at work with him. He practically lives there these days, it would be ridiculous not to.

He had given up on his paperwork a little early to change into fresh clothes and wash up in the bathroom sink before taking off for the hill.

His car purrs in the empty parking lot as he glances outside to find Jungkook. No sign of him yet.

Jimin shuts the car off and hops out, locking the doors before slipping his keys into his pocket. He heads for the park, straight for the little hill that overlooks it. Street lamps light his way as he walks, hands in his back pockets, feet kicking pebbles out of his way.

He stops and leans against the railing, glancing back to find their old path. He can’t see it from here, bushes and trees covering any signs of the old trail. It always took them awhile to find it. Every damn time.

Jimin chuckles to himself as he leans down to rest his head on the railing between his arms. He closes his eyes and takes a few deep breaths.

There’s nothing to be anxious about. They’re just here to talk. This time Jimin will make sure not to push Jungkook too far. He’ll keep it casual if that’s what needs to happen. Maybe someday they can build back up to the deeper talks they used to have, get back to some semblance of what they were. He knows he shouldn’t even be considering that at this point, it’s too early.

He can’t help himself when it’s Jungkook, though. The Jeon Effect, he used to call it. Makes him jump into everything headfirst without thinking.

Jimin takes another deep breath, and as he does he feels hands grab his waist. He whips around with a frightened shout, only to come face to face with a laughing Jungkook. He presses a hand over his pounding heart and huffs out a sigh of relief.

“You scared the shit out of me,” he says, giving Jungkook a gentle shove to the shoulder. He smiles as Jungkook bats at his hand with his own, the other still resting on Jimin’s waist.

“I couldn’t resist,” Jungkook says. He reaches up to bop Jimin’s nose with his finger before taking hold of the smaller man’s wrist. “C’mon, let’s go find the path.”

Jimin stumbles a bit before falling into step with Jungkook as they approach the overgrowth. “We’re going all the way up there?”

Jungkook lets go of him, digging through the bushes as he calls back. “Of course. What else would be the point of coming here?”

“Yeah…” Jimin glances down at his shoes, at the rather nice outfit he had picked out for this occasion. He should have thought about that. What was he thinking?

“Do you remember where it was?”

“Umm.” Jimin hums out the word as he ducks under a branch. Wherever it was it must be overgrown by now. Neither of them—as far as he knows—have touched it for three years, and even back then it was well-hidden.

They dig around the bushes awhile, clumsily scrambling away from the main path and eventually finding their way onto a rough hiking trail, covered in thick greenery. Jungkook says nothing, just casts Jimin a small smile before heading up the trail. It takes a solid ten minutes of hiking before Jimin can see the tiny clearing they used to go to.

His foot slips and Jungkook, with cat-like reflexes, spins around to grab his hand. He hauls Jimin to his feet and holds on the rest of the way up. When they reach the top Jungkook immediately lets go and Jimin pretends not to be bothered, brushing off his clothes instead.

Jungkook ducks beneath the branch of the tree they once shared many a kiss under and Jimin follows. The view of the city below hits him like a ton of bricks, his chest aching at the memories that bubble to his surface.

He shakes his head to clear the thoughts and focuses on Jungkook. He steps up beside the other man, hands in his pockets, and clears his throat. “So,” he starts, and Jungkook looks at him with that piercing gaze he both loves and hates, “you wanted to talk about what happened?”

Jungkook breathes out a nervous sigh as he leans back against the tree, arms crossing over his chest once again. His little habit he has when he feels vulnerable, like it can shield him somehow. He stares out at the city.

“I wanted to say I’m sorry,” he says, which catches Jimin more than just a little off guard. “I shouldn’t have snapped the way I did. I guess I thought I was ready to talk to you and I wasn’t. I’m sorry if I hurt you at all. It was selfish of me to think I was the only one hurting in that situation. I’m sure it must have been just as hard for you.”

Jimin blinks, taken aback by the sincere apology. He’s never heard Jungkook say anything quite like that before. Not that Jungkook was a cruel person when they were together—not by any means—but he rarely took a serious approach in situations like this. Jungkook preferred humor and sarcasm and sex where it was the most inappropriate. Jimin had appreciated that for awhile, but it started to wear on him when he wanted to discuss actual problems in their relationship. Jungkook always brushed it off or dragged Jimin to bed instead.

“You’ve grown up.”

Jungkook chuckles. “Yeah, I guess I have. Not too much, though,” he says, nudging Jimin with his elbow before taking a seat on the ground. Jimin joins him.

They sit in silence for far longer than most would be comfortable with but here, in this place, neither of them seem bothered by it. They find a peacefulness they haven’t felt since they went their separate ways.

Car horns honk in the distance and a siren shrieks somewhere far behind them and Jungkook takes in another deep, shaky breath.

“I’m ready.”

Jimin whips his head around so fast he’s surprised his damn neck doesn’t break. “What?”

“I want to talk about it,” says Jungkook around a dry throat. He inhales sharply, plucking up the courage to go on. “You were right. It’s been three years. It’s time. When we split we never talked about anything. We just sort of… were together one day and not the next. There was no closure and I think we both need that.”

Jimin’s heart sinks. Jungkook is right. They do need closure. They do need to talk about it. But if they do Jimin fears that will make everything final, that there will be no chance of rekindling whatever sparks might remain. If they find the closure they need will they move on? Will Jungkook move on? After tonight, will they ever see each other again?

The end Jimin has been longing for is creeping nearer and he no longer wants it. It doesn’t feel the way he imagined it would. He thought he would be relieved. Now he’s not so sure. If he’s discovered anything these past weeks it’s that he’s still hopelessly in love with Jungkook and he suddenly doesn’t feel ready to let go of that.

And Yoongi was right, if they don’t try he’ll wonder for the rest of his life what could have happened.

Instead of expressing any of this, he just says, “Okay.” Better to keep it simple. Why place his own burdens on Jungkook now? If Jungkook feels ready to talk then Jimin owes it to him to give him the chance.

Another silence passes over them and Jimin fidgets with his sleeves, growing more anxious with every second that passes. “So,” he clears his throat, “uh, how do we start this?”

“No idea,” Jungkook breathes out.

Jimin sucks in a deep breath. “I’ll start. I mean, maybe this isn’t the best way to start but…” He swallows. “Why didn’t you try reaching out to me after our fight? When we, you know… The last one we had before it all… ended.”

“Oh boy,” Jungkook sighs, head leaning back against the tree. He stares up through the branches at the night sky. "I don't know. I guess we were just so angry at each other I felt like you wouldn't want to see me.” He purses his lips together, then the words just start to flow out of him like a waterfall. “I figured it would just start another fight. I lost hope that we could ever work out and I guess I just gave up. And I really regret that. I should have talked to you. I should have at least tried. I don’t know what the hell made me think it was a good idea to just… leave."

"I could've reached out, too,” Jimin says, trying to ignore the ache in his heart. If one of them had spoken up first maybe they would still be together. He promptly pushes those thoughts away. Dwelling on the what ifs makes him feel sick. “But I didn't. It's not all on you, Jungkook. I never really understood why I didn't. Guess I just thought you would do it first. And when you didn't I thought you hated me. I thought you were just sick of dealing with my shit. I guess I was afraid of what would happen if you came back, that if we talked you would officially end it and there would be no coming back from that. But... not talking ended it anyway.” He almost laughs, but his throat chokes up with tears. “God, we were stupid kids."

Jungkook does laugh—not a real laugh, but one tainted with sadness and regret and anxiety—reaching over to place a hand on Jimin’s shoulder. He squeezes a bit, then releases, his hand sliding along Jimin’s arm. “Yeah, we were.”

They fall back into a long silence. Jimin feels no tension between them, no hidden anger or resentment. They just sit in peace and quiet and watch the sky, listening to the distant sounds of the city.

Jimin breaks the silence first as a question comes to mind. His curiosity always gets the best of him.

“Where do you think we'd be if we had stayed together?”

Jungkook almost looks taken aback, eyes widening a bit. He huffs out a loud breath and shakes his head. “Hell, I don't know,” he says. He stretches his legs out before him. “Maybe traveling like Taehyung. Couldn't you see us running off like him?”

“Yeah.” Jimin feels himself smiling. “I could see that. That wouldn’t be so bad.”

“I think that would actually be fun.” Jungkook chuckles, pushing away from the tree and crossing his legs. Jimin swears he scoots closer as he does so. “Can you imagine all the trouble we would get into?”

Jimin laughs at the thought. They’ve caused enough mayhem together just in this city alone. He can only imagine what they would be like with the freedom to travel the world. “Man, the number of countries we’d be banned from.”

Another laugh from Jungkook. He throws his head back as he laughs that full, loud laugh Jimin used to love so much. It still brings a smile to his face.

As the laughter dies down, Jimin takes a chance to brush their arms together, pretending like he was just readjusting his position. “Do you… regret our break up a lot?”

Jungkook doesn’t answer for a long time and Jimin starts to worry he’s pushed too far. Then Jungkook nods. “Yeah. Every damn day,” he says so quietly Jimin almost misses it. Jungkook looks over at the older man, Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallows. He tears at the grass in front of him, fidgets with it for a second, then tosses it aside.

Jimin doesn’t know what goes through his mind in the next few moments. He just knows that Jungkook has the prettiest eyes he’s ever seen and they’re staring straight through him right now and he’s still in love with him. He knows he misses Jungkook’s company and the way Jungkook used to touch him and before his better judgment tells him to stop, he leans in. His hand comes up to cup Jungkook’s cheek as their lips press together, his eyes fluttering closed.

At first there’s no response, then Jungkook presses in closer, hand sliding around the back of Jimin’s neck. His lips catch Jimin’s lower lip and tug, his other hand pressing over Jimin’s heart and curling into his shirt.

Jimin can feel his heart beating dangerously fast, pounding against his chest and ribs. He feels Jungkook pressing forward, pushing him into the grass, his hand moving to press into the ground beside Jimin’s head.

Their bodies fit together exactly the way Jimin remembers. Jungkook’s leg slips between his own and Jimin instinctively raises his hips, searching for friction. Lips leave his own to travel along his jaw, up to his earlobe where he nibbles slightly.

Jimin hears himself moan as his hands hitch Jungkook’s shirt up of their own accord, his body taking control as his mind lets go. He forgets that they’re in a park in the middle of the night and just lets his body guide him. He forgets that they came here to talk, that they’re not together anymore. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knows there are a million reasons they shouldn’t be doing this but as Jungkook’s hips snap forward against his own he can’t bring himself to care.

His fingers drag along Jungkook’s back, his own back arching for his hips to meet Jungkook’s. He grips the other man’s shoulder with one hand and uses the other to push himself up as Jungkook’s teeth attack his neck.

Jungkook’s hands find Jimin’s hips as he leans back and hitches Jimin up to straddle his lap. Their lips crash together again and Jimin slips one hand into Jungkook’s hair. In his lust, Jimin’s resolve snaps and he tugs, his teeth catching Jungkook’s lower lip.

It’s the guttural moan that leaves Jungkook that finally wrenches Jimin out of his sexual stupor. He freezes, then scrambles off Jungkook’s lap, scooting away from him across the grass. His chest heaves and his eyes go wide as he presses a hand over his mouth.

“Shit,” he groans, voice muffled by his hand. “I’m sorry. Jungkook, I’m sorry, that was so stupid. I shouldn’t—”

Jungkook holds up one hand to silence him, head shaking. He’s breathing as hard as Jimin and he looks just as worried and confused by the turn of events. “It’s okay,” he eventually huffs out, still a little breathless. “I should have… stopped you. Can’t say I particularly wanted to, though.”

“Ugh, Jesus,” Jimin sighs as he drops his head into his hands. “I’m so stupid.”

“Jimin…” Jungkook moves closer, hesitant as he reaches out to rest his hand on Jimin’s shoulder. When Jimin doesn’t recoil from his touch, Jungkook gives him a gentle squeeze. “Relax. Just don’t over think it. I mean, that was bound to happen, wasn’t it?”

“Was it?” Jimin shoots back with a bitter laugh. He can’t deny that Jungkook’s hand on his shoulder brings him comfort, though. Goddammit, why had he panicked? All he wants now is to feel Jungkook against him like that again.

Jungkook sighs. “Look, we should have expected something like that to happen. All the… tension, unresolved bullshit between us. I mean… It was only a matter of time before the dam broke.”

“Yeah, well, maybe but…” Jimin looks at Jungkook. “Look, I still care about you. And I want us to be able to spend time together because you weren’t just my boyfriend, you were my best friend. I just don’t want something like… what just happened… to get in the way of that.”

“It won’t,” Jungkook answers, almost too quickly, but Jimin chooses to ignore that detail and blindly believe in Jungkook’s words. Because Jimin is desperate to have Jungkook back in his life and he would tell himself just about anything to convince his stupid, over reactive brain that this isn’t the worst idea he’s ever had.

Jungkook stands, extending a hand which Jimin takes immediately. He hefts Jimin to his feet and pulls him a little too close for comfort. “C’mon. It’s getting late and we still have to hike all the way back down.”

Jimin just nods.

“We can talk about it again soon. Maybe next time we’ll be a little more prepared for, you know, everything.”

Another nod. Jimin can’t meet his eyes.

They don’t say another word as they make their way back down the hill. There’s total silence between them until they reach their cars and say goodnight. Jungkook gives Jimin a tentative kiss on the forehead before leaving.

Jimin waits until Jungkook pulls away and drives out of sight, then his fist flies forward, hitting the steering wheel with a loud honk of the horn. Jimin feels like his hand is on fire but he takes the pain as he leans forward, resting his head against the wheel. His eyes sting with tears and his chest aches.

He doesn’t even know why he’s crying. Maybe it’s because he feels so stupid. Maybe it’s all the regrets he has about his and Jungkook’s past. Maybe it’s because he’s too weak to stop history from repeating itself. Whatever the reason, it feels good to let it out, so he doesn’t try to hold back for once.

Jimin sits in the parking lot for god-knows-how-long until the tears stop and he can see clearly again. He starts his car, takes a deep breath, and drives home in silence.

He hopes he doesn’t come to regret tonight.

 

 

Jimin can barely focus on work over the next few days, his mind constantly drifting back to that night in the park with Jungkook. All the things they said and didn’t say, the things he should have said. Their hands on each other. The taste of Jungkook’s tongue. The feeling of their bodies pressed close together.

He shifts uncomfortably in his chair and stares across the room, imagining anything he can to take his mind off the other man. Eventually he resorts to pulling a stack of papers close and sifting through them, signing off on multiple requests and order forms. He lets the monotonous pattern of ‘grab the paper, sign the front, flip it over, sign the back, set it aside’ drown out the worries and anxiety.

Honestly, he never should have let it bother him so much in the first place. He shouldn’t have even taken it this far. Their run-in at the party should have been the end of it. What had he been thinking, texting Jungkook to meet up? Why had he been stupid enough to see him again? In their old romantic getaway spot, no less.

Rule number one of a painful breakup: don’t be stupid enough to try finding closure when you’re still not over them.

“Hey,” comes a voice from his doorway and he looks up to see Yoongi there, standing in his typical pose of arms across his chest and his shoulder leaning against the frame. “Working late again?”

Jimin nods as he sets his pen down. He takes a deep breath. “I’ve been slacking off lately.”

“How’s it going?”

“Slow,” Jimin says. He flicks through a few pages and shrugs. “I’d rather be asleep.”

“I meant with Jungkook.”

His breath catches in his throat as he looks at Yoongi again. It feels like his heart twists in his chest and he shifts under Yoongi’s gaze. “Same answer?” he says with an uncertain chuckle, which Yoongi returns.

“That good, huh?” He shrugs. “Well, not everything can be smooth sailing. Did you ever get a chance to check out my track?”

Jimin’s heart sinks. “Shit!” he hisses, yanking open the top drawer of his desk and digging through the mess to find the flashdrive. It takes a moment before he pulls it out, head hanging. “I’m so sorry, Yoongi. It completely slipped my mind.”

Yoongi gives him a slight wave of his hand. “Don’t worry about it.”

“No, I’m sorry, I—”

“Hey.” Yoongi’s tone isn’t harsh but Jimin knows him well enough to know that if he doesn’t shut up and listen Yoongi will get pissed. “Don’t worry. You’ve got a lot on your plate.”

Jimin sighs, “Yeah, a lot I didn’t need but was stupid enough to get involved in anyway.”

“Don’t beat yourself up about it,” Yoongi tells him. “Trust me, that never does any good.”

He looks up at his friend, brows furrowing. Yoongi seems different than normal. His voice falls flat, devoid of any energy or emotion and, though he’s always tired, he looks more drained than usual. “Is everything okay?” Jimin asks, realizing how selfish he’s been to just talk Yoongi’s ear off about his own problems lately. All they’ve talked about the last two times they’ve seen each other is Jungkook. It didn’t even occur to Jimin until now that Yoongi has his own problems to deal with. It’s not like Jimin to be so self-centered.

“I’m fine,” Yoongi says with an abrupt nod.

Anyone could read that lie from a mile away. “What’s wrong?”

Yoongi doesn’t answer for awhile, puffing his cheeks out and letting the breath out slowly. His mouth turns down into a frown and he stares out the window, avoiding Jimin’s eyes. “Taehyung’s coming back.” His arms tighten across his chest and his brows knit together. “He’ll be moving back into his room at mine and Hoseok’s place.”

Jimin blinks, taken aback. “I—I had no idea. He never told me.”

“He wanted it to be a surprise.” Yoongi looks at Jimin again. “So act surprised when he shows up.”

“Yeah, got it,” Jimin promises even though he’s a terrible liar. Taehyung will know someone spoiled it. He clears his throat. “Isn’t that a good thing, though? I mean, we’ve all missed Tae a lot lately.”

Yoongi shifts around a bit, fidgeting with his sleeve as his gaze drifts out the window again. He licks his lips. Whatever he’s about to say, it’s hard to get out. “Remember back in college,” he starts, swallowing hard, “when Hoseok and Taehyung sort of… had a thing.”

It dawns on Jimin and his mouth opens in a silent ‘oh’ as he nods. “Yeah, I remember.” Yoongi doesn’t need to finish for Jimin to know where this is going but he lets him get it out anyway. Maybe it’ll help him just to talk it out.

“They’ve been talking every damn day lately and Hoseok hasn’t shut up about him coming back.” Yoongi takes a deep breath. “I think they’re… thinking about starting up again.”

Jimin purses his lips together, letting that sink in for a moment before responding. “And Hoseok still doesn’t know how you feel?”

“No.” Yoongi looks Jimin in the eyes now, that piercing gaze sending a slight shudder through Jimin. “And he never will. If Taehyung makes him happy then that’s all that matter.” He cracks his neck and looks out the window again. “I’m a grown-ass adult. I can deal with it.”

“You make him happy, too, Yoongi. Shouldn’t you at least talk—”

No.”

That word cuts through the air like a knife, silencing Jimin in an instant. He bites the inside of his lip, eyes trained on his desk. He hears a sigh, sees Yoongi fidgeting again out the corner of his eyes.

