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<<<

“a year,” the doctor said. jeongguk thought he misheard, until hobeom had to usher him to put his pants back on and leave the hospital through the backdoor, avoiding the screaming press.

he left the clinic to a gathering horde of reporters anyway. “what the fuck? how did they--”

“i’m very glad it was a small injury, and i’m happy to announce that i’ll be training for the world championships!” an airy voice said sweetly. “oh, jeongguk-ssi!”

“ah,” jeongguk said. “hello.”

“jeongguk-ssi!! please tell us more about why you are here! was it a checkup! was it about your recent injury at regionals--”

“everything is fine,” jeongguk said through gritted teeth. where is mina when he needs her?

“really? i’m so glad,” yugyeom laughed. “earlier, i heard something about -- i don’t know, a break?”

“a break ?” the reporters’ eyes widened like they tasted a caramel macchiato in what was supposed to be shitty drip. “is this true, jeongguk-ssi? how long is your break? will you be continuing with coaching during this time? will you finally sign substantial ambassadorships?”

“brand ambassador?” yugyeom laughed. “our gukkie is a little shy, right? he wouldn’t be in any variety soon. i, on the other hand, am booked for starcast this month…”

the microphones were removed from jeongguk’s face and thrust in yugyeom’s again while hobeom cursed in the background. they managed to make it to the car and jeongguk as already pressing number two (one is seokjin, for Real Emergencies) on his speed-dial.

“we have a problem,” mina said before jeongguk even says hi. “i leave you for one day and this is what happens? i am so done with your shit. please get your useless ass to my office.”

“yugyeom,” jeongguk supplied petulantly. “he thinks i can’t get sponsorships anymore.”

“yes, because your dumb ass told the press--”

“yugyeom did it!”

“--that you’re taking a break , do you even know what that means? couldn’t you have at least said hiatus ?”

“it means the same thing…”

“no it does not,” mina snapped. “anyway, i thought your leg was fine?” she added, voice softer.

“i thought so too,” jeongguk sighed. “doctor said a year.”

“i can work with that,” mina said, more out of stubbornness than optimism.

jeongguk appreciated it anyway.

 

“so, like, interviews and shit,” jeongguk summarized. he was sprawled over his seldom-used couch, freshly showered and in his underwear, poking at some dry chicken breast. “interviews. photoshoots? oh god, those dinner things . ”  

“that’s good, no?” seokjin said. “you can’t do taekwondo forever.”

“that’s the second time i heard that today,” jeongguk said, alarmed.

“it’s true,” seokjin said. “you can’t.”

“stop, you’re stressing me out.”

“how are you going to eat after your career, guk? did you know britney spears went through her entire fortune in like, a year?”

“i’m not going to be dumb and buy 5 mansions,” jeongguk said hotly.

“you’ve been dumb and bought professional gaming equipment worth an entire mansion just last month,” seokjin retorted. “do you know what money is? is that video still floating around? when u told the reporter three times five is sixteen?”

“i was young.

young is five year olds, guk, and even they know their times tables.”

“why is everyone attacking me today? did you and mina forget i suck at celebrity stuff? i don’t even know my net worth, hobeom just tells me if things are good. what do i do with the money i make? can i buy a helicopter? i just wanted to play sports,” jeongguk pouted.

“good god,” seokjin sighed. “i can’t believe i wasted this much time listening to you whine. my minutes are billable, jeon jeongguk.”

“what does that even mean?”

“nothing, see you tonight! if you’re not here you’re dead to me! get started on your public presence.

“what? what’s tonight? hyung. hyung?”

jeongguk checked his phone, then tried to read his emails until he realized there are too many unread. you need help, mina’s voice snarked in his head. jeongguk stared at his blank living room wall sadly.

he picked up his phone again to call hobeom to see where he’s supposed to be tonight, when a text arrived from jimin. seokjin’s bday tonight at 7 @ Spring Day! i know you forgot u asswipe.

oh, true.

 

jimin sent the same text to yoongi, his useless lump of a best friend. he got a text back in a few seconds:

ew

jimin rolled his eyes and slammed his finger on the phone icon, smiling at the nice barista who put his coffees in a tray. “hey, loser.”

“i forgot that was tonight,” yoongi whined.

