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everybody’s watching him, but he’s looking at you

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When Jimin steps outside for a smoke, Jungkook’s the one at the door. As usual, the bouncer hardly spares him a glance, even when he sidles up next to him with a hooded gaze.

“Want one?” Jimin says sweetly, holding out his pack of Dunhills.

“Don’t smoke Dunhill,” Jungkook says dryly, staring straight ahead.

His arms are crossed over his chest, and Jimin can’t help but notice the corded muscles in his forearms and the way his biceps pop. “Liar,” Jimin says with a moody frown, wondering if he pushes his sleeves up like that on purpose. “You got a light? Forgot mine.” He puts a cigarette between his lips and leans toward Jungkook, eyebrow raised.

Jungkook shoots him a sideways glance. “Liar,” he echoes, and doesn’t move to find a light.

Jimin huffs, leaning back again and fishing in the pockets of the coat he’d thrown on over his tiny shorts. He finds a lighter for his cigarette and takes a drag, dropping it back into his pocket when he’s done.

“Knew it,” Jungkook says easily, and Jimin doesn’t give him the satisfaction of a response.

A couple of guys walking out of the back stop to wave at Jimin. One of them, clearly drunk from the way he’s stumbling, calls, “You work after hours, sweetheart?”

Jimin takes another drag and calls back sweetly, “You missed me during hours, honey, let’s start with that.”

His friends all laugh, and next to him, Jungkook scoffs. Jimin turns on him, already bored with the guys heading off toward the sidewalk, and bats his eyelashes. “What, you jealous?”

“In case you hadn’t noticed, Park, I’m working right now.”

“What’s your point?”

Jungkook shoots him a look, and Jimin relents, settling in with his cigarette. He ignores Jungkook for the rest of his smoke break, doesn’t even wave goodbye before slipping back inside. Hoseok raises an amused eyebrow when he passes him.

“What’s ruffled your feathers?”

“Jeon Jungkook,” Jimin seethes, and Hoseok just laughs. By now they’re all used to it.

He touches up his makeup and slips off his coat before heading back to the floor. It’s been a surprisingly good night already, and he doesn’t see anyone worth eyeing yet, so he allows himself the luxury of leaning against the bar and asking Yoongi for a drink. The small bartender slides him something sans alcohol; Jimin’s never liked drinking on the job.

“I think he hates me,” Jimin begins conversationally, and Yoongi huffs in exasperation almost immediately.

“Not this shit again. I’m busy, Jimin.”

“Anyway,” Jimin continues as if he’s said nothing, “I’ve had enough.”

“You’re finally going to stop obsessing over this?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Jimin scoffs, eyeing the floor for anyone who looks promising. There’s a man over to the side with a drink in hand who looks rather out of place, the stiff discomfort in his stance quite clear. Jimin tilts his head and smiles when he catches his eye, waving lightly. The man flushes and glances away immediately, but only a few seconds pass before he steals another glance. “I’m going to come up with a plan to break his holier-than-thou attitude.”

“Shouldn’t you be out there trying to make some money? You trying to lose out today or what?”

Jimin waves him off. “I already made plenty. And I’m pretty sure that one over there is going to call for me in about five minutes.” He jerks his head toward the man in the corner. “So before he does, let’s formulate a plan.”

Let’s ?”

“Step number one,” Jimin begins, eyeing Yoongi very seriously. “You’d better take some notes.”

“Shut up, Jimin.”

 

Step 1: Make Jeon jealous.

It's meant to be a fairly simple step; there are a hundred and one ways to inspire jealousy when he's on the floor. He figures dancing on customers won't do the trick, not when it's his job and Jungkook sees him do that every day anyway. No, it'll have to be someone closer - someone who might actually ruffle Jungkook's feathers.

Of course, he doesn't actually know if Jungkook cares enough to get jealous. But he figures it's worth a try. And his tried and true plan to get men to notice him tends to include jealousy at some point.

So when the moment's right - the floor's fairly empty of customers, the perfect song plays - Jimin finds Hoseok and slings his arms around his neck.

"Step one in progress," Jimin whispers by Hoseok's ear, and Hoseok smacks his ass lightly in return.