“Sorry.” Yoongi shakes his head at himself, pushing away from the door frame. “I just— I should get some sleep.” He licks his lips again and Jimin can tell he’s agitated. Pushing any farther will just make it worse, so he keeps his mouth shut tight. “Listen, just… Don’t give up on Jungkook,” Yoongi says.

Jimin’s eyes widen a little, staring up at his friend again.

“If you’re gonna have regrets you should at least be able to know that you tried. It’s better than knowing you maybe could have changed something but did nothing.” He gives Jimin a small nod of his head. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Jimin watches his friend go before dropping his head onto the desk.

God, they’re all such a mess.

He slams his desk drawer shut and grabs his phone, heart pounding as he punches in the number he’s never forgotten even after all these years. For the second time in two weeks he finds himself in the same damn scenario. He sits back in his chair with his phone held tightly in a trembling hand. He is so stupid for even thinking of doing this.

After a few calming deep breaths, Jimin hits the calls button and presses the phone to his ear. He closes his eyes and counts the rings, his heart skipping a beat with each one.

For a moment he thinks Jungkook won’t answer, then he hears the click of the line connecting and a soft, “Hey. I’m glad you called.”

 

Jimin stands outside his office building, a thin hoodie on over his work clothes as he waits. A light breeze blows by and he can feel the weather starting to cool down, turning from summer into autumn.

Closing his eyes, Jimin leans back against the building and enjoys the fresh air. It’s refreshing after a long day of being stuffed in his office. He doesn’t get out enough these days. Maybe he needs to take a vacation soon. He wouldn’t mind a long hike in some sweater weather.

With a deep breath, Jimin opens his eyes again and glances both ways down the empty street, foot tapping against the wall behind him. The moon rises and street lamps flicker on and Jimin resists the urge to call or text Jungkook. When they had talked on the phone Jungkook sounded excited at the idea of seeing Jimin again, going so far as to be the first to suggest they meet up.

It’s now ten minutes past the time Jungkook said he would meet him. Jimin tells himself there’s probably just bad traffic between here and Jungkook’s neighborhood but he can’t shake the ominous feeling that he’s in the process of being stood up.

He pulls his phone out of his pocket, glancing at the time before checking his messages. Nothing. He’ll wait a little longer.

 

Another ten minutes pass.

He presses back against the wall and slides down it until he’s sitting on the sidewalk.

 

Five more minutes.

Jimin pulls his knees to his chest and rests his chin atop them.

 

The sun sets entirely and the moon hangs overhead, taunting him.

Jimin stands up and brushes the dirt off his pants, stretching out his legs. He heaves a sigh and shoves his hands in his pockets before casting one last hopeful glance along the street.

Stupid.

He’s so stupid.

 

 

Jimin hangs halfway off his office couch as Yoongi’s new track plays in the background. His shoes lay strewn across the floor and the top several buttons of his shirt are undone for comfort. His hair lies flat in some places and sticks up in others but he can’t bring himself to care. No one else can see him. Even Yoongi has gone home by now.

He reaches over as the track ends to press the replay the button, head draping over the edge of the couch as he stares up at the ceiling.

His heart has felt empty all day, his mind barely able to focus on a single damn thing. The heavy beat of the song brings the emotions he’s avoided all day boiling to the surface, the anger and passion in Yoongi’s voice touching a place inside of him that he’s spent a lifetime burying.

The part of him that allows him to be angry with others for betraying his trust, for lying to him. The part of him that doesn’t give everyone the benefit of the doubt. All his life Jimin has been far too forgiving, always searching for the good in people even when they’re shouting in his face, stepping on him like a doormat.

He feels tears sting his eyes as he thinks about the night before and how foolish he had been. He and Jungkook hurt each other so many times in the past, why did he think this time would be any different? After all this time he still placed his heart in Jungkook’s hands and trusted him not to break it.

Why had Jimin assumed things could ever go back to the way they were? Why did he think Jungkook had even wanted anything more to do with him? Because of their kiss? That meant nothing.

Jungkook always had a hard time resisting those urges. Their kiss doesn’t mean he’s still in love Jimin. It just means Jungkook is still the same person he always was. It means Jimin is a fool for thinking anything would ever change for them.

The track ends again and this time Jimin doesn’t replay it. He watches the ceiling fan spin above him, round and round until he almost feels dizzy. His chest and throat ache, his eyes burning with unshed tears.

At this point he’s not even sure it’s really Jungkook he’s angry with. It’s himself. It’s Jimin that he hates, that he can no longer count on. His own judgment is what keeps him in this cycle of trusting and hurting and then putting himself through it all over again, sending himself into a dangerous spiral of depression and self-loathing.

He recalls Yoongi telling him about learning to draw boundaries when he used to go to therapy. Clearly, neither of them are particularly good at it. Maybe they both need to go back to therapy. Not that Jimin ever went in the first place, too ignorant of his own issues to realize how badly he might need it.

Maybe he’ll ask Yoongi about it…

There’s a light knock at his office door and he shoots upright, frowning at it for a moment before standing. He knows Yoongi left hours ago and he’s pretty certain Namjoon is still visiting family in Ilsan. It’s doubtful any of the janitorial crew would be knocking since they know he stays late most nights.

Jimin straightens out his clothes and kicks his shoes aside as he makes his way to the door. He holds his breath, suddenly envisioning an axe murderer on the other side, and opens it. Jimin would welcome an axe murderer with open arms at this point.

A rather guilty Jungkook stands with his hands in the back pockets of his jeans, teeth worrying his lower lip. He keeps his head down but his gaze up, peering at Jimin with the slightest hint of fear in his eyes. “Hey,” he murmurs. “Um…”

Jimin slams the door shut without a second of hesitation and storms back to his desk, grabbing his papers and shoving them into his bag. He hears the door open but he doesn’t look back. How Jungkook even got into the building at this hour, he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t care to ask.

“Jimin—”

“Don’t,” Jimin snaps. He glances at the clock on his wall. “You’re about 23 hours late, you know.”

“I know, listen, I’m sorry—”

Jimin slams the bag onto the desk and spins around. Maybe he’s angrier at Jungkook than he realizes. “There’s no excuse for that, Jungkook. You don’t—” He takes a deep breath. “You just don’t do that to someone. You don’t lead them on and then ditch without a fucking word.”

“I’m sorry,” Jungkook says, shutting the door behind him. He leans against it and Jimin finds it hard to resist the urge to look at him. “I wanted to see you. I just…”

He pauses for a long while, watching Jimin zip his bag shut and throw it over his shoulder. He presses his hands over his face, takes a few deep breaths, and then pushes his hair back before letting it fall into his eyes again.

Jimin finally turns to face him. He tries to ignore the obvious exhaustion on Jungkook’s face, the dark circles around his eyes. His natural instinct is to wrap the other man up in his arms and hold him tight, tell him it’s okay. He resists.

“When I started thinking about it—about you and I spending all this time together and what happened last time—I panicked.” Jungkook swallows, and Jimin almost thinks he sees tears beginning to form. Jungkook dips his head, face hidden behind his hair. “I— I fucked up and I’m sorry. I’ve fucked up a lot. At the party I thought if I acted like I didn’t care, seeing you wouldn’t hurt so much. Then the fight at the cafe, not showing up last night. It’s all just… stupid attempts to protect myself and I’m hurting you in the process and I’m sorry.” His hands clench over the hems of his sleeves. “I’m— God, I’m so fucking sorry.”

It takes every ounce of willpower Jimin has to not rush forward and hold Jungkook. He hates seeing anyone in pain, especially him. He grips the edge of his desk to hold himself back. “We can’t keep doing this back and forth bullshit. One minute you want to see me, the next you just don’t show up. And even if your feelings never actually change, you keep pretending like you don’t care. I can’t do this. I don’t even know what to feel anymore.”

Jungkook looks like a kicked puppy, unable to meet Jimin’s eyes. “J-Jimin, I—”

“Listen, Kook…” Jimin bites his tongue when the old pet name slips out. “Jungkook, we either have to set some solid fucking boundaries or we have to…” His heart clenches. He doesn’t want to say the words but he knows it’s true. It’s the only way for them to stop hurting each other. “Or we just have to let this go. Just… completely let each other go. No more going backwards.”

Jungkook opens his mouth, then snaps it shut as he looks at Jimin again. Jimin can see the way his jaw goes taut, even in the low light of his office, as he tries his best to hold back tears. “Why… does it have to be all or nothing with you, Jimin? It’s always black and white, no grey areas. Can we just… be…”

“Be what?”

Jimin waits. Jungkook doesn’t answer, just stares back at Jimin with wide, childlike eyes.

“Be… something?” Jimin asks. “An undefined fucked up mess so when people ask if we’re dating we don’t even know how to answer. Do you want us to just be friends who sometimes talk to each other and then pretend like the other doesn’t exist when the past gets too painful to deal with?”

“No. Min, please—”

“Are we just supposed to be happy until we can’t be anymore? Should we pretend like we’re okay with seeing each other even when it hurts? Then when it inevitably gets to be too much we just stop talking again? We just disappear from each other’s lives like we never meant anything?” Jimin’s voice rises and rises with every sentence, his face heating up, his cheeks itching with tear tracks. He takes a deep breath and calms himself before continuing.

“I don’t know if you remember the same break up as I do, Jungkook, but I remember us fighting everyday for weeks until you ran off to stay with a friend for almost a whole month. A month you spent not talking to me, never responding to a damn text or call from me. And then you showed up at my apartment… while I was at work… and you took your stuff and never spoke to me again. You just… left. Just like that. Just because things got too hard to deal with anymore. And I thought, when we saw each other again, that I wanted to take another chance on you but you are still exactly the same person and I don’t know if you’ll do that to me again and I can’t— I’m not sure I want to take that risk.”

Jungkook presses his hands over his face, his shoulders hunched and head down. Jimin can’t tell if he crying or not, but he doesn’t let himself linger on that. If he thinks about it too much, lets himself feel the pain Jungkook feels, he won’t be able to stop himself from comforting the other. He’s angry with Jungkook, yes, but he doesn’t want Jungkook to hurt. It kills him to hold back like this, to not reach out and take Jungkook into his arms.

“What are you so afraid of?” Jimin asks, his voice returning to normal, calm and soft. “You said you didn’t come last night because you’re afraid what happened before will happen again. I told you what you did, why I was so angry with you when it ended. Now tell me. Jungkook, tell me what I did that hurt you so bad. Because I really don’t understand. And it must have been a hell of a lot worse than I ever realized for you just run away from me like that.”

A long moment passes before Jungkook’s hands leave his face. He sucks in a shuddering breath. His eyes shine, red from crying, salty tracks down his cheeks. He wipes them away, then stares out the window, avoiding Jimin’s gaze. “I don’t know.” Eyes squeezing shut, Jungkook shakes his head. “I don’t— I don’t know, Jimin.”

Jimin swallows hard. The same answer he gets to almost every question he’s ever asked Jungkook. Whenever things got tough it was always I don’t know. Still the same.

“What do you want from me, Jungkook?” His voice breaks and he feels a pang of anger at his own weakness. “Do you even want this anymore or are you just doing this out of pity?”

“I’m— I don’t know. I don’t know, Jimin.”

“You don’t know?” His bag hits the floor, hand clenching down on the desk even harder. “You don’t know what? You don’t know if you pity me? If you still care about me? How can you not know that? Why is your answer to everything that you don’t fucking know?”

“I don’t pity you,” Jungkook says. His eyes meet Jimin’s again. His voice is small and quiet when he speaks again, like a tiny, meek child afraid of being punished. “I just… don’t know what direction to go. I’ve never known what direction to go. I feel like I’m just spinning in circles. My answer is that I don’t know because I don’t fucking know, Jimin. I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know what I’m feeling anymore. And I damn well don’t fucking know where to go from here.”

The tension in Jimin’s body subsides and he leans against his desk with a sigh. He’s too tired to keep up this fight. He’s exhausted. He just wants to go home, to get away from all this and forget it ever happened. But he knows he can’t—he won’t. He’s never been able to walk away from Jungkook. “I don’t know where to go, either. I don’t where you should go from here but… just not… away from me,” he says, his voice almost too quiet to hear. At first he thinks Jungkook doesn’t hear him, until the other man looks up at him, eyes widening.

“What?”

“Don’t run away again.” Jimin purses his lips together. “You run from everything, Jungkook. Why?”

Jungkook just shakes his head, arms crossing over his chest, protecting himself. “I don’t know. I just… wasn’t expecting you to waltz back into my life like this,” he says, his voice tight and rough, eyes glossy and tired. “I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want—” He takes a shaky breath. “I’ve spent the last three years trying to forget you. It took ages for me to get my head on straight after we broke up. And I know I can’t just jump back into it with you but I… can’t seem to stay away from you. I just want some way for us to be together without… all the pain.”

Silence again. Jungkook’s eyes dart away. He breathes in deep.

“We can’t have that, can we?” Jungkook asks. His arms tighten around himself. “You’re right. This really is all or nothing, isn’t it?”

Jimin lifts a hand to his mouth, pressing the back of it hard over his lips to choke back tears. His heart sinks in his chest. This is it, he realizes. This is how they’ll end. Not with the calm, agreeable closure he had hoped for. No, he and Jungkook could never have something so simple. Of course it has to end in a storm of angry words and petty excuses and utter confusion.

“I’m terrified, Jimin,” Jungkook continues, “that if we do this... If I let myself do this, I’m afraid that what happened before will happen again—all the fighting and the pointless accusations and blame we tossed around—and I don’t know that I can go through that again. I don’t know if I…” He breathes in deep, then sighs. “Jimin, did Seokjin or Namjoon tell you what I did after we broke up?”

Jimin shakes his head. “No,” he says, hand falling back to his side as he blinks away his tears. “No. They never told me anything.”

Jungkook swallows, throat and mouth dry, jaw aching from clenching his teeth. “After I spent…” He chokes on his words. Closes his eyes and presses his palms to them. He takes a deep breath and looks Jimin in the eyes again. “After I spent weeks in my apartment without talking to anyone… they got worried about me. Seokjin wanted to check on me, Namjoon said to give me time but eventually they both decided to come find me. Luckily for them, and especially for me, they found my hidden key and got inside but they didn’t see me anywhere…”

Jimin’s heart twists in his chest as he gets a sinking feeling he knows where this story leads. He hopes he’s wrong. God, he hopes he’s wrong.

“Because I was in my bathtub,” says Jungkook, his tears drying now, a look of pure defeat on his face, “overdosed on painkillers and damn close to slipping under the water. If they hadn’t found me when they did, I wouldn’t even be here.” He bites his lip as Jimin takes a few steps back, finding a hold on the corner of his desk to keep from collapsing. “I wasn’t… trying kill myself. I just wanted to stop feeling… for a little while. I was a mess, Jimin,” Jungkook says, shoulders lifting in a sad shrug, head shaking. “I still am. I don’t want to put that burden on you. I can’t… put that on you. So you’re right. Maybe this does need to end.”

As soon as Jungkook stops talking, Jimin loses any semblance of control he had left. He barely hears Jungkook’s last few sentences, his ears ringing as the room spins around him. Sobs wrack his body as he turns his back to Jungkook, hiding the tear tracks and what he’s sure is a particularly horrifying cry face. He hunches over his desk, shoulders trembling as he cries, far from capable of controlling the sounds that leave him. He can’t hold it back anymore. Everything bubbles to the surface, everything that Jungkook just told him, everything that happened these last few weeks, and every memory of the last three years.

He had no idea Jungkook ever reached that point. He had no idea he had felt that hopeless, that alone, that broken. Because of Jimin. Because Jimin never reached out to him. Because they gave up too soon.

His hands shake and the world around him becomes so blurry everything just turns to one giant, grey blob in front of him. He barely even notices the hand on his back or the familiar feeling of it sliding over his shoulder to grip his arm.

“I’m sorry,” Jimin chokes out as he feels Jungkook’s hands hesitantly finding purchase in the crook of Jimin’s elbows. “I’m so sorry. It was my fault. It’s all my fault.”

“Jimin.”

It’s barely a whisper but it sends tremors through Jimin’s body. He feels Jungkook’s hands slide around his waist, arms twisting across his torso to grip him tight. Jungkook’s head comes to rest against Jimin’s, their cheeks pressing together as Jimin continues to sob. Jungkook’s eyes close tight to hold back his own tears and he keeps a grip on Jimin like both their lives depend on it.

Neither of them know exactly how long this goes on—the two of them standing there, holding on like the warmth of each other’s bodies is all that can keep them grounded in this world right now—but Jungkook doesn’t let go until Jimin stops crying. He falls into a pained silence as he leans back in Jungkook’s embrace.

As the grip on him loosens, Jimin turns to face Jungkook, hands wiping away the tear tracks as best he can. His eyes are redder and puffier than the day they broke up.

Jungkook reaches up to place a hand on Jimin’s cheek, thumb brushing just beneath his eye to catch a stray tear. Jimin says nothing as their eyes lock, staring at each other in infinite silence. Jungkook’s eyes seem to dart across the smaller man’s face, taking in every detail. Then, he leans in.

Fingers slide into Jimin’s hair as his hand twists into the front of Jungkook’s shirt. His eyes close in an instant, heart leaping in his chest as lips press against lips, fitting together exactly the way they used to. He feels a familiar body pressing him against the desk. He feels a hand on his hip slide down his thigh. He feels his leg hitched up around Jungkook’s waist as he’s lifted to sit on the surface of the desk.

And suddenly the pain from just moments ago seems to disappear, Jungkook’s lips kissing away the bitter taste their words had left, his fingers burning the aches out of Jimin’s body, tears drying in the heat between them.

He pushes away from the desk, presses against Jungkook, desperate to be closer. He needs him.

Fuck, he needs him.

Jimin breaks the kiss to catch his breath, forehead pressed to Jungkook’s. Their hands tangle in each other’s hair as they stare at each other, so close to one another their eyes cross slightly to be able to see each other properly. Their chests heave, lips swollen, mouths hanging open as they huff out loud breaths, hot breath mingling.

Jungkook’s nose bumps Jimin’s as he moves in for a quick kiss, tugging on his lower lip just slightly. Jimin’s eyes slide shut at the sensation, a tingle running down his spine. He shivers. Jungkook’s warm breath ghosts over his face as he whispers, “I missed you.”

Jungkook slides his hand along Jimin’s cheek, catching his chin and lifting for their eyes to meet again. Jimin opens his eyes to see that piercing gaze watching him, taking in every detail like it might be his last chance. Jungkook shakes his head as if in disbelief of the man before him. “Fuck, I missed you.”

And he dives in again.

He fits perfectly between Jimin’s legs, just the way he used to, as Jimin balances on the very edge of the desk to be as close to him as possible. He closes the space between them, limbs twisting around Jungkook as lips part and tongues meet. A soft moan escapes him as Jungkook’s hips roll forward against his.