“did you just wake up? why do you sound so croaky? have you even spoken at all today?”

“don’t judge me, park jimin. just because you have to deliver joonie his coffee every morning--”

“i don’t ,” jimin protested. “i don’t have to, anyway. joonie says he doesn’t want to take it for granted until i’m too entrenched by his expectations--”

“you’re walking to his office right now aren’t you. i hear too many young promising voices.”

“don’t talk to me like you’re 50, stupid,” jimin replied. “as if you’re not young and promising. get your ass out of bed and brush your goddamn hair. wear something nice.”

“you’re not denying it, you whipped asshole,” yoongi grumbled.

“he thinks i’m doing this because he expects it but i literally miss his face??” jimin blurted. “i saw him two hours ago when i made him eggs how is he this addictive --”

“you’re a lost cause,” yoongi half yelled into his phone and hung up. “jeesus christ.”

he eventually rolled out of bed, squinting at his mess of a desk for a hairbrush. no luck. he patted at the top of his head anyway, and wondered if he should take a shower. he risked seokjin throwing him out if he showed up smelly, he decides, but maybe it’s worth it to leave the damn party early.

the thought of talking to other people tired him.

maybe that’s why you’re stuck on the same shit, a snarkier version of jimin’s voice said in his head. yoongi considered it as he stared at himself in the mirror (pale, kinda hollow, one dark eyebrow raised). maybe he’ll just go and stick to namjoon, ask for some help. if anything, just to avoid getting evicted in the near future. ask him to put in a good word for him with hyojin, at least, who probably thinks he’s dead.

(he’d gotten hit on once, at a bar, and hyojin had stormed in to whack the back of his head yelling about paperwork. “wife?” the guy had asked, alarmed. “worse, yoongi had answered. “my editor.”)



“did you know jeon jeongguk is here?” hoseok said in lieu of a greeting. “i saw him, like, 2 seconds ago. his thighs could kill me and i’d thank him.”

“i just got here,” yoongi said. “jeongguk? gukkie? seokjin’s friend?”

“yeah, from college, remember? before you, erm, switched majors.”

“you can say i fucked up my hand, seok,” yoongi laughed, crying slightly inside. “i’m over it.”

“yeah, right,” jimin said, popping his head out in out of nowhere and sticking his chin on yoongi’s shoulder. “you’ve been on Heavy Mope every other month. i’m pretty sure hyojin has it scheduled in her calendar.”

“yes, ok, jimin, thank you,” yoongi muttered. “hi, joon-ah. how’s the project going?”

“actually, i wanted to talk to you about judith butler’s--”

“can you keep that in the office, please?” hoseok chimed in. “i haven’t seen yoongi in months .”

“i saw you last week.”

weeks.”

“min yoongi!” seokjin shouted from some distance away, startling other high-society people out of their colourful socks. “i can’t believe you’re not late! guk, i’m not done with you, come here.”

“hi, hyung,” yoongi and namjoon chorused, while jimin and hoseok squealed and attached themselves to the birthday boy.

“you remember gukkie, right? gukkie, remember your yoongi-hyung?”

“um,” a suit-clad, wide-eyed man startled as all eyes turn to him. “um, no?”

“yoongi-hyung took you out for lamb skewers once,” hoseok said helpfully. “that time when you got locked out and tried to break into my dorm but i was back in gwangju?”

“ah!” realization hit. “you play the piano! yoongi-hyung!”

“i don’t,” yoongi said, just a little irritably.

“no?” jeongguk looked so lost.

“he got injured,” jimin supplied. “now he’s a writer.”

yoongi glared. “kind of.”

“yoongi hyung published a collection of essays,” namjoon supplied, “on regeneration and dealing with loss. it was a very critically acclaimed and insightful piece--”

“thank you, joon.”

“you haven’t changed a bit,” jeongguk chirped. “i got injured too! my doctor says i won’t be able to train for a year.”

“well, good for you, kid,” yoongi sighed. “i can’t play anymore, ever.” he thinks he excused himself after that, but it may have just came out as a mumble.

“look what you’ve done,” seokjin hissed.

 

“what did he do?” taehyung pouted. he came into the restroom for a piss and saw yoongi sitting on the floor, head tilted and zoned out. taehyung had plopped down beside him with no questions.