"He's in the left corner." With his hands on his waist, Hoseok turns Jimin around and tugs their hips together. Hoseok rolls against him slowly, getting into the rhythm, and Jimin leans back against him. "I still think this is a dumb idea," Hoseok says by his ear.

"No one asked you, hyung."

"Ouch. I agree to help you, and this is what I get?"

Jimin drops into a squat and pulls himself up slowly, dragging back against Hoseok as he does. "Is he looking?"

"Nope."

Jungkook might not be paying attention, but some of their customers have started to watch, intrigued by two of the club's most popular dancers grinding on each other. If nothing else, they might score some extra tips with this.

Jimin turns around to face Hoseok again, fisting a hand in the collar of his open vest. Matching the beat of the music, Hoseok leans back toward the ground, bringing Jimin with him. Jimin straddles his waist, rolling in time with his thrusts before Hoseok straightens and turns him back around again.

"He's still not looking," Hoseok informs him, accepting the cash a customer hands him with a wink.

Jimin bends forward, ass against Hoseok's crotch. "How about now?" Jimin says, shaking his ass with his face almost on the ground.

"Nope." Hoseok tugs him back up. "Maybe he's, you know, busy doing his job."

Jimin groans dramatically. "No one's that good at their job."

"The other option here is that he's just really not into your ass."

"Hyung, that's even more unrealistic. Everyone's into my ass."

That's the point - Jungkook's the one person whose attention Jimin wants the most, but he's the only one who seems impervious to Jimin's charm. It's infuriating. He chances a glance in Jungkook's direction and finds him standing straight against the wall, hands clasped before him and jaw set tight as always while he rakes the floor for any untoward behavior. Jimin wonders if he's even noticed them at all.

They milk it for some more tips before breaking apart, Jimin finally accepting defeat - at least for now. Later, he's complaining to Yoongi when the annoyed bartender tells him, "I dunno why the fuck you thought that was gonna work when he watches you dance on guys all night." He wipes a glass with an annoyed twist of his wrist. "And pick someone else to rope into your plan next time."

"Aw, did we make you jealous?" Jimin croons. By now, the whole club knows about Yoongi's mountain-sized crush on Hoseok. "I guess that means the plan technically worked."

"Fuck off, Jimin."

 

Step 2: The clothing mishap (practiced seduction).

Most nights on the floor, Jimin doesn’t wear enough clothing for a wardrobe malfunction. Hoseok’s the one who suggests the idea, lends him a pair of suspenders that he adjusts to his own size and hooks to his shorts. It's a busy night, fortunately, so he can justify his urgency when he sets the plan in motion. Passing near where Jungkook stands looking over the floor, Jimin subtly pokes at the strap of one of the suspenders. Hoseok had loosened it enough earlier so that the small disturbance has it snapping free immediately.

"Fuck," he exclaims, grabbing the strap and trying (and failing) to re-hook it. He makes a show of looking around for help, spots Jungkook by the wall, and beelines over.

Jungkook watches him come with an impassive face.

"Jungkook," he says frantically, holding out the strap, "Help me out and fix this, will you?"

Jungkook gestures for him to turn around with a spin of his finger. Jimin obeys, stepping back into Jungkook's space just a touch closer than necessary. Jungkook tugs on the strap and tries to connect it back to his shorts. He's careful not to brush Jimin's skin in the process. Jimin knows he'll have to pull his shorts out a bit to do it though, knows the thong he's wearing is very visible, too.

"Dammit," Jungkook mutters, clearly having trouble. His breath tickles Jimin's shoulder. "Can't you just take the suspenders off?"

"Of course not," Jimin complains. "It's part of my look for tonight."

"Never seen you wear them before." He says it offhandedly, but Jimin preens. At least he's noticed.

"I can't take them off."

"If I can't get this fixed in a minute, you're on your own. I have to work, you know."

"So do I."

He fixes it in less than a minute, then shoves Jimin back toward the floor unceremoniously. Jungkook doesn't glance his way once for the rest of the night. Jimin's stuck between calling step two a fail or a possible success, but Yoongi tells him very bluntly it's a fail.

"And all the other ones are gonna be failures, too, now leave the kid alone."