Jimin pushes off from the desk, hands gripping Jungkook’s jacket as he guides him over to the couch. They break the kiss, taking a second to breathe as Jungkook shrugs his jacket off and Jimin wastes no time in pulling his t-shirt off over his head. His lips find that sweet spot on Jungkook’s neck—the one just beneath his jaw that he knows can always send him over the edge—as Jungkook’s fingers work open the buttons of Jimin’s shirt.

Hands travel over bare skin once his shirt hits the floor, fingers teasing at the waistline of his jeans. Jimin’s lips work their way down Jungkook’s neck, nibbling along his throat and eliciting a sigh of pleasure from the taller man. His hand comes up to cup Jimin’s chin again, tilting his face to press their lips together in a rather harsh, rushed kiss.

The two of them tumble onto the couch, Jimin dragging Jungkook down on top of him. His back arches away from the cushions as lips begin exploring his neck and chest, trailing behind Jungkook’s hands as they reach the button of Jimin’s jeans.

Jimin lifts his hips as the rough material is yanked away. His hand finds the back of the couch so he can pull himself up, then reaches over to twist into Jungkook’s hair as he kisses him again. His other hand sets to work on the last bit of clothes left on Jungkook, which Jungkook quickly removes and tosses aside.

He doesn’t waste time in pressing as close to Jimin as he can, arms twisting around the smaller man as lips and teeth working on marking his otherwise flawless skin. He works his way down Jimin’s body, tongue swiping over the man’s nipple as he goes—he feels almost lightheaded when he hears the desperate whimper that escapes Jimin then—hands sliding down to grip Jimin’s thighs. His lips find Jimin’s hipbone before he stops suddenly.

“Shit,” he hisses, and Jimin props himself up to look at Jungkook.

“What? What’s wrong?”

Jungkook’s hands slide along Jimin’s thighs, sending a shiver up Jimin’s spine. “I don’t have… a condom.”

Jimin’s mouth opens in a silent ‘oh’. “I mean, you’re not…” He clears his throat. “Are you? I mean, you’ve been careful?”

For a moment, Jungkook looks puzzled, then he blinks and shakes his head. “No. God, no, I’m not positive or anything. I’m always careful. I just…thought we should…” He cocks his head to one side, eyes drifting down Jimin’s body, and he swallows hard. “You?”

Jimin feels his face flushing before he even speaks. “I’m— I’m good,” he stammers, biting down on his lower lip. His voice drops to a whisper. “I’ve only… been with one other person after you… And I got checked.”

The smile that passes over Jungkook’s lips sends a tingle through Jimin’s heart, reminding him once again why he’s still hopelessly in love with this man. “Good,” Jungkook says as he plants a soft kiss on Jimin’s lips. It doesn’t stay innocent for long as Jimin leans into it, snapping his hips up find much needed friction.

Jungkook’s teeth come down on Jimin’s lower lip as his hands grip the smaller man’s hips, grinding down on him. He shudders at the moan that leaves Jimin, a tremor running down his spine as their hands meet and Jimin breaks the kiss long enough to slip two of Jungkook’s fingers in his mouth.

Their eyes lock as he coats Jungkook’s fingers, and Jungkook realizes he’s forgotten how downright erotic Jimin can be when his lust consumes him. He feels his skin heating up at the sight beneath him—his fingers sliding back out of Jimin’s mouth, his lips red and swollen, and his hips rutting up against Jungkook’s.

Jimin’s hand slides along Jungkook’s cheek, into his hair and behind his neck before pulling him down into a kiss. He lies back on the couch, tongue swiping over Jungkook’s lip, legs spreading for Jungkook’s fingers to enter him. His hips rise, begging as Jungkook slides the first finger in.

Jungkook’s lips leave him. He presses several kisses along Jimin’s stomach as he adjusts, then wraps his free hand around Jimin’s cock.

The second finger enters and Jungkook’s lips circle the head of Jimin’s dick, tongue pressing against the tip. He stretches Jimin, hand moving to grip Jimin’s thigh as he take more of him into his mouth. His eyes dart up to see Jimin arch off the couch, head pressing into the cushion as his mouth opens in broken gasps.

It’s near impossible for Jungkook to keep his movements steady and gentle, wanting nothing more than to hitch Jimin’s pretty legs over his shoulders and finally remind himself what it felt like to be inside of him. He controls himself, focusing on making Jimin moan his name as his cock hits the back of his throat, fingers stretching him until he’s certain he’s ready.

Jimin’s heels press into the couch as he feels Jungkook’s fingers leave him. His hand twists in Jungkook’s hair and he urges him away, as much as he doesn’t want Jungkook to stop what he’s doing.

Jungkook’s lips leave him with a regretful pop before Jimin drags him back into another kiss. He slips his hand between their heated bodies, damp with sweat. His fingers wrap around Jungkook’s cock, stroking, slicking him up with pre-come. It takes every ounce of self control not to pin Jungkook down right now and ride him.

He sits upright, lips still locked as they reposition themselves—Jungkook pulls Jimin onto his lap as he leans against the back cushions of the couch. Jimin’s knees press into the seat as he leans down to kiss Jungkook again, hand positioning Jungkook’s cock as he lowers himself down, taking him in inch by inch.

It takes a moment to adjust to Jungkook’s size but, thankfully, Jimin has kept himself well practiced on his own time. There’s only a hint of discomfort for a moment before Jungkook is fully seated inside him. His hands grip Jungkook’s shoulders as his head tips back, Jungkook’s teeth grazing along the crook of his neck.

Jimin lets out a sigh of relief as he lifts his hips, then snaps them back down, taking Jungkook deep inside. The sound that leaves Jungkook’s throat sends a shiver along Jimin’s spine, sends his head spinning with the memories of their late nights together and the things only they could do to each other.

It’s been too damn long since he’s felt this—the way Jungkook feels, how his body moves in perfect synchronization with Jimin’s, the way his fingers dig into Jimin’s hips just enough to urge him on but never hurting him.

His head falls forward as Jungkook leans back to stare up at him, their foreheads pressing together. They press distracted kisses on each other’s lips or along their jaws, hands roaming across bare skin as Jungkook’s hips rise to meet Jimin’s.

Jimin hears himself as he moans the other man’s name—shameless, unadulterated, pitiful moans begging for more, begging to be held, to be touched, to be kissed, begging for anything because he needs everything when it comes to Jungkook and he can never get enough.

And Jungkook happily obliges, their lips crashing together again as his hands roam along Jimin’s thighs, one stopping to cup his ass and the other continuing up his back until it reaches his hair. He picks up the pace, grinding up into Jimin faster, harder as Jimin’s hands grasp at him desperately, looking for anything to remind himself that this is real, he’s actually here. With Jungkook. Again. Finally.

A string of ‘fuck’ and ‘goddamn’ and ‘ah, Jimin’ tumbles from Jungkook, the words lost between their bruised lips, his hand slipping between their bodies to stroke Jimin’s cock in time with his own. Just as he does this, Jimin’s whole body goes tense as a long moan escapes him and profanities spill from his lips. His hips jerk down against Jungkook as he manages to utter through his gasps, “There. Oh god, fuck, right there, Jungkook.”

Jimin’s hands fly to Jungkook’s shoulders, gripping tight, bracing himself as Jungkook’s cock hits that spot inside him again, sending shocks of pleasure through his body, making his hands tremble against Jungkook’s skin. He silences his own moans with a kiss to the other man’s lips, hips still riding down as evenly as he can manage, but at this point neither of them are particularly graceful in their movements, so close to their climax they can barely even think.

With an almost animalistic growl, Jungkook lifts Jimin, twisting around to practically slam him into the cushions again. Jimin’s teeth sink into Jungkook’s lower lip as the younger man strokes him to the edge, one hand still gripping Jimin’s thigh as he pounds into him.

Jimin’s legs tighten around Jungkook’s waist, heels digging into his back, his whole body trembling and his skin slick with sweat. One hand presses little crescents into Jungkook’s shoulder as the other reaches down to stroke himself, freeing Jungkook’s hand to take hold of Jimin’s hip as he slams into him one last time.

Jungkook comes first, hips jerking forward as he releases everything inside Jimin, trembling slightly as he kisses away the moans that tumble from Jimin as he reaches the edge. His lips peck along Jimin’s jaw until he reaches his ear, stopping to whisper nothings that push him over the edge.

He comes across his own hand, shaking from head to toe as he slumps back against the couch. His hand grips Jungkook’s shoulder to try propping himself up but his body doesn’t want to move. And he doesn’t really care to when he feels Jungkook’s hand sliding along his ribs, fingers idly drawing patterns there as he presses gentle kisses to Jimin’s neck.

They stay there for what could have been an eternity, reveling in the afterglow, held together tightly and lips trailing pointless kisses wherever they can reach. Neither of them can bring themselves to care about what this means, what might happen next. They just let themselves enjoy the moment.

 

Jimin leans back against his desk as he buttons his shirt back up, fingers fumbling with them as he’s too distracted with Jungkook to pay much attention to himself.

And he’s nervous. Coming down from their high had brought a million questions to mind, like what will happen now? What is Jungkook is thinking about? Had it been a mistake for them to sleep together? Would this just lead to another argument?

This isn’t the path he expected this night to take when Jungkook had shown up and he isn’t certain it was the best direction to go in. After all, neither of them even know what they want from the other—not entirely—and they’ve barely even scratched the surface of their issues. They’re still a damn mess. Jimin just hopes tonight doesn’t turn that mess into a war zone.

Jungkook glances at Jimin as he pulls his jacket back on, eyes trailing along the buttons of Jimin’s shirt. He grins to himself before making his way over to the other man. He reaches up, gently pushing Jimin’s hands out of the way before doing the buttons up for him.

Jimin can’t hide the smile that fights its way onto his face, especially when Jungkook’s eyes meet his and the seemingly contagious smile spreads to his face, too. Jungkook chuckles to himself, head shaking as he finishes with the buttons and straightens out Jimin’s shirt.

“What?” Jimin asks, feeling his grin widening at the sight and sound of Jungkook’s laughter. His heart feels lighter than it has in years, despite harsh words exchanged mere minutes ago. “What’s so funny?”

Again, Jungkook shakes his head. “Nothing. Just…” His hands twist into the sides of Jimin’s shirt as their gazes meet again. “I just still find it funny how different you are in bed versus out of bed. You really become something else in the heat of the moment.”

Jimin’s tongue darts out to wet his lips. He reaches up, fidgeting with Jungkook’s hair, pushing it back from his eyes. “Is that a good thing or…?”

Jungkook shrugs. “I like it,” he says, rather nonchalant. He glances past Jimin, at the clock on the wall. “Um, I don’t wanna be that guy—”

“It’s fine,” Jimin blurts out before he can even finish. He clears his throat, brushes his hands along the sleeves of the brown jacket until they meet Jungkook’s. “It’s late. And we can’t exactly stay the night in my office. Not very comfortably, anyway.”

Another smile graces Jungkook’s lips, sending Jimin’s heart fluttering. Jungkook interlocks his fingers with Jimin’s before leaning in to press one last long, slow kiss to Jimin’s lips.

Jimin leans in, their bodies fitting together once more as their lips dance. He hears himself sigh, feels Jungkook smiling. When they break apart, Jungkook seems hesitant to leave, distracting himself with brushing his knuckles over Jimin’s cheek instead.

“I’ll… call you,” Jimin says, swallowing hard. “Or text you. I don’t know, I just… think we should talk. You know? Otherwise tonight…” His voice trails off, unable to force the words out of his mouth. Otherwise tonight might end up another regret.

Jungkook nods. “Alright,” he says, hands sliding into his pockets. “And this time, when you wanna meet up, I’ll actually show.”

“I’m holding you to that.”

Jungkook worries his lower lip, then swoops in for one last peck. His eyes linger on Jimin as he backs up towards the door. “Goodnight, Jimin.”

Jimin doesn’t understand why but those words send his heart careening out of control, pounding wildly inside his chest. His smile grows. “Goodnight, Jungkook.”

 

 

Jimin is in a fantastic mood at work the next day, albeit a bit sore. He may not be entirely out of practice when it comes to sex but he had forgotten just how hard he and Jungkook go.

He hums to himself as he sifts through his paperwork—all signed and dated and ready to send off. He ended up staying the night here after Jungkook left after all, taking a quick nap, then waking up early to wash in the sink and change into a new set of clothes.

Most of the work he’s been falling behind on is finished now. He’s running on coffee and adrenaline and he knows he’ll crash soon but thoughts of last night keep him energized for now.

As the clocks ticks closer to noon—and Jimin is still practically dancing his way through paper sorting—his phone vibrates and he’s surprised to see a Good morning, gorgeous from Jungkook. He grins as he taps out a one-handed response.

Morning? You realize it’s noon, right?

He tosses his phone on top of a stack of papers when he hears a knock at the door, turning halfway toward it to tell whoever it is to come in. Half expecting Yoongi, he’s surprised when Namjoon steps inside instead.

“Hey, I didn’t realize you were back,” he says, still beaming like an idiot about Jungkook’s text. He feels just like he did when they first met, like a silly, lovestruck teenager again. He tries to ignore the nagging in the back of his mind, the voice reminding him of their argument just before sleeping together, warning him that he and Jungkook are falling into a familiar pattern they desperately need to avoid.

“Just got back this morning,” says Namjoon, moving to lean against Jimin’s desk. He glances around the office, noticing the neatly folded stack of yesterday’s clothes, and furrows his brows. “Did you stay here again last night? You really need to take a vacation or something, Jimin—”

He freezes when he sees a red flush spreading across Jimin’s face. He blinks. “Wait, Jimin, did you…?” Namjoon stands up straighter, arms crossing over his chest as he looks Jimin up and down. “I thought you seemed awfully chipper when I came in. Was someone here last night? Wait…” He holds up his hand as Jimin’s face reddens further. “It wasn’t Yoongi, was it?”

What?” Jimin tosses a scrap piece of paper at Namjoon. “No. What the hell would give you that idea?”

Namjoon raises his hands in surrender. “Just checking! He’s been worried about you lately so I just thought, maybe…” He shrugs. “So, who’s the lucky man?”

As if to answer his question, Jimin’s phone buzzes once, twice, a third time—multiple texts rolling in at once. He dives for his phone but not before Namjoon gets a good look at the name.

His eyes drift back up to Jimin. “No. Jimin, no.” Namjoon sighs dramatically, head rolling back. “Tell me—tell me—you two are not fucking.”

“We—”

“Do you realize what kind of drama that could cause?”

Jimin grabs his phone, hugging it close to his chest as Namjoon continues to chastise him. He waits until the other man slows down enough for him to get a word in. “We’re gonna talk it through. It just happened and, yeah, it might be a little complicated but we’ll work it out. It was just a… heat of the moment thing. That’s all.”

“It’s never just anything with you two. There’s no ‘that’s all’ with Jimin and Jungkook. It always all or nothing with you guys and if this…” Namjoon jabs a finger at Jimin’s phone. “If this doesn’t work out… Do you have any idea—?”

“He told me what happened.”

Namjoon goes silent.

“When you and Seokjin found him.” Jimin’s hand tightens around his phone as he recalls what Jungkook had told him. He still finds it hard to believe Jungkook ever reached that point—upbeat, happy-go-lucky, tough-as-nails, hardly-ever-cries Jungkook. He would have expected that from himself but not from Jungkook.

Namjoon sighs, leaning against the desk again. “I wondered if he would ever tell you about that.”

“Why didn’t you or Seokjin tell me?”

“Wasn’t our place.” Namjoon shrugs. “We figured that needed to be part of his healing process, you know, to finally open up and tell you something like that. He’s so bad about not opening up to people we thought if he could tell you that it would mean he’s, I don’t know, grown up or something. Or maybe that he’s finally ready to move on.” He looks at Jimin again. “Or to go back. Try again. Though, honestly, he was so broken after you two split I didn’t think he would ever be able to face you again.”

Another heavy sigh and Namjoon heads for the door. “Maybe we were wrong to assume you two wouldn’t work out again. Just… be careful, will you?” He waits for Jimin to give him a nod. “I don’t wanna see either of you hurting like that again.”

Jimin purses his lips together. He’s too old to feel like a kid being taught a lesson by his father, but that’s exactly how he feels right now. Namjoon has an air of authority around him that no one in their small group of friends can seem to ignore. When Namjoon speaks his mind about something, everybody listens.

“Oh.” Namjoon stops just before stepping outside Jimin’s office. “I actually came in here to tell you that Yoongi and Hoseok want everyone to come to their place this Friday night. I guess they decided to throw a party or something. I don’t know. Hoseok is acting real sketchy about it but what’s new, right?”

Jimin chuckles before promising to be there. He’s careful not to show any hints that he knows it’s Taehyung’s welcome home party as Namjoon leaves with a quick goodbye. The second the door shuts behind him he unlocks his phone to see Jungkook’s replies.

Perks of being a self-employed photographer.

You going to Yoongi and Hoseok’s this Friday?

Also, what are you wearing right now?

Jimin chuckles, remembering all the times Jungkook sent him similar texts in the past, sometimes intentionally timing it with when he knew Jimin would be in important meetings. He sends back one long text, responding to each of his with a simple sentence each.

Quit bragging. Yes, I’ll be there. And I’m sitting in my office chair in nothing but a tie with a can of whipped cream. You?

He presses send with a grin on his face and manages to finish organizing his papers before Jungkook replies with What a coincidence. I happen to be wearing the same. Do I get to see?

Jimin licks his lips. You can tonight. If you wanna come over?

He hesitates before sending it, thinking about his conversation with Namjoon and what he said about the drama that all of this could cause if it doesn’t work out. He knows the mess a casual fling with Jungkook could cause but he doesn’t intend for this to end there.

However, he realizes he has no idea where Jungkook plans to take this, what his next step might be. The flirtatious texts and their heated tryst last night could be seen as a passionate reunification of their relationship or the acts of two young men with needs just finding the simplest outlet they can.

Jimin takes a deep breath and hits send, deciding to have faith in both Jungkook and himself. What they had in the past was real. Just because it ended once doesn’t mean they can’t have it again, and better this time.

He smiles to himself as he texts Jungkook his address, then hides his phone in the top drawer of his desk to keep from being distracted any further. If he can get enough done today he can leave early, giving him and Jungkook time to finally talk.

He hopes.

 

 

“So this is the new place?” Jungkook manages to gasp out between hurried kisses, warm hands rucking up his shirt to work at his belt. Jimin hums a half-assed response against his lips and Jungkook almost chuckles. “Smells better than the last one.”

Jimin laughs at that as he yanks Jungkook’s belt free and tosses it aside. “Walls are thicker too,” he says, arms raising over his head as Jungkook removes his shirt. “Neighbors can’t hear us as easily anymore.”

“Ooh.” Jungkook waggles his brows at Jimin before grabbing the backs of his thighs and lifting up. Jimin lets out a yelp of surprise, throwing his arms around Jungkook’s neck to keep from falling. “I like the sound of that.” Jungkook buries his face in Jimin’s neck, teeth and tongue decorating his skin with love bites as he carries him through the apartment.