“nothing,” yoongi mumbled. “i regret leaving my house, is all.”

“i feel that,” taehyung said seriously. “sometimes i leave for the morning and don’t come back til late and yeontannie gets so sad.”

“i don’t have a puppy, but i’d get so sad too,” yoongi agreed. “don’t let me keep you, don’t you have model friends to talk to?”

“they can find me if they really need,” taehyung said easily. “but i’ll go if you come with me. jinnie-hyung’s giving his speech soon. and there’s an auction,” taehyung’s eyes went wide, “and a raffle!”

“hmm.” yoongi said, corners of his lips beginning to lift. “i do like a good raffle.”

taehyung smiled. “maybe you’ll finally win one.”

“brat,” yoongi said, and held his hand out to get pulled up, taehyung grunting. “have you been eating? i’m not even heavy.”

“hyung hasn’t been feeding me,” taehyung whined. “you said we’d go for ramen like, last month. i’m still waiting. your faithful dongsaeng, withering away,”

“yeah, yeah,” yoongi said. “you should be the one buying me ramen, mr supermodel.”

taehyung grinned with a soft hehe . “it tastes better when you buy it.”



“he’s like, so young,” yoongi muttered as he watches jeongguk smile confusedly onstage as seokjin promoted the gift basket and the biceps holding it.

“not that young,” jimin said. “like, 4 years. and totally legal.”

“that’s not what i meant,” yoongi hissed.

“most eligible bachelor in the room,” jimin continued. “buff, sweet, rich, chipper A-F. kid found out his career needs a break today and didn’t even try to drown himself in the sink.”

“park jimin,” yoongi rumbled. “it was one time.”

“how many words do you have?”

“i’m almost done.”

“good! come eat dinner with joonie and i next week.”

“it’s shitty, though,” yoongi qualified.

“that’s what you said about your new york times #1 bestselling title ---”

“that shit’s rigged and fake and you know it.”

“at least you’re #1 somewhere,” jimin continued sweetly. “no excuses. bring a date or i’ll find one for you.”

“why are you doing this to me?” yoongi whined.

“because you won’t do it for yourself, dumbass,” jimin said fondly. “awe, look, gukkie’s still scared of girls.”

they turned to the front again to see jeongguk hand off the gift basket to a pretty girl in a blue dress, only to be led by the arm towards her seat, basket in tow.

“our next item, a pristine paperback of upcoming author min yoongi’s latest volume, dead leaves , an exploration on loss and recovery, signed and personalized by the author himself, who’s sitting over there!” seokjin chirped. heads turned and yoongi tried to hide under a table while jimin held him down.

“as everyone knows, my family and our foundation has always supported emerging artists and we are so honoured to have him here tonight. takers?”

“why the fuck,” yoongi whispered.

“meeee!” jimin sang.

“one hundred thousand won!!” taehyung screamed next to them. “but only if he signs my chest!!!”

 

jeongguk stood in a corner of the room having finally escaped from the pretty noona’s insistence to let’s get more drinks !!! he scrolled through twitter instead, smiling at the familiar usernames urging him to post a selfie. frowning, he switched to the camera app and checks the lighting -- meh. jeongguk swiped to his timeline instead and saw yugyeom’s name in between on worldwide trends.

“what the fuck?”

there were an impossible number of tweets gushing #CongratsYugyeom and #BamYu. Bam? oh, bambam, jeongguk recognized him from one of his sparring practices with yugyeom. a soundcloud rapper, if he remembered correctly.

there was an instagram screenshot from yugyeom’s profile that jeongguk Does Not Follow, with a blurry pixelated selfie of the two with their faces smooshed together. iconic, the tweet read.

mina sent jeongguk an article -- yugyeom’s net worth, brand rankings, everything is rising if not staying mostly the same. she also sent a text: pls learn.

well. jeongguk’s not the golden maknae of his team for nothing.

he glanced over at the open bar, taking in the opulent (read: Extra) decor, complete with an open bar stocked with a few bottles of banana milk, because seokjin’s not the best event planner in the city for nothing (and because he knows jeongguk likes it when he gets drunk). there was a small crowd around what looks like taehyung and namjoon, and it isn’t until people shift that jeongguk realized that the people were surrounding yoongi.