"Tell Hoseok hyung how badly you wanna suck his dick and maybe I'll consider it."

"Get the fuck off my counter, Park Jimin."

 

Step 3: Tug on Jeon's heartstrings.

The third and final step of Jimin's plan turns out to be the most disastrous one of them all.

It happens on a bad night, one where Jimin has barely made enough to cover the house fee and has nearly resigned himself to going home with no extra cash in his pocket. He's in a shitty mood because of it, but Hoseok cheers him up by reminding him of his plan.

"Maybe tonight's a good night for the next step," he suggests, and Jimin perks up fairly quickly. "But let it be on record that I still think you should just talk to him if you like him so much."

Jimin shoots him a look. "Who said anything about liking him?"

"You're going through a lot of work just to prove a point." He raises a knowing eyebrow, and Jimin finds himself scowling again.

"I am proving a point." Jungkook's friendly with everyone else. He chats with Yoongi and the other bartender, and Jimin knows he's good friends with some of the other bouncers. "He just - he thinks he's better than me or something, I can tell."

"Maybe you're misunderstanding."

Jimin huffs. "Whatever. Step three goes into action tonight."

He knows Jungkook is a nice guy. He's the kind of guy who helps other people with their jobs even when he has his hands full with his own. Just a few a days ago, Jimin had seen him helping Yoongi mop up behind the bar on his own break. He's the kind of guy who tries very hard to make sure the dancers are safe at all times, the kind of guy who'd never take a bribe. Jimin's seen some of the others take them. As a dancer, he knows exactly who to trust and who not to, and he's always known he could trust Jungkook.

So Jimin knows that if he takes a fall right in front of Jungkook, the bouncer won't hesitate to help.

The only problem: he miscalculates.

It's supposed to be a fake fall. A dramatic oh no, I think I've hurt my ankle, can you carry me back to the dressing room ? Jimin's good at playing up the watery eyes and pitiful pout. But he miscalculates, and his fake fall turns into a real fall, and when Jimin lands on his knees, it's with a cry of real pain as his ankle twists beneath him.

He can't afford a bum ankle. He's a dancer. A bum ankle means he can't dance, and no dancing means no money. After a shitty night like this one, he'll be tight on money already. He forgets all about Jungkook as he sits properly and inspects his ankle, which stings painfully from only the slightest touch.

"Fuck," he's muttering, close to tearing up, "fuck, fuck, fuck."

"Hey," Jungkook's concerned voice comes from close by as the bouncer crouches down next to him. "You okay, hyung?"

"I fucked up," Jimin mumbles, blinking back tears. He's a fucking idiot. He supposes this is what he deserves for being petty.

"Can you walk?" Jungkook takes Jimin's ankle very carefully between his fingers, pressing lightly and apologizing when Jimin flinches. "I think it's a light sprain. Come on, I'll get you to Seokjin hyung."

Jimin lets Jungkook help him up, leaning on him heavily. He tries taking a step but whimpers in pain. "I don't think I can walk," he says, swallowing past the lump in his throat.

Jungkook doesn't hesitate. He bends, slings an arm under Jimin's knees, and lifts him up bridal-style. "No worries," he assures him. "None of the customers are looking this way."

"Promise?"

"Promise."

Jungkook carries him to the dressing room, and even though this was Jimin's goal, he doesn't feel all that accomplished. He's too upset to pay any attention to the way Jungkook holds him. A light sprain still means days without dancing.

"If you take care of it, it won't take that long to heal," Jungkook says quietly, as if he can sense Jimin's thoughts. "Don't beat yourself up too much."

He sets him down on a couch in the dressing room and calls for Seokjin, the house mom, who's whipping up snacks in the tiny kitchen connected to the room. Seokjin makes a noise of distress at the sight of him and runs to find ice packs.

"I gotta get back to the floor," Jungkook says. "You gonna be okay?"

Jimin nods, looking up at him. He seems honestly concerned. He really is a nice guy. "Thanks, Jungkook."

"No problem."

"Jungkook," he blurts just before he turns away. Jungkook glances back, head tilted as he waits for Jimin to continue. "Sorry I'm always annoying you when you're trying to do your job. Thanks for putting up with me."