When he invited Jungkook here Jimin had a feeling it would end up something like this, though he had had it in mind to talk and see how that ended up first. However, when he finds himself completely exposed on his bed, teeth sinking into his pillow, the pressure of Jungkook’s lean body against his, and his lips kissing every inch of that tattoo above his hip, he sort of forgets everything he wanted to say anyway.

All Jimin can think of is the way Jungkook’s body seems to fit perfectly with his, his chest pressing against Jimin’s back, the way their hips move in perfect time with each other. How his heart seems to do flips inside his chest when Jungkook’s hand finds his, fingers slipping between his own and holding on tight, pressing Jimin’s hand into the sheets.

All he feels is warmth from the other man, the sheer joy at being with him again, the primal pleasure only Jungkook has ever been able to give him. All he hears are his own soft mewls and moans and the way Jungkook says his name like a prayer.

Jimin forgets everything—their past, the struggles they endured together, the pain they felt when they were apart—and loses himself in the shape of Jungkook and the tingle of hot breath on the back of his neck. Any resolve he had before and his plans to talk, the will he thought he had to resist this and maybe communicate like a real adult for once, all shatters when Jungkook’s hand tightens on his again and three short words tumble from his lips as his body presses ever closer to the edge, finding his release inside Jimin.

 

Jimin sits precariously on the edge of his bed, stretching his neck and hoping he isn’t completely wrecked for the rest of the day. His back already hurts enough. It’s 3 A.M. and Jungkook’s finally fallen asleep after multiple rounds of slightly messy, very intense, and a bit rougher than usual sex.

He hadn’t noticed it before but Jungkook is right. Jimin inside and outside the bedroom is like day and night. Or maybe it’s just Jimin with and without Jungkook. Maybe he’s never noticed it before because he’s just never found that sort of passion with anyone other than the man in his bed right now.

When it comes to Jungkook, Jimin has no self control, no willpower. He’s a slave to the other man’s mere existence. Jungkook would never even have to speak a word to have Jimin wrapped around his little finger. Unfortunately, Jungkook never shuts up, and the more he talks, the more he whispers sweet nothings and tells Jimin he loves him, the deeper Jimin falls, even when he knows it’s dangerous.

Jungkook hadn’t even acknowledged that soft I love you from earlier. Jimin isn’t sure if it’s because he doesn’t even realize he said it or if it’s another one of those things Jungkook plans to avoid until Jimin forgets about it. He’s become overly paranoid about Jungkook’s avoidance tactics, especially now when he wants so desperately for them to be together again. He knows it can’t work if they fall back into the same habits as before. Which, if Jimin is being honest, they already are.

Sleeping together instead of talking, working out their frustrations physically until the early hours of the morning until they both just let go of whatever had been bothering them. Hell, just a day ago Jungkook was admitting to nearly killing himself when they broke up and now they’re here, making a mess of Jimin’s bed and giggling about it like none of that ever happened.

They’re still just as fucked up as they were before and Jimin knows it. It’s not healthy but he has no idea how to change that. If he even can. But as Jimin glances back at the peaceful expression on Jungkook’s face as he sprawls across more than half the bed he can’t bring himself to care about that. So what if they’re fucked up? Isn’t everyone? It changes nothing. He still loves him to the moon and beyond.

Jeon Jungkook and Park Jimin are a beautiful mess. A chaotic scattering of spontaneous tattoos, chaste kisses in inappropriate settings, disgustingly cheesy texts, pointless arguments, and gut wrenching fights. They’re stuck in a dangerous cycle of push and pull, hot and cold, on and off but even if half of their time together breaks Jimin’s heart he can’t let go of the half that warms him to his core.

If he rejects the part of them that hurts would he lose everything? Will pushing Jungkook to be someone he may not be capable of becoming tear him away from Jimin? The more he wonders about it the more he worries that maybe he can’t have the Jeon Jungkook he loves without the broken pieces, too. Maybe Jimin is the one who’s broken.

He drops his head into his hands, rubbing at his temples. It’s too late—or too early—to be thinking about this but he can’t take his mind off of it unless he’s drowning himself in Jungkook.

“Jimin?”

A hand on his back tugs him out of his worries, grounding him back in reality. He turns around to see Jungkook staring at him through sleepy eyes, a crooked smile on his lips.

“Why are you still awake?” he asks, hand sliding around Jimin’s arm to tug him onto the bed beside him. He shimmies around a bit until Jimin settles in beside him, then buries his face into the smaller man’s hair. “Aren’t you exhausted?”

Jimin feels his heart swell when Jungkook chuckles at his own words. He smiles, turning to peck Jungkook on the lips, hand coming up to brush over his cheek. “Little bit,” he whispers as Jungkook nuzzles into his neck.

“Go to sleep,” Jungkook mumbles, already drifting back off.

But sleep doesn’t come easily when Jimin knows he’s about to throw himself into the middle of a disaster and welcome it with open arms.

Chapter Text

Jimin stares up at the ceiling of his room, hands resting above his head as he sprawls across his bed. Beside him, Jungkook sleeps soundly, the quiet whisper of his breath easing Jimin into a half-sleep. His mind keeps him from falling entirely into a peaceful slumber, though.

For once, he’s not worrying about Jungkook or himself. He worries about the party tonight, about Yoongi, about Taehyung coming back. Will it be just like college all over again? Watching Yoongi torment himself over his regrets, hurting every time Hoseok and Taehyung kiss.

Just thinking about it makes Jimin’s heart ache for his friend. Yoongi’s never been is such bad shape as he was in college. He sacrificed every bit of happiness he had to make Hoseok happy instead. He’s been in love with Hoseok as long as Jimin has known them. Jimin has his fair share of experiences with heartache, but he can’t even imagine how Yoongi feels.

Jungkook stirs beside him and Jimin peers over to see the other man waking up. He groans, stretches, and then smiles over at Jimin. “Don’t you ever sleep?” he asks, his words fading into a yawn as he slides a little closer to Jimin.

“Nah.” Jimin shakes his head as Jungkook snuggles up to his side. “I’m a vampire.”

“Oh.” Jungkook presses one hand to his neck where Jimin’s left more than a few marks over the past few nights. “That explains your obsession with my neck.”

Jimin chuckles, rolling over to face Jungkook. “Vampire or not, you do have a nice neck. And I just happen to like how sensitive you are there.”

Eyes still closed, Jungkook grins but says nothing as Jimin’s fingers trail over his neck. He takes in a deep breath, a peacefulness passing over his face that Jimin has never seen before. It brings a smile to his lips.

“So, why are you so anxious?” Jungkook turns his head to peck Jimin’s palm before relaxing against his pillow again.

Jimin purses his lips together. “I’ve just been… worried about Yoongi,” he says after a long moment. Jungkook’s eyes flutter open, brows furrowing in question. Jimin continues brushing along the lines of Jungkook’s jaw, fingers running through his hair as he explains. “So… You know how he felt about Hoseok back in college, right?”

“Of course.” Jungkook gives him a slight nod. “Everyone knew. I mean, except Hoseok, of course.”

“He came to me the other day to talk about it,” Jimin continues. “And I’m just worried about him. He would do anything for Hoseok. He’d take a bullet for him but he won’t tell him how he feels. He suffered through months of watching Hoseok and Taehyung date and never said a word. I would have broken after a day if I had to watch you date someone else.”

At that, Jungkook gives him a sleepy smile. He keeps quiet though, letting Jimin continue, uninterrupted.

“How did he put up with living with them? How did they all even live together?” Jimin’s mind begins to wander, thinking back on the mess he used to witness between classes everyday. “Isn’t that weird? I mean, Taehyung and Hoseok dated and I think Taehyung knew how Yoongi felt about Hoseok and even after Tae and Hoseok stopped dating they stayed friends and they all moved in together? That’s a hell of a mess when you think about it like that.”

Jungkook sits up, propping himself up on one elbow. He takes hold of Jimin’s hand and squeezes. “Uh, yeah,” he says, looking puzzled by Jimin’s sudden rant, “it is. Tell me why, again, you’re bringing all this up? Isn’t that shit all way in the past? Taehyung hasn’t even seen either of them in ages. What started all this?”

“Oh, nothing.” Jimin swallows. He can’t tell Jungkook that Taehyung is coming back tonight. He and Hoseok would both kill him for ruining the surprise. So he just shrugs. “Just… Hoseok’s been talking to Tae on the phone a lot lately and Yoongi was a little upset, that’s all.” He pauses, then adds, “Don’t tell Yoongi I told you any of this, please.”

“Yeah, of course not.” Jungkook chuckles and presses another kiss to Jimin’s hand. “I don’t wanna see him flay you alive.”

Jimin laughs as Jungkook wraps his arms around him, pulling the smaller man on top of himself. His hands roam up Jimin’s bare back as Jimin leans down to kiss him, lips moving at a languid pace, just enjoying the tranquility of the moment. He almost forgets the last few weeks when Jungkook holds him like this.

Jungkook sighs into the kiss, hands tightening on Jimin as he rolls them over, pinning the other man against the bed. “Mmmm, morning breath.”

With a cackle, Jimin shoves at Jungkook’s chest with little real effort. Still, Jungkook rolls off with ease, tangling their fingers together.

“We should probably start getting ready to go,” Jimin whines. He sits up but Jungkook pulls him back down, his hands moving to hitch Jimin’s legs around his waist.

“I think we have time.” Jungkook pulls Jimin down, fingers slipping into his hair as he kisses along his collarbone. “Just stay in bed with me a little longer.”

Jimin laughs, which slips into the slightest hint of a moan when he feels a hand on his thigh, sliding up to his ass. “Do you realize what time it is?”

“Like, noon?” Jungkook kisses along his throat, humming in appreciation of Jimin’s body as he runs his hands all over it.

“Actually…” Jimin reaches for his phone, a little clumsily once Jungkook’s hips start moving, grinding against his. He manages to get his hands on the device, turning on the screen and showing it to Jungkook.

Jungkook’s eyes pop wide. “Holy shit, did we really sleep that late?”

You did,” says Jimin, pecking Jungkook on the lips before rolling off of him and hopping off the bed. “Come on.” He yanks Jungkook upright, who whines and groans and pouts. “Let’s go shower.”

Jimin lets go once Jungkook sits up on his own and heads for his closet. Jungkook makes grabby hands at him as he leaves, groaning again when Jimin slips just out of his reach. He stretches and yawns as he hoists himself off the bed, making his way over to stand behind Jimin. Slipping his arms around Jimin’s waist again, he rests his chin on the smaller man’s shoulder.

“We should skip the party and just stay in all night,” he whispers, lips already working their way over Jimin’s ear.

Jimin smiles, recoiling from the tickle of Jungkook’s mouth as he sifts through his clothes. He hadn’t even realized until now just how long it’s been since he actually used his closet. He pretty much just wears the same three outfits he keeps at work, brings them home to wash, then takes them back. Maybe Namjoon is right, he does need a vacation.

He shoves a few shirts aside, frowning at all of them. He needs to purge. These clothes are ancient and he would never even touch half of them anymore.

Jungkook’s lips trail over his shoulder, his hand resting over Jimin’s tattoo. It’s distracting, yet Jimin welcomes it. Jungkook used to do this all the time. Whenever he would stay over, every damn morning he would hold Jimin while he got ready for work, kissing all over him, and murmuring how much he loves him into his ear. The only thing missing now is the last part, which brings to mind Jungkook’s mistaken I love you a few nights ago.

Suddenly, Jungkook hums, his lips leaving Jimin’s jaw. “What’s this?” he asks, reaching forward.

Jimin’s heart skips a beat, then feels like it stops. His eyes widen as Jungkook slides a few of Jimin’s shirts aside to reveal a very familiar white button up tucked far in the back. He pulls it out, and Jimin glances back to see a smile on his face.

“I remember this.” There’s a fondness in Jungkook’s voice that makes Jimin’s heart sing.

Jimin takes hold of the shirt, eyes scanning over it as he feels a smile sliding onto his lips. “I didn’t even realize this was still in here.”

“We shouldn’t be surprised. You always had a habit of stealing my clothes.” Jungkook throws the shirt over his shoulder and pulls Jimin into another kiss, hand on the back of his neck. He backs the other man up against the frame of the closet door, sucking in a sharp breath when Jimin’s leg slips between his and he grinds forward.

“Remember when I used to wear that shirt for you?” Jimin murmurs as Jungkook’s lips dot kisses along his jaw. “It always drove you crazy.”

A low laugh escapes Jungkook as Jimin’s hands tangle in his hair. “How could I forget?”

Jimin slides the shirt off Jungkook’s shoulder, grinning as Jungkook backs up just enough for Jimin to shrug it on. He leaves it entirely unbuttoned, flowing loosely around him as he leans back against the frame, lower lip between his teeth. “Just like how you remember?” he asks, lifting one brow.

“Better,” Jungkook growls before diving back in.

Hands slide down Jimin’s sides as lips pepper over his chest. He closes his eyes, head tipping back as he feel velvety warmth envelope his cock. His breath catches as Jungkook hitches one of his Jimin’s legs over his shoulder, tongue working miracles and his hand kneading the soft flesh of Jimin’s ass.

Jimin feels like he could float to heaven right now with the way Jungkook holds him, when he touches him in ways no one else would ever know to. Just like he used to.

He lets everything but the warmth of Jungkook’s mouth fade from his mind. Who needs anything else when this feels so damn good? If he could make this last forever...

 

 

Jimin has never faced a challenge quite like what he faces tonight. Surrounded by his friends, more than a few people who know all the intimate details of his and Jungkook’s past relationship, and pretending like they don’t want to jump each other’s bones every second of the party.

They’ve spent the majority of the last several nights in Jimin’s apartment, tangled up in each other and avoiding their problems, much like this morning. They’ve grown used to doing whatever they want with each other. He tries to ignore the fact that they still haven’t talked about them, what they are, or how to proceed from here. For now Jimin is letting himself enjoy the physicality of it all without worrying. Even if he doesn’t have the answers he wants it feels good to be with Jungkook again.

Jimin sits on the back of Yoongi and Hoseok’s couch, plastic cup of booze in hand as everyone mills around, chatting and laughing with each other. Hoseok can barely contain his excitement about Taehyung’s grand return and he almost looks like it physically pains him to hold the secret in.

Yoongi seems less than enthusiastic, sitting on the opposite side of the room from Jimin, chugging what he’s pretty sure is at least his third beer.

It breaks Jimin’s heart to see his friend hurting and no one seeming to realize. He waves Yoongi over when he finally manages to catch the other man’s eye. Yoongi doesn’t hesitate to take the opportunity to get out of the center of the crowd. He dodges past a few people who are already beyond drunk and takes a seat beside Jimin.

“Shoot me,” he says, tapping his cup to Jimin’s before gulping the rest of it down. “I feel like a fucking child. I should be happy that Taehyung’s back—and I am because he’s my friend and I’ve missed him, I guess—but I’m just…” He tosses the empty cup aside and fights down a burp. “It’s Hoseok, you know.”

Jimin purses his lips together. That was definitely more than his third beer. He doesn’t think he’s ever seen Yoongi this drunk before. Yoongi isn’t the type to open up to others without an immense amount of alcohol in his system to lower his inhibitions. He puts his arm around his friend’s shoulders and gives him a gentle squeeze. He doesn’t say anything, just letting Yoongi get it all off his chest for once.

“It’s Hoseok,” Yoongi repeats, his voice barely audible over the music and the chatter around them. “He’s so… fucking stupid, though. He can’t even tell I’ve been in love with him since… fucking high school. Fucking idiot.”

Jimin feels his eyes go wide as Yoongi slumps down to rest his head on Jimin’s shoulder. He’s never heard Yoongi actually admit to loving Hoseok, though his feelings have always been obvious to Jimin. He gives his friend another squeeze, glancing across the room to find Jungkook giving them a rather amused look. He supposes it is a strange sight—Yoongi drunk-cuddling one of his best friends, looking on the verge of falling asleep.

Jungkook bites his lip, leaning back against a table as he watches Jimin. A small circle of people keep talking around him, at him, but he doesn’t seem to hear a word they say, his attention directed entirely at the man across the room.

“Hey,” Yoongi mumbles, and Jimin forces his eyes away from Jungkook to look at his friend. “How’s that going? You… and Jungkook, I mean.”

“Oh, uh…” Jimin sighs, eyes meeting Jungkook’s again. “Good, I think?” He clears his throat and gives Yoongi a light shake. “Hey, why don’t you just go talk to Hoseok? I know he’s excited about Taehyung but, you know, you are his best friend and you haven’t said a word to him all night. He’s gonna realize something is wrong.”

Yoongi waves a dismissive hand in Hoseok’s direction and Jimin reaches out to push it back down. “Let him realize. It would be the first time he ever figured something out on his own. Fucking idiot.”

“That’s a little harsh, don’t you think?” Jimin asks but his friend just shakes his head. He almost laughs if wasn’t such a sad sight. Yoongi is mostly right. Hoseok isn’t stupid but when it comes to people’s feelings and intentions towards himself he’s blind as a bat. Otherwise, he’s one of the most intuitive people you could ever meet. It doesn’t make sense but that’s Hoseok. Not much about him makes sense.

Yoongi mumbles something unintelligible as he steps away from Jimin’s gentle embrace. Jimin leans closer to hear him but he wanders off without saying another word.

“Okay,” Jimin whispers to himself before lifting his cup to his lips again. A rather chipper song comes on over the speakers as Jimin finds Jungkook in the crowd again, smiling when he sees the other man heading in his direction.

His venture over to Jimin is cut short when the front door opens and an excited shout escapes Hoseok as he rushes to grab a frazzled, jet-lagged Taehyung around the waist.

There are surprised cheers and bodies rushing to Taehyung’s side as Jimin watches from the sidelines. His eyes meet Jungkook, who hesitates for a moment before Jimin gives him a signal to go see their friend. Jungkook gives him a smile and a gesture to let him know he’ll come right back, then rushes in to tackle Taehyung.

Jimin decides to let the excitement die down a bit before greeting Taehyung. At this point he’s afraid he might get trampled in a stampede of drunken morons.

After rough housing with their long lost friend for a bit Jungkook escapes the thrall to make his way to Jimin, not even hesitating to lean in for a kiss when he reaches him. He plants his hands on the back of the couch on either side of Jimin, pressing in, his body trapping Jimin’s as their lips meet.

At first Jimin’s instincts tell him to kiss him back, then he remembers where they are and he leans away. He chuckles when Jungkook pouts his lower lip at him. “Someone had a little too much to drink?” Jimin asks with a grin.

“Uh, no,” Jungkook says, drawing out the last word as he slides Jimin’s cup from his hand and set it on a nearby table. He moves back to his position to trap Jimin again, bodies pressed close together, a subtle rolls in his hips as his lips trail along Jimin’s jaw. “Just tired of staying away from you.”

Jimin chuckles as Jungkook’s hands travel along his waist, tugging his shirt up so his fingertips can explore bare skin. They brush over that old tattoo again. That stupid cheesy tattoo of the promise they had made to each other as foolish teenagers inked in the shape of an infinity symbol.