it’s cute that yoongi has one droopier eye, jeongguk decided. he’s not staring, he’s just... looking with intent. for artistic purposes, even if he hasn’t picked up a pencil in ages. the corners of yoongi’s eyes pointed down, as if he’s always sleepy, but the corners of his lips were unexpectedly upturned. his hair was the kind of messy jeongguk goes for when he breaks out his hair mousse now and then, and -- do suspenders make all asses look good? jeongguk’s only ever seen jimin and yoongi wear suspenders and, well, jeongguk could use some of that perk. he made a mental note.

yoongi was smiling at a girl now, gums showing, and then namjoon starts talking again and yoongi yawned, barely bothering to cover it with his hand. he unbuttoned his dress shirt a bit, shaking his head and exposing a delicate collarbone. somehow, he still commanded everyone’s attention because they’re all fawning over him and yoongi just waved a hand and fanned himself.

jimin took the moment to whisper something in yoongi’s ear, and yoongi whispered back, smile barely concealed. they laughed, collapsing into each other (jimin crashing into yoongi crashing back).

jeongguk was enamoured.

 

“...and i just really, really love your work! you had such a good piece in the news the other day, what paper was it, honey? anyway, very interesting, and i wonder if--”

“i read one of your poetry zines in college,” another voice breathed, “it was very good, are you writing more creative fiction? i hear from seokjin that you’ve been working on a new project.”

yoongi still felt a little hollow, but at least he doesn’t let it show anymore. “yeah, joon and i are working on some things,” he offered.

“we’re looking to study queer elements in pop culture and how it differs from eurocentric norms,” namjoon said, hands waving. “yoongi and i are also looking at poetic forms and their crossovers to--”

“is that why you’re wearing a womens shirt?” another guy sneered. “button up, will you? what is with young people these days? why are men wearing eyeliner?”

namjoon spluttered. “what--”

“you seem awfully interested,” yoongi replied flatly. “seungho, is it?”

“you haven’t changed since college,” he snapped. “you’d think you’d keep that ego in check after what happened to your hand. pathetic. now you’re trying to write for money?”

“honey,” a lady said nervously, taking seungho’s elbow. “sorry, he’s had a little to drink. i understand you know each other from...college?”

“know is a rather forgiving term,” namjoon said. “how did you even get in here?”

“what, going to ban me from shit now? the kim family needs me, more than he needs the likes of you, anyway.”

“can’t say jin-hyung feels the same,” yoongi muttered.

“i’d be more careful if i were you,” seungho sneered.

“you still seem awfully interested in me,” yoongi said, glancing at his nails.

“don’t flatter yourself,” seongho snapped.

“i’m only flattered if it’s true. otherwise, isn’t it -- what’s the term -- unmanly to care about what other men wear, anyway?”

“you--”

“i do know seungho from college,” yoongi said, turning to the girl still trying to pull him away. “i don’t know why he’s so obsessed with me.” he took a breath, shaking slightly, highlighter on his cheekbone shining proud. “sorry, everyone. did anyone else have questions?”

“so can you sign my chest?!” taehyung asked, and the crowd closed in while yoongi rolls his eyes, leaving seungho behind.

woah , jeongguk thought.

 

>>>

 

“do we really need to do this?” jeongguk mumbles. he’s still in his pyjamas -- yoongi’s iron maiden t-shirt from his emo days, polka-dotted boxers -- and he’s scratching the bird’s nest that is called hair on his head. “i can’t believe you woke me up for this.”

“it’s your money,” yoongi says. “sit the fuck down, i already made coffee.”

jeongguk blindly orients himself in front of a chair and makes a haphazard landing. his hands travel the edge of the table, closing around the warm mug of coffee while his nose sniffles. “i need milk,” he whines.

“you’d know it’s right next to you if you opened your eyes.”

jeongguk forces one eye open and spots the carton on the table, cap already unscrewed. “oh.”

yoongi clatters around some more and plops down in front of jeongguk again, tapping impatiently at his computer. “i’m not starting until you can look me in the eye for more than five seconds.”

“huh?”

yoongi reaches over and whacks the side of jeongguk’s head.