Jungkook's mouth twists. He rubs the back of his head awkwardly. "Ah, you're not annoying. Um, it's kind of entertaining." Jimin's eyes widen in surprise, and Jungkook shrugs. "It gets boring just standing there and directing customers around all night."

"Oh." He blinks. "So you don't hate me?"

Jungkook's brows furrow in genuine confusion. "Why would you think that?"

Seokjin returns just then with ice packs and painkillers, and Jungkook takes his leave.

"Feel better," he calls on his way out.

Jimin stares after him and doesn't know quite what to make of this.

-

"So you're giving up? For real?" Yoongi blinks at him across the counter. "Like, you really mean it."

"Yup." Jimin shrugs, taking a sip of his non-alcoholic drink. It hadn’t taken as long as he’d been afraid of for his ankle to heal, and he’d only ended up missing one of his work nights. The remainder of his rest days had fallen on days he didn’t work, anyway. "I think I was being too dramatic. So I'm gonna cool it a bit."

"Oh, thank god," Yoongi exclaims, exaggeratedly wiping sweat from his forehead. "I've been telling you that for ages."

"You want me to call Hoseok hyung over right now and tell him how badly you wanna suck his dick? Because I will."

"You wouldn't," Yoongi says, not even a little bit concerned.

"I wouldn't," Jimin sighs. He's not that mean. "Seriously though, just talk to him. Even if he's not into you, he's Hoseok hyung. He'd turn you down really nicely."

"Yeah, I know," Yoongi mutters, getting a glass out for someone who calls for a shot down the counter.

Jimin glances at Hoseok across the floor, where he's rolling his hips in someone's lap. "I don't think he'd turn you down though," he says thoughtfully, just when one of the other bouncers comes up to him for a guy who wants a dance.

Jimin peers at the man the bouncer gestures to and agrees. He doesn't look all that interesting, but he doesn't look like the type to tip terribly. Then again, you can't always tell.

"Hey, sweetheart," the guy croons when Jimin saunters up to him. He always finds it presumptuous how men think they can give him nicknames right off the bat. Nicknames have to be earned .

He gives him a lap dance to die for, though, like he always does, works him until the guy's flushed and hard. Works him until the guy's sliding wads of bills into the band of Jimin's shorts. Jimin has to push his hands off him a few times, but mostly he behaves, so when he asks for a private dance, Jimin considers it.

"Private dances cost money," Jimin murmurs, holding onto the arms of the chair as he rolls his ass against the guy's crotch.

"I'll pay, angel, don't worry about that."

Jimin throws his head back against the guy's shoulder, lets his eyes drift shut as he grinds a little harder. He's pretty sure the guy's about to come in his pants. "Same rules that apply to the floor go for the champagne rooms, too. That okay, honey?"

"Got it, got it. No touching."

Jimin stands up, doesn't miss the guy's sigh of regret, and beckons for him to follow. Just his luck, Jungkook's the one standing outside the champagne rooms tonight. He's never been the one outside any of Jimin's private dances before; Jimin had attributed it to another one of those he-thinks-he's-better-than-me things.

"He wants a private dance," Jimin says.

Jungkook takes care of the money, tells him the price and pockets the cash for now. "No sex in the room, you understand?"

"Got it," the guy says, clearly a little annoyed by Jungkook's attitude. Some of the guys get like that when they talk to the bouncers. Jimin thinks it says a lot about them.

The guy brushes past him into the hallway first. Jungkook glances at Jimin and nods. "Here if you need me," he whispers as Jimin passes him, and Jimin shoots him a thumbs-up.

It goes fine at first. Jimin pours him a drink, picks up where they left off and starts to take it up a notch. He shimmies out of his shorts, leaving himself just in his thong, and straddles the guy's waist. He'd told him his name earlier, but he can't for the life of him remember it, so he makes do without. Usually guys end up turning the private dances into pity parties, spilling the secrets they can't tell anyone else, but this one doesn't seem interested in talking. He just watches with reverent eyes. Jimin prefers that to the therapy sessions.

"You can put your hands on my waist," Jimin tells him, voice purposefully breathy. "But just there, yeah?"