“I love that you never got rid of this.” Jungkook’s voice reaches a low growl, hot breath hitting Jimin’s ear and sending shivers down his spine.

Fuck, how he loves and hates the things Jungkook can do to him with a few simple words.

Jimin turns his head to press kisses just beneath Jungkook’s ear, teeth grazing over his earlobe. His mouth opens to respond with something clever but he never gets the chance.

Shouting drowns out the music until someone decides to just turn it off. Jimin and Jungkook break apart, both turning toward the commotion to see a rather drunk and red-faced Yoongi push Hoseok back as they lock themselves into a shouting match.

“What the hell are you even talking about!?” Hoseok throws his arms out to his side, eyes shining with unshed tears of confusion and betrayal. Yoongi has always had a temper but the one person he’s never raised his voice at is Hoseok. Ever.

“That’s because you’re a fucking blind idiot, Jung Hoseok!” Yoongi shouts, hand pushing his hair out of his face. He looks just as close to crying as Hoseok but Yoongi doesn’t cry. He doesn’t let himself. “You’ve never… Never realized how much I’ve done for you! I’ve always been here— I have stayed by your damn side through everything. Fucking everything!”

Hoseok sputters, eyes wide, shocked. “I— I know you have. I don’t…” He’s trying to stay calm but he shakes from head to toe, looking almost frightened at this side of Yoongi he’s never seen before.

Jimin steps forward but Jungkook pulls him back with a shake of his head and a quiet, “Don’t.”

“I don’t understand what’s wrong, Yoongi,” Hoseok says, his tone changing from angry to sorrowful. To have his friend turn on him so suddenly, so violently shakes him to the core and Jimin can only imagine the pain he feels. “What did I do?”

“You just…” Yoongi takes a few drunken steps back and presses the palms of his hands to his eyes, fighting back tears. He shakes his head, waving an angry hand at his best friend. “He’s never been there for you like I have.” He looks and sounds defeated, no strength left in him to yell anymore. His words come out slow and slurred but still clear enough for everyone to hear. “But the second… he says he’s coming back… you just run right back into his arms.”

Hoseok’s mouth gapes open, then snaps shut, lost for words. “Yoongi—”

“The question isn’t… what did you do?” Yoongi seems to struggle for the words he needs, hands tangled into his hair as he backs away. “It’s… what more could I have done… to make you understand?”

And with that he turns on his heel, storming out of the apartment with less than a little grace.

The room falls into a painful silence, all eyes on the shaken Hoseok, still leaning against the wall with his eyes wide and mouth open in silent question. After a moment of this, he spins around, one hand extended against the wall to keep his balance as he rushes to his room. The door slams shut behind him and a few murmurs break out across the room.

“Don’t worry. I’ll go get Yoongi,” Jimin hears Seokjin saying as he urges Namjoon towards Hoseok’s room. He rushes out of the room, grabbing his jacket on the way out, and all Jimin can do is watch the aftermath unfold before him.

Taehyung, who somehow ended up beside them during the commotion mutters to himself. “Happy you’re back, Tae? Yeah, glad I came back to this dysfunction. Fuck me.” He turns to see Jimin and gives him a nod. “Hey, Jimin. Do you at least have your shit more together than everyone else here?”

His eyes drift from Jimin to Jungkook to the way Jungkook’s hands still rest on Jimin’s waist. He sighs and rolls his eyes. “Of course. You two are back together. Forget I asked.” He waves a hand at them before heading for Hoseok’s room, calling back as he leaves, “Good seeing you two.”

Jimin feels his heart sink to the bottom of his stomach as the music starts back up, quieter this time. For some reason he has this terrible sinking feeling the entire structure of his closest group of friends is about to crumble right in front of him and it reminds him of how little stability he has left in his life.

He reaches out, taking hold of Jungkook’s hand—the cause of most of his uncertainty but the only thing that can seem to anchor him in this world right now.

Jungkook gives his hand a squeeze and he turns to look at the taller man. “Can we leave?” Jimin asks. “I wanna leave.”

“Yeah.” Jungkook nods, arm slipping around Jimin’s shoulders as they pass through the crowd unnoticed and out the front door. Jimin sends a text to Seokjin to keep him updated on Yoongi before they both climb into his car and make their way to his apartment.

They only make it about halfway before Jimin’s emotions get the best of him and he pulls onto a dark street. He practically throws his seatbelt as he unbuckles it and climbs hastily into the passenger seat, lips attacking Jungkook’s. His hands cling desperately to the other man as they kiss, holding on like his life depends on it.

The back seat of a car is a less than ideal spot but it’s where they end up, sweaty bodies sticking to the seats, hands leaving prints in the steam-clouded windows as they swallow each other’s moans.

It’s easy to forget the happenings at the party, at the uncertainty of the future of Jimin’s friends, or the future of himself and Jungkook in the heat of the moment. If they can just stay like this they’ll be fine. If they can lose themselves in this feeling it will be okay.

In the throes of passion with the warmth of Jungkook’s body engulfing every inch of him, Jimin convinces himself this can last forever.

 

 

Jimin stretches out across his bed, hand searching blindly for Jungkook. He’s gotten so used to Jungkook being there in the mornings that it instantly snaps him out of his sleepy daze when his hands close around cold sheets. He sits upright, glancing around the room and finding no sign of Jungkook.

Sliding out of bed, Jimin grabs his robe and slips it on before padding out to his kitchen. The smell of freshly brewed coffee hits him and he feels his chest warm at the sight of Jungkook sitting on a stool at his counter, scrolling through his phone.

Jungkook smiles when he notices Jimin, then gestures across the room. “I made enough coffee for you. Figured you could use it after the night you had.”

“You mean because of the party or because we were up until 4 A.M. again?” Jimin asks as he happily makes his way over to the coffee pot. He grabs a mug and glances back to send Jungkook a questioning look.

“Both, I suppose,” replies Jungkook with a chuckle. “Mostly because of us.”

Jimin grins as he pours his coffee, adding copious amounts of cream and sugar to it while Jungkook looks on in disgust. Jungkook likes his coffee sweet, but not that sweet. “You mean because of you. You’re the insatiable one here.”

Jungkook scoffs at that. “You’re the one who attacked me in the car.”

“I swear, if my back goes out at work again I’m cutting you off. No more sex for… a week.”

At that, Jungkook almost looks offended. “Hey, you weren’t exactly gentle with me last night either.” He throws a wadded up napkin at Jimin, who dodges it with ease, then grins. The smile fades quickly as Jimin leans against the counter opposite him. He pushes his phone aside and Jimin can instantly recognize when Jungkook is about to get serious.

He braces himself, taking a sip of his coffee as their eyes meet.

“You okay?” Jungkook asks, reaching forward to hold one of Jimin’s hands. He gives it a light squeeze. “After last night, I mean. The whole thing with Yoongi and Hoseok seemed to really shake you up.”

Jimin laces his fingers with Jungkook’s, taking a deep breath. He sets his mug down. “Just… one more thing, you know. Feels like everything has just been out of control and my friends have been one of the few steady things in my life. Now there’s all this drama between Yoongi, Hoseok, and Taehyung. Yoongi will probably need somewhere else to live if things don’t work out. You know Seokjin and Namjoon will get dragged into being everyone’s therapists through the whole damn thing.”

He sighs, hand slipping away from Jungkook’s to wrap around his mug again, eyes staring down the milky beverage, unable to look Jungkook in the eyes. “I know it’s selfish to just think about how their problems will change things for me. I’m just… I don’t know… Everything is already so confusing right now.”

Jungkook seems to sit up straighter, eyes scanning over Jimin. He doesn’t hesitate to ask, “Because of me?”

Jimin’s eyes rise to meet Jungkook’s, then dart away, staring out the window instead. “Maybe. I guess, yeah. I mean…” His hands grip the mug tighter. “I don’t know… what we are. And I keep thinking it doesn’t matter as long as we’re together but it feels like all we do… is fuck.”

A moment of silent passes between them and then Jungkook sighs. “Yeah. I know.”

“You know?” Jimin finally drags his eyes over to look at Jungkook. “That’s it? That’s all you have to say?”

“What? What else do you want me to say?” Jungkook shakes his head, fingers slipping through his hair as he sighs. “I don’t know what we are either. Can’t we just enjoy our time together without rushing into any assumptions of… what we are?”

Jimin closes his eyes, takes a few deep breaths as Jungkook’s words rattle around in his head. He knows exactly what he wants to say. He wants to tell Jungkook that, no, they can’t. Not with their history, not with their habit of push and pull and never setting solid boundaries. No, they need to define what they are if they want it to stay.

But none of the words come to him. His voice freezes in his throat and his body takes control, letting his mind turn itself off. He turns and dumps his barely touched coffee down the drain before heading back towards his room. He doesn’t even make it out of the kitchen before Jungkook’s voice stops him in his tracks.

“Seriously, Jimin? You’re just gonna walk away without saying anything?” The stool scrapes across the floor as Jungkook stands. His voice takes on that accusatory tone Jimin grew all too familiar with in the last few months before they broke up. “You know you always said I was the one who kept running from our problems. We used to fight for hours about how I was the one who never stuck around. How I would always walk away from you. But you, Jimin, you are just as guilty. You run away from everything and then just wait around, hoping someone else will come along to fix it. You—”

Jimin hears the bowl smash before he even realizes it was he who flung it from the counter. Jungkook’s voice, which had been growing louder and louder with every word, stops in an instant. Jimin’s temper rarely gets the best of him. Not like this.

“What the hell?” Jungkook stammers. He moves around the counter and starts to reach out to Jimin. “Are you okay? Did you hurt yourself—?”

“Get out.”

Jungkook recoils from Jimin, lips pursing. “What?”

Jimin whips around, every bit of anger and rage and confusion he’s felt over the past months—hell, over the past years—boiling to the surface. “Get. Out!” He shouts, finger pointing at the front door. Lunging forward, he shoves Jungkook back, shouting at him as his hands hit his chest, eyes burning with tears.

The room feels ice cold around him, his heart dropping into his stomach, his throat tight and choked with tears. He sees Jungkook, he sees the pain in his eyes, the betrayal he feels at Jimin suddenly turning on him like this. But Jimin can’t bring himself to care because he hurts, too.

He’s sick of it. He’s sick of the pain and heartbreak that seems to follow Jungkook. He’s sick of being unsure, of not knowing what’s around every corner of this twisted roller coaster they’ve tried passing off as a relationship. He hates wondering and worrying and being afraid of losing someone he probably shouldn’t have held onto in the first place. He hates that his life has become a series of late night fucks and casual flirting.

He hates what they’ve become.

And he fucking hates Jungkook.

Jimin’s hands find the handle of his front door, yanking it open and shoving Jungkook forward. “Get the fuck out,” he says again, his voice dying down to nothing more than a choked whisper, his cheeks wet and eyes puffy.

Jungkook just nods as he grabs his shoes and his jacket, eyes never leaving Jimin. “Okay,” he says, stepping out into the hallway. “Okay. I’ll go.”

Jimin can’t tell if it’s just sadness or if there’s a hint of fear in his eyes. He wouldn’t blame him. Jimin’s almost afraid of himself right now.

The door closes and Jimin slams the lock shut before collapsing against the cold surface. He slides down it until he hits the floor, chest aching as sobs wrack his body. He bunches up his robe, pressing it against his face, and he screams.

He screams at the thought of hurting Jungkook again.

He screams at the thought of all of this being just a waste.

He screams because he never should have brought Jungkook back into his life.

This was a mistake. It was all a mistake.

And now they both face the same pain as before, all over again.

He screams.

And he screams.

Until his throat goes raw and numb and he can’t feel anything anymore.

 

 

Jimin fidgets with the stress ball on his desk, rolling it back and forth in front of himself. Load of good it’s done him. He’s never been more stressed in his life.

He picks it up and chucks it across the room just as a knock sounds at his office door. “Come in,” he calls out, not even bothering to check who it is, already knowing it’ll be Yoongi. Just minutes ago he had called his friend up to meet him, though he wasn’t sure he would actually show.

Yoongi steps inside and shuts the door, looking just as tired as Jimin feels. “Hey.”

“Hey.”

His friend take a seat across from him, gaze stuck on the cityscape outside Jimin’s window. His hands lace together and rest on his stomach. Jimin takes a deep breath.

“You okay, Yoongi?”

Yoongi shrugs. “Not really. Are you?”

A bitter laugh escapes Jimin before he can stifle it. “Not really.” He heaves out a large sigh. “Have you talked to Hoseok?”

“Hell no.” Yoongi shifts in his seat, still staring out the window. “I’ve been staying at a motel the last few days.”

“What? You’re not staying with Seokjin and Namjoon?” Jimin sits up straighter, concern washing over him. For a moment he forgets his own woes.

Yoongi’s eyes finally drift to meet Jimin’s. “I think you’re the only person that isn’t pissed at me right now, Jimin,” he says, and he almost sounds like he regrets what happened at the party. Yoongi is a professional at hiding his emotions but right now Jimin feels as though he can see right through him.

He looks tired. Not just physically, but like he’s emotionally tapped out. Lost, hopeless. Jimin can almost understand. Their situations may be drastically different in many ways but in others they’re almost the same. Both of them have wasted too many years on people they can’t—or shouldn’t—have. Both hate themselves more than anything else.

Jimin reaches out, hand extended across his desk. It takes a moment for Yoongi to return the gesture, his hand taking hold of Jimin’s.

“I’ll leave work a little early to help you move some of your stuff out of your apartment.”

Yoongi stares at him, confused for a moment before it clicks with him. “Jimin, no, I couldn’t—”

“I have a spare room,” Jimin interrupts, not giving Yoongi any further chance to protest. “It might be nice to have a roommate for awhile. You’ll be closer to the studio and your day job. And you don’t have to stay for long if you don’t want to. I just don’t want you hanging out there on your own. You’re my friend, Yoongi, and you’ve been on your own for far too long. You do everything for everyone. It’s about time someone did something for you.”

Yoongi’s face remains unreadable for a long moment, then his hand retracts from Jimin’s to press his palms to his eyes. He hunches over when the tears start to fall, shoulders trembling as he tries to choke back sobs.

It’s rare to see Yoongi cry but Jimin can’t blame him for being incapable of holding it back this time. Yoongi has lost his friends, his best friend, the only home he’s known for years.

Jimin stands, circles around his desk, and kneels down beside Yoongi’s chair. His arms slide around his friend’s shoulders, holding him tight against his chest. As Yoongi cries, Jimin’s tears soak the shoulder of Yoongi’s shirt.

He doesn’t even know if he’s crying for Yoongi or himself or Jungkook or Hoseok or everyone. Their worlds are falling apart in front of him and he can’t even fix his own.

It kills him to know there’s so little he can do to help his friends, let alone himself.

 

 

The clocks ticks onward, past midnight, and Jimin still feels wide awake. Yoongi had passed out in the spare room the second they had finished moving his first round of belongings into Jimin’s place.

It had been more than a little awkward to show up unannounced with Yoongi and start packing and moving boxes right in front of Hoseok. Yoongi didn’t bother to speak a single word to him or Taehyung so Jimin took it upon himself to give a half-assed explanation.

In the end, everyone still hurts and everyone remains just as confused and angry as they were before but no one says a thing. They’re all fucked up and Jimin doesn’t have much hope any of them will get any better. He decides it’s not really his place to worry about that anymore. It’s not his job to fix everyone else.

With a groan and a sigh, Jimin stretches out across his couch and flicks through the channels on his TV. Nothing appeals to him. Not just on the television but all around him. He feels devoid of emotion, exhausted beyond belief. He’s never felt quite so dead inside.

The remote slips from his hand, hitting the floor with a quiet thunk, and he almost drifts off when frantic knocking at his front door jerks him awake again.

Jimin sits bolt upright, brows knitting together as he heads for the door. He can almost guarantee it’s Seokjin. Instead of just calling Jimin or responding to his text about Yoongi moving in he has to show up to give them both unwanted advice. Jimin loves his friend—he truly does—but sometimes Seokjin drives him crazy with his worldly knowledge and his need to rub everyone’s faces in it.

“Seokjin,” Jimin sighs as he unlocks the door and yanks it open, “it’s the middle of the night. I swear—”

He freezes, body going cold at the sight of Jungkook standing in the hallway, dark circles under his eyes, his hair a soaking mess from the rain outside. The apartment is silent save for Jungkook’s heavy breaths, like he ran all the way here. His hands grip the frame on either side of the door, his eyes drifting over Jimin’s robed body before snapping back up to his face.

“Jungkook, what—”

“I love you.”

Before Jimin can say anything Jungkook steps inside, kicking the door shut behind him as his hands come up to caress either side of Jimin’s face.

Jimin stumbles back from the force of Jungkook’s body crashing against his, their lips meeting in a rather rushed, sloppy kiss. If he didn’t know better, Jimin would assume Jungkook is drunk right now, but he tastes no hint of alcohol on his lips.

Neither of them say a word as Jimin reaches past Jungkook, never breaking their hurried kisses, to slide the lock shut. The two men make their way haphazardly through the apartment, knocking down a chair and ramming into the table.

Jungkook’s lips travel along Jimin’s jaw until they reach his neck. Jimin feels his breath hitch as Jungkook’s teeth graze his collarbone, his hands sliding the robe off over his shoulders.

They crash through the apartment again, making their way to Jimin’s bedroom. Jimin fumbles desperately to remove Jungkook’s jacket, wanting nothing more than for Jungkook to be as naked as he is even though he knows this is a terrible idea.

He hears something smash beside them and jumps, hands still holding tightly onto Jungkook’s shirt as he looks for the source. Beside them, a lamp lies broken on the floor.

There’s a moment of hesitation before Jungkook moves to grab for it. Jimin drags him back by the front of his shirt. “Leave it,” he says between shallows breaths, his hips snapping forward against Jungkook’s.

“It—”

“Jesus,” Jimin hisses, pulling Jungkook back in for another kiss. He finally manages to remove Jungkook’s jacket and proceeds to yank his shirt off over his head. “Just leave it and get on my goddamn bed.”

Jungkook almost smiles before diving in for another kiss.

They stagger through his bedroom door and Jimin turns them so Jungkook’s knees buckle as they hit the bed. He undoes the button of the younger man’s pants with a single flick of his wrist and slides them off before crawling on top of him.

Jungkook’s hands slide up his thighs, over his ass, and stop to grip his hips. He yanks Jimin forward, closing the space between them. But then Jimin pulls back.

“Wait, wait, wait.” Jimin stumbles off the bed, rushing to shut his door before coming back. He presses a finger to his lips as he crawls over Jungkook again. “Yoongi’s here.”

Jungkook blinks. “Yoongi? What—?”

“I’ll explain later. Kiss me.” Jimin leans forward before Jungkook can respond, lips crashing together again.

Their hands explore every inch of each other they can reach, desperate to be close to each other, desperate to feel needed and loved, desperate for the warmth of the other’s body. Desperate to drown themselves in the pleasures only they can give each other. They just want to forget everything bad, everything painful, and drown, as they always do, in the heat of the other.