“hyung! do you know how much my head is insured for?”

“i do actually, because i manage your goddamn finances , which is why we are here right now,” yoongi says tiredly. “i can’t believe it’s been a year since i put up with your shit.”

“it’s been a year?”

“roughly, yeah.”

“huh,” jeongguk says. grins cheekily. “happy anniversary, hyung~”

“yeah, yeah. can we start now?”

“why so businessy,” jeongguk pouts. “what anniversary are we? is it gold? can you buy me a ring?”

“gold wedding is definitely like, 50 years,” yoongi says. “can we focus?”

“look it up!”

yoongi sighs, but clacks on his laptop anyway while jeongguk sips on his coffee.

“you’re supposed to give paper,” yoongi concludes.

“oh great! you can give me money!”

“we have a joint bank account.”

“fine, a card then.”

“anyway,” yoongi says. “we’re looking good this month, your net worth is steady, and your puma deal is starting next week so we’re doing well. i’ve been donating according to what we discussed, but i think we could raise it soon.”

“okay,” jeongguk says.

“i can also raise your retirement fund, if you want,” yoongi continues.

“i dont like thinking about retirement,” jeongguk grumbles. “whatever you think is good. maybe i’ll, like, compete until i die.”

yoongi snorts. “yeah, okay. keep thinking that. seokjin was harping on about donating to his family’s new cancer foundation, so i’m thinking 60 million?”

“okay.”

“jeon jeongguk, are you even listening?”

“no?” yoongi looks murderous. “i am, but it all sounds the same to me,” jeongguk tries for a smile but yoongi doesn’t budge.

“anyway, that was about it for this month. god, what would have happened if you found someone else to take advantage of you like this,” yoongi sighs.

“i only had eyes for you~”

“i need to go meet hyojin. do you know what you’re doing for dinner?”

“uh...no?”

“useless,” yoongi hisses under his breath as he stalks down the hall. jeongguk smiles as he eyes his hyung’s pale, bird-like legs stilt their way in those shorts. even his walk looks grumpy.

“that’s not what you said last week!” he yells. “how would you have gone home without me?”

“did i ask you to carry me up the stairs?”

“you were going to go to a hotel!”

“because some rich asshole lives in a penthouse and the elevator was broken !”

“there are stairs for a reason!” jeongguk bellows, racing after yoongi and belly flopping onto his bed with a leap. “and you say i’m the irresponsible spender.”

“well,” yoongi says, running a hand down jeongguk’s back. “i must keep you around for some reason, i guess.”

jeongguk grins. “so i am useful! let’s eat pasta tonight.”

“down the street?”

“no, i want your pasta,” jeongguk whines. he widens his eyes and looks up at yoongi from his mess of blankets, blinking for good measure.

“did taehyung teach you this shit?” yoongi swears. “fine, fine . i’ll pick up tomato sauce. now go to your damn interview.”

 

“did you know it’s been a year?” jeongguk asks seokjin when they meet up for lunch.

“since what?” seokjin’s wearing a fuzzy pink sweater and licking gravy off his fork.

“since, y’know, we got married.”

“i try not to think about your -- ah -- marriage,” seokjin says. “do you really call it a marriage? to his face?”

“yes?”

“i can’t believe you.”

“can you believe it’s been a year though?”

“i mean, i guess. yoongi’s been good for you, anyway. i was not down to babysit you through a year. i can’t believe he kept you busy all this time without taekwondo. how’s coach? you’re going back soon right?”

“yeah,” jeongguk says. “i’m excited. and i know right? people are so much nicer to me, all they want to do is ask about yoongi. i haven’t had to fight yugyeom, either.”

“less jeon jeongguk the idiot in the press, for sure,” seokjin agrees. “how are classes going?”

“i really like them!” jeongguk says. “yoongi says i should start posting drawings on SNS so i can ‘capitalize on my soft side.’”

seokjin snorts. “he’s right, it would make you seem more approachable. yugyeom has his dance thing that trends now and then, you know.”

“yeah, but,” jeongguk says, thinking to his sketchbook and its pages upon pages of random sketches of yoongi. god, he’s so typical. “i was doing it for myself, anyway.”