The guy puts his drink down eagerly, some of it sloshing onto the table, and does as he's told. It only takes a couple of grinds before he gets handsy, slipping down to grope Jimin's bare ass. Jimin's quick to react, taking his wrists and returning him firmly to his waist.

"Uh-uh," he warns. "No touching."

"Sorry, sorry."

He breaks the rule again before long. Jimin's leaning back, rolling his hips into the air, when the guy's hand brushes down his chest. It gets dangerously close to his crotch before Jimin grabs it and shoves it away.

"Hey," he says firmly. "Keep doing that and we're cutting this dance short, you understand?"

"Don't be like that," the guy croons. "I just can't help it. You're so sexy."

"Hands off or you're out."

"Fine, I got it. No more."

Jimin resumes the dance, more wary than before, but he makes it a while without an incident. Then the guy presses his mouth to his ear.

"I'd pay," he says, and a shudder runs up Jimin's spine. "How much do you want?"

Jimin's up and off him in a second. "This club is for dancing, not sex."

"Come on, we all know what goes on in these rooms. Don't play coy. How much do I pay to fuck you?"

"Out," Jimin orders, pointing toward the curtained doorway.

"I've got a lot of money." He tugs a wad of cash from his pocket and tosses it carelessly onto the table. "I'll pay anything."

"You can take your desperate ass out of this fucking room, that's what you can do."

"Don't talk to me like that," he hisses, his face darkening.

"Jungkook!" Jimin shouts, moving toward the curtain.

The guy follows him. Just as his hand tightens around Jimin's wrist, Jungkook bursts through the curtain, jaw set tight. "Hands off," he growls, grabbing the guy by the collar before he can even manage a response. He drags him down the hall and to the back door, shoving him out unceremoniously. "We've got your face on camera," Jimin hears him say. "Don't bother coming back."

Jimin sighs, rubbing his face tiredly as he returns to the room to find his shorts and tug them back on. Encounters like that are common, but even though he's used to them they suck all the energy out of him. They make him feel dirty, and all he wants is a giant coat to cover himself up and hide. He likes his job. He'd love it if it weren't for all the harassment. But they're all used to it; it comes with the territory.

Jungkook slips back into the room, the thunderous expression calming when his gaze settles on Jimin. "Are you okay?" he says gently, crouching down before where Jimin sits on the couch. "Did he hurt you?"

Jimin shakes his head. "No, I'm okay." He puts his face in his hands, shrinking into himself for a moment, before he straightens.

"Can I do anything for you?"

"Pour me something strong," Jimin mutters, gesturing toward the bar. "And can I - can I borrow your jacket for a minute?"

Jungkook doesn't question it. He tugs it off and hands it to Jimin, heading over to the bar to pour him a drink while he pulls it on. It makes him feel a little better; he hugs it tight around him.

"You need me to get Seokjin hyung?"

"I'll be fine. I'm just gonna sit here for a few minutes, okay? You can go back out."

"You sure?" He looks reluctant to leave him, but Jimin waves him off.

"Thank you."

Jungkook nods and slips out with a last glance in his direction. Jimin leans back against the couch and closes his eyes briefly. Then he knocks back the drink, wincing as it burns his throat. He lets it go down before he leaves the room, hands Jungkook his jacket back, and smooths out his shorts.

He has to go back to work.

-

Park Jimin is not a morning person.

Maybe if he were in a different line of work he would be, but the fact is he isn’t, and he hates mornings. Loathes them. Can’t understand why he’d agreed to drag his ass all the way here at ass o’clock in the morning when he could be in bed with an eyemask and his lavender-scented pillow.

“Take those damn sunglasses off,” Yoongi mutters. “You look ridiculous.”

Jimin doesn’t spare him a glance. It wouldn’t matter even if he did, because his sunglasses are half the size of his face, but he doesn’t look at him on principle. He goes on staring straight ahead, the coffee shop dark and dismal through his lenses.

Don’t talk to me before I’ve had my morning coffee ,” Hoseok imitates in a high-pitched voice that doesn’t sound even remotely like Jimin. “That’s what he’d say if he was awake enough to talk.”