Even though Jimin knows this is exactly what he had been upset about before he can’t bring himself to stop. He can’t bring himself to care that once again they’re just fucking, doing nothing to answer the ten million questions they have for each other. Because it’s Jungkook. It’s always Jungkook. And Jimin can’t seem to stop himself when it’s Jungkook.

Despite everything they said to each other before, despite the way he hit and screamed at Jungkook, the anger and disgust he felt in those moments leading up to him tossing Jungkook out of his apartment, Jimin loves this man. He’s hopelessly in love with him and he can’t seem to change or forget that no matter how hard he tries.

Jungkook is a hurricane Jimin is happy to be caught in.

As their bodies once again mold to the shape of one another, Jimin seems to forget everything that made him so furious before. He hears Jungkook chanting his name, voice muffled by the sheets, feels Jungkook’s hips rocking back against his.

Jimin’s hands pull at Jungkook’s hair, fingers dig into his skin. Jungkook welcomes it all with open arms, eager for Jimin to fill this void in him that no one else can.

Parallel to the night Jungkook accidentally uttered those words in Jimin’s ear as he came, Jimin now finds his lips traveling up the back of Jungkook’s neck as he slams into him from behind, eventually finding their way to his ear to whisper those same three words.

Jungkook reaches back, arm twisting behind Jimin’s neck, hand sliding into his hair. He turns his face to the side so their lips meet as he takes in every inch of Jimin, who happily swallows down Jungkook’s broken moans. His body tenses, Jimin’s movements growing more erratic by the second as they both near the edge.

He manages to croak out Jimin’s name but whatever he was about to say is cut off by a loud cry of pleasure as Jimin strokes him to orgasm, his own body trembling as he releases inside of Jungkook.

Jungkook’s hand twists into Jimin’s sheets as he catches his breath, shaking from head to toe. He swallows hard, eyes shut tight, and Jimin revels in the complete wreck he’s made of the man beneath him.

Some sick, twisted part of Jimin wants to pull away, wants to leave Jungkook alone on the bed and never come back. For the briefest moment he considers walking away, letting Jungkook wallow in self pity and the guilt he should feel for coming here tonight. He wants to make Jungkook regret this, to feel the same heartache Jimin has felt.

But as Jimin stares down at the younger man he can’t bring himself to leave his side. Jungkook doesn’t open his eyes, he doesn’t move an inch from where Jimin had just fucked him senseless. He just stays still, his hands still trembling. Jimin would have to be blind to not see that he’s scared. He’s afraid of exactly what Jimin almost did. Jungkook is terrified that he’s going to walk away.

He’s waiting, his breath held, for Jimin to leave him.

Jimin scoots back from Jungkook, moving to the other side of the bed as he his mind races through a thousand different thoughts until he lands on one particular memory from when they were still teenagers. Back when Jungkook was still young and insecure and uncertain about what they were—just like Jimin is now—and how terrified he would become when he thought he was losing Jimin.

He’s still that same kid, somewhere inside. Yes, he’s grown, he’s changed, but he still gets scared. Just like Jimin. Jungkook is still afraid of losing him, even if Jimin isn’t really even his to begin with.

Jimin reaches out, fingers pushing rain and sweat dampened hair back from Jungkook’s forehead.

As he does, Jungkook’s eyes ease open and he sucks in a sharp breath. He rolls onto his back, gaze meeting Jimin’s as he reaches out, hand sliding along Jimin’s arm.

Jimin darts forward, his hands caressing Jungkook’s face as he kisses the younger man. He tries however he can to convey the words he can’t seem to form by holding on as tight as he can, by pulling Jungkook close as they kiss and not letting him go.

What Jungkook needs right now is beyond words anyway, so Jimin keeps his mouth shut and lips on the soft skin of Jungkook’s body. He keeps his arms wrapped around him, limbs tangled together, the sheets twisted around them, and he holds on.

Jungkook needs to feel loved, the feel secure, because while Jimin has had friends to talk to and Yoongi’s support, he realizes Jungkook has been struggling through this alone. He’s had no one to turn to. He’s been afraid without anyone to reassure him that it will be okay.

So Jimin holds on with Jungkook’s face buried in the crook of his neck where he can feel warm tears pooling. He presses a kiss into the younger man’s hair, strokes along his spine, tangles their limbs together until they’re virtually one person.

Neither of them say a word for the rest of the night so Jimin promises himself they’ll talk in the morning. For now he lets Jungkook rest, easing him into a shallow sleep with soft touches.

But the sun rises and sets and rises again and they don’t talk. Jimin never gets to ask if Jungkook is okay, he never gets to explain why Yoongi is there or promise Jungkook he won’t push him away again. Because when Jimin wakes up the bed beside him is empty and Jungkook is gone. No note, no goodbye. Nothing. When Jimin tries to text him he gets no reply, when he calls he goes straight to voicemail.

Jungkook disappears from his life for what feels like an eternity and Jimin doesn’t understand why.

 

 

A week goes by and Jimin wastes it by sinking entirely into a pit of self loathing and pity. He cuts out of work the first few days after Jungkook’s vanishing act, then stops going all together on the fourth day, calling in with half-assed excuses and terribly faked coughs and sneezes. No one is convinced but no one questions him.

Jimin takes the blessed time off to wander the city and think too much, just like he did the first time they split. His mind drifts to all the things he should have said, what he could have done to make Jungkook stay.

He thinks he did everything he could have. Maybe. Maybe there was something he missed. Maybe he could have done something to make Jungkook understand that he loves him—that he’ll always love him—but instead he just sat there in silence. He thought holding on would be enough, would make Jungkook realize that he wasn’t just holding on for that night, he was holding onto forever.

He wanted Jungkook to stay with him.

Jimin comes to a stop on a familiar street, his feet carrying him without his mind even knowing where he was going. He doesn’t know how he ended up here but he finds himself staring up at their old spot, the cafe they used to love so much.

Some irrational part of Jimin hopes that maybe Jungkook will be there, too. That maybe he came here to wallow in the same self pity as Jimin. Of course, when Jimin steps inside, his hopes are dashed.

The barista behind the counter looks up and he recognizes her as the same one that had been here before. “You’re back,” she says in the same blasé tone as before while making a pathetic attempt at a fake smile.

“Yeah. I’m back.”

“You’re not gonna start yelling at someone again, are you?” she asks, and Jimin almost flinches away from her words.

He closes his eyes for a moment and swallows down the pain. “No. No, I’m— I just want a drink.”

The barista goes silent as she hits a button on the register, still staring at him. “Sorry,” she drawls. “That was a low blow. What do you want to drink?”

Jimin rattles off his order, waiting as she punches it in.

Is it really that obvious? Is he so pathetic that every passerby on the streets outside could see that he’s wallowing in self pity? He shakes it off and reaches for his wallet.

“It’s on the house,” the girl says without looking at him. Before he can respond she turns away to work on the drink.

“Thanks,” he says, and she hums in response.

Nothing but the sounds of the machines fills their ears for a moment. The girl finishes his drink up with an extra sprinkle on top and turns to hand it to him, still silent. As he takes it, she sighs. “Dude, whatever’s got you down—especially if it’s that guy you were fighting with—it’s not worth it. I mean, he’s hot, but that’s…” She shrugs. “You know. Not worth it if he’s messing you up this bad. I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s better to just forget about him.”

Jimin smiles, sipping at the coffee. “Thanks,” he says again. “I’ll… I’ll try. And…” He chuckles, the first real laugh he’s felt in days. “Yeah, he is hot.”

With her hands on her hips the girl laughs, giving him a quick goodbye as he leaves.

Jimin doesn’t exactly feel happier after their little exchange, but at least he smiled. He hasn’t smiled in what feels like a century.

He walks home with his coffee in hand. Not his usual order. Today, he decided to try Jungkook’s favorite drink. Despite the hot liquids sliding down his throat, Jimin feels as cold inside as the weather hanging over him.

He misses those strong arms wrapping around him, keeping him warm. He misses Jungkook.

 

 

 

Over the course of the next few months, Jimin finds some semblance of a normal life again. He and Yoongi settled in quite well as roommates, both of them preferring the isolation of their individual rooms most of the time. Occasionally they’ll spend a good portion of a night eating popcorn in front of the TV and ranting about their day.

Jimin doesn’t even realize until months into living together how much having his friend around helps him move on after everything that happened. Just having someone around to listen to him and the (more frequent than he would like to admit) shoulder to cry on eases the pain.

Yoongi still doesn’t talk to Hoseok or Taehyung and he barely sees Namjoon or Seokjin anymore. As a matter of fact, when Jimin thinks about it he doesn’t see much of them either, aside from bumping into Namjoon at work sometimes. Somehow their tight-knit crew of friends split into several confused and broken sides that rarely seem to cross paths anymore.

Sometimes Jimin wonders if he should reach out to them, then he reminds himself of the chaos that seems to follow him and his friends like a plague. So far he and Yoongi have fended well for themselves. No reason to shake things up now.

On yet another typical day, he and Yoongi leave the studio together, giving Namjoon a brief greeting as they pass him in the hallway. They chat about Yoongi’s album and the last steps to perfecting it before its release and, for once, Jimin feels carefree. His body is as light as a feather as they head for the parking garage, sharing a brief hug before heading to their respective cars.

Jimin’s phone buzzes in his pocket again. It’s been going off since he left his office but he doesn’t bother to pick up. He can guess who it is.

Seokjin has been calling him nonstop for the last two days but he never leaves a message. If it was really so damn important he would.

But as Jimin slides into the driver’s seat of his car something tugs at his heart, anxiety bubbling up as his brain begins to jump from scenario to scenario, each one worse than the last. His phone vibrates again and this time he answers.

“Jimin, thank god,” he hears Seokjin say on the other end of the line. He sounds stressed, agitated, tired. “Listen, I get that you’re angry with me or something—for some reason—but I really need your help with something right now. Please.”

Jimin remains silent for a long while, one hand gripping his steering wheel. He sighs. “What is it?”

“I’m texting you an address. Please just… get here as soon as you can.”

His friend hangs up before he can protest so Jimin patiently waits for the text to arrive. When it does he plugs the address into his GPS and pulls out of the garage. Whatever Seokjin needs it better be important. Jimin has done well not being dragged into any drama lately and he intends to keep it that way.

 

Jimin double checks the apartment number Seokjin had sent him as the elevator dings. He steps out, glances down the hallway, and is instantly greeted by a relieved Seokjin beckoning him over. After a second of hesitation, Jimin makes his way over.

“Hey,” Seokjin says, his voice soft as he takes in every detail of Jimin. It’s been awhile since they’ve seen each other and Jimin looks significantly healthier than he did before. Seokjin steps forward and pulls Jimin into a hug, which Jimin returns after a moment.

When they break apart Jimin gives his friend a small smile. “So, what did you need help with?”

Seokjin sighs, tongue darting out to wet his lips as he stares at the apartment door beside them. He swallows hard and Jimin could swear that’s guilt he sees when their eyes meet again. “Just talk to him,” Seokjin says before pressing his lips into a tight, anxious line.

Jimin’s heart drops into his stomach. He doesn’t need anything more than that to know who Seokjin means. He shakes his head. “No. No, Seokjin. He—” Jimin takes a step back as Seokjin reaches out, mouth opening to argue. “No. You have no idea— Seokjin, you don’t fucking understand. If I go in there—”

“I just need you to talk to him.” Seokjin’s hands rest on Jimin’s shoulders and he’s practically begging him at this point. “Please, Jimin, he’s falling apart. He blames himself for everything and he just— He needs to hear it from you. You need to make him believe that it’s okay—that you are okay—even if…” He lowers his voice to a whisper. “Even if it’s not true. Jimin, please.”

A long silence passes between them.

Seokjin swallows. “Jimin, please. I’m scared for him. And I don’t… I don’t want you to have to live with it if anything happens to him. Even though it wouldn’t be your fault. I know you. You would blame yourself.”

His heart pounds against his chest as he stares at the door. Two sides of Jimin battle between running from this building right now and bursting through that door to hold Jungkook one more time.

After what seems like forever, Jimin nods, moving Seokjin aside to push the door open. He hears Seokjin whisper a quiet “thank you” as he steps inside and shuts the door behind him.

The apartment seems devoid of life at first, like nothing has been touched in here for ages. It’s… frighteningly clean. Jimin wonders if this is Seokjin’s doing or if, for some reason, Jungkook hasn’t been staying here much. His mind, of course, jumps to the worst conclusion.

What if Jungkook’s been living somewhere safer because he tried hurting himself again?

“Jungkook?” he calls, his voice soft, almost too quiet for even him to hear. He can’t bring himself to speak any louder. His voices trembles, as does the rest of his body, terrified of falling back into the same pattern as before. He hasn’t even seen Jungkook yet and he already feels like he couldn’t possibly leave.

He swallows hard and calls for Jungkook again.

There’s a clattering from another room, like someone drops something, then a door creaks open and Jungkook appears, heaving a loud sigh. “Seokjin, I told you already, I don’t need—” Jungkook’s eyes flash wide when he sees Jimin. He blinks away his surprise, voice almost cracking as he says, “Jimin. What are you doing here?”

Jimin wants to answer but he finds himself distracted by the sight before him. He’s never seen Jungkook quite like this.

His eyes sink behind dark circles, puffy and shiny as though he had just been crying. His face seems more sallow and gaunt than normal, his skin a little pale. Jimin can recognize in an instant when Jungkook isn’t taking care of himself—just like he used to when he would get too caught up in his work and forget to eat or sleep for days on end—but he’s never seen him reach this point.

“You look like shit,” Jimin says, mimicking the words he used to utter every time Jungkook stretched himself too thin in the past.

To his disbelief, it brings a smile to Jungkook’s face. It’s small and shaded in sadness but it’s genuine.

“So,” Jungkook says, “what are you doing here?”

Jimin watches as Jungkook heads to his kitchen, stopping to huff something under his breath about Seokjin moving things around on him again. It feels like the world lifts off Jimin’s shoulders at that. So it is just Seokjin’s doing. Jungkook hasn’t been anywhere else.

“Seokjin asked me to come.” Jimin considered lying, telling Jungkook he came because he wanted to see him, but he decides against it. He’s not here to make Jungkook feel better by telling him pretty lies. He needs to help Jungkook move on by talking about the one thing they’ve both always run from—the ugly fucking truth.

“Of course he did.” Jungkook gives up on finding whatever he had been searching for and take a seat at his table. He gestures for Jimin to sit down across from him, so he does. “So…”

Jimin stares across the table at Jungkook and it takes every ounce of his willpower to not rush to his side and pull him close. He hates seeing Jungkook like this, hates seeing him hurting—especially since he knows he’s at least partially to blame.

He doesn’t know where to start and Jungkook doesn’t seem to either, so Jimin asks the one question that hasn’t left his mind since that morning he woke up alone. “Why did you leave?”

“I don’t know,” Jungkook answers almost instantly, and Jimin believes him. It doesn’t seem like a cop out, he’s not avoiding. He really just doesn’t know. “I shouldn’t have.”

“Why didn’t you ever come back?”

Jimin holds his breath.

Jungkook stares at him, then turns his gaze on the table. “Same reason I didn’t come back the first time.” His teeth clamp down on his lower lip and it’s obvious he’s trying not to cry. Jimin has to resist the urge to reach out to him. “I thought you’d hate me.”

Silence surrounds them again, suffocates them. Jimin stands, just needing to move, needing air. He moves to the window and cracks it open, breathing in the fresh air like it’s the most wonderful thing he’s ever tasted. When his heart calms itself he returns to the table, but he takes the seat beside Jungkook this time.

“We never learn, do we?” he asks as he extends a hesitant hand. His fingers brush through Jungkook’s hair and part of him hates how easily he’s giving in to the temptation that is Jeon Jungkook. The rest of him can’t bring itself to care when Jungkook’s eyes drift closed and he nuzzles into Jimin’s touch. It’s the first time he’s looked genuinely peaceful for as long as Jimin can remember.

“I guess not.” Jungkook leans forward, head resting on Jimin’s shoulder, strong arms wrapping around him. His face nuzzles into Jimin’s neck as Jimin slides his chair closer, hands curling into the back of Jungkook’s shirt. “We’re not good for each other, Jimin.”

As true as Jimin knows those words are they still feel like a dagger through his heart. To hear them said out loud, especially from Jungkook himself, hurts. It feels like Jungkook may finally be giving up on him, letting go of what neither of them should still be holding on to. He knows it’s for the best but the idea of letting go of Jungkook for good kills Jimin. He hates even thinking about it.

He hears Jungkook sniffle as his hand moves to slip into Jimin’s hair. Jungkook pulls the smaller man closer, his hold tightening on him and Jimin leans into the embrace. He knows he should pull away, he knows this isn’t what he came here for.

But it’s Jungkook.

“I’m sorry,” Jungkook whispers, tears staining Jimin’s shirt. “I’m so sorry. For everything. Everything I’ve put you through. I’m a fucking coward and I didn’t— I couldn’t—”

His voice shatters into broken sobs as Jimin holds him, his hands twisted so tightly into Jungkook’s shirt he’s surprised it doesn’t rip. He feels tears stinging his eyes, begging to escape as he squeezes them shut and fights it down.

When Jungkook leans away Jimin yearns to pull him back. Defeat is written all over Jungkook’s face as his hands slip away from Jimin to wipe at the tears on his cheeks.

Jimin stops him, taking hold of his hands and moving them to rest in Jungkook’s lap. He reaches up, thumb brushing away the tears as Jungkook’s eyes follow his. Jimin feels like he’s looking at the face of the teenager he fell for all those years ago. Jungkook looks young and confused and frightened and still as beautiful as when Jimin first laid on eyes on him.

It hurts him deeper than the day they first broke up, the day Jimin realized Jungkook wasn’t coming back. His past pain could never compare to the pain he feels seeing Jungkook like this and knowing that it’s because of him. And to think Jungkook blames himself for all of it.

“Jungkook.” He cups the the man’s face in his hands, fingers stroking his cheek. Past the dark rings around his eyes and the sunken cheeks and sickly pallor he’s still breathtakingly beautiful. Jimin remembers the first time he saw him like it was yesterday and how dumbfounded he had been by Jungkook. He hadn’t been able to get a single word out of his mouth, much like right now. He’s lost on what to say but thankfully Jungkook cures that by leaning forward and pressing a long kiss to Jimin’s lips.

His hands grip the front of Jimin’s shirt but there’s nothing rushed about this kiss the way they usually are. It’s soft, gentle. Jungkook’s grip on him releases and he leans back. His throat moves as he swallows hard and then he ducks his head. “I love you, Jimin.”

Jimin opens his mouth to say the same, to tell Jungkook how he feels and put an end to this game finally. He’s ready to admit defeat, to throw in the towel. There’s obviously no keeping them apart no matter how they both try.

But Jungkook’s voice silences his own as he says, “I don’t think we should see each other anymore.”