 

<<<

 

seokjin’s influence over the city knows no bounds, because yoongi started getting calls from high society more often, stacks upon stacks of invitations stuffing his mailbox. it didn’t do much for his writing, but at least yoongi can pretend he still has some semblance of doing things with his life.

the media had a field day with yoongi “re-emergence” into the land of the living -- the world will forever be be interested in what he does with his life, he mused bitterly to himself. he saw an article just this morning that still used a photo from years ago, with him on a piano bench and hand on a grand steinway. yoongi still refused all interviews, but now he felt enough like himself to start visiting namjoon at the university and get coffee with jimin. he went social functions just for fun, for the sake of free bougie food and annoying jin.

jin’s events are famous for connections, in any case. not that yoongi was looking for cf deals or anything.

jeongguk saw yoongi for the second time that week at a banquet table. he had rushed in late, forgetting that rush hour existed and also forgetting that he didn’t know how to tie a tie. yoongi contemplated the salmon like there was nothing wrong with eating while the keynote address was still droning on; jeongguk felt himself walking towards yoongi anyway, ignoring mina’s death glare. he was a few steps away from yoongi before he realized he didn’t have a game plan figured out, what is going to say --

and yoongi turned with the mound of food on his plate, not seeing jeongguk until his (cute) head almost bulldozed into jeongguk’s chest, and startled.

jeongguk wanted to die, but yoongi just raised his eyes, nods at jeongguk in recognition --

(there were two seconds where jeongguk took in the drooped eyelids, cupid bow, the ever present dew highlight on his pale cheekbone that reflected his dark sequin blazer, and -- ah -- is that cologne?)

--and just walked away to his table.

“finally decided to sit down?” mina hissed as jeongguk finally found his seat like a lost lamb. jeongguk grinned halfheartedly at her, as if it really is his lifelong mission to annoy her (it kind of is), but all he could think of was yoongi’s dark mop of hair across the hall and the tingle in his belly, the same tingle he felt at five years old when he saw his brother’s new toy truck, and at eleven, when he did his first spin kick.

in hindsight many, many years later, jeongguk will remember what he thought right after that feeling in the smallest corner of his mind -- oh, and then, i want that.

 

jeongguk came into his life years ago, but really made a mark with a bang (as he does) some years later. yoongi’s definition of a bang was simple -- something to do with music, when he was still a young upcoming pianist, and now something to do with writing, he guessed. but mostly, money.

yoongi knew jeongguk was hot-blooded, naive maybe. but jimin called it plain stupid. yoongi...well, yoongi thought it was kind of romantic.

unnecessary, sure, but aren’t all romantic things necessary anyway?

it started with some asshole’s intention to be out to get yoongi the an ex-famous pianist who shouldn’t be going to all these functions with all of korea’s high society. or maybe it was his fun (taehyung: avant-garde) fashion choices that he got with jimin and got dared to wear in public. what was the point in going out, he thought, if he doesn’t make it onto any news articles?

so he was standing there after getting flashed til kingdom come by the media outside, and he was feeling proud of himself for wearing something so comfy and for outshining some middle-aged actors outside.

a pink silk pyjama set will do that for you.

and then some guy walked up and purposefully bumped another girl, whose wine sloshed around precariously enough to end up all over yoongi’s shirt. yoongi heard a snicker.

“oh,” he said, smirking. “i’m so sorry.”

“oh, dear,” yoongi says. “guess i’ll just have to--”

the guy looked on in horror as yoongi unbuttons his shirt as if he had another shirt under (he didn’t), giving zero flying fucks.

“um,” a host said as she rushed over, very stressed. “ah, yoongi-ssi, if you could, um…”

yoongi raised his eyebrows. “he knocked wine on my shirt,” he said simply. “he’s very sorry, but i don’t wear wet shirts.”

“i see,” the host said. “ah, may i interest you in a temporary shirt while we get this cleaned?”

“why would i need a temporary shirt?” yoongi looked at the guy dead in the eye. “as if people here haven’t seen nipples before. not as if,” yoongi’s eyes roamed over jeongguk as he glanced at the accumulating crowd, “no one was curious what a gay man looks like under all this flamboyant. ogle all you want. did anyone want to see more?”