His coffee is very large and very dark, but Jimin’s beginning to think it won’t be enough.

“It’s not even that early,” Hoseok says. This time, Jimin and Yoongi both shoot him a look.

“It’s before noon,” Yoongi says. “That’s too early.”

“Ass o’clock in the morning,” Jimin adds.

“It’s like eleven.”

None of them would be here, not even Hoseok, if it weren’t for the meeting the club manager had called for all staff and regular dancers that morning. They’d been required to attend, and Hoseok had dragged the both of them to a nearby coffee shop after its quick finish. We don’t hang out enough , he’d said, and Jimin had at least been awake enough to waggle his eyebrows at Yoongi when Hoseok turned the other way.

“I’m gonna fall asleep during my waxing appointment,” Jimin says.

“How are you going to manage that while you’re getting waxed ?” Yoongi responds rather incredulously.

Hoseok waves him off. “I barely even feel the sting anymore, you get so used to it.” Then he pauses to consider. “Except my balls, those still kind of hurt.”

Jimin stirs himself to life enough to watch Yoongi’s ears turn red.

The entrance chimes to announce another customer. Jimin doesn’t bother looking at the door, taking a long sip of his coffee and wondering if it’s worth it to buy something sugary from the display. Then he realizes Yoongi and Hoseok are both waving at the doorway, and he glances over. It’s Jungkook.

He’d seen him only briefly at the morning meeting, and honestly he’d been too dead on his feet to pay much attention. Now he scans him head-to-toe, protected by the privacy his sunglasses offer him, and takes in his chest in the slightly see-through white t-shirt, the bits of skin visible through his ripped jeans. The Timbs and the beanie and the way he walks, a little cocky and a little bored.

Jimin slumps lower into his seat and takes another long swig of coffee.

Jungkook waves back. Jimin just stares.

“I invited him to join us,” Yoongi says easily.

Jimin pushes his sunglasses up just so he can narrow his eyes at him. “No games, Yoongi hyung. Don’t forget I’ve got some shit up my sleeve, too.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Quit being dramatic. No games.”

Jimin narrows his eyes a little further, examines his expression for any hint of a lie, then nods and lets the sunglasses slide back into place. When Jungkook joins them with an Americano in hand, Jimin notices he has a sketchbook tucked under his arm. He nods at it curiously. “What’s that for?”

“I’m an artist,” Jungkook says, and Jimin’s eyebrows rise above his glasses.

“Really?”

“Not really at the stage where it can support me yet, so the club’s my side thing.”

“Can I see something of yours?”

“Ah, maybe another time.”

Jimin wants to press it, but Jungkook looks awkward about it so he doesn’t. Hoseok and Jungkook start talking about something or another, and Jimin tunes them out, staring at the sharp line of Jungkook’s jaw and the scar in his cheek that dimples when he smiles.

“If you confess, I’ll confess,” Yoongi murmurs, just loud enough for Jimin to catch it. His head snaps toward him. “Don’t tell me there’s nothing there.”

It had started off mostly as dicklust. Then Jimin had realized Jungkook was unimpressed by his flirtations, that he was uninterested, and the dicklust had turned into pettiness. He’d probably be lying if he denied that these days there might be something beyond either of those. He doesn’t really know what to call it; he just knows that lately, he can’t stop thinking about Jungkook.

“Deal,” Jimin finally says, if only because maybe clearing the air will get Jungkook out of his head.

Yoongi’s eyes widen a fraction’s worth. He clearly hadn’t expected Jimin to agree. “Oh.”

Jimin holds his hand out. “Shake on it.”

Yoongi reluctantly takes his hand to seal the deal.

“What’s going on over here?” Hoseok asks curiously, breaking into their moment. He and Jungkook are both staring.

“Yoongi hyung finally agreed to stop being a dick.”

“Jimin says he’ll stop getting glitter all over my bar.”

“Anyway,” Jimin says, standing with a sigh and tugging his holographic jacket back onto his shoulders. “I’m going out for a smoke.”

He’s slipping out from behind the table when Jungkook says, “I’ll join you.”