It feels like a thousand sharp knives stab through Jimin’s heart all at once. His hands slip away from Jungkook, recoiling from him. He stands and Jungkook stands with him. It takes whatever strength he has left to nod. “You’re right.”

For a moment he thinks that isn’t the response Jungkook wanted. The other man’s eyes dart away from him and he looks as though Jimin just slapped him across the face. But then he forces a smile, nods, and pulls Jimin into another tight embrace.

Jimin sinks into the feeling of Jungkook’s strong limbs around him, the warmth of his chest as Jimin’s cheek presses against it. He revels in it, memorizes the beating of Jungkook’s heart and every line of the muscles in his back. If this is his last chance to hold him he’s going to cherish every second of it.

“Don’t blame yourself,” Jimin says as he feels Jungkook press a kiss to the top of his head.

Jungkook leans back to stare down at him.

“It’s not your fault. We’re both fucked up people.” He turns his head to look up at Jungkook, taking in every detail of his face. “I’ve… never done my part in communicating with you. There’s a lot I could’ve said and a lot I still could say but I don’t— I never know where to start. Especially not with you, Jungkook. I lose my mind around you and I can’t—”

His voice cracks, stopping short of everything he wants to say. He’s so close to saying it but he can’t. He can’t do that to Jungkook. If he’s finally ready to let go then Jimin needs to let that happen, though he desperately wants to tell Jungkook that he wants to try again. Just one more time.

“I love you.” Jimin presses his face to Jungkook’s chest again, eyes shut tight. “I love you, Jungkook. And you’re right, we shouldn’t see each other anymore.” He clings to the other man as the words finally tumble out of him, words he never wanted to say or hear. “We’re not good for each other. At least, not the way we are now.”

In complete contradiction to their words, Jungkook tilts Jimin’s face up to kiss him again. His lips feel soft, gentle, warm, pulling Jimin back into the dangerous limbo of wanting to hold on and needing to walk away. It was the wild side of Jungkook that attracted Jimin to him when they first met, but it’s this side that keeps pulling him back. The kindness in his eyes when he looks at Jimin, the sweetness hidden behind his sad smile.

Jimin purses his lips and reaches up to touch Jungkook’s face. “I’ll miss you.”

“Maybe we’ll see each other around this time,” Jungkook says as he takes hold of Jimin’s hand and squeezes.

Jimin’s heart clenches painfully in his chest as he takes a step back from Jungkook. Those words hurt deeper than he expected. They feel so final, like this is truly the end. This is how they end.

With a deep breath, Jimin gives Jungkook a tiny nod of his head and turns away, his hand slipping away from the other man’s. His feet carry him to the door but his mind keeps begging for Jungkook to call him back, to say they’re making a mistake and they belong together.

Those words never come.

Jimin stops at the door and looks back at the younger man. “Do me one last favor, Jungkook?” he asks, and Jungkook nods without a moment of hesitation. “Please take care of yourself.”

Jungkook smiles, the back of his hand rising to wipe away a stray tear. “I will,” he says. “You, too.”

With one last wave of his hand Jimin steps out of the apartment, Seokjin waiting for him across the hall. The click of the door is like a trigger to Jimin’s fragile state and he breaks down the second he hears it, collapsing into Seokjin’s outstretched arms as he cries.

Seokjin holds onto him until he stops shaking, strokes his hair and whispers that it will be alright until he can breathe again.

And it will be. Jimin knows it will be. Someday.

Chapter Text

1 Year Later

 

“Jiminnie!”

Hoseok cheers as he lifts Jimin at the waist, swinging him around in a circle. Jimin laughs and stumbles as his friend drops him back onto the floor, careful to keep one hand on Jimin so he doesn’t topple over.

“We didn’t think you were coming!” His friend drags him to the kitchen and mixes him a drink while he chats his ear off. Always so full of energy, Jimin isn’t surprised to see that Hoseok has basically taken over the job of hosting Namjoon’s and Seokjin’s party tonight.

Jimin accepts the drink with a small thank you before Hoseok darts across the room to where Yoongi stands in the corner, scrolling through his phone. Jimin watches as Hoseok places a gentle hand on his friend’s shoulder to get his attention before handing him a drink.

It brings a smile to Jimin’s face to see them exchange a few words. Especially when Yoongi actually laughs at something Hoseok says. His heart swells at the thought of them working through their differences, growing closer again. The past year has been a rough one but Yoongi pushed through a little better than Jimin had. Still, even Jimin managed to move on and focus on his own life rather than worrying over what could have been.

A month after their final goodbye Jungkook had left with Taehyung on another one of his adventures, hiking across America this time. Apparently the drama between Hoseok and Yoongi had gotten to be too much for Taehyung and after staying at Jungkook’s apartment for awhile they decided they both needed to get away.

At first Jimin couldn’t stop wondering if Jungkook was okay, if he was safe. He wasted his days on stalking both Jungkook’s and Taehyung’s social media, waiting to see another face next to Jungkook’s in his pictures, waiting to see that he had moved on. Waiting for what he thought was the inevitable announcement that Jungkook and Taehyung had begun dating. (That announcement never came and Jimin pretends like he isn’t still thankful for that everyday.)

“Have you ever considered therapy?” Yoongi had asked him and, at first, Jimin was pissed. He accused Yoongi of patronizing him but the concern in Yoongi’s voice was genuine. “I’m serious, Jimin. How can you live your own life if you’re constantly worrying about his? Therapy sucks sometimes but it can help. Seriously.”

So Jimin did it. He sucked it up and he found a therapist and he learned—as cheesy as he feels it sounds—to love himself. He learned to be okay with being alone, to trust that if Jungkook moved on then he should be happy. They both made their choice and it was destroying him to keep clinging to the “what ifs” and the “maybes”. He finally let go. Truly, for the first time.

And that’s the only reason why he doesn’t feel like his heart sinks and shatters when that lean, toned figure steps through the front door, deep brown eyes scanning the room.

He actually smiles when their gazes meet and he waves. Setting his untouched drink aside, Jimin pushes away from the counter and makes his way over to him.

“Hey,” Jungkook says, arms extended to pull Jimin into a hug.

The warmth of Jungkook’s embrace and the steady beat of his heart is a welcome reminder of Jimin’s love for the taller man. He may have learned to let go but that doesn’t mean he ever stopped loving Jeon Jungkook. He had no idea that Jungkook was back in Seoul, but he’s glad to see him alive and well. “Hey,” he says back in little more than a whisper.

“I didn’t know you were gonna be here.”

“Sorry to crash the party for you,” Jimin says, parroting Jungkook’s words from the last party they had seen each other at, the one that restarted everything. He steps back, hands still on Jungkook’s shoulders. When Jungkook smiles, Jimin knows he remembers too and that makes his heart sing.

“I’m glad you’re here,” says Jungkook as Jimin takes in the sight of him. He hasn’t changed much. His hair is a tad longer and Jimin thinks he notices the tiniest hint of stubble on his chin but he still has the same kind eyes, the same childlike smile. He might be a little buffer, too.

“Me, too. I wasn’t sure I was ever gonna see you again after you ran off with Taehyung.” Jimin chuckles, hands falling back to his sides. “Did you guys have fun?”

“Yeah. It was…” Jungkook ruffles his hair and laughs. “It was a ride. Uh, traveling with Taehyung isn’t exactly a by-the-book tourist experience.” He gestures for Jimin to walk with him and he keeps talking as they absentmindedly make their way out to the deck. “You get into some weird situations with him. Took part in a slightly cult-like ritual in some forest. Almost got eaten by a bear.” He gives Jimin a sideways smirk before adding, “Danced naked in a rain storm.”

“Ooh, that sounds like my kinda thing.” Jimin grins as they come to a stop at the railing of the deck, overlooking the mostly empty pool. Most people stay inside with the weather cooling off, but there are a few who either don’t care about the chill or are too drunk to notice. “The dancing naked part, I mean. Not the cults or the bears.”

Jungkook chuckles, feet scuffing against the wooden deck, his eyes trained on them. His face is a little flushed and Jimin can tell he’s nervous. It gives him a foolish sense of hope knowing he still has some sort of effect on Jungkook. “So,” Jungkook starts. “What have you been up to? Still working at the studio?”

“Yep. Every damn day.”

“Yoongi still living with you?”

“For now. He and Hoseok are able to stand in the same room as each other without the tension suffocating the rest of us.” Jimin leans against the railing and takes a deep breath of fresh air. “They were actually laughing together earlier.”

Jungkook nods, mouth scrunching up. “Improvement. That’s good. Uh…” He clears his throat and looks away as he leans beside Jimin. “You seeing anyone?”

Jimin can’t stop the smile that spreads over his lips. He stares out at the pool. “No.”

Such a simple word brings such a bright smile to Jungkook’s face. He bites his lower lip and fakes a cough to cover his mouth until the smile fades a bit. His eyes drift back to Jimin like he wants to say something but nothing comes out.

“I tried but… everyone’s so boring,” Jimin tells him, hands moving to slip into his pockets. “I like my men a little wilder.”

That brings the smile back to Jungkook’s face. He laughs, head dipping down. “Yeah, I guess you do.” He looks up at the darkening sky, eyes darting from dim star to dim star. “Weird not seeing the stars so clearly anymore. Taehyung and I were camping out in the wilderness so much I sort of got used to the sky being… fuller than this.”

“Reminds me of when we were kids,” Jimin says as his gaze follows Jungkook’s up to the dim stars for a moment. It drifts back down to the man beside him and Jimin feels his heart swell knowing that Jungkook is back, safe and sound. If he wanted to Jimin could reach out and touch him. He’s not just a face on a screen anymore.

Jungkook lets out a fond sigh as he recalls their teenage years. “Yeah, when we would drive out to the countryside in the middle of the night to watch the stars.” He laughs again. “Simpler days.”

As Jimin leans against the railing again he wracks his brain for something to talk about. He knows he could ask about how Taehyung is doing and if he plans on coming home again soon, what Jungkook plans on doing now, how his photography business is doing with all his new travel photos.

But all Jimin can think of are questions about them. He wants to ask if Jungkook left because of what happened to them, if it was his idea or if Taehyung convinced him to leave behind their friends’ drama for awhile.

Jimin bites his tongue. He won’t risk ruining the moment. For now he just likes having Jungkook by his side again.

“Hey, J-Jimin.” Jungkook’s voices breaks and he clears his throat. When Jimin looks at him he’s fidgeting with the sleeves of his jacket, foot tapping anxiously against the rails. “Can I tell you something that’s been on my mind lately?”

“Yeah.” Jimin nods. “You can tell me anything.”

Jungkook takes the deepest breath Jimin has ever witnessed, chest puffing up before he releases it. It almost makes Jimin smile to see how nervous he is. “I’ve been thinking a lot about that night…”

He doesn’t even need to say anything more than that for Jimin to know what night he means. The night they finally agreed to walk away from each other, that they were better off apart. It still sends a pang of guilt and regret through Jimin to think about it.

“I… I should have told you this back then. But… that day I left before you woke up…” Jungkook picks at the reddish paint on the deck railing. “I was just running away again because I didn’t know what to expect. I was afraid of what you might say, that you would end it first. I thought you were pissed enough to actually end it that time because… the way we— When we—” He swallows. “We were different… in bed that night. It wasn’t the same, it wasn’t as lighthearted and playful. There was something else, like anger or hatred towards each other that we worked out… physically.”

Jimin purses his lips together, leaning over the rails to stare down at the ground below. Jungkook’s right. That night was different. Jimin had taken control that night and, yes, he was angry and he wanted to hear Jungkook begging for more for once. He’d had a strange lust for power that night. The chaos in his daily life made him feel helpless and he needed control somewhere. And Jungkook needed the opposite, he needed to let go, and he needed to feel dominated because he no longer had faith in his own mind and heart.

As good as they both felt in that moment, Jimin wonders how differently things would have turned out if they had just talked that night, or done anything other than what they did.

“It freaked me out, even after you said you loved me. I thought maybe you were just saying it so I wouldn’t get upset. I was wrong. And I was wrong to run away the way I did.” Jungkook sighs. “I guess I thought that if I left first I couldn’t be hurt again. Stupid, I know. And I shouldn’t have thought it was okay to hurt you first just so I wouldn’t be. I guess… all I can really do now is hope that you’ll forgive me.”

Jimin’s heart clenches at those words. Has Jungkook spent the past year thinking Jimin hadn’t forgiven him? That he hates Jungkook? He reaches out, placing his hand over Jungkook’s. The other man finally meets his gaze, wide eyed and a little fearful.

Still the same kid Jimin fell in love with years ago.

“Jungkook…” Jimin’s voice softens, his eyes never even flickering away from Jungkook’s. “I forgave you for everything the night I walked out of your apartment. The only reason I left—and I mean it was the only reason and it was barely enough to make me leave—was because I knew we weren’t ready to be together again.” Jimin feels a weight lifting off his shoulders as the words spill from him like a waterfall. “We still didn’t have our shit together. We just… needed to be apart, you know? Guess I just figured if we were meant to be then we would find each other again somehow.”

He pauses, breathes in deep, eyes still locked with Jungkook. The corners of his lips turn up in a gentle smile.

“Not gonna deny, though, that I cried a lot when I heard you were leaving with Taehyung. I was positive you either wouldn’t be coming back or you’d come back with someone else.”

Jungkook returns the smile, a hint of sadness behind it at the thought of Jimin being so hurt over his departure. “I couldn’t even… think about that out there. I didn’t give damn about sex or romance when I was on the road. I was out there to figure me out, you know? I barely even thought about you out there.” He closes his eyes. “Shit— I didn’t mean—”

“No, that’s good.” Jimin squeezes his hand. “That’s what you needed. I’m actually glad. You seem different. You seem… happier.”

“I am,” says Jungkook, his hand finally curling around Jimin’s. “Or, I think I am.” He stares down at their hands, smiling at the way Jimin’s thumb brushes over the back of his. “What about you? You know, fuck talking about work or your crazy friends, I wanna know how you are. Not what or who you’re doing. Tell me how you feel. How has the past year treated you?”

Jimin chuckles. “Oh, I don’t know. Okay, I guess. I— I can’t say I’ve done as much growing as you have but I think I’m happy. Not just with my life but with myself. For the first time ever I’ve—God, this sounds so cheesy.”

This time Jungkook squeezes his hand. “Say it. I wanna know.”

“I’ve— I’ve learned to forgive myself for my mistakes. For the things I’ve fucked up in my life, for everything I did wrong with you.” Jimin heaves out another large sigh. “I forgave you so easily but I hated myself for so long and it was tearing me apart. I just finally learned to let it all go. It happened, it’s done. All I can do now is try to do better in the future.”

Silence surrounds them again as their fingers lace together. There’s nothing uncomfortable about it, just a peaceful quiet blanketing them, the noise of the party distant behind them. After an eternity, Jungkook utters a few quiet words. “Good. I’m happy for you.”

Jimin keeps his eyes on the ground, trying to ignore the way his heart races at Jungkook’s touch. His hand fits so perfectly with Jimin’s. He had almost forgotten how well they match each other is every way possible.

“Would—” Jungkook sucks in a shaky breath. “Would you ever… consider trying us again?”

Jimin blinks, swallows, and looks over at Jungkook. His eyes go a little wide when they meet Jungkook’s unfaltering gaze. He seems so confident all of a sudden, a complete 180 from what he’s been since he showed up here tonight. Jimin feels like a child in his presence.

“But for real this time. Like, you know, putting a label on it, calling it what it is. Actually doing adult things and having adult conversations with each other. A real relationship like we had the first time around. Not that… fucked up mess we were last time.” Jungkook’s hold on Jimin’s hand tightens and he smiles. “No hate-fucking just to avoid the real shit. No leaving without a goodbye if we do stay the night. Talking about our problems instead of just walking away. Promising to always come back if we do just need our space. Just… being mature about it for once.”

“No hate-fucking at all?” Jimin asks, feigning disappointment, and Jungkook laughs.

“Maybe occasionally. If we talk it out afterward.”

Jimin chuckles, though it turns into a strange choking noise as it mixes with a sob. He presses the back of his hand to his mouth as he centers himself. “Never thought you would be the one suggesting we try again. I thought I would cave and ask first. You’ve always been the stronger of the two of us.”

“That’s not even close to true. And, honestly, I’ve missed you like fucking crazy,” Jungkook admits. “And I realized if there’s one person in this world worth trying for, it’s you.”

Jimin reaches up with his free hand to wipe away rogue tears. He mentally curses himself for how easily he cries. He hadn’t even realized how badly he wanted Jungkook to say those words until they were already out of his mouth. “I missed you, too.”

Jungkook smiles as he reaches up to brush his knuckles over Jimin’s cheek. “We can take it slow. As slow as we need to to make it last this time.” His thumb swipes over a tear as he smiles down at Jimin. “Remember that night in your office? When I kept saying I didn’t know what to do or where to go, and you said as long as it wasn’t away from you it would be okay.”

Jimin nods. How could he ever forget that night?

“I still have a lot to figure out but… I know where to go from here.” Jungkook licks his lips. “If you wanna put up with me again, Jimin, I at least know where I don’t want to go from here. I don’t ever want to walk away from you again.”

It takes a moment for Jimin to gather his thoughts, to force his voice to work. He smiles, biting his tongue to distract himself from the tears stinging the backs of his eyes. “You sure about that?” he asks as he reaches up to take hold of Jungkook’s hand where it rests on his cheek. “I can be kind of a handful. You know that better than anyone.”

Jungkook chuckles, turning his hand to lace their fingers together. “I kind of love that about you, though.”

“Fair enough.” Jimin takes a deep breath, squeezes Jungkook’s hand, and smiles up at him. “I… want to be with you, Jungkook. But I…”

Jungkook bites his lip, looking out over the pool again, eyes downcast. It feels like Jimin’s been shot through the heart when he sees the look on Jungkook’s face. He doesn’t want to hurt him—he’s never wanted to hurt Jungkook—but he also doesn’t want to hurt anymore.

“I get it,” Jungkook says, hand slipping away from Jimin, but the shorter man reaches out, keeping a gentle grip on Jungkook. Jungkook gives Jimin a pained smile. “You don’t have to explain, Jimin. I understand. Really—”

“Jungkook…” Jimin breathes in again, then sighs. He laces his fingers with Jungkook’s once more and lets their hands rest together on the railing. “I would do anything for a second chance with you. Or third or fourth or fifth… Whatever chance we’re on now.”

They both chuckle. Jimin’s heart swells at the sight of Jungkook’s smile.

“I just need time to think about it,” Jimin says. He reaches up with his other hand, tapping beneath Jungkook’s chin to make the other man look at him. He smiles. “We rush head first into everything, Jungkook. Let’s just… wait. Take our time to decide if we really want this, let you get your bearings here again. You’ve been gone so long… maybe after a couple days of mulling it over you’ll decide I’m too much of a pain in the ass to deal with.”

Jungkook laughs again, turning back to Jimin. “Well, you’re definitely a pain in the ass.” He steps forward, hand coming to rest on the side of Jimin’s neck. At first he leans in as though to kiss Jimin, then he stops himself, slides his arm around Jimin’s shoulders, and hugs him instead.