“okay, i get your point!” someone yelled. “put your shirt back on!”

yoongi smiled. “nah. i don’t like wet shirts.” he picked up his wine glass from a table nearby and jeongguk catches a glimpse of a tattoo on his ribs.

jeongguk strided in without thinking, shrugging his blazer off. “hyung, would you hold this for a second?”

yoongi held out a hand. jeongguk began loosening his boring tie, and unbuttoning his dress shirt and shrugging that off too and took his blazer from yoongi again, offering his shirt.

yoongi raised his eyebrows. in different circumstances, he’d be whistling at those abs in front of him.

“what, do you want my pants, too?” jeongguk says, making to undo his belt. yoongi’s lips cracked with the slightest smile.

“no, stop it,” he said, full blown smile in place. “i’m wearing your shirt only because it smells good.”

“treasure it,” jeongguk smirked back. “that sweat got me a medal once.”

yoongi scoffed. “it’s not getting me a medal, is it?”

jeongguk put his blazer back on. “maybe it’ll get you in my apartment?”

that wasn’t the romantic thing though.

the romance TM   was when jeongguk asked seokjin for yoongi’s address, and then sent him flowers and ten new silk shirts. gucci.

 

>>>

 

“here again?” yoongi says. “cute of you.”

“i’m devoted as fuck,” jeongguk grins. “where’s my present?”

“you didnt spring your dumb plan on me until dessert last time,” yoongi points out. “can we order, at least. get me some wine.”

“what kind?”

“i’ve taught you better,” yoongi narrows his eyes. “you’re picking a wine, and i’m going to like it.”

jeongguk stresses.

he picks a good wine anyway. yoongi is proud.

“you can have your card first, since you did good,” yoongi smirks. he produces an envelope from his LV bag -- one that he’s been carrying forever, because he fans once gave it to him. “here’s your paper.”

jeongguk opens the envelope curiously and pulls out a glittery, hot pink thing. best dad , it says.

“can you not ,” he hisses. “we’re in public.”

yoongi’s busy snorting. “god, i can’t believe you’re still not over that! this will never get not funny.”

“i’m younger than you.”

“you like it, don’t lie to me. you can’t get off on buying me shit and not want to be called daddy.”

the waitress pours their wine, red-faced. yoongi carries on while jeongguk tries to disappear.

 

<<<

 

“okay, you’ve got me here. what do you want?” yoongi said as soon as the waiter pulls out his chair for him.

“i didn’t think that far,” jeongguk admitted.

“really?

“i...didn’t think you’d show up,” jeongguk said.

“why wouldn’t i? if you wanted my attention, one gucci shirt would’ve done it. i’m not exactly expensive these days, im sure hoseok would’ve told you.”

“i’m closer with jin-hyung, actually.”

“right, sorry.”

“it looks good on you.”

yoongi considered jeongguk, slouched in his loose white dress shirt and ill-fitting slacks (that still make his thighs and ass look good, but beside the point). “what do you want from me, then? modelling help? fashion advice? a shitty poem?” yoongi leaned in, chin resting on his long, crisscrossed fingers. “your dick sucked?”

the old respectable couple the table over choked.

jeongguk combusted. “i just...wanted to get dinner.”

“you really don’t think things through, huh?” yoongi smiled, kind of endeared. “did you also not think it through when you gave me your shirt that night? i have it here, by the way.”

“keep it,” jeongguk said. “and no, i just…” you were shaking. wanted people to stop staring. wanted you in my shirt. “...didn’t want you to be cold.”

yoongi snorted. “i doubt it, but thanks anyway. there’s only so far you can go to make a point.”

“you did make a point,” jeongguk agreed. “i think i saw a grandma fall over.”

“that wasn’t the point,” yoongi grumbles.

 

>>>

 

“what? you wanted a card. wasn’t that the point?”

jeongguk slips the envelope in his bag. “no,” he says. “can i give you my present now?”

“nah,” yoongi says. “let’s wait for your dumb salad.”

jeongguk pouts. “i can’t believe you got fries.”

“to comfort myself having to sit across someone eating a salad,” yoongi explains. “you’re getting too healthy. i’ve had enough.”