Jimin’s a little surprised, but he tries not to show it. Just nods and leads the way. They slip out the back door of the coffee shop where there are less people, and Jimin pulls out his pack of cigarettes. He doesn’t offer Jungkook one, lighting his own instead and taking a drag. He can’t remember the last time he was nervous at the thought of confessing to someone. It’s usually the other way around.

“Can I bum one off you?” Jungkook says, leaning against the wall by Jimin’s side.

Jimin shoots him a sideways glance. “Thought you said you didn’t smoke Dunhill.”

“I was lying,” he says easily, and Jimin scoffs.

“I don’t share my cigs with liars.” He moves to shove the box back in his pocket, but Jungkook’s quicker. In a second, his fingers are loose around Jimin’s wrist.

“Don’t be like that.”

There’s something in his voice, something low and a little promising, that has heat stirring in Jimin’s belly. He stares at him, at the quirk of his mouth, and twists out of his grasp to hand him a cigarette against his better judgement. Jungkook puts it between his lips and waits. Instead of handing him the light, Jimin steps into his space, close enough that the tips of his toes are between Jungkook’s. Then he leans in and lights his cigarette, breathing in Jungkook’s scent - something sweet and a little floral. He can feel the heat radiating off his body, glances up to meet his gaze when he flicks the light.

Before he can pull away, Jungkook’s hands are on his waist.

Jimin pulls his cigarette out of his mouth to let it dangle between his fingers. He blinks up at Jungkook, surprised again, hates how Jungkook’s always catching him off guard. He isn’t used to that.

Jungkook reaches out and delicately removes his sunglasses for him, dangling them from the neck of his own shirt. It’s too late to school his expression, so Jimin just stares at him, eyes a little wide, as Jungkook takes a drag of his cigarette then puts his hand back on Jimin’s waist.

“Why do you look like that?” Jungkook sounds amused. “So you can dish it out, but you can’t take it?”

“No,” Jimin mutters, a flush rising hot to his cheeks. “That’s not - you never play along.”

“Are we playing?”

“Let me go, I was trying to smoke.” He waves his dwindling cigarette as evidence.

“I’m not stopping you,” he says, but he doesn’t move his hands.

Jimin narrows his eyes, regaining his composure. It wouldn’t be hard to pull away, but it isn’t about that. It’s about principle. “Fine,” he says. Two can play at that game.

He takes a drag and exhales without turning away. The smoke drifts between them, a barrier until it isn’t and Jimin’s stuck with Jungkook’s gaze again. It’s darker than before.

“Is that a proposition?” he says quietly, and Jimin finds himself scoffing again.

He crushes his barely smoked cigarette beneath his shoe and tries to pull away, but Jungkook’s hold tightens. “Was I invisible before today?” he snaps, pressing a hand to Jungkook’s chest to keep the distance between them.

“I’ve never seen you outside the club, you know.”

“Oh, so now that you can pretend I’m not a stripper you’re okay with hitting on me? Nice.”

“Hey, hold on.” Jungkook catches him as he tries to pull away again. “Can you let me finish?”

Jimin stays stubbornly silent, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Whenever we see each other I’m usually busy, you know, working .”

Jimin squints at him. “That doesn’t mean you have to ignore me all the time.”

“I don’t ignore you all the time,” Jungkook huffs. He stubs his cigarette out, too, and puts his palm back on Jimin’s waist. Jimin’s wearing a shirt and a jacket, but he can still feel it burn all the way to his skin. “I helped you fix your suspenders. Picked you up when you fell.”

“You know the suspenders were me trying to flirt with you, right?”

“And it worked.” His gaze traces over Jimin’s face, settling on his mouth before it flickers back up to his eyes. “Couldn’t stop thinking about it.”

“About what?” Jimin’s hand on his chest moves a little higher, fiddling with the chain mostly hidden under his t-shirt. He knows what, but he wants to hear it.

“The way the curve of your ass looked peeking out of those shorts. That fucking red thong.” Jungkook tugs him in, and Jimin settles against his chest. A shiver runs up his spine when Jungkook’s lips brush the shell of his ear. “Wish I could have yanked those shorts down right there,” he whispers, and Jimin’s fingers curl into fists in his shirt.

He licks his lips, flush rising to his cheeks. “Maybe if you ask nicely, I’ll let you.”