Jimin leans into the warmth of Jungkook’s embrace, arms clinging loosely around the younger’s waist, his face buried in Jungkook’s shoulder. He takes in every vibration from Jungkook’s movement, revels in every rise and fall of his chest, breathes in his scent.

He’s missed this even more than he realized. Every part of him wants to hold onto Jungkook and never let go, to tell him let’s just do this, but he holds himself back. He knows he’s right. They need to take their time. He needs to know for sure it’s the right move to make before he makes it.

Jimin won’t risk hurting either of them again.

 

 

Yoongi slurps up another mouthful of noodles before jabbing his chopsticks at the TV screen. “That’s such bullshit. I can’t believe she would believe that asshole over her own brother.” He grumbles around his food as he stretches out across the couch.

Jimin just chuckles, head shaking at his friend. Yoongi always acts so serious, he wonders who else has seen this side of Yoongi, the side that gets pissed off at dumb fictional characters.

“Never understood why Hoseok likes her so much. She’s the worst character ever.” Yoongi sighs and sets his empty bowl aside. He looks over at Jimin, whose food has barely been touched. With his foot, he gives Jimin a nudge. “What’s up with you?”

“Nothing, really,” Jimin murmurs. He sets his bowl down and laces his hands together in his lap. “Jungkook was at the party last night.”

Yoongi sits up, folding his legs up under himself. He wiggles around to face Jimin. “That’s not nothing, Jimin. What happened?”

“He’s… different now.” Jimin leans forward with a groan, his head dropping into his hands. “Or maybe I just think he is. Maybe that’s just that side of me that can’t stay away from him, making up excuses to be with him again. Am I being stupid Yoongi? I mean, am I an idiot to even consider this?”

Yoongi twists his mouth off to one side, hands wringing together before reaching out to take hold of Jimin’s. It’s rare for him to be the one to initiate any affection, Jimin usually being the one to try forcing a hug on him and Yoongi reluctantly allowing it. “I think you should trust your gut. Or your heart. Whatever. Just don’t over think it, is what I mean.” Yoongi scoots a little closer and gives Jimin’s hands a squeeze. “Listen, I’m gonna get real sappy here for a minute, so… don’t make fun of me for it.”

Jimin smiles. “I’ll be honest, I’m kind of excited for this.”

With a grumble, Yoongi begins. “You and Jungkook were pretty fucked up, I know, but I’ve never seen two people so perfect for each other. You had your issues, you argued a lot, you didn’t communicate well but that was just something you needed to take time to learn. You two started dating so young you never got to have those first relationships that come and go in a few months, the ones where you learn what you should or shouldn’t do. You guys didn’t have the chance to make mistakes and learn from them before you met. You had to make all those mistakes with each other and that… that’s hard for a relationship to survive.”

He takes a deep breath. “What I’m saying is, you two have made those mistakes now and you’ve learned from them now. Just because you broke up once—or twice, whatever—doesn’t mean you can’t try again. There’s no limit to how many times you two can try if that’s what you feel is right. If you really love him, Jimin, if you’re sure about him… then you should be with him. I’m not saying every couple that breaks up and goes through the fucked up shit you two went through should get back together because some people… just aren’t meant to be.

But the thing about you and Jungkook, you’re both good people. You love each other more than I ever realized two humans even could love each other. And maybe you’re right, maybe he’s grown as much as you. Maybe it’s time you two had that talk you’ve been meaning to have for ages. If you really wanna be with him clearing the air is the only way to do it. You need to talk about the difficult shit. If that doesn’t help, it’s not meant to be. If it does… maybe you two can make it work after all.”

Jimin takes in a shuddering breath, his head hanging and eyes shut tight. He lets Yoongi pull him into a loose hug as his words swirl around and around in his mind. What if it could work this time? What if Yoongi is right and they’ve finally had time to learn the lessons they need to be together again?

Yoongi gives him a pat on the back and scoots back to his original position, grabbing the remote to rewind the bits of their show they had missed. Jimin climbs off the couch and grabs his bowl before heading for the kitchen.

“Hey, where you going?” Yoongi calls after him as he leaves his unfinished dinner on the counter and heads for the front door. “We haven’t finished the episode.”

Jimin smiles at his roommate as he slips his jacket on. “You go ahead and watch the show. I’ll catch up.” He tugs his shoes on. “I need to go talk to someone.”

Yoongi gives him a crooked grin as he flops back on the couch again. “Good luck,” he says before returning to his Netflix marathon. Jimin just gives his friend a fond shake of his head before darting out the front door.

 

Jimin’s heart flips in his chest and drops into his stomach as he pulls up outside Hoseok’s apartment building. Jungkook had mentioned at the party last night that he’s staying with him until he finds a new apartment. He just hopes Hoseok won’t be pissed at him for showing up this late. Maybe he should just wait until tomorrow, but he doesn’t think he could even sleep right now.

He hops out of his car and heads inside, opting for the stairs rather than the elevator. Maybe hiking up a few floors will help work his anxiety out.

Unfortunately, Hoseok lives only two floors up, so it takes mere minutes before he’s standing outside the apartment. He raises his fist to knock, then pulls out his cellphone instead and texts You awake? to Jungkook, and waits.

Maybe he should have done this before driving all the way here.

Backing away from the door, Jimin leans against the wall opposite the apartment and waits, tapping his foot against the floor. He stares down at his phone, his heart in his throat now, until the little screen lights up with a Yeah, what’s up?

I’m outside the apartment, Jimin sends back, then waits again.

A minute passes, the Jimin hears the click of a lock and he practically leaps away from the wall, hands clasped in front of his as the doors swings open.

Before him stands a sleepy looking Jungkook, his hair a little mussed, his thin, white shirt wrinkled—his usual sleeping attire. It brings a smile to Jimin’s face.

“Hey.”

“Hey.”

Jimin sucks in a deep breath. “Let’s talk.”

Jungkook steps out of the doorway and gestures for Jimin to come in. He shuts the door and turns to face Jimin, swallowing hard when they come face to face, barely a foot of space between them. “About?” he croaks out, his voice quiet and nervous as his eyes scan over Jimin’s face.

“Everything. Every damn thing we’ve avoided for the last however many years since we met.” Jimin reaches up, fingers grazing along Jungkook’s cheek. “I love you, Jungkook, and I don’t want to be without you. But if we want to do this again and we want it to last—and I do want it to last because I am going crazy just thinking about not being with you the rest of my life—then we need to talk about everything. Are you willing to do that?”

Jungkook’s eyes light up at that. He takes hold of Jimin’s hand and gives an eager nod. “Yeah. Yeah, of course.” He leans forward, seemingly without even realizing, and presses a chaste kiss to Jimin’s lips. He pulls back with a smile. “I’ll… put some coffee on.”

Jimin smiles after him as he rushes to the kitchen, a little lightheaded with relief. He kicks off his shoes and follows Jungkook to the kitchen, taking a seat at the table.

They chat in hushed whispers about nothing in particular until Jungkook sits down beside him, their hands twisting together in Jimin’s lap. And they talk. They talk about everything. Everything they never said, everything they wish they hadn’t said. They talk, the way Jimin kept wanting them to so many times, and they don’t hold back.

Minutes fade into hours and two cups of coffee become four and then six. The sun rises, Hoseok wakes up, and they move to Jungkook’s temporary bedroom and talk even more until they can’t keep their eyes open.

Jimin sprawls across Jungkook’s makeshift bed, still in yesterday’s clothes as the younger curls up to his side, soft breaths tickling Jimin’s neck, sound asleep. Jimin closes his eyes, so exhausted they burn, and he curls one arm around Jungkook and holds on. This time, he’s not letting go.

 

 

 

3 Months Later

 

“I’ve never thought about that before,” Jungkook says, mostly to himself because Jimin seems too distracted with slipping his shoes off to hear him. “What Dr. Choi said at the end of our session today. It was just kind of a,” he mimes his mind exploding, “moment, you know?”

“Yeah,” Jimin mutters as he clears some of Yoongi’s moving boxes out of their path, doing his best to reduce the many tripping hazards in his apartment right now.

Jungkook shuts the door as he watches his boyfriend. Ha, boyfriend. It’s been three months of calling him that every damn day and he’s still not sick of it. “Are you even listening?”

Jimin spins around to face the taller man, a look that Jungkook is all too familiar with crossing over his face. “Sort of,” Jimin huffs out. “But we talked a lot about sex in our session today and, honestly, it’s been ages since we had any time alone together and I am really horny right now.”

“I mean, it’s only been like three days—” But Jungkook doesn’t get to finish.

Jimin lunges forward, lips crashing against Jungkook’s and hands already working to remove his clothes. “Shut up and take your clothes off,” he growls as he undoes the button of Jungkook’s jeans with a single flick of his wrist. “I’m tired of hearing your voice unless it’s screaming my name.”

Jungkook’s eyebrows shoot up his forehead as his hands find Jimin’s waist and pull him in close. He lets out a little hum of approval against Jimin’s lips as he starts undoing the buttons of his shirt, Jimin pulling away to tear his own shirt off over his head. “You know,” Jungkook says as he finishes the last button and Jimin wastes no time in yanking the shirt down over his shoulders. “Communication is the key to healthy—mmf—relationships.”

The last word is muffled by Jimin’s lips. “Yeah,” Jimin says as he starts peppering kisses along Jungkook’s jaw, down his neck. His hand twists into Jungkook’s hair. “So is great sex,” he moans against Jungkook’s skin, his body pressing closer, hips grinding against his boyfriend’s. He leans his upper body back just enough to look into Jungkook’s eyes, hips still finding friction against the other man. “So take off your damn pants.”

A crooked grin graces Jungkook’s lips. “Yessir,” he mumbles, eyes glazing over with lust as they work on stripping away the rest of their clothes. “We’ll talk after.”

“Deal,” Jimin hisses as he attacks Jungkook’s neck again, eliciting a slight chuckle that soon gets overtaken by a moan.

“Oh, fuck… me,” Jungkook gasps out as Jimin’s hand slips between their bodies, fingers curling around his dick, thumb pressing against the slit.

“Trying,” says Jimin. Jungkook laughs again before hitching Jimin’s legs up around his waist and hauling him to the bedroom. “We’ve got a couple hours before Yoongi gets back.”

Jungkook smiles as they topple onto the bed. He straddles Jimin and lifts a brow at him. “Oh, that’s not enough time for us. You know how long we can go for.”

Jimin laughs and smacks Jungkook on the shoulder. “Shut up and kiss me”

“Bossy.” Yet Jungkook obliges, colliding with Jimin again, their limbs tangling together as they make an absolute disaster of Jimin’s room. By the time they’re through with each other it looks like a hurricane blew through there.

And that’s okay with Jimin. They’ve always been a little bit of a mess anyway. But he doesn’t regret a damn thing about taking another chance on this.

 

 

The electronic click of a camera rouses Jimin from his half-slumber. He rolls over, groaning when the sunlight streaming in through the window hits his eyes, and peers up to see Jungkook leaning over him.

“What’re you doing, Kookie?” he mumbles, grinning when Jungkook flops back onto the bed and turns the camera screen for Jimin to see. He sees a picture of his sleeping self, one arm thrown over his pillow, his mouth hanging open slightly. The downside to having a photographer boyfriend. “Oh my god, delete that.”

Jungkook laughs, nudging Jimin in the side before setting the camera on the bedside table. “Nah, I’m keeping that forever, he rolls over and buries his face against Jimin’s chest, “and ever,” he kisses all the way up to his boyfriend’s jaw, “and ever.”

Jimin chuckles as Jungkook’s hands runs up his sides and he squirms around to escape him. “Stop! That tickles, Jungkook.” He manages to writhe away and tries to roll off the bed but Jungkook grabs him around the waist, dragging him back down. He lands on Jungkook with a laugh, still wiggling against his grip as Jungkook pulls him around so they’re facing each other again.

“You’re never getting away from me,” Jungkook says in a mock menacing tone. The boyish grin on his lips contradicts the growl in his voice. Jimin feels like he falls in love all over again, staring down at him like this.

Jimin pecks him on the lips. “What if I said I’ll cook you breakfast if you let me up?”

Jungkook immediately lets go.

“You’re such a brat,” Jimin says with a chuckle before hopping out of bed. He grabs Jungkook’s shirt and throws it on, leaving it unbuttoned and hanging low over his boxers.

Jungkook makes no effort to move from the bed, instead just propping himself up on one elbow and watching Jimin wander about the room, gathering up their clothes and an assortment of other objects they somehow knocked around the room in their rush to reach the bed last night. He takes in a deep breath and sighs, the corners of his lips turned up in a fond smile.

“God, you’re fucking beautiful.”

Jimin’s glad Jungkook can’t see the shameful shade of red on his face as he gathers up his clothes and tosses them into the hamper. He heads for the bedroom door and turns back to Jungkook, lips pursed. “I know,” he says before darting out to the kitchen. He can hear Jungkook cackling in the bedroom.

It only takes a few minutes for Jungkook to join Jimin in the kitchen, dressed in a pair of loose sweats and nothing else, to help him whip up a batch of pancakes. They continue their playful banter and unnecessary flirting as they cook, feeding each other bites of food once it’s ready. It’s terribly cheesy but they’ve wasted too much time in the past on arguments and breakups and being far away from each other to care anymore. They’re taking advantage of every second they have to tell each other they love each other.

Jungkook finishes his food first and moves to stand behind Jimin where he leans against the counter. He slips arms around his boyfriend’s waist and buries his face in the crook of his neck. His fingers dance over Jimin’s stomach, lips dot kisses along his shoulder.

Jimin sighs at his touches, pressing back just enough to tease him, then he swipes some syrup off his plate with his finger and holds it up. Jungkook wastes no time in leaning forward and taking Jimin’s whole finger in his mouth, sucking the sweet syrup off. Jimin laughs.

“You were supposed to lick it off all sensual-like, not eat my entire hand,” he says as Jungkook’s lips leave his finger with a pop. Even if he didn’t do what Jimin expected, it’s still surprisingly arousing.

“I wanted to make sure I got all of it,” says Jungkook, pressing a sticky, syrupy kiss to Jimin’s jaw. “There’s nothing more unsexy than someone wasting perfectly good food.”

Another laugh, Jimin leans his head back on Jungkook’s shoulder and peeks over at him. “I love you.”

“I know.” Jungkook kisses down his neck again, his hands moving to the waistband of his boxers. His lips travel back up, teeth grazing his earlobe, and he whispers, “I love you, too.”

One hand slips beneath the material of Jimin’s boxers, taking hold of his semi-hard cock, thumb brushing over the tip. The other slides up the smaller man’s chest as he turns his head for their lips to meet. Jungkook’s hand rest lightly over Jimin’s throat, fingers barely grazing against the underside of his chin to tip his head back.

Jimin moans into Jungkook’s mouth, grinding his ass back against Jungkook’s cock, one hand reaching back to slide into his boyfriend’s hair.

They may be better at communicating and just a tad less fucked up than before, but they’re still insatiable when they’re around each other. Jimin’s not sure that will ever change. He’s more than okay with that, though.

Neither of them seem to notice the click of the lock on the front door, too busy tasting each other, memorizing the shape of the other’s body. It isn’t until they hear a disgruntled Yoongi crying out, “Oh, for fuck’s sake, not again!”

They break apart, Jungkook stumbling back against the fridge and Jimin pulling his shirt closed as though his bare chest is the only indecent thing his friends might see.

“Oh my god!” Hoseok yelps. One hand flies up to cover his own eyes while the other shields Yoongi’s. He shuffles over to his best friend and turns around so they’re both facing away from Jimin and Jungkook. “Is this what you’ve been living with the last three months? We’re finishing moving your stuff back tonight. I don’t wanna risk your innocent eyes seeing this again.”

Jimin hears Jungkook snort behind him, then feels a hand around his wrist tugging him back. “Sorry, guys,” Jungkook says, pulling Jimin back against his chest. “Just… do your thing. We’ll be in the bedroom. Doing nothing. Just being totally innocent and sweet.”

“Wait, Jungkook—” Jimin murmurs as his boyfriend drags back toward the bedroom.

“Babe, I am not getting blue balls just because these two decided to show up without letting us know.” Jungkook takes hold of Jimin’s waist again, fingers pressing in all the right spots, teeth and tongue decorating his neck until Jimin moans.

Stop!” Hoseok screeches again, hand covering his ears. “Just go in the bedroom! We’ll turn some music on out here.”

Jungkook grins as he and Jimin dart off, any shame Jimin felt vanishing with Jungkook’s touch.

The door slams shut behind them and they hear music blasting from the living room as they topple onto the bed, somehow still just as needy for each other as they day they met.

 

Yoongi and Hoseok make a point of avoiding eye contact with Jimin and Jungkook once they come back out of the bedroom, this time showered and fully clothed (it took them an embarrassing amount of time because Jungkook decided the shower was the most appropriate place to suddenly drop to his knees and suck Jimin off.)

They sit in the living room together, snuggled up as Jungkook messes with his camera and Jimin looks at memes on his phone, though he’s constantly distracted with his two friends across the room.

“Look,” he whispers, giving Jungkook a nudge and nodding toward where Yoongi and Hoseok finish packing the last of Yoongi’s stuff.

The two laugh at something Hoseok says, Yoongi shoving his friend by the shoulder. Then Hoseok reaches over, hand holding the back of Yoongi’s neck gently. He watches Yoongi with a fond smile as the other man continues telling some outrageous story.

Jungkook smiles, slipping his arm around Jimin’s waist. “I’m glad they’re back to normal,” he says as he sets his camera down. He watches Jimin, who continues gazing at his friends with a smile. It makes his heart sing to see them smiling again.

A kiss to his jaw distracts him from them, and he wriggles around just enough to look back at Jungkook. “I’m glad we’re all back to normal,” he whispers, bringing a grin to Jungkook’s face that stretches from ear to ear.

“Do you think they’d be mad if we started making out right now?”

“Probably.” Jimin reaches up, fingers brushing over Jungkook’s check. “The real question is ‘do we even care?’”

Jungkook says no more before attacking Jimin’s lips again with a chuckle. Jimin laughs into the kiss as he twists all the way around to sprawl across Jungkook, hands on his chest.

“Oh my god, seriously, guys?”

“Yoongi, abort! We gotta get out of here!”

Their friends grab the last two boxes and leave with a rushed goodbye. Jimin settles himself into the curve of Jungkook’s body, happily wrapped up in his limbs with his face resting against a strong chest.

Sometimes he wonders how different things could be if they had never broken up, if they would be happy, if their time apart was all a waste and they could have accomplished so much more together if it had never happened. And sometimes he reminds himself it doesn’t matter.

They’re here now—Jungkook’s heartbeat soothing him as they hold onto each other on the couch, hushed voices talking about their past and their future—and he remembers that the "what ifs" and "could have beens" are a waste of their time in the present. They’re together now.

They have each other now.

And he knows this time, they’re not letting go.