“wait til i actually start training again,” jeongguk grins. “want to go on a diet with me?”

yoongi gives him a dead look.

jeongguk just smiles again, not flinching in the least. “i’m not sharing my smoothies with you then.”

“you should be worried about me sharing my ramen, dumbass,” yoongi snorts.

“i don’t have a MSG addiction,” jeongguk retorts. “sleep, though. you’re going to have to wake me up in the morning.”

“what makes you think i want to wake up at ass-o-clock for you?”

“because...no one else will?” jeongguk says cheekily. yoongi sighs.

 

<<<

 

“you can find literally anyone else.”

“but i dont want to. i know you already, hyung.”

“this isn’t some weird scheme to get in my pants?” yoongi demanded.

“why - no?? i’m not like that!”

“then what are you like?”

“i just...i just need to do well for one year, with jin-hyung’s circle and with advertisements and stuff. i dont know, people keep making fun of me. jin-hyung says im going to go broke in a month.” jeongguk looked up from his hands at yoongi imploringly. “i don’t know what to do.”

“get jin-hyung to help you,” yoongi grumbled.

“he’s busy,”

“and i’m not?”

“...jimin-hyung says you like to keep busy?” jeongguk tried.

“why do you know everyone?” yoongi asked, exasperated. “what’s in it for me?”

“um, i can, like, pay you?”

“i don’t do this kind of job,” yoongi immediately said. “the moment you fuckers think you can buy me my life is over.”

“oh,” jeongguk said sadly. “i can’t think of anything else.” he really looked crushed. it would be pathetic if he weren’t so cute.

“are you serious about this? a whole year?”

jeongguk nodded.

“okay, i’ll do it...”

jeongguk started to grin.

“with a safety net. and ease of checking your expenses, and also as payment. i’ll teach you how to not fuck up with the media, and to get jin’s dumb friends to like you.”

“and?”

>>

 

“here’s a dumb photocard of me from when i was young and fat.” yoongi mutters, handing over another envelope.

jeongguk honest to god squeals . “i remember these! girls in my class had them! oh my god, is this an artefact now? can i sell it?”

“don’t you dare,” yoongi says. “it’s the only one i haven’t burned.”

there’s a piano in the background, and yoongi’s holding his chin in one of his hands. his cheeks are still round with the slightest hint of baby fat.

“i’m going to keep this in my wallet,” jeongguk declares.

“put me next to your condom,” yoongi snickers.

“i don’t keep condoms in my wallet, oh my god hyung.” jeongguk looks at yoongi as if hurt. “do you want yours now?”

yoongi opens the envelope carefully. it’s a drawing, a careful pencil sketch of yoongi and a waterfall.

“did you draw this?” yoongi takes in the slope of his nose, the curve of his lips that are undoubtedly, somehow, him. someone had take the time to shape them just so; they must have had to look at the original photo for ages.

“yeah,” jeongguk says, wringing his hands. “it’s not much, i thought since you didn’t seem all about the anniversary thing i didn’t want to overdo it, and i know you don’t really like photos, but…”

“i love it,” yoongi declares. jeongguk looks startled. “i’m going to keep it forever on the fridge. look at kookie, going to art school and learning shit,” he coos.

“ah,” jeongguk says, embarassed. “i’m glad you, um, love it.”

yoongi smiles one of his rare ones, directly at jeongguk.

 

<

 

and, you’re going to have to marry me.”

“wait...what?”

“so i know you’re not fucking with me,” yoongi said.

 

>

 

“are you sure?”

“i fucking love it, jeon jeongguk. no one’s ever done this for me.”

 

<

 

“yeah, okay.” jeongguk raised his eyebrows, daring yoongi to back out now.

“...what?? okay???”

“yeah. okay. let’s get married.”

 

>

 

“are you drunk?” yoongi says, narrowing his eyes.

“it’s my last day before training starts,” jeongguk says dreamily. “i can do what i want.”

“why am i here,” yoongi sighs. “can we go home now?”   

“because you’re pretty…”

 

<

 

“it’s almost like you’re his trophy wife,” jimin giggled the next day. jeongguk’s eyeballs popped out of their sockets and would be bouncing on linoleum if that were physically possible.

“you’re right,” yoongi snapped his fingers. “i’m a goddamn trophy.”