Jungkook pulls back until they’re facing each other, close enough that their noses brush. Jimin’s entranced by his mouth, slightly parted, can feel his breath warm his skin. Stares at the mole just under his lip that he’s never noticed before. The distance between them lessens until their breaths are mingling, their lips almost brushing.

Jimin can’t tell who moves first, just that suddenly Jungkook’s mouth is on his and they’re kissing and it’s better than how he’d even imagined it would be. He’s wanted to kiss him for so long. His mind grows hazy, intoxicated with Jungkook’s scent and his chest hard against his and the way he kisses: wet and slow and sensual despite the urgency bubbling in both their bodies. Jungkook’s hands run up Jimin’s sides under his jacket, burning through his thin shirt, and Jimin winds his arms around Jungkook’s neck. He wants to speed it up, simmering with heat, but Jungkook’s firm in the languid way he tastes him, like he wants to map every bit of Jimin’s mouth.

Jungkook pulls away first, and Jimin chases his mouth on instinct, letting out a quiet noise of complaint. Jungkook laughs in response, steals another kiss like he can’t help himself either. “Hey,” he says, breathy, “I wanna take you out on a date.”

Jimin noses along Jungkook’s jaw, fingers threading through his hair. “You can’t ignore me forever then ask me out on a date.”

Jungkook leans his head heavily against the wall behind him, groaning. “You’re impossible.”

“I’m just saying, you’re giving me whiplash.”

“I handed in my two weeks today after the meeting,” he says, and Jimin pulls back to look at him in surprise.

“You’re quitting?”

“I got a new job at an art museum. Pays a bit better than this, and the networking will be great.”

Jimin finds himself beaming. “That’s amazing. I’m happy for you.”

Jungkook rubs the back of his head, looking a little shy. “Thanks. And since I’m not gonna be at the club anymore, I was gonna ask you out on a date.”

“You know Boss was just trying to scare you all with the whole ‘no dating the dancers’ thing, right?”

“No way, Christian hyung said he knew someone who got fired for messing around with a dancer.”

“So when are you planning on asking me out on this date?” Jimin turns his gaze coy, blinking up at him. “You gotta make up for all the waiting you made me do.”

“Ah, I dunno. Maybe I’ll make you wait a little longer.”

“Jungkook,” he whines, swatting at his shoulder, and Jungkook laughs. It’s pretty, the way he laughs, shoulders shaking and eyes bright. He’s pretty.

“Lunch? Tomorrow?”

Jimin smiles, and for some reason he’s blushing again. “Okay.”

“We should head inside. They’re probably wondering where we are.”

“Before we go.” Jimin hesitates, biting his lip. “I just wanna make sure you’re cool with me dancing. Even if, um, we turn into something.”

“Aren’t we something already?” Jungkook says it so confidently that Jimin’s flush deepens. “It’s not my place to say anything about your job. You do what you want, yeah?”

“Okay. It’s just been an issue in the past. I wanted to make sure.”

“It’s not gonna be one. Can’t say I’m thrilled seeing you on other guys, but - ”

Jimin latches onto it immediately, fluttering his lashes. “Are you jealous , Jeon Jungkook?”

“No,” Jungkook growls, hold tightening around his waist. “I’ll make you forget any other guy exists.”

Jimin laughs. He leans in and kisses him softly before heading back toward the coffee shop. Jungkook follows, lacing their fingers together as they walk. It might be silly, but Jimin feels like everything’s a little brighter when he steps back inside. Or maybe that’s just because he took his sunglasses off.

They find Hoseok and Yoongi at the table sitting much closer than before.

They both glance up at their approach, and they look shifty. Jimin squints, then bends over at lightning speed to look under the table. He catches their intertwined fingers just before they let each other go in surprise. He pops back up, a shit-eating grin on his face.

“You did it,” he tells Yoongi, and Yoongi scoffs.

“So did you,” he says, nodding to Jungkook and Jimin’s hands.

“He didn’t do anything,” Jungkook says, “it was all me.”

“Fuck off,” Jimin exclaims, but Jungkook just swoops in to kiss his cheek.

Jimin decides he can let him have this one.